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Chapter 7

7:1 After [epeidē, epei and dē]. This conjunction was written [epei dē] in Homer and is simple [epei] with the intensive [] added and even [epei dē per] once in N.T. (Lu 1:1). This is the only instance of the temporal use of [epeidē] in the N.T. The causal sense occurs only in Luke and Paul, for [epei] is the correct text in Mt 21:46. Had ended [eplērōsen]. First aorist active indicative. There is here a reference to the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, but with nothing concerning the impression produced by the discourse such as is seen in Mt 7:28. This verse really belongs as the conclusion of Chapter 6, not as the beginning of Chapter 7. In the ears of the people [eis tas akoas tou laou]. [Akoē] from [akouō], to hear, is used of the sense of hearing (1Co 12:17), the ear with which one hears (Mr 7:35; Heb 5:11), the thing heard or the report (Rom 10:16) or oral instruction (Ga 3:2,5). Both Mt 8:5-13; Lu 7:1-10 locate the healing of the centurion’s servant in Capernaum where Jesus was after the Sermon on the Mount.

7:2 Centurion’s servant [Hekatontarchou tinos doulos]. Slave of a certain centurion (Latin word [centurio], commander of a century or hundred). Mr 15:39,44 has the Latin word in Greek letters, [kenturiōn]. The centurion commanded a company which varied from fifty to a hundred. Each cohort had six centuries. Each legion had ten cohorts or bands (Ac 10:1). The centurions mentioned in the N.T. all seem to be fine men as Polybius states that the best men in the army had this position. See also Lu 23:47. The Greek has two forms of the word, both from [hekaton], hundred, and [archō], to rule, and they appear to be used interchangeably. So we have [hekatontarchos]; here, the form is [-archos], and [hekatontarchēs], the form is [-archēs] in verse 6. The manuscripts differ about it in almost every instance. The [-archos] form is accepted by Westcott and Hort only in the nominative save the genitive singular here in Lu 7:2 and the accusative singular in Ac 22:25. See like variation between them in Mt 8:5,8 [-archos] and Mt 8:13 [archēi]. So also [-archon] (Ac 22:25) and [-archēs] (Ac 22:26). Dear to him [autōi entimos]. Held in honour, prized, precious, dear (Lu 14:8; 1Pe 2:4; Php 2:29), common Greek word. Even though a slave he was dear to him. Was sick [kakōs echōn]. Having it bad. Common idiom. See already Mt 4:24; 8:16; Mr 2:17; Lu 5:31, etc. Mt 8:6 notes that the slave was a paralytic. And at the point of death [ēmellen teleutāin]. Imperfect active of [mellō] (note double augment [ē] which is used either with the present infinitive as here, the aorist (Re 3:16), or even the future because of the future idea in [mellō] (Ac 11:28; 24:15). He was about to die.

7:3 Sent unto him elders of the Jews [apesteilen pros auton presbouterous tōn Ioudaiōn]. Mt 8:5 says “the centurion came unto him.” For discussion of this famous case of apparent discrepancy see discussion on Matthew. One possible solution is that Luke tells the story as it happened with the details, whereas Matthew simply presents a summary statement without the details. What one does through another he does himself. Asking him [erōtōn auton]. Present active participle, masculine singular nominative, of the verb [erōtaō] common for asking a question as in the old Greek (Lu 22:68). But more frequently in the N.T. the verb has the idea of making a request as here. This is not a Hebraism or an Aramaism, but is a common meaning of the verb in the papyri (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 168). It is to be noted here that Luke represents the centurion himself as “asking” through the elders of the Jews (leading citizens). In Mt 8:6 the verb is [parakalōn] (beseeching). That he would come and save [hopōs elthōn diasōsēi]. [Hina] is the more common final or sub-final (as here) conjunction, but [hopōs] still occurs. [Diasōsēi] is effective aorist active subjunctive, to bring safe through as in a storm (Ac 28:1,4). Common word.

