title of any pericope numbered in red to access the original language text.
||For generally the prophet
proclaims nothing on his own. Rather, he merely lends his
voice to him who prompts everything that he says. When he is
inspired he becomes unconscious. Thought fades away and leaves
the fortress of the soul. But the divine Spirit has entered
there and and made its dwelling. And it makes all the vocal
organs sound, so that the man expresses clearly what the
Spirit gives him to say.
Foreign Gods as
||(The Israelites) offered
sacrifices to demons, to no-gods,
to gods that they had not known,
demons who had just come,
who had not frightened their fathers.
Bible, Deuteronomy 32:17
||They did not exterminate the
peoples as the LORD had commanded them;
||but they mixed with the nations
and learned their deeds.
||They served their idols; and
this became their trap.
||They sacrificed their sons and
their daughters to demons.
||They shed innocent blood, the
blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and polluted the land with blood.
||And they became filthy in their
deeds, and wanton in their violence.
Bible, Psalm 106:34-39
||What am I saying then? that idol
worship is something?
or that an idol is something?
||Rather, that what they sacrifice
is to demons and not to God.
And I don't want you to become partners of demons.
||You can't drink (the) Lord's cup
and a cup of demons.
You can't share (the) Lord's table and a table of demons.
||--- Paul, 1
||Do you believe that God is one?
You do well!
The demons also believe and tremble with fear!
A Syrian Exorcist
||I would like to ask you then,
what do you think of those who deliver demoniacs from their
and who command phantoms in public?
I do not need to remind you of the master of this art,
famous Syrian of Palestine.
Everyone knows this remarkable man
When people fall down at the sight of the moon,
eyes and foaming at the mouth,
he calls on them to to stand up
and sends them back home healthy and free from their
Each time he charges a large amount for this.
When he is with sick persons, he asks them how the devil
entered into them.
The patient remains silent,
but the devil
replies in Greek or a barbarian language, and tells what he
where he comes from, and how he entered into the man's
This is the moment to command him to come out.
resists, the Syrian threatens him and finally drives him out.
||--- Lucian, Philopseudes
uses Solomon's Methods
||God helped him (Solomon)
learn also the technique to heal and treat men against demons.
He also composed incantations by which (spiritual) disorders are
remedied. And he left behind methods of exorcism by which the
possessor will drive out demons so that they never return.
||Even up to now
[ca. 90 CE]
this therapy is most powerful among us. For I have
observed an Eleazar -- one of my own line -- free those
possessed by demons in the presence of
[the emperor], his sons and tribunes, and a host of other
commanders. The method of therapy was like this:
||He would hold a ring
that had one of those roots prescribed by Solomon under its seal to the nose of the
demoniac; then, when he smelled (it), the demon came out through
the (victim's) nostrils. And when the man collapsed on the spot, (Eleazar)
it swear never to enter him again, invoking Solomon and
reciting incantations he (Solomon) had composed.
||Wishing to persuade
give proof that he had this power, Eleazar would place a cup or
bowl full of water nearby and would order
the demon to upset them on exit and produce evidence for the
onlookers that it had actually left the man.
||Solomon and Beelzebul
||And again I summoned Beelzebul,
the prince of demons, to stand before me; and I sat him down
on a high seat of honor and asked him:
-- "Why are you alone, prince of demons?"
||He told me:
-- "Because of (all) of heaven's angels descended, I
alone am left. For in the first heaven, I was first angel,
named Be'el-zebul ["Lord of heaven"].
And now I control all those who are bound in Tartarus..."
||I, Solomon, asked him:
-- "Beelzebul, what is your job?"
||He replied to me:
-- "I destroy kings. I ally myself with tyrants.
And I send my own demons, so that men may believe in them and
And I incite God's chosen servants, priests and pious men, to
want wicked sins, evil heresies and lawless deeds. And they
obey me and I carry them to destruction. And I inspire men
with envy and murder, wars and sodomy, and other evils. And I
will destroy the world..."
||I said to him:
-- "Tell me, by what angel are you checked?"
-- "By the holy and precious Name of God Almighty, whom
the Hebrews call by a string of numbers totaling 664; and with
the Greeks it is "Emmanuel"; and when a Roman orders
me by the great name of the power of Eleeth, I vanish
I, Solomon, was
amazed when I heard this. And I commanded him to saw up Theban
marbles. And when he started sawing the marbles, the other
demons shrieked out loud, howling for their king.
