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Bible Commentaries
Luke 17

Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New TestamentMeyer's Commentary

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Luke 17:1 . Instead of τοῦ μή Elz. has merely μή . But τοῦ is decisively attested. Tischendorf has the arrangement τοῦ τὰ σκ . μὴ ἐλθ ., following B L X א ; the usual order of the words was favoured because of Matthew 18:7 .

οὐαὶ δέ ] B D L א , min. vss. Lachm. Have πλὴν οὐαί . From Matthew 18:7 .

Luke 17:2 . μύλος ὀνικός ] B D L א , min. vss., including Vulg. It., have λίθος μυλικός . Recommended by Griesbach, adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.; the Recepta is from Matthew 18:6 .

Luke 17:3 . δέ ] is wanting in B D L X א , min. vss., also Vulg. It. Condemned by Griesb., deleted by Rinck, Lachm. Tisch. A connective addition, in accordance with Matthew 18:15 , from which place, moreover, εἰς σέ is intruded, in Elz. Scholz, after ἁμάρτῃ .

Luke 17:4 . ἁμάρτῃ ] Decisive authorities have ἁμαρτήσῃ . Approved by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.; ἁμάρτῃ is a mechanical repetition from Luke 17:3 .

The second τῆς ἡμέρας has such important evidence against it, that Rinck, Lachm. Tisch. have rightly deleted it. An exegetical addition to balance the previous clause.

After ἐπιστρέψῃ Elz. adds ἐπὶ σέ . In any case wrong; since A B D L X Λ א , min. Clem. have πρός σε (approved by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.), while E F G H K M S U V Γ Δ , min. vss. Or. Dam. have nothing at all (so Griesb. Matth. Scholz). πρός σε is preponderatingly attested; it was variously supplied ( ἐπί , εἰς ) when passed over as superfluous.

Luke 17:6 . Instead of εἴχετε there is stronger evidence in favour of ἔχετε (so Tisch.); the former is an emendation.

Luke 17:7 . ἀνάπεσαι ] Between this form and ἀνάπεσε (Matth. Lachm. Tisch.), the authorities are very much divided. The former was corrected by the latter as in Luke 14:10 .

Luke 17:9 . ἐκείνῳ ] is not found in decisive witnesses; deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. An addition for the sake of more precise statement, which, moreover, is accomplished in Elz. by adding αὐτῷ after διαταχθ .

οὐ δοκῶ ] is wanting in B L X א , min. Copt. Arm. Aeth. Verc. Cypr. Bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Tisch. But how easily might the following οὕτω become an occasion for the omission! For the addition just of these superfluous and yet peculiar words there was no reason.

Luke 17:10 . The second ὅτι is wanting in A B D L א , min. Slav. Vulg. It. Or. and other Fathers. Suspected by Griesb., deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. A connective addition.

Luke 17:11 . διὰ μέσου ] D has merely μέσον , which, dependent on διήρχετο , is to be considered as an exegetic marginal note. The μέσον written on the margin occasioned the readings διὰ μέσον (B L 28, א , Lachm. [Tisch. 8]), which usus loquendi is foreign to the New Testament, and ἀνὰ μέσον (1:13. 69. al).

Luke 17:23 . Before the second ἰδού Elz. Scholz, Lachm. have ἤ , but in opposition to B D K L X Π א , min. Slav. Vulg. ms. Theophylact. An addition, according to the analogy of Matthew 24:23 . Tisch. has the arrangement ἰδοὺ ἐκεῖ , ἰδοὺ ὧδε , following B L, Copt., and in any case it occurred more naturally to the transcribers, partly on its own account, partly following Luke 17:21 and Matthew 24:23 , to place ὧδε first.

Luke 17:24 . After ἔσται Elz. has καί ; bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Tisch. A very easily occurring addition (comp. Luke 17:26 ), which has preponderating evidence against it. Comp. on Matthew 24:27 .

ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ αὐτοῦ ] is, indeed, deleted by Lachm., but is wanting only in B D, 220, codd. of It., and is to be maintained. If it had been added, ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ would have been written, according to Matthew 24:27 , and this would have had not merely a few (248, codd. of It. Ambr.), but preponderating authorities. The omission may easily have arisen by means of the homoeoteleuton ἀνθρωπΟΥ … αὐτΟΥ .

Luke 17:27 . ἐξεγαμίζοντο ] Lachm. Tisch., on preponderating evidence, have ἐγαμίζοντο . Rightly; the former is a kind of gloss, following Matthew 24:38 .

Luke 17:30 . Here also, as at Luke 6:23 , τὰ αὐτά , is to be read, in accordance with B D K X Π א ** min.

Luke 17:34 f. The articles before εἷς and before μία in Elz. Tisch. (the second also in Scholz, Lachm. [Tisch. 8]) have such strong evidence against them, that they appear to have been added, according to the analogy of ὁ ἕτερος and ἡ ἑτέρα .

