Matthew 12:22
Then was brought to him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.
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(22) The narrative that follows is again a stumbling-block in the way of harmonists. St. Luke (Luke 11:14) places it after the feeding of the five thousand; St. Mark (Mark 3:22) immediately after the mission of the Twelve. A like narrative has met us in Matthew 9:32, and it is probable enough that the charge was repeated as often as the occasion presented itself, and as often answered in identical or like words. St. Mark states that the Pharisees who brought it were those who had come down from Jerusalem, and this falls in with all that we have seen of the activity of those emissaries of the party.

Possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb.—In Matthew 9:32, the man was simply dumb; here the phenomena of the suspension of conscious sensation and volition were more complicated.

Matthew 12:22-24. Then was brought unto him — Namely, By the person’s friends, one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb — Many, no doubt, supposed these defects to be merely natural: but the Spirit of God saw otherwise, and gives the true account, both of the disorder and the cure. How many other disorders, seemingly natural, may even now be owing to the same cause! And he healed him — He immediately expelled the evil spirit, and in an instant removed the effects of his diabolical influence: And all the people were amazed — At so extraordinary a miracle, by which the noblest sense, and likewise the most useful faculty of the human body, were restored together: and said, Is not this the Son of David? — that is, The Messiah. But when the Pharisees — Who were present, and the scribes, who had come down from Jerusalem, heard it, that is, heard this natural reflection of the people, and observed that they were beginning to infer, from the wonderful miracles which they saw Jesus perform, that he was the expected Messiah; fearing lest such a belief, if it should gain ground, would put an end to their credit with, and authority over, the people, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils but by Beelzebub, &c. — Thus giving the most malicious and unreasonable turn to the matter which could be imagined.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.Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil - See the notes at Matthew 4:24. The same account, substantially, is found in Mark 3:22-27, and Luke 11:14-26.Mt 12:22-37. A Blind and Dumb Demoniac Healed and Reply to the Malignant Explanation Put upon It. ( = Mr 3:20-30; Lu 11:14-23).

The precise time of this section is uncertain. Judging from the statements with which Mark introduces it, we should conclude that it was when our Lord's popularity was approaching its zenith, and so before the feeding of the five thousand. But, on the other hand, the advanced state of the charges brought against our Lord, and the plainness of His warnings and denunciations in reply, seem to favor the later period at which Luke introduces it. "And the multitude," says Mark (Mr 3:20, 21), "cometh together again," referring back to the immense gathering which Mark had before recorded (Mr 2:2)—"so that they could not so much as eat bread. And when His friends"—or rather, "relatives," as appears from Mt 12:31, and see on [1273]Mt 12:46—"heard of it, they went out to lay hold on Him; for they said, He is beside Himself." Compare 2Co 5:13, "For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God."

22. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil—"a demonized person."

blind and dumb, and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and the dumb both spake and saw.

Some think this person was the same mentioned Luke 11:14, I presume, because the following discourse there is much the same with what followeth here; but others are of another mind; and it is certain Luke speaketh of no blindness in him. We heard before a discourse of such as were possessed by devils, so as this verse affords nothing new. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil,.... About this time, or some little time after, when he was returned from the sea of Galilee, and was come into a certain house; see Mark 3:19 some persons brought him a demoniac, in compassion to the possessed man, and being persuaded of the power of Christ to heal him by the late cures he had performed. A like instance we have in Matthew 9:32, which had a like effect upon the people, and cavilled at by the Pharisees in much the same way; and which cavils were answered in much the same words; and yet the case is not the same; for that man was only dumb, but this both

blind and dumb; not by birth, or through the defect of nature, or by any natural distemper that had attended him, but through the malice of Satan, by divine permission; his blindness, and dumbness, were the effects of his being possessed with a devil, who had deprived him of his sight, and speech. The word rendered "dumb", signifies both deaf and dumb, and answers to the Hebrew word which sometimes (m) is used of a deaf man only, who can speak, but not hear; and often of one that can neither speak, nor hear; which is the case of such as are born deaf: it seems as if this man could hear, though he could not speak; since no mention is made of his want of hearing, or of Christ's restoring it to him; for it follows,

and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb, both spake and saw. This he did, not by making use of medicines, but by a word speaking, dispossessing Satan; so that the cause of blindness and dumbness being removed, the effects ceased, and the man was restored to his sight, and speech, as before. He had his sight to behold his Saviour, and a tongue to praise his name: so when men are turned from Satan unto God, and are delivered from his thraldom and bondage, they are brought into marvellous light, and put into a capacity of showing forth the praises of God.

(m) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Trumot, c. 1. sect. 2.

{4} Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

(4) A truth, be it ever so obvious, is subject to the slander of the wicked: however, it ought to be resolutely defended.

Matthew 12:22. In Luke (Matthew 11:14 ff.) this incident comes in at a later stage, while he reports less of what was spoken on the occasion, and arranges it to some extent in a different, though not the original, order; Mark 3:22 ff., who omits the incident in question, introduces the discourse which follows in a peculiar connection of his own.

The resemblance of the narrative to that contained in Matthew 9:32 is not due to a mixing together of different incidents,—viz. the healing of the blind man on the one hand, and of the man who was dumb on the other, Matthew 9:27; Matthew 9:32 (Schneckenburger, Hilgenfeld),—nor to the way in which incidents often assume a twofold form in the course of tradition (Strauss, de Wette, Keim), but is founded upon two different events: the former demoniac was dumb, the present one is blind as well,—a circumstance, however, which is not recorded by Luke, who follows a less accurate version. The term Beelzebul, used in this connection as in Matthew 9:34, is one, however, which may have been found often enough upon the lips of the Pharisees. Its recurrence can no more prove that a later hand has been at work (Baur, Hilgenfeld), than the circumstance that we find ourselves back again into the heart of the contest, although from Matthew 12:14 it seemed to have reached its utmost extremity; for the measures which in Matthew 12:14 the Pharisees are said to have taken, have just led to further and no less bitter hostility, a hostility in keeping with the spirit of the purpose they have in view.

λαλ. κ. βλέβ.] the thing as it actually takes place. Casaubon and Fritzsche, without sufficient grounds, assume the existence of a Chiasmus here.Matthew 12:22-37. Demoniac healed and Pharisaic calumny repelled (Mark 3:22-30; Luke 11:14-23cf. Matthew 9:32-34). The healing of a blind and dumb demoniac has its place here not for its own sake, as a miracle, but simply as the introduction to another conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees. It is a story of wicked calumny repelled. The transition from the fair picture of the true Jesus to this hideous Pharisaic caricature is highly dramatic in its effect.22, 23. Cure of a Blind and Dumb Man

Luke 11:14-16.Matthew 12:22. Δαιμονιζόμενος, one possessed with a devil) extremely miserable.—καὶ λαλεῖν καὶ βλέπειν, both spake and saw) The order of the miracle appears to be thus expressed.Verses 22-32. - The healing of a man blind and dumb, and the consequent blasphemy of the Pharisees. The miracle leads them to the extreme of spiritual opposition. (On the assimilation to our vers. 22-24, found in Matthew 9:32-34, see notes there.) The parallel passages are Luke 11:14-23 and, for the blasphemy and our Lord's consequent defence only, Mark 3:22-30. Verse 22 - Then was brought. So Westcott and Herr margin, but text, "then they brought," as in Matthew 9:32. Unto him one possessed with a devil, blind (this fact is not mentioned by Luke), and dumb. "The devil had shut up each entrance by which be might come to faith, his sight and his hearing, yet Christ opened each" (Chrysostom). And he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. The case was worse than even that of Matthew 9:32, where the man was not blind.
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