Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 14:28

For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Prudence;   Salvation;   Seekers;   Self-Denial;   Tower;   Thompson Chain Reference - Forethought;   Prudence-Rashness;   Towers;   The Topic Concordance - Disciples/apostles;   Hate;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Foundation;   Parables;   Prudence;   Self-Denial;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Cross;   Disciple;   Teacher;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Disciple, Discipleship;   Jesus Christ;   Work;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hospitality;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ruth;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Family;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Ambassage;   Ambition;   Building ;   Business (2);   Consciousness;   Discipleship;   Discourse;   Fellowship (2);   Forsaking All;   Humour;   Ideas (Leading);   Old Testament (Ii. Christ as Student and Interpreter of).;   Organization (2);   Paradox;   Power;   Premeditation;   Prudence;   Reality;   Saying and Doing;   Tower;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Disciple,;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Build;   Tower;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Architecture;   Count;   Finish;   Intend;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);  

Adam Clarke Commentary

To build a tower - Probably this means no more than a dwelling house, on the top of which, according to the Asiatic manner, battlements were built, both to take the fresh air on, and to serve for refuge from and defense against an enemy. It was also used for prayer and meditation.

This parable represents the absurdity of those who undertook to be disciples of Christ, without considering what difficulties they were to meet with, and what strength they had to enable them to go through with the undertaking. He that will be a true disciple of Jesus Christ shall require no less than the mighty power of God to support him; as both hell and earth will unite to destroy him.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Intending to build a tower - See Matthew 21:33. A tower was a place of defense or observation, erected on high places or in vineyards, to guard against enemies. It was made “high,” so as to enable one to see an enemy when he approached; and “strong,” so that it could not be easily taken.

Counteth the cost - Makes a calculation how much it will cost to build it.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-14.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For which of you, desiring to build a tower, doth not first sit down and count the cost, whether he have wherewith to complete it? Lest haply, when he hath laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

As Henry said, "All that take upon them a profession of religion, undertake to build a tower."[38] The Saviour's teaching here is that the endeavor should be attempted in full view of the enormous cost of it. Men must bid farewell to the dearest earthly ties, mortify the lusts of the flesh, set their affections on heavenly things, and subordinate all earthly prospects to the will of the Master.

All of the details of this parable and the one following are inert factors. "They simply enforce the one idea that it is folly to undertake a serious business (here, becoming a disciple of Christ), without counting the cost.[39]

[38] Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, op. cit., p. 276.

[39] J. R. Dummelow, op. cit., p. 757.

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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 14:28". "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

For which of you intending to build a tower,.... Taking up a profession of Christ and his Gospel, is like building a tower; which, as a tower, must be laid on a good foundation; not on carnal descent and parentage; nor on a sober and religious education; nor on a civil, moral life and conversation; nor on a bare knowledge of Gospel truths and a flash of affection for them, and the people of God; but upon Christ the sure foundation; and on principles of grace formed by his Spirit, in their hearts: and this, like a tower, is carried very high; not by professing high things, but by living on high amidst a profession; by having the affections set on things above; and by looking down with contempt on things below; and by looking to, and pressing after, the prize of the high calling of God in Christ: the profession of some persons is very low; it arises from low principles, and proceeds on low views, aims, and ends; but where it is right, and well founded, it is like a tower, firm and steady, and is a fortress and bulwark against apostacy. Now what person acting deliberately in such a case as this, and proceeding with intention and design,

sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? as every wise man would, who has any thoughts of building a tower, or any other edifice: and so such that have an intention to take up a profession of religion, should sit down and well consider of it; which does not imply, that persons should delay making a profession, on whom it is incumbent; but that this should be done with thoughtfulness, care, and prudence: it should be considered on what foundation a man is going to build: whether the work of grace is truly wrought upon his soul; what be the nature and use of Gospel ordinances; with what views he takes up a profession, and submits to ordinances; what the church and minister are, he intends to walk with; and what the charge and cost of a profession; for such a work is chargeable and costly, and should be thought of and considered, whether he is able to bear it: for he will be called to self-denial; and must expect to suffer the loss of the favour of carnal relations and friends; and to be exposed to the scorn and rage of the world; a cross must be took up and bore; and great grace and strength are requisite to all this.

