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Chapter 10

10:1 Appointed [anedeixen]. First aorist active indicative of [anadeiknumi], an old verb, not only common, but in LXX. In the N.T. only here and Ac 1:24. Cf. [anadeixis] in Lu 1:80). To show forth, display, proclaim, appoint. Seventy others [heterous hebdomēkonta kai]. The “also” [kai] and the “others” point back to the mission of the Twelve in Galilee (9:1-6). Some critics think that Luke has confused this report of a mission in Judea with that in Galilee, but needlessly so. What earthly objection can there be to two similar missions? B D Syr. Cur. and Syr. Sin. have “seventy-two.” The seventy elders were counted both ways and the Sanhedrin likewise and the nations of the earth. It is an evenly balanced point. Two and two [ana duo]. For companionship as with the Twelve though Mr 6:7 has it [duo] (vernacular idiom). B K have here [ana duo], a combination of the idiom in Mr 6:7 and that here. He himself was about to come [ēmellen autos erchesthai]. Imperfect of [mellō] with present infinitive and note [autos]. Jesus was to follow after and investigate the work done. This was only a temporary appointment and no names are given, but they could cover a deal of territory.

10:2 Harvest [therismos]. Late word for the older [theros], summer, harvest. The language in this verse is verbatim what we have in Mt 9:37,38 to the Twelve. Why not? The need is the same and prayer is the answer in each case. Prayer for preachers is Christ’s method for increasing the supply.

10:3 As lambs [hōs arnas]. Here again the same language as that in Mt 10:16 except that there “sheep” [probata] appears instead of “lambs.” Pathetic picture of the risks of missionaries for Christ. They take their life in their hands.

10:4 Purse [ballantion]. Old word for money-bag, sometimes a javelin as if from [ballō]. Only in Luke in the N.T. (10:4; 12:33; 22:35ff.). See Lu 9:3; Mr 6:7f.; Mt 10:9f. for the other similar items. Salute no man on the way [mēdena kata tēn hodon aspasēsthe]. First aorist (ingressive) middle subjunctive with [mēdena]. The peril of such wayside salutations was palaver and delay. The King’s business required haste. Elisha’s servant was not to tarry for salutations or salaams (2Ki 4:29). These oriental greetings were tedious, complicated, and often meddlesome if others were present or engaged in a bargain.

10:5 First say [prōton legete]. Say first. The adverb [prōton] can be construed with “enter” [eiselthēte], but probably with [legete] is right. The word spoken is the usual oriental salutation.

10:6 A son of peace [huios eirēnēs]. A Hebraism, though some examples occur in the vernacular Koinē papyri. It means one inclined to peace, describing the head of the household. Shall rest [epanapaēsetai]. Second future passive of [epanapauō], a late double compound [epi, ana] of the common verb [pauō]. It shall turn to you again [eph’ humās anakampsei]. Common verb [anakamptō], to bend back, return. The peace in that case will bend back with blessing upon the one who spoke it.

10:7 In that same house [en autēi tēi oikiāi]. Literally, in the house itself, not “in the same house” [en tēi autēi oikiāi], a different construction. A free rendering of the common Lukan idiom is, “in that very house.” Eating [esthontes]. An old poetic verb [esthō] for [esthiō] that survives in late Greek. Such things as they give [ta par’ autōn]. “The things from them.” For the labourer is worthy of his hire [axios gar ho ergatēs tou misthou autou]. In Mt 10:10 we have [tēs trophēs autou] (his food). 1Ti 5:18 has this saying quoted as scripture. That is not impossible if Luke wrote by A.D. 62. Paul there however may quote only De 25:4 as scripture and get this quotation either from Lu 10:7 or from a proverbial saying of Jesus. It is certainly not a real objection against the Pauline authorship of First Timothy. Go not from house to house [mē metabainete ex oikias eis oikian]. As a habit, [] and the present imperative, and so avoid waste of time with such rounds of invitations as would come.

10:8 Such things as are set before you [ta paratithemena humin]. The things placed before you from time to time (present passive participle, repetition). Every preacher needs this lesson of common politeness. These directions may seem perfunctory and even commonplace, but every teacher of young preachers knows how necessary they are. Hence they were given both to the Twelve and to the Seventy.

