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The Miracle of the Swine

Among the miracles performed by Christ is the Miracle of the Swine, alluded to in lines 27-28 of “This Huge Leviathan” (Emblem 42). He exorcises a group of demons (who call themselves “Legion”) from a man by transferring them into a herd of pigs. When they become possessed, the pigs run into the sea and drown. The story appears in the New Testament in Matthew 8:28–34, Mark 5:1–20, and Luke 8:26–39.

Mark 5:1-13
  • And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
  • And when he [i.e., Jesus Christ] 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.
  • And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting
  • himself with stones.
  • 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.
Authorized King James Version - Bible. Original italics have not been retained.