Testament of Solomon 6:1-4, 8-9 [ms. P]
||It is taught:
Do not go out alone at night --- (that is), neither at night
on Wednesdays nor at night on Sabbaths.
For in former times Agrath, the daughter of (the demon)
Mahalath, used to go out with eighteen legions of destroying
angels. And every one of them had power to destroy on his own.
At first they were around at all times during the day. Once
she ran into Rabbi
cHanina ben Dosa.
She said to him:
-- "I would have harmed you, if it were not for this
pronouncement about you in heaven: 'Heed cHanina
and his teaching!'"
He told her:
-- "If I am reckoned with in heaven, I sentence you never
to pass through the world again!"
She said to him:
-- "I beg you, leave me a little room!"
So he left the Sabbath nights and Wednesday nights for her.
||A pagan told Rabbi
Johanan ben Zakkai:
-- "These rituals that you perform look like a type of
You bring a heifer, burn it, beat it and keep its ashes.
If one of you is defiled by a dead body, you sprinkle two or
three drops of it (in water) on him and tell him:
-- "You are clean!"
Rabbi Johanan asked him:
-- "Has the demon of madness ever possessed you?"
-- "Have you ever seen a man possessed by this demon of
-- "What do you do in that case?"
-- "We bring roots and make them smoke under him. Then we
sprinkle water on the demon and it leaves."
Rabbi Johanan told him:
-- "Your ears should listen to what your mouth says.
This spirit is an unclean spirit just like the other.
Purifying water is sprinkled on the unclean and the spirit
as it is written:
-- 'And I will make the prophets and the unclean spirit
leave the land' (Zech 13:2).
When the pagan had left, Rabbi Johanan's disciples said to
-- "Master, you put this man off with an improvisation.
What explanation (of the ritual of the ashes of the red
heifer) will you give us?"
He told them:
-- "You bet your life, it isn't the dead that defiles or
the water that purifies!
The Holy One, blessed be he!, says only:
-- 'I have established a statute. I have issued a decree. You
are not allowed to transgress my decree, as it is written:
-- "This is a statute of the Law"'" (Num
Rabba Hukkat 19.8
Teaching Authority & Exorcism
||As (Apollonius) was discussing
libations, there was a youth nearby who had such a name for
luxury and vulgarity that by then there were even street songs
about him. His homeland was Corcyra and he was descended from
Alcinus, Odysseus' Phaecian host.
Apollonius was speaking about libations and told them not to
drink from this cup but to keep it untouched and unused for
the gods. But when he told them also to put handles on the cup
and (in the libation) to pour it over these --- since men are
less apt to drink (there) ---, the youth drowned out his word
with loud and course laughter.
Looking up at him, (Apollonius) said:
-- "These insults are not from you but from the demon who
drives you without your knowing it."
The youth was in fact demon-possessed, for he laughed at
things that no one else did. And then he would change to
weeping without having any reason to. And he would talk and
sing to himself. Now, the people thought that it was the
unruliness of youth that led him to do these things. But it
was the demon acting. And he seemed to be drunk only because
he was then drinking.
Apollonius stared at him; and the phantom started uttering
sounds of fear and rage, like those who are burnt and
tortured. And (the phantom) promised to leave the youth alone
and never take possession of people again. But speaking with
anger like a master to a slave who is unstable, mischievous,
shameless, and so forth, (Apollonius) ordered him to depart
and to provide proof (that he had done so).
(The demon) said:
-- "I will knock down that statue," pointing to one
of those on the royal porch. When the statue first shook and
then fell, there was more commotion and applause at the marvel
than anyone could write about. But the youth just rubbed his
eyes, as if he was waking up and saw the sun's rays. And he
won the attention over everyone who turned to him. For he no
longer seemed vulgar, nor did he cast his eyes wildly about.
But he returned to his natural self, as if he had been
medicated. And he threw away the gowns and dresses of
Sybarites and developed a love for a rough shirt and cloak and
modeled his behavior on that of Apollonius.
of Apollonius of Tyana
||In the middle of these sayings,
the messenger arrived with Indians begging the sages for help.
He presented a woman pleading for her child. She said he was
sixteen years old; and for two years he had a demon. The
demon's behavior was irony and lying. One of the sages asked
why she said this.
-- "This child is very good looking, so the demon is in
love. He doesn't let him have a mind to go either to school or
archery practice or even to stay home. He drives him out to
deserted spots. The boy no longer even has his own voice. His
speech is deep and hollow like that of adult males. And he
stares with someone else's eyes rather than his own. And I
weep and claw my face and try to call my son back any way I
can. But he does not know me.
