Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 10:36

Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers' hands?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflicted;   Commandments;   Duty;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Lawyer;   Love;   Neighbor;   Readings, Select;   Self-Righteousness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Service;   Stories for Children;   Work, Religious;   Work-Workers, Religious;   The Topic Concordance - Deeds;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Parables;   Samaria, Modern;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adummim;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Justice;   Luke, gospel of;   Mercy;   Mission;   Neighbour;   Parables;   Samaria, samaritans;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Clean, Unclean;   Friend, Friendship;   Golden Rule;   Hospitality;   Law of Christ;   Love;   Mercy;   Neighbor;   Wealth;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Mercy;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Adummim;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hospitality;   Stranger;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Adummim;   Brotherly Love;   Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Life;   Luke, Gospel of;   Mercy, Merciful;   Parables;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Canon of the New Testament;   Ethics;   Law;   Martha;   Mary;   Parable;   Pity;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Character;   Commandments;   Discourse;   Gods;   Heart;   Justice (2);   Law of God;   Love (2);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Man (2);   Money (2);   Neighbour (2);   New Commandment;   Numbers;   Numbers (2);   Parable;   Pharisees (2);   Property (2);   Questions and Answers;   Reality;   Religious Experience;   Robber ;   Samaria ;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Samaritan, the Good ;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Saying and Doing;   Spiritualizing of the Parables;   Temple (2);   Toleration, Tolerance;   Trade and Commerce;   Trinity (2);   Wealth (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Thief;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Adummim;   Bethsaida;   Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Adum'mim;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Children of God;   Compassion;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Law in the New Testament;   Neighbor;   Righteousness;   Think;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Brotherly Love;   Jesus of Nazareth;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for May 19;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Which - was neighbor - Which fulfilled the duty which one neighbor owes to another?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-10.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Was neighbour - Showed the kindness of a neighbor, or evinced the proper feelings of a neighbor. The lawyer had asked him who was his neighbor? Jesus in this beautiful narrative showed him who and what a neighbor was, and he did this in a way that disarmed his prejudice, deeply affected him in regard to his own duty, and evinced the beauty of religion. Had he “at first” told him that a Samaritan might be a neighbor to a Jew and deserve his kindness, he would have been at once revolted at it; but when, by a beautiful and affecting narrative, he brought the “man himself” to see that it might be, he was constrained to admit it. Here we see the beauty of a parable and its use. It disarmed prejudice, fixed the attention, took the mind gently yet irresistibly, and prevented the possibility of cavil or objection. Compare, also, the address of Nathan to David, 2 Samuel 12:1-7.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-10.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among robbers? And he said, He that showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

He that showed mercy on him ... Significantly, the lawyer did not use the hated word "Samaritan," thus affording a glimpse of his inner thoughts toward others.

Go and do likewise ... By such a command, Jesus enjoined upon all who would be his followers that they should go and be a neighbor to all men; and, in this, there is sharp divergence from the question of the lawyer, who seemed to be asking who was a neighbor to himself; whereas, Jesus focused on the converse of it, "What kind of neighbor are you?"

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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 10:36". "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

Which now of these three,.... The priest, the Levite, and the Samaritan,

thinkest thou, was neighbour to him that fell among the thieves? the priest and Levite that passed by, and took no notice of him, and gave him no relief, neither by words nor actions; or the Samaritan, that did all the above kind and generous things to him?

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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 10:36". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-10.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Which … was neighbour? — a most dexterous way of putting the question: (1) Turning the question from, “Whom am I to love as my neighbor?” to “Who is the man that shows that love?” (2) Compelling the lawyer to give a reply very different from what he would like - not only condemning his own nation, but those of them who should be the most exemplary. (3) Making him commend one of a deeply hated race. And he does it, but it is almost extorted. For he does not answer, “The Samaritan” - that would have sounded heterodox, heretical - but “He that showed mercy on him.” It comes to the same thing, no doubt, but the circumlocution is significant.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-10.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Proved neighbour to him that fell (πλησιον γεγονεναι του εμπεσοντοςplēsion gegonenai tou empesontos). Second perfect infinitive of γινομαιginomai and second aorist active participle of εμπιπτωempiptō Objective genitive, became neighbour to the one, etc. Jesus has changed the lawyer‘s standpoint and has put it up to him to decide which of “these three” (τουτων των τριωνtoutōn tōn triōn priest, Levite, Samaritan) acted like a neighbour to the wounded man.