10:9 Is come nigh unto you [ēggiken eph’ humās]. Perfect active indicative of [eggizō] as in Mt 3:2 of the Baptist and Mr 1:15 of Jesus. Note [eph’ humās] here.

10:10 Into the streets thereof [eis tas plateias autēs]. Out of the inhospitable houses into the broad open streets.

10:11 Even the dust [kai ton koniorton]. Old word from [konis], dust, and [ornumi], to stir up. We have seen it already in Mt 10:14; Lu 9:5. Dust is a plague in the east. Shake off even that. Cleaveth [kollēthenta]. First aorist passive participle of [kollaō], to cling as dust and mud do to shoes. Hence the orientals took off the sandals on entering a house. We wipe off [apomassometha]. Middle voice of an old verb [apomassō], to rub off with the hands. Nowhere else in the N.T. But [ekmassō], occurs in Lu 7:38,44. Against you [Humin]. Fine example of the dative of disadvantage (the case of personal interest, the dative).

10:12 More tolerable [anektoteron]. Comparative of the verbal adjective [anektos] from [anechomai]. An old adjective, but only the comparative in the N.T. and in this phrase (Mt 10:15; 11:22, 24; Lu 10:12, 14).

10:13 Would have repented [an metenoēsan]. Conclusion (apodosis) of second-class condition, determined as unfulfilled. Long ago [palai]. Implies a considerable ministry in these cities of which we are not told. Chorazin not mentioned save here and Mt 11:21. Perhaps [Karāzeh] near Tell Hum (Capernaum). Sitting in sackcloth and ashes [en sakkōi kai spodoi kathēmenoi]. Pictorial and graphic. The [sakkos] (sackcloth) was dark coarse cloth made of goat’s hair and worn by penitents, mourners, suppliants. It is a Hebrew word, sag.The rough cloth was used for sacks or bags. To cover oneself with ashes was a mode of punishment as well as of voluntary humiliation.

10:15 Shalt thou be exalted? [mē hupsōthēsēi;]. [] expects the answer No. The verb is future passive indicative second singular of [hupsoō], to lift up, a late verb from [hupsos], height. It is used by Jesus of the Cross (Joh 12:32). Unto Hades [heōs Haidou]. See on Mt 16:18 for this word which is here in contrast to Heaven as in Isa 14:13-15. Hades is not Gehenna. “The desolation of the whole neighbourhood, and the difficulty of identifying even the site of these flourishing towns, is part of the fulfilment of this prophecy” (Plummer). Ragg notes the omission of Nazareth from this list of cities of neglected privilege and opportunity. “Is it the tender memories of boyhood that keep from His lips the name of the arch-rejector (4:28 sqq.) Nazareth?”

10:16 Rejecteth him that sent me [athetei ton aposteilanta me]. These solemn words form a fit close for this discourse to the Seventy. The fate of Chorazin, Bethsaida, Capernaum will befall those who set aside [a] privative and [theteō], from [tithēmi] the mission and message of these messengers of Christ. See this verb used in 7:30 of the attitude of the scribes and Pharisees toward John and Jesus. It is this thought that makes it so grave a responsibility to be co-workers with Christ, high privilege as it is (Joh 9:4).

10:17 Returned with joy [hupestrepsan meta charas]. They had profited by the directions of Jesus. Joy overflows their faces and their words. Even the demons [kai ta daimonia]. This was a real test. The Twelve had been expressly endowed with this power when they were sent out (Lu 9:1), but the Seventy were only told to heal the sick (10:9). It was better than they expected. The Gospel worked wonders and they were happy. The demons were merely one sign of the conflict between Christ and Satan. Every preacher has to grapple with demons in his work. Are subject [hupotassetai]. Present passive indicative (repetition).

10:18 I beheld Satan fallen [etheōroun ton Satanān pesonta]. Imperfect active (I was beholding) and second aorist (constative) active participle of [piptō] (not fallen, [peptōkota], perfect active participle, nor falling, [piptonta], present active participle, but fall, [pesonta]. As a flash of lightning out of heaven, quick and startling, so the victory of the Seventy over the demons, the agents of Satan, forecast his downfall and Jesus in vision pictured it as a flash of lightning.

