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Chapter 11

11:1 As he was praying in a certain place [en tōi einai auton en topōi tini proseuchomenon]. Characteristically Lukan idiom: [en] with articular periphrastic infinitive [einai proseuchomenon] with accusative of general reference [auton]. That. Not in the Greek, asyndeton [kai egeneto eipen]. When he ceased [hōs epausato]. Supply [proseuchomenos] (praying), complementary or supplementary participle. Teach us [didaxon hēmas]. Jesus had taught them by precept (Mt 6:7-15) and example (Lu 9:29). Somehow the example of Jesus on this occasion stirred them to fresh interest in the subject and to revival of interest in John’s teachings (Lu 5:33). So Jesus gave them the substance of the Model Prayer in Matthew, but in shorter form. Some of the MSS. have one or all of the phrases in Matthew, but the oldest documents have it in the simplest form. See on Mt 6:7-15 for discussion of these details (Father, hallowed, kingdom, daily bread, forgiveness, bringing us into temptation). In Mt 6:11 “give” is [dos] (second aorist active imperative second singular, a single act) while here Lu 11:3 “give” is [didou] (present active imperative, both from [didōmi] and means, “keep on giving.” So in Lu 11:4 we have “For we ourselves also forgive” [kai gar autoi aphiomen], present active indicative of the late [ō] verb [aphiō] while Mt 6:12 has “as we also forgave” [hōs kai hēmeis aphēkamen], first aorist [k] aorist) active of [aphiēmi]. So also where Mt 6:12 has “debts” [ta opheilēmata] Lu 11:4 has “sins” [tas hamartias]. But the spirit of each prayer is the same. There is no evidence that Jesus meant either form to be a ritual. In both Mt 6:13; Lu 11:4 [mē eisenegkēis] occurs (second aorist subjunctive with [] in prohibition, ingressive aorist). “Bring us not” is a better translation than “lead us not.” There is no such thing as God enticing one to sin (Jas 1:13). Jesus urges us to pray not to be tempted as in Lu 22:40 in Gethsemane.

11:5 At midnight [mesonuktiou]. Genitive of time. And say to him [kai eipēi autōi]. This is the deliberative subjunctive, but it is preceded by two future indicatives that are deliberative also [hexei, poreusetai]. Lend me [chrēson moi]. First aorist active imperative second singular. Lend me now. From [kichrēmi], an old verb, to lend as a matter of friendly interest as opposed to [daneizō], to lend on interest as a business. Only here in the N.T.

11:6 To set before him [ho parathēsō autōi]. Which I shall place beside him. Future active of [paratithēmi]. See 9:16 for this same verb.

11:7 And he [kakeinos]. Emphatic. Shall say (eipēi]. Still the aorist active deliberative subjunctive as in verse 5 (the same long and somewhat involved sentence). Trouble me not [mē moi kopous pareche]. [] and the present imperative active. Literally, “Stop furnishing troubles to me.” On this use of [kopous parechō] see also Mt 26:10; Mr 14:6; Ga 6:17 and the singular [kopon], Lu 18:5. The door is now shut [ēdē hē thura kekleistai]. Perfect passive indicative, shut to stay shut. Oriental locks are not easy to unlock. From [kleiō], common verb. In bed [eis ten koitēn]. Note use of [eis] in sense of [en]. Often a whole family would sleep in the same room. I cannot [ou dunamai]. That is, I am not willing.

11:8 Though [ei kai]. [Kai ei] would be “Even if,” a different idea. Because he is his friend [dia to einai philon autou]. [Dia] and the accusative articular infinitive with accusative of general reference, a causal clause = “because of the being a friend of his.” Yet because of his importunity [dia ge tēn anaidian autou]. From [anaidēs], shameless, and that from [a] privative and [aidōs], shame, shamelessness, impudence. An old word, but here alone in the N.T. Examples in the papyri. The use of [ge] here, one of the intensive particles, is to be noted. It sharpens the contrast to “though” by “yet.” As examples of importunate prayer Vincent notes Abraham in behalf of Sodom (Ge 18:23-33) and the Syro-Phoenician woman in behalf of her daughter (Mt 15:22-28).

