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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 10

Verse 1

Luke 10:1 . Μετὰ ταῦτα , after these things ) i.e. after proving those who were fit for the embassy or the contrary, of whom three are mentioned in ch. Luke 9:57 , et seqq. ἀνέδειξεν , declared or designated ) as His ambassadors [Engl. Vers. appointed ]. ὁ Κύριος , the Lord ) There is described in this passage an act truly worthy of the Lord [Luke 10:2-3 ; Luke 10:9 ; Luk 10:11 ]. ἐτέρους , others ) [of whom the embassy was not indeed of loner continuance, but yet was of such a nature as to be very nearly approximating to the apostolical office, so as that also not a few of them might be able in subsequent times to establish the testimony concerning Jesus Christ. Nay, indeed, individuals among them, who had seen and heard Jesus, as well as also through the faith which they entertained towards Him, testified concerning Him, had something analogous, according to their position (in their own sphere), to the eminence of the apostles themselves. Harm. , p. 391]. The kingdom of God is always acquiring more strength, and good undertakings have a tendency to growth: especially the prophetical office of Christ was not without speedy fruits appearing. The number increased from twelve to seventy , then to five hundred and more; see 1 Corinthians 15:6 . ἑβδομήκοντα , seventy ) L. Valla remarks: “We observe the number both of the apostles and of the disciples prefigured by the Lord in the books of Moses, by the twelve fountains and seventy palms in the desert [ Exo 15:27 ]. Therefore we ought to read here seventy [not seventy-two ]: which was also the number of those upon whom God bestowed a portion of the spirit which was in Moses [ Num 11:16-17 ].” Valla finds fault with the Latin of the Vulgate, which has “septuaginta duos.” The word δύο follows within four words after ἑβδομήκοντα , [ ἀνὰ δύο .] It would seem that some very ancient transcriber hastily transferred the word δύο from thence to this place. Or else Luke wrote the accurate number, seventy-two , in the first verse, and then in the seventeenth verse wrote in round numbers seventy : and so others set down in both verses either seventy or seventy-two. [91] [ καὶ ἀπέστειλεν , and sent them) It is not said that power was granted to these, as to the Twelve, to heal the sick and to cast out demons (comp. Luke 10:17 , note). V. g.] ἀνὰ δύο , two by two ) There were thus thirty-five or else thirty-six pairs. οὗ ἔμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι , whither He Himself was about to come ) So, when the apostles preceded the Lord, those who wished to hear and to be healed, were able to flock together to Christ from the localities on both sides, adjoining the route through which they were directing their journey. [ δεήθητε οὖν , pray ye then ) By this precept Jesus forthwith provoked the longing desires of the workmen, as also their prayers, and satisfied those prayers. V. g.]

[91] The δύο , which Lachm. brackets, and Tisch. omits, is supported by BD acd , Amiat. the oldest MS. and other MSS. of Vulg. and Hil. But Ab and Cod. Fuldensis of the Vulg. Iren. 200, and, in express words, 146, support ἑβδομήκοντα without δύο . In Luke 10:17 , all the best MSS. of Vulg. have the ‘duo.’ But otherwise the same authorities respectively support the opposite readings. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 3

Luke 10:3 . Ἄρνας , lambs ) So the Seventy are called; but the twelve apostles, sheep , Matthew 10:16 . [He gave to both a safe-conduct, as it is termed, by the words, Behold, I send you. V. g.]

Verse 4

Luke 10:4 . Μηδένα κατὰ τὴν ὁδὸν ἀσπάσησθε , salute no man by the way ) It is not inappropriate, that this should be understood literally. He who is engaged in a very serious and sudden emergency, has it less in his power to observe ceremonies of etiquette, and is readily exempted from the ordinary rules of politeness. Comp. 2 Kings 4:29 , and in a similar case, Luke 19:30 , et seqq. There were various classes of men among the Jews exempted from the duty of salutations, especially religious men (men exercising some religious function), as Lightfoot shows. They used to salute [in the East, and still salute] with many formal words and gestures; but by omitting these words (by silence), the sincerity of the mind is retained: and the time of these envoys was very precious (comp. Joh 20:17 ); very precious too [ i.e. not to be indiscriminately thrown away on every one] was a salutation on the part of the envoys: see following verse, and Matthew 10:12 . Hearers are more attentive in their home than on the way-side; and salutations by the way might deprive the envoys, who were so many in number, of a considerable portion of time. [In fine, even the very omission of salutations by the way in a useful manner admonished men, that the business of the Seventy was a weighty one, and one which required mature despatch. V. g.]

