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Bible Commentaries
Luke 11

Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical CommentaryAlford's Greek Testament Commentary

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Verse 1

1. καθ . κ . Ἰω .… ] Of this fact we know nothing beyond the allusion here.

Verses 1-13

1 13. ] JESUS TEACHES THE DISCIPLES TO PRAY. The locality and time of the following incident are alike indefinite. The only limits are those of the great journey which is the subject of this section. There is no reason for supposing this to be the only occasion on which the Lord delivered this prayer to His disciples. In the Sermon on the Mount, it stands in close connexion with what goes before; and here also. In so weighty a summary of His teaching as that was, He was not likely, when speaking of prayer, to omit it; when asked by His disciples to teach them to pray, He was not likely to depart from the form once given them. Such are ordinary probabilities, antecedent to every question affecting the two Gospels: and those critics who throw aside all such, are far more prejudiced in reality, than those who allow them full weight. “The peculiar and abridged form in Luke,” says Meyer, “ is a proof that the apostolic Church did not use the Lord’s prayer as a form .” Rather, we may say, a proof of the fidelity with which our Evangelist reproduced his original reports, not correcting them as others after him did (see var. readd.) to suit the forms most probably in use. If the apostolic Church did not use the Lord’s Prayer as a form, when did its use begin , which we find in every known Liturgy? (See Bingham, Antiqq xiii. 7.)

Verse 2

2. ] ὅταν προς ., λέγ .…, more definite than οὕτως προς .… in Matt. On the prayer itself, see notes on Matthew 6:9-13 . The clauses not found in the text could hardly by any possibility have been omitted by any, had they ever formed a part of it. Stier’s argument, that our text has not been conformed to Matt., because the doxology has never been inserted here, seems to me to tend in quite another direction: the doxology was inserted there , because that was the form in general liturgical use , and not here , because this form was never used liturgically .

Verse 3

3. τὸ καθ ʼ ἡμ .… ] for that day’s need , or for that day, i.e. day by day. No substantive need be supplied after τό .

Verse 4

4. ] καὶ γὰρ αὐτ .… expressed here more strongly than in Matt., as the plea for the exercise of the divine forgiveness to us, ‘ for it is our own practice also to forgive: ’ but notice, the difference there is no ἁμαρτία here between man and man, only the ordinary business word of this world.

π . ὀφείλοντι ἡμ . ] This varied expression (see above) may serve to shew how far ‘ Luke’s reporter ’ (De Wette) was from misunderstanding the words of the Lord; that reporter, as Stier well observes, (Reden Jesu, iii. 126, edn. 2,) being no other than the Holy Spirit Himself , whose special guidance was promised in bringing to mind the things said by Jesus ( Joh 14:26 ).

Verse 5

5. ] Now follows a parable on continuing instant in prayer, of the same nature as that in ch. Luke 18:2 ff. In both parables, the argument is ‘à fortiori:’ “if selfish man can be won by prayer and importunity to give, and unjust man to do right, much more certainly shall the bountiful Lord bestow, and the righteous Lord do justice.” Trench, Parables, in loc., who further remarks, that here intercessory prayer is the subject of the parable; there, personal . And, that we must remember that all reluctance on the part of God to answer our prayers is not real, but apparent only, and arises from deeper reasons working for our good: whereas the reluctance in these two parables is real , arising from selfishness and contempt of justice.

The interrogative form continues to σοι , Luke 11:7 , ‘Who of you shall be in these supposed circumstances?’ λέγω ὑμ .… κ . τ . λ .

Verse 6

6. παρ . ἐξ ὁδ . ] In the East it was and is the custom to travel late at night, for coolness’ sake.

Why τρεῖς ἄρτους , does not appear. I forbear to give the allegorical interpretations of the number, which abound: the significance of the things asked for , see below on Luke 11:13 .

Verse 7

7. ] We have an interesting fragment of domestic life here given us. The door is ‘barred,’ not only ‘shut;’ there is the trouble of unbarring it; the father and children are in bed ( εἰς τ . κ . εἰσ . ellipt. for ‘have gone εἰς τ . κ ., and are ἐν τῇ κ .:’ see reff.); (observe how in all the parables which place the Father, or the Husband, before us, the Mother , or the Bride does not appear; ) and he cannot (i.e. will not, cannot from being overcome by reluctance) rise and give to him.

