Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 3:11

And he would answer and say to them, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Beneficence;   Liberality;   Poor;   Righteousness;   Scofield Reference Index - Repentance;   Thompson Chain Reference - Awakenings and Religious Reforms;   Awakenings, Religious;   Benevolence;   Liberality-Parsimony;   Social Duties;   The Topic Concordance - Deeds;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Liberality;   Poor, the;   Self-Denial;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Genealogy;   Mary;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the baptist;   Justice;   Repentance;   Work;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Baptize, Baptism;   John the Baptist;   Repentance;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Alms;   Poor;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gospels;   Poor;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John;   Luke, Gospel of;   Ordinances;   Repentance;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - John the Baptist;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Asceticism (2);   Benedictus;   Coat (2);   Common Life;   Confession (of Sin);   Dress (2);   Eternal Punishment;   Food;   Liberality;   Socialism;   Wealth (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Herod, Family of;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Poor;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Dress;   John the Baptist;   Luke, the Gospel of;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Alms;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He that hath two coats, etc. - He first teaches the great mass of the people their duty to each other. They were uncharitable and oppressive, and he taught them not to expect any mercy from the hand of God, while they acted towards others in opposition to its dictates. If men be unkind and uncharitable towards each other, how can they expect the mercy of the Lord to be extended towards themselves?

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He that hath two coats … - Or, in other words, aid the poor according to your ability; be benevolent, and you will thus show that your repentance is genuine. It is remarkable that one of the “first” demands of religion is to do good, and it is in this way that it may be shown that the repentance is not feigned. For.

1.The “nature” of religion is to do good.

2.This requires self-denial, and none will deny themselves who are not attached to God. And,

3.This is to imitate Jesus Christ, who, though he was rich, yet for our sakes became poor.

Coats - See the notes at Matthew 5:40.

Meat - Provision of any kind.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he answered and said unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath food, let him do likewise.

See under preceding verse.

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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 3:11". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He answereth and saith unto them,.... By telling them what they should do; and he does not put them upon ceremonial observances, nor severe exercises of religion, nor even the duties of the first table of the law, and others of the second, though necessary to be done; but upon acts of beneficence and kindness, to fellow creatures in distress; and are what may be called love of our neighbour, and which involves the love of God, and so the whole law; for the one cannot be rightly exercised without the other:

he that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; not both of them, but one of them: a man is not obliged to go naked himself, in order to clothe another; and so the Persic and Ethiopic versions read, "let him give one to him that has not"; that has not a garment to wear. This is not to be understood strictly and literally, that a man is obliged to give one of his coats, if he has more than one, to a person in want of clothing; it will be sufficient to answer the intent of this exhortation, if he supplies his want another way, by furnishing him with money to buy one: the meaning is, that persons according to their abilities, and of what they can spare, should communicate to those that are in distress: much less is it to be concluded from hence, that it is not lawful for a man to have more coats than one:

and he that hath meat, or meats,

let him do likewise; that is, he that has a sufficiency of food, and more than enough for himself and family, let him give it freely and cheerfully to the poor and needy, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased: and when such acts of kindness are done in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to the glory of God, they are the fruits of grace, and such as are meet for repentance, and show it to be genuine. John instances in these two articles, food and raiment, as containing the necessaries of human life, and including every thing, by which one may be serviceable to another.

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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 3:11". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

two coats — directed against the reigning avarice. (Also see on Matthew 3:10.)

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-3.html. 1871-8.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

11. He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

[He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none.] It would be no sense to say, He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath not two; but to him that hath none: for it was esteemed for religion by some to wear but one single coat or garment: of which, more elsewhere.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/luke-3.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Coats (χιτωναςchitōnas). The inner and less necessary undergarment. The outer indispensable ιματιονhimation is not mentioned. Note the specific and different message to each class. John puts his finger on the weaknesses of the people right before him.

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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 3:11". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Coats ( χιτῶνας )

See on Matthew 5:40.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

And he answered and said unto them, He that hath two coats1, let him impart to him that hath none2; and he that hath food, let him do likewise.

  1. He that hath two coats. By coats is meant the tunic, or inner garment, worn next to the skin. It reached to the knees, and sometimes to the ankles, and generally had sleeves. Two tunics were a luxury in a land where thousands were too poor to own even one. Wrath was coming, and he that would obtain mercy from it must show mercy (Matthew 5:7).

  2. Let him impart to him that hath none. For a like precept given to Christians, see 2 Corinthians 8:13-15; James 2:15-17; 1 John 3:17.

