“As he stepped out
On the land,
A man from the city,
Who had demons,
For a long time,
He had worn
He did not live
In a house,
But in the tombs.”
ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν ὑπήντησεν ἀνήρ τις ἐκ τῆς πόλεως ἔχων δαιμόνια, καὶ χρόνῳ ἱκανῷ οὐκ ἐνεδύσατο ἱμάτιον, καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ οὐκ ἔμενεν ἀλλ’ ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν.
Luke said that as Jesus stepped out on the land (ἐξελθόντι δὲ αὐτῷ ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν), a certain man from the city (ἀνήρ τις ἐκ τῆς πόλεως), who had demons (ἔχων δαιμόνια), met Jesus (ὑπήντησεν). For a long time (καὶ χρόνῳ ἱκανῷ), this man had worn no clothes (οὐκ ἐνεδύσατο ἱμάτιον). He did not live in a house (καὶ ἐν οἰκίᾳ οὐκ ἔμενεν), but in the tombs (ἀλλ’ ἐν τοῖς μνήμασιν). All three synoptic gospels. Matthew, chapter 8:28, Mark, chapter 5:2-3, and Luke here, had Jesus travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Mark, like Luke, said that Jesus met a man as he stepped out of the boat. This person came from the tombs, where he lived. No one could restrain him, even with chains, so that this was a strong violent possessed person. Matthew had Jesus meet 2 people possessed by the devil, who were menacing people as they passed by. They too also were coming out of the tombs. These two demonic people were so extremely violent or fierce, that no one could pass by them on their way. Only Luke, who had just one possessed man, said that this man was naked. Does clothing matter to you?
“When he came
To the other side,
To the country
Of the Gadarenes,
Two demoniacs met him.
They were coming out
Of the tombs.
They were so extremely violent
That no one could pass
Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ πέραν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ δύο δαιμονιζόμενοι ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἐξερχόμενοι, χαλεποὶ λίαν ὥστε μὴ ἰσχύειν τινὰ παρελθεῖν διὰ τῆς ὁδοῦ ἐκείνης.
All three synoptic gospels. Mark, chapter 5:1-3 and Luke, chapter 8:26-27, have Jesus go the country or region of the Gadarenes (εἰς τὸ πέραν εἰς τὴν χώραν τῶν Γαδαρηνῶν). Jesus had traveled over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to its southern tip (Καὶ ἐλθόντος αὐτοῦ). Gadara was about 6 miles away from the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee, near where the Sea of Galilee ran into the Jordan River, one of the 10 cities of the Decapolis territory. Today, it is in the country of Jordan, known as Umm Qais. There, Jesus met 2 people possessed by the devil (ὑπήντησαν αὐτῷ δύο δαιμονιζόμενοι), who were coming out of the tombs (ἐκ τῶν μνημείων ἐξερχόμενοι). These two demonic people were so extremely violent or fierce (χαλεποὶ λίαν), that no one could pass by them on their way (χαλεποὶ λίαν).
“Under the apple tree I awakened you.
There your mother was in labor with you.
There she who bore you was in labor.
Set me as a seal upon your heart.
Set me as a seal upon your arm.
Love is as strong as death.
Passion is as fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire.
It is a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love.
Neither can floods drown it.
If one offered for love
All the wealth of one’s house,
It would be utterly scorned.”
The male lover woke his lover up under the apple tree. He maintains that it was there that she was born from the labor of her mother. Now he wants his lover to bear his seal on her heart and on her arm. The seal was a sense of ownership. Then he went on to talk about the power of love. Love is just as strong as death. Passion is just as fierce as the grave. The love flashes of fire become a raging flame that no water can quench. Not even a flood can drown out love. If someone offers all the wealth they had, the lover would scorn it for his true love.
“When the battle became fierce, there appeared to the enemy from heaven five resplendent men on horses with golden bridles, leading the Jews. Two of them took Judas Maccabeus between them. They shielded him with their own armor and weapons. They kept him from being wounded. They showered arrows and thunderbolts on the enemy. Confused and blinded, they were thrown into disorder and cut to pieces. Twenty thousand five hundred were slaughtered, besides six hundred cavalry.”
Suddenly, 5 men on horses with golden bridles appeared leading the Jews. This is somewhat reminiscent of the battle with King Antiochus IV in chapter 5 of this book with the divine intervention. 2 of these heavenly horsemen protected Judas Maccabeus from being wounded with their armor and weapons. They threw arrows and thunderbolts at the enemy so that they were confused and blinded. They killed 25,500 men and 600 cavalry that day. This was a total victory thanks to the 5 heavenly horsemen.