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21:1 And he looked up [Anablepsas de]. He had taken his seat, after the debate was over and the Sanhedrin had slunk away in sheer defeat, “over against the treasury” (Mr 12:41). The word for “treasury” [gazophulakion] is a compound of [gaza] (Persian word for royal treasury) and [phulakē] guard or protection. It is common in the LXX, but in the N.T. only here and Mr 12:41,43; Joh 8:20). Jesus was watching (Mr 12:41) the rich put in their gifts as a slight diversion from the intense strain of the hours before.
21:2 Poor [penichran]. A rare word from [penēs] [penomai], to work for one’s living). Latin penuria and Greek [peinaō], to be hungry are kin to it. Here only in the N.T. Mr 12:42 has [ptōchē], a more common word from [ptōssō], to be frightened, to strike and hide from fear, to be in beggary. And Luke uses this adjective also of her in verse 3.
21:3 More than they all [pleion pantōn]. Ablative case after the comparative [pleion].
21:4 All these did cast [pantes houtoi ebalon]. Constative second aorist active indicative covering the whole crowd except the widow. Living [bion]. Livelihood as in Mr 12:44, not [zōēn], principle of life.
21:5 As some spake [tinōn legontōn]. Genitive absolute. The disciples we know from Mr 13:1; Mt 24:1. How [hoti]. Literally, “that.” It was adorned [kekosmētai]. Perfect passive indicative, state of completion, stands adorned, tense retained in indirect discourse, though English has to change it. [Kosmeō], old and common verb for orderly arrangement and adorning. With goodly stones and offerings [lithois kalois kai anathēmasin]. Instrumental case. Some of these stones in the substructure were enormous. “The columns of the cloister or portico were monoliths of marble over forty feet high” (Plummer). Cf. Josephus, War, V.5. The word [anathēma] (here only in the N.T.) is not to be confused with [anathema] from the same verb [anatithēmi], but which came to mean a curse (Ga 1:8; Ac 23:14). So [anathema] came to mean devoted in a bad sense, [anathēma] in a good sense. “Thus knave, lad, becomes a rascal; villain, a farmer, becomes a scoundrel; cunning, skilful, becomes crafty”(Vincent). These offerings in the temple were very numerous and costly (2Macc. 3:2-7) like the golden vine of Herod with branches as tall as a man (Josephus, Ant.XV. ii.3).
21:6 As for these things [tauta]. Accusative of general reference. One stone upon another [lithos epi lithōi]. Stone upon stone (locative). Here both Mr 13:2; Mt 24:2 have [epi lithon] (accusative). Instead of [ouk aphethēsetai] (future passive) they both have [ou mē aphethēi] (double negative with aorist passive subjunctive). It was a shock to the disciples to hear this after the triumphal entry.
21:8 That ye be not led astray [mē planēthēte]. First aorist passive subjunctive with [mē] (lest). This verb [planaō] occurs here only in Luke though often in the rest of the N.T. (as Mt 24:4, 5, 11, 24, which see). Our word planet is from this word. The time is at hand [ho kairos ēggiken]. Just as John the Baptist did of the kingdom (Mt 3:2) and Jesus also (Mr 1:15). Go ye not after them [mē poreuthēte opisō autōn]. First aorist passive subjunctive with [mē]. A needed warning today with all the false cries in the religious world.
21:9 Be not terrified [mē ptoēthēte]. First aorist passive subjunctive with [mē] from [ptoeō] an old verb to terrify, from [ptoa], terror. In the N.T. only here and Lu 24:37. First [Prōton]. It is so easy to forget this and to insist that the end is “immediately” in spite of Christ’s explicit denial here. See Mt 24:4-42; Mr 13:1-37 for discussion of details for Lu 21:8-36, the great eschatological discourse of Jesus
21:11 Famines and pestilences [loimoi kai limoi]. Play on the two words pronounced just alike in the Koinē (itacism). And terrors [phobēthra te]. The use of [te ... te] in this verse groups the two kinds of woes. This rare word [phobēthra] is only here in the N.T. It is from [phobeō], to frighten, and occurs only in the plural as here.
21:12 But before all these things [pro de toutōn pantōn]. In Mr 13:8; Mt 24:8 these things are termed “the beginning of travail.” That may be the idea here. Plummer insists that priority of time is the point, not magnitude. Bringing you [apagomenous]. Present passive participle from [apagō], an old verb to lead off or away. But here the participle is in the accusative plural, not the nominative like [paradidontes] (present active participle, delivering you up), agreeing with [humas] not expressed the object of [paradidontes], “you being brought before or led off.” “A technical term in Athenian legal language” (Bruce).
