corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament
Luke 10



Other Authors
Verse 1

Luke 10:1. μετὰ ταῦτα, after what has been narrated in Luke 9:51-62, but not necessarily implying close sequence.— ἀνέδειξεν ( ἀναδείκνυμι). The verb means (1) to lift up so as to show, cf. the noun in Luke 1:80; (2) to proclaim as elected, cf. Acts 1:24; (3) to elect, appoint, as here = designavit, Vulgate.— κύριος, the Lord, Jesus, here, as often in Lk. applied to Him in narrative.— ἑτέρους, others, the reference being not to ἀγγέλους, Luke 9:52 (Meyer), but to τοὺς δώδεκα, Luke 9:1 = others besides the Twelve.— ἑβδομήκοντα, seventy (seventy-two in (97)), representing the nations of the earth, the number consciously fixed by the evangelist to symbolise Christian universalism—according to Dr. Baur and the Tübingen School; representing in the mind of Jesus the seventy Sanhedrists, as the Twelve were meant to represent the tribes of Israel, the seventy disciples having for their vocation to do what the Sanhedrists had failed to do—prepare the people for the appearance of the Christ—according to Hahn.

Verses 1-12

Luke 10:1-12. The Seventy sent forth, peculiar to Lk. Many questions have been raised as to this narrative, e.g., as to its historicity, as to the connection between the instructions to the new missionaries and those to the Twelve, and as to the time and place of their election, and the sphere of their mission. On these points only the briefest hints can be given here. As to the first, the saying about the paucity of labourers, found also in Mt. (Matthew 9:38), implies that Jesus was constantly on the outlook for competent assistants, and that He would use such as were available. The cases mentioned in the closing section of last chapter confirm this inference. Whether He would send them out simultaneously in large numbers, twelve, or seventy, or piecemeal, one or more pairs now, and another small group then, is a matter on which it is precarious to dogmatise, as is done by W. Grimm when he says (Das Proemium des Lucas-Evang.) that Jesus did not send out twelve all at once, but two and two now and then, and besides the Twelve others of the second order, and that these piecemeal missions consolidated in the tradition into two large ones of twelve and seventy. As to the instructions: there would be such in every instance, and they would be substantially the same whether given once, twice, or twenty times, summed up in a few compact sentences, so racy and memorable as to be easily preservable even by oral tradition. It is, however, quite probable that versions of these instructions were to be found in documents, say in Mk. and in Mt.’s Logia; and Lk., as Weiss suggests, may have taken the instructions to the Twelve from the former, and those to the Seventy from the latter. Finally, as to time, place, and sphere, nothing certain can be determined, and there is room for various conjectures. Hahn, e.g., suggests, as the place of the appointment, Jerusalem; the time, the feast of tabernacles, mentioned in John 7:2; and the sphere of the mission, the towns and villages of Judaea or southern Palestine. There was certainly need for a mission there. The mission of the Twelve was in Galilee.

Verse 2

Luke 10:2. μὲν θερισμὸς: preliminary statement as to the need of men fit to take part in the work of preaching the kingdom, as in Matthew 9:38, vide notes there; a true logion of Jesus, whensoever spoken.

Verses 2-12

Luke 10:2-12. The instructions.

Verse 3

Luke 10:3. ὑπάγετε, go, whither? Mt.’s version of the instructions to the Twelve says: not to Samaria, but to the lost sheep of Israel only; this omitted by Lk. with the one word, “go,” retained.— ὡς ἄρνας, etc., as lambs among wolves; sheep ( πρόβατα) in Matthew 10:16; pathetic hint as to the helplessness of the agents and the risks they run; not imaginary, as the recent experience at the Samaritan village shows.

