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Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 14

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New TestamentRobertson's Word Pictures

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Verse 1

When he went (εν τω ελθειν αυτον). Luke's favourite temporal clause = "on the going as to him."

That (κα). Another common Lukan idiom, και=οτ after εγενετο, like Hebrew wav.

They (αυτο). Emphatic.

Were watching (ησαν παρατηρουμενο). Periphrastic imperfect middle. Note force of αυτο, middle voice, and παρα-. They were themselves watching on the side (on the sly), watching insidiously, with evil intent as in Mark 3:2 (active).

Verse 2

Which had the dropsy (υδρωπικος). Late and medical word from υδωρ (water), one who has internal water (υδρωπς). Here only in the N.T. and only example of the disease healed by Jesus and recorded.

Verse 3

Answering (αποκριθεις). First aorist passive participle without the passive meaning. Jesus answered the thoughts of those mentioned in verse Luke 14:1. Here "lawyers and Pharisees" are treated as one class with one article (τους) whereas in Luke 7:30 they are treated as two classes with separate articles.

Or not (η ου). The dilemma forestalled any question by them.

They held their peace (ησυχασαν). Ingressive aorist active of old verb ησυχαζω. They became silent, more so than before.

Verse 4

Took him (επιλαβομενος). Second aorist middle participle of επιλαμβανω, an old verb, only in the middle in the N.T. It is not redundant use, "took and healed," but "took hold of him and healed him." Only instance in the N.T. of its use in a case of healing.

Let him go (απελυσεν). Probably, dismissed from the company to get him away from these critics.

Verse 5

An ass or an ox (ονος η βους). But Westcott and Hort υιος η βους ( a son or an ox ). The manuscripts are much divided between υιος (son) and ονος (ass) which in the abbreviated uncials looked much alike (TC, OC) and were much alike. The sentence in the Greek reads literally thus: Whose ox or ass of you shall fall (πεσειτα, future middle of πιπτο) into a well and he (the man) will not straightway draw him up (ανασπασε, future active of ανασπαω) on the sabbath day? The very form of the question is a powerful argument and puts the lawyers and the Pharisees hopelessly on the defensive.

Verse 6

Could not answer again (ουκ ισχυσαν ανταποκριθηνα). Did not have strength to answer back or in turn (αντι-) as in Romans 9:20. They could not take up the argument and were helpless. They hated to admit that they cared more for an ox or ass or even a son than for this poor dropsical man.

Verse 7

A parable for those which were bidden (προς τους κεκλημενους παραβολην). Perfect passive participle of καλεω, to call, to invite. This parable is for the guests who were there and who had been watching Jesus.

When he marked (επεχων). Present active participle of επεχω with τον νουν understood, holding the mind upon them, old verb and common.

They chose out (εξελεγοντο). Imperfect middle, were picking out for themselves.

The chief seats (τας πρωτοκλισιας). The first reclining places at the table. Jesus condemned the Pharisees later for this very thing (Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 20:46). On a couch holding three the middle place was the chief one. At banquets today the name of the guests are usually placed at the plates. The place next to the host on the right was then, as now, the post of honour.

Verse 8

Sit not down (μη κατακλιθηις). First aorist (ingressive) passive subjunctive of κατακλινω, to recline. Old verb, but peculiar to Luke in the N.T. (Luke 7:36; Luke 9:14; Luke 14:8; Luke 24:30).

Be bidden (η κεκλημενος). Periphrastic perfect passive subjunctive of καλεω after μη ποτε.

Verse 9

And say (κα ερε). Changes to future indicative with μη ποτε as in Luke 12:58.

Shalt begin with shame (αρξη μετα αισχυνης). The moment of embarrassment.

To take the lowest place (τον εσχατον τοπον κατεχειν). To hold down the lowest place, all the intermediate ones being taken.

Verse 10

Sit down (αναπεσε). Second aorist active imperative of αναπιπτω, to fall up or back, to lie back or down. Late Greek word for ανακλινω (cf. κατακλινω in verse Luke 14:8).

He that hath bidden thee (ο κεκληκως σε). Perfect active participle as in verse Luke 14:12 (τω κεκληκοτ) with which compare ο καλεσας in verse Luke 14:9 (first aorist active participle).

He may say (ερε). The future indicative with ινα does occur in the Koine (papyri) and so in the N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 984).

Go up higher (προσαναβηθ). Second aorist active imperative second singular of προσαναβαινω, an old double compound verb, but here only in the N.T. Probably, "Come up higher," because the call comes from the host and because of προς.

