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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: 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

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

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
(\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
. 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

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
(\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
. Imperfect active. Of necessity. Jesus simply had to heal
her even if on the sabbath. {Whom Sātan bound} (\hēn edēsen ho
. 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
. 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
. 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
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
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

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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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: Chapter 13)