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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 23

Verse 1

[1. Ἅπαν τὸ πλῆθος , the whole multitude ) One may compare this to a conflagration sweeping away everything before it on every side. V. g.]

Verse 2

Luke 23:2 . Εὕρομεν , we have found ) An invidious expression [one calculated to excite odium against Him]. [But yet neither Pilate nor Herod found any ‘fault’ or “cause of death” in Him, Luke 23:4 ; Luke 23:14 ; Luke 23:22 . V. g.] τὸ ἔθνος ) The term λαὸς , the people , is applied to the Jews as contrasted with the Gentiles; but the term ἔθνος , nation , is applied to both Jews and Gentiles. Λαὸς , the people , is used in a political sense, and at the same time a sacred sense: ἔθνος , nation , is used in a genealogical or physical sense: John 11:50 ; John 11:52 [“It is expedient that one man should die for the people ( λαοῦ ), and that the whole nation ( ἔθνος ) perish not”]. Comp. Revelation 5:9 , note [Thou hast redeemed us out of every kindred, and tongue, and people , and nation ( λαοῦ , ἔθνους )]. κωλύοντα , forbidding ) as a kind of Anticæsar. Καίσαρι , to Cæsar ) By nothing else were they so much bound in devotion to Cæsar as by their hatred of Christ. The transition from spiritual to political matters is fraught with dangers. λέγοντα , saying ) By this they give an illustration of the words διαστρέφοντα , perverting , and κωλύοιτα , forbidding . From the appellation, Christ a King , they infer a double calumny as the consequence. Dismissing the latter, Pilate inquires concerning the former: [viz. the appellation, Christ the King .]

Verse 4

Luke 23:4 . Ὁ δὲ Πιλάτος , moreover [or then ] Pilate said) Pilate perceived that Jesus professes Himself to be a King of such a kind, as would prove of no detriment to Cæsar’s sovereignty. For He was now alone, deserted even by His disciples. [Again and again Pilate avouched the faultless innocence of Jesus; but he did so in a peculiarly emphatic manner three times in all, Luke 23:4 ; Luke 23:14 ; Luke 23:22 . Comp. Matthew 27:24 (“He took water and washed his hands, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person; see ye to it”); John 19:4 . Harm ., p. 547.]

Verse 5

Luke 23:5 . Γαλιλαίας , from Galilee ) Whilst they are exaggerating the matter, they give a loop-hole of escape to Pilate.

Verse 7

Luke 23:7 . Ἀνέπεμψεν ) He sent Him back (referred Him) as to His proper prince. Comp. v.11 ( ἀνέπεμψεν , said of Herod sending Him back to Pilate); or else the force of the ἀνὰ is, “He sent Him up ” to the higher part of the city.

Verse 8

Luke 23:8 . Ἡρώδης , Herod ) The great and powerful usually have less opportunity of meeting with Jesus: and they are wont to he the last in knowing of the things of the Kingdom of God. The first propagation of the faith as it is in Jesus Christ was, therefore, not due to the instrumentality of the potentates of the world. [ σημεῖον ἰδεῖν , to see a sign ) Miserable beings are they who seek in Christ nought save food to minister to the gratification of their natural senses. Such ‘gladness’ as Herod’s is not conducive. V. g.]

Verse 10

Luke 23:10 . Εὐτόνως [ vehemently , Engl. Vers.], severely [253] ) Acts 18:28 . Priests often have zeal, though a false zeal; courtiers have none at all: owing to which fact the latter often assail the truth more lightly than do the former. Herod had it in his power at the time, and therefore ought to have let Jesus go free.

[253] ‘Rigide.’ Εὐτόνως from τείνω , straining every nerve. Wahl translates it ‘acriter,’ “cum contentione,” with bitter eagerness . It occurs only here and Acts 18:28 , in the New Testament. In the latter place it is said of Apollos, “He mightily ” or rather, “ with stern earnestness , convinced the Jews.” E. and T.

