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Rev. ii. 28.
David ? 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, - ch. ix. . a This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. 25 And v Jesus s knew their thoughts, scholinit:
John ii. 25. and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand : 26 and if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand. 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out ? therefore they a render, This man. some of the oldest MSS. read He.
W render, sons. and note. 24.7 St. Mark states (iii. on the part of our Lord to Jewish po. 22) that this accusation was brought by tions, inevitably brings with it the same the “scribes who came down from Jeru. conclusions with regard to the other. salem;" Luke (xi. 15), by "some of them," They are both real, and so is the conflict i. e. of the multitude. On the charge it- between them. (2) That our Lord here self, Trench remarks, 'A rigid monotheistic appeals not to an insulated case of castreligion like the Jewish, left but one waying out of devils, in which answer might of escape from the authority of miracles, have been made, that the craft of Satan which once were acknowledged to be in- might sometimes put on the garb and deed such, and not mere collusions and arts of an adversary to himself, for his sleights of hand. There remained nothing own purposes,– but to the general and to say but that which we find in the N. T. uniform tenor of all such acts on his part, the adversaries of our Lord continually in which He was found as the continual did say, namely, that these works were Adversary of the kingdom of Satan. (3) works of hell. 25.] The Pharisees That our Lord proceeds to shew that the said this covertly to some among the mul- axiom is true of all human societies, even titude; see Luke, vv. 15, 17. “ There is to a family, the smallest of such. (4) That at first sight a difficulty in the argument He does not state the same of an indi. which our Saviour draws from the oneness vidual man, · Erery man divided against of the kingdom of Satan : viz. that it himself falleth,' rests upon deeper grounds, seems the very idea of this kingdom, that which will be entered on in the notes on it should be this anarchy; blind rage and vv. 30, 31. 27.] The interpretation hate not only against God, but each part of this verse has been much disputed ; of it warring against every other part. viz. as to whether the casting out by the And this is most deeply true, that hell is sons of the Pharisees (scholars,— disciples; as much in arms against itself as against see 2 Kings ii. 3 and passim) were real or Heaven: neither does our Lord deny that pretended exorcisms. The occurrence menin respect of itself that kingdom is in- tioned Luke ix. 49 does not seem to apply; finite contradiction and division : only He for there John says, Master, we saw one asserts that in relation to the kingdom of casting out devils in thy Name, which goodness it is at one: there is one life in hardly could have been the case with those it and one soul in relation to that. Just here referred to. Nor again can the vaga. as a nation or kingdom may embrace bond Jews, exorcists, of Acts xix. 13 be within itself infinite parties, divisions, dis- the same as these, inasmuch as they also cords, jealousies, and heartburnings : yet, named over the possessed the name of the if it is to subsist as a nation at all, it must Lord Jesus : or at all events it can be no not, as regards other nations, have lost such invocation which is here referred to. its sense of unity; when it does so, of In Josephus (Antt. viii. 2. 5) we read that necessity it falls to pieces and perishes." Solomon “left forms of exorcism, by which Trench, Miracles, p. 58. We may observe they cast out dæmons so that they never (1) that our Lord here in the most solemn return. And,” he adds, “this kind of cure manner re-asserts and confirms the truths is very common among us to this day.” respecting the kingdom of evil which the It is highly necessary to institute this Jews also held. The kingdoms are so set enquiry as to the reality of their exorcisms : parallel with one another, that the denial for it would leave an unworthy impression of the reality of the one with its chief, or on the reader, and one very open to the the supposing it founded merely in assent cavils of unbelief, were we to sanction the
t Dan. ii. 44:
vii. 14. Luke
shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the + Danili. Mike Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
30. 29 u Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house,
and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with
me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me Luke xii, 10. scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, "All 20. ngunn manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto x men:
I the Vatican M$. reads, you men.
v Mark iii. 28.