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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 14:28". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-14.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For which of you, intending to build a tower, e sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?

(e) At home, and calculates all his costs before he begins the work.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-14.html. 1599-1645.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Build a tower (πυργον οικοδομησαιpurgon oikodomēsai). A common metaphor, either a tower in the city wall like that by the Pool of Siloam (Luke 13:4) or a watchtower in a vineyard (Matthew 21:33) or a tower-shaped building for refuge or ornament as here. This parable of the rash builder has the lesson of counting the cost.

Sit down (κατισαςkathisas). Attitude of deliberation.

First (πρωτονprōton). First things first. So in Luke 14:31.

Count (πσηπιζειpsēphizei). Common verb in late writers, but only here and Revelation 13:18 in the N.T. The verb is from πσηποςpsēphos a stone, which was used in voting and so counting. Calculate is from the Latin calculus, a pebble. To vote was to cast a pebble (τιτημι πσηπονtithēmi psēphon). Luke has Paul using “deposit a pebble” for casting his vote (Acts 26:10).

The cost (την δαπανηνtēn dapanēn). Old and common word, but here only in the N.T. from δαπτωdaptō to tear, consume, devour. Expense is something which eats up one‘s resources.

Whether he hath wherewith to complete it (ει εχει εις απαρτισμονei echei eis apartismon). If he has anything for completion of it. ΑπαρτισμονApartismon is a rare and late word (in the papyri and only here in the N.T.). It is from απαρτιζωapartizō to finish off (απap - and αρτιζωartizō like our articulate), to make even or square. Cf. εχηρτισμενοςexērtismenos in 2 Timothy 3:17.

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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 14:28". "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

A tower

The subject of the parable is the life of Christian discipleship, which is figured by a tower, a lofty structure, as something distinguished from the world and attracting attention.

Counteth ( ψηφίζει )

Only here and Revelation 13:18. From ψῆφος , apebble (see Revelation 2:17), used as a counter. Thus Herodotus says that the Egyptians, when they calculate ( λογιζονται ψήφοις , reckon with pebbles)move their hand from right to left (ii., 36). So Aristophanes, “Reckon roughly, not with pebbles ( ψήφοις )but on the hand” (“Wasps,” 656). Similarly calculate, from Latin calculus, a pebble. Used also of voting. Thus Herodotus: “The Greeks met at the altar of Neptune, and took the ballots ( τὰς ψήφοις ) wherewith they were to give their votes.” Plato: “And you, would you vote ( ἂν ψῆφον θεῖο , cast your pebble ) with me or against me?” (“Protagoras,” 330). See Acts 26:10.

Cost ( τὴν δαπάνην )

Allied to δάπτω , to devour. Hence expense, as something which eats up resources.

Sufficient ( εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν )

Lit., unto completion. The kindred verb ἀπαρτίζω , not used in New Testament, means to make even or square, and hence to complete.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "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

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

And which of you intending to build a tower — That is, and whoever of you intends to follow me, let him first seriously weigh these things.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-14.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Build a tower; commence any great undertaking.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-14.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

TOWER BUILDING

‘For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost.… This man began to build, and was not able to finish.’

Luke 14:28; Luke 14:30

In the parable set before us is one who without counting the cost set to work to build a tower, and was not able to finish it. He thus became an object of ridicule to his neighbours.

It is not difficult surely to apply the lesson of the parable to ourselves. In one sense, indeed, I doubt whether there is any one here present who has not experienced the unfinished tower, who has not some time or another grown weary under the thraldom of some besetting sin, some bad habit. And this because he has not first counted the cost and found out that he has no strength of his own.

