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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Luke 11

 

 

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Verse 1

Luke 11:1. ὡς ἐπαύσατο, when He ceased) Inasmuch as it was their duty not to interrupt Him before He had ceased.— τῶν μαθητῶν, of His disciples) Who either had heard the words of the Lord whilst praying, or at least had seen His most sweet and impressive gestures.— δίδαξον, teach) By this very fact they already pray, whilst in the act of begging that they should be taught how to pray. Most gratifying it was to the Master to be solicited that He should teach them, as also this very act of teaching. John had taught his disciples to pray; but not in such a way as that they should call God Father (although in other respects the formula of John was not widely different from the formula of Christ): it was a privilege reserved peculiarly to the Son of God to give this power to His disciples. Already He had given them it, in Matthew 6:9-10, but had suffered somewhat of an interval to elapse [during which it lay in abeyance], exhorting the disciples in common to pray, and leaving them to the ordinary custom of praying according to the common Isrealitish formula (for otherwise the disciples would not have quoted the example of John teaching his disciples to pray), until they had made sufficient progress in the knowledge of the Father and of the Son: when once this was accomplished, He then at last threw open to them the richest fulness of access to pray to the Father in the name of Himself, the Son; see John 16:23.— ἡμᾶς, us) The cause of the disciples was joint and common to them all: he who was making the request was making it even for others, as well as on his own behalf.— καὶ ἰωάννης, John also) A good teacher ought even most especially to teach his own followers to pray aright. See Bernard’s “Scala Claustralium.” He cannot teach, who is himself ignorant [how to pray]. Moreover, there are degrees in prayer. John had taught how to pray; Christ also had taught it: now, when requested, He still further teaches those already far advanced.—[ τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ, his disciples) Andrew, for instance, had been one of them (one of John’s disciples), John 1—V. g.]


Verse 2

Luke 11:2. εἶπε, He said) The Master promptly teaches both the words and right manner of praying: Luke 11:2-3; Luke 11:5-6.— λέγετε, ye say) Matthew on the one occasion records this incomparable form of prayer, as it was prescribed to the people, in more words: Luke on a different occasion records it, as it was prescribed in briefer form to the disciples, who had begged to be taught. Therefore the main substance of prayers is in all cases the same: but at one time all the αἰτήματα, or chief topics of prayer, are introduced; at another, only some out of them all, the choice of the words and subjects being left free. Nor did Luke hold it necessary to agree exactly with Matthew in the number of petitions; which latter evangelist, however, does not expressly say that they are seven: for Luke enumerates the beatitudes also in ch. Luke 6:20, et seqq., differently from Matthew: so also he recounts the commandments of the Decalogue differently from Moses. [Comp. Marg. of Vers. Germ. on this passage.]—[ πάτερ, Father) By this one word, especially the spirit of the prayers of Christ, and of His disciples, is distinguished from the spirit that characterizes the prayers habitually used by believers under the Old Testament, as also those used by John and his disciples.—V. g.]


Verse 3

Luke 11:3. τὸ καθʼ ἡμέραν) Comp. Acts 6:1.


Verse 4

Luke 11:4. καὶ γὰρ, for also) The for denotes here the removal of an obstruction in the way of prayers being heard, not a meritorious cause. Great as is the brevity of this prayer in Luke, yet a petition is set down in it for the remission of our debts or sins.


Verse 5

Luke 11:5. καὶ εἶπε, and He said) The Scripture exhorts us abundantly to prayer. In what lies the whole principle and right mode of prayer? In importuning, and that, in good earnest.— μεσονυκτίου, at midnight) at a time least of all convenient. In the case of God, no time is unseasonable with respect to hearing and giving.— φίλε, friend) A familiar and courteous appellation, employed instead of a proper name: it is not repeated at Luke 11:7.— τρεῖς, three) one for my guest: one for myself: one supernumerary by way of compliment. The language in this passage is wonderfully familiar, and adapted to the popular understanding.


Verse 6

Luke 11:6. φίλος, a friend) Therefore the service which we owe towards others may be alleged in prayer as a ground for being heard.


Verse 7

Luke 11:7. κέκλεισται, has been shut) with a bolt (long since): such as is removed with greater difficulty.— μετʼ ἐμοῦ, with me) It is the duty of parents to guard their children, especially at night.— οὐ δύναμαι, I cannot) namely, without great inconvenience and trouble.


