Notes on Luke

Version Date: July 11, 2024. (Date of First Version: October 21, 2023.)

Lk 1:25 This verse is the only place in the New Testament where the word ονειδος "reproach" appears. However, this word is widely used in LXX. For example, it appears in συλλαβουσα ετεκεν τω ιακωβ υιον ειπεν δε ραχηλ αφειλεν ο θεος μου το ονειδος which translates ותהר ותלד בן ותאמר אסף אלהים את חרפתי "and she conceived and gave birth to a son and said, 'God has removed my reproach'" in Ge 30:23. Note also ονειδος της χηρειας σου translating חרפת אלמנותיך "the reproach of thy widowhood" in Is 54:4, and και μη δως την κληρονομιαν σου εις ονειδος translating ואל תתן נחלתך לחרפה "and do not give thy inheritance for a reproach" in Joel 2:17. As illustrated by these examples, the word ονειδος "reproach" refers to something that can make a person experience shame, or embarrassment, or other uncomfortable feelings in the presence of other people. It describes how Elizabeth felt about the fact that she had no children.

Lk 1:27 Comparing Mary with the other persons mentioned in the first two chapters of Luke, the following remarks could be made. Joseph was a righteous man (Mt 1:19), so he had the righteousness of faith. God was speaking plainly to him through prophetic dreams (Mt 1:20-21, 2:13, 19-20, 22). Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord (Lk 1:6). Simeon was a righteous and devout man, and the Holy Spirit was upon him (Lk 2:25). Anna was a prophetess serving the Lord day and night with fasting and prayer (Lk 2:36-37). As for Mary, she was told twice, "Blessed be thou among women" (Lk 1:28, 42). Moreover, Simeon, while in the Spirit (Lk 2:27), blessed Joseph and Mary (Lk 2:34). Noting that Mary was told that she would be blessed, and that the Scripture makes no remarks about her faith, it can be concluded that she was on a spiritual journey leading her to the faith that Joseph, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Anna already possessed. The Lord consistently gave her words of encouragement through both Gabriel and Elizabeth. By telling her, "Blessed be thou among women" (Lk 1:28, 42), the Lord was also telling Mary that he is for her, for he was the one blessing her. By stating how great her child would be (Lk 1:31-33, 35, 42-43), God was also showing Mary that she is important in his sight. In saying that she is blessed because she believed the Lord would fulfill his words to her (Lk 1:45), the Lord was encouraging Mary to greater faith. It was not Mary reaching out to God but God reaching out to Mary and drawing her to faith.

Since the Lord wanted the miracle of the virgin birth to be believed, it follows that Mary was a very virtuous woman. In that culture, this meant that she was religious and had zeal for the law of Moses. Indeed, Pr 1:8 and Pr 6:20 mention תורת עםך "the Torah of thy mother," speaking in this way of a mother who had made the law of Moses her own. (Though the word תורה "Torah" occasionally can be translated "teaching," in the context of the Old Testament it normally refers to the law of Moses.) Since God could not ignore the Messiah, his son, when he spoke Pr 1:8 and Pr 6:20, it is safe to apply these verses to Jesus. This would identify Joseph as the godly father, and Mary as the mother who had made the law of Moses her own.

Lk 1:28 "And when the angel entered to her, he said, 'Rejoice, O favored one. The Lord be with thee. Blessed be thou among women.'" Though the word χαιρε appears in greetings (Mt 26:49, 27:29, Mk 15:18, Jn 19:3), it is an imperative form that literally means "rejoice." Note that the form χαιρε appears consistently with the meaning "rejoice" in LXX (Pr 24:19, Lam 4:21, Hos 9:1, Joel 2:21, Zep 3:14, Zec 9:9). The phrase ο κυριος μετα σου could be translated either "the Lord is with thee" or "the Lord be with thee." However, in the context of a greeting, one would have expected a blessing or a wish, so the intended meaning must be "the Lord be with thee." So also, though ευλογημενη συ εν γυναιξιν could be taken as "blessed art thou among women," the intended meaning must be, "blessed be thou among women."

The phrase εισελθων ο αγγελος προς αυτην "the angel having entered to her," that is, "when the angel entered to her," implies that the angel entered a house. Moreover, προς αυτην "to her" emphasizes that he went to Mary. Note that εισελθων ο αγγελος προς αυτην "the angel having entered to her" is similar to αγγελον του θεου εισελθοντα προς αυτον "an angel of God having entered to him" in Ac 10:3. Now Lk 1:28 has ειπεν "he said" instead of ειπεν αυτη "he said to her," while Lk 1:38 has ειπεν δε μαριαμ "and Mary said" instead of ειπεν δε αυτω μαριαμ "and Mary said to him." This indicates that at least one more person was present when the angel came to Mary, and that the angel's greeting in Lk 1:28 and Mary's response in Lk 1:38 were intentionally meant to be heard also by the others who were present. She must have been in the house of her parents with other family members present.