Verse 8

8. ] ἀναίδεια is too mildly rendered by ‘ importunity ,’ E. V. It should be shamelessness. It is presupposed here that the postulant goes on knocking and asking.

Verse 9

9. ] What follows is in the closest connexion, and will not bear the idea that it is transferred here merely as being appropriate. The αἰτεῖν , ζητεῖν , κρούειν , all answer to the features of the parable .

Luk 11:10 declares to us not merely a result observable here among men, (in which sense it is not universally true ,) but a great law of our Father’s spiritual Kingdom: a clause out of the eternal covenant, which cannot be changed.

Verses 11-13

11 13. ] Our Lord sets forth the certainty of our obtaining the Holy Spirit, (the unspeakable gift , in which all other δόματα ἀγαθά are included,) from our Father, by another ‘à fortiori’ argument, drawn from the love of earthly parents, so far less careful and tenderly wise than He is over His children.

The construction, as before ( Luk 11:5 ), is a mixed one: half interrogative, half hypothetical. For the rest, see notes on Matthew 7:7 ff. The egg and scorpion are added here. The serpent and scorpion are the positively mischievous: the samples, ch. Luke 10:19 , of the δύναμις τοῦ ἐχθροῦ : the stone , that which is simply unfit for food . So that God’s answers to our prayers consist of neither useless nor mischievous things, but of His best gift His Holy Spirit in all the various and fitting manifestations of His guidance and consolation and teaching in our lives. This is (because this takes of and imparts to us by leading us continually to Him who is) the ἄρτος of the parable; the ‘paterfamilias’ is our Father in Heaven, with whom however the night is as the day, who never slumbers nor sleeps. It has been noticed how by the hungry traveller coming to the man, may be imported, in the depth of the parable, the awakening in a man’s own soul (which is so precious to him) of that hunger which he has nothing to satisfy, and which none but God can satisfy. The student may, as in the foregoing parable, follow out this clue for himself (provided it be done soberly) with much interest and profit.

Notice that when we address God ( Mat 6:9 ), He is ὁ πατὴρ ὁ ἐν τ . οὐρ . when He answers us , He is ὁ πατὴρ ὁ ἐξ οὐρ . In the former case we go up into Him and His abode; in the latter He comes down to us. The construction is not (Meyer) ὁ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἐξ οὐρ . δώσει : but the one so common in good Greek, ὁ ἐκ Πελοποννήσου πόλεμος , denoting the quarter whence the influence implied in the substantive comes, which here is the result of that relation implied in πατήρ .

Verse 14

14. ] κωφόν and blind , Matthew 12:22 , where see notes on all the common matter.

Verses 14-36

14 36. ] ACCUSATION OF CASTING OUT DEVILS BY BEELZEBUB, AND DEMAND OF A SIGN FROM HEAVEN. OUR LORD’S DISCOURSE THEREUPON. Matthew 12:22-45 .Mark 3:23-30; Mark 3:23-30 . The reasonings of Greswell to shew that Luke relates an entirely different incident from Matt. and Mark, able and well conducted as they are, fail to carry conviction to my mind. The marks of identity are too many and striking to be mistaken; and on the plan of discrimination which he has adopted, I am persuaded that we might prove four distinct Crucifixions and Resurrections to have happened just as easily. Besides, it is quite impossible to carry the hypothesis throughout this section of Luke’s Gospel: and when it has been once given up, a considerable difference is made in the way of regarding the various narrations. On the side of which Evangelist the strict accuracy lies, it is next to impossible for us now to decide. I am inclined to think with Schleiermacher (transl., p. 190), that the section from ch. Luk 11:14 to Luke 12:53 (or rather perhaps 59) is a connected whole, or, at all events, is intended to form such. But then the whole is introduced ( Luk 11:14 ) without any mark of connexion with the preceding, and terminated as abruptly.

