Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 17:4

And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,' forgive him."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Charitableness;   Forgiveness;   Jesus, the Christ;   Reproof;   Trespass;   Thompson Chain Reference - Forgiveness;   The Topic Concordance - Rebuke;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Forgiveness of Injuries;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Sin;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Eschatology;   Forgiveness;   Tribulation, the;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Seven;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Confession;   Forgiveness;   Matthew, Gospel According to;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Birth of Christ;   Communion (2);   Confession (of Sin);   Discourse;   Fierceness;   Justice (2);   Manliness;   Metaphors;   Neighbour (2);   Numbers (2);   Rebuke;   Righteous, Righteousness;   Trinity (2);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Confession;   Forgiveness;   Number;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for April 29;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day,.... For good men are frequently apt to fall into sin, and offend both God and man; see Proverbs 24:16 "and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent"; as often as he sins, and appears to be truly sensible of it, and humble for it, and makes acknowledgments of it; and not only barely in words professes his concern for it, but there is reason to believe that he is heartily grieved for it, and to hope that he will behave better for the future:

thou shalt forgive him; this seems to be occasioned by Peter's putting such a question to Christ, how often a brother might sin against him, and he forgive him; see Matthew 18:21. The Jews plead for great tenderness and readiness to forgive penitents, when they ask for forgiveness; which they insist upon should be done: they sayF17Maimon. Hilchot Chobel Umezik, c. 5. sect. 10. ,

"it is forbidden an injured person to be cruel, and not forgive; this is not the way of the seed of Israel: but when he that has done the injury asks of him, and prays him once and again, and he knows that he has returned from his sin, and hath repented of his evil, he ought to forgive him; and whoever makes haste to forgive, is praiseworthy.'

But then, they sayF18T. Bab. Bava Kama, fol. 92. 1. ,

"if he brings all the rams of Nebaioth that are in the world, he is not to have pardon, unless he asks it of him.'

And they seem also to have set times for it, as well as restrain the frequent repetition of it: they observeF19T. Bab. Rosh Hashama, fol. 17. 2. ;

"if a man returns by repentance, in the intermediate time, (i.e. as the gloss explains it, between the beginning of the year, or New Year's Day, and the day of atonement,) they pardon him; but if he does not return in the intermediate time, though he brings all the rams of Nebaioth in the world, they do not pardon him.'

A man that was always forgiving, was reckoned by them an extraordinary man: it is saidF20Juchasin, fol. 90. 2. of Mar Zutra bar Nachman, that he was מוחל בכל יום, "forgiving every day"; but yet they do not seem to care to carry it to so great a length, and to repeat it so often as our Lord directs; they allow a man to forgive three times, but not a fourth; See Gill on Matthew 18:22.

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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 17:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-17.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

seven times — not a lower measure of the forgiving spirit than the “seventy times seven” enjoined on Peter, which was occasioned by his asking if he was to stop at seven times. “No,” is the virtual answer, “though it come to seventy times that number, if only he ask forgiveness in sincerity.”

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "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

Seven times in a day (επτακις της ημεραςheptakis tēs hēmeras). Seven times within the day. On another occasion Peter‘s question (Matthew 18:21) brought Christ‘s answer “seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22), which see note. Seven times during the day would be hard enough for the same offender.

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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 17:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-17.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

If he sin against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day return, saying, I repent — That is, if he give sufficient proof that he does really repent, after having sinned ever so often, receive him just as if he had never sinned against thee. But this forgiveness is due only to real penitents. In a lower sense we are to forgive all, penitent or impenitent; (so as to bear them the sincerest good will, and to do them all the good we can;) and that not seven times only, but seventy times seven.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-17.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

And if he sin against thee seven times in the day1, and seven times turn again to thee2, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him3.

  1. And if he sin against thee seven times in the day. A general expression indicating a great number of times. See .

  2. And seven times turn again to thee. See .

  3. Saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. The passage differs from that in Matthew in that the repentance of the sinner is required as a condition precedent to forgiveness.

