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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 12

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

Luke 12:1 . Ἐν οἷς ) [“in the meantime”] during these things . τῶν ) of those who were wont to be present. μυριάδων , myriads ) Not merely the adjective μύριοι , but this substantive μυρίαδες , is wont to be used of a large indefinite number. πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς , unto His disciples ) The rest were not yet able to comprehend this doctrine. πρῶτον , first of all ) To the disciples first: then, after one or two interruptions and questions, to the multitude of people also: Luke 12:54 . ὑπόκρισις , hypocrisy ) This charge is afterwards brought also in the case of the people: Luke 12:56 . Hypocrisy, like a leaven, infects the whole man, and through the one man infects many. Hypocrisy is either when evil is covered over with a good veil by evil men, or when good is in an evil manner (improperly) covered by good men. This latter kind of hypocrisy is what is denoted in the present instance. Comp. the following verses.

Verse 2

Luke 12:2 . Οὐδὲν δἐ , [ for , Engl. Vers.] but nothing ) All things, both bad and good, shall be revealed: and they who reveal the truth, are removed (shrink) from hypocrisy. συγκεκαλυμμένον , covered all over ) removed from the eyes of men: so, in darkness ( ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ ), Luke 12:3 . κρυπτὸν , hidden ) removed also from the knowledge of men: so, to the ear ( πρὸς τὸ οὖς ), Luke 12:3 .

Verse 3

Luke 12:3 . Εἴπατε , ye have spoken ) with some degree of fear.

Verse 4

Luke 12:4 . Φίλοις , my friends ) A faithful counsel, and a spur to strength of resolution, and a conciliatory appellation, which is intended to temper the severity (sternness) of His language respecting a difficult and hard matter. In war, a General addresses his soldiers whilst doing battle by the kindly title, Brothers [in arms, fellow-soldiers], etc. [ μὴ φοβηθῆτε , Be not afraid of ) in your confession of the truth. V. g.] τὸ σῶμα , κ . τ . λ .) Μείωσις . μετὰ , after ) The after [ He hath killed ], in Luke 12:5 , corresponds to this after .

Verse 5

Luke 12:5 . Ὑμῖν , I will show or suggest to you ) viz. my friends. φοβηθῆτε , fear ) This verb is employed thrice with the greatest force. [114] μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτεῖναι ) The verb is employed as it were impersonally [after the act of killing has taken place]. γέενναν , hell, Gehenna ) Weighty and stern language this, addressed even to friends.

[114] Therefore in Luk 12:4 it would be better, instead of Engl. Vers. Be afraid of , to use the same word fear to translate the thrice repeated φοβηθῆτε , both in Luke 12:4-5 . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 6

Luke 12:6 . Ἓν ) not any one : not even an odd one, a supernumerary one.

Verse 7

Luke 12:7 . Πολλῶν ) Others read πολλῷ . Comp. Luke 12:24 . [115]

[115] ABDQ Rec. Text and Origen read πολλῶν . a has multo ; but bc Vulg. multis . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 8

Luke 12:8 . Ἔμπροσθεν τῶν ἀγγέλων , in the presence of the angels ) in the last judgment . The appellation, Son of man , denoting His manifested state, is in consonance with this.

Verse 10

Luke 12:10 . Καὶ , and ) From the denying of Christ in Luke 12:9 , the transition is easy to blasphemy against Him.

Verse 11

Luke 12:11 . Ἢ τί εἴπητε , or what ye shall say ) Even independent of the absolute need there is of a defence [ τί ἀπολογήσησθε ; independent of the defence in answer to the charge, which you must necessarily make].

Verse 13

Luke 12:13 . Τὶς ) some one , who had become sensible that Jesus is “the Just One.” ἀδελφῷ , to my brother ) who perhaps had begun to hold Jesus in high estimation. Readily those who admire a spiritual teacher sink down to that point, that they wish to convert him into an umpire for the settlement of domestic and civil matters in dispute.

