Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 17:21

nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!' or, ‘There it is!' For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Gospel;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Thompson Chain Reference - Kingdom, Spiritual;   Spiritual;   The Topic Concordance - Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;   Kingdom of God;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Jesus christ;   Kingdom of god;   Son of man;   Teacher;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - King, Christ as;   Kingdom of God;   Last Day(s), Latter Days, Last Times;   Prophet, Christ as;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Eschatology;   Tribulation, the;   Holman Bible Dictionary - King, Christ as;   Luke, Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Blessedness;   Church;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Parable;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Advent (2);   Character;   Discourse;   Doctrines;   Eschatology (2);   Good ;   Ideal;   Ideas (Leading);   Kingdom Kingdom of God;   Kingdom of God (or Heaven);   Lord's Prayer (Ii);   Luke, Gospel According to;   Magnificat;   Man (2);   Monotheism;   Observation;   Originality;   Poet;   Prophet;   Redemption (2);   Religious Experience;   Righteous, Righteousness;   Trinity (2);   Unity (2);   Worldliness (2);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   Logia, the;   Parousia;   Salvation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   Kingdom of God;   New Testament;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 12;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Lo here! or, lo there! - Perhaps those Pharisees thought that the Messiah was kept secret, in some private place, known only to some of their rulers; and that by and by he should be proclaimed in a similar way to that in which Joash was by Jehoiada the priest. See the account, 2 Chronicles 23:1-11.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

“Lo here! or, Lo there!” When an earthly prince visits different parts of his territories, he does it with pomp. His movements attract observation, and become the common topic of conversation. The inquiry is, Where is he? which way will he go? and it is a matter of important “news” to be able to say where he is. Jesus says that the Messiah would not come in that manner. It would not be with such pomp and public attention. It would be silent, obscure, and attracting comparatively little notice. Or the passage may have reference to the custom of the “pretended” Messiahs, who appeared in this manner. They said that in this place or in that, in this mountain or that desert, they would show signs that would convince the people that they were the Messiah. Compare the notes at Acts 5:36-37.

Is within you - This is capable of two interpretations.

1. The reign of God is “in the heart.” It does not come with pomp and splendor, like the reign of temporal kings, merely to control the external “actions” and strike the senses of people with awe, but it reigns in the heart by the law of God; it sets up its dominion over the passions, and brings every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

2. It may mean the new dispensation is “even now among you.” The Messiah has come. John has ushered in the kingdom of God, and you are not to expect the appearance of the Messiah with great pomp and splendor, for he is now among you. Most critics at present incline to this latter interpretation. The ancient versions chiefly follow the former.

sa40

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-17.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Neither shall they say,.... Or shall it be said by any, making their observations, and pointing to this, or that place:

lo here, or lo there; in this, or that place, country or city, the kingdom of God is set up; the throne of the Messiah is there; and there are the "regalia", or ensigns of his regal power; no such thing will fall under the observations of man, not but that this would be said, and was said by some persons, as it is suggested it should, Luke 17:23 and it appears from Matthew 24:26 that some would say he was in such a wilderness, and others, that he was in some private retirement in a house, or that he was in such a town or city; as particularly it was said in Adrian's time, that he was in a place called Bither, where Bar Cochab set up himself for the Messiah: but the sense of the words is, that no such thing ought to be said; and if it was said, it would not be true; nor should it be credited: and the Cambridge copy of Beza's adds, "believe not"; as in Matthew 24:26

