It is impossible (ανενδεκτον εστιν anendekton estin). See ουκ ενδεχεται ouk endechetai in Luke 13:33. Alpha privative (αν an -) and ενδεκτος endektos verbal adjective, from ενδεχομαι endechomai The word occurs only in late Greek and only here in the N.T. The meaning is inadmissible, unallowable.But that occasions of stumbling should come (του τα σκανδαλα μη ελτειν tou ta skandala mē elthein). This genitive articular infinitive is not easy to explain. In Acts 10:25 there is another example where the genitive articular infinitive seems to be used as a nominative (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1040). The loose Hebrew infinitive construction may have a bearing here, but one may recall that the original infinitives were either locatives -(ενι eni) or datives -(αι ai). Τα σκανδαλα Ta skandala is simply the accusative of general reference. Literally, the not coming as to occasions of stumbling. For σκανδαλον skandalon (a trap) See note on Matthew 5:29; and the note on Matthew 16:23. It is here only in Luke. The positive form of this saying appears in Matthew 18:7.
It were well for him (λυσιτελει αυτωι lusitelei autōi). An old word, but only here in the N.T., from λυσιτελης lusitelēs and this from λυω luō to pay, and τα τελη ta telē the taxes. So it pays the taxes, it returns expenses, it is profitable. Literally here, “It is profitable for him” (dative case, αυτωι autōi). Matthew has συμπερει sumpherei (it is advantageous, bears together for).If a millstone were hanged (ει λιτος μυλικος περικειται ei lithos mulikos perikeitai). Literally, “if a millstone is hanged.” Present passive indicative from περικειμαι perikeimai (to lie or be placed around). It is used as a perfect passive of περιτιτημι peritithēmi So it is a first-class condition, determined as fulfilled, not second-class as the English translations imply. Μυλικος Mulikos is simply a stone (λιτος lithos), belonging to a mill. Here only in the text of Westcott and Hort, not in Mark 9:42 which is like Matthew 18:6 μυλος ονικος mulos onikos where the upper millstone is turned by an ass. Were thrown (ερριπται erriptai). Perfect passive indicative from ριπτω rhiptō old verb. Literally, is thrown or has been thrown or cast or hurled. Mark has βεβληται beblētai and Matthew καταποντιστηι katapontisthēi which see, all three verbs vivid and expressive. Rather than (η ē). The comparative is not here expressed before η ē as one would expect. It is implied in λυσιτελει lusitelei See the same idiom in Luke 15:7.
If thy brother sin (εαν αμαρτηι ean hamartēi). Second aorist (ingressive) subjunctive in condition of third class.
Seven times in a day (επτακις της ημερας heptakis tēs hēmeras). Seven times within the day. On another occasion Peter‘s question (Matthew 18:21) brought Christ‘s answer “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22), which see note. Seven times during the day would be hard enough for the same offender.
Increase (προστες prosthes). Second aorist active imperative of προστιτημι prostithēmi to add to. Bruce thinks that this sounds much like the stereotyped petition in church prayers. A little reflection will show that they should answer the prayer themselves.
If ye have (ει εχετε ei echete). Condition of the first class, assumed to be true.Ye would say (ελεγετε αν elegete an). Imperfect active with αν an and so a conclusion (apodosis) of the second class, determined as unfulfilled, a mixed condition therefore. Sycamine tree (συκαμινωι sukaminōi). At the present time both the black mulberry (sycamine) and the white mulberry (sycamore) exist in Palestine. Luke alone in the N.T. uses either word, the sycamine here, the sycamore in Luke 19:4. The distinction is not observed in the lxx, but it is observed in the late Greek medical writers for both trees have medicinal properties. Hence it may be assumed that Luke, as a physician, makes the distinction. Both trees differ from the English sycamore. In Matthew 17:20 we have “mountain” in place of “sycamine tree.” Be thou rooted up (εκριζωτητι ekrizōthēti). First aorist passive imperative as is πυτευτητι phuteuthēti have obeyed (υπηκουσεν αν hupēkousen an). First aorist active indicative with αν an apodosis of a second-class condition (note aorist tense here, imperfect ελεγετε elegete).
