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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Luke 24



Verse 1

At early dawn (ορτρου βατεοςorthrou batheos). Genitive of time. Literally, at deep dawn. The adjective βατυςbathus (deep) was often used of time. This very idiom occurs in Aristophanes, Plato, et cetera. John 20:1 adds “while it was yet dark.” That is, when they started, for the sun was risen when they arrived (Mark 16:2).

Which they had prepared (α ητοιμασανha hētoimasan). Mark 16:1 notes that they bought other spices after the sabbath was over besides those which they already had (Luke 23:56).

Verse 2

Rolled away (αποκεκυλισμενονapokekulismenon). Perfect passive participle of αποκυλιωapokuliō late verb and in the N.T. only in this context (Mark 16:3; Matthew 28:2) while John 20:1 has ηρμενονērmenon (taken away).

Verse 3

Of the Lord Jesus (του κυριου Ιησουtou kuriou Iēsou). The Western family of documents does not have these words and Westcott and Hort bracket them as Western non-interpolations. There are numerous instances of this shorter Western text in this chapter. For a discussion of the subject see my Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, pp. 225-237. This precise combination (the Lord Jesus) is common in the Acts, but nowhere else in the Gospels.

Verse 4

While they were perplexed thereabout (εν τωι απορεισται αυτας περι τουτουen tōi aporeisthai autas peri toutou). Luke‘s common Hebraistic idiom, ενen with the articular infinitive (present passive απορεισταιaporeisthai from απορεωaporeō to lose one‘s way) and the accusative of general reference.

Two men (ανδρες δυοandres duo). Men, not women. Mark 16:5 speaks of a young man (νεανισκονneaniskon) while Matthew 28:5 has “an angel.” We need not try to reconcile these varying accounts which agree in the main thing. The angel looked like a man and some remembered two. In Luke 24:23 Cleopas and his companion call them “angels.”

Stood by (επεστησανepestēsan). Second aorist active indicative of επιστημιephistēmi This common verb usually means to step up suddenly, to burst upon one.

In dazzling apparel (εν εστητι αστραπτουσηιen esthēti astraptousēi). This is the correct text. This common simplex verb occurs only twice in the N.T., here and Luke 17:24 (the Transfiguration). It has the same root as αστραπηastrapē (lightning). The “men” had the garments of “angels.”

Verse 5

As they were affrighted (εμποβων γενομενων αυτωνemphobōn genomenōn autōn). Genitive absolute with second aorist middle of γινομαιginomai to become. Hence, when they became affrighted. They had utterly forgotten the prediction of Jesus that he would rise on the third day.

Verse 6

He is not here, but is risen (ουκ εστιν ωδε αλλα ηγερτηouk estin hōde τηι τριτηι ημεραι αναστηναιalla ēgerthē). Another Western non-interpolation according to Westcott and Hort. The words are genuine at any rate in Mark 16:6; Matthew 28:7.

The third day rise again (tēi tritēi hēmerāi anastēnai). See note on Luke 9:22; and the note on Luke 18:32, Luke 18:33 where Jesus plainly foretold this fact. And yet they had forgotten it, for it ran counter to all their ideas and hopes.

Verse 9

From the tomb (απο του μνημειουapo tou mnēmeiou). Some documents omit these words. This word for tomb is like our “memorial” from μιμνησκωmimnēskō to remind.

Told (απηγγειλανapēggeilan). It was a wonderful proclamation. Luke does not separate the story of Mary Magdalene from that of the other women as John does (John 20:2-18).

Verse 11

As idle talk (ως ληροςhōs lēros). Old word for nonsense, only here in the N.T. Medical writers used it for the wild talk of those in delirium or hysteria.

Disbelieved (απιστεωe4pistoun). Imperfect active of απιστοςapisteō old verb from apistos without confidence or faith in. They kept on distrusting the story of the women.


Verse 12

This entire verse is a Western non-interpolation. This incident is given in complete form in John 18:2-10 and most of the words in this verse are there also. It is of a piece with many items in this chapter about which it is not easy to reach a final conclusion.

Stooping and looking in (παρακυπσαςparakupsas). First aorist active participle of παρακυπτωparakuptō to stoop besides and peer into. Old verb used also in John 20:5, John 20:11; James 1:25; 1 Peter 1:12.

By themselves (μοναmona). Without the body.

To his home (προς αυτονpros hauton). Literally, “to himself.”

