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Teks -- Matthew 12:1-50 (NET)

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Konteks
Lord of the Sabbath
12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grain fields on a Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pick heads of wheat and eat them. 12:2 But when the Pharisees saw this they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law to do on the Sabbath.” 12:3 He said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry12:4 how he entered the house of God and they ate the sacred bread, which was against the law for him or his companions to eat, but only for the priests? 12:5 Or have you not read in the law that the priests in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are not guilty? 12:6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 12:7 If you had known what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 12:8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” 12:9 Then Jesus left that place and entered their synagogue. 12:10 A man was there who had a withered hand. And they asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” so that they could accuse him. 12:11 He said to them, “Would not any one of you, if he had one sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath, take hold of it and lift it out? 12:12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 12:13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and it was restored, as healthy as the other. 12:14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted against him, as to how they could assassinate him.
God’s Special Servant
12:15 Now when Jesus learned of this, he went away from there. Great crowds followed him, and he healed them all. 12:16 But he sternly warned them not to make him known. 12:17 This fulfilled what was spoken by Isaiah the prophet: 12:18 “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I take great delight. I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 12:19 He will not quarrel or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. 12:20 He will not break a bruised reed or extinguish a smoldering wick, until he brings justice to victory. 12:21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
Jesus and Beelzebul
12:22 Then they brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Jesus healed him so that he could speak and see. 12:23 All the crowds were amazed and said, “Could this one be the Son of David?” 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard this they said, “He does not cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons!” 12:25 Now when Jesus realized what they were thinking, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and no town or house divided against itself will stand. 12:26 So if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 12:27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges. 12:28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has already overtaken you. 12:29 How else can someone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can thoroughly plunder the house. 12:30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 12:31 For this reason I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Trees and Their Fruit
12:33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is known by its fruit. 12:34 Offspring of vipers! How are you able to say anything good, since you are evil? For the mouth speaks from what fills the heart. 12:35 The good person brings good things out of his good treasury, and the evil person brings evil things out of his evil treasury. 12:36 I tell you that on the day of judgment, people will give an account for every worthless word they speak. 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
The Sign of Jonah
12:38 Then some of the experts in the law along with some Pharisees answered him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” 12:39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 12:40 For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. 12:41 The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them– and now, something greater than Jonah is here! 12:42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon– and now, something greater than Solomon is here!
The Return of the Unclean Spirit
12:43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but does not find it. 12:44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ When it returns, it finds the house empty, swept clean, and put in order. 12:45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so the last state of that person is worse than the first. It will be that way for this evil generation as well!”
Jesus’ True Family
12:46 While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers came and stood outside, asking to speak to him. 12:47 Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you.” 12:48 To the one who had said this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” 12:49 And pointing toward his disciples he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
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Nama Orang, Nama Tempat, Topik/Tema Kamus

Nama Orang dan Nama Tempat:
 · Beelzebul the prince of demons
 · David a son of Jesse of Judah; king of Israel,son of Jesse of Judah; king of Israel
 · Gentile a non-Jewish person
 · Isaiah a son of Amoz; a prophet active in Judah from about 740 to 701 B.C.,son of Amoz; a major prophet in the time of Hezekiah
 · Jonah a son of Amittai; the prophet God sent to Nineveh,the prophet who was swallowed by the great fish; son of Amittai
 · Nineveh a town located on the left bank of the Tigris River in northeastern Mesopotamia (Iraq).,the capital city of Assyria
 · Pharisee a religious group or sect of the Jews
 · Satan a person, male (evil angelic),an angel that has rebelled against God
 · Solomon the tenth son of David; the father of Rehoboam; an ancestor of Jesus; the third king of Israel.,son of David and Bath-Sheba; successor of King David


Topik/Tema Kamus: Matthew, Gospel according to | JESUS CHRIST, 4C1 | Jesus, The Christ | Sabbath | Miracles | Pharisees | Accusation, False | Sadducees | ANTICHRIST | Satan | Jonah | Tradition | LAW IN THE NEW TESTAMENT | Sin | PERSON OF CHRIST, 4-8 | Blasphemy | Mary | Beelzebub | JONAS | Ecclesiasticism | selebihnya
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Robertson , Vincent , Wesley , JFB , Clarke , Calvin , Defender , TSK

Catatan Kata/Frasa
Poole , Lightfoot , PBC , Haydock , Gill

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Evidence

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Robertson: Mat 12:1 - On the sabbath day through the cornfields On the sabbath day through the cornfields ( tois sabbasin dia tōn sporimōn ). This paragraph begins exactly like Mat 11:25 "at that season"(en ek...

On the sabbath day through the cornfields ( tois sabbasin dia tōn sporimōn ).

This paragraph begins exactly like Mat 11:25 "at that season"(en ekeinōi tōi kairōi ), a general statement with no clear idea of time. So also Mat 14:1. The word kairos means a definite and particular time, but we cannot fix it. The word "cornfields"does not mean our maize or Indian corn, but simply fields of grain (wheat or even barley).

Robertson: Mat 12:2 - Thy disciples do Thy disciples do ( hoi mathētai sou poiousin ). These critics are now watching a chance and they jump at this violation of their Pharisaic rules fo...

Thy disciples do ( hoi mathētai sou poiousin ).

These critics are now watching a chance and they jump at this violation of their Pharisaic rules for Sabbath observance. The disciples were plucking the heads of wheat which to the Pharisees was reaping and were rubbing them in their hands (Luk 6:1) which was threshing.

Robertson: Mat 12:3 - What David did What David did ( ti epoiēsen Daueid ). From the necessity of hunger. The first defence made by Christ appeals to the conduct of David (2Sa 21:6). D...

What David did ( ti epoiēsen Daueid ).

From the necessity of hunger. The first defence made by Christ appeals to the conduct of David (2Sa 21:6). David and those with him did "what was not lawful"(ho ouk exon ēn ) precisely the charge made against the disciples (ho ouk exestin in Mat 12:2).

Robertson: Mat 12:6 - One greater than the temple One greater than the temple ( tou hierou meizon ). Ablative of comparison, tou hierou . The Textus Receptus has meizōn , but the neuter is correct....

One greater than the temple ( tou hierou meizon ).

Ablative of comparison, tou hierou . The Textus Receptus has meizōn , but the neuter is correct. Literally, "something greater than the temple."What is that? It may still be Christ, or it may be: "The work and His disciples were of more account than the temple"(Plummer). "If the temple was not subservient to Sabbath rules, how much less the Messiah!"(Allen).

Robertson: Mat 12:7 - The guiltless The guiltless ( tous anaitious ). So in Mat 12:5. Common in ancient Greek. No real ground against, it means an + aitios . Jesus quotes Hos 6:6 here...

The guiltless ( tous anaitious ).

So in Mat 12:5. Common in ancient Greek. No real ground against, it means an + aitios . Jesus quotes Hos 6:6 here as he did in Mat 9:13. A pertinent prophecy that had escaped the notice of the sticklers for ceremonial literalness and the letter of the law.

Robertson: Mat 12:9 - Lord of the Sabbath Lord of the Sabbath ( kurios tou sabbatou ). This claim that he as the Son of Man is master of the Sabbath and so above the Pharisaic regulations ang...

Lord of the Sabbath ( kurios tou sabbatou ).

This claim that he as the Son of Man is master of the Sabbath and so above the Pharisaic regulations angered them extremely. By the phrase "the Son of man"here Jesus involves the claim of Messiahship, but as the Representative Man he affirms his solidarity with mankind, "standing for the human interest"(Bruce) on this subject.

Robertson: Mat 12:10 - Is it lawful? Is it lawful? ( ei exestin ). The use of ei in direct questions is really elliptical and seems an imitation of the Hebrew (Robertson, Grammar , p....

Is it lawful? ( ei exestin ).

The use of ei in direct questions is really elliptical and seems an imitation of the Hebrew (Robertson, Grammar , p. 916). See also Mat 19:3. It is not translated in English.

Robertson: Mat 12:12 - How much then is a man How much then is a man ( posōi oun diapherei anthrōpos ). Another of Christ’ s pregnant questions that goes to the roots of things, an a fo...

How much then is a man ( posōi oun diapherei anthrōpos ).

Another of Christ’ s pregnant questions that goes to the roots of things, an a fortiori argument. "By how much does a human being differ from a sheep? That is the question which Christian civilization has not even yet adequately answered"(Bruce). The poor pettifogging Pharisees are left in the pit.

Robertson: Mat 12:13 - Stretch forth thy hand Stretch forth thy hand ( ekteinon sou tēn cheira ). Probably the arm was not withered, though that is not certain. But he did the impossible. "He s...

Stretch forth thy hand ( ekteinon sou tēn cheira ).

Probably the arm was not withered, though that is not certain. But he did the impossible. "He stretched it forth,"straight, I hope, towards the Pharisees who were watching Jesus (Mar 3:2).

Robertson: Mat 12:14 - Took counsel against him Took counsel against him ( sumboulion elabon kat' autou ). An imitation of the Latin concilium capere and found in papyri of the second century a....

Took counsel against him ( sumboulion elabon kat' autou ).

An imitation of the Latin concilium capere and found in papyri of the second century a.d. (Deissmann, Bible Studies , p. 238.) This incident marks a crisis in the hatred of the Pharisees toward Jesus. They bolted out of the synagogue and actually conspired with their hated rivals, the Herodians, how to put Jesus to death (Mar 3:6; Mat 12:14; Luk 6:11). By "destroy"(apolesōsin ) they meant "kill."

Robertson: Mat 12:15 - Perceiving Perceiving ( gnous ). Second aorist active participle of ginōskō . Jesus read their very thoughts. They were now plain to any one who saw their a...

Perceiving ( gnous ).

Second aorist active participle of ginōskō . Jesus read their very thoughts. They were now plain to any one who saw their angry countenances.

Robertson: Mat 12:17 - That it might be fulfilled That it might be fulfilled ( hina plērōthēi ). The final use of hina and the sub-final just before (Mat 12:16). The passage quoted is Isa 42:...

That it might be fulfilled ( hina plērōthēi ).

The final use of hina and the sub-final just before (Mat 12:16). The passage quoted is Isa 42:1-4 "a very free reproduction of the Hebrew with occasional side glances at the Septuagint"(Bruce), possibly from an Aramaic collection of Testimonia (McNeile). Matthew applies the prophecy about Cyrus to Christ.

Robertson: Mat 12:18 - My beloved My beloved ( ho agapētos mou ). This phrase reminds one of Mat 3:17 (the Father’ s words at Christ’ s baptism).

My beloved ( ho agapētos mou ).

This phrase reminds one of Mat 3:17 (the Father’ s words at Christ’ s baptism).

Robertson: Mat 12:20 - A bruised reed A bruised reed ( kalamon suntetrimmenon ). Perfect passive participle of suntribō . A crushed reed he will not break. The curious augment in kateax...

A bruised reed ( kalamon suntetrimmenon ).

Perfect passive participle of suntribō . A crushed reed he will not break. The curious augment in kateaxei (future active indicative) is to be noted. The copyists kept the augment where it did not belong in this verb (Robertson, Grammar , p. 1212) even in Plato. "Smoking flax"(linon tuphomenon ). The wick of a lamp, smoking and flickering and going out. Only here in N.T. Flax in Exo 9:31. Vivid images that picture Jesus in the same strain as his own great words in Mat 11:28-30.

Robertson: Mat 12:23 - Is this the Son of David? Is this the Son of David? ( mēti houtos estin ho huios Daueiḋ ). The form of the question expects the answer "no,"but they put it so because of t...

Is this the Son of David? ( mēti houtos estin ho huios Daueiḋ ).

The form of the question expects the answer "no,"but they put it so because of the Pharisaic hostility towards Jesus. The multitudes "were amazed"or "stood out of themselves"(existanto ), imperfect tense, vividly portraying the situation. They were almost beside themselves with excitement.

Robertson: Mat 12:24 - The Pharisees The Pharisees ( hoi de Pharisaioi ). Already (Mat 9:32-34) we have had in Matthew the charge that Jesus is in league with the prince of demons, thoug...

The Pharisees ( hoi de Pharisaioi ).

Already (Mat 9:32-34) we have had in Matthew the charge that Jesus is in league with the prince of demons, though the incident may be later than this one. See note on Mat 10:25 about "Beelzebub."The Pharisees feel that the excited condition of the crowds and the manifest disposition to believe that Jesus is the Messiah (the Son of David) demand strenuous action on their part. They cannot deny the fact of the miracles for the blind and dumb men both saw and spoke (Mat 12:22). So in desperation they suggest that Jesus works by the power of Beelzebub the prince of the demons.

Robertson: Mat 12:25 - Knowing their thoughts Knowing their thoughts ( eidōs de tas enthumēseis autōn ). What they were revolving in their minds. They now find out what a powerful opponent ...

Knowing their thoughts ( eidōs de tas enthumēseis autōn ).

What they were revolving in their minds. They now find out what a powerful opponent Jesus is. By parables, by a series of conditions (first class), by sarcasm, by rhetorical question, by merciless logic, he lays bare their hollow insincerity and the futility of their arguments. Satan does not cast out Satan. Note timeless aorist passive emeristhē in Mat 12:26, ephthasen in Mat 12:28 (simple sense of arriving as in Phi 3:16 from phthanō ). Christ is engaged in deathless conflict with Satan the strong man (Mat 12:29). "Goods"(skeuē ) means house-gear, house furniture, or equipment as in Luk 17:36 and Act 27:17, the tackling of the ship.

Robertson: Mat 12:30 - He that is not with me He that is not with me ( ho mē ōn met' emou ). With these solemn words Jesus draws the line of cleavage between himself and his enemies then and ...

He that is not with me ( ho mē ōn met' emou ).

With these solemn words Jesus draws the line of cleavage between himself and his enemies then and now. Jesus still has his enemies who hate him and all noble words and deeds because they sting what conscience they have into fury. But we may have our choice. We either gather with (sunagōn ) Christ or scatter (skorpizei ) to the four winds. Christ is the magnet of the ages. He draws or drives away. "Satan is the arch-waster, Christ the collector, Saviour"(Bruce).

Robertson: Mat 12:31 - But the blasphemy against the Spirit But the blasphemy against the Spirit ( hē de tou pneumatos blasphēmia ). Objective genitive. This is the unpardonable sin. In Mat 12:32 we have k...

But the blasphemy against the Spirit ( hē de tou pneumatos blasphēmia ).

Objective genitive. This is the unpardonable sin. In Mat 12:32 we have kata tou pneumatos tou hagiou to make it plainer. What is the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? These Pharisees had already committed it. They had attributed the works of the Holy Spirit by whose power Jesus wrought his miracles (Mat 12:28) to the devil. That sin was without excuse and would not be forgiven in their age or in the coming one (Mat 12:32). People often ask if they can commit the unpardonable sin. Probably some do who ridicule the manifest work of God’ s Spirit in men’ s lives and attribute the Spirit’ s work to the devil.

Robertson: Mat 12:34 - Ye offspring of vipers Ye offspring of vipers ( gennēmata echidnōn ). These same terrible words the Baptist had used to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his bapt...

Ye offspring of vipers ( gennēmata echidnōn ).

These same terrible words the Baptist had used to the Pharisees and Sadducees who came to his baptism (Mat 3:7). But these Pharisees had deliberately made their choice and had taken Satan’ s side. The charge against Jesus of being in league with Satan reveals the evil heart within. The heart "spurts out"(ekballei ) good or evil according to the supply (treasure, thēsaurou ) within. Mat 12:33 is like Mat 7:17-19. Jesus often repeated his crisp pungent sayings as every teacher does.

Robertson: Mat 12:36 - Every idle word Every idle word ( pan rhēma argon ). An ineffective, useless word (a privative and ergon ). A word that does no good and so is pernicious like p...

Every idle word ( pan rhēma argon ).

An ineffective, useless word (a privative and ergon ). A word that does no good and so is pernicious like pernicious anaemia. It is a solemn thought. Jesus who knows our very thoughts (Mat 12:25) insists that our words reveal our thoughts and form a just basis for the interpretation of character (Mat 12:37). Here we have judgment by words as in 25:31-46 where Jesus presents judgment by deeds. Both are real tests of actual character. Homer spoke of "winged words"(pteroenta epea ). And by the radio our words can be heard all round the earth. Who knows where they stop?

Robertson: Mat 12:38 - A sign from thee A sign from thee ( apo sou sēmeion ). One wonders at the audacity of scribes and Pharisees who accused Jesus of being in league with Satan and thus...

A sign from thee ( apo sou sēmeion ).

One wonders at the audacity of scribes and Pharisees who accused Jesus of being in league with Satan and thus casting out demons who can turn round and blandly ask for a "sign from thee."As if the other miracles were not signs! "The demand was impudent, hypocritical, insulting"(Bruce).

Robertson: Mat 12:39 - An evil and adulterous generation An evil and adulterous generation ( genea ponēra kai moichalis ). They had broken the marriage tie which bound them to Jehovah (Plummer). See Psa 7...

An evil and adulterous generation ( genea ponēra kai moichalis ).

They had broken the marriage tie which bound them to Jehovah (Plummer). See Psa 73:27; Isa 57:3.; Isa 62:5; Eze 23:27; Jam 4:4; Rev 2:20. What is "the sign of Jonah?"

Robertson: Mat 12:40 - The whale The whale ( tou kētous ). Sea-monster, huge fish. In Jonah 2:1 the lxx has kētei megalōi . "Three days and three nights"may simply mean three d...

The whale ( tou kētous ).

Sea-monster, huge fish. In Jonah 2:1 the lxx has kētei megalōi . "Three days and three nights"may simply mean three days in popular speech. Jesus rose "on the third day"(Mat 16:21), not "on the fourth day."It is just a fuller form for "after three days"(Mar 8:31; Mar 10:34).

Robertson: Mat 12:41 - In the judgment In the judgment ( en tēi krisei ). Except here and in the next verse Matthew has "day of judgment"(hēmera kriseōs ) as in Mat 10:15; Mat 11:22...

In the judgment ( en tēi krisei ).

Except here and in the next verse Matthew has "day of judgment"(hēmera kriseōs ) as in Mat 10:15; Mat 11:22, Mat 11:24; Mat 12:36. Luke (Luk 10:14) has en tēi krisei .

Robertson: Mat 12:41 - They repented at the preaching of Jonah They repented at the preaching of Jonah ( metenoēson eis to kērugma Iōna ). Note this use of eis just like en . Note also pleion (neuter), ...

They repented at the preaching of Jonah ( metenoēson eis to kērugma Iōna ).

Note this use of eis just like en . Note also pleion (neuter), not pleiōn (masc.). See the same idiom in Mat 12:6 and Mat 12:48. Jesus is something greater than the temple, than Jonah, than Solomon. "You will continue to disbelieve in spite of all I can say or do, and at last you will put me to death. But I will rise again, a sign for your confusion, if not for your conversion"(Bruce).

Robertson: Mat 12:44 - Into my house Into my house ( eis ton oikon mou ). So the demon describes the man in whom he had dwelt. "The demon is ironically represented as implying that he le...

Into my house ( eis ton oikon mou ).

So the demon describes the man in whom he had dwelt. "The demon is ironically represented as implying that he left his victim voluntarily, as a man leaves his house to go for a walk"(McNeile). "Worse than the first"is a proverb.

Robertson: Mat 12:46 - His mother and his brothers His mother and his brothers ( hē mētēr kai hoi adelphoi autou ). Brothers of Jesus, younger sons of Joseph and Mary. The charge of the Pharisee...

His mother and his brothers ( hē mētēr kai hoi adelphoi autou ).

Brothers of Jesus, younger sons of Joseph and Mary. The charge of the Pharisees that Jesus was in league with Satan was not believed by the disciples of Jesus, but some of his friends did think that he was beside himself (Mar 3:21) because of the excitement and strain. It was natural for Mary to want to take him home for rest and refreshment. So the mother and brothers are pictured standing outside the house (or the crowd). They send a messenger to Jesus.

Robertson: Mat 12:47 - -- @@Aleph, B, L, Old Syriac, omit this verse as do Westcott and Hort. It is genuine in Mar 3:32; Luk 8:20. It was probably copied into Matthew from Mark...

@@Aleph, B, L, Old Syriac, omit this verse as do Westcott and Hort. It is genuine in Mar 3:32; Luk 8:20. It was probably copied into Matthew from Mark or Luke.

Robertson: Mat 12:49 - Behold my mother and my brothers Behold my mother and my brothers ( idou hē mētēr mou kai hoi adelphoi mou ). A dramatic wave of the hand towards his disciples (learners) accom...

Behold my mother and my brothers ( idou hē mētēr mou kai hoi adelphoi mou ).

A dramatic wave of the hand towards his disciples (learners) accompanied these words. Jesus loved his mother and brothers, but they were not to interfere in his Messianic work. The real spiritual family of Jesus included all who follow him. But it was hard for Mary to go back to Nazareth and leave Jesus with the excited throng so great that he was not even stopping to eat (Mar 3:20).

Vincent: Mat 12:1 - Time Time ( καιπῷ ) Rev., season. The word implies particular time; as related to some event, a convenient, appropriate time; absolutel...

Time ( καιπῷ )

Rev., season. The word implies particular time; as related to some event, a convenient, appropriate time; absolutely, a particular point of time, or a particular season, like spring or winter.

Vincent: Mat 12:1 - Corn Corn ( σπορίμων ) From σπείρω , to sow. Properly, as Rev., corn-fields.

Corn ( σπορίμων )

From σπείρω , to sow. Properly, as Rev., corn-fields.

Vincent: Mat 12:2 - What is not lawful What is not lawful " On any ordinary day this would have been lawful; but on the Sabbath it involved, according to the Rabbinic statutes, at leas...

What is not lawful

" On any ordinary day this would have been lawful; but on the Sabbath it involved, according to the Rabbinic statutes, at least two sins, viz., plucking the ears, which was reaping, and rubbing them in their hands (Luk 6:1), which was sifting, grinding, or fanning. The Talmud says: 'In case a woman rolls wheat to remove the husks, it is considered as sifting; if she rubs the heads of wheat, it is regarded as threshing; if she cleans off the side-adherencies, it is sifting out fruit; if she bruises the ears, it is grinding; if she throws them up in her hand, it is winnowing'" (Edersheim, " Life and Times of Jesus" ).

Vincent: Mat 12:6 - One greater One greater ( μείζων ) The correct reading makes the adjective neuter, so that the right rendering is something greater (Rev., in margi...

One greater ( μείζων )

The correct reading makes the adjective neuter, so that the right rendering is something greater (Rev., in margin). The reference is, of course, to Christ himself (compare Mat 12:41, Mat 12:42, where the neuter πλεῖον , more (so Rev., in margin), is used in the same way). Compare, also, Joh 2:19, where Christ speaks of his own body as a temple. The indefiniteness of the neuter gives a more solemn and impressive sense.

Vincent: Mat 12:10 - Is it lawful? Is it lawful? ( εἰ ἔξεστιν ) The εἰ can hardly be rendered into English. It gives an indeterminate, hesitating character to t...

Is it lawful? ( εἰ ἔξεστιν )

The εἰ can hardly be rendered into English. It gives an indeterminate, hesitating character to the question: I would like to know if, etc.

Vincent: Mat 12:13 - Stretch forth thy hand Stretch forth thy hand The arm was not withered.

Stretch forth thy hand

The arm was not withered.

Vincent: Mat 12:20 - Flax Flax The Hebrew is, literally, a dimly burning wick he shall not quench (Isa 42:3). The quotation stops at the end of the third verse in the pr...

Flax

The Hebrew is, literally, a dimly burning wick he shall not quench (Isa 42:3). The quotation stops at the end of the third verse in the prophecy; but the succeeding verse is beautifully suggestive as describing the Servant of Jehovah by the same figures in which he pictures his suffering ones - a wick and a reed. " He shall not burn dimly, neither shall his spirit be crushed." He himself, partaking of the nature of our frail humanity, is both a lamp and a reed, humble, but not to be broken, and the " light of the world." Compare the beautiful passage in Dante, where Cato directs Virgil to wash away the stains of the nether world from Dante's face, and to prepare him for the ascent of the purgatorial mount by girding him with a rush, the emblem of humility:

" Go, then, and see thou gird this one about

With a smooth rush, and that thou wash his face,

So that thou cleanse away all stain therefrom.

For 'twere not fitting that the eye o'ercast

By any mist should go before the first

Angel, who is of those of Paradise.

This little island, round about its base,

Below there, yonder, where the billow beats it,

Doth rushes bear upon its washy ooze.

No other plant that putteth forth the leaf,

Or that doth indurate, can there have life,

Because it yieldeth not unto the shocks.

· · · · · ·

There he begirt me as the other pleased;

O marvellous I for even as he culled

The humble plant, such it sprang up again

Suddenly there where he uprooted it."

Purg ., i., 94-105, 138-187.

Vincent: Mat 12:26 - He is divided He is divided ( ἐμερίσθη ) Lit., " he was divided. " If he is casting himself out, there must have been a previous division.

He is divided ( ἐμερίσθη )

Lit., " he was divided. " If he is casting himself out, there must have been a previous division.

Vincent: Mat 12:28 - Is come unto you Is come unto you ( ἔφθασεν ἐφ ' ὑμᾶς ) The verb is used in the simple sense to arrive at (2Co 10:14; Phi 3:16), and s...

Is come unto you ( ἔφθασεν ἐφ ' ὑμᾶς )

The verb is used in the simple sense to arrive at (2Co 10:14; Phi 3:16), and sometimes to anticipate (1Th 4:15). Here with a suggestion of the latter sense, which is also conveyed by the Rev., " come upon. " It has come upon you before you expected it.

Vincent: Mat 12:29 - Of a strong man Of a strong man ( τοῦ ἰσχυροῦ ) Rev. rightly gives the force of the article, the strong man. Christ is not citing a general ill...

Of a strong man ( τοῦ ἰσχυροῦ )

Rev. rightly gives the force of the article, the strong man. Christ is not citing a general illustration, but is pointing to a specific enemy - Satan. How can I despoil Satan without first having conquered him?

Vincent: Mat 12:29 - Goods Goods ( σκεύη ) The word originally means a vessel, and so mostly in the New Testament. See Mar 11:16; Joh 19:29. But also the entire e...

Goods ( σκεύη )

The word originally means a vessel, and so mostly in the New Testament. See Mar 11:16; Joh 19:29. But also the entire equipment of a house, collectively: chattels, house-gear. Also the baggage of an army. Here in the sense of house-gear. Compare Luk 17:31; Act 27:17, of the gear or tackling of the ship. Rev., lowered the gear.

Vincent: Mat 12:32 - The Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit ( τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου ) The Spirit - the holy. These words define more clearly the blasphemy...

The Holy Spirit ( τοῦ πνεύματος τοῦ ἁγίου )

The Spirit - the holy. These words define more clearly the blasphemy against the Spirit, Mat 12:31.

Vincent: Mat 12:35 - Bringeth forth Bringeth forth ( ἐκβάλλει ) But the translation is feeble. The word means to throw or fling out. The good or evil things come f...

Bringeth forth ( ἐκβάλλει )

But the translation is feeble. The word means to throw or fling out. The good or evil things come forth out of the treasure of the heart (Mat 12:34). " Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." The issues of the heart are thrown out, as if under pressure of the abundance within.

Vincent: Mat 12:36 - Idle Idle ( ἀργὸν ) A good rendering. The word is compounded of ἀ , not, and ἔργον , work. An idle word is a non - working ...

Idle ( ἀργὸν )

A good rendering. The word is compounded of ἀ , not, and ἔργον , work. An idle word is a non - working word; an inoperative word. It has no legitimate work, no office , no business, but is morally useless and unprofitable.

Vincent: Mat 12:39 - Adulterous Adulterous ( μοιχαλὶς ) A very strong and graphic expression, founded upon the familiar Hebrew representation of the relation of God's ...

Adulterous ( μοιχαλὶς )

A very strong and graphic expression, founded upon the familiar Hebrew representation of the relation of God's people to him under the figure of marriage. See Psa 73:27; Isa 57:3 sqq.; Isa 62:5; Eze 23:27. Hence idolatry and intercourse with Gentiles were described as adultery; and so here, of moral unfaithfulness to God. Compare Jam 4:4 :; Rev 2:20 sqq. Thus Dante:

" Where Michael wrought

Vengeance upon the proud adultery."

Inf ., vii., 12.

Vincent: Mat 12:40 - The whale The whale ( τοῦ κήτους ) A general term for a sea-monster.

The whale ( τοῦ κήτους )

A general term for a sea-monster.

Vincent: Mat 12:41 - Shall rise up Shall rise up ( ἀναστήσονται ) Rev., stand up. Come forward as witnesses. Compare Job 16:9, Sept.; Mar 14:57. There is no refer...

Shall rise up ( ἀναστήσονται )

Rev., stand up. Come forward as witnesses. Compare Job 16:9, Sept.; Mar 14:57. There is no reference to rising from the dead. Similarly shall rise up , Mat 12:42. Compare Mat 11:11; Mat 24:11.

Vincent: Mat 12:41 - A greater A greater ( πλεῖον ) Lit., something more. See on Mat 12:6.

A greater ( πλεῖον )

Lit., something more. See on Mat 12:6.

Vincent: Mat 12:49 - Disciples Disciples ( μαθητὰς ) Not the apostles only, but all who followed him in the character of learners. The Anglo-Saxon renders learnin...

Disciples ( μαθητὰς )

Not the apostles only, but all who followed him in the character of learners. The Anglo-Saxon renders learning knights.

Wesley: Mat 12:1 - His disciples plucked the ears of corn, and ate Just what sufficed for present necessity: dried corn was a common food among the Jews. Mar 2:23; Luk 6:1.

Just what sufficed for present necessity: dried corn was a common food among the Jews. Mar 2:23; Luk 6:1.

Wesley: Mat 12:3 - Have ye not read what David did And necessity was a sufficient plea for his transgressing the law in a higher instance.

And necessity was a sufficient plea for his transgressing the law in a higher instance.

Wesley: Mat 12:4 - He entered into the house of God Into the tabernacle. The temple was not yet built.

Into the tabernacle. The temple was not yet built.

Wesley: Mat 12:4 - The show bread So they called the bread which the priest, who served that week, put every Sabbath day on the golden table that was in the holy place, before the Lord...

So they called the bread which the priest, who served that week, put every Sabbath day on the golden table that was in the holy place, before the Lord. The loaves were twelve in number, and represented the twelve tribes of Israel: when the new were brought, the stale were taken away, but were to be eaten by the priests only. 1Sa 21:6.

Wesley: Mat 12:5 - The priests in the temple profane the Sabbath That is, do their ordinary work on this, as on a common day, cleansing all things, and preparing the sacrifices.

That is, do their ordinary work on this, as on a common day, cleansing all things, and preparing the sacrifices.

Wesley: Mat 12:5 - A greater than the temple If therefore the Sabbath must give way to the temple, much more must it give way to me.

If therefore the Sabbath must give way to the temple, much more must it give way to me.

Wesley: Mat 12:7 - I will have mercy and not sacrifice That is, when they interfere with each other, I always prefer acts of mercy, before matters of positive institution: yea, before all ceremonial instit...

That is, when they interfere with each other, I always prefer acts of mercy, before matters of positive institution: yea, before all ceremonial institutions whatever; because these being only means of religion, are suspended of course, if circumstances occur, wherein they clash with love, which is the end of it. Mat 9:13.

Wesley: Mat 12:8 - For the Son of man Therefore they are guiltless, were it only on this account, that they act by my authority, and attend on me in my ministry, as the priests attended on...

Therefore they are guiltless, were it only on this account, that they act by my authority, and attend on me in my ministry, as the priests attended on God in the temple: is Lord even of the Sabbath - This certainly implies, that the Sabbath was an institution of great and distinguished importance; it may perhaps also refer to that signal act of authority which Christ afterward exerted over it, in changing it from the seventh to the first day of the week. If we suppose here is a transposition of Mat 12:7-8, then Mat 12:8 is a proof of Mat 12:6.

Wesley: Mat 12:9 - -- Mar 3:1; Luk 6:6.

Wesley: Mat 12:12 - It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day To save a beast, much more a man.

To save a beast, much more a man.

Wesley: Mat 12:18 - He shall show judgment to the heathens That is, he shall publish the merciful Gospel to them also: the Hebrew word signifies either mercy or justice. Isa 42:1, &c.

That is, he shall publish the merciful Gospel to them also: the Hebrew word signifies either mercy or justice. Isa 42:1, &c.