for behold the kingdom of God is within you: in the elect of God among the Jews, in their hearts; it being of a spiritual nature, and lying in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; in the dispossession of Satan, the strong man armed; in the putting down of the old man, sin, with its deceitful lusts, from the throne; and in setting up a principle of grace, as a governing one; and so escapes the observation of natural men, and cannot be pointed at as here, or there: hence it appears, that the work of grace is an internal thing; it is wrought in the hearts of men; it has its seat in the inward parts, and is therefore called the inner, and the hidden man: it does not lie in words, in an outward profession of religion: it is oil in the vessel of the heart, and is distinct from the lamp of a visible profession; it does not lie in external works and duties, but it is an inward principle of holiness in the soul, or spirit of man, produced there by the Spirit of God, and is therefore called by his name, John 3:6 and it also appears to be a very glorious thing, since it is signified by a kingdom: it is a rich treasure; it is gold tried in the fire, which makes rich; it is an estate, that good part, and portion, which can never be taken away; it is preferable to the greatest portion on earth men can enjoy; even the largest and richest kingdom in the world is not to be compared with it; it is a kingdom which cannot be moved; and as it is glorious in itself, it makes such glorious who are partakers of it: "the king's daughter is all glorious within", Psalm 45:13 and it is high in the esteem of God; it is the hidden man of the heart, but it is in his sight; it is in his view, and is in his sight of great price: it is likewise evident from hence, that it has great power and authority in the soul; it has the government in it; it reigns, through righteousness, unto eternal life; and by it, Christ, as king of saints, dwells and reigns in his people. Now this is not to be understood of the Scribes and Pharisees, as if they had any such internal principle in them, who were as painted sepulchres, and had nothing but rottenness and corruption in them: but the sense is, that there were some of the people of the Jews, of whom the Pharisees were a part, who had been powerfully wrought upon under the ministry of John, Christ, and his apostles; and were so many instances of efficacious grace, and of the kingdom of God, and of his Gospel coming with power to them. Though the words may be rendered,

the kingdom of God is among you; and the meaning be, that the king Messiah was already come, and was among them, and his kingdom was already set up, of which the miracles of Christ were a full proof; and if they could not discern these signs of the times, and evident appearances of the kingdom of God among them, they would never be able to make any observation of it, hereafter, or elsewhere.

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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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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is c within you.

(c) You look around for the Messiah as though he were absent, but he is amongst you in the midst of you.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/luke-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Lo here! … lo there! — shut up within this or that sharply defined and visible geographical or ecclesiastical limit.

within you — is of an internal and spiritual character (as contrasted with their outside views of it). But it has its external side too.

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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 17:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-17.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Within you (εντος υμωνentos humōn). This is the obvious, and, as I think, the necessary meaning of εντοςentos The examples cited of the use of εντοςentos in Xenophon and Plato where εντοςentos means “among” do not bear that out when investigated. Field (Ot. Norv.) “contends that there is no clear instance of εντοςentos in the sense of among” (Bruce), and rightly so. What Jesus says to the Pharisees is that they, as others, are to look for the kingdom of God within themselves, not in outward displays and supernatural manifestations. It is not a localized display “Here” or “There.” It is in this sense that in Luke 11:20 Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God as “come upon you” (επτασεν επ υμαςephthasen eph' humās), speaking to Pharisees. The only other instance of εντοςentos in the N.T. (Matthew 23:26) necessarily means “within” (“the inside of the cup”). There is, beside, the use of εντοςentos meaning “within” in the Oxyrhynchus Papyrus saying of Jesus of the Third Century (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 426) which is interesting: “The kingdom of heaven is within you” (εντος υμωνentos humōn as here in Luke 17:21).

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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 17:21". "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

Within

Better, in the midst of. Meyer acutely remarks that “you refers to the Pharisees, in whose hearts nothing certainly found a place less than did the ethical kingdom of God.” Moreover, Jesus is not speaking of the inwardness of the kingdom, but of its presence. “The whole language of the kingdom of heaven being within men, rather than men being within the kingdom, is modern” (Trench, after Meyer).

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "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.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Neither shall they say, Lo here, or lo there — This shall not be the language of those who are, or shall be sent by me, to declare the coming of my kingdom.

For behold the kingdom of God is within or among you — Look not for it in distant times or remote places: it is now in the midst of you: it is come: it is present in the soul of every true believer: it is a spiritual kingdom, an internal principle. Wherever it exists, it exists in the heart.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-17.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you1.

