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Bible Commentaries

International Critical Commentary NT

Luke 13

Verses 1-99

13:1-9. § Three Exhortations to Repentance, of which two (1-3; 4, 5) are based upon recent occurrences, while the third (6-9) is a parable. All three seem to have been omitted by Marcion in his mutilated Gospel; but it is not easy to see what he disliked in them. They are peculiar to Lk., and both external and internal evidence guarantee their authenticity. Time and place are indefinite; but the connexion with what precedes is expressly stated, and the scene must have been away from Jerusalem.

1-3. The Moral of the Massacre of the Galilæan Pilgrims. There is no record of this massacre in any other source. But the turbulent character of the Galilæans, and the severity of Pilate and other Roman governors, make the incident more than credible. Horrible massacres are recorded by Josephus (Ant. xvii.9. 3, xviii.3.1, xx. 5. 3; B. J. ii. 3. 3, 9. 4, v. 1. 5). The fact that such things were common accounts for the absence of other records; and possibly not very many were slain. But such an outrage on Galilæans may have been one of the causes of the enmity between Herod and Pilate (23:12); and Keim conjectures that it was on this occasion that Barabbas was imprisoned. So also Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1407.

Others have conjectured the occasion to have been the insurrection under Judas of Galilee, the Gaulonite of Gamala (Ant. xviii. 1. 1; B. J. ii. 8. 1); but that was many years earlier (c. a.d. 6), and these new-comers evidently report some recent event. On the other hand, the insurrection of the Samaritans (Ant. xviii. 4. 1) took place later than this, being the immediate cause of the recall of Pilate (a.d. 36). And what had Samaritan rebellion to do with the massacre of Galilæans? Comp. Philo’s summary of the enormities of Pilate: τὰς δωροδοκίας, τὰς ὔβρεις, τὰς ἁρπαγὰς, τὰς αἰκίας, τὰς ἐπηηρείας, τοὺς�

1. Πρῆσαν. Not, “there were present,” as all English Versions render, but, “there came,” venerunt (Cod. Brix.). These informants were not in the crowd which Jesus had been addressing, but brought the news afterwards. For this use of παρεῖναι comp. Acts 10:21; Matthew 26:50; John 11:28: sometimes followed by πρός (Acts 12:20; Galatians 4:18, Galatians 4:20), or by εἰς (Colossians 1:6): comp. Luke 11:7. In Matthew 26:50; Acts 10:21, Acts 12:20, Vulg. has venio; in Colossians 1:6, pervenio. Wetst. quotes a close parallel: παρῆσάν τινες�


ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ καιρῷ. “At that very opportunity,” viz. just as He was speaking about the signs of the times. Possibly they had heard His last words, and thought that their story would be regarded as a sign: τῷ καιρῷ may look back to τὸν καιρόν (12:56: comp. 1:20, 4:13).

ὦν τὸ αἶμα Πειλᾶτος ἔμιξεν μετὰ τῶν θυσιῶν αὐτῶν. These pilgrims from Galilee had come up to Jerusalem for one of the Feasts, probably Tabernacles, and had come into collision with the Romans, no doubt through some fanatical act of rebellion. The merciless procurator, himself in Jerusalem to keep order during the Feast, sent troops to attack them as they were sacrificing in the temple courts, and their blood was mingled with that of the slaughtered beasts. The expression, “mingling blood with blood,” occurs elsewhere. Schoettgen quotes (of Israelites who were circumcised in Egypt at the Passover). et circummcisi sunt, et commixtus est sanguis paschatis cum sanguine circumcisionis (Hor. Hebr. p. 286). And again: David swore to Abishai, if he laid hands on Saul, “I will mingle thy blood with his blood” (ibid. p. 287; Lightfoot Hor. Hebr. ad loc.).

2. We gather the object of these informants from Christ’s answer. They did not want Him as a Galilæn to protest against Pilate’s cruelty, perhaps by heading another Galilman revolt. Rather, like Job’s friends, they wanted to establish the view that this calamity was a judgment upon the sufferers for exceptional wickedness (Job 4:7, Job 4:8:4, Job 4:20, 22:5; comp. John 9:1, John 9:2). Perhaps they had heard about the threatened “cutting asunder” (12:46), and thought that this was a case in point. There is no hint that they wished to entrap Him into strong language respecting Pilate.


παρὰ πάντας τ. Γ. ἐγένοντο. “Showed themselves to be (comp. 10:36) sinners beyond all the Galilæans.” Comp. the use παρά after comparatives, 3:13.

3. πάντες ὁμοίως�

The Greek form of the name varies. Σιλωάμ in LXX and Josephus; Σιλωάς in Josephus; Σιλωά in Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. Note the article, which agrees with Jewish usage. In John 9:7 and in LXX the article occurs: comp. τὸν Σαρῶνα (Acts 9:35). Few sites have been identified with more certainty than Siloam: Conder, Handbk. of B. p. 335; Stanley, Sin. & Pal. pp. 180, 428; Tristram, Bible Places, p. 162.

