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Bible Commentaries

Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 6

Verse 1

Luke 6:1 . Ἐν Σαββάτῳ δευτεροπρώτῳ , on the second Sabbath after the first ) See the Ordo Temporum, p. 255, etc. [Ed. ii., p. 222, etc.] The Sabbath called πρῶτον was that one which combined the Sabbath and New Moon on one and the same day: the δευτερόπρωτον Sabbath was the day before the New Moon , and that too, in the present instance, the Sabbath on the last day of the month Ve-adar , in the 29th year of the common era. [58] On every ΔΕΥΤΕΡΌΠΡΩΤΟΝ Sabbath there was read, as the Haphtara or public lesson, 1 Samuel 20:18-42 , concerning David . Appositely therefore, in Luke 6:3 , our Lord quotes the case of what David did , from 1 Samuel 21:6 . Not. Crit . That year was with the Jews an intercalary one, and therefore the beginning of the month Nisan was late. Therefore already at that time they were having the ears ripe, namely, those of the barley crop. V. g.

[58] Most scholars now explain δευτερόπρωτον “the first of the seven numbered Sabbaths after the morrow of the Sabbath in the Passover feast.” By the way, the reckoning from the morrow of the Sabbath in the Passover feast is a remarkable anticipation of the Resurection Lord’s-day Sabbath, under the law. This δευτερόπρωτον Σάββατον here marks the second main division of the Gospel History, and the opening of the second year in our Lord’s ministry. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 3

Luke 6:3 . Οὐδε τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε , Have ye not even read this ) How often truly some passage of Scripture exactly suited to the existing state of things (the particular contingency), is presented before the eyes of men when they are thinking of nothing of the kind! V. g. ὃ ἐποίησε Δανὶδ , what David did ) The text of this very Sabbath exhibited the straits to which David was reduced, and the eating of the shewbread follows immediately after this text. Thence it is that He has used the formula, which exactly squares with this, οὐδὲ τοῦτο ἀνέγνωτε . On the same Sabbath the Saviour appealed to the Priests , who in the temple “profane the Sabbath” (by slaying sacrifices), and yet are ‘blameless,’ Matthew 12:5 : viz. at that very time of year Leviticus used to be read in the regular course, and in it there is frequent mention of offering sacrifices , even on the Sabbath : ch. Luke 6:12 , Luke 8:33 , Luke 16:29 , Luke 23:38 . Harm., p. 307, 308.

Verse 6

Luke 6:6 . Ἡ δεξία , the right hand ) The benefit conferred in healing it was the greater (as it was the right, rather than the left hand). V. g.]

Verse 8

Luke 6:8 . Εἶπε , said ) Doing all things openly.

Verse 11

Luke 6:11 . Ἀνοίας , with madness ) And yet at that very time they had good reason to have come to their senses spiritually [they were filled with ἀνοία , whereas they needed μετανοία ].

Verse 12

Luke 6:12 . Προσευχῇ , prayer ) It is even because of these His prayers that the Twelve disciples are said to have been given to Jesus Christ: John 17:6 [comp. Luk 6:13 here in Luke 6:0 ]. A great business was transacted on this night between God and the Mediator! [Even elsewhere also Luke frequently mentions the prayers of Jesus: for instance, after His baptism, ch. Luke 3:21 ; before the questioning of His disciples to test them, recorded ch. Luke 9:18 ; before the transfiguration, ch. Luke 9:29 ; and when He taught His disciples to pray, ch. Luke 11:1 . Comp. Mark 1:35 ; Luke 5:16 ; Matthew 14:23 . No evangelist however but John, excepting in the instance of the history of His passion, has detailed the very words of Jesus when praying. Harm ., p. 239.] τοῦ Θεου , of God ) Comp. Mark 11:22 , note.

Verse 13

Luke 6:13 . Ὅτε , when ) at early morning. μαθητὰς , the disciples ) who as yet formed a mixed multitude. ἐκλεξάμενος , having chosen out ) The construction remains pendent up to Luke 6:17 [where the verb ἔστη completes the Syntax]. καὶ , also ) Two appellations for them arose from this, and were subsequently used in other passages of Scripture, viz. The Twelve , and The Apostles .