Verse 5

Luke 10:5 . Πρῶτον , first ) The messenger of God ought to make his beginning with praying for the salvation of men, before that he proceeds to reprove them.

Verse 6

Luke 10:6 . Ὁ υἱὸς εἰρήνης ) If there be there one who is a son of peace , one worthy of peace. ἐπαναπαύσεται , shall rest ) in such a way as that you shall sensibly perceive it. As to the term, comp. 1 Peter 4:14 . Peace, when once it has gone out, does not cease to seek until it has found a place wherein it may stay. ἐπʼ αὐτὸν ) This may be referred to υἱὸν εἰρήνης primarily, to οἶκον by implication. [92]

[92] ‘Participativè,’ in the way of participation . Vulg. has in some MSS. “super illum ;” in others, “super illam .” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 7

Luke 10:7 . Τὰ παρʼ αὐτῶν , such things as are in their house ) with frugality and freedom (frankness): as you shall find them. τοῦ μισθοῦ , of his hire ) It was lawful for them to receive their food: they must not seek to get money, although they are not ordered altogether to refuse even that. But, on the other hand again, the hire is worthy of a labourer (one who earns it by work): there must be no idleness.

Verse 9

Luke 10:9 . Ἐν αὐτῇ , in it ) viz. in the city. So all the sick in a whole region might be healed. ἤγγικεν , is come nigh ) See Luke 10:1 , at the end.

Verse 10

Luke 10:10 . Πλατείας , the streets ) near the walls. Comp. on Revelation 11:8 . εἴπατε , say ) publicly.

Verse 11

Luke 10:11 . Πλὴν τοῦτο γινώσκετε , ὅτι ἤγγικενβασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ ) The messengers at first said ἤγγικεν ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς , κ . τ . λ ., Luke 10:9 ; then to those who proved to be contumacious they used a more general mode of expression (omitting the words ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς ), ἤγγικεν , κ . τ . λ .: however many have supplied the omitted words even in Luke 10:11 . [93]

[93] BDL bcd Vulg. omit ἐφʼ ὑμᾶς in Luke 10:11 . A, as Rec. Text, supports the words. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 13

Luke 10:13 . Χοραζὶν ) So my editions write the word, although others in my name have edited Χωραζίν . Some have written Χωραζὶν from a slip of the pen, as I have observed in Appar., p. 473: and these in serious earnest have made out of Chorazin , which is mentioned in Mat 11:21 among the towns , the region of Zin ( χώρα and ζιν ): D. Rus, T. i. Harmon. Ev.; p. 1199, et seqq., mentions and refutes this notion.

Verses 13-15

Luke 10:13-15 . Οὐαὶ , woe ) A most weighty denunciation: with which comp. Matthew 11:20 , et seqq. It is now repeated by apostrophe [ i.e. when the speech is suddenly directed to some other person, present or absent, differently from what the sentence had begun with. Append.], as a formula whereby the ungrateful cities are dismissed; and it is intimated that these Seventy ambassadors are to go to other cities rather than to these, and that others are to take warning from the example of these.

Verse 16

Luke 10:16 . Ἀκούει , heareth ) Supply, from the antithesis, but (moreover) he who heareth Me, heareth Him who sent Me .

