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In the Torah (Old Testament) demons are the wrath of God, the incarnation of illness as well as monsters.
In the New Testament accounts, demons are invisible creatures that slip inside humans or animals and take control.
Disclaimer: This work has been completed as an educational tool for students of history, religious and paranormal studies. The author wishes to discourage any use of this work in conjunction with paranormal field investigations of demons.
Presented by Kyle T. Cobb, Jr. to the audience of Dragon-Con 2013
Nos tibi credere.
A Literary History
The below translations are from the Aramaic Bible in Plain English unless otherwise noted.
And his fame was heard in all Syria, and they brought to him all those who had become ill with various diseases, those who were afflicted with severe pain, and the demon possessed, and lunatics and paralytics, and he healed them.
But when it was evening, they brought many demon possessed before him, and he cast their demons out with a word, and all those who had become ill, and he healed them. So that would be fulfilled which was said by Isaiah the Prophet, who said: “He will take our pains and he will bear our sicknesses.”
And when Yeshua came to the other side to the region of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met him, who came out from the graveyard, extremely evil, so that no man could pass on that road. And they cried out and they were saying, “What do we have to do with you, Yeshua, Son of God? Have you come here before the time to punish us?” But there was distant from them a herd of many pigs grazing. But those demons were begging him and saying, “If you cast us out, allow us to go into the herd of pigs.” And Yeshua said to them, “Go”, and at once they came out and they entered into the pigs. And that whole herd went straight over the cliff and fell into the sea and died in the water. But those who had been herding them fled and went to the city and revealed everything that had happened and about the demoniacs.
Note that swine were considered unclean under Leviticus (11:17) and Jews were forbidden to eat them or keep them. Therefore, these pigs logically were not owned by practicing Jews. This is 1 of 2 events that has Jesus destroying property (the other is the fig tree that Jesus destroyed because it no longer had fruit in Matthew 21:18).
And when Yeshua went out, they brought to him a deaf mute who had a demon upon him. And when the demon went forth, that deaf-mute spoke, and the crowds were astonished, and they were saying, “Never has it been seen thus in Israel.” But the Pharisees were saying, “By the prince of demons he casts out demons.”
And he called his twelve disciples and he gave them authority over foul spirits to cast them out, and to heal every ailment and disease.
But then they brought to him a certain demoniac, mute and blind, and he healed him so that the mute and blind man could speak and could see.
But whenever a foul spirit goes out from a man, it wanders about in places without water in them, and it seeks rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I shall return to my house from where I came out', and it goes finding that it is empty, swept and decorated. Then it goes bringing with it seven other spirits worse than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the end of that man becomes worse than his beginning. Thus will it be done to this evil generation.”
And behold a Canaanitess woman from those borders came forth crying out and she said, “Have pity on me my lord, son of David, my daughter is badly driven by a demon.” But he did not give her an answer, and his disciples came and begged him, and they were saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.” But he answered and said to them, “I am not sent except to the sheep that have strayed from the house of Israel.” But she came and worshiped him and she said, “My Lord, help me.” He said to her, “It is not good to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs.” She said, "Yes, Lord. But even the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' tables." But then Yeshua said to her, “O woman, great is your faith; it will be done for you as you will.” And her daughter was healed from that moment.
And when they came to the multitude, a man came unto him and knelt on his knees. And he said to him, “My lord, have mercy on me, my son has a lunatic demon and has become ill, for he has fallen many times into fire and many times into water.” “And I brought him to your disciples and they were not able to heal him.” Yeshua answered and he said, “Oh, faithless and twisted generation! How long shall I be with you, and how long shall I endure you? Bring him here to me.” And Yeshua rebuked it and the demon went out from him and The Boy was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Yeshua himself alone and they said to him, “Why were we not able to heal him?” Yeshua said to them, “Because of your unbelief, for amen, I say to you, that if you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you may say to this mountain, 'Move from here', and it will move, and nothing will be difficult for you”.
And in their synagogue there was a man who had a vile spirit in him, and he cried out And he said, “What business do we have with you, Yeshua the Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, The Holy One of God.” And Yeshua rebuked him and said, “Shut your mouth and come out of him.” And the foul spirit threw him down and he cried out in a loud voice and came out of him. And all of them marveled and they were inquiring with one another, saying, “What is this?”, and “What is this new teaching? For he commands even the foul spirits with authority and they obey him.”
