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International Critical Commentary NT International Critical
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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Luke 14". International Critical Commentary NT. https://studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ icc/ luke-14.html. 1896-1924.
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Luke 14". International Critical Commentary NT. https://studylight.org/
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14:1-17:10. The Second Period of the Journey
This forms a new division of the section which has been styled “the Journeyings towards Jerusalem”: see on 9:51. The first portion of it (14:1-24) may be thus subdivided. A Sabbath-meal in the House of a Pharisee, including the Healing of a Dropsical Man on the Sabbath (1-6), a Discourse about taking the lowest seats (7-11) and inviting Lowly Guests (12-14), and the Parable of the Great Supper (15-24). The whole is peculiar to Lk., and probably comes from some source unknown to Mt. and Mk.
1-24. § A Sabbath-meal in the House of a Pharisee. Time and place are quite undetermined. The chief men among the Pharisees no doubt lived mostly at Jerusalem. Beyond that we have no clue.
1-6. The Cure of a Dropsical Man at the Sabbath-meal. The cure of the man with the withered hand (6:6-11; Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6) should be compared but not identified. Although Lk. records both cures, with very important differences of detail, Strauss and Keim maintain that this is a mere doublet of the other, and reject both. The style of the opening words indicates an Aramaic source.
Of the seven miracles of mercy on the Sabbath, Lk. records five: the Demoniac at Capernaum (4:31), the Withered Hand (6:6), the Woman bowed down eighteen years (13:14), Simon’s wife’s mother (4:38), and this. The others are: the Paralytic at Bethesda (John 5:10), the Man born blind (John 9:14).
1. Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἐλθεῖν αὐτό́ν. “And it came to pass after He had entered” (aor.), not “as He entered” (AV.) nor “when He entered” (RV.): cum intrasset or introisset (some MSS, of Vulg.) rather than cum intraret (Vulg.). See on 3:21 and the note at the end of ch. i. p. 45.
καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦσαν παρατηρούμενοι αὐτόν. Lk.’s favourite construction. See on 5:14 and 6; 20. The καὶ introduces the apodosis of ἐγένετο: “it came to pass … that the Pharisees themselves were persistently watching Him.” For παρατηρεῖσθαι of interested and sinister espionage see on 6:7. Excepting Mark 3:2 and Galatians 4:10, verb occurs only in Lk. (20:20; Acts 9:24).
The translation “were there, watching” is erroneous: ἦσαν παρατηρούμενοι is the periphrastic imperf. It is also an error to carry on the construction of ἐγένετο beyond ver. 1: vv. 1 and 2 are quite independent statements.
2. καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπός τι̣ς. We are left in doubt whether the man was placed there as a trap, which the absence of γάρ does not disprove, or was there by accident, or had come in the hope of being healed. The last is probable: but the ἰδού seems to imply that his presence was unexpected by the company, and perhaps by the host. He was probably not an invited guest, as�
ὑδρωπικός. Not elsewhere in bibl. Grk., but freq. in medical writers. The disease seems to be indicated as a curse Numbers 5:21, Numbers 5:22; comp. Psalms 109:18. Comp. Hor. Carm. ii. 2, 13.
θεραπεῦσαι ἢ οὔ.; Comp.�Acts 11:18, Acts 11:21:14; Job 32:6; Nehemiah 5:8.
The εἰ before ἔξεστι (A, Syrr. Arm.) probably comes from Matthew 12:10 (om. א B D L 59, Latt. divided). If it is genuine, comp. 13:23. Most of the authorities which insert εἰ have θεραπεύειν for θεραπεῦσαι (also from Matthew 12:10) and omit ἤ οὐ
4. ἐπιλαβόμενος ἰά́σατο. That the laying hold of him is to be regarded as the means of the cure is not certain. The touching in order to heal is more often expressed by ἅπτεσθαι (5:13, 22:51; Mark 1:41, Mark 1:7:33, Mark 1:8:22; Matthew 8:3, Matthew 8:15, Matthew 8:17:7, Matthew 8:20:34) or by ἐπιτιθέναι τὰς χεῖρας (4:40, 13:13; Mark 6:5, Mark 6:8:23, Mark 6:25, etc.). Both ἰᾶσαθαι (see small print on 5:17) and ἐπιλαβέσθαι (9:47, 20:20, 26, 23:26, etc.) are freq. in Lk. Christ read the man’s faith, as He read the hostility of the Pharisees, and responded to it.
