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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Luke 8



Verse 1

Afterward ( ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς )

Rev., soon afterward. See on Luke 7:11.

Throughout every city and village ( κατὰ πόλιν καὶ κώμην )

Lit.,by city and village. See on Luke 8:4.

Preaching ( κηρύσσων )

Or proclaiming, as a herald. Compare Luke 4:18, and see on 2 Peter 2:5.

And the twelve were with him

The were is supplied by the translators. Better, “hehimself went about,” etc., “and the twelve (went) with him;” or, as Rev., and with him the twelve.

Verse 3

Steward ( ἐπιτρόπου )

From ἐπιτρέπω , to turn toward; thence to turn over to, transfer, and so commit or intrust to. The word thus literally means, one to whom the management of affairs is turned over.


Verse 4

Out of every city ( κατὰ πολίν )

City by city.

Were come ( ἐπιπορευμένων )

The present participle denoting something in progress. They kept coming. Rev., resorted.

Verse 5

To sow

See on Matthew 13:3.

His seed

Peculiar to Luke.

By the way-side

See on Matthew 13:4.

Was trodden down

A rendering which would apply better to standing grain. Render, as Rev., trodden under foot. Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 6

The rock ( τὴν πέτραν )

Matthew has the rocky place, and Mark the rocky ground.

Sprung up ( φυὲν )

Lit., having sprung up. Rev., better, grew. Sprung up is Matthew's ὲξανέτειλεν . Only here and Hebrews 7:15, where it is a quotation from the Septuagint. See on Matthew 13:7.

Moisture ( ἱκμάδα )

Only here in New Testament. Matthew and Mark have depth of earth. The word is the medical expression for juices of the body, of plants, and of the earth. Aristophanes, metaphorically, the juice of thought (“Clouds,” 233). Hippocrates uses this and the preceding word together, comparing the juices of the body with those of the earth.

Verse 7

Among ( ἐν μέσῳ )

In the midst. Stronger than the simple ἐν , in, as giving more prominence to the danger.

Sprung up with it ( συμφυεῖσαι )

Only here in New Testament. See on Luke 8:6, and Matthew 13:7. The technical word among physicians for closing of wounds or ulcers, and the uniting of nerves or bones. Dioscorides uses it, as here, of plants growing in the same place: “The hellebore grows together with the vines.”

Choked ( ἀπέπνιξαν )

Lit., choked off. Matthew has the simple ἔπνιξαν , choked; and Mark συνέπνιξαν ; the σύν , together, emphasizing the idea of compression. Luke is very fond of compounds and sonorous words. See on Luke 23:51.

Verse 8

A hundred-fold.

Omitting the thirty and sixty of Matthew and Mark. See on Matthew 13:8.

Verse 10


See on Matthew 13:11.

Understand ( συνιῶσιν )

See on understanding, the kindred noun, Mark 12:33.

Verse 11

The parable is this

According to its interpretation.

Verse 13

For awhile believe

See on Matthew 13:21. Matthew and Mark have endureth, or endure for a while.

In time of temptation

Matthew and Mark have, when tribulation or persecution cometh.

Fall away

Lit., withdraw or stand aloof. Matthew and Mark have stumble.

Verse 14

Go forth ( πορευόμενοι )

The present participle. Much better Rev., “they that have heard, and as they go on their way are choked,” etc.

Choked with ( ὕπο , under)

Implying the impulse under which they pursue their course.

Bring (no fruit) to perfection ( τελεσφοροῦσιν )

Only here in New Testament. Matthew and Mark have, it becometh unfruitful. The verb literally means to bring to an end or accomplishment.

Verse 15

These are they which ( οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες )

Which denotes them as belonging to a class. Hence Rev., rightly, such as.

Honest and good heart

Peculiar to Luke. Honest; lit., fair, noble. Honest, not in the popular sense, but in the sense of the Latin honestus ; noble, virtuous, worthy.

Keep ( κατέχουσιν )

Much better Rev., hold it fast, giving the force of the compound verb.

With patience

Or in patience. Peculiar to Luke. In contrast with fall away, Luke 8:13.

Verse 16

Candle ( λύχνον )

Rev., properly, lamp. See on Mark 4:21.

Candlestick ( λυχνίας )

Correctly, as Rev.,a stand. See on Matthew 5:15.

Verse 17

Nothing is secret - manifest

Correctly rendered in A. V., but not so the parallel passage, Mark 4:22, on which see note.

Verse 18

How ye hear ( τῶς )

The manner of hearing. Mark has τί , what ye hear; the matter.

