At that very season (εν αυτωι τωι καιρωι en autōi tōi kairōi). Luke‘s frequent idiom, “at the season itself.” Apparently in close connexion with the preceding discourses. Probably “were present” (παρησαν parēsan imperfect of παρειμι pareimi) means “came,” “stepped to his side,” as often (Matthew 26:50; Acts 12:20; John 11:28). These people had a piece of news for Jesus.Whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices (ων το αιμα Πειλατος εμιχεν μετα των τυσιων αυτων hōn to haima Peilatos emixen meta tōn thusiōn autōn). The verb εμιχεν emixen is first aorist active (not past perfect) of μιγνυμι mignumi a common verb. The incident is recorded nowhere else, but is in entire harmony with Pilate‘s record for outrages. These Galileans at a feast in Jerusalem may have been involved in some insurrection against the Roman government, the leaders of whom Pilate had slain right in the temple courts where the sacrifices were going on. Jesus comments on the incident, but not as the reporters had expected. Instead of denunciation of Pilate he turned it into a parable for their own conduct in the uncertainty of life.
Sinners above all (αμαρτωλοι παρα παντας hamartōloi para pantas). Παρα Para means “beside,” placed beside all the Galileans, and so beyond or above (with the accusative).Have suffered (πεποντασιν peponthasin). Second perfect active indicative third plural from πασχω paschō common verb, to experience, suffer. The tense notes that it is “an irrevocable fact” (Bruce).
Except ye repent (εαν μη μετανοητε ean mē metanoēte). Present active subjunctive of μετανοεω metanoeō to change mind and conduct, linear action, keep on changing. Condition of third class, undetermined, but with prospect of determination.Ye shall perish (απολειστε apoleisthe). Future middle indicative of απολλυμι apollumi and intransitive. Common verb.
The tower in Siloam (ο πυργος εν Σιλωαμ ho purgos en Silōam). Few sites have been more clearly located than this. Jesus mentions this accident (only in Luke) of his own accord to illustrate still further the responsibility of his hearers. Jesus makes use of public events in both these incidents to teach spiritual lessons. He gives the “moral” to the massacre of the Galilean pilgrims and the “moral” of the catastrophe at Siloam.Offenders (οπειλεται opheiletai). Literally, debtors, not sinners as in Luke 13:2 and as the Authorized Version renders here. See note on Luke 7:41; Luke 11:4; Matthew 6:12; Matthew 18:24-34.
Except ye repent (εαν μη μετανοησητε ean mē metanoēsēte). First aorist active subjunctive, immediate repentance in contrast to continued repentance, μετανοητε metanoēte in Luke 13:3, though Westcott and Hort put μετανοητε metanoēte in the margin here. The interpretation of accidents is a difficult matter, but the moral pointed out by Jesus is obvious.
Planted (πεπυτευμενην pephuteumenēn). Perfect passive participle of πυτευω phuteuō to plant, an old verb, from πυτον phuton a plant, and that from πυω phuō to grow. But this participle with ειχεν eichen (imperfect active of εχω echō) does not make a periphrastic past perfect like our English “had planted.” It means rather, he had a fig tree, one already planted in his vineyard.
The vinedresser (τον αμπελουργον ton ampelourgon). Old word, but here only in the N.T., from αμπελος ampelos vine, and εργον ergon work.These three years I come (τρια ετη απ ου ερχομαι tria etē aph' hou erchomai). Literally, “three years since (from which time) I come.” These three years, of course, have nothing to do with the three years of Christ‘s public ministry. The three years are counted from the time when the fig tree would normally be expected to bear, not from the time of planting. The Jewish nation is meant by this parable of the barren fig tree. In the withering of the barren fig tree later at Jerusalem we see parable changed to object lesson or fact (Mark 11:12-14; Matthew 21:18.). Cut it down (εκκοπσον ekkopson). “Cut it out,” the Greek has it, out of the vineyard, perfective use of εκ ek with the effective aorist active imperative of κοπτω koptō where we prefer “down.” Why? (ινα τι hina ti). Ellipsis here of γενηται genētai of which τι ti is subject (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 739, 916). Also (και kai). Besides bearing no fruit. Doth cumber the ground (την γην καταργει tēn gēn katargei). Makes the ground completely idle, of no use (κατα αργεω kata αργος argeō from α argos εργον a privative and ergon work). Late verb, here only in the N.T. except in Paul‘s Epistles.
Till I shall dig (εως οτου σκαπσω heōs hotou skapsō). First aorist active subjunctive like βαλω balō (second aorist active subjunctive of βαλλω ballō), both common verbs.Dung it (βαλω κοπρια balō kopria). Cast dung around it, manure it. Κοπρια Kopria late word, here alone in the N.T.