Lk 1:38 The response of Mary at this point was unlike the one she had later in Lk 1:46. At the time of Lk 1:46, she was praising the Lord. However, in Lk 1:38, she simply said, "be it unto me according to thy word." As indicated by the optative mood of γενοιτο "be it," she expressed a wish, not the belief that what she was told would happen. The words of the angel in Lk 1:35-37 also indicate that she was not sure about his message, for he spoke so as to help her believe. First, he mentioned that the Holy Spirit would come upon her; this was a sign that Mary could not miss noticing. Then, he spoke about Elizabeth, a relative of Mary that was barren, and mentioned that she was nevertheless pregnant. Thus, Mary could test the truthfulness of the message by visiting her relative Elizabeth, and by seeing whether she was indeed pregnant. He also said that Elizabeth's child would be a son. This was also something that Mary could test by staying with Elizabeth until she gave birth. Moreover, by mentioning Elizabeth, the angel provided an example of God's work in the days of Mary, illustrating the point that nothing is too difficult for God (Lk 1:37). Just as God was making the barren bear a son, so also he was about to make Mary conceive supernaturally a son. Thus, at the time of Lk 1:38, Mary was not praising the Lord because she was not sure whether what the angel told her would happen. However, what the angel said began to happen. By the time she visited Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit had come upon her, as the angel had said (Lk 1:35), for she was speaking by the Spirit in Lk 1:46-55. By that time, she had also believed that there would be a fulfillment to the words of the angel (Lk 1:45). Apparently, she conceived before coming to Elizabeth, for the phrases "blessed be the fruit of thy womb" (Lk 1:42) and "the mother of my Lord" (Lk 1:43) do not have anything implying that Elizabeth referred to a future time.

Lk 1:42 Elizabeth spoke as if she knew what had happened to Mary. How did she know? The text does not say that she had heard about it but that she was filled with the Holy Spirit. Her words were not her own words but God's words. Just as the Lord had spoken to Mary through the angel Gabriel, so also in this instance he was speaking to her through Elizabeth. Apparently, Elizabeth was learning what had happened while the Spirit was giving her words to speak to Mary. In case Mary wondered whether Elizabeth would believe her account, the Lord addressed her concern by having Elizabeth learn from him what had happened. This gave Mary one more reason to praise the Lord.

Lk 1:49 In Greek, the word δυνατος "mighty" is related to the word αδυνατησει "shall be impossible," which is found in the statement "for with God nothing shall be impossible" (Lk 1:37). Thus, it may be that Lk 1:49 alludes to what the angel told Mary in Lk 1:37.

Lk 1:56-57 Apparently, the particle δε "but" in Lk 1:56 indicates that the travel plans of Mary changed. Likely, Mary did not expect to stay several months with Elizabeth. Now the particle δε in Lk 1:57 indicates that the end of Lk 1:56 and the beginning of Lk 1:57 are not in chronological order. So Mary was with Elizabeth when Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist.

Lk 2:5 This verse indicates that Mary was betrothed, not married, when she gave birth to Jesus. See also Mt 1:25.

Lk 2:22 The beginning of this verse is, και οτε επλησθησαν αι ημεραι του καθαρισμου αυτων "and when the days of their purification were completed." The Scrivener and Elzevir versions of the received text differ from the Stephanus version of the received text and the other major Greek versions in that they have "her purification" instead of "their purification." The phrase "their purification" can be explained as follows. First, the antecedent of "their" is also the subject of ανηγαγον αυτον εις ιεροσολυμα "they brought him to Jerusalem," so "their" refers to Mary and Joseph and does not include the baby Jesus. After bearing a son, a woman had a period of seven days in which she was ceremonially unclean (Lev 12:2), followed by thirty-three days of purification (Lev 12:4). Sometime after these forty days, she had to offer sacrifices consisting of one burnt offering and one sin offering (Lev 12:6-8). The offerings mentioned in Lk 2:24 correspond to Lev 12:8. To enter the temple and offer sacrifices, the worshiper had to come to Jerusalem and purify himself in Jerusalem (Jn 11:55). Apparently, this period of purification in Jerusalem was of seven days (Ac 21:27). Note that Lk 2:22 is not speaking about the purification in Jerusalem, for it mentions that Joseph and Mary departed to Jerusalem after the completion of the purification period required by the law (Lev 12:2-4). Rather, Lk 2:22 speaks about the purification mentioned in Lev 12:2-4 and includes Joseph in it because Mary and Joseph were together. As could be seen in Lev 15:19-23, Joseph could not keep himself ceremonially clean unless he avoided contact with Mary, which was impossible.

Lk 2:32 Literally, φως εις αποκαλυψιν εθνων means "light for the revelation of the Gentiles." This mirrors την αποκαλυψιν των υιων του θεου "the revelation of the sons of God" in Ro 8:19. As people see the light, some come to the light and are revealed in this way as sons of God. Thus, Simeon predicted Gentiles coming to the light.

Lk 3:22 "and the Holy Spirit descended upon him; with respect to bodily appearance, the Holy Spirit descended as a dove would descend ..." For an explanation of this translation, see the note on Mt 3:16.

Lk 3:23 "And the Son of God was Jesus, beginning his ministry at about 30 years of age. According to what people supposed, he was a son of Joseph. Jesus was of Heli." The phrase αυτος ην ο ιησους "and he was Jesus" emphasizes that the person about whom the voice from heaven testified was Jesus. Thus, it has been translated "and the Son of God was Jesus." Since the Gospel makes it clear in previous passages that Joseph was not the father of Jesus, ων ως ενομιζετο υιος ιωσηφ "being as was supposed a son of Joseph" does not state that Jesus was a son of Joseph but that it was supposed that Jesus was a son of Joseph. Other examples in which ως "as" refers to things falsely supposed to be correct are τα βαθη του σατανα ως λεγουσιν "the deep things of Satan, as they call them" (Rev 2:24) and ημεις δε ως αδοκιμοι ωμεν "though we may appear as unapproved" in 2Co 13:7. Since Joseph was not the father of Jesus and Lk 3:23 is about Jesus, Heli was not the father of Joseph but a forefather of Jesus; he must have been the father of Mary. Indeed, it would not be meaningful to assume that a passage about Jesus would give the genealogy of Joseph and omit the genealogy of Jesus.