ὀφειλέται. 7:41, 11:4; Matthew 6:12, Matthew 18:24-34. The change of word from ἁμαρτωλοί (ver. 2) ought to be marked in translation, as by Wic. Rhem. and RV.; and also the change from ὁμοίως (ver. 3) to ὡσαύτως (ver. 5), as by RV., although there is little change of meaning. If Ewald’s guess is correct, that these eighteen were working at the aqueducts made by Pilate, to pay for which he had used τὸν ἱερὸν θησαυρόν (καλεῖται δὲ κορβανᾶς), then ὀφειλέται may be used in allusion to this, implying that it was held that these workmen ought to pay back their wages into the treasury (Jos. B. J. ii. 9. 4). Jesus reminds the people that they are all sinners, and that all sinners are debtors to Divine justice (12:58).


5. μετανοήσητε. The change of tense, if this be the right reading (א A D L M T U X), points to the need of immediate repentance, as distinct from a state or continued attitude of repentance, μετανοῆτε (ver. 3). Vulg. expresses the difference by nisi poœnitentiam habueritis (ver. 3) and si pœnitentiam non egeritis (ver. 5). See on 3:3 and 5:32.

πάντες ὡσαύτως�

6-9. § The Parable of the Barren Fig tree. It sets forth the longsuffering and the severity of God. His visitation of sin, however long delayed in order to give opportunity of repentance, is sure. The fig tree, as in Mark 11:13, is the Jewish nation, but also any individual soul. Comp. Hosea 9:10; Joel 1:7. It is arbitrary to assert that the withering of the barren fig tree in Mat_21. and Mar_11. is a transformation of this parable into a fact, or that the supposed fact has here been wisely turned into a parable.


6. Ἔλεγεν δὲ ταύτην τὴν παραβολήν. See on 5:36. The parable is a continuation of the warning, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” D. C. G. art. “Fig-tree.”

Συκῆν … ἐν τῷ�Deuteronomy 22:9 forbids the sowing of corn in vineyards, but to plant other fruit trees there was not a violation of this. At the present day fruit trees of various kinds are common in vineyards and in cornfields in Palestine (Stanley, Sin. & Pal. p. 421). “The fig tree ripeneth her green figs, and the vines are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:13), perhaps implies this combination.


7. τρία ἔτη�

ἵνα τί καὶ τὴν γῆν καταργεῖ; “Why, in addition to doing no good, does it sterilize the ground?” Ut quid etiam terram occupat (Vulg.). Excepting here and Hebrews 2:14, the verb is used in N.T. only by S. Paul. He has it often, and in all four groups of his Epistles. In LXX only in Ezra (4:21, 23, 5:5, 6:8). Latin Versions vary between occupat, evacuat, detinet, and intricat; English Versions between “occupy,” “keep barren,” “cumber,” and “hinder.” All the latter, excepting Rhem, and RV., miss the καὶ: it not only gives no fruit, it also renders good soil useless �

8. κόθρια. Here only in N.T. In Jeremiah 25:33 (32:19) and Ecclus. 22:2 this plur. occurs as here without the art. The curious reading κόφινον κοπρίων is found in D, and is supported by cofinum stercoris or cophinam stercoris of various Latin texts, d having qualum stercoris.

9. εἰς τὸ μέλλον. In the true text (א B L 33, Boh. Aeth.) this expression precedes εἰ δὲ μήγε, and we have an aposiopesis as in Acts 23:9; Romans 9:22-24. Comp. Exodus 32:32, where LXX supplies the apodosis. The ellipse of καλῶς ἔχει occurs in class. Gk. It is perhaps possible to make εἰς τὸ μέλλον the apodosis: “if it bear fruit, we may postpone the question; but if not,” etc. That εἰς τὸ μέλλον may mean “against next year” is clear from Plutarch’s use of it for magistrates designate: e.g. τὸν Πείσωνα κατέστησεν ὕπατον εἰς τὸ μέλλον (Cæs. 14.); and perhaps it may mean “next year (Syr-Sin.),” the prep. being redundant, as in εἰς τὴν τρίτην: comp. Jos. Ant. i. 11, 2. But that ἔτος need not be understood, and that the prep. need not be redundant, is clear from 1 Timothy 6:19, where εἰς τὴν τρίτὴν means “against the time to come.” Only if the prep. be made redundant is the transfer of εἰς τὸ μέλλον to ἐκκόψεις (A D) possible; for “against next year thou shalt cut it down” would here make no sense; but the external evidence is conclusive against the transfer. Comp. Acts 13:42; Hom. Od. xiv. 384.

For the change from ἐάν to εἰ (κἃν … εἰ δὲ μήγε) comp. Acts 5:38, Acts 5:39. It occurs in class. Grk.; and in most cases of this kind either conjunction might just as well have been used twice. Here it is possible that the first alternative is given as more problematical than the second.


ἐκκόψεις αὐτήν. “Thou shalt (have) it cut down,” shalt give the order for it. The vine-dresser will not even then cut it down without express command. He does not say ἐκκόψω. Comp, the Baptist’s warning, in which this same verb (ἐκκόπτεται) is used (3:9). Trench gives a striking parallel in an Arabian recipe for curing a barren palm tree (Par. p. 359, 10th ed.).

10-17. § Healing of a Woman on the Sabbath from a Spirit of Infirmity. The details are manifest tokens of historical truth. The pharisaic pomposity of the ruler of the Synagogue, with his hard and fast rules about propriety; Christ’s triumphant refutation of his objections; and the delight of the people, who sympathize with the dictates of human nature against senseless restrictions;—all this is plainly drawn from life. See Keim, Jes. of Naz. 4. pp. 15, 162. Here, as in 6:1-11, Christ claims no authority to abolish the sabbath. He restores it to its true meaning by rescuing it from traditions which violated it. See Hort, Judaistic Christianity, p. 32.

