Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 17:11

While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Faith;   Jesus, the Christ;   Miracles;   Samaria;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Samaria, Modern;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Samaria;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Luke, gospel of;   Samaria, samaritans;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Clean, Unclean;   Miracle;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Eschatology;   Tribulation, the;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Galilee;   Gareb;   Gospels;   Jerusalem;   Luke, the Gospel According to;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Samaria, Samaritans;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Leprosy ;   Martha ;   Ministry;   Physician (2);   Pilgrim (2);   Purification (2);   Reality;   Samaria ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Miracles;   Samaria ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Jerusalem;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Gal'ilee;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Samaria;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Martha;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee - He first went through Galilee, whence he set out on his journey; and then through Samaria, of which mention is made, Luke 9:51, Luke 9:52. All who went from Galilee to Jerusalem must have necessarily passed through Samaria, unless they had gone to the westward, a very great way about. Therefore John tells us, John 4:4, that when Jesus left Judea to go into Galilee, it was necessary for him to pass through Samaria; for this plain reason, because it was the only proper road. "It is likely that our Lord set out from Capernaum, traversed the remaining villages of Galilee as far as Samaria, and then passed through the small country of Samaria, preaching and teaching every where, and curing the diseased, as usual." Calmet.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The midst of Samaria and Galilee - He went from Galilee, and probably traveled through the chief villages and towns in it and then left it; and as Samaria was situated “between” Galilee and Jerusalem, it was necessary to pass through it; or it may mean that he passed along on the borders of each toward the river Jordan, and so passed in the midst, “i. e. between” Galilee and Samaria. This is rendered more probable from the circumstance that as he went from Galilee, there would have been no occasion for saying that he passed “through it,” unless it be meant through the “confines” or borders of it, or at least it would have been mentioned before Samaria.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-17.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And it came to pass, as they were on the way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee.

On the way to Jerusalem ... This is the third and final of the three references in this long section of Luke, in which it is mentioned that they were on the way to Jerusalem. The three references to the fact that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem are Luke 9:51; Luke 13:22, and this verse Luke 17:11. Ash's comment that "Jesus is always on the way but is no closer to Jerusalem at the last than at the first"[17] discloses an amazing failure to integrate this portion of Luke with the Gospel of John. Robertson said:

John gives us three journeys, - the Feast of the Tabernacles (John 7:2), the journey to raise Lazarus (John 11:17), and the final Passover (John 12:1). Luke likewise three times in this section speaks of Jesus going to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51; Luke 13:22; and Luke 17:11). It would seem possible, even probable that these journeys correspond. ... This plan is followed by various modern scholars.[18]

There was, of course, one mighty, well-coordinated journey to Jerusalem during the last few months of Jesus' ministry; and all of this long Lukan section deals with what Jesus did in that thorough campaign. However, three different times, Jesus interrupted the journey to go into the great religious capital of Israel on specific missions, each time returning to take up the final campaign as before. It is to that which this verse refers. Between this and Luke 17:10, Jesus had gone to Bethany to raise Lazarus from the dead, after which he withdrew for a while to Ephraim in the hills north of Jerusalem, later going through Samaria and Galilee to resume that campaign trip to Jerusalem.

Along the borders of Samaria and Galilee ... It will be noted that the English Revised Version (1885) margin renders this place "through the midst of Samaria and Galilee"; and, according to Robertson, that is correct. Regardless of which reading is used, what Jesus did was to go through Samaria (first) and then through Galilee to the point where he took up the "journey." Robertson has this comment on that journey:

When the Passover was approaching, Jesus went from that region (Ephraim, John 11:54) northward through Samaria into the southern and southeastern part of Galilee, so as to fall in with the pilgrims going from Galilee through Perea to Jerusalem. We again combine Luke's account with that of John in easy agreement.[19]

Thus, Luke 17:11 appears as one of the key references in understanding the harmony of the Gospels. Interrelated with the corresponding passages in John, Luke's mention of Jesus' going to Jerusalem is understood, not as mere verbosity, but as accurately related to the three great journeys of the Gospel of John. According to Robertson, the first great scholar to uncover this exceedingly important connection was Wiesler.[20]

[17] Anthony Lee Ash, op. cit., p. 7.