ἀπέλυσεν. This probably means something more than the letting go after the ἐπιλαβόμενος, viz. “dismissed him” from the company, to prevent interference with him.
5. Τίνος ὑμῶν υἱὸς ἢ βοῦς. The emphatic word is ὑμῶν. “How do you act, when your interests are concerned? When your son, or even your ox, falls into a well?”1 Palestine abounds in unprotected cisterns, wells and pits. Wetst. quotes from the Mishna, Si in puteum bos aut asinus … filius aut filia. The argument is that what the Pharisees allowed themselves for their own benefit must be allowed to Christ for the benefit of others. Their Sabbath help had an element of selfishness; His had none.
The reading ὄνος ἢ βοῦς probably comes from 13:15. The correction was doubly tempting: 1. because υἱός seemed rather to spoil the à fortiori argument; 2. because ὄνος is more naturally coupled with βοῦς. Comp. Deuteronomy 22:4. The reading πρόβατον (D) for υἱός has a similar origin, while ὄϊς is a conjecture as the supposed original of both υἱός and ὄνος. The evidence is thus divided: υἱός A B A G D M S U V G D L etc., e f g Syrr., Cyr-Alex.—ὄνος א K L X Π, a b c i Syr-Sin. Vulg. Arm. Aeth. See WH. 2. App, p. 62; Sanday, App. to Grk. T. p. 120. The�
Note the Hebraistic construction instead of τίς ὑμῶν οὗ υἱὸς, κ.τ.λ., οὐθ εὐθέως�
6. οὐκ ἴσχυσαν�Acts 11:18, Acts 12:17, Acts 15:12, Acts 22:2). For the compound verb comp. Romans 9:20; Judges 5:29; Job 6:8, Job 32:12.
7-11. Discourse on choosing the Lowest Seats at Entertainents. We may suppose that the healing of the dropsical man preceded the meal. This now begins; and, as they settle round he tables, there is a manœuvring on the part of some of the guests to secure the best places. To suggest a comparison between healing the dropsy and dealing with duplicem animi hydropem, superbiæ tumorem et pecuniæ sitim is almost as fancifulas supposing that “falling into a well” is meant to refer to the dropsy. The latter supposition (Aug. Bade) still finds favour.
7. Ἔλεγεν δὲ … παραβολήν. Comp. 5:36, 13:6, 18:2. The “parable” is not in the form of a narrative, but in that of advice, which is thus called because it is to be understood metaphorically. Christ is not giving counsels of worldly wisdom or of good manners, but teaching a lesson of humility. Every one before God ought to feel that the lowest place is the proper place for him. There is no need to suppose that this was originally a parable in the more usual sense, and that Lk. has turned it into an exhortation; still less that ver. 7 is a fictitious introduction to a saying of which the historical connexion had been lost.
ἐπέχων. Sc. τὸν νοῦν: comp. Acts 3:5; 1 Timothy 4:16; Ecclus. 31:2. He directed His attention to this: not the same as its attracting or catching His attention. Syr-Sin. omits.
τὰς πρωτοκλισίας. In the mixture of Jewish, Roman, Greek, and Persian customs which prevailed in Palestine at this time, we cannot be sure which were the most honourable places at table. Josephus (Ant. xv. 2, 4) throws no light. But the Talmud says that, on a couch holding three, the middle place is for the worthiest, the left for the second, and the right for the third (Edersh. L. & T. 2. pp. 207, 494). Among the Greeks it was usual for each couch to have only two persons (Plat. Sym. 175 A, C), but both Greeks and Romans sometimes had as many as four an one couch. D. of Grk. and Rom. Ant. artt. Cena, Symposium, Triclinium; Beaker, Charicles, Sc. 6. Exc. 1.; Gallus, Sc. 9. Exc 1:2. Comp. Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39.
ἐξελέγοντο. “They were choosing out for themselves; eligebant (b c d e ff2) rather than eligerent (Vulg.).” The same thing seems to have taken place at the Last Supper (22:24), and the washing of the disciples’ feet may have been intended as a rebuke for this.