10. This is the last mention of His teaching in a synagogue, and the only instance of His doing so in the latter part of His ministry. In many places where He was known the elders would not have allowed Him to preach, seeing that the hierarchy had become so hostile to Him. It is evident that τοῖς σάββασιν is sing. in meaning, as always in the Gospels. See on 4:31, where, as here, we have the periphrastic imperfect.

11. πνεῦμα ἔχουσα�Romans 8:15. Similarly a demon that caused dumbness is called a “dumb spirit” (11:14; Mark 9:17, Mark 9:25). Weiss would have it that this expression is the Evangelist’s own inference, and a wrong inference, from ἥν ἔδησεν ὁ Σατανᾶς (ver. 16), which probably means that Jesus knev, her malady to be the consequence of her sinful life. Therefore Satan, who caused the sin, caused the malady. Weiss asserts that the laying on of hands never occurs in the case of demoniacs. And he appeals to θεραπεύεσθε (ver. 14), observing that exorcisms are not healings (L. J. 2. p. 53, Eng. tr. 2. p. 239). But we know too little to affirm that Jesus never laid His hands on demoniaces; and both θεραπεύειν (8:2; Matthew 17:16) and ἰᾶσθαι (9:42) are used of healing them. Jesus generally cured ordinary diseases with a touch or laying on of hands (4:40, 5:13, 8:44, 54, 14:4, 22:51); but He sometimes healed such with a word (4:39, 5:24, 6:10, 7:10). Although He commonly healed demonises with a word (4:35, 41, 8:29, 9:42), He may sometimes have touched them. And it should be noted that�Mark 9:27), may have been added in order to complete the physical cure. There is nothing to show that the woman had come expecting to be healed by Jesus. For συνκύπτουσα see Ecclus. 12:11, 19:26.


ἔτη δέκα ὀκτώ. To suggest that this is a reminiscence of the eighteen on whom the tower fell, and that the twelve in 8:43 is a reminiscence of the twelve in 8:42, is hardly sober criticism. Do numbers never come a second time in real life? And he must be a poor inventor or incapable of varying numbers. Syr-Sin. has “had a spirit eighteen years.”

μὴ δυναμένη. As usual in N. T., we have μή with the participle, although it refers to a matter of fact. Comp. 1:20; Acts 9:9; and see Simcox, Lang. of N. T. p. 188.

ἀνακύψαι εἰς τὸ παντελές. “Wholly to lift up herself, to straighten herself properly.” Nearly all English Versions follow the Vulgate in taking εἰς τὸ παντελές with νὴ δυναμένη; nee omnino poterat, “could not in any wise, could not at all.” But it may go with�Hebrews 7:25), the only other passage in N. T. in which it occurs. Not in LXX. Josephus always has it next to the word to which it belongs (Ant. i. 18. 5, iii. 11. 3, 12. 1, vi. 2. 3, vii. 13. 3).


12.�

13. παραχρρῆμα�Acts 15:16, and Hebrews 12:12; but is freq. in LXX. Hobart shows that it is used by medical writers of straightening abnormal or dislocated parts of the body (p. 22).


14.�Rev_17). For other arguments used by Christ respecting the Sabbath, see 6:3, 5, 9; Mark 2:27, Mark 2:28; John 5:17. We may place them in an ascending scale. Jewish tradition; charity and common sense; the Sabbath is a blessing, not a burden; the Son of Man is Lord of it; Sabbaths have never hindered the Father’s work, and must not hinder the Son’s. Such appeals would be varied to suit the occasion and the audience.


16. An argument à fortiori. If an animal, how much more a daughter of Abraham; if one whom yourselves have bound for a few hours, how much more one whom Satan has bound for eighteen years. Comp. Job_2.; Acts 10:38; 1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 12:7; 1 Timothy 1:20: and with ἰδοὺ δέκα καὶ ὀκτὼ ἔτη comp. ἰδοὺ τεσσερράκοντα ἔτη (Deuteronomy 8:4); also Acts 2:7, Acts 13:11.


ἔδει λυθῆναι. Not only she may be loosed, but she ought to be. The obligation was for the healing on the Sabbath. It was a marked fulfilment of the programme of the ministry as announced in the synagogue at Nazareth (4:18). There is no prescription against doing good; and a religion which would honour God by forbidding virtue is self-condemned.

17. λέγοντος αὐτοῦ. “As He said” (RV.), not “When He had mid” (AV.).

κατῃσχύνοντο. “Were put to shame”: comp. 2 Corinthians 7:14, 2 Corinthians 7:9:4; 1 Peter 3:16; in all which passages RV. is more accurate than AV. See also LXX of Isaiah 45:16.

ἐπὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐνδόξοις τοῖς γινομένοις ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ. “Over all the glorious things that were being done by Him.” For τοῖς ἐνδόξοις comp. Exodus 34:10; Deuteronomy 10:21; Job 5:9, Job 5:9:10, 34:24; and for the pres. part. Mark 6:2. It refers to much more than the healing of this woman: quæ gloriose flebant ab eo (Vulg.).


