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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Luke 24

Verse 1

At early dawn (ορθρου βαθεος). Genitive of time. Literally, at deep dawn. The adjective βαθυς (deep) was often used of time. This very idiom occurs in Aristophanes, Plato, et cetera. John 20:1 adds "while it was yet dark." That is, when they started, for the sun was risen when they arrived (Mark 16:2).

Which they had prepared (α ητοιμασαν). Mark 16:1 notes that they bought other spices after the sabbath was over besides those which they already had (Luke 23:56).

Verse 2

Rolled away (αποκεκυλισμενον). Perfect passive participle of αποκυλιω, late verb and in the N.T. only in this context (Mark 16:3; Matthew 28:2) while John 20:1 has ηρμενον (taken away).

Verse 3

Of the Lord Jesus (του κυριου Ιησου). The Western family of documents does not have these words and Westcott and Hort bracket them as Western non-interpolations. There are numerous instances of this shorter Western text in this chapter. For a discussion of the subject see my Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, pp. 225-237. This precise combination (the Lord Jesus) is common in the Acts, but nowhere else in the Gospels.

Verse 4

While they were perplexed thereabout (εν τω απορεισθα αυτας περ τουτου). Luke's common Hebraistic idiom, εν with the articular infinitive (present passive απορεισθα from απορεω, to lose one's way) and the accusative of general reference.

Two men (ανδρες δυο). Men, not women. Mark 16:5 speaks of a young man (νεανισκον) while Matthew 28:5 has "an angel." We need not try to reconcile these varying accounts which agree in the main thing. The angel looked like a man and some remembered two. In verse Luke 24:23 Cleopas and his companion call them "angels."

Stood by (επεστησαν). Second aorist active indicative of εφιστημ. This common verb usually means to step up suddenly, to burst upon one.

In dazzling apparel (εν εσθητ αστραπτουση). This is the correct text. This common simplex verb occurs only twice in the N.T., here and Luke 17:24 (the Transfiguration). It has the same root as αστραπη (lightning). The "men" had the garments of "angels."

Verse 5

As they were affrighted (εμφοβων γενομενων αυτων). Genitive absolute with second aorist middle of γινομα, to become. Hence,

when they became affrighted . They had utterly forgotten the prediction of Jesus that he would rise on the third day.

Verse 6

He is not here, but is risen (ουκ εστιν ωδε, αλλα ηγερθη). Another Western non-interpolation according to Westcott and Hort. The words are genuine at any rate in Mark 16:6; Matthew 28:7.

The third day rise again (τη τριτη ημερα αναστηνα). See Luke 9:22; Luke 18:32; Luke 18:33 where Jesus plainly foretold this fact. And yet they had forgotten it, for it ran counter to all their ideas and hopes.

Verse 9

From the tomb (απο του μνημειου). Some documents omit these words. This word for tomb is like our "memorial" from μιμνησκω, to remind.

Told (απηγγειλαν). It was a wonderful proclamation. Luke does not separate the story of Mary Magdalene from that of the other women as John does (John 20:2-43.20.18).

Verse 11

As idle talk (ως ληρος). Old word for nonsense, only here in the N.T. Medical writers used it for the wild talk of those in delirium or hysteria.

Disbelieved (ˆpistoun). Imperfect active of απιστεω, old verb from απιστος, without confidence or faith in. They kept on distrusting the story of the women.

Verse 12

This entire verse is a Western non-interpolation. This incident is given in complete form in John 18:2-43.18.10 and most of the words in this verse are there also. It is of a piece with many items in this chapter about which it is not easy to reach a final conclusion.

Stooping and looking in (παρακυψας). First aorist active participle of παρακυπτω, to stoop besides and peer into. Old verb used also in John 20:5; John 20:11; James 1:25; 1 Peter 1:12.

By themselves (μονα). Without the body.

To his home (προς αυτον). Literally, "to himself."

Verse 13

Were going (ησαν πορευομενο). Periphrastic imperfect middle of πορευομα.

Sixty stadia (σταδιους εξηκοντα). About seven miles.

Verse 14

They communed (ωμιλουν). Imperfect active of ομιλεω, old and common verb (from ομιλος, in company with). In the N.T. only here (and verse Luke 24:15) and Acts 20:11; Acts 24:26. Our word homiletics is derived from this word for preaching was at first largely conversational in style and not declamatory.

Verse 15

While they communed and questioned together (εν τω ομιλειν αυτους κα συνζητειν). Same idiom as in verse Luke 24:14, which see. Note συνζητειν; each questioned the other.

Jesus himself (αυτος Ιησους). In actual person.

Went with them (συνεπορευετο αυτοις). Imperfect middle, was going along with them.

Verse 16

Were holden that they should not know him (εκρατουντο του μη επιγνωνα αυτον). Imperfect passive of κρατεω, continued being held, with the ablative case of the articular infinitive, "from recognizing him," from knowing him fully (επι γνωνα, ingressive aorist of επιγινωσκο). The μη is a redundant negative after the negative idea in εκρατουντο.

Verse 17

That you have with another (ους αντιβαλλετε προς αλληλους). Αντι βαλλω is an old verb and means to throw in turn, back and forth like a ball, from one to another, a beautiful picture of conversation as a game of words. Only here in the N.T.