Verse 17

Luke 10:17 . Ὑπέστρεψαν , returned ) one pair after another. [They had not been long away. V. g. To wit, Luke mentions their mission and return in the one passage; for having been sent forth only a few weeks before the Lord’s passion, they could not be away very long. Harm. , p. 390.] [ μετὰ χαρᾶς , with joy ) They had two most weighty and sufficient reasons for their joy: 1) because a short while before the disciples had not been able to drive a demon out of a lunatic: 2) because, in giving them His instructions, the Lord had indeed made mention in general of healing the sick, but not of casting out demons . Harm., p. 390.] καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια , even the demons ) They experienced more things (more gifts conferred on them) in the actual effect, than Jesus had expressed.

Verse 18

Luke 10:18 . Ἐθεώρουν , I was beholding ) viz. in spirit: at the time when ye went forth , or when ye acted . [94] Ὡς ἈΣΤΡΑΠῊΝ , as lightning ) with the utmost rapidity. ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ , from heaven ) in which Satan seems to have been accusing the little ones, i.e. the disciples. πέσοντα ) falling headlong (or rushing ): and this, either , he had been banished by force out of heaven (certainly Satan at that time received many strokes, even through the instrumentality of those little ones; in which view the ἐθεώρουν , I was beholding , signifies, that the disciples themselves in some measure had acted against Satan, the Lord beholding them all the time, and rejoicing that He is conquering Satan through them as His instruments): or else , because he (Satan) had obtained permission to resist the disciples, by whom Satan was to be overcome; and he had hastened to come to the succour of the demons which obey him, and to support (prop up) his bad cause. Comp. Luke 10:19 . At all events πεσεῖν , with which comp. Acts 27:26 , LXX. ΣΥΜΠΊΠΤΕΙΝ , פאט , 1Ch 14:9 ; 1 Chronicles 14:13 , is not always the same as ΒΛΗΘῆΝΑΙ ; Revelation 12:9 . [95] Action in heaven includes action on earth, not vice versa . [96] The image, as lightning , is in consonance: and it is not until afterwards that Satan is said to be about to be cast out: John 12:31 .

[94] When ye were actually preaching and performing the miracles which I enabled you to perform. ED. and TRANSL.

[95] Where ἐβλήθηδράκων refers to the forcible ejection of the dragon, which was to be long subsequent. ED. and TRANSL.

[96] Therefore it does not follow that because demons were cast out on earth , therefore Satan was cast out from heaven. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 19

Luke 10:19 . Δίδωμι ) As I have given, so in continuation I give . ὄφεων , serpents ) Mark 16:18 . An appellation appropriate to an earthly enemy: He no longer alludes to the enemy descending “from heaven,” as in the image, as lightning . The passage, Acts 28:3 , et seqq., is parallel to Mark 16:18 ; but between Mark and Luke (the Gospel ) there is a verbal parallelism, yet one not of the things themselves, but of the names. [97] Believers were secured against serpents, called so both in the literal and metaphorical sense. σκορπίων , scorpions ) which are more subtle ( keen , or else more minute ) than serpents. δὐναμιν ) power , or, צבא , forces. Serpents and scorpions are the species: All the power is the genus. τοῦ ἐχθροῦ , of the enemy ) The singular number, applying to the chief enemy [Matthew 13:39 ; Psa 8:3 ]. Οὐ ΜῊ ἈΔΙΚΉΣῌ , shall not hurt ) Greater danger was lying hidden beneath, than the inexperienced had been sensible of.

[97] ‘Homonymicus,” i.e. where the same name or term is applied to different things. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 20

Luke 10:20 . Μὴ χαίρετε , rejoice not ) An admonition salutary at the time of their first experience, intended to moderate in a due degree their joy. Their joy is not forbidden, but is reduced to proper bounds. They who rejoice in excess through self-love, are liable to become like Satan. [98] ὑμῶν ) the names of you , who are Mine. ἐγράφη , have been written ) Although Satan hath exclaimed against it [accusing you, Rev 12:10 ] in heaven: (your names are written in heaven) even though on earth you have no celebrity. ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς , in the heavens ) in the book which is in the heavens, the kingdom of which ye are announcing: in these heavens moreover from which Satan hath fallen down. The contrary is declared concerning apostates (prævaricatoribus, those who do not steadily follow the Lord: shufflers; crooked walkers ), Jeremiah 17:13 , they shall be written in the earth .