7:4 Besought [parekaloun]. Imperfect active, began and kept on beseeching. This is the same verb used by Matthew in Mt 8:5 of the centurion himself. Earnestly [spoudaiōs]. From [spoudē] haste. So eagerly, earnestly, zealously, for time was short. That thou shouldst do this for him [hōi parexēi touto]. Second future middle singular of [parechō]. Old and common verb, furnish on thy part. [Hōi] is relative in dative case almost with notion of contemplated result (Robertson, Grammar, p. 961).

7:5 For [gar]. This clause gives the reason why the elders of the Jews consider him “worthy” [axios], drawing down the scale, [axis], [ago]. He was hardly a proselyte, but was a Roman who had shown his love for the Jews. Himself [autos]. All by himself and at his own expense. Us [hēmin]. Dative case, for us. It is held by some archaeologists that the black basalt ruins in Tell Hum are the remains of the very synagogue [tēn sunagōgēn]. Literally, the synagogue, the one which we have, the one for us.

7:6 Went with them [eporeueto sun autois]. Imperfect indicative middle. He started to go along with them. Now [ēdē]. Already like Latin jam.In 1Co 4:8 [nun ēdē] like jam nunc.Sent friends [epempsen philous]. This second embassy also, wanting in Matthew’s narrative. He “puts the message of both into the mouth of the centurion himself” (Plummer). Note saying [legōn], present active singular participle, followed by direct quotation from the centurion himself. Trouble not thyself [Mē skullou]. Present middle (direct use) imperative of [skullō], old verb originally meaning to skin, to mangle, and then in later Greek to vex, trouble, annoy. Frequent in the papyri in this latter sense. For I am not worthy that [ou gar hikanos eimi hina]. The same word [hikanos], not [axios], as in Mt 8:8, which see for discussion, from [hikō, hikanō], to fit, to reach, be adequate for. [Hina] in both places as common in late Greek. See Mt 8:8 also for “roof” [stegēn], covering).

7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee [dio oude emauton ēxiōsa pros se elthein]. Not in Matthew because he represents the centurion as coming to Jesus. Speak the word [eipe logōi]. As in Mt 8:8. Second aorist active imperative with instrumental case, speak with a word. My servant shall be healed [iathētō ho pais mou]. Imperative first aorist passive, let be healed. [Pais] literally means “boy,” an affectionate term for the “slave,” [doulos] (verse 2), who was “dear” to him.

7:8 “Set” [tassomenos]. Genuine here, though doubtful in Mt 8:9 where see discussion of this vivid and characteristic speech of the centurion.

7:9 Turned [strapheis]. Second aorist passive participle of [strephō], to turn. Common verb. A vivid touch not in Matthew’s account. In both Matthew and Luke Jesus marvels at the great faith of this Roman centurion beyond that among the Jews. As a military man he had learned how to receive orders and to execute them and hence to expect obedience to his commands, He recognized Jesus as Master over disease with power to compel obedience.

7:10 Whole [hugiainonta]. Sound, well. See Lu 5:31.

7:11 Soon afterwards [en toi hexēs]. According to this reading supply [chronōi], time. Other MSS. read [tēi hexēs] (supply [hēmerāi], day). [Hexēs] occurs in Luke and Acts in the N.T. though old adverb of time. That [Hoti]. Not in the Greek, the two verbs [egeneto] and [eporeuthē] having no connective (asyndeton). Went with him [suneporeuonto autōi]. Imperfect middle picturing the procession of disciples and the crowd with Jesus. Nain is not mentioned elsewhere in the N.T. There is today a hamlet about two miles west of Endor on the north slope of Little Hermon. There is a burying-place still in use. Robinson and Stanley think that the very road on which the crowd with Jesus met the funeral procession can be identified.

