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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
Luke 4

 

 

Verse 1

Luke 4:1. πνεύματος ἀγίου πλήρης, full of the Holy Ghost) See ch. Luke 3:22.— ἐν τῷ πνεύματι, in the Spirit) viz. that Spirit, the Holy Spirit [given Him specially at His baptism].


Verse 2

Luke 4:2. ἡμέρας τεσσαράκοντα, forty days) This is commonly construed with πειραζόμενος, being tempted. But it was not until the time when Jesus hungered, after the forty days were completed, that the Tempter came to Him; Matthew 4:3. It ought therefore to be construed with ἤγετο, was led into the wilderness, and was in the wilderness forty days. A similarly abbreviated mode of expression [See Append, on Concisa Locutio] in ch. Luke 20:9, He went away, to be absent for a long time [ ἄπεδήμησεν χρόνους ἱκανούς]; so Revelation 20:2. He bound him a thousand years, i.e. that he should be [remain] bound a thousand years. [Comp. Joshua 8:29, Joshua laid great stones in the cave’s mouth—until this day, i.e. which remain until this day; Luke 10:27 in the Hebr.—V. g.]— συντελεσθεισῶν αὐτῶν, when they were consummated [ended]. There was a definite limit to them fixed.


Verse 5

Luke 4:5. εἰς ὄρος ὑψηλὸν, into a high mountain) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage.(40) The sentence would sound defective (‘hiulca’ having a hiatus) if read thus [as the Vulg. reads it], “Et duxit illum diabolus, et ostendit illi,” etc. [Some interpreters suppose a double conflict (between Jesus and Satan) on the mountain, inasmuch as it is put by Luke before that upon the pinnacle of the temple, whereas it is put after the latter by Matthew. But ‘all’ of the temptation had (consisted of) three assaults in all, Luke 4:13; and therefore Luke must clearly be employing a transposition in this passage. Nor is it the best way of consulting for the honour of the Lord, to double the temptation on the mountain; for, in fact, He seems to have once repelled it, and, at the same time, by that once to have repelled it universally and for ever. Moreover, Luke, by putting the ascent to (the pinnacle at) Jerusalem in the last place, was enabled to use more appropriately the verb ὑπέστρεψεν, in ch. Luke 4:14, just as that verb is used, ch. Luke 2:39, of the return from the same city to Galilee. Harm, p. 151].— ἐν στιγμῇ χρόνου, in a moment of time) A sudden showing of them: a sharp temptation [a violent and acute one, as opposed to a more gradual and stealthy one].


Verse 6

Luke 4:6. τὴν ἐξουσίαν ταύτην, this power) viz. of these kingdoms. It is to the latter that the αὐτῶν [the glory] of them, is to be referred.— παραδέδοται, is delivered) This assertion is not altogether false. Satan had great power before his fall: and the portion of power which he retains since his fall, he turns to evil account. See John 12:31; Ephesians 2:2; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 13:2. The Tempter confesses that he is not the founder or creator of these kingdoms. Therefore he did not demand the highest degree of adoration or worship; and yet Jesus shows that even an inferior degree of worship cannot be given to any creature, much less to Satan.— δίδωμι, I give) In this instance he was willing to give the whole: in other cases, he is wont to give to his retainers only in smaller portions. See, for example, Revelation 13:2.


Verse 8

Luke 4:8. ὓπαγε ὀπίσω μου σατανᾶ) The more modern Greek copies have transferred these words from Matthew, and introduced them into this place. This was a mistake; for Luke records this particular temptation as the second in order; for which reason it would not have been appropriate for Luke to have introduced these words which drove the Tempter to flight.(41) We have observed, in its proper place, that even the words ὀπίσω μου do not belong to Matthew.(42) At the beginning of the 9th verse, the Gothic Version renders the καὶ thathro, i.e. thence.(43)


Verse 12

Luke 4:12. εἴρηται, It is said) viz. in Scripture.


Verse 13

Luke 4:13. συντελέσας, when he Had consummated) There is no temptation against which believers cannot both derive arms of defence, and learn the way to contend, from this temptation of our Lord.— πάντα, all) He had expended all his weapons of offence. Thus then the enemy being so vanquished was wholly vanquished.— ἄχρι καιροῦ, until a season) viz. a convenient season.(44) [It was when the passion of our Lord was approaching especially, that the prince of the world returned.—V. g.]


