Matthew 12

1Christ bringeth evidence of scripture in excuse of his disciples, whom the Pharisees charged with breaking the sabbath. 9He appealeth to reason, and healeth the withered hand on the sabbath day. 14The Pharisees seek to destroy him: a prophecy of Esaias fulfilled in him. 22He healeth one possessed of a devil, who was blind and dumb; 24and showeth that blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is an unpardonable sin, and that every idle word must be accounted for: 38he rebuketh those that sought of him a sign, 46and showeth whom he regardeth as his nearest relations.

1AT thata time Jesus went on the 1sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred,b and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.

a Deut. 23:25; Mark 2:23; Luke 6:1.

1 Gr. Sabbaths.

b hungry*

2But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that whichc is not lawful to do upon 2the sabbath day.

c Exod. 20:10.

2 The Pharisees rebuked Christ’s disciples, not because they plucked ears of another man’s corn, for that was allowed by the law, Deut. 23:25, but because they did it on the Sabbath.

3But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

4How he entered into 3the house of God, and did eat the 4shewbread,d which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, bute only for the priests?

3 That is, the tabernacle, which at that time was at Nob. See 1 Sam. 21:6.

4 Gr. the setting forth of the loaves. Hebr. of the face, namely, of the Lord. What bread this was and what was done with it, see Lev. 24:5, etc.

d 1 Sam. 21:6.

e Exod. 29:33; Lev. 24:9.

5Orf have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple 5profane the sabbath, and are 6blameless?

f Num. 28:9.

5 That is, do such works, which would profane the Sabbath, if God had not commanded the same for His service.

6 That is, do not amiss in it.

6But I say unto you, That in this place is oneg7greater than the temple.

g 2 Chron. 6:18.

7 For Christ was the Lord of the temple, and the Thing Itself figured and signified by the temple, Mal. 3:1; John 2:19.

7But if ye had known what this meaneth, Ih will have mercy, and 8not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

h Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8; Mat. 9:13; 23:23.

8 See Mat. 9:13.

8Fori the Son of man is 9Lord even of the sabbath day.

i Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5.

9 That is, has power to put in order about the works of the Sabbath.

9Andj when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:

j Mark 3:1; Luke 6:6.

10¶And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Isk it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.

k Luke 14:3.

11And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall intol a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

l Exod. 23:4; Deut. 22:4.

12Howm much then 10is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do 11well on the sabbath days.

m Gen. 1:27.

10 Gr. differs from a sheep.

11 That is, to exercise works of charity.

13Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

14¶Thenn the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might 12destroy him.

n Mark 3:6; John 5:18; 10:39; 11:53.

12 Or, kill him.

15But when Jesus knew it, he withdrewo himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;

o Mat. 10:23.

16Andp charged them that they should not make him known:

p Mat. 9:30; Luke 5:14.

17That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

18Beholdq my 13servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew 14judgment to the Gentiles.

q Isa. 42:1; Mat. 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Col. 1:13; 2 Peter 1:17.

13Christ is called the Servant of the Father, because He took upon Him the form of a servant, Philip. 2:7, and because the Father’s counsel, concerning our redemption, was accomplished by Him, Isa. 53:10, 11. See likewise the annotation on Isa. 42:1.

14 That is, the saving doctrine, or the true worship of God, and what belongs thereto.

19He shall not strive, nor 15cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets.

15 Namely, out of ambition or desire of contention.

2016A 17bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking 18flax shall he not quench, till he 19send forth 20judgment unto victory.

16 That is, He shall not repudiate the dejected spirits and the weak in faith, but shall meet them with all tenderness.

17 Or, shattered.

18 Or, wick, because braided fibers or wicks were made from it. Gr. flax.

19 Or, bring in sight. Gr. thrust out, cast out.

20 That is, shall powerfully press through with the truth of His doctrine, until the same gets the upper hand.

21And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

22¶Thenr was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, 21blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

r Mat. 9:32; Luke 11:14.

21 That is, from whom the devil had taken the use of eyes and tongue.

23And all the people were amazed, and said, Iss not this the son of David?

s John 4:29.

24But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, Thistfellow doth not cast out devils, but by 22Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

t Mat. 9:34; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15.

