Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 13:1

Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Impenitence;   Pilate, Pontius;   Repentance;   Thompson Chain Reference - Galilaeans;   Pilate, Pontius;   Pontius Pilate;   The Topic Concordance - Perishing;   Repentance;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Galilee;   Tribute;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Galilee;   Pilate or Pontius Pilate;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Evil;   Pilate;   Rome;   Suffering;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Disease;   Providence of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Feasts;   Herod;   Passover;   Pilate;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Galilean;   Pilate, Pontius;   Repentance;   Siloam;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Anger (Wrath) of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Pilate;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Axe;   Blood ;   Death (2);   Discourse;   Galilaean ;   Herod ;   Jerusalem (2);   Pilate;   Political Conditions;   Providence;   Reality;   Reserve;   Retribution (2);   Trial of Jesus;   Wandering Stars;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Pontius Pilate ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Pilate;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Pi'late;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Galileans;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Pilate, Pontius;   Repentance;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - New Testament;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

At that season - At what time this happened is not easy to determine; but it appears that it was now a piece of news which was told to Christ and his disciples for the first time.

Whose blood Pilate had mingled - This piece of history is not recorded (as far as I can find) by Josephus: however, he states that the Galileans were the most seditious people in the land: they belonged properly to Herod's jurisdiction; but, as they kept the great feasts at Jerusalem, they probably, by their tumultuous behavior at some one of them, gave Pilate, who was a mortal enemy to Herod, a pretext to fall upon and slay many of them; and thus, perhaps, sacrifice the people to the resentment he had against the prince. Archelaus is represented by Josephus as sending his soldiers into the temple, and slaying 3000 men while they were employed in offering sacrifices. Josephus, War, b. ii. c. 1, s. 3, and ii. c. 5. Some suppose that this refers to the followers of Judas Gaulonites, (see Acts 5:37;), who would not acknowledge the Roman government, a number of whom Pilate surrounded and slew, while they were sacrificing in the temple. See Josephus, Antiq. lib. 18: but this is not very certain.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

There were present - That is, some persons who were present, and who had heard his discourse recorded in the previous chapter. There was probably a pause in his discourse, when they mentioned what had been done by Pilate to the Galileans.

At that season - At that time - that is the time mentioned in the last chapter. At what period of our Lord‘s ministry this was, it is not easy to determine.

Some that told him - This was doubtless an event of recent occurrence. Jesus, it is probable, had not before heard of it. Why they told him of it can only be a matter of conjecture. It might be from the desire to get him to express an opinion respecting the conduct of Pilate, and thus to involve him in difficulty with the reigning powers of Judea. It might be as a mere matter of news. But, from the answer of Jesus, it would appear that “they” supposed that the Galileans “deserved” it, and that they meant to pass a judgment on the character of those people, a thing of which they were exceedingly fond. The answer of Jesus is a reproof of their habit of hastily judging the character of others.

Galileans - People who lived in Galilee. See the notes at Matthew 2:22. They were not under the jurisdiction of Pilate, but of Herod. The Galileans, in the time of Christ, were very wicked.

Whose blood Pilate had mingled … - That is, while they were sacrificing at Jerusalem, Pilate came suddenly upon them and killed them, and “their” blood was mingled with the blood of the animals that they were slaying for sacrifice. It does not mean that Pilate “offered” their blood in sacrifice, but only that as they were sacrificing he killed them. The fact is not mentioned by Josephus, and nothing more is known of it than what is here recorded. We learn, however, from Josephus that the Galileans were very wicked, and that they were much disposed to broils and seditions. It appears, also, that Pilate and Herod had a quarrel with each other Luke 23:12, and it is not improbable that Pilate might feel a particular enmity to the subjects of Herod. It is likely that the Galileans excited a tumult in the temple, and that Pilate took occasion to come suddenly upon them, and show his opposition to them and Herod by slaying them. “Pilate.” The Roman governor of Judea. See the notes at Matthew 27:2.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

On the final tour preceding his crucifixion, Jesus worked and taught the things recorded in this chapter: the double call to repentance (Luke 13:1-5), the parable of the fruitless fig tree (Luke 13:6-9), another sabbath miracle (Luke 13:10-17), twin parables of the mustard seed and the leaven (Luke 13:18-21), the narrow door (Luke 13:22-30), the threat from the Pharisees (Luke 13:31-33), and the lament over the Holy City (Luke 13:34-35).

THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE FOR ALL

Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (Luke 13:1)

The sacred author, Luke alone, has documented this tragic episode from the violent, bloody period of which it was typical. Therefore, all that is known of this incident is in this verse. Such a conjecture as that of Henry, who supposed this act of Pilate "caused the enmity between Pilate and Herod"[1] (Luke 23:12), is logical but unproved. Furthermore, Luke's account does not need corroboration from profane history. "That Josephus makes no mention of this instance of Pilate's cruelty is of no importance."[2] The ruthless act of Pilate in this glimpse is fully consonant with Pilate's evil character, as invariably attested by all the histories of those times.

The implication here is that Pilate had sent a detachment of soldiers into the temple itself to execute bloody wrath on certain Galileans in the act of worshipping, their blood mingled with that of the sacrifices they were offering.

Who told him of the Galileans ... There was manifest a certain self-righteousness in the bearers of this message to Jesus, as if they had been saying," Of course, we are not wicked sinners like them." Christ had been demanding repentance of the multitudes; "and evidently those who told Jesus of this incident were breaking the force of his teaching as applied to themselves."[3]

[1] Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1960), p. 272.

[2] Norval Geldenhuys, Commentary on the Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1952), p. 371.

[3] H. Leo Boles, Commentary on Luke (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1940), p. 267.

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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 13:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

There were present at that season,.... Among the innumerable multitude of people, Luke 12:1 that were then hearing the above discourses and sayings of Christ:

some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. These Galileans were very likely some of the followers of Judas Gaulonitis, or Judas of Galilee; see Acts 5:37 who endeavoured to draw off the Jews from the Roman government, and affirmed it was not lawful to give tribute to Caesar; at which Pilate being enraged, sent a band of soldiers, and slew these his followers; who were come up to the feast of the passover, as they were offering their sacrifices in the temple, and so mixed their blood with the blood of the passover lambs: this being lately done, some of the company spoke of it to Christ; very likely some of the Scribes and Pharisees, whom he had just now taxed as hypocrites; either to know his sense of Pilate's conduct, that should he condemn it as brutish and barbarous, they might accuse him to him; or should he approve of it, might traduce him, and bring him into contempt among the people; or to know his sentiments concerning the persons slain, whether or no they were not very wicked persons; and whether this was not a judgment upon them, to be put to death in such a manner, and at such a time and place, and which sense seems to be confirmed by Christ's answer. JosephusF26Antiqu. l. 18. c. 5. relating a slaughter of the Samaritans by Pilate, which bears some likeness to this, has led some, though without any just reason, to conclude, that these were Samaritans, who are here called Galileans. This history is neither related nor hinted at, by any other writer but Luke. The phrase of mingling blood with blood, is Jewish; it is said of one Trogianus the wicked (perhaps the Emperor Trajan), that he slaughtered the Jews, ועירב דמן בדמן, "and mingled their blood with their blood"; and their blood ran into the sea, unto CyprusF1T. Hieros. Succa, fol. 55. 2. Vid. Lightfoot Hor. in loc. . The JewsF2T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 97. 1. have a notion, that

"in the age in which the son of David comes, Galilee shall be destroyed.'

Here was a great slaughter of the Galileans now, see Acts 5:37 but there was a greater afterwards by the Romans: it may be that the Pharisees made mention of this case to Christ, to reproach him and his followers, who were called Galileans, as his disciples chiefly were.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

There 1 were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood a Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

(1) We must not rejoice at the just punishment of others, but rather we should be instructed by it to repent.

(a) Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea almost ten years, and about the fourth year of his government, which might be about the fifteenth year of Tiberius' reign, Christ finished the work of our redemption by his death.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-13.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

1. There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

[Of the Galileans.] If this report concerning the Galileans was brought to our Saviour immediately after the deed was done, then was this tragedy acted by Pilate, a little before the feast of Dedication; for we find Christ going towards that feast, verse 22. But the time of this slaughter is uncertain: for it is a question, whether they that tell him this passage, relate it as news which he had not heard before, or only to draw from him his opinion concerning that affair, &c.