21:13 It shall turn unto you [apobēsetai humin]. Future middle of [apobainō]. It will come off, turn out for you (dative of advantage). For a testimony [eis marturion]. To their loyalty to Christ. Besides, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”
21:14 Not to meditate beforehand [mē promeletāin]. The classical word for conning a speech beforehand. Mr 13:11 has [promerimnaō], a later word which shows previous anxiety rather than previous preparation. How to answer [apologēthēnai]. First aorist passive infinitive. It is the preparation for the speech of defence (apology) that Jesus here forbids, not the preparation of a sermon.
21:15 Your adversaries [hoi antikeimenoi humin]. Those who stand against, line up face to face with (note [anti-]. To withstand or to gainsay [antistēnai ē anteipein]. Two second aorist active infinitives with [anti-] in composition again. But these “antis” will go down before the power of Christ.
21:16 Shall they cause to be put to death [thanatōsousin]. Future active of [thanatoō], to put to death or to make to die (causative). Either makes sense here. Old and common verb.
21:17 Not a hair of your head shall perish [thrix ek tēs kephalēs humōn ou mē apolētai]. Only in Luke. Second aorist middle subjunctive of [apollumi] with [ou mē] (double negative). Jesus has just said that some they will put to death. Hence it is spiritual safety here promised such as Paul claimed about death in Php 1:21.
21:19 Ye shall win [ktēsesthe]. Future middle of [ktaomai], to acquire. They will win their souls even if death does come.
21:20 Compassed with armies [kukloumenēn hupo stratopedōn]. Present passive participle of [kukloō], to circle, encircle, from [kuklos], circle. Old verb, but only four times in N.T. The point of this warning is the present tense, being encircled. It will be too late after the city is surrounded. It is objected by some that Jesus, not to say Luke, could not have spoken (or written) these words before the Roman armies came. One may ask why not, if such a thing as predictive prophecy can exist and especially in the case of the Lord Jesus. The word [stratopedōn] [stratos], army, [pedon], plain) is a military camp and then an army in camp. Old word, but only here in the N.T. Then know [tote gnōte]. Second aorist active imperative of [ginōskō]. Christians did flee from Jerusalem to Pella before it was too late as directed in Lu 21:21; Mr 13:14f.; Mt 24:16f.
21:24 Edge of the sword [stomati machairēs]. Instrumental case of [stomati] which means “mouth” literally (Ge 34:26). This verse like the close of verse 22 is only in Luke. Josephus (War, VI. 9.3) states that 1,100,000 Jews perished in the destruction of Jerusalem and 97,000 were taken captive. Surely this is an exaggeration and yet the number must have been large. Shall be led captive [aichmalōtisthēsontai]. Future passive of [aichmalōtizō] from [aichmē], spear and [halōtos] [haliskomai]. Here alone in the literal sense in the N.T. Shall be trodden under foot [estai patoumenē]. Future passive periphrastic of [pateō], to tread, old verb. Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled [achri hou plērōthōsin kairoi ethnōn]. First aorist passive subjunctive with [achri hou] like [heōs hou]. What this means is not clear except that Paul in Ro 11:25 shows that the punishment of the Jews has a limit. The same idiom appears there also with [achri hou] and the aorist subjunctive.
21:25 Distress [sunochē]. From [sunechō]. In the N.T. only here and 2Co 2:4. Anguish. In perplexity [en aporiāi]. State of one who is [aporos], who has lost his way [a] privative and [poros]. Here only in the N.T. though an old and common word. For the roaring of the sea [ēchous thalassēs]. Our word echo (Latin echo) is this word [ēchos], a reverberating sound. Sense of rumour in Lu 4:37. Billows [salou]. Old word [salos] for the swell of the sea. Here only in the N.T.
21:26 Men fainting [apopsuchontōn anthrōpōn]. Genitive absolute of [apopsuchō], to expire, to breathe off or out. Old word. Here only in N.T. Expectation [prosdokias]. Old word from [prosdokaō], to look for or towards. In the N.T. only here and Ac 12:11. The world [tēi oikoumenēi]. Dative case, “the inhabited” (earth, [gēi].