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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 10:36". "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

Was neighbor ( πλησίον γεγονέναι )

More correctly, has become neighbor. Jesus throws himself back to the time of the story. So Rev., proved neighbor. “The neighbor Jews became strangers. The stranger Samaritan became neighbor to the wounded traveller” (Alford).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "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

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Which of these was the neighbour to him that fell among the robbers — Which acted the part of a neighbour?

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-10.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers1?

  1. Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers? Instead of answering didactically, "Everybody is your neighbor", Jesus had incarnated the law of neighborliness in the good Samaritan, and had made it so beautiful that the lawyer could not but commend it even when found in a representative of this apostate race. He showed, too, that the law was not for causistry but for practice.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-10.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Ver. 36. {See Trapp on "Luke 10:29"} God delights to make men their own judges, that they may be self-condemned, αυτοκατακριτοι.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-10.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 10:36. Which now of these three, &c.— Great pains have been taken by some, so to adjust this case, as that it might yield a proper answer to the lawyer's question. He asked, Who is my neighbour? That is, "Who am I obliged to love as myself?" So that our Lord, say they, ought to have determined the extent and right of neighbourhood, and thence deduced the obligations of love and assistance: whereas, the case supposes the love and assistance, and thence infers the relation of neighbourhood. The priest and the Levite were not neighbour's, because they did not assist the wounded man: the Samaritan was his neighbour, because he shewed kindness to him. And if this be to, that no man is our neighbour, till we have either shewed or received kindness from him, we cannot then from the right of neighbourhood infer the obligations of love; but must determine, from the mutual exercise of love, the notion and extent of neighbourhood. And if this be the case, no man can offend against the law of loving his neighbour; for if none are ourneighbours but those whom we love, then every man certainly loves his neighbour. But if we consider the case fairly, and view it in its due light, this supposed difficulty will vanish. The question was asked by the lawyer out of a desire to justify himself. He had learned to call no man hisneighbour who was not of the same stock and religion with himself: Samaritans he expressly hated, and justified his hatred because they were dissenters from the true worship, and despisers of the temple at Jerusalem. This great error our Lord was to wrest from him, which was not to be done by combating his prejudices, and arguing upon the true sense and meaning of the law: the lawyer, not unaccustomed to such exercises, would have held up the dispute, and stood resolute against any such convictions. Our Saviour therefore puts him a case; and states it so, that his prejudices were all shut out, and could have no influence in the determination. A Jew therefore is put into the place of distress: A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves. Here could be no exception taken against the person. Had the Samaritan been placed in the same case, and his calamities painted in the most moving colours, he would have found no pity from the Jews who would have excepted to his religion, and thought himself very much in the right to have been an enemy to the enemy of God: but, when one of his own nation was represented in misery, he saw reason in every thing that was done for his relief. A priest and a Levite are said to pass by and neglect him: these persons stood in all those relations to the distressed, which the lawyer owned to be the just bonds and ties of neighbourhood: they wereof his kindred, and they met at the same altar to worship the same God; he could not therefore but condemn their want of bowels to their brother. A Samaritan is represented as passing by, and shewing the greatest tenderness and compassion to the poor Jew. This could not but be approved: even the prejudice of the lawyer carried himin these circumstances to a right judgment; for knowing how inveterately the Jew hated the Samaritan, he could not but the more admire and approve the Samaritan's kindness to the Jew. Upon this case our Lord puts him to determine which was neighbour to the man in distress; or, which is the same thing, which of the three acted most agreeably to the law of God, commanding that we should love our neighbour as ourself? The lawyer answers, He that shewed mercy; confessing that the Samaritan had fulfilled the law, which was condemning the Jewish exposition, and his own prejudices. For if a Jew was rightly forbidden to shew kindness to a Samaritan, because of the difference in religion between them, the same reason made it unlawful for a Samaritan to assist a Jew. Our Saviour approves his judgment, and bids him only apply it to himself, Go thou, and do likewise; that is, "Since you commend the Samaritan for acting like a neighbour to the Jew, do you learn to act like a neighbour to the Samaritan;" for this is the true force of the word likewise. For a Jew to be kind to a Jew only, is not to do like the good Samaritan, who was kind, not to a Samaritan only, but to a Jew also. And thus, we see, the case led to a full determination of the question proposed, and shewed that no restrictions were to be laid upon the law of God; that even those whom the lawyer accounted as his worst enemies, the very Samaritans, were intitled to the benefit of it, and ought to be treated with the love and kindness which is due to our neighbours.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-10.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

