Matthew 12:26

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
In saying this, he wanted it to be understood from their confession that they had chosen to live in him by not believing in the kingdom of the devil and that the devil could not stand divided against himself. So let the Pharisees choose what they want. If Satan could not cast out Satan, they could find nothing to say against the Lord. But if Satan can cast out Satan, let them look out for themselves all the more and let them abandon his kingdom because it cannot stand divided against itself. ...

Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ord.: He holds them therefore in this dilemma. For Christ casts out daemons either by the power of God, or by the Prince of the daemons. If by the power of God, their accusations are malicious; if by the Prince of the daemons, his kingdom is divided, and will not stand, and therefore let them depart out of his kingdom. And this alternative He intimates that they had chosen for themselves, when they refused to believe in Him. ...

Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
For a city or family is analogous to a kingdom; as it follows, “And every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”. But the word of God is rich, and whether taken simply, or examined inwardly, itis needful for our advancement. Leaving therefore what belongs to the plain understanding thereof, let us dwell on some of the more secret reasons. The Lord is about to make answer to that which they had said concerning Beelzebub, and He casts upon those to whom He made answer a condition of their answering. Thus; The Law was from God and the promise of the kingdom to Israel was by the Law; but if the kingdom of the Law be divided in itself, it must needs be destroyed; and thus Israel lost the Law, when the nation whose was the Law, rejected the fulfilment of the Law in Christ. The city here spoken of is Jerusalem, which when it raged with the madness of its people against the Lord, and drove out His Apostles with the multitude of them that believed, after this division shall not ...


AD 420
As much as to say, If Satan fight against himself, and, daemon be an enemy to daemon, then must the end of the world be at hand, that these hostile powers should have no place there, whose mutual war is peace for men.

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom. xli: Above they had accused Christ of having cast out daemons by Beelzebub; but then He did not reprove them, suffering them, if they would, to acknowledge Him from further miracles, and to learn His greatness from His doctrine. But because they continued to maintain the same things, He now rebukes them, although their accusation had been very unreasonable. But jealousy reeks not what it says, so that only it say somewhat. Yet does not Christ contemn them, but answers with agracious mildness, teaching us to be gentle to our enemies, and not to be troubled, even though they should speak such things against us, as we neither acknowledge in us, nor have any reasonableness in themselves. Therein also He proves that the things which they had said against Him were false, for it is not of one having adaemon to show such mercy, and to know the thoughts. Moreover, because this their accusation was very unreasonable, and they feared the multitude, they did not dare to proclaim it openly, bu...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
And yet, what is there more powerful on earth than a kingdom? Nothing, but nevertheless it perishes if in dissension. And if in that case one throw the blame on the great burden of the affairs thereof, as breaking down by its own weight; what would you say of a city? And what of a house? Thus, whether it be a small thing, or a great, if at dissension with itself, it perishes. If then I, having a devil, do by him cast out the devils, there is dissension and fighting among devils, and they take their stand one against another. But if they stand one against another, their strength is wasted and destroyed. For if Satan cast out Satan (and He said not the devils, implying their great unanimity one with another), he is then divided against himself; so He speaks. But if he be divided, he has become weaker, and is ruined; and if he be ruined, how can he cast out another? Do you see how great the absurdity of the accusation, how great the folly, the inconsistency? Since it is not for the sam...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
The wars abroad are not so ruinous as the civil wars. As with civil wars, so wars happen inside the body. In all things it is the same, but in this case Jesus takes his illustration from the public sphere, for what is more powerful on earth than a kingdom? Nothing. But nevertheless it perishes if divided against itself. And what would you say of a city, similarly, if it were to break down by its own weight? What great blame would fall on those who carry the burden of its affairs! And what of a house? Whether it is a small matter or a great one, it perishes when it revolts against itself. Furthermore, if I am possessed by a demon and through it cast out demons, there is dissent and strife between demons, and they rise up against one another. And if they rise up against one another, their strength is destroyed. “For if Satan casts out Satan”—note that he did not say “demons,” implying that there was a great deal of harmony in them toward each other. Rather, he said hierarchically, “If Sa...

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
By divulging their thoughts He shows that He is God. He defends Himself from their accusation by means of everyday examples, and reveals their foolishness. For how is it that demons cast out one another when in fact they strive to assist one another? "Satan" means "the adversary"

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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