And they sought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To go out into the deep.—Better, into the abyss. The word is not found in the other Gospels, and it clearly means, not the deep waters of the Galilean lake, but the pit, the “bottomless pit” of Revelation 9:1-2; Revelation 9:11. The man, identifying himself with the demons, asks for any doom rather than that.Matthew 8:23-34 notes, and Mark 5:1-20 notes.
(See on Mt 8:28-34; and Mr 5:1-20).See Poole on "Luke 8:26"
that he would not command them to go out into the deep; meaning, not the deep waters of the sea, for thither they ran the swine at their own request; but the bottomless pit of hell, where others of these spirits lay in chains of darkness; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "into hell": they desired, that when they went out of this man, they might not be ordered thither, or remanded to their former prison; for they knew that if he gave the word of command, they must obey; but that they might be suffered to continue in that country, and range about on earth, or be any where, rather than in hell.And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 8:31. εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον, into the abyss (of Tartarus) instead of Mk.’s ἔξω τῆς χώρας, out of Decapolis.31. they besought] If parekalei be the right reading, it should be rendered “he besought Him,” for the plural is used in the next verse.
to go out into the deep] The ‘abyss’ (Hebrew tehom) intended is perhaps the prison of wicked spirits (Romans 10:7; Judges 6; Revelation 20:3).
St Mark says “that He would not send them out of the country.”Luke 8:31. Εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον, into the deep) תהם, LXX. ἄβυσσος; often; comp. Revelation 9:11; Revelation 20:3. In the deep or abyss, 1) They are not worshipped by bad men; 2) They cannot injure men; 3) They feed (brood) upon their own wretchedness, and do not, however, as yet seem to be tortured in that place of confinement. The power of Jesus Christ extends over animals, demons, and the abyss: and the demons acknowledged the fact.Verse 31. - And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. This time the voice and the request apparently proceed from the terrible presence which had made the soul of the unhappy man their temporary habitation. The direful confusion in the state of the poor demoniac is shown by this request. By whom was it made? The bystanders could discern no difference between the possessed and the spirits dwelling in the afflicted human being. So St. Mark, in his relation, puts these words into the demoniac's mouth, "And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country;" apparently here partly conscious of his own personal being, and partly identifying himself with the demoniac forces which were afflicting him. The request is a strange one, and suggests much anxious thought. What is the abyss these rebel-spirits dreaded with so great a dread? It would seem as though, to use Godet's thought, that for beings alienated from God, the power of acting on the world is a temporary solace to their unrest, and that to be deprived of this power is for them just what a return to prison is for the captive. St. Mark's expression here is a curious one. He represents the spirits requesting Jesus "not to send them away out of the country." The two accounts put together tell us that these spirits were aware, if they were driven out of the country - whatever that expression signified, this earth possibly - they must go out into the deep, the abyss, what is called "the bottomless pit" in Revelation 9:1, 2, 11. Any doom seemed to these lost ones preferable to that. The whole train of thought suggested by the incident and the words of the Lord is very terrible. We see at least one reason why the first preachers of the Word have selected this exorcism. It indeed lifts a bit of the curtain which hangs between us and the night of endless woe!
The plural, referring to the legion.
The deep (ἄβυσσον)
Lit., the bottomless. Transcribed into our abyss, as Rev. Mark has a quite different request, that he would not send them out of the country (Mark 5:10). In Romans 10:7, used of Hades, to which Christ descended; and in Revelation always of the bottomless pit. The demons refer to their place of abode and torment.
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