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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies
Luke 9



Verse 1

Called together

Matthew and Mark have called to.

Verse 3

Take ( αἴρετε )

Lit., lift, with a view of carrying away.


Following the reading ῥάβδους , for which read ῥάβδον staff.

Two coats ( ἀνά δύο χιτῶνας )

Lit., two apiece: the force of ἀνά , as in John 2:6.

Verse 4

There abide

See on Matthew 10:10.

Verse 5

Shake off

See on Matthew 10:14.

Verse 6

Throughout the towns ( κατὰ τὰς κώμας )

Rev., rightly, villages. The preposition is distributive, village by village.


Verse 7

The tetrarch

See on Matthew 14:1.

That was done ( τὰ γινόμενα )

The present participle. Lit., all that is being done.

Was perplexed ( διηπόρει )

Used by Luke only. From διά , through, and ὰπορέω , to be without a way out. The radical idea of the compound verb seems to be of one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out. Hence, to be in perplexity.

Verse 9

He desired ( ἐζήτει )

Rev., he sought. He did more than desire.


Verse 10

Declared ( διηγήσαντο )

Related everything throughout ( διά ). See on Luke 8:39; and Luke 1:1.


Peculiar to Luke. It means Fishing-place.

Healed ( ἰᾶτο ) them that had need of healing ( θεραπείας )

See on Luke 5:15.


Verse 12

And when the day began to wear away

Omit when. Render, and the day began, etc. To wear away ( κλίνειν )Lit., to decline. Wyc., very literally, to bow down.

Lodge ( καταλύσωσιν )

Peculiar to Luke. Primarily the verb means to break up or dissolve. Hence often in New Testament to destroy (Matthew 5:17; Mark 13:2). Intransitively, to take up one's quarters; lodge; either because the harness of the travellers' horses is loosed, or because the fastenings of their garments are untied. The kindred word κατάλυμα , a guest-chamber, occurs, Mark 14:14; or inn, Luke 2:7.

Victuals ( ἐπισιτισμόν )

Only here in New Testament. Properly a stock of provisions. Thus Xenophon. “Cyrus hastened the whole journey, except when he halted in order to furnish himself with supplies ( ἐπισιτισμοῦ ἕνεκα )Desert ( ἔρημῳ )

See on Matthew 14:15.

Verse 13

Give ye

The ye emphatic, closing the sentence in the Greek order. See on Matthew 14:15.

Buy food

Compare Mark 6:37.

Verse 14

In a company ( κλισίας )

The plural, in companies. Lit., table-companies. The word is also used in classical Greek of a couch for reclining at table. Only here in New Testament. See on Mark 6:39.

Verse 16

Brake and gave ( κατέκλασεν - ἐδίδου )

Note the two tenses, as in Mark 6:41, and see note there.

To set before ( παραθεῖναι )

Lit., to set beside, since the table was at the side of the guest. A common word for serving up a meal. Compare Luke 10:8; Acts 16:34. From the sense of placing beside, comes that of putting in charge, committing (Luke 12:48; Luke 23:46; 1 Timothy 1:18). Hence the kindred noun παραθήκη (2 Timothy 1:12), a deposit: that which f halve committed.

Verse 17

Were filled

See on Matthew 5:6.

There were taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets ( καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα )

The Rev. is more accurate, putting the comma after αὐτοῖς to them, instead of after κλασμάτων , fragments; and making the latter word depend on κόφινοι , baskets. Render, therefore, And there was taken up that which remained over to them, of broken pieces, twelve baskets.


See on Matthew 14:20.


Verse 18

As he was praying

Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 20


Emphatic: “but ye, whom do ye say that I am?”

The Christ of God

Each evangelist gives Peter's confession differently. Matthew, The Christ, the Son of the living God. Mark, The Christ. See on Matthew 16:15. On Christ, see on Matthew 1:1.

Verse 21

He straitly charged ( ἐπιτιμήσας )

The word implies an emphatic, solemn charge; its meaning being, strictly, to lay a penalty upon one, and thence, to charge under penalty.

No man ( μηδενὶ )

The conditional negative: no man, whoever he might be.


Verse 22

Be rejected ( ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι )

The verb means to reject on scrutiny or trial, and therefore implies deliberate rejection.

Of the elders ( ἀπό )

Lit., from the side of; on the part of.

Verse 23

Will come after ( θέλει )

Not the future tense of the verb come, but the present of the verb to will: wills to come. See on Matthew 1:19; and Mark 8:34. Rev., properly, would come.


Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 24

Will save ( θέλῃ σῶσαι )

The same construction as will come after (Luke 9:23). Rev., would save.

Life ( ψυχὴν )

See on soul, Mark 12:30.

Verse 25

Gain ( κερδήσας )

A merchant's word. Jesus is putting the case as a common-sense question of profit and loss.

Lose ( ἀπολέσας )

“When he might have been saved” (Bengel). This word, in classical Greek, is used: 1. Of death in battle or elsewhere. 2. Of laying waste, as a city or heritage. 3. Of losing of life, property, or other objects. As an active verb, to kill or demolish. 4. Of being demoralized, morally abandoned or ruined, as children under bad influences. In New Testament of killing (Matthew 2:13; Matthew 12:14). 5. Of destroying and perishing, not only of human life, but of material and intellectual things (1 Corinthians 1:19; John 6:27; Mark 2:22; 1 Peter 1:7; James 1:11; Hebrews 1:11). 6. Of losing (Matthew 10:6, Matthew 10:42; Luke 15:4, Luke 15:6, Luke 15:8). Of moral abandonment (Luke 15:24, Luke 15:32). 7. Of the doom of the impenitent (Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:3; John 3:15; John 10:28; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 2:12.

Cast away ( ζημιωθείς )

Another business term. The word means to fine, amerce, mulct; to punish by exacting forfeit. Hence Rev., correctly,forfeit his own self. See on win your souls, Luke 21:19. Also on Matthew 16:26.

Verse 26

Shall be ashamed ( ἐπαισχυνθῇ )

The feeling expressed by this word has reference to incurring dishonor or shame in the eyes of men. It is “the grief a mail conceives from his own imperfections considered with relation to the world taking notice of them; grief upon the sense of disesteem” (“South,” cit. by Trench). Hence it does not spring out of a reverence for right in itself, but from fear of the knowledge and opinion of men. Thus in the use of the kindred noun αἰσχύνη , shame, in the New Testament. In Luke 14:9, the man who impudently puts himself in the highest place at the feast, and is bidden by his host to go lower down, begins with shame to take the lowest place; not from a right sense of his folly and conceit, but from being humiliated in the eyes of the guests. Thus, Hebrews 12:2, Christ is said to have “endured the shame,i.e., the public disgrace attaching to crucifixion. So, too, in the use of the verb, Romans 1:16: “I am not ashamed of the gospel,” though espousing its cause subjects me to the contempt of the Jew and of the Greek, to whom it is a stumbling-block and foolishness. Onesiphorus was not ashamed to be known as the friend of a prisoner (2 Timothy 1:16). Compare Hebrews 2:11; Hebrews 11:16. It is used of the Son of Man here by a strong metaphor. Literally, of course, the glorified Christ cannot experience the sense of shame, but the idea at the root is the same. It will be as if he should feel himself disgraced before the Father and the holy angels in owning any fellowship with those who have been ashamed of him.

His glory, etc

Threefold glory. His own, as the exalted Messiah; the glory of God, who owns him as his dearly beloved son, and commits to him the judgment; and the glory of the angels who attend him.

Verse 27

Taste of death

The word taste, in the sense of experience, is often used in classical Greek; as, to taste of toils, of sorrow, of freedom, but never of death. The phrase, taste of death, is common in Rabbinical writings. In the New Testament only here and Hebrews 2:9, used of Christ. Chrysostom (cited by Alford) compares Christ to a physician who first tastes his medicines to encourage the sick to take them.

The kingdom of God

See on Luke 6:20.


Verse 28

A mountain

Rev., the mountain. The tradition that this mountain was Tabor is generally abandoned, and Mount Hermon is commonly supposed to have been the scene of the transfiguration. “Hermon, which is indeed the centre of all the Promised Land, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt; the mount of fruitfulness, from which the springs of Jordan descended to the valleys of Israel. Along its mighty forest-avenues, until the grass grew fair with the mountain lilies, his feet dashed in the dew of Hermon, he must have gone to pray his first recorded prayer about death, and from the steep of it, before he knelt, could see to the south all the dwelling-place of the people that had sat in darkness, and seen the great light - the land of Zabulon and of Naphtali, Galilee of the nations; could see, even with his human sight, the gleam of that lake by Capernaum and Chorazin, and many a place loved by him and vainly ministered to, whose house was now left unto them desolate; and, chief of all, far in the utmost blue, the hills above Nazareth, sloping down to his old home: hills on which the stones yet lay loose that had been taken up to cast at him, when he left them forever” (Ruskin, “Modern Painters,” iv., 374).

