Matthew 12:24

New Testament

22 Then they brought to him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute. Jesus healed him so that he could speak and see. 23 All the crowds were amazed and said, “Could this one be the Son of David?” 24 But when the Pharisees heard this they said, “He does not cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebul, the ruler of demons!” 25 Now when Jesus realized what they were thinking, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, and no town or house divided against itself will stand. 26 So if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? For this reason they will be your judges.

Testament of Solomon 21


26 And I summoned again to stand before me Beelzeboul, the prince of demons, and I sat him down on a raised seat of honour, and said to him: "Why art thou alone, prince of the demons?" And he said to me: "Because I alone am left of the angels of heaven that came down. For I was first angel in the first heaven being entitled Beelzeboul. And now I control all those who are bound in Tartarus. But I too have a child, and he haunts the Red Sea. And on any suitable occasion he comes up to me again, being subject to me; and reveals to me what he has done, and I support him. 27 I Solomon said unto him: "Beelzeboul, what is thy employment?" And he answered me: "I destroy kings. I ally myself with foreign tyrants. And my own demons I set on to men, in order that the latter may believe in them and be lost. And the chosen servants of God, priests and faithful men, I excite unto desires for wicked sins, and evil heresies, and lawless deeds; and they obey me, and I bear them on to destruction. And I inspire men with envy, and [desire for] murder, and for wars and sodomy, and other evil things. And I will destroy the world."

 Notes and References

"... It is against this background of Jewish thought that the teaching and exorcisms of Jesus and the first Christians is best understood. Daimonion is used frequently in the synoptic Gospels, but only occasionally elsewhere. Mark clearly regards it as a translation equivalent for 'unclean spirit' (Mark 6:7,13, 7:25f), and Luke seems deliberately to avoid the word 'demon' in describing the exorcisms of the early church (Acts 5:16, 8:7, 16:16, 19:11-16, cf. 17:18). The idea of demons or unclean spirits as the spirits of the dead is nowhere to be found. Demons are simply servants of Satan, particular manifestations of the evil in the world that is hostile to God (see particularly Revelation 16:13-14). We may note also that the idea of opposing armies of angels is taken up by New Testament writers, most clearly outlined in Revelation 12:7-9 (cf. Matthew 25:41). Against this broader background several points can be made by way of clarification. a) We should not assume that these concepts of demons and demon-possession were simplistically naive. For example, there was no particular conceptualization of a demon, as having say an animal or human-like form. On the contrary, the unclean spirits were invisible-hence the need of some physical sign to prove the exorcism (Testament of Solomon 7, 10, 13, 47, 51, 54, etc.) ..."

Dunn, James D. G. Demon-Possession and Exorcism in The New Testament (pp. 210-225) Churchman: A Quarterly Journal of Anglican Theology, 1980

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.