Verse 8

Luke 11:8. λέγω, I say) Almost all the codices of the Latin Vulg. omit the clause, “Et si ille perseveraverit pulsans,” or “et ille si perseveraverit pulsans.(105) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. It might seem to be a gloss from Acts 12:16, “Petrus autem perseverabat pulsans.” But Bede, Augustine, Ambrose, and especially Tertullian, set aside this conjecture. See lib. de Or. cap. 6, where Tertullian says, “Sed et nocturnus ille PULSATOR panem PULSABAT.” Add his lib. de Præscript. c. 11 and 12, and his lib. iv. c. Marcion, ch. 26. The more recent Armenian translators, and the old English Versions, follow the Latin; [however the Germ. Vers. of Bengel himself does not follow it.—E. B.]— διὰ τὸ, because that he is) God hears on account of His own love, and is not affected by sense of trouble.— τὴν ἀναίδειαν, shameless importunity) unabashed boldness, shown in coming by night. [In prayer, we must not proceed with timidity, but ask, seek, knock: ch. Luke 18:1; Luke 18:5; Luke 18:7; Psalms 55:18.—V. g.] In the case of such an importunate petitioner, it would cost one less trouble to grant his request than to refuse it. Comp. ch. Luke 18:5. The order of the words is well-considered,— δώσει ἀναστάςἐγερθεὶς δώσει: though he will not give rising up—yet being aroused he will give. Friendship might have impelled him to give [but it did not]: shameless importunity, persevering in knocking, does impel him to the labour of rising [therefore the giving is made prominent by being first in the former clause; the rising in the latter].— ὃσων, as many as) even if the loaves asked for be more than what urgent necessity requires. It is no greater inconvenience now to give many, than to give three, or even one loaf.


Verse 9

Luke 11:9. καὶ δοθήσεται, and it shall be given) as to that friend in the parable.


Verse 11

Luke 11:11. τίνατὸν πατέρα) The article τὸν has in this passage a force less definite: there is an Apposition [Of what man who is a father will his son ask bread, etc.].— δὲ, but) There is a gradation (ascending climax) from a friend to a parent: and yet in this case also there is added the How much more, in Luke 11:13.— ἰχοὺν, a fish) viz. αἰτήσει, shall ask.— ἀντὶ ἰχθύος, for a fish) The child might take (mistake) a serpent or snake for a fish.(106)


Verse 12

Luke 11:12. καὶ, or even) His confidence in asking is increased.— ὠὸν, an egg) The requests of the children proceed on from necessaries to what are more of luxuries than necessaries: yet not only the bread, but the fish also, and the egg, are not denied.— σκόρπιον, a scorpion) which is a most deadly reptile.


Verse 13

Luke 11:13. [ πόσῳ μᾶλλον, how much more) Since the readiness in freely giving is so great on the part of GOD: how great, I ask, must be thought to be the torpor which lurks beneath on the part of men, even though offering prayer, seeing that so few things are obtained by prayer!—V. g.]— πατὴρ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, the Father who is of heaven) who is supremely good.— πνεῦμα ἅγιον,(107) the Holy Spirit) the best of all good gifts, and with it all things: ch. Luke 24:49. The Holy Spirit is a spirit good and joyous: τὸ πνεῦμά σου τὸ ἀγαθόν, Psalms 143:10, in LXX. It is the Holy Spirit Himself that works in man the first beginning of the desire for Himself. He is moreover more necessary to the soul than food is to the body.


Verse 14

Luke 11:14. ἦν ἐκβάλλων, He was casting out) that is to say, He was actually at the time engaged in that miracle. These things took place before mid-day. Comp. Luke 11:37.


Verse 15

Luke 11:15. τινὲς, some) Their objection is met in Luke 11:17-18. [They were not able to deny some agency being at work superior to nature.—V. g.]


Verse 16

Luke 11:16. ἕτεροι, others) Their cavil is met in Luke 11:29-30.


Verse 17

Luke 11:17. οἶκος, a house, or family).— ἐπὶ οἶκον, upon the house [super domum]) That is to say, A house divided upon (against) itself falleth, Mark 3:25.(108) The noun is put for the reciprocal or reflexive pronoun, ἑαυτόν. Matthew 12:26; Acts 3:16; Ephesians 4:16; 2 Timothy 1:18, where see the note. LXX. Leviticus 14:15; Numbers 10:29.


Verse 18

Luke 11:18. καὶ σατανᾶς) even Satan: of whom however this is not at all to be supposed likely.


Verse 20

Luke 11:20. δακτύλῳ, with the finger) by a power manifestly divine, and without any difficulty. Comp. Exodus 8:19.