Verse 11

Shall be humbled (ταπεινωθησετα). First future passive. One of the repeated sayings of Jesus (Luke 18:14; Matthew 23:12).

Verse 12

A dinner or a supper (αριστον η δειπνον). More exactly, a breakfast or a dinner with distinction between them as already shown. This is a parable for the host as one had just been given for the guests, though Luke does not term this a parable.

Call not (μη φωνε). Μη and the present imperative active, prohibiting the habit of inviting only friends. It is the exclusive invitation of such guests that Jesus condemns. There is a striking parallel to this in Plato's Phaedrus 233.

Recompense (ανταποδομα). In the form of a return invitation. Like αντ in "bid thee again" (αντικαλεσωσιν).

Verse 13

When thou makest a feast (οταν δοχην ποιηις). Hοταν and the present subjunctive in an indefinite temporal clause. Δοχη means reception as in Luke 5:29, late word, only in these two passages in the N.T. Note absence of article with these adjectives in the Greek (poor people, maimed folks, lame people, blind people).

Verse 14

To recompense thee (ανταποδουνα σο). Second aorist active infinitive of this old and common double compound verb, to give back in return. The reward will come at the resurrection if not before and thou shalt be happy.

Verse 15

Blessed (μακαριος). Happy, same word in the Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:3). This pious platitude whether due to ignorance or hypocrisy was called forth by Christ's words about the resurrection. It was a common figure among the rabbis, the use of a banquet for the bliss of heaven. This man may mean that this is a prerogative of the Pharisees. He assumed complacently that he will be among the number of the blest. Jesus himself uses this same figure of the spiritual banquet for heavenly bliss (Luke 22:29).

Shall eat (φαγετα). Future middle from εσθιω, defective verb, from stem of the aorist (εφαγον) like εδομα of the old Greek.

Verse 16

Made (εποιε). Imperfect active, was on the point of making (inchoative).

Great supper (δειπνον). Or dinner, a formal feast. Jesus takes up the conventional remark of the guest and by this parable shows that such an attitude was no guarantee of godliness (Bruce). This parable of the marriage of the King's son (Luke 14:15-24) has many points of likeness to the parable of the wedding garment (Matthew 22:1-14) and as many differences also. The occasions are very different, that in Matthew grows out of the attempt to arrest Jesus while this one is due to the pious comment of a guest at the feast and the wording is also quite different. Hence we conclude that they are distinct parables.

And he bade many (κα εκαλεσεν πολλους). Aorist active, a distinct and definite act following the imperfect εποιε.

Verse 17

His servant (τον δουλον αυτου). His bondservant. Vocator or Summoner (Esther 5:8; Esther 6:14). This second summons was the custom then as now with wealthy Arabs. Tristram (Eastern Customs, p. 82) says: "To refuse the second summons would be an insult, which is equivalent among the Arab tribes to a declaration of war."

Verse 18

With one consent (απο μιας). Some feminine substantive like γνωμης or ψυχης has to be supplied. This precise idiom occurs nowhere else. It looked like a conspiracy for each one in his turn did the same thing.

To make excuse (παραιτεισθα). This common Greek verb is used in various ways, to ask something from one (Mark 15:6), to deprecate or ask to avert (Hebrews 12:19), to refuse or decline (Acts 25:11), to shun or to avoid (2 Timothy 2:23), to beg pardon or to make excuses for not doing or to beg (Luke 14:18). All these ideas are variations of αιτεω, to ask in the middle voice with παρα in composition.

The first (ο πρωτος). In order of time. There are three of the "many" ("all"), whose excuses are given, each more flimsy than the other.

I must needs (εχω αναγκην). I have necessity. The land would still be there, a strange "necessity."

Have me excused (εχε με παρηιτημενον). An unusual idiom somewhat like the English perfect with the auxiliary "have" and the modern Greek idiom with εχω, but certainly not here a Greek periphrasis for παρηιτησο. This perfect passive participle is predicate and agrees with με. See a like idiom in Mark 3:1; Luke 12:19 (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 902f.). The Latin had a similar idiom, habe me excusatum. Same language in verse Luke 14:19.

Verse 19

To prove them (δοκιμασα αυτα). He could have tested them before buying. The oxen would not run away or be stolen.