Some would put a full stop at αὐτῷ, and make Καὶ πᾶς ὁ ὄχλος ἔχαιρες the introduction to what follows. But this robs do statement of all point. As a revolt of the popular conscience against the censoriousness of the hierarchy it is full of meaning.

18-21. The Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Leaven. The former is given by all three (Matthew 13:31, Matthew 13:32; Mark 4:30-32), the latter by two (Matthew 13:33). Thus Mt. as well as Lk. places them together. Both parables set forth the small beginning, gradual spread, and immense development of the Kingdom of God, the one from without, the other from within. Externally the Kingdom will at last embrace all nations; internally, it will transform the whole of human life. Often before this Jesus has mentioned the Kingdom of God (6:20, 7:28, 8:10, 9:2, 27, 60, 62, 10:9, 11, 11:20): here He explains some of its characteristics. Mk. places the Mustard Seed immediately after the parables of the Sower and of the Seed growing secretly; Mt. after those of the Sower and of the Tares. But neither gives any note of connexion. Whereas the οὖν of Lk. clearly connects this teaching with the preceding incident.1


18, 19. The Parable of the Mustard Seed.

18. Ἔλεγεν οὖν. It is a needlessly violent hypothesis to regard this as a fragment torn from its context, so that the οὖν refers to something not recorded. On the other hand, it is a little forced to connect the οὖν with the enthusiasm of the multitude for His teaching and miracles. This success is but an earnest of far greater triumphs. It is safer to refer it back to ver. 11. After the interruption caused by the hypocritical remonstrance He continued His teaching. With the double question which introduces the parable comp. τίνι ὡμοιώσατε κύριον, καὶ τίνι ὁμοιώματι ὡμοιώσατε αὐτόν; (Isaiah 40:18). The parable itself is more condensed in Lk. than in Mk. and Mt.


19. κόκκῳ σινάπεως. It is the smallness of the seed in comparison with the largeness of the growth that is the point. Whether other properties of mustard need be taken into account, is doubtful.

It is not quite certain what plant is meant. Stanley is inclined to follow Royle and others in identifying it with the Salvadora Persica, called in the East Khardel, the very word used in the Syriac Version to translate σίναπι. It is said to grow round the lake of Gennesareth, and to attain the height of twenty-five in favourable circumstances. Its seeds are small and pungent, and are used as mustard (Sin. & Pal. p. 427). Edersheim follows Tristram and others in contending for the Sinapis nigra. “Small as a mustard-seed” was a Jewish proverb to indicate the least drop of blood, the least defilement, etc. Even in Europe the Sinapis sometimes reaches twelve feet (L. & T. 1. p. 593; Nat. Hist. of B. p. 472).

ἄνθρωπος. Comp. 20:9. Lk. commonly writes ἄνθρωπός τις: 10:30, 12:16, 14:16, 15:11, 16:1, 19, 19:12; comp. 18:2.

εἰς κῆπον ἑαυτοῦ. See Introd. § 6. 1. f. Not merely “the earth” (Mk) or “his field” (Mt.), but “his own garden,” viz. Israel.

ἐγένετο εἰς δένδρον. All three use γίνομαι, Lk. alone adding εἰς, but μέγα before δένρον is not genuine either here or in Mt. For γίνομαι εἰς comp. 20:17; Acts 4:11, and 5:36 etc. The expression is freq. in LXX, and is also classical.

τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ κατεσκήνωσεν, κ.τ.λ.. All three have this expression. See on 9:58, and comp, ὑποκάτω αὐτοῦ κατεσκήνουν τὰ θηρία τὰ ἄγρια, καὶ ἐν τοῖς κλάδοις αὐτοῦ κατῴκουν τὰ ὄρνεα τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Daniel 4:9, Daniel 4:18) and ἐν ταῖς παραφυάσιν αὐτοῦ ἐνόσσεσαν πάντα τὰ πεατεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (Ezekiel 31:6: Comp. 17:23), passages which show that this was a recognized metaphor for a great empire giving protection to the nations.1

20, 21. The Parable of the Leaven. Matthew 13:33; comp. Luke 12:1.

ἔκρυψεν εἰς�Genesis 18:6). There is no more reason for finding a meaning for the three measures than for the three years (ver. 7). But Lange is inclined to follow Olshausen in interpreting the three measures as the three powers in human nature, body, soul, and spirit; and he further suggests the material earth, the State, and the Church.


In class. Gk. we generally have the plur. ἄλευρα �

ἕως οὗ. Comp. Acts 21:26. In Luke 24:49 it is followed by the subj., as often.

22-30. The Danger of being excluded from the Kingdom of God. The warning grows out of the question as to the number of the saved, but no note is given of time or place. The introductory διεπορεύετο seems to point back to 9:51, “He was continuing His journey” (see on 6:1). In any case it is part of the last journeyings which ended in the Passion. For the substance of the discourse comp. Matthew 7:13, Matthew 7:14, Matthew 7:22, Matthew 7:23, Matthew 7:19:30; Mark 10:31.


22. κατὰ πόλεις καὶ κώμας. Once more we have an amphibolous phrase: see on ver. 11, 10:18, 11:39, 12:1, etc. Either, “He went on His way, teaching through cities and villages”; or, “He went on His way through cities and villages, teaching.”

