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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 12



Verse 1

time = season.

corn = cornfields.

Verse 2

the Pharisees. See App-120.

Verse 3

Have ye not read. ? This question was asked by the Lord on six different occasions, and referred to seven different books of the O.T., and to ten distinct passages. See App-143.

what David did. Reference to 1 Samuel 21:6. App-117.

Verse 4

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

the house of God: i.e. the tabernacle.

the shew bread. See Exodus 25:30. Leviticus 24:5-8.

which was . . . but only, &c. See Leviticus 24:9.

Verse 5

in the law. See note on Matthew 5:17. Compare Numbers 28:9, Numbers 28:10 and App-143.

the sabbath. (Numbers 28:9, Numbers 28:10. Compare Nehemiah 13:17. Ezekiel 24:21. John 7:22, John 7:23.) There were more sacrifices on the sabbath than on any other day.

profane. Our Eng. word "profane" = far from the temple. The Greek word here = to trample down and thus treat as common. Compare Acts 24:6.

blameless = guiltless, as in Matthew 12:7. Greek. anaitios. Occurs only here and Matthew 12:7.

Verse 6

in this place = here.

greater than the temple. Compare Matthew 12:41, a greater prophet; and Matthew 12:42, a greater king; who can be only God Himself.

Verse 7

if, &c. Implying that it was not the fact. See App-118. Not the same condition as in verses: Matthew 12:11, Matthew 12:26, Matthew 12:27, Matthew 11:28.

had known = were aware of. Gr. ginosko. .

meaneth = is.

I will = I desire. Greek. thelo. App-102. Quoted from Hosea 6:6.

mercy = lovingkindness, or grace.

guiltless. Greek. anaitios. See note on blameless, Matthew 12:5.

Verse 8

the Son of man. See App-98.

even. All the texts omit this word.

of the sabbath. As the Son of man. Compare Matthew 12:6, Lord of the Temple as the Son of God.

Verse 9

their. Probably inhabitants of Tiberias. For, in Mark 3:6, the Pharisees conferred with the Herodians, so that the Lord was in Herod"s jurisdiction.

synagogue. See App-120.

Verse 10

man. Greek. anthropos. App-123.

on the sabbath days. This was the first of seven miracles wrought on the sabbath. See Mark 1:21-31. Luke 13:11; Luke 14:2. John 5:8, John 5:9; John 9:14.

that = in order that.

Verse 11

And = But.

among = of. Greek. ek.

if . . . ? The condition is hypothetical.

Verse 12

How much? Figure of speech Erotesis, for emphasis. App-6.

well: i.e. a good deed.

Verse 13

other. Greek. allos. App-124.

Verse 14

Then = But.

held a council. Occurs only in Matthew 22:15; Matthew 27:1, Matthew 27:7; Matthew 28:12. Mark 3:6; Mark 15:1.

Verse 15

from thence = thence, as in Matthew 12:9.

Verse 16

known = publicly known. Greek. phaneros. Compare App-106.

Verse 17

That = To the end that.

spoken. As well as written.

by = by means of. Greek. dia.

Esaias = Isaiah (App-79). Quoted from Isaiah 42:1-4. See App-107. From the Hebrew direct; but the last clause differs, because the Holy Spirit is recording the act of fulfillment, and varying it by way of Divine comment.

Verse 18

Behold, &c. Quoted from Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 42:1. See App-107.

Servant. Greek. pais. See App-108.

Chosen. Greek. hairetizo. Occurs only here.

in. Greek. eis (App-104.); but L A WH omit. Tr. reads en (App-104.)

My soul = I (emph.) Hebrew. nephesh. App-9. Greek. psuche. App-110.

is well pleased = hath found delight.

spirit. See App-101.

upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

shew = declare.

Gentiles = nations.

Verse 19

strive = contend. Greek. erizo. Occurs only here.

Cry = make outcry or clamour.