Verse 4

Luke 10:4. βαλάντιον, a purse, in Lk. only, in N. T.; often in classics, spelt there, as in MSS. of N. T., variously with one or two λς.— μηδένα ἀσπάσησθε: salute no one, to be taken in the spirit rather than in the letter; hyperbolical for: be exclusively intent on your business: “negotio quod imposui vobis incumbite, praeterhabitis vel brevissimis obstaculis et moramentis,” Pricaeus. Weiss (Mt.-Evangel.) thinks the prohibition is directed against carrying on their mission on the way. It was to be exclusively a house-mission (vide Matthew 10:12, where ἀσπάσασθε occurs).

Verse 5

Luke 10:5. πρῶτον λέγετε: the first word to be spoken, peace, speech on the things of the kingdom to be prepared for by courteous, kindly salutations. A sympathetic heart is the best guide in pastoral visitation. The first word should not be: how is it with your soul?

Verse 6

Luke 10:6. ἐπαναπαήσεται ((98) (99)), a form of the 2nd fut. ind. passive, probably belonging to the spoken Greek of the period. Again in Revelation 14:13.— ἀνακάμψει: in any case the good wish will not be lost. If there be no “son of peace” in the house to receive it, it will come back with a blessing to the man who uttered it.

Verse 7

Luke 10:7. ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ οἰκίᾳ: verbally distinct from ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ, etc., but really meaning the same thing = “in that same house,” R. V(100)τὰ παρʼ αὐτῶν, eating and drinking the meat and drink which belong to them, as if they were your own: libere et velut vestro jure, Grotius.— ἄξιος γὰρ assigns the reason: your food is your hire; it belongs to you of right as wages for work done.

Verse 8

Luke 10:8. ἐσθίετε τὰ παρατιθέμενα: not a repetition. It means, be contented with your fare: contenti este quamvis frugali apparatu, Bengel. Holtz. (H. C.) thinks Lk. has in view heathen houses, and that the meaning is: put aside Jewish scruples.

Verse 9

Luke 10:9. The functions of the missionaries briefly indicated = heal the sick, and announce that the kingdom is at their doors ( ἤγγικεν).

Verse 10-11

Luke 10:10-11. Direction how to act in case of churlish treatment.— ἐξελθόντες εἰς τὰς πλατείας α. Lk. expresses the action so as to make it vivid for Gentile readers to whom the symbolic significance of the act was not familiar = go out of the inhospitable houses into the streets, and then solemnly wipe off the dust that has been taken up by your feet since you entered the town; wiping off ( ἀπομασσόμεθα) is more expressive than shaking off ( ἐκτινάξετε, Matthew 10:14, Luke 9:5), it means more thorough work, removing every speck of dust.— πλὴν, for the rest. The solemn symbolic act is to wind up with the equally solemn declaration that the Kingdom of God has come to them with its blessings, and that it is their own fault if it has come in vain.

Verses 13-16

Luke 10:13-16. Woe to thee, Chorasin (Matthew 11:21-24).—While the terms in which the woes on the cities of Galilee are reported are nearly identical in Mt. and Lk., the connections in which they are given are different. In Mt. the connection is very general. The woes simply find a place in a collection of moral criticisms by Jesus on His time: on John, on the Pharisees, and on the Galilean towns. Here they form part of Christ’s address to the Seventy, when sending them forth on their mission. Whether they properly come in here has been disputed. Wendt (L. J., p. 89) thinks they do, inasmuch as they indicate that the punishment for rejecting the disciples will be the same as that of the cities which were unreceptive to the ministry of the Master. J. Weiss (in Meyer), on the other hand, thinks the woes have been inserted here from a purely external point of view, noting in proof the close connection between Luke 10:12 and Luke 10:16. It is impossible to be quite sure when the words were spoken, but also impossible to doubt that they were spoken by Jesus, probably towards or after the close of His Galilean ministry.— καθήμενοι, after σποδῷ, is an addition of Lk.’s, explanatory or pictorial.

Verse 16

Luke 10:16 = Matthew 10:40-41, only Mt. emphasises and expands the positive side, while Lk. with the positive presents, and with special emphasis, the negative ( ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς, etc.).