Wesley: Mat 12:19 - He shall not strive, nor clamour; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets That is, he shall not be contentious, noisy, or ostentatious: but gentle, quiet, and lowly. We may observe each word rises above the other, expressing...

That is, he shall not be contentious, noisy, or ostentatious: but gentle, quiet, and lowly. We may observe each word rises above the other, expressing a still higher degree of humility and gentleness.

Wesley: Mat 12:20 - A bruised reed A convinced sinner: one that is bruised with the weight of sin:

A convinced sinner: one that is bruised with the weight of sin:

Wesley: Mat 12:20 - smoking flax One that has the least good desire, the faintest spark of grace:

One that has the least good desire, the faintest spark of grace:

Wesley: Mat 12:20 - till he send forth judgment unto victory That is, till he make righteousness completely victorious over all its enemies.

That is, till he make righteousness completely victorious over all its enemies.

Wesley: Mat 12:21 - In his name That is, in him.

That is, in him.

Wesley: Mat 12:22 - A demoniac, blind and dumb Many undoubtedly supposed these defects to be merely natural. But the Spirit of God saw otherwise, and gives the true account both of the disorder and...

Many undoubtedly supposed these defects to be merely natural. But the Spirit of God saw otherwise, and gives the true account both of the disorder and the cure. How many disorders, seemingly natural, may even now be owing to the same cause? Luk 11:14.

Wesley: Mat 12:23 - Is not this the son of David That is, the Messiah.

That is, the Messiah.

Wesley: Mat 12:24 - -- Mar 3:22.

Wesley: Mat 12:25 - Jesus knowing their thoughts It seems they had as yet only said it in their hearts.

It seems they had as yet only said it in their hearts.

Wesley: Mat 12:26 - How shall his kingdom be established Does not that subtle spirit know thin is not the way to establish his kingdom?

Does not that subtle spirit know thin is not the way to establish his kingdom?

Wesley: Mat 12:27 - By whom do your children That is, disciples, cast them out - It seems, some of them really did this; although the sons of Sceva could not.

That is, disciples, cast them out - It seems, some of them really did this; although the sons of Sceva could not.

Wesley: Mat 12:27 - Therefore shall they be your judge Ask them, if Satan will cast out Satan: let even them be judges in this matter. And they shall convict you of obstinacy and partiality, who impute tha...

Ask them, if Satan will cast out Satan: let even them be judges in this matter. And they shall convict you of obstinacy and partiality, who impute that in me to Beelzebub, which in them you impute to God. Beside, how can I rob him of his subjects, till I have conquered him? The kingdom of God is come upon you - Unawares; before you expected: so the word implies.

Wesley: Mat 12:29 - How can one enter into the strong one's house, unless he first bind the strong one So Christ coming into the world, which was then eminently the strong one's, Satan's house, first bound him, and then took his spoils.

So Christ coming into the world, which was then eminently the strong one's, Satan's house, first bound him, and then took his spoils.

Wesley: Mat 12:30 - He that is not with me is against me For there are no neuters in this war. Every one must be either with Christ or against him; either a loyal subject or a rebel. And there are none upon ...

For there are no neuters in this war. Every one must be either with Christ or against him; either a loyal subject or a rebel. And there are none upon earth, who neither promote nor obstruct his kingdom. For he that does not gather souls to God, scatters them from him.

Wesley: Mat 12:31 - The blasphemy against the Spirit How much stir has been made about this? How many sermons, yea, volumes, have been written concerning it? And yet there is nothing plainer in all the B...

How much stir has been made about this? How many sermons, yea, volumes, have been written concerning it? And yet there is nothing plainer in all the Bible. It is neither more nor less than the ascribing those miracles to the power of the devil, which Christ wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost. Mar 3:28; Luk 12:10.

Wesley: Mat 12:32 - Whosoever speaketh against the Son of man In any other respects: It shall be forgiven him - Upon his true repentance: But whosoever speaketh thus against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiv...

In any other respects: It shall be forgiven him - Upon his true repentance: But whosoever speaketh thus against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven, neither in this world nor in the world to come - This was a proverbial expression among the Jews, for a thing that would never be done. It here means farther, He shall not escape the punishment of it, either in this world, or in the world to come. The judgment of God shall overtake him, both here and hereafter.

Wesley: Mat 12:33 - Either make the tree good and its fruit good: or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt That is, you must allow, they are both good, or both bad.

That is, you must allow, they are both good, or both bad.

Wesley: Mat 12:33 - -- For if the fruit is good, so is the tree; if the fruit is evil, so is the tree also.

For if the fruit is good, so is the tree; if the fruit is evil, so is the tree also.

Wesley: Mat 12:33 - For the tree is known by its fruit As if he had said, Ye may therefore know me by my fruits. By my converting sinners to God, you may know that God hath sent me. Mat 7:16; Luk 6:43.

As if he had said, Ye may therefore know me by my fruits. By my converting sinners to God, you may know that God hath sent me. Mat 7:16; Luk 6:43.

Wesley: Mat 12:34 - In another kind likewise, the tree is known by its fruit Namely, the heart by the conversation.

Namely, the heart by the conversation.

Wesley: Mat 12:36 - -- Ye may perhaps think, God does not so much regard your words.

Ye may perhaps think, God does not so much regard your words.

Wesley: Mat 12:36 - But I say to you That not for blasphemous and profane words only, but for every idle word which men shall speak - For want of seriousness or caution; for every discour...

That not for blasphemous and profane words only, but for every idle word which men shall speak - For want of seriousness or caution; for every discourse which is not conducive to the glory of God, they shall give account in the day of judgment.

Wesley: Mat 12:37 - -- For by thy words (as well as thy tempers and works) thou shalt then be either acquitted or condemned. Your words as well as actions shall he produced ...

For by thy words (as well as thy tempers and works) thou shalt then be either acquitted or condemned. Your words as well as actions shall he produced in evidence for or against you, to prove whether you was a true believer or not. And according to that evidence you will either be acquitted or condemned in the great day.

Wesley: Mat 12:38 - We would see a sign Else we will not believe this. Mat 16:1; Luk 11:16, Luk 11:29.

Else we will not believe this. Mat 16:1; Luk 11:16, Luk 11:29.

Wesley: Mat 12:39 - An adulterous generation Whose heart wanders from God, though they profess him to be their husband. Such adulterers are all those who love the world, and all who seek the frie...

Whose heart wanders from God, though they profess him to be their husband. Such adulterers are all those who love the world, and all who seek the friendship of it.

Wesley: Mat 12:39 - Seeketh a sign After all they have had already, which were abundantly sufficient to convince them, had not their hearts been estranged from God, and consequently ave...

After all they have had already, which were abundantly sufficient to convince them, had not their hearts been estranged from God, and consequently averse to the truth.

Wesley: Mat 12:39 - The sign of Jonah Who was herein a type of Christ.

Who was herein a type of Christ.

Wesley: Mat 12:40 - Three days and three nights It was customary with the eastern nations to reckon any part of a natural day of twenty - four hours, for the whole day. Accordingly they used to say ...

It was customary with the eastern nations to reckon any part of a natural day of twenty - four hours, for the whole day. Accordingly they used to say a thing was done after three or seven days, if it was done on the third or seventh day, from that which was last mentioned. Instances of this may be seen, 1Ki 20:29; and in many other places. And as the Hebrews had no word to express a natural day, they used night and day, or day and night for it. So that to say a thing happened after three days and three nights, was with them the very same, as to say, it happened after three days, or on the third day. See Est 4:16; Est 5:1; Gen 7:4, Gen 7:12; Exo 24:18; Exo 34:28. Jon 2:1.

Wesley: Mat 12:42 - She came from the uttermost parts of the earth That part of Arabia from which she came was the uttermost part of the earth that way, being bounded by the sea. 1Ki 10:1.

That part of Arabia from which she came was the uttermost part of the earth that way, being bounded by the sea. 1Ki 10:1.

Wesley: Mat 12:43 - But how dreadful will be the consequence of their rejecting me? When the unclean spirit goeth out Not willingly, but being compelled by one that is stronger than he.

Not willingly, but being compelled by one that is stronger than he.

Wesley: Mat 12:43 - He walketh Wanders up and down; through dry places - Barren, dreary, desolate; or places not yet watered with the Gospel: Seeking rest, and findeth none - How ca...

Wanders up and down; through dry places - Barren, dreary, desolate; or places not yet watered with the Gospel: Seeking rest, and findeth none - How can he, while he carries with him his own hell? And is it not the case of his children too? Reader, is it thy case? Luk 11:24.

Wesley: Mat 12:44 - Whence he came out He speaks as if he had come out of his own accord: See his pride! He findeth it empty - of God, of Christ, of his Spirit: Swept - from love, lowliness...

He speaks as if he had come out of his own accord: See his pride! He findeth it empty - of God, of Christ, of his Spirit: Swept - from love, lowliness, meekness, and all the fruits of the Spirit: And garnished - With levity and security: so that there is nothing to keep him out, and much to invite him in.

Wesley: Mat 12:45 - Seven other spirits That is, a great many; a certain number being put for an uncertain: More wicked than himself - Whence it appears, that there are degrees of wickedness...

That is, a great many; a certain number being put for an uncertain: More wicked than himself - Whence it appears, that there are degrees of wickedness among the devils themselves: They enter in and dwell - For ever in him who is forsaken of God.

Wesley: Mat 12:45 - So shall it be to this wicked generation Yea, and to apostates in all ages.

Yea, and to apostates in all ages.

Wesley: Mat 12:46 - His brethren His kinsmen: they were the sons of Mary, the wife of Cleopas, or Alpheus, his mother's sister; and came now seeking to take him, as one beside himself...

His kinsmen: they were the sons of Mary, the wife of Cleopas, or Alpheus, his mother's sister; and came now seeking to take him, as one beside himself, Mar 3:21. Mar 3:31; Luk 8:19.

Wesley: Mat 12:48 - And he answering, said Our Lord's knowing why they came, sufficiently justifies his seeming disregard of them.

Our Lord's knowing why they came, sufficiently justifies his seeming disregard of them.

Wesley: Mat 12:49-50 - -- See the highest severity, and the highest goodness! Severity to his natural, goodness to his spiritual relations! In a manner disclaiming the former, ...

See the highest severity, and the highest goodness! Severity to his natural, goodness to his spiritual relations! In a manner disclaiming the former, who opposed the will of his heavenly Father, and owning the latter, who obeyed it.

JFB: Mat 12:1 - At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn "the cornfields" (Mar 2:23; Luk 6:1).

"the cornfields" (Mar 2:23; Luk 6:1).

JFB: Mat 12:1 - and his disciples were an hungered Not as one may be before his regular meals; but evidently from shortness of provisions: for Jesus defends their plucking the corn-ears and eating them...

Not as one may be before his regular meals; but evidently from shortness of provisions: for Jesus defends their plucking the corn-ears and eating them on the plea of necessity.

JFB: Mat 12:1 - and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat "rubbing them in their hands" (Luk 6:1).

"rubbing them in their hands" (Luk 6:1).

JFB: Mat 12:2 - But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day The act itself was expressly permitted (Deu 23:25). But as being "servile work," which was prohibited on the sabbath day, it was regarded as sinful.

The act itself was expressly permitted (Deu 23:25). But as being "servile work," which was prohibited on the sabbath day, it was regarded as sinful.

JFB: Mat 12:3 - But he said unto them, Have ye not read Or, as Mark (Mar 2:25) has it, "Have ye never read."

Or, as Mark (Mar 2:25) has it, "Have ye never read."

JFB: Mat 12:3 - what David did when he was an hungered, and they that were with him (1Sa 21:1-6)

JFB: Mat 12:4 - How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the showbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? No example could be more apposite than this. The man after God's own heart, of whom the Jews ever boasted, when suffering in God's cause and straitene...

No example could be more apposite than this. The man after God's own heart, of whom the Jews ever boasted, when suffering in God's cause and straitened for provisions, asked and obtained from the high priest what, according to the law, it was illegal for anyone save the priests to touch. Mark (Mar 2:26) says this occurred "in the days of Abiathar the high priest." But this means not during his high priesthood--for it was under that of his father Ahimelech--but simply, in his time. Ahimelech was soon succeeded by Abiathar, whose connection with David, and prominence during his reign, may account for his name, rather than his father's, being here introduced. Yet there is not a little confusion in what is said of these priests in different parts of the Old Testament. Thus he is called both the son of the father of Ahimelech (1Sa 22:20; 2Sa 8:17); and Ahimelech is called Ahiah (1Sa 14:3), and Abimelech (1Ch 18:16).

JFB: Mat 12:5 - Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath By doing "servile work."

By doing "servile work."

JFB: Mat 12:5 - and are blameless? The double offerings required on the sabbath day (Num 28:9) could not be presented, and the new-baked showbread (Lev 24:5; 1Ch 9:32) could not be prep...

The double offerings required on the sabbath day (Num 28:9) could not be presented, and the new-baked showbread (Lev 24:5; 1Ch 9:32) could not be prepared and presented every sabbath morning, without a good deal of servile work on the part of the priests; not to speak of circumcision, which, when the child's eighth day happened to fall on a sabbath, had to be performed by the priests on that day. (See on Joh 7:22-23).

JFB: Mat 12:6 - But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple Or rather, according to the reading which is best supported, "something greater." The argument stands thus: "The ordinary rules for the observance of ...

Or rather, according to the reading which is best supported, "something greater." The argument stands thus: "The ordinary rules for the observance of the sabbath give way before the requirements of the temple; but there are rights here before which the temple itself must give way." Thus indirectly, but not the less decidedly, does our Lord put in His own claims to consideration in this question--claims to be presently put in even more nakedly.

JFB: Mat 12:7 - But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice (Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6-8, &c.). See on Mat 9:13.

(Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6-8, &c.). See on Mat 9:13.

JFB: Mat 12:7 - ye would not have condemned the guiltless That is, Had ye understood the great principle of all religion, which the Scripture everywhere recognizes--that ceremonial observances must give way b...

That is, Had ye understood the great principle of all religion, which the Scripture everywhere recognizes--that ceremonial observances must give way before moral duties, and particularly the necessities of nature--ye would have refrained from these captious complaints against men who in this matter are blameless. But our Lord added a specific application of this great principle to the law of the sabbath, preserved only in Mark: "And he said unto them, the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath" (Mar 2:27). A glorious and far-reaching maxim, alike for the permanent establishment of the sabbath and the true freedom of its observance.

JFB: Mat 12:8 - For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day In what sense now is the Son of man Lord of the sabbath day? Not surely to abolish it--that surely were a strange lordship, especially just after sayi...

In what sense now is the Son of man Lord of the sabbath day? Not surely to abolish it--that surely were a strange lordship, especially just after saying that it was made or instituted for MAN--but to own it, to interpret it, to preside over it, and to ennoble it, by merging it in the "Lord's Day" (Rev 1:10), breathing into it an air of liberty and love necessarily unknown before, and thus making it the nearest resemblance to the eternal sabbatism.

JFB: Mat 12:9 - And when he was departed thence But "on another sabbath" (Luk 6:6).

But "on another sabbath" (Luk 6:6).

JFB: Mat 12:9 - he went into their synagogue And taught," He had now, no doubt, arrived in Galilee; but this, it would appear, did not occur at Capernaum, for after it was over, He "withdrew Hime...

And taught," He had now, no doubt, arrived in Galilee; but this, it would appear, did not occur at Capernaum, for after it was over, He "withdrew Himelf," it is said "to the sea" (Mar 3:7), whereas Capernaum was at the sea.

JFB: Mat 12:9 - And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered Disabled by paralysis (as in 1Ki 13:4). It was his right hand, as Luke (Luk 6:6) graphically notes. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal o...

Disabled by paralysis (as in 1Ki 13:4). It was his right hand, as Luke (Luk 6:6) graphically notes. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him--Mark and Luke (Mar 3:2; Luk 6:7) say they "watched Him whether He would heal on the sabbath day." They were now come to the length of dogging His steps, to collect materials for a charge of impiety against Him. It is probable that it was to their thoughts rather than their words that Jesus addressed Himself in what follows.

JFB: Mat 12:11 - -- And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold...

And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

JFB: Mat 12:12 - How much then is a man better than a sheep? Resistless appeal! "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast" (Pro 12:10), and would instinctively rescue it from death or suffering on the sab...

Resistless appeal! "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast" (Pro 12:10), and would instinctively rescue it from death or suffering on the sabbath day; how much more his nobler fellow man! But the reasoning, as given in the other two Gospels, is singularly striking: "But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life or to destroy it?" (Luk 6:8-9), or as in Mark (Mar 3:4), "to kill?" He thus shuts them up to this startling alternative: "Not to do good, when it is in the power of our hand to do it, is to do evil; not to save life, when we can, is to kill"--and must the letter of the sabbath rest be kept at this expense? This unexpected thrust shut their mouths. By this great ethical principle our Lord, we see, held Himself bound, as man. But here we must turn to Mark, whose graphic details make the second Gospel so exceedingly precious. "When He had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith unto the man" (Mar 3:5). This is one of the very few passages in the Gospel history which reveal our Lord's feelings. How holy this anger was appears from the "grief" which mingled with it at "the hardness of their hearts."

JFB: Mat 12:13 - Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth The power to obey going forth with the word of command.

The power to obey going forth with the word of command.

JFB: Mat 12:13 - and it was restored whole, like as the other The poor man, having faith in this wonderful Healer--which no doubt the whole scene would singularly help to strengthen--disregarded the proud and ven...

The poor man, having faith in this wonderful Healer--which no doubt the whole scene would singularly help to strengthen--disregarded the proud and venomous Pharisees, and thus gloriously put them to shame.

JFB: Mat 12:14 - Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him This is the first explicit mention of their murderous designs against our Lord. Luke (Luk 6:11) says, they were filled with madness, and communed one ...

This is the first explicit mention of their murderous designs against our Lord. Luke (Luk 6:11) says, they were filled with madness, and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus." But their doubt was not, whether to get rid of Him, but how to compass it. Mark (Mar 3:6), as usual, is more definite: "The Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him." These Herodians were supporters of Herod's dynasty, created by Cæsar--a political rather than religious party. The Pharisees regarded them as untrue to their religion and country. But here we see them combining together against Christ as a common enemy. So on a subsequent occasion (Mat 22:15-16).

Jesus Retires to Avoid Danger (Mat 12:15-21).

JFB: Mat 12:15 - But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence Whither, our Evangelist says not; but Mark (Mar 3:7) says "it was to the sea"--to some distance, no doubt, from the scene of the miracle, the madness,...

Whither, our Evangelist says not; but Mark (Mar 3:7) says "it was to the sea"--to some distance, no doubt, from the scene of the miracle, the madness, and the plotting just recorded.

JFB: Mat 12:15 - and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all Mark gives the following interesting details: "A great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and fr...

Mark gives the following interesting details: "A great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan; and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, when they had heard what great things He did, came unto Him. And He spake to His disciples, that a small ship should wait on Him because of the multitude, lest they should throng Him. For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. And He straitly charged them that they should not make Him known" (Mar 3:7-12). How glorious this extorted homage to the Son of God! But as this was not the time, so neither were they the fitting preachers, as BENGEL says. (See on Mar 1:25, and compare Jam 2:19). Coming back now to our Evangelist: after saying, "He healed them all," he continues:

JFB: Mat 12:16 - And charged them The healed.

The healed.

JFB: Mat 12:16 - that they should not make him known (See on Mat 8:4).

(See on Mat 8:4).

JFB: Mat 12:17 - That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying (Isa 42:1).

JFB: Mat 12:18 - -- Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the G...

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment to the Gentiles.

JFB: Mat 12:19 - -- He shall not strive nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

He shall not strive nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

JFB: Mat 12:20 - A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory "unto truth," says the Hebrew original, and the Septuagint also. But our Evangelist merely seizes the spirit, instead of the letter of the prediction ...

"unto truth," says the Hebrew original, and the Septuagint also. But our Evangelist merely seizes the spirit, instead of the letter of the prediction in this point. The grandeur and completeness of Messiah's victories would prove, it seems, not more wonderful than the unobtrusive noiselessness with which they were to be achieved. And whereas one rough touch will break a bruised reed, and quench the flickering, smoking flax, His it should be, with matchless tenderness, love, and skill, to lift up the meek, to strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees, to comfort all that mourn, to say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not.

JFB: Mat 12:21 - And in his name shall the Gentiles trust Part of His present audience were Gentiles--from Tyre and Sidon--first-fruits of the great Gentile harvest contemplated in the prophecy.

Part of His present audience were Gentiles--from Tyre and Sidon--first-fruits of the great Gentile harvest contemplated in the prophecy.

JFB: Mat 12:22 - Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil "a demonized person." blind and dumb, and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and the dumb both spake and saw.

"a demonized person."

blind and dumb, and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and the dumb both spake and saw.

JFB: Mat 12:23 - And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? The form of the interrogative requires this to be rendered, "Is this the Son of David?" And as questions put in this form (in Greek) suppose doubt, an...

The form of the interrogative requires this to be rendered, "Is this the Son of David?" And as questions put in this form (in Greek) suppose doubt, and expect rather a negative answer, the meaning is, "Can it possibly be?"--the people thus indicating their secret impression that this must be He; yet saving themselves from the wrath of the ecclesiastics, which a direct assertion of it would have brought upon them. (On a similar question, see on Joh 4:29; and on the phrase, "Son of David," see on Mat 9:27).

JFB: Mat 12:24 - But when the Pharisees heard it Mark (Mar 3:22) says, "the scribes which came down from Jerusalem"; so that this had been a hostile party of the ecclesiastics, who had come all the w...

Mark (Mar 3:22) says, "the scribes which came down from Jerusalem"; so that this had been a hostile party of the ecclesiastics, who had come all the way from Jerusalem to collect materials for a charge against Him. (See on Mat 12:14).

JFB: Mat 12:24 - they said, This fellow An expression of contempt.

An expression of contempt.

JFB: Mat 12:24 - doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub Rather, "Beelzebul" (see on Mat 10:25).

Rather, "Beelzebul" (see on Mat 10:25).

JFB: Mat 12:24 - the prince of the devils Two things are here implied--first, that the bitterest enemies of our Lord were unable to deny the reality of His miracles; and next, that they believ...

Two things are here implied--first, that the bitterest enemies of our Lord were unable to deny the reality of His miracles; and next, that they believed in an organized internal kingdom of evil, under one chief. This belief would be of small consequence, had not our Lord set His seal to it; but this He immediately does. Stung by the unsophisticated testimony of "all the people," they had no way of holding out against His claims but the desperate shift of ascribing His miracles to Satan.

JFB: Mat 12:25 - And Jesus knew their thoughts "called them" (Mar 3:23).

"called them" (Mar 3:23).

JFB: Mat 12:25 - and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand "house," that is, "household"

"house," that is, "household"

JFB: Mat 12:26 - And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? The argument here is irresistible. "No organized society can stand--whether kingdom, city, or household--when turned against itself; such intestine wa...

The argument here is irresistible. "No organized society can stand--whether kingdom, city, or household--when turned against itself; such intestine war is suicidal: But the works I do are destructive of Satan's kingdom: That I should be in league with Satan, therefore, is incredible and absurd."

JFB: Mat 12:27 - And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children "your sons," meaning here the "disciples" or pupils of the Pharisees, who were so termed after the familiar language of the Old Testament in speaking ...

"your sons," meaning here the "disciples" or pupils of the Pharisees, who were so termed after the familiar language of the Old Testament in speaking of the sons of the prophets (1Ki 20:35; 2Ki 2:3, &c.). Our Lord here seems to admit that such works were wrought by them; in which case the Pharisees stood self-condemned, as expressed in Luke (Luk 11:19), "Therefore shall they be your judges."

JFB: Mat 12:28 - But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God In Luke (Luk 11:20) it is, "with (or 'by') the finger of God." This latter expression is just a figurative way of representing the power of God, while...

In Luke (Luk 11:20) it is, "with (or 'by') the finger of God." This latter expression is just a figurative way of representing the power of God, while the former tells us the living Personal Agent was made use of by the Lord Jesus in every exercise of that power.

JFB: Mat 12:28 - then "no doubt" (Luk 11:20).

"no doubt" (Luk 11:20).

JFB: Mat 12:28 - the kingdom of God is come unto you Rather "upon you," as the same expression is rendered in Luke (Luk 11:20): --that is, "If this expulsion of Satan is, and can be, by no other than the...

Rather "upon you," as the same expression is rendered in Luke (Luk 11:20): --that is, "If this expulsion of Satan is, and can be, by no other than the Spirit of God, then is his Destroyer already in the midst of you, and that kingdom which is destined to supplant his is already rising on its ruins."

JFB: Mat 12:29 - Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house Or rather, "the strong man's house." and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

Or rather, "the strong man's house."

and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

JFB: Mat 12:30 - He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad On this important parable, in connection with the corresponding one (Mat 12:43-45), see on Luk 11:21-26.

On this important parable, in connection with the corresponding one (Mat 12:43-45), see on Luk 11:21-26.

JFB: Mat 12:31 - Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men The word "blasphemy" properly signifies "detraction," or "slander." In the New Testament it is applied, as it is here, to vituperation directed agains...

The word "blasphemy" properly signifies "detraction," or "slander." In the New Testament it is applied, as it is here, to vituperation directed against God as well as against men; and in this sense it is to be understood as an aggravated form of sin. Well, says our Lord, all sin--whether in its ordinary or its more aggravated forms--shall find forgiveness with God. Accordingly, in Mark (Mar 3:28) the language is still stronger: "All sin shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme." There is no sin whatever, it seems, of which it may be said. "That is not a pardonable sin." This glorious assurance is not to be limited by what follows; but, on the contrary, what follows is to be explained by this.

but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

JFB: Mat 12:32 - And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come In Mark the language is awfully strong, "hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation"--or rather, according to what appears to be th...

In Mark the language is awfully strong, "hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation"--or rather, according to what appears to be the preferable though very unusual reading, "in danger of eternal guilt"--a guilt which he will underlie for ever. Mark has the important addition (Mar 3:30), "Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit." (See on Mat 10:25). What, then, is this sin against the Holy Ghost--the unpardonable sin? One thing is clear: Its unpardonableness cannot arise from anything in the nature of sin itself; for that would be a naked contradiction to the emphatic declaration of Mat 12:31, that all manner of sin is pardonable. And what is this but the fundamental truth of the Gospel? (See Act 13:38-39; Rom 3:22, Rom 3:24; 1Jo 1:7, &c.). Then, again when it is said (Mat 12:32), that to speak against or blaspheme the Son of man is pardonable, but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not pardonable, it is not to be conceived that this arises from any greater sanctity in the one blessed Person than the other. These remarks so narrow the question that the true sense of our Lord's words seem to disclose themselves at once. It is a contrast between slandering "the Son of man" in His veiled condition and unfinished work--which might be done "ignorantly, in unbelief" (1Ti 1:13), and slandering the same blessed Person after the blaze of glory which the Holy Ghost was soon to throw around His claims, and in the full knowledge of all that. This would be to slander Him with eyes open, or to do it "presumptuously." To blaspheme Christ in the former condition--when even the apostles stumbled at many things--left them still open to conviction on fuller light: but to blaspheme Him in the latter condition would be to hate the light the clearer it became, and resolutely to shut it out; which, of course, precludes salvation. (See on Heb 10:26-29). The Pharisees had not as yet done this; but in charging Jesus with being in league with hell they were displaying beforehand a malignant determination to shut their eyes to all evidence, and so, bordering upon, and in spirit committing, the unpardonable sin.

JFB: Mat 12:33 - -- Either make the tree good, &c.

Either make the tree good, &c.

JFB: Mat 12:34 - O generation of vipers (See on Mat 3:7).

(See on Mat 3:7).

JFB: Mat 12:34 - how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh A principle obvious enough, yet of deepest significance and vast application. In Luk 6:45 we find it uttered as part of the discourse delivered after ...

A principle obvious enough, yet of deepest significance and vast application. In Luk 6:45 we find it uttered as part of the discourse delivered after the choice of the apostles.

JFB: Mat 12:35 - A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things Or, "putteth forth good things":

Or, "putteth forth good things":

JFB: Mat 12:35 - and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things Or "putteth forth evil things." The word "putteth " indicates the spontaneity of what comes from the heart; for it is out of the abundance of the hear...

Or "putteth forth evil things." The word "putteth " indicates the spontaneity of what comes from the heart; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaketh. We have here a new application of a former saying (see on Mat 7:16-20). Here, the sentiment is, "There are but two kingdoms, interests, parties--with the proper workings of each: If I promote the one, I cannot belong to the other; but they that set themselves in wilful opposition to the kingdom of light openly proclaim to what other kingdom they belong. As for you, in what ye have now uttered, ye have but revealed the venomous malignity of your hearts."

JFB: Mat 12:36 - But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment They might say, "It was nothing: we meant no evil; we merely threw out a supposition, as one way of accounting for the miracle we witnessed; if it wil...

They might say, "It was nothing: we meant no evil; we merely threw out a supposition, as one way of accounting for the miracle we witnessed; if it will not stand, let it go; why make so much of it, and bear down with such severity for it?" Jesus replies, "It was not nothing, and at the great day will not be treated as nothing: Words, as the index of the heart, however idle they may seem, will be taken account of, whether good or bad, in estimating character in the day of judgment."

JFB: Mat 12:38 - Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master "Teacher," equivalent to "Rabbi."

"Teacher," equivalent to "Rabbi."

JFB: Mat 12:38 - we would see a sign from thee "a sign from heaven" (Luk 11:16); something of an immediate and decisive nature, to show, not that His miracles were real--that they seemed willing to...

"a sign from heaven" (Luk 11:16); something of an immediate and decisive nature, to show, not that His miracles were real--that they seemed willing to concede--but that they were from above, not from beneath. These were not the same class with those who charged Him with being in league with Satan (as we see from Luk 11:15-16); but as the spirit of both was similar, the tone of severe rebuke is continued.

JFB: Mat 12:39 - But he answered and said unto them "when the people were gathered thick together" (Luk 11:29).

"when the people were gathered thick together" (Luk 11:29).

JFB: Mat 12:39 - An evil and adulterous generation This latter expression is best explained by Jer 3:20, "Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with ...

This latter expression is best explained by Jer 3:20, "Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord." For this was the relationship in which He stood to the covenant-people--"I am married unto you" (Jer 3:14).

JFB: Mat 12:39 - seeketh after a sign In the eye of Jesus this class were but the spokesmen of their generation, the exponents of the reigning spirit of unbelief. and there shall no sign...

In the eye of Jesus this class were but the spokesmen of their generation, the exponents of the reigning spirit of unbelief.

and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.

JFB: Mat 12:40 - For as Jonas was "a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation" (Luk 11:30). For as Jonas was

"a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation" (Luk 11:30). For as Jonas was

JFB: Mat 12:40 - three days and three nights in the whale's belly (Jon 1:17).

JFB: Mat 12:40 - so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth This was the second public announcement of His resurrection three days after His death. (For the first, see Joh 2:19). Jonah's case was analogous to t...

This was the second public announcement of His resurrection three days after His death. (For the first, see Joh 2:19). Jonah's case was analogous to this, as being a signal judgment of God; reversed in three days; and followed by a glorious mission to the Gentiles. The expression "in the heart of the earth," suggested by the expression of Jonah with respect to the sea (Jon 2:3, in the Septuagint), means simply the grave, but this considered as the most emphatic expression of real and total entombment. The period during which He was to lie in the grave is here expressed in round numbers, according to the Jewish way of speaking, which was to regard any part of a day, however small, included within a period of days, as a full day. (See 1Sa 30:12-13; Est 4:16; Est 5:1; Mat 27:63-64, &c.).

JFB: Mat 12:41 - The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, &c. The Ninevites, though heathens, repented at a man's preaching; while they, God's covenant-people, repented not at the preaching of the Son of God--who...

The Ninevites, though heathens, repented at a man's preaching; while they, God's covenant-people, repented not at the preaching of the Son of God--whose supreme dignity is rather implied here than expressed.

JFB: Mat 12:42 - The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, &c. The queen of Sheba (a tract in Arabia, near the shores of the Red Sea) came from a remote country, "south" of Judea, to hear the wisdom of a mere man,...

The queen of Sheba (a tract in Arabia, near the shores of the Red Sea) came from a remote country, "south" of Judea, to hear the wisdom of a mere man, though a gifted one, and was transported with wonder at what she saw and heard (1Ki 10:1-9). They, when a Greater than Solomon had come to them, despised and rejected, slighted and slandered Him.