On the other hand, the narrative in Matt. is introduced by his usual τότε , following upon a very general description of a retirement of our Lord, and His being pursued by multitudes, all of whom He healed; but whether the οἱ ὄχλοι are the same, and the τότε meant to specify that this incident occurred then and there , is by no means certain. Nor is the close of the section ( Luk 12:50 ) bound very closely to Luke 13:1 , which commences ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ , and can hardly be said with certainty to define the very same natural day . We may observe that the attendant circumstances, as introduced and closed in Mark 3:20 ; Mark 4:1 , are equally indeterminate. I therefore leave the difficulty where I found it, and where I believe it will ever remain, during our present state of imperfection: only observing, that the important incident and discourse grounded on it is no way thereby invalidated in authority. It seems to have been a portion of the evangelic history, the position of which was not exactly and satisfactorily fixed; of which there have been already some instances (see ch. Luk 9:57-62 ), and there are, as will be seen, yet more as we proceed.

Verse 15

15. τινὲς ἐξ αὐτ . ] No inference can here be drawn that these persons were not Pharisees (as Greswell has done), and consequently that the charge proceeded from a different quarter.

Verse 16

16. ] This is not mentioned here by Matt., but further on in the discourse, Luke 11:38 . No distinction (Gresw.) can be drawn between σημ . and σημ . ἐξ οὐρ ., for (1) our Lord answers the demand in both places by the same reply , the sign of Jonas, see also Matthew 16:1-4 ; and (2) the ordinary Jewish idea attached to σημ . would imply ἐξ οὐρ ., see notes on Matthew 16:1 .

Verse 17

17. εἰδώς ] So Matt. also, Luke 11:25 .

οἶκ . ἐπὶ οἶκ . ] The ordinary rendering and house ( divided ) against house, falleth, is certainly right. Before Meyer charged this interpretation with having entirely arisen out of harmonistic considerations, he should have ascertained whether such an expression as a kingdom falling οἶκος ἐπὶ οἶκον is even tolerable. The ruling idea of the saying having been given by the βασ . ἐφ ʼ ἑαυτήν , the emphatic pronoun need not be expressed again. Similarly we have, 1 Corinthians 2:11 , τίς οἶδεν ἀνθρώπων τὰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου , εἰ μὴ τὸ πν . τοῦ ἀνθρώτου τὸ ἐν αὐτῷ ; the ὁ ἄνθρ . being the same throughout.

Verse 20

20. ] ἐν δακτύλῳ θ . = ἐν πνεύματι θ . Matt. No distinction can be established, as Gresw. attempts. The one expression explains the other. What was done (Hebraistically speaking) by the finger of God, was done by the Spirit of God. We have much greater variations than this in sayings demonstrably the same. And as to what the same author maintains about the relative magnitude of the works of the finger, hand , and arm of God, a reference to ref. Ps., where the heavens are ‘the works of Thy fingers ,’ will sufficiently shew how little reliance is to be placed on such subtleties.

Verse 21

21. ] This parabolic sentence is in close connexion with many prophetic sayings, Isa 40:10 mar [85] ; Isaiah 53:12 , and most pointedly Isaiah 49:24-25 . It will be remembered that the Baptist called the Lord by this name, ὁ ἰσχυρότερος placing after it, it is true, μου , but still using it as indicative of the Almightiness of the Son of God, rather than in comparison with himself.

[85] Margin. ‘marg-eccles’ denotes that the reading cited is given on the margin as an alteration to be made in reading the passage in church, e.g. the name of our Lord, where the pronoun would otherwise stand at the beginning of a ‘Gospel for the day.’

The ἰσχυρός is the adversary, Satan; his αὐλή , this present world, John 12:31 ; John 14:30 ; John 16:11 . His goods, or tools, or spoils, τὰ ὑπάρχοντα = τὰ σκεύη = τὰ σκῦλα , are the sons of men , 2Ti 2:26 ; 1 John 5:19 (Greek). With these is he clothed and armed, or rather with their evil capacities , which he furbishes and brightens for his use: with the πανοπλία τοῦ διαβόλου , compare by way of contrast, the πανοπλία τοῦ θεοῦ , Ephesians 6:11-20 . Without these arms and tools he would be powerless: the evil one must have evil men something receptive of evil to work upon. But these the ἰσχυρότερος takes from him, and divides his spoils, Isaiah 53:12 . He divides his spoils turns to His own use and that of His followers all that good which the enemy had corrupted into evil.