After Luke 17:35 Elz. Scholz have (Luke 17:36 ): Δύο ἔσονται ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ · ὁ εἷς παραληφθήσεται , κ . ὁ ἕτερος ἀφεθής . Against such decisive evidence, that we cannot suppose an omission occasioned by the homoeoteleuton (Scholz), but an interpolation from Matthew 24:24 .

συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί ] Tisch. has καὶ οἱ ἀετοὶ ἐπισυναχθήσονται , on very important evidence. The Recepta is from Matthew 24:28 .

Verses 1-4

Luke 17:1-4 . The Pharisees (Luke 16:14 ) are despatched and dismissed (Luke 16:15-31 ), and Jesus now again turns Himself, as at Luke 16:1 , to His disciples, and that with an instruction and admonition in reference to σκάνδαλα , a subject which He approached the more naturally that it was precisely the conduct of the Pharisees which had occasioned the entire set of discourses (Luke 15:2 ), and especially had introduced the last portion (Luke 16:14 ), that was of a very offensive nature to the disciples of Jesus, and might become injurious to their moral judgment and behaviour. Comp. already Theophylact. The course of the previous discourse therefore still goes on, and it is unfair to Luke to deny to the formula εἶπε δὲ κ . τ . λ . the attestation of the point of time, and to maintain that there is no connection with the entire section, Luke 17:1-10 (de Wette, Holtzmann; comp. Michaelis, Paulus, Kuinoel).

The contents of Luke 17:1-4 are of such a kind that these sayings, especially in a dissimilar form, might be used several times on various occasions (comp. Matthew 18:7 ; Matthew 18:6 ; Matthew 18:15 ; Matthew 18:21 f.). In the form in which Luke gives them, he found them in his original source of the journey. [213]

ἀνένδεκτόν ἐστι ] equivalent to οὐκ ἐνδέχεται , Luke 13:33 , not preserved elsewhere than in Gregor. Cor. and Artem. Oneir . ii. 70. The expression ἔνδεκτόν ἐστι occurs in Apollonius, de Constr . p. 181, 10, de Adv . p. 544, 1.

τοῦ μὴ ἐλθεῖν ] the genitive dependent on the neuter adjective used as a substantive (Kühner, II. p. 122): the impossible (impossibility) of their not coming occurs. Winer views it otherwise, p. 293 [E. T. 412].

λυσιτελεῖ αὐτῷ , εἰ ] it is profitable for him, if . In what follows observe the perfects, cast around, and he is thrown , by which the matter is declared as completed, and in its completion is made present.

ἤ ] as Luke 15:7 .

ἵνα ] than to deceive, i.e. than if he remained alive to deceive . The being drowned is here conceived of as before the completion of the deceiving. Matthew has it otherwise, Luke 18:6 .

τῶν μικρῶν τούτων ] pointing to those present , not, however, children (Bengel and others), but disciples , who were still feeble, and therefore easily led astray, little ones among the disciples, beginners and simple ones. According to Luke 15:1-2 , it is to be supposed that some of them at least were converted publicans and sinners. To explain the expression from Matthew 18:6 or Luke 10:42 is not allowable, since there it has in its connection a reason for its insertion, which does not occur here.

Luke 17:3 . “Considering that offences against the weak are thus inevitable and punishable, I warn you: Be on guard for yourselves , take care of yourselves lest offences occur in your own circle.” In what way especially such offences are to be avoided, the following exhortation then declares, to wit, by indefatigable forgiving love , by that disposition therefore which was, in fact, so greatly wanting to the Pharisees, that they could murmur, as at Luke 15:2 .

ἁμάρτῃ ] shall have committed a fault , namely, against thee , which the context proves by ἄφες αὐτῷ and Luke 17:4 .

ἐπιτίμ . αὐτῷ ] censure him , ἐπίπληξον ἀδελφικῶς τε καὶ διορθωτικῶς , Euthymius Zigabenus. Comp. 2 Timothy 4:2 .

ἐπιστρώψῃ ] a graphic touch, shall have turned round, i.e. shall have come back to thee ( πρός σε belongs to this). He has previously turned away from him, and departed.

The representation by means of ἑπτάκις κ . τ . λ . (comp. Psalms 119:164 ) finds its justification in its purpose , to wit, to lay stress upon forgiveness as incapable of being wearied out ; hence we are not to think of the possible want of principle of such an offender, nor to regard the expression either as a misunderstanding (Michaelis) or as a transformation from Matthew 18:21 f. (de Wette, Weiss). Whether Luke 17:4 stood in the Logia after Matthew 18:15 is an open question, at least it does not form the necessary presupposition of Matthew 18:21 .

[213] According to Holtzmann (comp. Weisse), Luke attempts the return to Mark 9:42 (Matthew 18:6 ), but finds the assertions of Mark 9:43-47 “too glaring and paradoxical.” But these assertions were already from the Logia too widely known and current for this; and how wanting in motive would be that return, which still would not be carried out! Comp. Weiss in the Jahrb. f. D. Theol . 1864, p. 101.

