Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 13:2

And Jesus said to them, "Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Impenitence;   Repentance;   Thompson Chain Reference - Necessities, Spiritual;   Penitence-Impenitence;   Repentance;   Requirements, Divine;   Sorrow;   The Topic Concordance - Perishing;   Repentance;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Pardon;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Evil;   Pilate;   Suffering;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Disease;   Providence of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Pilate;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Galilean;   Repentance;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Anger (Wrath) of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Death (2);   Discourse;   Providence;   Questions and Answers;   Reality;   Reserve;   Wandering Stars;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Galileans;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Death;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Repentance;   Sinner;   Suffering;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered these things?

Think ye ... ? Of course, this is exactly what they thought, having in themselves the ancient prejudices reaching as far back as Job, and which attributes every calamity upon men as the just punishment of their sins. Job's friends accused him of sin, their accusation being based on his sufferings; and likewise the citizens of Malta supposed Paul to have been a murderer, solely upon the basis of their observance that a poisonous serpent had bitten him (Acts 28:4). As Summers said, "This verse suggests that Jesus detected a note of pious superiority in the report";[4] inasmuch as Jesus' audience had not suffered such a terrible fate as the Galileans, they were glorifying in the misassumption that they did not deserve punishment. Even the Twelve were infected with the same false views, as evidenced in John 9:2; but whether in the Twelve or in the multitude, the false philosophy which came into view was vigorously condemned by the Master.

In that deep human prejudice to the effect that great sufferers are receiving only what they deserve lies a germ of truth, namely, that all human sorrow and suffering derive, in the last analysis, from human sin; but it is a gross untruth that all disasters befalling men must be attributed to their immediate, specific sins. Many suffer through the sins of others, and some for no apparent reason at all.

ENDNOTE:

[4] Ray Summers, Commentary on Luke (Waco, Texas: Word Books, Publisher, Inc., 1974), p. 165.

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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 13:2". "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

And Jesus answering, said unto them,.... Neither approving, nor condemning Pilate's action; and though he allowed the Galileans to be sinners, which could not be denied, he does not bear hard upon them, but improves the instance for the conviction of his hearers, and in order to show them the necessity of repentance, and to bring them to it:

suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? such a supposition they seem to have made, by their speaking to Christ concerning this matter; and concluded from their violent and untimely deaths, that they had been notorious and uncommon sinners, and guilty of the most enormous crimes, which had brought upon them the just judgments of God: whereas this is not a rule of judging; oftentimes the best of men suffer exceedingly in this life; God's judgments are a great deep, and not to be fathomed by us, nor is it to be easily known, when any thing befalls persons in a way of judgment; there is nothing comes by chance, but every thing by the wise disposal of divine providence, to answer some end or another; nor are persons that are punished, either immediately by the hand of God, or by the civil magistrate, to be insulted, but rather to be pitied; besides, love and hatred, the characters and states of men, are not to be known by these effects in providence.

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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 13:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-13.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Sinners above all (αμαρτωλοι παρα πανταςhamartōloi para pantas). ΠαραPara means “beside,” placed beside all the Galileans, and so beyond or above (with the accusative).

Have suffered (πεποντασινpeponthasin). Second perfect active indicative third plural from πασχωpaschō common verb, to experience, suffer. The tense notes that it is “an irrevocable fact” (Bruce).

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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 13:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he answered and said unto them, Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things1?

  1. Think ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they have suffered these things? The Jews ascribed extraordinary misfortunes to extraordinary criminality. Sacrifice was intended to cleanse guilt. How hopeless, therefore, must their guilt be who were punished at the very times when they should have been cleansed!

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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 13:2". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-13.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Scofield's Reference Notes

sinners

Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 13:2". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-13.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?

