The possessed man (Lk 8:29-8:29)

Jesus had commanded

The unclean spirit

To come out

Of the man.

Many times,

It had seized him.

He was bound

With chains.

He was kept

In shackles.

But he would break

The bonds.

He was driven

By the demon

Into the wild desert.”

 

παρήγγελλεν γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου. πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις συνηρπάκει αὐτόν, καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος, καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ ἠλαύνετο ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους.

 

Luke said that Jesus had commanded (παρήγγελλεν) the unclean spirit (γὰρ τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ) to come out of this man (ἐξελθεῖν ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου).  Many times (πολλοῖς γὰρ χρόνοις), it had seized him (συνηρπάκει αὐτόν).  Thus, he was bound with chains (καὶ ἐδεσμεύετο ἁλύσεσιν) and kept in foot shackles (καὶ πέδαις φυλασσόμενος).  However, he would break the chains or bonds (καὶ διαρήσσων τὰ δεσμὰ).  He was driven (ἠλαύνετο) by a demon (ἀπὸ τοῦ δαιμονίου) into the wild desert (εἰς τὰς ἐρήμους).  Here in Luke, Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the demoniac.  Mark, chapter 5:8, also indicated that Jesus said to the demoniac that this unclean spirit should come out of this man.  Thus, Jesus spoke directly to the unclean spirit here also.  While Matthew, chapter 8:28, just said that these possessed men were wild people, Mark, chapter 5:4-5, had an elaborate description much like this in LukeMark said that this demoniac had often been bound or restrained with foot shackles and chains.  However, he tore up these chains and shattered his foot shackles into pieces.  No one had the strength to subdue him.  Constantly, all night and day, he was howling or crying among the tombs and on the hills or in the mountains.  He was cutting or bruising himself with stones.  This was not a pretty sight or a happy guy.  Have you ever met a crazy possessed person?

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The wild behavior of the demoniac (Mk 5:4-5:5)

“This demoniac

Had often been restrained

With foot shackles

And chains.

But he tore apart

The chains.

He broke in pieces

The foot shackles.

No one

Had the strength

To subdue him.

All night and day,

He was always howling

Among the tombs

And on the mountains.

He was bruising himself

With stones.”

 

διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν δεδέσθαι, καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις καὶ τὰς πέδας συντετρῖφθαι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἴσχυεν αὐτὸν δαμάσαι·

καὶ διὰ παντὸς νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν ἦν κράζων καὶ κατακόπτων ἑαυτὸν λίθοις.

 

This is a description of this demoniac, while Matthew just said that he was a wild person, but Luke, chapter 8:29, has a description much like this.  Mark said that this demoniac had often been bound or restrained with foot shackles and chains (διὰ τὸ αὐτὸν πολλάκις πέδαις καὶ ἁλύσεσιν δεδέσθαι).  However, he tore in two the chains (καὶ διεσπάσθαι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ τὰς ἁλύσεις).  He broke or shattered his foot shackles into pieces (καὶ τὰς πέδας συντετρῖφθαι).  No one had the strength to subdue him (καὶ οὐδεὶς ἴσχυεν αὐτὸν δαμάσαι).  Constantly all night and day (καὶ διὰ παντὸς νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας), he was always howling or crying among the tombs and on the hills or mountains (ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν καὶ ἐν τοῖς ὄρεσιν ἦν κράζων).  He was cutting or bruising himself with stones (καὶ κατακόπτων ἑαυτὸν λίθοις).  This was not a pretty sight or a happy guy.

Under what tree did all this take place (Dan 13:54-13:55)

“Now then,

If you really saw

This woman,

Tell me this.

Under what tree

Did you see them

Being intimate

With each other?’

He answered.

‘Under a mastic tree.’

Daniel said.

‘Very well!

This lie

Has cost you

Your head.

The angel of God

Has received

The sentence

From God.

He will immediately cut you

In two.’”

Then Daniel asked this old judge under what tree did Susanna and the young man have this famous intimate embrace. This elder answered that it was under the mastic tree, a small sweet evergreen tree. Daniel immediately responded that this was a lie, without any indication of why he felt this way. Daniel was very forceful in his response to this elder. Daniel told him that he would lose his head. An angel of God was going to deliver a sentence on him, by cutting him into two pieces. This was a Greek play on words, since the Greek word for mastic tree (σχϊνος) was close to the Greek word to cut (σχισει).

