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Monday, September 25th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 8

The Expositor's Greek TestamentExpositor's Greek Testament

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Verse 1

Luke 8:1 . ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς , “afterwards,” A. V [79] , not necessarily “soon afterwards,” R. V [80] (= ἐν τῷ ἑξῆς , Luke 7:11 ). The temporal connection with the preceding narrative is loose, but the connection of thought and sentiment is close. Lk. would show how penitent, suffering, sorrowful women who had received benefit in body or soul from Jesus went into peace and blessedness. They followed Him and served Him with their substance, and so illustrated the law: much benefit, much love. διώδευε : of this itinerant preaching ministry Lk. knows, or at least gives, no particulars. The one thing he knows or states is that on such tours Jesus had the benefit of female devotion. Probably such service began very early, and was not limited to one tour of late date.

[79] Authorised Version.

[80] Revised Version.

Verses 1-3

Luke 8:1-3 . Ministering women ; peculiar to Lk., and one of the interesting fruits of his industrious search for additional memorabilia of Jesus, giving us a glimpse into the way in which Jesus and His disciples were supported.

Verse 2

Luke 8:2 . Μαρία ἡ κ . Μαγδαληνή , Mary called the Magdalene, the only one of the three named who is more than a name for readers of the Gospel; since the fourth century, identified with the sinful woman of the previous chapter, the seven demons from which she is said to have been delivered being supposed to refer to her wicked life; a mistaken identification, as in the Gospels demoniacal possession is something quite distinct from immorality. Koetsveld, speaking of the place assigned in tradition and popular opinion to Mary as the patroness of converted harlots, remarks: “All the water of the sea cannot wash off this stain from Mary Magdalene,” De Gelijkenissen , p. 366. The epithet Μαγδαληνή is usually taken as meaning “of the town of Magdala”. P. de Lagarde interprets it “the hair-curler ,” Haarkünstlerin ( Nachrichten der Gesell. der Wissens. , Göttingen, 1889, pp. 371 375).

Verse 4

Luke 8:4 . ὄχλου : Lk., like the two other evangelists, provides for the parable discourse a large audience, but he makes no mention of preaching from a boat, which has been forestalled in a previous incident (chap. Luke 5:3 ). καὶ τῶν κατὰ πόλιν , etc.: this clause simply explains how the crowd was made up, by contingents from the various towns. This would have been clearer if the καὶ had been left out; yet it is not superfluous, as it gives an enhanced idea of the size of the crowd = even people from every city gathering to Him. διὰ παραβολῆς : Lk. gives only a single parable in this place.

Verses 4-8

Luke 8:4-8 . Parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-9 , Mark 4:1-9 ).

Verse 5

Luke 8:5 . τὸν σπόρον α .: an editorial addition, that could be dispensed with. ὃ μὲν , one part, ὃ neuter, replied to by καὶ ἕτερον = ἕτερον δὲ in Luke 8:6 .

Verse 6

Luke 8:6 . φυὲν , 2nd aorist participle, neuter, from ἐφύην (Alex. form), the Attic 2nd aorist being ἔφυν . ἰκμάδα ( ἰκμάς ), moisture, here only in N. T.

Verse 7

Luke 8:7 . ἐν μέσῳ τ . ἀ .: Mt. has ἐπὶ , Mk. εἰς . Lk.’s expression suggests that the thorns are already above ground.

Verse 8

Luke 8:8 . ἑκατονταπλασίονα , an hundredfold. Lk. has only one degree of fruitfulness, the highest, possibly because when 100 is possible 60 and 30 were deemed unsatisfactory, but an important lesson is missed by the omission. The version in Mt. and Mk. is doubtless the original. It was characteristic of Jesus, while demanding the undivided heart, to allow for diversity in the measure of fruitfulness. Therein appeared His “sweet reasonableness”. This omission seems to justify the opinion of Meyer that Lk.’s version of the parable is secondary. Weiss on the contrary thinks it comes nearest to the original.

Verse 9

Luke 8:9 . τίς εἴη , what this parable might be. The question in Lk. refers not to the parabolic method, as if they had never heard a parable before, but to the sense or aim of this particular parable. It simply prepares for the interpretation following.

Verses 9-10

Luke 8:9-10 . Conversation concerning the parable (Matthew 13:10-17 , Mark 4:10-12 ).