Verse 11

Luke 23:11 . Ἐξουθενήσας , having set at nought ) He did not think Jesus of sufficient importance to give himself any trouble about Him, as respects the allegations, whatever they might be, which the priests were making. He thought at the time that he had stripped Jesus of His wisdom and of His power. ἐσθῆτα λαμπρὰν , a gorgeous robe ) A royal vestment. [Such as he himself may be supposed either to have worn, or to have wished to wear. V. g.] Herod seems to have meant contemptuously to indicate that he has no fears from such a king as this. But in reality he honoured Him unconsciously by the robe, as Pilate did by the inscription on the cross. [The elder Herod gave way to fears sooner than there was just reason for: this Herod, on the other hand, when the kingdom of Christ was now more immediately imminent, gives way to careless security. Such is the perverse way of the world. V. g.] ἀνέπεμψεν , sent Him back ) He had it in his power, and ought to have rather let Him go free. [Therefore in sending back the innocent to Pilate, he involved himself in the guilt of Pilate. Acts 4:27 (“Against thy holy child Jesus both Herod and Pontius Pilate were gathered together”). Harm ., p. 548].

Verse 12

Luke 23:12 . Φίλοι , friends ) [in such a way as that neither now desired to derogate aught from what was due to the other. V. g.] Judaism and Heathenism (as in this instance) began to coalesce at the time of the birth of Christianity.

Verse 14

Luke 23:14 . Ἐνώπιον ὑμῶν , in your presence ) from which ye sec that the matter has been examined into in good earnest. οὐδὲν εὗρον , I have found nothing ) Hereby he refutes the εὓρομεν , we have found , of the Jews, in Luke 23:2 . Therefore the ἐγὼ , I , is the antithesis in relation to them, with which com p. John 18:38 [“He saith unto them, I ( ἐγὼ , whatever you may say to the contrary) find in Him no fault at all”]; and also in relation to Herod ; see the next verse.

Verse 15

Luke 23:15 . Πεπραγμένον ) what Jesus hath done . [254]

[254] Not as Engl. Vers. “is done unto Him.” See Luke 24:35 , ἐγνώσθη αὐτοῖς . The construction seems to be, “What has been done by Him is not at all worthy of death:” or, “There is nothing worthy of death that He has done” ( i.e. in whatever He hath done). E. and T.

Verse 16

Luke 23:16 . Παιδεύσας ) Having chastised , viz. with scourging. A Meiosis [ i.e. the term παιδεύσας is a softer expression than what Pilate really meant]. At this point Pilate began to concede more than he ought.

Verse 22

[22. Οὗτος , this man ) By this expression Jesus is put in contradistinction to Barabbas the robber. V. g.]

Verse 23

Luke 23:23 . Καὶ τῶν ἀρχιερέων , and of the chief priests ) Forgetful even of common propriety, they joined with the rabble in their clamour.

Verse 24

Luke 23:24 . Ἐπέκρινε ) that is to say, he confirmed their judgment . [255] The priests had given the previous judgment (the ‘præjudicium’ which he followed up).

[255] ‘Superjudicavit,’ he gave sentence over and above their judgment. The word occurs here only in New Testament. E. and T.

Verse 25

Luke 23:25 . Θελήματι , to their will ) that they might do to Him whatever they had wished or might wish. [If the same power Mere at the discretion of some of those who wish to be called Christians, what, think you, would be the result? V. g.]

Verse 27

Luke 23:27 . Ἐκόπτοντο , bewailed ) either jointly under the emotion of the one common feeling, or even under the influence of peculiar affection. Κόπτεσθαι properly applies to the gestures: [256] θρηνεῖν refers to the lamentation, and weeping tone of voice.

[256] To smite one’s self on the breast on account of some one, is the strict meaning; as the Latin, plangere . E. and T.

Verse 28

Luke 23:28 . [ Μὴ ἐπʼ ἐμὲ , not concerning Me ) Already every moment Jesus was more and more directing His thoughts towards the coming glory. In the way that is pointed out in Zechariah 12:10 , He does not forbid their ‘mourning’ for Him (but only in the way that they were now mourning for Him, viz. as if He and His cause were crushed for ever; whereas He and it were near their glorious triumph). V. g.] ἐφʼ ἑαυτὰς καὶ ἐπὶ τὰ τέκνα ὑμῶν ἰδοὺ , concerning yourselves and concerning your children behold ) It is hereby indicated that the punishment about to be inflicted is near at hand. [Indeed that calamity was impending especially over the infants, and yet not so as that the women also who were lamenting Jesus could not live long enough to reach it. Harm ., p. 561.] Jesus Himself too wept for the city, and not for Himself. See ch. Luke 19:41 , Luke 18:31-32 . [How many men and women there are, who might, if they would, find no want of altogether serious causes for deploring their own state, but who devote the present day to careless security! V. g.]