8. εἰς γάμους. Probably sing. in meaning; “to a wedding-feast”: see on 12:36. The meal at which his was said was an ordinary one, as is shown by φαγεῖν ἄρτον (ver. 1), the common Hebrew phrase for a meal (ver. 15; Matthew 15:2; Mark 3:20; Genesis 37:25, 43:16; Exodus 2:20, etc.). Jesus singles out a marriage, not perhaps because such a feast is a better type of the Kingdom of God, but because on such occasions there is more formality, and notice must be taken of the rank of the guests.
κατακλιθῇς. Peculiar to Lk. in N.T. (7:36, 9:14, 24:30): see on 9:14.
9. ὁ σὲ καὶ αὐτὸν καλέσας. It is misplaced ingenuity to render, “thee thyself also,” dich auch selbst. “Thee and him,” te et illum (Vulg.), is right. His inviting both gave him the right to arrange both guests as he pleased. Contrast 2:35.
ἐρεῖ. For the change from subjunct. to fut. indic. comp. 12:58. See also ἐρεῖ after ἵνα, ver. 10.
Δὸς τούτῳ τόπον … τὸν ἔσχατον τόπον. Here AV. is inferior to all previous versions. Vulg. has locum in both places. Luth. omits in both. Tyn. Cov. Cran. Gen. have “rowme” in both: Wic. and Rhem. “place” in both. “The lowest room” means “the lowest Place”; but in that case “give this man room” should precede. Otherwise “lowest room” will seem to mean the bottom chamber. See Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 267.
“Thou hast set my feet in a large room” (Psalms 31:8), i.e. in abundant space (Psalms 18:19). Bishop Hall calls Pope Pius 11. “as learned as hath sat in that zooms this thousand yeeres” (Letters, Dec, 2.Eph_3). Davies, Bible English, p. 152. Comp. Ter. Heaut. iii. 3, 25. Sy. Jube hunc abire hinc aliquo. Cl. Quo ego hinc abeam? Sy. Quo? quo libet: da illis locom. Abi deambulatum. Cl. Deambulatum? Quo? Sy. Vah, quasi desit locu.
ἄρξῃ … κατέχειν. The ἄρξῃ marks the contrast between the brief self-assumed promotion and the permanent merited humiliation. Comp. Proverbs 25:6, Proverbs 25:7, which Christ seemed to have had in His mind. The displaced guest goes from top to bottom, becausethe intermediate places have meanwhile been filled.
10. ἵνα … ἐρεῖ σοι. Perhaps ἵνα is here used ἐβατικῶς, of the result rather than of the purpose: “so that he will say to thee.” But if the idea of purpose be retained, it is Christ’s purpose in giving the advice, not the purpose with which the hearer is to adopt the advice. There 1s no recommendation of “the pride that apes humility,” going to a low place in order to be promoted. See small print on 20:10.
The fut. indic. after ἵνα is common in late Greek: 20:10; Mark 15:20; John 7:3, John 7:17:2; Acts 21:24; Galatians 2:4, etc. Win. 41. b. 1, p. 360; Simcox, Lang. of N.T. p. 109; Burton., § 199.
προσανάβηθι�Proverbs 25:7). The verb is classical and frequent in LXX, esp. in Joshua of geographical description (11:17, 15:3, 6, 7, 18:12, 19:11, 12; Exodus 19:23, etc.). The adv. occurs elsewhere in bibl. Grk. only Hebrews 10:8; comp.�Nehemiah 3:25),�Acts 16:24; Hebrews 6:19), κατώτερος (Ephesians 4:9).
ἐνώπιον πάντων. Both words are characteristic: see on 1:15 and 6:30. The π ά ν τ ω ν is unquestionably to be retained (א A B L X 1, 33 69, Syrr. Boh. Aeth.).
11. πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτόν. One of our Lord’s repeated utterances: 18:14; Matthew 23:12. In all three places AV. spoils the antithesis by varying the translation of ταπεινόω, “abase,” “humble.” The saying here guards against the supposition that Christ is giving mere prudential rules of conduct or of good taste. Humility is the passport to promotion in the Kingdom of God. Comp. for the first half 10:15; and for the second half James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6. Note that while Lk. in both places has πᾶς with the participle (see on 1:66), Mt. has ὅστις.
