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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Luke 11

Verse 3

Daily bread (ton arton ton ejpiousion). Great differences of opinion exist among commentators as to the strict meaning of the word rendered daily. The principal explanations are the following :

1. From ejpienai, to come on. Hence, a. The coming, or tomorrow's bread.

b. Daily : regarding the days in their future succession.

c. Continual.

d. Yet to come, applied to Christ, the Bread of life, who is to come hereafter.

2. From ejpi and oujsia, being. Hence, a. For our sustenance (physical), and so necessary.

b. For our essential life (spiritual).

c. Above all being, hence pre - eminent, excellent.

d. Abundant.

It would be profitless to the English reader to go into the discussion. A scholar is quoted as saying that the term is "the rack of theologians and grammarians." A satisfactory discussion must assume the reader's knowledge of Greek. Those who are interested in the question will find it treated by Tholuck (" Sermon on the Mount "), and also very exhaustively by Bishop Lightfoot (" On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament "). The latter adopts the derivation from ejpienai, to come on, and concludes by saying, "the familiar rendering, daily, which has prevailed uninterruptedly in the Western Church from the beginning, is a fairly adequate representation of the original; nor, indeed, does the English language furnish any one word which would answer the purpose so well." The rendering in the margin of Rev. is, our bread for the coming day. It is objected to this that it contradicts the Lord 's precept in Matthew 6:34, not to be anxious for the morrow. But word does not necessarily mean the morrow. "If the prayer were said in the evening, no doubt it would mean the following day; but supposing it to be used before dawn, it would designate the day then breaking" (the coming day). "And further, if the command not to be anxious is tantamount to a prohibition against prayer for the object about which we are forbidden to be anxious, then not only must we not pray for tomorrow's food, but we must not pray for food at all; since the Lord bids us (Matthew 6:25) not to be anxious for our life" (Lightfoot, condensed).

Verse 4

Forgive. See on ch. Luke 3:3; James 5:15.

Sins [αμαρτιας] . See on Matthew 1:21. Compare debts, Matthew 6:12. That is indebted. Matthew's debts appears here.

Lead [εισενεγκης] . Rev. gives "bring us not," which, besides being a more accurate rendering of the word (eijv, into, ferw, to bear or bring), avoids the invidious hint of seducing or enticing which attaches to lead. James tells us that God does not tempt any man (i. 13); but the circumstances of a man's life often, indeed always, involve possibilities of temptation. A caution is written even over the door of God 's own house (Ecclesiastes 5:1). God also sends trials to prove and chasten us; but something may change the salutary power of trial into the corrupting power of evil solicitation; and that something, as James tells us (i. 14), is our own evil desire. God tempteth no man; but "every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed." We pray, therefore, "suffer us not to be drawn away by our own lusts : keep us out of the power of our own evil hearts. Thou knowest our frame, and rememberest that we are dust. Remember our weakness. What thou imposest we would not shun. What thou dost not impose, keep us from seeking. Forbid that our evil desire should convert our temptable condition into actual temptation. Keep us out of situations in which, so far as we can judge, it would be beyond our present strength to keep from sinning." It is not a coward's prayer. No man is a coward for being afraid of his own heart. It marks the highest quality of courage to know what to be afraid of and to fear it. To pray that God will not bring us within the possibility of temptation, would be to ignore our manhood, or to pray to be taken out of the world. But we may pray, and will surely pray, the more keenly conscious we become of the weakness of our nature, that God will not suffer the trials of life to become temptations to evil.

Temptation. See on Matthew 6:13.


Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 5

Set before. See on ch. Luke 9:16.

Verse 7

My children are with me in bed. "A whole family - parents, children, and servants - sleep in the same room" (Thomson, " Land and Book "). Tynd. my servants are with me in the chamber.

Verse 8

Importunity [αναιδειαν] . Only here in New Testament. A very striking word to describe persistence. Lit., shamelessness. As related to prayer, it is illustrated in the case of Abraham 's intercession for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33); and of the Syro - Phoenician woman (Matthew 14:22-28).

Verse 9

Ask [αιτειτε] . The word for the asking of an inferior (Acts 12:20; Acts 3:2); and hence of man from God (Matthew 7:7; James 1:5). Christ never uses the word of his own asking from the Father, but always ejrwtw, as asking on equal terms. Martha shows her low conception of his person when she uses the term of his asking God (John 11:22). 8 Ask, seek, knock. "The three repetitions of the command are more than mere repetitions; since to seek is more than to ask, and to knock than to seek" (Trench, " Parables ").

Verse 11

Of any of you [τινα] . The A. V. renders as though the pronoun were indefinite; but it is interrogative and commences the sentence. Rev., therefore, rightly, of which of you that is a father, etc.