JFB: Mat 12:43-45 - When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, &c. On this important parable, in connection with the corresponding one (Mat 12:29) see on Luk 11:21-26. A charming little incident, given only in Luk 11...

On this important parable, in connection with the corresponding one (Mat 12:29) see on Luk 11:21-26.

A charming little incident, given only in Luk 11:27-28, seems to have its proper place here.

Luk 11:27 :

JFB: Mat 12:43-45 - And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company Out of the crowd.

Out of the crowd.

JFB: Mat 12:43-45 - lifted up her voice and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked With true womanly feeling she envies the mother of such a wonderful Teacher. And a higher and better than she had said as much before her (see on Luk ...

With true womanly feeling she envies the mother of such a wonderful Teacher. And a higher and better than she had said as much before her (see on Luk 1:28). How does our Lord, then, treat it? He is far from condemning it. He only holds up as "blessed rather" another class: Luk 11:28 :

JFB: Mat 12:43-45 - But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it In other words, the humblest real saint of God. How utterly alien is this sentiment from the teaching of the Church of Rome, which would doubtless exc...

In other words, the humblest real saint of God. How utterly alien is this sentiment from the teaching of the Church of Rome, which would doubtless excommunicate any one of its members that dared to talk in such a strain!

His Mother and Brethren Seek to Speak with Hint and the Answer (Mat 12:46-50).

JFB: Mat 12:46 - While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren (See on Mat 13:55-56).

(See on Mat 13:55-56).

JFB: Mat 12:46 - stood without, desiring to speak with him "and could not come at Him for the press" (Luk 8:19). For what purpose these came, we learn from Mar 3:20-21. In His zeal and ardor He seemed indiffer...

"and could not come at Him for the press" (Luk 8:19). For what purpose these came, we learn from Mar 3:20-21. In His zeal and ardor He seemed indifferent both to food and repose, and "they went to lay hold of Him" as one "beside Himself." Mark (Mar 3:32) says graphically, "And the multitude sat about Him"--or "around Him."

JFB: Mat 12:47 - Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee, &c. Absorbed in the awful warnings He was pouring forth. He felt this to be an unseasonable interruption, fitted to dissipate the impression made upon the...

Absorbed in the awful warnings He was pouring forth. He felt this to be an unseasonable interruption, fitted to dissipate the impression made upon the large audience--such an interruption as duty to the nearest relatives did not require Him to give way to. But instead of a direct rebuke, He seizes on the incident to convey a sublime lesson, expressed in a style of inimitable condescension.

JFB: Mat 12:49 - And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples How graphic is this! It is the language evidently of an eye-witness. and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

How graphic is this! It is the language evidently of an eye-witness.

and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

JFB: Mat 12:50 - For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother That is, "There stand here the members of a family transcending and surviving this of earth: Filial subjection to the will of My Father in heaven is t...

That is, "There stand here the members of a family transcending and surviving this of earth: Filial subjection to the will of My Father in heaven is the indissoluble bond of union between Me and all its members; and whosoever enters this hallowed circle becomes to Me brother, and sister, and mother!"

Clarke: Mat 12:1 - At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath-day through the corn At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath-day through the corn - " The time is determined by Luke in these words, εν σαββατω δευτεροπ...

At that time Jesus went on the Sabbath-day through the corn - " The time is determined by Luke in these words, εν σαββατω δευτεροπρωτω, that is, on the Sabbath from the second-first

"Provision was made by the Divine law that the sheaf of first-fruits should be offered on the second day of the pass-over week, Lev 23:10, Lev 23:11. On the morrow after the Sabbath, the priest shall shake (or wave) it. Not on the morrow after the ordinary Sabbath of the week, but the morrow after the first of the pass-over week, which was a Sabbatic day, Exo 12:16; Lev 23:7. Hence the seventy, επαυριον της πρωτης, the morrow of the first day; the Chaldee, the morrow after the holy day. The rabbins, Solomon and Menachen, have it, On the morrow after the first day of the pass-over feast; of which mention had been made in the verses foregoing

"But now, from the second day of the pass-over solemnity, wherein the sheaf was offered, were numbered seven weeks to pentecost: for the day of the sheaf, and the day of pentecost did mutually respect each other; for on this second day of the pass-over, the offering of the sheaf was supplicatory, and by way of prayer, beseeching a blessing upon the new corn, and leave to eat it, and to pot in the sickle into the standing corn. Now, the offering of the first-fruit loaves on the day of pentecost, (Lev 23:15-17), did respect the giving of thanks for the finishing and housing of the barley-harvest. Therefore, in regard of this relation, these two solemnities were linked together, that both might respect the harvest; that, the harvest beginning; this, the harvest ended: this depended on that, and was numbered seven weeks after it. Therefore, the computation of the time coming between could not but carry with it the memory of that second day of the pass-over week; and hence pentecost is called the feast of weeks, Deu 16:10. The true calculation of the time between could not otherwise be retained, as to Sabbaths, but by numbering thus: this is σαββατον δευτεροπρωτον, the first Sabbath after the second day of the pass-over. This is δευτεροδευρερον, the second Sabbath after that second day. And so of the rest. In the Jerusalem Talmud, the word שבת פרוטוגמייא shebeth protogamiya , the Sabbath, πρωτογαμιας, of the first marriage, is a composition not very unlike."Lightfoot

Clarke: Mat 12:1 - His disciples were an hungered His disciples were an hungered - Were hungry. The former is a mode of expression totally obsolete. How near does the translation of this verse come ...

His disciples were an hungered - Were hungry. The former is a mode of expression totally obsolete. How near does the translation of this verse come to our ancient mother-tongue, the Anglo-Saxon! - The Healer went on rest-day over acres: truly his learning knights hungred, and they began to pluck the ear and eaten - We may well wonder at the extreme poverty of Christ and his disciples. He was himself present with them, and yet permitted them to lack bread! A man, therefore, is not forsaken of God because he is in want. It is more honorable to suffer the want of all temporal things in fellowship with Christ and his followers, than to have all things in abundance in connection with the world.

Clarke: Mat 12:2 - Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do - The Jews were so superstitious, concerning the observance of the Sabbath, that in their wars with ...

Thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do - The Jews were so superstitious, concerning the observance of the Sabbath, that in their wars with Antiochus Epiphanes, and the Romans, they thought it a crime even to attempt to defend themselves on the Sabbath: when their enemies observed this, they deterred their operations to that day. It was through this, that Pompey was enabled to take Jerusalem. Dion. Cass. lib. xxxvi

Those who know not the spirit and design of the divine law are often superstitious to inhumanity, and indulgent to impiety. An intolerant and censorious spirit in religion is one of the greatest curses a man can well fall under.

Clarke: Mat 12:3-4 - Have ye not read what David did Have ye not read what David did - The original history is in 1Sa 21:1-6

Have ye not read what David did - The original history is in 1Sa 21:1-6

Clarke: Mat 12:3-4 - When he was an hungered When he was an hungered - Here hearken to Kimchi, producing the opinion of the ancients concerning this story in these words: "Our rabbins of blesse...

When he was an hungered - Here hearken to Kimchi, producing the opinion of the ancients concerning this story in these words: "Our rabbins of blessed memory say, that he gave him the shew-bread, etc. The interpretation also of the clause, Yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel, is this: It is a small thing to say, that it is lawful for us to eat These Loaves, taken from before the Lord, when we are hungry; for it would be lawful to eat this very loaf which is now set on, which is also sanctified in the vessel, (for the table sanctifieth), it would be lawful to eat even this, when another loaf is not present with you to give us, and we are so hunger-bitten. And a little after, There is nothing which may hinder taking care of life, beside idolatry, adultery, and murder. That is, a man, according to them, should do any thing but these in order to preserve life."See Lightfoot

Clarke: Mat 12:3-4 - He entered into the house of God He entered into the house of God - Viz. the house of Ahimelech the priest, who dwelt at Nob, with whom the tabernacle then was, in which the Divine ...

He entered into the house of God - Viz. the house of Ahimelech the priest, who dwelt at Nob, with whom the tabernacle then was, in which the Divine presence was manifested

Clarke: Mat 12:3-4 - And did eat the shew - bread And did eat the shew - bread - Τους αρτους της προθεσεως - in Hebrew, לחם פנים lechem panim - bread of the presenc...

And did eat the shew - bread - Τους αρτους της προθεσεως - in Hebrew, לחם פנים lechem panim - bread of the presence, or faces, because this bread was to be set continually, לפני יהוה lipney Yehovah , before the face of Jehovah. See the notes on Exo 25:23, Exo 25:30

"Since part of the frankincense put in the bread was to be burnt on the altar for a memorial, Lev 24:7, and since Aaron and his sons were to eat it in the holy place, it is evident that this bread typified Christ, first presented as a sacrifice to, or in the presence of, Jehovah, and then becoming spiritual food to such as, in and through him, are spiritual priests to God. See Rev 1:6; Rev 5:10; Rev 20:6; also 1Pe 2:5."Parkhurst.

Clarke: Mat 12:5 - The priests - profane the Sabbath The priests - profane the Sabbath - Profane, i.e. put it to what might be called a common use, by slaying and offering up sacrifices, and by doing t...

The priests - profane the Sabbath - Profane, i.e. put it to what might be called a common use, by slaying and offering up sacrifices, and by doing the services of the temple, as on common days, Exo 29:38; Num 28:9.

Clarke: Mat 12:6 - In this place is one greater than the temple In this place is one greater than the temple - Does not our Lord refer here to Mal 3:1? Compare this with Heb 3:3. The Jews esteemed nothing greater...

In this place is one greater than the temple - Does not our Lord refer here to Mal 3:1? Compare this with Heb 3:3. The Jews esteemed nothing greater than the temple, except that God who was worshipped in it. Christ, by asserting he was greater than the temple, asserts that he was God; and this he does, in still more direct terms, Mat 12:8, The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath - is Institutor and Governor of it. Compare this with Gen 2:3 (note), and see the notes there.

Clarke: Mat 12:7 - I will have mercy, etc. I will have mercy, etc. - See this explained, Mat 9:13 There are four ways in which positive laws may cease to oblige First, by the natural law of n...

I will have mercy, etc. - See this explained, Mat 9:13

There are four ways in which positive laws may cease to oblige

First, by the natural law of necessity

Secondly, by a particular law, which is superior

Thirdly, by the law of charity and mercy

Fourthly, by the dispensation and authority of the Lawgiver

These cases are all exemplified from Mat 12:4-8.

Clarke: Mat 12:8 - The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath-day The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath-day - The change of the Jewish into the Christian Sabbath, called the Lord’ s day, Rev 1:10, shows t...

The Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath-day - The change of the Jewish into the Christian Sabbath, called the Lord’ s day, Rev 1:10, shows that Christ is not only the Lord, but also the truth and completion of it. For it seems to have been by an especial providence that this change has been made and acknowledged all over the Christian world.

Clarke: Mat 12:10 - A man which had his hand withered A man which had his hand withered - Probably through a partial paralysis. The man’ s hand was withered; but God’ s mercy had still preserv...

A man which had his hand withered - Probably through a partial paralysis. The man’ s hand was withered; but God’ s mercy had still preserved to him the use of his feet: He uses them to bring him to the public worship of God, and Jesus meets and heals him there. How true is the proverb - It is never so ill with us, but it might be much worse!

Clarke: Mat 12:11 - If it fall into a pit on the Sabbath - day, etc. If it fall into a pit on the Sabbath - day, etc. - It was a canon among the Jews: "We must take a tender care of the goods of an Israelite."Hence: -...

If it fall into a pit on the Sabbath - day, etc. - It was a canon among the Jews: "We must take a tender care of the goods of an Israelite."Hence: -

"If a beast fall into a ditch, or into a pool of water, let (the owner) bring him food in that place if he can; but, if he cannot, let him bring clothes and litter, and bear up the beast; whence, if he can come up, let him come up, etc.

"If a beast or its foal fall into a ditch on a holy day, R. Lazar saith, Let him lift up the former to kill him, and let him kill him; but let him give fodder to the other, lest he die in that place. R. Joshua saith, Let him lift up the former with the intention of killing him, although he kill him not; let him lift up the other also, although it be not in his mind to kill him."To these canons our Lord seems here very properly to appeal, in vindication of his intention to heal the distressed man. See Lightfoot

Self-interest is a very decisive casuist, and removes abundance of scruples in a moment. It is always the first consulted, and the must readily obeyed. It is not sinful to hearken to it, but it must not govern nor determine by itself.

Clarke: Mat 12:12 - How much then is a man better than a sheep? How much then is a man better than a sheep? - Our Lord’ s argument is what is called argumentum ad hominem ; they are taken on their own groun...

How much then is a man better than a sheep? - Our Lord’ s argument is what is called argumentum ad hominem ; they are taken on their own ground, and confuted on their own maxims and conduct. There are many persons who call themselves Christians, who do more for a beast of burden or pleasure than they do for a man for whom Christ died! Many spend that on coursers, spaniels, and hounds, of which multitudes of the followers of Christ are destitute: - but this also shall come to judgment

Clarke: Mat 12:12 - Wherefore, it is lawful to do well, etc. Wherefore, it is lawful to do well, etc. - This was allowed by a multitude of Jewish canons. See Schoettgen.

Wherefore, it is lawful to do well, etc. - This was allowed by a multitude of Jewish canons. See Schoettgen.

Clarke: Mat 12:13 - Stretch forth thine hand Stretch forth thine hand - The bare command of God is a sufficient reason of obedience. This man might have reasoned thus: "Lord, my hand is withere...

Stretch forth thine hand - The bare command of God is a sufficient reason of obedience. This man might have reasoned thus: "Lord, my hand is withered; how then can I stretch it out? Make it whole first, and afterwards I will do as thou commandest."This may appear reasonable, but in his case it would have been foolishness. At the command of the Lord he made the effort, and in making it the cure was effected! Faith disregards apparent impossibilities, where there is a command and promise of God. The effort to believe is, often, that faith by which the soul is healed

A little before (Mat 12:6, Mat 12:8) Jesus Christ had asserted his Godhead, in this verse he proves it. What but the omnipotence of the living God could have, in a moment, restored this withered hand? There could be no collusion here; the man who had a real disease was instantaneously and therefore miraculously cured; and the mercy and power of God were both amply manifested in this business

It is worthy of remark, that as the man was healed with a word, without even a touch, the Sabbath was unbroken, even according to their most rigid interpretation of the letter of the law.

Clarke: Mat 12:14 - Held a council against him Held a council against him - Nothing sooner leads to utter blindness, and hardness of heart, than envy. There are many who abandon themselves to ple...

Held a council against him - Nothing sooner leads to utter blindness, and hardness of heart, than envy. There are many who abandon themselves to pleasure-taking and debauchery on the Sabbath, who condemn a poor man whom necessity obliges to work on what is termed a holiday, or a national fast.

Clarke: Mat 12:15 - Jesus - withdrew himself from thence Jesus - withdrew himself from thence - It is the part of prudence and Christian charity not to provoke, if possible, the blind and the hardened; and...

Jesus - withdrew himself from thence - It is the part of prudence and Christian charity not to provoke, if possible, the blind and the hardened; and to take from them the occasion of sin. A man of God is not afraid of persecution; but, as his aim is only to do good, by proclaiming every where the grace of the Lord Jesus, he departs from any place when he finds the obstacles to the accomplishment of his end are, humanly speaking, invincible, and that he can not do good without being the means of much evil. Yield to the stream when you cannot stem it

Clarke: Mat 12:15 - Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all - The rejection of the Gospel in one place has often been the means of sending it to and estab...

Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all - The rejection of the Gospel in one place has often been the means of sending it to and establishing it in another. Jesus healed all that followed him, i.e. all who had need of healing, and who desired to be healed; for thus the passage must be understood: - and is he not still the same? No soul shall ever implore his healing power in vain; but let it be remembered, that only those who follow Christ, and apply to him, are healed of their spiritual maladies.

Clarke: Mat 12:16 - Charged them that they should not make him known Charged them that they should not make him known - See Mat 8:4. Jesus Christ, as God, could have easily concealed himself, but he chooses to do it a...

Charged them that they should not make him known - See Mat 8:4. Jesus Christ, as God, could have easily concealed himself, but he chooses to do it as man, and to use no other than human means, as these were quite sufficient for the purpose, to teach us not to neglect them in our necessity. Indeed, he always used his power less on his own account, than on that of men.

Clarke: Mat 12:18 - Behold my servant Behold my servant - This title was given to our blessed Lord in several prophecies. See Isa 42:1; Isa 53:2. Christ assumes it, Psa 40:7-9. Compare t...

Behold my servant - This title was given to our blessed Lord in several prophecies. See Isa 42:1; Isa 53:2. Christ assumes it, Psa 40:7-9. Compare these with Joh 17:4, and Phi 2:7. God required an acceptable and perfect service from man; but man, being sinful, could not perform it. Jesus, taking upon him the nature of man, fully performed the whole will of God, and communicates grace to all his followers, to enable them perfectly to love and worthily to magnify their Maker

Clarke: Mat 12:18 - And he shall show judgment to the Gentiles And he shall show judgment to the Gentiles - That is, He will publish the Gospel to the heathens; for the word κρισιν here answers to the wo...

And he shall show judgment to the Gentiles - That is, He will publish the Gospel to the heathens; for the word κρισιν here answers to the word משפט mishpat of the prophet, and it is used among the Hebrews to signify laws, precepts, and a whole system or body of doctrine. See Psa 19:9; Psa 119:30, Psa 119:39; Isa 58:2.

Clarke: Mat 12:19 - He shall not strive, nor cry He shall not strive, nor cry - The spirit of Christ is not a spirit of contention, murmuring, clamor, or litigiousness. He who loves these does not ...

He shall not strive, nor cry - The spirit of Christ is not a spirit of contention, murmuring, clamor, or litigiousness. He who loves these does not belong to him. Christ therefore fulfilled a prophecy by withdrawing from this place, on account of the rage of the Pharisees.

Clarke: Mat 12:20 - A bruised reed shall he not break A bruised reed shall he not break - A reed is, in Scripture, the emblem of weakness, Eze 29:6; and a bruised reed must signify that state of weaknes...

A bruised reed shall he not break - A reed is, in Scripture, the emblem of weakness, Eze 29:6; and a bruised reed must signify that state of weakness that borders on dissolution and death

Clarke: Mat 12:20 - And smoking flax shall he not quench And smoking flax shall he not quench - Λινον τυφομενον. Λινος means the wick of a lamp, and τυφομενον is intended to...

And smoking flax shall he not quench - Λινον τυφομενον. Λινος means the wick of a lamp, and τυφομενον is intended to point out its expiring state, when the oil has been all burnt away from it, and nothing is left but a mere snuff, emitting smoke. Some suppose the Jewish state, as to ecclesiastical matters, is here intended, the prophecy declaring that Christ would not destroy it, but leave it to expire of itself, as it already contained the principles of its own destruction. Others have considered it as implying that great tenderness with which the blessed Jesus should treat the weak and the ignorant, whose good desires must not be stifled, but encouraged. The bruised reed may recover itself, if permitted to vegetate under the genial influences of heaven; and the life and light of the expiring lamp may be supported by the addition of fresh oil. Jesus therefore quenches not faint desires after salvation, even in the worst and most undeserving of men; for even such desires may lead to the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of peace

Clarke: Mat 12:20 - Judgment unto victory Judgment unto victory - See Mat 12:18. By judgment, understand the Gospel, and by victory its complete triumph over Jewish opposition, and Gentile i...

Judgment unto victory - See Mat 12:18. By judgment, understand the Gospel, and by victory its complete triumph over Jewish opposition, and Gentile impiety. He will continue by these mild and gentle means to work till the whole world is Christianized, and the universe filled with his glory.

Clarke: Mat 12:21 - And in his name shall the Gentiles trust And in his name shall the Gentiles trust - Ελπιουσι, they shall hope. Jesus Christ is the sole hope and trust of mankind; to trust and hope...

And in his name shall the Gentiles trust - Ελπιουσι, they shall hope. Jesus Christ is the sole hope and trust of mankind; to trust and hope in his name, Jesus, is to expect salvation and all things necessary from him alone, to despise, comparatively, all earthly promises, to esteem, love, and desire heavenly things only, and to bear with patience and tranquillity all the losses and evils of this life, upon the prospect and hope of that felicity which he has purchased for us.

Clarke: Mat 12:22 - One possessed with a devil, blind and dumb One possessed with a devil, blind and dumb - A person from whom the indwelling demon took away both sight and hearing. Satan makes himself master of...

One possessed with a devil, blind and dumb - A person from whom the indwelling demon took away both sight and hearing. Satan makes himself master of the heart, the eyes, and the tongue of the sinner. His heart he fills with the love of sin; his eyes he blinds that he may not see his guilt, and the perdition which awaits him; and his tongue he hinders from prayer and supplication, though he gives it increasing liberty in blasphemies, lies, slanders, etc. None but Jesus can redeem from this threefold captivity.

Clarke: Mat 12:23 - Is not this the son of David? Is not this the son of David? - Is not this the true Messiah? Do not these miracles sufficiently prove it? See Isa 35:5.

Is not this the son of David? - Is not this the true Messiah? Do not these miracles sufficiently prove it? See Isa 35:5.

Clarke: Mat 12:24 - Beelzebub Beelzebub - See Mat 10:25.

Beelzebub - See Mat 10:25.

Clarke: Mat 12:25 - Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation - Our Lord’ s argument was thus: - "The welfare of any kingdom, city, or family, ...

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation - Our Lord’ s argument was thus: - "The welfare of any kingdom, city, or family, depends on its concord and unanimity; Satan, like every other potentate, must wish to rule his empire in peace and security; how then can he be in league with me, who oppose his authority, and am destroying his kingdom?

The reasoning of the Pharisees, Mat 12:24, was not expressed, and Jesus, knowing their thoughts, gave them ample proof or his omniscience. This, with our Lord’ s masterly confutation of their reasonings, by a conclusion drawn from their own premises, one would have supposed might have humbled and convinced these men; but the most conclusive reasoning, and the most astonishing miracles, were lost upon a people who were obstinately determined to disbelieve every thing good, relative to Christ. How true the saying - He came unto his own, and his own received him not!

Clarke: Mat 12:26 - If Satan cast out Satan If Satan cast out Satan - A good cause will produce a good effect, and an evil cause an evil effect. Were I on Satan’ s side, I would act for h...

If Satan cast out Satan - A good cause will produce a good effect, and an evil cause an evil effect. Were I on Satan’ s side, I would act for his interest and confirm his influence among you; but I oppose his maxims by my doctrine, and his influence by my power.

Clarke: Mat 12:27 - By whom do your children cast them out? By whom do your children cast them out? - Children, or sons of the prophets, means the disciples of the prophets; and children or sons of the Pharis...

By whom do your children cast them out? - Children, or sons of the prophets, means the disciples of the prophets; and children or sons of the Pharisees, disciples of the Pharisees. From Act 19:13, Act 19:14, it is evident there were exorcists among the Jews, and, from our Lord’ s saying here, it is also evident that the disciples of the Pharisees did east out demons, or, at least, those who educated them wished to have it believed that they had such a power. Our Lord’ s argument here is extremely conclusive: If the man who casts out demons proves himself thereby to be in league with and influenced by Satan, then your disciples, and you who taught them, are all of you in league with the devil: ye must either give up your assertion, that I cast out demons by Beelzebul, or else admit this conclusion, in its fullest force and latitude, that ye are all children of the devil, and leagued with him against God

Envy causes persons often to condemn in one, what they approve in another.

Clarke: Mat 12:28 - But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God - Perhaps the Spirit of God is here mentioned by way of opposition to the magical incantations of the ...

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God - Perhaps the Spirit of God is here mentioned by way of opposition to the magical incantations of the Jews; for it is well known that by fumigations and magical washings, they professed to cast out devils. See a case mentioned by Schoettgen on this verse

Clarke: Mat 12:28 - Then the kingdom of God Then the kingdom of God - For the destruction of the kingdom of Satan plainly implies the setting up of the kingdom of God

Then the kingdom of God - For the destruction of the kingdom of Satan plainly implies the setting up of the kingdom of God

Clarke: Mat 12:28 - Is come unto you Is come unto you - Is come unexpectedly upon you. Εφθασεν, from φθανω, to appear suddenly - unexpectedly They pretended to be in expec...

Is come unto you - Is come unexpectedly upon you. Εφθασεν, from φθανω, to appear suddenly - unexpectedly

They pretended to be in expectation of the kingdom of God, and consequently of the destruction of the kingdom of Satan. But, by being not prepared to receive Christ in these proofs of his Divine mission, they showed that their expectation was but pretended. They were too carnal to mind spiritual things.

Clarke: Mat 12:29 - Else how can one enter into a strong man’ s house Else how can one enter into a strong man’ s house - Men, through sin, are become the very house and dwelling place of Satan, having of their ow...

Else how can one enter into a strong man’ s house - Men, through sin, are become the very house and dwelling place of Satan, having of their own accord surrendered themselves to this unjust possessor; for whoever gives up his soul to sin gives it up to the devil. It is Jesus, and Jesus alone, who can deliver from the power of this bondage. When Satan is cast out, Jesus purifies and dwells in the heart.

Clarke: Mat 12:30 - He that is not with me is against me He that is not with me is against me - In vain do men seek for methods to reconcile God and mammon. There is no medium between loving the Lord and b...

He that is not with me is against me - In vain do men seek for methods to reconcile God and mammon. There is no medium between loving the Lord and being his enemy - between belonging to Christ or to Satan. If we be on the side of the devil, we must expect to go to the devil’ s hell; if we be on the side of Christ, we may expect to go to his heaven. When Christ, his truth, and his servants are assaulted, he who does not espouse their cause is not on Christ’ s side, but incurs the guilt of deserting and betraying him. There are many, (it is to be feared), in the world who are really against Christ, and scatter abroad, who flatter themselves that they are workers together with him, and of the number of his friends

Clarke: Mat 12:30 - Scattereth abroad Scattereth abroad - This seems to have been a proverbial form of speech, and may be a metaphor taken from shepherds. He who does not help the true s...

Scattereth abroad - This seems to have been a proverbial form of speech, and may be a metaphor taken from shepherds. He who does not help the true shepherd to gather his flock into the fold is, most likely, one who wishes to scatter them, that he may have the opportunity of stealing and destroying them. I do not find any parallel to this proverbial mode of speech in the Jewish rabbins, if it be one, nor have I met with it among the Greek or Roman writers.

Clarke: Mat 12:31 - All manner of sin and blasphemy All manner of sin and blasphemy - Βλασφημια, injurious or impious speaking, mocking and deriding speech, Anglo-Saxon. See Mat 9:3

All manner of sin and blasphemy - Βλασφημια, injurious or impious speaking, mocking and deriding speech, Anglo-Saxon. See Mat 9:3

Clarke: Mat 12:31 - But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost - Even personal reproaches, revilings, persecutions against Christ, were remissible; but blasphemy, or impi...

But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost - Even personal reproaches, revilings, persecutions against Christ, were remissible; but blasphemy, or impious speaking against the Holy Spirit was to have no forgiveness: i.e. when the person obstinately attributed those works to the devil, which he had the fullest evidence could be wrought only by the Spirit of God. That this, and nothing else, is the sin against the Holy Spirit, is evident from the connection in this place, and more particularly from Mar 3:28-30. "All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme; but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation; Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

Here the matter is made clear beyond the smallest doubt - the unpardonable sin, as some term it, is neither less nor more than ascribing the miracles Christ wrought, by the power of God, to the spirit of the devil. Many sincere people have been grievously troubled with apprehensions that they had committed the unpardonable sin; but let it be observed that no man who believes the Divine mission of Jesus Christ, ever can commit this sin: therefore let no man’ s heart fail because of it, from henceforth and for ever, Amen. See below.

Clarke: Mat 12:32 - Neither in this world, neither in the world to come Neither in this world, neither in the world to come - Though I follow the common translation, yet I am fully satisfied the meaning of the words is, ...

Neither in this world, neither in the world to come - Though I follow the common translation, yet I am fully satisfied the meaning of the words is, neither in this dispensation, (viz. the Jewish), nor in that which is to come, viz. the Christian. עולם הבא olam ha -ba , the world to come, is a constant phrase for the times of the Messiah in the Jewish writers. See below. The sin here spoken of by our Lord ranks high in the catalogue of presumptuous sins, for which there was no forgiveness under the Mosaic dispensation. See Num 15:30, Num 15:31; Num 35:31; Lev 20:10; 1Sa 2:25. When our Lord says that such a sin hath no forgiveness, is he not to be understood as meaning that the crime shall be punished under the Christian dispensation as it was under the Jewish, viz. by the destruction of the body? And is not this the same mentioned 1Jo 1:7, called there the sin unto death; i.e. a sin that was to be punished by the death of the body, while mercy might be extended to the soul? The punishment for presumptuous sins, under the Jewish law, to which our Lord evidently alludes, certainly did not extend to the damnation of the soul, though the body was destroyed: therefore I think that, though there was no such forgiveness to be extended to this crime as to absolve the man from the punishment of temporal death, yet, on repentance, mercy might be extended to the soul; and every sin may be repented of under the Gospel dispensation

Dr. Lightfoot has sufficiently vindicated this passage from all false interpretation. "They that endeavor hence to prove the remission of some sins after death, seem little to understand to what Christ had respect when he spake these words. Weigh well this common and, most known doctrine of the Jewish schools, and judge

"He that transgresses an affirmative precept, if he presently repent, is not moved until the Lord pardon him; and of such it is said, Be ye converted, O back sliding children! and I will heal your backslidings. He that transgresses a negative precept, and repents, his repentance suspends judgment, and the day of expiation expiates him; as it is said, This day shall all your uncleannesses be expiated to you. He that transgresses to cutting off (by the stroke of God) or to death by the Sanhedrin, and repents, repentance and the day of expiation do suspend judgment, and the strokes that are laid upon him wipe off sin, as it is said, And I will visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with scourges. But he by whom the name of God is profaned (or blasphemed) repentance is of no avail to him to suspend judgment, nor the day of expiation to expiate it, nor scourges (or corrections inflicted) to wipe it off, but all suspend judgment, and death wipes it off. Thus the Babylonian Gemara writes; but the Jerusalem thus: Repentance and the day of expiation expiate as to the third part, and corrections as to the third part, and death wipes it off, as it is said, And your iniquities shall not be expiated to you until ye die: behold, we learn that death wipes off. Note this, which Christ contradicts, concerning blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. It shall not be forgiven, saith he, neither in this world, nor in the world to come; that is, neither before death, nor, as you dream, by death. Jerus. Sanhed. fol. 37. and Bab. Yoma, fol. 86

"In the world to come. - Some phrases were received into common use, by which, in common speech, they opposed the heresy of the Sadducees, who denied immortality, Of that sort were עולם הבא olam ha -ba , Αιων ὁ μελλων, The world to come. גן עדן gan aden , Παραδεισος, paradise: גו הנום gei hinnom , Γεεννα, hell, etc

"At the end of all the prayers in the temple (as we observed before) they said עד עולם ad olam , for ever. But when the heretics (i.e. the Sadducees) brake in, and said there was No Age but one, then it was appointed to be said for ever and ever. מן העולם ועד העולם min ha -olam , vead ha -olam . Bab. Beracoth, fol. 54. This distinction of עולם הזה olam hazeh , this world, and of עולם הבא olam ha -ba , the world to come, you may find almost in every page of the rabbins

"The Lord recompense thee a good reward for this thy good work in this world, and let thy reward be perfected in the world to come. Targum on Ruth

"It (that is, the history of the creation and of the Bible) therefore begins with the letter ב beth , (in the word ברישית bereshith ), because two worlds were created, this world and a world to come. Baal Turim

"The world to come hints two things especially, (of which see Rambam, in Sanhed. cap. ii. Chelek). I. The times of the Messiah: ‘ Be mindful of the day wherein thou camest out of Egypt, all the days of thy life: the wise men say, by the days of thy life is intimated this world: by all the days of thy life, the days of the Messiah are superinduced.’ In this sense the apostle seems to speak, Heb 2:5; Heb 6:5. II. The state after death: thus Rab. Tancum, The world to come, is when a man has departed out of this world."