It is hotly disputed amongst some, as to the persons whom Pilate slew. And,

I. Some would have them to have been of the sect of Judas the Gaulonite; and that they were therefore slain, because they denied to give tribute to Caesar. He is called, indeed, "Judas of Galilee"; and there is little doubt, but that he might draw some Galileans into his opinion and practice. But I question then, whether Christ would have made any kind of defence for such, and have placed them in the same level with these, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell; when it so plainly appears, that he taught directly contrary to that perverse sect and opinion. However, if these were of that sect (for I will not contend it), then do these, who tell this to our Saviour, seem to lay a snare for him, not much unlike that question they put to him, "Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or no?"

II. There is one that confounds this story with that of Josephus, which he relates from him thus abbreviated; "In Galilee there were certain Samaritans, who, being seduced by a notorious impostor, moved sedition at mount Gerizim, where this cheat promised them to shew them the sacred vessels which, he falsely told them, had been hid by Moses in that place. Pilate, sending his forces upon them, suppressed them; the greater of them were taken and adjudged to death." I admire how this learned man should deliver these things with so much confidence, as even to chastise Josephus himself for his mistake in his computation of the time for this story, concluding thus; "When, indeed, this slaughter, made upon the Samaritans by Pilate, seems to be that very slaughter of the Galileans mentioned by St. Luke, chapter 13:1."

Whereas, in truth, Josephus mentions not one syllable either of Galilee or sacrifice, or the Galileans, but Samaritans: and it is a somewhat bold thing to substitute rebelling Samaritans in the place of sacrificing Galileans. Nor is it probable that those that tell this matter to our Saviour would put this gloss and colour upon the thing while they related it.

III. The feud and enmity that was between Pilate and Herod might be enough to incense Pilate to make this havock of the subjects of Herod.

[Whose blood Pilate mingled.] "David swore to Abishai, As the Lord liveth, if thou touch the blood of this righteous man [Saul], I will mingle thy blood with his blood." So Pilate mingled the blood of these sacrificers with the blood of those sacrifices they had slain. It is remarkable that in Siphra, "the killing of the sacrifices may be well enough done by strangers, by women, by servants, by the unclean; even those sacrifices that are most holy, provided that the unclean touch not the flesh of them." And a little after; "At the sprinkling of the blood, the work of the priest begins; and the slaying of them may be done by any hand whatever."

Hence was it a very usual thing for those that brought the sacrifice to kill it themselves; and so, probably, these miserable Galileans were slaughtered, while they themselves were slaying their own sacrifices. For it is more likely that they were slain in the Temple while they were offering their sacrifices, than in the way, while they were bringing them thither.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-13.html. 1675.

People's New Testament

Some... which told him of the Galileans, etc. The incident referred to is not mentioned elsewhere. Tumults at the temple and bloody interference by the Romans were common. On this occasion, no doubt, many had been slain in the temple courts, and from what follows it is evident that those who brought the word thought it a judgment.

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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.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-13.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

At that very season (εν αυτωι τωι καιρωιen autōi tōi kairōi). Luke‘s frequent idiom, “at the season itself.” Apparently in close connexion with the preceding discourses. Probably “were present” (παρησανparēsan imperfect of παρειμιpareimi) means “came,” “stepped to his side,” as often (Matthew 26:50; Acts 12:20; John 11:28). These people had a piece of news for Jesus.

Whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices (ων το αιμα Πειλατος εμιχεν μετα των τυσιων αυτωνhōn to haima Peilatos emixen meta tōn thusiōn autōn). The verb εμιχενemixen is first aorist active (not past perfect) of μιγνυμιmignumi a common verb. The incident is recorded nowhere else, but is in entire harmony with Pilate‘s record for outrages. These Galileans at a feast in Jerusalem may have been involved in some insurrection against the Roman government, the leaders of whom Pilate had slain right in the temple courts where the sacrifices were going on. Jesus comments on the incident, but not as the reporters had expected. Instead of denunciation of Pilate he turned it into a parable for their own conduct in the uncertainty of life.

