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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 9

Verse 1

Luke 9:1 . [ Συγκαλεσάμενος , having called together ) Therefore it was no ordinary business. V. g.] πάντα , all ) All of every kind, which might meet them. θεραπεύειν , to cure ) This depends on ἔδωκεν , He gave .

Verse 3

Luke 9:3 . Ἔχειν , to have ) The Infinitive may be resolved either into an Imperative or into a Gerund.

Verse 4

Luke 9:4 . Ἐκεῖθεν , from thence ) Let your exit from the house and from the city be at one and the same time.

Verse 6

Luke 9:6 . Κώμας , the villages [towns]) The cities are not excluded, but much rather are taken for granted: Luke 9:5 .

Verse 7

Luke 9:7 . Διηπόρει , was perplexed ) They who have not faith are liable to be miserably carried about by the various opinions of others. [And whosoever are given to self-indulgence (whoever indulge their appetites), their disquieting alarms are at once excited, as soon as ever anything falls upon them connected with spiritual matters. V. g.]

Verse 8

Luke 9:8 . Ἐφάνη , appeared ) This is put midway between ἠγέρθη , was raised up , and ἀνέστη , had risen again . For Elias had not died.

Verse 9

Luke 9:9 . Ἐζήτει , he desired ) Any one of the common people that wished, could more readily accomplish that desire. For Jesus was not one wont to enter courts: Herod was not one who thought it necessary to go forth from his court (palace) for the sake of Jesus. [ ἰδεῖν αὐτὸν , to see Him ) Whether He was like John, or whether, for the sake of Herod, He would perform a miracle? V. g.]

Verse 11

Luke 9:11 . Δεξάμενος αὐτοὺς , having received them ) Adhere closely to Jesus, and give in your name to Him as His follower, if indeed such be your desire: and you will be at once received by Him. V. g.]

Verse 14

Luke 9:14 . Ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα , by fifties ) A convenient number, on account of there being five loaves: and also the men thus formed one hundred fifties; Mark 6:40 .

Verse 18

Luke 9:18 . [ Καὶ ἐγένετο , and it came to pass ) A memorable point of termination (epoch or boundary of time), marked at once by Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Matthew 16:13 , Mar 8:27 ). They all, with a remarkable concert of statement, place here the commencement of the last departure of the Saviour to the northern borders (coasts) of the land of Israel. It is near Cæsarea-Philippi that He privately asks His disciples, Whom do men say that I am? And then He informs them as to His Passion. Then He so directs His route, as finally now to sow the good seed throughout the whole land of Israel. After the transfiguration He again returns to Capernaum, passing thence through the middle of Samaria and Galilee: further, in continuation, having crossed the Jordan, He proceeds to the land of Judea from that side; and having at length bid farewell to Bethabara and crossed the Jordan again, He came to Jericho and Bethany. Harm., p. 367.] προσευχόμενον , praying ) Jesus had prayed the Father that He would reveal Himself to His disciples. For the subject of the prayers of Jesus may be inferred from His subsequent words and actions; ch. Luke 6:12-13 [His praying all night was preparatory to the election of the Twelve].

Verse 23

Luke 9:23 , Ἔλεγε , He said ) Matthew states the occasion of His speaking thus, which having taken for granted, Luke thinks it sufficient to set down the discourse itself. πρὸς πάντας , to all ) even to those who had not heard concerning the coming Passion of the Lord.

Verse 25

Luke 9:25 . Ἀπολέσας , having destroyed himself) when he might have been saved [ Luk 9:24 ]. ζημιωθεὶς , having incurred loss [having become a castaway]) when he might have gained [ Luk 9:25 ] himself.

Verse 26

Luke 9:26 . Καὶ καὶ , and and ) The mention of God and His creature is here conjoined. See Judges 7:18 ; Judges 7:20 ; 1 Samuel 12:18 ; Hebrews 12:23 ; Revelation 3:5 ; Revelation 14:10 . [ τῶν ἁγίων ἀγγέλων , of the holy angels ) who by their attendance on Him as His retinue, shall subserve to the glorifying of GOD and of His Son. V. g.]

