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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Luke 14

Verse 1

Watched [ησαν παρατηρουμενοι] . The participle and finite verb, were engaged in watching. Closely [παρα] . See on Mark 3:2.

Verse 2

Which had the dropsy [υδρωπικος] . Lit., a dropsical man. The usual way of marking a dropsical patient in medical language.

Verse 4

Took. Took hold of him. Luke 20:20; 1 Timothy 6:12.

Verse 5

Pit [φρεαρ] . The primary meaning is a well, as distinguished from a fountain.

Pull out. More correctly up [ανα] .

Verse 7

They chose. Imperfect : were choosing. Something going on before his eyes.

The chief seats. Or couches. The Greek writers refer to the absurd contentions which sometimes arose for the chief seats at table.

Theophrastus designates one who thrusts himself into the place next the host as mikrofilotimov, one who seeks petty distinctions.

Verse 8

Wedding. More properly, marriage - feast.

Verse 9

Begin. Emphasizing the shame of the reluctant movement toward the lower place.

The lowest. Since the other, intervening places are all assigned.

Verse 10

Sit down [αναπεσε] . Lit., lay yourself back.

Verse 11

Humbled. See on lowly, Matthew 7:29.

Verse 12

Dinner - supper. See on Matthew 22:4. Supper [δειπνον] is the principal meal at evening, and corresponding to the modern late dinner. Call not thy friends, etc. A striking parallel occurs in Plato's "Phaedrus," 233. "And, in general, when you make a feast, invite not your friend, but the beggar and the empty soul, for they will love you, and attend you, and come about your doors, and will be the best pleased, and the most grateful, and will invoke blessings on your head."

Verse 13

Feast [δοχην] . Or reception. Used by Luke only. See on ch. Luke 5:29.

Verse 15

Blessed. See on Matthew 5:3.

Verse 16

Made [εποιει] . Imperfect, was making. His preparations were in progress. A definite act among these preparations is described by the aorist, he bade [εκαλεσεν] , the technical word for inviting to a festival. See Matthew 22:3; John 2:2.

Sent his servant. "If a sheikh, bey, or emeer invites, he always sends a servant to call you at the proper time. This servant often repeats the very formula mentioned in Luke 14:17 : Come, for the supper is ready. The fact that this custom is confined to the wealthy and to the nobility is in strict agreement with the parable, where the man who made the supper is supposed to be of this class. It is true now, as then, that to refuse is a high insult to the maker of the feast (Thomson," Land and Book "). Palgrave mentions a similar formula of invitation among the Bedouins of Arabia. "The chief, or some unbreeched youngster of his family, comes up to us with the customary tefaddaloo, or do us the favor" (" Central and Eastern Arabia ").

Verse 18

Make excuse [παραιτεισθαι] . Also rendered in New Testament refuse, Hebrews 12:19, Hebrews 12:25, where both meanings occur. See also 2 Timothy 2:23, Rev. Our phrase, beg off, expresses the idea here.

I must needs [εχω αναγκην] . Lit., I have necessity : a strong expression. Go [εξελθειν] . Go out [εξ] from the city.

Verse 20

I cannot. A newly married man had special indulgence allowed him. See Deuteronomy 24:5. Herodotus relates how Croeus refused for his son an invitation to a hunt on this ground. "But Croesus answered, 'Say no more of my son going with you; that may not be in anywise. He is but just joined in wedlock, and is busy enough with that'" (i. 36). The man who had the most plausible excuse returned the surliest and most peremptory answer. Compare 1 Corinthians 7:33.

Verse 21

Streets [πλατειας] - lanes [ρυμας] . The former word from platuv, broad; the broad streets contrasted with the narrow lanes. Wyc., great streets and small streets.

Verse 22

As thou has commanded. Following the reading wJv, as. The best texts substitute o, what. Render as Rev., "What thou didst command is done."

Verse 23

Hedges [φραγμους] . See on Matthew 21:33. It may mean either a hedge, or a place enclosed with a hedge. Here the hedges beside which vagrants rest.

Compel. Compare constrained, Matthew 14:22; Acts 26:11; Galatians 6:12. 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. May be filled [γεμισθη] . A very strong word; properly of loading a ship. "Nature and grace alike abhor a vacuum" (Bengel).

Verse 27

His cross. More correctly, his own. An important charge. All must bear the cross, but not all the same cross : each one his own.

Verse 28

A tower. The subject of the parable is the life of Christian discipleship, which is figured by a tower, a lofty structure, as something distinguished from the world and attracting attention.

Counteth [ψηφιζει] . Only here and Revelation 13:18. From yhfov, a pebble (see Revelation 2:17), used as a counter. Thus Herodotus says that the Egyptians, when they calculate (logizontai yhfoiv, reckon with pebbles), move their hand from right to left (ii. 36). So Aristophanes, "Reckon roughly, not with pebbles [ψηφοις] , but on the hand" (" Wasps, "656). Similarly calculate, from Latin calculus, a pebble. Used also of voting. Thus Herodotus :" The Greeks met at the altar of Neptune, and took the ballots [τας ψηφους] wherewith they were to give their votes. "Plato :" And you, would you vote (an yhfon qeio, cast your pebble) with me or against me? "(" Protagoras," 330). See Acts 26:10.

Cost [την δαπανην] . Allied to daptw, to devour. Hence expense, as something which eats up resources.

Sufficient [εις απαρτισμον] . Lit., unto completion. The kindred verb ajpartizw, not used in New Testament, means to make even or square, and hence to complete.

Verse 29

To finish [εκτελεσαι] . Lit., "to finish out" [εκ] .

Behold [θεωρουντες] . Attentively watching the progress of the building. See on ch. Luke 10:18.

Begin to mock. As his resources come to an end.

Verse 30

This man [ουτος ο ανθρωπος] . With sarcastic emphasis.

Was not able [ουκ ισχυσεν] . From ijscuv, strength. See on power, 2 Peter 2:11. To be strong in body or in resources, and so to be worth, as Lat., valere. "This man was not worth enough, or was not good for the completion." In this latter sense, Matthew 5:13, "good for nothing."

Verse 31

To make war against another king [ετερω βασιλει συμβαλειν εις πολεμον] . Lit., to come together with another king for war. So Rev., to encounter another king in war.

"Out he flashed, And into such a song, such fire for fame, Such trumpet - blowings in it, coming down To such a stern and iron - clashing close, That when he stopped we longed to hurl together." TENNYSON, Idyls of the King.

With ten thousand (ejn deka ciliasin). Lit., in ten thousands : i e., in the midst of; surrounded by. Compare Jude 1:14.

Verse 32

Asketh [ερωτα] . On a footing of equality : king treating with king. See on ch. Luke 11:9.

Conditions of peace [τα προς ειρηνην] . Lit., things looking toward peace : preliminaries. Compare Romans 14:19, things which make for peace (ta thv eijrhnhv, the things of peace).

Verse 33

Forsaketh [αποτασσεται] . Bids good - by to. Rev., renounceth. See on ch. Luke 9:61. "In that forsaketh lies the key to the whole passage" (Trench). Christian discipleship is founded in self - renunciation.

Verse 34

Have lost its savor. See on Matthew 5:34.

Shall it be seasoned. See on Mark 9:50.

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The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/luke-14.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.