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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 13:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices - Some of the followers of Judas Gaulonites. They absolutely refused to own the Roman authority. Pilate surrounded and slew them, while they were worshipping in the temple, at a public feast.
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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 13:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-13.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

Now there were some present at that very season1 who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices2.
    REPENTANCE ENJOINED. PARABLE OF THE BARREN FIG-TREE. Luke 13:1-9

  1. Now there were some present at that very season. At the time when he preached about the signs of the times, etc. This phrase, however, is rather indefinite (Matthew 12:1; Matthew 14:1).

  2. Who told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. While Jesus spoke, certain ones came to him bearing the news of a barbaric act of sacrilegious cruelty committed by Pilate. It may have been told to Jesus by enemies who hoped to ensnare him by drawing from him a criticism of Pilate. But it seems more likely that it was told to him as a sample of the corruption and iniquity of the times. History, of course, says nothing of Pilate's act here mentioned. Pilate's rule was marked by cruelty toward Jews, and contempt for their religious views and rites.

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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 13:1". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-13.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Nothing is known of this occurrence except what is here stated. The altar, on which sacrifices to God were offered, was considered a sort of sanctuary, where human life was sacred, except in extreme cases of crime, such as demanded a sudden and terrible retribution. (See Exodus 21:14; also the narrative commencing 1 Kings 2:28-46.) It seems that Pilate, the Roman governor, exasperated by some sedition of certain Galileans who had come to Jerusalem to worship, had violated this sanctuary, and slain them in the very courts of the temple, mingling their blood with the blood of their sacrifices. The persons who came to Jesus with the tidings, expected, probably, that he would be betrayed into some expressions of abhorrence for this act of violence perpetrated against his countrymen, which might be made the means of involving him in difficulty with the Roman government. Instead of this, he simply deduces from the case a great moral truth, which is aptly illustrated by it, namely, that the calamities of this life are not to be understood as tests of guilt.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-13.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

Ver. 1. Told him of the Galileans] So called from Judas Gaulonites, or Galilaeus, their captain; to whose faction also belonged those four thousand murderers, Acts 21:38. For Pilate had not authority over the Galileans properly so called. See Josephus, xviii. 2.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-13.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 13:1. There were present, &c.— Some of our Lord's hearers thought proper to confirm the doctrine in the latter part of the preceding chapter by what they supposed an example of it; for the scope and connection of the passage, as well as our Lord's answer, shew it to have been the thought of these persons, that Providence had permitted the Galileans to be massacred at their devotions for some extraordinary wickedness. These Galileans were the followers of Judas Gaulonites, (see Acts 5:37.) and had rendered themselves obnoxious to the Roman power. Josephus has given us the history of this Judas Gaulonites at large, Antiq. lib. 18. 100: 1. It appears that he was the head of a sect, who asserted God to be their only sovereign; and were so utterly averse to a submission to the Roman power, that they counted it unlawful to pay tribute to Caesar, and rather would endure the greatest torments, than give any man the title of lord. Josephus does not mention the slaughter of these Galileans; but he records an action of Pilate which much resembles it, concerning the manner of his treating the Samaritans; Antiq. lib. 18. 100: 4. Perhaps this story of the Galileans might now be mentioned to our Lord, with a design of leading him into a snare, whether he should justify or condemnthe persons that were slain. Some are of opinion, that these Galileans were slain, by Pilate's order, at the altar, in contempt of the temple; so that their blood was literally mingled with the sacrifices.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-13.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

There were two eminent sects among the Jews in our Saviour's time, namely, the Herodians and Galileans; the former stood stiffly for having tribute paid to the Roman emperor, whose subjects the Jews now were; but the Galileans (so called probably from Judas of Galilee, mentioned Acts 5:37) opposed this tribute, and often raised rebellion against the Roman power. Pilate takes the opportunity when these Galileans were come up at the passover, and sacrificing in the temple, to fall upon them with his soldiers, and barbarously mingled their own blood with the blood of the sacrifices which they offered; neither the holiness of the place (the temple) nor the sacredness of the action (sacrificing) could divert Pilate from his barbarous impiety. Our Saviour, understanding that some of his hearers then present concluded these persons to be the greatest sinners, because they were the greatest sufferers, he corrects their errors in this matter, and assures them, that the same or like judgments did hang over all other sinners, as well as these, if timely and sincere repentance prevented not.