Lk 3:31 It is interesting that Nathan, not Solomon, was a forefather of Christ. The promise to Solomon that his throne would endure forever was conditional (1Ki 9:4-5, 1Ch 28:6-7). Since Solomon did not keep the covenant (1Ki 11:11-13), the Lord fulfilled his promise to David (see 1Ki 9:5, Lk 1:32-33) through another son of David, not through Solomon. The Lord fulfilled his promise through Nathan, who was another son of David and Bathsheba (1Ch 3:5). Now the Lord has shown also in the Old Testament that he did not intend to bring the Messiah through the line of the kings of Judah. One passage indicating this is Jer 22:30, making it very plain that the Messiah would not be a descendant of Jeconiah. Though Joseph was a descendant of Jeconiah (Mt 1:11), Jesus was not, as can be seen in the genealogy of Lk 3:23-38.

Lk 3:36 The fact that Cainan does not appear in Ge 11:12 could be explained as follows. Shelah was born when his grandfather, Arphaxad, was thirty-five years old (Ge 11:12). This means that Cainan was born when Arphaxad was very young, and that Shelah was born when Cainan was very young. Apparently, due to Cainan's very young age, Arphaxad raised Shelah, not Cainan. This would explain why Shelah was known as a son of Arphaxad.

Lk 3:38 The passage shows that there were seventy-five generations from Adam to Christ, Adam being in the first generation, Heli in the seventy-fourth generation, and Mary in the seventy-fifth generation.

Lk 4:30 The phrase διελθων δια μεσου αυτων "going through their midst" appears again in Jn 8:59 in a similar context.

Lk 5:5-6 The Byzantine text preserves the detail that they cast only one net, though Jesus told them to cast the nets (Lk 5:4). (Note το δυκτιον "the net" in Lk 5:5-6, instead of τα δικτυα "the nets" in other versions of the text.) There were too many fish for a single net, so Jesus told them to cast the nets. The reason they did not cast all nets was that they had just washed them (Lk 5:2) and they thought that they would catch nothing (Lk 5:5). Their net was breaking (Lk 5:6) because they did not do exactly what Jesus told them.

Lk 6:2 The Pharisees claimed that the disciples were supposed to stay hungry. Had they done this, they would have been distracted by hunger from their Sabbath rest. It was not the time for fasting (Lk 5:34-35).

Lk 6:9 "Then Jesus said to them, `I ask you, what is lawful on the Sabbath, to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" The form αγαθοποιησαι "to do good" is from the verb αγαθοποιεω, which can refer to an action by which others are blessed, as in Ac 14:17 and Nu 10:32. The form κακοποιησαι, translated here "to do harm," is from the verb κακοποιεω. Though the verb can mean "to do evil, wrong," it has been used also with the meaning "to harm" in Ge 31:29 and Jer 10:5. The meaning "to do harm" was used in the translation above because in other passages, when the Lord confronted the view that one must not heal people on the Sabbath, he contrasted what was thought to be permissible on the Sabbath with what was claimed to be unlawful (Lk 13:15, 14:3, Mt 12:11). Since some claimed that it was unlawful to do good on the Sabbath, the form κακοποιησαι "to do harm" or "to do evil" must refer to something they thought to be lawful on the Sabbath. Since doing evil was unlawful, the intended meaning of the verb must be "to do harm." Note that doing harm did not have to be sin. For example, a person could be harmed when receiving a punishment prescribed by the law, and enemies were harmed when lawful wars were fought against them. Now the law did not say that wars could be fought on the Sabbath. However, it is apparent that many religious persons considered this to be alright under certain circumstances. Examples of battles fought on the Sabbath can be found in the Apocrypha in the first book of the Maccabees, which relates events that took place relatively close to the time of the Gospels; though religious Jews were generally hesitant to fight on the Sabbath, they had decided to fight when attacked (1Mac 2:41) and to attack when their lives were in danger (1Mac 9:43-44,47).

The Lord phrased the question of Lk 6:9 so as to guide the hearers to the answer. He did not simply ask whether it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath but whether it is lawful to do good or to do harm. Since the hearers apparently accepted that it was alright to do harm, for some battles had been fought on the Sabbath, was it then wrong to do good to the neighbor on the Sabbath? As could be seen in Mt 12:11-12, the people needed to be taught that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath. Now, since the Lord used the conjunction "or" in the phrase "to do good or to do harm," it would follow that he was not teaching that both doing good and doing harm were lawful on the Sabbath. Indeed, war duties would have kept people from sanctifying the Sabbath. This could explain why the scribes and the Pharisees were very upset by the words of the Lord: he was saying that something they considered to be lawful on the Sabbath was unlawful, and he was proving by his miracle that something they claimed to be unlawful on the Sabbath was lawful.

It should be noted that the Lord was proving that it was lawful to make effort so as to do good on the Sabbath. However, he himself would heal without any effort: he would just speak, and then healing would take place right away. There were also instances in which the Lord did a few things before healing, so as to illustrate the truth (Mk 7:33-35, Jn 9:6-7). However, nothing that he did was contrary to the law.