I. A tower of holiness.—The motto for the Christian banner is, ‘Higher, evermore higher.’ The aim set before each one of us is, ‘Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.’ It is indeed a mark which can never be reached in this life, but our life now is to be a continual progress towards it. It was this that St. Paul tells us he devoted all his energies to. ‘This one thing I do, I press towards the mark.’ But how is this to be done? How, when there are so many towers building around us and by us, towers of usefulness, towers of fame, and most of all towers of mere earthly riches, mere glittering gold, how, bewildered by all these, are we to be diligent in building up the unpretending tower of holiness? Well, we must remember first and last that we are Christians. Christian progress is only possible in Christ. We must begin with simple faith in Him. The foundation of all human goodness must be made deep in the blood of the Redeemer’s Cross, and in the power of His Resurrection. God has a will concerning each one of us. We are not to hurry blindly first here and then there, where various ambitions rise before us, but for His faithful ones God orders all for good, He renders all progressive towards the great end. Apart from Christ all earthly ambitions must surely sooner or later end in bitter disappointment, but in Him not one sphere of honourable industry is unblessed.

II. A tower of usefulness.—Let me speak briefly of another tower, a tower of usefulness. I mean usefulness in its highest sense, that of working as a member of Christ’s Church for Christ. I seek not to answer the question as to what form this work is to take. Each one may best answer this for himself. In these days the opportunities for doing work for Christ and showing a living interest in our brother’s welfare cannot be said to be far to seek. There is abundant work for every member of this congregation to do in his own parish. In the work of usefulness there is every need of self-forgetfulness. It is enough for the most ambitious of men that God should deign to accept his services and make him an instrument for good. It is not any particular scheme of our own; it is God’s work that we have to strive for, and thus it is only when we do really surrender ourselves to God that we can do Him true and laudable service. We can all of us speak of self-surrender, but when we stop to think what it really means we cannot but feel a kind of shame. How full our days are of selfishness! Self-denial and self-sacrifice are doctrines far beyond us, impossible for our faith to attain to. And so, indeed, they are, but for one thought giving illumination to our path—‘the love of Christ constraineth us.’ Thus alone can the work of our life be made acceptable, not an unfinished tower, open to all the winds and rains of heaven, standing with its incomplete buildings ready to fall to pieces at the last great day, but a perfect building founded upon a rock, pointing towards heaven. Such a house will stand unshaken amid the ruins of that day.

Bishop C. H. Turner.

Illustration

‘How many are there of us, I wonder, who can bear to labour earnestly in good causes for years with no apparent result, and then at last to see the object attained, and yet, as it seemed not by our means or not in a manner that we wished, perhaps our own labour altogether forgotten? Who can bear this, I say, and be simply thankful? And yet this has been the lot of numberless saints of God. It is a wholesome discipline for us. We learn that we cannot in our own strength do any work for God; we are but instruments in His hands to be directed by Him. In undertaking each good work, set before your mind the example of our Saviour Christ, “Lo! I come to do Thy will, O God.” “Not My will, but Thine be done,” with only one object, and that is God’s will, for the edification of His Church, the good of His service.’

(SECOND OUTLINE)

THE TRUE AIM OF DISCIPLESHIP

I. The building, or the true aim of discipleship.

(a) We are all building a house for our souls.

(b) What are you building?—a prison, or a house for God?

(c) What is Christianity for? For building.

II. The cost of the building, or the conditions of discipleship.

(a) Constant reference to the plan. The Bible is our plan.

(b) Continuous effort. You cannot ‘rush up’ a great edifice.

(c) Self-surrender—i.e. concentration and self-denial.

III. Note the failures.—Tower of the rash builder stands a gaunt, staring ruin.

Illustration

‘A certain man made public confession of faith in a surrender to Christ; whereupon his worldly friends lamented together that they would lose the enjoyment of the worldly entertainments for which his house had been noted. Not long after, these entertainments were resumed, and the profession allowed to fade away; with the result that the very friends who had respected, though they lamented, his change, now mocked at it and said: “After all, it has not made much difference.” The world which rejects the claims of Christ has often a keener apprehension of what those claims demand than the Christian who is careless about obeying them. The world can respect, even if it hates, the thorough disciple; but it mocks, even while it welcomes, the half-hearted and backsliding professor of religion.’