Verse 20

I cannot come (ου δυναμα ελθειν). Less polite than the others but a more plausible pretence if he wanted to make it so. The law excused a newly married man from war (Deuteronomy 24:5), "but not from social courtesy" (Ragg). The new wife would probably have been glad to go with him to the feast if asked. But see 1 Corinthians 7:33. There is here as often a sharp difference between the excuses offered and the reasons behind them.

Verse 21

Being angry (οργισθεις). First aorist (ingressive) passive, becoming angry.

Quickly (ταχεως). The dinner is ready and no time is to be lost. The invitation goes still to those in the city.

Streets and lanes (τας πλατειας κα ρυμας). Broadways and runways (broad streets and narrow lanes).

Maimed (αναπειρους). So Westcott and Hort for the old word αναπηρους, due to itacism (ει=η in pronunciation). The word is compounded of ανα and πηρος, lame all the way up.

Verse 22

And yet there is room (κα ετ τοπος εστιν). The Master had invited "many" (verse Luke 14:16) who had all declined. The servant knew the Master wished the places to be filled.

Verse 23

The highways and hedges (τας οδους κα φραγμους). The public roads outside the city of Judaism just as the streets and lanes were inside the city. The heathen are to be invited this time.

Hedges is fenced in places from φρασσω, to fence in (Romans 3:19).

Compel (αναγκασον). First aorist active imperative of αναγκαζω, from αναγκη (verse Luke 14:18). By persuasion of course. There is no thought of compulsory salvation. "Not to use force, but to constrain them against the reluctance which such poor creatures would feel at accepting the invitation of a great lord" (Vincent). As examples of such "constraint" in this verb see Matthew 14:22; Acts 26:11; Galatians 6:12.

That my house may be filled (ινα γεμισθη μου ο οικος). First aorist passive subjunctive of γεμιζω, to fill full, old verb from γεμω, to be full. Effective aorist. Subjunctive with ινα in final clause. The Gentiles are to take the place that the Jews might have had (Romans 11:25). Bengel says: Nec natura nec gratia patitur vacuum.

Verse 24

My supper (μου του δειπνου). Here it is still the Master of the feast who is summing up his reasons for his conduct. We do not have to say that Jesus shuts the door now in the face of the Jews who may turn to him.

Verse 25

And he turned (κα στραφεις). Second aorist passive participle of στρεφω, common verb. It is a dramatic act on the part of Jesus, a deliberate effort to check the wild and unthinking enthusiasm of the crowds who followed just to be following. Note "many multitudes" (οχλο πολλο) and the imperfect tense συνεπορευοντο, were going along with him.

Verse 26

Hateth not (ου μισε). An old and very strong verb μισεω, to hate, detest. The orientals use strong language where cooler spirits would speak of preference or indifference. But even so Jesus does not here mean that one must hate his father or mother of necessity or as such, for Matthew 15:4 proves the opposite. It is only where the element of choice comes in (cf. Matthew 6:24) as it sometimes does, when father or mother opposes Christ. Then one must not hesitate. The language here is more sharply put than in Matthew 10:37. The ου here coalesces with the verb μισε in this conditional clause of the first class determined as fulfilled. It is the language of exaggerated contrast, it is true, but it must not be watered down till the point is gone. In mentioning "and wife" Jesus has really made a comment on the excuse given in verse Luke 14:20 (I married a wife and so I am not able to come).

And his own life also (ετ τε κα την ψυχην εαυτου). Note τε κα, both--and. "The τε (B L) binds all the particulars into one bundle of renuncianda" (Bruce). Note this same triple group of conjunctions (ετ τε κα) in Acts 21:28, "And moreover also," "even going as far as his own life." Martyrdom should be an ever-present possibility to the Christian, not to be courted, but not to be shunned. Love for Christ takes precedence "over even the elemental instinct of self-preservation" (Ragg).

Verse 27

His own cross (τον σταυρον εαυτου). This familiar figure we have had already (Luke 9:23; Mark 8:34; Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24). Each follower has a cross which he must bear as Jesus did his. Βασταζω is used of cross bearing in the N.T. only here (figuratively) and John 19:17 literally of Jesus. Crucifixion was common enough in Palestine since the days of Antiochus Epiphanes and Alexander Jannaeus.

Verse 28

Build a tower (πυργον οικοδομησα). A common metaphor, either a tower in the city wall like that by the Pool of Siloam (Luke 13:4) or a watchtower in a vineyard (Matthew 21:33) or a tower-shaped building for refuge or ornament as here. This parable of the rash builder has the lesson of counting the cost.

Sit down (καθισας). Attitude of deliberation.