[98] Overweening pride was his great sin. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 21

Luke 10:21 . Ἠγαλλιάσατο , exulted ) The crowning point of the fruits of Christ’s office was reached at that time. He Himself rejoiced in the joy of His disciples described in Luke 10:20 , But rejoice , etc. Κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς , Lord of heaven and earth ) Satan is cast out from heaven and earth: the kingdom of God stands in heaven and on earth. [ νηπίοις , babes ) Such were the Seventy, and those who had received their testimony. V. g.]

Verse 22

Luke 10:22 . Τίς ) who , and how great and good.

Verse 23

Luke 10:23 . Καὶ στραφεὶς , and having turned ) Luke is wont accurately to note the pauses and turns in the Lord’s discourses. Jesus had prayed to the Father: after that, He had spoken concerning the Father: now He directs His discourse to the disciples apart.

Verse 24

Luke 10:24 . Προφῆται καὶ βασιλεῖς , prophets and kings ) who were otherwise highly blessed. An example of both is furnished in Abraham, who was at once a prophet and prince: Genesis 23:6 ; Genesis 20:7 : so also David, who was both a prophet and a king, and the father of so many kings.

Verse 25

Luke 10:25 . Ἀνέστη , stood up ) on purpose that he might question Him. τί ποιήσας , by doing what ) It is just the same as if he were to say: By doing what shall I see the Sun of Righteousness? Nay, it is not by doing but by seeing that He is to be seen: see Luke 10:23 . It is to this ποιήσας , doing , that the verb, ποίει , do , in Luke 10:28 ; Luke 10:37 , has reference; just as ζήσῃ , thou shall live , Luke 10:28 , refers to ζωὴν , in this verse.

Verse 26

Luke 10:26 . Νόμῳ , in the law ) This is apposite in reference to νόμικον , a lawyer, a teacher of the law , Luke 10:25 . πῶς , how ) The Jews used daily to repeat the subsequent text. We must read Scripture often, but also daily [with due care to ascertain its spiritual meaning] [It is your duty to strive to attain the scope of Scripture. V. g.]

Verse 28

Luke 10:28 . Τοῦτο ποίει , do this ) Jesus in His turn πειράζει , tries , justly, rightly [ tempts , in the sense puts to the proof , sounds , and tests , Gen 22:1 ], the man who had ‘tempted’ Him with a wrong motive [ Luk 10:25 ]: see Luke 10:37 . [In doing, he might have experience of the real fact, namely, what things were wanting in his obedience, and so might be led to seek fuller instruction. It is not said, Thou art adequate to the doing . V. g.]

Verse 29

Luke 10:29 . Θέλων , wishing ) with a heart not broken or bruised into contrition: priding himself on his one right reply. δικαιοῦν , to justify ) They who ask many questions have no delight in doing many deeds of obedience, and prefer to exempt themselves by subterfuges from the obligations of the law. He who limits, by exceptions and qualifications, those duties which ought to be performed, and the persons to whom such just duties are to be performed, invents for himself a righteousness easy of attainment. καὶ , and who) This particle approves of the immediately preceding speech of the Lord, and yet adds something to it: it has a wonderfully characteristic effect in expressing the ἦθος or feeling of the speaker.

Verse 30

Luke 10:30 . Ὑπολαβὼν ) So often the LXX. write in translating ענה , especially in Job, as applied to a full reply. ἄνθρωπός τις , a certain man) A Jew, called however by the common (general) designation, man, for the sake of expressing the common tie of humanity which connected the Jews even with foreigners. τυγχάνοντα ) [99] Not caring whether the man should live or die.