Clarke: Mat 12:33 - Either make the tree good Either make the tree good - That is, the effect will be always similar to the cause; a bad tree will produce bad fruit, and a good tree, good fruit ...

Either make the tree good - That is, the effect will be always similar to the cause; a bad tree will produce bad fruit, and a good tree, good fruit

The works will resemble the heart: nothing good can proceed from an evil spirit; no good fruit can proceed from a corrupt heart. Before the heart of man can produce any good, it must be renewed and influenced by the Spirit of God.

Clarke: Mat 12:34 - O generation of vipers O generation of vipers - These are apparently severe words; but they were extremely proper in reference to that execrable people to whom they were a...

O generation of vipers - These are apparently severe words; but they were extremely proper in reference to that execrable people to whom they were addressed: the whole verse is an inference from what was spoken before

Clarke: Mat 12:34 - Out of the abundance ( περισσευματος, the overflowings) of the heart Out of the abundance ( περισσευματος, the overflowings) of the heart - Wicked words and sinful actions may be considered as the overflo...

Out of the abundance ( περισσευματος, the overflowings) of the heart - Wicked words and sinful actions may be considered as the overflowings of a heart that is more than full of the spirit of wickedness; and holy words and righteous deeds may be considered as the overflowings of a heart that is filled with the Holy Spirit, and running over with love to God and man.

Clarke: Mat 12:35 - A good man out of the good treasure of the heart A good man out of the good treasure of the heart - Της καρδιας, of the heart, is omitted by upwards of one hundred MSS., many of them of ...

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart - Της καρδιας, of the heart, is omitted by upwards of one hundred MSS., many of them of the greatest antiquity and authority; by all the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic; by the Slavonic, Saxon, Vulgate, and Itala, (except four), and by several of the primitive fathers. It seems to have been added here by some copyist, merely to explain. The good heart is the good treasury, and the treasure that is in it is the love of God, and of all mankind. The bad heart is the bad treasury, and its treasure is the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and ill-will to man.

Clarke: Mat 12:36 - Every idle word Every idle word - Ρημα αργον, a word that does nothing, that neither ministers grace nor instruction to them who hear it. The word αργ...

Every idle word - Ρημα αργον, a word that does nothing, that neither ministers grace nor instruction to them who hear it. The word αργον corresponds to the Hebrew שוא shave , which signifies not only vain or empty, but also wicked and injurious, such as a false testimony against a neighbor, compare Deu 5:11, Deu 5:20. Add to this, that Symmachus translates פגול piggul , polluted, Lev 19:7, by the very Greek word in the text. It was to explain this ambiguous meaning of the word, that ten MSS. have changed αργον into πονηρον, evil. Our Lord must be understood here as condemning all false and injurious words: the scope of the place necessarily requires this meaning.

Clarke: Mat 12:37 - By thy words thou shalt be justified By thy words thou shalt be justified - That is, the whole tenor of thy conversation will be an evidence for or against thee, in the great day. How m...

By thy words thou shalt be justified - That is, the whole tenor of thy conversation will be an evidence for or against thee, in the great day. How many are there who count words for nothing! and yet eternity often depends on them. Lord, put a watch before the door of my lips! is a prayer proper for all men.

Clarke: Mat 12:38 - We would see a sign from thee We would see a sign from thee - That is, we wish now to see thee work a miracle. Pride, vain curiosity, and incredulity, have never proof sufficient...

We would see a sign from thee - That is, we wish now to see thee work a miracle. Pride, vain curiosity, and incredulity, have never proof sufficient of the truth: for they will not be satisfied.

Clarke: Mat 12:39 - An evil and adulterous generation An evil and adulterous generation - Or, race of people; for so γενεα should be translated here, and in most other places in the Gospels; for ...

An evil and adulterous generation - Or, race of people; for so γενεα should be translated here, and in most other places in the Gospels; for our Lord, in general, uses it to point out the Jewish people. This translation is a key to unlock some very obscure passages in the evangelists

Clarke: Mat 12:39 - Seeketh after a sign Seeketh after a sign - Or, seeketh another sign, ( επιζητει ), so I think this word should be translated. Our Lord had already given the Jew...

Seeketh after a sign - Or, seeketh another sign, ( επιζητει ), so I think this word should be translated. Our Lord had already given the Jews several signs; and here they desire sign upon sign

Our Lord terms the Jews an adulterous race. Under the old covenant, the Jewish nation was represented as in a marriage contract with the Lord of hosts; as believers, in the new covenant, are represented as the spouse of Christ. All unfaithfulness and disobedience was considered as a breach of this marriage contract; hence the persons who were thus guilty are denominated adulterers and adulteresses. But, independently of this, there is the utmost proof, from their own writings, that in the time of our Lord they were most literally an adulterous race of people: for, at this very time, R. Jochanan ben Zacchai abrogated the trial by the bitter waters of jealousy, because so many were found to be thus criminal. See on Joh 8:3 (note).

Clarke: Mat 12:40 - Three days and three nights Three days and three nights - Our Lord rose from the grave on the day but one after his crucifixion: so that, in the computation in this verse, the ...

Three days and three nights - Our Lord rose from the grave on the day but one after his crucifixion: so that, in the computation in this verse, the part of the day on which he was crucified, and the part of that on which he rose again, are severally estimated as an entire day; and this, no doubt, exactly corresponded to the time in which Jonah was in the belly of the fish. Our Lord says, As Jonah was, so shall the Son of man be, etc. Evening and morning, or night and day, is the Hebrew phrase for a natural day, which the Greeks termed νυχθημερον, nuchthemeron . The very same quantity of time which is here termed three days and three nights, and which, in reality, was only one whole day, a part of two others, and two whole nights, is termed three days and three nights, in the book of Esther: Go; neither eat nor drink Three Days, Night or Day, and so I will go in unto the king: Est 4:16. Afterwards it follows, Est 5:1. On the Third Day, Esther stood in the inner court of the king’ s house. Many examples might be produced, from both the sacred and profane writers, in vindication of the propriety of the expression in the text. For farther satisfaction, the reader, if he please, may consult Whitby and Wakefield, and take the following from Lightfoot

"I.    The Jewish writers extend that memorable station of the unmoving sun, at Joshua’ s prayer, to six and thirty hours; for so Kimchi upon that place: ‘ According to more exact interpretation, the sun and moon stood still for six and thirty hours: for when the fight was on the eve of the Sabbath, Joshua feared lest the Israelites might break the Sabbath; therefore he spread abroad his hands, that the sun might stand still on the sixth day, according to the measure of the day of the Sabbath, and the moon according to the measure of the night of the Sabbath, and of the going out of the Sabbath, which amounts to six and thirty hours.’

"II.    If you number the hours that pass from our Savior’ s giving up the ghost upon the cross to his resurrection, you shall find almost the same number of hours; and yet that space is called by him three days and three nights, whereas two nights only came between, and one complete day. Nevertheless, while he speaks these words, he is not without the consent both of the Jewish schools and their computation. Weigh well that which is disputed in the tract Scabbath, concerning the separation of a woman for three days; where many things are discussed by the Gemarists, concerning the computation of this space of three days. Among other things these words occur: R. Ismael saith, Sometimes it contains four אונות onoth , sometimes five, sometimes six. But how much is the space of an אונה onah ? R. Jochanan saith, Either a day or a night. And so also the Jerusalem Talmud: ‘ R. Akiba fixed a Day for an onah , and a Night for an onah .’ But the tradition is, that R. Eliazar ben Azariah said, A day and a night make an onah : and a Part of an onah is as the Whole. And a little after, R. Ismael computed a part of the onah for the whole."Thus, then, three days and three nights, according to this Jewish method of reckoning, included any part of the first day; the whole of the following night; the next day and its night; and any part of the succeeding or third day

Clarke: Mat 12:40 - In the whale’ s belly In the whale’ s belly - That a fish of the shark kind, and not a whale, is here meant, Bochart has abundantly proved, vol. iii. col. 742, etc.,...

In the whale’ s belly - That a fish of the shark kind, and not a whale, is here meant, Bochart has abundantly proved, vol. iii. col. 742, etc., edit. Leyd. 1692. It is well known that the throat of a whale is capable of admitting little more than the arm of an ordinary man; but many of the shark species can swallow a man whole, and men have been found whole in the stomachs of several. Every natural history abounds with facts of this kind. Besides, the shark is a native of the Mediterranean Sea, in which Jonah was sailing when swallowed by what the Hebrew terms דג גדול dag gadol , a great fish; but every body knows that whales are no produce of the Mediterranean Sea, thought some have been by accident found there, as in most other parts of the maritime world: but, let them be found where they may, there is none of them capable of swallowing a man. Instead of either whale or shark, some have translated דג גדול dag gadol , Jon 1:17, by a fishing cove, or something of this nature; but this is merely to get rid of the miracle: for, according to some, the whole of Divine revelation is a forgery - or it is a system of metaphor or allegory, that has no miraculous interferences in it. But, independently of all this, the criticism is contemptible. Others say, that the great fish means a vessel so called, into which Jonah went, and into the hold of which he was thrown, where he continued three days and three nights. In short, it must be any thing but a real miracle, the existence of which the wise men, so called, of the present day, cannot admit. Perhaps these very men are not aware that they have scarcely any belief even in the existence of God himself!

Clarke: Mat 12:41 - The men of Nineveh shell rise in judgment The men of Nineveh shell rise in judgment - The voice of God, threatening temporal judgments, caused a whole people to repent, who had neither Moses...

The men of Nineveh shell rise in judgment - The voice of God, threatening temporal judgments, caused a whole people to repent, who had neither Moses nor Christ, neither the law nor the prophets; and who perhaps never had but this one preacher among them. What judgment may not we expect, if we continue impenitent, after all that God has bestowed upon us

Clarke: Mat 12:41 - A greater than Jonas is here A greater than Jonas is here - Πλειον, for τι πλειον, something more. The evidence offered by Jonah sufficed to convince and lead th...

A greater than Jonas is here - Πλειον, for τι πλειον, something more. The evidence offered by Jonah sufficed to convince and lead the Ninevites to repentance; but here was more evidence, and a greater person; and yet so obstinate are the Jews that all is ineffectual

1.    Christ, who preached to the Jews, was infinitely greater than Jonah, in his nature, person, and mission

2.    Jonah preached repentance in Nineveh only forty days, and Christ preached among the Jews for several years

3.    Jonah wrought no miracles to authorize his preaching; but Christ wrought miracles every day, in every place where he went, and of every kind. An

4.    Notwithstanding all this, the people of Judea did not repent, though the people of Nineveh did.

Clarke: Mat 12:42 - The queen of the south The queen of the south - In 1Ki 10:1, this queen is said to be of Saba, which was a city and province of Arabia Felix, to the south, or south-east, ...

The queen of the south - In 1Ki 10:1, this queen is said to be of Saba, which was a city and province of Arabia Felix, to the south, or south-east, of Judea

Clarke: Mat 12:42 - Uttermost parts of the earth Uttermost parts of the earth - Περατων της γης - a form of speech which merely signifies, a great distance. See Deu 28:49.

Uttermost parts of the earth - Περατων της γης - a form of speech which merely signifies, a great distance. See Deu 28:49.

Clarke: Mat 12:43 - When the unclean spirit When the unclean spirit - If there had been no reality in demoniacal possessions, our Lord would have scarcely appealed to a case of this kind here,...

When the unclean spirit - If there had been no reality in demoniacal possessions, our Lord would have scarcely appealed to a case of this kind here, to point out the real state of the Jewish people, and the desolation which was coming upon them. Had this been only a vulgar error, of the nonsense of which the learned scribes and the wise Pharisees must have been convinced, the case not being one in point, because not true, must have been treated by that very people with contempt for whose conviction it was alone designed

Clarke: Mat 12:43 - He walketh through dry places He walketh through dry places - Δι ’ ανυδρων τοπων . There seems to be a reference here to the Orphic demonology, in which evi...

He walketh through dry places - Δι ανυδρων τοπων . There seems to be a reference here to the Orphic demonology, in which evil spirits were divided into various classes, according to the different regions of their abode, or places in which they delighted. These classes were five

1.    Δαιμονες ουρανιοι, Celestial demons

2.    Δαιμονες ηεριοι, Aerial

3.    Δαιμονες ενυδριοι, Aquatic

4.    Δαιμονες χθονιοι, Terrestrial

5.    Και δαιμονες υποχθονιοι, And subterranean demons

See Orph. ad Mus. ap. Schott. The Platonists, the followers of Zoroaster, and the primitive Jews, made nearly the same distinctions

Clarke: Mat 12:43 - Seeking rest Seeking rest - Or refreshment. Strange! a fallen corrupt spirit can have no rest but in the polluted human heart: the corruption of the one is suite...

Seeking rest - Or refreshment. Strange! a fallen corrupt spirit can have no rest but in the polluted human heart: the corruption of the one is suited to the pollution of the other, and thus like cleaves to like.

Clarke: Mat 12:44 - Into my house Into my house - The soul of that person from whom he had been expelled by the power of Christ, and out of which he was to have been kept by continua...

Into my house - The soul of that person from whom he had been expelled by the power of Christ, and out of which he was to have been kept by continual prayer, faith, and watchfulness

Clarke: Mat 12:44 - He findeth it empty He findeth it empty - Unoccupied, σχολαζοντα, empty of the former inhabitant, and ready to receive a new one: denoting a soul that has lo...

He findeth it empty - Unoccupied, σχολαζοντα, empty of the former inhabitant, and ready to receive a new one: denoting a soul that has lost the life and power of godliness, and the testimony of the Holy Spirit

Clarke: Mat 12:44 - Swept and garnished Swept and garnished - As σχολαζω signifies to be idle, or unemployed, it may refer here to the person, as well as to his state. His affecti...

Swept and garnished - As σχολαζω signifies to be idle, or unemployed, it may refer here to the person, as well as to his state. His affections and desires are no longer busied with the things of God, but gad about, like an idle person, among the vanities of a perishing world. Swept, from love, meekness, and all the fruits of the Spirit; and garnished, or adorned, κεκοσμημενον, decorated, with the vain showy trifles of folly and fashion. This may comprise also smart speeches, cunning repartees, etc., for which many who have lost the life of God are very remarkable.

Clarke: Mat 12:45 - Seven other spirits more wicked Seven other spirits more wicked - Seven was a favourite number with the Jews, implying frequently, with them, something perfect, completed, filled u...

Seven other spirits more wicked - Seven was a favourite number with the Jews, implying frequently, with them, something perfect, completed, filled up, for such is the proper import of the Hebrew word שוע sheva or shevang : nearly allied in sound to our seven. And perhaps this meaning of it refers to the seventh day, when God rested from his work, having filled up, or completed the whole of his creative design. Seven demons - as many as could occupy his soul, harassing it with pride, anger, self-will, lust, etc., and torturing the body with disease

Clarke: Mat 12:45 - The last state of that man is worse than the first The last state of that man is worse than the first - His soul, before influenced by the Spirit of God, dilated and expanded under its heavenly influ...

The last state of that man is worse than the first - His soul, before influenced by the Spirit of God, dilated and expanded under its heavenly influences, becomes more capable of refinement in iniquity, as its powers are more capacious than formerly. Evil habits are formed and strengthened by relapses; and relapses are multiplied, and become more incurable, through new habits

Clarke: Mat 12:45 - So shall it be also unto this wicked generation So shall it be also unto this wicked generation - And so it was: for they grew worse and worse, as if totally abandoned to diabolic influence; till ...

So shall it be also unto this wicked generation - And so it was: for they grew worse and worse, as if totally abandoned to diabolic influence; till at last the besom of destruction swept them and their privileges, national and religious, utterly away. What a terrible description of a state of apostasy is contained in these verses! May he who readeth understand!

Clarke: Mat 12:46 - His mother and his brethren His mother and his brethren - These are supposed to have been the cousins of our Lord, as the word brother is frequently used among the Hebrews in t...

His mother and his brethren - These are supposed to have been the cousins of our Lord, as the word brother is frequently used among the Hebrews in this sense. But there are others who believe Mary had other children beside our Lord and that these were literally his brothers, who are spoken of here. And, although it be possible that these were the sons of Mary, the wife of Cleopas or Alpheus, his mother’ s sister, called his relations, Mar 3:31; yet it is as likely that they were the children of Joseph and Mary, and brethren of our Lord, in the strictest sense of the word. See on Mat 13:55 (note).

Clarke: Mat 12:48 - Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? - The reason of this seeming disregard of his relatives was this: they came to seize upon him, for they t...

Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? - The reason of this seeming disregard of his relatives was this: they came to seize upon him, for they thought he was distracted. See Mar 3:33.

Clarke: Mat 12:50 - Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, etc. Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, etc. - Those are the best acknowledged relatives of Christ who are united to him by spiritual ties, and wh...

Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, etc. - Those are the best acknowledged relatives of Christ who are united to him by spiritual ties, and who are become one with him by the indwelling of his Spirit. We generally suppose that Christ’ s relatives must have shared much of his affectionate attention; and doubtless they did: but here we find that whosoever does the will of God is equally esteemed by Christ, as his brother, sister, or even his virgin mother. What an encouragement for fervent attachment to God

1.    From various facts related in this chapter, we see the nature and design of the revelation of God, and of all the ordinances and precepts contained in it - they are all calculated to do man good: to improve his understanding, to soften and change his nature, that he may love his neighbor as himself. That religion that does not inculcate and produce humanity never came from heaven

2.    We have already seen what the sin against the Holy Ghost is: no soul that fears God can commit it: perhaps it would be impossible for any but Jews to be guilty of it, and they only in the circumstances mentioned in the text; and in such circumstances, it is impossible that any person should now be found.

Calvin: Mat 12:1 - Jesus was walking on the Sabbath Mat 12:1.Jesus was walking on the Sabbath It was the design of the Evangelists, in this history, to show partly what a malicious disposition the Phari...

Mat 12:1.Jesus was walking on the Sabbath It was the design of the Evangelists, in this history, to show partly what a malicious disposition the Pharisees had, and partly how superstitiously they were attached to outward and slight matters, so as to make holiness to consist in them entirely. They blame the disciples of Christ for plucking the ears of corn on the Sabbath, during their journey, when they were pressed with hunger, as if, by so doing, they were violating the Sabbath. The keeping of the Sabbath was, indeed, a holy thing, but not such a manner of keeping it as they imagined, so that one could scarcely move a finger without making the conscience to tremble. 76 It was hypocrisy, therefore, that made them so exact in trifling matters, while they spared themselves in gross superstitions; as Christ elsewhere upbraids them with

paying tithe of mint and anise, and neglecting the
important matters of the Law, (Mat 23:23.)

It is the invariable practice of hypocrites to allow themselves liberty in matters of the greatest consequence, and to pay close attention to ceremonial observances. Another reason why they demand that outward rites should be more rigorously observed is, that they wish to make their duty toward God to consist only in carnal worship. But it was malevolence and envy, still more than superstition, that led them to this act of censure; for towards others they would not have been equally stern. It is proper for us to observe the feelings by which they were animated, lest any one should be distressed by the fact, that the very Doctors of the Law were so hostile to Christ.

Calvin: Mat 12:3 - Have you not read what David did? Mat 12:3.Have you not read what David did? Christ employs five arguments to refute their calumny. First, he apologizes for his disciples by pleading...

Mat 12:3.Have you not read what David did? Christ employs five arguments to refute their calumny. First, he apologizes for his disciples by pleading the example of David, (1Sa 21:6.) While David was fleeing from the rage of Saul, he applied for provisions to the high-priest Ahimelech; and there being no ordinary food at hand, he succeeded in obtaining a part of the holy bread. If David’s necessity excused him, the same argument ought to be admitted in the case of others. Hence it follows, that the ceremonies of the Law are not violated where there is no infringement of godliness. 77 Now Christ takes for granted, that David was free from blame, because the Holy Spirit bestows commendation on the priest who allowed him to partake of the holy bread. When he says, that it was not lawful to eat that bread but for the priests alone, we must understand him to refer to the ordinary law:

they shall eat those things wherewith the atonement was made,
to consecrate and to sanctify them; but a stranger shall not
eat thereof, because they are holy, (Exo 29:33.)

If David had attempted to do what was contrary to law, it would have been in vain for Christ to plead his example; for what had been prohibited for a particular end no necessity could make lawful.

Calvin: Mat 12:5 - That on the Sabbaths the priests profane the Sabbath 5.That on the Sabbaths the priests profane the Sabbath This is the second argument by which Christ proves that the violation of the Sabbath, of whi...

5.That on the Sabbaths the priests profane the Sabbath This is the second argument by which Christ proves that the violation of the Sabbath, of which the Pharisees complained, was free from all blame; because on the Sabbaths it is lawful to slay beasts for sacrifice, to circumcise infants, and to do other things relating to the worship of God. Hence it follows, that the duties of piety are in no degree inconsistent with each other. 78 But if the temple sanctifies manual operations connected with sacrifices, and with the whole of the outward service, the holiness of the true and spiritual temple has greater efficacy, in exempting its worshippers from all blame, while they are discharging the duties of godliness. 79 Now the object which the disciples had in view was, to present to God souls which were consecrated by the Gospel.

Matthew alone glances at this argument. When Christ says, that the priests Profane the Sabbath, the expression is not strictly accurate, and is accommodated to his hearers; for when the Law enjoins men to abstain from their employments, it does not forbid them to perform the services of religion. But Christ admits that to be true which might appear to be so in the eye of ignorant persons, 80 and rests satisfied with proving, that the labors performed in the temple are not offensive to God.

Calvin: Mat 12:7 - But if you knew 7.But if you knew This Third argument is also mentioned by Matthew alone. Christ conveys an indirect reproof to the Pharisees, for not considering ...

7.But if you knew This Third argument is also mentioned by Matthew alone. Christ conveys an indirect reproof to the Pharisees, for not considering why ceremonies were appointed, and to what object they are directed. This has been a common fault in almost every age; and therefore the prophet Hosea (Hos 6:6) exclaims against the men of his own age for being too much attached to ceremonies, and caring little about the duties of kindness. But God declares aloud, that he sets a higher value on mercy than on sacrifice, employing the word mercy, by a figure of speech, for offices of kindness, as sacrifices include the outward service of the Law. This statement Christ applies to his own time, and charges the Pharisees with wickedly torturing the Law of God out of its true meaning, with disregarding the second table, and being entirely occupied with ceremonies.

But a question arises: Why does God declare that he is indifferent about ceremonies, when he strictly enjoined in his Law that they should be observed? The answer is easy. External rites are of no value in themselves, and are demanded by God in so far only as they are directed to their proper object. Besides, God does not absolutely reject them, but, by a comparison with deeds of kindness, pronounces that they are inferior to the latter in actual value. Nor is it inconsistent with this to say, that in the perfection of righteousness the highest rank belongs to the worship of God, and the duties which men owe to each other occupy the second rank. For, though piety is justly reckoned to be as much superior to charity as God is higher than men, yet as believers, by practicing justice towards each other, prove that their service of God is sincere, it is not without reason that this subject is brought under the notice of hypocrites, who imitate piety by outward signs, and yet pervert it by confining their laborious efforts to the carnal worship alone. 81 From the testimony of the Prophet, Christ justly infers that no blame attaches to his disciples; for while God trained his people in the rudiments of the Law, it was far from being his design to kill wretched men with famine.

Calvin: Mat 12:8 - For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath 8.For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Some connect this sentence with a preceding statement, that one greater than the temple is in this ...

8.For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath Some connect this sentence with a preceding statement, that one greater than the temple is in this place, (Mat 12:6;) but I look upon them as different. In the former case, Christ, by an allusion to the temple, affirmed that whatever was connected with his personal holiness was not a transgression of the Law; but now, he declares that he has received authority to exempt his followers from the necessity of observing the Sabbath. The Son of man, (he says,) in the exercise of his authority, can relax the Sabbath in the same manner as other legal ceremonies. And certainly out of Christ the bondage of the Law is wretched, from which he alone delivers those on whom he bestows the free Spirit of adoption, 82 (Rom 8:15.)

Calvin: Mat 12:9 - And having departed thence Mat 12:9.And having departed thence This narrative and that which immediately precedes it have the same object; which is to show, that the scribes wat...

Mat 12:9.And having departed thence This narrative and that which immediately precedes it have the same object; which is to show, that the scribes watched with a malicious eye for the purpose of turning into slander every thing that Christ did, and consequently that we need not wonder if men, whose minds were so depraved, were his implacable enemies. We see also, that it is usual with hypocrites to pursue what is nothing more than a shadow of the righteousness of the Law, and as the common saying is, to stickle more about the form than about the substance. First, then, let us learn from this passage to keep our minds pure, and free from every wicked disposition, when we are about to form a decision on any question; for if hatred, or pride, or anything of that description, reign within us, we will not only do injury to men, but will insult God himself, and turn light into darkness. No man, who was free from malice, would have refused to acknowledge that it was a Divine work, which those good teachers do not scruple to condemn. 85 Whence comes such fury, but because all their senses are affected by a wicked hatred of Christ, so that they are blind amidst the full brightness of the sun? We learn also, that we ought to beware lest, by attaching undue importance to ceremonial observances, we allow other things to be neglected, which are of far higher value in the sight of God, and which Christ in another passage calls the more important matters of the Law, (Mat 23:23.) For so strongly are we inclined to outward rites, that we shall never preserve moderation in this respect, unless we constantly remember, that whatever is enjoined respecting the worship of God is, in the first place, spiritual; and, secondly, ought to be regulated by the rule which Christ has laid down to us in this passage.

Calvin: Mat 12:10 - They asked him, saying 10.They asked him, saying Mark and Luke say only that they watched what our Lord would do; but Matthew states more clearly that they also attacked ...

10.They asked him, saying Mark and Luke say only that they watched what our Lord would do; but Matthew states more clearly that they also attacked him by words. It is probable, that some others had been previously cured on Sabbath-days; and hence they take occasion to ask if he believes it to be lawful for him to do again what he had formerly done. They ought to have considered whether it was a work of God, or of man, to restore a withered hand by a mere touch, or by a single word. When God appointed the Sabbath, he did not lay down a law for himself, or impose upon himself any restraint from performing operations on the Sabbath, when he saw it to be proper, in the same manner as on other days. It was excessive folly, therefore, to call this in question, and thus to prescribe rules for God himself, and to restrain the freedom of his operations.

Calvin: Mat 12:11 - What man shall there be among you who shall have a sheep? 11.What man shall there be among you who shall have a sheep? Christ again points out what is the true way of keeping the Sabbath; and, at the same ti...

11.What man shall there be among you who shall have a sheep? Christ again points out what is the true way of keeping the Sabbath; and, at the same time, reproves them for slander, in bringing as a charge against him what was a universal custom. For if any man’s sheep had fallen into a ditch, no person would have hindered it from being taken out: but in proportion as a man is of more value than a sheep, so much the more are we at liberty to assist him. It is plain, therefore, that if any man should relieve the necessity of brethren, he did not, in any degree, violate the rest which the Lord has enjoined. Mark and Luke take no notice of this comparison, but only state that Christ inquired, Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil?

He who takes away the life of a man is held to be a criminal; and there is little difference between manslaughter and the conduct of him who does not concern himself about relieving a person in distress. So then Christ indirectly charges them with endeavoring, under the pretense of a holy act, to compel him to do evil; for sin is committed, as we have already said, not only by him who does any thing contrary to the Law, but also by him who neglects his duty. Hence also we perceive, that Christ did not always employ the same arguments in refuting this slander; for he does not reason here about his divinity as he does in the case mentioned by John, (Joh 5:18.) Nor was there any necessity for doing so; since the Pharisees were completely refuted by this single defense, that nothing could be more unreasonable than to pronounce a man, who imitated God, to be a transgressor of the Sabbath.

Calvin: Mat 12:14 - Then the Pharisees took counsel Mat 12:14.Then the Pharisees took counsel How obstinate is the rage which drives the wicked to oppose God! Even after having been convinced, they pour...

Mat 12:14.Then the Pharisees took counsel How obstinate is the rage which drives the wicked to oppose God! Even after having been convinced, they pour out their venom more and more. It is truly monstrous and shocking, that the most distinguished teachers of the Law, who were entrusted with the government of the Church, are engaged, like robbers, in contriving murder. But this must happen, whenever the malice of men reaches such a height, that they wish to destroy every thing that is opposed to their fancy, even though it may be from God.

The circumstance of Christ’s making his escape by flight must not be ascribed to fear; for he did not become more courageous by the lapse of time, but was endued with the same fortitude of the Spirit at the time when he fled, as when, at a later period, he voluntarily presented himself to die. And this was a part of that emptying of himself which Paul mentions, (Phi 2:7,) that when he could easily have protected his life by a miracle, he chose rather to submit to our weakness by taking flight. The only reason why he delayed to die was, that the seasonable time, which had been appointed by the Father, was not yet come, (Joh 7:30.) And yet it is manifest, that he was preserved by heavenly power rather than by flight; for it would not have been difficult for his enemies to find out the place to which he had retired, and so far was he from shrouding himself in darkness, that he carried a great company along with him, and rendered that place illustrious by his miracles. He withdrew from their presence for the sole purpose of not aggravating their rage.

Calvin: Mat 12:16 - And he threatened them Mat 12:16.And he threatened them The expression used by M ark conveys, in a still more pointed manner, that he restrained the unclean spirits, 89 w...

Mat 12:16.And he threatened them The expression used by M ark conveys, in a still more pointed manner, that he restrained the unclean spirits, 89 who were exclaiming, Thou art the Son of God. We have formerly explained the reason why he did not choose to have such witnesses. 90 And yet there is no room to doubt, that divine power extorted from the devils this confession; but having made it evident that they were subject to his dominion, Christ properly rejected their testimony. But Matthew goes farther, and states, that Christ discharged them from spreading the fame of the miracles which he was performing. Not that he wished that fame to be wholly repressed, (as we have pointed out on other occasions, 91 but to allow it to strike root, that it might bring forth abundant fruit at the proper season. We know that Christ did not perform miracles for the purpose of amusement, but had a distinct object in view, which was to prove that he was the Son of God, and the appointed Redeemer of the world. But he was manifested gradually, and by regular steps, and was not revealed in his true character

“until the time appointed by the Father,”
(Gal 4:2.)

At the same time, it deserves our attention, that when wicked men do their utmost to extinguish the glory of God, they are so far from gaining their wish, that, on the contrary, God turns their rebellious designs in an opposite direction. Though Christ withdrew from a populous district, yet in this very concealment 92 his glory continues to shine, and even bursts forth magnificently into its full splendor.

Calvin: Mat 12:17 - That it might be fulfilled which was spoken 17.That it might be fulfilled which was spoken Matthew does not mean that this prediction was entirely fulfilled by Christ’s prohibiting loud and g...

17.That it might be fulfilled which was spoken Matthew does not mean that this prediction was entirely fulfilled by Christ’s prohibiting loud and general reports to be circulated respecting his power 93, but that this was an exhibition of that mildness which Isaiah describes in the person of the Messiah. Those wonderful works which Christ performed in presence of a few, and which he did not wish to be announced in pompous terms, were fitted to shake heaven and earth, (Heb 12:26.) It was, therefore, no ordinary proof, how widely he was removed from the pomp and ostentation of the world.

But it will be proper for us to examine more closely the design of Matthew. By this circumstance he intended to show, that the glory of Christ’s divinity ought not to be the less admired, because it appeared under a vail of infirmity. This is unquestionably the very object to which the Holy Spirit directed the eyes of the prophet. The flesh is constantly longing for outward display, and to guard believers against seeking any thing of this description in the Messiah, the Spirit of God declared that he would be totally different from earthly kings, who, in order to draw admiration upon themselves, produce great noises wherever they go, and fill cities and towns with commotion. 94 We now perceive how appropriately Matthew applies the prediction of the prophet to the case in hand. God appointed for his Son a low and mean appearance, and that ignorant persons may not take offense at an aspect which has no attraction, and is fitted to awaken contempt, both the prophet and Matthew come forward to declare, that it is not by accident, but in consequence of a decree of Heaven, that he assumes such a character. 95 Hence it follows, that deep blame attaches to all who despise Christ, because his outward condition does not correspond to the wishes of the flesh. We are not at liberty to imagine to ourselves a Christ that corresponds to our fancy, but ought simply to embrace him as he is offered by the Father. He who is offended by the low condition of Christ, which God declares to be agreeable to his will, is unworthy of salvation. I now come to examine the words of the prophet, (Isa 42:1.)

