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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Luke 14



Verse 1

When he went (εν τωι ελτειν αυτονen tōi elthein auton). Luke‘s favourite temporal clause = “on the going as to him.”

That (καιkai). Another common Lukan idiom, καιοτιkai

=εγενετοhoti after αυτοιegeneto like Hebrew ησαν παρατηρουμενοιwav (αυτοιautoi). Emphatic.

Were watching (παραēsan paratēroumenoi). Periphrastic imperfect middle. Note force of autoi middle voice, and para -. They were themselves watching on the side (on the sly), watching insidiously, with evil intent as in Mark 3:2 (active).

Verse 2

Which had the dropsy (υδρωπικοςhudrōpikos). Late and medical word from υδωρhudōr (water), one who has internal water (υδρωπςhudrōps). Here only in the N.T. and only example of the disease healed by Jesus and recorded.

Verse 3

Answering (αποκριτειςapokritheis). First aorist passive participle without the passive meaning. Jesus answered the thoughts of those mentioned in Luke 13:1. Here “lawyers and Pharisees” are treated as one class with one article (τουςtous) whereas in Luke 7:30 they are treated as two classes with separate articles.

Or not (η ουē ou). The dilemma forestalled any question by them.

They held their peace (ησυχασανhēsuchasan). Ingressive aorist active of old verb ησυχαζωhēsuchazō They became silent, more so than before.

Verse 4

Took him (επιλαβομενοςepilabomenos). Second aorist middle participle of επιλαμβανωepilambanō an old verb, only in the middle in the N.T. It is not redundant use, “took and healed,” but “took hold of him and healed him.” Only instance in the N.T. of its use in a case of healing.

Let him go (απελυσενapelusen). Probably, dismissed from the company to get him away from these critics.

Verse 5

An ass or an ox (ονος η βουςonos ē bous). But Westcott and Hort υιος η βουςhuios ē bous (a son or an ox). The manuscripts are much divided between υιοςhuios (son) and ονοςonos (ass) which in the abbreviated uncials looked much alike (TC, OC) and were much alike. The sentence in the Greek reads literally thus: Whose ox or ass of you shall fall (πεσειταιpeseitai future middle of πιπτοpipto) into a well and he (the man) will not straightway draw him up (ανασπασειanaspasei future active of ανασπαωanaspaō) on the sabbath day? The very form of the question is a powerful argument and puts the lawyers and the Pharisees hopelessly on the defensive.

Verse 6

Could not answer again (ουκ ισχυσαν ανταποκριτηναιouk ischusan antapokrithēnai). Did not have strength to answer back or in turn (αντιanti -) as in Romans 9:20. They could not take up the argument and were helpless. They hated to admit that they cared more for an ox or ass or even a son than for this poor dropsical man.

Verse 7

A parable for those which were bidden (προς τους κεκλημενους παραβοληνpros tous keklēmenous parabolēn). Perfect passive participle of καλεωkaleō to call, to invite. This parable is for the guests who were there and who had been watching Jesus.

When he marked (επεχωνepechōn). Present active participle of επεχωepechō with τον νουνton noun understood, holding the mind upon them, old verb and common.

They chose out (εχελεγοντοexelegonto). Imperfect middle, were picking out for themselves.

The chief seats (τας πρωτοκλισιαςtas prōtoklisias). The first reclining places at the table. Jesus condemned the Pharisees later for this very thing (Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 20:46). On a couch holding three the middle place was the chief one. At banquets today the name of the guests are usually placed at the plates. The place next to the host on the right was then, as now, the post of honour.

Verse 8

Sit not down (μη κατακλιτηιςmē kataklithēis). First aorist (ingressive) passive subjunctive of κατακλινωkataklinō to recline. Old verb, but peculiar to Luke in the N.T. (Luke 7:36; Luke 9:14; Luke 14:8; Luke 24:30).

Be bidden (ηι κεκλημενοςēi keklēmenos). Periphrastic perfect passive subjunctive of καλεωkaleō after μη ποτεmē pote f0).

Verse 9

And say (και ερειkai erei). Changes to future indicative with μη ποτεmē pote as in Luke 12:58.