Learn hence,

1. That a violent and sudden death is no argument of God's disfavor.

2. That notwithstanding persons are exceeding prone to pass rash censures and an uncharitable judgment upon such as die suddenly, especially if they die violently.

3. That none justly can conclude such persons to have been the greatest sinners, who have been in this world the most signal sufferers.

4. That the best use we can make of such instances and examples of God's severity, is to examine our own lives, and by a speedy repentance to prevent our own perdition: I tell you, Nay, etc.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-13.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

1.] ἐν αὐτ. τ. καιρ. may mean at that very time—viz. as He finished the foregoing discourse: but it is not necessary to interpret thus;—for, Matthew 12:1; Matthew 14:1, the similar expression, ἐν ἐκείνῳ τ. κ. is certainly indefinite.

παρ.… ἀπαγγ., came with the news,—not, as Stier supposes, ‘were in the crowd, and remarked to the Lord concerning these Galilæans,’ in consequence of what He had said ch. Luke 12:57 :—such a finding of connexion is too fine-drawn, and is a fault which we may excuse in Stier, for his many services in interpreting our Lord’s discourses, but must not imitate. It is obvious that no connexion is intended between this incident and the foregoing discourse.

περὶ τ. γ.] The historical fact is otherwise unknown. The way of speaking here shews that it was well known to the writer. It must have occurred at some feast in Jerusalem, on which occasions riots often took place (see Jos. Antt. xvii. 9. 3; 10. 2), and in the outer court of the temple. Such slaughters were frequent, and would not be particularly recorded by the historians. This mingling of their blood with their sacrifices seems to have been thought by the narrators evidence that they were very depraved sinners: for this was their argument, and is unconsciously that of many at this day,—‘the worse the affliction, the more deserved:’ see Genesis 42:21; Acts 28:4.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-13.html. 1863-1878.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The Lord is here discoursing to the People. He speaks of the Galileans, and of the Barren Fig-Tree. He cureth a Woman of her Infirmity. Makes a circuit through the Villages; and laments over Jerusalem.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/luke-13.html. 1828.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 13:1. τῷ καιρῷ, at that same season) Opportunely they were present; comp. ch. Luke 12:57.— ἀπαγγέλλοντες, announcing the tidings) as of a recent event.— πιλάτος, Pilate) This act of Pilate is in consonance with the ‘enmity’ which he had entertained towards Herod; ch. Luke 23:12. Each of the two had a different cause [for the enmity].— ἔμιξε, mingled) An Euphemism. [See Append.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-13.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

LUKE CHAPTER 13

Luke 13:1-5 Christ showeth that temporal calamities are no sure

signs of sinfulness, but that others should take

warning by them, and repent.

Luke 13:6-9 The parable of the fig tree that was ordered to be

cut down for being fruitless.

Luke 13:10-17 Christ healeth a woman that had been long bowed

together, and putteth the hypocritical ruler of the

synagogue to silence.

Luke 13:18,19 He likens the progress of the gospel to a grain of

mustard seed,

Luke 13:20-22 and to leaven.

Luke 13:23-30 Being asked of the number of the saved, he exhorteth

to strive to enter in at the strait gate,

Luke 13:31-35 He will not be diverted from his course through fear

of Herod; and laments over the approaching

desolation of Jerusalem.

