Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 14:20

Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Care;   Covetousness;   Excuses;   Feasts;   Gospel;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Kingdom of Heaven;   Opportunity;   Reproof;   Salvation;   Unbelief;   Worldliness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Absorption;   Bible Stories for Children;   Business;   Business Life;   Care;   Children;   Excuses;   Family;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Self-Justification-Self-Condemnation;   Stories for Children;   The Topic Concordance - Kingdom of God;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Care, Overmuch;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Feasts;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Food;   Grace;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Dead Sea Scrolls;   Gospel;   Grace;   Hospitality;   Kingdom of God;   Lord's Supper, the;   Wealth;   Work;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hospitality;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Call, Calling;   Family;   Luke, Gospel of;   Poor, Orphan, Widow;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Kingdom of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Circumstantiality in the Parables;   Courtesy;   Discourse;   Dropsy;   Invitation;   Kindness (2);   Lazarus;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Marriage;   Marriage (I.);   Sacraments;   Unity (2);   Wealth (2);   Worldliness (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Prophet, the;   Supper;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Maimed;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I have married a wife … - Our Saviour here doubtless intends to teach us that the love of earthly relatives and friends often takes off the affections from God, and prevents our accepting the blessings which he would bestow on us. This was the most trifling excuse of all; and we cannot but be amazed that “such” excuses are suffered to interfere with our salvation, and that people can be satisfied for “such” reasons to exclude themselves from the kingdom of God.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-14.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And another said, I have married a wife,.... And his pretence might be, that he had his own marriage feast, and friends to attend, nor could he leave his wife directly; but his circumstances were such as made an invitation to a feast the more agreeable, and he might have brought his wife and friends along with him, who would have been as welcome as himself:

and therefore I cannot come. The Arabic version renders it, "therefore I will not go": this man is more rustic and rude than the former; he does not so much as desire to be excused; and represents such who are fond of their sensual lusts and pleasures, and are resolved to indulge them, and will not be taken off from them by any means whatever.

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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 14:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-14.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I cannot come (ου δυναμαι ελτεινou dunamai elthein). Less polite than the others but a more plausible pretence if he wanted to make it so. The law excused a newly married man from war (Deuteronomy 24:5), “but not from social courtesy” (Ragg). The new wife would probably have been glad to go with him to the feast if asked. But see 1 Corinthians 7:33. There is here as often a sharp difference between the excuses offered and the reasons behind them.

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-14.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

I cannot

A newly married man had special indulgence allowed him. See Deuteronomy 24:5. Herodotus relates how Croesus refused for his son an invitation to a hunt on this ground. “But Croesus answered, 'Say no more of my son going with you; that may not be in anywise. He is but just joined in wedlock, and is busy enough with that'” (i., 36). The man who had the most plausible excuse returned the surliest and most peremptory answer. Compare 1 Corinthians 7:33.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-14.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

And they all with one [consent] began to make excuse1. The first said unto him, I have bought a field, and I must needs go out and see it; I pray thee have me excused.
    Luke 14:18-20

  1. They all with one [consent] began to make excuse. These three excuses show: (1) That the guests had made their engagements, either for business or pleasure, without the least regard for the honor of the banquet; (2) that they set little value upon either the friendship or the feast of the one who had invited them. Moreover, the excuses progress in disrespect, for the first excuse is on the ground of necessity, the second simply offers a reason, and the third is almost impudent in its bluntness. Viewing the excuses spiritually, we note that each one contains an element of "newness"--new field, new oxen, new wife. Thus the things of the earth seem new and sweet in comparison with the gospel invitation. Again, all the excuses are trifling, for the parable is intended to teach that men forego their rights to heaven for trifles. Again, the "sacred hate" of Luke 14:25,26 would have eliminated all these excuses. Possibly Paul had this parable in mind when he wrote (1 Corinthians 7:29-33). The three excuses warn us not to be hindered by (1) the love of possessions; (2) the affairs of business; (3) our social ties.

