Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 14:5

And He said to them, "Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Miracles;   Sabbath;   Thompson Chain Reference - Animals;   Humaneness toward Animals;   The Topic Concordance - Sabbath;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Courage;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Heal, Health;   Miracle;   Pit;   Sabbath;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hospitality;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Ox;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Sabbath;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Ass;   Cattle;   Luke, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Matthew, Gospel According to;   Pit;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Animals;   Consciousness;   Cures;   Discourse;   Dropsy;   Husbandman ;   Ideas (Leading);   Imagination;   Israel, Israelite;   Lawlessness;   Logia;   Naturalness;   Pit ;   Questions and Answers;   Sabbath ;   Son, Sonship;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   Pit;   Sabbath;   Well;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

An ass or an ox - See on Luke 13:15; (note).

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-14.html. 1832.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he said unto them, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well, and will not straightway draw him up on a sabbath day?

It was well known that the Pharisees would indeed do such things on the sabbath; and here Christ pointed out the first of three reversed ethics in the Pharisees' thinking, the first being that they valued property above a man. "Jesus did not condemn this act of mercy (to animals); but he did condemn their attitude toward men."[11]

ENDNOTE:

[11] Herschel H. Hobbs, An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1966), p. 227.

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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 14:5". "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 answered them, saying,.... Murmuring secretly at what he had done:

which of you shall have an ass, or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? being just ready to be drowned there; and therefore it must be much more right and necessary to cure a man, a reasonable creature, just drowning with a dropsy, as this man was. The Syriac and Persic versions, instead of "an ass", read "a son", very wrongly: a like kind of reasoning is used by Christ, in See Gill on Matthew 12:11, Luke 13:15.

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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
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-14.html. 1999.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

5. And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

[Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, &c.] It being an undoubted maxim, "That they must deal mercifully with an Israelite's goods," the doctors in many things dispensed with the sabbath for the preservation of a beast. "They do not play the midwives with a beast that is bringing forth its young on a feast day, but they help it. How do they help it? They bear up the young one, that it doth not fall upon the ground: they bring wine, spirt it into the nostrils: they rub the paunch of the dam, so that it will suckle its young."

"A firstling if it fall into a ditch [on a fast day, or the sabbath], let the Mumcheh look into it; and if there be any blemish in it, let him take it out and kill it: if not, let him not kill it." He draws it out however, that it might not be lost. And so they deal with other beasts; only the Mumcheh is not made use of.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-14.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

An ass or an ox (ονος η βουςonos ē bous). But Westcott and Hort υιος η βουςhuios ē bous (a son or an ox). The manuscripts are much divided between υιοςhuios (son) and ονοςonos (ass) which in the abbreviated uncials looked much alike (TC, OC) and were much alike. The sentence in the Greek reads literally thus: Whose ox or ass of you shall fall (πεσειταιpeseitai future middle of πιπτοpipto) into a well and he (the man) will not straightway draw him up (ανασπασειanaspasei future active of ανασπαωanaspaō) on the sabbath day? The very form of the question is a powerful argument and puts the lawyers and the Pharisees hopelessly on the defensive.

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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 14:5". "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

Pit ( φρέαρ )

The primary meaning is a well as distinguished from a fountain.

Pull out

More correctly up ( ἀνά )i1.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "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 he said unto them, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well, and will not straightway draw him up on a sabbath day1?

  1. Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well, and will not straightway draw him up on a sabbath day? Here Jesus again asserts that the Sabbath law did not forbid acts of mercy. See the notes at Matthew 12:7,12; Mark 2:27,28; Mark 3:4.

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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.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-14.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?

Ver. 5. Pull him out on the sabbath day] The Jew of Tewkesbury, that would not be pulled out of the outhouse whereinto he fell on their sabbath day, perished deservedly.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-14.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

5.] There is a strict propriety in the comparison: the accident and disease are analogous.

υἱὸς ἢ βοῦς] This reading, which evidently was the original, seemed incompatible with the supposed argument à minori ad majus: υἱός was therefore altered to ὄνος (as in ch. Luke 13:15) or πρόβατον (Mill and Bornemann conjectured ὄϊς). But our Lord’s argument is of another and a far deeper kind. The stress is on ὑμῶν: and the point of comparison is the ownership, and consequent tender care, of the object in question. ‘Those who are in your possession and care, whether belonging to your families, or your herds, are cared for, and rescued from perishing: am I (the possessor of heaven and earth,—this lies in the background) to let mine perish without care or rescue?

There may be in the words the meaning ‘son, or even ox;’ but I prefer rendering them simply.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". 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 14:5. ἀνασπάσει, will pull out) with much toil.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". 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 14:1"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 14:5". 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

осел или вол Ср. 13:15; Мф. 12:11, 12. Даже обычное учение о гуманности (не говоря уже об экономической необходимости) говорило им, что правильно было в субботу проявить милосердие к животному. Не следовало ли руководствоваться теми же принципами, чтобы проявлять милосердие к страдающим людям?