12-14. The Duty of inviting Lowly Guests. The previous discourse was addressed to the guests (ver. 7): this is addressed to the host. It is a return for his hospitality. We cannot be sure that all the other guests were of the upper classes, and that this moved Jesus to utter a warning. Some of His disciples may have been with Him, and they were not wealthy. Still less may we assert that, if all the other guests were of the upper classes, this was wrong. All depends upon whether the motive for hospitality was selfish. But it is wrong to omit benevolence to the poor, in whose case the selfish motive is excluded. As before, we have a parable in a hortatory form; for Jesus is not merely giving rules for the exercise of social hospitality.
12. Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ τῷ κεκληκότι αὐτόν. “But He was saying to him also that had bidden Him”; qui invitaverat eum (d f), invitanti eum (δ), invitatori (a b c ff2 i l q r) : convivatori suo benigne rependens, πνευματικὰ�
κάλει πτωχούς,�Nehemiah 8:10.
14. μακάριος ἔσῃ, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχουσιν�Romans 11:35; 1 Thessalonians 3:9; in a bad sense, Romans 12:19; Hebrews 10:30. The�
ἐν τῇ�1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20:5, Revelation 20:6. If so, this is the�Acts 4:2; Philippians 3:11; 1 Peter 1:3: comp. Mark 9:9, Mark 9:12:25; Matthew 17:9; Galatians 1:1), which implies that some are for the present left upraised, as distinct from the�Acts 17:32; 1 Corinthians 15:12, 1 Corinthians 15:21; Hebrews 6:2), which is the general resurrection. See Lft. on Philippians 3:11. But τῶν δικαίων may be added merely to indicate the character of those who practise disinterested benevolence.
15-24. The Parable of the Great Supper. The identity of this with the Parable of the Marriage of the King’s Son, often called the Parable of the Wedding Garment (Matthew 22:1-14), will continue to be discussed, for the points of similarity and of difference are both of them so numerous that a good case may be made for either view. But the context, as well as the points of difference, justifies a distinction. The parable in Mt. is a comment on an attempt to arrest Christ (21:46), and tells of rebels put to death for insulting and killing their sovereign’s messengers; this is a comment on a pious remark, perhaps ignorantly or hypocritically made, and tells of discourteous persons who, through indifference, lose the good things to which they were invited. It is much less severe in tone than the other; and even in those parts which are common to the two has very little similarity of wording.
15. τις τῶν συνανακειμένων. “The resurrection of the just” suggests the thought of the Kingdom, and this guest complacently assumes that he will be among those who will enjoy it. With this introductory incident comp. 10:25-30, 12:13-15, 15:1-3.
φάγεται ἄρτον. A Hebraism: comp. ver. 1; 2 Samuel 9:7, 2 Samuel 9:10; 2 Kings 4:8, etc., and see on ver. 8. It points to the Jewish idea that the Messianic age will be inaugurated by a banquet and will be a prolonged festival (Isaiah 25:6). The reading ἄριστον (A H M S U V Γ) is a mere corruption of ἄρτον.
16. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ. “But He said to him” (Rhem.). “And” (Wic.) and “Then” (Tyn. Gen. AV.) obscure the fact that Christ is opposing the comfortable self-complacency of the speaker. What he says is correct, but the spirit in which he says it is quite wrong. Only those who are detached from earthly things, and treat them as of small account in comparison with the Kingdom of God, will enter therein.
ἐποίει δεῖπνον μέγα. “Was about to make a great supper,” similar to that at which Jesus was now sitting. One might expect the mid., but comp. ver. 12; Acts 8:2; Xen. Anab. iv. 2. 23. The πολλούς are the Jews who observe the Law. In Mt. it is ἄνθρωπος βασιλεύς who made a marriage-feast for his son.
17. τὸν δοῦλον. The vocator, who was sent to remind them, according to custom, and not because they were suspected of unwillingness.1 Comp. Esther 5:8, Esther 6:14. This custom still prevails. To omit the second summons would be “a grievous breach of etiquette, equivalent to cancelling the previous more general notification. To refuse the second summons would be an insult, which is equivalent among the Arab tribes to a declaration of war” (Tristram, Eastern Customs, p. 82). The δοῦλος represents God’s messengers to His people, and specially the Baptist and Jesus Christ. Comp. Matthew 11:28-30.