11:9 Shall be opened [anoigēsetai]. Second future passive third singular of [anoignumi] and the later [anoigō].

11:11 Of which of you that is a father [tina de ex humōn ton patera]. There is a decided anacoluthon here. The MSS. differ a great deal. The text of Westcott and Hort makes [ton patera] (the father) in apposition with [tina] (of whom) and in the accusative the object of [aitēsei] (shall ask) which has also another accusative (both person and thing) “a loaf.” So far so good. But the rest of the sentence is, will ye give him a stone? [mē lithon epidōsei autōi;]. [] shows that the answer No is expected, but the trouble is that the interrogative [tina] in the first clause is in the accusative the object of [aitēsei] while here the same man (he) is the subject of [epidōsei]. It is a very awkward piece of Greek and yet it is intelligible. Some of the old MSS. do not have the part about “loaf” and “stone,” but only the two remaining parts about “fish” and “serpent,” “egg” and “scorpion.” The same difficult construction is carried over into these questions also.

11:13 Know how to give [oidate didonai]. See on Mt 7:11 for this same saying. Only here Jesus adds the Holy Spirit [pneuma hagion] as the great gift (the summum bonum) that the Father is ready to bestow. Jesus is fond of “how much more” [posōi māllon], by how much more, instrumental case).

11:14 When [tou daimoniou exelthontos]. Genitive absolute ana asyndeton between [kai egeneto] and [elalēsen] as often in Luke (no [hoti] or [kai].

11:15 Dumb [kōphon]. See on Mt 9:32. By Beelzebub [en Beezeboul]. Blasphemous accusation here in Judea as in Galilee (Mr 3:22; Mt 12:24,27). See on Matthew for discussion of the form of this name and the various items in the sin against the Holy Spirit involved in the charge. It was useless to deny the fact of the miracles. So they were explained as wrought by Satan himself, a most absurd explanation.

11:16 Tempting him [peirazontes]. These “others” [heteroi] apparently realized the futility of the charge of being in league with Beelzebub. Hence they put up to Jesus the demand for “a sign from heaven” just as had been done in Galilee (Mt 12:38). By “sign” [sēmeion] they meant a great spectacular display of heavenly power such as they expected the Messiah to give and such as the devil suggested to Jesus on the pinnacle of the temple. Sought [ezētoun]. Imperfect active, kept on seeking.

11:17 But he [autos de]. In contrast with them. Knowing their thoughts [eidōs autōn ta dianoēmata]. From [dianoeō], to think through or distinguish. This substantive is common in Plato, but occurs nowhere else in the N.T. It means intent, purpose. Jesus knew that they were trying to tempt him. And a house divided against a house falleth [kai oikos epi oikon piptei]. It is not certain that [diameristheisa] (divided) is to be repeated here as in Mt 12:25; Mr 3:25. It may mean, and house falls upon house, “one tumbling house knocking down its neighbour, a graphic picture of what happens when a kingdom is divided against itself” (Bruce).

11:18 Because ye say [hoti legete]. Jesus here repeats in indirect discourse (accusative and infinitive) the charge made against him in verse 15. The condition is of the first class, determined as fulfilled.

11:19 And if I by Beelzebub [ei de egō en Beezeboul]. Also a condition of the first class, determined as fulfilled. A Greek condition deals only with the statement, not with the actual facts. For sake of argument, Jesus here assumes that he casts out demons by Beelzebub. The conclusion is a reductio ad absurdum.The Jewish exorcists practiced incantations against demons (Ac 19:13).

11:20 By the finger of God [en daktulōi theou]. In distinction from the Jewish exorcists. Mt 12:28 has “by the Spirit of God.” Then is come [ara ephthasen]. [Phthanō] in late Greek comes to mean simply to come, not to come before. The aorist indicative tense here is timeless. Note [ara] (accordingly) in the conclusion [apodosis].

