[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: 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
and Pharisees (scribes), a formal delegation from the

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

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
. 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
. 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

20:7 {That they knew not} (\mē eidenai\). Accusative and
infinitive in indirect assertion again with the negative \mē\
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
. 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
. 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 \mē\. 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

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
(\egnōsan gar\). The reason for their rage. Second
aorist active indicative of \ginōskō\. {Against them} (\pros
. 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
. {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

20:27 {There is no resurrection} (\anastasin mē einai\).
Accusative and infinitive with negative \mē\ 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

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
(\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
. 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\,
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
. 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).

[Table of Contents]
[Previous] [Next]
Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: Chapter 20)