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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Luke 4

Verse 1

Was led. So Matthew. Mark says, " The Spirit driveth, [εκβαλλει] or thrusteth him forth.

By the Spirit [εν τω πνευματι] . The American Revisers render in the spirit, indicating the sphere rather than the impulse of his action. Into the wilderness. The A. V. has followed the reading eijv, into. The proper reading is ejn, in. He was not only impelled into the wilderness, but guided in the wilderness by the Spirit.

Forty days. This should be joined with the preceding words, indicating the duration of his stay in the wilderness, not of his temptation, as A. V., being forty days tempted. Read as Rev., in the wilderness during forty days. The devil. See on Matthew 4:1.

He did eat nothing. Mark does not mention the fast. Matthew uses the word nhsteusav, having fasted, which, throughout the New Testament, is used of abstinence for religious purposes; a ritual act accompanying seasons of prayer.

Verse 3

This stone. Matthew, these stones.

Bread [αρτος] . Lit., a loaf. See on Matthew 4:3. Matthew has the plural loaves.

Verse 4

It is written. See on Matthew 4:4.

By bread [επ αρτω] . Lit., "on bread," implying dependence. Compare, by every word (ejpi panti rJhmati, Matthew 4:4).

Verse 5

The world. See on chapter Luke 2:1.

In a moment of time [εν στιγμη χρονου] . Peculiar to Luke. Stigmh is literally a mark made by a pointed instrument, a dot : hence a point of time. Only here in New Testament. Comapre stigmata, brand - marks, Galatians 6:17. Tynd., in the twinkling of an eye.

Verse 6

Note the emphatic position of the pronouns : "To thee will I give - for to me it hath been delivered : thou, therefore, if thou wilt worship," etc. Luke, in his narrative, enlarges upon Matthew. Compare Matthew 4:9.

Verse 8

Serve. See on chapter Luke 1:74.

Verse 9

He brought [ηγαγεν] . Rev., led. See on paralambanei, taketh, Matthew 4:5.

Pinnacle of the temple. See on Matthew 4:5.

Down from hence. Matthew has down only.

Verse 10

To keep [διαφυλαξαι] . Only here in New Testament. Better as Rev., guard. See on 1 Peter 1:4. The preposition implies close, careful guarding. The phrase, to guard thee, is wanting in Matthew.

Verse 11

In their hands [επι χειρων] . Rev., correctly, on. See on Matthew 4:6.

Verse 12

It is said. For Matthew's it is written, Matthew 4:7. Luke omits Matthew's again. See Matthew 4:7.

Verse 13

Had ended all the temptation. Peculiar to Luke. The verb suntelesav, from sun, together, and telew, to accomplish, means to bring to one end together; hence to bring to an end utterly. Better therefore as Rev., completed. The temptations formed a complete cycle, so that it could afterward be said of Jesus that "he was in all points tried like as we are" (Hebrews 4:15).

All the temptation [παντα πειρασμον] . Incorrect, Rev., rightly, every temptation. So Wyc., Every temptation ended.

For a season [αχρι καιρου] . Peculiar to Luke. More strictly, until a convenient time; since Satan meant to assail him again, as he did in the person of Peter (Mark 8:33); by the Pharisees (John 8:40 sq.); and at Gethsemane. See chapter Luke 22:53.

Verse 15

He taught [αυτος εδιδασκεν] . Lit., "he himself taught," verifying the favorable reports about himself in person. The imperfect tense denotes a course of teaching.

16 - 31. Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 16

Nazareth. With the article; that Nazareth where he had been brought up.

Stood up. Not as a sign that he wished to expound, but being summoned by the superintendent of the synagogue.

To read [αναγνωναι] . Usually in New Testament of public reading. 7 After the liturgical services which introduced the worship of the synagogue, the "minister" took a roll of the law from the ark, removed its case and wrappings, and then called upon some one to read. On the Sabbaths, at least seven persons were called on successively to read portions of the law, none of them consisting of less than three verses. After the law followed a section from the prophets, which was succeeded immediately by a discourse. It was this section which Jesus read and expounded. See Acts 13:15; Nehemiah 8:5, Nehemiah 8:8. For a detailed account of the synagogue - worship, see Edersheim, "Life and Times of Jesus," 1, 430 sq.

Verse 17

The book [βιβλιον] . A diminutive of biblov, the inner bark of the papyrus, used for writing. Hence, a roll. The word is also used to denote a division of a work, and is therefore appropriate here to mark the writings of a single prophet as related to the whole body of the prophetic writings. Opened [αναπτυξας] . Lit., unrolled. Both this and the simple verb ptussw, to close, (verse 30), occure only once in the New Testament. The former word was used in medical language of the opening out of various parts of the body, and the latter of the rolling up of bandages. The use of these terms by Luke the physician is the more significant from the fact that elsewhere in the New Testament ajnoigw, is used for the opening of a book (Revelation 5:2-5; Revelation 10:2, Revelation 10:8; Revelation 20:12) and eijlissw, for rolling it up (Revelation 6:14).