Verses 5-6

Luke 17:5-6 . At the conclusion of the whole of the great set of discourses, now at length appear separately the Twelve ( οἱ ἀπόστολοι , not to be identified with the μαθηταῖς in general, Luke 17:1 ; Luke 16:1 ) with a special request. They feel that the moral strength of their faith in Jesus, i.e. just the loving power of their faith, is not great enough for that great task which is just set them at Luke 17:4 , and ask openly, and with entire confidence in His divine spiritual power, Give us more faith, i.e. stronger energetic faith! It is addition in the sense of intensifying the quality . To suppose a want of connection (Paulus, Schleiermacher, de Wette, Holtzmann), would be justifiable only if it were necessary for πίστις to mean belief in miracles (comp. Matthew 17:20 ); but this the answer in nowise requires. The answer, Luke 17:6 , says: “This your prayer shows that faith (which Jesus, indeed, conceives of in the ideal sense, as it ought to be) is still wholly wanting to you! If you had it even only in very small measure, instead of finding obedience to that rule too difficult, ye would undertake and see accomplished that even which appears impossible (which requires the highest moral power and strength).” According to the reading ἔχετε (see the critical remarks) the idea changes . In the protasis the relation is simply stated , but the apodosis is conditioned by the idea that that which is stated is not, however, actually present . Comp. on 2 Corinthians 11:4 ; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab . vii. 6. 15. [214]

ὑπήκουσεν ] not again imperfect, but aorist: ye would say, … and it would have obeyed you (immediately even upon your saying). Comp. Xen. Anab . v. 8. 13. On the mulberry tree , see Pliny, N. H. xiii. 14; Dioscor. i. 182.

[214] Otherwise Buttmann in the Stud. u. Krit . 1858, p. 483: “Ye ask for an increase of your faith? Have ye then not enough? Verily, and if ye only had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye would be able, if ye wished ( i.e. if ye had confidence in your own faith, the courage of faith, or made the right use of your faith), to say to this fig tree,” etc. But the “ if ye would ” is interpolated; the ἄν with ἐλέγετε simply signifies: in a case that may happen if the case of such a miraculous transplantation were supposed.

Verses 7-10

Luke 17:7-10 . To such efficiency will faith bring you, but guard yourselves withal from any claim of your own meritoriousness! Thus, instead of an immediate fulfilment of their prayer, Luke 17:5 , as conceived by them, Jesus, by the suggestion, quite as humbling as it was encouraging, that is contained in Luke 17:6 , and by the warning that is contained in Luke 17:7 ff., opens up to His disciples the. way on which He has to lead them in psychological development to the desired increase of faith. Here also Maldonatus, Kuinoel, de Wette, Neander, Bleek, Holtzmann deny the connection.

ὃς κ . τ . λ .] ἐστί is to be supplied before.

εὐθέως ] is connected by Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, de Wette, Bleek, and others with ἐρεῖ . But that it belongs to what follows (Luther, Bengel, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Ewald, and others) is indicated in the context by μετὰ ταῦτα φάγεσαι κ . τ . λ ., which is the opposite of εὐθέως παρελθ . ἀνάπεσαι . As to ἀνάπεσαι , see on Luke 14:10 .

Luke 17:8 . ἀλλʼ οὐχὶ κ . τ . λ .] but will he not say to him ? ἀλλά refers to the negative meaning of the foregoing question. See Krüger, ad Anab . ii. 1. 10; Kühner, ad Mem . i. 2. 2.

ἕως φάγω κ . τ . λ .] until I shall have eaten and drunk , so long must the διακονεῖν last.

φάγεσαι κ . πίεσαι ] futures . See Winer, pp. 81, 82 [E. T. 109, 110].

Luke 17:9 . μὴ χάριν ἔχει ] still he does not feel thankful to the servant, does he? which would be the case if the master did not first have Himself served. On χάριν ἔχει , comp. 1 Timothy 1:12 ; it is purely classical, Bremi, ad Lys . p. 152.

τὰ διαταχθ .] the ploughing or tending.

Luke 17:10 . οὕτω καὶ ὑμεῖς κ . τ . λ .] like the slave, to whom no thanks are due. We are not to supply ἐστέ after ὑμεῖς .