10:19 And over all the power of the enemy [kai epi pāsan tēn dunamin tou echthrou]. This is the heart of “the authority” [tēn exousian] here given by Jesus which is far beyond their expectations. The victory over demons was one phase of it. The power to tread upon serpents is repeated in Mr 16:18 (the Appendix) and exemplified in Paul’s case in Malta (Ac 28:3-5). But protection from physical harm is not the main point in this struggle with Satan “the enemy” (Mt 13:25; Ro 16:20; 1Pe 5:8). Nothing shall in any wise hurt you [ouden humās ou mē adikēsei]. Text has future active indicative, while some MSS. read [adikēsēi], aorist active subjunctive of [adikeō], common verb from [adikos] [a] privative and [dikos], to suffer wrong, to do wrong. The triple negative here is very strong. Certainly Jesus does not mean this promise to create presumption or foolhardiness for he repelled the enemy’s suggestion on the pinnacle of the temple.

10:20 Are written [engegraptai]. Perfect passive indicative, state of completion, stand written, enrolled or engraved, from [engraphō], common verb. “As citizens possessing the full privileges of the commonwealth” (Plummer).

10:21 In that same hour [en autēi tēi hōrāi]. Literally, “at the hour itself,” almost a demonstrative use of [autos] (Robertson, Grammar, p. 686) and in Luke alone in the N.T. (2:38; 10:21; 12:12; 20:19). Mt 11:25 uses the demonstrative here, “at that time” [en ekeinōi tōi kairōi]. Rejoiced in the Holy Spirit [ēgalliasato tōi pneumati tōi hagiōi]. First aorist middle of the late verb [agalliaō] for [agallō], to exult. Always in the middle in the N.T. save Lu 1:47 in Mary’s Magnificat.This holy joy of Jesus was directly due to the Holy Spirit. It is joy in the work of his followers, their victories over Satan, and is akin to the joy felt by Jesus in Joh 4:32-38 when the vision of the harvest of the world stirred his heart. The rest of this verse is precisely like Mt 11:25f., a peculiarly Johannine passage in Matthew and Luke, but not in Mark, and so from Q (the Logia of Jesus). It has disturbed critics who are unwilling to admit the Johannine style and type of teaching as genuine, but here it is. See on Matthew for discussion. “That God had proved his independence of the human intellect is a matter for thankfulness. Intellectual gifts, so far from being necessary, are often a hindrance” (Plummer).

10:22 Knoweth who the Son is [ginōskei tis estin ho huios]. Knows by experience, [ginōskei]. Here Mt 11:27 has [epiginōskei] (fully knows) and simply [ton huion] (the Son) instead of the “who” [tis] clause. So also in “who the Father is” [tis estin ho pater]. But the same use and contrast of “the Father,” “the Son.” in both Matthew and Luke, “an aerolite from the Johannean heaven” (Hase). No sane criticism can get rid of this Johannine bit in these Gospels written long before the Fourth Gospel was composed. We are dealing here with the oldest known document about Christ (the Logia) and the picture is that drawn in the Fourth Gospel (see my The Christ of the Logia). It is idle to try to whittle away by fantastic exegesis the high claims made by Jesus in this passage. It is an ecstatic prayer in the presence of the Seventy under the rapture of the Holy Spirit on terms of perfect equality and understanding between the Father and the Son in the tone of the priestly prayer in Joh 17. We are justified in saying that this prayer of supreme Fellowship with the Father in contemplation of final victory over Satan gives us a glimpse of the prayers with the Father when the Son spent whole nights on the mountain alone with the Father. Here is the Messianic consciousness in complete control and with perfect confidence in the outcome. Here as in Mt 11:27 by the use of willeth to reveal him [boulētai apokalupsai]. The Son claims the power to reveal the Father “to whomsoever he wills” [hōi an boulētai], indefinite relative and present subjunctive of [boulomai], to will, not the future indicative). This is divine sovereignty most assuredly. Human free agency is also true, but it is full divine sovereignty in salvation that is here claimed along with possession [paredothē], timeless aorist passive indicative) of all power from the Father. Let that supreme claim stand.

