Matthew 12:45
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Then it goes and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation."

King James Bible
Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Darby Bible Translation
Then he goes and takes with himself seven other spirits worse than himself, and entering in, they dwell there; and the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. Thus shall it be to this wicked generation also.

World English Bible
Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation."

Young's Literal Translation
then doth it go, and take with itself seven other spirits more evil than itself, and having gone in they dwell there, and the last of that man doth become worse than the first; so shall it be also to this evil generation.'

Matthew 12:45 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then goeth he ... - Seeing the state of the man; dissatisfied with a lonely dwelling in the desert where he could do no evil; envious of the happiness of the individual, and supremely bent on wickedness, he resolved to increase his power of malignant influences and to return.

He is therefore represented as taking seven other spirits still worse than himself, and returning to his former habitation. Seven denotes a large but indefinite number. It was a favorite number with the Jews, and was used to denote "completeness" or "perfection," or any "finished" or "complete" number. See 1 Samuel 2:5. Compare Revelation 1:4. Here it means a sufficient number completely to occupy and harass his soul.

Even so shall it be with this generations - This shows the scope and design of this illustration. The state of that man was a representation of that generation of people. Much might be done to cure their unbelief, much to reform them externally; but such was the firm hold which the principles of infidelity and wickedness had taken of their minds "as their proper habitation," that they would return, after all the means used to reform them, and they would be worse and worse. And this was literally accomplished. After all the instructions and miracles of the Saviour and his apostles; after all that had been done for them by holy people and prophets, and by the judgments and mercies of God; and after all their external temporary reformations - like the temporary departure of an evil spirit from a man possessed - yet such was their love of wickedness that the nation became worse and worse. They increased in crime, like the seven-fold misery and wretchedness of the man into whose bosom the seven additional evil spirits came. They rejected God's messengers, abused his mercies, crucified his Son, and God gave their temple, and capital, and nation into the hands of the Romans. and thousands of the people to destruction.

It is not "proved" by this passage that evil spirits actually "dwell" in deserts It is proved only that such was the opinion of the Jews; that that opinion was drawn from some expressions in the Bible; and that "such expressions were sufficiently clear to justify the Saviour in drawing an argument from them to confound those who firmly believed that such was the case." Nor is there any absurdity in the opinion; for,

1. There are evil spirits. See the notes at Matthew 8:33.

2. They must exist in "some place."

3. There is as much propriety that they should be located about our earth as anywhere.

4. The clear doctrine of the Bible is, that many of them have much to do with our world.

5. It is as reasonable that they should dwell commonly in desolate and uninhabited regions as anywhere else.

Matthew 12:45 Parallel Commentaries

'A Greater than Jonas'
'A greater than Jonas is here.'--MATT. xii. 41. There never was any man in his right mind, still more of influence on his fellows, who made such claims as to himself in such unmistakable language as Jesus Christ does. To say such things of oneself as come from His lips is a sign of a weak, foolish nature. It is fatal to all influence, to all beauty of character. It is not only that He claims official attributes as a fanatical or dishonest pretender to inspiration may do. He does that, but He does
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

On the Words of the Gospel, Matt. xii. 32, "Whosoever Shall Speak a Word against the Holy Spirit, it Shall not be Forgiven Him, Neither In
1. There has been a great question raised touching the late lesson of the Gospel, to the solution of which I am unequal by any power of mine own; but "our sufficiency is of God," [2335] to whatever degree we are capable of receiving His aid. First then consider the magnitude of the question; that when ye see the weight of it laid upon my shoulders, ye may pray in aid of my labours, and in the assistance which is vouchsafed to me, may find edification for your own souls. When "one possessed with a
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Blasphemous Accusations of the Jews.
(Galilee.) ^A Matt. XII. 22-37; ^B Mark III. 19-30; ^C Luke XI. 14-23. ^b 19 And he cometh into a house. [Whose house is not stated.] 20 And the multitude cometh together again [as on a previous occasion--Mark ii. 1], so that they could not so much as eat bread. [They could not sit down to a regular meal. A wonderful picture of the intense importunity of people and the corresponding eagerness of Jesus, who was as willing to do as they were to have done.] 21 And when his friends heard it, they went
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Sign Seekers, and the Enthusiast Reproved.
(Galilee on the Same Day as the Last Section.) ^A Matt. XII. 38-45; ^C Luke XI. 24-36. ^c 29 And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, ^a 38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from thee. [Having been severely rebuked by Jesus, it is likely that the scribes and Pharisees asked for a sign that they might appear to the multitude more fair-minded and open to conviction than Jesus had represented them to be. Jesus had just wrought
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Matthew 12:44
"Then it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came'; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order.

Mark 5:9
And He was asking him, "What is your name?" And he said to Him, "My name is Legion; for we are many."

Luke 11:26
"Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."

Hebrews 6:4
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit,

2 Peter 2:20
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.

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