Lk 6:11 "But they were filled with folly and talked to one another what they might do to Jesus." The word ανοια "folly" appears also in the LXX translation of אולת "folly" in Pr 14:8, 22:15. As mentioned in the note above on Lk 6:9, Jesus was not doing by any means something contrary to the Sabbath law, and so their reaction was completely unreasonable. The Sabbath was given with the intent that it would help people know God (Ex 31:13, Eze 20:12, 20). Jesus was doing the work for which the Sabbath was made, for he was saving people and helping them know God. See also Jn 5:17.

Lk 7:34 Just as there was no truth in the slanderous claim that John the Baptist had a demon (Lk 7:33), so also there is no reason to assume that there was some truth in the slanderous claims against Jesus that are mentioned in Lk 7:34. The Lord did not say that he came εσθιων και οινον πινων "eating and drinking wine" but that he came εσθιων και πινων "eating and drinking." This means that he ate various foods and drank various drinks. It does not mean that he ate anything or that he drank any kind of drink. Since slanderous claims did not have to have any element of truth, it is impossible to infer from slanderous claims that Jesus drank wine. Though we know for sure that he drank from the fruit of the vine, this does not mean that he drank wine, for there were drinks from the fruit of the vine that did not have alcohol. See the note on Lk 22:18. On the contrary, Jesus is the high priest of the believers, and a ministering priest could not drink wine or strong drinks (Lev 10:9, Eze 44:21). It is interesting to note also that Timothy was drinking just water (1Ti 5:23). As a follower of Jesus, Timothy sought to imitate him. Thus, Timothy's habit is an indication that Jesus would normally drink just water. Now Lk 7:33 states that John did not drink wine. The Greek word οινος "wine" has been used in LXX also for תירוש, which denotes the juice of grapes (Is 65:8, Mi 6:15, Joel 2:24). Thus, as John the Baptist abstained from οινος, he must have abstained not only from wine but also from new wine (grape juice). Since Lk 1:15 resembles Nu 6:3, it may be that John abstained also from grapes and anything made from grapes. While the Lord Jesus did not abstain from drinks made from grapes, it seems certain that he did not drink alcoholic drinks.

Lk 7:35 The fact that wisdom is justified by her children indicates that believers will justify God's wisdom (1Pt 2:9).

Lk 7:47 Was love a cause or an effect of forgiveness? The parable of Lk 7:41-42 indicated plainly that the one who is forgiven much will love much. Thus, the fact that she was loving much provided evidence that her sins had been forgiven. Note also that the ending of Lk 7:47 presents lesser love as an effect, not as a cause. Related to this topic is 1Jn 4:19.

Lk 7:49 It is interesting to consider why the people thought that Jesus was saying that he himself forgave her sins. Based on the parable of Lk 7:41-42 and its interpretation, they could see that the Lord was saying that sinners are his debtors. Both Simon and the woman were his debtors. Though Simon owed less than the woman, for he had tried to live a righteous life, neither he nor the woman could pay their debt. The only way to be released from their debt was if their debt was forgiven. By saying that they were his debtors, Jesus was indicating that he is God. See also the note on Mk 2:5.

Lk 8:45 The Lord asked his question in a manner that did not identify the gender of the person that had touched him. In the original language, the masculine gender is used when referring to persons that may be either male or female.

Lk 9:20 By saying that Jesus is τον χριστον του θεου "the Christ of God," that is, "God's anointed," Peter was stating that Jesus is the king appointed by God. This can be seen by noting similar phrases found in the Old Testament in the context of kings appointed by God. For example, משיח יהוה "the LORD's anointed" refers to Saul in 2Sa 1:14 and to David in 2Sa 19:21 (19:22), and is translated τον χριστον κυριου "the Lord's anointed" in LXX. Moreover, Cyrus is called משיחו "his anointed" Is 45:1, which is rendered τω χριστω μου "my anointed" in LXX. Finally, אשר משחו יהוה "which the LORD anointed" in 2Ch 22:7 refers to Jehu and is rendered χριστον κυριου "the Lord's anointed" in LXX.

Lk 9:51 εν τω συμπληρουσθαι τας ημερας της αναληψεως αυτου could be translated, "while the days preceding his ascension were being fulfilled." Note that αναληψεως must refer to the ascension of the Lord, since the verb αναλαμβανω in Ac 1:11 and Mk 16:19 refers to the fact that the Lord was taken up to heaven. Grammatically related is εν τω συμπληρουσθαι την ημεραν της πεντηκοστης "during the day of Pentecost" in Ac 2:1, which is more literally translated, "while the amount of time of the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled."

Lk 10:4 The words μηδενα κατα την οδον ασπασησθε "greet no one on the road" are similar to כי תמצא איש לא תברכנו וכי יברכך איש לא תעננו "if thou meet any man, do not greet him, and if any man greets thee, do not answer him," in 2Ki 4:29. The mission of Gehazi in 2Ki 4:29 was urgent, and so he was not to waste time by talking to other people. So also in Lk 10:4 the Lord instructed the disciples to keep their focus on their assignment and not waste time on unrelated matters. Just as the assignment of Gehazi was about bringing a boy back to life, so also the assignment of the disciples has been about helping people receive eternal life.

