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Chapter 13

13:1 At that very season [en autōi tōi kairōi]. Luke’s frequent idiom, “at the season itself.” Apparently in close connexion with the preceding discourses. Probably “were present” [parēsan], imperfect of [pareimi] means “came,” “stepped to his side,” as often (Mt 26:50; Ac 12:20; Joh 11:28). These people had a piece of news for Jesus. Whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices [hōn to haima Peilatos emixen meta tōn thusiōn autōn]. The verb [emixen] is first aorist active (not past perfect) of [mignumi], a common verb. The incident is recorded nowhere else, but is in entire harmony with Pilate’s record for outrages. These Galileans at a feast in Jerusalem may have been involved in some insurrection against the Roman government, the leaders of whom Pilate had slain right in the temple courts where the sacrifices were going on. Jesus comments on the incident, but not as the reporters had expected. Instead of denunciation of Pilate he turned it into a parable for their own conduct in the uncertainty of life.

13:2 Sinners above all [hamartōloi para pantas]. [Para] means “beside,” placed beside all the Galileans, and so beyond or above (with the accusative). Have suffered [peponthasin]. Second perfect active indicative third plural from [paschō], common verb, to experience, suffer. The tense notes that it is “an irrevocable fact” (Bruce).

13:3 Except ye repent [ean mē metanoēte]. Present active subjunctive of [metanoeō], to change mind and conduct, linear action, keep on changing. Condition of third class, undetermined, but with prospect of determination. Ye shall perish [apoleisthe]. Future middle indicative of [apollumi] and intransitive. Common verb.

13:4 The tower in Siloam [ho purgos en Silōam]. Few sites have been more clearly located than this. Jesus mentions this accident (only in Luke) of his own accord to illustrate still further the responsibility of his hearers. Jesus makes use of public events in both these incidents to teach spiritual lessons. He gives the “moral” to the massacre of the Galilean pilgrims and the “moral” of the catastrophe at Siloam. Offenders [opheiletai]. Literally, debtors, not sinners as in verse 2 and as the Authorized Version renders here. See 7:41; 11:4; Mt 6:12; 18:24-34.

13:5 Except ye repent [ean mē metanoēsēte]. First aorist active subjunctive, immediate repentance in contrast to continued repentance, [metanoēte] in verse 3, though Westcott and Hort put [metanoēte] in the margin here. The interpretation of accidents is a difficult matter, but the moral pointed out by Jesus is obvious.

13:6 Planted [pephuteumenēn]. Perfect passive participle of [phuteuō], to plant, an old verb, from [phuton], a plant, and that from [phuō], to grow. But this participle with [eichen] (imperfect active of [echō] does not make a periphrastic past perfect like our English “had planted.” It means rather, he had a fig tree, one already planted in his vineyard.

13:7 The vinedresser [ton ampelourgon]. Old word, but here only in the N.T., from [ampelos], vine, and [ergon], work. These three years I come [tria etē aph’ hou erchomai]. Literally, “three years since (from which time) I come.” These three years, of course, have nothing to do with the three years of Christ’s public ministry. The three years are counted from the time when the fig tree would normally be expected to bear, not from the time of planting. The Jewish nation is meant by this parable of the barren fig tree. In the withering of the barren fig tree later at Jerusalem we see parable changed to object lesson or fact (Mr 11:12-14; Mt 21:18f.). Cut it down [ekkopson]. “Cut it out,” the Greek has it, out of the vineyard, perfective use of [ek] with the effective aorist active imperative of [koptō], where we prefer “down.” Why? [hina ti]. Ellipsis here of [genētai] of which [ti] is subject (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 739,916). Also [kai]. Besides bearing no fruit. Doth cumber the ground [tēn gēn katargei]. Makes the ground completely idle, of no use [kata, argeō], from [argos], [a] privative and [ergon], work). Late verb, here only in the N.T. except in Paul’s Epistles.