  1. The kingdom of God is within you. Some have thought it strange than Jesus should say "within you" when addressing the Pharisees, but the word "you" is used generally and indefinitely.

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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 17:21". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-17.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Is within you. It is a spiritual kingdom, having its seat in the feelings and affections of the soul.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-17.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

(Greek - ἐντός = "in the midst)." It could not be said of a self-righteous, Christ rejecting pharisee, that the kingdom of God, as to its spiritual content, was within him. Our Lord's whole answer, designedly enigmatic to the Pharisees (cf) Matthew 13:10-13 had a dispensational meaning. The kingdom in its outward form, as covenanted to David 2 Samuel 7:8-17 and described by the prophets (See Scofield "Zechariah 12:8") had been rejected by the Jews; so that, during this present age, it would not "come with observation" (lit. "outward show") but in the hearts of men (cf); Luke 19:11; Luke 19:12; Acts 1:6-8.

(See Scofield "Acts 1:6"). See Scofield "Romans 14:17.

Meantime, the kingdom was actually "in the midst" of the Pharisees in the persons of the King and His disciples.

within you in the midst of.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 17:21". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-17.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Ver. 21. The kingdom of God is within you] It is spiritual, Romans 14:17. Or, it is among you, but that you cannot see wood for trees. You seek me as absent, whom you reject present.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-17.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 17:21

Let us consider the kingdoms which are not material, but of a finer substance than matter, and whose forces and powers are represented by other than materialistic ones. Of these kingdoms we mention three—

I. The kingdom of Mind. (1) Its creations are immortal; (2) its kings suffer no dethronement. At the motion of their hands our thoughts start up for service. Their kingdom is like a sea that has no shore; it is limitless. The race of man, irrespective of local boundaries, irrespective of governmental divisions, acknowledges the supremacy of their dominion.

II. The kingdom of the Heart. Where, in this kingdom, will you find any signs of age, any evidence of weariness, any vestige of decay, any proof that it has an end? Look where you will; sight it from whatever point of view you choose; measure it by whatever standard your ingenuity can invent, and you will find that this kingdom is a kingdom that knows not the measurement of time, that suffers not the infringements of age, that has never felt, and may never feel, the weakening of duration.

III. The kingdom of Soul. The kingdom of the mind naturally suggests man; the kingdom of the heart naturally suggests companionship and social communings; the kingdom of soul represents eternity. It represents God and the beings that are allied to God, and are of Him as the Son is of the Father. But the forces of the kingdom of soul are not to be seen in action like the former, and the reason is because this is not the sphere and the realm of their action. What refers to matter here has reference to earth and time; but soul refers to spirit, and has reference to heaven and eternity; and it is only by a mighty swing upwards, of ourselves, that we can reach that level of contemplation. Ranging our sight along which we behold the multitudinous activities of the soul. It is over this inward kingdom that Christ rules. It is within this kingdom that He energises. It is out of this kingdom that His glory has to proceed. And they who search to discern Him in spirit and life, in holy expression of consecrated faculty, in the energy of capacities dedicated to God, shall find Him; and they shall find that in these He is all in all.

W. H. Murray, The Fruits of the Spirit, p. 334.


Though the "kingdom of God," in its highest sense, certainly occupies space, we are quite sure, nevertheless, that we shall find heaven much more a state than a place. We know already, even here, that happiness does not depend on where we are. Happiness is a condition of mind. We carry about with us a feeling which makes the atmosphere, which determines the colour of the prospect. And what is all this? What is this great moral truth, which commends itself to every man's experience, but an approach to, and a part of, that truth, "The kingdom of God is within you"? But only a part; we have to look at it in a far higher meaning.

I. I believe that every one, in this present world, is gradually but surely ripening, and getting like the state—whichever the state may be—where he is to live for ever and for ever. The final condition of a saint in glory is only the growth and the increase and the extension of his life on earth. He has been constantly assimilating to his own perfected condition in another world. The heaven is in him long before he goes to heaven.