21:27 And then shall they see [kai tote opsontai]. As much as to say that it will be not till then. Clearly the promise of the second coming of the Son of man in glory here (Mr 13:26f.; Mt 24:30f.) is pictured as not one certain of immediate realization. The time element is left purposely vague.
21:28 Look up [anakupsate]. First aorist active imperative of [anakuptō], to raise up. Here of the soul as in Joh 8:7, 10, but in Lu 13:11 of the body. These the only N.T. examples of this common verb. Redemption [apolutrōsis]. Act of redeeming from [apolutroō]. The final act at the second coming of Christ, a glorious hope.
21:29 The fig tree, and all the trees [tēn sukēn kai panta ta dendra]. This parable of the fig-tree (Mr 13:28-32; Mt 24:32-35) Luke applies to “all the trees.” It is true about all of them, but the fig tree was very common in Palestine.
21:30 Shoot forth [probalōsin]. Second aorist active subjunctive of [proballō], common verb, but in the N.T. only here and Ac 19:33. Summer [theros]. Not harvest, but summer. Old word, but in the N.T. only here (Mr 13:28; Mt 24:32).
21:31 Coming to pass [ginomena]. Present middle participle of [ginomai] and so descriptive of the process. Nigh [eggus]. The consummation of the kingdom is here meant, not the beginning.
21:32 This generation [hē genea hautē]. Naturally people then living. Shall not pass away [ou mē parelthēi]. Second aorist active subjunctive of [parerchomai]. Strongest possible negative with [ou mē]. Till all things be accomplished [heōs an panta genētai]. Second aorist middle subjunctive of [ginomai] with [heōs], common idiom. The words give a great deal of trouble to critics. Some apply them to the whole discourse including the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem, the second coming and the end of the world. Some of these argue that Jesus was simply mistaken in his eschatology, some that he has not been properly reported in the Gospels. Others apply them only to the destruction of Jerusalem which did take place in A.D. 70 before that generation passed away. It must be said for this view that it is not easy in this great eschatological discourse to tell clearly when Jesus is discussing the destruction of Jerusalem and when the second coming. Plummer offers this solution: “The reference, therefore, is to the destruction of Jerusalem regarded as the type of the end of the world.”
21:33 My words shall not pass away [hoi logoi mou ou mē pareleusontai]. Future middle indicative with [ou mē], a bit stronger statement than the subjunctive. It is noteworthy that Jesus utters these words just after the difficult prediction in verse 32.
21:34 Lest haply your hearts be overcharged [mē pote barēthōsin hai kardiai humōn]. First aorist passive subjunctive of [bareō], an old verb to weigh down, depress, with [mē pote]. With surfeiting [en krepalēi]. A rather late word, common in medical writers for the nausea that follows a debauch. Latin crapula, the giddiness caused by too much wine. Here only in the N.T. Drunkenness [methēi]. From [methu] (wine). Old word but in the N.T. only here and Ro 13:13; Ga 5:21. Cares of this life [merimnais biōtikais]. Anxieties of life. The adjective [biōtikos] is late and in the N.T. only here and 1Co 6:3f. Come on you [epistēi]. Second aorist active subjunctive of [ephistēmi], ingressive aorist. Construed also with [mē pote]. Suddenly [ephnidios]. Adjective in predicate agreeing with [hēmera] (day). As a snare [hōs pagis]. Old word from [pēgnumi], to make fast a net or trap. Paul uses it several times of the devil’s snares for preachers (1Ti 3:7; 2Ti 2:26).
21:36 But watch ye [agrupneite de]. [Agrupneō] is a late verb to be sleepless [a] privative and [hupnos], sleep). Keep awake and be ready is the pith of Christ’s warning. That ye may prevail to escape [hina katischusēte ekphugein]. First aorist active subjunctive with [hina] of purpose. The verb [katischuō] means to have strength against (cf. Mt 16:18). Common in later writers. [Ekphugein] is second aorist active infinitive, to escape out. To stand before the Son of man [stathēnai emprosthen tou huiou tou anthrōpou]. That is the goal. There will be no dread of the Son then if one is ready. [Stathēnai] is first aorist passive infinitive of [histēmi].
21:37 Every day [tas hēmeras]. During the days, accusative of extent of time. Every night [tas nuktas]. “During the nights,” accusative of extent of time. Lodged [ēulizeto]. Imperfect middle, was lodging, [aulizomai] from [aulē] (court).
21:38 Came early [ōrthrizen]. Imperfect active of [orthrizō] from [orthros], late form for [orthreuō], to rise early. Only here in the N.T.
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