13:8 Till I shall dig [heōs hotou skapsō]. First aorist active subjunctive like [balō] (second aorist active subjunctive of [ballō], both common verbs. Dung it [balō kopria]. Cast dung around it, manure it. [Kopria], late word, here alone in the N.T.

13:9 And if it bear fruit thenceforth [k’an men poiēsēi karpon eis to mellon]. Aposiopesis, sudden breaking off for effect (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1203). See it also in Mr 11:32; Ac 23:9. Trench (Parables) tells a story like this of intercession for the fig tree for one year more which is widely current among the Arabs today who say that it will certainly bear fruit this time.

13:10 He was teaching [ēn didaskōn]. Periphrastic imperfect active.

13:11 A spirit of infirmity [pneuma astheneias]. A spirit that caused the weakness [astheneias], lack of strength) like a spirit of bondage (Ro 8:15), genitive case. She was bowed together [ēn sunkuptousa]. Periphrastic imperfect active of [sunkuptō], old verb, here only in the N.T., to bend together, medical word for curvature of the spine. And could in no wise lift herself up [kai mē dunamenē anakupsai eis to panteles]. Negative form of the previous statement. [Anakupsai], first aorist active infinitive of [anakuptō] [ana, kuptō], same verb above compounded with [sun]. Unable to bend herself up or back at all [eis to panteles], wholly as in Heb 7:25 only other passage in the N.T. where it occurs). The poor old woman had to come in all bent over.

13:12 He called her [prosephōnēsen]. To come to him (pros]. Thou art loosed [apolelusai]. Perfect passive indicative of [apoluō], common verb, loosed to stay free. Only N.T. example of use about disease.

13:13 He laid his hands upon her [epethēken autēi tas cheiras]. First aorist active indicative of [epitithēmi]. As the Great Physician with gentle kindness. She was made straight [anōrthōthē]. First aorist (effective) passive indicative of [anorthoō], old verb, but only three times in the N.T. (Lu 13:13; Heb 12:12; Ac 15:16), to make straight again. Here it has the literal sense of making straight the old woman’s crooked back. She glorified God [edoxazen ton theon]. Imperfect active. Began it (inchoative) and kept it up.

13:14 Answered [apokritheis]. First aorist passive participle of [apokrinomai]. No one had spoken to him, but he felt his importance as the ruler of the synagogue and was indignant [aganaktōn], from [agan] and [achomai], to feel much pain). His words have a ludicrous sound as if all the people had to do to get their crooked backs straightened out was to come round to his synagogue during the week. He forgot that this poor old woman had been coming for eighteen years with no result. He was angry with Jesus, but he spoke to the multitude [tōi ochlōi]. Ought [dei]. Really, must, necessary, a direct hit at Jesus who had “worked” on the sabbath in healing this old woman. And not [kai mē]. Instead of [kai ou], because in the imperative clause.

13:15 The Lord answered him [apekrithē de autōi ho Kurios]. Note use of “the Lord” of Jesus again in Luke’s narrative. Jesus answered the ruler of the synagogue who had spoken to the crowd, but about Jesus. It was a crushing and overwhelming reply. Hypocrites [hupokritai]. This pretentious faultfinder and all who agree with him. Each of you [hekastos humōn]. An argumentum ad hominen.These very critics of Jesus cared too much for an ox or an ass to leave it all the sabbath without water. Stall [phatnēs]. Old word, in the N.T. only here and Lu 2:7,12,16 the manger where the infant Jesus was placed. To watering [potizei]. Old verb, causative, to give to drink.

13:16 Daughter of Abraham [thugatera Abraam]. Triple argument, human being and not an ox or ass, woman, daughter of Abraham (Jewess), besides being old and ill. Ought not (ouk edei]. Imperfect active. Of necessity. Jesus simply had to heal her even if on the sabbath. Whom Sātan bound [hēn edēsen ho Satanas]. Definite statement that her disease was due to Satan.