Verse 27

Luke 9:27 . Τῶν ὧδε ἑστώτων ) This Genitive may seem to have arisen from parallelism. [79] For the Vulg. has “hic stantes.” [80]

[79] To stand parallel to the Genitives at the close of Luke 9:26 . ED. and TRANSL.

[80] So also ab . But “hic stantium” in c; d has “qui hic stant.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 28

Luke 9:28 . Ἐγένετο , it came to pass ) Impersonal. For with ἡμέραι , we are to understand ἦσαν , as in ὁσημέραι [ ἦσαν ], daily . So Mark 8:2 , in the best MSS., ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσί μοι . καὶ Ἰωάννην καὶ Ἰάκωβον , and John and James ) Where the most usual order of these names [James and John] is kept, nothing particular can be elicited from them: as in Luke 9:54 . But where the order is changed, in no case must this be thought to have been done without purpose. Here Luke puts John before James, who had been put to death long ago, before the time when Luke wrote, inasmuch as John was yet alive, and therefore a better known witness of this most important event: in this respect he writes differently from Mark, ch. Luke 5:37 , who, it seems, wrote before Luke. [81]

[81] The Germ. Vers. has “James and John,” following the margin of both editions rather than the Gnomon in this place. E. B. DL support “James and John.” But Lachm. with best reading of Vulg. and some of the oldest authorities, has “John and James.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 29

Luke 9:29 . Εἶδος ) the aspect , the expression and look of His countenance. ἕτερον , altered ) The language of the earth does not suffice to express things strictly celestial. So it is said of the godly, ἀλλαγησόμεθα , we shall be changed , 1 Corinthians 15:51 . ἐξαστράπτων . glistering [flashing brightly forth]) the glory of His body shining out transparently from within, and passing through the pores of the garment.

Verse 30

Luke 9:30 . Ἄνδρες δύο , two men ) Who would believe that these were not angels, but that their names as men are added?

Verse 31

Luke 9:31 . Ἐν δόξῃ , in glory ) They were like their Lord in this scene [and seem to have obtained a greater degree of glory after the death and glorification of Christ. These two personages are a sample of the coming resurrection and transfiguration. V. g.] ἔξοδον , His departure [ decease ]) out of the world. Comp. Hebrews 13:12-13 . The same word occurs, 2 Peter 1:15 . [82] The subject was a great one: the term describing it a very weighty one, wherein are contained the Passion, Cross, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. The antithetic word is ΕἼΣΟΔΟς , His entrance into the world, Acts 13:24 .

[82] Appropriately it was used by one who had himself been an eye-witness of the transfiguration, and who was divinely taught the connection of the ἔξοδος with the δόξα , 1 Peter 1:11 . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 32

Luke 9:32 . Σὺν αὐτῷ , with him ) By this formula Peter is given the precedency over James and John. ὕπνῳ , with sleep ) Comp. Genesis 2:21 . [By the mediation of that sleep an oblivion of all earthly thoughts and images whatever took possession of them. V. g.] διαγρηγορήσαντες ) when they had recovered themselves from sleep . [By the sleep they were now become more alert. V. g.] It is probable that it was night: Luke 9:37 [“the next day”] seems to imply this. εἶδον τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ , they saw His glory ) Peter, who was present at the scene, has described it in the same words, 2 Peter 1:16-17 : so also John 1:14 .

Verse 34

Luke 9:34 . [ Νεφέλη , a cloud ) This cloud, as is evident from what follows, let itself down low to the earth. V. g. εἰς τὴν νεφέλην , into the cloud ) out of which the voice of GOD issued forth. To such an exalted audience (presence) are both of these saints admitted. Exodus 34:5 ; 1 Kings 19:13 . V. g.] ἐκείνους , as they entered, etc.) The they refers to Moses and Elias [not to the disciples ].

