“Then the demons
Of the man.
The swine herd
The steep bank
Into the lake.
They were drowned.”
ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους, καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ εἰς τὴν λίμνην καὶ ἀπεπνίγη.
Luke said that the demons came out of that man (ἐξελθόντα δὲ τὰ δαιμόνια ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). They entered the pigs (εἰσῆλθον εἰς τοὺς χοίρους). The whole swine herd rushed down the steep bank (καὶ ὥρμησεν ἡ ἀγέλη κατὰ τοῦ κρημνοῦ) into the lake (εἰς τὴν λίμνην), where they drowned (καὶ ἀπεπνίγη). All three synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 8:32, Mark, chapter 5:13, and Luke here, have Jesus cast out the demons into the nearby herd of pigs, with slight nuances in each story. Mark said that Jesus allowed these evil spirits to have what they wanted. However, Jesus showed his power. The unclean spirit demons left the demoniac and entered the herd of pigs. This herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea. Mark was the only synoptic to mention the number of pigs, 2,000, who were drowned or died in the sea. Matthew said that Jesus then accommodated these evil spirits. He told them to leave the 2 humans and go into the swine or pigs, which the demons did. They entered the herd of pigs, but this herd then rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they died in the water. There is one problem, pigs can swim, so some might have survived. Perhaps the unfamiliarity of these Jewish authors with pigs may have led to this harsh ending. Anyway, the pig herd, without a particular size or 2,000 of them as mentioned by Mark, with the unclean spirits, ran into the sea off a steep bank and perished. Have you ever seen anyone or any animal drown?
She rushed back
To the king.
‘I want you
To give me
Of John the Baptist
On a platter.’”
καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα Θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ.
This is like Matthew, chapter 14:8. Urged on by her mother, this girl immediately rushed or hastened back to the king (καὶ εἰσελθοῦσα εὐθὺς μετὰ σπουδῆς πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα). She told the king her request (ᾐτήσατο λέγουσα) that she wanted him to give her at once (Θέλω ἵνα ἐξαυτῆς δῷς μοι) the head of John the Baptist on a platter or a dish (ἐπὶ πίνακι τὴν κεφαλὴν Ἰωάνου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ). Obviously. King Herod had made a silly solemn statement and his wife Herodias took advantage of this situation.
“Jesus said to them.
The demons came out.
They entered the swine.
The whole herd
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.
“When they had gone ninety-five miles from there, they came to Charax, to the Jews who are called Toubiani. They did not find Timothy in that region, for he had by then left there without accomplishing anything. Although in one place, he had left a very strong garrison. Dositheus and Sosipater, who were the captains under Judas Maccabeus, marched out. They destroyed those whom Timothy had left in the stronghold, more than ten thousand men. However, Judas Maccabeus arranged his army in divisions as he set men in command of these divisions. He hastened after Timothy, who had with him one hundred twenty thousand infantry and two thousand five hundred cavalry. When Timothy learned of the approach of Judas Maccabeus, he sent off the women and the children with the baggage to a place called Carnaim that was hard to besiege. It was difficult to access because of the narrowness of all its approaches. But when Judas Maccabeus’ first division appeared, terror and fear came over the enemy at the manifestation to them of him, who sees all things. They rushed headlong in every direction, so that often they were injured by their own men and pierced by the points of their own swords. Judas Maccabeus pressed the pursuit with the utmost vigor. He put the sinners to the sword. He destroyed as many as thirty thousand men.”
Once again, this is similar to the battles in Gilead in 1 Maccabees, chapter 5. Charax might be present day Kuwait. Apparently they were looking for the elusive Timothy, who had already died in chapter 10 of this book. Dositheus and Sosipater were the captains of Judas Maccabeus on the east side of the Jordan River. They had already destroyed 10,000 of Timothy’s men. However, he had an enormous amount of troops, 125,000 infantry and 2,500 cavalry. Yet he was afraid of Judas Maccabeus. He sent all the women and children with the baggage to Carnaim, because it would be difficult to besiege that place due to its narrow approaches. As usual, the men of Judas Maccabeus pressed after the men of Timothy. Those men were so afraid of the God of Judas Maccabeus and his men that they ran in every which way so that they injured their own troops with their own swords. Nevertheless, Judas Maccabeus and his troops killed 30,000 men. These numbers are enormous here.
“Besides Gorgias, the Idumeans, who had control of important strongholds, were harassing the Jews. They received those who were banished from Jerusalem. They endeavored to keep up the war. But Judas Maccabeus and his men, after making solemn supplication and beseeching God to fight on their side, rushed to the strongholds of the Idumeans. Attacking them vigorously, they gained possession of the places. They beat off all who fought upon the wall. They slaughtered those whom they encountered. They killed no fewer than twenty thousand.”
Once again, this conflict can be found in 1 Maccabees, chapter 5, where there was some burning, but without the number of people who died. The Idumeans were the people from Edom who continuously harassed the Jews. The supporters of the banished high priest Menelaus had fled here. Here, Judas Maccabeus and his men prayed to God that he might be on their side as they rushed the strongholds of the Idumeans. Then they attacked and took the strongholds, as they killed 20,000 Idumeans, quite a slaughter.