[99] Leaving him to whatever might happen to be his state, which was that (if one half dead . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 31

Luke 10:31 . Κατὰ συγκυρίαν , by a contingency [chance]) Many good opportunities lie hid under those things which may seem to be matters of chance . Scripture describes nothing at random, as if a matter of chance: in this passage it is a suitable Syncategorema [accessory proposition added to the principal one] in relation to the parable; and it is opposed to that which is inevitable. ἱερεὺς , a priest ) There was many a journey of Priests and Levites wont to be taken on that road to the city and the temple. ὁδῷ , way ) Even on the way-side, in inns, Luke 10:34 , in the middle of the intercourse of social life, piety and mutual love can be exercised or omitted: Exodus 23:4-5 . ἀντιπαρῆλθεν , he passed by on the other side ) without showing any compassion, being in haste to go to Jerusalem.

Verse 34

Luke 10:34 . Ἔλαιον καὶ οἶνον , oil and wine ) Those things are easy to be procured, which are most necessary for the exercising of love. ἐπιβίβασας , having set him on ) with labour to himself. ἴδιον , his own ) which he himself had used. εἰς πανδοχεῖον , to an inn ) The language in this passage is wonderfully popular (adapted to the intelligence of even the common multitude).

Verse 35

Luke 10:35 . Δύο δήναρια , two denarii ) twenty asses. He might be able to return in two days: the expense of one day would be a denarius. ἐπανέρχεσθαι , to return ) On the way from Jerusalem, through Jericho, to Samaria.

Verse 36

Luke 10:36 . Τριῶν , of the three ) who were, the one a Priest, the second a Levite, the third a Samaritan. God does not accept the person [ Act 10:35 ]: the three men, though different in position, are enumerated together. πλησίον , neighbour ) The Samaritan, in doing a benefit to a Jew, his national enemy, was his neighbour: but the lawyer had asked his question concerning the neighbour to whom love was to be exhibited [not concerning the neighbour who was to exhibit love to another]. The two are mutually related. [100] The Jews also are hereby reproved, inasmuch as they regarded the Samaritans with loathing. [101] It might happen that even the lawyer should want the help of a Samaritan, the very person whom he did not account as his neighbour.

[100] The one infers the other. Jesus’ mode of answering implies, that it is of more consequence for us to ask, Have we the true neighbourly spirit of love in ourselves? than to ask, What is the qualification needed in him (the neighbour) to whom we show that love? ED. and TRANSL.

[101] It was wiser therefore to give an example of love in one of the despised Samaritans, than to offend Jewish prejudice directly by saving. The Samaritan is thy ‘neighbour,’ and therefore “love him as thyself.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 37

Luke 10:37 . Ὁ ποιήσας τὸ ἔλεος μετʼ αὐτοῦ ) LXX. 2 Samuel 9:1 , etc., has ποιήσω μετʼ αὐτοῦ ἔλεος . It is not without design, that the lawyer refrains from giving the proper appellation, “the Samaritan.” [He shrunk from attributing such credit to a Samaritan, and therefore does not use the name.] πορεύου , go thy way ) Not yet was this lawyer fit for discipleship. καὶ σὺ , thou also ) When once the love of one’s own people and sect is removed out of the way, the access then at length is the easier to the Grace, which is free and common to all. Therefore the Samaritan, say you, has by this act of his obtained eternal life? [Luke 10:25 .] Comp. Luke 10:27-29 . The answer to this may be given from Romans 2:26 . ποίει , do ) This is in consonance with ὁ ποιήσας , he that did the deed of mercy. [ ὁμοίως , likewise ) We need not he ashamed of copying any good example set us, even though it be a Samaritan who is to be imitated. V. g.]

Verse 38

Luk 10:38 Αὐτὸς , He Himself ) Sometimes He did not enter.

Verse 39

Luke 10:39 . Ἀδελφὴ , a sister ) a younger sister as is probable, and as it were a domestic virgin [free from all care of the household]. Martha stood in the position of matron of the household; John 12:2-3 . [The author, in the Harm. , pp. 392, 393, is of opinion that the Saviour was not at Bethany at this time, [102] and that Martha of Bethany did not possess at the same time a house in Galilee as well as in Bethany (John 11:1 ; Joh 12:2 ); and that therefore the pair of sisters bearing the same names ( ὁμωνύμων ) is different in Luke from the pair mentioned in the passages of John already quoted.] Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:32-33 . παρακαθίσασα , sitting down close to Him) So absolutely, ἐκαθέζετο , sat , John 11:20 . The antithetic word is περιεσπᾶτο , was distracted or cumbered .