The Stronger had already come into the strong man’s house the Saviour , into the world and was robbing him of his captives, and making them into His own disciples e.g. Mary Magdalene and others: but the work was not fully completed yet, till the Lord, by and in His death, overcame him that had the power of death, i.e. the devil. And that His great victory is still proceeding; He is still taking from him one and another, rescuing the sons of men by the power of His gospel, till the end, when He shall (Revelation 20:1 ff.) bind him in the abyss; and though he be loosed for the final conflict by His sufferance, shall cast him overthrown into the lake of fire for ever. Revelation 20:14 .

Verse 23

23. ] See on Matthew 12:30 .

Verses 24-26

24 26. ] See on Matthew 12:43 .

Verses 27-28

27, 28. ] This little but most instructive incident, here interposed, serves to shew the originality of Luke’s account, and that, whatever its position may be, it is itself of the highest authority. The woman apparently was influenced by nothing but common-place and unintelligent wonder at the sayings and doings of Jesus: and she broke out, with true womanly feeling, into a blessing of the mother who bare such a wonderful Teacher. Such seems to be the account of the incident itself.

Our Lord’s reply is indeed wonderful: (1) In reproof . He corrects in her the un-apprehensiveness of his word, which had caused her to go no further into the meaning of it than this ordinary eulogy imported, and gives her an admonition how to profit better by it in future.

(2) In humility . He disclaims all this kind of admiration for his humanity: and says not ‘ my word ,’ but the word of God, which is in fact the same, but takes the view off from Him in his abasement, unto the Father who sent Him.

(3) In truth . He does not deny the honour hereby pronounced upon his mother, but beautifully turns it to its true side viz. that which was given her long since μακαρία ἡ πιστεύσασα , ch. Luke 1:45 .

Her blessedness consisted not so much in being His mother, as in her lowly and faithful observance of the word of the Lord spoken to her: see ch. Luke 2:19 ; Luke 2:51 . Nor again does He deny that to have borne Him was an honour μὲν οὖν is ‘imo vero’ ‘yes, indeed, but.’

(4) In prophetic discernment . It will be seen that this answer cuts at the root of all Mariolatry, and shews us in what the true honour of that holy woman consisted, in faith and obedience . As the mother of the Lord, she represents our human race, unto whom a child is born, a son is given; no individual exclusive honour is due to her, any more than to Cornelius, who was singled out from the Gentile world, and honoured by an angelic message relative to the divine purposes: if she were, as there is every reason to conclude she was, a believer in her Son, the Son of man , she bore Christ in a far higher and more blessed sense than by being His mother in His humanity. And this honour may all believers in Him partake of with her; therefore the Lord says not ἡ ἀκούουσα τ . λ .… but οἱ ἀκούοντες . The last and boldest perversion of these words of our Lord by Father Newman, viz. that He thus does but still further exalt her honour, in that, besides being His mother, she heard His word, and kept it, need only be mentioned, to shew the follies to which able men are abandoned, who once desert truth and simplicity.

Verse 29

29. ] This is now in answer to those who sought of Him a sign from Heaven.

τῶν ὄχλ . ἐπαθρ .… perhaps in expectation, as He paused in His discourse, that the sign was now about to be shewn: see notes on Matt. for the main subject.

Here we have one part of the sign of Jonas brought out, which is not touched on in Matt., viz. his preaching after his resurrection to the Ninevites, announcing for that would necessarily be involved in that preaching the wonderful judgment of God in bringing him there, and thus making his own deliverance , that he might preach to them, a sign to that people; which sign ( Luk 11:32 ) they received, and repented; but a greater than Jonas, shewing and preaching a greater sign by far, this generation shall reject.

Verse 32

32. πλεῖον Ἰωνᾶ ] Not ‘ a greater than Jonas ,’ or ‘ than Solomon: ’ but Jonah = the sign of Jonah, so that πλεῖον is He who is the sign to this generation: a sign, πλεῖον , both in its actuality , its significance , and its consequences . The order , here, seems to be for the sake of climax; for the undervaluing and not appreciating His wisdom , will not lie so heavy on them in the judgment, as the rejection of His preaching of repentance .