Sit down to meat (αναπεσε anapese). Recline (for the meal). Literally, fall up (or back).
And will not rather say (αλλ ουκ ερει all' ouk erei).But will not say? Ουκ Ouk in a question expects the affirmative answer. Gird thyself (περιζωσαμενος perizōsamenos). Direct middle first aorist participle of περιζωννυμι perizōnnumi to gird around. Till I have eaten and drunken (εως παγω και πιω heōs phagō kai piō). More exactly, till I eat and drink. The second aorist subjunctives are not future perfects in any sense, simply punctiliar action, effective aorist. Thou shalt eat and drink (παγεσαι και πιεσαι phagesai kai piesai). Future middle indicative second person singular, the uncontracted forms -εσαι esai as often in the Koiné. These futures are from the aorist stems επαγον ephagon and επιον epion without sigma.
Does he thank? (μη εχει χαριν mē echei chariṉ). Μη Mē expects the negative answer. Εχω χαριν Echō charin to have gratitude toward one, is an old Greek idiom (1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 1:3; Hebrews 12:28).
Unprofitable (αχρειοι achreioi). The Syriac Sinaitic omits “unprofitable.” The word is common in Greek literature, but in the N.T. only here and Matthew 25:30 where it means “useless” (α a privative and χρειος chreios from χραομαι chraomai to use). The slave who only does what he is commanded by his master to do has gained no merit or credit. “In point of fact it is not commands, but demands we have to deal with, arising out of special emergencies” (Bruce). The slavish spirit gains no promotion in business life or in the kingdom of God.
Through the midst of Samaria and Galilee (δια μεσον Σαμαριας και Γαλιλαιας dia meson Samarias kai Galilaias). This is the only instance in the N.T. of δια dia with the accusative in the local sense of “through.” Xenophon and Plato use δια μεσου dia mesou (genitive). Jesus was going from Ephraim (John 11:54) north through the midst of Samaria and Galilee so as to cross over the Jordan near Bethshean and join the Galilean caravan down through Perea to Jerusalem. The Samaritans did not object to people going north away from Jerusalem, but did not like to see them going south towards the city (Luke 9:51-56).
Which stood afar off (οι ανεστησαν πορρωτεν hoi anestēsan porrōthen). The margin of Westcott and Hort reads simply εστησαν estēsan The compound read by B means “rose up,” but they stood at a distance (Leviticus 13:45.). The first healing of a leper (Luke 5:12-16) like this is given by Luke only.
Lifted up (ηραν ēran). First aorist active of the liquid verb αιρω airō f0).
As they went (εν τωι υπαγειν αυτους en tōi hupagein autous). Favourite Lukan idiom of εν en with articular infinitive as in Luke 17:11 and often.
And he was a Samaritan (και αυτος ην Σαμαρειτης kai autos ēn Samareitēs). This touch colours the whole incident. The one man who felt grateful enough to come back and thank Jesus for the blessing was a despised Samaritan. The αυτος autos has point here.
Save this stranger (ει μη ο αλλογενης ei mē ho allogenēs). The old word was αλλοπυλος allophulos (Acts 10:28), but αλλογενης allogenēs occurs in the lxx, Josephus, and inscriptions. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 80) gives the inscription from the limestone block from the Temple of Israel in Jerusalem which uses this very word which may have been read by Jesus: Let no foreigner enter within the screen and enclosure surrounding the sanctuary (Μητενα αλλογενη εισπορευεσται εντος του περι το ιερον τρυπακτου και περιβολου Mēthena allogenē eisporeuesthai entos tou peri to hieron truphaktou kai peribolou).
With observation (μετα παρατησεως meta paratēseōs). Late Greek word from παρατηρεω paratēreō to watch closely. Only here in the N.T. Medical writers use it of watching the symptoms of disease. It is used also of close astronomical observations. But close watching of external phenomena will not reveal the signs of the kingdom of God.
