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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 19

Verse 1

Luke 19:1 . Διήρχετο , was passing through ) Therefore Zaccheus must have lived in the farther part of the town, and that tree was in the town itself.

Verse 2

Luke 19:2 . Ἀρχιτελώνης , a chief among the publicans ) A person very high in position among people of his own class; and one whose example, in being converted, it is probable that many followed. πλούσιος , rich ) Through this rich man’s example the evil [204] is remedied, which another rich man had caused by his example: ch. Luke 18:23 .

[204] The confusion of ideas , whereby many might think riches presented an insuperable barrier to entrance into heaven: see ch. Luke 18:26-27 . Therefore Beng. uses the expression turbârat in the following clause: “Quod exemplum suo turbârat dives alius.” E. and T.

Verse 3

Luke 19:3 . Εζήτει , he was seeking ) Therefore he had known Jesus before by face.

Verse 4

Luke 19:4 . Προδραμὼν , having run on before ) with great eagerness. ἀνέβη , he climbed up ) External etiquette and manners would not allow a man of rank to climb up into a tree; but faith conquers every other consideration. συκομορέαν , a sycamore ) The sycamore, a tree of a nature standing midway between a fig-tree and a mulberry tree; a tree which grows to a great height. Comp. ch. Luke 17:6 , note. ἐκείνης ) viz. ὁδοῦ , χώρας . There is an ellipsis of διὰ , as in ch. Luke 5:19 , where see the note. Some have supplied the διά . [205]

[205] Rec. Text has δἰ ἐκείνης : a has “per illa parte.” But ABQ have ἐκείνης only; bc “illâ parte:” Vulg. and d , ‘inde.’ E. and T.

Verse 5

Luke 19:5 . Ζακχαῖε , Zaccheus ) Zaccheus could not but both have wondered and rejoiced at his being thus addressed by name. σήμερον , to-day ) See Luke 19:9 . οἴκῳ , at thy house ) See again Luke 19:9 . δεῖ με , I must ) for the sake of thy salvation. See Luke 19:10 .

Verse 7

Luke 19:7 . Πάντες διεγόγγυζον , they all began murmuring ) rather from a doubt [as to the propriety of His proceeding] as concerns the greater portion of them [ i.e. as distinguished from “the Pharisees and the Scribes”], than with a feeling of indignation. [Comp. ch. Luke 15:2 . V. g.] εἰσῆλθε , He went in ) and that, too, of His own accord, engaging Himself to be the guest of a publican, a thing which on other occasions He was not wont to do. [This act is going even yet further than the act of eating with sinners in the way which is mentioned in ch. Luke 15:2 ; Luke 15:5 ; Luke 15:30 . V. g.]

Verse 8

Luke 19:8 . Σταθεὶς , taking his stand, standing forth ) [See note on ch. Luk 18:11 ] with deliberate and ready mind. τὰ ἡμίση ) The Plural. So the LXX., Joshua 13:31 [ τοῖς ἡμίσεσιν υἱοῖς ]. ἐσυκοφάντησα , I have defrauded [“by false accusation”]) An ingenuous confession, accompanied with voluntary restitution. [ τετραπλοῦν , fourfold ) according to the law. For Zaccheus was an Israelite, as appears from Luke 19:9 . His Hebrew name is in accordance with this view. V. g.]

Verse 9

Luke 19:9 . Πρὸς ) to him: and yet not directly [“ in reference to him”]. Comp. the use of πρὸς ; in Romans 10:21 [ πρὸς δὲ τὸν Ἰσραὴλ λέγει , “but (in reference) to Israel He saith”]. σήμερον , this day ) There may be hereby denoted the day on which a man, who was heretofore lost, begins to be one of Christ’s own people. See Philippians 1:5 [“Your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now”]; Acts 2:41 ; Acts 16:34 . Comp. John 4:52 . σωτηρία , salvation ) So in Luke 19:10 , σῶσαι , to save . The word accords with the meaning of the name Jesus , [ God-Saviour ]. οἴκῳ , to this house ) which had been lately in bad repute. For the most part, the faith of the head of a family is followed by the members of the household. αὐτὸς ) himself , the chief person of the house. υἱὸς Ἀβραὰμ , a son of Abraham ) as even the Hebrew name of Zaccheus shows.