Calvin: Mat 12:18 - Lo, my servant, whom I have chosen // My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased // He will proclaim judgment to the Gentiles // I will put my Spirit upon him 18.Lo, my servant, whom I have chosen To fix our attention more closely on his will, God points out by the finger, as it were, the person whom he is ...

18.Lo, my servant, whom I have chosen To fix our attention more closely on his will, God points out by the finger, as it were, the person whom he is about to send; and this is the design of the exclamation, Lo! A similar reason may be assigned for the epithets that follow, when God calls him his servant, his elect in whom his soul is well pleased. For whence comes it, that men venture to measure Christ by their own sense, but because they do not consider that their redemption depends exclusively on the grace of God? When God offers to us an invaluable treasure, it is excessive and wicked presumption to regulate our estimation of it by the disdainful views of our flesh. He is called a servant, not as if he were of the ordinary rank, but by way of eminence, and as the person to whom God has committed the charge and office of redeeming his Church. As:

no man taketh this honor to himself, but he who is called of God
(Heb 5:6)

is justly entitled to this rank, God declares that he who comes forward in this character was elected by his decree. 96 Hence it follows, that men are not at liberty to reject him; because, by doing so, they would be guilty of contempt and rebellion against God. And, indeed, it were the height of absurdity that our choice or our pride should set aside that calling of God which ought to be regarded as sacred and inviolable.

My beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased There is a still wider import in this statement, which God next makes by the prophet, that the delight of his soul dwells in Christ; for though the calling of each of us proceeds from the free favor of God as its only source, yet in Christ there is this remarkable peculiarity, that in his person God the Father embraces in his love the whole Church. As we are all by nature enemies of God, his love will never come to us till it first begin with the Head; which we have seen on a former occasion, and will see again under another passage, (Mat 17:5.)

He will proclaim judgment to the Gentiles The prophet gives a brief description of Christ’s office, when he foretells that he will proclaim judgment to the Gentiles By the word judgment the Jews understand a government which is correctly and properly arranged, in which order and justice prevail. The design of the prophet is to inform us, that a person will come who will restore justice that had fallen, who will be the governor not of one nation only, but will also bring under subjection to God the Gentiles, among whom dreadful confusion formerly prevailed. And this is the import of the word bring forth, which the prophet employs; for it was the office of Christ to spread throughout the whole world the kingdom of God, which was at that time confined to the corner of Judea; 97 as it is said in another passage,

The Lord will send forth the scepter of thy power out of Zion,
(Psa 110:2.)

I will put my Spirit upon him This explains the manner in which judgment shall be brought forth. It is no doubt true, that there never was any portion whatever of righteousness in the world that did not proceed from the Spirit of God, and that was not maintained by his heavenly power; as none of the kings of the earth can frame or defend good order, except so far as he shall be assisted by the same Spirit. But in bringing forth judgment Christ is greatly superior to all others, for he has received the Spirit from the Father, that he may pour it out on all his people; for not only does he by word or writing prescribe what is proper, but inwardly forms the hearts of men, by the grace of his Spirit, to preserve the rule of righteousness.

Calvin: Mat 12:19 - He will not strive 19.He will not strive The general meaning is, that the coming of Christ will not be attended by noise, will have nothing of royal splendor and magnif...

19.He will not strive The general meaning is, that the coming of Christ will not be attended by noise, will have nothing of royal splendor and magnificence. He presently adds, that this will turn to the advantage of men, by inducing them to love that mildness which the world everywhere despises. And certainly it is an astonishing display of the folly of men, that their sentiments with regard to Christ are less respectful, because he mildly and voluntarily accommodates himself to their capacity. Were Christ to appear in his glory, what else could be expected, but that it would altogether swallow us up? What wickedness then is it to be less willing to receive him, when on our account he descends from his elevation?

That the gentleness of Christ may awaken reverence in believers, Isaiah reminds them how advantageous, and even how necessary that gentleness must be. Each of us is conscious of his own weakness; and therefore we ought to consider of what importance it is that Christ should treat us with kindness. I speak not of unbelievers, who are entirely destitute of all the graces of the Spirit; but with respect to those whom God has already called, are they not like a half-broken reed and a smoking lamp, till God kindle them to full brightness, and supply them with perfect strength? When Christ is thus pleased to condescend to our weakness, let his unspeakable goodness be embraced by us with joy. Meanwhile, let none flatter himself in his vices, but let each of us labor to make greater proficiency, that we may not be tossed about (Eph 4:14) through our whole life, or bend, like reeds, to the slightest gale. Let us grow to the stature of perfect men, that we may remain firm against the diversified attacks of Satan, that our faith may not only emit slight sparks encompassed by thick smoke, but may send out bright rays.

The example of Christ instructs all his ministers in what manner they ought to conduct themselves. But as there are some who falsely and absurdly maintain that mildness ought to be exercised indiscriminately towards all, we must attend to the distinction which the prophet expressly makes between weak and wicked persons. Those who are too stubborn need to have their hardness beaten violently with a hammer; and those who endeavor to spread darkness in every direction, or who act as torches to kindle conflagrations, must have their smoke dispelled and their flame extinguished. While the faithful ministers of the Word ought to endeavor to spare the weak, and thus to cherish and increase that portion of the grace of God, however small, which they possess, they must also exercise prudent caution, lest they encourage the obstinate malice of those who have no resemblance to the smoking lamp or bruised reed.

Calvin: Mat 12:20 - Till he send out judgment into victory 20.Till he send out judgment into victory The words of the prophet are a little different, he will bring forth the judgment unto truth. But the ter...

20.Till he send out judgment into victory The words of the prophet are a little different, he will bring forth the judgment unto truth. But the term employed by Matthew is very emphatic, and is intended to inform us, that justice is not established in the world without a great struggle and exertion. The devil throws all possible difficulties in the way, which cannot be removed without violent opposition. This is confirmed by the word victory, for victory is not obtained in any other way than by fighting.

Calvin: Mat 12:21 - And in his name shall the Gentiles trust 21.And in his name shall the Gentiles trust Instead of these words the prophet has, The isles shall wait for his law. But though Matthew has change...

21.And in his name shall the Gentiles trust Instead of these words the prophet has, The isles shall wait for his law. But though Matthew has changed the words, the meaning is the same, that the grace of Christ will be shared by the Gentiles.

Calvin: Mat 12:22 - Then was brought to him Mat 12:22.Then was brought to him Luke explains from the effect, that the devil by which the man was possessed was dumb; but Matthew says, that a tw...

Mat 12:22.Then was brought to him Luke explains from the effect, that the devil by which the man was possessed was dumb; but Matthew says, that a twofold plague had been inflicted on the man. Many persons, no doubt, are blind and deaf on account of natural defects; but it is evident, that this man had become blind, and had been deprived of the use of speech, though there was no defect in his optical nerves, 104 or in the proportion of his tongue. We need not wonder that so much liberty should be allowed to Satan in injuring the bodily senses, when God justly permits him to corrupt or pervert all the faculties of the soul.

Calvin: Mat 12:23 - And all the people were astonished 23.And all the people were astonished Hence we infer, that there was a visible display of the power of God, which drew upon him the admiration of the...

23.And all the people were astonished Hence we infer, that there was a visible display of the power of God, which drew upon him the admiration of the great body of the people, who were not at all actuated by any wicked disposition. For how came it that all admired, but because the fact compelled them to do so? And certainly there is not one of us, who does not see in this narrative, as in a mirror, an unwonted power of God: and hence it follows, that a diabolical venom must have seized the minds of the scribes, who were not ashamed to slander so remarkable a work of God. But we must attend to the result of the miracle. Moved with admiration, those who saw it ask each other, Is not Jesus the Christ? Acknowledging the power of God, they are led, as it were by the hand, to faith. Not that they suddenly profited as much as they ought to have done, (for they speak doubtfully;) but yet it is no small proficiency to be aroused to consider more attentively the glory of Christ. Some look upon this as a full affirmation, but the words convey no such meaning; and the fact itself shows, that an unexpected occurrence had struck them forcibly, and that they did not form a decided opinion, but only that it occurred to them that he might be the Christ.

Calvin: Mat 12:24 - But when the Pharisees heard it 24.But when the Pharisees heard it The scribes cannot withhold the acknowledgment of a fact so open and manifest, and yet they maliciously carp 105 a...

24.But when the Pharisees heard it The scribes cannot withhold the acknowledgment of a fact so open and manifest, and yet they maliciously carp 105 at what Christ did by Divine power. Not only do they obscure the praise of the miracle, but endeavor to turn it into a reproach, as if it were performed by magical enchantment; and that work, which could not be ascribed to a man, is alleged by them to have the devil for its author. Of the word Beelzebub I have spoken under the Tenth Chapter, 106 and of the prince of the devils I have said a little under the Ninth Chapter. 107 The opinion expressed by the scribes, that there is a prince among wicked spirits, did not arise from a mistake of the common people, or from supposition, but from a conviction entertained among the godly, that the reprobate have a head, in the same manner as Christ is the Head of the Church.

Calvin: Mat 12:25 - But as Jesus knew their thoughts // Every kingdom divided against itself Mat 12:25.But as Jesus knew their thoughts Though Christ knew sufficiently well, and had often learned by experience, that the scribes, in the exercis...

Mat 12:25.But as Jesus knew their thoughts Though Christ knew sufficiently well, and had often learned by experience, that the scribes, in the exercise of their malice 116 were in the habit of putting an unfavorable construction on every thing that he did, yet Matthew and Luke, I have no doubt, mean that Christ was a discerner of their hearts. 117 And indeed it is probable, that they spoke so openly against Christ, that their calumnies reached his ears; but Christ knew by his Divine Spirit the dispositions which led them to slander him. For it frequently happens that erroneous judgments are formed by men who do not intentionally, after all, oppose what is right, but err through ignorance; who do not cherish a hidden and concealed venom, but whose rashness carries them headlong. 118 The meaning therefore is, that Christ reproved them with the greater severity, because he was a witness and judge of their inward malice.

Every kingdom divided against itself In refuting the calumny alleged against him, he first quotes a common proverb. This refutation may appear to be not quite satisfactory. We know what subtle methods Satan sometimes employs, presenting all the while an appearance of discord, in order to entrap the minds of men by superstitions. Thus, for example, the exorcisms of Popery are nothing else than feats of dexterity, in which Satan pretends to fight with himself. But no suspicion of this nature fell on Christ; for he cast out devils in such a manner, as to restore to God the men in whom they dwelt sound and whole. Whenever Satan enters into a collusion with himself, he pretends to be vanquished, and yet it is himself that triumphs. But Christ attacked Satan in open combat, threw him down, and left him nothing remaining. He did not lay him low in one respect, that he might give him greater stability in another, but stripped him completely of all his armor. Christ therefore reasons justly, that there is no community of interest between him and Satan, because that father of cunning 119 keeps one object in view — the preservation of his kingdom.

But perhaps it will be objected, that the devils are often hurried along, by giddiness and blind madness, to destroy themselves. The answer is easy. The words of Christ mean nothing more than that it was absurd in the scribes to maintain, that the devil, who endeavors by every method to make men his slaves, should, of his own accord, destroy the power which he possessed over them. Besides, it ought to be remembered, that common proverbs were employed by Christ in such a manner, as to be merely probable conjectures, and not solid arguments; and that, when he speaks of what is known and well attested, he finds it easier to reach the conscience of his adversaries. 120 Everybody knew that Christ had driven Satan from his possession, and nothing was plainer than that all his miracles tended to this object; and hence it was easy to conclude, that his power, which was so much opposed to Satan, was divine.

Calvin: Mat 12:27 - By whom do your children cast them out? // Therefore they shall judge concerning you 27.By whom do your children cast them out? He charges them with passing an unjust and malicious decision, because in the same case they did not decid...

27.By whom do your children cast them out? He charges them with passing an unjust and malicious decision, because in the same case they did not decide in a similar manner, but as they were affected towards the persons. Now this inequality shows, that their prevailing motive was not a regard to what is just and right, but blind love or hatred; and that it was even an evidence of wicked self-love ( φιλαυτίας) and envy, to condemn in Christ what they praised in their own children By your children some understand the children of the whole nation; and some think that the Apostles are so called, because they were acknowledged to be children, while Christ was treated as if he had been a foreigner. 121 Others refer it to the ancient Prophets. I have no doubt that he means the Exorcists, who were at that time generally employed among the Jews, as is evident from the Acts of the Apostles, ( Act 19:19.) There is reason to believe, that no greater kindness would be exercised in judging of the disciples of Christ than of their Master; and to apply these words to the dead is a forced construction, when they manifestly denote a comparison of the present time.

There was indeed no statute of the Law for having Exorcists among the Jews; but we know that God, in order to maintain their fidelity to his covenant, and their purity of worship, often testified his presence among them by a variety of miracles. It is even possible that there were persons who cast out devils by calling on the name of the Lord; and the people, having experienced such a display of the power of God, rashly concluded that it was an ordinary office. 122 The Papists afterwards, resolving not to occupy a lower rank, imitated them by creating Exorcists; and in this way were apes of apes. Besides, it was not necessary that Christ should approve of those exorcisms, in order to point out the malice of those who wished to have them regarded as sacred, and as authorized by the name of God; for the objection was, as we say, of a personal nature. 123

Therefore they shall judge concerning you These words are not to be taken literally, but the meaning is: “We need not go far to seek your condemnation. You attribute to Beelzebub the miracles which I have performed, and you praise the same things in your own children. You have at home what is sufficient to condemn you.” But if any one prefer to understand them differently, as reproaching them with the grace of God, which was sometimes exhibited through the Exorcists, I do not greatly object to that view. Though they were greatly degenerated, yet the Lord was pleased not to leave them altogether without evidences of his power, that there might be some testimony to authorize the priesthood in general, and the service of the temple; for it was of the highest importance that there should be evident marks to distinguish them from the superstitions of the Gentiles. I look upon the former view, however, as the natural one.

Calvin: Mat 12:28 - But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God 28.But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God Luke says, if I cast out devils by The Finger of God; employing the word Finger metaphorically in...

28.But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God Luke says, if I cast out devils by The Finger of God; employing the word Finger metaphorically instead of the Spirit. As God works, and exerts his power, by his Spirit, it is with propriety that the word Finger is applied to him. And this mode of expression was common among the Jews, as Moses relates that Pharaoh’s magicians said, This is the finger of God Now Christ infers from what he has already stated, that the scribes prove themselves to be ungrateful to God, by being unwilling that He should reign among them. Hitherto, he replied to their idle calumny; but now, he treats them as convicted persons, and charges them not to make ungodly opposition to the kingdom of God. He does not confine himself to a single miracle, but takes occasion from it to discourse on the object of his coming, reminds them that they ought not merely to look at one remarkable fact, but at a far more important truth, that it was the will of God, by revealing His Messiah, to raise up their salvation which was fallen, and to restore his kingdom among them. Thus we see that Christ complains of their ingratitude, in madly rejecting from the midst of them the inestimable grace of God. The kingdom of God hath come to you The word come is emphatic, and implies that, without any request from them, God appears as their Redeemer, while they do everything that is in their power to drive him away, and, when he is present and prepared for their salvation, refuse to give him a place.

Calvin: Mat 12:29 - How can any one enter into the house of a strong man? 29.How can any one enter into the house of a strong man? Though the Evangelists differ a little as to words, there is a perfect agreement among them ...

29.How can any one enter into the house of a strong man? Though the Evangelists differ a little as to words, there is a perfect agreement among them as to the substance of this discourse. Christ is pursuing the subject, on which he had lately touched, about the kingdom of God, and declares it to be necessary that Satan be violently driven out, in order that God may establish his k i ngdom among men. What he now states is nothing else than a confirmation of the preceding statement. But to ascertain more fully the intention of Christ, we must call to our recollection that analogy which Matthew (8:17) traces between the visible and the spiritual layouts which Christ bestows. 124 Every benefit which the bodies of men received from Christ was intended to have a reference to their souls. Thus, in rescuing the bodily senses of men from the tyranny of the devil, he proclaimed that the Father had sent him as a Deliverer, to destroy his spiritual tyranny over their souls.

I now return to his words. He maintains that a strong and powerful tyrant cannot be deprived of his dominion, till he is stripped of his armor; for if he is not met by a force superior to his own, he will never yield of his own accord. Why is this asserted? First, we know that the devil is everywhere called the prince of the world Now the tyranny which he exercises is defended on every side by strong ramparts. His snares for entrapping men are beyond all calculation; nay, men are already his slaves, and so firmly bound by a variety of fetters, that they rather cherish the slavery, to which they are devoted, than make any aspirations after freedom. There are also innumerable evils which he inflicts upon them, by which he holds them in wretched oppression under his feet. In short, there is nothing to prevent him from tyrannizing over the world without control. Not that he can do anything without the permission of the Creator, but because Adam, having withdrawn from the dominion of God, has subjected all his posterity to this foreign sway.

Now though it is contrary to nature that the devil reigns, and though it is by, just punishment of God, on account of sin, that men are subjected to his tyranny, yet he remains in quiet possession of his kingdom, and may insult us at his pleasure, till a stronger than he shall rise up against him. But this stronger person is not to be found on earth, for men have not sufficient power to relieve themselves; and therefor it was promised that a Redeemer would come from heaven. Now this kind of redemption Christ shows to be necessary, in order to wrench from the devil, by main force, what he will never quit till he is compelled. By these words he informs us, that it is in vain for men to expect deliverance, till Satan has been subdued by a violent struggle. 125

He expressly accuses the scribes of ignorance, in not understanding the principles of the kingdom of God. But this reproof applies almost equally to all, for all are chargeable with the same folly. There is no man who does not loudly boast that he desires the kingdom of God; and yet we do not permit Christ to fight boldly, as the occasion requires, in order to rescue us from the power of our tyrant; just as if a sick man were to entreat the aid of a physician, and then to refuse every remedy. We now see the reason why Christ introduced this parable. It was to show, that the scribes were hostile to the kingdom of God, the beginnings of which they maliciously resisted. Let us also learn that, as we are all subject to the tyranny of Satan, there is no other way in which he commences his reign within us, than when he rescues us, by the powerful and victorious arm of Christ, from that wretched and accursed bondage.

Calvin: Mat 12:30 - He that is not with me // And he that gathereth not with me scattereth 30.He that is not with me There are two ways of explaining this passage. Some suppose that it is an argument drawn from contraries, and that Christ...

30.He that is not with me There are two ways of explaining this passage. Some suppose that it is an argument drawn from contraries, and that Christ’s meaning is: I cannot reign till the devil is overthrown; for the object of all his attempts is, to scatter whatever I gather.” And certainly we see abundant evidence of the earnestness with which that enemy labors to destroy the kingdom of Christ. But I rather agree in opinion with those who explain it to denote, that the scribes are declared to be, in two respects, opposed to the kingdom of God, because they intentionally hinder its progress. It was your duty to assist me, and to give me your hand in establishing the kingdom of God; for whoever does not assist is, in some measure, opposed to me, or, at least, deserves to be reckoned among enemies. What then shall be said of you, whose furious rage drives you into avowed opposition? 126

And he that gathereth not with me scattereth The truth of this is abundantly manifest from what has been already said; for so strong is our propensity to evil, that the justice of God can have no place but in those who apply to it in good earnest. This doctrine has a still more extensive bearing, and implies that they are unworthy to be considered as belonging to the flock of Christ, who do not apply to it all the means that are in their power; because their indolence tends to retard and ruin the kingdom of God, which all of us are called to advance.

Calvin: Mat 12:31 - Therefore I say to you // All sin and blasphemy 31.Therefore I say to you This inference ought not to be confined to the clause immediately preceding, but depends on the whole discourse. Having pro...

31.Therefore I say to you This inference ought not to be confined to the clause immediately preceding, but depends on the whole discourse. Having proved that the scribes could not blame him for casting out devils, without opposing the kingdom of God, he at length concludes that it is no light or ordinary offense, but an atrocious crime, knowingly and willingly to pour contempt on the Spirit of God. We have already said, that Christ did not pronounce this decision on the mere words which they uttered, but on their base and wicked thought.

All sin and blasphemy As our Lord declares blasphemy against the Holy Ghost to be more heinous than all other sins, it is of importance to inquire what is the meaning of that term. Those who define it to be impenitence 127 may be refuted without any difficulty; for it would have been in vain and to no purpose for Christ to say, that it is not forgiven in the present life. Besides, the word blasphemy cannot be extended indiscriminately to every sort of crimes; but from the comparison which Christ makes, we shall easily obtain the true definition. Why is it said that he who blasphemes against the Spirit is a more heinous sinner than he who blasphemes against Christ? Is it because the majesty of the Spirit is greater, that a crime committed against him must be punished with greater severity? Certainly that is not the reason; for as the fullness of the Godhead (Col 2:9) shines in Christ, he who pours contempt upon him overturns and destroys, as far as it lies in his power, the whole glory of God. Now in what manner shall Christ be separated from his Spirit, so that those who treat the Spirit with contempt offer no injury or insult to Christ?

Already we begin to perceive, that the reason why blasphemy against the Spirit exceeds other sins, is not that the Spirit is higher than Christ, but that those who rebel, after that the power of God has been revealed, cannot be excused on the plea of ignorance. Besides, it must be observed, that what is here said about blasphemy does not refer merely to the essence of the Spirit, but to the grace which He has bestowed upon us. Those who are destitute of the light of the Spirit, however much they may detract from the glory of the Spirit, will not be held guilty of this crime. 128 We do not maintain, that those persons are said to pour contempt on the Spirit of God, who oppose his grace and power by hardened malice; and farther we maintain, that this kind of sacrilege is committed only when we knowingly endeavor to extinguish the Spirit who dwells in us.

The reason why contempt is said to be poured on the Spirit, rather than on the Son or the Father, is this. By detracting from the grace and power of God, we make a direct attack on the Spirit, from whom they proceed, and in whom they are revealed to us. Shall any unbeliever curse God? It is as if a blind man were dashing against a wall. But no man curses the Spirit who is not enlightened by him, and conscious of ungodly rebellion against him; for it is not a superfluous distinction. that all other blasphemies shall be forgiven, except that one blasphemy which is directed against the Spirit. If a man shall simply blaspheme against God, he is not declared to be beyond the hope of pardon; but of those who have offered outrage to the Spirit, it is said that God will never forgive them. Why is this, but because those only are blasphemers against the Spirit, who slander his gifts and power, contrary to the conviction of their own mind? Such also is the import of the reason assigned by Mark for the extreme severity of Christ’s threatening against the Pharisees; because they had said that he had the unclean spirit; for in this manner they purposely and maliciously turned light into darkness; and, indeed, it is in the manner of the giants, 129 as the phrase is, to make war against God.

But here a question arises. Do men proceed to such a pitch of madness as not to hesitate, knowingly and willfully, to rush against God? for this appears to be monstrous and incredible. I reply: Such audacity does indeed proceed from mad blindness, in which, at the same time, malice and virulent rage predominate. Nor is it without reason that Paul says, that though he was

a blasphemer, he obtained pardon, because he had done it ignorantly in his unbelief,
(1Ti 1:13;)

for this term draws a distinction between his sin and voluntary rebellion. This passage refutes also the error of those who imagine that every sin which is voluntary, or which is committed in opposition to the conscience, is unpardonable. On the contrary, Paul expressly limits that sin to the First Table of the Law; 130 and our Lord not less plainly applies the word blasphemy to a single description of sin, and at the same time shows, that it is of a kind which is directly opposed to the glory of God. 131

From all that has been said, we may conclude that those persons sin and blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, who maliciously turn to his dishonor the perfections of God, which have been revealed to him by the Spirit, in which His glory ought to be celebrated, and who, with Satan, their leader, are avowed enemies of the glory of God. We need not then wonder, if for such sacrilege there is no hope of pardon; for they must be desperate who turn the only medicine of salvation into a deadly venom. Some consider this to be too harsh, and betake themselves to the childish expedient, that it is said to be unpardonable, because the pardon of it is rare and difficult to be obtained. But the words of Christ are too precise to admit of so silly an evasion. It is excessively foolish to argue that God will be cruel if he never pardon a sin, the atrocity of which ought to excite in us astonishment and horror. 132 Those who reason in that manner do not sufficiently consider what a monstrous crime it is, not only to profane intentionally the sacred name of God, but to spit in his face when he shines evidently before us. It shows equal ignorance to object, that it would be absurd if even repentance could not obtain pardon; for blasphemy against the Spirit is a token of reprobation, and hence it follows, that whoever have fallen into it, have been delivered over to a reprobate mind, (Rom 1:28.) As we maintain, that he who has been truly regenerated by the Spirit cannot possibly fall into so horrid a crime, so, on the other hand, we must believe that those who have fallen into it never rise again; nay, that in this manner God punishes contempt of his grace, by hardening the hearts of the reprobate, so that they never have any desire towards repentance.

Calvin: Mat 12:32 - Neither in the present life 32.Neither in the present life What these words mean, Mark briefly explains by saying, that those who have spoken against the Spirit are exposed to e...

32.Neither in the present life What these words mean, Mark briefly explains by saying, that those who have spoken against the Spirit are exposed to eternal judgment Every day we ask from God the forgiveness of sins, and every day he reconciles us to Him; and, finally, at death, he takes away all our sins, and declares that he is gracious to us. The fruit of this mercy will appear at the last day. The meaning therefore is: — “There is no reason to expect that those who shall have blasphemed against the Spirit will obtain pardon in this life, or will be acquitted in the last judgment.”

With regard to the inference drawn by the Papists, that the sins of men are forgiven after death, there is no difficulty in refuting their slander. First, they act foolishly in torturing the expression, future life, to mean an intermediate period, while any one may perceive that it denotes “the last judgment.” But it is likewise a proof of their dishonesty; for the objection which they sophistically urge is inconsistent with their own doctrine. Who knows not their distinction, that sins are freely pardoned in respect of guilt, but that punishment and satisfaction are demanded? This is an acknowledgment, that there is no hope of salvation to any one whose guilt is not pardoned before death. To the dead, therefore, there remains no forgiveness, except as regards punishment; and surely they will not venture to deny that the subject of this discourse is guilt. Let them now go and light their fire of purgatory with these cold materials, if ice can kindle a flame. 133

Calvin: Mat 12:33 - Either make the tree good 33.Either make the tree good It might look like absurdity, that men should be allowed a choice of being either good or bad; but if we consider what...

33.Either make the tree good It might look like absurdity, that men should be allowed a choice of being either good or bad; but if we consider what sort of persons Christ is addressing, the difficulty will be speedily resolved. We know what opinion was generally entertained about the Pharisees; for their pretended sanctity had so blinded the minds of the common people, that no one ventured to pass sentence on their vices. 134 Wishing to remove this mask, Christ desires them to be either good or bad; or, in other words, declares that nothing is more inconsistent with honesty than hypocrisy, and that it is in vain for men to boast of pretensions to righteousness who are not sincere and upright. 135 So then he puts nothing at their disposal, and withdraws no restraint from them, but only reminds them that their empty professions will avail them nothing so long as they are double, because they must be either good or bad

From the expression, make the tree, some foolishly infer, that it is in every man’s power to regulate his own life and conduct. It is a rhetorical mode of speaking, by which Christ points out the scribes, dispels—so to speak—the smoke of their hypocrisy, and recalls them to pure and genuine uprightness. He afterwards explains the way and manner in which they may show that they are good or bad trees; which is by yielding good or bad fruit: so that there is no ambiguity in the meaning. The life of the scribes was not rendered infamous among men by gross vices. Pride, ambition, and envy, displayed their venom in the slanders which they uttered; but as that venom was not perceived by ignorant people, Christ brings the concealed evil from its lurking-place, and drags it forth to light.

But perhaps it will be objected that, in consequence of the corruption of our nature, it is impossible to find any man who is altogether upright, and free from every vice. The answer is ready. Christ does not demand absolute and entire perfection, but only a sincere and unfeigned disposition, which the Pharisees whom he addresses were far from possessing. As Scripture applies the terms, bad and wicked, to those who are completely given up to Satan, so the sincere worshippers of God, though they are encompassed by the infirmity of their flesh and by many sins, and groan under the burden, are called good. This arises from the undeserved kindness of God, who bestows so honorable a designation on those who aim at goodness.

Calvin: Mat 12:34 - Offspring of vipers // How can you speak what is good? 34.Offspring of vipers The similarity between the tree and the fruit is here applied by Christ to nothing more than speech, because this afforded...

34.Offspring of vipers The similarity between the tree and the fruit is here applied by Christ to nothing more than speech, because this afforded an opportunity of detecting the inward and concealed malice of the scribes; and that is the reason why he dwells so much on this one kind of sin. It is because their falsehood and slanders betrayed what was not so visible in the rest of their life, that Christ attacks them with such severity. “There is no reason to wonder,” he says, “that you vomit out wicked words; for your heart is full of malice.” Nor are we to suppose that he ought to have treated them with greater gentleness, because some might regard this reproof as excessively severe. There are other sins, no doubt, that call for harsh reproofs; but when hypocritical persons pervert what is right, or put a false coloring on what is sinful, such wickedness renders it necessary that God should thunder against it in a more terrible manner than against other sins.

Now the design of Christ, suggested by the present occurrence, was to condemn the wicked sophistry which turns light into darkness. This passage shows how highly valuable in the sight of the Lord truth is, since he maintains and defends it with such rigor. Would that this were earnestly considered by those persons, whose ingenuity is too ready to be employed in defending any cause, and whose venal tongue disguises impostures! In a particular manner, Christ waxes wroth against those whom ambition, or envy, or some other fraudulent design, prompts to slander, even when there is nothing that their conscience condemns. Against the Pharisees, too, as his custom was, Christ used greater harshness, because they were so captivated by an unfounded conviction of their righteousness, that an ordinary warning had no effect upon them. And till hypocrites are sharply pierced, 136 all that is said to them is treated with scorn and contempt.

How can you speak what is good? We have formerly hinted, that proverbial sayings ought not to be rigidly interpreted as an invariable rule, for they state nothing more than the ordinary fact. Sometimes, no doubt, a cruel man will deceive the simple by honied flatteries, a cunning man will cheat under the garb of simplicity, and a man of very wicked thoughts will breathe almost angelical purity of language. 137 But the ordinary practice demonstrates the truth of what Christ here says, that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh; agreeably to the old proverb, which declared the tongue to be the index of the mind. 138 And, indeed, whatever hidden and crooked recesses may exist in the heart of man, and whatever may be the amazing contrivances by which every man conceals his vices, yet the Lord extorts from each of them some kind of confession, so that they discover by the tongue their natural disposition and hidden feelings. We must also observe the purpose for which Christ employs those parables; for he reproaches the Pharisees with having manifested by words the malice which they had inwardly conceived. Besides, knowing them to be sworn enemies, he takes occasion from, single calumny to expose their whole life, and to destroy their credit with the people, which gave them too great influence in deceiving and in doing mischief. Though good speeches do not always proceed from the inmost heart, but originate (as the phrase is) on the tip of the tongue, yet it is an invariable truth, that bad speeches are indications of a bad heart.

Calvin: Mat 12:36 - Of every idle word 36.Of every idle word This is an argument from the less to the greater; for if every idle word is to be called in question, how would God spare the...

36.Of every idle word This is an argument from the less to the greater; for if every idle word is to be called in question, how would God spare the open blasphemies and sacrilegious insolence of those who bark against his glory? 139 An idle word means one that is useless, or that yields no edification or advantage. Many look upon this as too severe; 140 but if we consider the purpose for which our tongues were made, we will acknowledge, that those men are justly held guilty who unthinkingly devote them to trifling fooleries, and prostitute them to such a purpose. It is no light fault to abuse, for frivolous purposes, the time, which Paul enjoins us to be careful to redeem, (Eph 5:16; Col 4:5.)

Now since no man is so cautious in speech, or maintains such a wise restraint upon himself, as never to allow some idle words to escape him, there remains for all of us absolute despair, if the Lord should treat us with rigor. But as the confident hope of our salvation rests on the assurance that God will not enter into judgment with us, (Psa 143:2,) but will bury in gracious forgetfulness the sins which deserve innumerable deaths, 141 we entertain no doubt that, when he removes the condemnation of our whole life, he will likewise pardon the guilt of idle talking. When the judgment of God is mentioned in Scripture, it does not in any way set aside the forgiveness of sins. And yet let no man indulge himself, but let every man earnestly endeavor to bridle his tongue, (Jas 1:26.) First, let us speak of the sacred mysteries of God with the utmost reverence and sobriety; secondly, let us abstain from talkativeness, buffoonery, and vain jests, and much more from slanderous attacks; and, lastly, let us endeavor to have our speech seasoned with salt, (Col 4:6.)