Verse 14

Luke 12:14 . Ἄνθρωπε , man ) He addresses him as a stranger (one alien to Him). δικαστὴν , a judge ) to give (pronounce) sentence of law. μεριστὴν , a divider ) to divide goods [between parties at issue].

Verse 15

Luke 12:15 . Πρὸς αὐτοὺς , unto them ) viz. to the two brothers, or else, to His hearers: comp. Luke 12:16 . [116] The discourse returns to the disciples [to whom it was at first addressed], at Luke 12:22 . πλεονεξίας , covetousness ) which may possibly lurk beneath, even in the case of a cause however just: Luke 12:13 . ἐκ τῶν ) These words are to be construed with ζωή . [117] Life is well lived on little. [118]

[116] Where also πρὸς αὐτοὺς occurs: the parable there would probably be addressed to all His hearers . ED. and TRANSL.

[117] i.e . “In the case of one’s having abundance, his life is not derived from one’s goods.” But Engl. Vers. joins ἐκ τῶν with ἐν τῷ περισσεύειν , in the abundance of the things which he possesseth . ED. and TRANSL.

[118] If there be contentment and the grace of God. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 16

Luke 12:16 . Εὐφόρησεν , brought forth plentiful fruits ) on one particular year, or else year by year. This is the most innocent manner of becoming rich, and yet it is attended with dangers. χώρα ) not merely χωρίον . [119]

[119] χώρα , a tract , ‘regio,’ is the more extensive of the two. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 17

Luke 12:17 . Τί ποιήσω , what shall I do ) The characteristics of a mind set at rest, and yet void of real repose [“animi sine requie quieti” [120] ], are herein happily portrayed. [They exert themselves in order to fill their chests and coffers; and, when these are full to overflowing, they contrive and plan new storehouses. V. g.] The same formula occurs in ch. Luke 16:3 . Comp. Luke 12:4 .

[120] Perhaps ‘quieti’ may be intended by Beng. as Ablat. of old Adjective quiesetis. The sense will then be clearer, “a mind void of any tranquil repose.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 18

Luke 12:18 . Πάντα , all ) There is no mention made here of the poor.

Verse 19

Luke 12:19 . Κείμενα , laid up, lying in store ) He speaks of them as if present. ἀναπαύου , begin to rest [Take thine ease]) cease to toil. Comp. Sir 11:23-24 , in the Greek. φάγε , eat ) He might have done so long ago, and in good style [he might have eaten and enjoyed good fare].

Verse 20

Luke 12:20 . Εἶπε , said ) if not by an express revelation, yet in His secret judgment: [Comp. Isaiah 57:11 .] ἄφρον , thou fool ) This is put in contrast with his opinion of his own prudence, of which Luke 12:17 , et seqq ., treat. νυκτὶ , this night ) It is at night that most of the Divine addresses to men take place: it is at night that there occur many sudden deaths. [Job 27:20 , “A tempest stealeth him away in the night.”] ψυχὴν , soul ) concerning which he had spoken so confidently in Luke 12:19 . ἀπαιτοῦσιν ) They to whom the power of requiring the soul is given, require thine of thee: they whom thou thyself knowest not, O rich man. An elliptical expression, as Revelation 12:6 . So 1Sa 3:9 in the Hebr., where the LXX, according to the Aldine copy, has the full expression, ἐὰν καλέσῃ ὁ καλῶν : comp. 2 Samuel 17:9 . [ ἃ δὲ ἡτοίμασας , those possessions which thou hast acquired [provided]) Not seldom, if one is said to have acquired and left behind many thousands, we may be sure that he has bestowed on that object the greatest share of his vital energies. V. g.] τίνι , for whom, for whose advantage ) The dative of profit (Dativus commodi). So Genesis 45:20 , ὑμῖν ἔσται . There are many things belonging to the rich, which, however, are not for the rich. The rich man knows not for whom they are about to be [who shall have the good of them, the enjoyment out of them]: at all events, they shall not be for the rich man himself.

