But the Pharisees said
Who were the sworn enemies of Christ, and were filled with envy at him, and malice against him: these men could not bear, that so much honour and glory should be given to Christ; and therefore said,
he casteth out the devils through the prince of the devils:
they could not deny matter of fact, that he had cast out a devil; nor could they say he had done an ill thing in so doing; they could not but own that it was a preternatural action, more than human; nor could they contradict what the multitude said, that no such thing had been ever seen, or known, in Israel: but that Christ might not have the glory of the action, and to fix a mark of infamy upon him, foolishly impute it to a diabolical influence, as if one devil would eject another; and to Christ's familiarity with, and the assistance he had from, not a common devil, but the prince of them. In Beza's most ancient manuscript, and in some others, this whole verse is wanting; and were it not, for the general consent of copies, one should be tempted to think these words were not said at this time, because Christ returns no answer to them; and what is observed by ( Luke 11:15 ) as following this miracle, is the selfsame as was spoken by Christ in ( Matthew 12:24 Matthew 12:25 ) and where this passage is more thoroughly considered.