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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: Chapter 5)

5:1 {Pressed upon him} (\epikeisthai\). Luke in this paragraph
(5:1-11; Mr 1:16-20; Mt 4:18-22) does not follow the chronology
of Mark as he usually does. It seems reasonably clear that the
renewed call of the four fishermen came before the first tour of
Galilee in Lu 4:42-44. It is here assumed that Luke is
describing in his own way the incident given in Mark and Matthew
above. Luke singles out Simon in a graphic way. This verb
\epikeisthai\ is an old one and means to \lie upon\, rest upon as
of a stone on the tomb (Joh 11:38) or of fish on the burning
coals (Joh 21:9). So it is used of a tempest (Ac 27:20) and
of the urgent demands for Christ's crucifixion (Lu 23:23). Here
it vividly pictures the eager crowds around Jesus. \En tōi
epikeisthai\ is a favourite idiom with Luke as we have already
seen, \en\ with the articular infinitive in the locative case.
{That} (\kai\). \Kai\ does not technically mean the declarative
conjunction "that," but it is a fair rendering of the somewhat
awkward idiom of Luke to a certain extent imitating the Hebrew
use of _wav_. {Was standing} (\ēn hestōs\). Periphrastic second
past perfect of \histēmi\ which here is equal to a practical
imperfect. {By the lake} (\para tēn limnēn\). The use of the
accusative with \para\, alongside, after a verb of rest used to
be called the pregnant use, came and was standing. But that is no
longer necessary, for the accusative as the case of extension is
the oldest of the cases and in later Greek regains many of the
earlier uses of the other cases employed for more precise
distinctions. See the same idiom in verse 2. We need not here
stress the notion of extension. "With characteristic accuracy
Luke never calls it a sea, while the others never call it a lake"

5:2 {Two boats} (\ploia duo\). Some MSS. have \ploiaria\, little
boats, but \ploia\ was used of boats of various sizes, even of
ships like \nēes\. {The fishermen} (\hoi haleeis\). It is an old
Homeric word that has come back to common use in the _Koinē_. It
means "sea-folk" from \hals\, sea. {Were washing} (\eplunon\).
Imperfect active, though some MSS. have aorist \eplunan\. Vincent
comments on Luke's use of five verbs for washing: this one for
cleaning, \apomassō\ for wiping the dust from one's feet
(10:11), \ekmassō\ of the sinful woman wiping Christ's feet
with her hair (7:38,44), \apolouō\ of washing away sins
(symbolically, of course) as in Ac 22:16, and \louō\ of washing
the body of Dorcas (Ac 9:37) and the stripes of the prisoners
(Ac 16:33). On "nets" see on ¯Mt 4:20; Mr 1:18.

5:3 {To put out a little} (\epanagagein oligon\). Second aorist
infinitive of the double compound verb \ep-an-agō\, found in
Xenophon and late Greek writers generally. Only twice in the N.T.
In Mt 21:18 in the sense of leading back or returning and here
in the sense of leading a ship up upon the sea, to put out to
sea, a nautical term. {Taught} (\edikasken\). Imperfect active,
picturing Jesus teaching from the boat in which he was seated and
so safe from the jam of the crowd. "Christ uses Peter's boat as a
pulpit whence to throw the net of the Gospel over His hearers"

5:4 {Had left speaking} (\epausato lalōn\). He ceased speaking
(aorist middle indicative and present active participle, regular
Greek idiom)
. {Put out into the deep} (\epanagage eis to
. The same double compound verb as in verse 3, only
here second aorist active imperative second person singular. {Let
(\chalasate\). Peter was master of the craft and so he was
addressed first. First aorist active imperative second person
plural. Here the whole crew are addressed. The verb is the
regular nautical term for lowering cargo or boats (Ac
. But it was used for lowering anything from a higher
place (Mr 2:4; Ac 9:25; 2Co 11:33). For a catch (\eis agran\).
This purpose was the startling thing that stirred up Simon.

5:5 {Master} (\epistata\). Used only by Luke in the N.T. and
always in addresses to Christ (8:24,45; 9:33,49; 17:13). Common
in the older writers for superintendent or overseer (one standing
over another)
. This word recognizes Christ's authority. {We
(\kopiasantes\). This verb is from \kopos\ (\work, toil\)
and occurs from Aristophanes on. It used to be said that the
notion of weariness in toil appears only in the LXX and the N.T.
But Deissmann (_Light from the Ancient East_, pp. 312f.) cites
examples from inscriptions on tombstones quite in harmony with
the use in the N.T. Peter's protest calls attention also to the
whole night of fruitless toil. {But at thy word} (\epi de tōi
rhēmati sou\)
. On the base of \epi\. Acquiescence to show his
obedience to Christ as "Master," but with no confidence
whatsoever in the wisdom of this particular command. Besides,
fishing in this lake was Peter's business and he really claimed
superior knowledge on this occasion to that of Jesus.

5:6 {They inclosed} (\sunekleisan\). Effective aorist active
indicative with perfective compound \sun\. {They shut together.
Were breaking}
(\dierēsseto\). Imperfect passive singular
(\diktua\ being neuter plural). This is the late form of the old
verb \diarēgnumi\. The nets were actually tearing in two (\dia-\)
and so they would lose all the fish.