Verse 13

Were going (ησαν πορευομενοιēsan poreuomenoi). Periphrastic imperfect middle of πορευομαιporeuomai stadia (σταδιους εχηκονταstadious hexēkonta). About seven miles.

Verse 14

They communed (ωμιλουνhōmiloun). Imperfect active of ομιλεωhomileō old and common verb (from ομιλοςhomilos in company with). In the N.T. only here (and Luke 24:15) and Acts 20:11; Acts 24:26. Our word homiletics is derived from this word for preaching was at first largely conversational in style and not declamatory.

Verse 15

While they communed and questioned together (εν τωι ομιλειν αυτους και συνζητεινen tōi homilein autous kai sunzētein). Same idiom as in Luke 24:14, which see. Note συνζητεινsunzētein each questioned the other.

Jesus himself (αυτος Ιησουςautos Iēsous). In actual person.

Went with them (συνεπορευετο αυτοιςsuneporeueto autois). Imperfect middle, was going along with them.

Verse 16

Were holden that they should not know him (εκρατουντο του μη επιγνωναι αυτονekratounto tou mē epignōnai auton). Imperfect passive of κρατεωkrateō continued being held, with the ablative case of the articular infinitive, “from recognizing him,” from knowing him fully (επιγνωναιepi -επιγινωσκοgnōnai ingressive aorist of μηepiginōsko). The εκρατουντοmē is a redundant negative after the negative idea in ekratounto f0).

Verse 17

That you have with another (ους αντιβαλλετε προς αλληλουςhous antiballete pros allēlous). ΑντιβαλλωAnti -εστατησανballō is an old verb and means to throw in turn, back and forth like a ball, from one to another, a beautiful picture of conversation as a game of words. Only here in the N.T.

They stood still (ιστημιestathēsan). First aorist passive of σκυτρωποιhistēmi intransitive. They stopped.

Looking sad (σκυτροςskuthrōpoi). This is the correct text. It is an old adjective from οπςskuthros gloomy and ops countenance. Only here in the N.T.

Verse 18

Dost thou alone sojourn? (συ μονος παροικεισsu monos paroikeis̱). ΜονοςMonos is predicate adjective. “Hast thou been dwelling alone (all by thyself)?”

And not know? (και ουκ εγνωσkai ouk egnōs̱). Second aorist active indicative and difficult to put into English as the aorist often is. The verb παροικεωparoikeō means to dwell beside one, then as a stranger like παροικοιparoikoi (Ephesians 2:19). In Jerusalem everybody was talking about Jesus.

Verse 21

But we hoped (ημεις δε ηλπιζομενhēmeis de ēlpizomen). Imperfect active, we were hoping. Note emphasis in ημειςhēmeis (we).

Redeem (λυτρουσταιlutrousthai). From the bondage of Rome, no doubt.

Yea and beside all this (αλλα γε και συν πασιν τουτοιςalla ge kai sun pāsin toutois). Particles pile up to express their emotions.

Yea (αλλαalla here affirmative, as in Luke 24:22, not adversative) at least (γεge) also (καιkai) together with all these things (συν πασιν τουτοιςsun pāsin toutois). Like Pelion on Ossa with them in their perplexity.

Now the third day (τριτην ταυτην ημεραν αγειtritēn tautēn hēmeran agei). A difficult idiom for the English. “One is keeping this a third day.” And he is still dead and we are still without hope.

Verse 22

Amazed us (εχεστησαν ημαςexestēsan hēmas). First aorist active (transitive) indicative with accusative ημαςhēmas of εχιστημιexistēmi The second aorist active is intransitive.

Early (ορτριναιorthrinai). A poetic and late form for ορτριοςorthrios In the N.T. only here Luke 24:22. Predicate adjective agreeing with the women.

Verse 23

Had seen (εωρακεναιheōrakenai). Perfect active infinitive in indirect assertion after λεγουσαιlegousai Same construction for ζηινzēin after λεγουσινlegousin But all this was too indirect and uncertain (women and angels) for Cleopas and his companion.

Verse 25

Foolish men (ανοητοιanoētoi). Literally without sense (νουςnous), not understanding. Common word.

Slow of heart (βραδεις τηι καρδιαιbradeis tēi kardiāi). Slow in heart (locative case). Old word for one dull, slow to comprehend or to act.

All that (πασιν οιςpāsin hois). Relative attracted from the accusative αha to the case of the antecedent πασινpāsin (dative). They could only understand part of the prophecies, not all.

Verse 26

Behooved it not? (ουχι εδειouchi edei̱). Was it not necessary? The very things about the death of Jesus that disturbed them so were the strongest proof that he was the Messiah of the Old Testament.