Verse 10

Luke 8:10 . The contrast between the disciples and others, as here put, is that in the case of the former the mysteries of the kingdom are given to be known , in that of the latter the mysteries are given, but only in parables , therefore so as to remain unknown. The sense is the same in Mt. and Mk., but the mode of expression is somewhat different. τοῖς δὲ λοιποῖς , a milder phrase than the ἐκείνοις τοῖς ἕξω of Mk.; cf. ἄλλων in chap. Luke 5:29 . ἵνα βλέποντες , etc.: this sombre saying is also characteristically toned done by abbreviation as compared with Mt. and Mk., as if it contained an unwelcome idea. Vide notes on Mt.

Verses 11-15

Luke 8:11-15 . Interpretation of the parable (Matthew 13:18-23 , Mark 4:13-20 ).

Verse 12

Luke 8:12 . οἱ ἀκούσαντες : this is not a sufficient definition of the wayside hearers; all the classes described heard. The next clause, beginning with εἰτα , must be included in the definition = the wayside men are persons in whose case, so soon as they have heard, cometh, etc. ὁ διάβολος : each gospel has a different name for the evil one; ὁ πονηρὸς , Mt., ὁ σατανᾶς , Mk. ἵνα μὴ πιστεύσαντες σωθῶσιν , lest believing they should be saved; peculiar to Lk., and in expression an echo of St. Paul and the apostolic age.

Verse 13

Luke 8:13 . μετὰ χαρᾶς : common to the three reports, a familiar and important feature of this type emotional religion. πρὸς καιρὸν πιστεύουσι , believe for a season, instead of Mt.’s and Mk.’s, he (they) is (are) temporary. ἐν καιρῷ πειρασμοῦ : a more comprehensive expression than that common to Mt. and Mk., which points only to outward trial, tribulation, or persecution. The season of temptation may include inward trial by deadness of feeling, doubt, etc. (Schanz).

Verse 14

Luke 8:14 . τὸ δὲ . There is a change here from the plural masculine to the neuter singular: from “those who” to “that which”. πορευόμενοι : the use of this word, which seems superfluous (Grotius), is probably due to Lk. having under his eye Mk.’s account, in which εἰσπορευόμεναι comes in at this point. Kypke renders: “illi a curis ( ὑπὸ μεριμνῶν καὶ π . καὶ ἡ . τ . β .) occupati sive penetrate” = they being taken possession of by, etc., the passive form of Mk.’s “cares, etc., entering in and taking possession”. This seems as good an explanation as can be thought of. Bornemann takes ὑπὸ = μετά or σύν , and renders, they go or live amid cares, etc., and are checked. οὐ τελεσφοροῦσι , they do not bring to maturity (here only in N. T.). Examples of this use in Wetstein and Kypke from Strabo, Philo, Josephus, etc. Hesychius explains τελεσφόρος thus: ὁ τελεσφορῶν καθʼ ὥραν τοὺς καρποὺς , ἢ ὁ τελείους αὐτοὺς φέρων .

Verse 15

Luke 8:15 . ἐν καρδίᾳ καλῇ καὶ ἀγαθῇ , in a noble and generous heart, an important contribution by Lk. to the explanation of the conditions of fruitfulness. The former epithet points to a lofty aim or ideal, the latter to enthusiastic whole-hearted devotion to the ideal, the two constituting a heroic character. The phrase was familiar to the Greeks, and Lk. may have been acquainted with their use of it to describe a man comme il faut , but he brings to the conception of the καλὸς κἀγαθὸς new moral elements. ἐν ὑπομονῇ , in patience, as opposed to πρὸς καιρὸν ; and, it might be added, ἐν εἰλικρινείᾳ as opposed to the thorny-ground hearers. ὑπομ ., again in Luke 21:19 , often in Epistles.

Verse 16

Luke 8:16 . ἅψας : Mt. has καίουσιν . ἅπτειν is the more classical word. σκεύει : any hollow vessel instead of the more definite but less familiar μόδιον in Mt. and Mk. κλίνης , bed or couch, as in Mt. and Mk. Nobody puts the lamp under a vessel or a couch, as a rule ; it may be done occasionally when the light, which burns night and day in an eastern cottage, for any reason needs to be obscured for a while. ἵνα οἱ εἰσπορευόμενοι , etc., that those entering in may see the light. The light is rather for the benefit of those who are within ( τοῖς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ , Matthew 5:15 ), the inmates. Is Lk. thinking of the Gentiles coming into the church?