ἀχρεῖοι ] unprofitable slaves. Comp. Xen. Mem. i. 2. 54: ὅ τι ἀχρεῖον ᾖ καὶ ἀνωφελές . On the contemptuous meaning, see Lobeck, ad Aj . 745. The point of view of this predicate [215] is, according to the context (see what follows), this, that the profit does not begin until the servant goes beyond his obligation. If he do less than his obligation, he is hurtful ; if he come up to his duty, it is true he has caused no damage, but still neither has he achieved any positive χρεία , an must hence acknowledge himself a δοῦλος ἀχρεῖος , who as being such has no claims to make on his Lord for praise and reward. Judged by this ethical standard, the χρεία lies beyond the point of duty, for the coming up to this point simply averts the damage which, arising from the defect of performance, would otherwise accrue. The impossibility, however, even of coming up to this point not only excludes all opera supererogativa , but, moreover, cutting off all merit of works, forms the ethical foundation of justification by faith . The meaning “ worthless ” (J. Müller, v. d. Sünde , I. p. 74) is not the signification of the word (any more than in LXX. 2 Samuel 6:22 , שָׁפָל ), but it follows at once from this. Moreover, the passage before us does not stand in contradiction to Luke 12:37 , since the absence of merit on the part of man, by which Jesus here desires to humble him, does not exclude the divine reward of grace, by which in Luke 12:37 He encourages him. It is incorrect to say that Jesus promised to His disciples no other reward than that which is found in the fulfilment of duty itself (Schenkel).

[215] Otherwise Matthew 25:30 . The different reference in the two passages is explained from the relative nature of the conception. Bengel aptly says: “Miser est, quem Dominus servum inutilem appellat Matthew 25:30 ; beatus, qui se ipse.… Etiam angeli possunt se servos inutiles appellare Dei.”

Verses 11-19

Luke 17:11-19 . The great discussion from Luke 15:1 onwards is now concluded. Now, before proceeding with his narration, Luke first gives into the reader’s hands again the thread of the account of the journey (comp. Luke 9:51 , Luke 13:22 ). According to de Wette, indeed, this is a confused reminiscence of the journey, and according to Schleiermacher an original introductory formula left standing by the compiler.

καὶ αὐτός ] As to καί , see on Luke 5:12 . αὐτός : he on his part , independently of other travellers to the festival who were wont to travel direct through Samaria, Joseph. Antt . xx. 6. 1.

διὰ μέσου Σαμαρ . κ . Γαλιλ .] According to the usage of μέσον (with or without an article, see Sturz, Lex. Xen . III. p. 120) with a genitive, this may mean either through the midst of Samaria and Galilee (Luke 4:30 ; Jeremiah 37:4 ; Amos 5:17 ; Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab . i. 2. 23), or through the strip of country forming the common boundary of Samaria and Galilee, i.e. between the two countries on the borders. So Xen., Anab . i. 4. 4 : διὰ μέσου ( in the midst through between the two walls ) δὲ ῥεῖ τούτων ποταμός ; Plat. Leg . vii. p. 805 E. Comp. ἀνὰ μέσον , Ezekiel 22:26 ; Judges 15:4 ; 1 Kings 5:12 . The former (Vulg. and many others, including de Wette) is opposed to the context, since Samaria is named first , but the πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ led first through Galilee . [216] No; according to Luke, Jesus Himself journeyed in the midst, between (“in confinio,” Bengel), through the two countries , so that He kept on the boundary, having before Him on the south Samaria, on the north Galilee. See also Wetstein, Schleiermacher, Bleek, Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erfüll . II. p. 113; Lange, L. J. II. 2, p. 1065. His direction is to be regarded as from west to east, as in Luke 18:35 He comes into the neighbourhood of Jericho. Now as Jericho is situated not far from the Jordan, but Luke says nothing of any passing over to Peraea (nevertheless Wetstein assumes this crossing over, which is said to have occurred at Scythopolis, so also Lichtenstein, p. 318), it is thus, according to Luke, to be assumed that Jesus journeyed across on the boundary of Samaria and Galilee eastward as far as the Jordan, and then passing downwards on the Jordan reached Jericho. A disagreement with Matthew and Mark, who make Him journey through Peraea. See on Matthew 19:1 .

That Σαμαρείας is named first , has its natural reason in the previous statement of the direction εἰς Ἱερους ., in accordance with which, in mentioning the borders, Luke has first of all in view the forward movement corresponding to this direction. The narrative contained in Luke 17:12 ff. Luke has not “constructed out of tradition” (Holtzmann), but has borrowed it from his source of the journey.

δέκα ] οἱ ἐννέα μὲν Ἰουδαῖοι ἦσαν , ὁ δὲ εἷς Σαμαρείτης · ἡ κοινωνία δὲ τῆς νόσου τότε συνήθροισεν αὐτοὺς ἀκούσαντας , ὅτι διέρχεται ὁ Χριστός , Euthymius Zigabenus.

πόῤῥωθεν ] μὴ τολμῶντες ἐγγίσαι (Theophylact) to wit, as being unclean, to whom closer intercourse with others was forbidden (Leviticus 13:46 ; Numbers 5:2 f.). See on Mark 1:43 , and the relative Rabbinical regulations in Lightfoot, Schoettgen, and Wetstein.

Luke 17:13 . αὐτοί ] they on their part took the initiative.

Luke 17:14 . ἰδών ] when He had looked upon them , had His attention first directed to them by their cry for help.

πορευθέντες κ . τ . λ .] for on the road their leprosy was to disappear; see what follows, where indeed Paulus, in spite of the ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν (which is made to mean: when they agreed to go!), interprets ἐκαθαρίσθ ., they were declared to be not infectious !