“When Heliodorus arrived at the treasury with his bodyguard, then and there the Sovereign of spirits and of all authority caused so great a manifestation that all who had been so bold as to accompany him were astounded by the power of God. They became faint with terror. There appeared to them a magnificently caparisoned horse, with a rider of frightening mien. It rushed furiously at Heliodorus and struck at him with its front hoofs. Its rider was seen to have armor and weapons of gold. Two young men also appeared to him, remarkably strong, gloriously beautiful and splendidly dressed. They stood on each side of him and scourged him continuously, inflicting many blows on him. When he suddenly fell to the ground and deep darkness came over him, his men took him up. They put him on a stretcher and carried him away. This man who had just entered the aforesaid treasury, with a great retinue and his bodyguard, was now unable to help himself. They recognized clearly the sovereign power of God.”
When Heliodorus arrived at the Temple treasury with his bodyguards, he was met by a heavenly manifestation or apparition that showed the power of God. He became faint. Appearing to him was a horse and rider who kicked him. This golden armored rider had 2 other strong, beautifully dressed men to whip him on each side until he fell to the ground. Finally they took him away on a stretcher as he was unable to help himself. This was a show of strength of the sovereign God. To what extent they were real men or not, we do not know, but the effect was real on Heliodorus.
“When he finished speaking, Judas Maccabeus rushed suddenly against Seron and his army. They were crushed before him. They pursued them down the descent of Beth-horon to the plain. Eight hundred of them fell. The rest fled into the land of the Philistines. Then Judas and his brothers began to be feared. Terror fell upon the gentiles all around them. His fame reached the king, as the gentiles talked of the battles of Judas.”
When his words of encouragement were complete, Judas then rushed at Seron and his Syrian army. He crushed them and pursued them down the hill of Beth-horon as they fled to the land of the Philistines. I guess those Philistine guys are still around. 800 of the Syrian army died. People began to fear Judas and his brothers. Terror struck the heart of the gentiles as word of his escapades reached the king.
“When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes. He put on sackcloth and sprinkled himself with ashes. Then he rushed through the streets of the city, shouting loudly.
‘An innocent nation is being destroyed.’
He got as far as the king’s gate. There he stopped. No one was allowed to enter the royal courtyard clothed in sackcloth and ashes. In every province, where the king’s proclamation had been posted, there was a loud cry of mourning and lamentation, as well as fasting and weeping among the Jews. Most of them put on sackcloth and ashes.”
When Mordecai heard about the decree to eliminate the Jews, he was very upset. The typical way to express this discontent was to wear the cloth of what people carried things in, sacks. Thus we get the name of sack cloth. Secondly, they would put ashes on their head. Then he went through the streets crying out that an innocent nation was going to be destroyed. He did not go into the royal courtyard because no one was allowed in there with sackcloth on. They had to be better dressed. At the same time, the reaction in the various provinces was not much different. The Jewish people in the various exiled areas went into fasting, weeping, lamenting, wearing sack cloth and ashes on their head.
“When the men in the tents heard it, they were amazed at what had happened. Overcome with fear and trembling, they did not wait for one another. With one impulse, all rushed out. They fled by every path across the plain and through the hill country. Those who had camped in the hills around Bethulia also took flight. Then the Israelites, everyone that was a soldier, rushed out upon them. Uzziah sent men to Betomesthaim, Choba, and Kola, and to all the frontiers of Israel, to tell them what had taken place. He urged all the Israelites to rush out upon their enemies to destroy them. When the Israelites heard it, with one accord they fell upon the enemy. They cut them down as far as Choba. Those in Jerusalem and all the hill country also came. They were told what had happened in the camp of the enemy. The men of Gilead and in Galilee outflanked them with great slaughter, even beyond Damascus and its borders. The rest of the people of Bethulia fell upon the Assyrian camp and plundered it, acquiring great riches. The Israelites, when they returned from the slaughter, took possession of what remained. Even the villages and towns in the hill country and in the plain got a great amount of booty, since there was a vast quantity of it.”
When all the foot soldiers in the camp heard what had happened, they were overcome with fear and trembling. Many of them rushed to the various paths to get out of the area. With all this going on, the Israelite soldiers rushed the camp. Meanwhile Uzziah, the lead elder in Bethulia, sent word out by messengers about what had happened there. He sent people to Betomesthaim, Choba, and Kola, but unfortunately no one has been able to pinpoint where these places are, but they probably were close to Dothan. He wanted the men at the frontiers to destroy their enemy as he was escaping. He sent word to Jerusalem and the hill country. Apparently, he was more successful in the northern areas of Galilee and Gilead, as they chased the enemy as far as Damascus. The men of Bethulia attacked the Assyrian camp killing the confused soldiers and taking their stuff as booty, since there were many supplies there for this famished town.