Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 10:3

Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Minister, Christian;   Seventy;   The Topic Concordance - Despisement;   Disciples/apostles;   Evangelism;   Harvest;   Hate;   Healing;   Hearing;   Kingdom of God;   Labor;   Receiving;   Sending and Those Sent;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Lamb, the;   Missionary Work by Ministers;   Wolf, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adummim;   Wolf;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Follow, Follower;   Lamb, Lamb of God;   Mission;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Lamb;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Disciples;   Luke, Gospel of;   Number Systems and Number Symbolism;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the New Testament;   Jesus Christ;   Martha;   Mary;   Sheep;   Wolf;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Animals;   Authority in Religion;   Care ;   Discourse;   Dominion (2);   Humour;   Little Ones;   Missions;   Organization (2);   Parable;   Personality;   Quotations (2);   Seventy (2);   Sheep, Shepherd;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - New Testament;   Wolf;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Bethsaida;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Wolf;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Lamb;   Sheep;   Wolf;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Lambs among wolves - See on Matthew 10:16; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

See the notes at Matthew 10:16.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Luke 10:3

As lambs among wolves

Counsels of prudence

I.
THE NATURE OF PRUDENCE. In general, it is a discerning and employing the most proper means of obtaining those ends, which we propose to ourselves. It is an important branch of prudence to avoid faults. One false step sometimes ruins, or, however, greatly embarrasses and retards a good design. Prudence likewise supposeth the main-raining of innocence and integrity. We may not neglect our duty to avoid danger.

II. THE NECESSITY, GROUNDS, AND REASONS OF PRUDENCE. These are chiefly the wickedness and the weakness of men. Good men, therefore, are obliged to be upon their guard, and make use of some methods of defence and security. Nay, if there were no bad men, yet there would be need of prudent behaviour, because some who have not much reflection or experience are apt to put wrong constructions upon harmless actions. A great part of prudence lies in denying ourselves, so as to keep some way within the limits of virtue.

III. SOME RULES AND DIRECTIONS concerning a prudent conduct, with regard to our words and actions.

1. The first rule of prudence I lay down is this, that we should endeavour to know ourselves. He that knows not himself may undertake designs he is not fit for, and can never accomplish, in which he must, therefore, necessarily meet with disappointment.

2. Endeavour to know other men. It is a point of charity to hope the best of every man, and of prudence to fear the worst.

3. Watch, and embrace opportunities.

4. Advise with those who are able to give you good counsel.

5. Restrain and govern your affections. (T. Lardner.)

A lamb among wolves

One of the most conspicuous instances of moral courage which history affords is the following: The veteran Stilicho had conquered Alaric and his Goths. The Romans invite the hero and his ward--a stupid, cowardly boy, the Emperor Honorius--to gladiatorial games in honour of the victory. The empire has been Christian for a hundred years, yet these infamous and brutalizing shows still continue. They are defended with all sorts of devil’s sophistry. The games begin; the tall, strong men enter the arena; the tragic cry echoes through the amphitheatre, “Ave Caesar, moritari te salutamus!” the swords are drawn, and in an instant’s signal will be bathed in blood. At that very moment down leaps into the arena a rude, ignorant monk. “The gladiators shall not fight,” he exclaims. “Are you going to thank God by shedding innocent blood?” A yell of execration rises from these 80,000 spectators. “Who is this wretch that dares to set himself up as knowing better than we do? Pelt him! Cut him down!” Stones are hurled at him; the gladiators run him through with their swords; he falls dead, and his body is kicked aside, and the games go on, and the people--Christians and all--shout applause. Aye, they go on, and the people shout, for the last time. Their eyes are opened; their sophistry is at an end; the blood of a martyr is on their souls. Shame stops for ever the massacre of gladiators; and because one poor, ignorant hermit has moral courage, “one more habitual crime was wiped away from the annals of the world.” (Arch deacon Farrar.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Luke 10:3". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/luke-10.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Go your ways; behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no wallet, no shoes; and salute no man on the way.

