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Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)

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Chapter 12

12:1  At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.


(1) The sabbath ("cessation") appears in Scripture as the day of God's rest in the finished work of creation. Genesis 2:2,3. For 2500 years of human life absolutely no mention is made of it. Then the sabbath was revealed ; Exodus 16:23; Nehemiah 9:13,14, made a part of the law Exodus 20:8-11 and invested with the character of a "sign" between Jehovah and Israel, and a perpetual reminder to Israel of their separation to God Exodus 31:13-17. It was observed by complete rest Exodus 35:2,3 and by Jehovah's express order a man was put to death for gathering sticks on the sabbath day. Numbers 15:32-36. Apart from maintaining the continued burnt-offering Numbers 28:9, and its connection with the annual feasts ; Exodus 12:16; Leviticus 23:3,8; Numbers 28:25 the seventh day sabbath was never made a day of sacrifice, worship, or any manner of religious service. It was simply and only a day of complete rest for man and beast, a humane provision for man's needs. In Christ's words, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath." Mark 2:27.

(2) Our Lord found the observance of the day encrusted with rabbinical evasions Matthew 12:2 and restrictions, wholly unknown to the law, so that He was Himself held to be a sabbath breaker by the religious authorities of the time. The sabbath will be again observed during the kingdom age Isaiah 66:23.

(3) The Christian first day perpetuates in the dispensation of grace the principle that one-seventh of the time is especially sacred, but in all other respects is in contrast with the sabbath. One is the seventh day, the other the first. The sabbath commemorates God's creation rest, the first day Christ's resurrection. On the seventh day God rested, on the first day Christ was ceaselessly active. The sabbath commemorates a finished creation, the first day a finished redemption. The sabbath was a day of legal obligation, the first day one of voluntary worship and service. The sabbath is mentioned in the Acts only in connection with the Jews, and in the rest of the N.T. but twice. Colossians 2:16; Hebrews 4:4. In these passages the seventh day sabbath is explained to be to the Christian not a day to be observed, but a type of the present rest into which he enters when "he also ceases from his own works" and trusts Christ.

12:3  But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;

what David did

Jesus' action Matthew 12:1-7 is highly significant. "What David did" refers to the time of his rejection and persecution by Saul. 1 Samuel 21:6. Jesus here is not so much the rejected Saviour as the rejected King; hence the reference to David.

12:4  How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?


(See Scofield "Exodus 25:30") .

12:18  Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.


This too is most significant. The rejected King of Israel will turn to the Gentiles (cf.) Matthew 10:5,6. In fulfilment this awaited the official rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, and the final rejection of the risen Christ. ; Luke 24:46,47; Acts 9:15; 13:46; Acts 28:25-28; Romans 11:11.

12:22  Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.


(Greek - daimonizomai [daimoni­zomai] ," demonized). (See Scofield "Matthew 7:22")

12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.


demons. (See Scofield "Matthew 7:22") .

12:31  Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

sin Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23") .

blasphemy Ascribing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit. Cf. Matthew 12:24,32,40.

12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.


Progeny. Matthew 3:7; 23:33.

12:41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The men of Nineveh

Again the rejected King announces judgment (cf) Matthew 11:20-24 Israel, in the midst of the Pharisaic revival of outward religious strictness, was like a man out of whom a demon had "gone," i.e, of his own volition. He would come back and find an empty house, etc. The personal application is to a mere self-cleansed moralist.

Nineveh vs. Jonah 3:5-9; Luke 11:32 (See Scofield "Nahum 1:1") .

12:45  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.


(See Scofield "Matthew 24:34") .

12:46  While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.


Rejected by Israel, His "kinsmen according to the flesh" (cf) Romans 9:3 our Lord intimates the formation of the new family of faith which, overstepping mere racial claims, receives "whosoever" will be His disciple. ; Matthew 12:49,50; John 6:28,29.

For Another Point of View: See Topic 301191

Additional Factors to Consider: See Topic 301372

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.

Bibliography Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Matthew 12". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". <>. 1917.  


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