Verse 17

Luke 10:17. καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια, even the demons, subject to our power; more than they had expected or been promised, hence their exultation ( μετὰ χαρᾶς).

Verses 17-20

Luke 10:17-20. Return of the Seventy. No such report of the doings of the Twelve, and of their Master’s congratulations, is given in any of the Gospels (cf. Mark 6:30-31). It seems as if Lk. attached more importance to the later mission, as Baur accused him of doing under the influence of theological tendency (Pauline universalism). But probably this report was one of the fruits of his careful research for memorabilia of Jesus: “a highly valuable tradition arising on Jewish-Christian soil, and just on account of its strangeness trustworthy” (J. Weiss in Meyer). Similarly Feine, and Resch, Agrapha, p. 414, note.

Verse 18

Luke 10:18. ἐθεώρουν: their report was no news to Jesus. While they were working He saw Satan falling. There has been much discussion as to what is meant by this fall, and why it is referred to. It has been identified with the fall of the angels at the beginning of the world, with the Incarnation, with the temptation of Jesus, in both of which Satan sustained defeat. The Fathers adopted the first of these alternatives, and found the motive of the reference in a desire to warn the disciples. The devil fell through pride; take care you fall not from the same cause (Luke 10:20).— ὡς ἀστραπὴν, like lightning; the precise point of the comparison has been variously conceived: momentary brightness, quick, sudden movement, inevitableness of the descent—down it must come to the earth, etc.— πεσόντα, aorist after the imperfect ( ἐθεώρουν), fallen, a fact accomplished. Pricaeus refers to Acts 19:20 as a historical exemplification of the fall—Satan’s kingdom destroyed by the rapid spread of Christianity.

Verse 19

Luke 10:19 reminds one of Mark 16:18.— τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, the enemy, Satan.— οὐδὲν, may be either nominative or accusative = either, “nothing shall in any wise hurt you,” R. V(101), or “in no respect shall he (the enemy) hurt you”.

Verse 20

Luke 10:20. πλὴν has adversative force here = yet, nevertheless. The joy of the Seventy was in danger of becoming overjoy, running into self-importance; hence the warning word, which is best understood in the light of St. Paul’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit, which laid much more stress on the ethical than on the charismatical results of His influence = rejoice not so much in possessing remarkable spiritual gifts as in being spiritual men. This text may be put beside Matthew 7:21-23 as bearing on the separability of gifts and graces ( χαρίσματα and χάρις).

Verse 21

Luke 10:21 is almost verbatim, as in Matthew 11:25, only that Lk. has ἀπέκρυψας for Mt.’s ἔκρυψας.

Verses 21-24

Luke 10:21-24. The exultation of Jesus (Matthew 11:25-27).—The setting in Mt. gives to this great devotional utterance of Jesus a tone of resignation in connection with the apparent failure of His ministry. Here, connected with the fall of Satan, it has a tone of triumph ( ἠγαλλιάσατο).— ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγίῳ: it was an inspired utterance, “a kind of glossolaly,” J. Weiss (Meyer).

Verse 22

Luke 10:22. This part of the devotional utterance, setting forth Christ’s faith in the purpose of His Father and the intimate fellowship subsisting between Father and Son, appears in some texts of Lk. as a declaration made to the disciples ( στραφεὶς πρὸς τ. μ. α., T. R.). The gesture implies that a solemn statement is to be made.— τίς ἐστιν υἱὸς, πατήρ: to know who the Son or the Father is = knowing the Son and the Father. The idea in Lk. is the same as in Mt., though the expression is different.

Verse 23

Luke 10:23. στραφεὶς: a second impressive gesture, if that in Luke 10:22 be retained, implying that Jesus now more directly addresses the disciples. But the first στραφεὶς is altogether doubtful.— εἶπε: the word, spoken κατʼ ἰδίαν to the disciples, is substantially = Matthew 13:16, there referring to the happiness conferred on the disciples in being privileged to hear their Master’s parabolic teaching.— βασιλεῖς: in place of Mt.’s δίκαιοι, which expresses an idea more intelligible to Jews than to Gentiles.