Verse 15

Luke 6:15 . Ζηλωτὴν , the devotee ) The name of His native country [ Cana or Canaan ] hereby is turned, from its derivation, into a designation of merit. [59]

[59] In Matthew 10:4 , Simon, the Canaanite , Th. קָנָא , to be zealous. However Καναναῖος is probably not, as Beng. thinks, the name of his country, but קַנְּאָן = ζηλωτὴς . So the LXX. Exodus 20:5 . Matthew, as writing to Jews, uses the Hebrew name; Luke, as writing to Gentiles, the Greek. Before conversion he probably had belonged to the sect of Zealots, who, like Phinehas, Numbers 25:7 , took the execution of the law into their own hands. Subsequently, he was probably zealous in the better sense, and in that sense the name was still applied to him as an apostle. The Greek subsequently supplanted the Hebrew name, as Πέτρος did Cephas. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 16

Luke 6:16 . Ἰούδαν Ἰακώβου , Judas the son [but Engl. Vers. the brother ] of James ) This James begat Judas and James. Comp. Jude 1:1 .

Verse 17

Luke 6:17 . Αὐτῶν , them ) [The Twelve] The First Class of His hearers. τόπου πεδινοῦ , on a level spot ) This spot was not in the bottom of the valley, but half-way down the mountain: a more suitable locality for addressing a large audience than a completely level plain. [60] Such a locality is called in LXX. Isaiah 13:2 , ὌΡΟς ΠΕΔΙΝῸΝ , a mountain table-land [but Engl. Vers. from Hebr., “Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain”]. ὌΧΛΟς ΜΑΘΗΤῶΝ , a crowd of His disciples ) The Second Class, which was divided further [by the selection of the Seventy], ch. Luke 10:1 . Supply ἔστη , stood . πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ , a great multitude of the people ) The Third Class. παραλίου ) viz. ΧΏΡΑς , ΤΎΡΟΥ , the seacoast .

[60] Comp. Gnomon on ch. Luke 1:1 . Obs. 2, Note, Marg. E. B.

Verse 18

Luke 6:18 . Καὶ οἱ ) and they that were, etc. This is a species: the words πλῆθος πολύ , a great multitude , is the genus.

Verse 20

Luke 6:20 . Αὐτὸς , Himself ) In antithesis to the people, whose attention was directed to His miracles rather than to His word (or to Himself, the Word). εἰς , on ) among. οἱ πτωχοὶ , the poor ) These briefly-enunciated sentiments constitute משלים parables: the meaning of which is presented to us more fully in [Matthew 5:3 , etc. Internal and external things often go together: for which reason the one is denominated of the other; for instance, poverty or riches [i.e. “the poor in spirit” are simply called here the poor, by a denomination taken from external poverty. So of “the rich”]: Luke 6:24 . ὑμετέρα , yours peculiarly) Herein is His application of consolation individually. The expression ἐπάρας ( τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς ), having lifted up (His eyes), corresponds: for the glances of His eyes point out individuals [have a demonstrative power.

Verse 21

Luke 6:21 . Νῦν , now ) This particle is added to those particulars which apply to both worlds, according to the different characters of the men referred to. [61]

[61] i.e. Those who do not hunger or weep now in this world, shall hunger and weep in the world to come , and vice versa . ED.

Verse 22

Luke 6:22 . Ἐκβάλωσι , cast out ) defaming you in the way of contumelies in public and private. This is more than ὀνειδίζειν . The same phrase occurs, Deuteronomy 22:19 . [ τὸ ὄνομα ὑμῶν , your name ) viz. the designation whereby they were called, the DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST. V. g.] ἕνεκα , for the sake ) viz. for this reason, because ye believe in the Christ, whom ye see.

Verse 23

Luke 6:23 . Ἐν , in ) See Romans 2:16 , note. σκιρτήσατε , leap for joy ) The reward must surely be a great one: since He who thus commands us, is One whose words contain no hyperbole. κατὰ ταῦτα , according to these things ) Characteristics and means of distinguishing character may be derived from examples: so Luke 6:26 . Hebr. כָּאֵלֶּה , LXX. κατὰ ταῦτα , Numbers 28:24 ; but κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ is the formula, Ezekiel 45:25 . And this is the reading of Epiphanius and the Cambridge MS. here. [62]

[62] BDQ read κατὰ τὰ αὐτά ; ‘eadem’ in c ; ‘similiter’ in a ; ‘sic’ in d . But b and Vulg. have “secundum hæc;” and AP Orig. 3,466 a with Rec. Text, κατὰ ταῦτα . ED.

Verse 24

Luke 6:24 . [ Οὐαὶ ὑμῖν , woe is [not be ] unto you ) This is a denunciation, not an imprecation. V. g.] παράκλησιν , consolation ) Psalms 49:7 ; Psalms 49:19 ; Psalms 17:14 .