Verse 21

Luke 11:21. ἰσχυρὸς, a strong man) intrinsically strong. This is the Subject.— καθωπλισμένος, armed) extrinsically: Armed, i.e. whilst he is armed, so long as no one strips him of his armour. This is to be joined to the Predicate.— τὴν ἑαυτοῦ, his own) See 2 Peter 2:19 [“servants of corruption,” who constitute Satan’s own palace].— τὰ ἱπάρχοντα αὐτοῦ, his goods, his resources) which are kept safe in his palace.


Verse 22

Luke 11:22. ἐπελθὼν, having come upon him) unexpectedly.— ἐπεποίθει, he had been confident) The victory of Christ was the more glorious, after that He had overcome Satan, who had prevailed mightily, and had been confident, for so many ages.— σκύλα, spoils) which Satan had wrested from mankind.— διαδίδωσι, distributeth) Ephesians 4:8 [When He ascended on high He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men].


Verse 23

[23. ΄ετʼ ἐμοῦ, with Me) No mortal man could by his own strength (powers) have assisted Jesus, and many were fighting against Him: yet notwithstanding He performed such stupendous miracles. He is therefore ἰσχυρότερος, the stronger man, Luke 11:22.—V. g.]


Verse 27

Luke 11:27. ἐπάρασα, having lifted up) It would be good, and not a thing to be laughed at, if hearers would discover the emotions of their hearts whilst hearing, in however simple a manner.— κοιλία, the womb) The woman has good sentiments, but speaks as a woman in woman’s fashion. The Saviour reduces this into due order.— μαστοὶ, the paps) Comp. concerning the Messiah, Psalms 22:10.


Verse 28

Luke 11:28. ΄ενοῦνγε) The mother of One who teaches so well is pronounced ‘blessed:’ but in truth rather blessed are they who follow the Teacher. So μενοῦνγε, [Nay but, O man, etc.] Romans 9:20; Romans 10:18 [ μενοῦνγε εἰς πάσαν τὴν γῆν, etc.: “Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth”].— οἱ ἀκούοντες, they who hear) including even that pious woman herself.— φυλάσσοντες, who keep it) viz. they who bear Christ and His word in their heart, as His mother had borne the Saviour Himself in her womb. [She however was one who herself also kept the word, being on that very account ‘blessed.’ Luke 1:45 (Luke 2:19).—V. g.]


Verse 29

Luke 11:29. τῶν δὲ ὄχλων, but when crowds [the multitudes]) This took place at the same time. Comp. Luke 11:37, at the beginning.—[ ἐπαθροιζομένων, were rushing in upon Him [“were gathered thick together,” Engl. Vers.]) to see whether a sign was about to follow from heaven. See Luke 11:16.—V. g.]


Verse 30

Luke 11:30. τοῖς νινευΐταις, unto the Ninevites) Therefore the Ninevites knew as to the three days of Jonah; and were thereby led to repentance: but afterwards they through impenitence drew down punishment upon themselves, after almost the same interval had elapsed from the time of the respite given to them (because of their penitence), as subsequently elapsed in the case of the Jews: which may in both cases be compared with the time given for repentance.(109)οὕτως, so) This has the force of a promise, extending to a distant period.


Verse 31

Luke 11:31. ἀνδρῶν, the men) Because, though but a woman, this queen followed after wisdom.


Verse 33

Luke 11:33. [ οὐδεὶς δὲ, moreover no man) We ought to give ourselves wholly up to the Word of GOD, so as that those who are thoroughly and inwardly enlightened by it may be enabled to gain over others.—V. g.]— εἰς κρυπτὴν) Feminine, according to the Hebrew idiom, for the Neuter.


Verse 34

Luke 11:34. λύχνος, the lamp [light]) Light is freely open to us, and is manifest and single (not complex, without duplicity): we therefore, in turn, ought to be open to the whole light.


Verse 35

Luke 11:35. ΄ὴ) whether.(110) For the Indicative, ἐστίν, follows.


Verse 36

Luke 11:36. ὅλον φωτεινὸνφωτεινὸν ὅλον, all full of light—full of light all over or wholly) An instance of Ploce [when the same word is twice employed, so as that in one instance the notion of the word itself simply, in the other an attribute of it, is understood]. The perfection of the parts [ ὅλον in the first instance] tends to the perfection of degrees [ ὅλον in the second instance: light wholly and perfectly in degree]. [Often two words are put in inverted order, in two successive clauses, in such a way, as that in each clause the word that stands first is to have the emphasis. Matthew 24:33 (where see the note on the present passage), 34; John 8:21; John 8:24; John 14:1, et seqq.; 1 Corinthians 7:22; Galatians 4:25; Ephesians 2:1; Ephesians 2:5; Philippians 2:7-8; James 2:18; James 2:22. The analogy of examples shows that this is no vain subtlety of hyper-criticism.—Not. Crit.]— λύχνος [a candle] the lamp) that lamp [candle] of which in Luke 11:33 He had spoken.— τῇ ἀστραπῇ) with its utmost degree of bright shining (brilliancy).