Verse 25

Luke 10:25. ἀνέστη, stood up; from this expression and the present tense of ἀναγινώσκεις, how readest thou now? it has been conjectured that the scene may have been a synagogue.— τί ποιήσας: the νομικός, like the ἄρχων of Luke 18:18, is professedly in quest of eternal life.

Verses 25-37

Luke 10:25-37. The lawyer’s question, and the parable of the good Samaritan. Many critics (even Weiss, Mk.-Evang., p. 400) think that Lk. or his source has got the theme of this section from Matthew 22:35 ff., Mark 12:28 ff., and simply enriched it with the parable of the good Samaritan, peculiar to him. Leaving this critical question on one side, it may be remarked that this story seems to be introduced on the principle of contrast, the νομικός representing the σοφοὶ καὶ συνετοὶ, to whom the things of the kingdom are hidden as opposed to the νήπιοι, to whom they are revealed, i.e., the disciples whom Jesus had just congratulated on their felicity. Similarly in the case of the anecdote of the woman in Simon’s house, Luke 7:36, vide notes there. J. Weiss remarks that this story and the following one about Martha and Mary form a pair, setting forth in the sense of the Epistle of James (Luke 2:8; Luke 2:13-14) the two main requirements of Christianity, love to one’s neighbour and faith (vide in Meyer, ad loc).

Verse 26

Luke 10:26. τί γέγραπ., πῶς ἀναγιν., how stands it written? how readest thou? double question with a certain empressement.

Verse 27

Luke 10:27. Lk. here puts into the mouth of the lawyer an answer combining as co-ordinate the religious and the ethical, which in the later incident reported in Matthew 22:34-40, Mark 12:28-34, is ascribed to Jesus. The unity of these interests is, as Holtz. (H. C.) remarks, the achievement and characteristic of Christianity, and one may legitimately doubt whether a man belonging to the clerical class in our Lord’s time had attained such insight. Divorce of religion from morality was a cardinal vice of the righteousness of the time, and we see it exemplified in the following parable: priest and Levite religious but inhuman. In Lk.’s time the conception of religion and morality as one and inseparable had become a Christian commonplace, and he might have been unable to realise that there was a time when men thought otherwise, and so without any sense of incongruity made the lawyer answer as he does. But, on the other hand, it has to be borne in mind that even in our Lord’s time there were some in the legal schools who emphasised the ethical, and Mk. makes the scribe (Luke 12:32-33) one of this type.— ἀγαπήσεις, etc.: Deuteronomy 6:5 is here given, as in Mark 12:31, with a fourfold analysis of the inner man: heart, soul, strength, mind.

Verse 29

Luke 10:29. δικαιῶσαι ., to keep up his character as a righteous man, concerned in all things to do his duty. Hence his desire for a definition of “neighbour,” which was an elastic term. Whether Lk. thinks of him as guilty of evasion and chicanery is doubtful. It was not his way to put the worst construction on the conduct even of scribes and Pharisees.— πλησίον, without article, is properly an adverb = who is near me? But the meaning is the same as if had been there.

Verses 30-37

Luke 10:30-37. The story of the good Samaritan, commonly called a parable, but really not such in the strict sense of natural things used as vehicle of spiritual truth; an example rather than a symbol; the first of several “parables” of this sort in Lk.— ἄνθρωπός τις: probably a Jew, but intentionally not so called, simply a human being, so at once striking the keynote of universal ethics.— κατέβαινεν, was descending; it was a descent indeed.— λ. περιέπεσεν, “fell among” robbers, A. and R. VV.; better perhaps “fell in with,” encountered, so Field (Ot. Nor.). The verb is often joined with a noun singular ( περιέπεσε χειμῶνι). Raphel cites from Polybius an instance in which robbers “fall in with” the party robbed: τούτους (legatos) λῃσταί τινες περιπεσόντες ἐν τῷ πελάγει διέφθειραν (Reliquiae, lib. xxiv. 11).— ἡμιθανῆ, half dead, semivivo relicto, Vulgate, here only in N. T.; he will soon be whole dead unless some one come to his help: cannot help himself or move from the spot.