Calvin: Mat 12:37 - By thy words thou shalt be justified 37.By thy words thou shalt be justified This was a common proverb, which he applied to the present subject; for I have no doubt that this was a sayin...

37.By thy words thou shalt be justified This was a common proverb, which he applied to the present subject; for I have no doubt that this was a saying which the people had frequently in their mouths, that “every man is condemned or acquitted by his own acknowledgment.” But Christ turns it to a meaning somewhat different, that a wicked speech, being the indication of concealed malice, is enough to condemn a man. The attempt which the Papists make to torture this passage, so as to set aside the righteousness of faith, is childish. A man is justified by his words, not because his speech is the ground of his justification, (for we obtain by faith the favor of God, so that he reckons us to be righteous persons;) but because pure speech 142 absolves us in such a manner, that we are not condemned as wicked persons by our tongue. Is it not absurd to infer from this, that men deserve a single drop of righteousness in the sight of God? On the contrary, this passage upholds our doctrine; for, although Christ does not here treat of the ground of our justification, yet the contrast between the two words points out the meaning of the word justify. The Papists reckon it absurd in us to say, that a man is justified by faith, because they explain the word justified to mean, that he becomes, and is, actually righteous; while we understand it to mean, that he is accounted righteous, and is acquitted before the tribunal of God, as is evident from numerous passages of Scripture. And is not the same thing confirmed by Christ, when he draws a contrast between justified and condemned?

Calvin: Mat 12:39 - A wicked generation // Seeks a sign // A sign shall not be given to it Mat 12:39.A wicked generation He does not merely charge that age with malice, but pronounces the Jews—or at least the scribes, and those who resembl...

Mat 12:39.A wicked generation He does not merely charge that age with malice, but pronounces the Jews—or at least the scribes, and those who resembled them—to be a wicked nation; thus declaring that they labored under a hereditary disease of obstinacy. The word γενεά sometimes denotes an age, and sometimes a people or nation. He calls them adulterous, that is, spurious or illegitimate, 165 because they were degenerated from the holy fathers; as the prophets reproach the men of their age with being not the descendants of Abraham, but the ungodly seed of Canaan.

Seeks a sign This leads to the inquiry, Does Christ address them with such harshness of language, because they wished to have a sign given them? for on other occasions God manifests that He is not so much displeased on this account. Gideon asks a sign, (Jud 6:17,) and God is not angry, but grants his request; and though Gideon becomes importunate and asks another sign, yet God condescends to his weakness. Hezekiah does not ask a sign, and it is offered to him, though unsolicited, (Isa 38:7.) Ahaz is severely blamed for refusing to ask a sign, as the prophet had enjoined him to do, (Isa 7:11.) It is not solely, therefore, because they ask a sign, that Christ makes this attack upon the scribes, but because they are ungrateful to God, wickedly despise so many of his wonderful works, and try to find a subterfuge for not obeying his word. What a display was this, I do not say of indifference, but of malice, in shutting their eyes against so many signs! There was, therefore, no proper ground for this annoyance; and they had no other object in view than to appear to have a good reason for rejecting Christ. Paul condemns their posterity for the same crime, when he says that the Jews require a sign, (1Co 1:22)

A sign shall not be given to it They had already been convicted by various miracles, and Christ does not abstain from exerting his power among them, for the purpose of rendering them inexcusable, but only means that one sign would stand for all, because they were unworthy of having their ungodly desire granted. “Let them rest satisfied,” says he, “with this sign, that as Jonah, brought up from the bottom of the sea, preached to the Ninevites, so they will hear the voice of a prophet risen from the dead.” The most of commentators, I am aware, display greater ingenuity in expounding this passage; but as the resemblance between Christ and Jonah does not hold at every point, we must inquire in what respect Christ compares himself to Jonah. For my own part, leaving the speculations of other men, I think that Christ intends to mark out that single point of resemblance which I have already hinted, that he will be their prophet after that he is risen from the dead. “You despise,” he says, “the Son of God, who has come down to you from heaven: but I am yet to die, and to rise from the grave, and to speak to you after my resurrection, as Jonah came from the bottom of the sea to Nineveh.” In this manner our Lord cuts off every pretense for their wicked demands, by threatening that he will be their Prophet after his resurrection, since they do not receive him while clothed with mortal flesh.

Calvin: Mat 12:41 - The men of Nineveh will rise in judgment Mat 12:41.The men of Nineveh will rise in judgment Having spoken of the Ninevites, Christ takes occasion to show that the scribes and others, by whom ...

Mat 12:41.The men of Nineveh will rise in judgment Having spoken of the Ninevites, Christ takes occasion to show that the scribes and others, by whom his doctrine is rejected, are worse than the Ninevites were. “Ungodly men,” he says, “who never had heard a word of the true God, repented at the voice of an unknown and foreign person who came to them; while this country, which is the sanctuary of heavenly doctrine, hears not the Son of God, and the promised Redeemer.” Here lies the contrast which is implied in the comparison. We know who the Ninevites were, men altogether unaccustomed to hear prophets, and destitute of the true doctrine. Jonah had no rank to secure their respect, but was likely to be rejected as a foreigner. The Jews, on the other hand, boasted that among them the Word of God had its seat and habitation. If they had beheld Christ with pure eyes, 167 they must have acknowledged, not only that he was a teacher sent from heaven, but that he was the Messiah, and the promised Author of Salvation. But if that nation was convicted of desperate ungodliness, for despising Christ while he spoke to them on earth, we are worse than all the unbelievers that ever existed, if the Son of God, now that he inhabits his sanctuary in heaven, and addresses us with a heavenly voice, does not bring us to obey him. Whether the men of Nineveh were truly and perfectly turned to God I judge it unnecessary to inquire. It is enough for the present purpose that they were so deeply affected by the teaching of Jonah, as to have their minds directed to repentance.

Calvin: Mat 12:42 - The queen of the south 42.The queen of the south As Ethiopia lies in a southerly direction from Judea, I willingly concur with Josephus and other writers, who assert that s...

42.The queen of the south As Ethiopia lies in a southerly direction from Judea, I willingly concur with Josephus and other writers, who assert that she was the queen of Ethiopia. In sacred history she is called the queen of Sheba, (2Ch 9:1.) We must not suppose this Sheba to be the country of Saba, which rather lay toward the east, but a town situated in Meroe, an island on the Nile, which was the metropolis of the kingdom. Here, too, we must attend to the points of contrast. A woman who had not been at all educated in the school of God, was induced, by the desire of instruction, to come from a distant region to Solomon, an earthly king; while the Jews, who had been instructed in the divine law, reject their highest and only teacher, the Prince of all the prophets. The word condemn relates not to the persons, but to the fact itself, and the example which it yields.

Calvin: Mat 12:43 - But when the unclean spirit hath gone out // Secondly // Thirdly // He walketh through dry places 43.But when the unclean spirit hath gone out He speaks of scribes and hypocrites of a similar character, who, despising the grace of God, enter into ...

43.But when the unclean spirit hath gone out He speaks of scribes and hypocrites of a similar character, who, despising the grace of God, enter into a conspiracy with the devil. Against such persons he pronounces that punishment which their ingratitude deserves. To make his doctrine more extensively useful, he points out, in a general manner, the condemnation that awaits those who, despising the grace offered to them, again open the door to the devil. But as almost every particle has great weight, there are some points that must be noticed in their order, before we come to treat the substance of the parable.

What Christ says about the going out of the devil is intended to magnify the power and efficacy of the grace of God. Whenever God draws near to us, and, above all, when he approaches us in the person of his Son, the design is, to rescue us from the tyranny of the devil, and to receive us into his favor. This had been openly declared by Christ in the miracle which he had lately performed. As it is the peculiar office of Christ to banish wicked spirits, that they may no longer reign over men, the devil is justly said to go out of those men to whom Christ exhibits himself as a Redeemer. Though the presence of Christ is not efficacious to all, because unbelievers render it useless to them, yet he intended to point out why he visits us, what is implied in his coming, and how it is regarded by wicked spirits; for in every case in which Christ operates on men, the devils are drawn into a contest with him, and sink beneath his power. Let us, therefore, hold it to be a settled point, that the devil is cast out of us, whenever Christ shines upon us, and displays his grace towards us by some manifestation.

Secondly, the wretched condition of the whole human race is here described to us; for it follows that the devil has a residence within man, since he is driven from it by the Son of God. Now what is here said relates not to one individual or to another, but to the whole posterity of Adam. And this is the glory of our nature, that the devil has his seat within us, and inhabits both the body and the soul. So much the more illustrious is the display of the mercy of God, when we, who were the loathsome dens of the devil, are made temples to Himself, and consecrated for a habitation of His Spirit.

Thirdly, we have here a description of Satan’s nature. He never ceases to do us injury, but is continually busy, and moves from one place to another. In a word, he directs all his efforts to accomplish our destruction; and above all, when he has been vanquished and put to flight by Christ, it only tends more to whet his rage and keenness to do us injury. 144 Before Christ makes us partakers of his energy, it seems as if it were in sport and amusement that this enemy reigns over us; 145 but when he has been driven out, he conceives resentment at having lost his prey, collects new forces, and arouses all his senses to attack us anew.

He walketh through dry places This is a metaphorical expression, and denotes that to dwell out of men is to him a wretched banishment, and resembles a barren wilderness. Such, too, is the import of the phrase, seeking rest, so long as he dwells out of men; for then he is displeased and tormented, and ceases not to labor by one means or by another, till he recover what he has lost. 146 Let us, therefore, learn that, as soon as Christ calls us, a sharper and fiercer contest is prepared for us. Though he meditates the destruction of all, and though the words of Peter apply to all without exception, that he

goeth about as a roaring lion, and seeketh whom he may devour,
(1Pe 5:8,)

yet we are plainly taught by these words of Christ, that Satan views with deeper hatred, and attacks with greater fierceness and rage, those who have been rescued from his snares. Such an admonition, however, ought not to inspire us with terror, but to arouse us to keep diligent watch, and to put on the spiritual armor, that we may make a brave resistance.

Calvin: Mat 12:44 - He findeth it empty 44.He findeth it empty Christ is unquestionably describing those who, being destitute of the Spirit of God, are prepared for receiving the devil; for...

44.He findeth it empty Christ is unquestionably describing those who, being destitute of the Spirit of God, are prepared for receiving the devil; for believers, in whom the Spirit of God efficaciously dwells, are fortified on all sides, so that no opening is left for Satan. The metaphor of a house swept and embellished is taken from men who find pleasure in the cleanness and neatness of their apartments; for to Satan no sight is beautiful but deformity itself, and no smell is sweet but filth and nastiness. The meaning therefore is, that Satan never finds a more appropriate habitation within us, than when, having parted with Christ, we receive Satan as a guest. 147 His highest delight is in that emptiness by which the neglect of divine grace is followed. 148

Calvin: Mat 12:45 - He taketh with him seven other spirits 45.He taketh with him seven other spirits The number seven is here used indefinitely, as in many other passages. By these words Christ shows that i...

45.He taketh with him seven other spirits The number seven is here used indefinitely, as in many other passages. By these words Christ shows that if we fall from his grace, our subjection to Satan is doubled, so that he treats us with greater cruelty than before, and that this is the just punishment of our slothfulness. 149 Let us not then suppose that the devil has been vanquished by a single combat, because he has once gone out of us. On the contrary, let us remember that, as his lodgment within us was of old standing, ever since we were born, he has knowledge and experience of all the approaches by which he may reach us; and that, if there be no open and direct entrance, he has dexterity enough to creep in by small holes or winding crevices. 150 We must, therefore, endeavor that Christ, holding his reign within us, may block up all the entrances of his adversary. Whatever may be the fierceness or violence of Satan’s attacks, they ought not to intimidate the sons of God, whom the invincible power of the Holy Spirit preserves in safety. We know that the punishment which is here threatened is addressed to none but those who despise the grace of God, and who, by extinguishing the light of faith, and banishing the desire of godliness, 151 become profane.

Calvin: Mat 12:48 - Who is my mother? Mat 12:48.Who is my mother? These words were unquestionably intended to reprove Mary’s eagerness, and she certainly acted improperly in attempting t...

Mat 12:48.Who is my mother? These words were unquestionably intended to reprove Mary’s eagerness, and she certainly acted improperly in attempting to interrupt the progress of his discourse. 157 At the same time, by disparaging the relationship of flesh and blood, our Lord teaches a very useful doctrine; for he admits all his disciples and all believers to the same honorable rank, as if they were his nearest relatives, or rather he places them in the room of his mother and brethren Now this statement is closely connected with the office of Christ; for he tells us that he has been given, not to a small number of individuals, but to all the godly, who are united in one body with him by faith. He tells us also, that there is no tie of relationship more sacred than spiritual relationship, because we ought not to think of him according to the flesh, but according to the power of his Spirit which he has received from the Father to renew men, so that those who are by nature the polluted and accursed seed of Abraham begin to be by grace the holy and heavenly sons of God. In like manner, Paul affirms that to know Christ after the flesh is not to know him properly, (2Co 5:16,) because we ought rather to consider that renovation of the world, which far exceeds human power, and which takes place when he forms us anew by his Spirit to the image of God. To sum up the whole, this passage, first, teaches us to behold Christ with the eyes of faith; and, secondly, it informs us, that every one who is regenerated by the Spirit, and gives himself up entirely to God for true justification, is thus admitted to the closest union with Christ, and becomes one with him.

Calvin: Mat 12:50 - For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven 50.For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven When he says that they do the will of his Father, he does not mean that they fulfi...

50.For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven When he says that they do the will of his Father, he does not mean that they fulfill, in a perfect manner, the whole righteousness of the law; for in that sense the name brother, which is here given by him to his disciples, would not apply to any man. 158 But his design is, to bestow the highest commendation on faith, which is the source and origin of holy obedience, and at the same time covers the defects and sins of the flesh, that they may not be imputed. This, says Christ in a well-known passage,

is the will of my Father, that whosoever seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may not perish, but have eternal life,
(Joh 6:40.)

Although these words seem to imply that Christ has no regard to the ties of blood, yet we know that in reality he paid the strictest attention to human order, 159 and discharged his lawful duties towards relatives; but points out that, in comparison of spiritual relationship, no regard, or very little, is due to the relationship of the flesh. Let us therefore attend to this comparison, so as to perform all that nature can justly claim, and, at the same time, not to be too strongly attached to flesh and blood. Again, as Christ bestows on the disciples of his Gospel the inestimable honor of being reckoned as his brethren, we must be held guilty of the basest ingratitude, if we do not disregard all the desires of the flesh, and direct every effort towards this object.

Defender: Mat 12:8 - sabbath day The Son of man, in fact, established the sabbath day when He "rested from all his work which God created and made" (Gen 2:3). As the Creator of all th...

The Son of man, in fact, established the sabbath day when He "rested from all his work which God created and made" (Gen 2:3). As the Creator of all things (Joh 1:1-3), Christ surely had all authority over the sabbath day, especially "to do well on the sabbath" (Mat 12:2)."

Defender: Mat 12:13 - restored whole The Pharisees thus saw direct evidence that Christ was Creator, for it would require a miracle of creation to make a withered hand whole. Yet this mer...

The Pharisees thus saw direct evidence that Christ was Creator, for it would require a miracle of creation to make a withered hand whole. Yet this merely strengthened their resolve to destroy Him (Mat 12:14)."

Defender: Mat 12:17 - spoken by Esaias Matthew confirms in Mat 12:17-20 that the remarkable prophecy of Isa 42:1-3 was fulfilled in Christ."

Matthew confirms in Mat 12:17-20 that the remarkable prophecy of Isa 42:1-3 was fulfilled in Christ."

Defender: Mat 12:26 - divided against himself See note on Mat 9:34."

See note on Mat 9:34."

Defender: Mat 12:32 - not be forgiven him The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture....

The unforgivable sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit has been interpreted in various ways, but the true meaning cannot contradict other Scripture. It is unequivocally clear that the one unforgivable sin is permanently rejecting Christ (Joh 3:18; Joh 3:36). Thus, speaking against the Holy Spirit is equivalent to rejecting Christ with such finality that no future repentance is possible. "My spirit shall not always strive with man," God said long ago (Gen 6:3). Jesus added: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" (Joh 6:44). In the context of this particular passage (Mat 12:22-32), Jesus had performed a great miracle of creation, involving both healing and casting out a demon, but the Pharisees rejected this clear witness of the Holy Spirit. Instead they attributed His powers to Satan, thus demonstrating an attitude permanently resistant to the Spirit, and to the deity and saving Gospel of Christ."

Defender: Mat 12:34 - generation of vipers Jesus could be as severe in His condemnation of sin, especially the sins of pride and hypocrisy, as any Old Testament pronouncement of God (see also M...

Jesus could be as severe in His condemnation of sin, especially the sins of pride and hypocrisy, as any Old Testament pronouncement of God (see also Mat 23:33)."

Defender: Mat 12:36 - idle word Evidently the words men speak will have a bearing on their degrees of reward in heaven or degrees of suffering in hell."

Evidently the words men speak will have a bearing on their degrees of reward in heaven or degrees of suffering in hell."

Defender: Mat 12:39 - seeketh after a sign "Sign" is the same word as "miracle." This rebuke from Christ seems applicable to those Christians today who are continually looking for miraculous ma...

"Sign" is the same word as "miracle." This rebuke from Christ seems applicable to those Christians today who are continually looking for miraculous manifestations of one kind or another. We already have the completed Word of God with abundant testimony to its inerrant authority, not to mention the tremendous scientific evidence of creation and historical evidence of Christ's victory over death. So there is no need for further miraculous confirmation of our faith."

Defender: Mat 12:40 - whale's belly The remarkable miracle of Jonah and the great fish (Jon 1:17) has been ridiculed by many generations of skeptics, but the Lord Jesus confirmed that it...

The remarkable miracle of Jonah and the great fish (Jon 1:17) has been ridiculed by many generations of skeptics, but the Lord Jesus confirmed that it really happened. Furthermore, He appropriated it as a prophetic type of His own coming death and resurrection. The Greek word translated "whale," incidentally, does not necessarily mean "whale," but any great marine animal.

Defender: Mat 12:40 - three days and three nights If "three days and three nights" is taken to mean literally seventy-two hours, there would be an apparent contradiction with the over eleven prophecie...

If "three days and three nights" is taken to mean literally seventy-two hours, there would be an apparent contradiction with the over eleven prophecies and records that contend Christ would rise on "the third day" (Mat 16:21; Mat 20:19; Joh 2:19; 1Co 15:4). This reckoning would oppose the uniform tradition of the church that He was crucified on Friday and rose on Sunday. The problem is resolved if one assumes that any portion of a day or night could be idiomatically reckoned as a "day and night." Actual extra-Biblical justification for assuming this idiomatic usage here exists. Thus, if three calendar dates are involved, they can be counted as the entire three days and nights. At least two similar usages can be found in the Old Testament. Note Est 4:16 in comparison with Est 5:1, and 1Sa 30:12 in comparison with 1Sa 30:13."

Defender: Mat 12:50 - mother This mild rebuke to Mary did not indicate a lack of love or filial respect on Jesus' part (Joh 19:27), but does show that she does not hold priority w...

This mild rebuke to Mary did not indicate a lack of love or filial respect on Jesus' part (Joh 19:27), but does show that she does not hold priority with Him over other believers in the family of God."

TSK: Mat 12:1 - went // to pluck went : Mar 2:23-28; Luk 6:1-5 to pluck : Deu 23:25

went : Mar 2:23-28; Luk 6:1-5

to pluck : Deu 23:25

TSK: Mat 12:2 - Behold Behold : Mat 12:10; Exo 20:9-11, Exo 23:12, Exo 31:15-17, Exo 35:2; Num 15:32-36; Isa 58:13; Mar 3:2-5; Luk 6:6-11, Luk 13:10-17, Luk 23:56; Joh 5:9-1...

TSK: Mat 12:3 - Have // what Have : Mat 12:5, Mat 19:4, Mat 21:16, Mat 22:31; Mar 12:10,Mar 12:26; Luk 6:3, Luk 10:26 what : 1Sa 21:3-6; Mar 2:25, Mar 2:26

TSK: Mat 12:4 - but the shew-bread, Exo 25:30; Lev 24:5-9 but : Exo 29:32, Exo 29:33; Lev 8:31, Lev 24:9

TSK: Mat 12:5 - on // profane on : Num 28:9, Num 28:10; Joh 7:22, Joh 7:23 profane : Neh 13:17; Eze 24:21

TSK: Mat 12:6 - -- Mat 12:41, Mat 12:42, Mat 23:17-21; 2Ch 6:18; Hag 2:7-9; Mal 3:1; Joh 2:19-21; Eph 2:20-22; Col 2:9; 1Pe 2:4, 1Pe 2:5

TSK: Mat 12:7 - if // I will // condemned if : Mat 9:13, Mat 22:29; Act 13:27 I will : That is, I desire, or require mercy, or acts of humanity, rather than sacrifice. Isa 1:11-17; Hos 6:6; Mi...

if : Mat 9:13, Mat 22:29; Act 13:27

I will : That is, I desire, or require mercy, or acts of humanity, rather than sacrifice. Isa 1:11-17; Hos 6:6; Mic 6:6-8

condemned : Job 32:3; Psa 94:21, Psa 109:31; Pro 17:15; Jam 5:6

TSK: Mat 12:8 - -- Mat 9:6; Mar 2:28, Mar 9:4-7; Luk 6:5; Joh 5:17-23; 1Co 9:21, 1Co 16:2; Rev 1:10

TSK: Mat 12:9 - he went he went : Mar 3:1-5; Luk 6:6-11

he went : Mar 3:1-5; Luk 6:6-11

TSK: Mat 12:10 - which // Is it // that which : 1Ki 13:4-6; Zec 11:17; Joh 5:3 Is it : Mat 19:3, Mat 22:17, Mat 22:18; Luk 13:14, Luk 14:3-6, Luk 20:22; Joh 5:10, Joh 9:16 that : Isa 32:6, I...

TSK: Mat 12:11 - what // and if what : This was an argumentum ad homineṁ The Jews held that such things were lawful on the sabbath day, and our Saviour very properly appealed ...

what : This was an argumentum ad homineṁ The Jews held that such things were lawful on the sabbath day, and our Saviour very properly appealed to their canons in vindication of his intention to heal the distressed man. Luk 13:15-17, Luk 14:5

and if : Exo 23:4, Exo 23:5; Deu 22:4

TSK: Mat 12:12 - is a // it is is a : Mat 6:26; Luk 12:24 it is : Mar 3:4; Luk 6:9

is a : Mat 6:26; Luk 12:24

it is : Mar 3:4; Luk 6:9

TSK: Mat 12:13 - and it and it : Luk 13:13; Act 3:7, Act 3:8

TSK: Mat 12:14 - went // held a council went : Mat 27:1; Mar 3:6; Luk 6:11; Joh 5:18, Joh 10:39, Joh 11:53, Joh 11:57 held a council : or, took counsel

went : Mat 27:1; Mar 3:6; Luk 6:11; Joh 5:18, Joh 10:39, Joh 11:53, Joh 11:57

held a council : or, took counsel

TSK: Mat 12:15 - he withdrew // great he withdrew : Mat 10:23; Luk 6:12; Joh 7:1, Joh 10:40-42, Joh 11:54 great : Mat 4:24, Mat 4:25, Mat 19:2; Mar 3:7-12, Mar 6:56; Luk 6:17-19; Joh 9:4; ...

TSK: Mat 12:16 - -- Mat 9:30, Mat 17:9; Mar 7:36; Luk 5:14, Luk 5:15

TSK: Mat 12:17 - it // saying it : Mat 8:17, Mat 13:35, Mat 21:4; Isa 41:22, Isa 41:23, Isa 42:9, Isa 44:26; Luk 21:22, Luk 24:44; Joh 10:35, Joh 12:38, Joh 19:28; Act 13:27 saying...

TSK: Mat 12:18 - Behold // my servant // whom I // my beloved // I will // and he Behold : This prophecy is expressly referred to the Messiah by the Targumist, who renders, ""Behold my servant the Messiah,""etc., ha avdi mesheecha...

Behold : This prophecy is expressly referred to the Messiah by the Targumist, who renders, ""Behold my servant the Messiah,""etc., ha avdi mesheecha ; and it was amply fulfilled in the gentle, lowly, condescending and beneficent nature of Christ’ s miracles and personal ministry, his perseverance in the midst of opposition, without engaging in contentious disputation, and his kind and tender dealing with weak and tempted believers.

my servant : Isa 49:5, Isa 49:6, Isa 52:13, Isa 53:11; Zec 3:8; Phi 2:6, Phi 2:7

whom I : Psa 89:19; Isa 49:1-3; Luk 23:35; 1Pe 2:4

my beloved : Mat 3:17, Mat 17:5; Mar 1:11, Mar 9:7; Luk 9:35; Eph 1:6; Col 1:1, Col 1:13 *marg. 2Pe 1:17

I will : Mat 3:16; Isa 11:2, Isa 59:20,Isa 59:21, Isa 61:1-3; Luk 3:22, Luk 4:18; Joh 1:32-34, Joh 3:34; Act 10:38

and he : Isa 32:15, Isa 32:16, Isa 49:6, Isa 60:2, Isa 60:3, Isa 62:2; Jer 16:19; Luk 2:31, Luk 2:32; Act 11:18; Act 13:46-48, Act 14:27, Act 26:17, Act 26:18; Rom 15:9-12; Eph 2:11-13, Eph 3:5-8

TSK: Mat 12:19 - -- Mat 11:29; Zec 9:9; Luk 17:20; Joh 18:36-38; 2Co 10:1; 2Ti 2:24, 2Ti 2:25

TSK: Mat 12:20 - bruised // till bruised : Mat 11:28; 2Ki 18:21; Psa 51:17, Psa 147:3; Isa 40:11, Isa 57:15, Isa 61:1-3; Lam 3:31-34; Eze 34:16; Luk 4:18; 2Co 2:7; Heb 12:12, Heb 12:1...

TSK: Mat 12:21 - -- Isa 11:10; Rom 15:12, Rom 15:13; Eph 1:12, Eph 1:13; Col 1:27

TSK: Mat 12:22 - was // he healed // blind was : Mat 9:32; Mar 3:11; Luk 11:14 he healed : Mar 7:35-37, Mar 9:17-26 blind : Psa 51:15; Isa 29:18, Isa 32:3, Isa 32:4, Isa 35:5, Isa 35:6; Act 26:...

TSK: Mat 12:23 - the people // Is not the people : Mat 9:33, Mat 15:30,Mat 15:31 Is not : Mat 9:27, Mat 15:22, Mat 21:9, Mat 22:42, Mat 22:43; Joh 4:29, Joh 7:40-42

TSK: Mat 12:24 - when // Beelzebub when : Mat 9:34; Mar 3:22; Luk 11:15 Beelzebub : Gr. Beelzebul, and so, Mat 12:27

when : Mat 9:34; Mar 3:22; Luk 11:15

Beelzebub : Gr. Beelzebul, and so, Mat 12:27

TSK: Mat 12:25 - Jesus // Every kingdom Jesus : Mat 9:4; Psa 139:2; Jer 17:10; Amo 4:13; Mar 2:8; Joh 2:24, Joh 2:25, Joh 21:17; 1Co 2:11; Heb 4:13; Rev 2:23 Every kingdom : Isa 9:21, Isa 19...

TSK: Mat 12:26 - his his : Joh 12:31, Joh 14:30, Joh 16:11; 2Co 4:4; Col 1:13; 1Jo 5:19; Rev 9:11; Rev 12:9, Rev 16:10, Rev 20:2, Rev 20:3

TSK: Mat 12:27 - Beelzebub // by whom // they Beelzebub : Mat 12:24 by whom : Mar 9:38, Mar 9:39; Luk 9:49, Luk 9:50, Luk 11:19; Act 19:13-16 they : Mat 12:41, Mat 12:42; Luk 19:22; Rom 3:19

TSK: Mat 12:28 - I cast // then I cast : Mat 12:18; Mar 16:17; Luk 11:20; Act 10:38 then : Mat 6:33, Mat 21:31, Mat 21:43; Isa 9:6, Isa 9:7; Dan 2:44, Dan 7:14; Mar 1:15, Mar 11:10; ...

TSK: Mat 12:29 - -- Isa 49:24, Isa 53:12; Mar 3:27; Luk 11:21, Luk 11:22; 1Jo 3:8, 1Jo 4:4; Rev 12:7-10; Rev 20:1-3, Rev 20:7-9

TSK: Mat 12:30 - that is // gathereth that is : Mat 6:24; Jos 5:13, Jos 24:15; 1Ch 12:17, 1Ch 12:18; Mar 9:40; Luk 9:50, Luk 11:23; 2Co 6:15, 2Co 6:16; 1Jo 2:19; Rev 3:15, Rev 3:16 gathere...

TSK: Mat 12:31 - All // blasphemy // but All : Isa 1:18, Isa 55:7; Eze 33:11; 1Ti 1:13-15; Heb 6:4 *etc: Heb 10:26, Heb 10:29; 1Jo 1:9, 1Jo 2:1, 1Jo 2:2 blasphemy : Blasphemy, βλασφημ...

All : Isa 1:18, Isa 55:7; Eze 33:11; 1Ti 1:13-15; Heb 6:4 *etc: Heb 10:26, Heb 10:29; 1Jo 1:9, 1Jo 2:1, 1Jo 2:2

blasphemy : Blasphemy, βλασφημια [Strong’ s G988], either from βλαπειν [Strong’ s G984], την φημην , to hurt, or blast the reputation, or from βαλλειν [Strong’ s G906], ταις φημαις , to smite with words, or reports, when applied to men denotes injurious speaking, or calumny, and when used in reference to God signifies speaking impiously of his nature, attributes, and works.

but : Mar 3:28-30; Luk 12:10; Act 7:51; 1Jo 5:16

TSK: Mat 12:32 - whosoever // but // it shall not whosoever : Mat 11:19, Mat 13:55; Luk 7:34, Luk 23:34; Joh 7:12, Joh 7:52; Act 3:14, Act 3:15, Act 3:19; Act 26:9-11; 1Ti 1:13, 1Ti 1:15 but : Joh 7:3...

TSK: Mat 12:33 - and his fruit good make the good tree, Mat 23:26; Eze 18:31; Amo 5:15; Luk 11:39, Luk 11:40; Jam 4:8 and his fruit good : Mat 3:8-10, Mat 7:16-20; Luk 3:9, Luk 6:43, Luk...

TSK: Mat 12:34 - generation // how // for generation : Mat 3:7, Mat 23:33; Luk 3:7; Joh 8:44; 1Jo 3:10 how : 1Sa 24:13; Psa 10:6, Psa 10:7, Psa 52:2-5, Psa 53:1, Psa 64:3, Psa 64:5, Psa 120:2-...

TSK: Mat 12:35 - good man // and an good man : Mat 13:52; Psa 37:30,Psa 37:31; Pro 10:20,Pro 10:21, Pro 12:6, Pro 12:17-19, Pro 15:4, Pro 15:23, Pro 15:28; Pro 16:21-23, Pro 25:11, Pro 2...

TSK: Mat 12:36 - every // idle word every : Ecc 12:14; Rom 2:16; Eph 6:4-6; Jud 1:14, Jud 1:15; Rev 20:12 idle word : Ρημα [Strong’ s G4487], αργος [Strong’ s G6...

every : Ecc 12:14; Rom 2:16; Eph 6:4-6; Jud 1:14, Jud 1:15; Rev 20:12

idle word : Ρημα [Strong’ s G4487], αργος [Strong’ s G692], i.e., ἀεργον - (work, act, deed) from α , privative, and εργον [Strong’ s G2041], work, a word that produces no good effect, and is not calculated to produce any. ""Discourse,""says Dr. Doddridge, ""tending to innocent mirth, to exhilarate the spirits, is not idle discourse; as the time spent in necessary recreation is not idle time.""