23. Εἶπεν δέ τις αὐτῷ. We have no means of knowing whether he was a disciple or not, or what his motive was. The question has always been an attractive one to certain minds (2 Esdras 8.).

εἰ ὀλίγοι οἱ σωζόμενοι. The questioner perhaps supposes that, at any rate, none but Jews will be saved. Comp. Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 2 Corinthians 2:15. In all these passages the pres. part. should be marked; “these who are being saved, who are in the way of salvation.”

For εἰ introducing a direct interrogative comp. 22:49, Acts 1:6, Acts 1:19:2; Matthew 12:10, etc. The constr. is not classical, and may be explained as arising from the omission of θαυμάζω, γινώσκειν θέλω, or the like. In German we might have, Ob. Wenige selig werden?


εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς. Note the plur. As in 12:15, 42, Jesus gives no answer to the question asked, but replies in a way that may benefit others as well as the interrogator far more than a direct answer would have done.

24. Ἀγωνίζεσθε εἰσελθεῖν. “Keep on striving to enter,” or, “Strain every nerve.” Questio theoretica initio vertitur ad praxin (Beng.). Comp. 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7; Ecclus. 4:28; Daniel 6:14 (Theod.). In Matthew 7:13 we have εἰσέλθατε διὰ τῆς στενῆς πύλης. But the context is quite different; and there it is an outside gate, while here the door leads directly into the house, and is so narrow that only those who are thoroughly in earnest (βιασταί) can pass through it. Vulg. has per angustam portam in both places; but some Lat. texts have januam or ostium here.

ζητήσουσιν εἰσελθεῖν καὶ οὐκ ἰσχυίσουσιν. The futures are most important, whether we place a comma or a full stop after the second. Jesus does not say that there are many who strive in vain to enter, but that there will be many who will seek in vain to enter, after the time of salvation is past. Those who continue to strive now, succeed. The change from “strive” to “seek” must also be noted. Mere ζητεῖν is very different from�1 Timothy 6:12). Comp. John 7:34.


οὐκ ἰσχύσουσιν. “Will not have strength to” (6:48, 16:3): appropriate to the attempt to force a closed door.

25.�

26, 27. Comp. Matthew 7:22, Matthew 7:23. When the attempt to force the door has failed, ye will begin to use this plea; but it will be cut short by the reply, Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς. The plea is almost grotesque in its insufficiency. To have known Christ after the flesh gives no claim to admission into the kingdom.

ἀπόστητε�Psalms 6:9, where we have πάντες οἱ ἐργαζόμενοι τὴν�Matthew 7:23. Vulg. preserves one difference by having qui operaminis there and operarii here; preserves ignores another in using iniquitas for�Malachi 3:6); τῶν καλῶν καὶ σεμνῶν ἐργάτην (Xen. Mem. ii. 1. 27); τῶν πολεμικῶν (Cyr. iv. 1. 4).

28. Ἐκεῖ ἔσται ὁ κλαυθμός. There is no need to interpret ἐκεῖ of time, a use which is rare in class. Grk. and perhaps does not occur in N.T. Here the meaning is, “There in your exclusion, in your place of banishment.” Note the articles with κλαυθμός and βρυγμός, “the weeping and the gnashing,” which are indeed such. Elsewhere in N. T. βρυγμός occurs only in Mt. (8:12, 13:42, 50, 22:13, 24:51, 25:30). In LXX Proverbs 19:12; Ecclus. 51:3; also Aq. Psalms 37:9. These two verses (28, 29) occur in Mt. (8:11, 12) in a different connexion and with some difference of wording.

Ἀβραὰμ καὶ Ἰσαὰκ καὶ Ἰακὼβ καὶ πάντας τ. προφήτας. For all, this Marcion seems to have substituted πάντας τοὺς δικαίους. in order to avoid a direct reference to O.T. (Tert. Adv. Marcion, iv. 30). The evidence is wholly against the conjecture that Marcion’s reading was original one, which was altered in order to oppose him and agree with Matthew 8:11. In Mt. πάντας τοὺς προφήτας is wanting. Some Lat. texts add dei to prophetas, and many add introire, or intrare or introeuntes before in regno or in regnum.


ὑμᾶς δὲ ἐκβαλλομένους ἔξω. “But yourselves being cast forth without,” in the attempt to enter. They never do enter; but, they would have entered, but for their misconduct, their exclusion is spoken of as “casting out.” Syr-Sin. omits the words.

29. ἥξουσιν�Isaiah 45:6 and 49:12: comp. 59:19; Jeremiah 3:18; Malachi 1:11. In Matthew 8:11, Matthew 8:12 the exclusion of the Jaws and admission of the Gemiles is still more clearly expressed. This was the exact opposite of Jewish expectations. In mundo futuro mensam ingentem vobis sternam, quod gentes videbunt et pudefient (Schoettgen, Hor. Heb. p. 86); i.e. the Gentiles were to be put to shame at the sight of the Jews in bliss. Here it is the Jews who gnash their teeth, while the Gentiles are in bliss. There is no πολλοί with ἥξουσιν, so that the man’s curiosity remains unanswered; but the context implies many rather than few. In Mt. πολλοί is expressed; and this also seems to have been against Jewish expectations. Vidi filios cœnaculi qui numero admodum pauci sunt (Schoettgen, p. 80). The Jews commonly spoke of the Messianic Kingdom as a banquet (14:15; Revelation 19:9). For the four quarters of the globe comp. Psalms 107:3; 1 Chronicles 9:24. Of the order in which they are given here Bengel remarks, Hoc fere ordine ad fidem conversi sunt populi. Mt. has only East and West. Comp. 2 Esdr. 8:1.