Copyright Statement
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.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-17.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Scofield's Reference Notes

trespass

Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Luke 17:4". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/luke-17.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

Ver. 4. See Matthew 18:21.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-17.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 17:4. τῆς ἡμέρας, in the day) This passage many misapply, by erroneously connecting the idea with that in Proverbs 24:16 [A just man falleth seven times and riseth up again”] as if the just man fell seven times a day, and that, too, into sins.— ἐπιστρέψῇ, turn himself again) In antithesis to ἁμαρτήσῃ, if he shall have trespassed.— μετανοῶ, I repent) To say so openly and ingenuously, is not only not disgraceful, but is even salutary [tends towards one’s salvation]: the mind of the offender and that of the offended party are thereby admirably healed. [In a similar way, also, it is expedient that we entreat pardon before God, not merely in general terms, but in respect to the particular lapses into sin of which we are conscious.—V. g.]

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Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". 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

See Poole on "Luke 17:3"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 17:4". 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

семь раз в день Т.е. не имеет значения, сколько раз он согрешает и кается. См. пояснения к Мф. 18:21, 22. Число семь не должно было установить предел, сколько раз прощать (ср. Пс. 118:164), а совсем наоборот. Христос имел в виду, что мы должны прощать согрешающих против нас бесконечно (ср. Еф. 4:32; Кол. 3:13).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-17.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Increase our faith; see note on Matthew 17:20.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-17.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Seven times—The sacred number, expressive of numerous repetitions.

Saying, I repent—The forgiveness is not enjoined upon his impenitence. But even in this, our desire must be for his repentance, and his well-being, and his salvation.

I repent—In which, of course, he resigns all evil feelings and designs, and desires mutual peace.

Thou shalt forgive him—Thou shalt consent to be at peace with him and hold him as not having trespassed.

You may be conscious of his changing and careless disposition; but beware of cherishing a permanent purpose of revenge.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "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 17:4. Turn again to thee. Confession is plainly demanded here, as rebuke had been in Luke 17:3. Christian confession may be as rare as proper Christian rebuke.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "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 17:4. , seven times a day. The number recalls Peter’s question (Matthew 18:21), and the phrase seven times a day states the duty of forgiving as broadly as Mt.’s seventy times seven, but not in so animated a style: more in the form of a didactic rule than of a vehement emotional utterance; obviously secondary as compared with Mt.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-17.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

seven. On the former occasion "seventy" (Matthew 18:21, Matthew 18:22). No discrepancy. See App-97.

to = unto. Greek. epi. App-104.; but the texts read pros.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "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 if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him - that is, 'however often;' seven being the number of completeness. So that this is not a lower measure of forgiving love than the "seventy-times seven times" was, enjoined upon Peter; because that was merely because Peter had asked if he was to stop at seven times-to which the reply was, 'No, not though it should come to seventy times that number.' See the notes at Matthew 18:21-22.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "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

(4) If he trespass against thee.—Better, if he sin. The better MSS. omit the words, “against thee,” and so make the command more general, and the verb is the same as that in Matthew 18:21, the teaching of which is here manifestly reproduced. The outward form seems at first to present a somewhat lower standard of forgiveness, “seven times,” instead of “seventy times seven.” Here, however, it should be remembered that we have “seven times a day,” and the meaning is obviously the same in both passages. No accumulation of offences, however often repeated, is to be allowed to bring us to the hardness which refuses to forgive when the offender says that he repents and asks forgiveness.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
if
Matthew 18:21,22,35; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Ephesians 4:31,32; Colossians 3:12,13
I repent
Matthew 5:44; 6:12,14,15; 18:16; Romans 12:20; 2 Thessalonians 3:13,14
Reciprocal: Genesis 50:17 - Forgive;  Exodus 22:9 - for all manner of trespass;  Judges 11:8 - the elders;  Ecclesiastes 11:2 - seven;  Matthew 18:15 - if;  Luke 6:37 - forgive

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 17:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-17.html.