First (πρωτον). First things first. So in verse Luke 14:31.

Count (ψηφιζε). Common verb in late writers, but only here and Revelation 13:18 in the N.T. The verb is from ψηφος, a stone, which was used in voting and so counting. Calculate is from the Latin calculus, a pebble. To vote was to cast a pebble (τιθημ ψηφον). Luke has Paul using "deposit a pebble" for casting his vote (Acts 26:10).

The cost (την δαπανην). Old and common word, but here only in the N.T. from δαπτω, to tear, consume, devour. Expense is something which eats up one's resources.

Whether he hath wherewith to complete it (ε εχε εις απαρτισμον). If he has anything for completion of it. Απαρτισμον is a rare and late word (in the papyri and only here in the N.T.). It is from απαρτιζω, to finish off (απ- and αρτιζω like our articulate), to make even or square. Cf. εξηρτισμενος in 2 Timothy 3:17.

Verse 29

Lest haply (ινα μηποτε). Double final particles (positive and negative with addition of ποτε). Used here with aorist middle subjunctive in αρξωντα (begin).

When he hath laid ... and was not able (θεντος αυτου ... κα μη ισχυοντος)

to finish (εκτελεσα). First aorist active infinitive. Note perfective use of εκ, to finish out to the end. Two genitive absolutes, first, second aorist active participle θεντος; second, present active participle ισχυοντος.

To mock him (αυτω εμπαιζειν). An old verb, εμ-παιζω, to play like a child (παις), at or with, to mock, scoff at, to trifle with like Latin illudere.

Verse 30

This man (ουτος ο ανθρωπος). This fellow, contemptuous or sarcastic use of ουτος.

Verse 31

To encounter (συνβαλειν). Second aorist active infinitive of συνβαλλω, old and common verb, to throw or bring together, to dispute, to clash in war as here.

Another king (ετερω βασιλε), to grapple with another king in war or for war (εις πολεμον). Associative instrumental case.

Take counsel (βουλευσετα). Future middle indicative of old and common verb βουλευω, from βουλη, will, counsel. The middle means to take counsel with oneself, to deliberate, to ponder.

With ten thousand (εν δεκα χιλιασιν). Literally, in ten thousand. See this so-called instrumental use of εν in Jude 1:14. Equipped in or with ten thousand. See Luke 1:17. Note μετα εικοσ χιλιαδων just below (midst of twenty thousand).

To meet (υπαντησα). Common verb (like απανταω) from ανταω (αντα, end, face to face, from which αντ) with preposition υπο (or απο), to go to meet. Here it has a military meaning.

Verse 32

Or else (ε δε μηγε). Same idiom in Luke 5:36. Luke is fond of this formula.

An ambassage (πρεσβειαν). Old and common word for the office of ambassador, composed of old men (πρεσβεις) like Japanese Elder Statesmen who are supposed to possess wisdom. In the N.T. only here and Luke 19:14.

Asketh conditions of peace (ερωτα προς ειρηνην). The use of ερωταω in this sense of beg or petition is common in the papyri and Koine generally. The original use of asking a question survives also. The text is uncertain concerning προς ειρηνην which means with ερωταω, to ask negotiations for peace. In B we have εις instead of προς like verse Luke 14:28. Most MSS. have τα before προς or εις, but not in Aleph and B. It is possible that the τα was omitted because of preceding τα (ομοεοτελευτον), but the sense is the same. See Romans 14:19 τα της ειρηνης, the things of peace, which concern or look towards peace, the preliminaries of peace.

Verse 33

Renounceth not (ουκ αποτασσετα). Old Greek word to set apart as in a military camp, then in the middle voice to separate oneself from, say good-bye to (Luke 9:61), to renounce, forsake, as here.

All that he hath (πασιν τοις εαυτου υπαρχουσιν). Dative case, says good-bye to all his property, "all his own belongings" (neuter plural participle used as substantive) as named in verse Luke 14:26. This verse gives the principle in the two parables of the rash builder and of the rash king. The minor details do not matter. The spirit of self-sacrifice is the point.

Verse 35

Dunghill (κοπριαν). Later word in the Koine vernacular. Here only in the N.T., though in the LXX.

Men cast it out (εξω βαλλουσιν αυτο). Impersonal plural. This saying about salt is another of Christ's repeated sayings (Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50). Another repeated saying is the one here about having ears to hear (Luke 8:8; Luke 14:35; Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:43).

Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/luke-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.
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