Matthew 8:31

31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

Matthew 8:31 in Other Translations

31 So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
31 And the demons begged him, saying, "If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs."
31 So the demons begged, “If you cast us out, send us into that herd of pigs.”
31 The evil spirits begged Jesus, "If you kick us out of these men, let us live in the pigs."
31 "If You drive us out," the demons begged Him, "send us into the herd of pigs."

Matthew 8:31 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 8:31

So the devils besought him, saying
All the devils, the whole legion of them, who perceiving that they must be obliged to go out of these men, and after they had earnestly entreated they might not be sent out of the country where they had long been, and had made themselves masters of the tempers, dispositions, and circumstances of the inhabitants, and so capable of doing the more mischief, begged hard,

if thou cast us out
of these men, or "from hence", as the Vulgate Latin, the Ethiopic, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel read, or "out of our place", as the Persic; since we must depart, and cannot be allowed to enter into other men,

suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
This request shows the weakness of the infernal spirits, they are not able to do anything without leave, and the superior power of Christ over them, and their acknowledgment of it; as well as the wretched malignity of their nature, who must be doing mischief, if not to the bodies and souls of men, yet to their property and goods; and if they cannot vent their malice on rational creatures, are desirous of doing it on irrational ones. Many reasons have been thought of, why the devils should desire to go into the herd of swine; as because of the filthiness of these creatures, these impure spirits delighting in what is impure; or out of pure hatred to the inhabitants of this country, who, because they could no longer hurt their persons, would destroy their goods; or that by so doing, they might set the people against Christ, and so prevent his usefulness among them; which last seems to be the truest reason, and which end was answered.

Matthew 8:31 In-Context

29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”
30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.
31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.
33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men.
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