Verse 29

Luke 23:29 . Ἐροῦσι ) viz. “your children” shall say .

Verse 30

Luke 23:30 . Τότε , then ) then in particular (or at last ), more than now. ἄρξονται , they shall begin ) viz. “the barren” shall begin, in answer to those by whom they Mere called ‘blessed.’ The same language shall be used afterwards also, Revelation 6:10 [At the opening of the sixth seal, the kings, etc., said to the mountains, “Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne,” etc.]. λέγειν τοῖς ὃρεσι , πέσετε ἐ , ἡμᾶς · καὶ τοῖς βουνοῖς , καλύψατε ἡμᾶς ) So Hosea 10:8 , LXX., καὶ ἐροῦσι τοῖς ὄρεσι , καλύψατε ἡμᾶς · καὶ τοῖς βουνοῖς , πέσετε ἐφʼ ἡμᾶς . ὃρεσι , to the mountains ) Often men have been covered [buried] beneath mountains. It is a great addition to the terror, when that which is horrible in itself is wished for by way of a shelter. See Revelation 6:16 .

Verse 31

Luke 23:31 . Ὅτι , For ) By this adage Jesus either shows why He Himself desires the daughters of Jerusalem to weep; or rather brings before us the persons who desire to be overwhelmed beneath the mountains, stating the grounds of their terror. Therefore we may take the green tree as typifying the young, strong, and healthy: the dry tree (comp. Isaiah 56:3 , “Neither let the eunuch say, Behold I am a dry tree;” Ezekiel 21:3 [ Eze 20:47 ], Ezekiel 31:3 , [257] etc.), the old, feeble, and barren. A remarkable passage occurs in Joseph., B. vi. de B. J. ch. 44. f 968, ed Lips. “When the soldiers were wearied out in killing the Jews, and a great multitude seemed still to be left surviving, Cæsar ordered that those alone who were armed and offered resistance should be slain, and that the rest should be made captives. But the soldiers μετὰ (the sense requires κατὰ ) τῶν παρηγγελμένων , contrary to what had been commanded, slew the old and feeble ( ΤΟΥΣ ΑΣΘΕΝΕΙΣ ), ( ΤΟ Δʼ ΑΚΜΑΖΟΝ ), but shut up in confinement those who were vigorous and serviceable,” etc. Therefore in this crowning calamity they began debating with one another, as usually happens, which was the more miserable. Tending to the same view of the words is the fact, that ξύλον denotes either a tree that is standing, or the wood of a tree that has been cut, which latter also is wont to be either moist (for so Erasmus renders ὑγρὸν , humidum , still retaining the sap) or else dry . Elsewhere indeed Christ is the tree of life, perfect in its verdure: men, whilst outside of Him, are dry wood. See John 15:1-2 . But His suffering (punishment) was truly more severe than that of any Jew, after the city was taken.

[257] Where the Assyrian is called “a cedar in Lebanon.” Comp. Luke 17:24 , “I the Lord have dried up the green tree, and made the dry tree to flourish.” E. and T.

Verse 32

Luke 23:32 . Ἕτεροι , others ) among whom (as though He were a ‘malefactor’ like them) Jesus was reckoned. Comp. Luke 23:39 ; and Acts 27:1 (“Paul and certain other prisoners”). Yet the Greek ἕτεροι is more honourable to Him than ἄλλοι would be: for the former more expresses the idea of a difference and dissimilarity between Him and them. κακοῦργοι ) Construe this, not with ἕτεροι , but with δύο [“two others; namely, two malefactors”] (comp. Luke 23:33 ; Luke 23:41 , where they are contradistinguished from Him ).

Verse 33

Luke 23:33 . Κράνιον , Calvary [“the place of a skull”]) In topographies the nomenclature is often derived from the parts of the human body.