And if it bear fruit thenceforth (καν μεν ποιησηι καρπον εις το μελλον k'an men poiēsēi karpon eis to mellon). Aposiopesis, sudden breaking off for effect (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1203). See it also in Mark 11:32; Acts 23:9. Trench (Parables) tells a story like this of intercession for the fig tree for one year more which is widely current among the Arabs today who say that it will certainly bear fruit this time.
He was teaching (ην διδασκων ēn didaskōn). Periphrastic imperfect active.
A spirit of infirmity (πνευμα αστενειας pneuma astheneias). A spirit that caused the weakness (αστενειας astheneias lack of strength) like a spirit of bondage (Romans 8:15), genitive case.She was bowed together (ην συνκυπτουσα ēn sunkuptousa). Periphrastic imperfect active of συνκυπτω sunkuptō old verb, here only in the N.T., to bend together, medical word for curvature of the spine. And could in no wise lift herself up (και μη δυναμενη ανακυπσαι εις το παντελες kai mē dunamenē anakupsai eis to panteles). Negative form of the previous statement. Ανακυπσαι Anakupsai first aorist active infinitive of ανακυπτω anakuptō (ανα κυπτω ana συν kuptō same verb above compounded with εις το παντελες sun). Unable to bend herself up or back at all (eis to panteles wholly as in Hebrews 7:25 only other passage in the N.T. where it occurs). The poor old woman had to come in all bent over.
He called her (προσεπωνησεν prosephōnēsen). To come to him (προς pros).Thou art loosed (απολελυσαι apolelusai). Perfect passive indicative of απολυω apoluō common verb, loosed to stay free. Only N.T. example of use about disease.
He laid his hands upon her (επετηκεν αυτηι τας χειρας epethēken autēi tas cheiras). First aorist active indicative of επιτιτημι epitithēmi As the Great Physician with gentle kindness.She was made straight (ανωρτωτη anōrthōthē). First aorist (effective) passive indicative of ανορτοω anorthoō old verb, but only three times in the N.T. (Luke 13:13; Hebrews 12:12; Acts 15:16), to make straight again. Here it has the literal sense of making straight the old woman‘s crooked back. She glorified God (εδοχαζεν τον τεον edoxazen ton theon). Imperfect active. Began it (inchoative) and kept it up.
Answered (αποκριτεις apokritheis). First aorist passive participle of αποκρινομαι apokrinomai No one had spoken to him, but he felt his importance as the ruler of the synagogue and was indignant (αγανακτων aganaktōn from αγαν agan and αχομαι achomai to feel much pain). His words have a ludicrous sound as if all the people had to do to get their crooked backs straightened out was to come round to his synagogue during the week. He forgot that this poor old woman had been coming for eighteen years with no result. He was angry with Jesus, but he spoke to the multitude (τωι οχλωι tōi ochlōi).Ought (δει dei). Really, must, necessary, a direct hit at Jesus who had “worked” on the sabbath in healing this old woman. And not (και μη kai mē). Instead of και ου kai ou because in the imperative clause.
The Lord answered him (απεκριτη δε αυτωι ο Κυριος apekrithē de autōi ho Kurios). Note use of “the Lord” of Jesus again in Luke‘s narrative. Jesus answered the ruler of the synagogue who had spoken to the crowd, but about Jesus. It was a crushing and overwhelming reply.Hypocrites (υποκριται hupokritai). This pretentious faultfinder and all who agree with him. Each of you (εκαστος υμων hekastos humōn). An argumentum ad hominen. These very critics of Jesus cared too much for an ox or an ass to leave it all the sabbath without water. Stall (πατνης phatnēs). Old word, in the N.T. only here and Luke 2:7, Luke 2:12, Luke 2:16 the manger where the infant Jesus was placed. To watering (ποτιζει potizei). Old verb, causative, to give to drink.
Daughter of Abraham (τυγατερα Αβρααμ thugatera Abraam). Triple argument, human being and not an ox or ass, woman, daughter of Abraham (Jewess), besides being old and ill.Ought not (ουκ εδει ouk edei). Imperfect active. Of necessity. Jesus simply had to heal her even if on the sabbath. Whom Satan bound (ην εδησεν ο Σατανας hēn edēsen ho Satanas). Definite statement that her disease was due to Satan.
