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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Luke 19

Verse 1

37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,

41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it , gave praise unto God.

1 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

Ver. 1. And passed through Jericho ] "An accursed city,"John 6:26; John 6:26 ; 1 Kings 16:34 ; and yet Christ hath here a plentiful harvest, poor blind men, rich Zacchaeus; to show the truth of what he had affirmed in the former chapter, that a rich man also might possibly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 2

2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

Ver. 2. And behold ] This "behold" one compareth to a hand in the margin of a book, pointing to some notable matter. Another, to me sounding of a trumpet before some proclamation.

There was a man named Zacchaeus ] He should by his name have been a puritan (in the best sense), but, he was an arch-publican, a public sinner, not simple, but subtle, a griping extortioner, a rich but wretched sycophant. a

a An informer, tale-bearer, malicious accuser; a calumniator, traducer, slanderer. Obs. ŒD

Verse 3

3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

Ver. 3. Because he was little of stature ] τυτθος ανηρ : Homer. St Paul was but a little man (say some, and thence had his name) but of a notable spirit. Deus maximus est in minimis, saith one, et saepe compensat defectus corporis ingenii dotibus. God is much seen in small things; and he many times recompenseth defects in the body with gifts of the mind. Hence that of the poet,

" In parvo regnat corpore virtus. "

Verse 4

4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way .

Ver. 4. And he ran before ] Forgetful of his rank and quality. Rich men and rulers use not to run, much less to climb trees, as boys do for birds’ nests. But his earnest desire to see his Saviour, and especially a gracious impulse of the Holy Spirit, made him thus seemingly immodest, and unmindful of keeping a decorum.

Verse 5

5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

Ver. 5. Zacchaeus, make haste ] Christ is that good shepherd that knoweth all his sheep, and calleth them by name.

Make haste, and come down ] Heaven is a matter of greatest haste: we must not adjourn, as he did once, In crastinum seria, more weighty businesses till tomorrow.

Today I must abide at thy house ] Christ not only invites but even obtrudes himself as it were upon Zacchaeus: it is happy having such guests. He doth the same to us, when he sends unto us his poor servants to press upon our charity. Unworthy we are surely to give an alms to poor Christ, &c.

Verse 6

6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

Ver. 6. And he made haste and came down ] Gilbert Foliot, Bishop of London, A. D. 1161, misliking much Archbishop Becket’s pride and obstinace, would often exhort him to humility in these words, Ad Zacchaeum non divertisset Dominus, nisi de sycomoro iam descendisset, i.e. Christ had never dined with Zacchaeus, had he not first yielded to come down from the sycamore tree.

Verse 7

7 And when they saw it , they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

Ver. 7. They all murmured ] So corrupt was their judgment concerning the offices and condition of the Messiah; so ill set were their affections, that themselves neglecting the grace of God that was offered, they take it ill that any other should partake of it.

By false accusation ] After the manner of sycophants, εσυκοφαντησα . It seems it was his practice, that if any had spoken aught against him; he accused them as wrongers of the law, and that he did nothing to them but what he had law for.

a An informer, tale bearer, malicious accuser; a calumniator, traducer, slanderer. Obs. ŒD

Verse 8

8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Ver. 8. The half of my goods ] See the like in Tyre converted,Isaiah 23:17-18; Isaiah 23:17-18 .

I restore him fourfold ] Which was the law for things stolen. Fraud is no better than theft. Restitution is necessary to remission of sin. God hates holocaustum ex rapina, burnt offerings from stolen goods, as Sultan Selymus could tell his counsellor Pyrrhus, who persuaded him to bestow the great wealth he had taken from the Persian merchants, upon some notable hospital for relief of the poor. The dying Turk commanded it rather to be restored to the right owners, which was done accordingly; to the great shame of many Christians, who mind nothing less than restitution, &c. When Henry III of England had sent the friar Minors a load of frieze a to clothe them, they returned the same with this message, that he ought not to give alms of what he had rent from the poor, neither would they accept of that abominable gift. Master Latimer saith, "If ye make no restitution of goods detained, ye shall cough in hell, and the devils will laugh at you." Henry VII in his last will and testament, after the disposition of his soul and body, he devised and willed restitution should be made of all such monies as had unjustly been levied by his officers. Queen Mary restored again all ecclesiastical livings assumed to the Crown, saying, that she set more by the salvation of her own soul than she did by 10 kingdoms. A bull came also from the pope at the same time, that all others should do the like, but none did. Latimer tells us that the first day that he preached about restitution, one came and gave him 20 lib. to restore. The next day another brought him 30 lib. Another time another gave him 200 lib. Mr Bradford hearing Latimer on that subject was struck in the heart for one dash of a pen which he had made without the knowledge of his master, and could never be quiet till, by the advice of Mr Latimer, restitution was made, for which he did willingly forego all the private and certain patrimony which he had on earth. I myself (saith Mr Burroughs) knew one man that had wronged another but of five shillings, and fifty years after could not be quiet till he had restored it.

a A kind of coarse woollen cloth, with a nap, usually on one side only; now esp. of Irish manufacture. ŒD

Verse 9

9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

Ver. 9. He also is a son of Abraham ] That is, freely elected,Romans 9:1; Romans 9:1 , a follower of Abraham’s faith,Romans 4:12; Romans 4:12 , and a doer of his works, John 8:39 . Who then can say but he is his son, and shall rest in his bosom?

Verse 10

10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Ver. 10. See Matthew 18:11 .