II. Heaven, we are led to expect, will be: (1) Light. But what are the emanations of that light? Truth, clearness, uprightness. And that is heaven. If you are a child of God, there is in your heart, transparency, strict justice, perfect truthfulness. The kingdom of heaven is within you. (2) Harmony. If you are a man that loves unity, if you hate variance, if you are doing all that in you lies to make the Church's unity—then, in so far, the kingdom of God is within you. (3) Singleness of purpose. Whichever of us can say, "One thing I do—whether I eat or drink, whatever I do, I try to do it to the glory of God"—then of that one I assert, "The kingdom of God is within you." (4) Humility—every angel covering his face with his wing. If I see a man very little in his own eyes I know that the kingdom of God is within him. (5) Through all heaven, it is the one felt Presence of Christ which is, to all hearts, all their joy; because He is there, therefore it is what it is. And, just according to what Jesus is to you, and you are to Jesus—the more would an angel of truth, if he visited this church to-night, say of that soul of yours, "The kingdom of God is within you."

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 4th series, p. 15.


References: Luke 17:21.—E. Johnson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxii., p. 163.—G. E. L. Cotton, Sermons to English Congregations in India, p. 219; C. Kingsley, National Sermons, p. 176; Bishop Boyd Carpenter, Church of England Pulpit, vol. iii., pp. 56, 92; Homilist, new series, vol. ii., p. 371. Luke 17:22.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxii., No. 1323. Luke 17:22, Luke 17:23.—D. G. Watt, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 104.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-17.html.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

21. οὐδὲ ἐρ.…] Its coming shall be so gradual and unobserved, that none during its waxing onward shall be able to point here or there for a proof of its coming.

ἰδοὺ γάρ] for behold the kingdom of God is (already) among you. The misunderstanding which rendered these words ‘within you,’ meaning this in a spiritual sense, ‘in your hearts,’ should have been prevented by reflecting that they are addressed to the Pharisees, in whose hearts it certainly was not. Nor could the expression in this connexion well bear this spiritual meaning potentially—i.e. is in its nature, within your hearts. The words are too express and emphatic for this. We have the very expression, Xen. Anab. i. 10. 3,— ἀλλὰ καὶ ταύτην ἔσωσαν ( οἱ ἕλληνες) καὶ ἄλλα ὁπόσα ἐντὸς αὐτῶν καὶ χρήματα καὶ ἄνθρωποι ἐγένοντο πάντα ἔσωσαν:—see also John 1:26; John 12:35, both of which are analogous expressions. See the two renderings compared in Bleek’s note.

The kingdom of God was begun among them, and continues thus making its way in the world, without observation of men; so that whenever men can say ‘lo here or lo there,’—whenever great ‘revivals’ or ‘triumphs of the faith’ can be pointed to, they stand self-condemned as not belonging to that kingdom. Thus we see that every such marked event in the history of the Church is by God’s own hand as it were blotted and marred, so as not to deceive us into thinking that the kingdom has come. So it was at the Pentecostal era:—so at that of Constantine;—so at the Reformation.

The meaning ‘among you,’ includes of course the deeper and personal one ‘within each of you,’ but the two are not convertible.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-17.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 17:21. οὐδὲ ἐροῦσιν, neither shall they say) viz. they who point out the kingdom. The verb put without the noun is consonant with this view. For the world does not recognise the messengers of the kingdom.—[ ὧδεἐκεῖ, here—there) Here includes under it the notion of the present time; there, that of the future.—V. g.(187)]— ἰδοὺ γὰρ, for behold) Ye ought to turn your earnest attention to the fact: Then you will see that the kingdom of God is already within your reach. This true (well-grounded) Behold, is put in antithesis to the Behold [“Lo, here or there”] which is looked for without good ground.(188) For behold ( ἰδοὺ γὰρ) does not belong to (stand under) ἐροῦσιν, they shall say.— ἐντὸς, within) Ye ought not to look to times that are future, or places that are remote: for the kingdom of God is within you; even as the King Messiah is in the midst of you: John 1:26 [“There standeth one among you ( μέσος ὑμῶν) whom ye know not”], Luke 12:35. Within is here used, not in respect of the heart of individual Pharisees (although in very deed Christ dwells in the heart of His people: Ephesians 3:17), but in respect to the whole Jewish people. The King, Messiah, and therefore the kingdom, is present: ye see and ye hear [Him]. The LXX. use ἐντὸς answering to קרב of those things which are in a man; but in this passage He is speaking of more than one. So the LXX. ed Hervag.,(189), Deuteronomy 5:14, ἐντὸς τῶν πυλῶν σου. Raphelius compares the words found in Xenophon, ὅσα ἐντὸς αὐτῶν καὶ χρήματα καὶ ἄνθρωποι ἐγένοντο, “whatever both property and men were inside (within), with them, in the camp.”— ἔστιν, is) The Present, appositely, and with emphasis. It cannot be said, the kingdom cometh, but it is now present: see John 3:8.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". 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