To pray

Peculiar to Luke.

Verse 29

Was altered ( ἐγένετο ἕτερον )

Lit., became different. Luke avoids Matthew's word, μεταμορφώθη , was metamorphosed. He was writing for Greek readers, to whom that word represented the transformations of heathen deities into other forms. See, for instance, the story of the capture of Proteus by Menelaus, in the fourth book of Homer's “Odyssey.” See on Matthew 17:2.

White ( λευκὸς )

In classical Greek very indefinite as an expression of color; being used, not only of the whiteness of the snow, but of gray dust. Its original sense is clear. All three evangelists use the word, but combined with different terms. Thus, Matthew, as the light. Mark, στίλβοντα , glistering (see on Mark 9:3). Luke, ἐξαστράπτων (only here in New Testament), flashing as with the brilliance of lightning. Rev., dazzling.

Verse 30

There talked ( συνελάλουν )

The imperfect is graphic; as the vision revealed itself, the two were in the act of talking.

Verse 31

This verse is peculiar to Luke.

Spake ( ἔλεγον )

Imperfect, were speaking.

Decease ( ἔξοδον )

The Rev. retains the word of the A. V., though it has, to modern ears, a somewhat formal sound. No word, however, could more accurately represent the original, which is compounded of ἐξ , out of, and ὁδός , a journeying; and thus corresponds to the Latin decessus, a going away, whence the word decease. The Greek word is familiar to us as exodus, applied principally to the migration of the Hebrews from Egypt, and thus used at Hebrews 11:22, departing. In the mouth of Christ it covers the ideas both of death and ascension. Peter uses it of his own death (2 Peter 1:15, where see note).

He should accomplish ( ἔμελλεν πληροῦν )

Better, as Rev., was about to accomplish. “Accomplish,” or “fulfilis very significant with reference to Christ's death. Moses and Joshua had begun an exodus from Egypt, but had not accomplished the going out of God's people from this present world. See Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 4:8.

Verse 32

Heavy ( βεβαρημένοι )

The perfect participle. Lit., burdened or oppressed. “It was but natural for these men of simple habits, at night, and after the long ascent, and in the strong mountain air, to be heavy with sleep; and we also know it as a psychological fact, that, in quick reaction, after the overpowering influence of the strongest emotions, drowsiness would creep over their limbs and senses” (Edersheim).

Verse 33

As they were departing ( ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι ἀυτοὺς )

Lit., in their departing. The verb only here in New Testament. The whole sentence is peculiar to Luke's narrative.


See on Luke 5:5.

Let us make

See on Matthew 17:4.


See on Matthew 17:4. “Jesus might have smiled at the naive proposal of the eager apostle that they six should dwell forever in the little succo=thof wattled boughs on the slopes of Hermon” (Farrar).

Not knowing what he said

Not implying any reproach to Peter, but merely as a mark of his bewilderment in his state of ecstasy.

Verse 34

A cloud

“A strange peculiarity has been noticed about Hermon, in the extreme rapidity of the formation of cloud on the summit. In a few minutes a thick cap forms over the top of the mountain, and as quickly disperses and entirely disappears” (Edersheim).

Overshadowed them ( ἐπεσκίαζεν )

A beautiful imperfect: “began to overshadow them;” thus harmonizing with the words, “as they entered into.” Them ( αὐτοὺς ) must, I think, be confined to Moses, Elias, and Jesus. Grammatically, it might include all the six; but the disciples hear the voice out of the cloud, and the cloud, as a symbol of the divine presence, rests on these three as a sign to the disciples. See Exodus 14:19; Exodus 19:16; 1 Kings 8:10; Psalm 104:3.

Verse 36

When the voice was past ( ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν )

Lit., in the coming to pass of the voice. Rev., when the voice came, with A. V. in margin.


Verse 37

Come down ( κατελθόντων )

Very frequent in Luke, and only once elsewhere: James 3:15.

Verse 38

Master ( διδάσκαλε )


Look upon ( ἐπίβλεψαι )

Only here and James 2:3. To look with pitying regard; and by medical writers of examining the condition of a patient.

Verse 39

Taketh ( λαμβάνει )

See on Mark 9:18.

Suddenly ( ἐξαίφνης )

Used only once outside of the writings of Luke: Mark 13:36. Naturally, frequent in medical writers, of sudden attacks of disease. Luke has more medical details in his account than the other evangelists. He mentions the sudden coming on of the fits, and their lasting a long time. Mr. Hobart remarks that Aretaeus, a physician of Luke's time, in treating of epilepsy, admits the possibility of its being produced by demoniacal agency. Epilepsy was called by physicians “the sacred disease.”

