12:24 But when the Pharisees 1 heard this they said, “He does not cast out demons except by the power of Beelzebul, 2 the ruler 3 of demons!”
12:27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons 4 cast them 5 out? For this reason they will be your judges.
2 tn Grk “except by Beelzebul.”
sn Beelzebul is another name for Satan. So some people recognized Jesus’ work as supernatural, but called it diabolical.
3 tn Or “prince.”
4 sn Most read your sons as a reference to Jewish exorcists (cf. “your followers,” L&N 9.4), but more likely this is a reference to the disciples of Jesus themselves, who are also Jewish and have been healing as well (R. J. Shirock, “Whose Exorcists are they? The Referents of οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν at Matthew 12:27/Luke 11:19,” JSNT 46 : 41-51). If this is a reference to the disciples, then Jesus’ point is that it is not only him, but those associated with him whose power the hearers must assess. The following reference to judging also favors this reading.
5 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.