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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Luke 5

Verse 1

Pressed [επικεισθαι] . Lit., were laid upon.

To hear. The A. V. is correct according to the reading tou ajkouein, which it follows. The true reading is kai ajkouein, and heard. So Rev.

He stood [αυτος ην εστως] . The pronoun distinguishes him from the crowd which pressed upon him : he on his part stood. Render the participle and finite verb as Rev., was standing.

Lake [λιμνην] . An illustration of the more classical style of Luke as compared with Matthew and Mark. They and John also use qalassa, sea. See on Matthew 4:18.

Verse 2

Ships [πλοια] . Used of vessels in general. Some texts read ploiapia, a diminutive form, meaning little boats.

Were washing. From the sand and pebbles accumulated during the night 's work. Luke uses four different words for washing or cleansing : plunw, here, see also Revelation 7:14; ajpomassw, of wiping the dust from the feet, only at chapter Luke 10:11; ejkmassw, of the woman wiping Christ 's feet with her hair, chapter Luke 7:38, Luke 7:44; ajpolouw, of washing away sins, Acts 22:16; louw, of washing the prisoners ' stripes and the body of Dorcas, Acts 16:33; Acts 9:37. The reading ajpoplunw is rejected by the best texts, so that ajpomassw is the only one peculiar to Luke. All the words were common in medical language.

Verse 3

Thrust out [επαναγαγειν] . Rev., put out. The special nautical word for putting out to sea.

Taught [εδοδασκεν] . The imperfect. He continued the teaching he had begun on the shore.

Verse 4

Launch out. Rev., put out. The singular number, addressed to Peter as master of the craft.

Let down [χαλασατε] . The plural, addressed to the whole of the boat 's crew. Originally, to slacken or loosen, as a bow - string or the reins of horses; hence to let sink as a net. Also of unbarring a door. Metaphorically, to be indulgent, to pardon. The word occurs in the New Testament seven times, and five of these in Luke. He uses it of letting down Paul in a basket at Damascus (Acts 9:25); of striking a ship 's sails, and of letting down a boat into the sea (Acts 27:17, Acts 27:30). Matthew, Mark, and John use ballw or ajmfiballw, for casting a net (Matthew 4:18; Matthew 13:47; Mark 1:16; John 21:6), which appears also in the compound noun for a casting net (amfiblhstron, see on Matthew 4:18). The word used by Luke was in common use in medical writings, to denote relaxation of the limbs; loosening of bandages; abatement of sickness; letting herbs down into a vessel to be steeped.

Verse 5

Master [επιστατα] . Used by Luke only, and always with reference to Jesus. He never uses Rabbi, as John especially. Wyc., commander.

Toiled [κοπιασαντες] . From korov, suffering, weariness; and therefore indicating exhausting toil.

At thy word [επι] . Relying on : on the ground of.

The net [δικτυον] . A general term for a net, whether for fish or fowl. See on Matthew 4:18. Some, as Rev., read ta diktua, the nets.

Brake [διερρηγνυτο] . Some texts read dierhsseto, from the later form of the verb. The difference is unimportant. The A. V. fails to give the force of the imperfect, were breaking, as Rev.; or even better, possible, began to break. Trench suggests were at the point to break. The word occurs also at chapter Luke 8:29; Acts 14:14, and only twice beside in the New Testament. Luke alone uses the two compounds perirjrJhgnumi, of rending off clothes (Acts 16:22), and prosrhgnumi, to beat violently (chapter Luke 6:48, Luke 6:49). See on those passages. All the words occure in medical writings.

Verse 7

They beckoned [κατενευσαν] . The word originally means to nod assent, and so, generally, to make a sign. They made signs because of the distance of the other boat; hardly, as has been suggested, because they were too much amazed to speak.

Help [συλλαβεσθαι] . Lit., take hold with. Compare Philippians 4:3. Began to sink [βυθιζωσθαι] . Only here and 1 Timothy 6:9, of drowning men in destruction. From buqov, the depth. Wyc., thy were almost drenched.

Verse 8

Fell down at Jesus ' knees. Compare Sophocles, "Oedipus at Colonus," 1605 :

"Zeus from the dark depths thundered, and the girls Heard it, and shuddering, at their father 's knees Falling, they wept."

Verse 9

He was astonished [θαμβος περιεσχεν αυτον] . Lit., amazement encompassed him. See on 1 Peter 2:6.

The draught [τη αγρα] . The word is used both of the act of catching and of that which is caught. In verse 4 it has the former sense : "let down your net for catching :" here, the latter, the catch or haul.

Verse 10

Partners [κοινωνοι] . In verse 7 the word rendered partners is metocoi; from meta, with, and ecw, to have. The word here denotes a closer association, a common interest. The kindred noun, koinwnia, fellowship, is used of the fellowship of believers with Christ (1 Corinthians 1:9); the communion of the body and blood of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16); the communion of the Holy Ghost (2 Corinthians 13:14). The persons referred to in verse 7 might have been only hired workmen (Mark 1:20), temporarily associated with the principals.