Ver. 2. Because they suffered such things] None out of hell ever suffered more than those worthies, Hebrews 11:1-40. Shall any therefore condemn that generation of God’s children? Psalms 73:15. See Lamentations 4:6; Daniel 9:12.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-13.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 13:2. δοκεῖτε) A Metonymy for, Think ye that you are innocent, and will escape without punishment? We ought to have regard, not so much to what has happened to others, or why it has so happened, as to what may happen to ourselves, and what ought to be done by us. [This is the principal use to be made of the news which we hear.—V. g.— ὅτι, seeing that, because that) It is rather unsafe to draw a conclusion from individual calamities to individual sins (to think great calamities of individuals must be the result of their great sins, as Job’s friends thought of him).—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". 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

See Poole on "Luke 13:1"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 13:2". 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

грешнее Многие были убеждены, что несчастье и внезапная смерть всегда означали Божий гнев за определенные грехи (ср. Иов. 4:7). Поэтому предполагалось, что умершие неестественной смертью были виновны в какой-то более серьезной безнравственности (ср. Ин. 9:2).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The visible dealings of Providence with men in this world are no certain indications of their real character; but are suited to teach them the evil of sin, and the necessity of forsaking it, the certainty of death, and the wisdom as well as duty of being at all times prepared for it.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.Jesus answering—The two parts of Jesus’s answer at once neutralize their sneer and rebuke the false theology of these informants. These Galileans were not proved by their sad fate to be worse than other Galileans, or than people in Jerusalem, Luke 13:4 For special misfortunes are no proof of special guilt; and the same perdition which these sinners may have incurred will be the fate of all who repent not.

Because they suffered these things—Our Lord does not deny that even temporary suffering is a penalty for wickedness; or that all mankind are sufferers because they are sinners. But he denies that the greater sufferings are proof of the greater guilt. Such are the sins of all that they might suffer these same calamities without injustice being done them.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-13.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he answered and said to them, “Do you think that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they have suffered these things?” ’

This confirms that there had been some suggestion that they had brought their suffering on their own heads, or possibly even the suggestion that for someone to be killed while actually in the process of bringing a sacrifice must prove what dreadful sinners they were. The idea has become fixed in some people’s minds that these were particularly sinful Galileans. Note Jesus’ description of them as having ‘suffered’. It connects back with the suffering He is bringing on the world (Luke 12:49). They are examples of the fire that is coming on the earth.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-13.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 13:2. Suppose ye? Our Lord perceives their reasoning, and first corrects the mistake they made, adding an appropriate warning.

Were sinners. Our Lord does not deny that they were sinners; but only that their fate proved them to be especially great sinners. Job’s friends made the same mistake. The verse directly opposes the very common habit of calling every calamity that befalls another a ‘judgment.’ Such a verdict has the air of piety, but it is generally the result of uncharitableness. The next verse shows that our Lord so regarded it.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "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 13:2. : Jesus answered to an implied question. Those who told the story expected Him to make some remarks on it; not such doubtless as He did make.— , think ye; probably that was just what they did think. The fate of the Galileans awakened superstitious horror prone to impute to the victims special criminality.— . ., in comparison with all Galileans. To make the point more vivid the victims are compared with men of their own province, disposition, and temptations.— , became, were shown to be.— , have suffered, an irrevocable fact.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-13.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sinners, &c. People are naturally inclined to believe, that those who are unfortunate, and afflicted with calamities, must likewise be culpable and impious. The Jews were very much given to these sentiments, as we see in many places in Scripture; John ix. 2 and 3. Our Saviour wishes to do away with this prejudice, by telling them that the Galileans, who are here spoken of, were not the most culpable among the inhabitants of that country; shewing by this, that God often spares the most wicked, and sends upon the good the most apparent signs of vengeance, that he may exercise the patience, and crown the merit of the latter, and give to the former an example of the severity which they must expect, if they continue in their disorders. Neither can it be said, that in this God commits any injustice. He uses his absolute dominion over his creatures, when he afflicts the just; he procures them real good, when he strikes them; and his indulgence towards the wicked, is generally an effect of his mercy, which waits for their repentance, or sometimes the consequences of his great anger, when he abandons them to the hardness of their reprobate hearts, and says, "I will rest, and by angry with you no longer." (Ezechiel, Chap. xvi. 42.) This is the most terrible mark of his final fury. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Jesus (App-98. X). Read "He" with [L] T Tr. A WI R.

were = happened to be.

sinners = defaulters. Connecting it with Luke 12:58.

above. Greek para. App-104.

suffered = have suffered.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "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

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things?

