|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:32-34 Of the two, better a dumb devil than a blaspheming one. Christ's cures strike at the root, and remove the effect by taking away the cause; they open the lips, by breaking Satan's power in the soul. Nothing can convince those who are under the power of pride. They will believe anything, however false or absurd, rather than the Holy Scriptures; thus they show the enmity of their hearts against a holy God.
Verses 32-34. - The demon cast out of the dumb man. The astonishment of the multitudes and their confession. [The accusation by the Pharisees.] The whole narrative greatly resembles the cure of the blind and dumb man possessed with a devil (Matthew 12:22-24; Luke 11:14, 15), as may be seen from the fact that the following words are common to both passages, the brackets indicating a want of exact correspondence in the original. "They brought to him one possessed with a devil, dumb, and the [dumb spake]. And the multitudes [said.]... But the Pharisees, He casteth out the devils by... the prince of the devils." One explanation is that the two narratives are taken kern different sources, but represent the same incident; another, that as in vers. 27-31, so also here, the narratives of two similar incidents have become assimilated. At any rate, in the case of ver. 34 there has probably been assimilation, and that since the writing of the Gospel. For:
(1) Ver. 34 is wanting in D, the Old Latin manuscripts a and k, Hilary and Juvencns, and is therefore rightly bracketed by Westcott and Hort as perhaps "a Western non-interpolation" (2. § 240).
(2) The verse seems to be hardly in complete accordance with the aim of the whole section, which ends much more suitably with the effect on the multitudes. In Matthew 12:24 the verse forms a climax (cf. Matthew 12:2, 10, 14). But here there has been no opposition mentioned since the very beginning of the chapter (for the disobedience of the blind men cannot be so called), so that the monstrous accusation comes in quite unexpectedly. Observe that this is not a case in which subjective difficulties are in themselves a prima facie argument for the genuineness of a phrase, for the early copyists troubled themselves very little about questions of the internal arrangement and the general aim of the sections. Verse 32. - (And, Revised Version) as they went out (forth, Revised Version; ver. 31). They were still on the threshold (αὐτὼν δὲ ἐξερχομένων). Behold, they brought to him. The rendering of the Revised Version, "there was brought to him," is awkward, but avoids the implication that the blind men brought him this fresh case. A dumb man possessed with a devil. In Matthew 12:22 the man was blind also.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As they went out,.... The Syriac version reads it, "when Jesus went out"; to which agrees the Arabic, against all the copies: for not he, but the men who had been blind, and now had their sight restored, went out from the house where Jesus was; which circumstance is mentioned, and by it the following account is introduced, partly to show how busy Christ was, how he was continually employed in doing good, and that as soon as one work of mercy was over, another offered; and partly, to observe how closely and exactly the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled; in which, as it was foretold, that "the eyes of the blind" should "be opened"; so likewise, that "the tongue of the dumb" should "sing", Isaiah 35:5.
Behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. The word signifies one that is deaf, as well as dumb; as does the Hebrew word often used by the Jewish writers for a deaf and dumb man; one, they say (g), that can neither hear nor speak, and is unfit for sacrifice, and excused many things: and indeed these two, deafness and dumbness, always go together in persons, who are deaf from their birth; for as they cannot hear, they cannot learn to speak: but this man seems to be dumb, not by nature, but through the possession of Satan, who had taken away, or restrained the use of his speech, out of pure malice and ill will, that he might not have the benefit of conversation with men, nor be able to say anything to the glory of God. This man did not come of himself to Christ, perhaps being unwilling, through the power and influence the devil had over him; but his friends, who were concerned for his welfare, and who were thoroughly persuaded of the power of Christ to heal him, by the miracles they had seen, or heard performed by him, brought him to him; and, no doubt, expressed their desire that he would cast out the devil, and cure him, which he did.
(g) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Trumot, c. 1. sect. 2. T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 2. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil—"demonized." The dumbness was not natural, but was the effect of the possession.
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