Seemeth ( δοκεῖ )

Peculiar to Luke. Rev. renders “thinketh he hath,” as James 1:26, on which see note. Wyc., guesseth; Tynd., supposeth.


Verse 22

Let us go over unto the other side of the lake

Wyc. has, pass we over the standing water. On lake, see on Luke 5:1.

Launched forth ( ἀνήχθησαν )

See on Luke 5:3. The verb literally means to lead up; hence to lead up to the high sea, or take to sea; put to sea. It is the word used of Jesus' being led up into the wilderness and the mount of temptation (Matthew 4:1; Luke 2:22); also of bringing up a sacrifice to an idol-altar (Acts 7:41). Often in Acts in the accounts of Paul's voyages.

Verse 23

He fell asleep ( ἀφύπνωσεν )

Very graphic. He fell off ( ἀπό ) into sleep.

Came down ( κατέβη )

More vivid than either Matthew or Mark, who have there arose. The word describes the action of the sudden storms which literally come down from the heights surrounding the lake. See on Matthew 8:24.

Storm ( λαιλαψ )

See Mark 4:37. Matthew has σεισμὸς , a shaking. See on Matthew 8:24.

They were filling with water ( συνεπληροῦντο )

Used by Luke only. Mark, as usual, goes into minuter detail, and describes how the waves beat into the boat. Note the imperfects: they were filling; they were beginning to be in danger, contrasted with the instantaneous descent of the storm expressed by the aorist came down.

Verse 24


See on Luke 5:5.


Compare the more detailed narrative of Mark 4:39, and see notes there. Wyc., blamed.

The raging ( κλύδωνι )

See on James 1:6.

Arose ( διεγερθεὶς )

Wrong. It is the word used just before, awoke. Lit., having been thoroughly awakened. Rev., correctly, he awoke. Luke is especially fond of compounds with διά .

A calm

Matthew and Mark have “a great calm.”

Verse 25

He commandeth

Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 26

They arrived ( κατέπλευσαν )

The verb means literally to sail down from the sea to the shore. Compare launched forth, Luke 8:22. Only here in New Testament. The two prepositions, up and down, are used in our nautical terms bear up and bear down. See Introduction, on Luke's variety of words for sailing. Matthew and Mark have came ( ἐλθόντος, ἦλθον )Gerasenes

The texts vary, some reading Gadarenes, as A. V., others Gergesenes.

Over against ( ἀντιπέρα )

Only here in New Testament.

Verse 27

There met him out of the city

The words out of the city belong rather with a certain man. So Rev.

Which had devils long time

The best texts insert καὶ , and, after devils (demons), and read “who had demons, and for a long time he had worn,” etc. Long ( ἱκανῷ )See on Luke 7:6.


See on Matthew 8:28. Compare Mark 5:4-6.

Verse 28

Fell down ( προσέπεσεν )

Mark has προσεκύνησεν , which often implies religious or superstitious feeling, as Matthew 4:9, Matthew 4:10. This is the prostration of abject terror.

Cried out ( ἀνακράξας )

The compound verb with ἀνά , up, implies what is conveyed by our phrase, lifting up the voice. See on Mark 5:5.

What have I to do with thee?

See on Mark 5:7.

Torment ( βασαμίσῃς )

See on Matthew 4:24. Luke never uses the word of sickness, as Matthew 8:6. See on Luke 4:41.

Verse 29

He had commanded ( παρήγγελλεν )

Imperfect tense. Rev. does not improve by reading he commanded. The imperfect expresses the simultaneousness of the exorcism and the cry torment me not. Better, for he was commanding. So the Am. Rev.

It had seized ( συνηρπάκει )

Used by Luke only. See Acts 6:12; Acts 27:15. The verb literally means to snatch and carry away with ( σύν )He was kept bound ( ἐδεσμεύετο φυλασσόμενος )

Lit., he was bound, being guarded. Rev., was kept under guard and bound. The A. V. does not sufficiently bring out the vigilance with which he was attended.

Chains and fetters

See on Mark 5:4.

Breaking ( διαρρήσσων )

Compare Mark 5:4, and see note there.

Was driven, etc

Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 30

Many devils were, etc

Compare Mark 5:9.

Verse 31

Command them

The plural, referring to the legion.

The deep ( ἄβυσσον )

Lit., the bottomless. Transcribed into ourabyss, as Rev. Mark has a quite different request, that he would not send them out of the country (Mark 5:10). In Romans 10:7, used of Hades, to which Christ descended; and in Revelation always of the bottomless pit. The demons refer to their place of abode and torment.

