Others said, These are not the words of him that has a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil.—We trace here again the presence of the better party among the Sanhedrin, which we found before (John 9:16). “His words,” they would say, “are words of calm teaching. The possession by a demon disorders, frenzies, makes the slave of madness. It is inconsistent with words like these.”
Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?—“Surely a devil cannot open the eyes of the blind? “is the form their question took. They go back from the teaching to the great sign which gave rise to it, and they find that work and word are alike opposed to the thought of being the result of a demon’s presence. Such a miracle had never before been known. A demon does not give the power to do a prophet’s work. (Comp. Notes on John 9:16 and Matthew 12:24.)These are not the words (so we translate it; the word in the Greek is rhmata, which signifies things, and matters, as well as words; and by what follows, one would think that were the more proper translation of it here) of him that hath a devil. They instance in no words, but in a matter of fact; asking if a devil could open the eyes of the blind? That is, of one that was born blind; for they certainly speak with reference to that miracle which he had so lately wrought upon such a person.
can a devil open the eyes of the blind? referring to the late instance, of Christ's curing a man that was blind from his birth; if it was in the power of a devil to do such an action, which it is not, yet it is not in his nature, it is not usual with him to do any good; but to do all the hurt he can, both to the bodies and souls of men: in one of Beza's copies it is read, "can one that has a devil open the eyes of the blind?" so the Persic version, can a "demoniac", &c.? which reading suits best with what is before said; and then the sense is, can a madman, one that is a lunatic, one possessed with the devil, either talk in the manner this man does, or do such wonderful actions as he has done, particularly cure a man that was born blind?Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)21. of him that hath a devil] Better, of one possessed with a demon: the expression differs from that in John 10:20.
Can a devil] Or, Surely a demon cannot. See on John 9:40. It was too great and too beneficent a miracle for a demon. But here they stop short: they state what He cannot be; they do not see, or will not admit, what He must be.John 10:21. Ῥήματα) Hebr. דברים words. Comp. what goes before [John 10:19, There was a division for these sayings]: also comp. the works alluded to in what follows [John 10:25].Verse 21. - There was a twofold reply: one drawn from their own experience. Others said, These (ῤήματα; verba, Vulgate) sayings - "things said" - are not those of one who is possessed by a daemon. Their majestic calm, their conscious strength, the strange thrill they sent through human hearts, and which we feel to this hour, discriminate them from the scream of the maniac, with which some of the more astounding statements taken by themselves might have suggested comparison. They give another argument drawn from the miracle which had just taken place, which proves that his friends on this occasion were very far from the mad wickedness of those whose moral sense had been so perverted as to say that "he casts out daemons by the prince of daemons" (see Matthew 12:24, etc., and parallel passages). Can a daemon open the eyes of the blind? It is not in the nature of a damon to heal disease, and pour light on sightless eyes. The goodness of the Lord triumphs over the vile insinuation. We must have better explanation than this of his mysterious claims. The contest was sharp. The conflict for a while silenced opposition, only to break out again with greater malice and fury.
Literally, of one demonized. Rev., one possessed with a devil.
Can a devil (μὴ δύναται)
Surely a demon cannot.
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