Mark 5 question


In the story about the man who Jesus encounters who is possessed by an unclean spirit who calls himself Legion, why do the demons request to go into the swine, and why when they do enter the pigs do they immediately run off the cliff into the ocean? I don’t quite understand why the demons seemed to want to die? Is there some sort of symbolism in that swine were considered unclean animals in the Old Testament and even in Jesus’ day? I really was intrigued by the story but didn’t understand why the pigs seem to kill themselves when the demons enter them and why in that case did the demons request to go into them?


I took a bible class last semester, and I was told that the demons didn’t want to go back to hell. They probably knew that Jesus would exorcise them if they went into other people, so they asked Him to put them in the pigs. Then Jesus made the pigs jump off the cliff.

I could be wrong. This is just what I heard.


Demons as spirit, cannot die.

But if not in a body, they’d be returned to Hell.

They chose the pigs as bodies so as not to be exorcised again, but the animals refused to live under their oppression.



Werent they all cast down to earth (not hell) at the fall?

From what i understand demons wll not actually be in hell until after jesus comes again.

I think they did what they did, just to get away from Jesus as quick as possible, and really if they can enter into animals that quickly, once in the sea, they could have just jumped into the nearest fish, bug, etc and move on.


From the Haydock Commentary: **"Ver. 2. Ven. Bede gives a beautiful explanation of this miracle. He says that it represents the Gentiles, who were converted to the faith by the apostles. The legion represents the innumerable vices to which they were subject, neither restrained by the laws of God nor man, but breaking through every restraint, and wallowing in all kinds of uncleanness. (Ven. Bede) — The three evangelists agree in the expulsion of the legion of devils, except that St. Matthew makes mention of two demoniacs, and Sts. Mark and Luke only of one. The difficulty is thus solved by St. Augustine. St. Mark and St. Luke only mention one, as being more generally known, and particularly frightful in the neighbourhood. (St. Augustine)

Ver. 7. I adjure thee by God. The same is, I earnestly beg of thee not to torment me, by sending me into hell, and confining me in the abyss, there to be more tormented than I am at present. See St. Luke viii. 31. (Witham)

Ver. 9. My name is Legion. Spirits have no names, only with respect to our language. These devils say their name is Legion, because they are many. (Witham)

Ver. 13. Jesus Christ permitted the devil to destroy these swine, that from their destruction, the men of that country might take the alarm, and be converted. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 17. Astonished at the miracle that had been performed, and displeased with the loss of their herds, they refused the Saviour of the world entrance into their country. (Theophylactus) — It is observed that all Christ’s miracles, except this, and the blasted fig-tree, were of the beneficent kind. We cannot but pity the wretched blindness of the Gerasens, in driving Jesus from their coasts. As a just judgment of God, their city was the first that fell into the hands of the Romans, in the fatal war under Vespasian.

Ver. 18. That he might be with him; i.e. as one of his disciples. St. Ambrose says Christ did not grant his request, lest they might think that he sought to be glorified by men, in having always in his company a man out of whom he had cast so many devils. Christ himself seems to give us another reason, that the man might go, and publish in his own country the miracles done by Jesus. (Witham)

Ver. 19. And he admitted him not: By Christ’s conduct on this occasion, he teaches his disciples that they ought sometimes to make known their own good works, when either the glory of God or the edification of their neighbour were likely to be advanced by such a manifestation: otherwise they ought to conceal them, out of a spirit of humility. (Denis the Carthusian)**

  1. A spirit needs a body
  2. The spirit was selfdestructive


Angels don’t need bodies and they are spiritual beings


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