Shalt begin with shame (αρχηι μετα αισχυνηςarxēi meta aischunēs). The moment of embarrassment.

To take the lowest place (τον εσχατον τοπον κατεχεινton eschaton topon katechein). To hold down the lowest place, all the intermediate ones being taken.

Verse 10

Sit down (αναπεσεanapese). Second aorist active imperative of αναπιπτωanapiptō to fall up or back, to lie back or down. Late Greek word for ανακλινωanaklinō (cf. κατακλινωkataklinō in Luke 14:8).

He that hath bidden thee (ο κεκληκως σεho keklēkōs se). Perfect active participle as in Luke 14:12 (τωι κεκληκοτιtōi keklēkoti) with which compare ο καλεσαςho kalesas in Luke 14:9 (first aorist active participle).

He may say (ερειerei). The future indicative with ιναhina does occur in the Koiné (papyri) and so in the N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 984).

Go up higher (προσαναβητιprosanabēthi). Second aorist active imperative second singular of προσαναβαινωprosanabainō an old double compound verb, but here only in the N.T. Probably, “Come up higher,” because the call comes from the host and because of προςpros f0).

Verse 11

Shall be humbled (ταπεινωτησεταιtapeinōthēsetai). First future passive. One of the repeated sayings of Jesus (Luke 18:14; Matthew 23:12).

Verse 12

A dinner or a supper (αριστον η δειπνονariston ē deipnon). More exactly, a breakfast or a dinner with distinction between them as already shown. This is a parable for the host as one had just been given for the guests, though Luke does not term this a parable.

Call not (μη πωνειmē phōnei). ΜηMē and the present imperative active, prohibiting the habit of inviting only friends. It is the exclusive invitation of such guests that Jesus condemns. There is a striking parallel to this in Plato‘s Phaedrus 233.

Recompense (ανταποδομαantapodoma). In the form of a return invitation. Like αντιanti in “bid thee again” (αντικαλεσωσινantikalesōsin).

Verse 13

When thou makest a feast (οταν δοχην ποιηιςhotan dochēn poiēis). οτανHotan and the present subjunctive in an indefinite temporal clause. ΔοχηDochē means reception as in Luke 5:29, late word, only in these two passages in the N.T. Note absence of article with these adjectives in the Greek (poor people, maimed folks, lame people, blind people).

Verse 14

To recompense thee (ανταποδουναι σοιantapodounai soi). Second aorist active infinitive of this old and common double compound verb, to give back in return. The reward will come at the resurrection if not before and thou shalt be happy.

Verse 15

Blessed (μακαριοςmakarios). Happy, same word in the Beatitudes of Jesus (Matthew 5:3). This pious platitude whether due to ignorance or hypocrisy was called forth by Christ‘s words about the resurrection. It was a common figure among the rabbis, the use of a banquet for the bliss of heaven. This man may mean that this is a prerogative of the Pharisees. He assumed complacently that he will be among the number of the blest. Jesus himself uses this same figure of the spiritual banquet for heavenly bliss (Luke 22:29).

Shall eat (παγεταιphagetai). Future middle from εστιωesthiō defective verb, from stem of the aorist (επαγονephagon) like εδομαιedomai of the old Greek.

Verse 16

Made (εποιειepoiei). Imperfect active, was on the point of making (inchoative).

Great supper (δειπνονdeipnon). Or dinner, a formal feast. Jesus takes up the conventional remark of the guest and by this parable shows that such an attitude was no guarantee of godliness (Bruce). This parable of the marriage of the King‘s son (Luke 14:15-24) has many points of likeness to the parable of the wedding garment (Matthew 22:1-14) and as many differences also. The occasions are very different, that in Matthew grows out of the attempt to arrest Jesus while this one is due to the pious comment of a guest at the feast and the wording is also quite different. Hence we conclude that they are distinct parables.

And he bade many (και εκαλεσεν πολλουςkai ekalesen pollous). Aorist active, a distinct and definite act following the imperfect εποιειepoiei f0).