TSK: Mat 12:37 - For by // justified For by : Pro 13:3 justified : Jam 2:21-25

For by : Pro 13:3

justified : Jam 2:21-25

TSK: Mat 12:38 - Master Master : Mat 16:1-4; Mar 8:11, Mar 8:12; Luk 11:16, Luk 11:29; Joh 2:18, Joh 4:48; 1Co 1:22

TSK: Mat 12:39 - adulterous // no sign adulterous : Isa 57:3; Mar 8:38; Jam 4:4 no sign : Mat 16:4; Luk 11:29, Luk 11:30

adulterous : Isa 57:3; Mar 8:38; Jam 4:4

no sign : Mat 16:4; Luk 11:29, Luk 11:30

TSK: Mat 12:40 - as // so // in the heart as : Jon 1:17 so : Mat 16:21, Mat 17:23, Mat 27:40,Mat 27:63, Mat 27:64; Joh 2:19 in the heart : Psa 63:9; Jon 2:2-6

TSK: Mat 12:41 - men // rise // this // because // behold men : Luk 11:32 rise : Mat 12:42; Isa 54:17; Jer 3:11; Eze 16:51, Eze 16:52; Rom 2:27; Heb 11:7 this : Mat 12:39, Mat 12:45, Mat 16:4, Mat 17:17, Mat ...

TSK: Mat 12:42 - queen // hear // behold queen : 1Ki 10:1-13; 2Ch 9:1-12; Luk 11:31, Luk 11:32; Act 8:27, Act 8:28 hear : 1Ki 3:9, 1Ki 3:12, 1Ki 3:28, 1Ki 4:29, 1Ki 4:34, 1Ki 5:12, 1Ki 10:4, ...

TSK: Mat 12:43 - when // the unclean // he // dry // seeking when : Had there been no reality in demoniacal possessions, as some have supposed, our Lord would scarcely have appealed to a case of this kind here, ...

when : Had there been no reality in demoniacal possessions, as some have supposed, our Lord would scarcely have appealed to a case of this kind here, to point out the real state of the Jewish people, and their approaching desolation. Had this been only a vulgar error, of the nonsense of which the learned scribes and wise Pharisees must have been convinced, the case, not being in point, because not true, must have been treated with contempt by the very people for whose conviction it was designed.

the unclean : Luk 11:24; Act 8:13

he : Job 1:7, Job 2:2; 1Pe 5:8

dry : Psa 63:1; Isa 35:6, Isa 35:7, Isa 41:18; Eze 47:8-12; Amo 8:11-13

seeking : Mat 8:29; Mar 5:7-13; Luk 8:28-32

TSK: Mat 12:44 - my // he findeth my : Mat 12:29; Luk 11:21, Luk 11:22; Joh 13:27; Eph 2:2; 1Jo 4:4 he findeth : Mat 13:20-22; Psa 81:11, Psa 81:12; Hos 7:6; Joh 12:6, Joh 13:2; Act 5:...

TSK: Mat 12:45 - seven // more // and the // Even seven : Mat 12:24; Mar 5:9, Mar 16:9; Eph 6:12 more : Mat 23:15 and the : Luk 11:26; Heb 6:4-8, Heb 10:26-31, Heb 10:39; 2Pe 2:14-22; 1Jo 5:16, 1Jo 5:...

seven : Mat 12:24; Mar 5:9, Mar 16:9; Eph 6:12

more : Mat 23:15

and the : Luk 11:26; Heb 6:4-8, Heb 10:26-31, Heb 10:39; 2Pe 2:14-22; 1Jo 5:16, 1Jo 5:17; Jud 1:10-13

Even : And so it was; for they became worse and worse, as if totally abandoned to diabolical influence, till the besom of destruction swept them away. Mat 21:38-44, Mat 23:32-39, Mat 23:24, Mat 23:34; Luk 11:49-51, Luk 19:41-44; Joh 15:22-24; Rom 11:8-10; 1Th 2:15, 1Th 2:16

TSK: Mat 12:46 - yet // his yet : Mar 2:21, Mar 3:31-35; Luk 8:10,Luk 8:19-21 his : Mat 13:55; Mar 6:3; Joh 2:12, Joh 7:3, Joh 7:5, Joh 7:10; Act 1:14; 1Co 9:5; Gal 1:19

TSK: Mat 12:48 - Who is Who is : Mat 10:37; Deu 33:9; Mar 3:32, Mar 3:33; Luk 2:49, Luk 2:52; Joh 2:3, Joh 2:4; 2Co 5:16

TSK: Mat 12:49 - his disciples his disciples : Mat 28:7; Mar 3:34; Joh 17:8, Joh 17:9, Joh 17:20, Joh 20:17-20

TSK: Mat 12:50 - do // the same // and sister // and mother do : Mat 7:20,Mat 7:21, Mat 17:5; Mar 3:35; Luk 8:21, Luk 11:27, Luk 11:28; Joh 6:29, Joh 6:40, Joh 15:14; Act 3:22, Act 3:23, Act 16:30,Act 16:31, Ac...

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Poole: Mat 12:1 - went through the corn, and his disciples were an hungred Mat 12:1-8 Christ alleges scripture in excuse of his disciples, whom the Pharisees charged with breaking the sabbath in plucking the ears of corn o...

Mat 12:1-8 Christ alleges scripture in excuse of his disciples,

whom the Pharisees charged with breaking the sabbath

in plucking the ears of corn on the sabbath day.

Mat 12:9-13 He appeals to reason, and healeth the withered hand

on the sabbath day.

Mat 12:14-21 The Pharisees seek to destroy him: a prophecy of

Esaias fulfilled in him.

Mat 12:22,23 He healeth one possessed of a devil, who was blind

and dumb,

Mat 12:24-37 and confuting the absurd charge of his casting out

devils by Beelzebub, he showeth that blasphemy

against the Holy Ghost is an unpardonable sin, and

that every idle word must be accounted for.

Mat 12:38-45 He rebuketh those that sought of him a sign,

Mat 12:46-50 and showeth whom he regardeth as his nearest relations.

Mark relating this story, Mar 2:23 , varies little. Luke relating it, Luk 6:1 , saith it was on the second sabbath after the first, and his disciples did eat, rubbing them. God in his law, Deu 23:25 , had said, When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand, but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbour’ s standing corn. To take for our need so much of our neighbour’ s goods as we may reasonably think that, if he were present, and knew our circumstances, he would give us, is no theft. The Pharisees therefore do not accuse them of theft, but of violation of the sabbath. Luke saith this happened upon the second sabbath after the first. Whether that was the sabbath next following the feast of unleavened bread, (which was about the time of our Easter), the first and last days of which were sabbaths in the Jewish sense, or the feast of tabernacles, or any other, is not much material for us to know. But on a sabbath day it was that our Saviour

went through the corn, and his disciples were an hungred: this may teach us their low estate and condition in the world. He could quickly have supplied their hunger, but he chose to leave them to relieve themselves with plucking, rubbing, and eating of the corn, that he might have an opportunity to instruct them and the Pharisees in the true doctrine of the sabbath.

Poole: Mat 12:2 - -- So saith Mark, Mar 2:24 , only he puts it into the form of a question. Luke adds nothing, Luk 6:2 , but saith, certain of the Pharisees. They gr...

So saith Mark, Mar 2:24 , only he puts it into the form of a question. Luke adds nothing, Luk 6:2 , but saith, certain of the Pharisees. They granted the thing lawful to be done another day, but not on the sabbath day. How blind is superstition, that they could think that it was contrary to the will of God, that his people should fit themselves for the service of the sabbath by a moderate refreshment! Some of the Pharisees ordinarily attended Christ’ s motions, not to be instructed by him, but (as is afterward said) that they might have something whereof to accuse him. What a little thing do they carp at! Wherein was the sin? The plucking of a few ears of corn, and rubbing them, could hardly be called servile labour, especially not in the sense of the commandment, which restrained not necessary labour, but such labour as took them off from the duties of the sabbath; but their tradition had made this unlawful, as it was a little reaping and a kind of threshing. Hypocrites and formalists are always most zealous for little things in the law, or for their own additaments to it.

Poole: Mat 12:3-4 - -- Ver. 3,4. Mark and Luke add little, only Mark specifies the time, in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and saith, when he had need, and was...

Ver. 3,4. Mark and Luke add little, only Mark specifies the time, in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and saith, when he had need, and was an hungred. We have the history, 1Sa 21:1-15 . David was upon his flight from Saul, upon the notice of his danger given him by Jonathan, 1Sa 20:1-42 , and being hungry, he asks of the high priest five loaves of broad; the high priest tells him he had none but hallowed bread , which the high priest gave him, 1Sa 21:6 . What the shewbread was may be read, Lev 24:5-9 : it is expressly said, a stranger shall not eat thereof. Now (saith our Saviour) notwithstanding this, David and his followers, being an hungred, did eat thereof, though strictly, according to the letter of the law, none but the priests might eat it.

But some may object: What was this to the purpose? It was not upon the sabbath day.

Answer:

1. It was either upon the sabbath day, or immediately after, for it was to be set on every sabbath day, and to be eaten in the holy place, Lev 24:8,9 , and the high priest told David, 1Sa 21:6 , that it was taken away to set hot bread in the room of it.

2. But secondly, that which our Saviour produces this for, was to prove a more general proposition, which being proved, the lawfulness of his disciples’ act would easily be inferred from it. That was this: That the letter of a ritual law is not to be insisted upon, where some eminent necessity urges the contrary, in the performance of some natural or moral duty.

The law of nature commandeth every man to feed himself when he is hungry. The moral law confirms this, as it is a means to the observation of the sixth commandment, and especially on the sabbath day, so far as may fit us for the best sanctification of it. The law concerning the shewbread was but a ritual law, and that part of it which restrained the use of it when taken off from the holy table was of lightest concern, as it commanded it should be eaten by the priests only, and by them in the holy place. Where the life, or necessary relief, of men was concerned, the obligation of the ritual law ceased, and that was lawful, both for David and the high priest, which in ordinary cases had not been lawful. Works necessary either for the upholding of our lives, or fitting us for sabbath services, are lawful upon the sabbath day. Though the law concerning the sabbath be a moral law, yet it is jus positivum, not a law natural, but positive, and must be so interpreted as not to destroy the law natural, which commands men to feed themselves; nor yet to destroy itself. The scope and end of it is to be considered, which is the keeping of a day as a day of holy and religious rest. What labour is necessary to such keeping of it is also lawful. The time of the sabbath is not more holy than the shewbread; and as David in a case of necessity might make a common use of that holy bread, so the disciples in a case of like necessity might make use of a little of that holy time, in such necessary servile work as might fit them for their sabbath service. Thus it was lawful by the law of God, and if the Pharisees had not been ignorant, or had understood what they had read, they would never have disputed this, the instance of holy David might have satisfied. So that this little kind of labour could only be a breach of one of their bylaws, by which they pretended to expound the law of God, in which he showeth they had given a false interpretation.

Poole: Mat 12:5 - -- Neither Mark nor Luke have this argument of our Saviour’ s. The meaning is, all acts of servile labour are not unlawful on the sabbath day. The...

Neither Mark nor Luke have this argument of our Saviour’ s. The meaning is, all acts of servile labour are not unlawful on the sabbath day. The priests, according to the law, Num 28:9 , offer sacrifices, and do many other acts, such as circumcising, and many other things, which in your sense would be a profanation of the sabbath; yet you do not blame them, neither are they to he blamed, because God permitted and directed them.

If any say, "But how doth this agree to what our Saviour is speaking to?"

Answer: The disciples of Christ were employed with and by him in going about and preaching the gospel, and what they now did was but in order to fit them for his work, when they had not had such leisure as others beforehand to provide: and this establisheth a second rule, That works of piety, and tending to fit us for acts of piety, that cannot conveniently be done before, are lawful on the sabbath day.

Poole: Mat 12:6 - In this place is one // greater than the temple The Jews had very superstitious conceits concerning the temple, and might object, But the priests’ works are done in the temple. The Jews had ...

The Jews had very superstitious conceits concerning the temple, and might object, But the priests’ works are done in the temple. The Jews had a saying, that in the temple there was no sabbath. They looked upon the temple as sanctifying all actions done there. To obviate this, (saith our Saviour),

In this place is one (that is, I am)

greater than the temple The temple was but a type of me. If the temple can sanctify so much labour, will not my authority and permission, think you, excuse this little labour of my disciples?

Poole: Mat 12:7 - -- Neither Mark nor Luke have this argument. Our Lord yet goeth on taxing these great doctors of ignorance. The text he quotes is Hos 6:6 ; we met with...

Neither Mark nor Luke have this argument. Our Lord yet goeth on taxing these great doctors of ignorance. The text he quotes is Hos 6:6 ; we met with it before quoted by our Saviour, Mat 9:13 . The meaning is, that God prefers mercy before sacrifice. Where two laws in respect of some circumstance seem to clash one with another, so as we cannot obey both, our obedience is due to that which is the more excellent law. Now, saith our Saviour, the law of mercy is the more excellent law; God prefers it before sacrifice; which had you well considered, you would never have accused my disciples, who in this point are guiltless.

Poole: Mat 12:8 - -- This argument Luke hath, Luk 6:5 . Mark hath it thus, Mar 2:27,28 , And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man the sabbath:...

This argument Luke hath, Luk 6:5 . Mark hath it thus, Mar 2:27,28 , And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man the sabbath: therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Some interpreters make these two arguments:

1. The Son of man is Lord of the sabbath; therefore it is in my power to dispense with this action of my disciples, though it had been contrary to the letter of the law: or rather, therefore it is in my power to interpret the law, which I myself made.

2. The sabbath is made for man, not man for the sabbath. A law made for the good of another bindeth not, in such cases where the observation of it would be evidently for his harm and ruin. The law of the sabbath was made for the good of man, that he might have a solemn time, in which he should be under an obligation to pay his homage unto God; this must not be so interpreted as would tend to the destruction of a man.

I find interpreters divided about that term the Son of man. Some think that it is not to be interpreted, as usually in the gospel, concerning Christ; but of ordinary men, and that man’ s lordship over the sabbath is proved by the subserviency of it to his good, to which end also it was ordained. But certainly that is both a dangerous and unscriptural interpretation: dangerous to give man a lordship over a moral law, for it is very improper to call any lord of a thing, because he hath the use of it, and it is for his advantage: I cannot see but we may as well make man lord of the whole ten commandments as of one of them. Unscriptural, for though our Saviour useth this term more than threescore times in the gospel, yet he always useth it with relation to himself, never with reference to any mere man; neither is there any necessity to understand it otherwise here. Christ affirming himself Lord of the sabbath, spake properly enough to the Pharisees’ quarrel; for it must needs then follow, that he had power to dispense with the observation of it at particular times, and much more to give a true and right interpretation of the law concerning it.

Poole: Mat 12:9 - -- Mark saith, Mar 3:1 , he entered again into the synagogue on the sabbath day. This our Saviour was often wont to do, to own there what was done ...

Mark saith, Mar 3:1 , he entered again into the synagogue on the sabbath day. This our Saviour was often wont to do, to own there what was done according to his Father’ s institution, and himself to do what good he could; nor doth he now decline it because he had had so late a contest with them: it is therefore said that he went into their synagogue, as being neither ashamed of what he had delivered, nor afraid to own it in the face of his adversaries.

Poole: Mat 12:10 - -- Mark, repeating the same history, saith, Mar 3:1,2 , There was a man which had a withered hand, and they watched him, whether he would heal him ...

Mark, repeating the same history, saith, Mar 3:1,2 , There was a man which had a withered hand, and they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day, that they might accuse him. So saith Luk 6:6,7 , only he addeth that it was his right hand, which made his affliction greater. They asked him not that they might rightly inform themselves, but that they might accuse him to their magistrates, that had power in those cases, for the violation of the sabbath was, amongst the Jews, a capital crime.

Poole: Mat 12:11-12 - -- Ver. 11,12. Mark saith, Mar 3:3-5 , And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, is it lawful to ...

Ver. 11,12. Mark saith, Mar 3:3-5 , And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. Luke reports it thus, Luk 6:8,9 , But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it? Christ knew their thoughts; he needed not that any man should tell him what was in the heart of men; he knew their design in coming, and propounding this question. He calls this man with the withered hand to stand forth, that all men might see, and take notice of him. Then he argues the case with the Pharisees, telling them, that they themselves would grant, that if a man had a sheep fallen into a pit on the sabbath day, they might labour so far as to take it out; so, it seemeth, in Christ’ s time they did expound the law. They also knew that the life or good of a man was to be preferred before the life of a beast. In their reproving him, therefore, they condemned themselves in a thing which they allowed. Then he propounds a question to them, which Matthew hath not, but it is mentioned both by Mark and Luke. He asketh them whether it was lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it? The argument is this, Whatsoever is good to save the life of man may be done on the sabbath day; but this is a good action; if I should not lend him my help when it is in my power, I should, in the sense of God’ s law, kill him.

Poole: Mat 12:13 - -- Mark saith, they held their peace , they made him no answer to his question, upon which he, looking round about him with anger, being grieved fo...

Mark saith, they held their peace , they made him no answer to his question, upon which he, looking round about him with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. Luke saith, Looking round about upon them all, he said , &c. Our Saviour looked about him to see if any of them would adventure to answer him, but he saw their mouths were shut. He was angry that these great doctors of the law should understand the law of God no better, and should yet be so hardy as to take upon them to instruct him. He was also grieved (saith Mark) at the hardness of their hearts. That which we call hardness, is a quality in a thing which resisteth the truth, a unimpressiveness, when a thing will receive no impression from things apt to make impressions: the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts lay in this, that whereas Christ’ s words and works might reasonably and ought to have made an impression upon them of faith, that they should have owned and received him as the Messiah, yet they had no such effect, nor made any such impressions upon them. He said to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth, & c. Christ sometimes used the ceremony of laying on his hand; here he doth not, to let us know that that was but a sign of what was done by his power. What little things malicious men will carp at! What was here of servile labour on the sabbath day? They did far more themselves, as often as they lifted a beast out of a pit. Our Saviour compounds or prepareth no medications, he only speaks the word, and he is healed. But Matthew tells us that ...( see Mat 12:14 ).

Poole: Mat 12:14 - -- Luke saith, they were filled with madness, and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. Mark saith, they straightway took counsel...

Luke saith, they were filled with madness, and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. Mark saith, they straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. What cause of their madness was here offered? A poor lame man was miraculously healed. They certainly were mad to see themselves confuted, who would not acknowledge him to be the Messiah, or to hear themselves nonplussed, or to find themselves contradicted (a thing proud men cannot bear). They take counsel with the Herodians (of whom we shall have occasion to say more when we come to Mat 22:1-46 ): all agree them and the Pharisees to have been steady enemies one to another, but Herod and Pilate can agree when Christ is to be crucified.

Poole: Mat 12:15-16 - He healed them all Ver. 15,16. Here is nothing in these two verses but what we have before met with: the multitudes have followed Christ in all his motions, from his fi...

Ver. 15,16. Here is nothing in these two verses but what we have before met with: the multitudes have followed Christ in all his motions, from his first beginning to preach and to work his miraculous operations.

He healed them all must be understood of those that were sick. The charge he gives is the same which we have often met with, of which no satisfactory account can be given, further than that, knowing his time was not yet come, and he had much work to do before his death, he useth all prudent means to preserve his life, reserving himself for the further work which his Father left him to do. The publishing of his miracles would have made a great noise, and possibly have more enraged the Pharisees against him; neither did he seek his own glory, but the glory of him that sent him.

Poole: Mat 12:17 - That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Christ did this, that is, he withdrew himself when he heard what counsels the Pharisees and Herodians had taken, he charged those whom he had cured ...

Christ did this, that is, he withdrew himself when he heard what counsels the Pharisees and Herodians had taken, he charged those whom he had cured that they should not publish it abroad, he did those good acts before spoken of,

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet that he might show himself to be the very person whom the prophet Isaiah long since did foretell, Isa 42:1-4 . The words in the prophet are thus: Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my Spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law. Thus far that prophet; let us now consider his words, or prophecy, as repeated by the evangelist. see Mat 12:18

Poole: Mat 12:18 - Behold my servant, whom I have chosen // Whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased // is well pleased The alteration is very little, and we must not expect to meet with quotations out of the Old Testament verbatim: it is enough that the sense is the ...

The alteration is very little, and we must not expect to meet with quotations out of the Old Testament verbatim: it is enough that the sense is the same.

Behold my servant, whom I have chosen The word indifferently signifieth a child or a servant, Christ is called the Lord’ s servant, because he took upon him the form of a servant, and became obedient even to death, Phi 2:7,8 :

Whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: in Isaiah it is, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth. Matthew seems to have left out whom I uphold, and to have taken the next words, mine elect, and to have translated them, whom I have chosen, which was all said by the prophet. God chose the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer, and the Head of the elect; hence we are said to be chosen in him, Eph 1:4 . Peter saith he was foreordained, 1Pe 1:20 2:6 , he is called a chief Cornerstone, elect. My beloved, in whom my soul

is well pleased: in Isaiah it is, in whom my soul delighteth: the sense is the same.

He shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles, or to the nations. The words jpvm , in the Hebrew, krisiv in the Greek, and judgment in the English, are all so variously used, as gives interpreters a great latitude to abound in their senses. The most probable to me is this: Judgment signifies a thing adjudged: all judgment is either of approbation or condemnation.

He shall bring forth, or he shall show, the things which God approveth and judgeth right, both in matters of doctrine, worship, and the government of the church of God, and in matters which concern the government of men’ s lives and conversations: and to this end God promises to put his Spirit upon him, so Isa 11:2 41:1 ; and John tells us it was not given him by measure, Joh 3:34 , which is the same with being anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows, Psa 45:7 , which the apostle applies to Christ, Heb 1:9 .

Poole: Mat 12:19 - -- These words declare the meekness, and gentleness, and modesty of our blessed Saviour. His meekness, that he should not do his work in any passion or...

These words declare the meekness, and gentleness, and modesty of our blessed Saviour. His meekness, that he should not do his work in any passion or roughness, nor carry on his kingdom with any strife or violence. Therefore when the Pharisees took counsel against him, he made no opposition, but peaceably withdrew, until the time came when he was to be delivered; and then he as meekly yielded up himself, rebuking Peter for but drawing a sword for him, and healing his ear which he had wounded. His not crying, nor lifting up his voice, or suffering his voice to be heard in the streets, might either signify his meekness, not crying out to stir up any sedition; or not setting a trumpet to his mouth, when he had wrought a miracle, that people might take notice of it; instead of it he charged the persons healed not to publish it.

Poole: Mat 12:20 - Smoking flax He shall carry on his work with so little noise, that if he trod upon a bruised reed he should not break it. Or, he shall not despise the afflicted,...

He shall carry on his work with so little noise, that if he trod upon a bruised reed he should not break it. Or, he shall not despise the afflicted, that are as bruised reeds and smoking flax. But the best expositors interpret it of Christ’ s kindness to people’ s souls; he will not discourage those that are weak in faith, or weak in hope.

Smoking flax signifieth flax in the kindling of which the fire had not prevailed, and so is a very apt metaphor to express such as believe, but are full of doubts and fears, or such as have a truth of grace, but yet much corruption; Christ is prophesied of as one that will encourage, not discourage, such souls.

Until he hath brought forth judgment unto victory; Isaiah saith, unto truth. Some think that until here only signifies the event of the thing, not a term of time, for there shall never be a time when Christ shall break a bruised reed, or quench a smoking flax, in the sense before mentioned. By judgment here may be meant, as before, what his Father hath judged right, until he hath caused the doctrine of the gospel, and the Messiah, to be believed and embraced of all the world. Or, until he shall have brought forth the judgment of those broken reeds and that smoking flax unto victory, until such souls be made perfect in faith and holiness, and shall have got a victory over all its unbelief and other corruptions. Or, until he hath brought forth condemnation unto victory, (for so the word signifieth), till he hath conquered death and hell, so as there shall be no condemnation to any soul that is in Christ Jesus, Rom 8:1 . Or, until the last judgment comes, which shall determine in a perfect absolution and acquittal of all his people, and in a perfect victory over all his enemies.

Poole: Mat 12:21 - -- This makes some think, that the bringing of judgment unto victory refers to the final destruction of the Jews by the Romans, after which the Gentile...

This makes some think, that the bringing of judgment unto victory refers to the final destruction of the Jews by the Romans, after which the Gentiles came more universally to receive the gospel. Though Christ be meek and gentle with men a long time, while there is any hope of their reformation, yet he will not be so meek and patient always. Neither was he so with the Jews. But the falling of them proved the rising of the Gentiles. Christ is beholden to no people for bearing the name of his church; if the Jews fail in their duty, they shall be cast off, and in his name shall the Gentiles trust. God is able of stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Isaiah saith, the isles shall wait for his law; his law, both of faith and holiness, shall be acceptable to the Gentiles. The term law here seemeth to expound that phrase, Mat 12:18 , he shall show judgment to the Gentiles, that is, right things, he shall give them his law.

Poole: Mat 12:22 - -- Some think this person was the same mentioned Luk 11:14 , I presume, because the following discourse there is much the same with what followeth here...

Some think this person was the same mentioned Luk 11:14 , I presume, because the following discourse there is much the same with what followeth here; but others are of another mind; and it is certain Luke speaketh of no blindness in him. We heard before a discourse of such as were possessed by devils, so as this verse affords nothing new.

Poole: Mat 12:23 - -- This is the first conviction we meet with, from the miracles wrought by our Saviour, that he was the Messiah, unless that of the two blind men, ment...

This is the first conviction we meet with, from the miracles wrought by our Saviour, that he was the Messiah, unless that of the two blind men, mentioned Mat 9:27 ; and their faith in it appears but weak, for they do not plainly affirm it, only ask the question, like the faith of those mentioned Joh 7:31 , When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

Poole: Mat 12:24 - -- We met with the same blasphemous calumny from the same persons, Mat 9:34 . The Pharisees, not acknowledging the Deity of Christ, nor that he was the...

We met with the same blasphemous calumny from the same persons, Mat 9:34 . The Pharisees, not acknowledging the Deity of Christ, nor that he was the Messiah, were for their interest concerned not to acknowledge, and as much as in them lay to keep others from believing, that he did that from his own power which God alone could do. But yet they might have allowed him to have by a power derived from God done these miraculous things, as Elijah and Elisha of old did. But they blaspheme at the highest rate imaginable, ascribing that to the devil which was proper to God alone. Christ’ s miracles were exceeding many, and it was a time when the Messiah was expected. The sceptre was departed from Judah, and, as it appears from Joh 7:31 , (whatever the Jews now say impudently), they heard that when the Messiah did come he should work many miracles. These things put them into a rage. This remarkable piece of history is recorded by three evangelists: by Matthew in this place; by Mark, Mar 3:22-30 ; and by Luke, Luk 11:15-20 .

Poole: Mat 12:25-26 - -- Ver. 25,26. This is our Lord’ s first argument. Mark relates it, Mar 3:23-26 , with little alteration in the phrase; so doth Luke, Luk 11:17,18 ...

Ver. 25,26. This is our Lord’ s first argument. Mark relates it, Mar 3:23-26 , with little alteration in the phrase; so doth Luke, Luk 11:17,18 . The sum of the argument is, The devil is so wise, that he will look to the upholding of his own kingdom in the world. This will require an agreement of the devils amongst themselves, for if they be divided they cannot uphold their kingdom, nor stand, any more than a house, city, or kingdom in the world so divided can stand; therefore the prince of devils will not forcibly cast out the inferior devils. There is but one imaginable objection to this: Do we not see the contrary to this in people’ s going to cunning men for help against those that are bewitched, to get help for them? And is there no truth in those many stories we have of persons that have found help against the devil for some that have traded with the devil? I answer, It is one thing for the devils to play one with another, another thing for them to cast out one another. One devil may yield and give place to another, to gain a greater advantage for the whole society, but one never quarrels with another. The first may be for the enlarging of Satan’ s kingdom. This must be to destroy it. When a poor wretched creature goeth to one who dealeth with the devil for help for one who is vexed with some effect of the devil, one devil here doth but yield and give place to another by compact, voluntarily, and for the devil’ s greater advantage; for it is more advantage to the devil (who seeks nothing so much as a divine homage) to gain the faith of one soul, than to exercise a power to afflict many bodies. In such cases as these, the devil, for the abatement of a little bodily pain, gains a power over the soul of him or her who cometh to implore his help, and exerciseth a faith in him. This is an establishing, promoting, and enlarging his kingdom. But Christ forced the devils out of persons; they did not yield voluntarily, for a greater advantage, but forcibly, for no advantage. He did not pray the devils to come out, nor make use of any of the devil’ s sacraments, upon the use of which, by some original compact, he was obliged to come out upon a soul’ s surrender of itself by faith to him; but they came out unwillingly, upon the authoritative words of Christ, without the use of any magical rites and ceremonies testifying the least homage done to him.

Poole: Mat 12:27 - -- Our Saviour’ s argument is this, Where the case is the same the judgment ought to be the same, and the contrary judgment speaketh malice, and h...

Our Saviour’ s argument is this, Where the case is the same the judgment ought to be the same, and the contrary judgment speaketh malice, and hatred of the person. Do I cast out devils? So do your children. You say they do it by the power of God; why do you say that I do it by a prince of devils? What appeareth in their casting of them out more than in mine, which can argue that they do it by the power of God, and I by the power of the prince of devils? The only question is who our Saviour here meaneth by their children . Some think that he meaneth his own apostles, who were all of them Jews, and to whom they might be more favourable than to him, because of their relation to them. Others think that he means some exorcists amongst the Jews; such they had, Act 19:13 . But concerning these there is a double opinion. Some think that they were such as themselves, acted by compact of the devil. Others think that they invocating the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God might honour them so far, as upon that invocation to command the devil out of persons. Origen and Justin Martyr both tell us, that there were some that used that form with such success. But so they might do, and yet not obtain their effect from a Divine influence, nor so much cast as flatter out devils, upon a homage first paid to the devil. I find some difficulty to persuade myself that in those times, especially when God by this miraculous effect was demonstrating the Messias, God should so far concur with any but him, and those that did it by his express name and authority; and I observe, that when the seven sons of Sceva attempted such a thing, Act 19:13 , they called over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus, whom Paul preacheth, ( which they, being the sons of the chief of the priests, would not have done if the more grateful form of, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, would have done it), yet could they not prevail, as you read there, Act 19:14-16 . Our Saviour’ s meaning therefore must certainly be either,

1. You do not say so of your children, my apostles, who do, and profess to do, what they do by a power derived from me; why do you say this of me, not of them? Or,

2. There are some of you who seem to cast out devils, whereas the devil only plays with them, and yields to their magical arts for his own advantage, and abates some more external effects on people’ s bodies, upon the surrender of their souls to him, by believing he is able to cure them, and imploring his help; yet you think these men endowed with the power of God: why are you so unequal to me?

I observe, though we read of exorcists amongst the Jews, Act 19:13 , yet they are called periercomenoi , vagrants. They were an idle, vagabond sort of persons, (such probably as we call gypsies), with whom, or by whom; it is not probable God would work such effects, especially at such a time, though they used the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nay, it is plain from the story of the Acts, that though they used the name Jesus, God would not work by them; Mat 12:16 , the demoniac leaped on them, overcame them, prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded .

Poole: Mat 12:28 - -- Luke hath the same, Luk 11:20 , only for the Spirit of God he hath the finger of God. By the kingdom of God he here meaneth the coming of ...

Luke hath the same, Luk 11:20 , only for the Spirit of God he hath the finger of God. By the kingdom of God he here meaneth the coming of the Messiah, which is so called, Dan 2:44 . The time is come, when the Lord begins his kingdom of grace, setting up his King upon his holy hill of Zion, Psa 2:6 ; whence we may observe, that Christ giveth in his casting out of devils by a Divine power, as an argument to prove himself the Messiah; for saith he, By this you may know the kingdom of God is come amongst you, that there is one come among you who by the finger, power, or Spirit of God casts out devils. But where had the force of this argument been, if the Jews had had exorcists whom God had so honoured, though vagabonds, as to cast out devils, upon their calling upon the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, while in the mean time they derided and contemned Christ?

Poole: Mat 12:29 - -- Mark hath the same words, with little variation, Mar 3:27 ; Luke saith, Luk 11:21,22 , When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are ...

