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Chapter 20

20:1 On one of the days [en miāi tōn hēmerōn]. Luke’s favourite way of indicating time. It was the last day of the temple teaching (Tuesday). Lu 20:1-19 is to be compared with Mr 11:27-12:12; Mt 21:23-46. There came upon him [epestēsan]. Second aorist active indicative, ingressive aorist of [ephistēmi], old and common verb, stood up against him, with the notion of sudden appearance. These leaders (cf. 19:47) had determined to attack Jesus on this morning, both Sadducees (chief priests) and Pharisees (scribes), a formal delegation from the Sanhedrin.

20:2 Tell us [eipon hēmin]. Luke adds these words to what Mark and Matthew have. Second aorist active imperative for the old form [eipe] and with ending [-on] of the first aorist active. Westcott and Hort punctuate the rest of the sentence as an indirect question after [eipon], but the Revised Version puts a semicolon after “us” and retains the direct question. The Greek manuscripts have no punctuation.

20:3 Question [logon]. Literally, word. So in Mr 11:29; Mt 21:24.

20:5 They reasoned with themselves [sunelogisanto]. First aorist middle of [sullogizomai], to bring together accounts, an old word, only here in the N.T. Mark and Matthew have [dielogizonto] (imperfect middle of [dialogizomai], a kindred verb, to reckon between one another, confer). This form [dielogizonto] in verse 14 below. If we shall say [ean eipōmen]. Third-class condition with second aorist active subjunctive. Suppose we say! So in verse 6.

20:6 Will stone us [katalithasei]. Late verb and here only in the N.T. Literally, will throw stones down on us, stone us down, overwhelm us with stones. They be persuaded [pepeismenos estin]. Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of [peithō], to persuade, a settled state of persuasion, “is persuaded” (no reason for use of “be” here). That John was a prophet [Iōanēn prophētēn einai]. Accusative and infinitive in indirect assertion.

20:7 That they knew not [mē eidenai]. Accusative and infinitive in indirect assertion again with the negative [] rather than [ou].

20:9 Vineyard [ampelōna]. Late word from [ampelos] (vine), place of vines. So in Mr 12:1; Mt 21:33. Let it out [exedeto]. Second aorist middle of [ekdidōmi], but with variable vowel [e] in place of [o] of the stem [do] [exedoto]. Same form in Mark and Matthew. For a long time [chronous hikanous]. Accusative of extent of time, considerable times or periods of time. Not in Mark and Matthew, though all three have [apedēmēsen] (went off from home). See on Lu 7:6 for [hikanos].

20:10 At the season [kairōi]. The definite season for the fruit like [ho kairos tōn karpōn] (Mt 21:34). That they should give [hina dōsousin]. Future indicative with [hina] for purpose like the aorist subjunctive, though not so frequent.

20:11 He sent yet another [prosetheto heteron pempsai]. Literally, he added to send another. A clear Hebraism repeated in verse 12 and also in 19:11.

20:12 They wounded [traumatisantes]. First aorist active participle of [traumatizō]. An old verb, from [trauma], a wound, but in the N.T. only here and Ac 19:16.

20:13 What shall I do? [Ti poiēsō;]. Deliberative future indicative or aorist subjunctive (same form). This detail only in Luke. Note the variations in all three Gospels. All three have “will reverence” [entrapēsontai] for which see Matthew and Mark. It may be [isōs]. Perhaps, from [isos], equal. Old adverb, but only here in the N.T.

20:14 That the inheritance may be ours [hina hēmōn genētai hē klēronomia]. That the inheritance may become [genētai], second aorist middle subjunctive of [ginomai]. Here Mt 21:39 has [schōmen] “let us get, ingressive aorist active subjunctive.” Cf. [echōmen], present subjunctive of the same verb [echō] in Ro 5:1; Mr 12:7 has “and it will be ours” [estai].

20:16 God forbid [mē genoito]. Optative of wish about the future with []. Literally, may it not happen. No word “God” in the Greek. This was the pious protest of the defeated members of the Sanhedrin who began to see the turn of the parable against themselves.