Lk 11:3 "Give us our allotted bread each day." If the word επιουσιος is derived from the verb επειμι, the literal meaning of επιουσιος could be derived as "being upon." Thus, τον αρτον ημων τον επιουσιον "our bread that is upon us" is understood as food that has been reserved by God in advance, that is, allotted food. Note that Ps 104:27-28 and Ps 145:15-16 are two related passages, as they mention God's foreknowledge and provision. The phrase το καθ ημεραν "each day" appears also in Lk 19:47 and Ac 17:11. Comparing Lk 11:3 and Mt 6:11, the former uses the present tense in διδου, while the latter the aorist tense in δος. This corresponds to the fact that Lk 11:3 is a request made for every day, while Mt 6:11 is a request for the day at hand. Given the plural number used in Lk 11:3 and Mt 6:11, believers who have food can pray Lk 11:3 and Mt 6:11 especially for those who have trouble finding food.

Lk 12:23 "The soul is more valuable than food, and the body more than clothing." In Lk 12:24, 27-28, the Lord emphasizes that he provides for what is not nearly as important as mankind. Since the Lord provides for that which is less valuable than man, believers should expect that he will provide also for them. Thus, the word πλειον "more" of Lk 12:23 was interpreted as "more valuable." Since the soul is worth more than food and the body more than clothing, believers should expect the provision of the Lord. As in Mt 6:25, the Lord spoke these things to the disciples (Lk 12:22). See the note on Mt 6:25.

Lk 12:29 "Ye likewise, do not seek what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, and do not lift yourselves up." The phrase και υμεις "and ye" was interpreted here as making a reference to Lk 12:27, urging believers to be like created things that do not seek provisions for their life. Thus, και υμεις was translated, "ye likewise." Moreover, και μη μετεωριζεσθε was translated, "and do not lift yourselves up." The verb μετεωριζω "to raise on high" has been interpreted in many translations with the meaning "to worry." However, its proper meaning fits perfectly the context. When a person worries, he can exalt himself to the point that he gives too much attention to himself and to his needs. One should humble himself and not occupy his mind more than he should with thoughts about his own needs. If he humbles himself and puts the Lord first, then he seeks first God's kingdom. Consequently, his needs will be provided for, as stated in Lk 12:31.

Lk 12:33 In the original language, πωλησατε τα υπαρχοντα υμων "sell your possessions" does not imply that everything that one has must be sold. To illustrate this point, several statements that are grammatically related could be considered. First, since very little of what God has is within the reach of a person, the statement αποδοτε τα καισαρος καισαρι και τα του θεου τω θεω "Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's" (Mk 12:17) is not about giving everything to God but about giving things within one's reach to God. Moreover, another example appears in Php 3:17, where the statement σκοπειτε τους ουτως περιπατουντας "observe those who so walk" does not imply that they were to observe every such person, for not everybody that walked in the Lord's ways was near them. One more point that could be made is that "sell your possessions" does not imply "sell your possessions at once." This could be seen by considering Ac 4:34-37. Barnabas did not sell the field as soon as he was converted, for when he sold it he already was known as a "son of encouragement." It can be inferred that when necessary, the Lord directed believers to sell possessions in order to meet the needs of others. As for moneybags that do not grow old, note that old bags would eventually get holes allowing things to fall out of them; see Hag 1:6. In contrast, treasures in heaven last and never depreciate.

Lk 13:20-21 See the note on Mt 13:33.

Lk 13:32 The word αλωπηξ "fox" is apparently referring to the fact that Herod was killing people just as a fox would attack and kill its prey. Note that the Lord called him "fox" in the context of being told that Herod sought to kill him (Lk 13:31). The words of the Lord to Herod in Lk 13:32-33 indicated that he was about to leave Herod's territory, for he was on his way to his death in Jerusalem. Evidence that the word αλωπηξ "fox" may refer to a person killing people can be found also in the Old Testament. Note that this word is used in the LXX translation of שעלים in Ps 63:10 (63:11) and Eze 13:4. In Ps 63:10 (63:11), the statement מנת שעלים יהיו "they shall be a portion for foxes" parallels יגירהו על ידי חרב "he will deliver him in the hand of the sword." Moreover, in Eze 13:4, false prophets are compared to שעלים בחרבות "foxes among ruins;" the involvement of false prophets in literal bloodshed was known (Lam 4:13, Jer 26:8).

Lk 14:1 The person who invited Jesus must have been a believer, as shown in the note on Lk 14:12-14. In Lk 14:1, he is described as τινος των αρχοντων των φαρισαιων "one of the rulers of the Pharisees." This ruler of the Pharisees could have been Nicodemus, who has been described as ανθρωπος εκ των φαρισαιων ... αρχων των ιουδαιων "a man of the Pharisees ... a ruler of the Jews" (Jn 3:1).

Lk 14:7 "Now he was telling the guests a proverb, noticing how they were choosing the chief seats ... " In this translation, the word παραβολην, commonly translated "parable," appears with the meaning "proverb." Note that in Lk 14:8-10, the Lord spoke Pr 25:6-7 to the guests. He did not speak it by quoting it but by applying it to their circumstances. In this way, he also provided an illustration for Lk 14:11. Thus, in the context of Lk 14:8-10 and Pr 25:6-7, the word παραβολην of Lk 14:7 is accurately translated "proverb." In LXX, παραβολη appears with this meaning in various passages, such as in 1Ki 4:32 (5:12), where וידבר שלשת אלפים משל is translated και ελαλησεν σαλωμων τρισχιλιας παραβολας "and Solomon spoke 3000 proverbs." Other verses in which παραβολη appears with the meaning "proverb" are 1Sa 10:12, 24:13 (24:14), Eze 12:22, 18:2-3. Note that in LXX, παραβολη is one of the words used to translate the Hebrew noun משל, which commonly has the meaning "proverb." An example in which משל has this meaning is משלי שלמה בן דוד מלך ישראל "the proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel" (Pr 1:1).