And those who had plagues from foul spirits, when they saw him, they were falling down and they were crying out and they were saying, “You are the Son of God!” And he greatly rebuked them lest they would reveal him.
And when he went out from the ship, a man met him from among the tombs that had a foul spirit in him. And he dwelt among the tombs and no one was able to bind him with chains, Because whenever he had been bound in shackles and chains he had broken the chains and cut the shackles apart and no one was able to subdue him.And always at night and in the daytime he was among the tombs and in the mountains and was crying out and cutting himself with stones.But when he saw Yeshua from a distance he ran and prostrated himself.And he cried out in a loud voice and he said, “What do I have to do with you, Yeshua, Son of God Most High? I adjure you by God that you will not torture me!” For he had said to him, “Come out from the man, foul spirit!” And he had asked him, “What is your name?” He said to him, “Our name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged of him much that he would not send him out of the region. But there was near the mountain a great herd of swine that were feeding. And those evil spirits were begging of him and they were saying, “Send us unto those swine that we may enter them.” And he allowed them, and these foul spirits went out and entered into the swine, and that herd ran to a precipice and fell into the sea, about 2000 of them, and they drowned in the water. And they who were herding them fled and told it in the city, also in the villages, and they went out to see what had happened. And they came to Yeshua and they saw him who had been possessed by the evil spirits with him, clothed and reverent, and he who before had the Legion in him was sitting, and they were afraid.
And he called his twelve and he began to send them two by two and he gave them authority over vile spirits to cast them out.
But she was a pagan woman from Phoenicia of Syria, and she was begging him to cast out the demon from her daughter.And Yeshua said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered and said to him, “Yes, my lord, but even the dogs from under the table eat the children's crumbs.” Yeshua said to her, “Go; because of this saying the demon has gone out from your daughter.” And she went to her house and found her daughter lying in bed, and the demon had been cast out of her.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
Note the difference here.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Jesus told her, "First I should feed the children--my own family, the Jews. It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs."
And one from the crowds answered and said, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, who has a dumb spirit.” And whenever it comes upon him, it throws him and it beats him and he gnashes his teeth and he wastes away, and I spoke to your disciples that they might cast it out, and they were not able.” Yeshua answered and said to them, “Oh faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long shall I endure you? Bring him to me.” And they brought him to him, and when the spirit saw him, immediately he threw him and he fell on the ground and he was convulsed and he foamed. Yeshua asked his father, “How long a time now has he been like this? He said to him, “From his childhood.” “And many times it has thrown him into fire and into water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, help me, and have mercy on me!” Yeshua said to him, “If you are able to believe, everything is possible to the one who believes.” And immediately the father of the boy cried out weeping and saying, “I believe my lord; help the lack of my faith.” And when Yeshua saw that the people ran and gathered near him, he rebuked that foul spirit and he said to it, “Deaf spirit, that does not speak, I am commanding you, go out from him, and you shall not enter him again.” And that demon screamed greatly and pounded him and went out and he was like a dead man, so that many were saying, “He is dead.” But Yeshua took him by his hand and raised him up. But when Yeshua had entered the house, his disciples asked him among themselves, “Why were we not able to cast it out?” He said to them, “This sort cannot come out by anything except by fasting and by prayer.”
Yohannan said to him, “Rabbi, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him because he did not go out with us.” Yeshua said to them, “Do not forbid him, for there is no man who does a powerful work in my name and can soon speak badly about me.” “Whoever therefore is not against you is for you.” But everyone who will give you only a cup of water to drink in the name that you are one who belongs to The Messiah, amen, I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.”
“But these signs will accompany these who believe: in my name they will cast out demons, and they will speak in new languages.”
And there was a man in the synagogue who had the spirit of a filthy demon in him and he cried with a loud voice And he said, “Let me alone! What business do we have with you, Yeshua Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you, who you are, The Holy One of God!”And Yeshua rebuked it and he said, “Shut your mouth and come out of him!” And the demon threw him in the midst, and it came out from him, while it did him no harm.
And many demons were going out from many as they screamed and they were saying, “You are The Messiah, the Son of God!” And he was rebuking them and he was not allowing them to say that they knew that he was The Messiah.