[18] A. T. Robertson, Harmony of the Gospels (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1922), p. 278.

[19] Ibid., p. 139.

[20] Ibid., p. 278.

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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 17:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-17.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And it came to pass as he went to Jerusalem,.... That is, Jesus, as the Persic version expresses it; though the Ethiopic version reads in the plural, "they going to Jerusalem passed", &c. that is, the disciples, or Christ with his disciples; who was now going thither to eat his last passover, and suffer and die for his people:

that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee; or "between Samaria and Galilee"; as the Syriac and Arabic versions render it; he steered his course through the borders of both these countries; and as he passed, Samaria was on his right hand, and Galilee on the left.

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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 17:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

6 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

(6) Christ does good even to those who will be unthankful, but the benefits of God to salvation only profit those who are thankful.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-17.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

[He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.] If it had been said through the midst of Galilee and Samaria, there had been no difficulty; but being said through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, it raiseth that doubt to which I have formerly spoken, viz. whether through 'Galilee,' in this place, ought not to be understood through 'Perea.' The Syriac and Arabic seem to have been aware of this difficulty; and therefore, to accommodate the matter, have rendered through the midst, by between. So that the sense they seem to make of it is this: that Jesus in his journey to Jerusalem took his way in the very extreme borders of Galilee and Samaria, i.e. that he went between the confines, and, as it were, upon the very brink of each country for a good way together. He did, indeed, go to the Scythopolitan bridge, by which he passed over into Perea: but whether through the midst will allow of such a rendering, let the more skillful judge.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-17.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Through the midst of Samaria and Galilee (δια μεσον Σαμαριας και Γαλιλαιαςdia meson Samarias kai Galilaias). This is the only instance in the N.T. of διαdia with the accusative in the local sense of “through.” Xenophon and Plato use δια μεσουdia mesou (genitive). Jesus was going from Ephraim (John 11:54) north through the midst of Samaria and Galilee so as to cross over the Jordan near Bethshean and join the Galilean caravan down through Perea to Jerusalem. The Samaritans did not object to people going north away from Jerusalem, but did not like to see them going south towards the city (Luke 9:51-56).

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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 17:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-17.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Through the midst of

It may also mean between or on the borders of. The Am. Rev. insists on the latter.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-17.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

And it came to pass, as they were on their way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee1.
    JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. TEN LEPERS. CONCERNING THE KINGDOM. (Borders of Samaria and Galilee.) Luke 17:11-37

  1. And it came to pass, as they were on their way to Jerusalem, that he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee. If our chronology is correct, Jesus passed northward from Ephraim about forty miles, crossing Samaria (here mentioned first), and coming to the border of Galilee. He then turned eastward along that border down the wady Bethshean which separates the two provinces, and crossed the Jordan into Perea, where we soon find him moving on toward Jericho in the midst of the caravan of pilgrims on the way to the Passover.

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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 17:11". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-17.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Samaria lay between Galilee and Judea.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-17.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

Ver. 11. He passed through Samaria and Galilee] Albeit he had forbidden his apostles to pass into those parts till after his death; yet he manifested by many arguments that the gospel belonged, and should shortly be preached, to those poor pagans, that as yet sat in darkness and in the shadow of death.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-17.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Observe here, 1. Though the Samaritans were bitter enemies to the Jews, and had been guilty of great incivility towards our Saviour, yet our Saviour in his journey to Jerusalem balks them not, but bestows the favor of a miracle upon them. Civil courtesy and respect may and ought to be paid to those that are the professed enemies of us and our holy religion.

Observe, 2. Though the leper by the law of God was to be separated from all other society, (God thereby signifying to his people, that the society of those that are spiritually contagious ought to be avoided,) yet the law of God did not restrain them from conversing with one another: accordingly these ten lepers get together, and are company for themselves. Fellowship is that we all naturally affect, though even in leprosy; lepers will flock together; where shall we find one spiritual leper alone? Drunkards and profane persons will be sure to consort with one another. Why should not God's children delight in an holy communion, when the wicked join hand in hand?

Observe, 3. Though Jews and Samaritans could not abide one another, yet here in leprosy they accord; here was one Samaritan leper with the Jewish: common sufferings had made them friends, whom relgion had disjoined. Oh what virtue is there in affliction to unite the most alienated and estranged hearts?

