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Matthew 12:43-45 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: A Generation Seven Times Worse

Matthew 12:43-45 – A Generation Seven Times Worse

|| Luke 11:24-26

MT12:43 “But whenever the unclean pneuma[1] leaves a human[2] it passes through a wasteland[3] seeking a place to rest[4] and finds nothing. MT12:44 Then [the unclean pneuma] says, ‘I shall return to my house I left.’ Now returning it finds [the house] empty, swept clean, and supplied.[5] MT12:45 Now it hurries away and finds seven other pneumas more wicked[6] than itself. Having entered, it takes up residence.[7] The ultimate state[8] of the human becomes worse than the original. So it will be with this wicked generation.”[9]

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[1] Unclean pneuma: Or, “unclean spirit.” (Mark 1:23, 26; 3:30; 5:28; 7:25; Luke 8:29; 9:42; 11:24) See notes on PNEUMA elsewhere. The Greek PNEUMA means breath or wind and metamorphically for something unseen such as an angel or demon (1 Kings 22:21, 22; Ezekiel 3:12, 14; 8:3; 11:1, 24; 43:5; Acts 23:8, 9; 1 Peter 3:19, 20). Jesus means either a demon or an attitude (disposition) (1 Chronicles 5:26; Ezra 1:1, 5; Haggai 1:14; Ecclesiastes 10:4; Genesis 41:8; Daniel 2:1, 3; Acts 17:16; Judges 8:3; Job 7:11; Psalm 142:2, 3; John 11:33; 13:21; Genesis 45:27, 28; Isaiah 57:15, 16; 1 Corinthians 16:17, 18; 2 Corinthians 7:13; 2 Corinthians 2:13). (Compare Koehler and Baumgartner’s Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros, Leiden, 1958, pp. 877-879; Brown, Driver, and Briggs’ Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, 1980, pp. 924-926; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by G. Friedrich, translated by G. Bromiley, 1971, Vol. VI, pp. 332-451).

[2] Leaves a human: The whole phrase is filled with possible interpretations and opinions are many. The main point is moving from one condition to one much worse.

[3] Wasteland: Or, TCNT: places where there is no water; WEY: desert. Compare Leviticus 16:8; 17:7; Isaiah 13:21; 34:14; Revelation 18:2.

[4] Place to rest: Or, MOF: search of ease.

[5] Empty, swept clean, and supplied: Or, TCNT: unoccupied and put in order; WMS: ready for use; NWT: adorned.

[6] More wicked: There are degrees of evil among demons; or, there are degrees of wicked disposition. William Barclay writes: “Evil is a force which may be at bay but is never eliminated.”

[7] Having entered, it takes up residence: KJV: they enter in and dwell there.

[8] Ultimate state: GDSP: in the end man is worse off than he was before.

[9] So it will be with this wicked generation: This is the main point. It is an “adulterous” (apostate) generation of Jews. Jesus possibly has in mind that type who would make the accusation of demon association (Beelzebul) against Jesus. One possible meaning is that on Judgment Day – when it becomes more tolerable for Nineveh – the disposition of these persons will be worse.

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Preceding

Matthew 12:1-8 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Something Greater than the Temple

Matthew 12:9-21 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Is It Lawful to Cure on the Sabbath?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Matthew 12:31-32 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Blasphemy against the Pneuma

Matthew 12:33-37 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Judgment Day

Matthew 12:38-42 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Signs in Jonah and the Queen of the South

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Related

  1. The way to God
  2. This Wicked and Perverse Generation
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