Verse 33

Ran violently ( ὥρμησεν )

Rev., more neatly, rushed. Only Mark gives the number of the swine, two thousand.

A steep place

See on Matthew 8:32.

Verse 36

He that was possessed with devils

Expressed in the Greek by two words, ὁ δαιμονισθείς , the demonized.

Was healed ( ἐσώθη )

See on Luke 6:19.

Verse 37

They were taken ( συνείχοντο )

See on Luke 4:38. The same word as of the fever.

Verse 38

Besought ( ἐδέετο )

Imperfect: was beseeching. See on prayers, Luke 5:33. Rev., prayed. Beseech is used to render παρακαλέω (Mark 5:10). See on consolation, Luke 6:24. Παρακαλέω , beseech, is used of prayer to God in only one instance, 2 Corinthians 12:8, where Paul besought the Lord to remove the thorn in the flesh. Frequently or requests to Christ while on earth. Δεομαι , to pray, often of prayer to God (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2; Acts 8:22). It is noticeable that in Luke 8:28, where the demons address Christ as the Son of the highest God, they say δέομαι , I pray. In Luke 8:31, Luke 8:32, where they ask not to be sent away, and to be allowed to enter into the swine, they say παρακαλέω , I beseech. The restored man, recognizing Jesus' divine power, prayed ( ἐδεῖτο ) to be with him. The distinction, however, must not be closely pressed. The two words seem to be often used interchangeably in the New Testament.

Verse 39

Shew ( διηγοῦ )

Rather relate, recount, with the idea of telling the story throughout ( διά ). See on declaration, Luke 1:1.

Throughout the whole city

Mark says in Decapolis.

How great things ( ὅσα )

Lit., how many things, and thus according with recount. Declared all things throughout, as many as Jesus had done.


Verse 41


The name of one of the Israelite chiefs, Jair, who conquered and settled Bashan (Numbers 32:41; Joshua 13:30). “His name lingered down to the time of the Christian era, when, in the same region as that which he conquered, we find a ruler of the synagogue named Jair” (Stanley, “Jewish Church”)i1.

Verse 42

Thronged ( συνέπνιγον )

With the idea of pressing together ( σύν ) upon him: stifling. The simple verb is that rendered choke, as in Luke 8:7, Luke 8:33.

Verse 43

Had spent ( προσαναλώσασα )

Only here in New Testament. Some texts omit who had spent all her living upon physicians. Luke, with professional sensitiveness, omits Mark's statement that she had suffered many things from many physicians, and was not bettered but made worse.

Verse 44


See on Matthew 9:20.

Stanched ( ἔστη )

A common medical term.

Verse 45

Who touched ( τίς ὁ ἁψαμενός )

Lit., who is he that touched? Rev., who is it that.

Throng and press ( συνέχουσιν - ἀποθλίβουσιν )

On the former word, see Luke 8:37, and Luke 4:38. Rev. renders the latter, which occurs here only, more literally, crush. It means to squeeze out, as wine from grapes. See on tribulation, Matthew 13:21.

Verse 46

Hath touched ( ἥψατο )- I perceive ( ἔγνων )

Rev. renders the two aorists strictly: did touch, and I perceived, with reference to Jesus' knowledge of the touch at the moment it was applied.

Virtue ( δύναμιν )

Rev., power. The evangelists use the word frequently of miracles - mighty works. It is used here in the sense of virtue, according to its use by naturalists and physicians. Still, too much stress must not be laid upon it as a mark of Luke's professional accuracy, as Dean Plumptre in “The Expositor,” iv., 139; since Mark uses it in his narrative of the same incident, and in the same sense (Mark 5:30).

Verse 47

Falling down

Not in worship, but in terror. See on fell down, Luke 5:8.

Verse 48

In peace

See on Luke 7:50.

Verse 49

From the ruler of the synagogue's house

A. V. and Rev. properly supply house, as the ruler himself is present with Jesus.


Placed first in the Greek order, for emphasis. “Dead is thy daughter.”


See on Matthew 9:36; and Mark 5:35. Tyndale renders dis-ease, in the old verbal sense of disturb.

Verse 52

Wept and bewailed

Both imperfects, were weeping and bewailing. So, rightly, Rev. Compare on bewailing, Mark 5:38.

Verse 54

Maid ( ἡ παῖς )

Instead of the unclassical κορασίον , damselof Matthew and Mark.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 8:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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Friday, October 23rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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