The legion of demons (Lk 8:30-8:30)

“Jesus then asked him.

‘What is your name?’

He said.

‘Legion!’

Many demons

Had entered him.”

 

ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Λεγιών, ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus then asked this possessed man (ἐπηρώτησεν δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) what his name was (Τί σοι ὄνομά ἐστιν)?  The man responded (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that his name was “Legion (Λεγιών),” because many demons had entered him (ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν δαιμόνια πολλὰ εἰς αὐτόν).  There is nothing like this question in the Matthew gospel story.  However, this is similar to Mark, chapter 5:9.  This famous question and answer has taken on a life of its own in many apocalyptic works about evil spirits.  Mark indicated that Jesus questioned this man with the unclean spirit about what his name was?  It was common in most expulsions of evil spirits to know the name of the one being expelled, in order to control them.  The man with the unclean spirit responded to Jesus that his name was “Legion (Λεγιὼν ὄνομά μοι),” a Latin term.  A Roman legion would have been about 6,000 men.  Thus, the unclean spirit was responding that he had many unclean spirits, perhaps as many as 6,000.  What do you think about unclean evil spirits?

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