Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 13:3

I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Impenitence;   Repentance;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Necessities, Spiritual;   Penitence-Impenitence;   Repentance;   Requirements, Divine;   Sorrow;   The Topic Concordance - Perishing;   Repentance;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Judgments;   Pardon;   Repentance;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Evil;   Repentance;   Suffering;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Disease;   Providence of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Pilate;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gospel;   New Birth;   Repentance;   Wrath, Wrath of God;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Anger (Wrath) of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Consciousness;   Death (2);   Discourse;   Endurance;   Heart;   Justice (2);   Ordination;   Providence;   Reality;   Redemption (2);   Reserve;   Salvation;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Kingdom or Church of Christ, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Repentance;  

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I tell you, Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.

The great truth uttered here, and repeated in the same words two verses later, was for the purpose of removing the false security of his hearers, both Galileans and dwellers in Jerusalem. Israel had rejected God's call to repentance as delivered, first by John the Baptist and again by Jesus Christ; and the impact of this verse is that God rejects the human device of supposing that some are righteous in a relative sense, because they are not like such notorious sinners as the Galileans, and that the Almighty demands repentance of all men.

Shall likewise perish ... This prophecy focuses on the fact that Israel is the primary target of this commandment, although, of course, in the general sense it applies to every man on earth. These words mean that Israel would "perish in the same way that the Galileans did, that is, by the Roman sword."[5] As Wesley said:

And so they did. There was a remarkable resemblance between the fate of these Galileans and of the main body of the Jewish nation ... They were slain by the Roman sword ... perished in the temple itself, and literally buried under its ruins.[6]

However, it is a serious mistake to see God's call to repentance as a directive for Israel alone. Christ was here stimulating "all thoughtful people to repentance facing the prospect of judgment."[7]

[5] J. S. Lamar, The New Testament Commentary, Vol. II (Cincinnati, Ohio: Chase and Hall, 1877), p. 185.

[6] John Wesley, Notes on the New Testament, (Naperville, Illinois: Alec. R. Allenson, Inc., 1950), p. 253.

[7] Ray Summers, op. cit., p. 165.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "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

I tell you, nay, They were not greater sinners than others of their neighbours, nor is it to be concluded from the bloody slaughter that was made of them; others might be much more deserving of such an end than they, who yet escaped it:

but except ye repent; of sin, and particularly of the disbelief of the Messiah:

ye shall likewise perish; or perish, in like manner, as these Galileans did: and so it came to pass in the destruction of Jerusalem, that great numbers of the unbelieving Jews, even three hundred thousand men were destroyed at the feast of passoverF3Vid. Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 11. & l. 7. c. 17. Euseb. l. 3. c. 5. ; and that for sedition, as these men very likely 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.
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 13:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-13.html. 1999.

People's New Testament

I tell you, Nay. He does not deny that they were sinners, but that they were greater sinners than others.

Except ye repent. All were so great sinners that only repentance could save them. It was only a generation until the words of the Lord were strikingly fulfilled. The impenitent Jewish nation was destroyed by the Roman sword, as were those Galileans.

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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 13:3". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-13.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Except ye repent (εαν μη μετανοητεean mē metanoēte). Present active subjunctive of μετανοεωmetanoeō to change mind and conduct, linear action, keep on changing. Condition of third class, undetermined, but with prospect of determination.

Ye shall perish (απολειστεapoleisthe). Future middle indicative of απολλυμιapollumi and intransitive. Common verb.

Copyright Statement
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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "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

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Ye shall all likewise perish — All ye of Galilee and of Jerusalem shall perish in the very same manner. So the Greek word implies. And so they did. There was a remarkable resemblance between the fate of these Galileans and of the main body of the Jewish nation; the flower of which was slain at Jerusalem by the Roman sword, while they were assembled at one of their great festivals. And many thousands of them perished in the temple itself, and were literally buried under its ruins.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-13.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish1.

  1. I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish. But the Jews erred in this interpreting the event. Quantity of individual sin cannot safely be inferred from the measure of individual misfortune. It was true that the Galileans suffered because of sin, for all suffering is the result of sin. But it was not true that the suffering was punishment for unusual sinfulness. Our suffering is often due to the general sin of humanity--the sin of the whole associate body of which we are a part.

Copyright Statement
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 13:3". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-13.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Likewise; also.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-13.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

THE JUDGMENTS OF GOD

‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’

Luke 13:3; Luke 13:5

The murder of the Galilæans is an event of which we know nothing certain. The motives of those who told our Lord of the event we are left to conjecture. At any rate, they gave Him an opportunity of speaking to them about their own souls. He bade His informants look within, and think of their own state before God. He seems to say, ‘What though these Galilæans did die a sudden death? What is that to you? Consider your own ways. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’

I. People are much more ready to talk of the deaths of others than their own.—The death of the Galilæans, mentioned here, was probably a common subject of conversation in Jerusalem and all Judæa. It is just the same in the present day. A murder, a sudden death, a shipwreck, or a railway accident, will completely occupy the minds of a neighbourhood, and be in the mouth of every one you meet. And yet these very persons dislike talking of their own deaths and their own prospects in the world beyond the grave. Such is human nature in every age. In religion, men are ready to talk of anybody’s business rather than their own.

