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Bible Commentaries

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary
Luke 20



Verse 1

1. τῶν ἡμ.] of the days, viz. of this His being in Jerusalem.

ἐπέστ. without a dative (see ch. Luke 2:38) does not signify any suddenness of approach.

Verses 1-8

1–8.] HIS AUTHORITY QUESTIONED. HIS REPLY. Matthew 21:23-27. Mark 11:27-33, where see notes. (The history of the fig-tree is not in our text.)

Verse 2

2.] —or (to speak more definitely).

Verse 9

9.] The parable was spoken πρός, to, the people—but (Luke 20:19), πρός, at, with reference to, the chief priests and scribes. Bengel suggests that He addressed it to the people, to guard against interruption on the part of the chief priests.

Verses 9-19

9–19.] PARABLE OF THE VINEYARD LET OUT TO HUSBANDMEN. Matthew 21:33-46. Mark 12:1-12. See notes on Matt. for the sense; and for comparison of the reports, on Mark.

Verse 11

11.] προσέθ. π., a Hebraism: see reff. Gen., Hebrew and LXX.

Verse 14

14. ἰδόντ. δέ] This is taken up from the τοῦτον ἰδόντες of the verse before, and is emphatic—On the contrary, when they saw him.…

Verse 17

17.] The οὖν infers the negation of μὴ γένοιτο—‘How then, supposing your wish to be fulfilled, could this which is written come to pass?

Verse 19

19.] καί before ἐφοβήθ. is not but: the clause signifies the state of mind in which this their attempt was made: and they did so in fear of the people.

Verse 20

20.] παρατηρ., having watched an opportunity.

ἐγκαθ., see reff., men suborned, instructed and arranged for that purpose.

ἐπιλάβ., not the spies, but the chief priests.

αὐτοῦ is not the genitive after λόγου, as in E. V., but after ἐπιλ., as in ἐπιλαμβάνεται αὐτοῦ τῆς ἴτυος, Xen. Anab. iv. 7. 12:—that they might lay hold of him by some saying; = αὐτὸν ἀγρεύσωσιν λόγῳ, Mark.

τῇ ἀρχῇ, to the Roman power (genus)— τῇ ἐξ. τ. ., to the authority of the governor (species). The second article renders the separation of the two necessary.

Verses 20-26

20–26.] REPLY CONCERNING THE LAWFULNESS OF TRIBUTE TO CÆSAR. Matthew 22:15-22. Mark 12:13-17, where see notes as before.

Verse 22

22.] φόρον = κῆνσον, see on Matt.:—differs from τέλος, ‘vectigal,’ customs duties.

Verse 27

27.] οἱ ἀντιλέγοντες refers to τῶν σαδ., not to τινες. The main subject of the sentence is sometimes put in the nom., even when the construction requires another case: so ἀνδρομάχη, θυγάτηρ μεγαλήτορος ἠετίωνος, ἠετίων, ὃς ἔναιεν.… Hom. Il. ζ. 395. See also κ. 437, and more examples in Bernhardy, Syntax, p. 68.

The use of ἀντιλέγ. μή (or τὸ μή) is frequent in Xenophon, see Wetstein: and cf. Thucyd. i. 95, ἀπολύεται τοῦ μὴ ἀδικεῖν,—ii. 49, ἀπορίᾳ τοῦ μὴ ἡσυχάζειν. See also Herod. i. 68: Soph. Œd. Tyr. 57.

Verses 27-40

27–40.] REPLY TO THE SADDUCEES RESPECTING THE RESURRECTION. Matthew 22:23-33; Mark 12:18-27, and notes.

Verse 28

28. καὶ οὗτος] See ch. Luke 19:2.

Verse 29

29.] οὖν, well then—i.e. ‘as an example of this law, …’

Verse 31

31.] The οὐ κατ. τέκ. coming before καὶ ἀπέθ. is by a mixture of constructions—and they had no children by her, and died, leaving none:—not merely from the emphasis being on the leaving no children (as in Meyer). It is meant to express the absence of offspring before their death, and after.

Verse 34-35

34, 35. οἱ υἱοὶ] Peculiar to Luke, and important. For this present state of men, marriage is an ordained and natural thing; but in τῷ αἰῶνι ἐκείνῳ, which is by the context the state of the first resurrection (nothing being said of the rest of the dead, though the bare fact might be predicated of them also), they who are found worthy to obtain that state of life and the resurrection from the dead, are no longer under the ordinance of marriage: for neither can they any more die; i.e. they will have no need of a succession and renewal, which is the main purpose of marriage.

Verse 36

36.] The ἰσάγγ. γάρ εἰσιν is alleged, not as shewing them to be ἀπαθεῖς κ. ἀφιλήδονοι (Euthym(108)), but as setting forth their immortality.

υἱοὶ θ. is here used, not in its ethical sense, as applied to believers in this world,—but its metaphysical sense, as denoting the essential state of the blessed after the resurrection:—‘they are, by their resurrection, essentially partakers of the divine nature, and so cannot die.’ When Meyer says that the Lord only speaks of the risen, and has not here in His view the ‘quick’ at the time of His coming, it must be remembered that the ‘change’ which shall pass on them (1 Corinthians 15:51-54) shall put them into precisely the same ἀφθαρσία as the risen (compare ibid. Luke 20:42).

Verse 37

37.] καὶ ΄., that very Moses, whom you allege as shewing by inference the contrary.

Verse 38

38.] On πάντ. γ. αὐτ. ζ. see on Matthew 22:31-33 : but we have in this argument even a further generalization than in Matt. and Mark. There, it is a covenant relation on which the matter rests: here, a life of all, living and dead, in the sight of God,—so that none are annihilated,—but in the regard of Him who inhabiteth Eternity, the being of all is a living one, in all its changes.

Verse 39-40

39, 40.] Peculiar to Luke;—implied however in Matthew 22:34, and Mark 12:28.

Verse 41

41.] πρὸς αὐτούς, i.e. the Scribes. The same thing is signified by πῶς λέγουσιν οἱ γρ. in Mark. In Matt. the question is addressed to the Pharisees. I mention these things as marks of the independence of the accounts. The underlying fact is, the Lord addressed the Pharisees and Scribes on a view which they (the Scribes, the Pharisees agreeing) entertained about the Messiah. Hence the three accounts diverge.

Verses 41-44

41–44.] QUESTION RESPECTING CHRIST AND DAVID. Matthew 22:41-46; Mark 12:35-37, where see notes. Luke omits the question of the lawyer, which occurred immediately on the gathering together of the Pharisees after the last incident. This question of our Lord seems to have followed close on that, which (and not that in Luke 20:27 ff. here) was their last to Him, Mark 12:34.

Verse 42

42.] On ἐν βίβλῳ ψαλμ., Wordsw. says, “added here as conveying information necessary to Gentile readers.” This might be well, did the words occur in the Evangelist’s narrative: but surely not, when they are in a discourse of our Lord. If His words were so loosely reported as this, where is any dependence on the accuracy of the Evangelists?

Verse 45

45.] This particular, ἀκούοντ. δὲ π. τ. λ., is only in Luke.

Verses 45-47

45–47.] DENUNCIATION OF THE SCRIBES. Matthew 23:6-7. Mark 12:38-40, with which latter our text almost verbally agrees: see notes there.


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Bibliography Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 20:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. 1863-1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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