Heb. vi. 4, &c.: X. 20,
idea that our Lord would have solemnly named above. Grotius and others undercompared with his own miracles, and stand it as merely a general proverb, and drawn inferences from, a system of im the “me” to mean any one,' and here to posture, which on that supposition, these apply to Satan, the sense being, 'If I do Pharisees must have known to be such. not promote Satan's kingdom, which I I infer then that the sons of the Pharisees have proved that I do not, then I must be did really cast out devils, and I think this his adversary. But this is on all accounts view is confirmed by what the multitudes improbable : see below on gathereth and said in ch. ix. 33, where upon the dumb scattereth. We must regard it as a sayspeaking after the devil was cast out they ing setting forth to us generally the entire exclaimed, “ It never was so seen in Is. and coinplete disjunction of the two king. rael :" meaning that this was a more com doms, of Satan and God. There is and plete healing than they had ever seen be. can be in the world no middle party : fore. The difficulty has arisen mainly they who are not with Christ, who do not from forgetting that miracles, as such, are gather with Him,- are against Him and no test of truth, but have been perunitted his work, and as far as in them lies are to, and prophesied of, false religions and undoing it. See Rom. viii. 7. And thus teachers. See Exodus vii. 22; viii. 7: ch. the saying connects itself with the followxxiv. 24, &c.: Deut. xiï. 1-5. There is ing verse :—this being the case, Wherean important passage in Justin Martyr, in fore I say unto you,—the sin of an open which he says that the Name of the Son belying of the present power of the Holy of God Himself never failed to cast out Spirit of God working in and for His dæmons, whereas those of the Jewish Kingdom, assumes a character surpassingly kings, prophets, and patriarchs, failed. awful. This saying is no way inconsistent “ But,” he adds, “if you used the Name with thet in Mark ix. 40: Luke ix. 50. of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, That is not a conversion of this, for perhaps it might prevail.” Irenæus says the terms of the respective propositions that by this invocation the Jews cast out are not the same. See note on Mark dæmons even in his time. Jerome, Chry. ix. 40. As usual, this saying of our sostom, and others understood “your sons" Lord reached further than the mere occato mean the Apostles. your judges, sion to which it referred, and spoke forcibly in the sense of convicting you of partiality. to those many half-persuaded hesitating
28. by the Spirit of God) equivalent persons who flattered themselves that they to "by the finger of God,” Luke: see Exod. could strike out a line avoiding equally viii. 9. i8 come, emphatic in position: the persecution of men and the rejection but merely, has come unto (upon) you: not of Christ. He informed them (and in
is already upon you,' i. e. before you forms us also) of the impossibility of such looked for it,'—as Stier and Wesley. an endeavour. In the gathereth there 29.] Luke has the word “a stronger” is an allusion to the idea of gathering the applied to the spoiler in this verse; a title harvest : see ch. xiii. 30: John xi. 52, and given to our Lord by the Baptist, ch. iii. for scattereth, John x. 12, in all which 11 and parallels ; see also Isa. xl. 10; xlix. places the words exactly bear out their 24, 25; liii. 12. Compare note on Luke xi. sense here. 31, 32.] Wherefore, be21 f., which is the fuller report of this cause this is the case : see last note. Noparabolic saying. 30.] These words tice again the I say unto you, used by our have been variously understood. Chrysos Lord when He makes some revelation of tom and Euthymius understand them to things hidden from the sons of men : see refer to the devil : Bengel, Schleiermacher, ch. vi. 29, and xviii. 10, 19: and ver. 36 and Neander, to the Jewish exorcists below. The distinction in these much,
F1 Tim. i. 13.
* but the blasphemy I against the Holy Ghost shall not be w Acts vii. 61. forgiven [2 unto men]. 32 And whosoever * speaketh a word sch. xi. 19:
xiii. 55. John against the Son of man, " it shall be forgiven him : but , quin is.
vii. 12, 52. whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 33 Either make the tree good, and 2 his fruit z ch. vii. 17. good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt :
ch. iii. 7: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 () a a generation of a chi ili: 2
xxiii. 33. vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things ? for Luke vi. 45. out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. y render, of the Spirit. z omitted by our two oldest MSS.