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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 3:11". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-3.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Meat; food.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-3.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

Ver. 11. He that hath two coats] Thus Tyre evidenced her repentance, Isaiah 23:18, by feeding and clothing God’s saints with her merchandise. Thus Zaccheus, Dorcas, &c. This is all the lesson that for the present he sets them, being but young scholars in the school of Christ.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-3.html. 1865-1868.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 3:11. ἔχων, he who hath) The people were inclined to avarice above all other faults. Therefore John gives them injunctions directly opposed to this sin, viz. injunctions respecting meat and raiment. The fruit of a thoroughly inward repentance [which, as well as the general testimony of John concerning the Christ, is taken for granted here.—V. g.] passes forth to the outermost parts of the life: Luke 3:13-14 : and does not consist in mere specious works, but in such as become us as citizens, and yet are real good works: ch. Luke 10:34; Matthew 25:35; Isaiah 58:6-7.— δύο χιτῶνας, two coats [rather tunics or inner vests]) and so as regards other articles of which we possess duplicates.— μεταδότω, let him impart) Liberality is wider in its range of comprehension, than generosity merely in money matters.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 3:10"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 3:11". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

две одежды Верхняя одежда наподобие рубашки. Носить можно было только по одной. Здесь Иоанн подчеркивал неизбежность предстоящего наказания. Не время было копить излишнее имущество.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-3.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he answered and said to them, “He who has two coats, let him impart to him who has none, and he who has food, let him do the same.” ’

They are to show true and practical love for their neighbours. If they possess two coats and someone else does not have one, they are to give them one (compare Luke 6:29; Mark 6:9). If they have food and someone else has none they are to give them some. The emphasis here is on practicality. It is saying that need must be met by supply, not by pious thoughts and words. It is no good saying to people ‘be warmed and filled’. They are to warm and fill them (see James 2:15-16). This will similarly become an example of love in the early church (Acts 2:44-45; Acts 4:32).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-3.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

11.He that hath two coats—For coat see note on Matthew 5:40. As selfishness, rapine, and robbery were the order of the day, the Baptist prescribes, even to a mortification, the reverse work: let the recklessness of might be checked by the example of divine magnanimity; let the surplus of the rich, both in food and clothing, be given in charity to the poor.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-3.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 3:11. He that hath two coats, etc. This reply says nothing of faith and love. John belonged to the dispensation of the law, was a preacher of repentance, a forerunner of the Saviour. The answer was correct, but necessarily incomplete. The principle is that of unselfishness, which is set forth by our Lord, in the Sermon on the Mount, as self-denying love. This is the link between the two preachers, as far as moral precepts are concerned.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 3:11. .: two, one to spare, not necessarily two on the person, one enough; severely simple ideas of life. The was the under garment, vide on Matthew 5:40.— : the plural should perhaps not be emphasised as if implying variety and abundance ( , Grotius). The counsel is: let him that hath food give to him that hath none, so inculcating a generous, humane spirit. Here the teaching of John, as reported by Lk., touches that of Jesus, and is evangelical not legal in spirit.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

He that hath two coats, &c. St. John exhorts them to works of charity towards the poor, by giving what is superfluous. (Witham) --- Here we are taught that whatever we have more than our own wants require, must be bestowed on those who are in need; for the love of that God, of whom we have received all. (St. Basil, in Avar.) --- Charity to the poor is frequently recommended in Scripture, as a powerful method of redeeming sin, and reconciling us to divine mercy. This was Daniel's advice to king Nabuchodonosor: "May my counsel please thee, O king, and do thou redeem thy sins with alms and mercy to the poor." (Daniel iv.) Hence St. John Chrysostom says: "The poor are physicians, and their hands are an ointment for your wounds." (hom. xiv. in ep. 1. ad Tim.) --- See the unbounded love of God; he offers us his mercy, provided we will relieve our indigent brethren! (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

answereth and saith. See note on Deuteronomy 1:41.

coats = tunics. compare Matthew 5:40). One kind of garment, put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species) for a garment of any kind,

none = not, as in Luke 3:8.

meat = food, or victuals.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-3.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(11) He that hath two coats.—The remedy, in this case, was simple and practical. Selfishness was the root of evil. It was to be conquered not by religious emotions only, but by acts of unselfishness.

He that hath meat.—The Greek noun is plural, and includes all forms of food.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
He that hath two
11:41; 18:22; 19:8; Isaiah 58:7-11; Daniel 4:27; Matthew 25:40; Mark 14:5-8; John 13:29; Acts 10:2,4,31; 2 Corinthians 8:3-14; 1 Timothy 6:18; Hebrews 6:10; James 1:27; James 2:15-26; 1 John 3:17; 4:20
Reciprocal: Job 31:19 - GeneralEzekiel 18:7 - hath given;  Matthew 6:28 - why;  Matthew 10:10 - two;  Matthew 14:16 - they;  Matthew 25:36 - Naked;  Luke 9:3 - two;  Luke 12:17 - shall;  Ephesians 4:28 - that he

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 3:11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-3.html.