36.] It will be observed that our Lord not only elicits the answer from the questioner himself, but that it comes in an inverted form. The lawyer had asked, to whom he was to understand himself obliged to fulfil the duties of neighbourship? but the answer has for its subject one who fulfilled them to another. The reason of this is to be found,—partly in the relation of neighbourship being mutual, so that if this man is my neighbour, I am his also;—but chiefly in the intention of our Lord to bring out a strong contrast by putting the hated and despised Samaritan in the active place, and thus to reflect back the ὁμοίως more pointedly. “Observe γεγονέναι, to have become neighbour. The neighbour Jews became strangers, the stranger Samaritan became neighbour, to the wounded traveller. It is not place, but love, which makes neighbourhood.” Wordsworth.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-10.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 10:36. τριῶν, of the three) who were, the one a Priest, the second a Levite, the third a Samaritan. God does not accept the person [Acts 10:35]: the three men, though different in position, are enumerated together.— πλησίον, neighbour) The Samaritan, in doing a benefit to a Jew, his national enemy, was his neighbour: but the lawyer had asked his question concerning the neighbour to whom love was to be exhibited [not concerning the neighbour who was to exhibit love to another]. The two are mutually related.(100) The Jews also are hereby reproved, inasmuch as they regarded the Samaritans with loathing.(101) It might happen that even the lawyer should want the help of a Samaritan, the very person whom he did not account as his neighbour.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". 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

See Poole on "Luke 10:30"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 10:36". 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

ктобыл ближний Иисус вернулся к первоначальному вопросу законника (ст. 29). Законник предполагал, что другим предстояло показывать себя в качестве ближних для него (см. пояснение к ст. 29). Ответ Иисуса подчеркивает, что каждый имеет обязанность быть ближним – особенно в отношении тех, кто в нужде.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-10.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Was neighbor; the ruler, who would have restricted the word neighbor to a very narrow circle of friends, is shown that all men whom he has the power of benefiting are his neighbors, and that he owes to all a debt of love and self-denial.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

36.Which’ was neighbour?—Dr. Trench, and other commentators of the present day, with doubtful correctness, we think, say that our Lord here reverses the question. The lawyer, they suppose, asks, Who is to be held as a neighbour to be loved? Whereas the real present form of the question is, Who becomes my neighbour by loving? Our Lord supposes the lawyer to identify himself with the wounded Jew; and thereby proceeds to force him by the parable to confess that even a Samaritan may be and is his neighbour. Neighbourship, then, depends not upon blood, or sect, or profession, but upon humanity. If the Samaritan, in spite of his being a Samaritan, may, as a man, with the true sympathies of a man, be my neighbour, then any being within the unity of the species, by his very being human, is my neighbour. And all this the Saviour clinches with his Go and do thou likewise. Deal with a Samaritan as this Samaritan deals with a Jew; and so you will, Jew and Samaritan, be neighbours. And then the lawyer finds himself placed upon that high platform by which the divine law of love, ignoring the divisions of race, nation, and color, unites mankind into one neighbourship and brotherhood. It is not without propriety that Luke, a Gentile, should furnish this most beautiful parable.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-10.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbour to him who fell among the robbers?”

