Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 14:23

And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Covetousness;   Feasts;   Gospel;   Hedge;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Kingdom of Heaven;   Opportunity;   Reproof;   Salvation;   Unbelief;   Worldliness;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Hedges;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   The Topic Concordance - Kingdom of God;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Entertainments;   Hedges;  
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;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Hedge;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Call, Calling;   Family;   Luke, Gospel of;   Poor, Orphan, Widow;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hedge;   Kingdom of God;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Circumstantiality in the Parables;   Discourse;   Dropsy;   Hedge;   Invitation;   Kindness (2);   Lazarus;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Marriage;   Missions;   Parousia;   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;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Hedge;   Highway;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Compel;   Hedge;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Compel them to come in - αναγκασον, Prevail on them by the most earnest entreaties. The word is used by Matthew, Matthew 14:22, and by Mark, Mark 6:45; in both which places, when Christ is said, αναγκαζειν, to constrain his disciples to get into the vessel, nothing but his commanding or persuading them to do it can be reasonably understood. The Latins use cogo, and compello, in exactly the same sense, i.e. to prevail on by prayers, counsels, entreaties, etc. See several examples in Bishop Pearce, and in Kypke. No other kind of constraint is ever recommended in the Gospel of Christ; every other kind of compulsion is antichristian, can only be submitted to by cowards and knaves, and can produce nothing but hypocrites, See at the end of the chapter.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Go out into the highways - Since enough had not been found in the lanes and streets, he commands the servant to go into the roads - the public highways out of the city, as well as to the streets “in” it - and invite them also.

Hedges - A hedge is the inclosure around a field or vineyard. It was commonly made of thorns, which were planted thick, and which kept the cattle out of the vineyard. “A common plant for this purpose is the prickly pear, a species of cactus, which grows several feet high, and as thick as a man‘s body, armed with sharp thorns, and thus forming an almost impervious defense” (Professor Hackett, “Scripture Illustrations,” p. 174). Those in the hedges were poor laborers employed in planting them or trimming them - people of the lowest class and of great poverty. By his directing them to go first into the streets of the city and then into the highways, we are not to understand our Saviour as referring to different classes of people, but only as denoting the “earnestness” with which God offers salvation to people, and his willingness that the most despised should come and live. Some parts of parables are thrown in for the sake of “keeping,” and they should not be pressed or forced to obtain any obscure or fanciful signification. The great point in this parable was, that God would call in the Gentiles after the Jews had rejected the gospel. This should be kept always in view in interpreting all the parts of the parable.

Compel them - That is, urge them, press them earnestly, one and all. Do not hear their excuses on account of their poverty and low rank of life, but urge them so as to overcome their objections and lead them to the feast. This expresses the “earnestness” of the man; his anxiety that his table should be filled, and his purpose not to reject any on account of their poverty, or ignorance, or want of apparel. So God is earnest in regard to the most polluted and vile. He commands his servants, his ministers, to “urge” them to come, to “press” on them the salvation of the gospel, and to use all the means in their power to bring into heaven poor and needy sinners.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-14.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and constrain them to come in, that my house may be filled.

"This time the master of the house invites to his banquet the Gentiles."[31] As this had not yet been accomplished at the time of this parable, it is clear that the parable was prophetic at this point, moving altogether beyond the narrow circle of Israel, either of its leaders or its less noble classes. All men will be laid under tribute to provide guests for the Father's kingdom banquet.

Constrain them ... is translated "compel them" in some versions; but only a moral and rational force is indicated. Despite this, these words are a favorite text of the persecutor and inquisitor.

Long ago, Augustine used this text as a justification for religious persecution. It was used as a defense, and even as a command, to coerce people into the Christian faith. It was used as a defense for the inquisition, the thumb-screw, the rack, the threat of death and imprisonment - and for all those things which are the shame of Christianity.[32]

Christ never intended that kind of constraint to bring people into his kingdom; and "The church which tolerates, encourages, and practices persecution is not the Church of Christ; and no man can be of such a church without endangering his salvation."[33]

That my house may be filled ... These words are a definite suggestion that God intends to redeem from earth "a certain number of souls." "The invitation will therefore be continued, and consequently the history of our race prolonged, until that number be reached."[34]

[31] H. D. M. Spence, op. cit., p. 26.

[32] William Barclay, op. cit., p. 200.

[33] Adam Clarke, op. cit., p. 455.

[34] H. D. M. Spence, op. cit., p. 27.