Verse 25

Luke 6:25 . Οἱ ἑμπεπλησμένοι , who are full ) Their fulness does not deserve the name of “full satisfaction.” Comp. [ χορτασθήσεσθε , ye shall be filled to satisfaction, ye shall be fully satisfied ] Luke 6:21 .

Verse 26

[26. Καλῶς , well ) whereas they do not wish well to Christ Himself. V. g.] 27. τοῖς ἀκούουσιν , who hear ) All My hearers, not merely the disciples: Luke 6:20 [where He limits His address to the disciples ]. Hereby their attention is sharpened.

Verse 30

Luke 6:30 . [ Παντὶ δὲ , but to every one ) There is in this respect too much accumulation of exceptions by human ingenuity. V. g.] αἴροντος , that taketh away ) without asking.

Verse 32

Luke 6:32 . Χάρις , thanks ) So thrice the idea is expressed; see Luke 6:33-34 . What thanks are due to you , as though you had done some service of extraordinary merit, worthy of a special reward?

Verse 35

Luke 6:35 . Πλὴν , but however [though others do differently]) These three words, love, do good, lend , refer to the 32d, 33d, and 34th verses, from which reference the appropriateness of the verb δανείζετε is apparent. ἀγαθοποιεῖτε , do good ) Understand, to them who hold you in hatred . δανείζετε , lend ) To give a loan with the hope of receiving it back, is an office of kindness becoming a man; to do so without such hope, is one becoming a Christian: The latter is enjoined, the former is not forbidden, Luke 6:34 , even as it [is not forbidden, but] is perfectly lawful to love friends. [63] [Moreover many anxieties besides are brought upon the mind when one gives a loan, with the hope of receiving it back, to many men, who either cannot or will not repay. Thence there springs up a crop of thorns. V. g.] μηδὲν ) This means nothing , not μηδένʼ , i.e. no person , for ἀπελπίζω nowhere has an Accusative of the person. ἈΠΕΛΠΊΖΟΝΤΕς ) ἈΠΟΛΑΒΕῖΝ ἘΛΠΊΖΟΝΤΕς , expecting to receive as much again: Luke 6:34 . We might render it in Latin, resperantes . It is the same form of verb as ἀπογεύσασθαι , ἀπεσθίειν , i.e. ἀπό τινος γεύσασθαι , ἀπό τινος ἐσθίειν , as Casaubon observes, from Athenæus. [64] ἐπὶ τοὺς ἀχαρίστους καὶ πονηροὺς , to the unthankful and the evil ) the vilest of mortals: the evil , πονηροὺς , even though they have not as yet made themselves out to be unthankful .

[63] Whilst we are enjoined to love enemies, this not being natural to us, whereas the former is. ED.

[64] xiv. c. 17; and ἀπαιτεῖν , i.e. αἰτεῖν ἀπό τινος , Theophrast. Charact. ix. (xii.). But Wahl, Clavis , takes it, by no means despairing , viz. of being rewarded by God. So Diod. Sic. ii. 25; Pol. iii. 63, 13. ED.

Verse 36

Luke 6:36 . Γίνεσθε · ἐστί ) These two verbs differ: [65] 1 Peter 1:16 . [66] ΟἸΚΤΊΡΜΟΝΕς , merciful ) The root of all offices of kindness. [Works of mercy, sparing and giving mercy, are immediately subjoined. V. g.]

[65] γινεσθε implies that man is to become that which he is not naturally: ἐστί , that God essentially is merciful. ED.

[66] Where Rec. Text reads γένεσθε . But ABC Vulg. read ἔσεσθε , Ye shall be , or be ye , holy. Probably ἔσεσθε , not γίνεσθε , is used there, because no εἰμὶ follows ἅγιος , expressing that God is essentially holy: therefore the verb εἶναι is there used of men, not as strictly referring to them, but with a tacit reference properly to God, who alone is essentially holy, and whose nature we are to try to be partakers of. Transcribers, unable to explain the difficulty of ἔσεσθε , instead of the usual γίνεσθε or γένεσθε , being associated with men, altered accordingly. Bengel’s principle of testing genuine readings applies, “Præstat ardua lectio procliviori.” ED.