And then having revealed the extreme generosity and compassion of the Samaritan Jesus asked the crunch question. “Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbour to him who fell among the robbers?” Notice His tact. He knows that the Scribe is going to find the next few moments difficult. So He does not say, ‘who then is your neighbour on the basis of this story?’, He says ‘who was neighbour to him who fell among robbers?’ It will make the reply a little easier. But they are both really the same question, and the answer will be the same.

Had He suggested to the Scribe two minutes earlier that he would admit to a Samaritan being his neighbour he would no doubt have looked at Him as though He was mad, and probably written Jesus off as weirdo, and have stalked off without more ado bristling with indignation. Now he could only look at Him in dismay while his own senses were reeling. The whole of his past rebelled against the answer that he knew that he was expected to give. And even then he could not bring himself to say ‘the Samaritan’.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-10.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus then applied the teaching of the parable to the lawyer by asking him which of the three passersby behaved as a neighbor. He reversed the lawyer"s original question ( Luke 10:29) and focused attention where it should have been, on the subject showing love rather than the object receiving it. The priest and the Levite had avoided contamination and ritual uncleanness, while the Samaritan had contracted it. Yet the two Jews had not showed compassion, whereas the true neighbor had.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "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 10:36. Which became neighbor to him that fell among the robbers? The original implies a permanent condition; the result of what had been done. Our Lord takes the matter out of the reach of previous circumstances of nationality and religion, and compels a reply on the ground of what had been done. Further, the lawyer had asked ‘Who is my neighbor,’ i.e., whom I should love. A direct counter-question would have been: Whom did the Samaritan regard as his neighbor? But our Lord inverts the question, because the relation of ‘neighbor’ is a mutual one, and also, because He wished to hold up the active duty of the despised Samaritan.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "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 10:36. Application of the story.— : which of the three seems to you to have become neighbour by neighbourly action? neighbour is who neighbour does.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-10.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

now = therefore. Om. by [L] T [Tr. ] AWI R.

thinkest thou = seems to thee.

was = to have become.

among. Greek. eis. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-10.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? - a most dexterous way of putting the question: first, turning it from the lawyer's form of it, 'Whom am I to love as my neighbour?' to the more pointed question, 'Who is the man that shows that love?' and next, compelling the lawyer to give a reply very different from what he would like-not only condemning his own nation, but those of them who should be the most exemplary; and finally, making him commend one of a deeply-hated race. And he does so, but it is almost extorted.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-10.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(36) Which now of these three . . .?—There is a certain subtle discernment in the form of the question. The point under discussion was as to whom the Jew should look on as his neighbour. It is answered indirectly by the narrative, which showed who had proved himself a neighbour to the Jew. The Samaritan had shown himself a better interpreter of the commandment than the orthodox scribe. He had recognised a neighbour even in the Jew. The Jew therefore should recognise a neighbour even in the Samaritan. From the human point of view there is something noble in the manner in which our Lord thus singles out the Samaritan as a type of excellence, after His own recent repulse (Luke 9:53) by men of the same race; something also courageous in His doing so after He had been recently reproached as being Himself a Samaritan (John 8:48). It may be noted that His journey, “as it were in secret” (John 7:10), to the Feast of Tabernacles, must have probably led Him through Samaria, and that in all probability He must have spent the first day of the Feast in that country. (See Note on John 8:48.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-10.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
thinkest
7:42; Matthew 17:25; 21:28-31; 22:42
was
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 30:11 - gave him;  Mark 12:31 - Thou

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 10:36". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-10.html.