20:17 He looked upon them [emblepsas autois]. Not in Mark and Matthew. First aorist active participle of [emblepō], to look on. It was a piercing glance. The scripture quoted is from Ps 118:22 and is in Mr 11:10; Mt 21:42, which see for the inverted attraction of the case [lithon] (stone) to that of the relative [hon] (which).

20:18 Shall be broken to pieces [sunthlasthēsetai]. Future passive indicative of [sunthlaō], a rather late compound, only here in the N.T. unless Mt 21:44 is genuine. It means to shatter. Will scatter him as dust [likmēsei]. From [likmaō], an old verb to winnow and then to grind to powder. Only here in the N.T. unless in Mt 21:44 is genuine, which see.

20:19 To lay hands on him [epibalein ep’ auton tas cheiras]. Second aorist active infinitive of [epiballō], an old verb and either transitively as here or intransitively as in Mr 4:37. Vivid picture here where Mr 12:12; Mt 21:46 has “to seize” [kratēsai]. In that very hour [en autēi tēi hōrāi]. Luke’s favourite idiom, in the hour itself. Not in Mark or Matthew and shows that the Sanhedrin were angry enough to force the climax then. And they feared [kai ephobēthēsan]. Adversative use of [kai] = but they feared. Hence they refrained. For they perceived [egnōsan gar]. The reason for their rage. Second aorist active indicative of [ginōskō]. Against them [pros autous]. As in Mr 12:12. The cap fitted them and they saw it.

20:20 They watched him [paratērēsantes]. First aorist active participle of [paratēreō], a common Greek verb to watch on the side or insidiously or with evil intent as in Lu 6:7 [paretērounto] of the scribes and Pharisees. See on Mr 3:2. There is no “him” in the Greek. They were watching their chance. Spies [enkathetous]. An old verbal adjective from [enkathiēmi], to send down in or secretly. It means liers in wait who are suborned to spy out, one who is hired to trap one by crafty words. Only here in the N.T. Feigned themselves [hupokrinomenous heautous]. Hypocritically professing to be “righteous” [dikaious]. “They posed as scrupulous persons with a difficulty of conscience” (Plummer). That they might take hold of his speech [hina epilabōntai autou logou]. Second aorist middle of [epilambanō], an old verb for seizing hold with the hands and uses as here the genitive case. These spies are for the purpose of [hina] catching hold of the talk of Jesus if they can get a grip anywhere. This is their direct purpose and the ultimate purpose or result is also stated, “so as to deliver him up” [hōste paradounai auton]. Second aorist active infinitive of [paradidōmi], to hand over, to give from one’s side to another. The trap is all set now and ready to be sprung by these “spies.” Of the governor [tou hēgemonos]. The Sanhedrin knew that Pilate would have to condemn Jesus if he were put to death. So then all their plans focus on this point as the goal. Luke alone mentions this item here.

20:21 Rightly [orthōs]. Matthew (Mt 22:16) notes that these “spies” were “disciples” (students) of the Pharisees and Mark (Mr 12:13) adds that the Herodians are also involved in the plot. These bright theologues are full of palaver and flattery and openly endorse the teaching of Jesus as part of their scheme. Acceptest not the person of any [ou lambaneis prosōpon]. Dost not take the face (or personal appearance) as the test. It is a Hebraism from which the word [prosōpolempsia] (Jas 2:1) comes. Originally it meant to lift the face, to lift the countenance, to regard the face, to accept the face value. See Mr 12:13-17; Mt 22:15-22 for discussion of details here. They both have [blepeis] here.

20:22 Tribute [phoron]. Old word for the annual tax on land, houses, etc. Mark and Matthew have [kēnson], which see for this Latin word in Greek letters. The picture on the coin may have been that of Tiberius.

20:23 Perceived [katanoēsas]. From [katanoeō], to put the mind down on. Mark has [eidōs], “knowing,” and Matthew [gnous], coming to know or grasping (second aorist active participle of [ginōskō]. Craftiness [panourgian]. Old word for doing any deed. Matthew has “wickedness” [ponērian] and Mark “hypocrisy” [hupokrisin]. Unscrupulous they certainly were. They would stoop to any trick and go the limit.