Verse 40

[40. Οὐκ ἠδυνήθησαν , they were not able ) This demon was one of a peculiar kind. For in Luke 9:1 , the disciples are said to have received power over all demons. V. g.]

Verse 43

Luke 9:43 . Ἐξεπλήσσοντο , they were struck with amazement ) in mind. μεγαλειότητι ) God is, μέγας , great ; His works are μεγαλεῖα , magnificent . θαυμαζόντων , whilst they were wondering ) and were also expressing their wonder in words. εἶπε , said ) For this one word the Gothic Version has the following: Quath Pætrus, Fan, du vve veis ni mahtedum usdreiban thamma: ith Jesus quath: thata kuni ni usgangith nibai in bidom jah in fastubnja: quath than; that is, Peter said, Lord, why were we not able to cast him out? And Jesus said, This sort goeth not forth but in prayer and fasting. Then He said , etc. Comp. App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. [83] If Luke himself wrote these words, we must suppose that Peter along with the rest, struck with admiration at the magnificent miracles performed by the Lord, identifies himself with the inability of the disciples to perform the miracle, and acknowledges that if he had been present [which he was not, being at the transfiguration at the time], he would not have prevailed against the unclean spirit. Therefore he inquires the cause why not. [84]

[83] ABD ab Vulg. support the omission of these words. c however agrees with Goth. Vers. in inserting them. They seem to me to have crept in here through the Harmonies and transcribers from the parallel passages, Matthew 17:19 ; Matthew 17:21 , Mark 9:28-29 . ED. and TRANSL.

[84] However the Vers. Germ. omits this inserted clause. E. B.

Verse 44

Luke 9:44 . Ὑμεῖς , ye ) It is a secret hidden from others. [85] εἰς τὰ ὦτα , into your ears ) The first degree of comprehension: the heart of the disciples was still less capable of comprehending this matter. See Luke 9:45 . τούτους , these ) This may also be referred to what precedes. παραδίδοσθαι , delivered up ) He hereby produces an equilibrium in their thoughts, which are thus evenly balanced between His glory on the one hand, and His Passion on the other. Comp. what goes before this ver., and also Luke 9:35 ; Luke 9:20 ; Luke 9:22 . In joy we are to remember the cross: and the knowledge of His Majesty is a preparation for receiving the word of the cross.

[85] It proved to be hid also from the disciples themselves, Luke 9:45 . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 45

Luke 9:45 . Αἴσθωνται , that they perceived it not) Ἐπίγνωσις , knowing a thing, or understanding it (referring to ἠγνόουν ), produces αἴσθησις , sense , or perception and feeling of it: when the former is wanting, the latter is necessarily so.

Verse 46

Luke 9:46 . Εἰσῆλθε , entered [arose] among ) The flesh often takes occasion for its motions: and this, even when all things are opposed to it.

Verse 48

Luke 9:48 . Γὰρ , for ) It is the part of humility to care for little children: it is the part of greatness to receive God. [86]

[86] And whoever receives a little child, Jesus saith, receiveth God. Therefore “he that is least,” in this sense, “the same shall be great.” ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 49

Luke 9:49 . Ὁ Ἰωάννης , John ) Comp. concerning this Luke 9:54 , [where, along with his brother James, he likewise evinced extraordinary zeal after the glorification on the mount. V. g.]

Verse 50

Luke 9:50 . Ὃς γὰρ οὐκ ἔστι καθʼ ὑμῶν , ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐστιν , for he who is not against you is for you ) So too Mark 9:40 , although some Greek MSS. in Mark, and most of them in Luke, have written ἡμῶν for ὑμῶν . To such a degree were the Greek transcribers indifferent in their confounding these pronouns, that the true reading must be decided not so much by the number of Greek MSS., as by the ancient versions, which translate and present these pronouns with greater accuracy of distinction, and also especially by a comparison of the context. The more or the less different is the condition of these concerning whom the expression we and you is used, the more or the less weight in proportion the variety of reading has. And in this passage the variety of reading is not a matter of indifference. For when He is speaking of external association and mode of procedure (conversatione), the Lord used the first person Plural, “Let us pass over to the other side; Lo, we go up to Jerusalem,” etc. But when matters of a more internal character were concerned, He made an appropriate distinction in His language, and did not say, we , but, I , or else, you . “ I ascend,” saith He, “to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God,” not, “to our Father and God.” Therefore He does not here say, “He who is not against us , is for us ,” but, “he who is not against you , is for you ;” and in another passage, “He who is not with Me , is against M e .” [87]