[102] It is called “a certain village,” and seems to have been in Galilee, not Judea. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 40

Luke 10:40 . Περιεσπᾶτο ) The Greek LXX. have often in Eccl. περισπασμὸς for ענין . οὐ μέλει σοι , hast Thou no care?) What then? Something better is an object of care to Him. Martha herself acknowledged some degree of unhappiness as existing on her part. ἡ ἀδελφή μου , my sister) An argument as it were drawn from an injustice done to her. κατέλιπε ) She does not say, suffers me, but, has left me. Hence it may be inferred that Mary had done something in the way of διακονία , or external service, perhaps before the arrival of the Master: but presently after betook herself to devoting her whole attention to the Master. εἰπὲ , bid her) Martha did not dare herself to order Mary.

Verse 41

Luke 10:41 . Μάρθα , Μάρθα , Martha, Martha ) An Epizeuxis [the forcible repetition of the same word in the same sentence] calculated deeply to impress Martha’s mind. μεριμνᾷς , thou art careful ) inwardly. The antithesis is, οὐ μέλει σοι , hast Thou no care? τυρβάζῃ , thou art troubled ) externally. Its synonym is, περιεσπᾶτο , was distracted or cumbered . See Eustathius.

Verse 42

Luke 10:42 . Ἑνὸς δέ ἐστι χρεία , whereas there is need of but one thing ) The antithesis is περὶ πολλά , about many things , Luke 10:41 . Comp. Sir. (Ecclus.) Luke 11:11 ; Luk 11:10 in the Greek. This one thing seems to be said of the same kind (class, genus) as the many things . One thing ( ἓν is the original, not τὸ ἓν , the one thing) in relation to the necessities of food (living), without the distracting varieties of a great feast. [103] The ΔῈ , but , twice employed, accords with this view. One needful thing , in the class (genus) of spiritual things, is equally commended [at the same time that the one needful thing in the way of food is praised], when it is termed ἡ ἀγαθὴ μερὶς , that good part : and therefore, if you refer the ἓν , one thing , to frugality in the viands of the entertainment, not only is the doctrinal lesson in the whole passage [104] not attenuated, but it is rendered the more full and fruitful by this interpretation. However, I do not dogmatically assert this view. I have said, ‘seems.’ As concerns the thing itself, the force of the sentiment is not diminished thereby. ἀγαθὴν , good ) better than Martha thought: tranquillizing, enriching. μερίδα , portion ) A metaphor from a feast. ἐξελέξατο , hath chosen out for herself ) What each soul chooses out, that it enjoys. The elect soul is accounted to have chosen the good part. So great is the goodness of the Lord towards those who are willing to receive it. οὐκ ἀφαιρεθήσεται , shall not be taken away ) Comp. Mark 4:25 . The exemption from worldly service was thus confirmed to Mary.

[103] Called by the Latins “dubia cœna;” ubi dubites quid capias, where you are puzzled by the variety what to take. ED. and TRANSL.

[104] In a similar way, ch. Luke 17:21 , there is no disparagement to the truth that the kingdom of God possesses the whole inner man of believers, even though the discourse, addressed directly to the Pharisees (and not to believers), is thus to be understood: The kingdom of God and the Messiah Himself is even already near at hand and in the midst of you. So also in Philippians 1:21 , Christ does not cease to be the life of Paul , although Paul says in that particular passage, “My life, wherein I must remain in the world for some time longer, altogether aims towards Christ as its object and mark.” There is no reason that we should try to gain for the meaning and intention of the sacred words of Scripture, which are never void of the power of the Spirit, a richness of meaning even fuller than was designed. The denial of mere human caprice and fancy is certainly better than giving scope to such exercises of religious devotion . V. g.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 10". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.