Mark hath the same words, with little variation, Mar 3:27 ; Luke saith, Luk 11:21,22 , When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: but when a stronger than he shall come upon him and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoil. The sense is the same, though the words be multiplied. Our Saviour showeth how his casting out of devils by the Spirit and power of God argued that the Messiah was come, and the time come when God would set up his kingdom amongst men. The devil, (saith he), who is the god of the world, and the prince of the power of the air, is very strong; there is none, save God only, who is stronger than he. If I were not God, I could never cast out this strong man, who reigns in the world as in his house; as you see amongst men, the strong man is not overcome but by one stronger. He by this also lets them know, that he was so far from any covenant or compact with Beelzebub, that he came into the world a professed enemy to him, to dispossess him of that tyrannical power he exercised amongst men, by his keeping them in darkness, blinding them with error and superstition, and seducing them to sinful practices, till God, for their prodigious sins, had also given him a power over their bodies, variously to vex, afflict, and torment them. Christ took from this strong man all his armour: by scattering the darkness which was in the world by the full revelation of gospel truth: by expelling error and superstition, teaching people the truths of God, and the right way of his worship: by taking away the guilt, and destroying the power of sin and death, ignorance, error, profaneness; the sense of the guilt of sin, and the power of lusts within us, being the devil’ s armour, by which he kept up his power, and doth yet keep up what dominion he hath in the world.

Poole: Mat 12:30 - -- Luke hath the same, Luk 11:23 . Some understand this concerning the devil, whom he was so far from favouring, that his work was quite opposite. Some...

Luke hath the same, Luk 11:23 . Some understand this concerning the devil, whom he was so far from favouring, that his work was quite opposite. Some understand it concerning some neuters, that would neither show themselves for Christ nor against him. Our Saviour tells them, that this cause would bear no neutrality, they must be either for him or against him. But possibly it is best understood concerning the scribes and Pharisees, whom he lets know, that he was one who showed men the true way of life and salvation, and those that complied not with him were his enemies, and instead of gathering, scattered the sheep of God.

Poole: Mat 12:31-32 - -- Ver. 31,32. Mark repeateth the same, Mar 3:28,29, with no alteration as to the sense, and instead of neither in this world, neither in the worl...

Ver. 31,32. Mark repeateth the same, Mar 3:28,29, with no alteration as to the sense, and instead of neither in this world, neither in the world to come, he saith, but is in danger of eternal damnation. Luke hath something of it, Luk 12:10 , And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgive him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven. It is a text (which) hath very much exercised great divines, and much more perplexed poor Christians in their fits of melancholy and under temptations. There is in it something asserted, that is, that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven, Mat 12:32.

Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven; that is, upon the terms other sins are forgiven, repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. By the Son of man here some would understand any ordinary man; but;

1. Christ never spake of any under the notion but himself.

2. It had been no great news for Christ to have told them, that ordinary evil speaking against men should be forgiven.

Doubtless by the Son of man here Christ meaneth himself. He declareth that sins of ignorance should be forgiven; though a man should blaspheme Christ, yet if he did it ignorantly, verily thinking he was no more than the son of man, it should, upon his repentance and faith in him, be forgiven: a text yielding exceeding great relief to souls labouring under the burden of their sins, and reflecting upon their aggravation.

But the difficulty lieth in the latter part of the text, which denieth forgiveness to any who blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Upon this arise several questions. First, What the sin against the Holy Ghost here specified was.

Answer: It is not hard to gather this from the context, and what Mark addeth, Mar 3:30, Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. Christ was come amongst these persons to whom he speaketh; he had not only preached, but he had wrought many miraculous operations sufficient to convince them that he acted by the power and Spirit of God. They were not only convinced of it, so far as to acknowledge it, but they attributed these operations to the devil, and said he had a devil, and that he did what he did by the power of the devil. This, out of doubt, was their sin against the Holy Ghost, maliciously speaking to the highest reproach of the Holy Spirit, contrary to the rational conviction of their own consciences.

Hence ariseth a second question, Whether any such sin can be now committed.

Answer: If there were no other texts that seem to conclude, there may be such as those, Heb 6:4-6 10:26,27 1Jo 5:16 , where he speaketh of a sin unto death, for the forgiveness of which he would not have Christians pray. I should conclude that there is no such sin now to be committed, for we cannot have such means of conviction as the Pharisees had, Christ not being on the earth now working miracles; but it is plain from the texts before mentioned, that there is such a sin, that men and women may yet incur the guilt of. But now what that sin is hath exercised the judgment of the greatest divines to describe. I shall not repeat the various opinions about it, many of which are easily confuted; but shall determine from the guidance of the scriptures that mention it, so far as they will direct in the finding of it out.

1. It cannot be any sin that is committed ignorantly. Paul was a blasphemer, but forgiven, because he did it ignorantly.

2. It must be a sin knowingly committed against the operations of the Holy Ghost. So was this sin of the Pharisees.

3. Apostasy must be an ingredient in it: If they fall away, saith the apostle, Heb 6:6 . It is a sinning wilfully after the receiving the knowledge of the truth, Heb 10:26 .

4. It should seem by this text persecution is an ingredient in it: the Pharisees did not only say this, but they spake it out of malice, designing to destroy Christ.

5. Most certainly it is, that though impenitency cannot be called that sin, yet it must be an ingredient in it, for what sins we truly repent of shall be forgiven, 1Jo 1:9 ; and therefore the apostle saith of such sinners, It is impossible they should be renewed by repentance.

Upon the whole then, if any person hath been instructed in the things of God, and hath made a profession of religion and godliness, and afterwards falleth off from his profession, and becomes a bitter enemy to it; saying that those things are the effects of the devil in men, which his heart telleth him are the operations of the Holy Spirit, and be so hardy as to persecute and seek to destroy such persons for such profession: the interpretation be to those that hate us and to the enemies of our God: if they have not committed this unpardonable sin, they have done what is very like it; and I know no way they have, but by a timely and hearty repentance to satisfy the world, or their own consciences, that they are not under this dreadful guilt. And that which confirms me in this opinion is, that we rarely hear of such persons renewed by repentance (if any instances of that nature at all can be produced). I know some have thought that this sin might be committed by words, without other overt acts, and indeed blaspheming (properly taken) can signify nothing else but evil or reproachful speaking. But these words must proceed from a malicious heart, full of rancour and revenge; for it is not every word, nor every blasphemy, that is here meant, it is (as Augustine saith) quoddam dictum, quaedam blasphemia, a certain word, a certain blasphemy; not words spoken ignorantly or hastily, or according to our real judgment and opinion; but words spoken maliciously, in order to destroy God or Christ, if it were possible, after sufficient means of light and conviction, that the things which we speak evil of are not from the evil, but, probably at least, from the Holy Spirit of God, and yet we will impute them to the devil, in order to the defaming or destruction of those servants of God who do them, or in whom they are found. We can define nothing certain in the case, but this cometh nearest to the sin here mentioned, that shall never be forgiven in this world, or the world to come; that is, as Mark expounds it, the persons guilty shall be in danger of eternal damnation, by which he hath spoiled the papists’ argument from this text for their purgatory.

Poole: Mat 12:33 - -- We met with much the same Mat 7:16 . The words here spoken may be understood to have reference to the devil, to the scribes and Pharisees, or to Chr...

We met with much the same Mat 7:16 . The words here spoken may be understood to have reference to the devil, to the scribes and Pharisees, or to Christ himself.

1. You say I do these things by the devil: you cannot but say the things I do are good; the fruit followeth the nature of the tree: the devil is evil, a corrupt tree, how can he produce good fruit? Or thus;

2. You show yourselves to be corrupt trees by the fruit you bring forth; you indeed are not lewd and profane, but put on a mask and vizard of godliness, but your fruit showeth what you are. Or;

3. If the fruit which I produce be good, why should not you judge me good? Speak things that are consistent; if the fruit be good, the tree must be good; convince me of any evil things that I do, from whence you can rationally conclude that I am a corrupt tree.

Poole: Mat 12:34-35 - O generation of vipers // How can ye, being evil, speak good things? // For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh Ver. 34,35. The evangelist Luke, Luk 6:45 , hath much the same with what is here. O generation of vipers: John had so called them, and Christ again...

Ver. 34,35. The evangelist Luke, Luk 6:45 , hath much the same with what is here.

O generation of vipers: John had so called them, and Christ again so called them, Mat 23:33 . A viper is of all other the most venomous and dangerous serpent. Christ is calling them a generation of vipers, intimates that the Pharisees were generally a most mischievous faction for the souls of men.

How can ye, being evil, speak good things? Why do I (saith he) spend my time and breath in reproving or admonishing you? you have cankered hearts, full of pride, malice, and envy, and therefore, cannot ordinarily speak good things.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: what men ordinarily and deliberately do speak is from the affections and thoughts of their hearts. Hence good men out of the good treasure of their hearts speak good things, that is, most ordinarily and commonly; and evil men out of the stock of malice, revenge, envy, pride and other lusts, which are in their hearts, speak evil things.

Poole: Mat 12:36-37 - For by thy words thou shall be justified, &c. Ver. 36,37. Some understand by idle words here, lying and deceitful words; others, contumelious and reproachful words. But the best interpreters her...

Ver. 36,37. Some understand by idle words here, lying and deceitful words; others, contumelious and reproachful words. But the best interpreters here extend the sense further, not only from the sense of the word argon , here used, but because they judge our Saviour is here arguing from the less to the greater, convincing the Pharisees what a dreadful account they had to give for their blasphemous and reproachful words, when all must give an account even for those words which they speak to no good purpose, but vainly, without respect either to the glory of God, or the good of others, or their own necessary and lawful occasions. Hence the apostle doth not only forbid filthiness, foolish talking, and jestings, Eph 5:1 , and corrupt communication, Eph 4:29 , but in the same verse commandeth that Christians’ speech should be to the use of edifying, that it may administer grace to the hearers; and to the Colossians, Col 4:6 , Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt. Nor will this seem too strict to those who consider, that any thing is abused when it is not used to the right end and use. God hath not given unto man his faculty of speech to fill the world with idle tattle and impertinent discourse, but that by it;

1. We might bless God, by prayers and praises, talking of his words and wondrous works.

2. That we might communicate our minds to men, in their or our own concerns, and so be mutually helpful one to another.

For by thy words thou shall be justified, &c.: what justified here signifies, appears by the word condemned, to which it is opposed. God will pronounce sentence for or against men in the last day, not only according to their other actions, but accordingly as they have used their tongues. If there were no other text in the Bible to prove that we have need of another righteousness, than any of our own, wherein to stand before God, this text alone would be enough, for if a man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, Jam 3:2 .

Poole: Mat 12:38 - Master // a sign We read the like to this Mat 16:1 , and Luke seemeth to relate the same history, Luk 11:29 . Master was the usual title which they gave to any who...

We read the like to this Mat 16:1 , and Luke seemeth to relate the same history, Luk 11:29 .

Master was the usual title which they gave to any whom they owned as a teacher. By

a sign they mean something that might confirm unto them that he was sent of God; they expected that an extraordinary mission should be so confirmed: so Joh 6:33 , What sign showest thou then, that we might see and believe thee? What dost thou work? Moses showed them signs, (as they there go on), he brought down for them bread from heavens. Had not Christ showed them signs enough? What were all the miracles he had wrought in their sight? They either speak this out of a further idle curiosity, (their eye being not satisfied with seeing), or else they speak it in direct opposition to the whole scope and tendency of our Saviour’ s former discourse, which was from his miracles to prove himself truly God, and sent of God: if the latter, which seemeth from our Saviour’ s sharp answer most probable, the sum of what they say is this, Master, we have seen thee do wonderful works, but no other than what impostors may do by the assistance of the devil; we would see something done by thee which magicians cannot do, such as Moses did, Exo 8:19 , when the magicians confessed they were outdone, and cried, This is the finger of God.

Poole: Mat 12:39-40 - Seeketh after a sign // There shall no sign be given to it Ver. 39,40. An evil and adulterous generation either called adulterous for that specific sin, which reigned amongst them, and indeed their polygamy ...

Ver. 39,40. An evil and adulterous generation either called adulterous for that specific sin, which reigned amongst them, and indeed their polygamy was hardly better; or else because of their degeneracy from Abraham, whom they so much gloried in as their father, Joh 8:39,44 .

Seeketh after a sign not satisfied with my miracles which I do on earth, they would have a sign from heaven. God was not difficult of confirming and encouraging people’ s faith by signs; he gave Gideon a sign upon his asking, he gave Hezekiah and proffered Ahaz a sign without asking; but he had already given the Pharisees signs enough, and sufficient to convince them, but they would not believe, but out of curiosity would have a sign of another kind, a sign from heaven, as Mark expounds it, Mat 8:11 , such a sign as the devil could not counterfeit.

There shall no sign be given to it no sign of that nature, for we shall find that after this Christ wrought many miracles. But they shall have a sign when I shall be risen again from the dead, to their confusion and condemnation; when I shall answer the prophet Jonah’ s type of me. He was cast into the sea, and was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, in the heart of the sea, Jon 1:17 , and then the whale vomited (him) out upon the dry land, Jon 2:10 . So I shall be by them violently put to death and shall be in the grave part of three days and three nights, and then I shall rise again from the dead.

But here ariseth a difficulty. Christ indeed dying the day before the Jewish sabbath, and rising the morning after, might be said to be in the grave three days, because he was there part of three days; but how can he be said to have been there three nights? For he was only in the grave the night of the Jewish sabbath, (for their sabbath began at the evening before), and the night following, which were but two nights, either in whole or in part.

Answer: What we call day and night made up the Jewish nucyhmeron . It appears by Gen 1:5 , that the evening and the morning made up a day. Three days and three nights is with us but the same thing with three natural days, and so it must be understood here. Christ was in the grave three natural days, that is, part of three natural days; every one of which days contained a day and a night, viz. twenty-four hours.

Poole: Mat 12:41 - The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment // Because they repented at the preaching of Jonas and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here The story of the men of Nineveh we have in Jon 3:1-10 . Luke repeateth the same passage, Luk 11:32 . The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment tha...

The story of the men of Nineveh we have in Jon 3:1-10 . Luke repeateth the same passage, Luk 11:32 .

The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment that is, shall at the general resurrection rise, and stand up in judgment as witnesses against the scribes and Pharisees, and the other unbelieving Jews of this age, and shall be instruments as to that condemnation which God shall that day pronounce against them. Why?

Because they repented at the preaching of Jonas and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here Jonas was a stranger to them, he wrought no miracles amongst them to confirm that he was sent of God, he only came and cried, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be destroyed; yet they repented, if not truly and sincerely, yet in appearance; they showed themselves to be affected with what Jonah said, his words made some impressions upon them, as that the king arose from his throne, laid his robe from him, covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes, called a fast, as Jon 3:5-8 . But, saith our Saviour, I am greater than Jonah: I was long since prophesied of, and foretold to this people, to come; I am come; I have preached amongst them, and not only preached, but wrought many wonderful works amongst them, yet they are not so much affected as to show the least signs of repentance.

Poole: Mat 12:42 - -- We have the history to which this relates 1Ki 10:1 , &c. She is here called the queen of the south; in the Book of Kings, and 2Ch 9:1 , the quee...

We have the history to which this relates 1Ki 10:1 , &c. She is here called the queen of the south; in the Book of Kings, and 2Ch 9:1 , the queen of Sheba. Whether this Sheba, or Saba, was in Arabia or Ethiopia, is not much material; certain it is, it was southward of Judea, and a place at a great distance. Yet, saith our Saviour, though she was a great queen, though she lived at so great a distance from Jerusalem, though she had only heard of the fame and wisdom of Solomon; yet she came in person to hear his wise discourses, either about things natural or supernatural. These wretched Jews are not put to it to take a journey, I am come amongst them, I who am greater than Solomon, who am the Eternal Wisdom, and come to discourse of heavenly wisdom to them; I am come to their doors, theirs to whom the notion of a Messiah is no new thing, they have heard of me; they are no heathens, but bred up to the knowledge of God. I have done many miracles before them, yet they will not hear nor believe me. The queen of Sheba in the day of judgment shall rise up as a witness against them, when God shall condemn them for their unbelief. The more light, and means, and obligations men have upon them to faith and holiness, the greater will their judgment and condemnation be.

Poole: Mat 12:43-45 - Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there Ver. 43-45. The speech appeareth parabolical, the persons concerned in it are expressed in the last words, the men of that wicked generation. The tex...

Ver. 43-45. The speech appeareth parabolical, the persons concerned in it are expressed in the last words, the men of that wicked generation. The text is thought to be well expounded by Peter, 2Pe 2:20 , If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. Our Lord here compares the Jews to a man out of whom the unclean spirit was gone. The devil is called the unclean spirit, both in regard of his own impure nature, and because his work is to tempt men to sin, which is spiritual filthiness. The Jews were a people holy to the Lord, a people distinguished from pagans by a visible profession; so as the devil in a great measure had left them. Now, saith he, the devil is an unquiet spirit, and findeth no rest if he cannot be doing mischief to men. For the phrase, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, we must know, that in parabolical speeches we must not make a severe scrutiny upon every phrase. Dry places are for the most part places least inhabited, for want of the conveniences of water. The devil cannot be at rest where he hath no mischief to do to men.

Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out: the devil so leaveth none, but he will be attempting to come into them again; and he ordinarily succeeds where Christ hath not prepossessed the soul: all other reformation proves but a sweeping and a garnishing, while the soul is empty of Christ. It may be swept from the filth of flagitious sins, and garnished with the paint of religion, or some habits of moral virtue; but none of these will keep out the devil.

Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there Seven, that is, many. The meaning is, he makes that man much worse than before. So (saith he) it shall be to these Jews. God gave them his laws, and so delivered them from such a dominion as the devil doth exercise over pagans. In force of this law, the scribes and Pharisees amended many things, so as they were like a house swept and garnished. God sent his Son to dwell amongst them, but him they rejected; so the house was empty, though swept and garnished. The devil will come again, and they will be ten times worse.

Poole: Mat 12:46-50 - See Poole on "Joh 1:12" Ver. 46-50. Mark repeateth the same passage, Mar 3:31-35 . Luke repeateth it more shortly, Luk 8:20,21 . Both Mark and Luke say more than one spake t...

Ver. 46-50. Mark repeateth the same passage, Mar 3:31-35 . Luke repeateth it more shortly, Luk 8:20,21 . Both Mark and Luke say more than one spake to our Saviour; first one, then others.

Thy mother and thy brethren: most interpreters think brethren here signifieth no more than some of his kindred, whom the Hebrews usually called brethren. By the following words of our Saviour, Mat 12:48-50 , we must not understand that our Saviour slighted his mother or brethren, we are elsewhere taught what honour he gave to his parents, Luk 2:51 ; yet he seemeth to speak something angrily, because he was interrupted in his work: so Luk 2:49 Joh 2:3-4 . We may show a just respect to our parents, and respect to our relations, though we do not neglect our duty to God out of respect to them. The only thing to be further learned from this paragraph, is, how dear believers and holy persons are to Christ; he counts them as dear as mother, brethren, or sisters, and thereby teacheth us the esteem we ought to have for such. Luke saith, he that heareth my word, and doth it. Matthew saith, he that doth it. It is the will of God, that we should believe on him whom he hath sent:

See Poole on "Joh 1:12" , See Poole on "Joh 6:40" , See Poole on "Joh 8:47" ; This text derogates nothing from the honour truly due to the blessed virgin, as the mother of the Messias; but it shows the madness of the papists, exalting her above Christ, whom Christ, considered only as his mother, seemeth here to set beneath every true believer, though, considered as a believer also, she hath a just preference.

Lightfoot: Mat 12:1 - At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn. // And his disciples were an hungered At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were a hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. &...

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were a hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.   

[At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn.] The time is determined by Luke in these words, on the sabbath from the second-first.   

I. Provision was made by the divine law, that the sheaf of firstfruits should be offered on the second day of the Passover-week, Lev 23:10-11; On the morrow after the sabbath the priest shall shake [or wave] it. Not on the morrow after the ordinary sabbath of the week, but the morrow after the first day of the Passover week, which was a sabbatic day, Exo 12:16; Lev 23:7. Hence the Seventy, the morrow of the first day; the Chaldee, after the holy-day. The Rabbins Solomon and Menachem, on the morrow after the first day of the Passover-feast; of which mention had been made in the verses foregoing.   

II. But now, from that second day of the Passover-solemnity, wherein the sheaf was offered, were numbered seven weeks to Pentecost. For the day of the sheaf and the day of Pentecost did mutually respect each other. For on this second day of the Passover, the offering of the sheaf was supplicatory, and by way of prayer, beseeching a blessing upon the new corn, and leave to eat it, and to put in the sickle into the standing corn. Now the offering of the first fruit loaves on the day of Pentecost (Lev 23:15-17) did respect the giving of thanks for the finishing and inning of barley harvest. Therefore, in regard of this relation, these two solemnities were linked together, that both might respect the harvest: that, the harvest beginning; this, the harvest ended: this depended on that, and was numbered seven weeks after it. Therefore, the computation of the time coming between could not but carry with it the memory of that second day of the Passover-week; and hence Pentecost is called the 'Feast of weeks' (Deu 16:10). The true calculation of the time between could not otherwise be retained as to sabbaths, but by numbering thus: This is the first sabbath after the second day of the Passover. This is the second sabbath after that second day. And so of the rest. In the Jerusalem Talmud, the word the sabbath of the first marriage; is a composition not very unlike.   

When they numbered by days, and not by weeks, the calculation began on the day of the sheaf: "A great number of certain scholars died between the Passover and Pentecost, by reason of mutual respect not given to one another. There is a place where it is said that they died fifteen days before Pentecost, that is, thirty-three days after the sheaf."   

At the end of the Midrash of Samuel which I have, it is thus concluded; "This work was finished the three-and-thirtieth day after the sheaf."   

III. Therefore by this word the second-first; added by St. Luke, is shown, first, that this first sabbath was after the second day of the Passover; and so, according to the order of evangelic history, either that very sabbath wherein the paralytic man was healed at the pool of Bethesda, John 5, or the sabbath next after it. Secondly, that these ears of corn plucked by the disciples were of barley: how far, alas! From those dainties wherewith the Jews are wont to junket, not out of custom only, but out of religion also! Hear their Gloss, savouring of the kitchen and the dish, upon that of the prophet Isaiah, Isa 58:13; "'Thou shalt call the sabbath a delight': -- It is forbidden," say they, "to fast on the sabbath; but, on the contrary, men are bound to delight themselves with meat and drink. For we must live more delicately on the sabbath than on other days: and he is highly to be commended who provides the most delicious junkets against that day. We must eat thrice on the sabbath, and all men are to be admonished of it. And even the poor themselves who live on alms, let them eat thrice on the sabbath. For he that feasts thrice on the sabbath shall be delivered from the calamities of the Messias, from the judgment of hell, and from the war of Gog and Magog." 'Whose god is their belly,' Phi 3:19.   

IV. But was the standing corn ripe at the feast of the Passover? I answer,   

I. The seed-time of barley was presently after the middle of the month Marchesvan; that is, about the beginning of our November: "He heard that the seed sown at the first rain was destroyed by hail; he went and sowed at the second rain, etc.: and when the seed of all others perished with the hail, his seed perished not." Upon which words the Gloss writes thus; "The first rain was the seventeenth day of the month Marchesvan; the second rain, the three-and-twentieth day of the same month; and the third was in the beginning of the month Chisleu. When, therefore, the rain came down, that which was sown at the first rain was now become somewhat stiff, and so it was broken by the hail; but that which was sown at the second rain, by reason of its tenderness, was not broken, etc. Therefore the barley was sown at the coming in of the winter, and growing by the mildness of the weather, in winter, when the Passover came in, it became ripe: so that from that time (the sheaf being then offered) barley-harvest took its beginning.   

2. But if, when the just time of the Passover was come, the barley were not ripe, the intercalary month was added to that year, and they waited until it ripened: "For, for three things they intercalated the year; for the equinox, for the new corn, and for the fruit of the trees. For the elders of the Sanhedrim do compute and observe if the vernal equinox will fall out on the sixteenth day of the month Nisan, or beyond that; then they intercalate that year, and they make that Nisan the second Adar; so that the Passover might happen at the time of new corn. Or if they observe that there is no new corn, and that the trees sprouted not when they were wont to sprout, then they intercalate the year," etc.   

You have an example of this thing: "Rabban Gamaliel to the elders of the great Sanhedrim, our brethren in Judea and Galilee, etc.; health. Be it known unto you, that since the lambs are too young, and the doves are not fledged, and there is no young corn, we have thought good to add thirty days to this year," etc.   

[And his disciples were an hungered.] The custom of the nation, as yet, had held them fasting; which suffered none, unless he were sick, to taste any thing on the sabbath before the morning prayers of the synagogue were done. And on common days also, and that in the afternoon, provision was made by the canons, "That none, returning home from his work in the evening, either eat, or drink, or sleep, before he had said his prayers in the synagogue."   

Of the public or private ways that lay by the corn-fields, let him that is at leisure read Peah, chapter 2.

Lightfoot: Mat 12:2 - They do that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath day But when the Pharisees saw it; they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.   [They...

But when the Pharisees saw it; they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.   

[They do that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath day.] They do not contend about the thing itself, because it was lawful, Deu 23:25; but about the thing done on the sabbath. Concerning which the Fathers of the Traditions write thus; "He that reaps on the sabbath, though never so little, is guilty. And to pluck the ears of corn is a kind of reaping; and whosoever plucks any thing from the springing of his own fruit is guilty, under the name of a reaper." But under what guilt were they held? He had said this before, at the beginning of chapter 7, in these words: "The works whereby a man is guilty of stoning and cutting off, if he do them presumptuously; but if ignorantly, he is bound to bring a sacrifice for sin, are either primitive or derivative " Of 'primitive,' or of the general kinds of works, are nine-and-thirty reckoned; "To plough, to sow, to reap, to gather the sheaves, to thrash, to sift, to grind, to bake, etc.; to shear sheep, to dye wool," etc. The derivative works, or the particulars of those generals, are such as are of the same rank and likeness with them. For example, digging is of the same kind with ploughing; chopping of herbs is of the same rank with grinding; and plucking the ears of corn is of the same nature with reaping. Our Saviour, therefore, pleaded the cause of the disciples so much the more eagerly, because now their lives were in danger; for the canons of the scribes adjudged them to stoning for what they had done, if so be it could be proved that they had done it presumptuously. From hence, therefore, he begins their defence, that this was done by the disciples out of necessity, hunger compelling them, not out of any contempt of the laws.

Lightfoot: Mat 12:3 - David, and those that were with him. // When he was an hungered But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was a hungered, and they that were with him;   [David, and those that we...

But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was a hungered, and they that were with him;   

[David, and those that were with him.] For those words of Ahimelech are to be understood comparatively, "Wherefore art thou alone, and no man with thee?" (1Sa 21:1) that is, comparatively to that noble train wherewith thou wast wont to go attended, and which becomes the captain-general of Israel. David came to Nob, not as one that fled, but as one that came to inquire at the oracle concerning the event of war, unto which he pretended to come by the king's command. Dissembling, therefore, that he hastened to the war, or to expedite some warlike design, he dissembles likewise that he sent his army to a certain place; and that he had turned aside thither to worship God, and to inquire of the vent; that he had brought but a very few of his most trusty servants along with him, for whom, being an hungered, he asketh a few loaves.   

[When he was an hungered.] Here hearken to Kimchi, producing the opinion of the ancients concerning this story in these words: "Our Rabbins, of blessed memory, say, that he gave him the show-bread, etc. The interpretation also of the clause, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel [ul Mat_12:6] is this; It is a small thing to say, that it is lawful for us to eat these loaves taken from before the Lord when we are hungry; for it would be lawful to eat this very loaf which is now set on, which is also sanctified in the vessel (for the table sanctifieth); it would be lawful to eat even this, when another loaf is not present with you to give us, and we are so hunger-bitten." And a little after; "There is nothing which may hinder taking care of life, beside idolatry, adultery, and murder."   

These words do excellently agree with the force of our Saviour's arguments; but with the genuine sense of that clause, methinks they do not well agree. I should, under correction, render it otherwise, only prefacing this beforehand, that it is no improbable conjecture that David came to Nob either on the sabbath itself, or when the sabbath was but newly gone. "For the show-bread was not to be eaten unless for one day and one night; that is, on the sabbath and the going-out of the sabbath; David, therefore, came thither in the going-out of the sabbath." And now I render David's words thus; "Women have been kept from us these three days," [so that there is no uncleanness with us from the touch of a menstruous woman], "and the vessels of the young men were holy, even in the common way," [that is, while we travelled in the common manner and journey]; "therefore, much more are they holy as to their vessels this [sabbath] day." And to this sense perhaps does that come: "But there was there one of the servants of Saul detained that day before the Lord;" [ul Mat_12:8]. The reverence of the sabbath had brought him to worship, and as yet had detained him there.

Lightfoot: Mat 12:5 - The priests in the Temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?   [The prie...

Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?   

[The priests in the Temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless.] " The servile work which is done in the holy things is not servile. The same works which were done in the Temple on the other days were done also on the sabbath." And There is no sabbatism at all in the Temple.

Lightfoot: Mat 12:8 - For the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.   [For the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.] I. He opposed this very argument a...

For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.   

[For the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.] I. He opposed this very argument against their cavils before the Sanhedrim, John_5. When he was summoned into the court concerning his healing the paralytic man on this very sabbath, or on the sabbath next before, he shews his dominion over the sabbath from this very thing, that he, the Son, was invested and honoured with the same authority, power, and dignity, in respect of the administration of the New Testament, as the Father was in regard of the Old.   

II. The care of the sabbath lay upon the first Adam under a double law, according to his double condition: 1. Before his fall, under the law of nature written in his heart: under which he had kept the sabbath, if he had remained innocent. And here it is not unworthy to be observed, that although the seventh day was not come before his fall, yet the institution of the sabbath is mentioned before the history of his fall. 2. After his fall, under a positive law. For when he had sinned on the sixth day, and the seventh came, he was not now bound under the bare law of nature to celebrate it; but according as the condition of Adam was changed, and as the condition of the sabbath was not a little changed also, a new and positive law concerning the keeping the sabbath was superinduced upon him. It will not be unpleasant to produce a few passages from the Jewish masters of that first sabbath: --   

"Circumcision," saith R. Judah, "and the sabbath, were before the law." But how much backward before the law? Hear Baal Turim: "The Israelites were redeemed (saith he) out of Egypt, because they observed circumcision and the sabbath-day." Yea, and further backward still: "The inheritance of Jacob is promised to those that sanctify the sabbath, because he sanctified the sabbath himself." Yea, and more backwards yet, even to the beginning of the world: "The first psalm in the world was, when Adam's sin was forgiven: and when the sabbath entered, he opened his mouth and uttered the psalm of the sabbath." So also the Targum upon the title of Psa 92:1; "The psalm or song which Adam composed concerning the sabbath-day." Upon which psalm, among other things, thus Midrash Tillin: "What did God create the first day? Heaven and earth. What the second? The firmament, etc. What the seventh? The sabbath. And since God had not created the sabbath for servile works, for which he had created the other days of the week, therefore it is not said of that as of the other days, 'And the evening and the morning was the seventh day.' " And a little after, "Adam was created on the eve of the sabbath: the sabbath entered when he had now sinned, and was his advocate with God," etc.   

"Adam was created on the sabbath-eve, that he might immediately be put under the command."   

III. Since, therefore, the sabbath was so instituted after the fall, and that by a law and condition which had a regard to Christ now promised, and to the fall of man, the sabbath could not but come under the power and dominion of the Son of man; that is, of the promised seed, to be ordered and disposed by him as he thought good, and as he should make provision, for his own honour and the benefit of man.

Lightfoot: Mat 12:10 - Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they migh...

And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.   

[Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?] these are not so much the words of inquirers, as deniers. For these were their decisions in that case; "Let not those that are in health use physic on the sabbath day. Let not him that labours under a pain in his loins, anoint the place affected with oil and vinegar; but with oil he may, so it be not oil of roses, etc. He that hath the toothache, let him not swallow vinegar to spit it out again; but he may swallow it, so he swallow it down. He that hath a sore throat, let him not gargle it with oil: but he may swallow down the oil, whence if he receive a cure it is well. Let no man chew mastich, or rub his teeth with spice for a cure; but if he do this to make his mouth sweet, it is allowed. They do not put wine into a sore eye. They do not apply fomentations or oils to the place affected," etc. All which things, however they were not applicable to the cure wrought by Christ (with a word only), yet they afforded them an occasion of cavilling: who, indeed, were sworn together thus to quarrel him; that canon affording them a further pretence, "This certainly obtains, that whatsoever was possible to be done on the sabbath eve driveth not away the sabbath." To which sense he speaks, Luk 13:14.   

Let the reader see, if he be at leisure, what diseases they judge dangerous, and what physic is to be used on the sabbath.