Verse 37

Luke 6:37 . Μὴ κρίνετε , μὴ καταδικάζετε , judge not, condemn not ) By judging, we decide as to the goodness or badness of an action: by condemning, we determine as to the person, what (punishment) the guilty has deserved: comp. Matthew 12:7 . ἀπολύετε , let go free [Engl. Vers. forgive [67] ]) ἀπολύεται , let go free ( loosed ), is applied to a person who was held fast (kept confined); but ἀφίεται is applied to a debt being remitted , or forgiven , which was owed. Both verbs occur, Matthew 18:27 . As to the thing itself, compare Isaiah 58:6 .

[67] So 2Ma 12:45 , ἁμαρτίας following. Wahl, Clavis , translates it condono , I absolve. However the distinction between ἀπολύειν and ἀφίεναι supports Bengel’s view. ED.

Verse 38

Luke 6:38 . Καλὸν , good ) in the quality, or even in the quantity, of those things, which are estimated by weight, number, or other means of measuring. πεπιεσμένον , pressed down ) in the case of dry goods. σεσαλευμένον , shaken together ) in the case of soft goods. ὑπερεκχυνόμενον , flowing over ) in the case of liquids.

Verse 39

Luke 6:39 . Αὐτοῖς , to them ) viz. to the disciples, Luke 6:20 . For that which we have in Luke 6:27 [“to you which hear”], where see the note, is not given in Matthew: nor is it the language of the Evangelist’s narrative, but that of Jesus. Therefore it is with good reason thought that the discourse is constructed in the manner of a division into two parts, so as that the first part is addressed partly to the disciples, in the hearing of the rest, Luke 6:20 , partly to the crowd of hearers, Luke 6:27 ; whereas the latter part is addressed, from Luke 6:39 , to the disciples. The material or subject-matter which the discourse rests upon, is itself in accordance with this view. τυφλὸς , blind ) Suffering under the pressure of “his own beam,” Luke 6:42 ; viz. destitute of compassion and love, 1 John 2:9 , etc.; 2 Peter 1:9 ; Philemon 1:9 . τυφλὸν ὁδηγεῖν , to lead the blind ) An act which is a benefit if it be done by one possessing sight and experience. The benefits which are mentioned, Luke 6:39 ; Luke 6:41 , are more specious ones than those which are mentioned, Luke 6:37 : and so blind hypocrisy more readily hides itself under the former; but in real fact the latter in a greater degree depress self-love.

Verse 40

Luke 6:40 . Κατηρτισμένος , perfect, perfected ) Every disciple who has reached the highest goal of a particular discipline, whether that discipline be a perfect one or imperfect, will be as his Master: moreover, in so far as he is a disciple, he will not exceed his Master. For which reason a disciple who has gotten a blind master, will with him fall into the pit. [He who evinces the desire to instruct others with admonitions concerning salvation, must by all means see clearly the way of life, be free from the “beam in the eye,” be a good tree? and lay up and keep good treasure in his heart. V. g.]

Verse 41

Luke 6:41 . Δὲ , but ) But why dost thou, whereas a master ought to excel his disciple, wish to be master of him, to whom thou art even inferior? There ought to be not only vision in the eye, but also unimpeded vision.

Verse 42

Luke 6:42 . Ἀδελφὲ , brother ) Hereby is expressed the feigned assumption of a brother’s office. To this Vocative is opposed the other, thou hypocrite . ὑποκριτά , thou hypocrite ) See note on γὰρ , for , next verse. κάρφος , a mote ) the extraction of which, when properly done, is truly a work of mercy.

Verse 43

Luke 6:43 . Γἀρ , for ) The force of the for is, He who, whilst suffering under his own beam, yet aims at extracting rather another’s mote, is like a bad tree affecting (aspiring) to bring forth good fruit. ποιοῦν , producing, bringing forth ) A part of the subject. [68]

[68] The Predicate is οὐ ἐστιν , the Subject is δένδρον καλὸν ποιοῦν καρπὸν σαπρόν . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 45

Luke 6:45 . Θησαυροῦ , treasure, treasury ) So it is here called: presently after it is called περίσσευμα , the abundance . [The interior of the human heart is spacious, capable of containing in no moderate degree good or else evil. Both break forth from it in words and deeds, V. g.]

Verse 46

[46. Ἃ λέγω , the things which I say ) as your Lord, to whom obedience is due. V. g.]

Verse 48

Luke 6:48 . Θεμέλιον , foundation ) viz. an artificial one: a rock , a natural one. To the former is opposed the absence of a foundation (Luke 6:49 , χωρὶς θεμελίου ): to the latter, the mere earth ( τὴν γῆν ). οὐκ ἴσχυσε σαλεῦσαι , was not able to shake it ) much less to destroy it.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 6". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.