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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 14:23". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the Lord said unto the servant,.... A second time; that since the Jews put away the word of eternal life from them, and judged themselves unworthy of it by their contradicting and blaspheming it, he commanded his apostles to turn from them to the Gentiles; see Acts 13:45,

go out into the highways and hedges: the Persic version adds, "of the vineyards"; see 1 Chronicles 4:23 and may in general design the mean, base, vile, and sinful state of the Gentiles; who might be said to be "in the highways", because they were without the commonwealth and church of the Jews; were not admitted to civil conversation, nor to religious worship with them; and were left to walk on in their own ways, of their own devising and choosing, in which they delighted: they were not in God's highway, which is a way of holiness, Isaiah 35:8 but in their own highways; either following the various sects of the philosophers, which were vain and foolish; or going into different practices of idolatry, and walking in very sinful and vicious courses; and so were in the broad road and highway to destruction: and their being in, and under "the hedges", may denote their state of separation from God; being without him, alienated from the life of him, and afar off from him; being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, Ephesians 2:12 they were not in the gardens and enclosures, but under the hedges:

and compel them to come in; to the house of God, and church of Christ; to come and hear the word, and quit their former course of living, and attend the word and worship of God; and upon an evidence of the truth of grace upon their souls, to come into a Gospel church state, and partake of all privileges and ordinances in it; to which they are to be compelled, not by outward force, but by forcible words, by powerful arguments, and by the strength of persuasion; which expresses the nature of the Gospel ministry, which is to persuade Japhet to dwell in the tents of Shem; and the power that attends it by the divine Spirit; the case and condition of souls, who are generally bashful and backward, judging themselves unworthy; as also the earnest desire, and great liberality of Christ, the master of the feast, whose end in it is as follows:

that my house may be filled; with men, like a flock, and these with gifts and grace; with such as shall be saved, as with elect Jews, so with the fulness of the Gentiles.

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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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Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

highways and hedges — outside the city altogether; historically, the heathen, sunk in the lowest depths of spiritual wretchedness, as being beyond the pale of all that is revealed and saving, “without Christ, strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12); generally, all such still. Thus, this parable prophetically contemplates the extension of the kingdom of God to the whole world; and spiritually, directs the Gospel invitations to be carried to the lowest strata, and be brought in contact with the outermost circles, of human society.

compel them to come in — not as if they would make the “excuses” of the first class, but because it would be hard to get them over two difficulties: (1) “We are not fit company for such a feast.” (2) “We have no proper dress, and are ill in order for such a presence.” How fitly does this represent the difficulties and fears of the sincere! How is this met? “Take no excuse - make them come as they are - bring them along with you.” What a directory for ministers of Christ!

that my house may be filled — “Grace no more than nature will endure a vacuum” [Bengel].

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-14.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

23. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

[Go out into the highways and hedges.] Into the highways, that he might bring in the travellers: but who were those that were among the hedges? We have a parallel place, 1 Chronicles 4:23: "These were the potters," in Greek, Those that dwell in Ataim and Gadir. But the Vulgar, dwelling in plantations and hedges. To the same purpose R. Solomon and Kimchi; "They employed themselves in making pots, in planting, in setting hedges, and making mud walls." The Targumist here is very extravagant: "These are those disciples of the law, for whose sake the world was made; who sit in judgment and stablish the world; and their daughters build up the waste places of the house of Israel with the presence of the Eternal King, in the service of the law, and the intercalation of months," &c.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-14.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The highways and hedges (τας οδους και πραγμουςtas hodous kai phragmous). The public roads outside the city of Judaism just as the streets and lanes were inside the city. The heathen are to be invited this time.

Hedges is fenced in places from πρασσωphrassō to fence in (Romans 3:19).

Compel (αναγκασονanagkason). First aorist active imperative of αναγκαζωanagkazō from αναγκηanagkē (Luke 14:18). By persuasion of course. There is no thought of compulsory salvation. “Not to use force, but to constrain them against the reluctance which such poor creatures would feel at accepting the invitation of a great lord” (Vincent). As examples of such “constraint” in this verb, see note on Matthew 14:22; Acts 26:11; Galatians 6:12.

That my house may be filled (ινα γεμιστηι μου ο οικοςhina gemisthēi mou ho oikos). First aorist passive subjunctive of γεμιζωgemizō to fill full, old verb from γεμωgemō to be full. Effective aorist. Subjunctive with ιναhina in final clause. The Gentiles are to take the place that the Jews might have had (Romans 11:25). Bengel says: Nec natura nec gratia patitur vacuum.