Verses 16-18

Luke 8:16-18 . Those who have light must let it shine (Matthew 5:15 ; Matthew 10:26 , Mark 4:21-25 ). Lk. here seems to follow Mk., who brings in at the same point the parable of the lamp, setting forth the duty of those who are initiated into the mysteries of the kingdom to diffuse their light. A most important complement to the doctrine set forth in Luke 8:10 , that parables were meant to veil the mysteries of the kingdom.

Verse 17

Luke 8:17 . γενήσεται : predictive = nothing hidden which shall not some day be revealed. γνωσθῇ , ἔλθη ( [81] [82] [83] ), the fut. ind. passes into aor. subj., with οὐ μὴ for οὐ = nothing hidden which is not bound to become known (Meyer).

[81] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[82] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[83] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

Verse 18

Luke 8:18 enforces the duty thence arising, to be careful hearers; hearing so as really to know; shortcoming here will disqualify for giving light. Jesus has inculcated the duty of placing the light so that it may illuminate; He now inculcates the prior duty of being lights. ὃ δοκεῖ ἔχειν : the δοκεῖ may be an editorial explanatory comment to remove the apparent contradiction between μὴ ἔχη and ὃ ἔχει (Weiss, Mk.-evang., p. 157).

Verse 19

Luke 8:19 . διὰ τὸν ὄχλον : a crowd seems unsuitable here (though not in Mt. and Mk.), for just before, Jesus has been conversing with His disciples in private.

Verses 19-21

Luke 8:19-21 . Mother and brethren (Matthew 12:46-50 , Mark 3:31-35 ). Given in a different connection from that in Mt. and Mk. The connection here seems purely topical: the visit of the friends of Jesus gives Him occasion to indicate who are they who represent the good, fruitful soil (Luke 8:21 ).

Verse 21

Luke 8:21 . Lk. omits the graphic touches looking around, and stretching out His hands towards His disciples, concerned only to report the memorable word. οἱ τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ , those hearing and doing the word of God . The expression here is somewhat conventional and secondary as compared with Mt. and Mk. Cf. chap. Luke 6:47 , and λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ , Luke 8:11 .

Verse 22

Luke 8:22 . τῆς λίμνης : no need for this addition in Mk., or even in Mt., where Jesus is represented as in Capernaum . Lk. does not tell us where Jesus was at the time.

Verses 22-25

Luke 8:22-25 . The tempest on the lake (Matthew 8:23-27 , Mark 4:35-41 ). The voyage across the lake took place, according to Mk., on the day of the parables; it was an escape from the crowd, a very real and credible account. The whole situation in Lk. is different: no preaching from a boat, no escape when the preaching was over. It simply happened on one of the days ( ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμερῶν ).

Verse 23

Luke 8:23 . ἀφύπνωσε , went off to sleep, fatigued with heat and speaking; the storm implies sultry conditions; ἀφυπνοῦν means both to awake = ἀφυπνίζειν , and to go to sleep = καθυπνοῦν ; vide Lobeck, ad Phryn. , p. 224. κατέβη , came down, from the hills. συνεπληροῦντο , they ( i.e. , the boat) were getting full and in danger. Seamen would naturally say, “we were getting full,” when they meant the boat. Examples of such usage in Kypke.

Verse 24

Luke 8:24 . ἐπιστάτα : Lk.’s word for master, answering to διδάσκαλε , Mk., and κύριε , Mt. τῷ κλύδωνι τοῦ ὕδατος , the surge of the water.

Verse 25

Luke 8:25 . ποῦ , etc., where is your faith? a mild rebuke compared with Mt. and Mk. Note: Lk. ever spares the Twelve .

Verse 26

Luke 8:26 . κατέπλευσαν εἰς τὴν χώραν , “they sailed down from the deep sea to the land, put in,” Grimm; appulerunt ad regionem , Raphel, who gives numerous examples of the use of this verb (here only in N. T.) in Greek authors. τ . Γερασηνῶν , the Gerasenes, inhabitants of the town of Gerasa (Kersa, Thomson, Land and Book ), near the eastern shore of the lake, a little south of the mouth of Wadi Semach ( Rob Roy on the Jordan , chap. xxiii.). ἥτις ἐστὶν , etc.: this clause answers to Mk.’s εἰς τὸ πέραν τ . θ . By the relative clause Lk. avoids the double εἰς (J. Weiss in Meyer). ἀντίπερα τ . Γαλ ., opposite Galilee, a vague indication; an editorial note for the benefit of readers little acquainted with the country.