Observe, 4. These lepers apply themselves to Christ the great Physician; they cry unto him for mercy, with respect to their afflictions; they jointly cry, they all lifted up their voice with fervent importunity.

Teaching us our duty to join our spiritual forces together, and set upon God by troops. Oh holy and happy violence that is thus offered to heaven! How can we want blessings, when so many cords draw them down upon our heads?

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/luke-17.html. 1700-1703.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 17:11. διὰ μέσου, through the midst) On the confines of both Samaria and Galilee. [The remembrance of the Saviour in His journey from Galilee through Samaria to Judea, was deeply engraven on men’s minds by the following miracle.—Harm., p. 416.]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-17.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ver. 11-13. Christ’s nearest way from Galilee to Jerusalem was through Samaria. In a certain town ten lepers met him, for though the law forbade them any other society, yet it did not restrain them from the society of each other; probably they were got together that they might at once come to this great Physician. The leprosy was a sore disease, not so much known in our countries. We shall observe it was the disease which God made to come upon some persons, to testify His displeasure for some sin committed by them. It was threatened as the mark of God upon men for sin, Deuteronomy 28:27with the scab, whereof thou canst not be healed. God sent it upon Miriam, Numbers 12:10, for her contempt of Moses. David curseth Joab’s house with it, 2 Samuel 3:29. Gehazi suffereth by it, for his lying and going after Naaman for a bribe, 2 Kings 5:27. King Uzziah, for usurping the priest’s office, 2 Kings 15:5. These ten lepers cry to Christ for mercy, mercy with respect to their afflictions.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 17:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-17.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

в Иерусалим, Он проходил между Самариею и Галилеею Лука не объяснил причину такого окольного пути, однако несколько ключей к разгадке приносит сравнение Евангелий. Оказывается, между событиями ст. 10 и 11 прошло время. По-видимому, воскрешение Лазаря в Вифании, возле Иерусалима (Ин. 11), входит в эту временную рамку. Иоанн в 11:54 говорит, что после воскрешения Лазаря Христос, чтобы избежать встречи с властями, искавшими убить Его, пошел «в город, называемый Ефраим» – к северу от Иерусалима, возле границы с Самарией. Оттуда Он, очевидно, пошел на север через Самарию и Галилею еще раз, вероятно, чтобы присоединиться в Галилее к друзьям и семье, которые должны были отправиться в паломничество в Иерусалим для празднования Пасхи. Оттуда Он, возможно, пошел на юг обычным маршрутом, приведшим Его через Иерихон (18:35) в Иерусалим. См. пояснения к 9:51; 13:22.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-17.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And it came about that, as they were on the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along the borders of Samaria and Galilee.’

When Luke gives a detailed introduction he regularly has a purpose in it. Thus the mention of being on the way to Jerusalem brings the shadow of His death over the narrative. It is as the One Who is going to bear the sins of many, and to bear our sicknesses and diseases, that He can heal these men.

As we have observed earlier Jesus making of His way to Jerusalem to die is not just a straightforward journey. Having been in the environs of Jerusalem twice He is now going along the border between Galilee and Samaria. This explains the presence of a Samaritan among the skin diseased men who are the subject of the passage. But Luke probably intends also by his presence to imply that the journey to Jerusalem will have effects that will go beyond Judaism. It is because He is on His way to die in Jerusalem that His journey takes Him to a position where He is midway between Samaria and Galilee, for that death will break the barriers between them.

‘On the way to Jerusalem’ has a sombre note to it. It is all part of His set purpose and expectancy to die in Jerusalem. This is indeed why He can offer cleansing.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-17.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

§ 96.THE CLEANSING OF THE TEN LEPERS, Luke 17:11-19.

11.As he went to Jerusalem—From Ephraim, where he had resided for some weeks in retirement, being thither driven after his raising of Lazarus.