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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 14:23". "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

Hedges ( φραγμοὺς )

See on Matthew 21:33. It may mean either a hedge, or a place enclosed with a hedge. Here the hedges beside which vagrants rest.

Compel

Compare constrained, Matthew 14:22; Acts 26:11; Galatians 6:12. Not to use force, but to constrain them against the reluctance which such poor creatures would feel at accepting the invitation of a great lord.

May be filled ( γεμισθῇ )

A very strong word; properly of loading a ship. “Nature and grace alike abhor a vacuum” (Bengel).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "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.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Compel them to come in — With all the violence of love, and the force of God's word. Such compulsion, and such only, in matters of religion, was used by Christ and his apostles.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-14.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

COMPELLED GUESTS

‘Compel them to come in.’

Luke 14:23

Our Lord was ever ready to turn the circumstances of the hour to some good end. Thus, when at table, it occurred to Him to depict the privileges of those invited to the banquet of the Gospel.

I. The provision made by Divine bounty.—The Old Testament had pictured spiritual satisfaction and enjoyment under the similitude of a feast, a well-spread table. ‘Ho! every one that thirsteth,’ etc. And our Lord in His discourses, and by certain of His miracles, had impressed upon men’s minds the happiness of sharing in the provision made by Divine wisdom and beneficence for the spiritual wants of men. He had declared Himself to be the Bread of Life, alone able to appease the hunger, and sustain the life and strength of the soul.

II. The invitation published by Divine lovingkindness.

(a) A summons is addressed by the Lord’s ministers and messengers: ‘Come!’

(b) Representations are made which should have the effect of producing immediate compliance: ‘All things are ready!’

(c) The invitation is addressed to ‘many,’ and those of very various position and occupation and character.

III. The insensibility displayed by many who are invited to be the guests at the spiritual banquet.—Observe the indifference displayed, the excuses offered, the courses preferred to the acceptance of the Gospel call. Some are detained by property, some by business, some by pleasure.

IV. The urgency with which the invitation of the Gospel is addressed to all classes and conditions of men.

(a) No position in life, no previous sinfulness, are regarded as a hindrance. The streets and lanes of the city, the highways and hedges of the country, must be frequented by the Gospel messengers in the execution of their benevolent functions.

(b) Urgency and entreaty are to be employed, and men are to be, by the presentation of motives and inducements, constrained, compelled to come in.

(c) Thus shall the Lord’s great heart be satisfied when His house shall be filled, and the multitudes shall be fed.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-14.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

Ver. 23. Compel them] This may be meant (saith Mr Perkins) of the Christian magistrate; for that is the magistrate’s duty in respect of the outward profession.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-14.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 14:23

Acceptance of Religious Privileges Compulsory.

I. Consider what first of all presents itself to our thoughts—our birth into the world. Allow that this is a world of enjoyment, yet unquestionably it is a world of care and pain. Also, most men will judge that the pain on the whole exceeds the enjoyment on the whole. But whether this be so or not with most men, even if there be one man in the whole world who thinks so, that is enough for my purpose. It is enough if only there be one person to be found, who thinks sickness, disappointment, anxiety, affliction, suffering, fear, to be such grievous ills, that he had rather not have been born. If this be the sentiment only of one man, that man, it is plain, is, as regards his very existence, what the Christian is relatively to his new birth—an unwilling recipient of a gift. We are not asked whether we will choose this world, before we are born into it. We are brought under the yoke of it, whether we will or no; since we plainly cannot choose or not choose, before the power of choice is bestowed on us, this gift of a mortal nature.

II. Such is our condition as men; it is the same as Christians. For instance, we are not allowed to grow up before choosing our religion. We are baptized in infancy. Our sponsors promise for us. We find ourselves Christians; and our duty is, not to consider what we should do if we were not Christians, not to go about disputing, sifting the evidence for Christianity, weighing this side or that, but to act upon the rules given us, till we have reason to think them wrong, and to bring home to ourselves the truth of them, as we go on, by acting upon them—by their fruits on ourselves.

III. We have the remarkable facts (1) that whole households were baptized by the Apostles, which must include slaves as well as children. (2) The usage existed in the Early Church of bringing such as had the necessary gifts to ordination, without asking their consent. (3) Consider the conduct of the Church from the very first time any civil countenance was extended towards it, and you will have a fresh instance of the constraining principle of which I speak. What are national conversions, when kings submitted to the Gospel and their people followed, but going out into the highways and hedges, and compelling men to come in? And though we can conceive cases in which this urgency was unwisely, over-strongly, unseasonably, or too extensively applied, yet the principle of it is no other than that of the baptism of households mentioned in the Acts.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. iv., p. 52.