Ἔπχεσεθ, ὅτι ἤδη ἕτοιμά ἐστιν. The true reading may be ἔρχεσθαι (א A D K L P R D) to follow εἰπεῖν (Syr-Sin.), dicere invitatis ut venirent (Vulg.). See small print note on 19:13. But the πάντα after ἐστιν (A P, Syr-Sin. Vulg, f) or before ἔτοιμα (D, a e) comes from Matthew 22:4. א* B L R, b c ff2 il q omit.
18. ἤρξαντο�Acts 25:11; Act_2 Mac. 2:31). In Jos. Ant. vii. 8. 2. the verb is used, exactly as here, of excusing oneself from an invitation. They ought to have excused themselves when the first invitation came, if at all. Their begging off now was breaking their promise; and the excuses were transparently worthless. In Mt. there is no begging off. Those invited simply�
ἀπὸ μιᾶς The expression is unique in Greek literature. Comp.�
ἔχω�1 Corinthians 7:37; Hebrews 7:27; Jude 1:3; and the insertion Luke 23:17. Not in LXX.
ἔχε με παρῃτημένον. It is doubtful whether this is a Latinism, habe me excusatum, i.e. “Consider me as one who has obtained indulgence.”1 But certainly με, which is enclitic, cannot be emphatic: “Whatever you do about others, I must be regarded as excused.” This would require ἐμέ, and before rather than after ἔχε. Comp. οὐ θαρροῦντά με ἕξεις (Xen. Cyr. iii. I. 35).
19. πορεύομαι. “I am on my way.” He pleads no�
20. οὐ δύναμαι. He is confident that this is unanswerable. See On ver. 26 “When a man taketh a new wife, he shall not go out in the host, neither shall he be charged with any business: he shall be free at home one year” (Deuteronomy 24:5). Comp. Hdt.
21. The πάντες (ver. 18) probably means more than three. But three suffice as examples. Some said that they would not come now; others declared that they could not come at all. Comp. the parable of the Pounds, where three servants are samples of the whole ten, and represent two classes (19:16-21).
Ἔξελθε ταχέως. Not because his anger makes him impatient; but because he has no intention of putting off anything to please the discourteous persons who have insulted him. He goes on with his arrangements at once.
εἰς τὰς πλατείας καὶ π̔ύμας. We have the same combination Isaiah 15:3. This use of π̔ύμη is late: Acts 9:11, Acts 9:12:10; Ecclus. 9:7; Tobit 13:18. A lane resembles a stream; and the original sense of π̔ύμη is the rush or flow of what is in motion. See Kennedy, Sources of N. T. Greek, p. 16. The two words combined stand for the public places of the town, in which those who have no comfort able homes are likely to be found. Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:26-28.
τοὺς πτωχοὺς καὶ�Matthew 22:9, Matthew 22:10.
εἰσάγαγε ὧδε. See on 2:27. It is assumed that they can be “brought in” at once, without formal invitation. They are not likely to refuse. The mixture of guests of all classes is still seen at Oriental entertainments.
22. κύριε, γέγονεν ὂ ἐπέταξας. He executes the order, and then makes this report. There is no ἤδη, and we are not to suppose that he had anticipated his master’s order; which would have been audacious officiousness, and could hardly have been done without his master’s knowledge.
ἔτι τόπος ἐστίν. Comp. ver. 9. No such expression is found in Matthew 22:10. It is added because the servant knows that his master is determined to fill all the places, and that the banquet cannot begin till this is done.
23. φραγμούς. “Hedges”(φράσσω = “I fence in”): Matthew 21:33 ; Mark 12:1. Just as πλατεῖαι καὶ π̔ῦμαι represent the public roads inside the city, so ὁδοὶ καὶ φραγμοί the public roads outside the city; and this command is invitation to the heathen.
ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν. By persuasion. A single servant could not use force, and those who refused were not dragged in. Comp. Mark 6:45 |7verbar; and παρεβιάσαντο (24:29; Acts 16:15). The text gives no sanction to religious persecution. By showing that physical force was not used it rather condemns it.
