Matthew 12:23
And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(23) Is not this the son of David?—The people use (as the blind man had done in Matthew 9:27) the most popular of all the synonyms of the Christ.

12:22-30 A soul under Satan's power, and led captive by him, is blind in the things of God, and dumb at the throne of grace; sees nothing, and says nothing to the purpose. Satan blinds the eyes by unbelief, and seals up the lips from prayer. The more people magnified Christ, the more desirous the Pharisees were to vilify him. It was evident that if Satan aided Jesus in casting out devils, the kingdom of hell was divided against itself; how then could it stand! And if they said that Jesus cast out devils by the prince of the devils, they could not prove that their children cast them out by any other power. There are two great interests in the world; and when unclean spirits are cast out by the Holy Spirit, in the conversion of sinners to a life of faith and obedience, the kingdom of God is come unto us. All who do not aid or rejoice in such a change are against Christ.Is not this the Son of David? - That is, Is not this the promised "descendant" of David, the Messiah? They were acquainted with the prophecy in Isaiah 35:5, "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped," and they inferred that he must be the promised Messiah who was able to do this. This inference was drawn by the common people, and not by the proud and haughty Pharisees. It is not uncommon that people of plain common sense, though unlearned, see the true meaning of the Bible, while those who are filled with pride and science, falsely so called, are blinded.23. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?—The form of the interrogative requires this to be rendered, "Is this the Son of David?" And as questions put in this form (in Greek) suppose doubt, and expect rather a negative answer, the meaning is, "Can it possibly be?"—the people thus indicating their secret impression that this must be He; yet saving themselves from the wrath of the ecclesiastics, which a direct assertion of it would have brought upon them. (On a similar question, see on [1274]Joh 4:29; and on the phrase, "Son of David," see on [1275]Mt 9:27). This is the first conviction we meet with, from the miracles wrought by our Saviour, that he was the Messiah, unless that of the two blind men, mentioned Matthew 9:27; and their faith in it appears but weak, for they do not plainly affirm it, only ask the question, like the faith of those mentioned John 7:31, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? And all the people were amazed,.... At the cure; it was such an instance of divine power, and so glaring a proof, that the person who wrought it was more than a man, and must be the Messiah. This is to be understood of the greater part of the people, not of every individual, and of the common people only; for it had a different effect upon the Pharisees, as hereafter appears; but in these it not only produced admiration, but conviction, faith, and confession:

and said, is not this the son of David? or the Messiah; for , "the son of David", is a character of the Messiah, well known among the Jews; See Gill on Matthew 1:1 because he was promised to David, was to be raised up of his seed, and to spring from his loins. This question they put, not as doubting of it, but as inclining, at least, to believe it, if not as expressing their certainty of it: and is, as if they had said, who can this person be but the true Messiah, that has wrought such a miracle as this? for from his miracles they rightly concluded who he was; though the Jews since, in order to deprive Jesus of this true characteristic of the Messiah, deny that miracles are to be performed by him (n).

(n) Maimon. Hilch. Melacim, c. 11. sect. 3.

And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 12:23 ff. Μήτι οὗτος, κ.τ.λ.] Question of imperfect yet growing faith, with emphasis upon οὗτος: May this (who, however, does not possess the qualities looked for in the Messiah) not possibly be the Messiah? John 4:29. To this corresponds the emphatic οὗτος in Matthew 12:24.

ἀκούσαντες] that question μήτι οὗτος, etc.

εἶπον] to the multitude, not to Jesus; for see Matthew 12:25. They desire at once to put a stop to such dangerous language, and that, too, in a very demonstrative way.

ἐν τῷ Βεελζεβοὺλ, ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμ.] See on Matthew 9:34. ἄρχοντι τ. δ. is not to be rendered: the ruler of the demons (which would have required τῷ ἄρχ.), but: as ruler over the demons. Pragmatic addition. Mark 3:22, comp. John 7:20; John 10:20, states the accusation in more specific terms.

εἰδώς] comp. Matthew 9:4. The charge urged by the Pharisees is a foolish and desperate expedient proceeding from their hostility to Jesus, the absurdity of which He exposes.

μερισθεῖσα καθʼ ἑαυτῆς] i.e. divided into parties, which contend with each other to its own destruction. In such a state of matters, a kingdom comes to ruin, and a town or a family must cease to exist; σταθῆναι means the same as στῆναι, see Bornemann, ad Xen. Cyr. II. 1, 11; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 851.

Matthew 12:26. καί] the and subjoining the application.

εἰ ὁ σατανᾶς τὸν σατανᾶν ἐκβάλλει] not: the one Satan, the other Satan (Fritzsche, de Wette), but: if Satan cast out Satan, if Satan is at once the subject and the object of the casting out, being the latter, inasmuch as the expelled demons are the servants and representatives of Satan. This is the only correct interpretation of an expression so selected as to be in keeping with the preposterous nature of the charge, for there is only the one Satan; there are many demons, but only one Satan, who is their head. This explanation is an answer to de Wette, who takes exception to the reasoning of Jesus on the ground that Satan may have helped Christ to cast out demons, that by this means he might accomplish his own ends. No, the question is not as to one or two occasional instances of such casting out,—in which it might be quite conceivable that “for the nonce Satan should be faithless to his own spirits,”—but as to exorcism regarded in the light of a systematic practice, which, as such, is directed against Satan, and which therefore cannot be attributed to Satan himself, for otherwise he would be destroying his own kingdom.Matthew 12:23. ἐξίσταντο: not implying anything exceptionally remarkable in the cure; a standing phrase (in Mark at least) for the impression made on the people. They never got to be familiar with Christ’s wonderful works, so as to take them as matters of course.—μήτι implies a negative answer: they can hardly believe what the fact seems to suggest = can this possibly be, etc.? Not much capacity for faith in the average Israelite, yet honest-hearted compared with the Pharisee.—ὁ υἱὸς Δαβιδ: the popular title for the Messiah.Verse 23. - And all the people; the multitudes (Revised Version); i.e. the various concourses of people that formed themselves at different times of the day and in different parts of the town (cf. Matthew 8:1; Matthew 14:15, notes). Were amazed (ἐξίσταντο); here only in Matthew, but cf. Mark 2:12. And said, Is this (μήτι οῦτός ἐστιν). The form of the question suggests that it seemed altogether too wonderful to allow of an affirmative answer being returned. The American Committee of Revision wished to translate, "Can this be," etc.? The Son of David? (Matthew 9:27, note).
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