Verse 34

Luke 23:34 . Ἔλεγε , said ) This is the first utterance of Jesus Christ on the cross. There are in all seven such utterances to be drawn from the four Evangelists, no single one of whom has recorded them all. From this it is evident, that their four records are as it were four voices, which, joined together, form one symphony; and at one time single voices sound (solos), at another, two voices (duets), at another, three (trios), at another, all the voices together. The Saviour went through most of the ordeal on the cross in silence; but His seven utterances contain a recapitulation of the doctrine calculated to be of profit to us in our last hours. [It would not be unattended with profit to comp. with this the German hymn of the Author, composed on a particular occasion, beginning thus: “Mittler! alle Kraft der Worte,” etc. It may be found in “Sen. Urlspergeri Unterricht für Kranke und Sterbende,” Aug. Vind., 1756, p. 408, and in “S. R. J. C. Storrii Gottgeheiligten Flämmlein, etc., Stuttg. 1755, p. 315. E. B.” For in these utterances He hag regard to both His enemies and a converted sinner, and His mother with His disciple, and His heavenly Father. These seven utterances may also be compared with the seven petitions in the Lord’s prayer. Even in the very order of the utterances, mysteries are hidden; and from it maybe illustrated the successive steps of every persecution, affliction, and conflict (agonis) of the Christian. Πάτερ , Father ) At the beginning, and at the close of His suffering on the cross, He calls upon God by the appellation, Father . ἄφες , forgive ) Had He not uttered this prayer, the penalty might have begun at once, whilst this most atrocious crime was in the act of perpetration, as often happened in like cases in the time of Moses. The prayers of the Long-suffering One (or simply, the Sufferer ) prevent the immediate execution of wrath, and obtain a full ‘forgiveness’ for the time to come, as well as ‘repentance’ [ Act 5:31 ] for those who were about ( i. e. willing) to accept it. [Who knows but that forgiveness and repentance were vouchsafed to the few soldiers who took charge of the crucifixion? Harm ., p. 563.] αὐτοῖς , them ) viz. those who were crucifying Him. [ τί ποιοῦσι , what they do ) They knew certainly that they were in the act of crucifying, but Who it was that they were crucifying, they knew not. And truly it was awful ignorance on their part; but if that ignorance had been removed, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; nevertheless, even heavier guilt was incurred by him who sinned knowingly. V. g.]

Verse 35

Luke 23:35 . [ Ὁ λαὸς , the people ) not the rabble ( ὄχλοι ) indiscriminately (whether Jews or Gentiles), as in Luke 23:48 , but the Jewish people is here meant. V. g. θεωρῶν , beholding ) The people no doubt feasted their eyes with that spectacle; for Luke states, that the rulers with them . [258] namely, with the people, derided the Saviour. But, a short while after, a check was put upon their fondness (lit. itching ) for derision, Luke 23:48 . Harm ., p. 564.] σὺν αὐτοῖς ) viz. with those who had crucified Him. [259] [Luke collects into one passage the mocking insults with which Jesus was harassed when being crucified, Luke 23:35-39 . The inscription on the cross was itself an insult in the eyes of the heathens. For which reason, Luke makes mention of the vinegar also, which was offered to Him by the soldiers, sooner than the other evangelists. [260] Harm ., p. 566. Men of respectability do not usually, under ordinary circumstances, blend themselves with such scenes; but wantonness and desire of revenge in the present instance took away all regard for their own dignity. No one ever was derided with such sneers as was Jesus. See that you feel grateful to Him, and learn to endure meekly insults, especially when for His sake. V. g.] [ ὁ τοῦ Θεοῦ ἐκλεκτὸς , the chosen of GOD) It is not befitting, say they, that the chosen of GOD (if Jesus were really so) should die upon a cross. V. g.] οὗτος , this man) Used as a demonstrative, with contempt.

[258] σὺν αὐτοῖς is read in A Vulg. and Rec. Text. But BCDLQ bc omit the words. E. and T.

[259] But the Harm., quoted above, makes it with the people . E. and T.

[260] Matthew 27:48 ; Mark 15:36 ; John 19:29 . But all these describe the second offering of the vinegar, in compassion, to refresh His thirst, just before death. Whereas Matthew 27:34 , Mark 15:23 , and Luke here, Luke 23:35 . describes the vinegar, “mingled with gall,” offered in mockery, and at an earlier point of time E. and T.

Verse 37

Luke 23:37 . Καὶ , and ) viz. The soldiers, in mocking Him, make the title of ‘King’ the subject of their taunts; whilst the Jews and their high priest taunt Him with the other things also ( Luk 23:35 ). [The soldiers combined the taunts which they drew from the inscription on the cross, and the jeers of the high priests, into the sneer mentioned in this verse. V. g.]

Verse 38

Luke 23:38 . Ἦν δὲ καὶ , now there wets also ) The mention of His Kingship joins the 37th and 38th verses. γράμμασιν , in letters ) There are still, to the present day, three languages in particular, to which they who learn and preach Christ are bound to devote their attention Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Ἑβραϊκοῖς , Hebraic, of Hebrew ) In John 19:20 , the Hebrew is placed first in order. Luke enumerates the languages in the order in which Pilate had arranged them. [261] That order was [if one is disposed to admit of conjecture. Harm ., p. 567] Greek, Latin, Hebrew . John arranges them according to the custom of the Hebrews, in the order of their nature and dignity. Both however adopt that order, in which Christ and His cross and kingdom were subsequently preached. The beginning was made in the Hebrew tongue: in the last times the Hebrews shall have the first place (the most prominent part to fill). The Roman tongue never occupied the first place; nor is it destined, after the destruction of Rome, to remain in great vigour.

[261] Townson, in his Harmony of the Gospels, shows the probability that Matthew gave the Hebrew inscription, as in other particulars his Gospel has most of an Hebraic character, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Mark, in accordance with the Latin or Roman aspect of his Gospel, probably gave the Latin inscription, THE KING OF THE JEWS; and so no foreign word is found in this, supposing that this is the Latin. Pilate would scorn to introduce any word from another tongue in the inscription written in the language of dominant Rome. The brevity, too, accords with the genius both of the Latin and of the Evangelist’s own style. Luke follows Mark with This is ( οὖτός ἐστιν , verse 35), brought down from above, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Thus the Greek is left for John, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. But Bengel’s view, given in the note, John 19:19 , that the words were the same in the three languages, is perhaps more probable. See his note. E. and T.

Verse 39

Luke 23:39 . Ἐβλασφήμει , began railing at Him) The most extreme trials do not bend every one. [Nay, indeed, so great is the strength of the mind disposed to sneering (the cavilling mind), that it can betray itself even when hung on a cross. V. g.] That this robber was a Jew, and that the other was a Gentile, may be inferred from the language of both, and from other circumstances; for the former, according to the custom of the Jews, sneers at His assumption of the name, Christ ; the latter directs his thoughts towards the name assigned to Him, King , as the soldiers did, but in a better way. We may add, that the Lord, in promising him blessedness, makes allusion, not to the words of the promises given to the fathers , but to the first beginnings of things [when the distinction of Jew and Gentile had not arisen], viz. concerning Paradise . Nor is it opposed to this, that the words of the converted man refer to the one God [whereas the Gentiles believed in a plurality of Gods]: for faith in Christ , as an immediate consequence, infers faith in the one God. But still, let the Hebrew term in Luke 23:43 , Ἀμὴν , verily , be considered, which however does not necessarily presuppose that the person addressed is a Hebrew. Comp. Matthew 25:40 [where the Judge saith. Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν , to persons not necessarily Hebrews]. Hence the opinion anciently entertained, as to the converted robber being a Gentile, retains a show of probability. I have written above, it may be inferred [not, it is positively certain]. λέγων , saying ) with raging impatience and ferocity.

Verse 40

Luke 23:40 . Ὁ ἓτερος , the other of the two ) The exceedingly hard cross rendered much help towards his repentance. Conversion seldom takes place on a soft and easy couch. [ ἐπετίμα αὐτῷ , rebuked him ) Thou mayest see here combined penitence, faith, confession, prayer, reproof of the ungodly, and all that is worthy of the Christian man. The abuse of this most choice example is fraught with danger; the legitimate use of it is in the highest degree profitable. V. g.] οὐδὲ ) Dost thou not even fear? Not to say, long for, have a desire after. [ Fear is the first commencement in the reformation (rectifying) of the mind. V. g.] φοβῇ , fear ) Therefore he himself was influenced by fear. ὃτι , because, seeing that ) This would have been quite sufficient cause for fearing. τῷ αὐτῷ ) the same , as He and I are.

Verse 41

Luke 23:41 . Δικαίως , justly ) The penitent approves of the penalty awarded to his sin. οὗτος , this man) The converted robber had seen and heard the successive progress (course) of the Lord’s passion, at least from the time of His being led forth from the city: or even he may have previously seen and heard Jesus. οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ) nothing amiss , nothing unseasonable or out of place.