(THIRD OUTLINE)

.

EXAMPLES OF COUNTING THE COST

Look at some examples of counting the cost.

I. St. Peter.—When our Lord was enforcing the need for leaving all to follow Him, and St. Peter had asked the reward for doing so, He answered: ‘Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the Gospel’s, but he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life’ (Mark 10:29-30). A proper counting of the cost will therefore put down the loss of ten thousand per cent—for such is the value of ‘an hundredfold’—to every one, who refuses to leave aught that stands in the way of discipleship.

II. St. Paul.—Again, when St. Paul counted the cost, he reckoned ‘that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us’ (Romans 8:18); he declared that ‘our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory’ (2 Corinthians 4:17); he counted the seven topics of human righteousness he possessed to be ‘but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord’ (Philippians 3:8).

III. Moses.—Again, of Moses we are told the double comparison he made, ‘choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward’ (Hebrews 11:25-26).

IV. The glory to be gained.—Once more, in the second and third chapters of Revelation, there is put before us a sevenfold reward and glory to be gained by those who consent to the sevenfold conditions of overcoming. Surely here are found the materials for calculation, and a right estimate of profit and loss. Who can endure to lose such glories, both present and eternal, for the fleeting and illusive profit of a passing moment?

Let us sit down, count the cost, and decide for God. The principle of the true Christian life is given in the words, ‘We walk by faith, not by sight’ (2 Corinthians 5:7); and nowhere is the victory over sight more needed than when balancing the matters of profit and loss in the service of Christ.

—Rev. Hubert Brooke.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-14.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?

Ver. 28. Intending to build a tower] Rodulphus Gualther being in Oxford, and beholding Christchurch College, said, Egregium opus: Cardinalis iste iustituit collegium, et absolvit popinam. A pretty business! a college begun and a kitchen finished.

Counteth the cost] Let him that intendeth to build the tower of godliness sit down first and cast up the cost, lest, &c.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-14.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 14:28. To build a tower, We learn from eastern writers, that besides fortified towns and cities, they used to have towers for the people of open towns to fly to in time of danger, as well as magnificent towers for pleasure in their gardens. Our Lord probably refers to a tower of this latter kind; for one can hardly think, with some commentators, that he is speaking of the slight and unexpensive buildings in a vineyard, which indeed are sometimes so slight, as to consist only of four poles, with a floor on the top of them, to which they ascend by a ladder; but rather of those elegant turrets erected in gardens, where the eastern people of fortune spend a considerable part of their time.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-14.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Our blessed Saviour, by these two parables, advises all his followers to sit down and consider, to weigh well, and cast up beforehand, what it is likely to cost them to go through with their profession of religion: this, he tells us, common prudence will direct men to do in other cases; particularly when they either go to build or fight; as a man that intends to build, will consult whether he is able to defray the charges; and a king that goes forth to war, will consider what strength he has to make opposition: in like manner should persons engage in religion: not rashly, but advisedly, with consideration and judgment.

It is good to remember the issues of action, before we act; before we engage in the spiritual combat, to consider the difficulty of the battle; what proud leviathans we have to conflict with, what mighty giants to contend and strive against, even the world, the flesh, and the devil. But then we must take great care that our deliberation and consideration of difficulties and dangers may not deter us from, but work in us, a steady resolution for the combat, looking up to Christ for his auxiliary aid and strength to render us victorious, who though of ourselves we can do nothing, yet we may do all things through Christ that strengthens us. Philippians 4:13

Learn from hence, that such as take up a profession of Christianity, without considering the dangers and difficulties, the trials and troubles, the afflictions and temptations, which may accompany it, will never hold out in the spiritual warfare, but either fall in it, or run from it.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-14.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 14:28. πύργον) a strong-hold [‘tower’].— καθίσας, having sat down) so as to give himself time for making a summary calculation of his means and resources. So too in Luke 14:31 [ ψηφίζει, calculates). This calculation of the expenses of building, or a consultation on a question of war, are things of no inconsiderable moment. But do thou see to it, whether thou hast ever bestowed more careful deliberation on the (infinitely more momentous) question of eternal salvation or else misery. Easy is the descent to hell!—V. g.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". 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