Verse 10

Luke 19:10 . Τὸ ἀπολωλὸς , that which was lost ) viz. which had been lost (undone), both in the way of a loss negatively (‘amissionem,’ a losing by carelessness or inadvertence) and in the way of positive destruction (‘interitum,’ death, ruin). For the participle ἀπολωλὸς [that which was both lost and destroyed ] corresponds to the two verbs, ζητῆσαι καὶ σῶσαι , to seek and to save . It was for this purpose that the Saviour came to the sinner, to his house.

Verse 11

Luke 19:11 . Προσθεὶς εἶπε , He added and spake ) Therefore the parable which follows has a most close connection with the preceding incidents; as also with what follows, Luke 19:28 . δοκεῖ , on account of their thinking ) The Hebrews think that the Messiah will collect together in Galilee the brethren scattered in the world, and will lead them to the city of Jerusalem, as the seat of His kingdom: that He will thus commence His reign, and will much frequent the Mount of Olives. The aspect of things at that time was not unlike this. [Nor was their opinion erroneous in itself; but they formed their conception of the event rather out of the due season for it. V. p.] The Lord teaches them the true judgment which they ought to form. See Luke 19:27 ; Luke 19:41 . ἀναφαίνεσθαι , to make its appearance ) in a manifest and visible manner on earth and in the city, and this without the agency of human power.

Verse 12

Luke 19:12 . Εὐγενὴς , noble ) Truly the nobility of Jesus was the highest nobility of all. Whereas they at the time did not suppose that He had as much ‘authority’ as He gave even to His servants. See Luke 19:17 . [We may conclude, from the close connection of the discourse in Luke with what immediately precedes, that this parable is distinct from that which is recorded in Matthew 24:14 ; Mark 13:34 . Harm. , p. 437.] μακρὰν , a far off ) viz. in heaven. λαβεῖν , that He might take [ receive ]) as if an Italian nobleman should seek, in the Emperor’s court in Germany, the sovereignty over his fellow-countrymen. ἑαυτῷ ) for (to) Himself , by His own power. βασιλείαν , a kingdom ) To this refer the βασιλεῦσαι , reign , in Luke 19:14 : see also Luke 19:15 ; Luke 19:27 . ὑποστρέψαι , that he might return ) viz. from heaven, to His servants. See Luke 19:15 .

Verse 13

Luke 19:13 . Δέκα , ten ) To the several servants a pound [206] a-piece. πραγματεύσασθε , trade with this [Engl. Ver. occupy ]) This commandment accords in sense with that noted one, γίνεσθε καλοὶ τραπεζῖται , be good bankers (Make the most of your money). ἔρχομαι , I come ) “I come,” He says; not, “I return.” The second Advent is much the more solemn [more attended with outward state and majesty] of the two. [Therefore the first Advent is so eclipsed by the second, that the latter is not called His return , but His coming .]

[206] Mina , strictly L.4, Is. 3d. in Attic coinage. E. and T.

Verse 14

Luke 19:14 . Πολῖται , citizens ) as the people of Jerusalem were. ἐμισοῦν , conceived a hatred towards Him) See Luke 19:47 . ἀπέστειλαν , sent ) after His departure. τοῦτον , this fellow) They speak contemptuously.

Verse 15

Luke 19:15 . Ἐπανελθεῖν , when He was returned ) This has reference to the advent of Christ in glory. βασιλείαν , the kingdom ) the actual government. φωνηθῆναι , to be called ) by His angels.

Verse 16

Luke 19:16 . Ἡ μνᾶ σου , thy pound [mina]) The servant ascribes the power not to himself, but to the goodness of his Lord.

Verse 17

Luke 19:17 . Δέκα , ten ) It is not for the one pound (mina) given, but for the ten which he had gained, that the reward is given. This implies degrees of rewards. Comp. Luke 19:19 . πόλεων , cities ) A city is the reward for each pound (mina) gained: and yet not even a cottage [much less a city] could be purchased for a pound [mina]. Great is the grandeur and variety of things in the kingdom of God, although they are not yet known to us.

Verse 20

Luke 19:20 . Ἕτερος , another [207] ) who is contrasted with the two former servants. ἘΝ ) in a napkin, which affords no means of reproduction or increase.