Verse 42

Luke 23:42 . Μνήσθητι , remember ) He makes request modestly. ‘Remembrance’ extends to a far distant period ( i.e. he means that the remembrance which he craves may hold good in a time yet to come, and a far way off). A most choice prayer. Κύριε , Lord ) He publicly addresses by the appellation, Lord , Him whom His own disciples themselves had abandoned. ἔλθῃς , when thou shalt have come ) hereafter, viz. from heaven. The antithesis to this is Jesus’ expression in Luke 23:43 , To-day , ἐν τῇ σου ) in Thy kingdom. He acknowledges Him as King, and a King of such a sort as can, though dead, benefit the dead. Not even the apostles at that time entertained so pure sentiments concerning the kingdom of Christ (without mixture of the alloy of notions concerning a temporal kingdom then). βασιλείᾳ , kingdom ) Frequent mention of His Kingship and kingdom had preceded. See Luke 23:2-3 ; Luke 23:37-38 . Faith accepts in serious earnest the truth, which has been distorted and perverted into a subject of sneering by the Lord’s adversaries.

Verse 43

Luke 23:43 . Σήμερον , to-day ) On that day the converted robber could have hardly looked for death. [262] But the breaking of the legs was made subservient to this end. Thereby the Lord’s promise was fulfilled. [The marking of the time by the expression, to-day , is not to be referred (joined) to the verb, I say , as if the robber should have to wait for his entrance into Paradise during I know not how long periods of time. That the words were spoken to him on that day, is of itself evident (without it being necessary to say so). Jesus never used the expression, To-day I say ; whereas He repeatedly used the expression, I say . Therefore we must read the words thus, To-day shalt thou be with Me in paradise . Thus the power and grace of the Lord, and also His own ready and immediate entrance into Paradise, is openly declared. V. g. That was indeed to save , Luke 23:39 (which the impenitent robber had taunted Him with, as unable to effect it). Harm ., p. 570]. μετʼ ἐμοῦ , with me ) Much more then did Jesus Himself come to Paradise. [A fact which must have been very consolatory to Mary, wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene, against men’s bitter taunts, and to the Virgin mother and John, when communicated to them. Harm ., p. 570]. ἐν τῷ Παραδείσῳ , in Paradise ) in which there are happier trees than in Golgotha (especially “the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God”), associated with immortality ; Revelation 2:7 , note. [263] Jesus employs the most august appellation for the seat of happiness in the profoundest depth of His own suffering. Comp. note on ch. Luke 16:22 , [The Jews called the good state of the dead the bosom of Abraham and the garden of Eden .] This departure to Paradise differs no doubt from the ascension to heaven, John 20:17 (“I am not yet ascended to My Father”), but yet it shows that His descent to ‘hell’ (the lower regions unseen) is to be explained in a good sense.

[262] So tedious a death is crucifixion. E. and T.

[263] No other tree but “the tree of life” is mentioned there; whereas in Genesis 2:9 ; Genesis 3:3 , many others grow, and it is in the midst words not in the best MSS. of Rev 2:7 E. and T.

Verse 44

Luke 23:44 . Ὅλην , the whole ) Mid-day darkness arising from the sun obscured the whole upper hemisphere; and the moon, which was then in opposition to the sun, without deriving any light from the sun, left in obscurity the lower hemisphere.

Verse 46

Luke 23:46 . Πάτερ , Father ) The Father received the Spirit of Jesus; Jesus “receives the spirits” of believers: Acts 7:59 [Stephen’s last prayer, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”]. παραθήσομαι ) I will commend , in the very act. [264] [As a deposit committed to Him at death. It was at this point of time, the most precious truly of all, that the atonement was made. V. g.]

[264] So Rec. Text and L Δ . But παρατίθεμαι in ABCPQ Orig. 3,726 e ; ‘commendo,’ in abcd Vulg. Hil. 1074, Syr. and Memph. Versions. So Engl. Vers. E. and T.

Verse 47

Luke 23:47 . Ὄντως , in very truth ) Previously it seemed a matter of doubt to the spectators: now he affirms it as a certainty. δίκαιος , a righteous ) In this proclaiming (open avowal) of His righteousness, is contained the approval, on the part of the centurion, of all the words of Jesus, even of the doctrine as to Jesus being the Son of God, Luke 23:4 ; [‘Father,’ implying that He was “Son of God.” Therefore the expression is, “Truly this was the Son of God ,” in] Matthew 27:54 , inasmuch as this was the very subject about which the discussion had been even before Pilate. John 19:7 [“By our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God”]. Comp. Isaiah 41:26 ; Isaiah 41:23 . [265]

[265] “Who hath declared from the beginning, that we may say, He is righteous? Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that ye are gods .” This contrasts with the heathen gods Him of whom alone the centurion’s declaration could be made, He is righteous , E. and T.