22 See Mat. 10:25.

25And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

26And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

27And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your 23children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

23 Hereby are understood either the disciples of Christ, who cast out devils in His Name, Luke 10:17, or some other Jews, who also sometimes did such. See Luke 9:49.

28But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

29Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his 24goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

24 That is, household stuff or goods; for, the Hebrews call all manner of furniture, vessels, wherewith the house is provided.

30He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

31¶Whereforeu I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be 25forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy 26against the Holy Ghost shall 27not be forgiven unto men.

u Mark 3:28; Luke 12:10; 1 John 5:16.

25 Namely, if they repent.

26 This sin against the Holy Ghost is, when anyone, not out of weakness or fear, as Peter, nor of ignorance like Paul, denies or opposes the truth of the Gospel, but out of mere hatred and obstinacy, against the conviction of the Holy Ghost, resists, blasphemes and persecutes the same.

27 Namely, because they do not repent, and cannot be brought to repentance through the righteous judgment of God. See Heb. 6:4.

32Andv whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: butw whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, 28neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

v 1 Sam. 2:25.

w Num. 15:30; 1 John 5:16.

28 That is, never, as it is expounded in Mark 3:29, neither here nor hereafter in the last judgment, which is also called the world to come, Luke 18:30.

33Eitherx29make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree 30corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

x Mat. 7:18.

29 That is, hold and judge.

30 Gr. rotten.

34 Oy generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? forz out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

y Mat. 3:7.

z Psalm 40:10; Luke 6:45.

35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36But I say unto you, Thataa every 31idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof inab the day of judgment.

aa Eph. 5:4.

31 Or, vain, that is, which has no profit for edification, Eph. 4:29, how much more than for blasphemous words? Gr. inactive.

ab Eccl. 12:14.

37Forac by thy words thou shalt be 32justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

ac 2 Sam. 1:16; Luke 19:22.

32 That is, be acknowledged and declared just.

38¶Thenad certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

ad Mat. 16:1; Mark 8:11; Luke 11:29; 1 Cor. 1:22.

39But he answered and said unto them, An evil and 33adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:

33 Or, degenerate and be corrupted. See John 8:39.

40Forae as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be 34three days and three nights in the 35heart of the earth.

ae Jonah 1:17; 2:10.

34 A part of the days are here taken for whole days and nights; as it is usual with the Hebrews. See 1 Sam. 30:12, compared with verse 13 and Esther 4:16, compared with Esther 5:1. And if it be taken after the chronology of the Romans, who began and ended the days at midnight, this makes it yet more clear.

35 That is, within the earth, after the Hebrew phrase. So Tyre is said to be situated in the midst of the seas, Ezek. 27:4.

41Theaf men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall 36condemn it: because they repented atag the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

af Luke 11:32.

36 Namely, by their example.

ag Jonah 3:5.

42Theah queen of the 37south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the 38uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

ah 1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chron. 9:1; Luke 11:31.

37 That is, of Sheba, 1 Kings 10:1, which was situated southwards from Judea.

38 That is, from far off places.

43Whenai the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through 39dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

ai Luke 11:24.

39 That is, dry or waterless places.

44Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and 40garnished.

40 Or, trimmed up.

45Then goeth he, and taketh with himself 41seven other spirits more wicked than himself, andaj they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. 42Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

41 That is, many. An Hebrew manner of speaking.

aj Heb. 6:4, 5; 10:26; 2 Peter 2:20.

42 By this parable Christ teaches that, when a man is freed by the knowledge of the Gospel from his natural ignorance, and notwithstanding lives not according to it but keeps it under, he becomes much worse than before. See 2 Peter 2:20, 21.

46¶Whileak he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his 43brethren stood without,al desiring to speak with him.

ak Mark 3:31; Luke 8:20.

43 That is, kinsmen, who are also called brethren with the Hebrews. See Gen. 13:8, 11.

al outside*

47Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

48But he answered and said unto him that told him, 44Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

44Christ does not speak here out of contempt of His mother, but only commends the spiritual kinship above the carnal.

49And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!

50Foram whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

am John 15:14; 2 Cor. 5:16; Gal. 5:6; 6:15; Col. 3:11.