[207] And a different character, as ἕτερος implies. E. and T.

Verse 22

Luke 19:22 . Ἐκ τοῦ στόματός σου , out of thine own mouth ) To the ungodly, the inner principles on which the Divine judgments are based, are not disclosed; but they are convicted in a way merely proportioned to their own capabilities of comprehension.

Verse 23

Luke 19:23 . Τραπέζαν , the counting-table ) in our days, the Bank .

Verse 24

Luke 19:24 . Παρεστῶσιν , unto them that stood by ) i.e. the Angels.

Verse 25

Luke 19:25 . Εἶπον , they said ) out of a feeling of admiring astonishment, free from envy.

Verse 26

Luke 19:26 . Γὰρ , for ) The interruption expressed in Luk 19:25 is passed by.

Verse 27

Luke 19:27 . Ἐχθροὺς , enemies ) now no longer citizens ; for they had hated Him, Luke 19:14 . ἐκείνους , those ) Join this word with ἐχθροὺς : comp. note [208] . For ἐκείνους , those , has reference to Luke 19:14 , and from it the appellation, enemies , is here inferred. [209] ἘΠʼ ΑὐΤΟῪς ) The reciprocal pronoun (“over themselves ”). κατασφάξατε , slay ) Implying degrees of punishments. Comp. [the case of these enemies with that of the unprofitable servant, Luk 19:24 ] Luke 19:26 . ἔμπροσθέν μου , before me, in my presence ) A just spectacle.

[208] And a different character, as ἕτερος implies. E. and T.

[209] Therefore ἐκείνους is the better reading, supported as it is by A abc Vulg. and D (before τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ). Orig. 3,634 c , Lucif. BL Memph. read τούτους . Lachm. and Rec. Text adopt ἐκείνους ; Tisch. τούτους . E. and T.

Verse 28

Luke 19:28 . Ἀναβαίνων , ascending up ) Going to meet the fulfilment of the parable.

Verse 29

Luke 19:29 . Ὡς , as ) [when]. The several points of time in His journey are accurately noted. So in Luke 19:36-37 ; Luke 19:41 ; Luke 19:45 . Ἐλαιῶν , of Olives ) See Luke 19:37 .

Verse 32

Luke 19:32 . Εὗρον , they found ) to their joy and the great augmentation of their faith. [They could not have been disappointed in obeying the command of Him, their Lord. V. g.]

Verse 33

[33. Αυόντων , as they were loosing ) in public, without having accosted or asked leave of any man. V. g.]

Verse 34

Luke 19:34 . Εἶπον , they said ) using the same words as they had been commanded to use.

Verse 37

Luke 19:37 . Ἐγγίζοντος , as He was coming nigh ) to the city. χαίροντες αἰνεῖν , with rejoicing to praise ) There were joined together hymns and rejoicings.

Verse 38

Luke 19:38 . [ Λέγοντες , saying ) The very prophecy which the Saviour had uttered in Galilee, ch. Luke 13:35 , was in this place fulfilled. Harm., p. 445. [210] ] βασιλεὺς , King ) It was a noble movement on the part of the people [although His external appearance was not kingly. V. g.]; but yet they did not understand in its deep significance what they were saying. Comp. Luke 19:11 , and John 12:16 . εἰρήνη ἐν οὐρανῷ , peace in heaven ) See note, ch. Luke 2:14 . [211]

[210] But see my note, Luke 13:35 , winch shows that the full accomplishment of the prophecy must be yet future: see below Luke 19:44 ; Luke 19:46 . E. and T.

[211] See also note, at the latter end, on Colossians 1:20 . Angels looked on men with displeasure, because of the sin of the latter. Jesus hath ‘reconciled’ the former to the latter by the atonement, and so there is “peace in heaven.” E. and T.

Verse 39

Luke 19:39 . Φαρισαίων , of the Pharisees ) Unseasonable interrupters. [Whatever is not common, and of an every-day kind, seems an excess to inflated and envious hypocrisy; but the Divine power knows of no opponent that can check it. Harm. , p. 445.]

Verse 40

Luke 19:40 . Οἱ λίθοι , the stones ) When power hath once gone forth from God, it does not return without accomplishing its purpose. It is wont to find something which it may rouse to act, whatever be the objects which come in its way. There were stones in that place. κεκράξονται ) The LXX. translators use this tense of the verb.