Verse 21

Luke 12:21 . Οὕτως , so ) viz. shall be. ἑαυτῷ , for himself ) for his own soul. See Luke 12:19 ; Luke 12:22 . μὴ εἰς Θεὸν , not toward God ) It is not said, Θεῷ , for God , as ἑαυτῷ , for himself . Nothing can be added or diminished from the perfection of God [whether a man seeks His glory or not in laying out his wealth]. He is rich toward God , who uses and enjoys his riches in the way that God would have him [ 1Ti 6:17 ]. πλουτῶν , who acts the part of a rich man [who is in the enjoyment of wealth]) This denotes the state: θησαυρίζων , one who layeth up treasure , denotes the aim and desire [to be rich].

Verse 22

Luke 12:22 . Μαθητὰς , His disciples ) who had but little of riches. ὑμῖν λέγω , unto you I say ) The pronoun placed before the verb has the greater emphasis. See Devar. de partic. in ἐμοί .

Verse 24

Luke 12:24 . Κόρακας , the ravens ) which are least of all birds useful to man, though even birds, too, are subservient to man. [121] ΤΑΜΕῖΟΝ , storehouse ) from which they may draw forth seed for ‘sowing.’ ἀποθήκη , barn ) in which they may store up what they ‘reap’: as the ants have a nest, into which they gather together their stores. ὁ Θεὸς , God ) Comp. Luke 12:28 .

[121] And so even the ravens on one occasion, 1 Kings 17:4-6 . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 25

Luke 12:25 . Τίς δὲ ἐξ ὑ μ ῶ͂ ν , moreover which of you ) In antithesis to God, who feeds the ravens, and all birds, and all animals, and men. ἡλικίαν , stature ) Some make the reference of this word be to length of life or age: but no one measures age by cubits. αὐτοῦ , his own ) If our own stature is not at our disposal, how much less are all the creatures, from which we derive our meat and drink! πῆχυν ἓνα , one cubit ) The height of a man is equal to four of his own cubits [the πῆχυς , cubitum , is strictly the length from the point of the elbow to the end of middle finger]: a man cannot, however anxious (with all his anxieties), add even one such cubit, i.e . a fifth, to his height; whether he wish for it, or does not. A man is not likely to wish that a hand-breadth or a foot, much less a cubit, should be added to his height: but he who is unduly anxious as to his life (what he is to eat, drink, and put on), in reality, even though unconsciously, wishes for greater stature, wherewith he may expend more toil and make more gain.

Verse 26

Luke 12:26 . Οὔτε ἐλάχιστον , not even that which is least ) The argument is drawn from the greater to the less in Luke 12:23 . Now it is by an argument from the less to the greater that the truth is shown, that our anxieties are vain and driftless. To add a cubit to the stature of a man already born and in full strength, was regarded by Jesus as a thing the least difficult with God Almighty, and as even a less exertion of power than the remarkable increase of the five loaves, etc., ch. Luke 9:16 . On the contrary, it is the greatest exhibition of power, that He has given us stature itself and strength of body, whereby the necessaries of life are obtained, nay more, hath given us the soul along with the body: and year by year, and day by day, produces corn, wine, oil, spices, fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, cows, sheep, wild beasts, birds, and fishes, and preserves and maintains the whole world of nature. These are the τῶν λοιπῶν , the rest , the other remaining things, which are much less in our power than the height of our stature: and yet they have a much closer connection with our sustenance than our stature has.

Verse 28

Luke 12:28 . Ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ , in the field ) This may be construed either with τὸν χόρτον : in which view, comp. Matthew 6:30 , τὸν χόρτον τοῦ ἀγροῦ : or else with ὄντα , so as to be in antithesis to εἰς κλίβανον .

Verse 29

Luke 12:29 . Καὶ ὑμεῖς , so ye also ) as the ravens and the lilies. μὴ μετεωρίζεσθε ) Μετέωρος means elevated, lifted aloft : whence μετεωρίζεσθαι is, to be borne up aloft , or to be kept in a state of elevation [and so, suspense ]. It is said of a mind elated, or tossed to and fro. He who is anxious with cares is driven hither and thither: being in suspense, he fluctuates in feelings, and is seized with dizziness. For which reason, what in the parallel passage of Matthew is μεριμνᾶν ( to be distracted with solicitudes ), is expressed in Luke by μετεωρίζεσθαι . Pricæus compares with this the language found in Josephus, μετέωρον εἶναι καὶ κραδαίνεσθαι : and in Suidas, μετέωροι καὶ πρὸς τὸ μέλλον σαλεύοντες . Cic. i. xv. ad Att., Ep. 14, “Ita sum μετέωρος et magnis cogitationibus impeditus.”