Verse 27

Interpreted (διηρμηνευσενdiērmēneusen). First aorist active (constative aorist) indicative of διερμηνευωdiermēneuō (Margin has the imperfect διηρμηνευενdiērmēneuen), intensive compound (διαdia) of ερμηνευωhermēneuō the old verb to interpret from ερμηνευςhermēneus interpreter, and that from ερμηςHermēs the messenger of the gods as the people of Lystra took Paul to be (Acts 14:12). But what wonderful exegesis the two disciples were now hearing!

Concerning himself (περι εαυτονperi heauton). Jesus found himself in the Old Testament, a thing that some modern scholars do not seem able to do.

Verse 28

Made as though (προσεποιησατοprosepoiēsato). First aorist active middle (Some MSS. have προσεποιειτοprosepoieito imperfect) indicative of προσποιεωprospoieō old verb to conform oneself to, to pretend. Only here in the N.T. Of course he would have gone on if the disciples had not urged him to stay.

Verse 29

Constrained (παρεβιασαντοparebiasanto). Strong verb παραβιαζομαιparabiazomai to compel by use of force (Polybius and lxx). In the N.T. only here and Acts 16:15. It was here compulsion of courteous words.

Is far spent (κεκλικενkekliken). Perfect active indicative of κλινωklinō The day “has turned” toward setting.

Verse 30

When he had sat down (εν τωι κατακλιτηναι αυτονen tōi kataklithēnai auton). Luke‘s common idiom as in Luke 24:4, Luke 24:15. Note first aorist passive infinitive (on the reclining as to him).

Gave (επεδιδουepedidou). Imperfect, inchoative idea, began to give to them, in contrast with the preceding aorist (punctiliar) participles.

Verse 31

Were opened (διηνοιχτησανdiēnoichthēsan). Ingressive first aorist passive indicative of διανοιγωdianoigō (επεγνωσανepegnōsan). Effective first aorist active indicative fully recognized him. Same word in Luke 24:16.

Vanished (απαντος εγενετοaphantos egeneto). Became invisible or unmanifested. ΑπαντοςAphantos from αa privative and παινομαιphainomai to appear. Old word, only here in the N.T.

Verse 32

Was not our heart burning? (Ουχι η καρδια εμων καιομενη ηνOuchi hē kardia hemōn kaiomenē ēṉ). Periphrastic imperfect middle.

Spake (ελαλειelalei). Imperfect active, was speaking. This common verb λαλεωlaleō is onomatopoetic, to utter a sound, λαλαla -διηνοιγενla and was used of birds, children chattering, and then for conversation, for preaching, for any public speech.

Opened (diēnoigen). Imperfect active indicative of the same verb used of the eyes in Luke 24:31.

Verse 33

That very hour (αυτηι τηι ωραιautēi tēi hōrāi). Locative case and common Lukan idiom, at the hour itself. They could not wait.

Gathered (ητροισμενουςēthroismenous). Perfect passive participle of ατροιζωathroizō old verb from ατροοςathroos (copulative αa and τροοςthroos crowd). Only here in the N.T.

Verse 34

Saying (λεγονταςlegontas). Accusative present active participle agreeing with “the eleven and those with them” in Luke 24:33.

Indeed (οντωςontōs). Really, because “he has appeared to Simon” (ωπτη Σιμωνιōpthē Simōni). First aorist passive indicative of οραωhoraō This is the crucial evidence that turned the scales with the disciples and explains “indeed.” Paul also mentions it (1 Corinthians 15:5).

Verse 35

Rehearsed (εχηγουντοexēgounto). Imperfect middle indicative of εχηγεομαιexēgeomai verb to lead out, to rehearse. Our word exegesis comes from this verb. Their story was now confirmatory, not revolutionary. The women were right then after all.

Of them (αυτοιςautois). To them, dative case. They did not recognize Jesus in his exegesis, but did in the breaking of bread. One is reminded of that saying in the Logia of Jesus: “Raise the stone and there thou shalt find me, cleave the wood and there am I.”

Verse 36

He himself stood (αυτος εστηautos estē). He himself stepped and stood. Some documents do not have “Peace be unto you.”

Verse 37

Terrified (πτοητεντεςptoēthentes). First aorist passive participle of πτοεωptoeō old verb and in the N.T. only here and Luke 21:9 which see.

Affrighted (εμποβοι γενομενοιemphoboi genomenoi). Late adjective from ενen and ποβοςphobos (fear). Both these terms of fear are strong.