Verse 41

Luke 19:41 . Ἰδὼν , having beheld ) A new step in His approach to the city. The sight of it moved Him. It was on that very spot afterwards that the Roman siege of the city began. See on Matthew 24:15 . [ ἔκλαυσεν , He wept ) Behold before thee the compassionate King, amidst the very shouts of joy raised by His disciples! Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, and yet compels no man by force. (V. g.) But who shall endure the sword which proceedeth out of His mouth, when He shall appear, borne on the white horse? Revelation 19:11 , etc. Harm. , p. 446.] ἐπʼ αὐτῇ , [ over or] concerning it ) not [ over or] concerning Himself. Comp. ch. Luke 23:28 .

Verse 42

Luke 19:42 . Εἰ ) Would that! לוּ , which the LXX. render εἰ , Joshua 7:7 . ἔγνως , thou hadst known) the things which make for (belong unto) thy peace. Comp. Luke 19:44 [where, knowing the time of thy visitation, answers to, knowing the things which make for thy peace, here]. καὶ σὺ ) even thou, thou also, after the example of the disciples, Luke 19:37 . καί γε ) even truly (“at least,” Engl. Vers.), as yet [even still], after so many acceptable days. ἡμέρᾳ σου , in this thy day) A day altogether peculiar and extraordinary. See the end of Luke 19:44 ; Psalms 118:24 [“This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice,” etc.] ταύτῃ , in this) after so many other days, when thou mightest have taken measures to ensure thy salvation. τὰ ) This word depends upon ἔγνως . εἰρήνην , peace) In antithesis to οἱ ἐχθροί , enemies, in the following verse. [There is included in the idea heavenly peace; [212] comp. Luke 19:38 . V. g.] ἘΚΡΎΒΗ , they have been hidden ) also [213] by the just judgment of God.

[212] i.e. Peace with heaven. E. and T.

[213] Even as thou knewest not when thou mightest have known, so now, when thou wouldest wish, thou canst not know. E. and T.

Verse 43

Luke 19:43 . Ἡμέραι ) days , which shall be many: because thou dost not regard the one day. See Luke 19:42 . καὶ , καὶ , καὶ , and, and, and ) Three degrees of the straits to which they would be reduced. συνέξουσι , keep thee in, press hard upon ) Titus built a wall round the city, and thereby precluded the possibility of egress.

Verse 44

Luke 19:44 . Τὰ τέκνα σου , thy children ) The then existing age is denoted by this expression, extending to forty years subsequent, as in ch. Luke 23:28 ; Matthew 24:34 . ἐν σοὶ , in thee ) The people had been collected together at the time of the Passover, when the city was encompassed. [ λίθον ἐπὶ λίθῳ , a stone upon a stone [“one stone upon another”]) even in the very temple of the city. V. g.] ἀνθʼ ὧν , because ) The Jews, as Lightfoot observes, have assigned various causes, drawn from various sins, for their city being overthrown; the true cause is in this passage indicated. [ οὐκ ἔγνως , thou hast not known ) Romans 10:19 (“Did not Israel know?”); nor hast thou even wished to know, ch. Luke 13:34 (How often would I have gathered thy children, etc., and ye would not!). V. g.]

Verse 45

Luke 19:45 . [ Καὶ , and ) Noble zeal follows close upon His tears. V. g.] ἱερὸν , the temple ) the stronghold of religion, where, upon seeing His zeal, they ought to have known and acknowledged the things which belonged to their peace .

Verse 46

Luke 19:46 . Γέγραπται , it is written ) See Matthew 21:13 , note.

Verse 47

[47. Διδάσκων , teaching ) This was in the greatest degree becoming in the King. V. g. καθʼ ἡμέραν , day by day ) What a gracious ‘visitation!’ [Luke 19:44 .] V. g.] Luke 19:48 . ἐξεκρέματο ) ἡ δὲ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ ἐκκρέμαται ἐκ τῆς τούτου ψυχῆς , “For his life is hung upon suspended on [Engl. Vers. bound up in ] the life of this” lad, Genesis 44:30 . The assiduity of the people obstructed the approach of His enemies to Him.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 19". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.