« НазадПродовжити »
The evangelists, lastly, give a more or less elaborate report on the result of the incident. The shepherds of the drowned flocks make it known in the town and in the country. The inhabitants hasten out, and convince themselves immediately of the fact, that he who was once a demoniac was now cured. They find him, who formerly raved about without clothing or rest, calm at the feet of Jesus, and, according to appearance, rational σωφρονοῦντα (σῶς in regard to the φρήν, in the force of self-consciousness; not owppwv in the ethical, but in the psychological meaning). They have it told them (Mark v. 16) by witnesses how the cure was done. But instead of being glad of it, and, like those Samaritans mentioned in John iv. 40, requesting Jesus to make a long stay with them, they beseech Him urgently to leave their borders. They were afraid (époßý@noav, Mark; comp. Luke v. 8-10) of the holy and mighty Son of God. And Jesus goes. Within Judæa He would not have been able to grant the request; for, because He was év Toîs idíos, He must, as long as it was day, let the light shine among them. There does not exist any example of such a request being made to Him on the part of Israel. In the country about Gadara, however, He did not specially wish to work; at least He had not entered the country for that purpose. It would have satisfied Him by this one event, to have taken care that the Israelites dwelling there should hear of Him, in order that in the whole extent of the Jewish country in Palestine there should be no soul who did not know of Him. However, He does not leave the means to be only the naturally spreading reports, but He Himself chooses for this purpose an instrument. The demoniac (as Luke relates, 'the man out of whom the devils were departed'), the man formerly a demoniac (just as Simon the leper, who had been cured of his leprosy),
besought Him that he might stay with Him. Mere
1 It is very probable that this reproach to our Lord had been made repeatedly on the part of the Pharisees. We have said deliberately, that in Matt. ix. 34 it is said more lightly, as it is here spoken simply of 'a chief of the devils,' without the expression being 'Beelzebub.' But even if we suppose that those expositors are right who (as Bleek does) declare the identity of both narratives, criticism gains not the slightest material for suspecting Matthew. In fact, if the evangelist had his grounds for arranging this case in the rich picture of the miracle-working of Jesus in chap. viii. and ix., and to place in its right light the high significance, by means of the re
THE POSSESSED WITH A DEVIL, WHO WAS BLIND AND DUMB.-MATT. XII. 22-29.
Both Mark (chap. iii. 22-27) and Luke (chap. xi. 14-22) give a report of this event; but neither of these evangelists has specially characterized the suffering in question; we only discover that a demon has struck a sick man with blindness and dumbness, and by the power of Jesus it has come to pass that the healed man again spoke and saw. They thought so little of the incident, that Mark passes completely over the historical occasion, and Luke narrates only summarily of a demoniac who was dumb, to whom the gift of speech was restored. Instead of this, the instructive. lesson which our Lord caused immediately to follow was to them of greater importance. It is after the astonished people had broken out in the words, 'Is not this the Son of David?' that the Pharisees bring forward the accusation that 'He casteth out devils by Beelzebub, the chief of the devils,' and Jesus refutes them.
We wish, however, not quite to pass over the grounds on which the one as well as the other rests. It must indeed have been a wonderful and striking result; otherwise the people would not have broken out in the question, showing budding faith; and then the Pharisees would not have considered it necessary to paralyze this impression. And in fact it was so; the man was both blind and dumb,-a case which, in the natural course of events, is hardly to be realized. Jesus has cured the blind, and helped the dumb; we
ported judgment of the Pharisees, he might in a later division of his writing, where he had other objects, and where he wishes to show the development of the hatred against our Lord, feel obliged to return again to an event which would be the means of showing a deep insight into the being, the growth, and the groundlessness of this enmity.
are perplexed at a union of this twofold defect from our want of experience. When one sense is wanting to man, it is customary for the others to be sharpened as a compensation, in so far as the one is not in the relation of dependence on the other (as speaking is to hearing). This anomaly is only conceivable on the supposition of a demoniacal cause. He who here takes possession to help, shows Himself thereby unmistakeably to be the stronger one over the demons, yea, even over the prince of them. It appears to us easy to be explained, how expositors since Jerome have given to the expression Beelzebub very wonderful and far-fetched meanings. If its meaning on linguistic grounds can be no other than dominus domicilii,' every other explanation is defeated from the connection in which it always occurs (see Matt. x. 25, 'master of the house,' 'Beelzebub,' 'household').1
We can perfectly conceive on what account a meaning signifying insult or affront was so persistently intended under this name. Supposing that this is the just view of it, the Pharisees appear to have shown not only the deepest malevolence, but also the most extreme narrow-mindedness. They say something absurd, which contradicts itself; they cannot possibly be of opinion that Satan would proceed to injure his own kingdom. And still they must have expressed this opinion, for it was just its untenableness which our Lord shows them as strikingly as forcibly. The interest for us does not now lie in this conviction, but more in the disclosures which we receive relating to
1 As far as relates to the passage before us, the clause 'prince of the devils' (Matt. xii. 24) is evidently nothing else than the explanation of the word Beelzebub. The want of the article has justly been noticed. This want shows that the clause does not state anything new of Beelzebub, but is only to show the meaning of the name. In the account of Mark (chap. iii. 22) there is the article, but there he hath Beelzebub' comes first: 'he hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.'
the kingdom of Satan, to demons, and the demoniacs. They are to us so much the more valuable, as the theory of an accommodation of Jesus to the Jewish prejudices is so completely exploded, that no modern expositor would venture any more to bring forward this impossible issue.
The words which Mark uses as an introduction to the speech of our Lord: 'He said unto them in parables,' may be understood, as is done by Meyer, as 'illustrating analogies,' and relate specially to the expressions 'kingdom, city, house;' but to consider that Jesus is speaking in mere pictorial language, without these pictures answering to realities, is decidedly in violation of the use of the word parable in the New Testament. The 'illustrating' is only for the demonstration as such; the conceptions themselves have, in the region to which they relate, the fullest truth and reality. Our Lord bears witness first to the existence of a 'kingdom of Satan.' Now, as we cannot realize the idea of a 'kingdom' without subjects, of a town without citizens, nor of a house without members of a household, we accordingly see through the words into a kingdom of evil spirits, 'spiritual darkness in high places' (Eph. vi. 12). And as, on the other hand, we cannot conceive of a kingdom without a king, the result is obtained, that the multitude of unclean spirits is directed by One will standing at the head, in whose name they go out, on whose commands they act, and whose interest they serve.
But our Lord also testifies, in the second place, that this kingdom of Satan, little as it may be divided against itself, is at present meeting its certain destruction; in fact, it is already as good as overthrown and broken. The particle (Matt. xii. 29) is by no means intended to add a new argument, in order to upset the doubts still somewhat remaining; to this is opposed not only