[87] ABCD abc Vulg. have καθʼ ὑμῶν . BCD abc Vulg. have also ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν . But A Δ have ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν . Rec. Text has καθʼ ἡμῶν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν . In Mark 9:40 , AD abc Vulg. read ὑμῶν twice. But BC Δ Memph. later Syr. in marg. read ἡμῶν . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 51

Luke 9:51 . Ἀναλήψεως , of His being received up [of His assumption]) An appropriate term, especially after His glorification on the mount: comp. Acts 1:2 . There was but one day of His being received up into heaven; but the forty days after the resurrection, nay, even these days before His Passion, were equivalent to a Preparation (parascene): comp. Luke 2:22 . There were still imminent His passion, cross, death, sepulture; but through all these Jesus looked onward to the goal; and this feeling of His is imitated by the style of the Evangelist. He who is aiming at reaching the city, and must pass a rugged part of the path to it, does not mention the path but the goal, when he wishes to say whither he is going. [The passages, Luke 9:51 ; Luke 10:38 ; Luke 13:10 ; Luke 13:22 ; Luke 13:33 ; Luke 17:11 ; Luke 18:31 ; Luke 18:35 ; Luke 19:11 ; Luke 19:28 , with which comp. Luke 9:31 , subsequently bring Him on nearer and hearer towards Jerusalem, and cannot be understood excepting of one and the same journey. No other journey can be placed between this journey and the Passion itself, excepting that secret going up to the Feast of Tabernacles, John 7:10 . Harm., p. 387.] τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ , His face ) Luke 9:29 . ἐστήριξε ) Ezekiel 28:21 , שים פּניך , LXX. στηριξον τὸ πρόσωπόν σου . And so often. Add Isaiah 50:6-7 , τὸ πρόσωπόν μου οὐκ ἀπέστρεψα ἀπὸ αἰσχύνης ἐμπτυσμάτων ἔθηκα τὸ πρόσωπόν μου ὡς στερεὰν πέτραν , καὶ ἔγνων , ὅτι οὐ μὴ αἰσχυνθῶ . [A firm resolution is of the greatest use in the case of difficulties. V. g.] εἰς Ἱερουσαλὴμ , to Jerusalem) Luke 9:31 . Herein is seen the fruit of the ‘appearance’ on the mount [ Luk 9:31 ].

Verse 52

Luke 9:52 . Ἑτοιμάσαι , to make ready ) viz. whatever needed to be made ready. The great number of those accompanying Him required this: nor was Jesus wont in His place of lodging to blend with the crowd.

Verse 53

Luke 9:53 . Ὅτι , because ) It was openly manifest that He was seeking to reach Jerusalem: this the Samaritans regarded with aversion [as being bitter enemies to Jewish ordinances of worship. V. g.] πρόσωπον , face ) So the LXX. 2 Samuel 17:11 , καὶ τὸ πρόσωπόν σου πορευόμενον ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν . “Whithersoever the face is turned, thither is directed the ardour of mind which conquers every difficulty.

