Matthew 12:45 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 12:45, NIV: Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.'

Matthew 12:45, ESV: Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”

Matthew 12:45, KJV: Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.

Matthew 12:45, NASB: Then it goes and brings along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they come in and live there; and the last condition of that person becomes worse than the first. That is the way it will also be with this evil generation.'

Matthew 12:45, NLT: Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation.'

Matthew 12:45, CSB: Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that person's last condition is worse than the first. That's how it will also be with this evil generation."

What does Matthew 12:45 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The New Testament unmistakably presents Satan and demons as literally real beings. They are active in the world and do damage to people by taking some level of control over them. Jesus has pictured a scenario where a demon leaves a person behind only to return later and find this "house" cleaned up and put in order. In other words, the person is back to being in his or her right mind and living an orderly life (Matthew 12:43–44).

Now Jesus completes the picture. The demon has found this person to be a good home again, with nothing to protect him or her. The "house" is cleaned, but it's still unoccupied and undefended. Instead of simply moving in, the demon goes out and finds seven other demons—all more evil than it is—to join it in occupying this person. Jesus says the condition of the person is far worse than it was when oppressed by the demon the first time.

Finally, Jesus reveals the point of His story. This "evil" generation of Israelites are in danger of experiencing something similar. Jesus has demonstrated His easy authority over the power of Satan and other demons. He casts them out with a word and has freed many people from demon oppression. Still, this generation of Israelites, as a group, have rejected His teaching and authority over them. They will not receive Him as the Messiah. Jesus warns of what will happen as a result. It's not clear if the warning is of greater demonization in Israel or about what this generation will experience on the day of judgment in the end times.