Within you (εντος υμων entos humōn). This is the obvious, and, as I think, the necessary meaning of εντος entos The examples cited of the use of εντος entos in Xenophon and Plato where εντος entos means “among” do not bear that out when investigated. Field (Ot. Norv.) “contends that there is no clear instance of εντος entos in the sense of among” (Bruce), and rightly so. What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others, are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display “Here” or “There.” It is in this sense that in Luke 11:20 Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God as “come upon you” (επτασεν επ υμας ephthasen eph' humās), speaking to Pharisees. The only other instance of εντος entos in the N.T. (Matthew 23:26) necessarily means “within” (“the inside of the cup”). There is, beside, the use of εντος entos meaning “within” in the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus saying of Jesus of the Third Century (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 426) which is interesting: “The kingdom of heaven is within you” (εντος υμων entos humōn as here in Luke 17:21).
Go not away nor follow after them (μη απελτητε μηδε διωχητε mē apelthēte mēde diōxēte). Westcott and Hort bracket απελτητε μηδε apelthēte mēde Note aorist subjunctive with μη mē in prohibition, ingressive aorist. Do not rush after those who set times and places for the second advent. The Messiah was already present in the first advent (Luke 17:21) though the Pharisees did not know it.
Lighteneth (αστραπτουσα astraptousa). An old and common verb, though only here and Luke 24:4 in the N.T. The second coming will be sudden and universally visible. There are still some poor souls who are waiting in Jerusalem under the delusion that Jesus will come there and nowhere else.
But first (πρωτον δε prōton de). The second coming will be only after the Cross.
They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage (ηστιον επινον εγαμουν εγαμιζοντο ēsthion εισηλτεν epinon ηλτεν egamoun απωλεσεν egamizonto). Imperfects all of them vividly picturing the life of the time of Noah. But the other tenses are aorists (Noah entered eisēlthen the flood came ēlthen destroyed apōlesen).
Note the same sharp contrast between the imperfects here (ate ηστιον ēsthion drank επινον epinon bought ηγοραζον ēgorazon sold επωλουν epōloun planted επυτευον ephuteuon builded ωικοδομουν ōikodomoun) and the aorists in Luke 17:29 (went out εχηλτεν exēlthen rained εβρεχεν ebrexen destroyed απωλεσεν apōlesen).
Is revealed (αποκαλυπτεται apokaluptetai). Prophetic and futuristic present passive indicative.
Let him not go down (μη καταβατω mē katabatō). Second aorist active imperative of καταβαινω katabainō with μη mē in a prohibition in the third person singular. The usual idiom here would be μη mē and the aorist subjunctive. See Mark 13:15. and Matthew 24:17. when these words occur in the great eschatological discussion concerning flight before the destruction of Jerusalem. Here the application is “absolute indifference to all worldly interests as the attitude of readiness for the Son of Man” (Plummer).
Remember Lot‘s wife (μνημονευετε της γυναικος Λωτ mnēmoneuete tēs gunaikos Lōt). Here only in the N.T. A pertinent illustration to warn against looking back with yearning after what has been left behind (Genesis 19:26).
Shall preserve it (ζωογονησει αυτην zōogonēsei autēn). Or save it alive. Here only in the N.T. except 1 Timothy 6:13; Acts 7:19. It is a late word and common in medical writers, to bring forth alive (ζωοσ γενω zōos genō) and here to keep alive.
In that night (ταυτηι τηι νυκτι tautēi tēi nukti). More vivid still, “on this night,” when Christ comes.
Shall be grinding (εσονται αλητουσαι esontai alēthousai). Periphrastic future active indicative of αλητω alēthō an old verb only in the N.T. here and Matthew 24:41.Together (επι το αυτο epi to auto). In the same place, near together as in Acts 2:1.
The eagles (οι αετοι hoi aetoi). Or the vultures attracted by the carcass. This proverb is quoted also in Matthew 24:28. See Job 39:27-30; Habakkuk 1:8; and Hosea 8:1. Double compound (επισυν epi -επισυναχτησονται sun -) in epi -sun -achthēsontai completes the picture.
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 17". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Lent