13:17 Were put to shame [katēischunonto]. Imperfect passive of [kataischunō], old verb, to make ashamed, make one feel ashamed. Passive here, to blush with shame at their predicament. Rejoiced [echairen]. Imperfect active. Sharp contrast in the emotions of the two groups. Were done [ginomenois]. Present middle participle, were continually being done.

13:18 He said therefore [elegen oun]. It is not clear to what to refer “therefore,” whether to the case of the woman in verse 11, the enthusiasm of the crowd in verse 17, or to something not recorded by Luke.

13:19 A grain of mustard seed [kokkōi sinapeōs]. Either the sinapis nigra or the salvadora persica, both of which have small seeds and grow to twelve feet at times. The Jews had a proverb: “Small as a mustard seed.” Given by Mr 4:30-32; Mt 13:31f. in the first great group of parables, but just the sort to be repeated. Cast into his own garden [ebalen eis kēpon heautou]. Different from “earth” (Mark) or “field” (Matthew.)” [Kēpos], old word for garden, only here in the N.T. and Joh 19:1,26; 19:41. Became a tree [egeneto eis dendron]. Common Hebraism, very frequent in LXX, only in Luke in the N.T., but does appear in Koinē though rare in papyri; this use of [eis] after words like ginomai.It is a translation Hebraism in Luke. Lodged [kateskēnōsen]. Mark and Matthew have [kataskēnoin] infinitive of the same verb, to make tent (or nest).

13:20 Whereunto shall I liken? [Tini homoiōsō;]. This question alone in Luke here as in verse 18. But the parable is precisely like that in Mt 13:33, which see for details.

13:22 Journeying on unto Jerusalem [poreian poioumenos eis Ierosoluma]. Making his way to Jerusalem. Note tenses here of continued action, and distributive use of [kata] with cities and villages. This is the second of the journeys to Jerusalem in this later ministry corresponding to that in Joh 11.

13:23 Are they few that be saved? [ei oligoi hoi sōzomenoi;]. Note use of [ei] as an interrogative which can be explained as ellipsis or as [ei=ē] (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1024). This was an academic theological problem with the rabbis, the number of the elect.

13:24 Strive [agōnizesthe]. Jesus makes short shrift of the question. He includes others (present middle plural of [agōnizomai], common verb, our agonize). Originally it was to contend for a prize in the games. The kindred word [agōnia] occurs of Christ’s struggle in Gethsemane (Lu 22:44). The narrow gate appears also in Mt 7:13, only there it is an outside gate [pulēs] while here it is the entrance to the house, “the narrow door” [thuras].

13:25 When once [aph’ hou an]. Possibly to be connected without break with the preceding verse (so Westcott and Hort), though Bruce argues for two parables here, the former (verse 24) about being in earnest, while this one (verses 25-30) about not being too late. The two points are here undoubtedly. It is an awkward construction, [aph’ hou = apo toutou hote] with [an] and the aorist subjunctive [egerthēi] and [apokleisēi]. See Robertson, Grammar, p. 978. Hath shut to [apokleisēi], first aorist active subjunctive of [apokleiō], old verb, but only here in the N.T. Note effective aorist tense and perfective use of [apo], slammed the door fast. And ye begin [kai arxēsthe]. First aorist middle subjunctive of [archomai] with [aph’ hou an] like [egerthēi] and [apokleisēi]. To stand [hestanai]. Second perfect active infinitive of [histēmi], intransitive tense and to knock [kai krouein]. Present active infinitive, to keep on knocking. Open to us [anoixon hēmin]. First aorist active imperative, at once and urgent. He shall say [erei]. Future active of [eipon] (defective verb). This is probably the apodosis of the [aph’ hou] clause.

13:26 Shall ye begin [arxesthe]. Future middle, though Westcott and Hort put [arxēsthe] (aorist middle subjunctive of [archomai] and in that case a continuation of the [aph’ hou] construction. It is a difficult passage and the copyists had trouble with it. In thy presence [enōpion sou]. As guests or hosts or neighbours some claim, or the master of the house. It is grotesque to claim credit because Christ taught in their streets, but they are hard run for excuses and claims.