Verse 33

33. ] κρύπτην (for so it should be accentuated), a crypt, or covered passage; τὴν ἀπόκρυφον οἰκίαν , Euthym [86] Athenæus, ver. 205, describing a splendid ship built by Ptolemy Philopator, speaks of a κρύπτη φραγμοῖς καὶ θυρίσι περιεχομένη πάντοθεν .

[86] Euthymius Zigabenus, 1116

Verses 33-36

33 36. ] Our Lord goes on to speak of His teaching and miracles, which this generation despised, and demanded a sign from heaven in preference; He tells them that they will not see the significance of them, because they shut the eyes of their understanding, which should be the light of the soul; this is set before them in a parable concerning the light of the body, which is the outward eye. The sentences are repeated from the Sermon on the Mount, see Matthew 5:15 ; Matthew 6:22 f. (where see notes on all that is common), and ch. Luke 8:16 ; but, as has been shewn, the truth shines from a different side of them here.

Verse 35

35. ] σκόπει μὴ …, take heed, lest …, and the ἐστιν , more forcible than ᾖ , implies the actual existence, in the hearers, of the state against which they are cautioned: σκόπει μὴ ὁ νοῦς ὁ φωταγωγὸς τῆς ψυχῆς σου σκοτισθῇ ὑπὸ τῶν παθῶν , Euthym [87]

[87] Euthymius Zigabenus, 1116

Verse 36

36. ] “ Tautological: the second member contains the same assertion as the first .” (De Wette.) Let us examine this. ‘When thine eye is single ( Luk 11:34 ), i.e. simple , straight and single-seeing, thy whole body will be light.’ Then ( Luk 11:36 ), ‘ if this be so , if thy whole body be light, having no part dark, then it shall all be light as when a lamp with its brightness illuminates thee.’ Of what is our Lord speaking? Of His teaching , as apprehended by the simple, single-seeing soul. If then the soul be so, having no part darkened by prejudice or selfish lusts, and approach thus to His teaching, it shall be wholly illuminated by it, as by the candle of the Lord, searching its inward parts. So this saying, which, even as it stands, is not tautological, for the second clause expresses the further result and waxing onward of the shining light, arising from the singleness of the eye, becomes, in its spiritual significance, a weighty declaration of truth, answering to ch. Luke 8:15 : see also John 8:12 .

Verse 37

37. ] ἀριστήσῃ , the morning meal.

εἰσελθ . δὲ ἀνέπεσεν , i.e. without any delay; as soon as He had entered, He sat down.

Verses 37-54

37 54. ] DISCOURSE AGAINST THE PHARISEES. There can be no antecedent improbability in the supposition that our Lord spoke on various occasions, and with various incidental references, the component parts of that great anti-pharisaic discourse contained in Matthew 23:0 . That was spoken in the temple, during the last week of His ministry; it formed the solemn close of His public teaching , and at the end of it He departed out of the temple to return no more. I do not think it possible to suppose any part of that discourse in Matthew to be related otherwise than in its true place; all probability is against such an idea, and so is the character of the reports of discourses in that Gospel, in general so strictly coherent and exact. There is then but one supposition left, unless we suppose Luke to have put together at random a number of fragments, and to have inserted them here, creating an occasion for them (for it amounts to this), which is equally inconceivable. And that is, that our Lord spoke at this meal , the occasion being the wonder of the Pharisee at His not washing before sitting down to meat, parts of that discourse , with which He afterwards solemnly closed His public ministry. See throughout, notes on Matthew 23:0 .

Verse 38

38. ] The expression of this wonder is not stated, but is probable. Our Lord would hardly have so suddenly begun, ὑμεῖς οἱ Φ ., unless something had been said , to which by assent they were parties. See His proceeding when nothing was said , ch. Luke 7:39-40 .

ἐβαπτ .… ] This use of the word shews that it did not imply necessarily immersion of the whole body; for it was only the hands which the Pharisees washed before meat.

