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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 23



Luke 23:1 . Elz. has ἡγαγεν . But ἤγαγον is decisively attested.

Luke 23:2 . After ἔθνος we find ἡμῶν in the more important authorities. So Lachm. and Tisch. As no reason occurred for adding it in the way of gloss, it has more probably been passed over as superfluous.

Luke 23:6 . Γαλιλαίαν ] is wanting in B L T א , Copt. Tisch. Passed over as superfluous and troublesome.

Luke 23:8 . ἐξ ἱκανοῦ ] ἐξ ἱκανῶν χρόνων (B D L T א , Lachm. Tisch.) and ἐξ ἱκανοῦ χρόνου (H M X, min. Vulg. It.) are expansions in the way of gloss.

πολλά is wanting in B D K L M [T Π ] א , min. vss. Condemned by Griesb., deleted by Tisch. An addition to make the statement more precise, which some cursives have after αὐτοῦ .

Luke 23:11 . περιβ . αὐτόν ] αὐτόν is wanting in B L T א , 52, Vulg. codd. of It. Bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Tisch. A superfluous exegetical addition, instead of which R S U Γ , min. have αὐτῷ .

Luke 23:15 . ἀνέπεμψα γὰρ ὑμᾶς πρ . αὐτόν ] B K L M Π א , min. vss. have ἀνέπεμψεν γὰρ αὐτὸν πρὸς ἡμᾶς (B: ὑμᾶς ). An alteration in accordance with Luke 23:11 . There are yet other attempts at improvement in the authorities.

After Luke 23:16 Elz. Scholz have (Luke 23:17 ) ἀνάγκην δὲ εἶχεν ἀπολύειν αὐτοῖς κατὰ ἑορτὴν ἕνα . This is wanting in A B K L T Π , Copt. Sahid. Verc., and does not occur in D, Aeth. Syr. cu. till after Luke 23:19 . There are many variations also in the details. An old gloss. Condemned also by Griesb., bracketed by Lachm. and [omitted by] Tisch. [8].

Luke 23:19 . Instead of βεβλημ . εἰς τ . φ . Tisch. has βληθεὶς ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ , in opposition to preponderating evidence; and the aorist participle is not appropriate grammatically (comp. Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 265 [E. T. 309 f.]).

Luke 23:20 . οὖν ] Lachm. and Tisch. have δέ , on decisive evidence.

Luke 23:21 . Elz. Scholz have σταύρωσον , σταύρωσον . But B D א , Or. Eus. Cyr. have σταυρου , σταυρου , which Griesbach approved (as perispomenon), Lachm. and Tisch. adopted (as paroxytone). The Recepta is from Mark 15:13 f.; John 19:6 ; John 19:15 .

Luke 23:23 . καὶ τῶν ἀρχιερ .] bracketed by Lachm., condemned also by Rinck, deleted by Tisch. It is wanting in B L א , 130, al. Copt. Sahid. Vulg. codd of It. But for what purpose should it have been added? It would be far easier to overlook it as superfluously straggling after αὐτΩΝ .

Luke 23:24 . ὁ δέ ] Lachm. and Tisch. have καί , in accordance with B L א , 157, It. The Recepta is from Mark 15:15 , whence also, and from Matthew 27:26 , αὐτοῖς (Luke 23:25 ) came in, which Elz. reads after ἀπέλ . δέ .

Luke 23:26 . Σίμωνος κ . τ . λ .] Lachm. and Tisch. have Σίμωνά τινα Κυρηναῖον ἐρχόμενον , on important evidence indeed; but the parallels suggested the accusative. Elz. has τοῦ before ἐρχ ., in opposition to decisive evidence.

Luke 23:27 . αἵ καί ] Lachm. has merely αἵ Since the authorities against καί are decisive (A B C* D L X, min. Syr. Copt. Sahid. Arm. Vulg. It. Theophyl.), it is to be deleted, and to be explained from αἵ having been written twice, or as an arbitrary addition, from the well-known usage in Luke. In א αἳ καί is wanting.

Luke 23:29 . ἐθήλασαν ] B C* L א , min. It. have ἔθρεψαν , to which, moreover, C** D approach with ἐξέθρεψαν . ἔθρεψ . is to be adopted, with Lachm. and Tisch. The Recepta is an interpretation.

Luke 23:34 . ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦςποιοῦσιν ] bracketed by Lachm. The words are wanting in B D* א ** 38, 435, Sahid. Cant. 23 :Verc. Variations in details. An ancient omission, according to the parallels, which have not this prayer. It bears, moreover, the stamp of originality in itself; it is also attested by Clem. Hom. xi. 20, and belongs to the peculiar features of the history of the passion which Luke has retained.

κλῆρον ] Tisch. has κλήρους , following A X, min. Syr. cu. [according to Tisch. 8, Syr. cu. favours either reading, but κλήρους is vouched for by Syr. jer. and by the text (not the margin) of Syr. p. ] Slav. Vulg. It. Aug.; the singular is from the parallel and Psalms 22:19 .