Even if ὄψεσθε (B1 D X) were the right reading for ὄψησθε (A B2 R T, ἴδητε א) in ver. 28, there would be no, need to make ἥξουσιν depend upon ὅταν. There should in any case be a full stop at ἔξω.

30. εἰσὶν ἔσχατοι … εἰσὶν πρῶτοι. There are some of each class who will be transferred to the other. Matthew 20:16 we have ἔσονται οἱ ἔσχατοι πρῶτοι καὶ οἱ πρῶτοι ἔσχατοι. From that passage coupled with Matthew 19:30 = Mark 10:31 we infer that this was a saying which Jesus uttered more than once. But here only is it introduced with καὶ ἰδού, of which Lk. is so fond (1:20, 31, 36, 5:12, 7:12, 37, etc.), and for which Mt. and Mk. have πολλοὶ δέ. The practical answer to the question in ver. 23 remains, “Whatever be the number of those who are in the way of salvation, that which concerns you is, that you should without delay secure a place among them.”

31-35. § The Message to Herod Antipas and the Lament over Jerusalem. From ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὦρᾳ it is clear that the scene does not shift. It probably lies in Peræa, but we cannot be certain. Both Peræa and Galilee were under the jurisdiction of Antipas. The Pharisees wanted to frighten Jesus into Judæa, where He would be more in the power of the Sanhedrin; but that they did not invent this alarm about Antipas is clear from Christ’s reply. He would have denounced the Pharisees for cunning and deceit, if they had brought Him a lying report; and it is very unnatural to make τῇ�Amos 7:10-17). See Trench, Studies in the Gospels, p. 238.


31. θέλει σε�

32. εἴπατε τῇ�Matthew 8:20; Judges 1:35; 1 Kings 21:10; and also in class. Grk.), we cannot infer that the fem. is here used in a contemptuous sense: but the masc. occurs Song of Solomon 2:15. Here, as usual, the fox is used as a symbol of craftiness, not of rapacity, as some maintain. Herod’s craftiness lay in his trying to get rid of an influential leader and a disquieting preacher of righteousness by a threat which he had not the courage to execute. He did not wish to bring upon himself a second time the odium of having slain a Prophet.1 In the Talmud the fox is called “the sliest of beasts.” See examples in Keim, Jes. of Naz. 4. P. 344, and Wetst. Foxes of more than one species are very common in Palestine. D. B.2 art. “Fox.”

ἐκβάλλω δαιμόνια καὶ ἰάσεις�Acts 4:22, Acts 4:30); in LXX Proverbs 3:8, Proverbs 4:22. See Hastings, D. B. i. P. 593.

The reading ἐπιτελῶ (A R) is a correction to a more familiar verb, for�James 1:15; Jam_1 Esdr. 5:73 (same v.l. as here); 2 Mac. 15:39. It means, “I bring quite to an end.”

σήμερον καὶ αὔριον καὶ τῇ τρίτῃ. The three days have been interpreted to mean (1) three actual days, (2) the three years of the ministry, (3) a long time, (4) a short time, (5) a definite time. The last is probably right. The course of the Messiah is determined, and will not be abbreviated or changed because of the threats of a Herod.1 For the same expression of three actual days comp. Exodus 19:10, Exodus 19:11. See also Hosea 6:2.

τελειοῦμαι. “I am perfected,” consummor (Vulg.). Comp. Hebrews 2:10. In both cases the idea is that of “bringing Christ to the full moral perfection of His humanity, which carries with it the completeness of power and dignity” (Wsctt.). This is the only passage in N.T. outside the Epistle to the Hebrews in which this verb is used of Christ. In that Epistle it is thus used thrice (2:10, 5:9, 7:28), and the idea which it represents is one of the main characteristics of the Epistle. It is doubtful whether there is here any reference to the special phrase τελειοῦν τὰς χεῖρας which is used in LXX of the installation of priests in their office (Exodus 29:9, Exodus 29:29, Exodus 29:33, Exodus 29:35; Leviticus 8:33, Leviticus 8:16:32; Numbers 3:3: comp, Leviticus 21:10; Exodus 28:37 (41); Jude 1:17:5); although such a reference would be very appropriate on the approach of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself. See Wsctt. on The idea of τελείσις and on The τελείωσις of Christ (Hebrews, pp. 63-67).


τελειοῦμας is probably pass. and not mid.; pres. and and not Attic fut. Ellicott, Hulsean Lectures, 1859, p. 264, 4th ed.; Keim, 4. p. 344.