Midst of Samaria and Galilee—Jesus journeyed along the intermediate territory or boundary line of Samaria and Galilee, having the former on the right and the latter on the left, proceeding eastward until he should reach the Jordan at Scythopolis, (Bethshan or Beisan,) where was a bridge upon which he would pass over the Jordan into Peraea; (the Greek name for the territory east of or beyond the Jordan;) and there in the valley of the Jordan he would find the caravans of Galileans on their way to the Passover at Jerusalem, whom he would join on his way to the closing Passover of his ministry. With them he would, near Bethabara, recross the Jordan westward, and pass through Jericho and Bethany to his destination.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-17.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 17:11. As they were on their way to Jerusalem. The correct reading leaves the time quite indefinite; comp. chap. Luke 9:51.

Between Samaria and Galilee. This seems to be the sense of the correct reading. There is no such journey recorded by any of the Evangelists except that from Galilee about the time of the Feast of Tabernacles. There is no hint (unless this verse be an exception), that He ever approached Galilee after that time. Our Lord at that time passed into Samaria, but after the rejection mentioned by Luke (Luke 9:52-56) skirted the borders for a time, probably from west to east, reaching Jerusalem by the valley of the Jordan. It may be that He passed through Perea at this time, but this is not certain. Samaria is mentioned first, because it was nearest to Jerusalem, which had just been named. The E. V. ‘through the midst of Samaria and Galilee,’ implies a journey directly through the middle, first of Samaria, then of Galilee, towards Jerusalem; which is an absurdity, Samaria lying between Galilee and Jerusalem.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-17.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 17:11. .: the note of time seems to take us back to Luke 9:51. No possibility of introducing historic sequence into the section of Lk. lying between Luke 9:51 and Luke 18:15.— , He without emphasis; not He, as opposed to other pilgrims taking another route, directly through Samaria (so Meyer and Godet).— = (T.R.), being used adverbially as in Philip. Luke 2:15 = through between the two provinces named, on the confines of both, which explains the mixture of Jews and Samaritans in the crowd of lepers.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-17.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

it came to pass. A Hebraism.

as He went = as He was on (Greek. en. App-104.) His way.

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

the midst of: i.e. between them.

Galilee. See App-169.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he [The 'He' is emphatic kai (G2532) autos (G846)], passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, [ dia (Greek #1223) mesou (Greek #3319) Samareias (Greek #4540)]. This may mean, 'between Samaria and Galilee,' that is, on the frontiers of both, but without passing through them-as Meyer, Alford, Webster and Wilkinson, etc., take it: or, it may mean, "through the midst of Samaria and Galilee," in the sense of passing through those regions-as de Wette and Olshausen understand it. But in this sense the phrase is scarcely a natural one; nor does it seem to us likely that our Evangelist means his readers to understand that this was a fresh journey through those great divisions of the country. We prefer, therefore, the former sense. But the whole chronology of this large portion of our Gospel is difficult. See remarks prefixed to Luke 9:51.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-17.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem.—This is the first distinct note of time in St. Luke’s narrative since Luke 9:51. It appears to coincide with the journey of which we read in Matthew 19:1, Mark 10:1, and is the commencement of the last progress through the regions in which our Lord had already carried on His ministry. The fact, peculiar to St. Luke, that it led Him through Samaria, apparently through that part of it which lay on the borders of Galilee, is obviously reported in connection with the miracle that follows, the other Gospels dwelling on the departure from Galilee, and the continuance of the journey to Jerusalem by the route on the east of the Jordan valley.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
9:51,52; John 4:4
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-17.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

As, on a former occasion, Matthew and the other two Evangelists (Matthew 8:1; Mark 1:40; Luke 5:12) related that a leper had been cleansed by Christ, so Luke mentions that the same miracle of healing was performed on ten lepers The object of this narrative, however, is different; for it describes the base and incredible ingratitude of the Jewish nation, to prevent us from wondering that so many of Christ’s favors had been suppressed, and so many of his wonderful works buried, among them. One circumstance, too, is added, which greatly heightens the infamy of their crime. Our Lord had cured nine Jews: yet not one of them returned thanks, but, with the view of obliterating the remembrance of their disease, they privately stole away. One man only—a Samaritan—acknowledged his obligation to Christ. There is, therefore, on the one hand, a display of Christ’s divine power; and, on the other hand, a reproof of the impiety of the Jews, in consequence of which so remarkable a miracle as this received scarcely any attention.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:11". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-17.html. 1840-57.