Ver. 1-5. The Holy Scriptures giving us no account of these two stories to which our Saviour doth here refer, and those who have wrote the history of the Jews having given us no account of them, interpreters are at a great loss to determine any thing about them. We read of one Judas of Galilee, who drew away much people after him, and perished, Acts 5:37. It is said that he seduced people from their obedience to the Roman emperor, persuading them not to acknowledge him as their governor, nor to pay tribute to the Romans. It is guessed by interpreters, that some of this faction coming up to the passover, (for they were Jews), Pilate fell upon them, and slew them while they were sacrificing. Others think that these were some remnant of Judas’s faction, but Samaritans, and slain while they were sacrificing at their temple in Mount Gerizim, and that (though Samaritans) they were called Galilaeans, because Judas, the head of their faction, was such. The reader is at liberty to choose which of these he thinks most probable, for I find no other account given by any. The latter is prejudiced by our Saviour’s calling them Galilaeans, and advantaged by the desperate hatred which the Jews had to the Samaritans, which might make them more prone to censure any passages of Divine providence severe towards them. But what the certain crime or provocation was we cannot say; we are sure that de facto the thing was true, Pilate did mingle the blood of some Galilaeans with their sacrifices, of which a report was brought to Christ. We are at the same loss for those eighteen upon whom the tower in Siloam fell. Siloe, or Siloa, was the name of a small fountain at the foot of Mount Zion, which, as we are told, did not constantly, but at certain times, send out waters, which running through hollow places of the earth, and mines and quarries of stone, made a great noise. Isaiah mentions it, Isaiah 8:6. There was also a pool in Jerusalem which had that name, and had a wall built by it, Nehemiah 3:15. Christ sent the blind man to go and wash there, John 9:7. Turrets are (as we know) very usual upon walls. It seems one of these towers fell, and slew eighteen persons, come thither either to wash themselves, or by reason of some healing virtue in those waters, upon what occasion we cannot determine; but there they perished. This story seems to have been something older than the other. Our Saviour either had heard what some people had said, or at least knew what they would say upon those accidents, for we are mightily prone to pass uncharitable judgments upon persons perishing suddenly, especially if they die by a violent death. As he therefore took all occasions to press upon them repentance, so he doth not think fit to omit one so fair; and though he doth not, by what he saith, forbid us to observe such extraordinary providences, and to whom they happen, but willeth us to hear and fear; yet he tells them, there were many Galilaeans as bad as they, who unless they repented, that is, being sensible of, heartily turned from, the wickedness of their ways, would perish also: thereby teaching us,

1. That punishments come upon people for their sins, and more signal punishments for more signal sinnings.

2. That although God sometimes by his providence signally punishes some for notorious sinnings, yet he spareth more such sinners than he so signally punishes.

3. That therefore none can conclude from such signal punishments, that such persons punished were greater sinners than they.

4. That the best use we can make of such reports, and spectacles of notorious sinners, more than ordinarily punished, is to examine ourselves, and to repent, lest we also perish.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 13:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-13.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Галилеянах, кровь которых Пилат смешал с жертвами их Это событие согласуется с тем, что известно о характере Пилата. Очевидно, некоторые паломники из Галилеи, осужденные Римом (возможно, из-за своей принадлежности к мятежным зилотам; см. пояснение к Мф. 10:4), были найдены римскими властями в храме и убиты во время исполнения обряда жертвоприношения. Подобное убийство, вероятно, было самым ужасным видом богохульства. Случаи, подобные этому, возбуждали ненависть иудеев к Риму и в итоге привели к восстанию и последующему разрушению Иерусалима в 70 г. по Р.Х.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-13.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1.Were present—Had come with the intelligence from the metropolis. Jesus is now in eastern Judea.

At that season—So as to retail the news in the hearing of Jesus at the close of his discourse.

Told him—The Greek word implies that they announced it to him as news. Galileans—These importers of news from Jerusalem doubtless know that our Lord is himself a Galilean. He is “Jesus, the prophet of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11.) If they heard his discourse, they might have recognized the Galilean traits of articulation. His twelve, whom he addressed alternately with the people, are all Galileans; and their dialect, whenever they might chance to utter anything, (as Peter did, Matthew 21:41,) would bewray them. Hence we see a reason why these news-men may have been ready to furnish Jesus a bad piece of information about his fellow Galileans. In the second place, there seems very fair reason to believe, with the best commentators, that these slaughtered Galileans were the fanatic partizans of Judas the Galilean or Gaulonite. This man was an ultra Jew, who took ground against paying tribute to any foreign power, as treason against Jehovah. Pilate would be very well disposed to improve the opportunity to aim a deadly blow at such a set of men upon very slight pretexts. These informants, be it farther noted, are on the side of Pilate, holding that the sinners in the case are undoubtedly the Galileans. They see, therefore, chance to taunt Jesus, as if implicating him in the fanaticism and treason of the Gaulonite’s followers, and warning him of a similar danger.

Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices—From the tower of Antonia, which we have elsewhere described (see note on Matthew 21:12; Matthew 26:5,) as having been so built as to command the temple, for the very purpose of instantly repressing all tumults and seditions, for which its courts rendered it a favourite and advantageous place, Pilate was able to pour a destructive volley upon the occupants of any part. These Galileans were in the court of the temple, near the great altar; and probably the process of slaying their sacrificial victims was going on. The arrowy shower of death came, and the blood of the sacrificers and of their sacrifices blended in the same stream!

It was an awful omen! On the victim lies the weight of the worshipper’s sin; but here his own blood is made to mingle with the sin-atoning blood of the slain beast!

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-13.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘Now there were some present at that very season who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.’

Hot news has arrived from Jerusalem of Pilate’s latest atrocity. Galileans offering their sacrifices in the Temple (anything from two upwards) have at the very time of their bringing their sacrifices been slain in the Temple courtyard on Pilate’s orders. We have no details of this particular occurrence, but it is typical of Pilate. It may be that they had already been marked men, and that Pilate had simply been waiting for them to arrive at the Temple where he could be sure of finding them at the particular feast, or it may be that while in the Temple they were seen as having fermented trouble resulting in a quick and merciless reaction.

The vivid language may not be intended absolutely literally. If they had brought their sacrifices and were waiting for them to be offered, rather than offering them themselves, it would equally apply. Indeed had their blood actually landed on the altar the incident would probably have become even more serious, for it would have been seen as the vilest of sacrilege.

Why the informers told Jesus is not explained. It may be that they hoped to stir Jesus up to supporting retaliatory action, or to trap Him into saying something unwise against the authorities. Or it may be that they were citing them as an example of the kind of people in mind in Luke 12:57-59, who having not become reconciled with God have received their just deserts. But whatever the motive it would appear that someone had suggested that their manner of death clearly indicated their special sinfulness.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-13.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Luke linked this incident chronologically with the preceding one. Apparently messengers from Jerusalem had just arrived with news about Pilate"s act. This is the usual force of the Greek verb apaggello, translated "reported" or "told." Some Galileans had been in Jerusalem offering sacrifices at the temple. This may have been at Passover since only then did non-priests offers sacrifices. [Note: J. Jeremias, The Eucharistic Words of Jesus, p207, footnote4.] Pilate, the Roman governor of the province of Judea, may have killed them beside the altar in the temple courtyard. However the figure of speech that Luke used to describe Pilate"s action permits a somewhat looser interpretation. There are no extra-biblical references to this event currently extant.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-13.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 13:1. At that very season. Probably, but not necessarily, at that very time.

Some that told him. Apparently they spoke, because exasperated by the intelligence, not in consequence of the preceding discourse.

The Galileans. Luke speaks of the matter as well-known, but we have no other information about it. Such slaughters were too frequent to call for particular notice from historians. The Galileans were riotous, and the occasion was undoubtedly some feast at Jerusalem.

Whose blood Pilate mingled with their sacrifices. His soldiers probably fell on them and slew them while engaged in the temple-sacrifices. The victims were subjects of Herod, and it has been conjectured that this was the occasion of the enmity which existed between Pilate and Herod (chap. Luke 23:12). Those who told of the massacre thought that death under such circumstances was peculiarly terrible; and from this they inferred that these Galileans had been great sinners.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-13.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 13:1. , etc.: The introduction to the gruesome story naturally implies a temporal connection between what follows and what goes before: i.e., some present when Jesus spoke as reported in Luke 12:54-59 took occasion to tell Him this piece of recent news, recalled to their minds by what He had said about judgment and how to avert it. There is no good reason to suppose that the connection is merely topical, and that the preface is simply a literary device of Lk.— .: the article implies that the story was current.— , etc.: So the story was told among the horrified people: the blood of the poor Galilean victims ruthlessly shed by Pilate while they were in the very act of offering sacrifice. Perfectly credible in those times under such a ruler, and in reference to such victims, Galileans, free in spirit, restive under the Roman yoke. Similar incidents in Josephus, though not this precise occurrence.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-13.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. These seem to have been some of the seditious followers of Judas, the Galilean, or Gaulonite, who denied that God's people were to pay taxes; and it is thought that some of them, coming to offer up sacrifices in the temple, Pilate caused them to be slain at that very time, so that their blood was mixed with the sacrifices. (Witham) --- Whose blood, &c. i.e. whom he had caused to be massacred in the temple, at the time they were offering sacrifices. The history, to which allusion is made in this place, in not well known; but there is great probability that these Galileans were disciples of Judas, the Galilean, who taught that they ought not to pay tribute to foreigners. As they were spreading this doctrine in Jerusalem, and perhaps even in the temple, Pilate laid violent hands upon them, and caused them to be murdered amidst the sacrifices. (Calmet) --- Galileans, &c. These were the followers of one Judas, a Galilean, of whom St. Luke makes mention in the Acts of the Apostles, (Chap. v.) who held it unlawful to call any one lord. Many of this sect were punished by Pilate, because they would not allow this title to be given to Cæsar; they also maintained that no other sacrifices could lawfully be offered, except such as were prescribed by the law, by which opinion they forbade the accustomed sacrifices offered up for the emperor and people of Rome. Pilate, irritated by these their opinions, ordered them to be slain in the midst of their sacrifices, and this was their blood mixed with that of the victims. (St. Cyril in St. Thomas Aquinas)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