Verse 30

Luke 12:30 . Πάντα ) Construe with ταῦτα .

Verse 32

Luke 12:32 . Μὴ φοβοῦ , fear not ) This passage is full of benignity. μικρόν ) That which is little might seem to have cause for fearing: but it is for that reason with so much the more benignity guarded in safety. Both the several little sheep individually are small (as a people is said to be ‘feeble,’ which consists of the feeble, Proverbs 30:25-26 , the ants and conies ): and the whole flock is by no means numerous, if it be compared with the world at large, and is easily fed, even on this very account, because it is not numerous, and is [therefore also the more] precious. [Such persons as belong to this “little flock,” do not hunt after worldly splendour. V. g.] ποίμνιον ) A diminutive most sweet and full of love. εὐδόκησεν ) It hath been the good pleasure of your Father Himself. τὴν βασιλείαν , the kingdom ) A grand expression, implying much: see Luke 12:31 : why then should not bread be included in His promise? [Truly the son of a king has no reason to be anxious as to meat, drink, and clothing. V. g.]

Verse 33

Luke 12:33 . [ Ἑαυτοῖς , for yourselves ) Laying out your money at the highest interest, Hebrews 10:34 . V. g.] πωλήσατε , sell ) This the Lord said, not to the crowds [Luke 12:1 ; Luk 12:54 ], to whom however He was showing the way of salvation in a manner appropriate to that very time, Luke 12:54 ; Luke 12:56 ; nor to the apostles, who had left their all previously, and therefore had nothing to ‘sell:’ but to the rest of the disciples: see Luke 12:22 ; Luke 12:41 . His departure from Galilee, ch. Luke 13:32 , and his Passion itself, were at hand: and He was now already preparing His disciples, that they might be thenceforth as lightly equipped (with as few encumbrances) as possible. For these were they, of whom Luke makes mention in Acts 1:15 ; Acts 2:44 , etc.: so that there is no doubt but that soon after this discourse they sold their possessions in Galilee. Otherwise the indiscriminate sale of all one’s resources is not enjoined on all, so as to require that they should convert them into alms, and that themselves, as well as their families should either seek or re-seek [seek to get in their turn] from others the alms which they had once given. Nevertheless spiritual prudence makes men, from being mercenary, even though they have not the most abundant supply of goods, to become liberal, and disposed to sell in order to have wherewith to give, especially when the exigency requires it. See Ecclesiastes 11:2 ; James 5:1 . βαλάντια , purses ) Plural. He who sells after the manner of the world, fills his purse : but this kind of purse waxes old , even as the natural heaven itself doth. [122] θησαυρὸν ἀνέκλειπτον , a treasure that faileth not ) The treasure, as opposed to the purse, is the abundance of articles of food, which are very soon spent or spoiled [consumed or corrupted]. ἐν ) namely [purses and a treasure] in the heavens. This appertains to both of the preceding clauses.

[122] Opposed to the spiritual τοῖς οὐρανοῖς , which do not wax old. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 35

Luke 12:35 . Ἔστωσαν , Let-be ) What goes before and what follows, and the connection between them, applies most exactly to those times which followed after Christ’s ascension. As to selling comp. Acts 4:34 . He wishes that His people should be free from encumbrances. ὀσφύες , loins ) So afterwards Peter enjoins, 1 Ep. ch. Luke 1:13 , and Paul, Ephesians 6:14 .

Verse 36

Luke 12:36 . Ὑμεῖς , ye yourselves ). προσδεχομένοις , expecting [waiting for]) with longing desire and joy. πότε ) when He is about to return. ἐκ τῶν γάμων , from the nuptials [wedding]) Therefore the nuptials are [going on] in heaven before the (second) Advent of our Lord. εὐθέως , immediately ) on hearing the first knock.