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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 14:20". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-14.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

Ver. 20. And therefore I cannot come] Note that the voluptuary is peremptory, and saith flatly he "cannot come." Sensual hearts are void of the Spirit, 1:18-19. Miry places could not be healed by the sanctuary waters, Ezekiel 47:11; fleshly lusts fight against the soul, 1 Peter 2:11. Those that dance to the timbrel and harp, say, "Depart from us," Job 21:11. Better be preserved in brine than rot in honey.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-14.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 14:20. γυναῖκα) See Luke 14:6. Comp. 1 Corinthians 7:30; 1 Corinthians 7:29.— οὐ δύναμαι, I cannot) This excuser of himself, the more plausible and fair-looking is the excuse which he thinks he has, is in proportion the more blunt in his refusal.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-14.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 14:16"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 14:20". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-14.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

I cannot come; that is, he did not wish to come. He chose not to do it.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-14.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“And another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ ”

The third does not make excuses. He baldly rejects the invitation and states that as he is newly married he cannot be expected to leave his wife in order to attend the supper. His wife (or his begetting of an heir) means more to him than the one who has invited him, and in the final analysis, more than the Kingly Rule of God.

And yet it is an excuse for if need arose, such as a summons from the king, or a fire on his farm, he would certainly be ready to leave his wife for an evening, or even more than an evening. His refusal was a great insult. There was really no excuse for his not attending. It indicated his contempt for the invitation.

Note how the threefoldness of the excuses indicate that they cover all possible excuses, of which there would be many, for three indicates completeness (just as two will later indicate certainty of witness - Luke 14:21-23).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-14.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 14:20. I have married a wife. According to the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 24:5), a newly married man was free from military duty for a year. Hence the abrupt tone: and therefore I cannot come. Home engagements are often the most pressing, as they are also when sanctified the most pious, but the excuse was not valid: the invitation had been accepted before, the wife should have been induced to go with him, etc. Back of all this lies the thought, that worldly gratification hindered this one.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-14.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 14:20. : most presentable excuse of all, therefore offered sans phrase; preoccupation this time intense, and surely pardonable? In the natural sphere these are likely forms of preoccupation, but not necessarily either the only, or even the chief in the spiritual sphere, or those which kept the lawyers and Pharisees from accepting the teaching of Jesus. Their prepossessions were religious and theological.

Not only these three but all decline to come. In the natural sphere this is highly improbable and unexampled. Jesus, from no fault on His part as a parable artist, had to make improbable suppositions to exemplify the fact in the spiritual sphere, which in this instance was that the bulk of the Jewish people were indifferent to the Kingdom as He presented it. On the other hand, in the parables spoken in justification of His own conduct, the case put has the highest measure of probability. Vide, e.g., those in next chapter.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-14.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

therefore = on account of (Greek. dia) this.

cannot = am not (Greek. ou. App-105) able to.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-14.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.

And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. None give a naked refusal. Each has some reason of his own why he ought to be held excused. Three excuses are given as specimens of all the rest; and it will be observed that they answer to the three things which are said to "choke the word" in the parable of the Sower (Luke 8:14), - "the care of this world," Luke 14:18; "the deceitfulness of riches," Luke 14:19; and "the pleasures of this life," Luke 14:20. Each differs from the other, and each has its own, plausibility; but all arrive at the same result-`We have other things to attend to, more pressing just now.' So far from saying, I decline to come, each represents himself as only hindered by something in the way just now: when these are removed, they will be ready. But, notwithstanding these plausibilities, they are held as refusers; and when at length they call, the Master in turn will refuse them.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(20) I have married a wife.—It may be noted that the Law of Moses allowed men to plead this, and the building of a house, or planting of a vineyard, as a ground for exemption from military service (Deuteronomy 20:5-7). The sin of the invited guests was that they treated the invitation to the feast as though it were as burdensome as a military conscription. In the interpretation of the parable, the bearing of this is obvious. Men are invited to the highest spiritual blessings, and they look askance at the invitation, as though it called them to what was simply a weariness to the flesh, and “beg off” under a hundred miserable pretences.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
26-28; 18:29,30; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31,33
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 14:20". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-14.html.