Ver. 28-33. Our Lord had in the parable of the supper showed what those things are which keep men from embracing the call of the gospel, to wit, their hearts’ too much adherence to and embracing of sensible and sensual things. For the meeting of which temptation he had told them, Luke 14:25-27, that if they loved any thing in the world more than him, they could have no portion in him, they could not be his disciples, for (as Matthew saith) they are not worthy of him; nay, more than this, they must take up and bear their cross, and come after him. Here he directs them the best expedient in order to the performance of these duties, so hard to flesh and blood; that is, to sit down beforehand, and think what it will cost them to go through with the profession of religion. This, he tells them, ordinary prudence directeth men to, when they go about to build, or fight. As to the first, they make as good an estimate as they can of the charge. As to the latter, they consider both the charge, and the strength that they are able to produce to make opposition. So, saith he, must they do who will be his disciples:

1. Sit down and consider what it will cost them to become the Lord’s building, what old foundations of nature must be digged up, what new foundation must be laid, how many stones must be laid before they can come up to a wall level to the promise wherein salvation is insured.

2. Then they must consider what oppositions they are like to meet with, from the world, the flesh, and the devil.

And they must be ready to forsake all for Christ, though, it may be, they shall not be actually called out to it. Only we must remember, that in parables every branch is not to be applied.

1. We must desire no conditions of peace from our spiritual adversaries.

2. In our counting up of our strength to maintain the spiritual fight we must do as princes use to do, who use to count the forces of their allies and confederates, as well as their own: so we must not count what opposition we, alone can maintain against the world, the flesh, and the devil; but what Christ (who is in covenant with us as to these fights) and we can do together.

So as consideration and pre-deliberation here are not required of as upon any account to deter us from the fight, (for fight we must, or die eternally), but to prepare us for the fight, by a firm and steady resolution, and to help us how to manage the fight, looking up to Christ for his strength and assistance in the management of it.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 14:28". 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

вычислит издержек Толпы народа были решительно настроены, но не были преданны. Он отнюдь не облегчил им задачу, чтобы они ответили положительно, а наоборот, существенно возвысил цену ученичества (ст. 26, 27, 33) и поощрил их серьезно подумать перед тем, как объявить о своей готовности следовать за Ним. Ср. 9:57-62.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-14.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

A tower; a high building, erected for observation and defence.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-14.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

28.Build a tower—As becoming my disciple is building the structure of your salvation.

Sitteth not down first—Added to describe graphically the reckoning of the tower builder.

Have sufficient—Just so you, pursuers of my footsteps, imagining you will be my disciples, should weigh, before you go farther, whether you have the moral capital. See whether you are so renouncing every obstacle, abhorring every counter tie, and making that complete surrender which the enterprise demands.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "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 14:28. For which of you. By two illustrations our Lord enforces the requirements just stated.

To build a tower, a structure of some importance, and involving considerable expense. The prudent way is described: first the plan; second, the careful consideration of what is required to carry it out; third, the examination whether the resources will suffice.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "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 14:28. : conditional participle, “if he wish”; with the article it would = who wishes.— , a tower; need not be magnified into a grand house with a tower. Doubtless, as Bengel remarks, Christianity is a great and arduous affair, and is fitly compared cum rebus magnis et arduis. But the greatness of the undertaking is sufficiently represented by the second parable: the first emblem may be allowed to be less ambitious and more within the reach of ordinary mortals. A tower of observation in a vineyard (Matthew 21:33) or for refuge in danger, or for ornament in a garden may be thought of.— : the attitude appropriate to deliberate, leisurely consideration.— , the cost, here only in N.T.— ., if he has what is necessary for ( understood).— = for completion, here only in N.T. and in Dion. Halic.; condemned by Phryn., p. 447. Cf. in 2 Timothy 3:17.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-14.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