References: Luke 14:23.—J. Fraser, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 1; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. v., No. 227.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-14.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 14:23. Compel them Press them. "Use the most earnest intreaties with those who shew any unwillingness." The word αναγχασον, rendered compel, does not imply that any external violence was to be used with these persons; a single servant was sent out to them, who surely was not capable of forcing so great a multitude to come in, as was necessary to fill his lord's house. The proper meaning of the expression is, "Use the most powerful persuasion with them;" and so it fitly denotes the great efficacy of the apostle's preaching to the idolatrous Gentiles, whereby vast numbers of them were prevailed with through divine grace to embrace the gospel. See Proverbs 7:21 in the LXX. for the same word, only used in a bad sense; and Luke 24:29. Indeed, force has no manner of influence to enlighten men's consciences; so that though one should pretend to believe, and should actually practise a worship contrary to his opinion, it could never please God, being mere hypocrisy; wherefore St. Austin and others, who suppose that this passage of the parable justifies the use of external violence in matters of religion, are grossly mistaken. The author of the Observations, describing the hospitality maintained in the Arab villages, tells us, from La Roque, that as soon as the cheikh,—who is as the lord of the village,—is informed that strangers are coming, he goes to meet them, and, having saluted them, marches at their head to the place set apart for their reception, if they are disposed to dine or lodge in the village: but La Roque gives us to understand, that frequently those travellers only just stop to take a bit and then go on; in which case they are generally inclined to stay out of the village, under some tree. Upon this the cheikh goes or sends his people to the village to bring them a collation; which, as there is not time to dress meat for them, consists of eggs, butter, curds, honey, olives and other fruit. After they have eaten, they thankfully take leave of the cheikh, who commonly eats with them; and then pursue their journey. This may serve to explain the passage before us. Those in the highways were strangers passing on without any intention of stopping; and these under the hedges, where travellers frequently sat down, were such as had declared themselves averse to stay, and only just sat down to take a little refreshment. The sheltering themselves under trees and hedges, does not import, as someeminentcommentatorshaveimagined,theirbeingthepoorestandmost helpless of travellers, which does not at all agree with the pressing them to come in, for such must be supposed ready enough to come;—but it points out their being strangers, by no means inclined to receive such a favour, as it would so retard them, as to break in upon their measures. See Observat. p. 220.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-14.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

23.] The calling of the Gentiles, outside the city; in the country (Matthew 22:9-10).

ἀνάγκ. εἰσελθ.] Is there not here an allusion to Infant Baptism? for remember, the εἰσελθόντες are good and bad. (Matt. l. c.)

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-14.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 14:23. φραγμοὺς, hedges) which are the house-walls of beggars [the only kind of houses they have.]—[ εἰς τὰς ὁδοὺς, into the highways) Pure unmixed paganism is hereby meant.—V. g.]— ἀνάγκασον εἰσελθεῖν, compel them to come in) It is not compulsion of every kind that is meant: for he who is altogether dragged or hurried by force cannot be said to come in [which implies a voluntary act]. Comp. the ἠνάγκασεν, Matthew 14:22, “He constrained His disciples,” etc. [which does not mean physical force compulsion, but by urgent command induced]; 2 Corinthians 12:11; Galatians 2:14; παραβιάζεσθαι, in Luke 24:29; Acts 16:15. It was in altogether different ways that Saul, when mad with zeal for Judaism, compelled men, and Paul the servant of Jesus Christ compelled men. [The later the call is, the more strongly urgent in proportion is he; Luke 14:23, εἰπεῖν, say, Luke 14:17, εἰσάγαγε, bring in, Luke 14:21, ἀνάγκασον, compel, Luke 14:23, are in successive gradation (form an ascending climax).—V. g.]— γεμισθῇ, may be filled) Neither nature nor grace admits of a vacuum. The blessed ones form a multitude, which acquires the greatest portion of its fulness in the last periods of the world. [In consonance with this is the prophecy that Christ after “having seen the travail of His soul shall be satisfied,” Isaiah 53:11.—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". 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 14:23". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-14.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

по дорогам и изгородям Здесь явно представлены языческие страны.

убеди прийти Т.е. не силой или принуждением, а ревностным убеждением.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-14.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The highways and hedges; lying without the city, by which is signified the calling of the Gentiles.

