The swine on the hillside (Mk 5:11-5:12)

“Now there on a hillside,

A great herd

Of swine

Was feeding.

The unclean spirits

Begged him.

‘Send us into the swine!

Let us enter them!’”

 

ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πρὸς τῷ ὄρει ἀγέλη χοίρων μεγάλη βοσκομένη·

καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες Πέμψον ἡμᾶς εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, ἵνα εἰς αὐτοὺς εἰσέλθωμεν.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:30-31, and Luke, chapter 8:32, and Mark here, have the unclean spirits or the demoniacs ask to be sent into the herd of pigs nearby, with slight nuances in each story.  This incident took place near a mountain or hill (ἦν δὲ ἐκεῖ πρὸς τῷ ὄρει).  There was a large herd of swine, pigs, or hogs (ἀγέλη χοίρων πολλῶν) feeding (βοσκομένη) on this hill, since this was gentile or a Greek area that was not Jewish.  Then the unclean spirits, not the demoniac, begged, entreated, or beseeched Jesus (καὶ παρεκάλεσαν αὐτὸν λέγοντες) to send them into these pigs or swine (Πέμψον ἡμᾶς εἰς τοὺς χοίρους), so that they could enter them (ἵνα εἰς αὐτοὺς εἰσέλθωμεν).  It seems like these evil spirits knew that they belonged in the unclean pigs or swine.

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