For which of you, &c. The similitude, which our divine Saviour makes us of, represents the offices and duty of a true Christian, for he has to build within himself and conduct others by his example to war with the devil, the world, and the flesh; and he has to season, purify, and keep all his actions free from corruption by the spiritual salt of mortification and prayer. (Tirinus)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

of = out of. Greek. ek. App-104. Not the same word as in Luke 14:8.

intending = desiring. See App-102.

not. App-105.

counteth = reckoneth, or calculateth. Greek psephizo. Occurs only here and in Revelation 13:18 in N.T. It is from psephos = a pebble, with which calculations were made, or votes given. Occurs only in Acts 26:10. Revelation 2:17

cost. Greek. dapane. Occurs only here.

whether. Same as "if" in Luke 14:26.

sufficient to finish it = the [means] for (Greek. pros. App-104., but the texts read eis) [its] completion. Greek. apartismos. Occurs only here.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-14.html. 1909-1922.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
intending
Genesis 11:4-9; Proverbs 24:27
counteth
33; Joshua 24:19-24; Matthew 8:20; 10:22; 20:22,23; Acts 21:13; 1 Thessalonians 3:4,5; 2 Peter 1:13,14
Reciprocal: Proverbs 13:10 - with;  Ecclesiastes 10:2 - wise;  Jeremiah 22:14 - I will;  Revelation 3:15 - thou

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Luke 14:28.For which of you, etc, That no one may think it hard to follow Christ on the condition of renouncing all his desires, a useful warning is here given. We must consider beforehand what the profession of the gospel demands. The reason why many persons yield to very slight temptations is, that they have pictured to themselves unmixed enjoyment, as if they were to be always in the shade and at their ease. No man will ever become fit to serve Christ till he has undergone a long preparation for warfare.

Now the comparisons are exceedingly adapted to this object. Building is a tedious and vexatious matter, and one that gives little satisfaction on account of the expense. War, too, brings along with it many inconveniences, and almost threatens destruction to the human race, so that it is never undertaken but with reluctance. And yet the advantages of building are found to be sufficient to induce men to spend their substance on it without hesitation; while necessity drives them to shrink from no expenses in carrying on wars. But a far more valuable reward awaits those who are the builders of the temple of God, and who fight under the banner of Christ: for Christians do not labor for a temporary building, or fight for a passing triumph.

If a king find himself unable to endure the burden of a war, (607) he prevents an ignominious defeat by seeking peace with his adversary. The statements which our Lord makes to this effect must not be applied to the present subject, in such a manner as if we were to enter into any compromise with our spiritual foe, when our strength and resources fail. It would be idle to treat parables as applying in every minute point (608) to the matter in hand. But our Lord simply means that we ought to be so well prepared, as not to be taken by surprise for want of a proper defense, or basely to turn our backs: for it is not every one of us who is a king, to carry on war under his direction.

This doctrine reproves the rashness of those who foolishly proceed beyond their capacity, or flatter themselves without thinking of bearing the cross Yet we must take care lest this meditation, to which Christ exhorts us, should fill us with alarm or retard our progress. Many persons, not having from the outset laid their account with suffering, relax their zeal through cowardice: for they cannot endure to be Christians on any other condition than that of being exempted from the cross Others again, when a condition that is harsh and unpleasant to the flesh is proposed to them, do not venture to approach to Christ. But there is no good reason for being discouraged by a knowledge of our poverty, for the Lord grants to us seasonable aid. I readily acknowledge that, if we calculate the expense, we are all destitute of power to lay a single stone, or to wield a sword against the enemy. But as the materials, expense, arms, and forces, are supplied by the Lord out of heaven, no pretext on the score of difficulty can be offered by our indifference or sloth. The design of Christ, therefore, is to warn his followers to bear the cross, that they may prepare themselves with courage.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:28". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-14.html. 1840-57.