Verse 37

Luke 11:37. εἰσελθὼν δὲ ἀνέπεσεν, having entered in, He lay [sat] down to meat) forthwith, without having washed (Luke 11:38) before sitting down to table. Perhaps He was wearied [with the crowds, Luke 11:29].


Verse 38

Luke 11:38. ἰδὼν, having seen) that He had lain down [sat down].


Verse 39

Luke 11:39. [ εἶπε δὲ κύριος, but the Lord said) Jesus spake these things which here follow in Galilee first, subsequently at Jerusalem (Matthew 23:1-39). In Galilee He said, in this passage [Luke 11:49], “I will send [Future] Prophets and Apostles among them.” Then also at Jerusalem [Matthew 23:34], He said, “Behold, I send” [Present]: To wit, in the intervening time He was come nearer to the actual sending of them.—Harm., p. 398.]— νῦν, now) The particle has the force of demonstrating a thing present: on this account the LXX. employ it for הנה, Behold, 2 Kings 7:6; and in this passage it at the same time involves an antithesis between external purity and impurity; in the same way as nunc among the Latins has often the force of atqui.— τὸ ἔξωθεν) that which is exterior (the outside): for instance, the exterior of a very clean cup.— τὸ ἔσωθεν ὑμῶν) your interior (inner man), viz. your manner of life.— γέμει, is full) like a cup or dish. First, ἔξωθεν and ἔσωθεν are adverbs; then in Matthew, ch. Luke 23:25-26, it is the cup and the dish that are said to be full, γέμειν: in Luke it is “the inward part” itself of the Pharisees. The exterior of vessels is not only convex, but also concave [what is commonly, though not correctly, called the inside]: the interior is both the heart and the manner of life.(111) It makes no difference whether ἁρπαγὴ, rapine, be taken, in the material sense, for the thing carried off, or, in the formal sense, for rapaciousness. However, it is taken in the formal sense, inasmuch as in Matthew ἀκρασία or ἀδικία, intemperance or injustice, and in Luke πονηρία, malignity, wickedness, are added. It may be thus paraphrased: Ye Pharisees keep clean the part in the vessel which is exterior; but your interior is full of rapaciousness and malignity. Ye fools, did not He, who made the exterior thing, to wit, the vessel, at the same time also make the interior thing, namely, the heart? But as concerns those things which are in the vessel [which is but the exterior thing], give alms, and behold all things, your whole manner of life, are clean to you, whatever be the case as regards the vessel, whether it be more or less clean.


Verse 40

Luke 11:40. ποιήσας, He who made) God.— καὶ τὸ) On this account, both must be attended to. Cleanness of the manner of life [answering to the vessel] becomes a clean heart [answering to the interior or inward part].


Verse 41

Luke 11:41. πλὴν) Although the exterior thing has been made by Him by whom the interior has been made: nevertheless in the case of man, who has contracted uncleanness, the footing on which the exterior stands, which does not in itself defile, is different from that on which the interior stands, which is in the greatest degree in need of purification.— τὰ ἐνόντα) An anonymous writer in Suidas (V. ἐνόν) says: θυσίαν ἐκ τῶν ἐνόντων καὶ παρόντων προσαχθεῖσαν, a sacrifice brought of the animals which were there, and which he had; as is observed by Pricæus, whom see on this passage. Therefore τὰ ἐνόντα are not τὸ ἔσωθεν, but articles of food and drink which are in the vessels. Supply κατά.— δότε, give) The more usual expression is ποιεῖν, to do alms: but in this place give, used (as in ch. Luke 12:33) in antithesis to rapaciousness [ravening: Give is antithetic to rapaciously snatch, implied in ἁρπαγῆς], Luke 11:39.— καὶ ἰδοῦ, and behold) He does not say, and then, but and behold; and presently after, not shall be [in consequence], but are. Therefore He does not say, that it is by giving alms in particular that cleanness or purity is to be gained for one’s food and drink; but that purity exists in the creature of God in itself (that is, in the food and drink regarded per se in itself): that all that is effected by the alms when given, not by the washing of hands, is that the stain is wiped away, which the Pharisees had contracted by their rapacity.(112)πάντα καθαρὰ) all things, which are in the cup and the dish, are clean unto you. For God hath made all these things: Luke 11:40. None of these things defileth a man: Matthew 15:11.