a render, offspring. controverted verses seems to be, between ance in the imperfect state of the dead (1) the sin and blasphemy which arises before the judgment, and considers it to from culpable ignorance and sensual blind be cognate with 1 Pet. iii. 18 ff. Augustine ness, as that of the fool who said in his speaks very strongly : “ It could not be heart • There is no God,'-—of those who, said with truth of any, that it shall not e.g. Saul of Tarsus, opposed Jesus as not be forgiven them neither in this world being the Christ; which persons, to what nor either in the world to come,' unever degree their sin may unhappily ad. less there were some who are to be forvance, are capable of enlightenment, re- given not in this world, but in the world pentance, and pardon :-and (2) the blas- to come.” See, on the whole subject, note phemy of those who, acknowledging God, on 1 Pet. iii. 18 ff. In the almost en. and seeing his present power working by tire silence of Scripture on any such doc. his Holy Spirit, openly oppose themselves trine, every principle of sound interpreto it, as did, or as were very near doing tation requires that we should hesitate (for our Lord does not actually imply that to support it by two difficult passages, they had incurred this dreadful charge), in neither of which does the plain conthese Pharisees. They may as yet have struction of the words absolutely require been under the veil of ignorance; but this it. The expressions this world (equi. their last proceeding, in the sight of Him valent to “this present world,” Tit. who knows the hearts, approximated very. ii. 12: 2 Tim. iv. 10; “this time,” near to, or perhaps reached, this awful Mark x. 30; “the course (age) of this degree of guilt. The principal misunder- world,” Eph. ii. 2; “this present evil standing of this passage has arisen from world,” Gal. i. 4) and the world to come the prejudice which possesses men's minds (see Mark x. 30; equivalent to “ that owing to the use of the words, the sin world,” Luke xx. 35; "the ages to come,” against the Holy Ghost. It is not a par. Eph. ii. 7) were common among the Jews, ticular species of sin which is here con- and generally signified respectively the demned, but a definite act shewing a state time before and after the coming of the of sin, and that state a wilful determined Messiah. In the N. T. these significations opposition to the present power of the are replaced by-the present life, and that Holy Spirit; and this as shewn by its to come : the present mixed state of wheat fruit, blasphemy. The declaration, in sub- and tares, and the future completion of stance, often occurs in the N. T. See Messiah's Kingdom after the great har. 1 John v. 16, and note on “sin” there: vest. These terms seem to differ from 2 Tim. iii. 8: Jude 4, 12, 13: Heb. x. “ the kingdom of heaven,” or “of God,” 26–31; vi. 4-8. No sure inference in never being spoken of, or as in, indi. can be drawn from the words neither in viduals, but as an age of time belonging the world to come-with regard to for to the universal Church. 33, 34.7 giveness of sins in a future state. Olshau- not, as generally understood, equivalent sen remarks that a parallel on the other to represent ..... as :' for then the side is found in ch. x. 41, 42, where the clause for out &c.' loses its meaning :recognition of divine power in those sent but literally, make. The verse is a pa. from God is accompanied with promise of rable, not merely a similitude. There eternal reward. He himself however un are but two ways open : either make the derstands the passage (as many others tree and its fruit both good, or both bad : have done) to imply forgiveness on repent for by the fruit the tree is known.' How
35 A good man out of b the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things : and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. 36 But I say unto you, That every idle d word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by
thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou ch. xvi. l. shalt be condemned. 38 c Then certain of the scribes and of John ii. 18. 1 Cor. i. 22.
the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a
sign from thee. 39 But he answered and said unto them, Isa. Ivii.s. An evil and d adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; ch. xvi. 4. John iv. 48.
and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the bread, his good treasure.
e render, his.
d render, saying. make, the parable does not say: but let us might naturally expect, and as we learn remember, the Creator speaks, and sets from St. Luke, on the part of different forth a law of his own creation, with persons from those who made the accusawhich our judgments must be in accord. tion. In consequence of our Lord deThis verse resumes again the leading argu. claring that His miracles were wrought ment, and sets forth the inconsistency of by the Holy Ghost, they wish to see some the Pharisees in representing Him as in decisive proof of this by a sign, not from league with evil, whose works were uni. Himself, but from Heaven. The acformly good. But the words have a count in ch. xvi. 1--4 manifestly relates double reference: to our Lord Himself, to a different occurrence: see notes there. who could not be evil, seeing that His Cf. John vi. 30, 31; xii. 28. works were good; and (which leads on to adulterous (see reff.), because they had the next verse) to the Pharisees, who been the peculiar people of the Lord, and could not speak good things, because their so in departing from Him had broken the works were evil. 35–37.] The trea- covenant of marriage, according to the sure spoken of is that inner storehouse similitude so common in the prophets. of good and evil only seen by God and
The expression there shall no sign (partially) by ourselves. And on that ac. , be given to it does not, as has been maincount-because words, so lightly thought tained, exclude our Lord's miracles from of by the world and the careless, spring being signs : but is the direct answer to from the inner fountains of good and ill, their request in the sense in which we therefore they will form subjects of the know they used the word, ' a sign, not judgment of the great day, when the wrought by Him, and so able to be sus. whole life shall be unfolded and pro pected of magic art, but one from Heaven.' nounced upon. See James iii. 2–12. Besides, even if this were not so, how can idle is perhaps best taken here in its the refusing to work a miracle to satisfy milder and negative sense, as not yet de them, affect the nature or signification of termined on till the judgment: so that those wrought on different occasions, and our Lord's declaration is a deduction “a with a totally different view? The sign minori,” and if of every idle saying, then of Jonas is the most remarkable fore. how much more of every wicked saying! shadowing in the 0. T. of the resurrection
37.] The speech, being the overflow of our Lord. It was of course impossible of the heart, is a specimen of what is that His resurrection should be represented within: is the outward utterance of the by an actual resurrection, as his birth was man, and on this ground will form a sub- by births (Isaac, Samson, Samuel, Maherject of strict enquiry in the great day, shalalhashbaz), and His death by deaths being a considerable and weighty part of (Abel; the substitute for Isaac; Zechaour works. 38.] St. Luke (xi. 15, riah the prophet; the daily and occasional 16) places the accusation of casting out sacrifices); so that we find the events devils by Beelzebub and this request to symbolic of his resurrection (Joseph's hisgether, and then the discourse follows. It tory; Isaac's sacrifice; Daniel's and Joseems that the first part of the discourse nah's deliverance), representing it in a gave rise, as here related, to the request figure (lit., "a parable," Heb. xi. 19). In for a sign (from Heaven); but, as we the case before us the figure was very
Ezek. xvi.51, 52. Rom. ii.
