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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 11

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-54


The Lord's Prayer. The Sign of Jonah

1-4. The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6:9-15). See on Mt. If the Lord's Prayer was given only once, St. Luke is probably right as to the occasion. His version, however (as in the case of the Beatitudes), is manifestly inferior to St. Matthew's. Of the seven petitions he omits two—the third ('Thy will be done,' etc.), and the seventh ('but deliver us from the evil one': see the RV). In place of Mt's beautiful opening, 'Our Father in the heavens,' he has simply, 'Father,' and for the expressive metaphor 'debts' he substitutes 'sins.' He manifestly had not access to the original and authentic 'logia' of the apostle Matthew, of which the first evangelist makes such large and fruitful use.

2. Our Father which art in heaven] The true reading here is simply 'Father.' Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth] Modern editors omit this clause.

4. But deliver us from evil ('the evil one')] Modern editors omit this clause also.

5-8. The friend at midnight (peculiar to Lk). The connexion with what goes before is suitable and natural. Having given the disciples a form of intercessory prayer, Jesus encourages them to persevere in its use, and also in the use of other prayers formed on its model, by a homely parable, the lesson of which is, If a churlish man can be forced by importunity to give against his will, how much more can persevering prayer bring down from the bountiful Father in heaven all good things.

8. Importunity] better, 'shamelessness.'

9-13. Prayer and the answer to prayer (Matthew 7:7-11, Sermon on the Mount). See on Mt.

11, 12. In answer to prayer God gives neither what is useless (a stone) nor what is harmful (a serpent, or scorpion). The scorpion (Luke 10:19; Deuteronomy 8:15; Ezekiel 2:6; Revelation 9:3, Revelation 9:5, Revelation 9:10) is a small poisonous crab-like animal, which, when at rest, is round like an egg. Luke 11:12 is peculiar to Lk.

14, 15. A dumb devil cast out (Matthew 9:32-34). See on Mt.

16. A sign from heaven demanded. See on Matthew 12:38; Matthew 16:1, and see on Luke 11:29.

17-23. Christ and Beelzebub. See on Matthew 12:25-30.

21, 22. Lk is here fuller and more picturesque than Mt and Mk. The imagery seems derived from Isaiah 49:24-26.

21 A strong man] RV 'the strong man fully armed,' i.e.

Satan. His palace (RV 'own court') is the world, so far as it is under his usurped dominion. His goods are the souls which he holds captive. His armour is his crafty devices for keeping them in captivity and separating them from all good influences. The stronger is Christ, who, by casting out devils and preaching the gospel, rescues souls from Satan's power. The spoils are the rescued souls, which Christ 'divides' by setting them to work at various employments in His own service.

23. In this contest between Christ and Satan no one can be neutral. Gathereth.. scattereth] He who does not help Me to gather and marshal My army, is working for its defeat and rout.

24-26. The peril of the vacant soul (Matthew 12:43-45). See on Mt.

27, 28. A woman calls our Lord's mother blessed (peculiar to Lk). Mk and Mt insert at this point the incident of our Lord's mother and brethren wishing to see Him (Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:31), which St. Luke has already recorded in a quite different connexion (Luke 8:19).

27. As he spake] What our Lord had just said about the danger of a relapse after a superficial repentance (Luke 11:26) struck the woman as so true to life (probably through some unfortunate experience in her own family), that she was moved to express her appreciation of His teaching openly. Blessed, etc.] Edersheim quotes a good rabbinical parallel: 'Blessed is the hour in which the Messiah was created; blessed the womb whence He issued; blessed the generation that sees Him; blessed the eye that is worthy to behold Him.'

28. Christ does not deny that His mother is blessed, but declares that to hear His words and obey them, and so to be brought into spiritual fellowship with God, is blessing infinitely greater.

29-32. The sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-42). See on Mt.

33-36. Inward light and darkness. Christ is still rebuking those who refused to believe in Him without a special sign from heaven. In St. Matthew these vv. form part of the Sermon on the Mount.

33. A favourite saying of Christ's occurring in various connexions (Luke 8:16; Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21). Here it means that Christ by His public preaching and miracles has made Himself so conspicuous and public a 'sign' to this generation, that they ought to ask for no other.

34-36. (Matthew 6:22-23, q.v.) If they will only regard His work and teaching without prejudice, then their own consciences will testify that He has a real mission from God.

37-54. Christ is entertained by a Pharisee. He denounces Pharisaic formalism and hypocrisy. For the relation of this discourse to Matthew 23:1-36, see on Matthew 23:1.

38. Washed] lit. 'baptised': see on Mark 7:1-5.

39-41. See on Matthew 23:25, Matthew 23:26. 'What is the use of you Pharisees cleansing the outward appearance of your conduct (symbolised by the outside of the cup and the platter), if your souls within are full of greed and wickedness? God, who made both the outside and the inside of man, expects both to be made clean. Only give what is within the cup and platter as alms to the poor, and in general practice generosity instead of greed, and all your vessels will become clean to you without ceremonial cleansing.

41. Give alms of such things as ye have] A possible, but unlikely translation. Better, 'Give as alms what is within (the cup and platter).' Others render, 'Give your hearts to almsgiving.' All things] i.e. all your vessels.

42. See on Matthew 23:23.

43. See on Matthew 23:6.

44. See on Matthew 23:27.

46. See on Matthew 23:4.

47, 48. See on Matthew 23:29-31.

49-51. See on Matthew 23:34-36.

49. Therefore also said the wisdom of God] In Matthew 23:34 the words are an utterance of Christ Himself. Christ's knowledge of the divine counsels is so complete that His utterances are also utterances of the Wisdom of God.

52. See on Matthew 23:13. The key of knowledge] i.e. the key which opens the door to knowledge of the things concerning the kingdom of God.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Luke 11:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/luke-11.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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