11:21 Fully armed [kathōplismenos]. Perfect passive participle of [kathoplizō], an old verb, but here only in the N.T. Note perfective use of [kata] in composition with [hoplizō], to arm (from [hopla], arms). Note indefinite temporal clause [hotan] and present subjunctive [phulassēi]. His own court [tēn heautou aulēn]. His own homestead. Mr 3:27; Mt 12:29 has “house” [oikian]. [Aulē] is used in the N.T. in various senses (the court in front of the house, the court around which the house is built, then the house as a whole). His goods [ta huparchonta autou]. “His belongings.” Neuter plural present active participle of [huparchō] used as substantive with genitive.

11:22 But when [epan de]. Note [hotan] in verse 21. Stronger than he [ischuroteros autou]. Comparative of [ischuros] followed by the ablative. Come upon him and overcome him [epelthōn nikēsēi auton]. Second aorist active participle of [eperchomai] and first aorist active subjunctive of [nikaō]. Aorist tense here because a single onset while in verse 22 the guarding [phulassēi], present active subjunctive) is continuous. His whole armour [tēn panoplian autou]. An old and common word for all the soldier’s outfit (shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves, breastplate). Tyndale renders it “his harness.” In the N.T. only here and Eph 6:11,13 where the items are given. Wherein he trusted [eph’ hēi epepoithei]. Second past perfect active of [peithō], to persuade. The second perfect [pepoitha] is intransitive, to trust. Old and common verb. He trusted his weapons which had been so efficacious. His spoils [ta skula autou]. It is not clear to what this figure refers. Strong as Satan is Jesus is stronger and wins victories over him as he was doing then. In Col 2:15 Christ is pictured as triumphing openly over the powers of evil by the Cross.

11:23 He that is not with me [ho mē ōn met’ emou]. This verse is just like Mt 12:30).

11:24 And finding none [kai mē heuriskon]. Here Mt 12:43 has [kai ouch heuriskei] (present active indicative instead of present active participle). Lu 11:24-26 is almost verbatim like Mt 12:43-45, which see. Instead of just “taketh” [paralambanei] in verse 26, Matthew has “taketh with himself” [paralambanei meth’ heautou]. And Luke omits: “Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation” of Mt 12:45. Than the first [tōn prōtōn]. Ablative case after the comparative [cheirona]. The seven demons brought back remind one of the seven that afflicted Mary Magdalene (Lu 8:2).

11:27 As he said these things [en tōi legein auton]. Luke’s common idiom, [en] with articular infinitive. Verses 27, 28 are peculiar to Luke. His Gospel in a special sense is the Gospel of Woman. This woman “speaks well, but womanly” (Bengel). Her beatitude [makaria] reminds us of Elisabeth’s words (Lu 1:42, [eulogēmenē]. She is fulfilling Mary’s own prophecy in 1:48 [makariousin me], shall call me happy).

11:28 But he said [autos de eipen]. Jesus in contrast turns attention to others and gives them a beatitude [makarioi]. “The originality of Christ’s reply guarantees its historical character. Such a comment is beyond the reach of an inventor” (Plummer).

11:29 Were gathering together unto him [epathroizomenōn]. Genitive absolute present middle participle of [epathroizō], a rare verb, Plutarch and here only in the N.T., from [epi] and [athroizō] (a common enough verb). It means to throng together [athroos], in throngs). Vivid picture of the crowds around Jesus. But the sign of Jonah [ei mē to sēmeion Iōnā]. Luke does not give here the burial and resurrection of Jesus of which Jonah’s experience in the big fish was a type (Mt 12:39ff.), but that is really implied (Plummer argues) by the use here of “shall be given” [dothēsetai] and “shall be” [estai], for the resurrection of Jesus is still future. The preaching of Jesus ought to have been sign enough as in the case of Jonah, but the resurrection will be given. Luke’s report is much briefer and omits what is in Mt 12:41.