Verse 14

Luke 4:14. ἐν τῇ δυνάμει τοῦ πνεύματος, in the power of the Spirit) Being strengthened [the more] after His victory.— φήμη, a fame) Men felt [in His speaking] the power of the Spirit: see Luke 4:15 [and this, even before that He exhibited in that region so many miracles as He subsequently performed.—V. g.]


Verse 15

Luke 4:15. αὐτὸς) Himself. He became known not merely by ‘fame,’ but by “His own self.”— δοξαζόμενος, being glorified) He who was well tempted finds glory, especially at the beginning, yet he is not affected injuriously by that glory.


Verse 16

Luke 4:16. ἦλθεν, He came) for the purpose of repaying the debt of gratitude to the city where He had been reared to maturity.— κατὰ τὸ εἰωθὸς αὐτῷ) The same phrase occurs Numbers 24:1. We see hereby what was the practice of Jesus whilst still a youth at Nazareth before His baptism.— τῶν σαββάτων, the Sabbath) It was also the day of expiation: but the mention of the Sabbath corresponds to the expression, as His custom was.— ἀνέστη, He stood up) By this attitude He showed that it was His wish to read in public: and when He had done so, a book was given to Him. We read of His having once read (although it seems to have been His custom to act the part of the anagnostes or reader: for, on the Sabbath, all (Luke 4:20) were accustomed to come into the synagogue); we read also of His having once written, John 8:6. It is especially consonant with that earliest period of His ministry, that Jesus proved the Divine authority of His preaching from the Old Testament, even in condescension to the Nazarenes, who were more likely to despise Him in His own country.


Verse 17

Luke 4:17. βίβλιον ἡσαΐου, the book of Isaiah) The Haphtara or publicly-read portion for that Sabbath was from Isaiah: moreover the table which was usually attached to the Hebrew Bibles (Scripture-rolls) of the Jews, connects most of the portions read from Isaiah with those read from Deuteronomy: from which it may be inferred what was the time of year when this Sabbath occurred.— ἀναπτύξας, having unrolled [the scroll on which Isaiah’s prophecies were written]) So the form of the books of that age required.— εὗρε, He found) immediately, and as it were accidentally. The mode of dispensing the Divine word is marvellous: but we ought not to tempt God by casting lots;(45) comp. Acts 8:32. The pious use of Biblical ‘sortes’ or lots, is better than that of Homeric or Virgilian ‘sortes.’ See E. Neuhus. i. 3, fatid. Sacror., ch. ix, pp. 329, 330. J. C. Pfaff. Diss. de Evang. § 25.