10:23 Turning to the disciples [strapheis pros tous mathētas]. Second aorist passive of [strephō] as in 9:55. The prayer was a soliloquy though uttered in the presence of the Seventy on their return. Now Jesus turned and spoke “privately” or to the disciples (the Twelve, apparently), whether on this same occasion or a bit later. Blessed [makarioi]. A beatitude, the same adjective as in Mt 5:3-11. A beatitude of privilege very much like that in Mt 5:13-16. Jesus often repeated his sayings.

10:24 Which ye see [ha humeis blepete]. The expression of [humeis] makes “ye” very emphatic in contrast with the prophets and kings of former days.

10:25 And tempted him [ekpeirazōn auton]. Present active participle, conative idea, trying to tempt him. There is no “and” in the Greek. He “stood up [anestē], ingressive second aorist active) trying to tempt him.” [Peirazō] is a late form of [peiraō] and [ekpeirazō] apparently only in the LXX, and N.T. (quoted by Jesus from De 6:16 in Mt 4:7; Lu 4:12 against Satan). Here and 1Co 10:9. The spirit of this lawyer was evil. He wanted to entrap Jesus if possible. What shall I do to inherit eternal life? [Ti poiēsas zōēn aiōniou klēronomēsō;]. Literally, “By doing what shall I inherit eternal life?” Note the emphasis on “doing” [poiēsas]. The form of his question shows a wrong idea as to how to get it. Eternal life [zōēn aiōnion] is endless life as in John’s Gospel (Joh 16:9; 18:18, 30) and in Mt 25:46, which see.

10:26 How readest thou? [pōs anaginōskeis;]. As a lawyer it was his business to know the facts in the law and the proper interpretation of the law. See on Lu 7:30 about [nomikos] (lawyer). The rabbis had a formula, “What readest thou?”

10:27 And he answering [ho de apokritheis]. First aorist participle, no longer passive in idea. The lawyer’s answer is first from the Shema (De 6:3; 11:13) which was written on the phylacteries. The second part is from Le 19:18 and shows that the lawyer knew the law. At a later time Jesus himself in the temple gives a like summary of the law to a lawyer (Mr 12:28-34; Mt 22:34-40) who wanted to catch Jesus by his question. There is no difficulty in the two incidents. God is to be loved with all of man’s four powers (heart, soul, strength, mind) here as in Mr 12:30).

10:28 Thou hast answered right [orthōs apekrithēs]. First aorist passive indicative second singular with the adverb [orthōs]. The answer was correct so far as the words went. In Mr 12:34 Jesus commends the scribe for agreeing to his interpretation of the first and the second commandments. That scribe was “not far from the kingdom of God,” but this lawyer was “tempting” Jesus. Do this and thou shalt live [touto poiei kai zēsēi]. Present imperative (keep on doing this forever) and the future indicative middle as a natural result. There was only one trouble with the lawyer’s answer. No one ever did or ever can “do” what the law lays down towards God and man always. To slip once is to fail. So Jesus put the problem squarely up to the lawyer who wanted to know by doing what. Of course, if he kept the law perfectly always, he would inherit eternal life.

10:29 Desiring to justify himself [thelōn dikaiōsai heauton]. The lawyer saw at once that he had convicted himself of asking a question that he already knew. In his embarrassment he asks another question to show that he did have some point at first: And who is my neighbour? [kai tis estin mou plēsion;]. The Jews split hairs over this question and excluded from “neighbour” Gentiles and especially Samaritans. So here was his loop-hole. A neighbour is a nigh dweller to one, but the Jews made racial exceptions as many, alas, do today. The word [plēsion] here is an adverb (neuter of the adjective [plēsios] meaning [ho plēsion ōn] (the one who is near), but [ōn] was usually not expressed and the adverb is here used as if a substantive.

10:30 Made answer [hupolabōn]. Second aorist active participle of [hupolambanō] (see 7:43), to take up literally, and then in thought and speech, old verb, but in this sense of interrupting in talk only in the N.T. Was going down [katebainen]. Imperfect active describing the journey. Fell among robbers [lēistais periepesen]. Second aorist ingressive active indicative of [peripiptō], old verb with associative instrumental case, to fall among and to be encompassed by [peri], around), to be surrounded by robbers. A common experience to this day on the road to Jericho. The Romans placed a fort on this “red and bloody way.” These were bandits, not petty thieves. Stripped [ekdusantes]. Of his clothing as well as of his money, the meanest sort of robbers. Beat him [plēgas epithentes]. Second aorist active participle of [epitithēmi], a common verb. Literally, “placing strokes or blows” [plēgas], plagues) upon him. See Lu 12:48; Ac 16:23; Re 15:1,6,8 for “plagues.” Half-dead [hēmithanē]. Late word from [hēmi], half, and [thnēskō], to die. Only here in the N.T. Vivid picture of the robbery.

