Matthew 10:25

25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!

Matthew 10:25 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 10:25

It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master,
&c.] A disciple should think himself very well off, be entirely satisfied, yea, abundantly thankful, if he meets with no worse treatment than his master; if he has the same honour done him his master has, this is more than could be expected by him; and if he has the same ill usage with his master, he need not wonder at it, but should solace himself with this consideration, that it is no other, nor worse than his master had before him: and the same is equally true in the other case,

and the servant as his Lord:
these expressions, as before, were proverbs, or common sayings among the Jews, which our Lord chose to make use of, and adapt to his present purpose; (wbrk twyhl) , "vel" (ahyv dbel wyd) , "it is enough for the servant, that he be as his master", is a saying often to be met with in their writings F9; which our Lord applies, and reasons upon, in the following manner:

if they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more
shall they call them of the household?
By "the master of the household"; he means himself, who is master of the family both in heaven and in earth; who is son over his own house, the high priest over the house of God, the lord and governor of all the household of faith; who takes care of, provides for, and protects all that are of God's household: and yet, though in such an high office, and of such great usefulness, he did not escape the severest lashes of the tongues of the wicked Jews; who called him by the most opprobrious names they could think of, and among the rest Beelzebub; see ( Matthew 12:24 ) ( Luke 11:15 ) . This was the god of the Ekronites, ( 2 Kings 1:2 ) . The word signifies "a masterfly" or the "lord of a fly": and so the Septuagint there call him (baal muian) , "Baal the fly", the god of the Ekronites. And this idol was so called, either because it was in the form of a fly: or else from the abundance of flies about it, by reason of the sacrifices, which it was not able to drive away; and therefore the Jews contemptuously gave it this name. They observe F11, that in the temple, notwithstanding the multitude of sacrifices offered up there, there never was seen a fly in the slaughter house: or else this deity was so called from its being invoked to drive away flies, and the same with Myiodes, the god of flies, mentioned by Pliny F12, or Myagros, which the same author F13 speaks of; so Jupiter was called (apomuiov) , a driver away of flies; as was also Hercules F14; and were worshipped by some nations on this account. In most copies, and so in the Arabic version, it is read Beelzebul; that is, as it is commonly rendered, the "lord of dung", or a dunghill god; and it is generally thought the Jews called the god of the Ekronites so, by way of contempt; as it was usual with them to call an idol's temple (lwbz) , "zebul", "dung", and worshipping of idols (lbzm) , "dunging" {o}: but I must own, that I should rather think, that as Beelsamin, the god of the Phoenicians, is the same with Beelzebul, the god of the Ekronites, so it signifies the same thing: now (Nymv leb) , "Beelsamin", is "the lord of the heavens", and so is Beelzebul; for (lwbz) , "Zebul", signifies "heaven"; so the word is used in ( Habakkuk 3:11 ) "the sun and the moon stood still", (hlbz) , "in their habitation"; by which, as a Jewish F16 writer observes, (Mymvh wb Nwurh) , "is meant the heavens"; for they are the habitation of the sun and moon: see also ( Isaiah 63:15 ) and so among the seven names of the heavens, reckoned up by them, this is accounted one F17. Now as the Jews looked upon all the deities of the Gentiles as demons, or devils; and since Beelzebub was the chief of them, they thought they could not fix upon a more reproachful name, to give to Christ, than this: and our Lord suggests, that since the great master of the family was called in such an abusive manner, it should be no cause of stumbling and offence, if those of a lower class in the family should be so stigmatized; if Christians are called by ever such hard names, even devils, they should not be disturbed at it; since their lord and master was called the prince of them.


F9 T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 58. 2. Bereshit Rabba, fol. 43. 3. Juchasin, fol. 93. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 64. 2. Aben Ezra in Hos. i. 2.
F11 Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 5.
F12 Nat. Hist. 1. 29. sect. 6.
F13 lb. 1. 10. c. 28.
F14 Pausanias, 1. 5. p. 313. & 1. 8. p. 497. Clement. Alex. ad Gentes, p. 24.
F15 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 13. 2.
F16 R. Sol. Urbinas in Ohel Moed, fol. 100. 1.
F17 T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 12. 2.

Matthew 10:25 In-Context

23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.
25 It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!
26 Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.
27 "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. NU-Text and M-Text read Beelzebul.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.