33. πλὴν δεῖ με σήμερον κ. αὔριον κ. τῇ ἐχομένῃ πορεύεσθαι. “Howbeit” (see on 6:24, 35) “it is ordained by Divine decree (see on 4:43, 9:22) that I go My way hence, as Herod desires; not, however, because you suggest it, but because My work at this time requires it.” The same verb is used in places: πορεύου ἐντεῦθεν and δεῖ με πορεύεσθαι. But, as ἐξελθεῖν is not repeated, the repetition of πορεύεσθαι (comp. πορευθέντες εἴπατε) may be accidental.2 The expression τῇ ἐχομένῃ for “the next day” occurs elsewhere in bibl. Grk. only Acts 20:15; 1 Chronicles 10:8; 1Ch_2 Mac. 12:39: comp. Acts 13:44?, 21:26; 1 Mac. 4:28?.


To understand χώρᾳ instead of ἡμέρᾳ and translate “I must go on My way to-day and to-morrow in the adjoining region also,” is against the context: τῇ ἐχομένῃ plainly= τῇ τρίτῃ.

οὐκ ἐνδέχεται προφήτην�

34, 35. The Lament over Jerusalem. This lament is called forth by the thought of the previous verse. What sorrow that the Messiah should have to speak thus of the metropolis of His own people! The connexion is natural; all the more so if the Pharisees (ver. 31) came from Jerusalem. But the connexion in Matthew 23:37 is not less natural; and there Christ is at Jerusalem. To decide between the two arrangements is not easy: and to suppose that such words were spoken on two different occasions is rather a violent hypothesis; which, however, is adopted by Alford, Andrews, Ellicott, and Stier. The wording is almost identical in both places, especially in the remarkable turn from the third sing. (αὐτήν) to the second sing. (σου), and thence to the second plur. (ἠθελήσατε). On the whole it seems to be more probable that the lament was uttered when Jerusalem was before His eyes, than when it and its inhabitants were far away. For the repetition of the name see on 10:41.

34. ἡ�Acts 7:52.

λιθοβολοῦσα τοὺς�Matthew 21:35): comp. Hebrews 12:20. This is a repetition in a more definite form of the preceding clause. It is arbitrary to make τοὺς�Matthew 23:37, Migne, 120:789. ποσάκις ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι τὰ τέκνα σου. These words, which are found in both Mt. and Lk., are evidence from the Synoptists themselves respecting much work of Christ in Jerusalem which they do not record. As S. John tells us, He ministered there at other times than just before His Passion. The context forbids us from taking τὰ τέκνα οσου in any other sense than the inhabitants of Jerusalem. (Comp. 19:44, and see Neander, L. J. C. § 110, Eng. tr. p. 165.) This is fully admitted by Strauss, if the words were really spoken by Christ.1 He suggests therefore that they come from an apocryphal source, and probably the same from which he supposes 11:49-51 to have been taken. In this he has been followed by Loman and Pfleiderer (see Hahn, 2. p. 255). But, like 10:22, this verse—so strongly confirming the Johannean tradition—is far too well attested to be got rid of by any suppositions. The prepositions in ἐπισυνάξαι mean “together to one place—to Myself.” Comp. Ps. 101:23?, 105:47.

ὅν τρόπον ὄρνις τὴν ἑαυτῆς νοσσιάν. “Even as a hen her own brood.” For ὅν τρόπον comp. Exodus 2:14. Like “fowl” in English, ὄρνις is used specially of domesticated hens (Xen. Anab. iv. 5, 25; Aesch. Eum. 866). Mt. has τὰ νοσσία αὐτῆς, “her chickens.” This similitude is not found in O.T., but is frequent in Rabbinical literature. Schoettgen, pp. 207-210. Comp. τὰ κείνου τέκνʼ ἔχων ὑπὸ πτεροῖς σώζω τάδε (Eur. Heracl. 10). Jerome quotes Deuteronomy 32:11 in illustration: “As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, that fluttereth over her young, He spread abroad His wings, He took them, He bare them on His pinions.” With ὑπὸ τὰς πτέρυγας comp. Ruth 2:12; Isaiah 31:5; Malachi 4:2; Psalms 17:8, Psalms 36:8, Psalms 57:2, Psalms 61:5, Psalms 63:8.

καὶ οὐκ ἠθελήσατε. In tragic contrast with ποσάκις ἠθέλησα: comp. John 1:5, John 1:10, John 1:11.

35.�Matthew 23:38, where it is better attested, is ἔρημος more than a gloss. Comp. ἵτι εἰς ἐρήμωσιν ἔσται ὁ οἶκος οὖτος (Jeremiah 22:5), and ἐγκαταλέλοιπα τὸν οἶκόν μου,�Jeremiah 12:7). “Is being left to you” means “You have it entirely to yourselves to possess and protect; for God no longer dwells in it and protects it.” Comp.�

λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν οὐ μὴ ἴδητέ με. With great solemnity and with strong assurance. Comp. John 7:34, John 8:21.

ἕως εἴπητε. Their seeing Him is dependent upon their repentance; and this is left uncertain; for the ἥξει ὅτε ἂν ἥξηανχὲͅ ὅτε after ἕως (A D, Vulg.) is not genuine.1 There are three interpretations of the point of time indicated by this declaration. (1) The cries of the multitude on Palm Sunday (19:38; Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9). But this is quite inadequate. Christ would not have declared with this impressive solemnity the fact that He would not enter Jerusalem for some weeks, or possibly months. (2) The Second Advent. But where are we told that the unbelieving Jews will welcome the returning Christ with hymns of praise? (3) The conversion of the Jews throughout all time. This last no doubt is right. The quotation Εὐλογημέος, κ.τ.λ., is verbatim from LXX of Psalms 118:26, and ἐν ὀνόματι Κυρίου means as the representative of Jehovah. Converted Israel will thus welcome the spiritual presence of the Messiah.