Found. As if by chance : reading at the place where the roll opened of itself, and trusting to divine guidance.

Was written [ην γεγραμμενον] . Lit., was having been written; i e., stood written.

Verse 18

Anointed. See on Christ, Matthew 1:1.

To preach good tidings. See on Gospel, Superscription of Matthew.

To the poor [πτωχοις] . See on Matthew 5:3.

To heal the broken hearted. The best texts omit. So Rev.

To preach [κηρυξαι] . Better as Rev., proclaim, as a herald. See on 2 Peter 2:5.

To the captives [αιχμαλωτοις] . From aijcmh, a spear point, and aJliskomai, to be taken or conquered. Hence, properly, of prisoners of war. Compare Isaiah 42:7 : "To bring out captives from the prison, and those who sit in darkness from the house of restraint." The allusion is to Israel, both as captive exiles and as prisoners of Satan in spiritual bondage. Wyc. has caytifs, which formerly signified captives.

To set at liberty [αποστειλαι] . Lit., to send away in discharge. Inserted from the Sept. of Isaiah 58:6. See on chapter Luke 3:3, and James 5:15. Them that are bruised [τεθραυσμενους] . Lit., broken in pieces. Only here in New Testament. Wyc., to deliver broken men into remission. The same Hebrew word is used in Isaiah 42:3. "a crushed seed shall he not break," which the Septuagint translates by teqlasmenon, a word which does not occur in the New Testament. In the citation of this latter passage (Matthew 12:20, on which see) the word for bruised is suntribw, which the Septuagint uses for break.

Verse 19

To preach (Rev., proclaim). the acceptable year of the Lord. As on the first day of the year of Jubilee, when the priests went through the land proclaiming, with sound of trumpet, the blessings of the opening year (Leviticus 25:8-17). Note verse 10, where liberty is to be proclaimed to all in that year. Wyc., the year of the Lord pleasant. A literal interpretation of the word year gave rise among some of the Christian fathers to the theory that our Lord 's ministry lasted but a single year.

Verse 20

He closed [πτυξας] . See on verse 17.

Minister [υπηρετη] . See on Matthew 5:25. Lit., as Rev., attendant.

Minister is likely to be misunderstood as referring to the president of the congregation, who, as the teaching elder, would have addressed the people if Jesus had not done so. It means the attendant who had charge of the sacred rolls. He was a salaried officer, a kind of chapel - clerk.

Sat down. As about to teach; that being the habitual position of a Jewish teacher.

Were fastened [ησαν ατενιζοντες] . The participle and finite verb denoting continuous, steadfast attention. The verb, from teinw, to stretch, denotes fixed attention. Indeed, the word attention itself, etymologically considered, conveys the same idea.

Verse 21

He began. Not necessarily denoting his first words, but indicating a solemn and weighty opening.

Verse 22

Bare him witness. Compare verse 14. They confirmed the reports which had been circulated about him. Note the imperfect tense. There was a continuous stream of admiring comment. Similarly, were wondering. At the gracious words [λογοις της χαριτος] . Literally and correctly, as Rev., words of grace. See on chapter Luke 1:30.

Is not [ουχι] . Expecting an affirmative answer.

Verse 23

Surely [παντως] . Lit., by all means. Rev., doubtless.

Proverb [παραβολην] . Rev., parable. See on Matthew 13:3. Wyc., likeness.

Physician, heal thyself. A saying which Luke alone records, and which would forcibly appeal to him as a physician. Galen speaks of a physician who should have cured himself before he attempted to attend patients. The same appeal was addressed to Christ on the cross (Matthew 27:40, Matthew 27:42).

Verse 25

A great famine was throughout all the land [εγενετο λιμος μεγας επι πασαν την γην] . More literally and correctly, as Rev., there came (or arose) a great famine over all the land.

Verse 27

Lepers. Wyc., renders meselis, the middle English word for a leper, and derived from misellus, a diminutive of the Latin miser, wretched.

Verse 29

The brow [οφρυος] . Only here in New Testament. Wyc., cope, which is originally cap or hood. The word is used in medical language both of the eyebrows and of other projections of the body. It would naturally occur to a physician, especially since the same epithets were applied to the appearance of the eyebrows in certain diseases as were appplied to hills. Thus Hippocrates, describing a deadly fever, says, "The eyebrows in elephantiasis, depicts them as problhtev, projecting, and ojcqwdeiv, like mounds. Stanley says :" Most readers probably from these words imagine a town built on the summit of a mountain, from which summit the intended precipitation was to take place. This is not the situation of Nazareth; yet its position is still in accordance with the narrative. It is built upon, that is, on the side of a mountain, but the brow is not beneath, but over the town, and such a cliff as is here implied is found in the abrupt face of a limestone rock about thirty or forty feet high, overhanging the Maronite convent at the southwest corner of the town " (" Sinai and Palestine ").

