Matthew Chapter 12, Verse 24

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Book of Matthew
Chapter 12
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24: But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.— edit KJV text
24: But the Pharisees hearing it, said: This man casteth not out devils but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.— edit Douay text


But when the Pharisees heard it, etc. It was necessary for the Pharisees, who had determined to reject Jesus of Nazareth, to account in some way for the miracles he had wrought. Here was a manifest miracle, an exertion of power unquestionably superior to what men could do. The common people were fast drawing the proper inferences from it, and coming into the belief that this was the Messiah. The authority and power of the Pharisees were declining, and about to become extinct. Unless, therefore, some way should be devised of accounting for these facts, their influence would be at an end. Whatever way of accounting for them was adopted, it was necessary that they should acknowledge that there was superhuman power. The people were fully persuaded of this; and no man could deny it. They therefore ascribed it to the Prince of the devils - to Beelzebub. In this they had two objects:

1st. To concede to the people that here was a miracle, or a work above mere human power.

2nd. To throw all possible contempt on Jesus. Beelzebub was an opprobrious name, given to the worst and vilest even of the devils. See Mt 10:25. It denoted the god of flies, or the god of filth; and hence the god of idolatry, as being, in their view, filth and abomination.

  • "Beelzebub" "Beelzebul"

-- edit commentary

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