Verse 18-19

Luke 4:18-19. πνεῦμα κυρίου ἐπʼ ἐμὲ· οὗ εἵνεκεν ἔχρισέ με· εὐαγγελίσασθα. πτωχοῖς, ἀπέσταλκέ με, ἰάσασθαι τοὺς συντετριμμένους τὴν καρδίαν·— ἀνάβλεψιν, ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσμένους ἐν ἀφέσει· κηρύξαι ἐνιαυτὸν κυρίου δεκτὸν καὶ ἡμέραν ἀνταποδόσεως) Isaiah 61:1-2, LXX: πνεῦμαἀνάβλεψιν· καλέσαι, κ. τ. λ. Several particulars here are worthy of being noticed. I. The Hebrew accents give us a most effective stopping. II. οὗ εἵνεκεν signifies the same as יֹען, for this reason because, on account of this inasmuch as. So Numbers 14:43, οὗ εἵνεκα ἀπεστράφητε, because ye are turned away from. Ammonius says οὕνεκα signifies the same as ὅτι. The sense in this passage is, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me. Even then already Jesus implied distinctly that He was the Christ. It is from His anointing, that the abiding of the Spirit of the Lord on the Christ is deduced. As the[continuous] state of personal union [the union of His humanity and Divinity], so that of His anointing flows from the act. III. From the anointing flows the especial, nay, the preaching peculiarly characteristic of this Prophet, viz., that of the Gospel; from the oil flows the joy [i.e. from the anointing oil comes the joy, answering to the “good tidings,” Isaiah 61:1, and “the oil of joy,” Luke 4:3]: from the ‘sending’ [l. c., Luke 4:3] comes the “healing [Luke 4:18 : in Isaiah “to bind up”] of the broken-hearted.” IV. This very clause, curare contribulatos corde, “to heal the broken-hearted,” as the translator of Irenæu(46) has it, I am induced to retain chiefly on the authority of Irenæu(47), although others have omitted it.(48) V. καὶ τυφλοῖς ἀναβλεψιν, is not taken from Isaiah 42:7, but from Isaiah 61:1. So the words are found in the LXX. translation for the Hebrew ולאסורים פקחקוח. Moreover פקח in the books of the Old Testament, denotes not every kind of opening whatever, but that of the ears once; besides, very frequently, the opening of the eyes. For this reason the seventy translators have referred it in this passage to the blind. However, Isaiah spake of such an opening of the eyes, as is vouchsafed, not to the blind, but to those set free from the darkness of a prison (see Isaiah 61:1), as the writer of the Chaldee paraphrase rightly saw. VI. ἀποστεῖλαι τεθραυσ΄ένους ἐν ἀφέσει, is taken from the preceding part, Isaiah 58:6, ἀπόστελλε τεθραυσ΄ένους ἐν ἀφέσει; whence the Israelitic ἄφεσις is made by accommodation to answer to the ἄφεσις, effected through the Messiah. The minister, of his own accord, handed to our Lord, in the synagogue, the book of Isaiah: it was therefore a portion from Isaiah which was the one usually read on that Sabbath. Isaiah 61:1-2, was not the Haphtara (or publicly read portion) at all: but there was a Haphtara, consisting of Isaiah 57:13 to Isaiah 58:14, and that too on the day of expiation, which in the Ord. Temp., page 254; Ed. ii., page 220, 221, and Harm. Ev., page 186, etc., we have shown, corresponded on that year (which was the twenty-eighth of the Dion. era.—Not. Crit.) with the Sabbath mentioned in Luke. From which it is evident, that an ordinary and an extraordinary lesson were joined together by the Lord in His reading, and by the Evangelist in writing the account of it. VII. As to the words καὶ ἡ΄έραν ἀνταποδόσεως. See App. Crit., Ed. ii. on this passage.(49) In this clause, THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD upon ME, contains a remarkable testimony to the Holy Trinity [the Spirit, the Father, and Jesus]. Jesus was full of the Spirit, Luke 4:1; Luke 4:14.— οὗ εἵνεκεν) The (50) in ἕνεκα passes into εἰ, not only poetically, but also Ionically and Attically.— πτωχοῖς, to the poor) In Israel, and subsequently among the Gentiles. Regard is had to them also in ch. Luke 6:20.— ἄφεσιν, remission [but Engl. Vers., deliverance]) The word is here employed with great propriety.(51)


Verse 20

Luke 4:20. ἀποδοὺς, having given it again) with due decorum.— ἐκάθισε, He sat down) Whilst teaching and applying the text which He had read. He had stood up, Luke 4:16.


Verse 21

Luke 4:21. ἤρξατο, He began) A solemn beginning. [Galilee was that region upon which Christ, the Great Light, arose in an extraordinary manner; Isaiah 9:2-3; Matthew 4:15; Luke 4:31. As Isaiah has in an altogether graphic manner described that place, so also the time in which the Light shone on this region with such brightness, has been indicated by the same Isaiah. Jesus sojourned in Galilee throughout the whole year (referring to “the acceptable year of the Lord”) without interruption; and it was during that time that the Jews applied the new name of Galileans to His disciples; John 7:52; Mark 14:70. This was a year most full of grace to that most wretched nation: accordingly, Matthew, Mark, and Luke have given a description of this year more at large, whilst John supplies the journey to Jerusalem, which gave a fresh opportunity to the Galileans, who likewise frequented the feasts, of deriving no small profit from the teaching of Jesus. In fine, John by using the formula, “Jesus went up to Jerusalem” (John 2:13), takes for granted the more frequent sojourning of the Saviour in Galilee. In this way the Gospel history being in exact accordance both with itself and with the Old Testament, shrinks from no testing that may be applied, however rigorous.—Harm., p. 188.— σήμερον, this day) The Saviour passed a full year in Galilee, reckoning from that day; comp. Luke 4:43 with Luke 4:44.—V. g.]


