Copyright 1994 - 2020 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
November 25, 2011
Last Updated :
May 16, 2018
Jesus Encounters Man Of The Gadarenes Possessed By Devils, Legion Is Cast Into A Herd Of Swine, Swine Go Berserk And Run Over A Cliff Into The Sea, Legion Was Afraid To Be Cast Into The Deep, Abussos Is The Bottomless Pit, Greek Words And Definitions For Deep Lake And Sea, Sea Of Galilee Is The Same As Lake Gennesaret And Sea of Tiberias, Sea Of Galilee And Dead Sea Below Sea Level, Deep Bodies Of Water: Prisons For Fallen Angels And Evil Spirits Or Gateways To The Same?, Abaddon/Apollyon And Beast Ascend Out Of The Bottomless Pit, God's Maximum Security Prison Deep In The Bowels Of Earth, Satan Imprisoned For A Thousand Years, Jesus Preaches To Prisoners In Bowels Of The Earth, Imprisoned Fallen Angels, Fate Of Unclean Spirits, Closing Remarks, Suggested Reading
Some time ago, one of my readers wrote to me and asked me what I believe had happened to the evil spirits known as Legion, after Jesus had commanded them to depart from the possessed man, and to enter into a nearby herd of swine, which consequently ran over the cliff and into the sea. We find this story in the Gospel of Mark, as we see here:
"And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel."
Mark 5:1-20, KJV
While I honestly can't offer a definitive answer to this reader's question, I can share a bit of personal speculation which, given the Scriptural evidence that we do have, seems to have a lot of merit, in my view.
If we delve deeper into the Scriptures, we discover that there is a key piece of information that is included in the account of Legion that is found in the Gospel of Luke, which is not found in the Gospel of Mark. Following is what Luke has to tell us regarding this very same incident:
"And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him."
Luke 8:26-39, KJV
Allow me to call your attention to verse thirty-one which states the following:
"And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep."
Luke 8:31, KJV
In the previous verse, the words "they" and "them" are in fact referring to the evil spirits known as Legion. For some odd reason, this verse seems to be indicating that Legion was afraid to be cast into the deep. Why is that? Being as they are spirits, and therefore do not possess physical bodies made out of flesh and blood, they cannot possibly drown. So what exactly is it that these evil spirits were afraid of?
As it turns out, further Biblical research reveals that their fear of being cast into the deep is not so odd or unfounded after all. You see, the normal inclination is to assume that the phrase "the deep" means the Sea of Galilee, being as the country of the Gadarenes was close to the Sea of Galilee where this amazing exorcism by Jesus took place. However, upon looking up the phrase "the deep" in Thayer's Greek English Lexicon, we acquire a very different meaning. Consider the following:
----- Begin Quote -----
KJV - bottomless pit 5, deep 2, bottomless 2; 9
3) the abyss
3a) the pit
3b) the immeasurable depth
3c) of Orcus, a very deep gulf or chasm in the lowest parts of the earth used as the common receptacle of the dead and especially as the abode of demons
----- End Quote -----
As you can plainly see, there is absolutely nothing in the previous definitions which indicates a body of water of any kind.
In contrast, in the previous verses from the Gospel of Luke, we are told that after the herd of swine were possessed by the Legion of devils, they "ran violently down a steep place into the lake." Turning again to Thayer's Greek English Lexicon, we discover that the word "lake" is derived from the Greek word "limne" -- pronounced lim'-nay -- which means only one thing -- a lake. If we examine Mark's account of the very same incident regarding Legion, we discover that he informs us that the herd of possessed swine "ran violently down a steep place into the sea", meaning of course, the Sea of Galilee, which was also known as Lake Gennesaret, as well as the Sea of Tiberias. Consider the following verses:
"And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret."
Matthew 14:34, KJV
"And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore."
Mark 6:53, KJV
"And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,"
Luke 5:1, KJV
"After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias."
John 6:1, KJV
"After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself."
John 21:1, KJV
In all of the previous verses, the word "sea" is derived from the Greek word "thalassa" -- pronounced thal'-as-sah -- which Thayer's Greek English Lexicon defines as follows:
----- Begin Quote -----
1) the sea
1a) used of the sea in general
b) used specifically of the Mediterranean Sea or the Red Sea
----- End Quote -----
On a side note, it might interest you to know that the Sea of Galilee is located about seven hundred feet -- or two hundred and ten meters -- below the actual level of the Mediterranean Sea. Equally interesting is the fact that the surface and shores of the Dead Sea are 1,388 feet -- or 423 meters -- below sea level, making the Dead Sea the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface.