10:31 By chance [kata sugkurian]. Here only in the N.T., meaning rather, “by way of coincidence.” It is a rare word elsewhere and in late writers like Hippocrates. It is from the verb [sugkureō], though [sugkurēsis] is more common. Was going down [katebainen]. Imperfect active as in verse 30). Passed by on the other side [antiparēlthen]. Second aorist active indicative of [antiparerchomai], a late double compound here (verses 31, 32) only in the N.T., but in the papyri and late writers. It is the ingressive aorist [ēlthen], came alongside [para], and then he stepped over to the opposite side [anti] of the road to avoid ceremonial contamination with a stranger. A vivid and powerful picture of the vice of Jewish ceremonial cleanliness at the cost of moral principle and duty. The Levite in verse 32 behaved precisely as the priest had done and for the same reason.

10:33 A certain Samaritan [Samareitēs de tis]. Of all men in the world to do a neighbourly act! As he journeyed [hodeuōn]. Making his way. Came where he was [ēlthen kat’ auton]. Literally, “came down upon him.” He did not sidestep or dodge him, but had compassion on him.

10:34 Bound up his wounds [katedēsen ta traumata]. First aorist active indicative of [katadeō], old verb, but here only in the N.T. The verb means “bound down.” We say “bind up.” Medical detail that interested Luke. The word for “wounds” [traumata] here only in the N.T. Pouring on them oil and wine [epicheōn elaion kai oinon]. Old verb again, but here only in the N.T. Oil and wine were household remedies even for wounds (soothing oil, antiseptic alcohol). Hippocrates prescribed for ulcers: “Bind with soft wool, and sprinkle with wine and oil.” Set him [epibibasas]. An old verb [epibibazō] [epi], [bibazō], to cause to mount. In the N.T. only here and Ac 19:35; 23:24, common in LXX. Beast [ktēnos]. Old word from [ktaomai], to acquire, and so property [ktēma] especially cattle or any beast of burden. An inn [pandocheion]. The old Attic form was [pandokeion] (from [pan], all, and [dechomai], to receive). A public place for receiving all comers and a more pretentious caravanserai than a [kataluma] like that in Lu 2:7. Here only in the N.T. There are ruins of two inns about halfway between Bethany and Jericho.

10:35 On the morrow [epi tēn aurion]. Towards the morrow as in Ac 4:5. (Cf. also Ac 3:1). Syriac Sinaitic has it “at dawn of the day.” An unusual use of [epi]. Took out [ekbalōn]. Second aorist active participle of [ekballō]. It could mean, “fling out,” but probably only means “drew out.” Common verb. Two pence [duo dēnaria]. About thirty-five cents, but worth more in purchasing power. To the host [tōi pandochei]. The innkeeper. Here only in the N.T. Whatsoever thou spendest more [hoti an prosdapanēsēis]. Indefinite relative clause with [an] and the aorist active subjunctive of [prosdapanaō], to spend besides [pros], a late verb for the common [prosanaliskō] and here only in the N.T. I will repay [ego apodōsō]. Emphatic. What he had paid was merely by way of pledge. He was a man of his word and known to the innkeeper as reliable. When I come back again [en tōi epanerchesthai me]. Luke’s favourite idiom of [en] and the articular infinitive with accusative of general reference. Double compound verb [epanerchomai].

10:36 Proved neighbour to him that fell [plēsion gegonenai tou empesontos]. Second perfect infinitive of [ginomai] and second aorist active participle of [empiptō]. Objective genitive, became neighbour to the one, etc. Jesus has changed the lawyer’s standpoint and has put it up to him to decide which of “these three” [toutōn tōn triōn], priest, Levite, Samaritan) acted like a neighbour to the wounded man.