Verse 31

Luke 10:31. κατὰ συγκυρίαν ( συγκυρία, from συνκυρέω), rare, late Greek = κατὰ συντυχίαν (Hesychius, συγκυρία, συντυχία), by chance; the probabilities against succour being at hand just when sorely wanted; still more improbable that three possibilities of succour should meet just there and then. But the supposition, duly apologised for, is allowable, as the story must go on.— ἱερεύς: Schanz infers from κατὰ συγ. that Jericho was not a sacerdotal city, as, since Lightfoot, has been usually taken for granted. But the phrase has its full meaning independently of this inference, vide above.— ἀντιπαρῆλθεν, variously rendered either = passed by simply, or = passed the opposite way (going up), Grotius; or passed with the wounded man in full view, staring him in the face, a sight fit to awaken compassion in any one (Hahn); or passed by on the other side of the road.

Verse 32

Luke 10:32. ὁμοίως λευίτης ἀντιπ., likewise a Levite … passed by, the repetition of ἀντιπαρῆλθεν has a rhetorical monotony suggestive of the idea: such the way of the world—to pass by, “in nine cases out of ten that is what you may expect” (The Parabolic Teaching of Christ, p. 348).

Verse 33

Luke 10:33. σαμαρείτης, a Samaritan: will he a fortiori pass by? No, he does not, that the surprise and the point of the story. The unexpected happens.— ὁδεύων, here only in N. T., making a journey, presumably longer than from Jerusalem to Jericho, fully equipped for a long journey (Hahn), and so in possession of means for help, if he have the will.— ἐσπλαγχνίσθη, was touched with pity. That sacred feeling will keep him from passing by, though tempted by his own affairs to go on and avoid trouble and loss of time, as ships may pass by other ships in distress, so deserving ever after to have branded on them αντιπαρηλθεν.

Verse 34

Luke 10:34. κατέδησε, ἐπιχέων: both technical terms in medicine.— ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον: not separately, but mixed; in use among Greeks and Romans as well as Jews (Wetstein).— κτῆνος = κτῆμα from κτάομαι, generally a property, and specially a domestic animal: one’s beast.— πανδοχεῖον (in classics πανδοκ.), a place for receiving all comers, an inn having a host, not merely a khan or caravanserai like κατάλυμα in Luke 2:7.

Verse 35

Luke 10:35. ἐκβαλὼν, casting out (of his girdle or purse).— δύο δην., two “pence,” small sum, but enough for the present; will pay whatever more is needed; known in the inn, and known as a trusty man to the innkeeper ( τῷ πανδοκεῖ).— ὅτι ἂν, etc.: the speech of a man who in turn trusts the host, and has no fear of being overcharged in the bill for the wounded man.— ἐγὼ: with a slight emphasis which means: you know me.— ἐπανέρχεσθαι: he expects to return to the place on his business, a regular customer at that inn. This verb, as well as προσδαπανάω, is used here only in N. T.

Verse 36

Luke 10:36. Application of the story.— γεγονέναι: which of the three seems to you to have become neighbour by neighbourly action? neighbour is who neighbour does.

Verse 37

Luke 10:37. ποιήσας, etc. If the lawyer was captious to begin with he is captious no longer. He might have been, for his question had not been directly (though very radically) answered. But the moral pathos of the “parable” has appealed to his better nature, and he quibbles no longer. But the prejudice of his class tacitly finds expression by avoidance of the word “Samaritan,” and the use instead of the phrase ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετʼ αὐτοῦ. Yet perhaps we do him injustice here, for the phrase really expresses the essence of neighbourhood, and so indicates not only who is neighbour but why. For the same phrase vide Luke 1:58; Luke 1:72. This story teaches the whole doctrine of neighbourhood: first and directly, what it is to be a neighbour, viz., to give succour when and where needed; next, indirectly but by obvious consequence, who is a neighbour, viz., any one who needs help and whom I have opportunity and power to help, no matter what his rank, race, or religion may be: neighbourhood coextensive with humanity.

