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Bible Commentaries
Luke 8

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

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Verses 1-56

Luke 8:2 . Mary, called Magdalene. Origen reckons three women who anointed the Saviour. The first, in the house of Simon the pharisee. Luke 7:37. The second, the woman who anointed him six days before the passover. Mark 14:8. The third, the sister of Lazarus, who anointed him in the house of Simon the leper, Matthew 26:6-7. Chrysostom regards the two last as the same person.

Out of whom went seven devils. Some of the ancient fathers of the church understand this of the vices to which she had been addicted, as a demon of pride, of anger, lasciviousness, and desire; but in her regenerate state she became more eminent for virtue than she had been for vice, loving and honouring the Lord after his crucifixion, as in the days of his ministerial glory. She is considered as a woman of strong mind, good education, and liberal fortune. We are not bound to follow every opinion of venerable men. The elegant Luke says, seven demons: and why might not a demon give the number of seven, as well as another answer, legion? This woman had followed the Saviour with many others from Galilee. Mark 15:40. Grace in her heart was stronger than the power of demons. She had watched with the holy women at the crucifixion, and was honoured as the first to announce his resurrection. Matthew 28:1.

Luke 8:4 . He spake by a parable, as in Matthew 13:0. Variations of words occur in all the evangelists, because the Lord delivered the same doctrines in different parts of the land, and would vary his speech as occasions might require. Now, as Luke wrote his gospel from the dictates and gospels of the apostles, one would relate expressions as he heard them in one place, and another would relate them as he heard them in another place.

Luke 8:10 . That seeing they might not see. The true sense of these words is found, Acts 28:26.

Luke 8:16 . No man lighteth a candle and putteth it under a bed. Calmet gives us from oriental travel a fac-simile of a bed, a sort of easy chair in which the sick, the weary, and the slothful might repose. Under the seat there might be a cupboard for utensils, candlesticks, &c. The idea of such beds seems more natural than that of a “bushel.”

Luke 8:27 . A certain man which had devils. Illustrated in Mark 5:22.

Luke 8:41 . There came a man named Jairus. See on Mark 6:0.

Luke 8:43 . A woman having an issue. See on Matthew 9:21; Matthew 9:28.

Luke 8:55 . Her spirit came again, or returned into her body, which marks the distinction between matter and spirit, and the assured existence of a world of spirits. See John 11:0. with the Reflections.


The women that came up from Galilee are named here for their piety, and for their liberality to the funds of the Saviour’s little company. The gospel in its first rise was wholly supported by freewill offerings, until lands and endowments came to be the heritage of the church. But the principal lustre of those matrons is their piety, and the assistance which they must have spiritually rendered to the work of the Redeemer. St. Paul found much aid of this kind from women whom he greets as having helped him in the Lord. The labours and martyrdom of Thecla have been named in the beginning of this gospel. The minister is not wise who does not avail himself of those aids in furthering the work of the Lord.

Other reflections on the parable, and the three miracles recorded in this chapter, will be found in the notes.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Luke 8". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/luke-8.html. 1835.
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