And when he unboarded to land, a man met him from the city who had a demon in him for a long time. He was not wearing clothes, and he was not living in a house but among the tombs. And when he saw Yeshua, he screamed and he fell before him, and with a loud voice, he said, “What business do we have with you Yeshua, the Son of God Most High? I beg of you, do not punish me!” For Yeshua had commanded the vile spirit to go out from the man, as it had possessed him for a long time. And he had been kept bound in chains and in shackles and he would burst his bonds and he would be driven by the demon into the desert. But Yeshua asked him, “What is your name?” But he said to him, “Legion”, because many demons had entered him. And they were begging him that he would not command them to enter the abyss. Now a herd of many swine was there grazing on the mountain, and they were begging him to permit them to enter the swine, and he permitted them. And the demons went out from the man and they entered the swine and the whole herd went straight to the precipice and they fell into the lake and drowned. But when the herdsmen saw what happened, they fled, and they related it in the city and in the villages. And people went out to see the thing that happened and they came to Yeshua, and they found that man, whose demons had gone out, being clothed, sober and sitting at the feet of Yeshua, and they were in awe.
And one man from that crowd called and he said, “Teacher, I beg you, restore my son to me; he is the only child I have.” “And a spirit suddenly comes upon him, and suddenly he screams and gnashes his teeth and becomes ill, and it departs from him with difficulty whenever it attacks him.” “And I begged of your disciples to cast it out and they could not.” Then Yeshua answered and said, “Oh generation without faith and perverse! How long shall I be with you and endure you? Bring your son here.” And when he came near to him that demon threw him down and convulsed him. And Yeshua rebuked the foul spirit and he healed the boy and he gave him to his father.
And when he was casting out a demon that was making a person mute, it happened that when that demon went out, the mute spoke, and the crowds were astonished
The Jews answered and they were saying to him, “Are we not saying correctly that you are a Samaritan and have a demon in you?” Yeshua said to them, “A demon is not in me, but I honor my Father and you dishonor Me.”
And many among them were saying, “There is a demon in him and he is raving mad, why are you listening to him?” But the others were saying, “These are not the words of one who is possessed. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
But there were also some Jewish men who were going around and were exorcists of demons, exorcising in the name of our Lord Yeshua over those who had a foul spirit in them, while saying, “We exorcise you in the name of Yeshua whom Paulus preaches.” But there were seven sons of a man who was a Jew, a Chief Priest, whose name was Sqewa, who were doing this, And that evil spirit answered and said to them, “I know Yeshua, and I know Paulus, but who are you?” And that man who had the evil spirit in him jumped upon them and overpowered them and threw them down, and when they were stripped and wounded, they fled from the house. And this became known to all the Jews and Aramaeans dwelling in Ephesaus and great fear fell upon all of them, and the name of our Lord Yeshua The Messiah was exalted. Many of those who believed were coming and relating their wrongdoing, and they were confessing the things that they were doing. Many sorcerers also gathered their books and brought and burned them before everyone and they calculated their price, and it came up to fifty thousand silver pieces.
The Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament):
The below translations are from Young's Literal Translation unless otherwise noted.
and they sacrifice not any more their sacrifices to goats after which they are going a-whoring; a statute age-during is this to them, to their generations.
They sacrifice to demons -- no god! Gods they have not known -- New ones -- from the vicinity they came; Not feared them have your fathers!
But they were mixed with the Gentiles and they learned their works. And they feared their idols and they were a stumbling block to them. For they sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons. And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood.
and God sendeth an evil spirit between Abimelech and the masters of Shechem, and the masters of Shechem deal treacherously with Abimelech,
1 Samuel 16:14
And the Spirit of Jehovah turned aside from Saul, and a spirit of sadness from Jehovah terrified him;
1 Samuel 18:10:
And it cometh to pass, on the morrow, that the spirit of sadness from God prospereth over Saul, and he prophesieth in the midst of the house, and David is playing with his hand, as day by day, and the javelin is in the hand of Saul,
1 Samuel 19:9
And a spirit of sadness from Jehovah is unto Saul, and he is sitting in his house, and his javelin in his hand, and David is playing with the hand,
|Ouija and Zozo
|Christian Demon texts
|Roman Rite 1614
|Roman Rite 1998