Matthew 9:32
As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
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(32) A dumb man possessed with a devil.—This narrative also is given by St. Matthew only. Referring to the Note in the Excursus on Matthew 8:28 for the general question as to “possession,” it may be noted here that the phenomena presented in this case were those of catalepsy, or of insanity showing itself in obstinate and sullen silence. The dumbness was a spiritual disease, not the result of congenital malformation. The work of healing restored the man to sanity rather than removed a bodily imperfection. Comp. the analogous phenomena in Matthew 12:22, Luke 11:14. The latter agrees so closely with this that but for the fact of St. Matthew’s connecting our Lord’s answer to the accusation of the Pharisees with the second of these miracles, we might have supposed the two identical.

Matthew 9:32-34. As they went out — Namely, the men that had been blind; behold, they brought to him a dumb man — Whose dumbness was owing to his being possessed with a devil. From the circumstance of this demoniac’s being dumb, Erasmus conjectures that he was also deprived of the use of his reason. If so, being insensible of his own misery, he had as little inclination as ability to apply for a cure. He could not even make his misery known by signs, and therefore needed to be brought to the Saviour by others. And when the devil was cast out — Namely, by the powerful word of Jesus; the dumb spake — Readily, distinctly, rationally, and fluently. And the multitude marvelled — Were astonished both at the greatness of the miracle and at the instantaneous manner in which it was wrought, as also at the many other miracles which they had just seen performed. Saying, It was never so seen in Israel — Not even in Israel, where so many wonders have been seen. “This reflection was perfectly just; for no one of the prophets, that we read of in the Old Testament, appears to have wrought so many beneficial miracles in his whole life, as our Lord did in this one afternoon.” — Doddridge. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils — Not being able to deny facts that were so notorious, in order to prevent the effect which they saw them likely to produce on the people, (namely, to convince them that Jesus was the Messiah,) being moved with the bitterest spite against him, they impudently, and contrary to all reason and common sense, affirmed that instead of being the Christ, or a prophet, he was a vile magician, who cast out devils by the help of Beelzebub, their prince. A calumny this which the Pharisees frequently uttered, but which our Lord fully confuted, as the reader will see in the notes on Matthew 12:22-30.

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.And as they went out, behold, they brought unto him - That is, the friends of the dumb man brought him. This seems to have occurred as soon as the blind men which had been healed left him. Possibly it was from what they had observed of his power in healing them.

A dumb man possessed with a devil - That is, the effect of the "possession," in his case, was to deprive him of speech. Those "possessed with devils" were affected in different ways (see the notes at Matthew 4:24), and there is no improbability in supposing that if other forms of disease occurred under demoniacal possessions, this form might occur also.

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. See Poole on "Matthew 9:33".

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.

{7} As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.

(7) An example of that power that Christ has over the devil.

Matthew 9:32-33.[438] Αὐτῶν] Placed first for sake of emphasis, in contrast to the new sufferer who presents himself just as they are going out.

ἐφάνη οὕτως] ἐφάνη is impersonal, as in Thucyd. vi. 60. 2 (see Krüger in loc.), so that the general “it” is to be regarded as matter for explanation. See by all means Krüger, § 61. 5. 6. Nägelsbach, note on Ilias, p. 120, ed. 3. What the matter in question specially is, comes out in the context; Matthew 9:33-34, ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια. Therefore to be taken thus: never has it, viz. the casting out of demons, been displayed in such a manner among the Israelites. According to Fritzsche, Jesus forms the subject; never had He shown Himself in so illustrious a fashion (Rettig in d. Stud. u. Krit. 1838, p. 788 f.). But in that case, how is ἐν τῷ Ἰσραήλ to be explained? Formerly it was usual to interpret thus: οὕτως stands for τοῦτο or τοιοῦτό τι, like the Hebrew כֵּן (1 Samuel 23:17). A grammatical inaccuracy; in all the passages referred to as cases in point (Psalm 48:6; Jdg 19:30; Nehemiah 8:17), neither כֵּן nor οὕτως means anything else than thus, as in 1 Sam., loc. cit., καὶ Σαοὺλ ὁ πατήρ μου οἶδεν οὕτως: and Saul my father knows it thus. That false canon is also to be shunned in Mark 2:12.

[438] Holtzmann thinks that this story likewise owes its origin merely to an anticipation of Matthew 11:5. According to de Wette, Strauss, Keim, it is identical with the healing mentioned in Matthew 12:22 ff. According to various sources “marked as a duplicate” (Keim). The demoniac, ch. 12, is blind and dumb. And see note on Matthew 12:22.

Matthew 9:32-34. The dumb demoniac (Luke 11:14). A slight narrative, very meagre in comparison with the story of the Gerasene demoniac, the interest centring in the conflicting comments of spectators which probably secured for it a place in the Logia of Matthew.

Matthew 9:32. Προσήνεγκαν Αὐτῷ, κ.τ.λ., they brought to Him, etc.) One who could scarcely come of his own accord.

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. Matthew 9:32Dumb (κωφὸν)

The word is also used of deafness (Matthew 11:5; Mark 7:32; Luke 7:22). It means dull or blunted. Thus Homer applies it to the earth; the dull, senseless earth ("Iliad," xxiv., 25). Also to a blunted dart ("Iliad," xi., 390). The classical writers use it of speech, hearing, sight, and mental perception. In the New Testament, only of hearing and speech, the meaning in each case being determined by the context.

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