Luke said that when the day was growing to a close (Ἡ δὲ ἡμέρα ἤρξατο κλίνειν), the twelve apostles came to Jesus (προσελθόντες δὲ οἱ δώδεκα). They said to him (ἶπαν αὐτῷ) to send the crowd away (Ἀπόλυσον τὸν ὄχλον), so that they might go into the surrounding villages and the countryside (ἵνα πορευθέντες εἰς τὰς κύκλῳ κώμας καὶ ἀγροὺς) to find lodging and provisions (καταλύσωσιν καὶ εὕρωσιν ἐπισιτισμόν). They said that they were in a deserted lonely place (ὅτι ὧδε ἐν ἐρήμῳ τόπῳ ἐσμέν). There were similar indications about this crowd needing to eat in Matthew, chapter 14:15, and Mark, chapter 6:35-36. Mark said that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home. After all, there were no fast food places to get something to eat. However, there were some places in the nearby villages where you could buy some food. Mark said that when it grew late, Jesus’ disciples came to him. They told him that they were in a deserted place. They wanted to send the crowds away, so that they could go into the surrounding region and nearby villages to buy food for themselves. This seemed like a good or reasonable plan. Matthew also said that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home. When it was evening, the disciples came to Jesus. They told him that there were in a deserted place at a late hour. They wanted to send the crowds away so that they could go into the nearby villages to buy food for themselves. Have you ever been in a large crowd without food?
Luke said that when the swine herdsmen saw what had happened (ἰδόντες δὲ οἱ βόσκοντες τὸ γεγονὸς), they ran off (ἔφυγον). They reported (καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) this in the city (εἰς τὴν πόλιν) and the in the countryside (καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς). All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:33, Mark, chapter 5:14, and Luke here, have the herdsmen of these pigs tell everybody in the area what happened, with slight nuances in each story. Mark said that the shepherds of this herd of pigs fled when they saw what had happened to their flocks. They recounted the whole story about what had happened to the demoniac and their herd of pigs to the town and the countryside. However, people came out to see what had happened, to see what had taken place. Matthew said that the shepherds of these herds of pigs ran off when they saw what had happened to their flocks. They went into the town, probably Gadara. Then they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs and their herd of pigs. They were without a job. Have you ever lost your job suddenly?
All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:33, and Luke, chapter 8:34, and Mark here, have the herdsmen of these pigs tell everybody in the area what happened, with slight nuances in each story. Mark said that the shepherds of these herds of pigs ran off (Καὶ οἱ βόσκοντες αὐτοὺς ἔφυγον) when they saw what had happened to their flocks. They announced, proclaimed, or recounted (καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν) to the town (εἰς τὴν πόλιν), and the countryside (καὶ εἰς τοὺς ἀγρούς) the whole story about what had happened to the demoniac and their herd of pigs. They were without a job. However, people came out to see what had happened, to see what had taken place (aκαὶ ἦλθον ἰδεῖν τί ἐστιν τὸ γεγονός).
“Then Holofernes went down to the seacoast with his army. He stationed garrisons in the fortified towns. He took picked men from them as his auxiliaries. These people and all in the countryside welcomed him with garlands, dances, and tambourines. Yet he demolished all their shrines. He cut down their sacred groves. He had been commanded to destroy all the gods of the land. All the nations should worship King Nebuchadnezzar alone. All their dialects and tribes should call upon him as a god. Then he came toward Esdraelon, near Dothan, fronting the great ridge of Judea. He camped between Geba and Scythopolis. He remained for a whole month in order to collect all the supplies for his army.”
General Holofernes went down along the seacoast and set up garrisons of his troops in the fortified cities. He even picked some men from the local area to serve in his auxiliary army. They all welcomed him with garlands, dances, and tambourines as a conquering hero. Everything seemed great until he decided to tear down their shrines and sacred groves. He wanted all the local gods destroyed. The only god would be King Nebuchadnezzar. However, this is a misplaced historical event since the idea of king or ruler as a god only came with the Greeks and the Romans, not the Assyrians or Persians who were very tolerant of various religions. Besides, the unity of religious beliefs was not part of the original assignment of Holofernes. Finally, he rested a month at Esdraelon, on the border of Judah, to get more supplies for his troops. Esdraelon was on the plains of Jezreel between the coast and the Jordan River in the old Ephraim territory. Geba was actually in the Benjamin territory. So Holofernes was already in Israel, when he camped with his troops for a month.