Verse 22

Luke 4:22. ἐθαύμάζον) θαυμάζω sometimes signifies, I praise, I express admiration in words.— τοῖς λόγοις, of the words) Luke wrote out, not an account of all the details, but a summary of the chief particulars.— τῆς χάριτος, of grace) The discourses of Christ have indeed a sweetness and a weighty impressiveness peculiar to them, and in respect to both of these qualities a certain kind of grace or becomingness, which is not to be found perceptible even in the apostles. For instance, it was not unbecoming in Paul to write in the way that he has written in 1 Corinthians 7:25, where see the notes; also in 2 Corinthians 12:13; Philemon 1:9. Moreover Christ, as is natural to expert, speaks both more weightily and more sweetly.— καὶ ἔλεγον, and they were saying) Wondering admiration is good: but such an emotion, where it is not accompanied by firm faith, is readily succeeded by perversity, so that the mental gaze degenerates from being of a spiritual to a carnal character; and often one sentence or remark flowing from this state of mind may be deserving of great censure.


Verse 23

Luke 4:23. πάντως, by all means) Jesus is not caught or attracted by every kind of assent to His word: but presently subjoins remarks of such a kind, as that the hearers may be tested and proved by them. So John 8:32, where see the note.— ἐρεῖτε, ye will say) that is to say, this feeling, whereby ye say, Is not this Joseph’s son? will wax strong with you, when ye shall hear concerning my miracles. Comp. Matthew 13:54-55.(52) This is a metonymy of the consequent [for the antecedent], i.e. your unbelief [the antecedent] which ye now betray will prevent me, so that I shall not exhibit many miracles among you, as among others: then it shall be that you will be able to say [the consequent], Physician, heal thyself.— παραβολὴν) משל, a proverb.— σεαυτὸν, thyself) that is to say, what you have made good (performed) abroad, make good (perform) also at home, and in your own country.— καπερναοὺ΄, Capernaum) the city to which Jesus was shortly about to set out, and where He was about to perform miracles, Luke 4:31; Luke 4:33, etc. Even previously He had been there: John 2:12. But we do not read of His having at that time either stayed long or wrought miracles. [Nevertheless He is recorded (John 4:47) as having healed the son of the nobleman (courtier) who was afflicted with sickness in Capernaum: and this occurrence seems to be referred to in this passage no less than in those deeds which He afterwards wrought: namely, in the same way as already in the age of David, Psalms 85:2 (Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of the people, Thou hast covered all their sins), the conclusion is drawn from the deliverance out of the Babylonish captivity to ulterior instances of grace reserved for more remote times. Moreover, when Jesus, already in this passage, predicts these things of the city of Capernaum, it is hereby intimated that the violent usage offered to our Lord by the people of Nazareth, was not the cause, and the only cause in particular, for Jesus having departed to Capernaum to take up His abode there.—Harm., p. 189.]


Verse 24

Luke 4:24. εἶπε δὲ, and He said moreover) This formula of the sacred writers, occurring in the writings of Moses, when he says, ודבר, and in the New Testament, frequently in Luke, indicates that an interval was allowed by the speaker to elapse: ch. Luke 6:39, Luke 12:16, Luke 13:20, Luke 15:11.— ἀμὴν, verily) Presently after occurs the parallel, ἐπʼ ἀληθείας, of a truth, Luke 4:25.— δεκτὸς, accepted) earnestly looked for, dear.— πατρίδι, country) In antithesis to Sidon, Luke 4:26, and the Syrian, Luke 4:27. It is on this account that the δὲ, but, is employed in verse 25. It is your own fault, saith the Lord to them, that the Physician pays less attention to you, than to those more remote.


Verse 25

Luke 4:25. λέγω ὑμῖν, I tell you) The Lord declares this testimony by the light of His omniscience: for Elijah and Elisha might have rendered aid to more widows and lepers, even though Holy Scripture did not record it [were it not that Jesus, by His omniscience, informs us here, that they did not do so].— ἐκλείσθη, was shut up) As in Bible history, so in all other histories the notice taken of public punishments inflicted by God, famine, etc., forms a considerable part.— ἐπὶ ἔτη τρία καὶ μῆνας ἕξ, for three years and six months) 1 Kings 17:1, etc., Luke 18:1.