Verse 17

His servant (τον δουλον αυτουton doulon autou). His bondservant. Vocator or Summoner (Esther 5:8; Esther 6:14). This second summons was the custom then as now with wealthy Arabs. Tristram (Eastern Customs, p. 82) says: “To refuse the second summons would be an insult, which is equivalent among the Arab tribes to a declaration of war.”

Verse 18

With one consent (απο μιαςapo mias). Some feminine substantive like γνωμηςgnōmēs or πσυχηςpsuchēs has to be supplied. This precise idiom occurs nowhere else. It looked like a conspiracy for each one in his turn did the same thing.

To make excuse (παραιτεισταιparaiteisthai). This common Greek verb is used in various ways, to ask something from one (Mark 15:6), to deprecate or ask to avert (Hebrews 12:19), to refuse or decline (Acts 25:11), to shun or to avoid (2 Timothy 2:23), to beg pardon or to make excuses for not doing or to beg (Luke 14:18). All these ideas are variations of αιτεωaiteō to ask in the middle voice with παραpara in composition.

The first (ο πρωτοςho prōtos). In order of time. There are three of the “many” (“all”), whose excuses are given, each more flimsy than the other.

I must needs (εχω αναγκηνechō anagkēn). I have necessity. The land would still be there, a strange “necessity.”

Have me excused (εχε με παρηιτημενονeche me parēitēmenon). An unusual idiom somewhat like the English perfect with the auxiliary “have” and the modern Greek idiom with εχωechō but certainly not here a Greek periphrasis for παρηιτησοparēitēso This perfect passive participle is predicate and agrees with μεme See a like idiom in Mark 3:1; Luke 12:19 (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 902f.). The Latin had a similar idiom, habe me excusatum. Same language in Luke 14:19.

Verse 19

To prove them (δοκιμασαι αυταdokimasai auta). He could have tested them before buying. The oxen would not run away or be stolen.

Verse 20

I cannot come (ου δυναμαι ελτεινou dunamai elthein). Less polite than the others but a more plausible pretence if he wanted to make it so. The law excused a newly married man from war (Deuteronomy 24:5), “but not from social courtesy” (Ragg). The new wife would probably have been glad to go with him to the feast if asked. But see 1 Corinthians 7:33. There is here as often a sharp difference between the excuses offered and the reasons behind them.

Verse 21

Being angry (οργιστειςorgistheis). First aorist (ingressive) passive, becoming angry.

Quickly (ταχεωςtacheōs). The dinner is ready and no time is to be lost. The invitation goes still to those in the city.

Streets and lanes (τας πλατειας και ρυμαςtas plateias kai rhumas). Broadways and runways (broad streets and narrow lanes).

Maimed (αναπειρουςanapeirous). So Westcott and Hort for the old word αναπηρουςanapērous due to itacism (ειηei

=ανα in pronunciation). The word is compounded of πηροςana and pēros lame all the way up.

Verse 22

And yet there is room (και ετι τοπος εστινkai eti topos estin). The Master had invited “many” (Luke 14:16) who had all declined. The servant knew the Master wished the places to be filled.

Verse 23

The highways and hedges (τας οδους και πραγμουςtas hodous kai phragmous). The public roads outside the city of Judaism just as the streets and lanes were inside the city. The heathen are to be invited this time.

Hedges is fenced in places from πρασσωphrassō to fence in (Romans 3:19).

Compel (αναγκασονanagkason). First aorist active imperative of αναγκαζωanagkazō from αναγκηanagkē (Luke 14:18). By persuasion of course. There is no thought of compulsory salvation. “Not to use force, but to constrain them against the reluctance which such poor creatures would feel at accepting the invitation of a great lord” (Vincent). As examples of such “constraint” in this verb, see note on Matthew 14:22; Acts 26:11; Galatians 6:12.

That my house may be filled (ινα γεμιστηι μου ο οικοςhina gemisthēi mou ho oikos). First aorist passive subjunctive of γεμιζωgemizō to fill full, old verb from γεμωgemō to be full. Effective aorist. Subjunctive with ιναhina in final clause. The Gentiles are to take the place that the Jews might have had (Romans 11:25). Bengel says: Nec natura nec gratia patitur vacuum.