10:37 On him [met’ autou]. With him, more exactly. The lawyer saw the point and gave the correct answer, but he gulped at the word “Samaritan” and refused to say that. Do thou [su poiei]. Emphasis on “thou.” Would this Jewish lawyer act the neighbour to a Samaritan? This parable of the Good Samaritan has built the world’s hospitals and, if understood and practised, will remove race prejudice, national hatred and war, class jealousy.

10:38 Now as they went on their way [ēn de tōi poreuesthai autous]. Luke’s favourite temporal clause again as in verse 35. Received him into her house [hupedexato auton eis tēn oikian]. Aorist middle indicative of [hupodechomai], an old verb to welcome as a guest (in the N.T. only here and Lu 19:6; Ac 17:7; Jas 2:25). Martha is clearly the mistress of the home and is probably the elder sister. There is no evidence that she was the wife of Simon the leper (Joh 12:1f.). It is curious that in an old cemetery at Bethany the names of Martha, Eleazar, and Simon have been found.

10:39 Which also sat [hē kai parakathestheisa]. First aorist passive participle of [parakathezomai], an old verb, but only here in the N.T. It means to sit beside [para] and [pros] means right in front of the feet of Jesus. It is not clear what the point is in [kai] here. It may mean that Martha loved to sit here also as well as Mary. Heard [ēkouen]. Imperfect active. She took her seat by the feet of Jesus and went on listening to his talk.

10:40 Was cumbered [periespāto]. Imperfect passive of [perispaō], an old verb with vivid metaphor, to draw around. One has sometimes seen women whose faces are literally drawn round with anxiety, with a permanent twist, distracted in mind and in looks. She came up to him [epistāsa]. Second aorist active participle of [ephistēmi], an old verb to place upon, but in the N.T. only in the middle voice or the intransitive tenses of the active (perfect and second aorist as here). It is the ingressive aorist here and really means. stepping up to or bursting in or upon Jesus. It is an explosive act as is the speech of Martha. Dost thou not care [ou melei soi]. This was a reproach to Jesus for monopolizing Mary to Martha’s hurt. Did leave me [me kateleipen]. Imperfect active, she kept on leaving me. Bid her [eipon autēi]. Late form instead of [eipe], second aorist active imperative, common in the papyri. Martha feels that Jesus is the key to Mary’s help. That she help me [hina moi sunantilabētai]. Sub-final use of [hina] with second aorist middle subjunctive of [sunantilambanomai], a double compound verb [sun], with, [anti], at her end of the line, and [lambanomai], middle voice of [lambanō], to take hold), a late compound appearing in the LXX, Diodorus and Josephus. Deissmann (Light from the Ancient East, p. 87) finds it in many widely scattered inscriptions “throughout the whole extent of the Hellenistic world of the Mediterranean.” It appears only twice in the N.T. (here and Ro 8:26). It is a beautiful word, to take hold oneself (middle voice) at his end of the task [anti] together with [sun] one.

10:41 Art anxious [merimnāis]. An old verb for worry and anxiety from [merizō] [meris], part) to be divided, distracted. Jesus had warned against this in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 6:25,28,31,34. See also Lu 12:11,22,26). And troubled [kai thorubazēi]. From [thorubazomai], a verb found nowhere else so far. Many MSS. here have the usual form [turbazēi], from [turbazō]. Apparently from [thorubos], a common enough word for tumult. Martha had both inward anxiety and outward agitation. But one thing is needful [henos de estin chreia]. This is the reading of A C and may be correct. A few manuscripts have: “There is need of few things.” Aleph B L (and Westcott and Hort) have: “There is need of few things or one,” which seems like a conflate reading though the readings are all old. See Robertson, Introduction to Textual Criticism of the N.T., p. 190. Jesus seems to say to Martha that only one dish was really necessary for the meal instead of the “many” about which she was so anxious.

10:42 The good portion [tēn agathēn merida]. The best dish on the table, fellowship with Jesus. This is the spiritual application of the metaphor of the dishes on the table. Salvation is not “the good portion” for Martha had that also. From her [autēs]. Ablative case after [aphairēthēsetai] (future passive indicative). Jesus pointedly takes Mary’s side against Martha’s fussiness.

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