τοῖς ἱερεῦσι ] the Samaritan to be inspected and declared clean must go to a Samaritan priest.

Luke 17:15 . ἰδών , ὅτι ἰάθη ] even before his coming to the priest, [217] who had therefore communicated to him no remedy (in opposition to Paulus).

Luke 17:16 . κ . αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρείτ .] and as for him, he was a Samaritan (by way of distinction from the rest). This is made use of (Strauss, II. p. 53 f.) for the view that the entire narrative is woven together from traditions of the healings of leprosy and from parables which recorded Samaritan examples. This audacious scepticism is emulated by Eichthal, II. p. 285 f.

Luke 17:17 . οἱ δέκα ] all the ten ; οἱ ἐννέα , the remaining nine . See Kühner, II. p. 135 f.

Luke 17:18 . οὐχ εὑρέθ . κ . τ . λ .] have they not been found as returning, etc. Comp. on Matthew 1:18 .

τῷ θεῷ ] who through me has accomplished their cure. Comp. Luke 17:15 . Proper gratitude to God does not detract from him who is the medium of the benefit. Comp. Luke 17:16 .

ὁ ἀλλογενής ] heightens the guilt of the nine. The word does not occur in classical Greek; often in the LXX. and the Apocrypha, especially of Gentiles. The Greeks use ἀλλόφυλος , ἀλλοεθνής . The Samaritans were of foreign descent , on account of their Cuthaic blood. Comp. on Matthew 10:5 ; 2 Kings 17:24 .

Luke 17:19 . Jesus dismisses the thankful one, giving him, however, to understand what was the cause of his deliverance a germ for the further development of his inner life! Thy faith (in my divine power, Luke 17:15 ) hath delivered thee. This faith had not yet the specific Messianic substance; as yet, Jesus to him was only a divine, miraculously powerful teacher. See Luke 17:13 .

[216] According to this understanding Jesus must have journeyed, not southwards, but northwards, which Paulus and Olshausen actually suppose, understanding it of a subordinate journey from Ephraim (John 11:54 ). But this is totally opposed to the direction ( εἰς Ἱερουσ .) specified in the context, in respect of which Jesus is wrongly transferred already at Luke 10:38 to Bethany. See on Luke 9:51 . Schleiermacher’s view of this passage is altogether untenable, as well as that of de Wette, according to whom (comp. Strauss, II. p. 202) the notice is only intended to explain the presence of a Samaritan , and therefore Σαμαρείας is put first. As though Luke would have written in such a thoughtless mechanical fashion!

[217] If the Samaritan had first been to the priest (Calvin, Schleiermacher), Jesus could not have put the question which He asks at ver. 17 f., since the nine Jews had a much farther journey to the priests. The return of the Samaritan is to be conceived of as very soon after the departure, so that the whole scene took place while still in the village.

Verses 20-21

Luke 17:20-21 . What follows, and indeed as far as Luke 18:30 , still belongs to these border villages, Luke 17:12 . It is not till Luke 18:31 that the further journey is intimated, on which, at Luke 18:35 , follows the approach to Jericho.

To consider the question of the Pharisees as a mocking one (Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Calvin, Paulus, Kuinoel, and others), is unfounded. According to the analogy of other Pharisaic questions, and according to the indirect manner of the answer of Jesus, an intention to tempt Him is rather to be supposed. They wished to perplex Him, since he represented Himself by words and (as just at this moment) by deeds as the Messiah, by the problem, When is the kingdom of Messiah coming?

μετὰ παρατηρήσεως ] μετά of accompanying circumstances (Bernhardy, p. 255): under observation, i.e. the coming of the Messiah’s kingdom is not so conditioned that this coming could be observed as a visible development, or that it could be said, in consequence of such observation, that here or there is the kingdom. See what follows. The coming is ἀπαρατήρητον it developes itself unnoticed . This statement, however, does not deny that the kingdom is a thing of the future (Ewald: “as something which should first come in the future, as a wonderful occurrence, and for which men must first be on the watch”), but only that in its approach it will meet the eye . In the signification of watching and waiting for, παρατήρησις would convey the idea of malice ( insidiosa observatio , Polybius, xvi. 22. 8); but in the further descriptive οὐδέ ( not even ) ἐροῦσιν κ . τ . λ ., is implied only the denial of the visibility of the event which, developing itself (“gradatim et successive,” Bengel), might be able to be observed (comp. παρατήρησις τῶν ἄστρων , Diod. Sic. i. 28). But if the advent of the kingdom happens in such a manner that it cannot be subjected to human observation, it is thereby at the same time asserted that neither can any limited point of time when it shall come ( πότε , Luke 17:20 ) be specified. The idea: with pomp (Beza, Grotius, Wetstein, comp. Kuinoel and others), conveys more than the text, which, moreover, does not indicate any reference to heathenish astrology or augury (Lange).