Verse 24

My supper (μου του δειπνουmou tou deipnou). Here it is still the Master of the feast who is summing up his reasons for his conduct. We do not have to say that Jesus shuts the door now in the face of the Jews who may turn to him.

Verse 25

And he turned (και στραπειςkai strapheis). Second aorist passive participle of στρεπωstrephō common verb. It is a dramatic act on the part of Jesus, a deliberate effort to check the wild and unthinking enthusiasm of the crowds who followed just to be following. Note “many multitudes” (οχλοι πολλοιochloi polloi) and the imperfect tense συνεπορευοντοsuneporeuonto were going along with him.

Verse 26

Hateth not (ου μισειou misei). An old and very strong verb μισεωmiseō to hate, detest. The orientals use strong language where cooler spirits would speak of preference or indifference. But even so Jesus does not here mean that one must hate his father or mother of necessity or as such, for Matthew 15:4 proves the opposite. It is only where the element of choice comes in (cf. Matthew 6:24) as it sometimes does, when father or mother opposes Christ. Then one must not hesitate. The language here is more sharply put than in Matthew 10:37. The ουou here coalesces with the verb μισειmisei in this conditional clause of the first class determined as fulfilled. It is the language of exaggerated contrast, it is true, but it must not be watered down till the point is gone. In mentioning “and wife” Jesus has really made a comment on the excuse given in Luke 14:20 (I married a wife and so I am not able to come).

And his own life also (ετι τε και την πσυχην εαυτουeti te kai tēn psuchēn heautou). Note τε καιte kai both - and. “The τεte (B L) binds all the particulars into one bundle of renuncianda ” (Bruce). Note this same triple group of conjunctions (ετι τε καιeti te kai) in Acts 21:28, “And moreover also,” “even going as far as his own life.” Martyrdom should be an ever-present possibility to the Christian, not to be courted, but not to be shunned. Love for Christ takes precedence “over even the elemental instinct of self-preservation” (Ragg).

Verse 27

His own cross (τον σταυρον εαυτοton stauron heautoū). This familiar figure we have had already (Luke 9:23; Mark 8:34; Matthew 10:38; Matthew 16:24). Each follower has a cross which he must bear as Jesus did his. ασταζωBastazō is used of cross bearing in the N.T. only here (figuratively) and John 19:17 literally of Jesus. Crucifixion was common enough in Palestine since the days of Antiochus Epiphanes and Alexander Jannaeus.

Verse 28

Build a tower (πυργον οικοδομησαιpurgon oikodomēsai). A common metaphor, either a tower in the city wall like that by the Pool of Siloam (Luke 13:4) or a watchtower in a vineyard (Matthew 21:33) or a tower-shaped building for refuge or ornament as here. This parable of the rash builder has the lesson of counting the cost.

Sit down (κατισαςkathisas). Attitude of deliberation.

First (πρωτονprōton). First things first. So in Luke 14:31.

Count (πσηπιζειpsēphizei). Common verb in late writers, but only here and Revelation 13:18 in the N.T. The verb is from πσηποςpsēphos a stone, which was used in voting and so counting. Calculate is from the Latin calculus, a pebble. To vote was to cast a pebble (τιτημι πσηπονtithēmi psēphon). Luke has Paul using “deposit a pebble” for casting his vote (Acts 26:10).

The cost (την δαπανηνtēn dapanēn). Old and common word, but here only in the N.T. from δαπτωdaptō to tear, consume, devour. Expense is something which eats up one‘s resources.

Whether he hath wherewith to complete it (ει εχει εις απαρτισμονei echei eis apartismon). If he has anything for completion of it. ΑπαρτισμονApartismon is a rare and late word (in the papyri and only here in the N.T.). It is from απαρτιζωapartizō to finish off (απap - and αρτιζωartizō like our articulate), to make even or square. Cf. εχηρτισμενοςexērtismenos in 2 Timothy 3:17.

Verse 29

Lest haply (ινα μηποτεhina mēpote). Double final particles (positive and negative with addition of ποτεpote). Used here with aorist middle subjunctive in αρχωνταιarxōntai (begin).