Verse 11

11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

Ver. 11. That the kingdom of God ] A temporal earthly kingdom, such as they expected by the Messiah. And it should seem that hearing our Saviour say he came "to seek and to save that which was lost," they mistook him so far as to think that he meant the Jewish kingdom, the public liberty, &c. This misconceit he confuteth in the following parable.

Verse 14

12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Ver. 14. Sent a message ] Instead of sending a lamb to this ruler of the earth, Isaiah 16:1 , of the covering his altar with the calves of their lips, Hosea 14:3 . Such masterless monsters are rife everywhere, such dust heaps are found in every corner.

Verse 15

15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Ver. 15. And when he was returned ] He went at his ascension, and returns at the general resurrection. At what time he will first reckon with his servants, and then with his enemies. Judgment shall then also begin at God’s own house.

Verse 16

16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

Ver. 16. Thy pound hath gained ] Not my pains, but thy pound hath done it. "By the grace of God I am that I am," saith Paul, that constantissimus gratiae praedicator, as Austin calleth him.

Verse 17

17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

Ver. 17. See Matthew 25:21-22 , &c.

Verse 18

18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.

Ver. 18. See Matthew 25:21-22 , &c.

Verse 19

19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

Ver. 19. See Matthew 25:21-22 , &c.

Verse 20

20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

Ver. 20. See Matthew 25:21-22 , &c.

Verse 21

21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

Ver. 21. See Matthew 25:21-22 , &c.

Verse 22

22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

Ver. 22. See Matthew 25:21-22 , &c.

Verse 23

23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

Ver. 23. Into the bank ] Gr. Unto the table, er (according to some copies) "unto the usurers," τοις τραπεζιταις , whom Beza here rightly calleth humani certe generis perniciosissimas pestes, the most pernicious pests of mankind.

Verse 27

24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Ver. 27. Slay them before me ] Howbeit "the beast and the false prophet," that is, the pope and his escorts, shall not have the favour to be slain as the common sort of Christ’s enemies are, but shall be "cast alive into the burning lake," tormented more exquisitely, Revelation 19:20-21 .

Verse 28

28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

Ver. 28. He went before ] To meet death in the face. This was true magnanimity. Herein he showed himself the Captain of our salvation, though perfected by sufferings.

Verse 29

29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

Ver. 29. Bethphage and Bethany ] Bethphage was one mile out of Jerusalem, Bethany two.

Verse 30

30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you ; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither .

Ver. 30. Go ye into the village ] Into Bethphage, that was in their view as they went from Bethany.

Verse 31

31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him ? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

Ver. 31. See Trapp on " Mat 21:1 " See Trapp on " Mat 21:2 " See Trapp on " Mat 21:3 "

Verse 32

32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.

Ver. 32. See Trapp on " Mat 21:1 " See Trapp on " Mat 21:2 " See Trapp on " Mat 21:3 "

Verse 41

33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?

34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.

36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

Ver. 41. He beheld the city ] That common slaughter house of the prophets. Our Lord is said to have been slain at Rome,Revelation 11:8; Revelation 11:8 , because crucified at Jerusalem by the Roman authority.

And wept over it ] Shall not we weep over the ruins of so many fair and flourishing churches, that now lie in the dirt? Christ wept in this day of his solemn inauguration. It shall be in our last triumph only that all tears shall be wiped from our eyes; till then our passions must be mixed, according to the occasions.

Verse 42

42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

Ver. 42. Oh, if thou hadst known ] They had cognitionem historicam non mysticam, speculativam non affectivam, apprehensionis non approbationis, discursivam non experimentalem.

At least in this thy day ] The time of grace is fitly called a day in regard of, 1.Revelation 2:1-29; Revelation 2:1-29 . Adornation; 3. Consolation; 4. Distinction; 5. Speedy pretrition. Amend before the drawbridge be taken up. No man can say he shall have 12 hours to his day.

But now they are hid from thine eyes ] Yet they lived under the ministry long after, and no outward change to be discerned. As Plutarch writes of Hannibal, that when he could have taken Rome, he would not; when he would, he could not: so the procrastinators.

Verse 43

43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

Ver. 43. For the days shall come ] God hath his days for vengeance, as man hath his day for repentance. There is a prime of every man’s life and of every man’s ministry. The Levite lingered so long that he lost his concubine, she came short home; so doth many a man’s soul for like reason.

Shall cast a trench about thee ] Because, like the wild ass, thou wouldest not otherwise be tamed and kept within compass of God’s commandments.

Verse 44

44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Ver. 44. One stone ] See Matthew 24:2 ; Mark 13:2 .

Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation ] Though thou be called the valley of vision, and the notation of thy name be the vision of peace, yet thou neither knowest the things of thy peace nor the time of thy visitation, as being blinded with malice and obstinance.

Verse 45

45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;

Ver. 45. See Matthew 21:12-13 , &c.; See Trapp on " Joh 2:14 "

Verse 46

46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Ver. 46. See Matthew 21:12-13 , &c.; See Trapp on " Joh 2:14 "

Verse 47

47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,

Ver. 47. He taught daily ] The nearer he drew to his end the more intent he was upon the work, that he might say, as afterwards he did in that heavenly prayer of his, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do," John 17:4 .

But the chief priests ] Wild beasts cannot endure fire; no more can wicked men away with zeal. Tigers are enraged with sweet odours; beat up a drum to them and they will tear themselves for anger.

Verse 48

48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Ver. 48. Were very attentive to hear him ] Gr. εξεκρεματο , hanged on him, as the bee doth on the flower, the babe on the breast, or the little bird on the bill of her dam. Christ drew the people after him, as it were, by the golden chain of his heavenly eloquence.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 19". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.