Luke 23:35 . The καί after δέ is wanting in D א , min. Vulg. It. Eus. Lachm. Tisch. The subsequent σὺν αὐτοῖς is wanting in B C D L Q X א , min. Syr. Pers. p. Ar. p. Erp. Copt. Aeth. Cant. 23 :Colb. Corb. Rd. Bracketed by Lachm.; σὺν αὐτοῖς is to be deleted; it was added in order, according to the parallels, to allow the mocking by the people also to take place; καί , however, is to be maintained, partly on account of its preponderating attestation, partly because it suggested the addition of σὺν αὐτοῖς , but appeared inappropriate without this addition.

Luke 23:36 . καί ] after προσερχ . is, on preponderating evidence, with Tisch. (Lachm. has only bracketed it), to be deleted. A connective addition.

Luke 23:38 . γεγραμμένη ] Since B L א , Copt. Sahid. have not this at all, while A D Q have ἐπιγεγρ . (so Lachm.), and C* X, min. have γεγρ . after αὐτῷ , the word is, with Tisch., to be deleted as an exegetical addition.

γράμμασινἘβρ .] is wanting in B C* L, Copt. Sahid. Syr. cu. Verc. Deleted by Tisch., by Lachm. only bracketed. It is a very ancient addition from John 19:20 .

οὖτός ἐστιν ] is wanting in C, Colb., and is found in others, sometimes with (D, 124, Cant. Corb.), sometimes without ἐστίν (B L א , Verc.), not until after Ἰουδαίων ; hence there is a strong suspicion of its being a supplement. Lachm. and Tisch. have ὁ βασιλεὺς τ . Ἰουδ . ουτος , although Lachm. brackets οὗτος .

Luke 23:39 . εἰ σὺ εἶ ] Tisch. has οὐχὶ σὺ εἶ , according to B C* L א , vss.; the Recepta is from Luke 23:37 , whence also the λέγων , which precedes these words, and which is wanting in B L, has intruded.

Luke 23:42 . κύριε ] is wanting in B C* D L M* א , min. Copt. Sahid. Syr. jer. Cant. Verc. Or. (once). Bracketed by Lachm., deleted by Tisch. An addition, which Q, Corb. Brix. Syr. cu. Hil. have before μνήσθ . [259]

Luke 23:44 . ἦν δέ ] Lachm. Tisch. have καὶ ἦν ἤδη , in accordance with sufficient evidence. Both the insertion of δέ and the omission of ἤδη were occasioned by the parallels.

Luke 23:45 . καὶ ἐσκοτ . ὁ ἤλιος ] appeared unsuitable after Luke 23:44 , and was therefore in C**? 33 (not by Marcion, according to Epiphanius) omitted (which omission Griesb. commended), while others put in its place, as a gloss on what precedes, τοῦ ἡλίου ἑκλείποντος (B) or ἐκλιπ . (C* L א , min. vss. Or.; so Tisch.).

Luke 23:46 . παραθήσομαι ] παρατίθεμαι (commended by Griesb., adopted by Lachm. and Tisch.) is decisively attested. The Recepta is from LXX. Psalms 31:5 .

Luke 23:48 . ΘΕΩΡΟῦΝΤΕς ] Lachm. and Tisch. have ΘΕΩΡΉΣΑΝΤΕς , which is founded on B C D L R X א , min. Colb.

A has omitted ΘΕΩΡ . Τ . Γ . The aorist is logically necessary.

After ΤΎΠΤ . Elz. Scholz have ἙΑΥΤῶΝ , in opposition to A B C* D L א , in spite of which authorities Lachm. has nevertheless retained it. A superfluous addition, instead of which U X Γ have ΑὐΤῶΝ .

Luke 23:49 . ΑὐΤΟῦ ] Lachm. and Tisch. have ΑὐΤῷ , which is sufficiently attested by A B L P, 33, 64, for ΑὐΤΟῦ to be traced to the inaccuracy of the transcribers. Before ΜΑΚΡ . Lachm. Tisch. have ἈΠΌ , in accordance with B D L א . From the parallels.

Luke 23:51 . Elz. Scholz have Ὅς ΚΑῚ ΠΡΟΣΕΔΈΧΕΤΟ ΚΑῚ ΑὐΤΌς . But B C D L א , 69, Copt. codd. of It. have merely Ὃς ΠΡΟΣΕΔΈΧΕΤΟ . So Lachm. Tisch. From Matthew and Mark was written on the margin sometimes only ΚΑΊ , sometimes ΚΑῚ ΑὐΤΌς , both of which readings are combined in the Recepta . There are many other variations, which together make the Recepta so much the more suspicious.

Luke 23:53 . Lachm. Tisch. have deleted the first ΑὐΤΌ , in accordance, indeed, with B C D L א , min. Vulg. It. (not Ver.); but being superfluous, and being regarded as awkwardly in the way, it was easily passed over.

ἜΘΗΚ . ΑὐΤΌ ] Lachm. and Tisch. have ἜΘΗΚ . ΑὐΤΌΝ , in accordance with B C D א , Vulg. It. Copt. Rightly; ΑὐΤΌ is a repetition from what precedes.

Luke 23:54 . ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥΉ -G0- ] Lachm. Tisch. have ΠΑΡΑΣΚΕΥῆς , in accordance with B C* L א , min. Vulg. codd. of It. Copt. Sahid. Since even the evidence of D is not in favour of the Recepta (it has πρὸ σαββάτου ), the authorities in favour of the genitive are all the stronger, especially as παρασκευή was easily regarded by the transcribers as a name. Hence the genitive is to be preferred.

The καί before σάββ . is, with Lachm. and Tisch., in accordance with B C* L א , min. vss., to be retained. It slipt out in consequence of the omission of the entire clause κ . σάββ . ἐπεφ . (so still D, Colb.), and then was restored without the superfluous καί .

Luke 23:55 . Elz. Scholz have δὲ καὶ γυναῖκες . Certainly erroneous, since the decisive authorities have sometimes left out καί altogether (so Tisch.), sometimes have instead of it αἱ (so Lachm.). The latter is right. From δὲ αἱ arose the δὲ καί so frequent in Luke. But the article is necessary, in accordance with Luke 23:49 .

[259] Still in connection with this deletion of the κύρις is to be read previously with Tisch., following B C* L א * Copt. Sahid.: καὶ ἔλεγεν · Ἰησοῦ .

Verses 1-3

Luke 23:1-3 . Comp. on Matthew 27:2 ; Matthew 27:11 ; Mark 15:1-2 . Luke relates the special charge, Luke 23:2 , very precisely. [260] The preliminary investigation of the case before the Sanhedrim, Luke 22:66 ff., had yielded the result, that Jesus asserted that He was the Messiah. This they now apply in presence of the political power to the political (anti-Roman) side.

ἤρξαντο ] Beginning of the accusation scene.

διαστρέφ .] perverting, misleading . Comp. Polyb. 5:41. 1 : ἀφίστασθαι καὶ διαστρέφειν ; Sir 11:34 .

τὸ ἔθν . ἡμ .] our nation , John 11:50 .

κωλύοντα ] mediately, to wit, by representing Himself, etc. [261]

Χριστὸν βασιλέα ] a King-Messiah . ΒΑΣΙΛΈΑ is added in connection with the political turn which they gave to the charge.

[260] Marcion, as quoted by Epiph., has enriched the accusation with two points more, namely, after τὸ ἔθνος ἡμῶν : καὶ καταλύοντα τὸν νόμον κ . τοὺς προφήτας , and after βασιλ . εἶναι : καὶ ἀποστ ρέφοντα τὰς γυναῖκας κ . τὰ τέκνα .

[261] Thus, according to the Recepta , λέγοντα . Still the reading καὶ λέγοντα (B L T א , vss.) is, with Tischendorf, to be preferred, in which the two points κωλύοντα κ . τ . λ . and λέγοντα κ . τ . λ . are put forward independently. How easily the κΑΙ might drop out after διδονΑΙ !

Verses 4-5

Luke 23:4-5 . In the avowal itself Pilate finds the sign that nothing blameworthy , etc., to him it is the expression of the fixed idea of a harmless visionary.

ἐπίσχυον ] is not, as there is no object in connection with it, to be taken actively (they strengthened their denunciation); but, with the Vulgate, Luther, Beza, and many others: they grew stronger , i.e. they became more emphatic, more energetic . Comp. Diod. v. 59; 1Ma 6:6 , and the correlative κατίσχυον , Luke 23:23 . Both kinds of usage are frequent in the LXX.

ἀνασείει ] Observe, on the one hand, the present , denoting such a persistent urgency; and, on the other, the stronger and more direct expression than Luke 23:2 ( διαστρέφ .) now used: he stirs up (Mark 15:11 ; Polyb. Fr. Hist . 66; Wesseling, ad Diodor . I. p. 615).

ἀρξάμ . κ . τ . λ .] as Matthew 20:8 .

Verses 6-7

Luke 23:6-7 . Pilate was glad to seize the opportunity, when he heard the name of Galilee ( ἀκούσας Γαλιλ .), instead of defending the guiltless, to draw himself out of the business at first, at least by a preliminary reference to the judgment of Herod, [262] which might cause him possibly to be transported to Galilee, and so he might be relieved of the transaction. Herod Antipas was tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea. Comp. Luke 3:1 .

ἀνέπεμψεν ] he sent Him up , as the word, moreover, is used among the Greeks of the sending of delinquents to a higher judicature. Comp. Polyb. i. 7. 12, xxix. 11. 9. In the same manner ἀνάγειν ; comp. on Acts 25:21 ; but at Luke 23:11 it is: he sent back (Philemon 1:11 ).

[262] Scarcely merely for the sake of learning the opinion of Herod (Ewald), for this is not made self-evident by the simple ἀνέπεμψεν ; nor, moreover, for the sake of learning the truth from Herod (Neander).

Verses 8-9

Luke 23:8-9 . The frivolous tetrarch, in an unkingly manner, on the assumption that he had only either to accept or to reject Him, [263] immediately upon the sight of Jesus begins to rejoice at the satisfaction of his curiosity.