Supposed (εδοκουνedokoun). Imperfect active of δοκεωdokeō kept on thinking so.

Verse 38

Why are ye troubled? (τι τεταραγμενοι εστεti tetaragmenoi este̱). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of ταρασσωtarassō old verb, to agitate, to stir up, to get excited.

Verse 39

Myself (αυτοςautos). Jesus is patient with his proof. They were convinced before he came into the room, but that psychological shock had unnerved them all.

Handle (πσηλαπησατεpsēlaphēsate). This very word is used in 1 John 1:1 as proof of the actual human body of Jesus. It is an old verb for touching with the hand.

Flesh and bones (σαρκα και οστεαsarka kai ostea). At least this proves that he is not just a ghost and that Jesus had a real human body against the Docetic Gnostics who denied it. But clearly we are not to understand that our resurrection bodies will have “flesh and bones.” Jesus was in a transition state and had not yet been glorified. The mystery remains unsolved, but it was proof to the disciples of the identity of the Risen Christ with Jesus of Nazareth.


Verse 40

Another Western non-interpolation according to Westcott and Hort. It is genuine in John 20:20.

Verse 41

Disbelieved for joy (απιστουντων αυτων απο της χαραςapistountōn autōn apo tēs charas). Genitive absolute and a quite understandable attitude. They were slowly reconvinced, but it was after all too good to be true.

Anything to eat (βρωσιμονbrōsimon). Only here in the N.T., though an old word from βιβρωσκωbibrōskō to eat.

Verse 42

A piece of broiled fish (ιχτυος οπτου μεροςichthuos optou meros). ΟπτοςOptos is a verbal from οπταωoptaō to cook, to roast, to broil. Common word, but only here in the N.T. The best old documents omit “and a honeycomb” (και απο μελισσιου κηριουkai apo melissiou kēriou).

Verse 44

While I was yet with you (ετι ων συν υμινeti ōn sun humin). Literally, Being yet with you. The participle ωνōn takes the time of the principal verb.

Verse 45

Opened he their mind (διηνοιχεν αυτων τον νουνdiēnoixen autōn ton noun). The same verb as that in Luke 24:31, Luke 24:32 about the eyes and the Scriptures. Jesus had all these years been trying to open their minds that they might understand the Scriptures about the Messiah and now at last he makes one more effort in the light of the Cross and the Resurrection. They can now see better the will and way of God, but they will still need the power of the Holy Spirit before they will fully know the mind of Christ.

Verse 46

It is written (γεγραπταιgegraptai). Perfect passive indicative of γραπωgraphō to write, the usual phrase for quoting Scripture. Jesus now finds in the Old Testament his suffering, his resurrection, and the preaching of repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations. Note the infinitives πατειν αναστηναι κηρυχτηναιpathein anastēnai kēruchthēnai f0).

Verse 47

Beginning (αρχαμενοιarxamenoi). Aorist middle participle of αρχωarchō but the nominative plural with no syntactical connection (an anacoluthon).

Verse 49

Until ye be clothed (εως ου ενδυσηστεheōs hou endusēsthe). First aorist middle subjunctive of ενδυωenduō or ενδυνωendunō It is an old verb for putting on a garment. It is here the indirect middle, put on yourselves power from on high as a garment. They are to wait till this experience comes to them. This is “the promise of the Father.” It is an old metaphor in Homer, Aristophanes, Plutarch, and Paul uses it often.

Verse 50

Over against Bethany (εως προς ητανιανheōs pros Bēthanian). That is on Olivet. On this blessed spot near where he had delivered the great Eschatological Discourse he could see Bethany and Jerusalem.

Verse 51

He parted from them (διεστη απ αυτωνdiestē ap' autōn). Second aorist active (intransitive) indicative of διιστημιdiistēmi He stood apart (διαdia) and he was gone. Some manuscripts do not have the words “and was carried into heaven.” But we know that Jesus was taken up into heaven on a cloud (Acts 1:9).

Verse 52

Worshipped him (προσκυνησαντες αυτονproskunēsantes auton). Here again we have one of Westcott and Hort‘s Western non-interpolations that may be genuine or not.

With great joy (meta charas megale4s). Now that the Ascension has come they are no longer in despair. Joy becomes the note of victory as it is today. No other note can win victories for Christ. The bells rang in heaven to greet the return of Jesus there, but he set the carillon of joy to ringing on earth in human hearts in all lands and for all time.


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 24:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, October 28th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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