Verse 20

O smoking. Greek. tuphoomai. Occurs only here. 1 Timothy 3:6; 1 Timothy 6:4. 2 Timothy 3:4.

send forth = bring forth (what was before hidden), as in Matthew 12:35 with Matthew 13:52. Compare Deuteronomy 32:34.

Verse 21

in. All texts omit this, and read "on".

His name. A Hebraism. See note on Psalms 20:1.

trust = hope. Compare Isaiah 41:8; Isaiah 42:1. One of eighteen passages where "trust" should be thus rendered.

Verse 22

one possessed with a devil = a demoniac. Greek. daimonizomai.

insomuch that = so that.

Verse 23

people = multitude.

Is not This . . . ? The 1611 edition of the Authorized Version reads "Is This? " = May not This be? Since 1638 it reads "Is not This".

the son of David. The third of nine occurrences of this Messianic title in Matthew. See App-98.

Verse 24

Pharisees. See App-120.

This fellow = this [man]. Not emphatic.

devils = demons.

but = except.

by = in [the power of]. Greek. en.

Beelzebub. See note on Matthew 10:25.

Verse 25

Jesus = He. All texts omit "Jesus" here.

shall = will.

Verse 27

children = sons: i.e. disciples. The Pharisees believed in and practiced exorcism. See Josephus (Antiquities viii. 2-5), and compare Acts 19:13.

therefore = on account of this. Greek. dia touto. App-104.

Verse 28

the Spirit. There is no Art. Greek. pneuma. (App-101.) = by God"s pneuma, put for Divine power. In Luke 11:20 God"s "finger" put for the power exercised by it by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause). So in Exodus 8:19.

then = it follows that.

the kingdom of God. The second of five occurrences in Matthew. See note on Matthew 6:33 and App-114.

Verse 29

strong man"s = the strong [one"s].

spoil = plunder.

Verse 31

Wherefore = On this account. Greek. dia touto, same as "therefore", Matthew 12:27.

blasphemy = impious or evil speaking.

against the Holy Ghost = [concerning] the Spirit. Greek. pneuma with Art. See App-101.

Verse 32

the Holy Ghost = the Spirit, the Holy [Spirit], emph. App-101.

world = age, age-time, or dispensation. Greek. aion. App-129. It must refer to one age-time in contradistinction to another, called "the coming age". Compare Hebrews 1:2 and see note on Hebrews 11:3.

the world to come = [the age] about to be. App-129.

Verse 33

his = its.

is known = getteth known. Greek. ginosko. App-132.

by = from. Greek. ek.

Verse 34

generation = offspring or brood. Compare Matthew 3:7; Matthew 23:33.

evil. See App-128.

out of. Greek. ek.

abundance: or overflow.

Verse 35

A = The.

treasure = treasury.

the heart. All the texts omit "the heart".

an = the.

Verse 36

idle = careless or useless. Compare Matthew 20:3. 1 Timothy 5:13. Titus 1:12.

word = saying. Not the same as in Matthew 12:37.

that = which.

give account thereof = suffer its consequences. A Hebraism.

thereof = concerning (App-104.) it.

Verse 37

words. Greek plural of logos. Not the same as in Matthew 12:36. See note on Mark 9:32. "Words" are reckoned as "deeds" (2 Corinthians 5:10). See App-121.

Verse 38

Master = Teacher. See App-98. Matthew 12:1.

would = desire. Greek. thelo. App-102.

see = to see. Greek. eidon.

a sign. The first of six "signs" asked for. Compare Matthew 16:1; Matthew 24:3. Luke 11:16. John 2:18; John 6:30.

from. Greek. apo.

Verse 39

adulterous. Spiritually. See Jeremiah 3:9. Ezekiel 23:37, &c

generation. Greek. genea. Not the same as in Matthew 12:34. See note on Matthew 11:16.

seeketh: or, is for ever seeking.

