The demonic pigs die in the sea (Mt 8:32-8:32)

“Jesus said to them.

‘Go!’

Thus,

The demons came out.

They entered the swine.

The whole herd

Rushed down

The steep bank

Into the sea.

They perished in the waters.”

 

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὑπάγετε. οἱ δὲ ἐξελθόντες ἀπῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους· καὶ ἰδοὺ ὥρμησεν πᾶσα ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν, καὶ ἀπέθανον ἐν τοῖς ὕδασιν.

 

All three synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 5:13 and Luke, chapter 8:33, and Matthew here, have Jesus cast out the demons into the herd of pigs nearby, with slight nuances in each story.  Jesus then accommodated these evil spirits.  He told them to leave the humans and go into the swine or pigs (καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ὑπάγετε.).  Then the demons left the humans (οἱ δὲ ἐξελθόντες) and entered the herd of pigs (ἀπῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους ἀπῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους).  This herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea (καὶ ἰδοὺ ὥρμησεν πᾶσα ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν) where they died in the water (καὶ ἀπέθανον ἐν τοῖς ὕδασιν).  There is one problem, pigs can swim, so some might have survived.  Perhaps the unfamiliarity of this Jewish authors with pigs may have led to this harsh ending.  Anyway, the pig herd, without a particular size here, ran into the sea off a steep bank.

The glorious priest Simon (Sir 50:5-50:10)

“How glorious he was!

He was surrounded

By the people.

He came out

Of the inner sanctuary.

He came out

Of house of the curtain.

He was

Like the morning star

Among the clouds,

Like the full moon

At the festal season,

Like the sun shining

On the temple of the Most High,

Like the rainbow

Gleaming in splendid clouds,

Like roses

In the days of the first fruits,

Like lilies

By a spring of water,

Like a green shoot on Lebanon

On a summer day,

Like fire with incense

In the censer,

Like a vessel

Of hammered gold

Studded with all kinds

Of precious stones,

Like an olive tree

Laden with fruit,

Like a cypress

Towering in the clouds.”

Sirach has a description of how glorious the high priest Simon looked as he was surrounded by the Israelite people when he came out of the sanctuary. He was like the morning star in the clouds, like a full moon at the festivals, like the sun shining on the Lord’s Temple, like the rainbow in the clouds, like early roses, like lilies by a water stream, like green branches of Lebanon on a summer day, like fire and incense in a Temple censer, like hammered gold with precious stones, like a blossoming olive tree, and like a cypress tree reaching to the clouds. Sirach used a lot of metaphors to explain the good looks of this high priest.