οὐδὲ ἐροῦσιν ] Grotius aptly says: “non erit quod dicatur.” On the more definite future after the more general present , see Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor . p. 368 f.

ἰδοὺ γάρ ] a lively and emphatic repetition of the ἰδού at the beginning of the argument urged against them. This, as well as the repetition of the subject, ἡ βασιλ . τ . Θεοῦ , has in it something solemn.

ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ] the contrary of ἐκτός , ἔξω : intra vos, in your circle, in the midst of you . Comp. Xen. Anab . i. 10. 3 : ὁπόσα ἐντὸς αὐτῶν καὶ χρήματα καὶ ἄνθρωποι ἐγίνοντο ; Hell , ii. 3. 19; Thuc. vii. 5. 3; Dem. 977. 7; Plat. Leg . vii. p. 789 A: ἐντος τῶν ἑαυτῶν μητέρων ; Aelian, Hist . ii. 5. 15. So Euthymius Zigabenus, Beza, Grotius, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, and others, including Kuinoel, Paulus, Schleiermacher, Fleck in Winer’s Exeg. Stud . I. p. 150 ff., Bornemann, Kaeuffer, De ζωῆς αἰ . not . p. 51, de Wette, Ewald, Bleek, Hofmann, Schriftbew . II. 2, p. 146. In the midst of them the Messianic kingdom was, so far as He, the Messiah , was and worked (comp. Luke 11:20 ; Matthew 12:28 ) among them ( μέσος ὑμῶν , John 1:26 ). For where He was and worked, He, the legitimate King and Bearer of the kingdom, ordained thereto of the Father (Luke 22:29 ), there was the Messianic kingdom (which was to be formally and completely established at the Parousia ) in its temporal development, like the seed, the grain of mustard seed, the leaven, etc. Rightly, therefore, does Jesus argue ( γάρ ) from the ἐντὸς ὑμῶν ἐστιν that it comes unnoticed, and not in an appearance to be observed, wherein He certainly evades the point of the Pharisaic question which referred to the currently expected appearing of the kingdom (comp. Luke 9:27 , Luke 21:28 ) in so far as the ἔρχεσθαι , which He means refers to the development in time ; an evasion, however, which was fully calculated to make them feel the impudent prying spirit of the question they had started, and to bring near to the questioners the highest practical necessity in respect of the coming of the kingdom (the perception of the Messiah who was already in the midst of them). If others [218] have explained ἐντὸς ὑμῶν by in animis vestris (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Vatablus, and others, including Ch. F. Fritzsche in Rosenmüller, Repert . II. p. 154 ff., Olshausen, Glöckler, Schaubach in the Stud. u. Krit . 1845, p. 169 ff., Köstlin, Hilgenfeld, Schegg), there is, it is true, no objection to be raised on the score of grammar (comp. Plat. Tim . p. 45 B, Soph . p. 263 E, Pol . iii. p. 401 D; Psalms 38:4 ; Psalms 109:22 ; Psalms 103:1 ; Sir 19:23 ; Matthew 23:26 ); but it is decidedly opposed to this that ὑμῶν refers to the Pharisees , in whose hearts nothing certainly found a place less than did the ethical kingdom of God, [219] as well as the fact that the idea itself to wit, of the kingdom of God, as of an ethical condition in the internal nature of the Ego (“a divine-human heart-phenomenon,” Lange) is modern , not historico-biblical (not even contained in Romans 14:17 ; 1 Corinthians 4:20 ; Colossians 1:13 ).

[218] So also Lange, L. J. II. 2, p. 1080, yet blending with it the other explanation.

[219] Quite opposed to the words of the passage is the evasion of Olshausen, that the expression only establishes the possibility of the reception of the Pharisees into the kingdom, inasmuch as the inwardness of its revelation is laid down as its general criterion .

Verse 22

Luke 17:22 . The Pharisees have got their answer. But Jesus does not allow the point of their question to be lost thereby, but turns now to His disciples (probably after the departure of the Pharisees, as they do not appear again in what follows, and as the discourses themselves bear an unreserved character, wholly different from Luke 17:20 f.), in order to give to them instructions in reference to the question raised by the Pharisees, and that not on the temporal development of the kingdom of the Messiah wherewith He had despatched them, but on the actual solemn appearing of the Messiah in the Parousia . “Calamities will arouse in them the longing after it, and false Messiahs will appear, whom they are not to follow; for, like the lightning, so immediately and universally will He reveal Himself in His glorious manifestation,” Luke 17:22-24 . See further on Luke 17:25 . We have here the discourse of the future from the source of the account of the journey . This and the synoptic discourse on the same subject, Luke 21:5 ff., Luke keeps separate. Comp. Weizsäcker, pp. 82 f., 182, and see the remark after Luke 17:37 .

μίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν τοῦ υἱοῦ τ . ἀνθρ . ἰδεῖν ] i.e. to see the appearance of a single day of the Messianic period (of the αἰὼν μέλλων ), in order, to wit, to refresh yourselves by its blessedness. Comp. Grotius, Olshausen, de Wette, Lange, Bleek. Your longing will be: Oh, for only one Messianic day in this time of tribulation! a longing indeed not to be realized, but a natural outbreak under the pressure of afflictions.

Usually , yet not suitably in accordance with Luke 17:26 : “erit tempus, quo vel uno die meo conspectu, mea consuetudine, qua jam perfruimini, frui cupiatis ,” Kuinoel; comp. Ewald.

καὶ οὐκ ὄψεσθε ] because, to wit, the point of time of the Parousia is not yet come; it has its horas et moras .

Verses 23-24

Luke 17:23-24 . See on Matthew 24:23-27 .

ἐροῦσιν κ . τ . λ .] on the occasion of the appearance of false Messiahs. A locality of fixed limits, moreover (comp. Luke 17:21 ), does not characterize the solemn appearing of the kingdom.

ἰδοὺ … ὧδε ] namely: is the Messiah!

μὴ ἀπέλθ . μηδὲ διώξ .] a climax: Go not forth, nor follow after ( sectamini ), to wit, those of whom this is asserted.

Luke 17:24 . The lightning which lightens ; comp. similar expressions in Lobeck, Paral . p. 503.

ἐκ τῆς ] Supply χώρας . See Bos, Ellips. ed. Schaefer, pp. 560, 562; Winer, p. 522 [E. T. 740]: flashing out from the one region under the heaven (which expands under the heaven, ὑπό with an accusative) lightens even to the other (opposite one [220] ).

οὕτως ] in such a manner of appearance as manifests itself in a moment and universally.

[220] What Lange reads into the passage, “from the old world to the new,” is not there at all. Comp. Matthew 24:27 .

Verse 25

Luke 17:25 . What will yet first precede the Parousia , and (1) in respect of the Messiah Himself: He must (comp. Luke 9:22 , Luke 24:26 ) first suffer and be rejected, Luke 17:25 ; and (2) in respect of the profane world: it will continue in security in its usual earthly doing and striving, until the crisis, universally ruinous for it, shall suddenly break in as in the days of Noah and of Lot, Luke 17:26-30 . See further on Luke 17:31 .

Verses 26-27

Luke 17:26-27 . Comp. Matthew 24:37 f.

καθὼς ἐγένετο κ . τ . λ .] to wit, that men carelessly and securely pursued their accustomed striving till they were overtaken by the flood.

ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τ . υἱοῦ τ . ἀνθρώπου ] in the days in which the appearance of the Messiah will come.

Luke 17:27 . ἤσθιον , ἔπινον κ . τ . λ .] a vividly graphic asyndeton.

καὶ ἦλθεν ] not to be connected with ἄχρι ἧς ἡμέρας (Bleek). See Genesis 7:4 ; Genesis 7:10 .

Verses 28-30

Luke 17:28-30 . Ὁμοίως ] does not belong to ἅπαντας (Bornemann, who assumes a Latinism: perdidit omnes pariter atque ut accidit ), against which is to be set the similarity of the twofold καὶ ἀπώλεσεν ἅπαντας , Luke 17:27 ; Luke 17:29 . Moreover, we are not to conceive of ἔσται again after ὁμ . καί (Paulus, Bleek), against which is Luke 17:30 ; but similiter quoque, sicuti accidit , etc. This ὁμοίως καί is afterwards again taken up by κατὰ τὰ αὐτά , Luke 17:30 , and the ἤσθιον … ἅπαντας that lies between the two is epexegetically annexed to the ὡς ἐγένετο , as in Luke 7:11 , Luke 8:40 , and frequently; so that ἤσθιον … ἅπαντας is not to be put in a parenthesis at all (Lachmann), but neither is any point to be placed after ἅπαντας (Tischendorf).

Luke 17:29 f. ἔβρεξε ] scil . θεός . Comp. Matthew 5:45 ; Genesis 19:24 . In remembrance of the latter passage the subject is presupposed as known, and hence the verb is not intransitive, as at Revelation 11:6 (Grotius). On the use of the word in classical Greek, see Lobeck, ad Phryn . p. 291.

πῦρ κ . θεῖον ] Comp. Hom. Od . xxii. 493; it is not to be transformed into lightnings (Kuinoel); Jesus follows the representation of Genesis 19:0

ἀποκαλύπτεται ] is revealed , 1Pe 5:4 ; 1 John 2:28 ; 1 John 3:2 . Up to that time He is hidden with God in His glory, Colossians 3:3 f.; 2Th 1:7 ; 1 Corinthians 1:7 ; 1Pe 1:7 ; 1 Peter 4:13 .

Verses 31-33

Luke 17:31-33 . At that day it is well to abandon all earthly possession, wherefore I call to your remembrance the example of Lot’s wife. Even the temporal life must be abandoned by him who wishes not to lose the life eternal.