Verse 26

Luke 4:26. ἡλίας, Elias) For which reason people like those of Nazareth might have brought the same objection against Elijah and Elisha, which they brought against Christ. But Elijah was not sent to those with whom he was not likely to be accepted. Therefore not even at Nazareth [though “His country”] shall the glory of the Messiah be needlessly thrown away.— τῆς σιδῶνος, Sidon) Oftentimes in the temples and schools much labour is bestowed without any fruit resulting among one’s hearers that are connected with us: whereas, to some one stranger some one sermon, letter, or little treatise, proves the instrument of salvation.— πρὸς γυναῖκα unto a woman) It was therefore the widow that received the benefit, when she was seeming to have been the giver to the prophet, rather than vice versâ.


Verse 27

Luke 4:27. πολλοὶ λεπροὶ, many lepers) For instance those, concerning whom 2 Kings 7:3, treats.— ἐπὶ) ἐπὶ denotes an epoch: so high is the account in which a prophet is held in the eyes of God [that his name marks an epoch].


Verse 28

Luke 4:28. θυμοῦ, with wrath) They had thought that the giving of a very different character to themselves, and a different return, namely thanks, were due to them for their applause. But by their own very act they prove the truth of Jesus’ words.


Verse 30

Luke 4:30. ἐπορεύετο, He went His way) unimpeded as before.


Verse 31

Luke 4:31. [ ἐν τοῖς σάββασι, on the Sabbath days) By this proceeding a beginning was made. Subsequently a multitude on other days also were collected together to Him in the open air.—V. g.]


Verse 33

Luke 4:33. πνεῦμα δαιμονίου ἀκαθάρτου, a spirit of an unclean demon) A peculiar phrase. The word Spirit denotes its operation or mode of working; demon, its nature. The Vulg. simply renders it, dæmonium immundum.(53)ἀνέκραζε, commenced to cry out) It does not seem to have become known to the people until now, that this man was one possessed.


Verse 34

Luke 4:34. ναζαρηνὲ, of Nazareth) Luke 4:16.— ἅγιος τοῦ θεοῦ, the Holy one of God) John 10:36.


Verse 35

Luke 4:35. [ φιμώθητι, Hold thy peace) Comp. Luke 4:41.—V. g.]— μηδὲν βλάψαν, having done him no hurt) The demon had wished to hurt the man.


Verse 36

Luke 4:36. λόγος, a word) דבר.— ἐν ἐξουσίᾳ, with authority) which cannot be contradicted.— καὶ δυνάμει, and power) which cannot be resisted.


Verse 37

Luke 4:37. ἦχος, the sound of His fame) the rumour passing from mouth to mouth.


Verse 38

Luke 4:38. ἀναστὰς δὲ ἐκ, and having arisen from) An abbreviated expression [for Having arisen from His seat and gone out of the synagogue].


Verse 39

Luke 4:39. ἐπάνω αὐτῆς, over her) His very closely approaching her showed that the disease gives place before the power of Jesus, and that no danger of infection from disease can threaten His body.


Verse 40

Luke 4:40. ἑνὶ ἐκάστῳ, on every one) Implying the great facility with which He performed His cures. Thus they were the more deeply moved to faith as individuals. [Jesus has the same care for individual souls. Hast thou experienced that care?—V. g.]


Verse 41

Luke 4:41. ἀπὸ πολλῶν, out of many) The power of the kingdom of darkness had come to its height, when Christ came to destroy it.—[ οὐκ εἴα, He did not permit) What an honour it is, if one be permitted to bear witness of the glory of Jesus Christ!—V. g.]— ὅτι) because.


Verse 42

Luke 4:42. ἕως, even to, [as far as to]) They did not give over seeking before that they found Him.


Verse 43

Luke 4:43. εὐαγγελίσασθαί με δεῖ, I must preach the Gospel) By these very words He whets the desires of men, and, under the appearance of a repulse, confirms them in faith.— εἰς τοῦτο, for this purpose) Here is Jesus’ ‘Creed.’ The reason for His many journeyings.


Verse 44

Luke 4:44. ταῖς συναγωγαῖς, the synagogues) all of them.

 


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

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