« НазадПродовжити »
demons. However, we have thereby gained little for the positive understanding of the matter. We know not yet how we should demonstrate to ourselves that evil spirits, δαιμόνια, πνεύματα πονηρά, πνεύματα ακάθαρτα, can in a manner take possession of a man, so that they have dominion over the whole region of his physical and psychical life, deprive the consciousness of its clearness, of its freedom of movement, and especially become in him the moving principle. Insight into the matter is rendered especially difficult by the circumstance that we cannot pursue the history of the demons as we can that of Satan himself. We know the latter from the Old Testament, as he meets us almost in the first page, and in the whole history he is never quite out of sight. On the other hand, as far as the demons are concerned, they come before us suddenly and unpreparedly in the evangelical history. Former traces of them are mentioned in the Apocrypha, even if not in the canon of the Old Testament (for the passage, Isa. xxxiv. 14, where, in the prophecy of the wasting of Edom, between the ονοκενταύροις and στρουθούς and relpñvous, there occur also demons, as companioninhabitants of the state that has become desolate, belongs as little to this as the kindred
Baruch iv. 35 : πυρ επελεύσεται τη Ιερουσαλήμ παρά του αιωνίου εις ημέρας μακράς, και κατοικηθήσεται υπό δαιμονίων τον πλειόνα χρόνον).
). In fact, the book of Tobit seems to know demons as scourges, who took up their abode in man (see chap. vi. 8): εάν τινα όχλή δαιμόνιον ή πνεύμα πονηρόν; and the view of Josephus harmonizes with it, who, De bello jud. Book VII. chap. vi. $ 3 (ed. Becker, vol. vi. p. 141), narrates of a wonderful plant, 'whose root, besides other virtues, possessed the power to cure demoniacs. With regard to demons, those spirits which came out of dead men and entered into living ones, so that they would perish without help, it (that is, this root) will drive them out by merely being brought near them.'
But these scattered traces do not render us the least service, and we find ourselves referred solely to abstractions, which are to be drawn from the evangelical narratives themselves. Even if these be only rays of light, the solution of our problem-how to conceive these miracles of Jesus—will not really suffer. For this purpose, we assume the acknowledgment, not only of a Satan, but also of a kingdom of Satan, which continues until the fulfilment of the prophecy, 'of the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt. xxv. 41). What we assume, however, will receive its stamp in some degree from the narratives before us. As Olshausen, more than thirty years ago, daring timidly to acknowledge his faith in the reality of these demoniacal possessions, and in the existence of a Satan, anticipated astonishment by calling to remembrance the word of the poet, ‘From the wicked they are released, the wicked ones have remained,' and then pointing to an undeniable present world full of devilish men. He is wrong in this remark, for demoniacs are certainly not devilish men. We infer otherwise; for if the narratives before us evidently allow no other meaning than that demons are powerful over men, and that they must yield up their power to Jews, and if all endeavours to take another view have completely failed, confirming light is thereby made to fall on what we place in this connection as a supposition.
The evangelical history does repeatedly assert that Jesus cured demoniacs (see Matt. viii. 6; Mark i. 39; Luke iv. 41, viii. 2, and foll.); but detailed narratives of them are found only in six cases. They are nearly all common to the synoptical Gospels; only one is found in Matthew alone, and another in Mark and Luke. We certainly do not think them of equal, but still each has its own particular value. The narrative from which we learn the least with regard to the being of demoniacs, is the history of the Canaanitish woman. The very opposite is the case with the complete report of the possessed at Gadara. Between them stand the narratives of the dumb who was possessed, of the dumb and blind man possessed, of the lunatic, and of the possessed at Capernaum. In none of them have we quite the same appearance. Sometimes we see how single organs (tongue, eye, ear) are affected; sometimes how the whole bodily organism is demoniacally seized ; lastly, how sometimes man, ókotews, physically and psychically, has become the abode of evil spirits.
THE CANAANITISH WOMAN.-MATT. XV. 21–28;
MARK VII. 24-30.
We come to the narrative, with the renewed remark that it teaches us to understand less about the demoniacal condition than any of the other histories of cures. But that there is really such a state here there can be no doubt; for not only does the mother complain, 'My daughter is grievously vexed with a devil,' and prays our Lord to cast forth the devil out of her, but St. Mark says expressly, “Her daughter had an unclean spirit;' and Jesus says, in finally granting her request, “The devil is gone out of thy daughter. But the child is not brought before our eyes ; Jesus cures her without seeing her. And Strauss is wrong, both in judging that the deed is to be considered chiefly as a cure effected at a distance, and in asserting that the prevailing tendency of the relation is not directed to the communication of a miracle. At the same time, a double result may arise from the case; for even if it should give no ray of light, it does confirm the views formerly brought out.
Thus, in the first place, if it is a child who is seized by the demon, the possession cannot be connected with any ethical relations, but rather with the physicalpsychical ones ; secondly, When our Lord speaks of the dogs to whom the children's bread must not be given, this harmonizes with the supposition that this suffering only belonged to the Gentile world, for that figurative designation of the Gentiles was the current one among the Jews. No one will deny the fact, that there is truth in the meaning which Strauss has given to our narrative. He says (p. 220, Eng. transl. i. 300) that it is to be considered as an antitype of the progress which the announcement of the gospel would afterwards make. The stiff-necked Jewish prejudice against the admission of the heathen world to Christianity had been overcome by its faithful perseverance in the effort to obtain it. Thus Jesus Himself, after repeated refusal at first, must have been persuaded, by the persevering and humble faith of a heathen woman, to pour out His blessing upon her.'
But true are mixed up with erroneous elements, and the fundamental error in Strauss' statement is this, that a history which bears in itself the highest internal probability of its reality, is explained as a mythical fancy.
We should destroy the necessary basis of the event, or at least annihilate the frame which encloses the picture, if we conclude from the expression, ‘in the borders of Tyre and Sidon’ (Matt. xv. 21), that Jesus had gone over into the Syrian country. Apart from the fact that we have no instance of Jesus going beyond the boundaries of Palestine (He did indeed visit regions where the majority of the population were Gentile, but we never find Him outside the promised land); if He had been standing on heathen ground, He would never have been able to speak to the woman in the tone which He did here. Entering a Gentile country, He would have had to cause the riches of His blessing to follow His footsteps; and it would have been hardly possible for Him sternly to refuse pleading Gentiles. We therefore consider Mark's representation (ch. vii. 24) the better, where we read, instead of wépn, rather pedópia. Thus Jesus left the heart of Galilee, where the Pharisaic plots became more and more troublesome, and visited the bordering district which separated Galilee from Syrian Phoenicia ; therefore He was still on Israelitish ground. With this exposition alone does the text of Matthew agree: 'She came out of the same coasts,' that is, she crossed the boundary; she came out of the Phoenician region into the Palestinian, in which our Lord was found, even although close to the borders.
The slight difference, that according to Matthew the woman found Jesus in the way, and uttered her request in the open air, while according to Mark she entered the house in which our Lord tarried, and falling at His feet indoors, brought her cares to Him, is explicable without our having to decide between the two narratives. The two blind men (Matt. ix. 27) called out their request after Jesus by the way, and in the following verse it is said : “And as He came into the house, they came to Him.' Thus also the woman accompanied Him for a time weeping, and then followed Him into the house, where, kneeling down, she repeated her request. A thorough comparison between Matthew and Mark, moreover, necessitates this view; for Mark, who lays the scene at once in the house, begins immediately with the stern expression which Jesus used in answering the woman, while Matthew reports the explanation directed to them, the disciples—that He was only sent to Israel. Thus the account of Mark comes in at the middle, just