Who Is The Strongman In The Bible

Have you ever wanted to know who the strongman in the Bible was? Have you struggled to recognize and name him as such? The Bible says that we are in a war against the strongman. The strongman is a literal, spiritual entity, and not someone else. God tells us all about him over and over again. In order to defeat him and have victory in our lives, it is essential for us to understand this fact about who he is and how powerful he is.

The title of Strongman in the Bible can refer to a few different individuals. There are actually five individuals who are identified as the strongman in the Bible. Two of them, Goliath and Gog, did not make it past the first chapter of their appearances in the Bible so we will not focus on them. The three strongmen that do make more frequent appearances there are Behemoth, Leviathan, and Mastema.

For those who are familiar with the Bible, the characteristics of a strongman will be easily spotted. However, for Jews and Gentile Christians, spotting the character of a strongman is difficult. We know of Alexander the Great and Nebuchadnezzar as noblemen but not as strongmen. The prophet Daniel himself once asked King Belshazzar—the last king of Babylon before conquest—who he was. Belshazzar, of course, did not know himself. Thus we can now begin to understand that in general, strongmen may appear to be effective leaders yet they do not have a clue who they really are. Like Belshazzar, they are unaware that they are servants or slaves led by demonic influence.

The Strongman is a tale of good versus evil, sort of like a fable. It describes the exploits of a man in the Bible who worked for the bad guys, basically trying to bring about the end of mankind. The strongman is basically Satan’s representative on earth…he finds and recruits disheartened and lost people.

Who Is The Strongman In The Bible

The phrase bind the strong man (or strongman) is a reference to a passage in the book of Mark, where Jesus is responding to some Jewish scribes who were accusing Him of being possessed by Beelzebul. Their argument was that “by the prince of demons he is driving out demons” (Mark 3:22). In other words, the reason the demons listened to Jesus was that they were in league with Him and recognized Him as their commanding officer, so to speak.

Jesus refuted their blasphemous argument with plain logic: “How can Satan cast out Satan?” (Mark 3:23) and then gave them a parable. First, Jesus spoke of the principle of a divided kingdom, which cannot stand (verses 24–26). Then He told them, “No one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house” (Mark 3:27). Jesus refers to Satan as the “strong man” and to Himself as the One who enters the house and plunders the place. Of course, before Satan allows his domain to be “plundered,” he must be incapacitated. Jesus was not in league with Satan, as the scribes suggested, but had come to the earth, to what is essentially Satan’s “house” (1 John 5:19), in order to bind Satan and plunder his “goods,” which are the souls of men (John 17:15; Luke 4:18; Ephesians 4:8).

A parallel passage says this: “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder” (Luke 11:21–22). Satan is strong, and he holds possessions that he guards jealously. But Jesus is the One who was and is stronger than the strong man. He is the only One who can bind the strong man and rescue us from his clutches (see John 12:31).

Some Christians, usually in the Charismatic or Pentecostal movements, apply Jesus’ parable to the spiritual warfare that believers must wage. They teach that Christians are the ones who must “bind the strong man” in their lives or in their cities and then win the victory in Jesus’ name. Some Charismatic preachers even name the “strong men” and attempt to identify the cities or geographical areas over which they hold power. Such doctrines go far beyond what Jesus said. The Lord’s parable was simply to impress upon the scribes that He was not in league with Satan. Never does Jesus instruct us to “bind the strong man” or tell us how to do it. We do not have warrant to interpret the parable as a spiritual reality over geographical regions.

Who Is The Strongman In The Bible

Matthew 12:29 ESV / 59 helpful votes 

Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.

1 John 5:19 ESV / 38 helpful votes 

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV / 35 helpful votes 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, …

Luke 11:21 ESV / 30 helpful votes 

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe;

1 Peter 5:8 ESV / 28 helpful votes 

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Hebrews 2:14 ESV / 20 helpful votes 

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV / 18 helpful votes 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

1 John 4:4 ESV / 16 helpful votes 

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Acts 4:12 ESV / 16 helpful votes 

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Romans 12:2 ESV / 15 helpful votes 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Romans 5:20 ESV / 14 helpful votes 

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

Hebrews 9:22 ESV / 11 helpful votes 

Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

2 Corinthians 10:4 ESV / 11 helpful votes 

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

Matthew 12:22 ESV / 11 helpful votes 

Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw.

Matthew 16:19 ESV / 9 helpful votes 

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Matthew 12:1-50 ESV / 9 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 

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