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Suppose ye that these Galilæans . . .?—The tale had probably been told with a conviction, expressed or implied, that the massacre had been a special judgment for some special and exceptional guilt. Our Lord at once, here as in John 9:7, sweeps away all their rash interpretations of the divine government, and declares that all, unless they repented, were under the sentence of a like destruction. The “likewise,” however, is hardly to be taken, as some have taken it, in a literal sense. Some, it may be of those who heard the words, perished by the sword of Titus, as the Galileans had done by the sword of Pilate, but hardly all who were impenitent. Still less could this be said of the form of death referred to in the verse that follows.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
Suppose
4; Job 22:5-16; John 9:2; Acts 28:4
Reciprocal: 2 Chronicles 36:17 - in the house;  Job 9:22 - He destroyeth;  Job 19:5 - plead;  John 9:3 - Neither;  Acts 5:37 - he also

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-13.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

2.Do you imagine? etc. This passage is highly useful, were it for no other reason than that this disease is almost natural to us, to be too rigorous and severe in judging of others, and too much disposed to flatter our own faults. The consequence is, that we not only censure with excessive severity the offenses of our brethren; but whenever they meet with any calamity, we condemn them as wicked and reprobate persons. On the other hand, every man that is not sorely pressed by the hand of God slumbers at ease in the midst of his sins, as if God were favorable and reconciled to him. This involves a double fault; for when God chastises any one before our eyes, he warns us of his judgments, that each of us may examine himself, and consider what he deserves. If he spares us for a time, we are so far from having a right to take such kindness and forbearance as an opportunity for slumber, that we ought to regard it as an invitation to repentance.

To correct the false and cruel judgment which we are accustomed to pass on wretched sufferers, and, at the same time, to shake off the indulgence which every man cherishes towards himself, he shows, first, that those who are treated with severity are not the most wicked of all men; because God administers his judgments in such a manner, that some are instantly seized and punished, and others are permitted to remain long in the enjoyment of ease and luxury, Secondly, he declares that all the calamities which happen in the world are so many demonstrations of the wrath of God; and hence we learn what an awful destruction awaits us, (278) if we do not avert it.

The immediate occasion for this exhortation was, that some told him that Pilate had mingled human blood with sacrifices, in order that so shocking an event might bring sacrifices into abhorrence. As it is probable that this outrage was committed on the Samaritans, who had departed from the pure service of the Law, the Jews would easily and readily be disposed to condemn the Samaritans, and by so doing to applaud themselves. But our Lord applies it to a different purpose. As that whole nation was hated and detested by them on account of ungodliness, he puts the question, “Do you imagine that those wretched persons, who have been put to death by Pilate, were worse than others? You are perfectly aware, that that country is full of ungodly men, and that many who deserved the same punishment are still alive. He is a blind and wicked judge who decides as to the sins of all men by the punishments which they now endure. It is not always the most wicked man who is first dragged to punishment; but when God selects a few out of a large number to be punished, he holds out in their person a threatening that he will take vengeance on the remainder, in order that all may be alarmed.”

Having spoken of the Samaritans, he now approaches more closely to the Jews themselves. Eighteen men had at that time been killed by the fall of a tower in Jerusalem. He declares that those men were not more wicked than others, but that their death was held out to all as a ground of alarm; for if in them God gave a display of his judgment, no more would others, though they might be spared for a time, escape his hand. Christ does not, however, forbid believers to consider attentively the judgments of God, but enjoins them to observe this order, to begin with their own sins. They will thus obtain the highest advantage; for they will avert God’s chastisements by voluntary repentance. To the same purpose is the warning which Paul gives,

Let no man deceive you with vain words; for on account of these things the wrath of God cometh against the rebellious,
(
Ephesians 5:6.)

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:2". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-13.html. 1840-57.