ὃς ἔσται ἐπὶ τοῦ δώμ . κ . τ . λ .] indicates certainly the undelayed flight with abandonment of earthly possession , but not, as at Matthew 24:17 , Mark 13:15 , the flight in the destruction of Jerusalem, of which here there is no mention, but the flight for deliverance to the coming Messiah at the catastrophe which immediately precedes His Parousia , Matthew 24:29-31 . Then nothing of temporal possession should any more fetter the interest. Hence de Wette is wrong in regarding (comp. Weiss) the expression as unsuitably occurring in this place.

καὶ τ . σκ . αὐτοῦ ] see Bernhardy, p. 304.

Luke 17:32 . τῆς γυναικὸς Λώτ .] whose fate was the consequence of her looking back contrary to the injunction (Genesis 19:26 ), which she would not have done if she had given up all attachment to the perishing possessions, and had only hastened to the divine deliverance. Comp. Wis 10:7 f.

Luke 17:33 . Comp. Luke 9:24 , and on Matthew 10:39 ; Mark 8:35 .

ζητήσῃ … ἀπολέσῃ ] in the time of that final catastrophe ἀπολέσει … ζωογον .: in the decision at the Parousia

ζωογονεῖν , to preserve alive , as Acts 7:19 , and in the LXX. See Biel and Schleusner.

Verses 34-35

Luke 17:34-35 . But the decision at the Parousia , what a separation it will be! a separation of those who are in the temporal life united in a perfectly common position. This is symbolically represented in two examples. Comp., moreover, on Matthew 24:40 f.

ταύτῃ τῇ νυκτί ] which Bengel, in opposition to the context, explains: in this present night, is neither to be interpreted in tempore illo calamitoso (Kuinoel, who says that the night is imago miseriae ; Micah 3:6 ; comp. Grotius and Bleek), nor to be pressed to the conclusion that the Parousia is definitely ordained to take place by night (de Wette, who finds the ground for this view in the comparison of the Messiah with a thief in the night), in respect of which the following grinding at the mill as an occupation of the day-time is held as left standing inappropriately from Matthew, but the horror of the night belongs to the imagery of the concrete representation. [221] At Luke 17:35 , however, there is again a departure from this feature, because a graphic touch of a different kind is added to the idea. Day and hour, even the Son knoweth not, Matthew 24:36 ; comp. Acts 1:7 .

ἐπὶ κλίνης μιᾶς ] not in general: they shall be bed-fellows (Lange), but, according to the words and the concrete representation: they shall find themselves on one bed . A warning against precipitate separation of mingled domestic relations (Lange) is altogether foreign to this passage.

[221] It is not on account of the example of the two in bed together that the night is named (Hofmann, Schriftbew . II. 2, p. 626), but conversely the idea of the night-time suggested that illustration.

Verse 37

Luke 17:37 . Ποῦ ] not: quomodo (Kuinoel), against which ungrammatical rendering even the following ὅπου ought to have guarded him; but: where will this separation occur? As to what follows, see on Matthew 24:28 . On σῶμα , corpse (of man or beast, the latter here), see Duncan, Lex. Homer . ed. Rost, p. 1069. Comp. Luke 23:52 ; Acts 9:40 .


With regard to the discourses which are set forth here, Luke 17:22-37 , but in Matthew 24:0 at another time and in another connection, viz. in that of the great discourse on the end of the world (comp. Luke 21:0 ), some have attributed (Schleiermacher, p. 215 ff., 265 ff., Neander, Olshausen, Bleek), others have denied (de Wette), originality to Luke. The latter view depends upon the assertion of a want of connection, and partial inappropriateness of the expressions in Luke, which assumption, however, is not justified by the exposition. But the former cannot be allowed at the expense of Matthew (see especially Schleiermacher, who supposes in Matthew a mingling of the originally separate discourses, Luke 17:22 ff; Luke 21:5 ff.), since even in Matthew everything stands in strictly linked connection; but Luke 21:0 , in the same way as Matthew, places the Parousia in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem, Luke 21:25 ff. (comp. Strauss, II. p. 338). Without doing injustice to the one or the other evangelist, originality is to be conceded to both , so that Luke 17:22 ff. has preserved, in accordance with his original source, a discourse spoken by Jesus, which, not preserved by Matthew, and belonging to an earlier period than Matthew 24:0 and Luke 21:0 , has the characteristic feature that it remains entirely apart from connection with the destruction of Jerusalem . That the substance of its contents was repeated by Jesus Himself in the great discourse of Matthew 24:0 , is, in respect of the similarity of the material, intelligible enough, and this holds good especially of the characteristic words lightning, deluge, eagles. But it cannot be decided how much in the execution and form is carried over from the one discourse into the other by the mingling processes of reminiscence and tradition, the rather that in general we can ascribe to the discourses in the synoptic Gospels on the end of the world originality only within certain limits, i.e. originality modified by the reflection and expectation of the church (see on Matthew 24:0 , Remarks).

Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 17". Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hmc/luke-17.html. 1832.
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