Verse 54

Luke 9:54 . Ἰάκωβος καὶ Ἰωάννης , James and John ) Who had been selected above the others to see the glory of Jesus, Luke 9:28 , along with Peter, who however in this instance remained quiet. After that they had heard of the approaching death of Jesus [ Luk 9:44 ], on that account the more they try now to preserve His life. They seem also to have had in mind that injunction which is recorded, Luke 9:5 : see Mark 9:41 . πῦρ , fire ) It was not for this end that they were named the Sons of Thunder . Christ wrought miracles in all the elements except fire. Fire was reserved for the end (consummation) of the present world. ἀπὸ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ , from heaven ) Vengeance being impotent on earth, is readily disposed to stretch out its hand, its wishes, its sighs, to heaven for the weapons from above. ὡς καὶ , even as ) We are too willing to imitate the saints just in the cases where we ought not. Ἡλίας , Elias ) who also did so, as in the present case, against the Samaritans, 2 Kings 1:2 , seqq. They at the time had Elias fresh in their remembrance and thoughts; Luke 9:8 ; Luke 9:19 ; Luke 9:30 .

Verse 55

Luke 9:55 . Οἵου πνεύματος , of what manner of Spirit ) Namely, of that Spirit which is the Spirit of Christ, and the Spirit of grace. There may be compared with this the fact, that when Jesus prayed on the cross, employing the very words of the twenty-second and thirty-first psalms, yet He did not pray against His enemies, which would have been also in accordance with prophetical psalms, but for His enemies. ὑμεῖς ) ye . The appeal to Elias is hereby proved erroneous.

Verse 56

Luke 9:56 . Ψυχὰς , souls [ lives ]) which are precious. ἑτέρεν , another ) A most excellent and clearly-obvious plan; see Matthew 2:12 ; Numbers 20:21 . κώμην , village ) the inhabitants of which were εὐγενέστεροι , of a more liberal spirit , than those of whom Luk 9:52 speaks.

Verse 57

[57. Εἶπέ τις πρὸς αὐτὸν , a certain man said unto Him ) Three persons are recorded in this place as having been stirred up to follow Christ, of whom the two first, who had been mentioned already by Matthew (ch. Mat 8:19-22 ), are, now that the suitable occasion presents itself (ch. Luke 10:1 , which follows immediately after), joined to a third, who has been adopted (enrolled) by Luke among the number of the Seventy, as we may conjecture. Harm. , p. 388.]

Verse 58

Luke 9:58 . Οὐκ ἔχει , hath not ) In Luke 9:53 ; Luk 9:56 an example occurs.

Verse 59

Luke 9:59 . Ἀπελθόντι , having departed [ i.e. to go and ]) The dative. Here the man takes for granted his departure , does not ask leave for it. A different Kind of departure ( ἀπελθὼν , “ go thou and preach”) is enjoined in Luke 9:60 .

Verse 60

Luke 9:60 . Διάγγελλε ) announce everywhere . [88] The same verb occurs, Romans 9:17 . This the Lord was pressing forward at the time with the utmost ardour; comp. Luke 9:62 , and the beginning of the following chapter. [It is probable that both this person and he of whom the following verses treat, were shortly after enrolled in the number of the Seventy. V. g.]

[88] This is the force of διὰ , throughout, everywhere . ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 61

Luke 9:61 . Πρῶτον , first ) This person was one as yet entangled in natural affections; therefore the less indulgence was to be given him in respect of them. [89] Moreover, he seems to have had in mind the example of Elisha, to whom Elijah gave the same indulgence; for Jesus replies in an image derived from the plough (comp. 1Ki 19:19 ). The kingdom of God demands souls more unencumbered for its service than the prophetic discipleship: nor must we appeal to Elijah or Elisha, without making the necessary distinctions between the case now as compared with then; see Luke 9:53 . ἀποτάξασθαι , to bid farewell ) Perhaps attended with a sumptuous farewell feast.

[89] Lest they should rob him of that self-denial which the Christian, and especially the preacher, needs. ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 62

Luke 9:62 . Ὁ Ἰησοῦς , Jesus ) Being presently after about to send forth the Seventy. βλέπων , looking ) He who looks back, strictly speaking, is deranged. [90] εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ Θεοῦ , for the kingdom of God ) [the Gospel], viz. for holding it fast and propagating it.

[90] Delirat , alluding to its literal meaning, to draw the furrow awry in ploughing , Th. de and lira , a furrow; metaphorically, is demented, misses the right Gospel track . ED. and TRANSL.

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 9". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. 1897.