Lk 14:8-10 The Lord applied here Pr 25:6-7 to those reclining at the table. The passage in Proverbs mentions the king exalting subjects and humbling those exalting themselves. Reclining with the guests at the table was the Messiah, the king of Israel.

Lk 14:12-14 This passage implies that the person who invited Jesus was a believer. This can be seen as follows. In Lk 14:12-14, the Lord compares the benefit of being repaid in this world by friends and acquaintances with the benefit of being repaid by the Lord at the resurrection of the righteous. As its name implies, the resurrection of the righteous will involve only the righteous, that is, those with the righteousness of faith. If one assumes that the person who invited Jesus was not saved, then Lk 14:14 implies that if he took seriously the words of Jesus and tried to do them, at some point he would have been saved. So the benefit of heeding the words of the Lord would have been not only the reward at the resurrection of the righteous but also his salvation. Note that salvation is by far more important than the reward at the resurrection of the righteous. Thus, the assumption that the man was not saved leads to the very unlikely conclusion that Jesus did not compare a benefit in this world with the greatest benefit of faith, but with a much smaller benefit. It follows that the assumption that the man was not saved is invalid. See also the note on Lk 14:1.

Lk 14:15 The words of the Lord concerning the resurrection of the righteous (Lk 14:14) must have prompted the person mentioned in Lk 14:15 to say "Blessed is the one who will eat bread in the kingdom of God." The Lord answered with a parable illustrating that many of those who are called are unwilling to respond. The parable also indicated that the Lord has chosen many of the poor, the maimed, the lame, and the blind (Lk 14:21), just as he implied in Lk 14:13-14. Note that τους πτωχους και αναπηρους και χωλους και τυφλους "the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind" in Lk 14:21 mirrors πτωχους αναπηρους χωλους τυφλους "the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind" in Lk 14:13. While the Lord answered the man by means of this parable, he also returned the conversation to the topic of needy persons.

Lk 14:24 Note the plural pronoun υμιν "to you" in λεγω γαρ υμιν "for I say to you." In the context of the master speaking to his servant, the expected phrase would have been λεγω γαρ σοι "for I say to thee," for the parable has no antecedent of the plural pronoun "you." It follows that "you" does not refer to people of the parable but to those seated with Jesus at the table. Consequently, the master in the parable was to be associated with Jesus. Thus, by speaking the parable, Jesus was indicating that he is the master of the house. Moreover, accounting for the context of the parable (Lk 14:15), he was saying that he is master of the house in the kingdom of God, that is, that he is God. Thus, the hearers of the parable were warned that if they turned down God's invitation they would never enter God's kingdom.

Lk 16:9 "And I say to you, make yourselves friends by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when ye pass away they may receive you into everlasting dwelling places." This translation follows the Byzantine text which has εκλιπητε "ye pass away" instead of εκλιπη "it fails." Since dwelling places on earth are not everlasting, it follows that Lk 16:9 speaks about heaven and that it uses the verb εκλειπω with the meaning "to pass away, die." LXX instances of the verb εκλειπω that have the meaning "to pass away, die" appear in Ge 25:8, 17, 35:29, 49:33, Ps 104:29, Lam 1:19, Zec 13:8, Job 13:19, where εκλειπω translates גוע "to die." Note also Jer 42:17, 22, where the verb translates מות "to die." Related are also instances in which εκλειπω translates כלה "to consume." The interpretation of כלה "to consume" as "to cause to die" fits Ps 18:37 (18:38), 37:20, 71:13, and seems unavoidable in Jer 44:27.

Lk 16:15 Note that the Greek word βδελυγμα "abomination" of this verse is often used in LXX for the Hebrew word תועבה "abomination," such as in De 7:25-26 and 2Ch 34:33. In particular, in De 7:25-26 and 2Ch 34:33, the word תועבה "abomination" refers to idols. Just as idols have been highly appreciated among men, though an abomination before God, so also the love of possessions, though respectable among men, is idolatry, and thus an abomination before God (Col 3:5).

Lk 16:16 "The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone perseveres towards it." John the Baptist was the last prophet of the old covenant. From the time of John the Baptist, the preaching of the new covenant began, and everyone coming to faith was persevering so as to become a citizen of God's kingdom. Somehow, the Pharisees were not realizing the significance of the events taking place in their lifetime and were missing their opportunity to be saved. As for the form βιαζεται, translated here "perseveres," see the note on Mt 11:12 and the article on the verb βιαζω.

Lk 17:32 The wife of Lot did not escape the judgment on the sin of Sodom because she lingered and looked back. She was supposed to hurry so as to escape (Ge 19:17, 22). Likewise, in the time of the end, those considering faith in Jesus could get caught in judgments on sin unless they respond promptly to the Lord; they should remember that the wife of Lot perished because she lingered. When it comes to faith in Jesus, it could be very tempting to linger because of the price of following the Lord, which is mentioned in the next verse, in Lk 17:33. When Lot and his family were escaping, there was no time to turn back and look at what was happening to Sodom. So also, when the rapture comes, there will be no time for people to get right with the Lord. Unless they get right with him before it happens, they will not be part of it.

