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?

The invitation (Dan 3:2-3:2)

“Then King Nebuchadnezzar

Sent for

The satraps,

The prefects,

The governors,

The counselors,

The treasurers,

The justices,

The magistrates,

All the officials

Of the provinces

To assemble.

They were to come

To the dedication

Of the statue

That King Nebuchadnezzar

Had set up.”

As was the usual ancient Middle Eastern costume, King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to have a big inauguration party for the dedication of his new statue. He invited all the important officials of the Babylonian provinces to this event, including the satraps, the prefects, the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, and the magistrates. Satraps was a Greek term for governors, while prefect was a Latin term for governors. Thus, one can see the later influence of the Greek and Roman empire on this story. The king wanted all these officials to come.