7:12 Behold [kai idou]. The [kai] introduces the apodosis of the temporal sentence and has to be left out in translations. It is a common idiom in Luke, [kai idou]. There was carried out [exekomizeto]. Imperfect passive indicative. Common verb in late Greek for carrying out a body for burial, though here only in the N.T. [ekkomizō]. Rock tombs outside of the village exist there today. One that was dead [tethnēkōs]. Perfect active participle of [thnēskō], to die. The only son of his mother [monogenēs huios tēi mētri auto–]. Only begotten son to his mother (dative case). The compound adjective [monogenēs] [monos] and [genos] is common in the old Greek and occurs in the N.T. about Jesus (Joh 3:16,18). The “death of a widow’s only son was the greatest misfortune conceivable” (Easton). And she was a widow [kai autē ēn chēra]. This word [chēra] gives the finishing touch to the pathos of the situation. The word is from [chēros], bereft. The mourning of a widow for an only son is the extremity of grief (Plummer). Much people [ochlos hikanos]. Considerable crowd as often with this adjective [hikanos]. Some were hired mourners, but the size of the crowd showed the real sympathy of the town for her.

7:13 The Lord saw her [idōn autēn ho kurios]. The Lord of Life confronts death (Plummer) and Luke may use [Kurios] here purposely. Had compassion [esplagchthē]. First aorist (ingressive) passive indicative of [splagchnizomai]. Often love and pity are mentioned as the motives for Christ’s miracles (Mt 14:14; 15:32, etc.). It is confined to the Synoptics in the N.T. and about Christ save in the parables by Christ. Weep not [mē klaie]. Present imperative in a prohibition. Cease weeping.

7:14 Touched the bier [hēpsato tou sorou]. An urn for the bones or ashes of the dead in Homer, then the coffin (Ge 5:26), then the funeral couch or bier as here. Only here in the N.T. Jesus touched the bier to make the bearers stop, which they did (stood still, [estēsan], second aorist active indicative of [histēmi].

7:15 Sat up [anekathisen]. First aorist active indicative. The verb in the N.T. only here and Ac 9:40). Medical writers often used it of the sick sitting up in bed (Hobart, Med. Lang. of St. Luke, p. 11). It is objected that the symmetry of these cases (daughter of Jairus raised from the death-bed, this widow’s son raised from the bier, Lazarus raised from the tomb) is suspicious, but no one Gospel gives all three (Plummer). Gave him to his mother [edōken auton tēi mētri autou]. Tender way of putting it. “For he had already ceased to belong to his mother” (Bengel). So in Lu 9:42.

7:16 Fear seized all [elaben de phobos pantas]. Aorist active indicative. At once. They glorified God [edoxazon ton theon]. Imperfect active, inchoative, began and increased.

7:17 This report [ho logos houtos]. That God had raised up a great prophet who had shown his call by raising the dead.

7:18 And the disciples of John told him [kai apēggeilan Iōanēi hoi mathētai autou]. Literally, and his disciples announced to John. Such news (verse 17) was bound to come to the ears of the Baptist languishing in the dungeon of Machaerus (Lu 3:20). Lu 7:18-35 runs parallel with Mt 11:2-19, a specimen of Q, the non-Marcan portion of Matthew and Luke.

7:19 Calling unto him [proskalesamenos]. First aorist middle (indirect) participle. Two [duo tinas]. Certain two. Not in Mt 11:2. Saying [legōn]. John saying by the two messengers. The message is given precisely alike in Mt 11:3, which see. In both we have [heteron] for “another,” either a second or a different kind. In verse 20 Westcott and Hort read [allon] in the text, [heteron] in the margin. [Prosdokōmen], may be present indicative or present subjunctive (deliberative), the same contract form [ao= ō, aō ō].

7:21 In that hour he cured [en ekeinēi tēi horāi etherapeusen]. This item is not in Matthew. Jesus gave the two disciples of John an example of the direct method. They had heard. Then they saw for themselves. Diseases [nosōn], plagues [mastigōn], evil spirits [pneumatōn ponērōn], all kinds of bodily ills, and he singles out the blind [tuphlois] to whom in particular he bestowed sight [echarizato blepein], gave as a free gift (from [charis], grace) seeing [blepein].

