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The Scofield Bible Commentary, by Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, [1917], at

Matthew Chapter 12

Matthew 12:1

mat 12:1


(1) The sabbath ("cessation") appears in Scripture as the day of God's rest in the finished work of creation. (Gen 2:2-3). For 2500 years of human life absolutely no mention is made of it. Then the sabbath was revealed; (Exo 16:23); (Neh 9:13-14); made a part of the law (Exo 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 (Exo 31:13-17). It was observed by complete rest (Exo 35:2-3) and by Jehovah's express order a man was put to death for gathering sticks on the sabbath day. (Num 15:32-36). Apart from maintaining the continued burnt-offering (Num 28:9); and its connection with the annual feasts; (Exo 12:16); (Lev 23:3); (Lev 23:8); (Num 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." (Mar 2:27).

(2) Our Lord found the observance of the day encrusted with rabbinical evasions (Mat 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 (Isa 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 New Testament but twice. (Col 2:16); (Heb 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.

Matthew 12:3

mat 12:3

what David did

Jesus' action (Mat 12:1-7) is highly significant. "What David did" refers to the time of his rejection and persecution by Saul. (Sa1 21:6). Jesus here is not so much the rejected Saviour as the rejected King; hence the reference to David.

Matthew 12:4

mat 12:4


(See Scofield) - (Exo 25:30).

Matthew 12:18

mat 12:18


This too is most significant. The rejected King of Israel will turn to the Gentiles.

Compare (Mat 10:5-6).

In fulfilment this awaited the official rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, and the final rejection of the risen Christ. (Luk 24:46-47); (Act 9:15); (Act 13:46); (Act 28:25-28); (Rom 11:11).

Matthew 12:22

mat 12:22


(Greek, "daimonizomai", "demonized").

(See Scofield) - (Mat 7:22).

Matthew 12:24

mat 12:24



(See Scofield) - (Mat 7:22).

Matthew 12:31

mat 12:31



(See Scofield) - (Rom 3:23).


Ascribing to Satan the work of the Holy Spirit.

Compare (Mat 12:24); (Mat 12:32); (Mat 12:40).

Matthew 12:34

mat 12:34


Progeny. (Mat 3:7); (Mat 23:33).

Matthew 12:41

mat 12:41

The men of Nineveh

Again the rejected King announces judgment.

Compare (Mat 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," that is, of his own volition. He would come back and find an empty house, etc. The personal application is to a mere self-cleansed moralist.


Verses (Jon 3:5-9); (Luk 11:32).

(See Scofield) - (Nah 1:1).

Matthew 12:45

mat 12:45


(See Scofield) - (Mat 24:34).

Matthew 12:46

mat 12:46


Rejected by Israel, His "kinsmen according to the flesh"

(compare (Rom 9:3);

our Lord intimates the formation of the new family of faith which, overstepping mere racial claims, receives "whosoever" will be His disciple. (Mat 12:49-50); (Joh 6:28-29).

Next: Matthew Chapter 13