Now Ge 19:22 does not say that Lot would have escaped if he did not hurry. He was plainly instructed to hurry in Ge 19:22, 17. Unless he hurried, he would have perished (Ge 19:17), and he understood it (Ge 19:19-20). Ge 19:26 mentions that his wife was behind him and that she looked back; thus, she was not hurrying. The fact that Lot was a righteous man (2Pt 2:8) did not obligate God to save him; he escaped because of God's mercy (Ge 19:16) and because the Lord accepted Abraham's intercession (Ge 19:29).

Lk 17:34 ταυτη τη νυκτι "this night" refers to the time of Lk 17:31. Daytime in some regions of the world is nighttime in others. Now ο εις "the one" and ο ετερος "the other" can fit both males and females because they have the masculine gender. Note that the masculine gender is used when referring to someone that could be either a man or a woman. For example, note the masculine gender of ο αψαμενος "the one who has touched" in Lk 8:45 and πας ο πινων "everyone who drinks" in Jn 4:13.

Lk 18:11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed these things concerning himself ... " Here, προς εαυτον was translated "concerning himself." Some other examples in which προς is used similarly are as follows: προς το δειν παντοτε προσευχεσθαι και μη εκκακειν "concerning the fact that it is always necessary to pray and not lose heart" (Lk 18:1); προς τινας τους πεποιθοτας εφ εαυτοις οτι εισιν δικαιοι "concerning some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous" (Lk 18:9); προς ημας την παραβολην ταυτην λεγεις η και προς παντας "speakest thou this parable for us or also for all?" (Lk 12:41).

Lk 18:18 In the original language, excepting the word αγαθε "good," the question of this verse is identical to the question of Lk 10:25.

Lk 21:19 "By your endurance possess your souls." These words are addressed to believers. In the Hebrew context, the word נפש "soul" is sometimes associated with the desires of the soul. The Lord gives good desires to the believers. However, accomplishing something good may require endurance. Note that this verse predicts circumstances frustrating the believer. With perseverance, that which he should accomplish will get done.

Lk 22:18 In this verse, the Lord did not use the word οινος "wine" but γεννημα της αμπελου "fruit of the vine." Wine was not the only drink made from the fruit of the vine, for Nu 6:3 mentions a kind of vinegar that people would drink. The Hebrew word for "vinegar" is חמץ, which is translated with the Greek word oξος "vinegar" in LXX. In the New Testament, this Greek word appears in Mt 27:48, Mk 15:36, Lk 23:36, Jn 19:29-30; it also appears in Mt 27:34 in the Byzantine text. Note that vinegar could be made from grapes (Nu 6:3). In view of Mk 14:25 and Lk 22:18, the vinegar that Jesus drank when he was on the cross (Ps 69:21 (69:22), Mt 27:48, Mk 15:36, Jn 19:30) was not from grapes. Normally, people drink alcoholic drinks when they relax, not in the morning (cf. Ac 2:15). The beginning of a journey was not the time when people would relax, and they would normally start on their journeys in the morning. The Passover meal illustrated the beginning of a journey (Ex 12:11), and so it was inappropriate to use alcoholic drinks. Whether the Jews were accustomed to drink wine or not at the Passover meal is irrelevant here. Since the Lord knew the Scripture, it cannot be assumed that what he and his disciples drank at that meal could have had alcohol. See also the note on Lk 7:34.

Lk 22:20 "Likewise, he gave them also the cup, after they have eaten, saying, 'This cup that is poured out for you represents the new covenant in my blood.'" Note that το υπερ υμων εκχυνομενον "that is poured out for you" agrees in gender with το ποτηριον "the cup," not with τω αιματι μου "my blood." Thus, the phrase "that is poured out for you" refers to the cup. In Ps 75:8 (75:9), the statement that a cup is poured out implies people drinking from it. So a poured out cup could be understood as referring to a drink flowing out of the cup and entering the persons drinking it. It follows that in Lk 22:20, the cup "that is poured out for you" refers to the cup from which the disciples were drinking. The fact that the Lord associated the new covenant with the cup, not with the drink in the cup, indicates that the new covenant makes it possible for the believer to receive that which the drink stands for. Just as Jn 6:54, 56 mentions that one should keep drinking the blood of the Lord (note the present tense of πινων "drinking"), so also Ga 5:16, 18 states that the believer should keep walking with the Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believer was made possible by the new covenant and was granted to everyone entering it.

Lk 22:36 This verse is similar to Mt 10:16, as it teaches the disciples to exercise caution. Note that the Lord used figurative language in both Mt 10:16 and Lk 22:36. He did not mean that each disciple should literally have a sword, for when the disciples showed him two swords he said that they did not need more (Lk 22:38). See 2Co 10:4.

Lk 22:69 The absence of the particle δε emphasizes the independence of Lk 22:69 from Lk 22:67-68. In Lk 22:67-68, the Lord spoke about their unwillingness to receive the truth, while in Lk 22:69 he answered their question.