7:22 What things ye have seen and heard [ha eidete kai ēkousate]. In Mt 11:4, present tense “which ye do hear and see.” Rest of verse 22, 23 as in Mt 11:4-6, which see for details. Luke mentions no raisings from the dead in verse 21, but the language is mainly general, while here it is specific. [Skandalizomai] used here has the double notion of to trip up and to entrap and in the N.T. always means causing to sin.

7:24 When the messengers of John were departed [apelthontōn tōn aggelōn Iōanou]. Genitive absolute of aorist active participle. Mt 11:7 has the present middle participle [poreuomenōn], suggesting that Jesus began his eulogy of John as soon as the messengers (angels, Luke calls them) were on their way. The vivid questions about the people’s interest in John are precisely alike in both Matthew and Luke.

7:25 Gorgeously apparelled [en himatismōi endoxōi]. In splendid clothing. Here alone in this sense in the N.T. And live delicately [truphēi]. From [thruptō] to break down, to enervate, an old word for luxurious living. See the verb [truphaō] in Jas 5:5. In kings’ courts [en tois basileiois]. Only here in the N.T. Mt 11:8 has it “in kings’ houses.” Verses 26, 27 are precisely alike in Mt 11:9,10, which see for discussion.

7:26 A prophet? [prophētēn;]. A real prophet will always get a hearing if he has a message from God. He is a for-speaker, forth-teller [pro-phētēs]. He may or may not be a fore-teller. The main thing is for the prophet to have a message from God which he is willing to tell at whatever cost to himself. The word of God came to John in the wilderness of Judea (Lu 3:2). That made him a prophet. There is a prophetic element in every real preacher of the Gospel. Real prophets become leaders and moulders of men.

7:28 There is none [oudeis estin]. No one exists, this means. Mt 11:11 has [ouk egēgertai] (hath not arisen). See Matthew for discussion of “but little” and “greater.”

7:29 Justified God [edikaiōsan ton theon]. They considered God just or righteous in making these demands of them. Even the publicans did. They submitted to the baptism of John [baptisthentes to baptisma tou Iōanou]. First aorist passive participle with the cognate accusative retained in the passive. Some writers consider verses 29, 30 a comment of Luke in the midst of the eulogy of John by Jesus. This would be a remarkable thing for so long a comment to be interjected. It is perfectly proper as the saying of Jesus.

7:30 Rejected for themselves [ēthetēsan eis heautous]. The first aorist active of [atheteō] first seen in LXX and Polybius. Occurs in the papyri. These legalistic interpreters of the law refused to admit the need of confession of sin on their part and so set aside the baptism of John. They annulled God’s purposes of grace so far as they applied to them. Being not baptized by him [mē baptisthentes hup’ autou]. First aorist passive participle. [] is the usual negative of the participle in the Koinē.

7:31 And to what are they like? [kai tini eisin homoioi;]. This second question is not in Mt 11:16. It sharpens the point. The case of [tini] is associative instrumental after [homoioi]. See discussion of details in Matthew.

7:32 And ye did not weep [kai ouk eklausate]. Here Mt 1:17 has “and ye did not mourn (or beat your breast, [ouk ekopsasthe]. They all did it at funerals. These children would not play wedding or funeral.

7:33 John the Baptist is come [elēluthen]. Second perfect active indicative where Mt 11:18 has [ēlthen] second aorist active indicative. So as to verse 34. Luke alone has “bread” and “wine.” Otherwise these verses like Mt 11:18, 19, which see for discussion of details. There are actually critics today who say that Jesus was called the friend of sinners and even of harlots because he loved them and their ways and so deserved the slur cast upon him by his enemies. If men can say that today we need not wonder that the Pharisees and lawyers said it then to justify their own rejection of Jesus.

7:35 Of all her children [apo pantōn tōn teknōn autēs]. Here Mt 11:19 has “by her works” [apo tōn ergōn autēs]. Aleph has [ergōn] here. The use of “children” personifies wisdom as in Pr 8; 9.