Breaking the covenant agreement (Jer 34:17-34:18)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh!

‘You have not obeyed me

By granting a release

To your neighbors,

As well as to your friends.

I am going to

Grant a release to you,

A release to the sword,

A release to pestilence,

A release to famine.’

Says Yahweh.

‘I will make you a horror

To all the kingdoms

Of the earth.

Those who transgressed

My covenant,

Those who did not

Keep the terms

Of the covenant

That they made before me,

I will make them

Like the calf

When they cut it in two.

As they passed

Between its parts.’”

The people of Jerusalem had not obeyed Yahweh about freeing up their Hebrew slaves. Now Yahweh was going to free them to the sword, pestilence, and famine, the common formula of Jeremiah for destruction. They would become a horror for all the countries in the world. They had broken their covenant with Yahweh. They had not kept the terms of the covenant agreement, since they had re-enslaved the freed Hebrew slaves in Jerusalem. The ancient practice of cutting or sacrificing an animal into two pieces was a way of ratifying an agreement, as can be seen in Genesis, chapter 15. Then the two people would walk between the two pieces of the calf to indicate that if they broke the agreement, they too would be killed. Thus these disobedient ones who broke the covenant were subject to death, just as the calf had been killed and cut up.

The dead tyrant (Isa 14:4-14:8)

“How the oppressor has ceased!

How the insolence has ceased!

Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked.

He has broken the scepter of rulers

That had struck down the peoples in wrath.

With unceasing blows,

This staff ruled the nations in anger.

It had ruled with unrelenting persecution.

The whole earth is at rest.

The whole earth is quiet.

They break forth into singing.

The cypresses exult over you.

The cedars of Lebanon say.

‘Since you were laid low,

No one comes to cut us down.’”

Yahweh has brought about the death of the tyrant who oppressed people with insolence. The staff of this wicked ruler has been broken. While he was in power, this wicked king had struck down people with many blows. He had ruled in anger and persecuted people. Now the whole world is at rest and quiet. They will break into singing. The cypress and cedar trees are happy also, since there will be no cutting wood for more building of huge palaces.

The comparisons of a fool (Prov 26:4-26:12)

“Do not answer fools according to their folly.

Otherwise you will be a fool yourself.

Answer fools according to their folly.

Otherwise they will be wise in their own eyes.

To send a message by a fool is

Like cutting off one’s foot,

Like drinking down violence.

A proverb in the mouth of a fool is

Like legs of a disabled person that hang limp.

To give honor to a fool is

Like binding a stone in a sling.

A proverb in the mouth of a fool is

Like a thorn bush brandished

By the hand of a drunkard.

Whoever hires a passing fool is

Like an archer who wounds everybody

Whoever hires a drunkard is

Like an archer who wounds everybody.

A fool that reverts to his folly is

Like a dog that returns to its vomit.

Do you see persons wise in their own eyes?

There is more hope for fools than for them.”

This passage begins with two contradictory phrases about treating fools. The first sentence says not to answer them, but the second says to answer them. In the first instance you become a fool, while in the second case the fools will appear to become wise in their own eyes. If you send a message with a fool, you are like cutting your own foot. You are drinking violence. A proverb in the mouth of a fool is like the limp leg of a disabled person or a thorn bush in the hand of a drunkard. If you honor a fool, you are like tying a stone in a sling. If you hire a passing fool or a drunkard, you are like an archer wounding everyone in sight. Notice that the fool and the drunkard are almost equivalent. The fool reverts to his folly like a dog to its vomit. Anyone who thinks that they are wise in their own eyes is worse than a fool.

The adventurers cannot find wisdom (Job 28:9-28:11)

“They put their hand to the flinty rock.

They overturn mountains by the roots.

They cut out channels in the rocks.

Their eyes see every precious thing.

They probe the sources of the rivers.

Hidden things they bring to light.”

Even the great adventurers and the various inventions of those days do not find wisdom. The invention of fire with flint was a big deal. Overturning mountains was a massive task. Cutting channels in rocks was not easy. They used their eyesight to find precious metals. They even tried to figure out the sources of the rivers. They were looking for hidden items by bringing light to them. These were the adventurers and discoverers of 2,500 years ago. They wanted to know about things and how they worked. Yet they never found wisdom.