Thou shalt catch [εση ζωγρων] . Lit., thou shalt be catching, the participle and finite verb denoting that this is to be his habitual calling. Both Matthew and Mark make the promise to be addressed to Peter and his companions; Luke to Peter alone. The verb zwgrew, to catch, is compounded of zwov, living, and ajgreuw, to catch or take. Hence, lit., to take alive : in war, to take captive, instead of killing. Thus Homer, when Menelaus threatens the prostate Adrastus :

"Adrastus clasped the warrior's knees and said, O son of Atreus, take me prisoner" [ζωγρει] .

Iliad, 6, 45, 6; compare Iliad, 5, 378.

So Herodotus : "The Persians took Sardis, and captured Croesus himself alive" [εζωγρησαν] . - 1 86. There is certainly a reason for the use of this term, as indicating that Christ 's ministers are called to win men to life. Compare 2 Timothy 2:26, where, according to the best supported rendering, the servant of God is represented as taking men alive out of the power of Satan, to be preserved unto the will of God; i e., as instruments of his will (compare A. V. and Rev.). The word thus contains in itself an answer to the sneering remark of the Apostate Julian, that Christ aptly termed his apostles fishers; "for, as the fisherman draws out the fish from waters where they were free and happy, to an element in which they cannot breathe, but must presently perish, so did these."

12 - 16. Compare Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45.

Verse 12

Full of leprosy. Matthew and Mark have simply a leper. The expression, full of leprosy, seems to be used here with professional accuracy. Leprosy was known among physicians under three forms : th dull white, the clear white, and the black. Luke means to describe an aggravated case. The word full in this connection is often used by medical writers, as, full of disease; the veins full of blood; the ears full of roaring. Make me clean [καθαρισαι] . All three evangelists say cleanse instead of heal, because of the notion of uncleanness which specially attached to this malady.

Verse 13

I will [θελω] . See on Matthew 1:19.

Be thou clean [καθαρισθητι] . Rev., more accurately, gives the force of the passive voice, be thou made clean.

Verse 14

He charged [παρηγγειλεν] . A strong word, often, of military orders. Aristotle uses it of a physician : to prescribe. Mark has ejmbrimhsamenov, strictly or sternly charged. See on Mark 1:43.

No one [μηδενι] . The conditional negative : no one that he might chance to meet.

Go, shew thyself. A lively change from the narrative to direct address.

Verse 15

Went abroad [διηρχετο] . Dia, throughout the region. Wyc., the word walked about.

Came together [συνηρχοντο] Imperfect. Kept coming together, or were coming.

To be healed [θεραπευεσθαι] . Originally, to be an attendant, to do service; and therefore of a physician, to attend upon, or treat medically. In classical writers it has also the meaning to heal, as undoubtedly in the New Testament, and in Luke (xiii. 14; Acts 4:14, etc.). See on Matthew 8:7, and compare ijaomai, to heal, in verse 17.

Infirmities [ασθενειων] . A strictly literal rendering; aj, not, and sqenov, strength, exactly answering to the Latin in, not, and firmus, strong.

Verse 16

Withdrew [ην υποχωρων] . The participle with the imperfect of the finite verb denoting something in progress, and thus corresponding to the imperfect in verse 15. The multitudes were coming together, but he was engaged in retirement and prayer, so that he was inaccessible. The word occurs only in Luke, the usual New Testament word for withdraw being ajnacwrew. See Matthew 2:12; Matthew 12:15; Mark 3:7.

17 - 26. Compare Mark 2:1-12.

Verse 17

He was teaching. The pronoun has a slightly emphatic force : he as distinguished from the Pharisees and teachers of the law.

Doctors of the law [νομοδιδασκαλοι] . Only in Luke and 1 Timothy 1:7. Luke often uses nomikov, conversant with the law, but in the other word the element of teaching is emphasized, probably in intentional contrast with Christ 's teaching.

Judaea and Jerusalem. The Rabbinical writers divided Judaea proper into three parts - mountain, sea - shore, and valley - Jerusalem being regarded as a separate district. "Only one intimately acquainted with the state of matters at the time, would, with the Rabbis, have distinguished Jerusalem as a district separate from all the rest of Judaea, as Luke markedly does on several occasions (Acts 1:8; Acts 10:39) : (Edersheim," Jewish Social Life ").

Was present to heal them. The A. V. follows the reading, aujtouv, them; i e., the sufferers who were present, referring back to verse 15. The best texts, however, read aujton, him, referring to Christ, and meaning was present that he should heal; i e., in aid of his healing. So Rev.

Verse 18

Taken with a palsy [παραλελυμενος] . Rev., more neatly, palsied.

Whenever Luke mentions this disease, he uses the verb and not the adjective paralutikov, paralytic (as Matthew 4:24; Matthew 8:6; Mark 2:3-10; compare Acts 8:7; Acts 9:33); his usage in this respect being in strict accord with that of medical writers.

Verse 19

Tiles. Wyc., has sclattis, slates.