Were put to shame (κατηισχυνοντο katēischunonto). Imperfect passive of καταισχυνω kataischunō old verb, to make ashamed, make one feel ashamed. Passive here, to blush with shame at their predicament.Rejoiced (εχαιρεν echairen). Imperfect active. Sharp contrast in the emotions of the two groups. Were done (γινομενοις ginomenois). Present middle participle, were continually being done.
He said therefore (ελεγεν ουν elegen oun). It is not clear to what to refer “therefore,” whether to the case of the woman in Luke 13:11, the enthusiasm of the crowd in Luke 13:17, or to something not recorded by Luke.
A grain of mustard seed (κοκκωι σιναπεως kokkōi sinapeōs). Either the sinapis nigra or the salvadora persica, both of which have small seeds and grow to twelve feet at times. The Jews had a proverb: “Small as a mustard seed.” Given by Mark 4:30-32; Matthew 13:31. in the first great group of parables, but just the sort to be repeated.Cast into his own garden (εβαλεν εις κηπον εαυτου ebalen eis kēpon heautou). Different from “earth” (Mark) or “field” (Matthew.)” Κηπος Kēpos old word for garden, only here in the N.T. and John 19:1, John 19:26; John 19:41. Became a tree (εγενετο εις δενδρον egeneto eis dendron). Common Hebraism, very frequent in lxx, only in Luke in the N.T., but does appear in Koiné though rare in papyri; this use of εις eis after words like κατεσκηνωσεν ginomai It is a translation Hebraism in Luke. Lodged (κατασκηνοιν kateskēnōsen). Mark and Matthew have kataskēnoin infinitive of the same verb, to make tent (or nest).
Whereunto shall I liken? (Τινι ομοιωσω Tini homoiōsō̱). This question alone in Luke here as in Luke 13:8. But the parable is precisely like that in Matthew 13:33, which see note for details.
Journeying on unto Jerusalem (πορειαν ποιουμενος εις Ιεροσολυμα poreian poioumenos eis Ierosoluma). Making his way to Jerusalem. Note tenses here of continued action, and distributive use of κατα kata with cities and villages. This is the second of the journeys to Jerusalem in this later ministry corresponding to that in John 11.
Are they few that be saved? (ει ολιγοι οι σωζομενοι ei oligoi hoi sōzomenoi̱). Note use of ει ei as an interrogative which can be explained as ellipsis or as ειη ei =ē (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1024). This was an academic theological problem with the rabbis, the number of the elect.
Strive (αγωνιζεστε agōnizesthe). Jesus makes short shrift of the question. He includes others (present middle plural of αγωνιζομαι agōnizomai common verb, our agonize). Originally it was to contend for a prize in the games. The kindred word αγωνια agōnia occurs of Christ‘s struggle in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). The narrow gate appears also in Matthew 7:13, only there it is an outside gate (πυλης pulēs) while here it is the entrance to the house, “the narrow door” (τυρας thuras).
When once (απ ου αν aph' hou an). Possibly to be connected without break with the preceding verse (so Westcott and Hort), though Bruce argues for two parables here, the former (Luke 13:24) about being in earnest, while this one (Luke 13:25-30) about not being too late. The two points are here undoubtedly. It is an awkward construction, απ ου απο τουτου οτε aph' hou = αν apo toutou hote with εγερτηι an and the aorist subjunctive (αποκλεισηι egerthēi and αποκλεισηι apokleisēi). See Robertson, Grammar, p. 978.Hath shut to (αποκλειω apokleisēi), first aorist active subjunctive of απο apokleiō old verb, but only here in the N.T. Note effective aorist tense and perfective use of και αρχηστε apo slammed the door fast. And ye begin (αρχομαι kai arxēsthe). First aorist middle subjunctive of απ ου αν archomai with εγερτηι aph' hou an like αποκλεισηι egerthēi and εσταναι apokleisēi stand (ιστημι hestanai). Second perfect active infinitive of και κρουειν histēmi intransitive tense and to knock (ανοιχον ημιν kai krouein). Present active infinitive, to keep on knocking. Open to us (ερει anoixon hēmin). First aorist active imperative, at once and urgent. He shall say (ειπον erei). Future active of απ ου eipon (defective verb). This is probably the apodosis of the aph' hou clause.
Shall ye begin (αρχεστε arxesthe). Future middle, though Westcott and Hort put αρχηστε arxēsthe (aorist middle subjunctive of αρχομαι archomai) and in that case a continuation of the απ ου aph' hou construction. It is a difficult passage and the copyists had trouble with it.In thy presence (ενωπιον σου enōpion sou). As guests or hosts or neighbours some claim, or the master of the house. It is grotesque to claim credit because Christ taught in their streets, but they are hard run for excuses and claims.