Compel them; not by force, but by persuasion, by earnest, persevering entreaty.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "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 the lord said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and constrain them (strongly urge them) to come in, that my house may be filled.’ ”

Then the lord tells his servant to leave the city and go out into the countryside. There in the highways and under the hedges he will find hungry men and women, for there were many such in those days, and he must use his full powers of persuasion so as to bring them to the feast, to fill up the empty places. They will naturally be reticent. Who could believe such good luck? And Eastern courtesy would require a first refusal. But he is to persevere. (He is by himself. There is no thought of violent compulsion. Compare Acts 28:19; 2 Corinthians 12:11; Mark 6:45). The hedges are those that surround the properties of the rich men who have refused his invitation. These people are those ‘on the outside’, who would not have expected an invitation.

This second sending out, along with the first, witnesses in a twofold way (two is the indication of a satisfactory witness) to the readiness of God to receive all who will come, and it confirms the twofold rejection made of those who had by their actions refused the double invitation at the beginning. Now they were doubly rejected. There was to be no doubt that their exclusion was now final. The door had been closed on them (Luke 13:24-25), for the master is determined at all costs to fill his house with others. It should be noted that the two expeditions, as had the two invitations, mirror what has already happened with John the Baptiser and Jesus, and with the twelve and the seventy. The Servant has gone out a number of times already, as the Scribes and Pharisees would well know. They are an indicator of persistence.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-14.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

23.Go out—Overpass the boundaries of the theocracy.

Highways and hedges—In the mild climate of the East these refuges are plentifully stocked with their squalid inhabitants. To the Jew this would suggest the Gentile races. And thus, in the kingdom of the Messiah on earth, we have the prelude to what is described as taking place in the kingdom of the Messiah to come, (Luke 13:28-30.) So that Jesus, pausing in the parable, speaks in his own literal person, addressing the company present. This makes Jesus, stepping out of parable into literal, disclose himself as the parabolic inviter, and they as the rejecters, with a most thrilling impressiveness. In a similar manner Jesus oversteps the parabolic nature in Matthew 25:40, as we have intimated in our note on the 35th verse of that chapter. See also note on Luke 12:46.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-14.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 14:23. Go out into the highways and hedges. This refers to the spread of the gospel among the Gentiles. ‘Quickly’ is not added, for this was a work of time. This succeeds the return of the servant, as the calling of the Gentiles did the Ascension of Christ. This going out was done through others, and it may be intentional, that there is no mention of the same servant’s himself undertaking this duty.

Constrain them to come in. Moral constraint alone is meant. True missionary zeal so differs from all other impulse that it may well be spoken of as a ‘constraining’ of men to enter the kingdom of God.

That my house may be filled. Since the days of St. Augustine this passage has been abused to countenance the forcible compulsion of heretics. Guests will be ‘furnished:’ God’s purposes of mercy will not fail.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "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 14:23. , “highways and hedges”; the main roads and the footpaths running between the fields, alongside of the hedges (Hahn); these, in the country, answering to the streets and lanes in the town. The people to be found there are not necessarily lower down socially than those called within the city, perhaps not so low, but they are without, representing in the interpretation the Gentiles.— , compel; reflects in the first place the urgent desire of the master to have an absolutely full house, in the second the feeling that pressure will be needed to overcome the incredulity of country people as to the invitation to them being meant seriously. They would be apt to laugh in the servant’s face.— : the house must be full, no excuse to be taken; but for a curious reason.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-14.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Compel them to come in. This is almost the only expression in the New Testament, which can give to the intolerant a plea for persecution. The spirit of the gospel is the spirit of mildness, and the compulsion which it authorizes to bring infidels or heretics into the Church, is such as we use towards our friends, when we press them to accept of our hospitality. The great pope, St. Gregory, forbade the Jews to be persecuted in Rome, who refused to receive the faith of Christ. "Tat is a new and unheard of kind of preaching," says he, "which demands assent by stripes." (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

compel = constrain. See all the nine occur here: Matthew 14:22. Mark 6:45. Acts 26:11; Acts 28:19. 2 Corinthians 12:11. Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Galatians 1:14; Galatians 6:12. Compulsion necessary, because the "will" is a fallen "will", and therefore no stronger than that of our first parents when unfallen. See Psalms 14:2, Psalms 14:3; Psalms 53:2, Psalms 53:3. John 5:40. Romans 3:10-18. Man"s fallen will has never been used for God, without the compulsion of Philippians 2:13.

may be filled. Used of loading a ship.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "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 the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges - outside the city altogether. Historically, this denotes the pagan, sunk in the lowest depths of spiritual wretchedness, as being beyond the pale of all that is revealed and saving - "without Christ, strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12): generally, it comprehends all similar classes. Thus, this parable prophetically contemplates the extension of the kingdom of God to the whole world; and spiritually, directs the Gospel invitations to be carried to the lowest strata, and be brought in contact with the outermost circles, of human society.

