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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
Luke 6



Verse 1

The second Sabbath after the first. This expression is thought to refer to an enumeration of the Sabbaths after the passover described Leviticus 23:15.--Corn. The corn of Judea consisted of what are called the smaller grains, as wheat and barley.

Verse 3

What David did, &c. When pressed with hunger, on an emergency described 1 Samuel 21:1-6, the sacred prohibitions of the tabernacle service were waived in his favor, and he took the holy bread for food.

Verse 4

Shew-bread. For a description of shew-bread, and the table on which it was kept during the wanderings of the Israelites, see Exodus 25:23-30. Solomon afterwards made a more costly table, (1 Kings 7:48,) David having provided the gold. (1 Chronicles 28:16.) This bread was prepared once a week. (1 Chronicles 9:32.)

Verse 5

Is Lord also of the Sabbath; that is, as David, the anointed king of Israel, was Lord of the sacred preparations of the tabernacle.

Verse 7

Watched him. They were silenced before, but not convinced; and they watched an opportunity to renew the discussion.

Verse 8

Observe the bold and decided manner in which he met the question.

Verse 11

They were filled with madness. In all ages, men are prone to hate those who expose their errors, especially if these errors are of the nature of superstitious feelings and observances. It is not surprising that they were exasperated at so public and overwhelming a rebuke for their hypocrisy in placing punctiliousness in the performance of an external rite, above obedience to the spiritual precepts of God's law.

Verse 12

All night in prayer. This seems to have been in reference to the appointment and commission of the twelve apostles, which was to take place in the morning. It must be remembered that the climate was mild and salubrious, and that the mountainous country about the Sea of Galilee was a region of great beauty and interest, as well as of retirement and solitude. Prayer, too, includes all forms of communion with God--meditation and praise as well as supplication. We must, therefore, not conceive of this night of prayer as one spent in austere exposure, anxiety, and gloom. It was doubtless a season of peace and joy,--of thanksgiving and praise,--of happy contemplation of the vast consequences which were to flow from the great work of salvation which had been so successfully begun,--of heartfelt compassion for man, and devout communion with God. These religious emotions were doubtless heightened by the impression which the solemn glories of the night must have made upon a mind so alive to all natural and moral beauty. At such a time, all the objects in nature,--the cliffs, the ravines,--the chasms, the precipices,--the gray rocks, the dark forests,--all wrapped in shadow and obscurity, assume a peculiar expression of dread sublimity and awe--and the vast expanse of magnificence and brilliancy above, subdued by distance, beams upon the observer, the very type and symbol of eternity. No one who has not experienced the effect, can conceive of the solemn sublimity of midnight among forests and mountains.

Verse 13

The meaning of the word apostles is, persons sent,--messengers.

Verse 17

Tyre and Sidon. These cities were north of Galilee, on the Mediterranean. They have not been mentioned before as reached by the fame of Jesus.

Verse 19

Virtue; power, efficacy.

Verse 20

This discourse is given more fully in Matthew, beginning at the Matthew 5:2-12.

Verse 24

This is not spoken of rich men universally. Abraham, David, and Joseph of Arimathea, were rich men. The language is simply an energetic expression of the hopeless condition of those who have earthly riches only, for their portion.

Verse 26

This is to he understood in the same manner as the above. Jesus himself, while preaching in Galilee, enjoyed, for some time, a high degree of public popularity and honor. Both wealth and a good name are, in themselves, highly desirable.

Verse 29

Be of a yielding and forgiving disposition, and not eager to contend for your rights. It is not meant to require, always and absolutely, passive submission to insult and injury. The apostle Paul appealed to the military force of the country for protection when his life was in danger.

Verse 30

Another strong mode of expression. It is simply intended to urge, in a very emphatic manner, the duty and of disinterestedness and universal good will.

Verse 38

Mete; measure.

Verse 40

Perfect; instructed. The meaning is, Every one that is instructed will become like his teacher. If his teacher is blind, he cannot be expected to see. Both verses are intended to discredit the teaching of those blind guides, the scribes and Pharisees.

Verse 41

The meaning is, Why do you watch for and condemn your brother's smaller faults, while you are insensible to far greater ones of your own.

Verse 46

Call ye me Lord, Lord; that is, by professions acknowledge my authority, while you do not obey my commands.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 6:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 26th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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