Verse 38

Luke 10:38. ἐν τῷ πορεύεσθαι, in continuation of the wandering whose beginning is noted at Luke 9:52; when, where, not indicated.— εἰς κώμην τινά: either not known, or the name deemed of no importance. When it is stated that He ( αὐτὸς) (Jesus) came to this village it is not implied that He was alone, though no mention is made of disciples in the narrative.— ΄άρθα = mistress, feminine of מָר.

Verses 38-42

Luke 10:38-42. Martha and Mary.

Verse 39

Luke 10:39. ΄αρία, socially subordinate (inferrible from the manner of reference), though the spiritual heroine of the tale.— καὶ: the force of the καὶ is not clear, and has been variously explained. Grotius regards it as simply an otiose addition to the relative. Bornemann takes it = adeo = to such an extent did Mary disregard the customary duty of women, that of serving guests, “quem morem adeo non observat M. ut docenti Jesu auscultet”. Perhaps it has something of the force of δή = who, observe! serving to counterbalance the social subordination of Mary; the less important person in the house, but the more important in the Kingdom of God.— παρακαθεσθεῖσα, first aorist passive participle, from παρακαθέζομαι, late Greek form = sitting at the feet of Jesus. Posture noted as significant of a receptive mind and devoted spirit.— τοῦ κυρίου, the Lord, once more for Jesus in narrative ( ἰησοῦ in T. R.).— ἤκουε τὸν λόγον α., continued hearing His word, a conventional expression as in Luke 8:21.

Verse 40

Luke 10:40. δὲ ΄άρ., but Martha, δὲ as if μὲν had gone before where καὶ is = Mary on the one hand sat, etc., Martha on the other, etc.— περιεσπᾶτο, was distracted, over-occupied, as if the visit had been unexpected, and the guests numerous. In use from Xenophon down. In Polybius with τῇ διανοίᾳ added. Holtzmann (H. C.) points out the correspondence between the contrasted picture of the two sisters and the antithesis between the married and unmarried woman in 1 Corinthians 7:34-35. The married woman caring for the world like Martha ( μεριμνᾷς, Luke 10:41); the unmarried virgin: εὐπάρεδρον τ. κυρίῳ ἀπερισπάστως.— ἐπιστᾶσα, coming up to and placing herself beside Jesus and Mary: in no placid mood, looking on her sister as simply an idle woman. A bustled worthy housewife will speak her mind in such a case, even though a Jesus be present and come in for a share of the blame.— συναντιλάβηται, bid her take a hand along with me in the work (cf. Romans 8:26).

Verse 41

Luke 10:41. θορυβάζῃ (from θόρυβος, an uproar; τυρβάζῃ T. R., from τύρβη, similar in meaning, neither form again in N. T.), thou art bustled, gently spoken and with a touch of pity.— περὶ πολλά: a great day in that house. Every effort made to entertain Jesus worthily of Him and to the credit of the house.

Verse 42

Luke 10:42. ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἑνός. With this reading the sense is: there is need of few things (material); then, with a pause—or rather of one thing (spiritual). Thus Jesus passes, as was His wont, easily and swiftly from the natural to the spiritual. The notion that it was beneath the dignity of Jesus to refer to dishes, even as a stepping stone to higher things, is the child of conventional reverence.— τὴν ἀγαθὴν μερίδα, the good portion, conceived of as a share in a banquet (Genesis 43:34). Mary, having chosen this good portion, may not be blamed ( γὰρ), and cannot be deprived of it, shall not with my sanction, in deference to the demands of a lower vocation.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 10:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. 1897-1910.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology