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Bible Commentaries
Luke 10

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10:1-16. § The Mission of the Seventy. The number was significant in more ways than one, and we have no means of determining which of its various associations had most to do with its use on this occasion, (1) The Seventy Elders, whom God commanded Moses to appoint, and who were endowed with the spirit of prophecy, to help Moses to bear the burden of the people in judging and instructing them: Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:17, Numbers 11:24, Numbers 11:25. (2) The number of the Nations of the Earth, traditionally supposed to be seventy: Gen_10. (3) The Sanhedrin, which probably consisted of seventy members and a president, in imitation of Moses and the seventy Elders.1 D.C.G. art. “Seventy.”

That Jesus should have followed the number given to Moses, in order to suggest a comparison between the two cases, is probable enough. That He should have used the tradition about the number of Gentile nations, in order to point out the special character of this mission, viz. to others besides the Jews, is also not improbable.2 So far as we can tell, the Seventy were sent out about the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. The number of bullocks offered during the Feast was seventy in all, decreasing from thirteen on the first day to seven on the Last: and, according to the Talmud, “There were seventy bullocks to correspond to the number of the seventy nations of the world” (Edersh. The Temple, p. 240; Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. on John 7:37). It was about this time that Jesus had declared, “Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must lead, and they shall hear My voice” (John 10:16). The connexion of the mission of the Seventy with this thought cannot be regarded as unlikely. It is much less probable that the number was meant “to suggest the thought that the seventy disciples were placed by Him in a position of direct contrast” with the Sanhedrin.

The account of the appointment of the Seventy to minister to all without distinction, like the account of the appointment of the Seven to minister to the Hellenists (Acts 6:1-7), is given by Lk. alone. This fact has led to the conjecture that he himself was one of the Seventy; a conjecture agarently sanctioned by those who selected this passage as the Gospel for S. Luke’s Day, but implicitly contradicted by himself in his preface (1:1-4), which indicates that he was not an eye-witness. His mention of the Seventy and the silence of Mt. and Mk. are very intelligible. The mission belongs to a period about which he had special information, and about which they tell us little. They omit many other matters connected with his part of there ministry. Had they given us the other details and omitted just his one, there would have been some difficulty. Moreover, this incident would have special interest for the writer of the Universal Gospel, who sympathetically records both the sending of the Twelve to the tribes of Israel (9:1-6), and the sending of the Seventy to the nations of the earth. No mention of the Gentiles is made in the charge to the Seventy; but there is the significant omission of any such command as “Go not into any way of the Gentiles, and enter not into any city of the Samaritans: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5, Matthew 10:6). And in Peræa, which was to be the scene of their labours, the proprotion of Gentiles would be larger than in the districts to the west of the Jordan. The silence of Jn. respecting the mission of the Seventy is no more surprising than his silence respecting the mission of the Twelve. He omits these, as he omits many things, because they have been sufficiently recorded, and because they are not required for the plan of his Gospel.

The proposals to treat the charge to the Seventy as a mere doublet of the charge to the Twelve, or as an invention of the Evangelist in the interest of Pauline ideas, will not bear criticism. In either case, why does Lk. also give us the charge to the Twelve (9:1-6), and in such close proximity? In the latter case, why does he not insert a special direction to go to the Gentiles? The difference and the similarity between the two charges are quite intelligible. The mission of the Seventy was not permanent, like that of the Twelve. Yet the object of it was not, like that of 9:52, to prepare shelter and food, but, like that of the Twelve, to prepare for Christ’s teaching.1 The increased numbers were necessary because the time, was short, and in many cases His first visit would also be His last. And when we examine the two charges in detail, we find that there is not only the prohibition noted above, which is given to the Twelve and not to the Seventy, but also several directions which are given to the Seventy and not to the Twelve. Neither in Matthew 10:5-15, nor in Mark 6:7-11, nor in Luke 9:1-5 is there any equivalent to Luke 10:2, Luke 10:8; while a good deal of what is similar in the two charges is differently worded or differently arranged. See Rushbrooke’s Synopticon, pp. 35, 36. One may readily it the possibility of some confusion between the traditional forms of the two charges; but no such hypothesis is required. The work of the Seventy was sufficiently similar to the work of the Twelve to make the directions given in each case similar. An address to candidates for ordination now would be largely the same, whether addressed to deacons or to priests. The uncritical character of the hypothesis that this section is an invention to promote Pauline doctrine is further shown by the fact that its authenticity is clearly recognize in a work of notoriously anti-Pauline tendency, viz. the Clementine Recognitions.2 And whatever may be the worth of the traditions that this or that person was one of the Seventy, how could the traditions (some of which are as old as the second century) have arisen, if no such body as the Seventy ever existed?

As Eusebius remarks (H. E. i. 12, 1), “there exists no catalogue of the Seventy.”1 But he goes on to mention traditions as to a few of them, some of which come from the Hypolyposes of Clement of Alexandria. Barnabas (Acts 4:36, etc), Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1), Cephas (Galatians 2:11), Matthias (Acts 1:26), Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus (Acts 1:23), and Thaddæus are mentioned as among the Seventy. Clement states definitely of barnabas the Apostle that he was one of the Seventy (strom. ii. 20, p. 489, ed. Potter), and in Clem. Recog. i. 7 he is called one of Christ’s disciples. So far as we know, Clement was the first to separate the Cephas of Galatians 2:11 from the Apostle. This second Cephas is an obvious invention to avoid a collision between two Apostles, and to free S. Peter from the condemnation of S. Paul. From Acts 1:21 we know that both Matthias and Barsabbas had been with Jesus during the whole of His ministry; and therefore the tradition that they were among the Seventy may be true. Thaddæs was one of the Twelve, and cannot have been one of the Seventy also. Eusebius gives the tradition as rumour (φασί). To these may be added an improbable tradition preserved by Origen, that Mark the Evangelist was one of the Seventy.


The early disappearance of the Seventy is sufficiently accounted for by (1) the temporary character of their mission; (2) the rise of the order of presbyters, which superseded them; (3) the fact that no eminent person was found among them. It is not improbable that the N.T. prophets were in some cases disciples who had belonged to this body.

The Fathers make the twelve springs of water at Elim represent the Apostles, and the threescore and ten palm trees represent the Seventy disciples (Exodus 15:27; Numbers 33:9). Thus Tertul. Adv. Marcion. iv. 24; Orig. Him. vii. in Exod. and Hom. xxvii. in Num.; Hieron. Ep. lxix. 6.


1. Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα. After the incidents just narrated (9:46-62). The historical connexion is clearly marked.

ἀνέδειξεν ὁ Κύριος. The verb is found in N. T. only here and Acts 1:24; freq. in LXX Comp.�


The ἑτέρους is in apposition, “others, viz. seventy.” The καὶ before ὲτέρους (א A C D) is of very doubtful authority, and is as likely to have been inserted in explanation as omitted because superfluous. Comp. 23:32, where καὶ is certainly genuine; and see Win. lix. 7. d, p. 665.

ἑβδομήκοντα [δύο]. Both external and internal evidence are rather evenly balanced as to the addition or omission of δύο. The word might have been either inserted or omitted to make the number agree with the Seventy Elders, for with Eldad and Medad they were seventy-two. The nations of the earth also are sometimes reckoned as seventy, sometimes as seventy-two. The δύο might also be omitted to make a favourite number (Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5, Exodus 1:15:27; Judges 1:7, Judges 1:9:2; 2 Kings 10:1; Ezra 8:7, Ezra 8:14; Isaiah 23:15; Jeremiah 25:11, etc.). See Ryle, Canon of O.T. p. 158.


ἐβδομήκοντα. א A C L X Δ Δ Ξ Π etc., bfq Syrr. Goth. Aeth., Iren-Lat. Tert. Eus.

ἐβδομήκοντα δύο B D M R. ace Vulg. Syr-Cur. Syr-Sin. Arm., Clem-Recogn. Epiph. Scrivener considers the evidence against δύο to be “overwhelining both in number and weight.” So also Keim. WH, bracket, Treg. and Tisch. omit.

ἀνὰ δύο. For companionship, as in the case of the Twelve (Mark 6:7), of the Baptist’s disciples (Luke 7:19), of Barnabas and Saul (Acts 13:2), of Judas and Silas (15:27), of Barnabas and Mark (15:39), of Paul and Silas (15:40), of Timothy and Silas (17:14), of Timothy and Erastus (19:22). The testimony of two would be more weighty than that of one; and they had to bear witness to Christ’s words and works. Comp. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Genesis 1:18. The reading�Mark 6:7; Genesis 6:19, Genesis 6:20).


ἤμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι. “He Himself (as distinct from these forerunners) was about to come.”

2. Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, … εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ. This saying is verbatim the same as that which Matthew 9:37, Matthew 9:38 records as addressed to the disciples just before the mission of the Twelve. The Twelve and the Seventy were answers to the prayer thus prescribed; and both had the warning of the fewness of the labourers and the greatness of the work. The ὀλίγοι has no reference to the Seventy as being too few: the supply is always inadequate. We cannot conclude anything as to the time of year when the words were spoken from the mention of harvest. So common a metaphor might be used at any season. Corn. John 4:35.

Why does RV. retain the “truly” of AV. in Matthew 9:37 while abolishing it here? It has no authority in either place, and apparently comes from the quidem of Vulg., which represents μέν.

δεήθητε. The verb does not occur in Mk. or Jn., nor in Mt. excepting in this saying (9:38). It is a favourite with Lk. (5:12, 8:28, 38, 9:38, 40, 21:36, 22:32; Acts 4:31, Acts 8:22, etc.). Elsewhere rare in N.T., but very freq. in LXX. For the constr. see Burton., § 200.

ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ. “Send forth with haste and urgency.” The verb expresses either pressing need, or the directness with which they are sent to their destination. Comp. Mark 1:12; Matthew 12:20; James 2:25. There is always human unwillingness to be overcome: comp. Exodus 4:10, Exodus 4:13; Judges 4:8; Jonah 1:3. For ἐργάτας of agricultural labourers comp. Matthew 20:1, Matthew 20:8; James 5:4; Ecclus. 19:1; and of labourers in the cause of religion, 2 Corinthians 11:13; Philippians 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:15.

3. ἰδοὺ�Matthew 10:16).1 For�Matthew 10:28 or Luke 12:4, Luke 12:5. See A. Resch, Agrapha, Texte u. Untersuch. v. 4, p. 377, 1889.

4. μὴ βαστάζετε βαλλάντιον, μὴ πήραν, μὴ ὑποδήματα. The Talmud enjoins that no one is to go on the Temple Mount with staff, shoes, scrip, or money tied to him in his purse. Christ’s messengers are to go out in the same spirit as they would go to the services of the temple, avoiding all distractions. Edersh. The Temple, p. 42. From βαστάζετε we infer that ὑποδήματα were not to be carried in addition to what were worn on the feet. Sandals were allowed in the temple. Comp. 9:3, 22:35. The whole charge means, “Take with you none of the things which travellers commonly regard as indispensable. Your wants will be supplied.” In N.T. βαλλάντιον occurs only in Lk. (12:33, 22:35, 36): in LXX Job 14:17. The word is quite classical: Kennedy, Sources of N.T. Grk. p. 42. See on 9:3 and 7:14.

μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν�2 Kings 4:29. Like the sayings in 9:10, 62, this prohibition implies that entire devotion to the work in hand is necessary.

5. But directly they have reached a goal, and have obtained admission to a household, a greeting is to be given. Comp. 2:4, εἰρήνη ἐν�John 20:19, John 20:21, John 20:26, εἰρήνη ὑμῖν.

6. υἱὸς εἰρήνης. Another Hebraism: “one inclined to peace”: dignus qui illo voto potiatur. Comp. υἱὸς γεέννης (Matthew 23:15); τῆς�John 17:12); τῆς�Ephesians 5:6); θανάτου (2 Samuel 12:5). Comp. τώκνα ὀργῆς (Ephesians 2:3). It was a saying of Hillel, “Be thou of Aaron’s disciples, loving peace and seeking for peace.”

ἐπαναπαήσεται. This is the reading of א B for ἐπαναπαύσεται, like�Revelation 14:13). A 2 aor. pass. ἐπάην is given by Choeroboscus. Veitch, sub παύω, p. 156. Comp. ἐπανεπαύσατο τὸ πνεῦμα ἐπʼ αὐτούς (Numbers 11:25; 2 Kings 2:15). Here ἐπʼ αὐτόν probably refers to the son of peace, not to the home. For εἰ δὲ μήγε (which is freq. in Lk.) see small print on 5:36, and Burton., § 275.

ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς�Matthew 2:12; Acts 18:21; Hebrews 11:15; Exodus 32:27; 2 Samuel 1:22, 2 Samuel 8:13, etc. But they have no discretion as to giving this salutation, however unworthy the recipient may seem to be.


7. ἐν αὐτῇ δὲ τῇ οἰκίᾳ μένετε. Not “in the same house” (as all English Versions, Vulg. and Luther), which would be ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ οἰκίᾳ, but “in that very house,” viz. the one which has given a welcome. Comp. 2:38, 12:12, 13:1, 31, 20:19, 23:12, 24:13, 33; in all which places RV. has rightly “that very.” But here it has “that same,” and ver. 21 it changes “that” (AV.) to “that same.” Lk. prefers ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὤρᾳ, ἡμέρᾳ, κ.τ.λ. The other Evangelists prefer ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ὤρᾳ, κ.τ.λ.

ἔσθοντες. The poetic form ἔσθω is very rare in prose: comp. 7:33, 22:30; Mark 1:6; Leviticus 17:10; Isaiah 9:20; Ecclus. 20:18.

τὰ παρʼ αὐτῶν. What their entertainers provide: they are to consider themselves as members of the family, not as intruders; for their food and shelter are salary and not alms. Comp. τὰ παρʼ ὑμῶν, “the bounty which you provide” (Philippians 4:18), and see Lft. on Galatians 1:12. The injunction is parallel to 1 Corinthians 9:7, not to 1 Corinthians 10:27. Christ is freeing them from sensitiveness about accepting entertainment, not from scruples about eating food provided by heathen.

ἄξιος γὰρ ἐργάτης τοῦ μισθοῦ αὐτοῦ. Matthew 10:10 has τῆς τροφῆς αὐτοῦ. Epiphanius combines the two with Luke 3:14: ἄξιος γὰρ ὁ ἐργ. τ. μισθ. αὐτοῦ καὶ�1 Timothy 5:18, which has been made an objection to the genuineness of the Epistle. But it is probable (1) that λέγει γὰρ ἡ γραφή applies only to Βοῦν�


μὴ μεταβαίνετε ἐξ οἰκίας εἰς οἰκίαν. “Do not go on changing,” i.e. μένετε. They were not to fear being burdensome to their first entertainers, nor to go back to those who had rejected them, still less to seek more pleasant quarters. Perhaps also this is a warning against accepting numerous invitations which would waste precious time. To this day in the East travellers who arrive at an Arab village are overwhelmed with a round of invitations (Lasserre, Évangiles, p. 324). Note the exact and original antithesis between ἐξ and εἰς, “Out of” and “into the interior of.”

8. καὶ εἰς ἣν ἄν πόλιν. Apparently vv. 5-7 apply to single dwellings, vv. 8-12 to towns. For δέχωνται see small print on 8:13. We might expect ἐὰν δέχωνται for καὶ δέχωνται.

τὰ παρατιθέμενα ὑμῖν. Just “what is offered,” without demanding more or anything different. They must be neither greedy nor fastidious. Comp. 9:16; Genesis 24:33, Genesis 24:43:31; 1 Samuel 28:22; 2 Samuel 12:20; 2 Kings 6:22; 2Ki_4 Mac. 6:15.


9. καὶ λέγετε αὐτοῖς. “And continue saying to them”; i.e. to the inhabitants generally, not merely to the sick.

Ἤγγικεν ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ. So that the last preaching resembled the first: Matthew 3:2, Matthew 3:4:17; Mark 1:15. The Kingdom of Heaven is naturally thought of as coming “upon” men, down from above. For ἐγγίζειν ἐπί τινα see Psalms 26:2; Psa_1 Mac. 5:40, 42. Comp. Matthew 12:28. Note Lk.s favourite ἐγγίζειν.


10. One house might receive them, but the town as a whole reject them. In that case they are to leave the house (ἐξελθόντες) and deliver a public warning before leaving the town.

εἰς τὰς πλατείας. “Into the open streets” (πλάξ, πλάτος): It is the fem. of πλατύς with ὁδός understood: 13:26, 14:21; Acts 5:15; Proverbs 7:6; Isaiah 15:3; Ezekiel 7:9. Not in Mk. or Jn.

11. Καὶ τὸν κονιορτὸν τὸν κολληθέτα ἡμῖν. “Even the dust that cleaveth to us.” “Not even the smallest thing of yours will we have.” Hobart claims κολλάω as a medical word (pp. 128, 129). In N.T. it is used only in the passive with reflexive force. It occurs seven times in Lk. (15:15; Acts 5:13, Acts 8:29, Acts 9:26, Acts 10:28, Acts 17:34) and five times elsewhere (Matthew 19:5; Romans 12:9; 1 Corinthians 6:16, 1 Corinthians 6:17; Revelation 18:5), two of which are quotations from LXX, where it is frequent; once in the active (Jeremiah 13:11). Neither in LXX (excepting Tobit 7:16 א) nor in N.T. does�


πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε ὅτι. “But, although you reject us, the fact remains that you must perceive, that,” etc. See on 6:24, 35. Note that there is no ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς (om. א B D L Ξ) after ἤγγικεν. The message of mercy has become a sentence of judgment. “The Kingdom has come nigh, but not on you, because you have put it from you.”

Lk alone of the Evangelists uses τοῦτο … (12:39; Acts 24:14). Jn. has ὄτι after διὰ τοῦτο, but after τοῦτο has ἵνα.

12. ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκείνῃ. The day of judgment following on the completion of the Kingdom, as is clear from ver. 14. Comp. 21:34; Matthew 7:22; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; 2 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:18, 2 Timothy 1:4:8. Luke 6:23 is different. As in ver. 24, Lk. omits the introductory�Matthew 11:23.

ἀνεκτότερον. Remissius (Vulg.); tolerabilius (Lat. Vet.). Only the comparative of�Matthew 10:15, Matthew 10:11:22, Matthew 10:24. Not in LXX.

13-15. The Solemn Farewell to the Cities in which He had preached and manifested Himself in vain. The mention of the judgment which awaits the towns that shall reject His forerunners naturally leads to the mention of those places which have already rejected Him. It is plain from ver. 16 that this lamentation over the three cities is part of the address to the Seventy. The wording is almost the same as Matthew 11:21-24, but there the comparison with Sodom is joined to the denunciation of Capernaum.

13. χοραζείν. Excepting here and the similar Woe in Matthew 11:21, Chorazin is not mentioned in N.T. This shows us how much of Christ’s work is left unrecorded (John 21:25). The name does not occur in O.T. nor in Josephus. It may be identified with the ruins now called Kerâzeh, about two miles N.E. of Tell Hûm, which is supposed to be Capernaum; and Jerome tells us that Chorazin was two miles from Capernaum: est autem nunc desertum in secundo lapide a Capharnaum. Some identify Tell Hûm with Chorazin; but Conder, who does not believe that Tell Hûm is Capernaum, nevertheless regards Kerâzeh as certainly Chorazin (Handbook to the Bible, pp. 324-326); and this is now the prevailing view. D. B.2 s.v.; D.C.G.s.v.


ἐν σάκκῳ … καθήμενοι. Constructio ad sensum: comp. ver. 8. Χοραζείν and Βηθσαϊδά are feminine, and hence the reading καθήμεναι (D).

ἐν σάκκῳ. Our “sackcloth” gives a wrong idea of σάκκος, which was made of the hair of goats and other animals, and was used for clothing. But sacks were made of it (Genesis 42:25; Joshua 9:4) as well as garments. Comp. Jonah 3:6. The πάλαι points to a ministry of considerable duration in these cities.


μετενόησαν. Like μετάνοια (see on 3:3), μετανοεῖν is much more frequent in Lk. (11:32, 13:3, 5, 15:7, etc.) than in Mt. and Mk. Neither is found in Jn. See on 5:32.

14. πλὴν Τύρῳ καὶ Σιδῶνι. “But, guilty as Tyre and Sidon are yet,” etc. They were both of them heathen commercial towns, and are frequently denounced by the Prophets for their wickedness: Isa_23.; Jeremiah 25:22, 47:4; Ezekiel 26:3-7, Ezekiel 28:12-22. Of Chorazin and Bethsaida the paradox was true, that the Kingdom of God had come nigh to them, and yet they were far from the Kingdom of God.

15. μὴ ἕως οὐρανοῦ ὑψωθήσῃ; “Shalt thou be exalted as far as heaven? Thou shalt be thrust down as far as Hades.” Both here and Matthew 11:23 the reading ἡ … ὑψωθεῖσα is found in many authorities; but the evidence against it (א B D L Ξ) is conclusive. Godet supports it as being parfaitsment Claire et simple; which is the explanation of the corruption. There is less certainty as to whether καταβήσῃ, which is probably right in Mt., is right here (B D): καταβιβασθήσῃ is well supported. In Ezekiel 31:16, Ezekiel 31:17 we have both κατεβίβαζον εἰς ᾅδου and κατέβησαν εἰς ᾅδου. Heaven and Hades (not Gehenna) here stand for height of glory and depth of shame (Isaiah 14:13-15). The desolation of the whole neighbourhood, and the difficulty of identifying even the sites of these flourishing towns, is part of the fulfilment of this prophecy. See Jos. B. J. iii. 10, 9; Farrar, Life of Christ, ii. 101; Tristram, Bible Places, 267; Renan, L’Antechrist, p. 277.

16. Ὁ�Acts 9:4), and forms a solemn conclusion to the address to the Seventy. Those who reject their message will share the lot of those who rejected Christ:1 all alike have rejected God. Comp. Matthew 10:40; John 13:20; 1 Thessalonians 4:8; 1 Samuel 8:7. The Seventy must do their utmost to avert so miserable a result of their labours. For�


17-24. The Return of the Seventy. They would not all retrun at once, and probably did not all return to the same place, but met Jesus at different points as He followed them. Contrast the very brief account of the return of the Twelve (9:10). Trench, Studies in the Gospels, p. 225.

17. Ὑπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑδομήκοντα. Most of the authorities which add δύο in ver. 1 add it here also. By “returned” is meant that they came back to Jesus. He meanwhile had been moving. See on 4:14 and 1:56.

καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται. “Even the demons are being subjected.” This was more than they expected, for they had only been told to heal the sick (ver. 9); whereas the Twelve were expressly endowed with power to cast out demons (9:1). There is nothing to show that Lk. considers exorcizing evil spirits to be the highest of gifts; but the Seventy were specially elated at possessing this power. They think more of it than of their success in proclaiming the Kingdom; yet they recognize that it is derived from their Master. It is in His name that they can exorcize. His reply is partly (ver. 20) like the reply to the woman who propounced His Mother to be blessed (9:27, 28). They may admire this; but there is something much more admirable.

18. Ἐθεώρουν τὸν Σατάᾶν. At the very time when His ministers were casting out Satan’s ministers,—nay, even as He was sending them forth to their work, Jesus knew that Satan was being overcome, In the defeat of the demons He saw the downfall of their chief. This passage is again conclusive evidence as to Christ’s teaching respecting the existence of a personal power of evil. See on 8:12, and comp. 13:16, 22:31. In all these cases it would have been quite natural to speak of impersonal evil. See D. B.1 art. “Satan”; Edersh. L. & T. 2.Rev_13. § 2.

In N.T. the form is Σατανᾶς (not excepting 2 Corinthians 12:7), which is declined, and almost invariably has the art.; but 22:3 and Mark 3:23 are exceptions. In LXX the word is rare. We have σατάν, indecl. and without art., 1 Kings 11:14, [23, 25], in the sense of “adversary,” a human enemy; and τὸν Σατανᾶν, or τὸν Σατανά, Ecclus. 21:27.

For the imperf. comp. Acts 18:5, and see Win. xl. 3. d, p. 336.

ὡς�Matthew 24:27. The words are amphibolous, but are better taken with ἐθεώρουν than with ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, which is to be joined with πεσόντα: comp. 9:17, 27, 57, 13:1, etc. In B 254 ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ precedes ὡς�Isaiah 14:12 and τὰ ἐπουράνια (Ephesians 6:12).1

πεσόντα. Last with emphasis. The “fallen” of RV. is no improvement on the “fall” of AV. “I beheld Satan fallen” means “saw him prostrate after his fall.” The aor. indicates the coincidence between the success of the Seventy and Christ’s vision of Satan’s overthrow ; and neither “fallen” nor “falling” (cadentem, Vulg.) express this so well as “fall” in English. See Burton., § 146, and T.S. Evens, Expositor, 2nd series, iii. p. 164. Some refer the fall to the original fall of the Angels (Jude 1:6), in which case ἐθεώρουν refers to the Son pre-existing with the Father. Others to the Incarnation, or the Temptation. Rather, it refers to the success of the disciples regarded as a symbol and earnest of the complete overthrow of Satan.2 Jesus had been contemplating evil as a power overthrown. In any case there is no analogy between this passage and Revelation 12:12: the point is not that the devil has come down to work mischief on the earth, but that his power to work mischief is broken.

This verse is sometimes quite otherwise explained. “You are elated at your victory over the demons, and are proud of our spiritual powers. Beware of spiritual pride. There was a time when I beheld Satan himself fall even from heaven owing to this sin.”1 Others make it a rebuke to complacency and elation, but in another way. “You are overjoyed at finding that demons are subject to you. That is no very great thing. I once beheld their sovereign cast out of leaven Itself; and their subjection was involved in his overthrow.” Both these interpretations depend upon a misunderstanding of τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, which does not mean the abode of the Angels, but the summit of power (Lamentations 2:1). This is well expressed in the Clementine Liturgy, in the Collect at the dismissal of the energumens, ὁ ῥήξας αὐτὸν ὡς�

19. δέδωκα ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν . The powers which they have received are larger than they had supposed. They possessed during their mission, and still retain, the ἐξουσία to vanquish the powers of evil. Note the article, which is almost peculiar to this passage. Contrast 5:24, 9:1, 12:5, 19:17; Acts 9:14. The passage is possibly moulded on Psalms 91:13: ἐπʼ�Deuteronomy 8:15: τοῦ�

καὶ ἐπὶ π. τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ. Contrast the δύναμις of the enemy with the ἐξουσια given by Christ. Nor shall any hostile strength or ability succeed. The promise in both cases refers to victory over spiritual foes rather than to immunity from bodily injuries. “The enemy” means Satan: Matthew 13:25; Romans 14:20; 1 Peter 5:8. But protection from physical harm may be included (Acts 28:3-5). The appendix to Mk. more clearly includes this (14:18). Comp. the story of S. John being preserved from being harmed by boiling oil (Tertul. Praeligscr. Haeligr. xxxvi.), or by drinking hemlock (Lips. Apokr. Apostelgesch. 1. PP. 426, 428, 432, 480, etc.). This latter story is unknown to the Fathers of the first six centuries.


ἐπὶν πᾶσαν τὴν δυν . This does not depend upon πατεῖν, as is shown by the change of prep. and case, but upon ἐξουσίαν. They have ἐξουσία over every δύναμις. Syr-Sin. omits πᾶσαν.

πατεῖν ἐπάνω . Not of trampling under foot as vanquished, but of walking upon without being hurt.

οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ�Acts 25:10; Galatians 4:12; Philemon 1:18: and for�Revelation 7:3, Revelation 9:4. The reading�

This last clause sums up the other two. They have power over fraud and force; nothing shall harm them. Comp. John 10:28, John 10:29; Isaiah 11:8, Isaiah 11:9.Isaiah 11:1

20. πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε . “But (although you may well rejoice, yet) cease to rejoice in this, but continue to rejoice in something better.” Pres. imperat in both cases. Ista lætitia periculo superbiæ subjacet: illa demissum gratumque animum Deo subjicit (Grodus). The casting out of demons gives no security for the possession of eternal life. It is not one of τὰ χαρίσματα τὰ μείζονα still less is it the καθʼ ὑπερβολὴν ὁδόν (1 Corinthians 12:31). A Judas might cast out demons. Comp. “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6), which does not mean that sacrifice is forbidden, but that mercy is greatly superior. See on 23:28 and comp. 14:12, 13. For πλήν comp. vv. 11, 14.

τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐνγέγραπται ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. “Your names have been written, and remain written, in heaven,” as citizens possessing the full privileges of the heavenly commonwealth: in cœlis untie Satanas decidit: etsi reclamavit Satanas: etiamsi in terra non sitis celebres (Beng.). But there is probably no reference to ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί (ver. 7). “Do not rejoice because you exorcize demons in My name, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” is a false antithesis.2 There is no emphasis on ὑμῶν. Comp. Hebrews 12:23; Revelation 3:5, Revelation 3:17:8, Revelation 3:20:12, Revelation 3:15, Revelation 3:21:27, Revelation 3:22:19; Philippians 3:20. The figure is one of many taken from O.T. and endued with a higher meaning: Isaiah 4:3; Ezekiel 13:9; Daniel 12:1. Comp. Hermas, Vis. i. 3, 2; Sim. ii. 9. Contrast Jeremiah 17:13. For Rabbinical illustrations see Wetst. on Philippians 4:3. Allusion to the Oriental custom of recording in the archives the names of benefactors (Esther 10:2; Hdt. viii. 90, 6) is not probable. And it is clear from Revelation 3:5, Revelation 3:22:19; Exodus 32:32; Psalms 69:28 that absolute predestination is not included in the metaphor. For the Hebr. plur. τοῖς οὐρανοῖς comp. 12:33, 21:26; Acts 7:56.

21-24. The Exultation of Jesus over the Divine Preference shown to the Disciples. Matthew 11:25-27. Nowhere else is anything of the kind recorded of Christ. Mt. connects it with the Woes on the three cities, and connects these with the message from the Baptist.

21. Ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ “In that very hour” (see small print on ver. 7), making the connexion with the return of the Seventy close and express. Both this and αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ (without ἐν) are peculiar to Lk. (7:21?, 12:12, 20:19: and 2:38; Acts 14:18, Acts 22:13). In the parallel passage we have ἐν ἐκείνῳ τῷ καιρωε͂ͅ (Matthew 11:25).

ἠγαλλιάσατο τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγίῳ . “Exulted in the Holy Spirit,” i.e. this holy joy is a Divine inspiration. The fact is analogous to His being “led by the Spirit in the wilderness” (4:1). Nowhere else is anything of the kind recorded of Christ. The verb is a strong one: Comp. 1:47; Acts 2:26, Acts 2:16:34; 2 Samuel 1:20; 1 Chronicles 16:31; Habakkuk 3:18; Isaiah 12:6, 25:9; Psalms passim. Mt. has merely�

The strangeness of the expression “exulted in the Holy Spirit” has led to the omission of τῷ ἁγίῳ in A Syr-Sin. and some inferior authorities. There is no parallel in Scripture. Romans 1:4; Hebrews 9:14; 1 Peter 3:18, are not analogous.

Ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, πάτερ κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς . “I acknowledge openly to Thine honour, I give Thee praise”; Genesis 29:35; Psalms 30:4, 106:47, 122:4; Romans 14:11, Romans 15:9: Clem. Rom 61:3. Satan is cast down from heaven, and vanquished on earth. God is Father and Lord of both; Father in respect of the love, and Lord in respect of the power, which this fact exhibits. For other public recognitions of God as His Father comp. Matthew 15:13, Matthew 15:18:35; John 5:17, John 5:11:41, John 5:12:27; Luke 23:34, Luke 23:46. The genitives belong to κύριε only, not to πάτερ: comp. Clem Hom xvii. 5.

ἀπέκρυψας ταῦτα�John 7:49, John 9:40). The νήπιοι are the unlearned, and therefore free from the prejudices of those who had been trained in the Rabbinical schools. It is very arbitrary to confine the thanksgiving to�Romans 1:22; 1 Corinthians 1:19-31, 2 Corinthians 4:3, 2 Corinthians 4:4. Note the omission of the article before σοφῶν, συνετῶν, and νηπίοις. To be σοφός and συνετός is not fatal: such are not ipso facto excluded, although they often exclude themselves. Nor are the νήπιοι ipso facto accepted.


In Clem Hom viii. 6 the passage is quoted thus: ἐξομολογοῦμαἰ σοι, πάτερ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅτι�

The word νήπιος (νη, ἔπος) represents the Latin infans. Lat. Vet. and Vulg. have parvulis here and Matthew 11:25 ; but infantium, Matthew 21:16. It is opposed to�1 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:14; and to τέλειος, Hebrews 5:13.

ναί. This resumes the expression of thanks; and hence the second ὅτι, like the first, depends upon ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι: “I thank Thee that thus it was well-pleasing.” Comp. Philippians 4:3; Philemon 1:20; Revelation 16:7; Revelation 22:20Revelation 22:20.

ὁ πατήρ. The nom. with the art. often takes the place of the voc. in N.T., and generally without any difference in meaning. This is specially the case with imperatives (8:54, 12:32; Matthew 27:29?; Mark 5:41, Mark 5:9:25; Colossians 3:18; Ephesians 6:1, etc.), and may often be due to Hebrew influence (2 Kings 9:31; Jeremiah 47:6). Here there is perhaps a slight difference between πάτερ and ὁ πατήρ, the latter meaning, “Thou who art the Father of all.” The use of ὁ πατήρ for πάτερ may be due to liturgical influence. Comp. Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; and see Lft. on Galatians 4:6 and Colossians 3:18; also Win. xxix. 2, p. 227; Simcox, Lang. of N.T. p. 76.


εὐδοκία ἐγένετο ἔμπροσθέν σου . A Hebraism, with εὐδοκία first for emphasis. See on 2:14.

22. The importance of this verse, which is also in Mt. (11:27), has long been recognized. It is impossible upon any principles of criticism to question its genuineness, or its right to be regarded as among the earliest materials made use of by the Evangelists. And it contains the whole of the Christology of the Fourth Gospel. It is like “an aerolite from the Johannean heaven” (Hose, Gesch. Jesu, p. 527), and for that very reason causes perplexity to those who deny the solidarity between the Johannean heaven and the Synoptic earth. It should be compared with the following passages: John 3:35, John 3:6:46, John 3:8:19, John 3:10:15, John 3:30, John 3:14:9, John 3:16:15, John 3:17:6, John 3:10.John 3:1


The introductory insertion, καὶ στραφεὶς πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς εἶπεν (A C) is one of the few points in which the TR. (which with א B D L M Ξ omits the words) differs from the third edition of Steph.

22. Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη . The πάντα seems primarily to refer to the revealing and concealing. Christ has full power in, executing the Divine decrees. But it is arbitrary to confine the πάντα to the potestas revelandi.

γινώσκει τίς ἐστιν ὁ υἱός . “Comes to know what His nature is, His counsel, His will.” Mt. has ἐπιγινέσκει τὸν υἱόν, where the compound verb covers what is here expressed by the τίς. Both might be translations of the same Aramaic.

On purely subjective grounds Keim contends for the Marcionite reading ἔγνω, which is certainly as old as Justin (Apol. i. 63), although he has γινώσκει, Try. c. Even Meyer thinks that ἔγνω may be original. But the evidence against it is overwhelming.

Syr-Sin. makes the two clauses interrogative: “Who knoweth the Son, except the Father? and who knoweth the Father, except the Son?”

βούληται …�Acts 18:15, and of θέλειν, 14:14. See small print on 9:24.

23, 24. In Matthew 13:16, Matthew 13:17 this saying, with some slight differences, occurs in quite another connexion, viz. after the explanation of the reason to Christ’s speaking in parables. If the words were uttered only once, Lk. appears to give the actual position. The κατʼ ἰδίαν seems to imply some interval between vv. 22 and 23. Christ’s thanksgiving seems to have been uttered publicly, in the place where the returning Seventy met Him.

23. ἃ βλέπετε . The absence of ὑμεῖς is remarkable. Contrast ὑμῶν δὲ μακάριοι οἰ ὀφθαλμοί (Matthew 13:16). Lk. has no equivalent to καὶ τὰ ὦτα [ὑμῶν] ὅτι�

24. πολλοὶ προφῆται καὶ βασιλεῖς. Balaam, Moses, Isaiah, and Micah; David, Solomon, and Hezekiah. For βασιλεῖς Mt. has δίκαιοι, and for ἠθέλησαν has ἐπεθύμησαν. Vulg. has voluerunt here and cupierunt in Mt. Neither AV. nor RV. distinguishes. Note that Lk. again omits the introductory�1 Peter 1:10, 1 Peter 1:11.

ἃ ὑμεῖς βλέπετε . Here Mt., who has given the emphatic contrast between “you” and the ancients at the outset, omits the ὑμεῖς. One suspects that his arrangement of the pronouns is the original one. Lk. has no ὑμεῖς with�2 Corinthians 11:29 we have an emphatic pronoun with the second verb and not with the first.

25-29. The Lawyer’s Questions. This incident forms the introduction to the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Comp. 12:13-15, 14:15, 15:1-3. The identification of this lawyer with the one who asked, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” (Mark 12:28-32; Matthew 22:35-40) is precarious, but perhaps ought not to be set aside as impossible. There the question is theological and speculative; here it is practical. Place, introduction, and issue are quite different; and the quotation from the Law which is common to the narratives is here uttered by the lawyer, there by Christ. An identification with the man who had great possessions, and who asked the very same question as the lawyer asks here, although in a very different spirit (Mark 10:17-22; Matthew 19:16-22), is impossible, because Lk. himself records that in full (18:18-23). The opening words of this narrative point to an Aramaic source.

25. νομικός τις�Matthew 22:35, which is possibly parallel to this, νομικός is used by no other Evangelist. The�

τί ποιήσας. The tense implies that by the performance of some one thing eternal life can be secured. What heroic act must be performed, or what great sacrifice made? The form of question involves an erroneous view of eternal life and its relation to this life. Contrast the Philippian gaoler (Acts 16:30).

ζωὴν αἰώνιον κληρονομήσω. The verb is freq. in LXX of the occupation of Canaan by the Israelites (Deuteronomy 4:22, Deuteronomy 4:26, Deuteronomy 4:6:1, etc.), and thence is transferred to the perfect possession to be enjoyed in the Kingdom of the Messiah (Ps. 24:13, 36:9, 11, 22, 29; Isaiah 60:21); both uses being based upon the original promise to Abraham. See Wsctt. Hebrews, pp. 167-169. Lk. like Jn., never uses αἰώνιος of anything but eternal beatitude (16:9, 18:18, 30). The notion of endlessness, although not necessarily expressed, is probably implied in the word. See Wsctt. Epp. of St. John, pp. 204-208; App. E, Gosp. of S. John in Camb. Grk. Test.; and the literature quoted in Zoeckler, Handb. d. Theol. Wissft. 33. pp. 199-201. With the whole expression comp. οἱ δὲ ὅσιοι κυρίου κληρονομήσουσι ζωὴν ἐν εὐφροσύνῃ (Ps. Sol. 14:7), and ὅσιοι κυρίου κληρονομήσαιεν ἐπαγγελίας κυρίου (12:8).


26. Εν τῷ νοιμῳ . First with emphasis. A νομικός ought to know that ἐν νόμῳ the answer to the question is plainly given: ἐπὶ τὸν νόμον αὐτὸν παραπέμπει (Euthym.).

πῶς�Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 6:11:13; hence it was the natural answer to Christ’s question. That he adds the second law, from Leviticus 19:18, is remarkable, and it may be that he was desirous of leading up to the question, “And who is my neighbour?” See D.B.2 art. “Frontlets”; Schaffs Herzog, art. “Phylactery.”

27. Here, as in Mark 12:30, we have four powers with which God is to be loved. Matthew 22:37 follows Heb. and LXX in giving three. They cover man’s physical, intellectual, and moral activity. Mk. and LXX have ἐξ throughout; Mt. has ἐν throughout; Lk. changes from ἐξ to ἐν. For the last words comp. Romans 13:9.

28. Ὀρθῶς�Mark 12:32 it is the scribe who commends Jesus for His answer.

τοῦτο ποίει. Pres. imperat. “Continually do this,” not merely do it once for all; with special reference to the form of the lawyer’s question (ver. 25). See Romans 2:13, Romans 2:10:5; Leviticus 18:5.

29. θέλων δικαιῶσαι ἑαυτόν . Not merely “willing,” but “wishing to justify himself,” For what? Some say, for having omitted to perform this duty in the past. Others, for having asked such a question, the answer to which had been shown to be so simple. The latter is perhaps nearer the fact; but it almost involves the other. “Wishing to put himself in the right,” he points out that the answer given is not adequate, because there is doubt as to the meaning of “one’s neighbour.” Qui multa interrogant non multa facere gestiunt (Beng.). For δικαιῶσαι see on 7:35 and Romans 1:17.


καὶ τίς ἐστίν μου πλησίον; The question was a very real one to a Jew of that age. Lightfoot, ad loc., quotes from Maimonides, “he excepts all Gentiles when he saith, His neighbour. An Israelite killing a stranger inhabitant, he doth not die for it by the Sanhedrim; because he said, If any one lift up himself against his neighbour.”

καὶ τίς μου πλησίον; The καί accepts what is said, and leads on to another question: comp. 18:26; John 9:36; 2 Corinthians 2:2. Win. liii. 3. a, p. 545. For the omission of the art. before πλησίον (μου perhaps taking its place) see Win. 19:5. b, p. 163: but πλησίον may be an adverb.


30-37. § The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Entirely in harmony with the general character of this Gospel as teaching that righteousness and salvation are not the exclusive privilege of the Jew. The parable is not an answer to the original question (ver. 25), and therefore in no way implies that works of benevolence secure eternal life. It is an answer to the new question (ver. 29), and teaches that no one who is striving to love his neighbour as himself can be in doubt as to who is his neighbour. We may believe that the narrative is not fiction, but history. Jesus would not be likely to invent such behaviour, and attribute it to priest, Levita, and Samaritan, if it had not actually occurred. Nowhere else does He speak against priests or Levites. Moreover, the parable would have far more point if taken from real life.1

30. ὑπολαβών . “Took him up” to reply to him. Here only in N.T. has ὑπολαμβάνω this meaning, which is quite classical and freq. in Job (2:4, 4:1, 6:1, 9:1, 11:1, 12:1, 15:1, 16:1, etc.). Contrast 7:43; Acts 2:15; Job 25:3, where it means “I suppose.”


Here Vulg. has suscipiens, with suscipiens as v.l. in many MSS. Besides these two, Lat. Vet. has subiciens (e) and respondens (f); but not excipiens, which would be an equivalent. Syr-Sin. omits.

Ἄνθρωπός τις κατέβαινεν . The road is downhill; but besides this we commonly talk of “going down” from the capital. The narrative implies that the man is a Jew. Jericho is about twenty miles from Jerusalem; and the road still, as in Jerome’s day, has a bad name for brigandage from “the Arabian in the wilderness” (Jeremiah 3:2), i.e. the Bedawin robbers who infest the unfrequented roads. Sir F. Henniker was murdered here in 1820.2 It is possible that Jesus was on this road at the time when He delivered the parable; for Bethany is on it, and the next event takes place there (vv. 38-42).

λῃσταῖς περιέπεσεν . Change from imperf, to aor. “Fell among robbers,” so that they were all round him. Quite classical; comp. James 1:2. Wetst. gives instances of this very phrase in profane authors, and it is in correct to classify περιπίπτειν as a medical word. For λῃστής, “robber” (19:46, 22:52; John 18:40), as distinct from κλέπτης, “thief” (12:33, 39; John 12:6), see Trench, Syn. xliv.

οἳ καὶ ἐκδύσαντες. “Who, in addition to other violence, stripped him.” Robbers naturally plunder their victims, but do not always strip them. Comp. Matthew 27:28; with double accusative, Matthew 27:31; Mark 15:20. It was because he tried to keep his clothes, and also to disable him, that they added blows to robbery. For the phrase πληγὰς ἐπιθέντες comp. Acts 16:23; Revelation 22:18: in class. Grk. πλ. ἐμβάλλειν. Cicero has plagam alicui imponere (Pro Sest. xix. 44); also vulnera alicui imponere (De Fin. iv. 24, 66). For ἠμιθανῆ comp. 4 Mac. 4:11.


31. κατὰ συγκυρίαν . Not exactly “by chance,” but “by way of coincidence, by concurrence.” Vulg. has accidit ut; Lat. Vet. fortuito (a ff2 q r), forte (d), derepente (e), while several omit (b c i 1). The word occurs here only in N.T. and is rare elsewhere. In Hippocrates we have διʼ ἄλλην τινα συγκυρίαν and τὰ�

ἀντιπαρῆλθεν. “Went by opposite to him.” A rare word; here only in N.T. In Wisd. 16:10 it has the contrary meaning, “came by opposite to them” to help them; τὸ ἔλεος γάρ σου�Malachi 2:7-9.


32. The insertion of γέόμενος before κατὰ τὸν τόπον (A) makes ἐλθών belong to ἰδών, “came and saw”: and thus the Levite is made to be more heartless than the priest, whom he seems to have been following. The priest saw and passed on; but the Levite came up to him quite close, saw, and passed on. But B L X Ξ omit γέόμενος, while D and other authorities omit ἐλθών; and it is not likely that both are genuine. Syr-Sin. omits one. Most editors now omit γέόμενος, but Field pleads for its retention, and would omit ἐλθών (Otium Norvic. 3. p. 43).

33. Σαμαρείτης δέ τις ὁδεύων . A despised schismatic, in marked contrast to the orthodox clergy who had shown no kindness.1 Comp. 9:52; John 4:39-42. He is not said to be καταβαίνων: he would not be coming from Jerusalem. See on 17:18.

ἧλθεν κατʼ αὐτόν. “Came down upon him,” or “where he was,” or “towards him” (Acts 8:26, Acts 8:16:7; Philippians 3:14). The fear of being himself overtaken by brigands, or of being suspected of the robbery, does not influence him. “Directly he saw him, forthwith (aor.) he was moved with compassion.” See on 7:13.


34. προσελθών . This neither of the others seems to have done: they avoided coming near him. He was half-unconscious, and they wished to get past without being asked to help.

κατέδησεν τὰ τραύματα αὐτοῦ ἐπιχέων ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον. These medical details would be specially interesting to Lk. “Bound up, pouring on, as he bound, oil and wine.” Neither compound occurs elsewhere in N.T. Comp, τραῦμα ἔστιν καταδῆσαι (Ecclus. 27:21); and, for ἐπιχέω, Genesis 28:18; Leviticus 5:11. Oil and wine were recognized household remedies. The two were sometimes mixed and used as a salve for wounds. See evidence in Wetst. Both τραῦμα and τρανματίζω are pec. to Lk.

ἐπιβιβάσας δὲ αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ ἴδιον κτῆνος. The verb is peculiar to Lk. in N.T. (19:35; Acts 23:24), but classical and freq. in LXX. Comp. ἐπιβιβάσατε τὸν υἱόν μου Σαλωμὼν ἐπὶ τὴν ἡμίονον τὴν ἐμήν (1 Kings 1:33). Κτῆνος (κτάομαι) is lit. “property,” and so “cattle,” and especially a “beast of burden” (Acts 23:24; 1 Corinthians 15:39; Revelation 18:13). The πανδοχεῖον was probably a more substantial place of entertainment than a κατάλυμα: see on 2:7. The word occurs here only in bibl. Grk., and here only is stabulum used in the sense of “inn” : comp. stabularius in ver. 35. It is perhaps a colloquial word (Kennedy, Sources of N.T. Grk. p. 74). Attic πανδοκεῖον.

35. ἐπὶ τὴν αὒριον . “Towards the morrow,” as Acts 4:5 and ἐπὶ τὴς ὥραν τῆς προσευχῆς (Acts 3:1). Syr-Sin. has “at the dawn of the day.” In Mark 15:1 some texts read ἐπὶ τὸ πρωί. This use of ὲπί is rare. Comp. ὲπί τὴν ἔω (Thuc. ii. 84, 2). The ἐξελθών after αὔριον (A C is not likely to be genuine; but it would mean that he went outside before giving the money, to avoid beine seen by the wounded man. א B D L X Ξ and most Versions omit.

ἐκβαλὼν δύο δηνάρια . The verb does not necessarily imply any violence: “having put out, drawn out,” from his girdle; not “flung out”; comp. 6:42; Matthew 12:35, Matthew 13:5. The two denarii would be more than four shillings, although in weight of silver much less than two shillings. See on 7:41.


προσδαπανήσῃς “Spend in addition” to the two denarii. Luc. Ep. Saturn. 39. From the Vulg. supererogaveris comes the technical expression opera supererogationis.

ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ ἐπανέρχεσθαί με. The ἐγώ is very emphatic: “I, and not the wounded man, am responsible for payment.” Note the pres. infin. “While I am returning, in the course of my return journey”: see on 3:21. The verb occurs elsewhere in N.T. only 19:15, but is classical and not rare in LXX.

36, 37. The Moral of the Parable. Christ not only forces the lawyer to answer his own question, but shows that it has been asked from the wrong point of view. For the question, “Who is my neighbour?” is substituted, “To whom am I neighbour? Whose claims on my neighbourly help do I recognize?” All the three were by proximity neighbours to the wounded man, and his claim was greater on the priest and Levite; but only the alien recognized any claim. The γεγονέναι is very significant, and implies this recognition: “became neighbour, proved neighbour”: comp. 19:17; Hebrews 11:6 “The neighbouring Jews became strangers, the stranger Samaritan became neighbour, to the wounded traveller. It is not place, but love, which makes neighbourhood” (Wordsworth). RV. is the only English Version which takes account of γεγονέναι: Vulg. Luth. and Beza all treat it as εἶναι.

37. Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετʼ αὐτοῦ. The lawyer goes back to his own question, τί ποιήσας; He thereby avoids using the hateful name Samaritan: “He that showed the act of mercy upon him,” the ἔλεος related of him. Comp. ποιῆσαι ἔλεος μετὰ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν (1:72), and ἐμεγάλυνεν τὸ ἔλεος αὐτοῦ μετʼ αὐτῆς (1:58). The phrase is Hebraistic, and in N.T. peculiar to Lk. (Acts 14:27, Acts 15:4): freq. in LXX (Genesis 24:12; Judges 1:24, Judges 8:35, etc.).

Πορεύου καὶ σὺ ποίει ὁμοίως. Either, “Go; thou also do likewise”; or, “Go thou also; do likewise.” Chrysostom seems to take it in the latter way: πορεύου οὖν, φησί, καὶ σύ, καὶ ποίει ὁμοίως (xi. p. 109, B). There is a rather awkward asyndeton in either case; but καὶ σύ must be taken together. Comp. Matthew 26:69; 2 Samuel 15:19; Obadiah 1:11. “Go, and do thou likewise” would be πορεύου καὶ ποίει σὺ ὁμοίως. Field, Otium Norvic. iii. p. 44. Note the pres. imperat. “Thou also habitually do likewise.” It is no single act, but lifelong conduct that is required. Also that καὶ ζήσῃ does not follow ποίει, as in ver. 28; perhaps because the parable says nothing about loving God, which does not come within its scope. It is an answer to the question, “Who is it that I ought to love as myself?” and we have no means of knowing that anything more than this is intended. Comp. 6:31.


The Fathers delight in mystical interpretations of the parable. For references and examples see Wordsw. Comm. in loco; Trench, Par. xvii. notes. Such things are permissible so long as they are not put forward as the meaning which the Propounder of the Parable designed to teach. That Christ Himself was a unique realiation of the Good Samaritan is unquestionable. That He intended the Good Samaritan to represent himself, in His dealings with fallen humanity, is more than we know.1

38-42. § The Two Sisters of Bethany. That this incident took place at Bethany can hardly be doubted. If the sisters had of yet settled at Bethany, the place could hardly have been called ἡ κώμη Μαρίας καὶ Μάρθας (John 11:1). Jesus is on His way to or from a short visit to Jerusalem which Lk. does not mention. He perhaps inserts it here as a further answer to the question, “What must one do to inherit eternal life?” Mere benevolence, such as that of the Samaritan, is not enough. It must be united with, and be founded upon, habitual communion with the Divine. “The enthusiasm of humanity,” if divorced from the love of God is likely to degenerate into mere serving of tables. But the narrative may be here in its true chronological position. It is one of the most exquisite among the treasures which Lk. alone has preserved; and the coincidence between it and Joh_11. with regard to the characters of the two sisters, the incidents being totally different, is strong evidence of the historical truth of both.1 Comp. for both thought and language 1 Corinthians 7:34, 1 Corinthians 7:35.


38. Ἐν δὲ τῷ πορεύεσθαι αὐτούς. “Now during their journeyings”: see on 3:21. As Lk. does not name the village, we may conjecture that he did not know where this occurred. One does not see how the mention of Bethany would have put the sisters in danger of persecution from the Jerusalem Jews. If that danger existed, the names of the sisters ought to have been suppressed.

γυνὴ δέ τις ὀνόματι Μάρθα ὑπεδέξατο αὐτόν. She was evidently the mistress of the house, and probably the elder sister. That she was a widow, is pure conjecture. That she was the wife of Simon the leper, is an improbable conjecture (John 12:1, John 12:2). The names Martha, Eleazar (Lazarus), and Simon have been found in an ancient cemetery at Bethany. The coincidence is curious, whatever may be the explanation. Martha was not an uncommon name. Marias used to take about with him a Syrian woman named Martha, who was said to have the gift of prophecy (Plut. Mar. 414), It means “lady” or “mistress”: κυρία. For ὀνόματι see on 5:27, and for ὑποδέχομαι comp. 19:6; Acts 17:7; James 2:25. The verb occurs nowhere else in N.T.


εἰς τὴν οἰκίαν. This is probably the right reading, of which εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτῆς is the interpretation. Even without αὐτῆς there can be little doubt that Martha’s house is meant.

39. ἣ καὶ παρακαθεσθεῖσα πρὸς τοὺς πόδας. The καὶ can hardly be “even,” and the meaning “also” is not clear. Perhaps “Martha gave Him a welcome, and Mary also expressed her devotion in her own way,” is the kind of thought; or, “Mary joined in the welcome, and also sat at His feet.” The meal has not yet begun, for Martha is preparing it; and Mary is not sitting at table with Him, but at His feet as His disciple (Acts 22:3). For τοῦ Κυρίου see on 5:17 and 7:13. The verb is class., but the 1 aor. part. is late Greek (Jos. Ant. vi. 11, 9). Note the imperf. ἤκουεν: she continued to listen. Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:35.

40. περιεσπᾶτο. “Was drawn about in different directions, distracted.” The word forms a marked contrast to παρακαθεσθεῖσα. Comp. Ecclesiastes 1:13, Ecclesiastes 1:3:10, Ecclesiastes 1:5:19; Ecclus. 41:4.


ἐπιστᾶσα δὲ εἶπεν, Κύριε. “And she came up and said”: see on 2:38, Cov, has “steple unto Him.” Other Versions previous to AV. have “stood.” The word perhaps indicates an impatient movement. Her temper is shown in her addressing the rebuke to Him rather than to her sister. Her saying ἡ�

For εἰπὸν … ἵνα comp. Mark 3:9, and for�Romans 8:26; Exodus 18:22; Psalms 89:22. See Field, Otium Norvic. iii. p. 44.

41. Μάρθα, Μάρθα, μεριμνᾷς. The repetition of the name conveys an expression of affection and concern: 22:31; Acts 9:4; Matthew 7:21. Comp. Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6, and see on 8:24.1 The verb is a strong one, “thou art anxious,” and implies division and distraction of mind (μερίζω), which believers ought to avoid: Matthew 6:25, Matthew 6:28, Matthew 6:31, Matthew 6:34; Luke 12:11, Luke 12:22, Luke 12:26; Phil. 4:26. Comp. μέριμνα, 8:14, 21:34, and especially 1 Peter 5:7, where human anxiety (μέριμνα) is set against Divine Providence (μέλει).


καὶ θορυβάζῃ. “And art in a tumult, bustle.” The readings, vary much, and certainty is not obtainable, respecting the central portion of Christ’s rebuke. The form θορυβάζομαι seems to occur nowhere else: τυρβάζω is fairly common: περὶ ταύτας τυρβάζεσθαι (Aristoph. Pax. 1007). An unusual word would be likely to be changed into a familiar one. In any case μεριμνᾷς refers to the mental distraction, and the second verb to the external agitation. Martha complains of having no one to help her; but it was by her own choice that she had so much to do.

The difference between θορυβάζῃ (א B C D L) and τυρβάζῃ (A R) is unimportant: the question is as to the words which ought to stand between Μάρθα and Μαριάμ. As regards the first part the decision is not difficult. Nearly all Greek MSS. have μεριμνᾷς καὶ θορυβάζῃ (or τυρβάζῃ) περὶ πόλλα after Μάρθα, and have γάρ or δέ after Μαριάμ or Μαρία. But on the evidence of certain Latin authorities (a b e ff2 i Amb.) the Revisers and WH. give a place in the margin to θορυβάζῃ only after Μάρθα, with neither γάρ nor δέ after Μαριάμ: and these same authorities with D omit all that lies between θορυβάζῃ and Μαριάμ. This curt abrupt reading may be rejected. It is less easy to determine the second part. We may reject ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία χρεία, which has very little support. Both this reading and ἐνὸς δέ ἐστιν χρεία (A C1 P Γ Δ Π) are Probably corruptions of ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἤ ἐνός (א B C2 L). The last might be a conflate reading from the other two, if the evidence did not show that it is older than ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία: it is found in Boh. and Aeth. and also in Origen. See Sanday, App. ad N.T. p. 119. Syr-Sin. has “Martha, Martha, Mary hath chosen for herself the good part, which,” etc.

ὀλίγων δέ ἐστιν χρεία ἢ ἑνός. The ὀλίγων is opposed to περὶ πολλά, and ἑνός has a double meaning, partly opposed to περὶ πολλά, partly anticipatory of the�Genesis 43:34; Deuteronomy 18:8; 1 Samuel 1:4, 1 Samuel 1:9:23; Nehemiah 8:12, Nehemiah 8:12:47; Ecclesiastes 11:2. For μερίς in the higher sense comp. Κύριος ἡ μερὶς τῆς κληρονομίας μου (Psalms 15:5). See also Psalms 73:26, 119:57, 142:5; Lamentations 3:24; Ps. Song of Solomon 5:6, 14:3.


Neither ὀλίγων nor ὲνός can be masc., because the opposition is to πολλά And if the meaning were “Few people are wanted for serving, or only one,” we should require μιᾶς as only women are mentioned.

42. Μαριὰμ γάρ. Explanation of ἑνός, and hence the γάρ. Not many things are needed, but only one, as Mary’s conduct shows.

The γάρ (א B L Λ) would easily be smoothed into δέ (A C P), or omitted as difficult (D). Versions and Fathers support all three readings. WH. and RV. adopt γάρ.

τὴν�John 6:27.


ἥτις οὐκ�

1 Comp. Non derelinquas nos sicut pastor gregem suum in manibus luporum malignorum (4 Esr. 5:18). Ovem lupo commisisti (Ter. Eunuch. v. I, 16). Other examples in Wetst. on Matthew 10:16. Here ἄρνας ἐν μέσῳ λύκώ must be taken closely together: as certain of being attacked as lambs in the midst of wolves.


2 See Tristram, Eastern Customs in Bible Lands, p. 57, for a graphic illustration of the value of the precept, “Salute no man by the way.” Pulchra est salutatio, sed pulchrior matura exsecutio (Ambr. in loco).

Aug. Augustine.

1 Quod semel a dei opulentia exiit non frustra exiit, sed aliquem certi invenit, cui id obtingat. Solatium ministrorum, qui sibi videntur nil ædificare (Beng.). “Talk not of wasted affection; affection never is wasted” (Longlellow).

Lat. Vetus Latina.

D. B. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2nd edition.

Jos. Josephus.

1 Il cherchait de toute maniére á établir en principe que ses apôtres c’étail lui-même (Renan, V. de. J. p. 294).

D. B. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 1st edition.

Edersh. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

1 Comp. πρὸς οὐρανὸν βιβῶν (Soph. O.C. 381); Cæsar fertur in cælum (Cic. Phil. iv. 3), collegam de cælo detraxisti (Phil. ii. 42).

2 2 Cum vos nuper mitterem ad evangelizandum videbam dæmonem suâ potestate a me privatum quasi de cælo cadere, ac per vos magic casurum (Corn. à Lap.).

1 Thus Gregory the Great: Mire Dominus, ut in discipulorum cordibus slationem premeret, mox judicium ruinæ retulit, quod ipse magister elationis accepit; ut in auctore superbiæ discerent, quid de elationis vbitio formidarent (Moral. xxiii. 6, Migne, lxxvi. 259).

1 Justin Martyr says to the Roman Emperors, ὑμεῖς δʼ�Psa_91. But Enarr. in Psa_130. he says well: Non omnes Christiani boni dæmonia ejiciunt; omnium tamen nomina scripta sunt in cælo. Non eos voluit gaudere ex eo quod proprium habebant, sed ex eo quod cum ceteris saluem tenebant.


Wetst. Wetstein.

Iren. Irenæus.

1 “This passage is one of the best authenticated in the Synoptic Gospels. It is found in exact parallelism both in Mt. and Lk., and is therefore known to have been part of that ‘collection of discourses’ (cf. Holtzmann, Synopt. Evangelien, p. 184; Ewald, Evangelien, pp. 20, 255; Weizsäcker, pp. 166-169), in all probability the composition of the Apostle St. Matthew, which many critics believe to be the oldest of all the Evangelical documents. And yet once grant the authenticity of this passage, and there is nothing in the Johannean Christology that it does not cover. Even the doctrine of pre-existence seems to be implicitly contained in it” (Sanday, Fourth Gospel, p. 109). Keim affirms that “There is no more violent criticism than that which Strauss has introduced” of repudiating a passage so strongly attested (Jes. of Naz. 4. p. 63).

TR. Textus Receptus.

Wsctt. Westcott.

Euthym. Euthymius Zigabenus.

1 “The spot indicated by our Lord as the scene of the parable is unmistakable. About half-way down the descent from Jerusalem to Jericho, close to the deep gorge of Wady Kelt, the sides of which are honeycombed by a labyrinth of caves, in olden times and to the present day the resort of freebooters and outlaws, is a heap of ruins, marking the site of an ancient khan. The Kahn el Ahmar, as the ruin is called, possessed a deep well, with a scanty supply of water. Not another building or trace of human habitation is to be found on any part of the road, which descends 3000 feet from the neighbourhood of Bethany to the entrance into the plain of Jordan. Irregular projecting masses of rock and frequent sharp turns of the road afford everywhere safe cover and retreat for robbers” (Tristram, Eastern Customs, p. 220).

2 It was near Jericho that Pompey destroyed strongholds of brigands (Strabo, Geogr. xvi. 2, 41). Jerome explains “the Going up to Adummim” or “Ascent of the Red” (Joshua 15:7, Joshua 18:17), which is identified with this road, as so called from the blood which is there shed by robbers. The explanation is probably wrong, but the evidence for the robbers holds good (De Locis Heb. s.v. Adummim). The Knights Templars protected pilgrims along this road. For a description of it see Stanley, Sin. & Pal. p. 44; Keim, Jes. of. Nas. v. p. 71 ; Hastings, D.C.G. art. ‘Jericho.”


Trench, Trench, New Testament Synonyms.

1 Blunt sees here a possible coincidence. Christ may have chosen a Samaritan for the benefactor, as a gentle rebuke to James and John for wishing just before this to call down fire on Samaritans (9:54). See Undesigned Coincidences, Pt. IV. 32. p. 300, 8th ed.

Luth. Luther.

Wordsw. Wordsworth (Chr.)

Trench, Trench, Parables.

1 Augustine’s attempt to prove the latter point is almost grotesque. The Jews said to Christ, “Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil” (John 8:48). Jesus might have replied, “Neither am I a Samaritan, nor have I a devil”: but He said only, “I have not a devil.” Therefore he admitted that He was a Samaritan (Serm clxxi. 2).


1 “But the characteristics of the two sisters are brought out in a very subtle way. In St. Luke the contrast is summed up, it were, in one definite incident; in St. John it is developed gradually in the course of a contiruous, narrative. In St. Luke the contrast is direct and trenchant, a contrast (one might almost say) of light and darkness. But in St. John the characters are shaded off, as it were, into one another” (Lft. Biblical Essays, p. 38).

1 Repetitio nominis indicium est delectationis, aut movendæ intentionis ut audirect intentius (Aug.). D doubles νεανίσκε in 7:4. It is not serving, but excess in it, that is rebuked; and this is not rebuked until Martha begins to find fault with her sister. See Wordsw. It is characteristic of Mary that she makes no reply, but leaves all to the Master.

WH. Westcott and Hort.

Boh. Bohairic.

1 Comp. Lucian, “But what if a guest at the same table neglects all that great variety of dishes, and chooses from those that are nearest to him one that suffices for his need, and is content with that alone, without even looking at all the rest is not he the stronger and the better man?” (Cynic. 7).



Bibliographical Information
Driver, S.A., Plummer, A.A., Briggs, C.A. "Commentary on Luke 10". International Critical Commentary NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/icc/luke-10.html. 1896-1924.
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