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Bible Commentaries
Luke 21

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

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Verse 1

1. ἀναβλέψας ] Our Lord as yet has been surrounded with His disciples (see ch. Luk 20:45 ), and speaking to them and the multitude. He now lifts up His eyes, and sees at a distance, &c.

πλουσ . belongs to τοὺς βάλ ., and ὄντας is not to be supplied, nor a comma put after γαζ . It was not the rich only , which that would imply but ὁ ὄχλος (Mark), who were casting gifts in.

Verses 1-4

1 4. ] THE WIDOW’S MITES. Mark 12:41-44 , where see notes.

Verse 4

4. ] εἰς τὰ δῶρ ., among (into) the gifts; not quæ donarent (Beza), ‘ as ,’ or, ‘ for, gifts ,’ which would require the omission of the article: nor so that τὰ δῶρ . = τὸ γαζ .

Verse 5

5. ] Meyer has made the same mistake here, and spoken of the τινές as those to whom the discourse was delivered. The ἀναθήματα were many and precious. Tacitus, Hist. Luke 21:8 , calls it immensæ opulentiæ templum : and Jos., B. J. ver. 5. 4, gives an account of the gilding, and golden vines (presented by Herod the Great) with bunches of grapes as large as a man, &c. in the temple: see also Antt. xv. 11. 3.

Verses 5-36

5 36. ] PROPHECY OF HIS COMING, AND OF THE TIMES OF THE END. Matthew 24:1-51 ( Mat 25:1-46 ). Mark 13:1-37 . See notes on both, but especially on Matt. Meyer says truly in loc. that there is no trace in Luke of the discourse being delivered on the Mount of Olives but he adds, that it belongs to the discourses in the temple , which begin ch. Luke 20:1 , and that therefore Luke alone mentions ἀναθήματα . He seems to have overlooked the break at Luke 21:7 , corresponding to the change of scene. All three speak of the opening incident as happening while He was departing from the temple; and Matt. and Mark, of the enquiry being made afterwards , on the Mount of Olives, i.e. in the evening, when He had retired thither ( Luk 21:37 ).

Verse 6

6. ] ταῦτα ἃ θ ., absolute: see reff.

Verse 7

7. ] That Luke’s account alone gives us no trace of a different scene or a different auditory, is a proof of its independence of the others; for how could any rational writer have omitted so interesting a matter of accurate detail, if he had been aware of it?

οὖν , on account of what our Lord had said, Luke 21:6 .

Verse 8

8. ] ὁ κ . ἤγγ ., i.e. the time of the Kingdom .

They are the words, not of our Lord, but of the πολλοί : see on Matthew 24:4-5 .

Verse 10

10. ] τότε ἔλ . αὐτ . perhaps implies a break in the discourse which the other reports do not notice.

Verse 11

11. ] ἀπ ʼ οὐρ . belongs to both φόβηθ . and σημ . : so does μεγάλα . φόβηθρα cannot stand alone, especially with τε καί .

Verse 12

12. ] Why the words πρὸ δὲ τ . π . should have made any difficulty, I am at a loss to imagine. The prophecies of Matthew 24:7-8 , Mark 13:8 , and Luk 21:10-11 here, are a parenthetical warning of what shall happen before the τέλος . And then having stated, ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων ταῦτα , these things shall be the very beginning of the actual pangs themselves (see note on Matt.), the prophetic chronology is resumed from οὔπω τὸ τέλος in all three accounts; here, by distinct statement, πρὸ δὲ τούτων πάντων : in Mark by implication, βλέπετε δὲ ὑμ . ἑαυ . παρ . ὑμ ., by which δέ , the following words are thrown back to the βλέπετε before: in Matthew by the gathering up of the parenthetical announcements as πάντα ταῦτα , and thus casting them off, as the ἀρχὴ ὠδίνων belonging to the τέλος , before the discourse proceeds with the τότε taken up from Luke 21:6 . The whole difficulty has arisen from not rightly apprehending the force of ὠδίνων , as the death-throes of the end .

Verse 13

13. ] εἰς μαρτ ., viz. of your faithfulness, and (Mark) αὐτοῖς , ‘against them:’ the dativus incommodi.

Verse 15

15. ] Luke only. ἀντειπ . corresponds to στόμα , ἀντιστ . to σοφία .

Verse 16

16. ] καί ‘non modo ab alienis,’ Bengel.

θαν . ἐξ ὑμ ., of the Apostles. One of the four who heard this discourse was put to death, Acts 12:2 .