And compel them to come in. This is not meant to intimate unwillingness, as in the first class, but that it would be hard to get them over two difficulties. First, 'We, homeless wretches, that are fain to creep under a "hedge" for shelter, what company are we for such a feast?' Next, 'We who are on the dusty, weary "highway," have no proper dress for such a feast, and are ill in order for such a presence.' How fitly does this represent the difficulties and fears of the sincere! Well, and how is this met? 'Take no excuse; beat them out of all their difficulties; dispel all their fears: Tell them you have orders to bring them just as they are; make them come without preparation, and without delay.'

That my house may be filled - for, as Bengel quaintly says, grace as well as nature abhors a vacuum.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "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

(23) The highways and hedges.—In the frame-work of the parable, this points to a yet lower class of the population of an Eastern country—to the tramps and the squatters who had no home, and who were content to sleep under the shelter of a hedge or fence. For the most part, these were low walls or palisades, rather than hedges in the English sense of the word. In the application of the parable, the men thus brought in can hardly be any other than the wanderers of the outlying Gentile world.

Compel them to come in.—It would have seemed all but incredible, had it not been too painfully and conspicuously true, that men could have seen in these words a sanction to the employment of force and pains and penalties as means of converting men to the faith of Christ. To us it seems almost a truism to say that such means may produce proselytes and hypocrites, but cannot possibly produce converts. There is, of course, something that answers to this “compulsion” in the work of Christian preachers, but the weapons of their warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:4), and the constraint which they bring to bear on men is that of “the love of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:14) The only instances of the other kind of compulsion in the Apostolic age are when Saul “compelled” men and women to blaspheme (Acts 26:11), or the Judaisers “compelled” Gentile converts to be circumcised (Galatians 2:14; Galatians 6:12).

That my house may be filled.—It is obvious that we cannot introduce space-limits into the interpretation of the parable. The gates of the Father’s house are open for evermore, and in its “many mansions” (John 14:2) there is, and ever will be, room for all who come.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Go
Psalms 98:3; Isaiah 11:10; 19:24,25; 27:13; 49:5,6; 66:19,20; Zechariah 14:8,9; Malachi 1:11; Matthew 21:43; 22:9,10; 28:19,20; Acts 9:15; 10:44-48; 11:18-21; Acts 13:47,48; 18:6; 22:21,22; 26:18-20; 28:28; Romans 10:18; 15:9-12; Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 1:23
compel
24:29; Genesis 19:2,3; Psalms 110:3; Acts 16:15; Romans 11:13,14; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; 2 Corinthians 5:11,20; 6:1; Colossians 1:28; 2 Timothy 4:2
Reciprocal: Genesis 33:11 - urged him;  1 Samuel 28:23 - compelled him;  2 Samuel 13:25 - pressed;  2 Kings 4:8 - she constrained him;  Proverbs 7:21 - forced;  Isaiah 65:13 - my servants shall eat;  Matthew 8:11 - That;  Matthew 21:41 - and will let out;  Romans 10:20 - I was made;  1 Timothy 2:4 - will

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 14:23.Compel them to come in. This expression means, that the master of the house would give orders to make use, as it were, of violence for compelling the attendance of the poor, and to leave out none of the lowest dregs of the people. By these words Christ declares that he would rake together all the offscourings of the world, rather than he would ever admit such ungrateful persons to his table. The allusion appears to be to the manner in which the Gospel invites us; for the grace of God is not merely offered to us, but doctrine is accompanied by exhortations fitted to arouse our minds. This is a display of the astonishing goodness of God, who, after freely inviting us, and perceiving that we give ourselves up to sleep, addresses our slothfulness by earnest entreaties, and not only arouses us by exhortations, but even compels us by threatenings to draw near to him. At the same time, I do not disapprove of the use which Augustine frequently made of this passage against the Donatists, to prove that godly princes may lawfully issue edicts, for compelling obstinate and rebellious persons to worship the true God, and to maintain the unity of the faith; for, though faith is voluntary, yet we see that such methods are useful for subduing the obstinacy of those who will not yield until they are compelled.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:23". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-14.html. 1840-57.