20:26 They were not able [ouk ischusan]. They did not have strength. An old verb [ischuō] from [ischus] (strength). They failed “to take hold (cf. verse 20) of the saying before the people.” These “crack” students had made an ignominious failure and were not able to make a case for the surrender of Jesus to Pilate. He had slipped through their net with the utmost ease. Held their peace [esigēsan]. Ingressive aorist active of [sigaō]. They became silent as they went back with the “dry grins.”

20:27 There is no resurrection [anastasin mē einai]. Accusative and infinitive with negative [] in indirect assertion. The Sadducees rally after the complete discomfiture of the Pharisees and Herodians. They had a stock conundrum with which they had often gotten a laugh on the Pharisees. So they volunteer to try it on Jesus. For discussion of details here see on Mt 22:23-33; Mr 12:18-27. Only a few striking items remain for Luke.

20:33 Had her [eschon]. Constative second aorist indicative of [echō] including all seven seriatim. So Mt 22:28; Mr 12:33 To wife [gunaika]. As wife, accusative in apposition with “her.”

20:36 Equal unto the angels [isaggeloi]. A rare and late word from [isos], equal, and [aggelos]. Only here in the N.T. Mark and Matthew have “as angels” [hōs aggeloi]. Angels do not marry, there is no marriage in heaven. Sons of God, being sons of the resurrection [huioi theou tēs anastaseōs huioi ontes]. This Hebraistic phrase, “sons of the resurrection” defines “sons of God” and is a direct answer to the Sadducees.

20:37 Even Moses [kai Mōusēs]. Moses was used by the Sadducees to support their denial of the resurrection. This passage (Ex 3:6) Jesus skilfully uses as a proof of the resurrection. See discussion on Mt 22:32; Mr 12:26f.

20:39 Certain of the scribes [tines tōn grammateōn]. Pharisees who greatly enjoyed this use by Jesus of a portion of the Pentateuch against the position of the Sadducees. So they praise the reply of Jesus, hostile though they are to him.

20:40 They durst not any more [ouketi etolmōn ouden]. Double negative and imperfect active of [tolmaō]. The courage of Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians vanished.

20:41 How say they? [Pōs legousin;]. The Pharisees had rallied in glee and one of their number, a lawyer, had made a feeble contribution to the controversy which resulted in his agreement with Jesus and in praise from Jesus (Mr 12:28-34; Mt 27:34-40). Luke does not give this incident which makes it plain that by “they say” [legousin] Jesus refers to the Pharisees (rabbis, lawyers), carrying on the discussion and turning the tables on them while the Pharisees are still gathered together (Mt 22:41). The construction with [legousin] is the usual infinitive and the accusative in indirect discourse. By “the Christ” [ton Christon] “the Messiah” is meant.

20:42 For David himself [autos gar Daueid]. This language of Jesus clearly means that he treats David as the author of Ps 110). The inspiration of this Psalm is expressly stated in Mr 12:36; Mt 22:43 (which see) and the Messianic character of the Psalm in all three Synoptics who all quote the LXX practically alike. Modern criticism that denies the Davidic authorship of this Psalm has to say either that Jesus was ignorant of the fact about it or that he declined to disturb the current acceptation of the Davidic authorship. Certainly modern scholars are not agreed on the authorship of Ps 110). Meanwhile one can certainly be excused for accepting the natural implication of the words of Jesus here, “David himself.” In the book of the Psalms [en biblōi Psalmōn]. Compare 3:4 “in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet.”

20:44 David therefore [Daueid oun]. Without [ei] as in Mt 22:45. On the basis of this definite piece of exegesis [oun], therefore) Jesus presses the problem [pōs], how) for an explanation. The deity and the humanity of the Messiah in Ps 110 are thus set forth, the very problems that disturbed the rabbis then and that upset many critics today.

20:45 In the hearing of all the people [akouontos pantos tou laou]. Genitive absolute, “while all the people were listening” (present active participle). That is the time to speak. The details in this verse and verse 47 are precisely those given in Mr 12:38f., which see for discussion of details. Mt 23:1-39 has a very full and rich description of this last phase of the debate in the temple where Jesus drew a full-length portrait of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and scribes in their presence. It was a solemn climax to this last public appearance of Christ in the temple when Jesus poured out the vials of his indignation as he had done before (Mt 16:2; Lu 11:37-54; 12-1.

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