Couch [κλινιδιω] . Luke uses four words for the beds of the sick : klinh, as verse 18, the general word for a bed or couch; krabbatov (Acts 5:15; Acts 9:33), a rude pallet (see on Mark 2:4); klinidion, a small couch or litter, as here, a couch so light that a woman could lift and carry it away. Thus, in the "Lysistrata" of Aristophanes, 916, Myrrine says : "Come now, let me carry our couch" [κλινιδιον] . The fourth term, klinarion (Acts 5:15), cannot be accurately distinguished from the last. The last two are peculiar to Luke.

Into the midst before Jesus. See on Mark 2:4.

Verse 21

To reason. See on Mark 2:6. The words who is this that speaketh blasphemy, form an iambic verse in the Greek.

Verse 22

Perceived. See on Mark 2:8.

Verse 23

Walk [περιπατει] . Lit., walk about.

Verse 24

Unto thee [σοι] . Standing first for emphasis. Luke emphasizes the direct address to the man : unto thee I say, in contrast with the apparently less direct, thy sins be forgiven thee. In Jesus ' mind the connection was assumed; now he brings out the personal side of the connection. In forgiving the man's sins he had healed him radically. The command to rise and walk was of the same piece.

Verse 26

They were all amazed [εκστασις ελαβεν απαντας] . Lit., amazement took hold on all, as Rev. On ekstasiv, amazement, see on Mark 5:42.

Strange things [παραδοξα] . From para, contrary to, and doxa, opinion. Something contrary to received opinion, and hence strange.

Compare the English paradox. Only here in New Testament.

27, 28. Compare Matthew 9:9; Mark 2:13, Mark 2:14.

Verse 27

He saw [εθεασατο] . Better, as Rev., beheld, since the verb denotes looking attentively. See on Matthew 11:7.

A publican. See on chapter Luke 3:12.

Receipt of custom. See on Matthew 9:9.

Verse 28

He followed [ηκολουθει] . Imperfect. He began to follow, and continued following.

29 - 39. Compare Matthew 9:10-17; Mark 2:15-22.

Verse 29

Feast [δοχην] . Only here and chapter Luke 14:13. From the same root as decomai, to receive. A reception.

Verse 31

They that are whole. [οι υγιαινοντες] . Both Matthew and Mark use ijscuontev, the strong. This use of the verb in its primary sense, to be in sound health, is found in Luke 7:10; Luke 14:27; and once in John, 3 Ep. verse 2. For this meaning it is the regular word in medical writings. Paul uses it only in the metaphorical sense : sound doctrine, sound words, sound in faith, etc. See 1 Timothy 1:10; 1 Timothy 6:3; Titus 1:13, etc.

Verse 33

Often [πυκνα] . Only here, Acts 24:26; 1 Timothy 5:23. The word literally means close - packed, as a thicket, or the plumage of a bird.

Prayers [δεησεις] . Used by no other evangelist. From deomai, to want, and hence distinctively of petitionary prayer. In classical Greek the word is not restricted to sacred uses, but is employed of requests preferred to men. Rev., more correctly, supplications.

Verse 34

Children of the bride - chamber. Better, as Rev., sons [νιους] . See on Mark 2:19.

Verse 35

But the days will come when, etc. [ελευσονται δε ημεραι και οταν] . The A. V. follows a reading which omits kai, and, which is inserted in all the best texts. The thought is broken off. "The days shall come - and when the bridegroom shall be taken away, then shall they fast." So Rev.

Verse 36

A parable. "From a garment and from wine, especially appropriate at a banquet" (Bengel).

Putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old [επι βλημα ιματιου καινου επιβαλλει επι ιματιον παλαιον] . The best texts, however, insert scisav, having rent, which directly governs ejpiblhma, piece; so that the rendering is, No man having rent a piece from a new garment, putteth it, etc. So Rev., No man rendeth a piece and putteth. Both Matthew and Mark have cloth instead of garment, by the use of which latter term "the incongruity of the proceeding comes more strongly into prominence" (Meyer). jEpiblhma, a piece, is literally, a patch, from ejpi, upon, and ballw, to throw : something clapped on. Compare the kindred verb here, ejpiballei, putteth upon.

The new maketh a rent [το καινον σχιζει] . The best texts read scisei, will rend, governing the new instead of being used intransitively. Render, as Rev., He will rend the new.

Agreeth not [ου συμφωνει] . The best texts read sumfwnhsei, the future; will not agree. So Rev.

In Matthew and Mark there is only a single damage, that, namely, to the old garment, the rent in which is enlarged. In Luke the damage is twofold; first, in injuring thenew garment by cutting out a piece; and second, in making the old garment appear patched, instead of widening the rent, as in Matthew and Mark.

Bottles [ασκους] . Rev., wine skins. See on Matthew 9:17.

Verse 39

Better [χρηστοτερος] . The best texts read crhstov, good. See on Matthew 11:30. ===Luke 6:0


1 - 5. Compare Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 5". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.