When he hath laid … and was not able (τεντος αυτου και μη ισχυοντοςthentos autouεκτελεσαιkai mē ischuontos) to finish (εκektelesai). First aorist active infinitive. Note perfective use of τεντοςek to finish out to the end. Two genitive absolutes, first, second aorist active participle ισχυοντοςthentos second, present active participle αυτωι εμπαιζεινischuontos mock him (εμπαιζωautōi empaizein). An old verb, παιςem -paizō to play like a child (pais), at or with, to mock, scoff at, to trifle with like Latin illudere.

Verse 30

This man (ουτος ο αντρωποςhoutos ho anthrōpos). This fellow, contemptuous or sarcastic use of ουτοςhoutos f0).

Verse 31

To encounter (συνβαλεινsunbalein). Second aorist active infinitive of συνβαλλωsunballō old and common verb, to throw or bring together, to dispute, to clash in war as here.

Another king (ετερωι βασιλειheterōi basilei), to grapple with another king in war or for war (εις πολεμονeis polemon). Associative instrumental case.

Take counsel (βουλευσεταιbouleusetai). Future middle indicative of old and common verb βουλευωbouleuō from βουληboulē will, counsel. The middle means to take counsel with oneself, to deliberate, to ponder.

With ten thousand (εν δεκα χιλιασινen deka chiliasin). Literally, in ten thousand. See this so-called instrumental use of ενen in Judges 1:14. Equipped in or with ten thousand. See note on Luke 1:17. Note μετα εικοσι χιλιαδωνmeta eikosi chiliadōn just below (midst of twenty thousand).

To meet (υπαντησαιhupantēsai). Common verb (like απανταωapantaō) from ανταωantaō (ανταanta end, face to face, from which αντιanti) with preposition υποhupo (or αποapo), to go to meet. Here it has a military meaning.

Verse 32

Or else (ει δε μηγεei de mēge). Same idiom in Luke 5:36. Luke is fond of this formula.

An ambassage (πρεσβειανpresbeian). Old and common word for the office of ambassador, composed of old men (πρεσβειςpresbeis) like Japanese Elder Statesmen who are supposed to possess wisdom. In the N.T. only here and Luke 19:14.

Asketh conditions of peace (ερωται προς ειρηνηνerōtāi pros eirēnēn). The use of ερωταωerōtaō in this sense of beg or petition is common in the papyri and Koiné generally. The original use of asking a question survives also. The text is uncertain concerning προς ειρηνηνpros eirēnēn which means with ερωταωerōtaō to ask negotiations for peace. In B we have ειςeis instead of προςpros like Luke 14:28. Most MSS. have ταta before προςpros or ειςeis but not in Aleph and B. It is possible that the ταta was omitted because of preceding ταιtai (ομοεοτελευτονhomoeoteleuton), but the sense is the same. See note on Romans 14:19 τα της ειρηνηςta tēs eirēnēs the things of peace, which concern or look towards peace, the preliminaries of peace.

Verse 33

Renounceth not (ουκ αποτασσεταιouk apotassetai). Old Greek word to set apart as in a military camp, then in the middle voice to separate oneself from, say good-bye to (Luke 9:61), to renounce, forsake, as here.

All that he hath (πασιν τοις εαυτου υπαρχουσινpasin tois heautou huparchousin). Dative case, says good-bye to all his property, “all his own belongings” (neuter plural participle used as substantive) as named in Luke 14:26. This verse gives the principle in the two parables of the rash builder and of the rash king. The minor details do not matter. The spirit of self-sacrifice is the point.

Verse 35

Dunghill (κοπριανkoprian). Later word in the Koiné vernacular. Here only in the N.T., though in the lxx.

Men cast it out (εχω βαλλουσιν αυτοexō ballousin auto). Impersonal plural. This saying about salt is another of Christ‘s repeated sayings (Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50). Another repeated saying is the one here about having ears to hear (Luke 8:8; Luke 14:35, Matthew 11:15; Matthew 13:43).


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 14:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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