were present = arrived.

at = in. Greek. en. App-104. Not the same word as in Luke 13:24.

told Him = telling Him.

of = about. Greek. peri. App-104.

Galilaeans . . . Pilate. Probably the cause of the enmity of Luke 23:12.

with. Greek. meta. App-104.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

There were present at that season - showing that what is here recorded comes, in order of time, immediately after Luke 12:1-59. But what the precise season was, cannot certainly be determined. See opening remarks on Luke 9:51.

Some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. Possibly these were the followers of Judas of Galilee, who, some 20 years before this, taught that Jews should not pay tribute to the Romans, and of whom we learn, from Acts 5:37, that he drew after him a multitude of followers, who, on his being slain, were all dispersed. About this time that party would be at its height, and if Pilate caused this detachment of them to be waylaid and put to death, as they were offering their sacrifices at one of the festivals, that would be "mingling their blood with their sacrifices." So Grotius, Webster and Wilkinson, but doubted by de Wette, Meyer, Alford, etc. News of this-whatever the precise matter referred to may be-having been brought to our Lord, to draw out His views of it, and particularly, whether it was not a judgment of Heaven, He simply points them to the practical view of the matter.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-13.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

1. Who told Jesus about the Galileans. Jesus teaches in these verses that calamities which happen to God’s people are not to be thought of as “special acts of judgment for hidden sin. “ Compare James 1:2-4 and also Revelation 6. Only Luke tells of this happening to the Galileans. Fights at the temple and severe reprisals by the Roman soldiers were common. Those who told Jesus about this evidently thought it a judgment.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XIII.

(1) The Galileeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.—The incident is not related by Josephus or any other historian, but it was quite in harmony with Pilate’s character. (See Note on Matthew 27:2.) We may fairly infer it to have originated in some outburst of zealous fanaticism, such as still characterised the followers of Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37), while the pilgrims from that province were offering their sacrifices in the courts of the Temple, and to have been repressed with the same ruthless severity as he had shown in other tumults. It was probably one, at least, of the causes of the enmity between Herod and Pilate of which we read in Luke 23:12.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
the Galilaeans
The Galilaeans are frequently mentioned by Josephus as the most turbulent and seditious people, being upon all occasions ready to disturb the Roman authority. It is uncertain to what event our Lord refers; but is probable that they were the followers of Judas Gaulonitis, who opposed paying tribute to Caesar and submitting to the Roman government. A party of them coming to Jerusalem during one of the great festivals, and presenting their oblations in the court of the temple, Pilate treacherously sent a company of soldiers, who slew them, and "mingled their blood with their sacrifices."
Acts 5:37
mingled
Lamentations 2:20; Ezekiel 9:5-7; 1 Peter 4:17,18
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 36:17 - in the house;  Job 1:19 - it fell;  Job 22:20 - our substance;  Psalm 74:4 - Thine;  Ezekiel 9:7 - GeneralMatthew 14:3 - his;  Luke 23:6 - a Galilaean

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 13:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-13.html.