The latter words of this verse seem fairly to admit of a double interpretation, as you here may signify the disciples of Christ, who had received Christ as their Lord, over whom he exercised a spiritual dominion and jurisdiction, or as it may respect the whole Jewish nation, amongst whom the kingdom of God was now exercised, by the preaching of the gospel, and the power of Christ put forth in the casting out devils, and other miraculous operations. I incline to the latter, as differing from those that think these words were spoken with a peculiar respect to the disciples; I rather think them a reply to the Pharisees, as corrective of their false notion and apprehension of the Messiah, as if he were yet to come, and to set up a temporal principality; for it is said, Luke 17:22, And he said unto the disciples, as if he did but then specially apply his discourse to them; en hmin thus signifieth, Luke 7:16 John 1:14. You (saith our Saviour) are much mistaken as to the nature of my kingdom, and indeed of the kingdom of the Messiah, in the expectation of which you live. It is not a kingdom of the same nature with the kingdoms of the world, it cometh not with pomp: and splendour, for men and women to observe; they shall not say, Lo here he cometh! Or, Lo there he goeth! The kingdom of God is now in the midst among you, though you observe it not.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 17:21". 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

внутрь вас Т.е. в человеческих сердцах. Едва ли местоимение вообще относилось к фарисеям.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-17.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Within you; the true reign of Christ is in the hearts of men, and it had already begun among them.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.Lo, here—As it would not show itself to the observation of watchers in the sky, so it would not break out in spots on the earth. The rumour that the Messiah was marching with the blood-red banner from Edom, or that he had already descended upon Mount Olivet, or that he was in secret council chambers with the sages of the Sanhedrim, would all prove falsehoods.

Is within you—Is not an external and political one, but is a power and a realm within the soul. By using the second person plural, Jesus did not mean to concede that that kingdom was now actually within their hearts. He spoke to them generally as men. Some render the passage, the kingdom of God is among you. The Greek preposition well admits that meaning, but the context scarcely does. What our Lord appears to assert is, that his kingdom is not external but internal; that is, it is not a thing of observation and localities, but of consciousness, and within.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "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 17:21. Lo here! or, there! Men have no right to point to anything as a proof of the speedy coming of this kingdom. They can never know the definite time, though they should ever pray: ‘Thy kingdom come.’

The kingdom of God is within you, or, ‘in the midst of you.’ A future coming of the kingdom of God is referred to throughout, and it is implied that the second coming of Christ, the King, coincides with this coming of the kingdom. But here our Lord declares that the kingdom of God was already among them, for the King was present and working among them. This implies to a certain extent the other meaning: ‘within you,’ so far as its presence among them involved the personal duty of each one to reject or accept it in his heart. Some suppose the meaning to be: the kingdom of God is an internal, spiritual matter. But our Lord goes on to speak of this coming as an external phenomenon. The crowning objection is, that the words were spoken to the Pharisees, in whose hearts this kingdom had no spiritual presence. Godet thus combines the two: ‘Humanity must be prepared for the new external and divine state of things by a spiritual work wrought in the depths of the heart; and it is this internal advent which Jesus thinks good to put first in relief before such interlocutors.’