11:31 With the men of this generation [meta tōn andrōn tēs geneās tautēs]. Here Mt 12:42 has simply “with this generation,” which see.

11:32 At the preaching of Jonah [eis to kērugma Iōna]. Note this use of [eis] as in Mt 10:41; 12:41. Luke inserts the words about the Queen of the South (31) in between the discussion of Jonah (verses 29f., 32). Both [Solomōnos] (31) and [Iōnā] (verse 32) are in the ablative case after the comparative [pleion] (more, something more).

11:33 In a cellar [eis kruptēn]. A crypt (same word) or hidden place from [kruptō], to hide. Late and rare word and here only in the N.T. These other words (lamp, [luchnon], bushel, [modion], stand, [luchnian] have all been discussed previously (Mt 5:15). Lu 11:33 is like Mt 6:22f., which see for details.

11:35 Whether not []. This use of [] in an indirect question is good Greek (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1045). It is a pitiful situation if the very light is darkness. This happens when the eye of the soul is too diseased to see the light of Christ.

11:36 With its bright shining [tēi astrapēi]. Instrumental case, as if by a flash of lightning the light is revealed in him. See on 10:18.

11:37 Now as he spake [en de tōi lalēsai]. Luke’s common idiom, [en] with the articular infinitive (aorist active infinitive) but it does not mean “after he had spoken” as Plummer argues, but simply “in the speaking,” no time in the aorist infinitive. See 3:21 for similar use of aorist infinitive with [en]. Asketh [erōtāi]. Present active indicative, dramatic present. Request, not question. To dine [hopōs aristēsēi]. Note [hopōs] rather than the common [hina]. Aorist active subjunctive rather than present, for a single meal. The verb is from [ariston] (breakfast). See distinction between [ariston] and [deipnon] (dinner or supper) in Lu 14:12. It is the morning meal (breakfast or lunch) after the return from morning prayers in the synagogue (Mt 22:4), not the very early meal called [akratisma]. The verb is, however, used for the early meal on the seashore in Joh 21:12,15. With him [par’ autōi]. By his side. Sat down to meat [anepesen]. Second aorist active indicative of [anapiptō], old verb, to recline, to fall back on the sofa or lounge. No word here for “to meat.”

11:38 That he had not first washed before dinner [hoti ou prōton ebaptisthē pro tou aristou]. The verb is first aorist passive indicative of [baptizō], to dip or to immerse. Here it is applied to the hands. It was the Jewish custom to dip the hands in water before eating and often between courses for ceremonial purification. In Galilee the Pharisees and scribes had sharply criticized the disciples for eating with unwashed hands (Mr 7:1-23; Mt 15:1-20) when Jesus had defended their liberty and had opposed making a necessity of such a custom (tradition) in opposition to the command of God. Apparently Jesus on this occasion had himself reclined at the breakfast (not dinner) without this ceremonial dipping of the hands in water. The Greek has “first before” [prōton pro], a tautology not preserved in the translation.

11:39 The Lord [ho kurios]. The Lord Jesus plainly and in the narrative portion of Luke. Now [nun]. Probably refers to him. You Pharisees do now what was formerly done. The platter [tou pinakos]. The dish. Old word, rendered “the charger” in Mt 14:8. Another word for “platter” [paropsis] in Mt 23:25 means “side-dish.” But your inward part [to de esōthen humōn]. The part within you (Pharisees). They keep the external regulations, but their hearts are full of plunder [harpagēs], from [harpazō], to seize) and wickedness [ponērias], from [ponēros], evil man). See Mt 23:25 for a like indictment of the Pharisees for care for the outside of the cup but neglect of what is on the inside. Both inside and outside should be clean, but the inside first.

11:40 Howbeit [plēn]. See Lu 6:24. Instead of devoting so much attention to the outside. Those things which are within [ta enonta]. Articular neuter plural participle from [eneimi], to be in, common verb. This precise phrase only here in the N.T. though in the papyri, and it is not clear what it means. Probably, give as alms the things within the dishes, that is have inward righteousness with a brotherly spirit and the outward becomes “clean” [kathara]. Properly understood, this is not irony and is not Ebionism, but good Christianity (Plummer).

