Why did Jesus send demons into 2000 pigs?

add_toon_infoAccording to the synoptic gospels, Jesus came upon a man possessed by a “Legion” of demons. When he went to cast them out, the demons begged him to send them into a herd of about 2000 pigs. Jesus obliged and the pigs became possessed and ran off a cliff and died.

Matthew 8:30-37; Mark 5:1-20; and Luke 8:27-38

This story raises a few questions:

Why didn’t Jesus just send the demons out of the man and into Hell? Obviously God has a purpose for demons or they wouldn’t be here so maybe sending them to Hell wasn’t an option so then why not just send them out of the man and into the open air?

They were begging Jesus not to send them into the Abyss. Is that somewhere other than Hell?

Why torture 2000 pigs by having them possessed and killed? Someone obviously would have owned those pigs so that would have been a pretty devastating loss to the owner. Was it because they were pigs and are considered unclean by God? After all, it’s been pointed out that Jews wouldn’t have been raising pigs at the time so these must have been owned by a Gentile.

Why did the demons ask to go into the pigs anyway? The story implies that they looked around and it was their most likely option to avoid the Abyss so maybe that’s the intention. I’m guessing if they asked to jump into another human, Jesus would have denied that request. I guess I’m wondering why they didn’t ask if they could just leave town.

If the pigs had lived, would the demons have been constrained by the pigs? I always thought of demons floating around like ghosts looking for possession victims. Do they always have to possess something? If so, how did they get into the man to begin with?

Where did the demons go once the pigs were killed?

Why would 2000 demons crowd into one man?

How were the demons distributed into the pigs? What if there were slightly more demons in the man than could be evenly distributed into the pigs? I’m guessing if there were more demons than pigs, some would have to double up. But if there were fewer demons than pigs, some of the pigs would have survived.

If one were to lay down odds with one side that this is a historical story and the other that this is a mythological story, what would those odds look like?


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