ἦν γὰρ θέλων κ . τ . λ .] for from a long time he had been desirous .

On ἐξ ἱκανοῦ , comp. the Greek neutral expressions: ἘΚ ΠΟΛΛΟῦ , ἘΚ ΠΛΕΊΣΤΟΥ , ἘΞ ὈΛΊΓΟΥ , ἘΞ ἘΚΕΊΝΟΥ , and the like; ἘΦʼ ἹΚΑΝΌΝ , 2Ma 8:25 .

ἈΚΟΎΕΙΝ ] continually.

ἬΛΠΙΖΕ Κ . Τ . Λ . ] “ut oculos et animum re nova pasceret more aulae,” Grotius.

ΟὐΔῈΝ ἈΠΕΚΡΊΝΑΤΟ ] is to be explained from the nature of the questions, and from Jesus seeing through Herod’s purpose.

ΑὐΤῸς ΔΈ ] But He on His part.

[263] Comp. Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 436.

Verses 10-12

Luke 23:10-12 . Εἱστήκεισαν ] they stood there . They had brought Him to Herod.

εὐτόνως ] with passionate energy. Comp. 2Ma 12:23 ; Acts 18:28 , often in the Greek writers.

Luke 23:11 . Prudently enough Herod does not enter into the charges, frivolously enough he thinks that justice will be done to the obstinate enthusiast as to a fool, not by means of investigation and punishment, but by contempt and mockery.

σὺν τοῖς στρατεύμασιν αὐτοῦ ] These troops are the body of satellites by whom He is surrounded.

ἐσθῆτα λαμπρ .] a gorgeous robe , which is not to be defined more strictly. A toga candida (Polyb. x. 4. 8, x. 5. 1), which Beza, Kuinoel, Lange, and others suppose, is less in accordance with the situation, in which Jesus was to be caricatured, not as a candidate , but as a king . As such He was to appear again before Pilate splendidly clothed (but whether actually in purple or not is not expressed in the word). Comp. Xen. Cyrop . ii. 4. 5. Bengel, moreover, aptly remarks: “Herodes videtur contemtim voluisse significare, se nil metuere ab hoc rege.”

Luke 23:12 . ὄντες ] along with ὑπάρχειν , for the, sake of making the situation more strongly prominent. See Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor . p. 258 f.

πρὸς ἑαυτούς ] not ἀλλήλους this time, simply “ut varietur oratio,” Kühner, ad Xen. Mem . 2. 6. 20. The cause of the previous enmity is unknown; possibly, however, it had originated from disputes about jurisdiction, since that consideration of Herod’s jurisdiction (of the fori originis ), even although Herod prudently made no further use of it, but sent back the accused, brought about the reconciliation. According to Justin, c. Tr . 103, Pilate sent Jesus to Herod to please him ( χαριζόμενος ).


The narrative of the sending to Herod (comp. Acts 4:27 ) has the stamp of originality, and might as an interlude , having no bearing on the further course of the history, easily disappear from the connection of the tradition, so that its preservation is only due to Luke’s investigation; and even John, in his narrative of the trial before Pilate, leaves it entirely out of consideration. He leaps over it after the words: ἐγὼ οὐδεμίαν αἰτίαν εὑρίσκω ἐν αὐτῷ , Luke 18:38 (not after Luke 23:40 , Tholuck, Olshausen), and hence makes Pilate immediately connect the words of Luke 23:39 , which in the narrative of Luke correspond to the words of Luke 23:16 . But not as though John had not known the intervening incident (de Wette; a conclusion in itself wholly improbable, and going much too far; such, for example, as might be applied equally to the Lord’s Supper, to the agony in the garden, etc.); but, on the contrary, in accordance with the freedom of his peculiar composition, since all the evangelists did their work eclectically . Lightly Strauss, II. p. 500, satisfied himself with the conjecture that the “anecdote” arose from the endeavour to place Jesus before all possible judgment-seats in Jerusalem. Baur, however ( Evang . p. 489), derives the narrative from the endeavour to have the innocence of Jesus attested as conspicuously as possible in the anti-Judaic interest, to lay the guilt on Judaism, and to relieve Pilate as much as possible from the burden (so also Schenkel, p. 405); comp. Eichthal’s frivolous judgment, ii. p. 308.

Verses 13-16

Luke 23:13-16 . Καὶ τοὺς ἄρχοντ .] and in general the members of the Sanhedrim. Comp. Luke 24:20 .

Luke 23:14 . ἐγώ ] I, for my part , to which afterwards corresponds ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ Ἡρώδης .

ἐνώπιον ὑμῶν ] having examined Him in your presence , according to Luke 23:3 ; but there is a variation in John 18:33 f.

οὐδὲναἴτιον ὦν κ . τ . λ .] I have found nothing in this man which could be charged upon him, of that which ye ( οὐδὲν ὦν = οὐδὲν τούτων , ἅ ) complain of against him . On αἴτιον , guilty, punishable , comp. Luke 23:4 ; Luke 23:22 ; on κατηγορ . κατά τινος , very rare in the Greek writers, see Xen. Hell . i. 7. 6 : τῶν τε κατηγορούντων κατὰ τῶν στρατηγῶν . Wolf, ad Dem. Lept . p. 213.

Luke 23:15 . ἀλλʼ οὐδὲ Ἡρώδης ] scil . εὗρεν κ . τ . λ ., nor has even Herod (who yet knows the Jewish circumstances so accurately), etc. Comp. C. F. A. Fritzsche, in Fritzschior. Opusc . p. 178.

καὶ ἰδοὺ κ . τ . λ .] Result of what was done in presence of Herod, which now appears; hence ἐστὶ πεπραγμένον , which does not mean: has been done by Him; but: is done by Him.

Luke 23:16 . The chastisement (what kind of chastisement is left indefinite) is here merely thrown out as a satisfaction; hence there is no essential variation from John 18:39 , and no confusion with John 19:1-4 . Comp. also on Matthew 27:26 . Bengel rightly says: “Hic coepit nimium concedere Pilatus;” and thereby he had placed the attainment of his purpose beyond his power. Μαλακὸς δέ τιςΠιλάτος καὶ ἥκιστα ὑπὲρ ἀληθείας ἐνστατικός · ἐδεδοίκει γὰρ τὴν συκοφαντίαν , μήπως διαβληθῇ ὡς τὸν ἀντάρτην ἀπολύσας , Theophylact.

Verses 18-23

Luke 23:18-23 . A condensed account down to the final condemnation, Luke 23:24 f.

Αἶρε ] e medio tolle , a demand for His death. Comp. Acts 21:36 ; Acts 22:22 ; Dion. Hal Luke 4:4 , and elsewhere.

ὅστις ] quippe qui , not equivalent to the simple qui , but: a man of such a kind that he, etc.

ἦν βεβλημ .] not a paraphrase of the pluperfect, but denoting the condition .

Luke 23:20 . προσεφώνησε ] made an address. Comp. Acts 21:40 .

Luke 23:21 . σταύρου ] Imperative active , not middle; paroxytone , not perispomenon .

Luke 23:22 . γάρ ] as Matthew 27:23 .

Luke 23:23 . ἐπέκειντο ] they pressed, they urged , instabant, Vulg. Comp. Luke 5:1 ; 3Ma 1:22 , often thus in the classical writers.

κατίσχυον ] they became predominant, they prevailed . Comp. Polyb. vi. 51. 6, xx. 5. 6; Matthew 16:18 .

Verses 24-25

Luke 23:24-25 . Ἐπέκρινε ] he pronounced the final sentence , Plat. Leg . vi. p. 768 A; Dem. 1477. 22, and elsewhere; 2Ma 4:48 ; Malachi 4:2; Malachi 4:2 .

ἀπέλυσε κ . τ . λ .] a tragic contrast. Comp. Acts 3:14 .

Verses 26-32

Luke 23:26-32 . Luke proceeds in a very abbreviating fashion, yet with intercalations of original matter, down to Luke 23:49 . The observation ἐρχομ . ἀπʼ ἀγροῦ belongs (as Ebrard at an earlier period also supposed, but now, on Olshausen, Exodus 4:0 , p. 52, questions), as does Luke 23:56 , to the synoptical traces of the working day. See on Mark 15:21 .

The following saying of Jesus to the women is preserved only by Luke, extremely appropriate to the love and fervour at the threshold of death, and certainly from an original tradition.

Luke 23:27 . κ . γυναικῶν ] of women also , not ministering female friends, but other women; and, indeed, according to Luke 23:28 , from the city, as the female sex is accustomed in general to be very sympathizing and tender at executions; ἐκόπτ ., as Luke 8:52 .

Luke 23:28 f. The address is: that they were not to weep over Him (for He was on His way to meet a glorious future); nevertheless over themselves they ought to weep, etc., for (see Luke 23:29 ) over them was impending a terrible future (the destruction of Jerusalem). The contrast of emphasis lies upon ἐπʼ ἐμέ and ἐφʼ ἑαυτάς ; by the position of the one at the end and of the other at the beginning, and the consequent juxtaposition as closely as possible of the two expressions, the emphasis is strengthened.

μακάριαι ] The maternal heart, in truth, feels, besides its own suffering, still more keenly the sufferings of beloved children, Eur. Andr. 395. On ἔθρεψαν (see the critical remarks), comp. Aesch. Choeph. 543: μασθὸνἐμὸν θρεπτήριον

Luke 23:30 . The mountains and hills were to such is the wish of those who are in despair not perchance hide them from the calamitous catastrophe and place them in security (comp. Isaiah 2:19 ; Isaiah 2:21 ), but, as the words themselves (comp. with Hosea 10:8 ; Revelation 6:16 ) indicate, the destructive landslip which covers them was to take them away by sudden death from the intolerable evil.

ἄρξονται ] an outbreaking of the greatest anguish. The subject is the people in general (the Jews), not the steriles (Bengel).

Luke 23:31 . Reason on which this announcement of evil was based, Luke 23:29 f. “If they thus treat the guiltless and the righteous, what shall happen to the godless (to themselves)?” On the figure of the green (Psalms 1:5 ) and the dry tree , comp. Ezekiel 21:3 ; Sanhedr. f. 93. 1. This last saying of Jesus, Luke 23:28-31 , is one great memorial more, at once of His self-denial and of His sinless consciousness, as well as of His certain insight into the counsel of the divine retribution, which now allows itself no longer to be averted, but to be even once more announced with the pain of rejected love, and not to be withheld.

Luke 23:32 . κακοῦργοι ] defining more closely the ἕτεροι δύο . Comp. Luke 23:33 . See Bornemann, Schol. p. 147 f.; Winer, p. 469 [E. T. 665]; Krüger, Anab. i. 4. 2.

Verses 33-34

Luke 23:33-34 . Κρανίον ] A Greek translation of Γολγοθᾶ , a skull , so named from its form . See on Matthew 27:33 , and Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 485, who discovers in the name Golgotha the hill named Gareb in Jeremiah 31:39 .

Luke 23:34 . In ἄφες αὐτοῖς Jesus refers to His enemies , who indeed were the sinning subjects, not to the Roman soldiers (Michaelis, Paulus, Kuinoel, Ewald, Wittichen, following older commentators, and as early as in Euthymius Zigabenus), who discharged the office of executioners only involuntarily and morally uninterested therein; so that in their case there could be no allusion either to imputation or to forgiveness. The mockery of the soldiers (Paulus, Kuinoel, Bleek also) is in respect of the crucifixion purely an invention. But in respect of the crucifixion ( τί ποιοῦσι ) is the prayer uttered in which from the innermost heart of Jesus breathes the deepest love which regards the crime in the mildest light, not indeed removing, but extenuating [264] the guilt, as a result of the want of knowledge of the nature of the deed (for they were slaying the Messiah of the people, whom they, however, had not recognised as such), and consequently the deed was capable of forgiveness. Even this prayer is a relic of the Crucified One, which Luke alone has preserved for us from a written or oral source. In Acts 3:17 ; Acts 7:60 , its echo is heard. Comp. 1 Corinthians 2:8 , and the same prayer of the dying James in Eusebius, Luke 2:23 .

διαμεριζόμ .] at the division.

ΚΛΉΡΟΥς (see the critical remarks): lots. Comp. on Mark 15:24 .

[264] Comp. J. Müller, v. d. Sünde , I. p. 285; Schleiermacher, L. J. p. 453 f. Against the opinion of Buttmann in the Stud. u. Krit. 1860, p. 353, see Graf in the same, 1861, p. 749 ff.

Verses 35-38

Luke 23:35-38 . According to the corrected text (see the critical remarks), it is not in Luke the people that mock (comp., on the other hand, Matthew 27:39 f.; Mark 15:29 f.), for they rather stand there as spectators, but the members of the Sanhedrim. δὲ καί refers merely to the ἐκμυκτηρίζειν of the ἄρχοντες . To the standing by and looking on of the people (not further sympathizing) is added, however, also mockery on the part of the members of the Sanhedrim . On ἐξεμυκτ . comp. Psalms 22:8 , and see on Luke 16:14 .

οὗτος ] this fellow! with scornful contempt.

τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκλεκτός ] Luke 9:35 .

Luke 23:36 is not a misunderstanding of Matthew 27:48 (de Wette), but something special which the other evangelists have not got. A mocking offer , not an actual giving to drink; for here the offer was not made by means of a sponge, so that naturally Jesus could not accept the drink. The proceeding was a grim joke!

Luke 23:38 . ἐπʼ αὐτῷ ] over Him on the cross. The supplementary statement of the title on the cross (see on Matthew 27:37 ) explains the fact that the soldiers scoffed at Him as the King of the Jews .

Verses 39-43

Luke 23:39-43 . Εἶς ] A difference from Mark 15:32 and from Matthew 27:44 ; see on the passages.

οὐχὶ (see the critical remarks) σὺ εἶΧρ . is a jeering question, Art thou not the Messiah ?

Luke 23:40 . οὐδὲ φοβηῇ σύ ] not: Dost not even thou fear (de Wette, Bleek, following the Vulg., Grotius, Lange, and others, that would be οὐδὲ σὺ φ .)? but: Hast thou no fear [265] at all on thy part before God , since thou art in the same condemnation (as this Jesus whom thou revilest)? This similarity of position in suffering the judicial condemnation of the cross is the reason wherefore he ought at least to be afraid before God, and not continue to practise blasphemous outrage.

Luke 23:41 . οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ] nothing unlawful; see in general, Lünemann on 2 Thessalonians 3:2 . The very general expression marks the innocence so much the more strongly.

Luke 23:42 . Think on me (to raise me from the dead, and to receive me into the Messiah’s kingdom) when Thou shalt have come in Thy kingly glory (as Matthew 16:28 ). The promises of Jesus in regard to His Parousia must have been known to the robber, which might easily enough be the case in Jerusalem, and does not actually presuppose the instructions of Jesus; yet he may also have heard Him himself, and now have remembered what he had heard. The extraordinary element of the agonizing situation in the view of death had now as its result the extraordinary effect of firm faith in those promises; hence there is no sufficient reason on account of this faith, in which he even excelled the apostles, to relegate the entire history into the region of unhistorical legend [266] (Strauss, II. p. 519; Zeller in his Jahrb. 1843, I. p. 78; Schenkel, Eichthal), in which has been found in the different demeanour of the two robbers even the representation of the different behaviour of the Jews and Gentiles towards the preaching of the crucified Christ (Schwegler, II. p. 50 f.). Others (Vulgate, Luther, and many others, including Kuinoel and Ewald) have taken ἐν in a pregnant sense as equal to ΕἸς , which is erroneous, since Jesus Himself establishes His kingdom; but to conceive of the supramundane kingdom (Euthymius Zigabenus, Grotius, Bornemann) brings with it the supposition, which in Luke is out of place, that the robber has heard the saying of Jesus at John 18:36 .

Luke 23:43 . σήμερον ] does not belong to ΛΈΓΩ ΣΟΙ (a view already quoted in Theophylact, and rightly estimated by the phrase ἘΚΒΙΆΖΟΝΤΑΙ ΤῸ ῬῆΜΑ ), in respect of which it would be idle and unmeaning (this also in opposition to Weitzel in the Stud. u. Krit. 1836, p. 957), but to what follows. The Lord knew that His own death and the robber’s would take place to-day . In the case of the robber it was accelerated by means of breaking the legs.

On the classical word παράδεισος (Park), see Poppo, ad Xen. Cyr. 1. 3. 14. The LXX. Genesis 2:8 f. give this name to the dwelling-place of the first pair; the blessedness of this place, however, very naturally occasioned the naming, in the later Jewish theology, of the portion of Hades in which the souls of the righteous after death dwell till the resurrection , paradise. Comp. also the Book of Enoch Luke 22:9 f. Not to be confounded with the heavenly paradise, 2 Corinthians 12:4 ; Revelation 2:7 . See on Luke 16:23 ; Lightfoot and Wetstein on the passage. In the answer of Jesus there was probably not implied a divergence from the kind and manner in which the petitioner conceived to himself the fulfilment of his petition (Schleiermacher), but it presented simply and without veil, as well as in the most directly comforting form, the certainty of his petition being granted, since if his soul came into paradise, participation in the resurrection of the just and in the kingdom of the Messiah could not fail him. Hofmann, Schriftbew . II. 1, p. 488, rationalizes the idea of paradise. Where the blessed communion of man with God is realized, there, he says, is paradise. This abstraction is surely erroneous, for this reason, that according to it the risen souls must be in paradise, which is nowhere taught they are in Messiah’s kingdom. By μετʼ ἐμοῦ Jesus expresses definitely His descensus ad inferos (König, Lehre von d. Höllenf . p. 45 ff.; Güder, Lehre v. d. Erschein. Jesu Chr. unter d. Todten , p. 33 ff.), in respect of which the fact that here circumstances required the mention of paradise only, and not of Gehenna, does not exclude what is contained in 1 Peter 3:18 f., as though we had here “a passage contradicting the analogy of doctrine” (de Wette). See, on the other hand, also West in the Stud. u. Krit. 1858, p. 252 ff.

[265] To say nothing, moreover, of penitent humility and resignation.

[266] For apocryphal fables , which subsequently linked themselves thereto, see Thilo, ad Evang. Infant. 23, p. 143.

Verses 44-46

Luke 23:44-46 . See on Matthew 27:45 ; Matthew 27:50 f.; Mark 15:33 ; Mark 15:37 f. According to Luke, the connection of events was as follows: It was already about the sixth hour, when there is darkness over the whole earth till the ninth hour (yet the sun is still visible), then the sun also vanishes in darkness the veil is rent

Jesus utters His last cry, and dies.

καί ] as Luke 19:43 ; Mark 15:25 .

τὸ πνεῦμά μου ] my spirit , comprehending the whole spiritual nature, contrasted with the dying body; Acts 7:59 . Comp. in general, Hahn, Theol. d. N. T. I. p. 410.

Luke 23:46 . εἰς χεῖράς σου κ . τ . λ .] from Psalms 31:6 , which words Jesus makes His own, committing His spirit wholly to the disposal of God; and this perfect surrender to God, whose control extends even to Hades (Luke 16:22 ; Wis 3:1 ; Acts 2:27 ), is not out of keeping with Luke 23:43 .

This prayer is to be placed after the τετέλεσται of John 19:30 , and corresponds to the παρέδωκεν τὸ πνεῦμα of John. Probably, however, the idea παρέδωκεν τὸ πνεῦμα was only by the more accurately explaining tradition moulded into the definite words , as Luke has them.

Verses 47-49

Luke 23:47-49 . See on Matthew 27:54-56 ; Mark 15:39-41 . τὸ γενόμενον ] that which had happened , namely, how Jesus had uttered the last loud cry, and had expired. Comp. Mark 15:39 , whom Luke follows. To refer it still further back (even to include also what is narrated in Luke 23:44 f.) is forbidden by the ἐσχίσθη κ . τ . λ ., to which ἰδών cannot also refer. The plural expression, however, τὰ γενόμενα , Luke 23:48 , has a wider reference, since, in accordance with συμπαραγ . ἐπὶ τ . θεωρίαν ταύτ ., it must include the entire process of the crucifixion down to Luke 23:46 .

ἐδόξασε τ . θεόν ] i.e. practically , by His confession, which redounded to the honour of God. Comp. John 9:24 . In this confession, however, δίκαιος (instead of the Son of God in Mark and Matthew) is a product of later reflection.

ἐπὶ τὴν θεωρίαν ταύτ .] objectively: ad hoc spectaculum , as θεωρία (occurring only here in the New Testament) is often applied by Greek writers to plays, public festivals, etc.

τύπτοντες τὰ στήθη ] grief (Luke 8:52 , Luke 18:13 ). According to Luke, the people did not, indeed, join in the mockery (Luke 23:35 ), though they probably chimed in with the accusation and the demand for His death (Luke 23:4-5 ; Luke 23:13 ; Luke 23:18 ; Luke 23:21 ; Luke 23:23 ), and hence they prove themselves the mobile vulgus. The special circumstances had made them change their tune.

Luke 23:49 . πάντες οἱ γνωστοὶ αὐτῷ ] those, to wit, who were present in Jerusalem. Luke alone has this statement, which, however, is so summary that even by the expression ἀπὸ μακρόθεν it does not contradict the narrative of John 19:25 .

γυναῖκες ] Luke 8:2 f.

ὁρῶσαι τ .] belonging to εἱστήκεισαν .

Verses 50-56

Luke 23:50-56 . See on Matthew 27:57-61 ; Mark 15:42-47 . Luke follows Mark with abbreviations, although with some peculiarities.

ὑπάρχ .] belonging to βουλ .

δίκαιος ] justus , in the narrower meaning; see the following parenthesis. It is a special side of ἀγαθός ( excellent ).

Luke 23:51 . οὐκ ἦν συγκ .] was not in agreement with their decision. Comp. on Luke 23:19 ; and as to συγκατατίθεμαι , assentior , see Locella, ad Xen. Eph. p. 209.

κ . τῇ πράξει ] and to the practice , the evil act. See on Romans 8:13 ; Colossians 3:9 . Comp. Xen. Anab. vii. 6. 17.

αὐτῶν ] τῶν βουλευτῶν , as is implied in βουλευτής , Luke 23:50 , Winer, p. 132 [E. T. 182].

Luke 23:52 . οὗτος ] recapitulating, Kühner, II. p. 330.

Luke 23:53 . λαξευτῷ ] hewn in stone (Deuteronomy 4:49 ), therefore neither dug nor built.

οὗ οὐκ ἦν κ . τ . λ .] Comp. Luke 19:30 ; a more definite mode of expressing the καινῷ , in Matthew. Comp. John 19:41 . In respect of the emphatically cumulative negatives, see Winer, p. 443 [E. T. 626].

Luke 23:54 . And it was the preparation day (the day of preparation for the Sabbath, πρόσαββατον ). Even here (comp. on Mark 15:42 ) no trace of a festival day is to be found in the day of Jesus’ death. Comp. Luke 23:26 ; Luke 23:56 .

ἐπέφωσκε ] elsewhere of the breaking of the natural day (of the day light; see Matthew 28:1 ); but here of the legal daybreak, which began with sunset. Not an inaccuracy of expression, in which only prevailed the idea of the beginning of the day, but according to the Jewish mode of expression, which still, moreover, gave to the legal beginning of the day, at the closing in of night , the name of איר , on account of the lighting of the lamps, which the natural evening made necessary. See the passages from the Rabbinical writers in Lightfoot, p. 892 f. Comp. Ev. Nicod. 12. That this mode of designation specially applied to the beginning of the Sabbath, on account of the Sabbath lights (see Lightfoot, Zeger, Clarius, Wetstein, Kuinoel, Bleek, and others), cannot be proved. The imperfect means: it would begin, was on the point of beginning. See Bernhardy, p. 373.

Luke 23:55 . κατακολουθ .] following after, going after from the place of the cross, Luke 23:49 , to the place of the grave, Luke 23:53 . In the New Testament the word is found again only in Acts 16:17 ; comp. Jeremiah 17:16 ; Polyb. vi. 42. 2; Long. iii. 15. The meaning: “as far as down there into the grave,” is an addition of Lange’s; in κατά is found the idea of going after.

Luke 23:56 . μέν ] to which corresponds the δέ , Luke 24:1 ; hence at the end of the chapter only a comma is to be placed.

According to Mark, they did not buy the spices till later. See on Mark 16:1 . In Luke there is no offence against the Jewish observance (Schenkel), which assuredly was well enough known to him, but there is a trace of the working day in the tradition which he follows. Comp. on Luke 23:26 ; John 18:28 ; John 13:29 ; Bleek, Beitr. p. 137. Ebrard on Olshausen, p. 53 f., gives explanations which are only evasions, but which are of the less importance, as in this place Luke, with his inconsequent notice, stands alone.

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Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 23". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. 1832.