11:42 Tithe [apodekatoute]. Late verb for the more common [dekateuō]. So in Mt 23:23. Take a tenth off [apo-]. Rue [pēganon]. Botanical term in late writers from [pēgnumi], to make fast because of its thick leaves. Here Mt 23:23 has “anise.” Every herb [pān lachanon]. General term as in Mr 4:32. Matthew has “cummin.” Pass by [parerchesthe]. Present middle indicative of [parerchomai], common verb, to go by or beside. Mt 23:23 has “ye have left undone” [aphēkate]. Luke here has “love” [agapēn], not in Matthew. Ought [edei]. As in Matthew. Imperfect of a present obligation, not lived up to just like our “ought” [owed], not paid). [Pareinai], as in Matthew, the second aorist active infinitive of [aphiēmi]. to leave off. Common verb. Luke does not have the remark about straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel (Mt 23:34). It is plain that the terrible exposure of the scribes and Pharisees in Mt 23 in the temple was simply the culmination of previous conflicts such as this one.

11:43 The chief seats in the synagogues [tēn prōtokathedrian en tais sunagōgais]. Singular here, plural in Mt 23:6. This semi-circular bench faced the congregation. Mt 23:6 has also the chief place at feasts given by Luke also in that discourse (20:46) as well as in 14:7, a marked characteristic of the Pharisees.

11:44 The tombs which appear not [ta mnēneia ta adēla]. These hidden graves would give ceremonial defilement for seven days (Nu 19:16). Hence they were usually whitewashed as a warning. So in Mt 23:27 the Pharisees are called “whited sepulchres.” Men do not know how rotten they are. The word [adēlos] [a] privative and [dēlos], apparent or plain) occurs in the N.T. only here and 1Co 14:8, though an old and common word. Here men walking around [peripatountes] walk over the tombs without knowing it. These three woes cut to the quick and evidently made the Pharisees wince.

11:45 Thou reproachest us also [kai hēmās hubrizeis]. Because the lawyers (scribes) were usually Pharisees. The verb [hubrizō] is an old one and common for outrageous treatment, a positive insult (so Lu 18:32; Mt 22:6; Ac 14;5; 1Th 2:2). So Jesus proceeds to give the lawyers three woes as he had done to the Pharisees.

11:46 Grievous to be borne [dusbastakta]. A late word in LXX and Plutarch [dus] and [bastazō]. Here alone in text of Westcott and Hort who reject it in Mt 23:4 where we have “heavy burdens” [phortia barea]. In Gal 6:2 we have [barē] with a distinction drawn. Here we have [phortizete] (here only in the N.T. and Mt 11:28) for “lade,” [phortia] as cognate accusative and then [phortiois] (dative after [ou prospsauete], touch not). It is a fierce indictment of scribes (lawyers) for their pettifogging interpretations of the written law in their oral teaching (later written down as Mishna and then as Gemarah), a terrible load which these lawyers did not pretend to carry themselves, not even “with one of their fingers” to “touch” [prospsauō], old verb but only here in the N.T.), touch with the view to remove. Mt 23:4 has [kinēsai], to move. A physician would understand the meaning of [prospauō] for feeling gently a sore spot or the pulse.

11:48 Consent [suneudokeite]. Double compound [sun, eu, dokeō], to think well along with others, to give full approval. A late verb, several times in the N.T., in Ac 8:1 of Saul’s consenting to and agreeing to Stephen’s death. It is a somewhat subtle, but just, argument made here. Outwardly the lawyers build tombs for the prophets whom their fathers (forefathers) killed as if they disapproved what their fathers did. But in reality they neglect and oppose what the prophets teach just as their fathers did. So they are “witnesses” [martures] against themselves (Mt 23:31).