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "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 17:21. , nor will they say; there will be nothing to give occasion for saying: non erit quod dicatur, Grotius.— , , here, there, implying a visible object that can be located.— , within you, in your spirit. This rendering best corresponds with the non-visibility of the kingdom. The thought would be a very appropriate one in discourse to disciples. Not so in discourse to Pharisees. To them it would be most natural to say “among you” = look around and see my works: devils cast out (Luke 11:20), and learn that the kingdom is already here ( ). Kindred to this rendering is that of Tertullian (c.Marcionem, L. iv., 35): in your power, accessible to you: in manu, in potestate vestra. The idea “among you” would be more clearly expressed by . Cf.John 1:6. . , etc., one stands among you whom ye know not—cited by Euthy. to illustrate the meaning of our passage. Field (Ot. Nor.) contends that there is no clear instance of in the sense of “among,” and cites as an example of its use in the sense of “within” Psalms 103:1, .

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-17.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Is within you. It is with you; your Messias is already come. --- He standeth in the midst of you, as John the Baptist told you. (John i. 26.) (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-17.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Lo. Greek. idou. App-133.

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos (App-6), for emphasis. App-133.

within = in the midst of, or, among: i.e. already there in the Person of the King (whose presence marks a kingdom). Greek entos, the same meaning as Greek. en (App-104.), with the plural rendered "among" 115 times in N.T. The same meaning as in Matthew 12:28. John 1:26.

you = you yourselves. His bitter enemies. Therefore not in their hearts; but the very opposite.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "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

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! - shut up within this or that sharply defined or visible limit, geographical or ecclesiastical.

For the kingdom of God is within you - [ entos (Greek #1787) humoon (Greek #5216)]. This may either mean, 'inside of you;' meaning, that it is of an internal and spiritual character, as opposed to their outside views of it: so the best expositors among the Fathers understood it; and so, of the moderns, Luther, Erasmus, Calvin, Campbell, Olshausen. Or, it may mean 'in the midst of you,' or 'among you'-as already set up in its beginnings, if they had but eyes to discern it: so Beza, Grotius, Bengel, Meyer, de Wette, Alford, Webster and Wilkinson. It seems a weak argument against the former sense, though urged by nearly all who adopt the latter, that the kingdom of God could not be said to be within or in the hearts of the Pharisees, to whom our Lord was addressing himself. For, all that the phrase, in that sense, implies is, that it is 'within men,' as its general character. The question must be decided by the whole scope of the statement; and though others judge this to be in favour of the second sense, we incline, on this ground, to the first. Compare Deuteronomy 30:11-14; Romans 14:17.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "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

(21) The kingdom of God is within you.—The marginal reading, “among you.” has been adopted, somewhat hastily, by most commentators. So taken. the words emphatically assert the actual presence of the Kingdom. It was already in the midst of them at the very time when they were asking when it would appear. The use of the Greek preposition is, however, all but decisive against this interpretation. It is employed for that which is “within,” as contrasted with that which is “without,” as in Matthew 23:26, and in the LXX. version for the “inward parts,” or spiritual nature of man, as contrasted with the outward, as in Psalms 103:1; Psalms 109:22; Isaiah 16:11. It was in that region, in the life which must be born again (John 3:3), that men were to look for the kingdom; and there, whether they accepted it or rejected it, they would find sufficient tokens of its power.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Lo here
21:8; Matthew 24:23-28; Mark 13:21
the kingdom
Romans 14:17; Colossians 1:27
within you
or, among you.
10:9-11; Matthew 12:28; John 1:26
Reciprocal: Matthew 20:21 - in thy;  Matthew 21:43 - The kingdom;  Luke 13:18 - the kingdom;  Luke 17:23 - GeneralJohn 18:36 - My kingdom is;  Acts 1:3 - speaking;  Romans 2:29 - which;  Hebrews 12:28 - a kingdom

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 17:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-17.html.