prophet Jonas : 40 e for as Jonas was three days and three e Jonah i. 17. nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this see Jer. 111.11.
see Jer. 111.11. generation, and shall condemn it: 8 because they repented
Jonah iii. 5. at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, e a greater than Jonas is here. 42 h The queen of the south shall rise up in h 1 Kings 1, 1 the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, f a greater than Solomon is here. 43 g When the unclean spirit is gone out of e render, there is more than Jonas here.
f render, there is more than Solomon here.
8 render, But when. remarkable, and easily to be recognized in greater than that of Jonah : his wisdom, the 0. T. narrative. For Jonah himself than that of Solomon. 42. The queen calls the belly of the sea monster (Jonah of the south] Josephus calls her the ii. 2), “the belly of Hades,' = the heart woman who then reigned over Egypt of the earth here. And observe, that the and Æthiopia, i.e. over Meroe (whose type is not of our Lord's body being depo. queens were usually called Candace. Plin. sited in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathæa, Hist. vi. 29). Abyssinian tradition agrees for neither could that be called the heart with this account, calls her Maqueda, and of the earth, nor could it be said that supposes her to have embraced the Jewish 'the Son of Man’ was there during the religion in Jerusalem. The Arabians on time; but of our Lord's personal descent the other hand also claim her, calling her into the place of departed souls :- see Balkis, which latter view is probably nearer Eph. iv. 9: 1 Pet. ii. 19, and note on the truth, Sheba being a tract in Arabia Luke xxiii. 43. 40.7 If it be neces. Felix, near the shores of the Red Sea, sary to make good the three days and near the present Aden, abounding in spice nights during which our Lord was in the and gold and precious stones. heart of the earth, it must be done by 43.] This important parable, in the similihaving recourse to the Jewish method of tude itself, sets forth to us an evil spirit computing time. In the Jerusalem Tal. driven out from a man, wandering in his mud (cited by Lightfoot) it is said “that misery and restlessness through desert a day and night together make up a day places, the abodes and haunts of evil (night-day), and that any part of such spirits (see Isa. xiii. 21, 22; xxxiv. 14), & period is counted as the whole." See and at last determining on a return to his Gen. xl. 13, 20: 1 Sam. xxx. 12, 13: former victim, whom he finds so prepared 2 Chron. X. 5, 12: Hos. vi. 2. 41.] for his purposes, that he associates with In this verse there is no reference to the himself seven other fiends, by whom the sign of Jonas spoken of above, but to a wretched man being possessed, ends miserdifferent matter, another way in which he ably. In its interpretation we may trace should be a sign to this generation. See three distinct references, each full of Luke xi. 29 f., and note. (But the preach- weighty instruction. (1) The direct aping of Jonas to the Ninevites was a sign plication of the parable is to the Jewish after his resurrection : so shall the preach- people, and the parallel runs thus :- The ing of the Son of Man by His Spirit in His old dæmon of idolatry brought down on the Apostles be after His resurrection. Stier.) Jews the Babylonish captivity, and was
On the adjective, here and ver. 42, being cast out by it. They did not after their in the neuter, see above, ver. 6, note.
return fall into it again, but rather enThere is more than Jonas here] No matter dured persecution, as under Antiochus so worthy of arousing repentance had ever Epiphanes. The emptying, sweeping, and been revealed or preached as the Gospel : garnishing may be traced in the growth of no matter so worthy of exciting the earnest Pharisaic hypocrisy and the Rabbinical attention of all. And the Lord Himself, schools between the return and the coming the Announcer of this Gospel, is greater of our Lord. The re-possession by the one, than all the sons of men : his preaching, and accession of seven other spirits more