What does "Legion" mean in the Bible?

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Generally, the word "legion" refers to a large number of something, or, more specifically, a formation in the Roman military. However, "Legion" takes on another meaning in the Bible.

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record a story in which Jesus frees a man from demonic possession. As...

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Generally, the word "legion" refers to a large number of something, or, more specifically, a formation in the Roman military. However, "Legion" takes on another meaning in the Bible.

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record a story in which Jesus frees a man from demonic possession. As Mark narrates, Jesus ordered the demon to emerge from the man and reveal its name. The demons--for the man was actually possessed by a multitude of demons--replied: “My name is Legion, for we are many" (Mark 5:9, English Standard Version). The demons recognize that Jesus has power over them, but, interestingly, they beg him to not cast them into the abyss. Rather, they request he allow them to enter a flock of nearby pigs. Jesus consents, and the demons enter the pigs, who promptly run off a cliff, into a lake, and drown.

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