The similarity of these instructions to those given to the Twelve has been made the basis of denying this mission of the seventy as historical by scholars like Easton, Klostermann, Creed, Luce, and many others.[6] Such denials, however, are but arrogant, unscientific prejudice; and as Geldenhuys commented:

Such opinions are mere subjective conjectures, at variance with the available data, as well as with Luke's express purpose to relate only actual facts (Luke 1:1-4). No conclusive evidence can be adduced to prove as unhistorical Luke's description of the mission of the seventy.[7]

Carry no purse, wallet ... The meaning here is clearly that of eliminating baggage, as if Jesus had said, "Go just as you are." These are essentially the same restrictions imposed on the Twelve.

No shoes ... The Cambridge Bible Commentary translates this clause, "Carry no purse, or pack; and travel barefoot!"[8] And this is just the type of crooked exegesis that mars so many works of critical scholars. The verb in this clause which is applicable to "shoes" is "carry" not "wear"; and the meaning is undeniably a prohibition of carrying "extra" shoes. Gilmour went out of his way to muddy the meaning when he wrote: "Carry no (extra) sandals would be a forced interpretation."[9] This is not, however, a "forced" interpretation at all, but the only intelligent and natural interpretation of Jesus' words. If the Lord had meant for them to go barefoot, would he not have said so? The trouble that prevents some from accepting this obvious meaning of the instruction is that it takes away all excuse for claiming contradiction in the synoptics. Matthew (Matthew 10:10) says, "no staff"; Mark (Mark 6:8) says "staff only"; and the true harmony of these lies in the fact of Matthew's reference to "extras" and Mark's exception for what was already in use. This passage in Luke gives the key of understanding all three synoptics.

Salute no man on the way ... This means that "They were not to waste their time along the road through long-winded salutations as is customary in the East."[10]

[6] Norval Geldenhuys, op. cit., p. 302.

[7] Ibid.

[8] E. J. Tinsley, Commentary on Luke (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), p. 111.

[9] S. MacLean Gilmour, The Interpreter's Bible (New York: Abingdon Press, 1952), Vol. VIII, p. 185.

[10] Norval Geldenhuys, op. cit., p. 300.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Go your ways,.... Into all the villages, towns, cities, and places, where he directed them to go, to make ready for him.

Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves; as harmless, innocent, profitable, and defenceless creatures, among spiteful, malicious, cunning, and cruel men; See Gill on Matthew 10:16.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-10.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

2 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

(2) The faithful ministers of the word are in this world as lambs among wolves: but if they are diligent to do their duty, he who sent them will also preserve them.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-10.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

3. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

[As lambs among wolves.] It is added in another evangelist, "Be ye wise as serpents," &c.: with which we may compare that in Midrash Schir; "The holy blessed God saith concerning Israel those that belong to me are simple as doves, but amongst the nations of the world, they are subtle as serpents."

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-10.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

As lambs (ως αρναςhōs arnas). Here again the same language as that in Matthew 10:16 except that there “sheep” (προβαταprobata) appears instead of “lambs.” Pathetic picture of the risks of missionaries for Christ. They take their life in their hands.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I send forth ( ἀποστέλλω )

See on Matthew 10:2.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Matthew 10:16.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-10.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he said unto them, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few1: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest.

  1. The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few. See .

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-10.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Scofield's Reference Notes

Go your

(See Scofield "Matthew 10:16"). The same remark is applicable here.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 10:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-10.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Ver. 3. Go your ways] Christ had no sooner bidden them pray, but he answers their prayers. When we bid our children ask us for this or that, it is because we mean to give it to them.

As lambs among wolves] Sed sollicitudo pastoris boni effici ut lupi in agnos audere nil possint saith Ambrose. The care of the good shepherd is the safety of the flock.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-10.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our Saviour, 1. Arms his disciples against the difficulties, dangers, and discouragements which they might meet with in the course of their ministry, by telling them, that he sent them forth as lambs among wolves; thereby intimating, that the enemies of the gospel have as great an inclination, from their malicious nature, to devour and destroy the ministers of Christ, as wolves have from their natural temper to devour lambs: Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

2. Our Saviour directs them in this their first expedition to preach the gospel, to commit themselves to the gracious care and good providence of God, both for provision and protection: Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor staff, says St. Matthew; as if he had said, trust God with the care of your lives, rely upon his providence both for protection and provision: yet must we take notice, that this was only a temporary command, given to the disciples for this particular journey, which they were quickly to despatch; for in the general, Christ allows his ministers as well as others, to exercise a prudent and provident care for themselves and their families.

