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the representation of Mark and Luke, but also even the text of Matthew. The context is based evidently on the sentence immediately preceding it, “The kingdom of God is come unto you. Our Lord does not speak in an apologetic tone, but He announces the kingdom of heaven approaching; and this He does no more in parables, but in the words of Scripture in the Old Testament. (He refers to Isa. xlix. 23 and foll.) In this passage Israel's future redemption is prophesied in the following manner.
Thou shalt know that I am the Lord : for they shall not be ashamed that wait for
Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered : for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. And I will feed them with their own flesh that oppress thee.' This prophetical passage contains the expressions which our Lord uses in such completeness, that the avowal of Bleek, that this passage must have been specially before the eyes of Luke, is not sufficient. O loxupós is not "any strong man,' with whom the tis has to do (Meyer), but the strong man, whom the prophet has in his mind, the one mighty tyrant, from whom all troubles and bondage, all oppression comes, and from whose dominion the kingdom of heaven approaching will deliver the captives. It has also its "household,' or aủań, that is armed, and keeps a careful view over its subjects. All these are not pictures and parables, but vivid representations of real things in the kingdom of the strong one.'
In some sense it can be conceded that by 'household' the world is to be understood. Is it, then, the question of a 'prince of this world,' and does the apostle say, "The whole world lieth in wickedness'?
But not unintentionally is it a question of the oikia, that is, of the house and court, and thus of the dwellingplace in which the householder administers the law of the house. We have therefore to think of the sphere in which the strong one acts as the possessor, visibly, and in a manner apparent to the immediate perception. The demoniacs themselves are just those in this household, and are those prisoners of the tyrant to whom liberty is announced (Luke iv. 18); they are his σκεύη, υπάρχοντα σκύλα.
Ta okúla. Between these three expressions we cannot positively make any real difference. Paul does, indeed, once call okeŪos ÉKhoyas an arm in the service of God, and okůlov can also signify a weapon ; but here the organs of the mighty one are intended just as little as are the means He has of using His power; in the present case the demons themselves are quite out of consideration. In fact, the possession itself is treated of; it is called 'mápxovta as far as it still belongs to the tyrant, and sküla (55, ra) as far as it is taken from him as a prey.-From the circumstance that He leads the demoniacs out of the oikia of Beelzebub, that He gives again liberty, our Lord calls on the Pharisees to draw the conclusion that the kingdom of God is come. 'It is come unto you;' thus they see no mere sign or symbol that this kingdom is on the point of coming, but a witness lies before their eyes that it had already become effective, that the stronger one was already in the lists. He has already bound the strong one, otherwise He would not be in a position to take away his goods unhindered, to depopulate his house. There is an end of Satan's confidence in his
He is no more in peaceful and undisputed possession; it was no more in his power to say, Woe to him who attacks what is mine! Attention is principally to be drawn to the verb dnon, which only Matthew and Mark have, while Luke substitutes for it the more general vikńcy. We must, however, guard ourselves from considering it, either here or in the passage in the Apocalypse xx. 2, as applying to a single act performed in a fixed moment. The casting out of devils by Jesus relates to the dño ai, just as the casting out of devils on the part of the apostles to the tregelv of Satan from heaven (Luke x. 18). The force of the word dñoai lies in the person of the stronger one now revealed, who had become powerful. Because the strong has found a stronger, who has appeared in order to undertake the combat with him; because the latter possesses in his prevailing strength the guarantee of His final victory over the adversary; he is already bound; he can offer no real opposition, he must be contented with all restraints, must allow to be taken from him what he formerly possessed in peace, when no equal, not to say prevailing power was at hand, who would have been able to combat with him for it. Now he must look on inactive and helpless, while one or other of his subjects or Greún is taken from him, and becomes a weapon in the hand of a strange possessor; his means do not extend against the stronger one, against Him all the arms of his armoury are blunt and ineffective. He sees the gradual depopulation of his household, of his city, of his kingdom,—until he is completely put out of possession, so that the triumphal cry is, ' Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down,' Apoc. xii. 10.
The unprejudiced exegetical examination of our passage can absolutely lead to no other results. But would any one in earnest be ashamed to acknowledge and accept them ? Such a shame might really meet a question to which the concluding relation of Luke (chap. xi. 27, 28) gives rise, namely, the question whether we would not rather be on the side of that woman, who, when our Lord had finished this discourse, breaks out in the deepest comprehension of His worth: Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the
paps which Thou hast sucked;' or still more, whether we would not prefer to merit the beatitude spoken by Jesus Himself in beautiful and significant correction of the woman's words: ‘Yea, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. Should we not find therein a greater satisfaction than if we allow ourselves to be referred by Strauss to the analogies in Josephus, or to the fables related by Philostratus of Apollonius of Tyana.
The short narrative of a casting out of a devil, which is found in the second and third evangelists, is of value to us in a very special way.
THE HEALING OF THE MAN POSSESSED WITH A DEVIL
AT CAPERNAUM. -MARK I. 23; LUKE IV. 33.
This event took place while our Lord was engaged in teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. What it really illustrates is not the circumstance that the demon acknowledges Jesus, “I know Thee who Thou art, the Holy One of God,'—that it feared Him, and experienced His presence as a tormentor, and seeks to be let alone ;—all this, after we have considered the history of Gadara, is nothing new; only from the “I know Thee who Thou art'we are reminded again of the instructive parallel in the Acts, xix. 13–15. Just as little do we wish to rest on a point of which the narrative of the Gadarenes only gave us a slight signification,—that is, of the delight of the demon, even to the last, to wound, or at least to torment (otrapážav), the man whom he was forced to leave; for this feature will in another case be immediately and completely discussed, and more satisfactorily decided, than Strauss does, who this time says, quite rationistically: “The faith of the sick man in Jesus at the moment of His commanding the demon to depart out of him, might have had the effect of producing a crisis amid violent spasms which put an end to the morbid condition.'
The conduct of our Lord in Mark i. 25 is especially manifest in the narrative before us. He speaks here no simple ‘Come out of him;' He does not simply give the effective command that the demon should come out of the man, but He adds the rebuke, ‘Hold thy peace. This in no way refers to the calling out,' to the powerful demoniacal cry; for, if this had been the case, the "crying with a loud voice' which followed in the 26th verse could not have taken place. It can therefore only refer to the purport of the demoniac's words. Our Lord does not wish that the demon should announce Him as the “Holy One of God.' But this is not to be understood in the same sense in which He had forbidden His disciples and other believers to spread abroad that He was the Messiah ; the intention is rather this, demons should not proclaim His rank. He will have no praise from this mouth. They, the demons, must tremble and yield to increase the glory of Christ, and not bear witness to Him with their mouth. Compare with this the striking passage Mark i. 34: 'He suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew Him.' Of men and of angels Christ will be acknowledged as the Being He is; the devils must also acknowledge Him, but silently.
The fact touched upon in this narrative by the use of the expression omapáļav, receives a thorough elucidation in the last occurrence which belongs to the present group.