Verse 39

39. ] There is not the least improbability or incongruity in our Lord’s having thus spoken as a guest at a meal (as Strauss, Schleiermacher, De Wette, &c., maintain); His solemn work of reproof and teaching was never suspended out of mere compliment, nor were the intentions of the Pharisees towards Him so friendly as these invitations seem to imply. They were given mostly from deference to popular opinion, and from no love to Him; sometimes even with a directly hostile object. See Luke 11:53-54 , and compare also ch. Luke 7:44-46 . Observe also, that the severest parts of the discourse in Matt. (Luke 11:13-22 ; Luk 11:33 ) were not uttered on this occasion.

νῦν , i.e. as instanced by your present conduct Here is an instance of your, &c.

τοῦ ποτ. κ. τ. πίν. ] Understand, ‘in the proverb’ or perhaps the application is left to be enthymematically filled up, for the next clause presupposes it.

τὸ ἔξωθεν and τὸ ἔσωθεν of a man , are not the outside and inside of the body but the outside apparent conduct , and the inner unseen motives .

Some difficulty has been found in the parallelism of τὸ ἔξωθεν τοῦ ποτηρίου κ . πίνακος , and τὸ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν : and a proposal has been made (to which I am surprised to see Bleek giving his adhesion) to take ὑμῶν with what follows: “ the inside (of the cup and platter) is full of your plunder and wickedness .” But surely all verisimilitude is against this, as well as the emphatic position thus given to ὑμῶν . The simple fact is, that the parable and its interpretation are intermixed throughout the whole, the mind of the hearer being left to find its own way in allotting each its part.

Luk 11:40 seems clearly to me to be a question , and to mean, as E. V., Did not He, who made the outside, make the inside also? i.e. if His works have become unclean and polluted through sin, what is the use of only partially purging them, not accomplishing the purgation? must not the cleansing, to be good for any thing, extend to the whole?

The making ὁ ποιήσας to mean, ‘ he who has cleansed ,’ and a negative, instead of an interrogative sentence ‘ye fools, he who has cleansed the outside has not cleansed the inside also’ gives, especially as the same was more strongly implied in Luke 11:39 , the most frigid sense imaginable; and I can only (still, after his second edition) wonder that Stier, after Kuinoel and others, should have adopted it.

Verse 41

41. ] Here again I am compelled entirely to differ from Stier, who, with Erasmus, Lightfoot, Kuinoel, Schleiermacher, &c., understands this as ironical but ye give alms of their contents, and behold, all things are clean (in your estimation) to you .’ But (1) this is inconsistent with the imperative δότε . (2) It would require ἐκ τῶν ἐνότων , for the Pharisees did not give τὰ ἐνόντα in this sense. (3) It would be altogether irrelevant to the matter in hand, which was reproof to the Pharisees for their care about outward cleanliness, when the inside was left unclean . (4) It would be inconsistent with the emphatic position of τὰ ἐνόντα , which are thus pointed out as the true material , out of which to give alms. It would be altogether contrary to our Lord’s usual habit of speaking about giving alms, to make Him cast a slur on it, as this would do: see Mark 10:21 ; ch. Luke 12:33 , where the expression is very similar to this.

The command is a rebuke for their covetousness (see ch. Luk 16:14 ), which follows in close connexion with ἁρπαγή and πονηρία , Luke 11:39 . The τὰ ἐνόντα are the contents of the vessel , which vessel (Luke 11:39 : see note above) is ὑμεῖς : = therefore, in its meaning, the τὰ ὑπάρχοντα of ch. Luke 12:33 , and the πάντα καθαρά ἐστιν answers to the θησαυρὸς ἐν οὐρανῷ of that verse, the result of which is the καρδία ἐν οὐρανῷ : and such persons being καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ , to them, as τοῖς καθαροῖς , πάντα καθαρά ( Tit 1:15 ).

Verse 42

42. ] But woe unto you, for ye do not this, but make the most trifling payments, &c. The connexion, which is thus so close, is quite destroyed by the ironical interpretation of Luke 11:41 . See note on Matthew 23:23 .

Verse 43

43. ] Matthew 23:6-7 . There doubtless was ample illustration of this at the time and place when it was spoken.