Lk 22:70 In Greek, "ye say that I am" could be expressed by λεγετε οτι εγω ειμι. However, the text emphasizes "ye" by adding the word υμεις "ye." Thus, the text has, υμεις λεγετε οτι εγω ειμι. The emphasis on "ye" can be translated "you yourselves say that I am." While they were not saying it with words, by their actions they were fulfilling Scripture passages predicting what the Messiah would have to endure (Ac 13:27, 3:17-18). In this way, without realizing it, they themselves were testifying that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. An emphasis similar to that on "ye" in Lk 22:70 can be found in all related passages. In Mt 26:64, the Lord said to the high priest that συ ειπας "you yourself have said it". To Pilate he said, συ λεγεις "you yourself say it" (Mt 27:11, Mk 15:2), and, συ λεγεις οτι βασιλευς ειμι εγω "you yourself say that I am a king" (Jn 18:37). He also said to Judas, συ ειπας "you yourself have said it" (Mt 26:25), stating that Judas had already indicated that he would betray Jesus.

Lk 23:9 The text has ουδεν απερκρινατο αυτω "he did not answer him anything" instead of just ουδεν απεκρινατο "he did not answer." Jesus may have answered, but not to Herod. Apparently, he ignored him. Herod did not repent but responded by mocking Jesus (Lk 23:11).

Lk 23:28-30 Apparently, as they were leading Jesus to the place of execution, he spoke these words when they stopped to make Simon of Cyrene carry the cross (Lk 23:26). When Christ suffered for our sins, he suffered much, though for considerably less than 24 hours. Rather than lamenting him, the women of Jerusalem were supposed to weep for those who by rejecting God in this life would suffer for eternity. Their perspective was wrong, for they were not considering seriously the danger of hell. The Lord was not saying his words to depress them but to encourage them to seek salvation for themselves and for their children. As he warned them of hell, he made references to Is 2:10-19 and Hos 10:8. The fulfillment of these prophecies is mentioned explicitly in Rev 6:15-17.

Lk 23:31 Note that υγρω ξυλω "sappy wood" refers to a tree that is alive, while ξηρω "dry" to a dead tree. Based on these observations, the following interpretation is obtained: "For if they do these things when the tree is alive, what will happen when it is dead?" Thus, if during their lifetime they were doing these things, what was to be expected for their afterlife?

Lk 23:42 It is a miracle that the robber somehow realized that Jesus is Lord and that he will return in his kingdom. Earlier, he was reviling Jesus (Mt 27:44, Mk 15:32). Note that Lk 23:42 happened about noon (Lk 23:44). Since the supernatural darkness is mentioned after the man spoke with Jesus, it can be seen that the man changed his mind before seeing the supernatural darkness. His words plainly indicate faith, for he was responding without seeing a miracle and in spite of seeing the object of his faith on the cross. His faith could be contrasted with the unbelief of those who were mocking Jesus and with the state of mind of the disciples who did not seem to show faith at that time. Indeed, there is no indication that the disciples were thinking about Jesus coming into his kingdom. The faith of the robber could also be contrasted with the unbelief of those who in spite of all signs that took place at the death of Jesus remained in unbelief and were later unwilling to acknowledge that Jesus rose from the dead. This points to God's saving grace by emphasizing how miraculous the robber's faith was (Lk 18:26-27). The robber must have heard previously Jesus but he showed faith, out of all places, on a cross, at a time when the object of his faith did not look by any means like a victorious king.

Lk 24:12 και απηλθεν προς εαυτον could be translated "and he departed to the place where he was staying." Later, at the time of Ac 1:13, Peter was staying in an upper room with the other apostles. A very similar phrase appears in Jn 20:10: απηλθον ουν παλιν προς εαυτους οι μαθηται "therefore, the disciples departed again to where they were staying." Evidence that προς εαυτον "to himself" refers to the place of one's residence can be found in LXX. First, 1Ch 13:13 has ουκ απεστρεψεν δαυιδ την κιβωτον προς εαυτον εις πολιν δαυιδ "David did not take the ark to himself in the City of David," that is, "David did not take the ark to his residence in the City of David." Note also that in the context of Nu 24:25, בלק הלך לדרכו "Balak went his way" could be interpreted "Balak went home," and was translated βαλακ απηλθεν προς εαυτον "Balak went to himself," that is, "Balak went home."

Lk 24:25 A close translation of του πιστευειν επι πασιν οις ελαλησαν οι προφηται would be "to believe on the basis of all that the prophets have spoken." The issue was not that they were not believing that the Scripture is right, but that they were slow to process the text mentally, to consider its implications, and to believe them.

Lk 24:28 This verse shows that the Lord would have gone further unless they invited him into their house. He knew, of course, that they would invite him. However, he did not pretend that he needed to go further, for he did not spend much time with them in the house. The compound verb προσποιεω is used in this verse to indicate that he appeared to go further. This compound verb consists of the verb ποιεω "to do" and the preposition προς "to," indicating together with other words of a sentence the purpose of an action. This verb can refer to one who pretends something, for in LXX it is used in 1Sa 21:14, when David was acting so as to appear to be lunatic. However, it does not have to be used for one who is pretending, for it also occurs in Job 19:14, where it is about people who were not acting so as to respond to Job (they were not acknowledging him.) The same usage of the verb appears in the New Testament phrase μη προσποιουμενος "without acknowledging them"; in certain manuscripts, this phrase appears at the end of Jn 8:6, and states that for a while Jesus did not give attention to those who were questioning him.

Lk 24:31 In Lk 24:28, the Lord indicated that he planned to go some other place. So when they invited him into their house, he accepted the invitation but did not spend much time with them, as he was still desiring to go to the other place. He chose to depart after he broke the bread. Shortly before this, they had been fed with the Word of God (Lk 24:27), which is the true bread that came down from heaven (Jn 6:32-33), the bread from which believers partake.