On first read I was surprised to see the phrase ὁ Κύριος ἠδύνατο ἐπιτάξαι αὐτοῖς, so I looked more closely to try to piece this together. Here are my thoughts so far:“Καὶ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν πολλὰ, ἵνα μὴ ἀποστείλῃ αὐτοὺς ἔξω τῆς
“χώρας,” ἢ εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον ἀπελθεῖν, ὥς φησιν ὁ Λουκᾶς. ἡ γὰρ
ἄβυσσος ἀναχώρησίς ἐστι τούτου τοῦ κόσμου. ἀξιοῦσι τοίνυν οἱ
δαίμονες μὴ πεμφθῆναι ἔξω τῆς γῆς, μηδὲ ὅπου οὐκ ἔστιν ἄνθρω-
πος, εἰς τὸ σκότος τὸ ἐξώτερον, τὸ ἡτοιμασμένον τῷ διαβόλῳ καὶ
τοῖς ἀγγέλοις αὐτοῦ. ὥστε ὁ Κύριος ἠδύνατο μὲν ἐπιτάξαι αὐτοῖς,
συνεχώρησε δὲ αὐτοὺς εἶναι ἐν τῇ γῇ ταύτῃ· ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ τὸν
διάβολον, ἵνα μὴ τοῦ ἀντιπάλου τῇ ἀπουσίᾳ ζημιώσῃ τὴν ἀνθρω-
πότητα τοῦ στεφάνου τῆς νίκης.
1. The core is the two clauses joined in the μέν...δέ construction and the following ἵνα clause: ὥστε ὁ Κύριος ἠδύνατο μὲν ἐπιτάξαι αὐτοῖς, συνεχώρησε δὲ αὐτοὺς εἶναι ἐν τῇ γῇ ταύτῃ...ἵνα μὴ τοῦ ἀντιπάλου τῇ ἀπουσίᾳ ζημιώσῃ τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα τοῦ στεφάνου τῆς νίκης ("For this reason the Lord was not able to command them, but he permitted them to remain in this world...so that he did not deprive his humanity of the crown of victory by want of an opponent"). This all makes sense (or I've completely missed something).
2. I'm taking ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ τὸν διάβολον as something like "and the same also goes for the Devil", meaning "he also permitted the devil to remain in this world." I am reading reading ὥσπερ οὖν καὶ as basically a combination of particles (or at least ὥσπερ οὖν). How to handle these particles together and still make the entire sentence cohere is the hardest part, in my mind. I did not see anything on it in Denniston or any notes in the lexicons
This makes sense of the passage to me. The obvious weak spot in my reading is that I don't really have a way to explain ὥσπερ οὖν outside of just making it work. Anyone have any insight on this collocation of particles?