ἵνα γεμισθῇ μου ὁ οἶκος. Nec natura nec gratia patitur vacuum (Beng.). We are not told the result of this third invitation; but we may conclude that the Gentiles fill the void which the unbelief of the Jews has left (Romans 11:25). In Mt. the result of the second invitation is ἐπλήσθη ὀ νυμφών, and there is no third. Augustine interprets this third summons as a call to heretics, which cannot be correct.
24. λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν. Solemn introduction of the main point of the parable. The transition from sing. (ἔξελθε) to plur. (ὑμῖν) is variously explained. (1) That some of the πτωχοί (ver. 21) are present and are included in the address. (2) That there is a transition from the parable to its application, and Christ speaks half as the host to his servant and others, and half in His own person to the Pharisee and his guests. (3) That the host addresses, not only the servant, but all who may hear of what he has done. In favour of (2) we must not quote 11:8, 15:7, 10, 16:9, 18:14; Matthew 21:43. In all these places it is Jesus who is addressing the audience; not a person in the parable who sums up the result. Here the ἐκείνων and the μου show that the latter is the case. In Mt. the conclusion to the parable is πολλοὶ γάρ εἰσιν κλητοί, ὀλίγοι δὲ ἐκλεκτοί (22:14), and these are the words of Christ, not of the βασιλεύς.
25-35. § Warnings against Precipitancy and Half-heartedness in Following Christ. The Parables of the Rash Builder, the Rash King, and the Savourless Salt. The section has been called “The Conditions of Discipleship.” These are four. 1. The Cross to be borne (25-27; Matthew 10:37, Matthew 10:38). 2. The Cost to be counted (28-32). 3. All Possessions to be renounced (33). 4. The Spirit of Sacrifice to be maintained (34, 35; Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:49).
The journeying continues, but we are not told the direction; and a large multitude is following. They are disposed to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, and that the crisis of the Kingdom is at hand. They therefore keep close to Him, in order not to miss any of the expected glories and blessings. This fact is the occasion of the address. They must understand that following Him involves great deal. Like the guest in the Pharisee’s house (ver. 15), they have no realized what the invitation to enter the Kingdom implies.
25. Σενεπορεύοντο δὲ αὐτῷ “Now there were going with Him,” of what continued for some time. Comp, 7:11, 24:15. Elsewhere only Mark 10:1 of people assembling, but often in LXX (Genesis 13:5, Genesis 14:24, Genesis 18:16, etc.).
26. οὐ μισεῖ τὸν πατέρα ἑαυτοῦ, κ.Τ.λ.. Does not hate them so far as they are opposed to Christ. The context and the parallel passages (Matthew 6:24, Matthew 10:37) show that the case supposed is one in which choice must be made between natural affection and loyalty to Christ. In most cases these two are not incompatible; and to hate one’s parents as such would be monstrous (Matthew 15:4). But Christ’s followers must be ready, if necessary, to act towards what is dearest to them as if it were an object of hatred. Comp. John 12:25. Jesus, as often, states a principle in a startling way, and leaves His hearers to find out the qualifications. Comp. 6:29, 30; Matthew 19:12. The καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα here is a comment, whether designed or not, on γυναῖκα ἔγημα in ver. 20. Comp. 18:29.
τὴν ψυχὴν ἑαυτοῦ. Not merely his carnal desires, but his life (9:24, 12:23); all his worldly interests and affections, including life itself. Nec tamen sufficit nostra relinquere, nisi relinquamus et nos (Greg. Mag. Hom. 32.). So that μισεῖν τὴν ψυχὴν ἑαυτοῦ is�
27. οὐ βαστάζει τὸν σταυρὸν ἑαυτοῦ. Comp. 9:23; Matthew 10:38, Matthew 10:16:24; Mark 8:34. Only here and John 19:17 is βαστάζειν used of the cross; here figuratively, there literally. “Carrying his own cross” would be a familiar picture to many of Christ’s hearers. Hundreds had been crucified in Galilee for rebellion under Judas the Gaulonite (a.d. 6). See Deissmann, Bible Studies, p. 102.
In Late Gk. βαστάζειν seems to be more common than φέρειν, when the carrying is figurative. LXX of 2 Kings 18:14; Job 21:3. It is specially common in the later versions of Aq. Sym. and Theod. All three have it Isaiah 40:11, 66:12; Jeremiah 10:5: and both Sym. and Theod. have it Proverbs 9:12, Isaiah 63:9. But in none of these places does it occur in LXX.