Verse 18

18. ] Not literally , but really true; not corporeally, but in that real and only life which the disciple of Christ possesses.

Verse 19

19. ] By your endurance (of all these things), ye shall acquire (not, possess , which is only the sense of the perf. κέκτημαι ) your souls: this endurance being God’s appointed way, ἐν (in and by) which your salvation is to be put in your possession.

κτήσ . as εὑρήσει , Mat 16:25 σῶσαι , ch. Luke 9:24 .

Verse 20

20. ] κυκλ ., not circumdari , but participial, graphically setting forth the scene now before them, as it should then appear. On the variation of expression from Matt. and Mark, see note on Matthew 24:15 .

Verse 21

21. ] αὐτῆς belongs to the αὐτῆς of Luke 21:20 , and signifies not Judæa, but Jerusalem .

ταῖς χώρ ., the fields not ‘ the provinces: ’ see reff.

Verse 22

22. ] ἐκδικ ., a hint perhaps at ch. Luke 18:8 . The latter part of the verse alludes probably to the prophecy of Daniel, which Luke has omitted, but referred to in ἡ ἐρήμωσις αὐτῆς , Luke 21:20 .

Verse 23

23. ] ἐπὶ τ . γ ., general; τῷ λ . τούτῳ , particular. The distress on all the earth is not so distinctly the result of the divine anger, as that which shall befall this nation.

Verse 24

24. ] A most important addition, serving to fix the meaning of the other two Evangelists, see notes there, and carrying on the prophetic announcements, past our own times, even close to the days of the end.

πεσοῦνται αἰχμ ., viz. this people .

ἔσται πατ . ] See Revelation 11:2 . The present state of Jerusalem. Meyer maintains that the whole of this was to be consummated in the lifetime of the hearers , on account of the ἀνακύψατε , &c. Luke 21:28 . What views of the discourses of our Lord must such an expositor have!

πληρ . καιροὶ ἐθν . ] Who could suppose that καιροὶ ἐθνῶν should have been interpreted (by Meyer) the appointed time until the Gentiles shall have finished this judgment of wrath to be ended by the παρουσία , within the lifetime of the hearers?

The καιρ . ἐθν . (see reff.) are the end of the Gentile dispensation , just as the καιρός of Jerusalem was the end , fulfilment, of the Jewish dispensation: the great rejection of the Lord by the Gentile world , answering to its type, His rejection by the Jews, being finished, the καιρός shall come, of which the destruction of Jerusalem was a type . καιροί = καιρός : no essential difference is to be insisted on. It is plural, because the ἔθνη are plural: each Gentile people having in turn its καιρός .

Verses 25-26

25, 26. ] The greater part of these signs are peculiar to Luke.

ἀπορίᾳ ἤχους , despair on account of the noise so Herodian (see Me [109] .) iv. 14. 1, ἐν ἀπορίᾳ … τοῦ πρακτέου . By no possibility can ἤχους be gen. after σημεῖα , as Wordsw.: the καί after ἄστροις having since its occurrence taken up a new subject in apposition.

[109] Meyer.

καί be [110] . σάλου ‘vocem angustiorem annectit latiori.’ Kypke, Observv. in loc.

[110] before.

The same may be said of the καί be [111] . προσδοκ . in Luke 21:26 .

[111] before.

Verse 28

28. ] ἀπολ ., i.e. the completion of it by My appearing.

Verse 34

34. ] ἑαυτοῖς and ὑμῶν are emphatic, recalling the thoughts to themselves , after the recounting of these outward signs.

Verses 34-36

34 36. ] Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 35

35. ] There is meaning in καθημ ., sitting securely.

Verse 36

36. ] σταθ ., to be set, i.e. by the angels see Mat 24:31 before the glorified Son of Man.

Verses 37-38

37, 38. ] Peculiar to Luke . These verses close the scene of our Lord’s discourses in Jerusalem which began ch. Luke 20:1 . It does not appear, as Meyer will have it, that Luke believed our Lord to have taught after this in the temple. Nothing is said to imply it a general closing formula like this applies to what has been related.

Verse 38

38. ] ὤρθρ . is literal, not figurative, ‘ came eagerly ,’ as De Wette, &c. think, from several places in the LXX. There is no occasion for a figure here.

Luke relates nothing of any visits to Bethany . He has the name, incidentally only, in ch. Luk 19:29 and ch. Luke 24:50 , where see note.

On the whole question regarding the history of the woman taken in adultery (see digest), compare notes, John 8:1 ff.

Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 21". Alford's Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hac/luke-21.html. 1863-1878.
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