Verses 26-39

Luke 8:26-39 . The demoniac of Gerasa (Matthew 8:28-34 , Mark 5:1-20 ).

Verse 27

Luke 8:27 . ὀνὴρ ἐκ τῆς πόλεως , a man of, or from, the city; he did not come out of the city to meet Jesus. ἔχων δαιμ ., having demons, a plurality with reference to Luke 8:30 . οὐκ ἐνεδύσατο , etc.: the description begun here is completed in Luke 8:29 . Mk. gives it all at once (Luke 5:2-5 ). Lk. seems to follow Mk. but freely unclothed, abode among the tombs, the two facts first mentioned.

Verse 29

Luke 8:29 . παρήγγελλεν γὰρ : the command caused the cry of fear, and the fear is explained in the clause following, introduced by a second γὰρ . πολλοῖς χρόνοις , answers to πολλάκις in Mark 5:4 , therefore presumably used in the sense: oftentimes, frequently. So Erasmus and Grotius, and most recent commentators. Meyer and others take it = during a long time. Schanz combines the two senses. The disease was of an intermittent character, there were paroxysms of acute mania, and intervals of comparative quiet and rationality. When the paroxysms came on, the demon (one in Luke 8:29 ) was supposed to seize him ( συνηρπάκει ). Then he had to be bound in chains and fetters, and kept under guard ( φυλασσόμενος , cf. A. V [84] and R. V [85] here), but all to no purpose, the demoniac force bursting the bonds and driving the poor victim into the deserts. The madman feared the return of an attack, hence his alarmed cry.

[84] Authorised Version.

[85] Revised Version.

Verse 30

Luke 8:30 . ὅτι εἰσῆλθεν , etc.: Lk. gives this explanation of the name Legion ; in Mk. the demoniac gives it.

Verse 31

Luke 8:31 . εἰς τὴν ἄβυσσον , into the abyss (of Tartarus) instead of Mk.’s ἔξω τῆς χώρας , out of Decapolis.

Verse 32

Luke 8:32 . χοίρ . ἱκανῶν : for a large number, often in Lk.; his equivalent for Mk.’s 2000.

Verses 34-39

Luke 8:34-39 . The sequel . Lk. tells the second part of the story very much as it is given in Mk., with slight stylistic variations. In Luke 8:36 he substitutes the expression πῶς ἐσώθη ὁ δαιμονισθείς , how the demoniac was saved, for Mk.’s “how it happened to the demoniac, and concerning the swine,” suggesting the idea that the destruction of the swine was a part of the cure. They had to be drowned that he might be restored to sanity.

Verse 37

Luke 8:37 . Lk. is very careful to involve the whole population in the request that Jesus would leave the country the whole multitude of the district of Gerasa, town and country, citizens and farmers. And he gives as the reason, ὅτι φόβῳ μεγάλῳ συνείχοντο , they were possessed with a great fear, panic-stricken.

Verse 38

Luke 8:38 . ἐδέετο , Ionic form of the imperfect of δέομαι . W. and H [86] prefer ἐδεῖτο , the reading of [87] [88] . The healed man’s request, though not granted, would gratify Jesus, as a contrast to the unanimous petition of the Gerasenes that He would leave the place.

[86] Westcott and Hort.

[87] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[88] Codex Regius--eighth century, represents an ancient text, and is often in agreement with א and B.

Verse 39

Luke 8:39 . ὑπόστρεφε : it was good for the man that he should return to his home and people, and tell them what had befallen him through the mercy of God ( ὅσα ἐποίησεν ὁ Θεός ). It was good for the people also. They needed a missionary greatly. καθʼ ὅλην τὴν πόλιν , over the whole city. Mk. says in Decapolis.

Verse 40

Luke 8:40 . On the western side (Mark 5:21 ). Lk. still follows Mk. closely, mentioning the cordial welcome given Jesus on His arrival on the Galilean shore, and proceeding to narrate the incidents of the woman with a flux, and Jairus’ daughter. ὁ ὄχλος , the crowd. This crowd is unexplained by Lk., who says nothing of a crowd when he introduces his narrative of the voyage to the eastern shore (Luke 8:22 ). In Mk. the presence of a crowd is easily accounted for: Jesus had suddenly left the great congregation to which He had spoken in parables, and as His stay on the eastern side was cut short, when He returned to the western shore the crowd had hardly dispersed, or at least could reassemble on short notice. Mk. does not say the crowd, but a great crowd. ἀπεδέξατο implies a cordial reception. Cf. Acts 15:4 . Raphel gives examples of this sense from Greek authors. Euthy. took it in this sense, giving as the reason for the welcome: ὡς εὐεργέτην καὶ σωτῆρα . προσδοκῶντες : the parables, not to speak of recent healings, account for the expectation.