Cast him down headlong [κατακρημνισαι] . Only here in New Testament, and in the Septuagint only in 2 Chronicles 25:12.

31 - 37. Compare Mark 1:21-28.

Verse 31

Taught [ην διδασκων] . Correctly, as Rev., was teaching. The finite verb and participle denoting continuance.

On the Sabbath - days [τοις σαββασιν] . Rev., day. The word is often used in the plural form for the single day, as in verse 16; probably after the analogy of plural names of festivals, as ta azuma, the feast of unleavened bread; ta genesia, the birthday; or perhaps following the Aramaic plural.

Verse 32

They were astonished [εξεπλησσοντο] . See on Matthew 7:28.

Verse 33

A spirit of an unclean devil. Where the rendering should be demon. This is the only case in which Luke adds to that word the epithet unclean.

Verse 34

What have we to do with thee [τι ημιν και σοι] ? Lit., what is there to us and to thee? i e., what have we in common? So Wyc.

Verse 35

Hold thy peace [φιμωθητι] . Lit., be muzzled or gagged. See on Matthew 22:12.

Had thrown [ριψαν] . Used in connection with disease by Luke only, and only here. In medical language, of convulsions, fits, etc.

Hurt him not [μηδεν βλαψαν αυτον] . Lit., in no possible way. Mark omits this detail, which a physician would be careful to note. Blaptein, to injure, occurs but twice in New Testament - here and Mark 16:18. It is common in medical language, opposed to wjfelein, to benefit, as of medicines or diet hurting or benefiting.

Verse 36

They were all amazed [εγενετο θαμβος επι παντας] . Lit., as Rev., amazement came upon all. Qambov, amazement, is used by Luke only. The kindred verb, qambeomai, to be amazed, occurs only once in Luke (Acts 9:6), and three times in Mark; while Mark alone has the strong compound ejkqambew, to be greatly amazed (Mark 9:15).

Verse 37

The fame [ηχος] . Lit., noise. Rev., rumor. Only here, chapter Luke 21:25, where the correct reading is hcouv, the roaring, and Acts 2:2.Hebrews 12:19 is a quotation from the Septuagint. It is the word used in Acts 2:2 of the mighty rushing wind at Pentecost. Mark uses ajkoh, in its earlier sense of a report. The same word occurs in Luke, but always in the sense in which medical writers employed it - hearing or the ears. See chapter Luke 7:1; Acts 17:20; Acts 28:26. Hcov was the medical tem for sound in the ears or head. Hippocrates uses both words together : " the ears [ακοαι] are full of sound [ηχου] ; ' and Aretaeus of the noise of the sea, as Luke 21:25.

38 - 41. Compare Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:29-34.

Verse 38

Taken [συνεχομενη] . Rev., holden. So Wyc. See on Matthew 4:24. The word is used nine times by Luke, and only three times elsewhere. Paul uses it of the constraining of Christ 's love (2 Corinthians 5:14), and of being in a strait (Philippians 1:23). In Acts 28:8, it is joined with fever, as here, and is a common medical term in the same sense.

A great fever [πυρετω μεγαλω] . Another mark of the physician. The epithet great is peculiar to Luke. The ancient physicians distinguished fevers into great and small.

Verse 39

He stood over her. As a physician might do. Peculiar to Luke.

Rebuked. Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 40

When the sun was setting. The people brought their sick at that hour, not only because of the coolness, but because it was the end of the Sabbath, and carrying a sick person was regarded as work. See John 5:10. Diseases [νοσοις] . See on Matthew 4:23. Wyc., Sick men with divers languishings.

Laid his hands on. Peculiar to Luke.

Everyone. "Implying the solicitude and indefatigableness of this miraculous ministry of love" (Meyer).

Verse 41

Crying out [κραυγαζοντα] . The inarticulate demoniac scream.

Saying. The articulate utterance.

Hobart (" Medical Language of St. Luke ") remarks that the medical bias of Luke may be seen from the words he abstains from using as well as from those he does use in respect of disease. Thus he never uses malakia for sickness, as Matthew does (iv. 23; 9 35; Matthew 10:1), since this word is never so used in medical language, but is confined to the meaning of delicacy, effeminacy. So, too, he never uses basanizein, to torment, of sickness, as Matthew does (viii. 6), as it is never so used in medical language, the word there meaning to examine some part of the body or some medical question.

42 - 44. Compare Mark 1:35-39.

Verse 42

Sought after [επεζητουν] . Imperfect tense : were seeking.

Came unto him [ηλθον εως αυτου] . Stronger than came to; for ewv is even up to, showing that they did not discontinue their search until they found him. Mark's narrative here is fuller and more graphic. ===Luke 5:0


1 - 11. Compare Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.