11:49 The wisdom of God [hē sophia tou theou]. In Mt 23:34 Jesus uses “I send” [egō apostellō] without this phrase “the wisdom of God.” There is no book to which it can refer. Jesus is the wisdom of God as Paul shows (1Co 1:30), but it is hardly likely that he so describes himself here. Probably he means that God in his wisdom said, but even so “Jesus here speaks with confident knowledge of the Divine counsels” (Plummer). See Lu 10:22; 15:7,10). Here the future tense occurs, “I will send” [apostelō]. Some of them [ex autōn]. No “some” [tinas] in the Greek, but understood. They will act as their fathers did. They will kill and persecute.

11:50 That . . . may be required [hina . . . ekzētēthēi]. Divinely ordered sequence, first aorist passive subjunctive of [ekzēteō], a late and rare verb outside of LXX and N.T., requiring as a debt the blood of the prophets. Which was shed [to ekkechumenon]. Perfect passive participle of [ekcheō] and [ekchunnō] (an Aeolic form appearing in the margin of Westcott and Hort here, [ekchunnomenon], present passive participle). If the present passive is accepted, it means the blood which is perpetually shed from time to time. From the foundation of the world [apo katabolēs kosmou]. See also Mt 25:34; Joh 17:24; Eph 1:4, etc. It is a bold metaphor for the purpose of God.

11:51 From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah [apo haimatos Abel heōs haimatos Zachariou]. The blood of Abel is the first shed in the Old Testament (Ge 4:10), that of Zacharias the last in the O.T. canon which ended with Chronicles (2Ch 24:22). Chronologically the murder of Uriah by Jehoiakim was later (Jer 26:23), but this climax is from Genesis to II Chronicles (the last book in the canon). See on Mt 23:35 for discussion of Zachariah as “the son of Barachiah” rather than “the son of Jehoiada.” Between the altar and the sanctuary [metaxu tou thusiastēriou kai tou oikou]. Literally, between the altar and the house (Mt 23:35 has temple, [naou].

11:52 Ye took away the key of knowledge [ērate tēn kleida tēs gnōseōs]. First aorist active indicative of [airō], common verb. But this is a flat charge of obscurantism on the part of these scribes (lawyers), the teachers (rabbis) of the people. They themselves [autoi] refused to go into the house of knowledge (beautiful figure) and learn. They then locked the door and hid the key to the house of knowledge and hindered [ekōlusate], effective aorist active) those who were trying to enter [tous eiserchomenous], present participle, conative action). It is the most pitiful picture imaginable of blind ecclesiastics trying to keep others as blind as they were, blind leaders of the blind, both falling into the pit.

11:53 From thence [k’akeithen]. Out of the Pharisee’s house. What became of the breakfast we are not told, but the rage of both Pharisees and lawyers knew no bounds. To press upon him [enechein]. An old Greek verb to hold in, to be enraged at, to have it in for one. It is the same verb used of the relentless hatred of Herodias for John the Baptist (Mr 6:19). To provoke him to speak [apostomatizein]. From [apo] and [stoma] (mouth). Plato uses it of repeating to a pupil for him to recite from memory, then to recite by heart (Plutarch). Here (alone in the N.T.) the verb means to ply with questions, to entice to answers, to catechize. Of many things [peri pleionōn]. “Concerning more (comparative) things.” They were stung to the quick by these woes which laid bare their hollow hypocrisy.

11:54 Laying wait for him [enedreuontes auton]. An old verb from [en] and [hedra], a seat, so to lie in ambush for one. Here only and Ac 23:21 in the N.T. Vivid picture of the anger of these rabbis who were treating Jesus as if he were a beast of prey. To catch something out of his mouth [thēreusai to ek tou stomatos autou]. An old Greek verb, though here only in the N.T., from [thēra] (cf. Ro 11:9), to ensnare, to catch in hunting, to hunt. These graphic words from the chase show the rage of the rabbis toward Jesus. Luke gives more details here than in 20:45-47; Mt 23:1-7, but there is no reason at all why Jesus should not have had this conflict at the Pharisee’s breakfast before that in the temple in the great Tuesday debate.

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