Verse 37

Luke 12:37 . Παρελθὼν διακονήσει ) The participle is pleonastic ( παρέλκον ), and often occurs in similar cases where a banquet is spoken of. See ch. Luke 17:7 , παρελθὼν ἀνάπεσε . [123] Sir 29:23 (26), ΠΆΡΕΛΘΕ ΚΌΣΜΗΣΟΝ ΤΡΆΠΕΖΑΝ . This promise of Himself ministering to (serving) His servants is the most distinguishing and greatest of all marks of honour. It is thus that the Bridegroom receives and entertains His friends on the solemn day of the marriage feast.

[123] Go forward and sit to meat . Wahl, Clavis , under ἀνίστημι , ἀναστὰς , attributes this pleonastic junction of a participle with the finite verb to the simplicity of antiquity, which is wont “totum rei ambitum emetiri, nihilque cogitationum, quod eodem spectet, missum facere.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 38

Luke 12:38 . Δευτέρᾳ , in the second ) The first watch is not mentioned: inasmuch as it was the very time itself of the nuptial feast. τρίτῃ , in the third ) The Romans used to divide the night into four watches, the Jews into three. Accordingly Simonius establishes it as certain, that Luke alludes to the Jewish division.

Verse 39

Luke 12:39 . Γινώσκετε ) ye know [but Engl. Vers. Know ye]. ἐγρηγόρησεν ἂν , he would have watched ) Nor would that have been anything particularly remarkable. The doubtfulness attending the hour (of the thief s coming) renders the watching both continuously-maintained and praiseworthy. V. g.]

Verse 41

Luke 12:41 . Ἡμᾶς , us ) the apostles, and disciples. καὶ , even, also ) we not being excluded. See Luke 12:22 [where His discourse is restricted to the disciples]. πάντας , all ) viz. all then present. Comp. Luke 12:1 ; Luke 12:4 ; Luke 12:15 ; Luke 12:22 ; Luke 12:54 .

Verse 42

Luke 12:42 . Τίς , who ) The Lord does not expressly reply to the question of Peter; but yet He intimates, that He addresses the parable strictly to the disciples (for the steward is distinct from the household committed to him): and He shapes His address to them in the singular number, so as thereby to stimulate them singly and individually the more. Then in Luke 12:54-55 , He says something to all then present, reproving the people, inasmuch as, not as yet having become sensible of the truth of the Messiah’s first Advent, they were not able to comprehend the doctrine of the Second Advent. καταστήσει , shall appoint [‘make’]) The Future tense: because it is faithfulness [which had yet to be proved] that makes the servant worthy to be appointed over the household. A new καταστήσει , shall appoint [‘make’], follows in Luke 12:44 . There is a gradation from the charge over the ‘household,’ to that over “all that He hath” [all his goods, τοῖς ὑπάρχουσιν αὐτοῦ ].

Verse 45

Luke 12:45 . [ Δὲ , but ) Hereby is implied the great contrast there is between the conduct of the servant then, and his feeling now, when retribution overtakes him. V. g.] ἐσθίειν καὶ πίνειν , to eat and to drink ) These constitute the act: μεθύσκεσθαι , to be drunken , to give way to intoxication , denotes the habit.

Verse 46

Luke 12:46 . Ἀπίστων , unbelievers ) In antithesis to πιστὸς , believing or faithful , Luke 12:42 . He who has a heart divided [between his Master’s service and the indulgence of his own appetites], shall be himself divided [ cut in sunder ].

Verse 47

Luke 12:47 . Τὸ θέλημα , will ) whereby vigilance is required. μὴ ἑτοιμάσας , [having got ready]) Neuter, as in ch. Luke 9:52 . [There follows ποιήσας in respect of the servant himself : for ἑτοιμάσας has respect to others , whom the servant ought to have got ready. [124] V. g.] ΠΟΛΛᾺς , many ) viz. πληγὰς , stripes . The same ellipsis occurs, 2 Corinthians 11:24 .