I know not whence ye are (ουκ οιδα ποτεν εστε ouk oida pothen este). This blunt statement cuts the matter short and sweeps away the flimsy cobwebs. Acquaintance with Christ in the flesh does not open the door. Jesus quotes Psalm 8:9 as in Matthew 7:23, there as in the lxx, here with παντες εργαται αδικιας pantes ergatai adikias there with οι εργαζομενοι την ανομιαν hoi ergazomenoi tēn anomian But αποστητε apostēte (second aorist active imperative) here, and there αποχωρειτε apochōreite (present active imperative).
There (εκει ekei). Out there, outside the house whence they are driven.When ye shall see (οταν οπσηστε hotan opsēsthe). First aorist middle subjunctive (of a late aorist ωπσαμην ōpsamēn) of οραω horaō though οπσεστε opsesthe (future middle) in margin of Westcott and Hort, unless we admit here a “future” subjunctive like Byzantine Greek (after Latin). And yourselves cast forth without (υμας δε εκβαλλομενους εχω humās de ekballomenous exō). Present passive participle, continuous action, “you being cast out” with the door shut. See notes on Matthew 8:11. for this same picture.
Shall sit down (ανακλιτησονται anaklithēsontai). Future passive indicative third plural. Recline, of course, is the figure of this heavenly banquet. Jesus does not mean that these will be saved in different ways, but only that many will come from all the four quarters of the earth.
Last (εσχατοι eschatoi). This saying was repeated many times (Matthew 19:30; Mark 10:31; Matthew 20:16).
In that very hour (εν αυτηι τηι ωραι en autēi tēi hōrāi). Luke‘s favourite notation of time.Pharisees (Παρισαιοι Pharisaioi). Here we see the Pharisees in a new role, warning Jesus against the machinations of Herod, when they are plotting themselves.
That fox (τηι αλωπεκι ταυτηι tēi alōpeki tautēi). This epithet for the cunning and cowardice of Herod shows clearly that Jesus understood the real attitude and character of the man who had put John the Baptist to death and evidently wanted to get Jesus into his power in spite of his superstitious fears that he might be John the Baptist redivivus. The message of Jesus means that he is independent of the plots and schemes of both Herod and the Pharisees. The preacher is often put in a tight place by politicians who are quite willing to see him shorn of all real power.Cures (ιασεις iaseis). Old word, but in the N.T. only here and Acts 4:22, Acts 4:30. I am perfected (τελειουμαι teleioumai). Present passive indicative of τελειοω teleioō old verb from τελειος teleios to bring to perfection, frequent in the N.T. Used in Hebrews 2:10 of the Father‘s purpose in the humanity of Christ. Perfect humanity is a process and Jesus was passing through that, without sin, but not without temptation and suffering. It is the prophetic present with the sense of the future.
The day following (τηι εχομενηι tēi echomenēi). See note on Acts 20:15. The same as the third day in Luke 13:32. A proverb.It cannot be (ουκ ενδεχεται ouk endechetai). It is not accepted, it is inadmissible. A severely ironical indictment of Jerusalem. The shadow of the Cross reaches Perea where Jesus now is as he starts toward Jerusalem.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Ιερουσαλημ Ιερουσαλημ Ierousalēm επισυναχαι Ierousalēm). In Matthew 23:37. Jesus utters a similar lament over Jerusalem. The connection suits both there and here, but Plummer considers it “rather a violent hypothesis” to suppose that Jesus spoke these words twice. It is possible, of course, though not like Luke‘s usual method, that he put the words here because of the mention of Jerusalem. In itself it is not easy to see why Jesus could not have made the lament both here and in Jerusalem. The language of the apostrophe is almost identical in both places (Luke 13:34.; Matthew 23:37-39). For details see on Matthew. In Luke we have επισυναγαγειν episunaxai (late first aorist active infinitive) and in Matthew επισυναγω episunagagein (second aorist active infinitive), both from ποσακις ητελησα episunagō a double compound of late Greek (Polybius). Both have “How often would I” (ον τροπον posakis ēthelēsa). How often did I wish. Clearly showing that Jesus made repeated visits to Jerusalem as we know otherwise only from John‘s Gospel.Even as (νοσσιαν hon tropon). Accusative of general reference and in Matthew 23:37 also. Incorporation of antecedent into the relative clause. Brood (νοσσια nossian) is in Luke while Matthew has chickens (νεοσσια nossia), both late forms for the older ερημος neossia The adjective desolate (erēmos) is wanting in Luke 13:35 and is doubtful in Matthew 23:39.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 13". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Lent