The Testament of Solomon, Part 20

After handling Scepter and Murder, Solomon calls up another demon, who immediately begins to roar and boast:

“King Solomon, I have this particular form (and am) a spirit which can never be bound.”

We’ll see how long that lasts.

He goes on to tell Solomon that he prevents the ill from recovering, that he is descended from an Arab (a statement that even Duling isn’t sure about the meaning – the reading in the other version makes even less sense), and that he can be found where the sun goes down. We also get one other interesting piece of information from him.

“I involve the legions of demons subject to me… The name for all demons which are under me is legion…”

Solomon demands that the demon tell him his name, and the lion immediately objects that this will also place his minions under Solomon’s control, as if that were a disincentive. Finally, the Lion-Shaped Demon relents:

“By the name of the one who at one time submitted to suffer many things (at the hands) of men, whose name is Emmanouel, but now he has bound us and will come to torture us (by driving us) into the water at the cliff.”

This, of course, is a reference to the famous story of Mark 5, in which Jesus exorcises the demoniac and places the “Legion” of demons into pigs which drive over a cliff. Pigs are unclean animals, but aside from that, the import of the story is unclear. Does Jesus have compassion upon even demons? Does he just not like pigs? It’s uncertain.

As with the conversation with Beelzeboul, Solomon misses a golden opportunity to ask what in the blazes this guy is talking about and just sends him to chop up wood and toss it into the furnace. Yes, with his claws. It seems the authors didn’t put too much effort into these tasks, does it?

Next time – a dragon and a warning!

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Published in: on January 15, 2008 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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