Verses 41-42

Luke 8:41-42 . The story of Jairus’ daughter begins (Matthew 9:18-19 , Mark 5:21-24 ). ἄρχων τῆς συναγωγῆς instead of ἀρχισυνάγωγος (Mk.), as more intelligible to Gentile readers. But after having explained its meaning by the use of this phrase he employs the other in Luke 8:49 .

Verse 42

Luke 8:42 . μονογενὴς (as in Luke 7:12 ): peculiar to Lk. The name of the father, his rank, and the girl’s age (all lacking in Mt.) Lk. has in common with Mk. This feature he adds after his wont to enhance the benevolence of Jesus. ἀπέθνησκεν , was dying. Mk.’s phrase, ἐσχάτως ἔχει , is avoided as not good Greek. In Mt. she is already dead. συνέπνιγον , were suffocating Him; a very strong expression. Mk.’s word is sufficiently strong ( συνέθλιβον , thronged), and if there was to be exaggeration we should hardly have expected it from Lk. But he uses the word to make Christ’s quick perception of the special touch from behind (Luke 8:45 ) the more marvellous.

Verse 43

Luke 8:43 . ἀπὸ : indicating the terminus a quo. Mk. uses the accusative of duration. προσαναλώσασα (here only in N. T.), having expended in addition: to loss of health was added loss of means in the effort to gain it back. βίον , means of life, as in Luke 15:12 ; Luke 15:30 , Luke 21:4 . οὐκ ἴσχυσεν , etc., was not able to get healing from any (physician), a milder way of putting it than Mk.’s.

Verses 43-48

Luke 8:43-48 . The woman with an issue (Matthew 9:20-22 , Mark 5:25-34 ).

Verse 44

Luke 8:44 . κρασπέδου , the tassel hanging over the shoulder; this feature not in Mk., a curious omission in so graphic a writer. παραχρῆμα : Lk.’s equivalent for εὐθὺς . ἔστη , the flow of blood ( ῥύσις ) stopped. ἱστάναι , the technical term for this experience.

Verse 45

Luke 8:45 . ὁ Πέτρος : Mk. says “the disciples,” but one would speak for the rest, and Lk. naturally makes Peter the spokesman. συνέχουσί σε , hem thee in. ἀποθλίβουσιν , squeeze, like grapes (Joseph., Ant. , ii., Luke 8:2 ).

Verse 46

Luke 8:46 . ἐγὼ ἔγνων : Lk. puts into the mouth of Jesus what in Mk. is a remark of the narrator. Vide notes on this incident in Mt. and Mk.

Verse 49

Luke 8:49 . τις : one messenger, several in Mk.; one enough for the purpose. παρὰ τ . ἀρχ ., from the ruler = belonging to his house. Vide Mark 3:21 : οἱ παρʼ αὐτοῦ . Mk. has ἀπὸ here.

Verses 49-56

Luke 8:49-56 . Previous narrative resumed (Matthew 9:23-26 , Mark 5:35-43 ).

Verse 50

Luke 8:50 . ἀκούσας : Mk. has παρακούσας , the message being spoken not to Jesus but to Jairus: He overheard it. μόνον πίστευσον , etc., only believe and she shall be saved Paulinism in the physical sphere.

Verse 51

Luke 8:51 . in [89] and other MSS. the usual order of the three disciples Peter, James, John is changed into Peter, John, James.

[89] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

Verse 53

Luke 8:53 . εἰδότες ὅτι ἀπέθανεν : Lk. is careful to add this remark to exclude the idea that it was not a case of real death; his aim here, as always, to magnify the power as well as the benevolence of Jesus.

Verse 55

Luke 8:55 . τὸ πνεῦμα , her spirit returned = ψυχὴ in Acts 20:10 . φαγεῖν : the order to give the resuscitated child food is not peculiar to Lk., but he places it in a more prominent position than Mk. to show that as she had been really dead she was now really alive and well; needing food and able to take it. Godet remarks on the calmness with which Jesus gave the order after such a stupendous event. “As simply as a physician feels the pulse of a patient He regulates her diet for the day.”

Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/egt/luke-8.html. 1897-1910.
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