Verse 44

44. ] See Matthew 23:27 ; but here the point of comparison is different. There (see note) the sepulchres are whited, that men may not pass over them unawares: and the comparison is to the outside fairness, and inside abomination. Here , the graves are not seen , and men thinking they are walking on clean ground are defiled by passing over them. Perhaps the difference of expression may have been occasioned by the greater wealth and splendour and display of the Pharisees in the metropolis , where Matthew 23:0 was spoken.

οἱ ἄνθρ . οἱ περ . ἐπ ., the men who walk over them …; οἱ ἄνθρ . περ . ἐπ ., men, when they walk over them.

Verse 45

45. ] This man appears to have been not a common Pharisee merely, but besides, a νομικός , whose duty it especially was to interpret the law. Perhaps he found himself involved in the censure of Luke 11:42 ; or generally among the other Pharisees.

Verse 46

46. ] See on Matthew 23:4 .

Verse 47

47. ] See on Matthew 23:29-32 .

Verse 48

48. ] See on Matthew 23:34-36 .

We have here a remarkable variation of expression in Luke 11:49 , ἡ σοφία τοῦ θεοῦ εἶπεν here = ἐγώ Matt. Various explanations have been given of this. The difficulty is not the variation just noticed, so much as that no such passage exists in the O.T. But I have little doubt that the true explanation is this: the whole saying is a reference to 2 Chronicles 24:18-22 , and so marked a one, that I am surprised no Commentators but Olshausen and Stier should have observed it, and they not thoroughly. That passage opens with remarks of the sacred historian on the delinquency of Judah and Jerusalem after the death of Jehoiada the priest: then Luke 11:19 , ‘ He sent prophets to them, to bring them again to the Lord; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear. And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them.… And they conspired against him, and stoned him with stones at the commandment of the king in the court of the house of the Lord.… And when he died, he said, The Lord look upon it , and require it. ’ The words in our text are not indeed a citation , but an amplification of Luk 11:19 there a paraphrase of them, giving the true sense of what the wisdom of God intended by them; enlarging the mere historical notice which laid hold of God’s purpose only by one thread let down to the earth, into the divine revelation of the whole purpose of God as the counsel of His will in heaven. In Matt. the Lord Jesus Himself , as became the solemnity of that final and awful close of His testimony to His own who received Him not, stands forth as the doer of this work, the sender of the Prophets and Apostles. (On ‘ son of Barachias ’ see on Matthew 23:35 .)

Perhaps the strangest solution of the difficulty above noticed is that of Meyer (second ed.), who supposes the words to have been inserted here from Matthew, and introduced as a quotation by ἡ σοφ . τ . θ . εἶπεν , which Luke puts into the mouth of Jesus Himself , lasst hier Jesum selbst reden .

Bleek attributes the fact of our Lord having made this event the terminus historicus of their murders of the prophets to the position of the books of Chronicles at the end of the Hebrew Canon: and uses it as a proof that they then held the same place as now.

Verse 52

52. ] ἤρ . τὴν κλ . τῆς γν . = κλείετε τὴν βασ. τ. οὐ . ἔμπροσθεν τ. ἀνθ . Matthew 23:14 , which words are the best explanation of our text: the key of knowledge (i.e. not of , as admitting to , knowledge but the key is the knowledge), being that right understanding of the Law and Prophets, which should shew Him to the people, of whom they testified; this the expounders of Scripture had taken away, neither themselves entering, nor permitting those to enter who were otherwise doing so, and thus shutting the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces.

Verse 53

53. ] ἐνέχ . ( αὐτῷ understood, see reff.) to press vehemently upon Him with a hostile view; a sense confined apparently to N.T. and LXX.

ἀποστ . ] ἀποστοματίζειν φασὶ τὸν διδάσκαλον , ὅταν κελεύει τὸν παῖδα λέγειν ἄττα ἀπὸ στόματος . Suidas. So it will mean, to examine Him, to question Him, especially, we may suppose, on such things as would require answers out of, or expository of, the Law, as they catechized in schools.

Verse 54

54. ἐνεδρ . αὐτόν ] The accus. is Hellenistic, instead of the usual dative: so ἐνήδρευσαν τὰς παρθένους , Jos. Antt. ver 2, 12.

Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 11". Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hac/luke-11.html. 1863-1878.
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