Verse 13

Being [υπαρχοντες] . See on James 2:15.

Heavenly Father. Lit., the Father, he who is from Heaven.

14, 15, 17 - 23. Compare Matthew 12:22-37.

Verse 14

Dumb [κωφον] . See on Matthew 9:32.

Verse 15

Beelzebub. See on Matthew 10:25.

Verse 16

Tempting. See on temptation, Matthew 6:13.

Sign. See on Matthew 11:20.

Verse 17

Thoughts [διανοηματα] . Only here in New Testament. Primarily with a sense of intent, purpose.

A house divided against itself falleth [οικος επι οικον πιπτει] . Some make this an enlargement on the previous sentence - a more detailed description of the general is brought to desolation, and render house falleth upon house. So Rev., margin. It might be taken metaphorically : the divided kingdom is brought to desolation, and its families and households in their party strifes are brought to ruin. Wyc., and an house shall fall on an house. Tynd., one house shall fall upon another.

Verse 18

Satan. See on ch. Luke 10:18.

Be divided. See on Matthew 12:26.

Verse 20

Is come upon you. See on Matthew 12:28.

Verse 21

A strong man [ο ισχυρος] . It has the article : the strong man. So Rev. See on Matthew 12:29.

Armed [καθωπλισμενος] . Fully armed : down [κατα] from head to heel.

His palace [εαυτου αυλην] . Lit., his own. jAulh is strictly the open court in front of a house : later, the court round which the house is built, and so applied to the house generally, as our door or roof. Rev., court; for there, in the open space, commanding the doors, he would mount guard.

Verse 22

A stronger. Also with the article : the stronger.

All his armor [την πανοπλιαν] . Wrong; for the armor is regarded as a whole - the panoply - which is a transcript of this word. Rightly, Rev., his whole armor. Tynd., his harness.

Spoils [τα σκυλα] . See on Mark 5:35. Compare on goods, Matthew 12:29.

Verse 24

Dry places [ανυδρων τοπων] . Rev., more literally, waterless. The haunts of evil spirits (Isaiah 13:21, Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 34:14). By satyrs in these two passages are meant goblins shaped like goats, which were sacrificed to by some of the Israelites (Leviticus 17:7, 2 Chronicles 11:15); a remnant of the Egyptian worship of Mendes or Pan, who, under the figure of a goat, was worshipped by the Egyptians as the fertilizing principle in nature. In Isaiah 34:14, it is said "the screech - owl shall rest there." This is rendered in margin of A. V. and in the Rev., Old Testament, the night - monster (Hebrew, Lilith); and by Cheyne (Isaiah) night - fairy. The reference is to a popular superstition that Lilith, Adam 's first wife, forsook him and became a demon which murdered young children and haunted desert places.

Rest. See on Matthew 11:28.

Verse 26

Taketh to him [παραλαμβανει] . See on Matthew 4:5.

Seven. Emphatic : "taketh spirits, seven of them."

More wicked. See on ch. Luke 3:19; Mark 7:21.

Dwell [κατοικει] . Settle down [κατα] to make their dwelling [οικος] there.

Verse 27

Blessed, etc. "She speaks well, but womanly" (Bengel).

29 - 36. Compare Matthew 12:38-45.

Verse 29

Were gathered thick together [επαθροιζομενων] . The present participle; and therefore, as Rev., were gathering together unto him, or upon him [επι] . Only here in New Testament.

Evil. See on adulterous. Matthew 12:39.

Verse 30

A sign to the Ninevites. Compare Matthew 12:40.

Verse 31

Shall rise up [εγερθησεται] . From the dead.

A greater [πλειον] . Lit., something more. See on Matthew 12:6. Wyc., here is more than Solomon.

Verse 32

Shall rise up [αναστησονται] . This verb is also used of rising from the dead, and that is implied here; but the meaning is, shall appear as witness. Hence Rev., stand up. See on Matthew 12:41.

Preaching [κηρυγμα] . The proclamation. See on 2 Peter 2:5.

Verse 33

Candle. Properly, lamp.

Secret place [κρυπτην] . Rather, a cellar or crypt. which latter is the Greek word transcribed.

The bushel. See on Matthew 5:15.

Candlestick. Properly stand. See on Matthew 5:15.

Which enter in [εισπορευομενοι] . Better with the continuous force of the present participle, are entering in from time to time.

Light [φεγγος] . The word occurs in only two other places : Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24, on which see notes.

Verse 34

Single - full of light. See on Matthew 6:22.

Verse 35

The light that is in thee. Lit., the light, that, namely, which is in thee; thus emphasizing the inward light. See on Matthew 6:23.