7:36 That he would eat with him [hina phagēi met’ autou]. Second aorist active subjunctive. The use of [hina] after [erōtaō] (see also Lu 16:27) is on the border between the pure object clause and the indirect question (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1046) and the pure final clause. Luke has two other instances of Pharisees who invited Jesus to meals (11:37; 14:1) and he alone gives them. This is the Gospel of Hospitality (Ragg). Jesus would dine with a Pharisee or with a publican (Lu 5:29; Mr 2:15; Mt 9:10) and even invited himself to be the guest of Zaccheus (Lu 9:5). This Pharisee was not as hostile as the leaders in Jerusalem. It is not necessary to think this Pharisee had any sinister motive in his invitation though he was not overly friendly (Plummer).

7:37 A woman which was in the city, a sinner [gunē hētis en tēi polei hamartōlos]. Probably in Capernaum. The use of [hētis] means “Who was of such a character as to be” (cf. 8:3) and so more than merely the relative [], who, that is, “who was a sinner in the city,” a woman of the town, in other words, and known to be such. [Hamartōlos], from [hamartanō], to sin, means devoted to sin and uses the same form for feminine and masculine. It is false and unjust to Mary Magdalene, introduced as a new character in Lu 8:2, to identify this woman with her. Luke would have no motive in concealing her name here and the life of a courtesan would be incompatible with the sevenfold possession of demons. Still worse is it to identify this courtesan not only with Mary Magdalene, but also with Mary of Bethany simply because it is a Simon who gives there a feast to Jesus when Mary of Bethany does a beautiful deed somewhat like this one here (Mr 14:3-9; Mt 26:6-13; Joh 12:2-8). Certainly Luke knew full well the real character of Mary of Bethany (10:38-42) so beautifully pictured by him. But a falsehood, once started, seems to have more lives than the cat’s proverbial nine. The very name Magdalene has come to mean a repentant courtesan. But we can at least refuse to countenance such a slander on Mary Magdalene and on Mary of Bethany. This sinful woman had undoubtedly repented and changed her life and wished to show her gratitude to Jesus who had rescued her. Her bad reputation as a harlot clung to her and made her an unwelcome visitor in the Pharisee’s house. When she knew [epignousa]. Second aorist active participle from [epiginōskō], to know fully, to recognize. She came in by a curious custom of the time that allowed strangers to enter a house uninvited at a feast, especially beggars seeking a gift. This woman was an intruder whereas Mary of Bethany was an invited guest. “Many came in and took their places on the side seats, uninvited and yet unchallenged. They spoke to those at table on business or the news of the day, and our host spoke freely to them” (Trench in his Parables, describing a dinner at a Consul’s house at Damietta). He was sitting at meat [katakeitai]. Literally, he is reclining (present tense retained in indirect discourse in Greek). An alabaster cruse of ointment [alabastron murou]. See on Mt 26:7 for discussion of [alabastron] and [murou].

7:38 Standing behind at his feet [stāsa opisō para tous podas autou]. Second aorist active participle from [histēmi] and intransitive, first aorist [estēsa] being transitive. The guest removed his sandals before the meal and he reclined on the left side with the feet outward. She was standing beside [para] his feet weeping [klaiousa]. She was drawn irresistibly by gratitude to Jesus and is overcome with emotion before she can use the ointment; her tears [tois dakrusin], instrumental case of [dakru] take the place of the ointment. Wiped them with the hair of her head [tais thrixin tēs kephalēs autēs exemassen]. Inchoative imperfect of an old verb [ekmassō], to rub out or off, began to wipe off, an act of impulse evidently and of embarrassment. “Among the Jews it was a shameful thing for a woman to let down her hair in public; but she makes this sacrifice” (Plummer). So Mary of Bethany wiped the feet of Jesus with her hair (Joh 12:3) with a similar sacrifice out of her great love for Jesus. This fact is relied on by some to prove that Mary of Bethany had been a woman of bad character, surely an utter failure to recognize Mary’s motive and act. Kissed [katephilei]. Imperfect active of [kataphileō], to kiss repeatedly (force of [kata], and accented by the tense of continued action here. The word in the N.T. occurs here, of the prodigal’s father (15:20), of the kiss of Judas (Mr 14:45; Mt 26:49), of the Ephesian elders (Ac 20:37). “ Kissing the feet was a common mark of deep reverence, especially to leading rabbis” (Plummer). Anointed them with the ointment [ēleiphen tōi murōi]. Imperfect active again of [aleiphō], a very common verb. [Chriō] has a more religious sense. The anointing came after the burst of emotional excitement.