II. Our Lord lays down the universal necessity of repentance.—Twice He declares emphatically, ‘Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.’ The truth here asserted is one of the foundations of Christianity. If we have already repented in time past, let us go on repenting to the end of our lives. There will always be sins to confess and infirmities to deplore, so long as we are in the body. Let us repent more deeply, and humble ourselves more thoroughly, every year. Let every returning birthday find us hating sin more, and loving Christ more. He was a wise old saint who said, ‘I hope to carry my repentance to the very gate of heaven.’

Illustration

‘It is evident that our Lord’s informants were filled with the vulgar opinion that sudden deaths were special judgments, and that if a man died suddenly he must have committed some special sin. Our Lord bids them understand that this opinion was a mere baseless delusion. We have no right whatever to conclude that God is angry with a man because He removes him suddenly from the world. Ford gives a quotation from Perkins which deserves reading: “The common opinion is, that if a man die quietly, and go away like a lamb (which in some diseases, as consumption, any man may do), then he goes straight to heaven. But if the violence of the disease stirs up impatience, and causes frantic behaviour, then men use to say, ‘There is a judgment of God, serving either to discover a hypocrite or to plague a wicked man.’ But the truth is otherwise.—A man may die like a lamb, and yet go to hell; and one dying in exceeding torment and strange behaviour of body, may go to heaven.”’

(SECOND OUTLINE)

THE GALILÆANS’ WARNINGS

Our Lord does not say, Those Galilæans were not sinners at all. Their sins had nothing to do with their death. Those on whom the tower fell were innocent men. We know nothing of the circumstances of either calamity.

I. The warning to the Jewish nation.—This we know, that our Lord warned the rest of the Jews that unless they repented they would all perish in the same way. And we know that that warning was fulfilled within forty years, so hideously and so awfully that the destruction of Jerusalem remains as one of the most terrible cases of wholesale ruin and horror recorded in history.

II. The warning to individuals.—These Galilæans were no worse than the other Galilæans; yet they were singled out as examples, as warnings, to the rest. Pestilences, conflagrations, accidents of any kind which destroy life wholesale, even earthquakes and storms, are instances of this law; warnings from God, judgments of God, in the very strictest sense; by which He tells men, in a voice awful enough to the few, but merciful and beneficent to the many, to be prudent and wise.

III. The warning to evil systems.—The more we read, in histories, of the fall of great dynasties, or of the ruin of whole classes or whole nations, the more we feel—however much we may acquiesce with the judgment as a whole—sympathy with the fallen. It is not the worst, but often the best specimens of a class or of a system who are swallowed up by the moral earthquake which has been accumulating its force, perhaps, for centuries. May not the reason be that God has wished to condemn, not the persons, but their systems? that He has punished them, not for their private, but for their public faults?

—Rev. F. D. Maurice.

Illustration

‘The folly and uncharitableness of mankind are in nothing more clearly seen than in their disposition to blame every one who is unfortunate, and to think themselves surely in the right as long as they are prosperous. “While he lived,” said the Psalmist of the worldly-minded, “he counted himself an happy man; and so long as thou doest well unto thyself men will speak good of thee.” On the other hand, let one be smitten with disease or poverty, he shall never want some to ascribe his sufferings to the intemperance of his youth, to his extravagance, carelessness, or vicious indulgences while he had money, or to the judgments of God on his covetousness and want of generosity. And yet every day’s experience proves, both in public and private life, that the wisest of us is deceived, and the best man disappointed in three out of four of his worldly hopes and expectations. The reason of this is, that the present life is a state of trial, and not of reward and punishment; and the use to be made of it is, that the afflicted learn patience, the prosperous godly fear, and all men charity and candour in judging of others.’

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Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-13.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Ver. 3. Except ye repent] Aut poenitendum, aut pereundum. Either repent or perish. Men must either turn from sin or burn in hell.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-13.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 13:1"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 13:3". 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

если не покаетесь Иисус не отрицал связи между несчастьем и человеческим грехом, так как все подобные бедствия в конечном итоге происходят от проклятия падшего человечества (Быт. 3:17-19). Более того, особые бедствия в самом деле могут быть плодом определенных беззаконий (Пр. 24:16). Но Христос отрицал мнение людей, считавших, что они нравственно выше тех, кто пострадал в таких катастрофах. Он всех призвал к покаянию, ибо всем им грозила внезапная гибель. Никому не гарантировано время на подготовку к смерти, поэтому теперь – время всем покаяться (ср. 2Кор. 6:2).

все также погибнете Эти слова пророчески предупреждали о приближающемся суде над Израилем, который достиг высшей точки в катастрофическом разрушении Иерусалима в 70 г. по Р.Х. Римляне убили тысячи людей в Иерусалиме. См. пояснение к Мф. 23:36.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

I tell you, Nay; sudden death is no evidence of peculiar wickedness; but death in any form is the effect of sin, and should remind us that we must repent of it, and be delivered from its power, or we shall perish.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.Ye—Not Galileans only, but ye Judeans and Jerusalemites. And this neutralizes the sneer at Jesus as a Galilean.

