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Matthew 11:12

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David Stern adds to this natural understanding by stating that not only was it a physical assault but a spiritual one (demons), as well. But this only supersaturates an already bloated teaching. He writes, ‘The Greek is difficult. As rendered, it means that violent ones (demons and their human vehicles) are trying to keep God from carrying out his plan through Yeshua, e.g., through Herod’s having put Yochanan in prison (v. 2). An alternative understanding, ‘…the Kingdom of Heaven has been advancing forcefully; and forceful people are seizing hold of it, ‘ seems inconsistent with vv. 25-30.’

The Wycliffe Bible Commentary joins in the chorus and states, ‘The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence. The verb may be regarded either as middle – violently forces its way (cf. Lk. 16:16), or as passive – is violently treated. The latter is more consistent with the next clause. From John’s initial announcement of the coming of the Kingdom, the response had been a violent one, whether by vicious opponents (cf. vv. 18, 19; 14:3, 4) or by enthusiastic supporters. The violent take it by force (or, seize it). Compare Lk. 16:16. Among the most prominent of Christ’s adherents were the publicans, harlots, and other open sinners, who flocked to our Lord in great numbers.’

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