Matthew 12:43
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.

New Living Translation
"When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none.

English Standard Version
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none.

New American Standard Bible
"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it.

King James Bible
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest but doesn't find any.

International Standard Version
"Whenever an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it wanders through waterless places looking for a place to rest, but finds none.

NET Bible
"When an unclean spirit goes out of a person, it passes through waterless places looking for rest but does not find it.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But whenever a foul spirit goes out from a man, it wanders about in places without water in them, and it seeks rest and does not find it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it goes through dry places looking for a place to rest. But it doesn't find any.

Jubilee Bible 2000
When the unclean spirit is gone out of the man, it walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.

King James 2000 Bible
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.

American King James Version
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.

American Standard Version
But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none.

Darby Bible Translation
But when the unclean spirit has gone out of the man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and does not find [it].

English Revised Version
But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not.

Webster's Bible Translation
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and he findeth none.

Weymouth New Testament
"No sooner however has the foul spirit gone out of the man, then he roams about in places where there is no water, seeking rest but finding none.

World English Bible
But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn't find it.

Young's Literal Translation
'And, when the unclean spirit may go forth from the man, it doth walk through dry places seeking rest, and doth not find;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:38-45 Though Christ is always ready to hear and answer holy desires and prayers, yet those who ask amiss, ask and have not. Signs were granted to those who desired them to confirm their faith, as Abraham and Gideon; but denied to those who demanded them to excuse their unbelief. The resurrection of Christ from the dead by his own power, called here the sign of the prophet Jonah, was the great proof of Christ's being the Messiah. As Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale, and then came out again alive, thus Christ would be so long in the grave, and then rise again. The Ninevites would shame the Jews for not repenting; the queen of Sheba, for not believing in Christ. And we have no such cares to hinder us, we come not to Christ upon such uncertainties. This parable represents the case of the Jewish church and nation. It is also applicable to all those who hear the word of God, and are in part reformed, but not truly converted. The unclean spirit leaves for a time, but when he returns, he finds Christ is not there to shut him out; the heart is swept by outward reformation, but garnished by preparation to comply with evil suggestions, and the man becomes a more decided enemy of the truth. Every heart is the residence of unclean spirits, except those which are temples of the Holy Ghost, by faith in Christ.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 43-45. - Parallel passage: Luke 11:24-26, almost verbally, but omitting the application at the end of our ver. 45. A solemn warning against a merely negative improvement. External preparation, mechanical religion, is insufficient; a definite acceptance of my teaching is required. Our Lord's primary thought Would appear to be the relation in which those to whom he was speaking stood to himself. But he frames his words so as to include the whole of that generation of Jews (vers. 39, 45) For his present hearers truly represented their contemporaries. Observe

(1) the close of this discourse resembles that of the sermon on the mount;

(2) the connexion of thought is the same in Luke, though there the passage comes immediately after our ver. 30; i.e. if you are not with me you are really against me; you are only swept and garnished, and the evil spirit returns. Verse 43. - When; but... when (Revised Version); ὅταν δέ. St. Matthew does not bring this forward as a separate utterance; he wishes the connexion between it and the preceding to be seen. There is a contrast between the behaviour of the Ninevites and the Queen of Sheba, and that of the Jews. The unclean spirit (Matthew 10:1, note) is gone out of a (the, Revised Version) man (τὸ πνεῦμα... τοῦ ἀνθρώπου). The first article is inserted for the sake of vividness; the second points back to the spirit; he leaves the man in whom he had dwelt. The two together make the saying parabolic instead of abstract. He walketh; passeth (Revised Version); διέρχεται. Perhaps merely "goes through," with the connotation of distance traversed (John 4:15; Acts 9:38), but probably "goes about," i.e. to different spots (cf. Luke 9:6; Acts 8:4, 40; Acts 20:25, and so of a rumour being spread abroad, Luke 5:15), in restless wandering. Through dry (waterless, Revised Version; δι ἀνύδρων) places. Which supplied nothing wherewith he might refresh himself (Psalm 63:1), and which would, of course, have no houses (Psalm 107:4-7, 33-36). Seeking rest (Matthew 11:28, 29, notes), and findeth none; and findeth it not (Revised Version).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man,.... By "the unclean" spirit, is meant Satan, the old serpent, the devil; who by the Jews, is wont to be called as here, , "the unclean spirit" (x); and that, because he is by sin become so, though he was not so originally; is the cause of uncleanness in men, and delights in unclean persons, places, and things: his "going out of a man", is not to be understood of his being dispossessed of the bodies of men; nor of the ejection of him, and his going by force, through the power of divine grace, out of the souls of men; but either of his leaving the Jews for a while, in some sort, whilst Christ and the Gospel continued among them; and of his going out of the Scribes and Pharisees; not really, but putting on another form, appearing as an angel of light, and under the guise of holiness and righteousness: and so he may be said to go out of men, when any outward reformation is made in them; and they take up a profession of religion, though destitute of the grace of God:

he walketh through dry places; referring to a prevailing notion, that unclean spirits walk in, and haunt, desert and desolate places; and may have regard to the Gentiles, among whom Satan might go, seeking rest and satisfaction among them, in their idolatries and other wickedness, till he was there also disturbed by the Gospel sent among them: or by these "dry places" may be meant the saints, whom he takes his walks among, in order, by tempting, to distress them, being secure of pharisaical persons: and these may be so called, not for what they are in themselves; not because the sun of righteousness shines upon them: or because thirsty and desirous of divine and spiritual things; much less as if they had no moisture, since they have a well of living water in them, and are watered by the Lord; or were unfruitful, as dry places usually are; but for what they were to the unclean spirit, there being nothing in their grace, and the exercise of it, and in their spiritual performances, grateful to him; nothing to quench his thirst, and satisfy his sinful appetite; nor were there in them the mire and dirt of iniquity to roll in, as in unregenerate persons: wherefore he is represented as

seeking rest, and findeth none: his view in walking in these places, or among such persons, is rest; not the rest of the saints, he seeks their disturbance, but his own rest; which is to do all the mischief he can, by stirring up corruption, tempting to sin, and discouraging the exercise of grace; but is not able to do so much mischief as he would, and so cannot find the rest he seeks for, nor satisfy his envious, spiteful, and malicious temper: and this being the case, it follows,

(x) Zohar in Gen. fol. 77. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

43-45. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, &c.—On this important parable, in connection with the corresponding one (Mt 12:29) see on [1283]Lu 11:21-26.

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

Lu 11:27:

And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company—out of the crowd.

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 [1284]Lu 1:28). How does our Lord, then, treat it? He is far from condemning it. He only holds up as "blessed rather" another class: Lu 11:28:

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 excommunicate any one of its members that dared to talk in such a strain!

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

Matthew 12:43 Additional Commentaries
Context
Return of an Unclean Spirit
43"Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and does not find it. 44"Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.…
Cross References
Matthew 12:44
Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.

Luke 11:24
"When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.'
Treasury of Scripture

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none.

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.

Luke 11:24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry …

Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued …

he.

Job 1:7 And the LORD said to Satan, From where come you? Then Satan answered …

Job 2:2 And the LORD said to Satan, From where come you? And Satan answered …

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring …

dry.

Psalm 63:1 O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for …

Isaiah 35:6,7 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb …

Isaiah 41:18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the middle of …

Ezekiel 47:8-12 Then said he to me, These waters issue out toward the east country, …

Amos 8:11-13 Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine …

seeking.

Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with you, …

Mark 5:7-13 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with you, …

Luke 8:28-32 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with …

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