§ Found in Luke alone.

Vulg. Vulgate.

Wetst. Wetstein.

Wic. Wiclif.

Rhem. Rheims (or Douay).

RV. Revised Version.

Jos. Josephus.

אԠא Cod. Sinaiticus, sæc. iv. Brought by Tischendorf from the Convent of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai; now at St. Petersburg. Contains the whole Gospel complete.

A A. Cod. Alexandrinus, sæc. v. Once in the Patriarchal Library at Alexandria; sent by Cyril Lucar as a present to Charles 1. in 1628, and now in the British Museum. Complete.

D D. Cod. Bezae, sæc. vi. Given by Beza to the University Library at Cambridge 1581. Greek and Latin. Contains the whole Gospel.

L L. Cod. Regius Parisiensis, sæc. viii. National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.

M M. Cod. Campianus, sæc. ix. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.

T T. Cod. Borgianus, sæc. v. In the Library of the Propaganda at Rome. Greek and Egyptian. Contains 22:20-23:20.

X X. Cod. Monacensis, sæc. ix. In the University Library at Munich. Contains 1:1-37, 2:19-3:38, 4:21-10:37, 11:1-18:43, 20:46-24:53.

1 Both�Romans 6:6 “that the body as an instrument of sin may be rendered unproductive, inactive” (καταργηθῇ); also 1 Corinthians 15:26; 2 Corinthians 3:14; 2 Timothy 1:10.


B B. Cod. Vaticanus, sæc. 4. In the Vatican Library certainly since 15331 (Batiffol, La Vaticane de Paul 3, etc., p. 86).

Boh. Bohairic.

Aeth. Ethiopic.

Syr Syriac.

Sin. Sinaitic.

L. J. Leben Jesu

Cov. Coverdale.

Luth. Luther.

Iren. Irenæus.

U U. Cod. Nanianus, sæc. x. In the Library of St. Mark’s, Venice. Contains the whole Gospel.

Edersh. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

AV. Authorized Version.

1 With this pair of Parables comp. the Garments and the Wine-skins (5:36-39), the Rash Builder and the Rash King (14:28-32), the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin (15:3-10). Other pairs are not in immediate juxtaposition; e.g. the Friend at Midnight (11:5-8) and the Unjust Judge (18:1-8).

1 West. quotes from the Talmud, “There was a stalk of mustard in Sichin from which sprang out three branches, of which one was broken off, and out of it they made a covering for a potter’s hut, and there were formed on it three cabs of mustard. Rabbi Simeon, son of Calaphta, said, A stalk of mustard was in my field into which I was wont to climb, as men are wont to climb into a fig tree.”

Beng. Bengel.

Tert. Tertullian.

R R. Cod. Nitriensis Rescriptus, sæc. 8. Brought from a convent in the Nitrian desert about 1847, and now in the British Museum. Contains 1:1-13, 1:69-2:4, 16-27, 4:38-5:5, 5:25-6:8, 18-36, 39, 6:49-7:22, 44, 46, 47, 8:5-15, 8:25-9:1, 12-43, 10:3-16, 11:5-27, 12:4-15, 40-52, 13:26-14:1, 14:12-15:1, 15:13-16:16, 17:21-18:10, 18:22-20:20, 20:33-47, 21:12-22:15, 42-56, 22:71-23:11, 38-51. By a second hand 15:19-21.

1 Cyril argues that, because we have ταύτῃ and not ἐκείνῃ with τῇ�John 6:42, John 6:7:15, John 6:36, John 6:49, John 6:9:16, John 6:12:34.


D. B. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2nd edition.

1 “The number three seems here, as in the three years (ver. 7), to denote a period of time as complete in itself, with a beginning, middle, and end” (Andrews, L. of our Lord, p. 396). Universi tamporis requisiti ad opus suum perfectio significatur (Cajetan).

Wsctt. Westcott.

2 Maldonatus, whom Trench approves, makes the πλήν signify, “Although I must die on the third day, yet threats will not interfere with My continuing My work until then” Rather, “Although I must go to Jerusalem, yet a is not threats which send Me thither.”

1 But perhaps even in the case of the Baptist the hierarchy at Jerusalem had a hand. was “delivered up” by some party. Comp. παραδοθῆναι (Mark 1:14), παρεδόθη (Matthew 4:12).


1 Hier sind alle Ausflüchte vergebens, und man muss bekennen: sind diess wirkliche Worte Jesu, so muss or öfter and länger, als es den synoptischen Berichten nack scheint, in Jerusalem thätig gewesen sein (L. J. 1864, p. 249).

G G. Cod. Harleianus, sæc. ix. In the British Museum. Contains considerable portions.

Δ̠Δ. Cod. Sangallensis, sæc. ix. In the monastery of St. Gall in Switzerland. Greek and Latin. Contains the whole Gospel.

Latt. Latin.

1 Not only do א B K L M P X, Syr. Boh. Arm. and omit ἤξει ὅτε, but no authorities insert the words Matthew 23:39, which adds to the weight of the evidence against ban here.

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Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Luke 13". International Critical Commentary NT. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/luke-13.html. 1896-1924.