28-33. Two Parables upon Counting the Cost: the Rash Builder and the Rash King. Comp. Matthew 20:22; Mark 10:38. It is possible that in both parables Jesus was alluding to recent instances of such folly. It was an age of ostentatious buildng and breckless warfare. The connexion with what precedes (γάρ) seems to be that becoming a disciple of Christ is at least as serious a matter as any costly or dangerous undertaking.
28. τίς γὰρ ἐξ ὑμῶν θέλων. “For which of you (see on 11:5), if he wishes.”
καθίσας. In both parables (ver. 31) this represents long and serious consideration. The matter cannot be settled off-hand Comp. Virg. Aen. x. 159.
ψηφίζει. “Calculates” (ψῆφος = calculus). In class. Gk. commonly in mid. of voting. Comp. Revelation 13:18: not in LXX. Neither�1 Kings 9:25); also in Aq. and Sym. See Suicer,�
29. μὴ ἰσχύοντος ἐκτελέσαι. “Not having the means to finish.” For ἐκτελεῖν comp. Deuteronomy 32:45; 1 Kings 14:15 ; 2 Chronicles 4:5; 2Ch_2 Mac. 15:9; Dan. 3:40 (Theod.). Not elsewhere in N.T.
30. οὗτος. Contemptuous: 5:21, 7:39, 13:32, where see reff. The lesson conveyed is not so much, “It is better not to begin, than to begin and fail,” as, “It is folly to begin without much consideration.”
31. συνβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον. To be taken together: “to engage with another king for the purpose of war.” The verb. is intrans., as 1 Mac. 4:34; Mal_2 Mac. 8:23, 14:17; and often in Polyb. The more common expression is συμβάλλειν εἰς μάχην (Jos. Ant. vi. 5. 3: so also in Polyb.). Comp. confligere.
ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν. “Equipped with ten thousand,” a meaning which readily flows from “clad in, invested with.” Comp. 1:17; Romans 15:29 ; 1 Corinthians 4:21 ; Hebrews 9:25; Jude 1:14. The very phrase occurs 1 Mac. 4:29.
32 εἰ δὲ μήγε. See small print on 5:36.
ἐρωτᾷ [τὰ] πρὸς εἰρήνην. “Asks for negociations with a view to peace.” The τά is omitted in אB (? homœotel.), and the meaning will then be, “negociates for peace.” B K P have εἰς for πρός (perhaps from ver. 28). Comp. 19:42 and examples in Wetst. There is a remarkable parallel to this second parable Xen. Mem. ii. 6. 8.
33. This verse shows the futility of asking what the tower means, and who the king with the twenty thousand Isa_2 These details are part of the framework of the parables, and by themselves mean nothing. The parables as a whole teach that to become Christ’s disciple involves something which ought to be well weighed beforehand. This something was explained before, and is shown in another form here, viz. complete self-renunciation.
ἀποτάσσεται πᾶσιν τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ ὑπάρχουσιν. “Renounceth all his own belongings,” the chief of which were specified ver. 26. See on 9:61 and 8:3. All disciples must be ready to renounce their possessions. Many of the first disciples were called upon actually to do so. Comp. the sarcasm of Julian : “In order that they may enter more easily into the Kingdom of Heaven in the way which their wonderful law bids them, I have ordered all the money of the Church of Edessa to be seized” (Ep. 43.). Note the characteristic πᾶς and πᾶσιν. Comp. 5:11, 28.
It is very forced to put a full stop a πᾶς ἐξ ὑμῶν, and make two independent sentences. “Such is the case therefore with all of you. Whoever renounceth not,” etc.
MSS. vary much as to the order of the three words εἶναί μου μαθητής.
34, 35. The Spirit of Sacrifice. The similitude respecting salt was probably uttered more than once, and in more than one form. Comp. Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50. The salt is the self-sacrifice spoken of vv. 26, 27, 33. The figure of salt is not found in O.T., but comp. Job 6:6.
34. καλὸν οὖν τὸ ἅλας. The οὖν (א B L Ξ 69, Boh.) perhaps refers to previous utterances: “Salt, therefore (as I have said before), is good.” Nihil utilius sale et sole (Plin. H. N. xxxi. 9, 45, 102).
ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τὸ ἅλας. The Καί (א B L Ξ, Vulg. codd. Syr., Bede) must be preserved. “But if even the salt.” In Matthew 5:13 there is no καί. Note the characteristic δὲ καί, and see small print on 3:9.
In LXX and N.T. ἄλας is the common form, with ἄλα as v.l. in good MSS. In class. Gk. ἄλς prevails.
In class. Gk. μωραίνω is “I am foolish” (Eur. Med. 614); in bibl. Grk. μωραίνομαι has this meaning (Romans 1:22; Matthew 5:13), μωραίνω being “I make foolish” (1 Corinthians 1:20). Mk. has ἄναλον γίνεσθαι. Vulg. has evanuerit; a d e infatuatum fuerit.
ἐν τίνι�Colossians 4:6).
35. It is futile to discuss what meaning is to be given to “the land” and “the dunghill.” They do not symbolize anything. Many things which have deteriorated or become corrupt are useful as manure, or to mix with manure. Savourless salt is not even of this much use: and disciples without the spirit of self-devotion are alike it. That is the whole meaning.1 If this saying was uttered only once, me may prefer the connexion here to that in the Sermon on the Mount. Mk. so far agrees with Lk. in placing it after the Transfiguration. But all three arrangements may be right.
κοπρίαν. The word is one of many which seem to be of a colloquial character, and are common to N.T. and the comic poets. See Kennedy, Sources of N.T. Grk. PP. 72-76. In N.T. only here. Comp. 13:8.
Ὃ ἔξων ὦτα�
1 There is possibly a reference to the wording of the fourth commandment, In which son stands first among the rational creatures possessed, and ox first among the irrational (Deuteronomy 5:14). But comp. Exodus 21:33.
G G. Cod. Harleianus, sæc. ix. In the British Museum. Contains considerable portions.
M M. Cod. Campianus, sæc. ix. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.
S S. Cod. Vaticanus, sæc. x. In the Vatican. The earliest dated MS. of the Greek Testament. Contains the whole Gospel.
U U. Cod. Nanianus, sæc. x. In the Library of St. Mark’s, Venice. Contains the whole Gospel.
K K. Cod. Cyprius, sæc. ix. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.
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.
WH. Westcott and Hort.
Edersh. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
Rhem. Rheims (or Douay).
Win. Winer, Grammar of N.T. Greek (the page refers to Moulton’s edition).
Burton. Burton, N.T. Moods and Tenses.
C. Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, sæc. 5. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the following portions of the Gospel: 1:2-2:5, 2:42-3:21, 4:25-6:4, 6:37-7:16, or 17, 8:28-12:3, 19:42-20:27, 21:21-22:19, 23:25-24:7, 24:46-53.
These four MSS. are parts of what were once complete Bibles, and are designated by the same letter throughout the LXX and N.T.
1 The form�
2 Those who insist on explaining the king with the twenty thousand commonly make him mean Satan. But would Christ suggest that we should come to terms with Satan? To avoid this difficulty others regard the as representing God. But would Christ place the difference between the power of God and the power of man as the difference between twenty thousand and ten thousand? Contrast the ten thousand talents and the hundred pence ( Matthew 18:24, Matthew 18:28). See on 12:5 and 16:1.
Ξ̠Ξ. Cod. Zacynthius Rescriptus, sæc. viii. In the Library of the Brit. and For. Bible Soc. in London. Contains 1:1-9, 19-23, 27, 28, 30-32, 36-66, 1:77-2:19, 21, 22, 33-39, 3:5-8, 11-20, 4:1, 2, 6-20, 32-43, 5:17-36, 6:21-7:6, 11-37, 39-47, 8:4-21, 25-35, 43-50, 9:1-28, 32, 33, 35, 9:41-10:18, 21-40, 11:1, 2, 3, 4, 24-30, 31, 32, 33.
1 For this savourless salt in Palestine see Maundrell, Journey from Aleppo te Jerusalem, pp. 161 ff. (quoted by Morison on Mark 9:50); also Thomson, “I saw large quantities of it literally thrown into the street, to be trodden under foot of men and beasts” (Land & Book, p. 381).