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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 11

 

 

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Introduction

Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:14.—Lk. now more than atones for his great omission (of Mark 6:45 to Mark 8:26) by a great insertion. This section is mainly peculiar to Lk. It describes incidents of the last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.


Verses 1-13

Luke 11:1-13. On Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13*, Matthew 7:7-11*).—Lk. assigns the Lord's Prayer to a separate occasion and gives two reasons for the disciples' request. For the first cf. Luke 3:21, Luke 9:21, etc., for the second, Luke 5:33. Rabbis were accustomed to frame special prayers; there are examples in the Talmud. Lk.'s form of the Lord's Prayer is shorter and more original than Mt.'s. The earliest reference to the use of the Prayer is in the Didaché, c. A.D. 100, where it is ordered to be said thrice daily. Note "Forgive us, because we have forgiven," etc.

Luke 11:5-8. (The Friend at Midnight) is peculiar to Lk. Cf. Luke 18:1-8.—importunity: lit., "shamelessness." Montefiore comments on the "simple and unphilosophic" nature of Jesus' conception of God, One like ourselves who answers an eager importunate cry for help.

Luke 11:9-13 like Luke 11:1-4 is in Mt.'s Sermon on the Mount.—In Luke 11:13 Syr. Sin. has, like Mt., "good things."—Holy Spirit may be less original, though some texts seem to have read "Thy spirit come" in Luke 11:2.


Verses 14-26

Luke 11:14-26. Jesus and Beelzebub.—Lk. had omitted Mark 3:22-30*, Mt. (Matthew 12:22-30; Matthew 12:43-45*) combined Mk and Q. Lk. here follows Q. He does not refer to Jerusalem scribes. Luke 11:16 is not directly taken up till Luke 11:29. It is curious that Lk. changes "spirit of God" (Mt.) into "finger of God." Luke 11:24-26 is better placed than in Mt.


Verse 27-28

Luke 11:27 f. Jesus and His Mother.—A variant of Luke 8:19-21*. The introduction of feminine sentiment is characteristic of Lk. Human relationship is not the highest claim; cf. Matthew 15:5 f.*


Verses 29-32

Luke 11:29-32. The Sign of Jonah (Matthew 12:38-42*).—Lk. omits the reference to the fish.


Verses 33-36

Luke 11:33-36. Sayings about Light.—With Luke 11:33; cf. Luke 8:16 (= Mark 4:21, Matthew 5:15). With Luke 11:34 f. cf. Matthew 6:22 f.* Luke 11:36 is tautologous and the true text is not certain.

Luke 11:35. The light that is in thee: the light of the soul, the organ of spiritual vision; if this be dark, great is the darkness. If it be clear, all the life is radiant.


Verses 37-54

Luke 11:37-54. Condemnation of Pharisees and Scribes.—Cf. (though the arrangement is different) Matthew 23*, where the Jerusalem setting is more suitable (perhaps Lk. wishes to make the Jerusalem discourses end with the apocalypse of Mark 13). It is strange that Jesus should offend His host, first by deed, then by word. The Pharisees emphasized outer cleanliness at the expense of inward, but on the other hand early Christian asceticism distorted the teaching and example of Jesus, and produced a crowd of unwashed saints.

Luke 11:38 reminds us of Mark 7:2.

Luke 11:39. of the cup and of the platter may be an insertion from Matthew 23:25.

Luke 11:40. Wellhausen, following Codex Rez, transposes "outside" and "inside": "Has not the man who has cleansed the inward cleansed the outward as well?" There is LXX evidence for "make" = "clean." Similarly in Luke 11:41, by a slight change in the Aramaic (which the Gr. translator has perhaps misread) Well-hausen gets the good sense, "Cleanse those things which are within," etc. As it stands the verse means" (Instead of washing the outside of the dishes) give the contents to the poor," and so avoid the real defilement of extortion (Luke 11:39).

Luke 11:42. Codex Bez omits "but these ought ye to have done," etc.; the words conflict with Jesus' rebuke in the context.

Luke 11:44. The change from Mt. may be due to Lk.'s desire to make the saying more intelligible to his Gentile readers.

Luke 11:45-54 forms a series of woes, nominally against the Scribes, though Luke 11:47-51 is against the Jews generally. One can understand the interruption in 45 ("reproachest," lit., "insultest").

Luke 11:46=Matthew 23:4, Luke 11:47 f.= Matthew 23:29 f., Luke 11:49-51=Matthew 23:34-36.

Luke 11:49. the Wisdom of God: there is no trace of any apocryphal book bearing this title, nor can we say (though Mt. and Lk. thought so) that Jesus is describing Himself by this title: He could not have said that He was sending forth "prophets and wise men and scribes" (so Mt.: Lk.'s "apostles" is a Christian accommodation). Wisdom is a favourite Hebrew figure to express the yearning of the Divine Spirit over Israel. The original saying spoke of God's dealings with His people: "Therefore the Wisdom of God (hath) said, ‘Behold,'" etc. On the questions involved in the parallel with Mt., and also the severance of Luke 13:34 f. from this context, see Harnack, Sayings, pp. 168ff., Streeter in Oxford Studies, p. 151ff., Bacon in Exp., Dec. Luke 19:15.

Luke 11:52=Matthew 23:13—key of knowledge, i.e. the knowledge of how to enter the Kingdom.

Luke 11:53 f. Lk. only.—to press upon Him vehemently: better "to follow Him up closely," or perhaps "to scheme and plot eagerly."—to provoke him, etc., lit. "to draw from His mouth," i.e. to cross-examine Him, to trip Him into some fatal utterance.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 11:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-11.html. 1919.

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