Likewise perish—This we hold to be addressed to them primarily as individuals, however true it was of the entire nation as such. The likewise does not imply that they will die by a shot from Pilate, or a fall of the tower, or by any violent death; but by death under the wrath of God, which is but the gateway to a death eternal. It was forty years later than the utterance of these words that Jerusalem was destroyed; and but very few then at years of accountability could have suffered its terrible woes. But it is a somewhat singular fact that Jewish writers say that the Emperor Trajan, in the final war with the Jews, mingled the blood of the Jews with their sacrifices!

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-13.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“I tell you, No. But, except you repent, you will all similarly perish.”

Jesus’ reply is that that their deaths do not indicate that they were worse sinners than anyone else. They were not necessarily the more guilty because they died violently. Judgment is not always so direct. And then He seizes the opportunity to apply the lesson. Let them in fact recognise that unless they repent they will all perish similarly. Let the judgments that are in the earth teach them righteousness before it is too late.

Some have seen in this a hint concerning the coming desolation of Jerusalem when many would perish ‘in the same way’ because they had failed to respond to Jesus’ message of love and forgiveness. Had they done so the destruction of Jerusalem would never have happened. But it seems more likely that He is thinking rather of the last Judgment.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "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 13:3. Unless ye repent. It does not follow that those addressed were Galileans. If John 11:47-54 refers to a time preceding this incident, then this intelligence may have been brought to our Lord to warn Him against the danger awaiting Him and His disciples at Jerusalem. He warns His hearers of their danger. He corrects their mistake in Luke 13:2, but here bases His warning upon the truth which lay back of it, namely, that sin is often punished in this world. Hence each should repent of his own sins, rather than be over-anxious to interpret calamities, as judgments upon others for their sins.

Ye shall all in like manner perish, i.e., by the Roman sword. At the destruction of Jerusalem, it was the temple especially that ran with blood.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "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 13:3. , an emphatic “no,” followed by a solemn “I say to you”. The prophetic mood is on the speaker. He reads in the fate of the few the coming doom of the whole nation.— , in a similar way. , the reading in T.R., is stronger = in the same way. Jesus expresses Himself with greater intensity as He proceeds = ye shall perish likewise; nay, in the same way (Luke 13:5, ), your towers and temples falling about your ears.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-13.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

prediction of our Saviour upon the impenitent was afterwards completely verified; for Josephus informs us, that under the government of Cumanus, 20,000 of them were destroyed about the temple. (Jewish Antiquities, lib. xx, chap. 4.) That upon the admission of the Idumeans into the city, 8,500 of the high priest's party were slain, insomuch that there was a flood of blood quite round the temple. (The Jewish War, lib. iv, chap. 7.) That in consequence of the threefold faction that happened in Jerusalem before the siege of the Romans, the temple was every where polluted with slaughter; the priests were slain in the exercise of their functions; many who came to worship, fell before their sacrifices; the dead bodies of strangers and natives were promiscuously heaped together, and the altar defiled with their blood. (The Jewish War, lib. vi, chap. 1.) That upon the Romans taking possession of the city and temple, mountains of dead bodies were piled up about the altar; streams of blood ran down the steps of the temple; several were destroyed by the fall of towers, and others suffocated in the ruins of the galleries over the porches. (The Jewish War, lib. vii, chap. 10.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

tell = say to.

Nay. Greek. ouchi. App-105.

except ye repent = if (App-118) ye repent (App-111) not (App-105).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "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

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 'These men are not signal examples of divine vengeance, as ye suppose; but every impenitent sinner-ye yourselves, except ye repent-shall be like monuments of the judgment of Heaven, and in a more awful sense.' The reference here to the impending destruction of Jerusalem is far from exhausting our Lord's weighty words; they manifestly point to a "perdition" of a more awful kind-future, personal, remediless.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "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

3. No! Jesus does not deny that these people were sinners, but he does say with emphasis, that they were no worse than other people. You will all die as they did. He says this to teach them with strong words that only turning from sin [repentance] will save them! (Compare Acts 2:38 and notes.)

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
except
5; 24:47; Matthew 3:2,10-12; Acts 2:38-40; 3:19; Revelation 2:21,22
ye shall
19:42-44; 21:22-24; 23:28-30; Matthew 12:45; 22:7; 23:35-38; 24:21-29
Reciprocal: Numbers 29:7 - afflict;  Deuteronomy 8:19 - I testify against;  Psalm 37:20 - But the;  Jeremiah 18:8 - that nation;  Jeremiah 25:5 - Turn;  Ezekiel 3:18 - I say;  Ezekiel 18:30 - so;  Ezekiel 33:14 - Thou shalt;  Mark 6:12 - preached;  Luke 16:30 - repent;  Luke 17:34 - I tell;  John 3:5 - cannot;  John 6:53 - Except;  John 8:11 - go;  Acts 20:21 - repentance;  Acts 26:20 - repent;  Revelation 16:9 - and they

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 13:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-13.html.