Jonas = Jonah. See App-117.

Verse 40

as = just as. The Lord was dead, therefore Jonah must have been. Nothing is said about his being "preserved alive". That "sign" would have had no relation to what is here signified. See notes on Jonah.

three nights. Apart from these words, "three days" might mean any portion of a day. But "three nights" forbids this interpretation. See App-144and App-156. Quoted from Jonah 1:17.

the whale"s. Greek. ketos. Occ only here. There is nothing about "a whale" either in the Hebrew of Jonah (Matthew 1:17) or in the Greek here. The "great fish" was specially "prepared" by its Creator. See Jonah 1:17.

the heart of the earth = in the earth: i.e. the sepulchre, or tomb, Matthew 27:60. Mark 15:46. Luke 23:53. John 19:40. Acts 13:29. It is the Figure of speech Pleonasm (a Hebraism), App-6, = the midst, or "in". See Exodus 15:8. Psalms 46:2. 2 Samuel 18:14. Deuteronomy 4:11. In any case it is not "the centre", any more than the heart is in the centre of the body, instead of near the top. We are to conclude that the Lord establishes "the literal validity of the history of Jonah", inasmuch as He spoke "not His own words but only words of the Father" (see John 7:16; John 8:28, John 8:46, John 8:47; John 12:49; John 14:10, John 14:24; John 17:8); so that the assertions of modern critics are perilously near blasphemy against God Himself

earth. Greek. ge. App-129.

Verse 41

men. Greek No Art., plural of aner. App-123.

rise = stand up. Not the same word as in Matthew 12:42.

judgment = the judgment, as in Matthew 12:42. Compare Psalms 1:5.

repented. The last reference to repentance in Matthew. See App-111.

preaching = proclamation. Compare App-121.

greater. See note on Matthew 12:6.

Verse 42

The queen = A queen.

rise up. In resurrection. Not the same word as "rise" in Matthew 12:41.

she came. See 1 Kings 10:1, &c.

from = Out of

Verse 43

When = But when. Introducing the allegory.

the = an. The Art. being inclusive and hypothetic as "a man", which also has the Art. and is rendered "a".

spirit. Greek. pneuma. See App-101.

is gone out. If of its own accord, it have gone out, it returns (Matthew 12:44). But not when it is "bound" and cast out, as in Matthew 12:29.

out of = away from (Greek. apo. App-104.) temporarily, as at the proclamation of John.

a = the.

he = it.

walketh. = roameth. Compare Acts 8:4.

dry = waterless: i.e. where no human beings. are.

findeth none = findeth [it] not; has no respite. Greek. ou, as in Matthew 12:2.

Verse 44

from whence = whence.

garnished = decorated.

Verse 45

himself = itself.

more wicked. Showing that there are degrees of wickedness among spirits and demons. See Matthew 17:21. Acts 16:16, Acts 16:17, &c.

the last state. See Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:21, Daniel 11:23, &c. Rev 13; and compare John 5:43.

is = becometh.

also . . . generation = generation also.

this = this [present].

wicked. Greek. poneros. App-128.

wicked generation. See notes on Matthew 11:16; Matthew 23:25; Matthew 24:34. Mark 13:30. Luke 21:32. Acts 2:40.

Verse 46

talked = was talking.

people = multitudes.

stood = were standing.

desiring to speak = seeking to speak. Their avowed purpose. But in Mark 3:21, Mark 3:31 their real purpose was to "lay hold on Him", and the reason is given: "for they said " He is beside Himself "". This accounts for the Lord"s answer.

Verse 47

stand without = are standing without. The reason for not going in is obvious.

Verse 49

stretched forth His hand toward = He pointed to.

Verse 50

whosoever. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Genus), App-6, denned by obedience, and made an hypothesis by the particle "an".

do = have done.

heaven = [the] heavens. Plural, because there is no contrast with the "earth". See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

the same = he.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 12:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
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