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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
Luke 8



Verse 1

Every city and village; still, however, remaining in the region of the Sea of Galilee.

Verse 2

Magdalene; of Magdala.

Verse 3

Herod's. This was Herod Antipas, the son of old King Herod, and the tetrarch of this part of his father's dominions.--Of their substance; of their property. This and other allusions show that Jesus did not throw himself upon the local and casual charity of the people among whom he travelled, but made, himself, a proper provision for the wants of his company, from the contributions of known and tried friends. From Luke 9:13, it seems that they were accustomed to travel with supplies of provisions and money. Perhaps Philip at one time, (John 6:5,) and certainly Judas afterwards, acted as treasurer and steward. In the same way, we ought, in all our religious enterprises, to make provision ourselves, in the most systematic and business-like manner, for all the wants which the most active sagacity can foresee; and never make faith a substitute for forethought, or expect aid, from divine interpositions, in emergencies which might have been provided for by prudential arrangements of our own.

Verse 6

Upon a rock; over a rock, where the earth was very shallow.

Verse 10

That seeing they might not see, &c.; that is, that while enough is exhibited to them to invite their attention, they may still be left at liberty to shut their eyes to the truth, if they choose. There is nothing more striking in the government of God, than the reserve in the communication of religious truth, which seems to have marked the divine administration in all ages of the world. The higher spiritualities of religion are not forced upon the attention of unwilling minds; there is a veil which conceals the sacred interior from all, excepting those who find in their hearts an honest desire to know and do the will of God, which leads them in.

Verse 16

Bed; the seat or couch upon which it was customary to recline at meals.

Verse 17

The meaning of the two verses is, These truths which I reveal to you with caution and reserve, are not to be suppressed and buried in oblivion, but to be gradually extended, until they shall be universally known and acknowledged.

Verse 18

That is, high degrees of knowledge and piety tend constantly to increase, while feeble attainments tend to diminish, and are in danger of being lost entirely.

Verse 19

His brethren are enumerated Mark 6:3. It would appear from Mark 3:21-35, that they were alarmed for his personal safety, fearing violence from the crowd, and that they wished to withdraw him from the danger.

Verse 21

His answer is a striking expression of his confidence that he had nothing to fear.

Verse 22

The lake; of Galilee.

Verse 27

A certain man. Matthew (Matthew 8:28) says two. Luke seems to speak only of the one with whom the conversation was particularly held. Such circumstantial dissimilarities in the narratives of independent witnesses are considered, in courts of justice, as adding to the force of testimony; indicating, as they do, the absence of collusion.

Verse 29

Was kept; had been kept.

Verse 33

It seems to be impossible to frame any conceivable hypothesis which will explain why intelligent beings, however malicious and depraved, should act such a part as appears to be here ascribed to them; and, on the other hand, language so definite, and of such a nature, is scarcely susceptible of any other than a literal interpretation.

Verse 54

And he put them all out; all except the persons mentioned in Luke 8:51. He would not make the scene more public, probably from delicate regard to the feelings of a youthful maiden.

Verse 56

The preaching and miracles of the Savior produced a great excitement, so great as sometimes to occasion serious inconvenience and difficulty. (Mark 1:45.) He often found it necessary, therefore, to impose limits to the degree of publicity which was to be given to some of the transactions which were most likely to act strongly upon the public mind. Sometimes he encouraged giving publicity to a miraculous cure, as in Luke 8:39, just before this transaction, when he was upon the other side of the lake, and in a more retired and quiet region. Now, however, the circumstances were different; for he had returned to the Galilean side, where there was already a great popular excitement; the crowd having been actually waiting for him upon the shore, when he came over. (Luke 8:40.)


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 8:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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