With this clear understanding of the words "lake", "sea" and "deep", we can arrive at a rather interesting conclusion; and that is this: It seems that the reason why these evil spirits known as Legion were so afraid, is because they already knew that, ultimately, they would not end up in the same place as the herd of swine. The pigs did indeed drown in the Sea of Galilee. However, as I mention in a few other articles, it is my belief that the deep lakes and oceans of the world either serve as prisons for evil spirits, or else they serve as conduits, channels and gateways to the lower parts of the Earth, where Fallen Angels and evil spirits are kept imprisoned in chains of darkness. I discuss this point in such series as "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis", and in a few other articles as well, which I will list for you at the end of this current article.
If you doubt my theory, then consider that this "deep" that is spoken of in the Gospels, is the very same place that the Book of Revelation refers to as the Bottomless Pit. The term "bottomless pit" is derived from the very same Greek word -- that is, "abussos" -- which even the Greek lexicon informs us refers to a bottomless, unbounded, immeasurable pit or abyss, as we saw a moment ago. Consider the following verses that are found in the Book of Revelation where "abussos" is used in every single case:
"And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit . . . And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon."
Revelation 9:1-2, 11, KJV
"And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."
Revelation 11:7-8, KJV
"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season."
Revelation 20:1-3, KJV
As you can see, this place of utter darkness is so fortified, and so well-guarded by the Lord and His Angels, similar to a maximum security prison, that even Satan himself is also cast there for a thousand years. In fact, as I point out in other articles, on at least one occasion, even Jesus went to preach to the evil spirits who are imprisoned there. Not only that, but the Bottomless Pit is likewise the prison for the Fallen Angels who rebelled against the Lord, which resulted in the birth of the Nephilim giants in the Book of Genesis. Consider the following verses:
"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;"
2 Peter 2:4-5, KJV
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."
1 Peter 3:18-20, KJV
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
Jude 1:6, KJV
For a deeper look at this topic, please consider reading the aforementioned series, "Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis", as well as the other articles and series which are listed at the end of this article.
So if you have been wondering exactly who and what those horrible creatures are that ascend out of the Bottomless Pit with Abaddon, or Apollyon -- the Destroyer -- in the Book of Revelation, now we have at least a partial answer. In fact, I have begun to wonder if Abaddon/Apollyon might possibly be Legion himself. However, this is just personal speculation on my part. I cannot prove this point conclusively.
As I stated earlier, based upon the Scriptural evidence that we have examined, insofar as the evil spirits that are known as Legion are concerned, I believe that this theory has a lot of merit. However, there is one other remote possibility, which I personally do not embrace. You may recall that in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus stated the following concerning the fate of unclean spirits:
"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation."
Matthew 12:43-45, KJV
"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."
Luke 11:24-26, KJV
Based on the previous verses, we might be led to think that when Jesus cast Legion out of the man from the Gadarenes, and commanded them to enter the nearby herd of swine, perhaps the evil spirits had time to escape from the pigs, in order to go find another human body to possess. The reason why I doubt this possibility, is due to the fact that the evil spirits were clearly afraid. Legion beseeched Jesus to not cast him into the deep; that is, into the Bottomless Pit. So I think that what happened in that situation is that Jesus simply outsmarted those demons. Those evil spirits apparently thought that they would be safe in the herd of swine. Only too late did they realize that they were doomed. In other words, they had to obey Jesus. There was no way of escape for them. They couldn't just jump into another human being. As Jesus Himself tells us in the Gospel of Matthew:
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
Matthew 28:18, KJV
So these are my personal thoughts regarding what may have possibly happened to the evil spirits known as Legion in the Gospels. With these thoughts I will bring another article to a close. I trust that you have found it thought-provoking and informative. If you have enjoyed reading it, please consider sharing its URL with your online friends. If you have an account with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or with any other social network, I would also appreciate if you would take the time to click on the corresponding link that is found on this page. Thanks so much, and may God bless you abundantly!
For additional information, I encourage you to study the list of reading resources below which were also mentioned in this article, or which contain topics that are related to this article, and which are likewise located on the Bill's Bible Basics web server:
2012: New Age Deception and Psychobabble
Demonic Possession and Sickness: A Biblical Perspective
God's Mercy, Judgment and Fallen Angels
Hell, the Lake of Fire and Universalism
Horde From Hell, China, Turkey And Kings of the East
Judgment of Azazel: Scapegoat of the High Priest
Nephilim: The Giants of Genesis
The Judgment of Angels, Demons and Men