Verse 36

The bright shining of a candle [ο λυχνος τη αστραπη] . More correctly, as Rev., the lamp with its bright shining. jAstraph means lightning : see ch. Luke 10:18; and that is the usual meaning in classical Greek, though it occurs, rarely, of the light of a lamp. It is used here to emphasize the idea of moral illumination.

Verse 37

Besought [ερωτα] . Too strong. Better, as Rev., asketh. The present tense.

Dine [αριστηση] . See on dinner, Matthew 22:4. The morning meal, immediately after the return from morning prayers in the synagogue.

Washed [εβαπτισθη] . See on Mark 7:4.

Verse 39

Platter [πινακος] . The word rendered charger in Matthew 14:8, on which see note. Compare, also, paroyiv, platter, Matthew 23:25.

Verse 41

Such things as ye have [τα ενοντα] . Only here in New Testament. Commentators differ as to the meaning, but generally reject that of the A. V. Rev., those things which are within. The meaning is, give alms of the contents of the cups and platters. Jesus is insisting upon inward righteousness as against pharisaic externalism, and says : "Your virtue consists in washing the outside, and making a respectable appearance. Cultivate rather the loving, brotherly spirit of inward righteousness, which will prompt you to give of the food which the vessels contain (that which is within) to your suffering brother." " Do you think it is enough to wash your hands before eating? There is a surer means. Let some poor man partake of your meats and wines " (Godet). So Bengel, Meyer, Alford. Compare Matthew 9:13; Hosea 6:6. Wyc., That thing that is over (i. e., remaining in the dishes) give ye alms. 9

Verse 42

Ye tithe [αποδεκατουτε] . Tithe is tenth. See on Matthew 23:23.

Rue [πηγανον] . Probably from phgnumi, to make fast; because of its thick, fleshy leaves. Matthew has anise. See on 23 23.

Herb [λαχανον] . See on Mark 4:32. Wyc. has wort, originally the general term for a plant. Hence colewort, liverwort, and similar words. Compare the German wurz, root or herb.

Verse 43

Pharisees [τοις φαρισαιοις] . Luke's form of expression differs from that of Matthew, who says, "ye Pharisees; while Luke has" woe unto you, the Pharisees, " marking them by the article as a well - known religious body.

Verse 44

Tombs which appear not [τα μνημεια τα αδηλα] . Lit., the tombs, the unseen ones. The word adhlov, unapparent, occurs only here and 1 Corinthians 14:8, of the trumpet giving an uncertain sound.

That walk over [περιπατουντες] . The participle, and without the article; and therefore better, as they walk; walk about [περι] on their daily business. In Matthew the sepulchres are whitened, that men may see them and avoid ceremonial defilement. Here they are not seen, and men walking on them are unconsciously defiled. See on Matthew 23:27.

Verse 45

Reproachest [υβριζεις] . The lawyer converts Jesus ' reproach (see Mark 16:14, upbraided) into an insult; the word meaning to outrage or affront.

Us also [και ημας] . Or perhaps better, even us, the learned.

Verse 46

Also [και] . Emphatic. "Even or also unto you lawyers, woe." Note the article as in the address to the Pharisees (ver. 43) : You, the lawyers. Ye lade. Compare heavy laden, Matthew 11:28.

Grievous to be born [δυσβαστακτα] . Only here and Matthew 23:4.

Touch [προσψαυετε] . Only here in New Testament. A technical term in medicine for feeling gently a sore part of the body, or the pulse. Matthew 23:4, has kinhsao, move.

Verse 47

Ye build. Or are building, carrying on the work now. See on Matthew 23:29.

Tombs of the prophets. See on Matthew 23:29.

Verse 48

Ye bear witness that ye allow [μαρτυρες εστε και συνευδοκειτε] . Rev., more correctly, ye are witnesses and consent. The compound verb means "give your full approval." Ye think [δοκειτε] ; favorably [ευ] ; along with them [συν] .

Verse 51

The altar and the temple. Oikou, temple, lit., house, is equivalent to naou, sanctuary (Rev.), in Matthew 23:35. The altar is the altar of burnt - offering. See on Matthew 4:5; and compare 2 Chronicles 24:18-21.

Verse 53

To urge him vehemently [δεινως ενεχειν] . See on Mark 6:19.

Provoke to speak [αποστοματιζειν] . Only here is New Testament.

From ajpo, from, and stoma, the mouth. Originally to dictate to a pupil what he is to learn by heart. Thus Plato : "When the grammar - master dictated [αποστοματιζοι] to you" (" Euthydemus, " 276). Hence to catechize, with the idea of putting words into Christ 's mouth, and making him say what they wanted him to say.

Verse 54

Lying in wait - to catch [ενεδρευοντεςθηρευσαι] . Metaphors from hunting.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.