"When I planned my trip here --- this was planned a year ago
--- the demon revealed himself by using the child as his persona.
He told me he is the phantom of a man who died in battle long
ago. He died loving his wife. But three days after his death
his wife insulted his bed by marrying again. He came to loathe
the love of women and redirected it to this child. If I agreed
not to denounce him before you, he promised me he will give my
son much fortune and good. For these things I endured this for
awhile. But he has already deceived me for a long time. And he
has complete control of my house, plotting nothing fair or
(Apollonius) the sage asked again if the child were nearby.
But she said:
-- "No. I tried many things to make him come. But the
demon threatens to jump off cliffs and into pits and to kill my
son, if I bring him here for trial."
The sage said:
-- "Courage! he will not kill him when he reads
And taking a letter from his shirt, he gave it to the woman.
Now the letter was addressed to the phantom with
threatening and terrifying (words).
of Apollonius of Tyana
||(Apollonius) reached ancient
Nineveh, where he found a statue in a barbaric style. It was
(the moon goddess) Io, daughter of Inarchus, and short horns
appeared to be coming from her forehead. While he was
lecturing there and gathering more about the image than the
priests and prophets (did), Damis the Ninevite became his
student. He is the one whom I said in the beginning became
(Apollonius') travel companion and associate in all wisdom.
And he preserved many things about the man. He adored him and
showed zeal for his way (of life). He said:
-- "Let's go, Apollonius. You follow God and I (will
follow) you. For you also will find me worth much. If I know
nothing else, at least I have been to Babylon. I know where
cities are, having been up there not long ago. And I know
villages in which there is much that is good. And there are
several barbaric languages --- there is that of the Armenians,
that of Medes and Persians, and that of Kadushites. I am
familiar with all of them."
-- "And I, comrade, comprehend all without studying
a single one."
The Ninevite was amazed.
-- "You shouldn't be amazed because I know all human
languages. For I also know whatever humans are silent
When the Assyrian heard this, he worshipped him and even
regarded him as a demon. And he stayed with him, Apollonius
bestowing wisdom and the other memorizing what he learned.
of Apollonius of Tyana
||An epidemic which the doctors
call influenza hit Rome. It stirred up coughing fits and
speakers' voices became bad. Now temples were full of people
petitioning the gods because Nero
had a sore throat and was suffering with a husky voice.
Apollonius let out (a comment) on the insanity of the crowd,
but criticized no one. Rather he even calmed Menippus, who was
irritated by such things, and cautioned him:
-- "Excuse the gods, if they are pleased to be mimicked
When this saying was reported to Tigellinus [the chief of
Nero's secret police], he sent agents to put (Apollonius) in
prison, since he was charged with irreverence to Nero. A
prosecutor who had already already done away with many and a
veteran of such Olympiads was appointed for him. In his hands
he had a certain writ on which the charge had been written.
And he held it up to the man, like a sword, and said it was
sharp enough to ruin him. But when Tigellinus unrolled the
writ, he did not find a trace of writing on it. He was
confronted by a blank book. So he thought he was dealing with
a demon. It is said that later Domitian
also felt this way about (Apollonius).
Then taking Apollonius, (Tigellinus) entered a secret court in
which the officer in question passed judgment on major cases
in private. When he had made everyone (else) leave, he
interrogated (Apollonius), asking who he might be. Apollonius
mentioned his father and his homeland, and explained why he
preoccupied himself with wisdom. He said he practiced it to
know the gods and to understand the (lot) of humans. For it is
harder to know another than to know oneself.
-- "How do you rebuff demons and the appearance of
-- "Like murderers and irreverent humans."
He said this as an insult to Tigellinus, who was Nero's
teacher in every cruelty and brutality...
-- "Why aren't you afraid of Nero?"
-- "Because the God who lets him seem frightening also
made me to be unafraid."
-- "What is your opinion of Nero?"
-- "Higher than yours. For you hold him worthy to sing,
but I (hold) him worthy of silence."
Shocked by this, Tigellinus said:
-- "You may go. But you must post a bond for your
--"And what will be the bond for a body which no one will
To Tigellinus, these things seemed to be demonic and beyond
human (wit); and since he was too cautious to match wits with
a god, he said:
-- "Go where you want. For you are too powerful to be
ruled by me."
of Apollonius of Tyana