They stood still (εσταθησαν). First aorist passive of ιστημ, intransitive. They stopped.

Looking sad (σκυθρωπο). This is the correct text. It is an old adjective from σκυθρος, gloomy and οπς, countenance. Only here in the N.T.

Verse 18

Dost thou alone sojourn? (συ μονος παροικεισ;). Μονος is predicate adjective. "Hast thou been dwelling alone (all by thyself)?"

And not know? (κα ουκ εγνωσ;). Second aorist active indicative and difficult to put into English as the aorist often is. The verb παροικεω means to dwell beside one, then as a stranger like παροικο (Ephesians 2:19). In Jerusalem everybody was talking about Jesus.

Verse 21

But we hoped (ημεις δε ηλπιζομεν). Imperfect active, we were hoping. Note emphasis in ημεις (we).

Redeem (λυτρουσθα). From the bondage of Rome, no doubt.

Yea and beside all this (αλλα γε κα συν πασιν τουτοις). Particles pile up to express their emotions.

Yea (αλλα here affirmative, as in verse Luke 24:22, not adversative) at least (γε) also (κα) together with all these things (συν πασιν τουτοις). Like Pelion on Ossa with them in their perplexity.

Now the third day (τριτην ταυτην ημεραν αγε). A difficult idiom for the English. "One is keeping this a third day." And he is still dead and we are still without hope.

Verse 22

Amazed us (εξεστησαν ημας). First aorist active (transitive) indicative with accusative ημας of εξιστημ. The second aorist active is intransitive.

Early (ορθρινα). A poetic and late form for ορθριος. In the N.T. only here and Revelation 24:22. Predicate adjective agreeing with the women.

Verse 23

Had seen (εωρακενα). Perfect active infinitive in indirect assertion after λεγουσα. Same construction for ζηιν after λεγουσιν. But all this was too indirect and uncertain (women and angels) for Cleopas and his companion.

Verse 25

Foolish men (ανοητο). Literally without sense (νους), not understanding. Common word.

Slow of heart (βραδεις τη καρδια). Slow in heart (locative case). Old word for one dull, slow to comprehend or to act.

All that (πασιν οις). Relative attracted from the accusative α to the case of the antecedent πασιν (dative). They could only understand part of the prophecies, not all.

Verse 26

Behooved it not? (ουχ εδει;). Was it not necessary? The very things about the death of Jesus that disturbed them so were the strongest proof that he was the Messiah of the Old Testament.

Verse 27

Interpreted (διηρμηνευσεν). First aorist active (constative aorist) indicative of διερμηνευω (Margin has the imperfect διηρμηνευεν), intensive compound (δια) of ερμηνευω, the old verb to interpret from ερμηνευς, interpreter, and that from Hερμης, the messenger of the gods as the people of Lystra took Paul to be (Acts 14:12). But what wonderful exegesis the two disciples were now hearing!

Concerning himself (περ εαυτον). Jesus found himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem able to do.

Verse 28

Made as though (προσεποιησατο). First aorist active middle (Some MSS. have προσεποιειτο imperfect) indicative of προσποιεω, old verb to conform oneself to, to pretend. Only here in the N.T. Of course he would have gone on if the disciples had not urged him to stay.

Verse 29

Constrained (παρεβιασαντο). Strong verb παραβιαζομα, to compel by use of force (Polybius and LXX). In the N.T. only here and Acts 16:15. It was here compulsion of courteous words.

Is far spent (κεκλικεν). Perfect active indicative of κλινω. The day "has turned" toward setting.

Verse 30

When he had sat down (εν τω κατακλιθηνα αυτον). Luke's common idiom as in verses Luke 24:4; Luke 24:15. Note first aorist passive infinitive (on the reclining as to him).

Gave (επεδιδου). Imperfect, inchoative idea, began to give to them, in contrast with the preceding aorist (punctiliar) participles.

Verse 31

Were opened (διηνοιχθησαν). Ingressive first aorist passive indicative of διανοιγω.

Knew (επεγνωσαν). Effective first aorist active indicative fully recognized him. Same word in verse Luke 24:16.

Vanished (αφαντος εγενετο). Became invisible or unmanifested. Αφαντος from α privative and φαινομα, to appear. Old word, only here in the N.T.

Verse 32

Was not our heart burning? (Ουχ η καρδια εμων καιομενη ην;). Periphrastic imperfect middle.

Spake (ελαλε). Imperfect active, was speaking. This common verb λαλεω is onomatopoetic, to utter a sound, λα λα and was used of birds, children chattering, and then for conversation, for preaching, for any public speech.

Opened (διηνοιγεν). Imperfect active indicative of the same verb used of the eyes in verse Luke 24:31.

Verse 33

That very hour (αυτη τη ωρα). Locative case and common Lukan idiom, at the hour itself. They could not wait.

Gathered (ηθροισμενους). Perfect passive participle of αθροιζω, old verb from αθροος (copulative α and θροος, crowd). Only here in the N.T.