13:27 I know not whence ye are [ouk oida pothen este]. This blunt statement cuts the matter short and sweeps away the flimsy cobwebs. Acquaintance with Christ in the flesh does not open the door. Jesus quotes Ps 8:9 as in Mt 7:23, there as in the LXX, here with [pantes ergatai adikias], there with [hoi ergazomenoi tēn anomian]. But [apostēte] (second aorist active imperative) here, and there [apochōreite] (present active imperative).

13:28 There [ekei]. Out there, outside the house whence they are driven. When ye shall see [hotan opsēsthe]. First aorist middle subjunctive (of a late aorist [ōpsamēn] of [horaō], though [opsesthe] (future middle) in margin of Westcott and Hort, unless we admit here a “future” subjunctive like Byzantine Greek (after Latin). And yourselves cast forth without [humās de ekballomenous exō]. Present passive participle, continuous action, “you being cast out” with the door shut. See on Mt 8:11f. for this same picture.

13:29 Shall sit down [anaklithēsontai]. Future passive indicative third plural. Recline, of course, is the figure of this heavenly banquet. Jesus does not mean that these will be saved in different ways, but only that many will come from all the four quarters of the earth.

13:30 Last [eschatoi]. This saying was repeated many times (Mt 19:30; Mr 10:31; Mt 20:16).

13:31 In that very hour [en autēi tēi hōrāi]. Luke’s favourite notation of time. Pharisees [Pharisaioi]. Here we see the Pharisees in a new role, warning Jesus against the machinations of Herod, when they are plotting themselves.

13:32 That fox [tēi alōpeki tautēi]. This epithet for the cunning and cowardice of Herod shows clearly that Jesus understood the real attitude and character of the man who had put John the Baptist to death and evidently wanted to get Jesus into his power in spite of his superstitious fears that he might be John the Baptist redivivus.The message of Jesus means that he is independent of the plots and schemes of both Herod and the Pharisees. The preacher is often put in a tight place by politicians who are quite willing to see him shorn of all real power. Cures [iaseis]. Old word, but in the N.T. only here and Ac 4:22,30). I am perfected [teleioumai]. Present passive indicative of [teleioō], old verb from [teleios], to bring to perfection, frequent in the N.T. Used in Heb 2:10 of the Father’s purpose in the humanity of Christ. Perfect humanity is a process and Jesus was passing through that, without sin, but not without temptation and suffering. It is the prophetic present with the sense of the future.

13:33 The day following [tēi echomenēi]. See Ac 20:15. The same as the third day in verse 32. A proverb. It cannot be [ouk endechetai]. It is not accepted, it is inadmissible. A severely ironical indictment of Jerusalem. The shadow of the Cross reaches Perea where Jesus now is as he starts toward Jerusalem.

13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem [Ierousalēm, Ierousalēm]. In Mt 23:37f. Jesus utters a similar lament over Jerusalem. The connection suits both there and here, but Plummer considers it “rather a violent hypothesis” to suppose that Jesus spoke these words twice. It is possible, of course, though not like Luke’s usual method, that he put the words here because of the mention of Jerusalem. In itself it is not easy to see why Jesus could not have made the lament both here and in Jerusalem. The language of the apostrophe is almost identical in both places (Lu 13:34f.; Mt 23:37-39). For details see on Matthew. In Luke we have [episunaxai] (late first aorist active infinitive) and in Matthew [episunagagein] (second aorist active infinitive), both from [episunagō], a double compound of late Greek (Polybius). Both have “How often would I” [posakis ēthelēsa]. How often did I wish. Clearly showing that Jesus made repeated visits to Jerusalem as we know otherwise only from John’s Gospel. Even as [hon tropon]. Accusative of general reference and in Mt 23:37 also. Incorporation of antecedent into the relative clause. Brood [nossian] is in Luke while Matthew has chickens [nossia], both late forms for the older [neossia]. The adjective desolate [erēmos] is wanting in Lu 13:35 and is doubtful in Mt 23:39.

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