Bruising ( συντρῖβον )

See on bruised, Luke 4:18. The word literally means crushing together. Rev. expresses the σύν , together, by sorely. Compare the details in Mark, gnashing the teeth and pining away (Mark 9:18). The details in Mark 9:21, Mark 9:22, we might rather expect to find in Luke; especially Christ's question, how long he had been subject to these attacks. See note on Mark 9:18.

Verse 41


See on Mark 9:19.


See on Matthew 17:17.

How long ( ἕως πότε )

Lit., until when.

Suffer ( ἀνέξομαι )

Better as Rev., bear with. See Acts 18:14; 2 Corinthians 11:1. The literal meaning is to “bear up ( ἀνά ) under.”

Verse 42

Threw him down ( ἔῤῥηξεν )

See on teareth, Mark 9:18.

Tare ( συνεσπάραξεν )

Only here in New Testament. Con vulse, which is the exact Latin equivalent, would, perhaps, be the nearest rendering. Σπαραγμός , a kindred noun, is the word for a cramp.


Verse 43

Astonished ( ἐξεπλήσσοντο )

See on Matthew 7:28.

Mighty power ( μεγαλειότητι )

Used only by Luke and at 2 Peter 1:16, on which see note.

He did ( ἐποίει )

Imperfect. Better, was doing.

Verse 44

Let these sayings sink down into your ears

Lit., put these sayings into your ears.

Shall be delivered ( μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι )

Rather, is about to be delivered.


Verse 46

A reasoning ( διαλογισμὸς )

A debate or discussion. See on Luke 24:38, and James 1:22; James 2:4.

Verse 47

He took a little child ( ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίου )

Strictly, having laid hold of.

By him ( παῤ ἑαυτῷ )

Lit., by himself. Mark alone record the taking him in his arms.

Verse 48

In my name

See on Matthew 18:5.


Verse 51

When the time was come ( ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας )

Lit., in the fulfilling of the days. This means when the days were being fulfilled; not when they were fulfilled: when the time was drawing near. Rev., were well-nigh come. Luke is speaking of a period beginning with the first announcement of his sufferings, and extending to the time of his being received up.

That he should be received up ( τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ )

Lit.,the days of his being taken up: his ascension into heaven. Ἀνάλημψις , occurs nowhere else in the New Testament; but the kindred verb, ἀναλαμβάνω , is the usual word for being received into heaven. See Acts 1:2, Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22; 1 Timothy 3:16.


Verse 57

A certain man

Matthew, a scribe.

Thou goest ( ἀπέρχῃ )

Lit., “goest away ( ἀπό )I will follow thee whithersoever-away thou goest.

Verse 58


See on Matthew 8:20.

Birds ( πετεινὰ )

Strictly, flying fowl. The common word for bird in the New Testament. Ὄρνις , occurs Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34; but both times in the sense of hen. See on Matthew 23:37. Ὄρνεον is found in Revelation 18:2; Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:21; and πτηνόν , another form for the word in this passage, occurs 1 Corinthians 15:30.


See on Matthew 8:20.

Verse 60

Their dead ( τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς )

As Rev., their own dead.

Preach ( διάγγελλε )

Publish abroad, as Rev. διά , throughout all regions.


Verse 61

To bid farewell ( ἀποτάξασθαι )

In this sense the word is used only in later Greek. In classical Greek it signifies to set apart or assign, as a soldier to his post or an official to his office, and later to detach soldiers. Hence to dismiss one with orders. This latter sense may, as Kypke suggests, be included in the meaning of the word in this passage; the man desiring to return home, not merely to take formal leave, but also to give his final instructions to his friends and servants. Similarly, Acts 18:18, of Paul taking leave of the brethren at Corinth, and, presumably, giving them instructions at parting. In the New Testament the word is used invariably in the sense of bidding farewell. Mark 6:46 is rendered by Rev. after he had taken leave of them. See note there, and compare Luke 14:33; 2 Corinthians 2:13.

Verse 62

Put his hand to ( ἐπιβαλὼν ἐπί )

Lit., having laid his hand upon.

Back ( εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω )

Lit., to things behind. “The figure is that of a man who, while engaged in labor, instead of keeping his eye on the furrow which he is drawing, looks behind at some object which attracts his interest. He is only half at work, and half-work only will be the result” (Godet).

Fit ( ἔυθετός )

Lit., well-placed: adjusted.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 9:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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