Verse 48

Luke 23:48 . Θεωρίαν , sight ) They who had been merely spectators [who previously had been stirred up by the high priests to raise the cry, Crucify Him , but who now were altogether differently disposed. Harm ., p. 577], were now revolving in their minds thoughts tending to salvation, and were being prepared for the Pentecost described in Acts 2:0 ; but those who had perpetrated the deed were for the most part in a state of agitation. ταύτην , this sight) viz. of the cross. τὰ γενόμενα , the things which had been done ) at the death of Jesus. The sight ( θεωρίαν ) which they had sought for was attended with a sight ( θεωρήσαντες τὰ γενόμενα ) which they looked not for.

Verse 50

Luke 23:50 . Ἀγαθὸς καὶ δίκαιος , a man good and just ) Romans 5:7 . [266] Every man that is ἀγαθὸς , good , is also ΔΊΚΑΙΟς , just ; not vice versâ . Luke mentions the whole ( ἈΓΑΘῸς , the genus) before the part ( ΔΊΚΑΙΟς , the species). Paul observes the difference between these words more strictly.

[266] The man who fulfils his lawful duty towards others, and no more, is called δίκαιος , Hebr. צדיק . He who also confers benefits on others is ὅσιος , הסיד . Ἀγαθὸς approaches to the latter; one perfect in all the offices of piety, generous, large-minded, and a benefactor to men. E. and T.

Verse 51

Luke 23:51 . Οὗτος ) He, i.e. he alone. [If aught that is wrong goes forward without thy consent, do not at least give your approval to the act. V. g.] Nicodemus, we know, was ἄρχων , a ruler , but he is not called βουλευτὴς , a counsellor . τῇ βουλῇ , to the counsel ) See Luke 23:1 . The phraseology approaches nearly to that in Psalms 1:1 [“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly”]. τῇ πράξει , the deed ) Luke 23:33 .

Verse 54

Luke 23:54 . Ἡμέρα ἦν παρασκχευὴ , the day was the preparation ) The term παρασκευὴ , is put as an epithet (“It was the preparation-day”). ἐπέφωσκε , was drawing on [lit. was dawning ]) The beginning of the Sabbath was in the evening: and yet the expression used is, was beginning to dawn ; for even the night has its own light, especially at the full moon, which was shining at the time. [267]

[267] Rather ἐπέφωσκεν is naturally used, though by catachresis, where day is the subject, even though counted artificially from evening. So the Jews called the evening אוֹר , light, denominating even the beginning of the twenty-four hours day, a potiori parte, viz. the light. E. and T.

Verse 55

Luke 23:55 . Ἐθεάσαντο , looked at [ beheld ]) so as that with the greater ease they might anoint Him the day but one following (on the day after the morrow). τὸ μνημεῖον , the sepulchre ) Luke 23:53 .

Verse 56

Luke 23:56 . Ἡτοίμασαν , they prepared ) They had their home in Galilee; Luke 23:49 . The office they rendered to Him is the greater on that account, as being rendered away from home, and attended with greater cost and trouble. [Thou hereby dost perceive truly unwearied piety (affection) and assiduity springing from faith; which faith, however, itself already underwent a strange eclipse in those excellent souls. Harm ., p. 583.] ἀρώματα , spices ) which are dry. μῦρα , ointments ) which are liquid. Σάββατον , the Sabbath ) The rest appointed to be observed on the Sabbath was more obligatory than the rest connected with the feast. [Christ’s rest in the sepulchre claimed to itself this whole Sabbath, which is on that very account most worthy of attentive consideration. The things which at that time took place in the kingdom of the invisible world, will benefit believers in no ordinary degree, so long as there shall remain aught of them, nay, indeed to all eternity. V. g. Most excellent effects truly took place, during the calm repose of this Sabbath, in those souls which, though timid, were yet choice and precious, nay, indeed in the Saviour Himself. 1 Peter 3:18-19 ; Acts 2:24 , et seqq. Harm ., p. 583.]

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 23". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.