[124] Engl. Vers. understands ἑαυτὸν to ἑτοιμάσας , “prepared not himself :” it thus loses the point of distinction between ἑτοιμάσας and ποιήσας . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 48

Luke 12:48 . Ὀλίγας ) not merely fewer than he who knew his Lord’s will, but few absolutely. ᾧ ἐδόθη πολύ , to whom much has been given ) especially if he himself has got it by solicitation and by violence. παρἐθεντο ) To whom those, whose business it was to commit it, have committed as a deposit , much. A personal verb used with the ellipsis of the person [ those or men ].

Verse 49

Luke 12:49 . Πῦρ , fire ) A fire which is to be wished for, the fire of spiritual ardour. [The love of God. V. g.] See ch. Luke 3:16 ; Matthew 10:37 , compared with what precedes and follows. The Lord continues His former discourse, which calls men from earthly to heavenly things; and gradually returns to those subjects which He had been speaking of before the interruption. See Luke 12:13 ; Luke 12:12 . βαλεῖν ) viz. from heaven, to send . εἰς τὴν γῆν , on or into the earth ) That fire is not natural to the earth [not sprung of earth]: therefore He does not say, ἐν τῇ γῇ , in earth [the distinction is lost by Engl. Vers. rendering both “ on earth”], as in Luke 12:51 . τί θέλω , what will I ) The Present, I will, I wish , for I would, I would wish , is appropriate to a thing much wished for and sure to be accomplished: What further need I wish , if (when) the fire be already kindled? The conflict preceded the kindling of the fire. It was kindled on Pentecost: Acts 2:0 .

Verse 50

Luke 12:50 . Βάπτισμα δε ) But a baptism , and that too a baptism completely consummated, must precede the fire, and the kindling of it. ἔχω βαπτισθῆναι ) Comp. Mark 10:38 . πῶς συνέχομαι , how am I straitened [severely pressed]) John 12:27 [“Now is My soul troubled,” etc.]; Matthew 26:37 . The nearer His passion approached, the greater were the emotions by which He was affected. The preceding formula, What will I? indicates the mere will and inclination by itself; but the words, How am I straitened (with which comp. Philippians 1:23 ; 2Co 5:14 ), implies the will struggling forth through opposing objects and obstructions. τελεσθῇ , it shall have been accomplished [finished, consummated]) Comp. John 19:30 [ τετέλεσται , It is finished or consummated ].

Verse 51

Luke 12:51 . Οὐχὶ ) Nay; not peace of such a kind as that which congregates together heterogeneous elements, the good and bad alike. διαμερισμὸν , division ) The sword has the power of ‘dividing,’ Hebrews 4:12 . And the fire, of which Luk 12:49 treats, separates heterogeneous elements, and congregates together homogeneous ones.

Verse 52

Luke 12:52 . Πέντε , five ) The Father, the Mother, the Son, the Daughter, and the Daughter-in-law. The Son-in-law is not added; for he constitutes a different household [as its head]. τρεῖς ἐπὶ δυσὶ , three against [or upon , ‘super,’ ueber, Germ. ] two ) Numbers most suitable to form the division of the household.

Verse 54

Luke 12:54 . Καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις , also to the multitudes ) For He had spoken the former words to the apostles. See Luke 12:42 , note. The imitators of Christ ought to submit even to division ( διαμερισμὸν , Luk 12:51 ) for the sake of His name: whereas the multitude, being void of the influence of that heavenly motive, ought to seek after peace as their chief aim. In the case of the people, quarrels are an impediment to the entrance of grace. See Luke 12:58 . ἀπὸ δυσμῶν , from the west [the setting of the sun]) The sea was on the west of the Jews: whence rain arose from that quarter. εὐθέως , straightway ) without hesitation or doubt.

Verse 55

Luke 12:55 . Νότον , south ) See ch. Luke 13:29 ; Acts 27:13 . καύσων ) καύσων sometimes is used to express the wind itself from the East. But in this passage the South Wind is a prognostic of the καύσων ; therefore καύσων expresses the heat , which the wind coming from the regions situated at the equator used to occasion to the Jews.

