The Pharisees compare Jesus to Beelzebul (Mt 12:24-12:24)

“But the Pharisees heard it.

They said.

‘It is only by Beelzebul,

The ruler of the demons,

That this man

Casts out the demons.’”

 

οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἀκούσαντες εἶπον Οὗτος οὐκ ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια εἰ μὴ ἐν τῷ Βεελζεβοὺλ ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων.

 

This seems a little out of context since Matthew did not mention casting out a demon, but only curing the mute and blind demoniac.  However, this is similar to Luke, chapter 11:15 and Mark, chapter 3:22, as well as the earlier passages from Matthew, chapters 9:34 and 10:24-25.  Beelzebul was an ancient Canaanite god known as the “Lord of the flies,” but had become another name for the devil or demons in early Christianity and late Judaism.  The Pharisees heard (οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἀκούσαντες) that the people were calling Jesus the “Son of David,” a messianic name.  However, they accused Jesus of being in cahoots with Beelzebul (εἶπον Οὗτος…εἰ μὴ ἐν τῷ Βεελζεβοὺλ), the leader of the demons (ἄρχοντι τῶν δαιμονίων).  In other words, Jesus was casting out (οὐκ ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια) demons because he was working with the devil, the leader of the demons, the ancient Canaanite god, Beelzebul.