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-14.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

We should form the habit of drawing spiritual instruction from the common occurrences of life; and in our social intercourse, as well as in our religious efforts, should endeavor to do good to our fellow-men.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "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 he said to them, “Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a well, and will not straightway draw him up on a sabbath day?”

Then Jesus turned to those who were watching Him through narrowed eyes and asked them which of them, if a domestic animal had fallen into a pit on the Sabbath, would not lift it out. Strictly speaking they should only have done so if its life was being threatened, but in practise all knew what they would do. No decent person could leave an animal struggling in a pit. For like many today they were more caring for animals than for humans.

Note how the ‘falling’ of the animal into the pit parallels the disease of a man whose skin was ‘falling’ because of liquid under the skin.

Some leading MS (including p45, p75, B and W) have ‘son’ instead of ‘ass’. It certainly makes the argument more powerful, and is textually strong. It is probably correct and strengthens the statement. No one would conceivably leave their own son, presumably a child, in a well when he had fallen down it. Even at Qumran the helping of a son out of such a situation was permitted on the Sabbath. But it was not the same at Qumran for an ox.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-14.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5.Fallen into a pit—Our Lord used the instance of unloosing the beast in defending his loosing the bonds of a daughter of Abraham. He uses this instance of relieving the beast from the well in this case of the man saved from the watery disease.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "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 14:5. If a son or an ox. The weight of authority is for the reading ‘a son.’ The thought then is: If on the Sabbath you help what is your own, then help others (love thy neighbor as thyself). The common reading; ‘an ass or an ox,’ suggests the same argument as in chap. Luke 13:15-16; if you would do this for a dumb animal, much more for a human being.

Fallen into a well. As in chap. Luke 13:15-16, we find here an analogy between the case cited and the condition of the dropsical man; the danger in the well was that of drowning.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "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 14:5. , etc.: an awkward Hebraistic construction for , etc.— , a son or (even) an ox, in either case, certainly in the former, natural instinct would be too strong for artificial Sabbatic rules.— , a well, or cistern, an illustration as apt to the nature of the malady as that of the ox loosed from the stall in Luke 13:15 (Godet).— , at once, unhesitatingly, without thought of Sabbath rules. The emphasis lies on this word.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-14.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

this example Christ convicts his adversaries, as guilty of sordid avarice, since, in delivering beasts from the danger of perishing on the sabbath-day, they consult only their own advantage, whilst he was only employed in an act of charity towards his neighbour; an action they seemed so warmly to condemn. (Ven. Bede)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-14.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

answered them = answering unto (Greek. pros; as in Luke 14:3) them.

an ass. All the texts read huios = a son, instead of onos = an ass, which latter has no MS. authority. In O.T. always ox and ass. Compare Exodus 23:12.

not. Greek. ou. App-105. Not the same word as in verses: Luke 8:12, Luke 8:28, Luke 8:29,

straightway = immediately.

pull . . . out = draw. . . up. The Greek word occurs only here and Acts 11:10.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-14.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(5) Which of you shall have an ass or an ox . . .—The line of thought is all but identical with that of Luke 13:15. Here, as there, the outward features of Jewish life are the same as they had been in Exodus 20:17, and Isaiah 1:3. The “ox and the ass” are the beasts which common men use and value. The horse belongs to conquerors and kings. This is said with reference to the received text. Many of the best MSS., however, read, “Which of you shall have a son, or an ox . . .?” and, on the whole, this reading seems likely to be the true one. The familiar combination of the ox and the ass would naturally lead a transcriber to substitute ῠνος (ass) for ὑιός (son). There would be nothing to tempt any one to a change in the opposite direction.

Fallen into a pit.—Literally, into a well, as in John 4:6-11, but the word was applied also, as in Revelation 9:1-2, to “wells without water”—i.e., as here, to “pits.”

And will not straightway pull him out.—The words appeal to the common action and natural impulse of men, but the casuistry of the Pharisees had, as a matter of fact, given a different answer. Food might be let down to the ox or ass, but no effort to pull him out was to be made till the Sabbath rest was over.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?
Which
13:15; Exodus 23:4,5; Daniel 4:24; Matthew 12:11,12
Reciprocal: Luke 17:7 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-14.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

5.Which of you shall have an ox or an ass? Though they did not deserve that Christ should take pains to remove the offense, yet he shows that he did nothing inconsistent with the observance of the Sabbath. And this he undoubtedly does, not so much with the view of instructing them, as of protecting himself against their slanders; for he knew that they were too much blinded by virulent hatred to yield submissively, to argument, but wished to triumph over their malice, by compelling them through shame to be silent. If we are at liberty to relieve brute animals on Sabbath, it would be unreasonable that we should not perform a similar office of kindness to man, who is formed after the image of God.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 14:5". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-14.html. 1840-57.