|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.
Verse 34. - But the Pharisees said (vide supra). If the verse be genuine here, the thought, of course, is that the only effect of Christ's miracles upon the Pharisees was to drive them to open blasphemy and wanton opposition to the evidence of plain facts, as is brought out at length in Matthew 12:24-32. He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils; by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils (Revised Version); which indicates the true order of the words in the Greek. Through. The Revised Version margin, in, is more literal. The Pharisees assert not only that Jesus effected this cure by the instrumentality of Satan, but by means of union with him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But the Pharisees said,.... Who were the sworn enemies of Christ, and were filled with envy at him, and malice against him: these men could not bear, that so much honour and glory should be given to Christ; and therefore said,
he casteth out the devils through the prince of the devils: they could not deny matter of fact, that he had cast out a devil; nor could they say he had done an ill thing in so doing; they could not but own that it was a preternatural action, more than human; nor could they contradict what the multitude said, that no such thing had been ever seen, or known, in Israel: but that Christ might not have the glory of the action, and to fix a mark of infamy upon him, foolishly impute it to a diabolical influence, as if one devil would eject another; and to Christ's familiarity with, and the assistance he had from, not a common devil, but the prince of them. In Beza's most ancient manuscript, and in some others, this whole verse is wanting; and were it not, for the general consent of copies, one should be tempted to think these words were not said at this time, because Christ returns no answer to them; and what is observed by Luke 11:15 as following this miracle, is the selfsame as was spoken by Christ in Matthew 12:24 and where this passage is more thoroughly considered.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils—"the demons through the prince of the demons." This seems to be the first muttering of a theory of such miracles which soon became a fixed mode of calumniating them—a theory which would be ridiculous if it were not melancholy as an outburst of the darkest malignity. (See on Mt 12:24, &c.).
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