But no one can go into a strong man’s house and ransack his household goods right and left and seize them as plunder unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may [thoroughly] plunder his house.
No one can enter a strong man’s house and ·steal [seize; plunder] his things unless he first ·ties up [binds] the strong man [Is. 49:24–25]. Then he can ·steal [seize; plunder] things from the house. [C Satan is the strong man and his possessions are the people Jesus is freeing from Satan’s power.]
The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying that he was possessed by Beelzebub, and that he drove out devils because he was in league with the prince of devils. So Jesus called them to him and spoke to them in a parable—“How can Satan be the one who drives out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot last either. And if Satan leads a rebellion against Satan—his days are certainly numbered. No one can break into a strong man’s house and steal his property, without first tying up the strong man hand and foot. But if he did that, he could ransack the whole house.
The religion scholars from Jerusalem came down spreading rumors that he was working black magic, using devil tricks to impress them with spiritual power. Jesus confronted their slander with a story: “Does it make sense to send a devil to catch a devil, to use Satan to get rid of Satan? A constantly squabbling family disintegrates. If Satan were fighting Satan, there soon wouldn’t be any Satan left. Do you think it’s possible in broad daylight to enter the house of an awake, able-bodied man, and walk off with his possessions unless you tie him up first? Tie him up, though, and you can clean him out.
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