Matthew 8:28-32 NASB

28 "When He came to the other side into the country of the Gadarenes, two men who were demon-possessed met Him as they were coming out of the tombs. They were so extremely violent that no one could pass by that way. 29 And they cried out, saying, “[a]What business do we have with each other, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before [b]the time?”

30 "Now there was a herd of many swine feeding at a distance from them. 31 The demons began to entreat Him, saying, “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go!” And they came out and went into the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the waters."

Why did the demons entreat Jesus, saying : “If You are going to cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

Why did the demons wanted to go into the swines ?

Why did Jesus allow them to go into the swines and not just release them?

  • 4
    A spirit is a person without body, so these unclean spirits cannot manifest their sins outside of a body. They prefer a human body but they’ll take an animal if they can’t be housed in a human body. Spirits hate being bodiless. A lying spirit cannot lie without a mouth, a lustful spirit cannot lust without a body and eyes, a spirit of anger cannot have outbursts without a body through which to manifest. They hijack the body from the owner and make the owner think it’s himself when really it’s another person. The Holy Spirit Also wants our bodies to manifest but only if we submit voluntarily. Commented Dec 16, 2019 at 6:17
  • @NihilSineDeo Would you not prefer to develop your comment into an answer ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 11:12
  • @NigelJ I would actually but I want to freshen up on the animal demonization first and only if my schedule allows for it. Commented Dec 17, 2019 at 12:33

3 Answers 3


One needs little Biblical evidence to show that the demons always were working against Christ--that is well understood. The temptations Christ experienced during his fast in the wilderness (Matthew 4, Luke 4), however, show how severe the conflict between Christ and Satan was.

It is also true that Satan is the enemy of mankind, and wants to hurt and destroy wherever possible. Speaking of the devil, Jesus said:

"...He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:44)

In keeping with this fact that Satan was both a murderer and a liar, his request to enter the pigs was both deceitful and murderous. The keepers of the pigs would have been trampled by them, or caught up in the stampede to end up in the lake themselves, had not Christ especially intervened to keep them out of the demons' power; yet it had been the demons' purpose to destroy those men along with the pigs.

But the demons had a second purpose in mind: They knew how much those pigs meant to their owners, and that if the pigs should be destroyed, it would generate animosity against Jesus which would prevent him from teaching the people in that region, "the country of the Gadarenes." (Mark 5:1). [Note: "Gadarenes" and "Gergesenes" (Matthew 8:28) are in essentially the same place. See HERE for more.]

While Jesus frustrated their designs to end the lives of the pigs' keepers, he allowed the demons to destroy the pigs because the Jews who kept them should have known better than to raise unclean animals for market. The swine were not to be eaten according to the laws of health given in the time of Moses.

"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you. Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcase shall ye not touch; they are unclean to you." (Leviticus 11:7-8)

"And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you: ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcase." (Deuteronomy 14:8)

God could not approve of the consumption of pigs' flesh, and the pigs were not protected from the demons' power.

While the demons seemed, for the time, to gain the upper hand in causing the people to send Jesus away, Jesus knew that the men he had freed from bondage would be tell their story in such a convincing manner that he would have another opportunity erelong.

The demoniac who had wished to follow Jesus, though not permitted to stay with him, preached the gospel afterward, as the Bible records:

"And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel." (Mark 5:20)

It was after the stormy night on the sea, when Jesus walked out on the lake to his troubled disciples, that he once again visited that place. As the Bible says:

"And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased; And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole." (Matthew 14:34-36)

[Note that "Gennesaret" is used also as a name for the lake (Lake Galilee) and can refer to a fertile region around the lake, not merely to the side opposite Gadara. See Luke 5:1.]

Clearly, the people of that region remembered him; and this time they were happy to come to him. Quite possibly, the incident with the pigs had actually served to increase his fame, though it took a little time for the initial prejudice against him to be removed by the witness of the men miraculously freed from bondage.


Presumably because:

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ 25 When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”


Matthew 8:28 When Jesus arrived on the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, He was met by two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.

Demons occupied an unclean place performing violence.

29“What do You want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have You come here to torture us before the appointed time?”

Facing the Son of God, they knew they were in trouble. How would they get out of this predicament? They wanted to avoid the possibility of eternal fire.

Matthew 25:41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

What other possibilities were there? Entering some other men? Certainly Jesus would not allow it. They were now facing the possibility of restlessness.

Matthew 12:43“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.

The demons looked around.

Matthew 8:30 In the distance a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31So the demons begged Jesus, “If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”

The demons were thinking: Possess the unclean pigs, rest for a while, wait until Jesus has gone, then continue to do some more violent damages in the local area through the pigs.

32 “Go!” He told them. So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and died in the waters.

They chose the pigs because it was the only option available to them at the time.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.