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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: Chapter 21)

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

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
. 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
is not to be confused with \anathema\ from the same verb
\anatithēmi\, but which came to mean a curse (Ga 1:8; Ac
. 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
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
(\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
. 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.

21:22 {That may be fulfilled} (\tou plēsthēnai\). Articular
infinitive passive to express purpose with accusative of general
reference. The O.T. has many such warnings (Ho 9:7; De
28:49-57, etc.)

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
. 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

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
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
. This parable of the fig-tree (Mr 13:28-32; Mt
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
. 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
. 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
(\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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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: Chapter 21)