7:39 This man [houtos]. Contemptuous, this fellow. If he were a (the) prophet [ei ēn [ho] prophētēs]. Condition of the second class, determined as unfulfilled. The Pharisee assumes that Jesus is not a prophet (or the prophet, reading of B, that he claims to be). A Greek condition puts the thing from the standpoint of the speaker or writer. It does not deal with the actual facts, but only with the statement about the facts. Would have perceived [eginōsken an]. Wrong translation, would now perceive or know (which he assumes that Jesus does not do). The protasis is false and the conclusion also. He is wrong in both. The conclusion (apodosis), like the condition, deals here with the present situation and so both use the imperfect indicative [an] in the conclusion, a mere device for making it plain that it is not a condition of the first class). Who and what manner of woman [tis kai potapē hē gunē]. She was notorious in person and character.

7:40 Answering [apokritheis]. First aorist passive participle, redundant use with [eipen]. Jesus answers the thoughts and doubts of Simon and so shows that he knows all about the woman also. Godet notes a tone of Socratic irony here.

7:41 A certain lender [danistēi tini]. A lender of money with interest. Here alone in the N.T. though a common word. Debtors [chreophiletai]. From [chreō] (debt, obligation) and [opheilō], to owe. Only here and 16:5 in the N.T., though common in late Greek writers. Owed [ōpheilen]. Imperfect active and so unpaid. Five hundred [dēnaria] and fifty like two hundred and fifty dollars and twenty-five dollars.

7:42 Will love him most [pleion agapēsei auton]. Strictly, comparative more, [pleion], not superlative [pleista], but most suits the English idiom best, even between two. Superlative forms are vanishing before the comparative in the Koinē.This is the point of the parable, the attitude of the two debtors toward the lender who forgave both of them (Plummer).

7:43 I suppose [hupolambanō]. Old verb, originally to take up from under, to bear away as on high, to take up in speech (Lu 10:30), to take up in mind or to assume as here and Ac 2:15. Here with an air of supercilious indifference (Plummer). The most [to pleion]. The more. Rightly [orthōs]. Correctly. Socrates was fond of [panu orthōs]. The end of the argument.

7:44 Turning [strapheis]. Second aorist passive participle. Seest thou [blepeis]. For the first time Jesus looks at the woman and he asks the Pharisee to look at her. She was behind Jesus. Jesus was an invited guest. The Pharisee had neglected some points of customary hospitality. The contrasts here made have the rhythm of Hebrew poetry. In each contrast the first word is the point of defect in Simon: water (44), kiss (45), oil (46).

7:45 Hath not ceased to kiss [ou dielipen kataphilousa]. Supplementary participle.

7:46 With ointment [murōi]. Instrumental case. She used the costly ointment even for the feet of Jesus.

7:47 Are forgiven [apheōntai]. Doric perfect passive form. See Lu 5:21,23. For she loved much [hoti ēgapēsen polu]. Illustration or proof, not reason for the forgiveness. Her sins had been already forgiven and remained forgiven. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little [Hōi de oligon aphietai oligon agapāi]. This explanation proves that the meaning of [hoti] preceding is proof, not cause.

7:48 Are forgiven [apheōntai]. As in verse 47. Remain forgiven, Jesus means, in spite of the slur of the Pharisee.

7:49 Who even forgiveth sins [hos kai hamartias aphiēsin]. Present indicative active of same verb, [aphiēmi]. Once before the Pharisees considered Jesus guilty of blasphemy in claiming the power to forgive sins (Lu 5:21). Jesus read their inmost thoughts as he always does.

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