The herd of swine – Matthew 8:20-34, Mark 5:1-17, Luke 8:30-34

swimming-pigsAnd 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. . . . 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 began to pray him to depart out of their coasts (Mark 5:1-17).

This encounter with evil lends support to the claim that an evil spirit would prefer the mortal tabernacle of a swine to none at all (The Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat & Cook, 1980, p. 60). However, the actual plan of the devil was more subtle. William P. McIntire recorded the following comment by the Prophet Joseph Smith on the foregoing verses of scripture: Jesus commanded him to come out of the man and the Devil besought him that he might enter in a herd of swine near by (for the Devil knew they were a covetous people & if he could kill their hogs that would drive Jesus out of their coasts & he then would have tabernacle enough) (The Words of Joseph Smith, Ehat & Cook, 1980, p. 68).

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About LDS Scripture Teachings

I write about ways scripture applies in our lives: LDSScriptureTeachings.org
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