Verse 34

Saying (λεγοντας). Accusative present active participle agreeing with "the eleven and those with them" in verse Luke 24:33.

Indeed (οντως). Really, because "he has appeared to Simon" (ωπθη Σιμων). First aorist passive indicative of οραω. This is the crucial evidence that turned the scales with the disciples and explains "indeed." Paul also mentions it (1 Corinthians 15:5).

Verse 35

Rehearsed (εξηγουντο). Imperfect middle indicative of εξηγεομα, verb to lead out, to rehearse. Our word exegesis comes from this verb. Their story was now confirmatory, not revolutionary. The women were right then after all.

Of them (αυτοις). To them, dative case. They did not recognize Jesus in his exegesis, but did in the breaking of bread. One is reminded of that saying in the Logia of Jesus: "Raise the stone and there thou shalt find me, cleave the wood and there am I."

Verse 36

He himself stood (αυτος εστη). He himself stepped and stood. Some documents do not have "Peace be unto you."

Verse 37

Terrified (πτοηθεντες). First aorist passive participle of πτοεω, old verb and in the N.T. only here and Luke 21:9 which see.

Affrighted (εμφοβο γενομενο). Late adjective from εν and φοβος (fear). Both these terms of fear are strong.

Supposed (εδοκουν). Imperfect active of δοκεω, kept on thinking so.

Verse 38

Why are ye troubled? (τ τεταραγμενο εστε;). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of ταρασσω, old verb, to agitate, to stir up, to get excited.

Verse 39

Myself (αυτος). Jesus is patient with his proof. They were convinced before he came into the room, but that psychological shock had unnerved them all.

Handle (ψηλαφησατε). This very word is used in 1 John 1:1 as proof of the actual human body of Jesus. It is an old verb for touching with the hand.

Flesh and bones (σαρκα κα οστεα). At least this proves that he is not just a ghost and that Jesus had a real human body against the Docetic Gnostics who denied it. But clearly we are not to understand that our resurrection bodies will have "flesh and bones." Jesus was in a transition state and had not yet been glorified. The mystery remains unsolved, but it was proof to the disciples of the identity of the Risen Christ with Jesus of Nazareth.

Verse 40

Another Western non-interpolation according to Westcott and Hort. It is genuine in John 20:20.

Verse 41

Disbelieved for joy (απιστουντων αυτων απο της χαρας). Genitive absolute and a quite understandable attitude. They were slowly reconvinced, but it was after all too good to be true.

Anything to eat (βρωσιμον). Only here in the N.T., though an old word from βιβρωσκω, to eat.

Verse 42

A piece of broiled fish (ιχθυος οπτου μερος). Οπτος is a verbal from οπταω, to cook, to roast, to broil. Common word, but only here in the N.T. The best old documents omit "and a honeycomb" (κα απο μελισσιου κηριου).

Verse 44

While I was yet with you (ετ ων συν υμιν). Literally,

Being yet with you . The participle ων takes the time of the principal verb.

Verse 45

Opened he their mind (διηνοιξεν αυτων τον νουν). The same verb as that in verses Luke 24:31; Luke 24:32 about the eyes and the Scriptures. Jesus had all these years been trying to open their minds that they might understand the Scriptures about the Messiah and now at last he makes one more effort in the light of the Cross and the Resurrection. They can now see better the will and way of God, but they will still need the power of the Holy Spirit before they will fully know the mind of Christ.

Verse 46

It is written (γεγραπτα). Perfect passive indicative of γραφω, to write, the usual phrase for quoting Scripture. Jesus now finds in the Old Testament his suffering, his resurrection, and the preaching of repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations. Note the infinitives παθειν, αναστηναι, κηρυχθηνα.

Verse 47

Beginning (αρξαμενο). Aorist middle participle of αρχω, but the nominative plural with no syntactical connection (an anacoluthon).

Verse 49

Until ye be clothed (εως ου ενδυσησθε). First aorist middle subjunctive of ενδυω or ενδυνω. It is an old verb for putting on a garment. It is here the indirect middle, put on yourselves power from on high as a garment. They are to wait till this experience comes to them. This is "the promise of the Father." It is an old metaphor in Homer, Aristophanes, Plutarch, and Paul uses it often.

Verse 50

Over against Bethany (εως προς Βηθανιαν). That is on Olivet. On this blessed spot near where he had delivered the great Eschatological Discourse he could see Bethany and Jerusalem.

Verse 51

He parted from them (διεστη απ' αυτων). Second aorist active (intransitive) indicative of διιστημ. He stood apart (δια) and he was gone. Some manuscripts do not have the words "and was carried into heaven." But we know that Jesus was taken up into heaven on a cloud (Acts 1:9).

Verse 52

Worshipped him (προσκυνησαντες αυτον). Here again we have one of Westcott and Hort's Western non-interpolations that may be genuine or not.

With great joy (μετα χαρας μεγαλης). Now that the Ascension has come they are no longer in despair. Joy becomes the note of victory as it is today. No other note can win victories for Christ. The bells rang in heaven to greet the return of Jesus there, but he set the carillon of joy to ringing on earth in human hearts in all lands and for all time.

Copyright Statement
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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 24". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/rwp/luke-24.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.