Verse 56

Luke 12:56 . Ὑποκριταὶ , ye hypocrites ) A hypocrite is a term used to characterize him whosoever aims at a portion of good, or the appearance of what is good, and yet neglects the greater good. It is applied also, for instance, to an interpreter of dreams , ὑποκριτὴς ὀνείρων ; but in this passage the Lord without doubt employed the usual Hebrew word, which means an evil-disposed hypocrite: for such signs of the times are adduced, as any even of the common people, without any physical science, might have appreciated. τῆς γῆς , of the earth ) Luke 12:54 . τοῦ οὐρανοῦ , of the heaven ) Luke 12:55 . καιρὸν ) the time of the Messiah. See Luke 12:49-50 . πῶς οὐ , how is it that ye do not ) Spiritual proving [ δοκιμάζειν , “ye know how to prove or discern ,” etc.] ought to be much more easy to man than the proving of things in the world of nature. [Yet notwithstanding, from the multitude of things which are the subjects of investigation in the latter, the former (the proving of spiritual things) is declined even by those who are placed in the highest and most favourable positions. V. g.]

Verse 57

Luke 12:57 . [ Δὲ , but ) What precedes has respect to faith; but what is here treated of has respect to love. The matters which are set forth in this place ought to be accounted of the greatest importance, inasmuch as out of the whole range of whatever is just, this one thing alone is mentioned to the people by Jesus. V. g.] καὶ ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν ) of your own accord, even without signs, and irrespective of the consideration of this present time. So ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν , ch. Luke 21:30 . Comp. Matthew 16:3 , note. [Or else the phrase, ἀφʼ ἑαυτῶν , expresses this: Before that the Judge pronounces sentence, and the matter become known to you, to your cost, from some other quarter (than by yourselves settling the matter in dispute). Often one, when admonished as to what is just or unjust, is compelled thereby to perceive the s truth. But it would be better for him to infer it “of himself.” Nabal came to know subsequently, when taught it, in what way he ought to have received and entertained David; but previously he neglected to use reflection. V. g.] τὸ δίκαιον ) what is true and just , and conducive to true peace; Luke 12:58 , with which comp. Luk 12:51 and Luk 12:13 as to the quarrel between the brothers. The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of justice [‘righteousness:’ Hebrews 1:8-9 ; Psa 45:6-7 ].

58. Γὰρ , for ) Γὰρ , for , is often employed where the discussion follows the proposition [statement of subject]. ὑπάγεις , goest ) although against thy will. ἀντιδίκου , adversary ) the plaintiff, to whom thou art bound to repay the debt, Luke 12:59 . ἄρχοντα , prince) the judge [or magistrate ]. ἀπηλλάχθαι , to be delivered ) by any negotiation, or on any condition whatever. A friendly compromise is wont to be recommended, even in civil cases. This is a favourable (agreeable) kind of division . [125] ΚΑΤΑΣΎΡῌ , hurry thee off by force [hale thee]) The power of the offended party is great: so much so, as sometimes to snap asunder the tie which binds the soul to the body. [126] Τῷ ΠΡΆΚΤΟΡΙ , to the officer who exacts what is due) the avenger or executioner. Satan himself is a party in the action (plaintiff), not an executioner. [127][128]

[125] Luke 12:51 . The parting asunder, by a compromise and reconciliation, of those who meet for litigation, is a good kind of διαμερισμὸς . ED. and TRANSL.

[126] i.e . The violence of a quarrel sometimes hastens the death of the delinquent through fear and chagrin. ED. and TRANSL.

[127] Reus, non executor. Revelation 12:10 ; Job 1:9 ; Job 2:5 ; Zechariah 3:1 . Perhaps Beng, however, means by reus , “Satan is himself a condemned criminal.” 2 Peter 2:4 ; Jude 1:6 . ED. and TRANSL.

[128] Bengel, J. A. (1860). Vol. 2 : Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (A. R. Fausset, Trans.) (1 116). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 12". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/luke-12.html. 1897.
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