And as it is the ministers' duty to trust God in the use of prudential means for their maintenance, so it is the people's duty to take care for their ministers' comfortable subsistence. The workman is worthy of his meat, says our Saviour; that is, of all necessary supplies: he is worthy of a comfortable, subsistence, and, where it may be had, of an honorable maintenance.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-10.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 10:3. See on Matthew 10:16, where πρόβατα appears. A different form of the tradition, not to be explained as though Jesus called the Twelve πρόβατα as being τελειοτέρους (Euthymius Zigabenus). Comp. John 21:15-17.

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-10.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 10:3. ἄρνας, lambs) So the Seventy are called; but the twelve apostles, sheep, Matthew 10:16. [He gave to both a safe-conduct, as it is termed, by the words, Behold, I send you.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-10.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 3,4. We met with these instructions before, and opened them in our notes. See Poole on "Matthew 10:9", See Poole on "Matthew 10:10" and See Poole on "Matthew 10:16", only there we had not those words,

and salute no man by the way. The meaning of that is no more than, make all possible speed: see 2 Kings 4:29.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 10:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-10.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

агнцев среди волков Т.е. они встретятся с враждебностью (ср. Иез. 2:3-6; Ин. 15:20) и с духовной опасностью (ср. Мф. 7:15; Ин. 10:12).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-10.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Lambs among wolves; Matthew 10:16.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Go your ways—Take your various routes. This address to the Seventy is much on the model of that to the twelve in Matthew 10. It has, however, no limitation to the house of Israel, or prohibition from Samaria. On the other hand, the powers are less extensive, and the prediction of persecutions is briefer.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-10.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Go your ways. Behold, I send you forth as lambs in the midst of wolves.”

He sends them out as messengers of peace. They are to be like lambs in the midst of wolves, seeking to bring the wolves into oneness with themselves (Isaiah 11:6; Isaiah 65:25) but recognising that they might be ‘eaten’. There is a recognition here in the mention of wolves of the dangers and tribulations that they will face (compare Ezekiel 22:27; Matthew 7:15; Matthew 10:16; John 10:12; Acts 20:29), including harsh treatment from the synagogues (Luke 21:12; Matthew 10:17; Matthew 23:34; Mark 13:9; John 16:2). But they are be like lambs, not retaliating but being non-belligerent and accepting of what comes to them, in a similar way to the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 53:7), and recognising that as His lambs God carries them in His arms (Isaiah 40:11). Ancient Jewish tradition (Psalm of Solomon Luke 8:23/28) also says, ‘The pious of God are like innocent lambs in their midst’ (that is, in the midst of the nations of the earth).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-10.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The importance of participation continues in Jesus" imperative command to the Seventy to go (Gr. hypagete, cf. Matthew 28:19). The sheep among wolves figure was evidently a favorite one for Jesus (cf. Matthew 10:16). It pictures the dependent and vulnerable position of His disciples among hostile adversaries. They needed to trust in and pray to God, therefore, as they ministered. Jesus sent them out (Gr. apostello) as apostles, in the general sense of that word: missionaries. Jesus was speaking as the Shepherd of His sheep.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-10.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 10:3. Go your ways. This, too, implies urgency. The Seventy are not forbidden to go to the Gentiles and Samaritans (Matthew 10:5). Possibly they did visit the latter; and besides their route was made known to them in advance, which was not the case when the Twelve were sent out.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-10.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 10:3. , go, whither? Mt.’s version of the instructions to the Twelve says: not to Samaria, but to the lost sheep of Israel only; this omitted by Lk. with the one word, “go,” retained.— , etc., as lambs among wolves; sheep ( ) in Matthew 10:16; pathetic hint as to the helplessness of the agents and the risks they run; not imaginary, as the recent experience at the Samaritan village shows.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-10.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

behold = lo. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

among = in (Greek. en. App-104.) the midst.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-10.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) As lambs among wolves.—See Note on Matthew 10:16.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
I send
Psalms 22:12-16,21; Ezekiel 2:3-6; Matthew 10:16,22; John 15:20; 16:2; Acts 9:2,16
wolves
Zephaniah 3:3; Matthew 7:15; John 10:12; Acts 20:29
Reciprocal: Mark 6:7 - the twelve;  John 4:35 - for;  Romans 16:19 - simple

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 10:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-10.html.