Verse 42

Luke 11:42. ἀλλʼ οὐαὶ) ἀλλὰ, a particle of transition; 2 Corinthians 7:11.— τὴν κρὶσιν, judgment) which is in the understanding. True judgment dictates the assertion, that the love of God is the greatest of the commandments. [Comp. ch. Luke 12:57.]— τὴν ἀγάπην τοῦ θεοῦ, the love of God) which is in the will. [He saith, the love of GOD, and that of our neighbour for the sake of GOD.—V. g.] It is he who loves God, and he alone, that is endowed with a true judgment. See 1 Corinthians 8:3; 1 Corinthians 8:2. In Matthew [Luke 23:23, there is added to, “Ye have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment”], mercy and faith. In fact, along with ‘love,’ is conjoined and implied that faith, of which Matthew makes mention. See 1 Timothy 1:5. Mercy [in the form of giving alms] is recommended in Luke 11:41.—[ ταῦτακᾀκεῖνα, these things—and those things) The former of less consequence—the latter of more importance.—V. g.]


Verse 44

Luke 11:44. οὐαὶ ὑμῖν, ὅτι, κ. τ. λ.) Here the Lord does not add τοῖς φαρισαίοις, as He had added the words in Luke 11:42. Moreover it seems that, together with His discourse, the countenance (look) also of the Lord was turned towards the lawyers, as we may infer from Luke 11:45, where a certain lawyer feels that the Lord’s saying was spoken to him. The words, γραμματεῖς καὶ φαρισαῖοι, ὑποκριταὶ, were introduced here from Matthew [Luke 23:27] by some transcribers.(113)ἄδηλα, hidden [which appear not]) not whitened over [as was the custom in order to warn against defilement].— οὐκ οἴδασιν, they know not) and therefore become defiled.


Verse 45

Luke 11:45. [ ταῦτα, these things) which precede, especially in Luke 11:43.—V. g.]— ὑβρίζεις, thou dost insult) ὑβρίζειν, to insult, to treat with insolence, is a different idea from that of justly reproving, as expressed by ὀνειδίζειν, to reproach.


Verse 46

Luke 11:46. ἑνὶ, with one) There is an ascending climax, of which the steps are—to touch with one finger, to touch with the fingers, to move with the fingers, to lift with the hand, to lay on the shoulder [Matthew 23:4]. The latter they used to compel the people to: the former they shrank back from themselves.


Verse 47

Luke 11:47. οἰκοδομεῖτε, ye build) This in itself does not seem to have been wrong; but what was wrong was, that they imitated their fathers.


Verse 48

Luke 11:48. καὶ, and) Ye bear witness that ye have them for your fathers, and approve of (‘allow’) their deeds. They did not think this: and yet it was true, and it is justly ascribed to them.


Verse 49

Luke 11:49. σοφία τοῦ θεοῦ, the Wisdom of God) A sweet designation. The קהלת, Koheleth or Ecclesiastes: the Preacher that gathers together assemblies. See ch. Luke 13:34.— εἶπεν, said) See Matthew 23:34, note.— προφήτας, prophets) who existed under the Old Testament.— ἀποστόλους, apostles) who exist under the New Testament.— ἐκδιώξουσιν) they shall by persecution cast out. A word of frequent occurrence in the LXX.


Verse 50

Luke 11:50. ἐκζητηθῇ) Hebrew דרש 2 Chronicles 24:22.— πάντων, of all) There were prophets at all times: among these was also Abel.— ἀπὸ τῆς) Construe with ἐκζητηθῇ: with this comp. Luke 11:51.—[51. ζαχαρίου, of Zechariah) the prophet. See 2 Chronicles 24:20.—V. g.]


Verse 52

Luke 11:52. ἤρατε) ye have taken away. [They had thrust themselves into the ecclesiastical office: and he who neglected them was left bound in all kinds of ignorance.—V. g.]— τὴν κλεῖδα τῆς γνώσεως, the key of knowledge) i.e. true knowledge, viz. of the Messiah (ch. Luke 20:41), which is the key of the kingdom of the heavens.— οὐκ εἰσήλθετε, ye have not entered in) into the kingdom of the heavens.


Verse 53

Luke 11:53. δεινῶς, vehemently) Under this vehemence there was lurking a cunning design. See following verse.— ἀποστοματίζειν) ἀποστοματίζω, I urge (whether myself or another), to give vent to [random or hasty] words from the mouth. With this comp. the following verse.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 11:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-11.html. 1897.

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