5:7 {They beckoned} (\kateneusan\). Possibly they were too far
away for a call to be understood. Simon alone had been ordered to
put out into the deep. So they used signs. {Unto their partners}
(\tois metechois\). This word \metochos\, from \metechō\, to have
with, means participation with one in common blessings (Heb
3:1,14; 6:4; 12:8)
. While \koinōnos\ (verse 10 here of James
and John also)
has the notion of personal fellowship,
partnership. Both terms are here employed of the two pairs of
brothers who have a business company under Simon's lead. {Help
(\sullabesthai\). Second aorist middle infinitive. Take
hold together with and so to help. Paul uses it in Php 4:3. It
is an old word that was sometimes employed for seizing a prisoner
(Lu 22:54) and for conception (_con-capio_) by a woman (Lu
. {So that they began to sink} (\hōste buthizesthai auta\).
Consecutive use of \hōste\ and the infinitive (present tense,
inchoative use, beginning to sink)
. An old verb from \buthos\. In
the N.T. only here and 1Ti 6:9.

5:8 {Fell down at Jesus' knees} (\prosepesen tois gonasin
. Just like Peter, from extreme self-confidence and pride
(verse 5) to abject humilation. But his impulse here was right
and sincere. His confession was true. He was a sinful man.

5:9 {For he was amazed} (\thambos gar perieschen\). Literally,
{For a wonder held him round}. Aorist active indicative. It held
Peter fast and all the rest.

5:10 {Thou shalt catch men} (\esēi zōgrōn\). Periphrastic future
indicative, emphasizing the linear idea. The old verb \Zōgreō\
means to catch alive, not to kill. So then Peter is to be a
catcher of men, not of fish, and to catch them alive and for
life, not dead and for death. The great Pentecost will one day
prove that Christ's prophecy will come true. Much must happen
before that great day. But Jesus foresees the possibilities in
Simon and he joyfully undertakes the task of making a fisher of
men out of this poor fisher of fish.

5:11 {They left all, and followed him} (\aphentes panta
. Then and there. They had already become his
disciples. Now they leave their business for active service of
Christ. The conduct of this group of business men should make
other business men to pause and see if Jesus is calling them to
do likewise.

5:12 {Behold} (\kai idou\). Quite a Hebraistic idiom, this use of
\kai\ after \egeneto\ (almost like \hoti\) with \idou\
(interjection) and no verb. {Full of leprosy} (\plērēs lepras\).
Mr 1:40 and Mt 8:2 have simply "a leper" which see. Evidently
a bad case full of sores and far advanced as Luke the physician
notes. The law (Le 13:12f.) curiously treated advanced cases as
less unclean than the earlier stages. {Fell on his face} (\pesōn
epi prosōpon\)
. Second aorist active participle of \piptō\,
common verb. Mr 1:40 has "kneeling" (\gonupetōn\) and Mt 8:40
"worshipped" (\prosekunei\). All three attitudes were possible
one after the other. All three Synoptics quote the identical
language of the leper and the identical answer of Jesus. His
condition of the third class turned on the "will" (\thelēis\) of
Jesus who at once asserts his will (\thēlō\) and cleanses him.
All three likewise mention the touch (\hēpsato\, verse 13) of
Christ's hand on the unclean leper and the instantaneous cure.

5:14 {To tell no man} (\mēdeni eipein\). This is an indirect
command after the verb "charged" (\parēggeilen\). But Luke
changes (_constructio variata_) to the direct quotation, a common
idiom in Greek and often in Luke (Ac 1:4f.). Here in the direct
form he follows Mr 1:43; Mt 8:4. See discussion there about the
direction to go to the priest to receive a certificate showing
his cleansing, like our release from quarantine (Le 13:39;
. {For a testimony unto them} (\eis marturion autois\).
The use of \autois\ (them) here is "according to sense," as we
say, for it has no antecedent in the context, just to people in
general. But this identical phrase with absence of direct
reference occurs in Mark and Matthew, pretty good proof of the
use of one by the other. Both Mt 8:4; Lu 5:14 follow Mr 1:44.

5:15 {So much the more} (\māllon\). Mr 1:45 has only "much"
(\polla\, many), but Mark tells more about the effect of this
disobedience. {Went abroad} (\diērcheto\). Imperfect tense. The
fame of Jesus kept going. {Came together} (\sunērchonto\).
Imperfect tense again. The more the report spread, the more the
crowds came.

5:16 {But he withdrew himself in the deserts and prayed} (\autos
de ēn hupochōrōn en tais erēmois kai proseuchomenos\)
Periphrastic imperfects. Literally, "But he himself was with
drawing in the desert places and praying." The more the crowds
came as a result of the leper's story, the more Jesus turned away
from them to the desert regions and prayed with the Father. It is
a picture of Jesus drawn with vivid power. The wild enthusiasm of
the crowds was running ahead of their comprehension of Christ and
his mission and message. \Hupochōreō\ (perhaps with the notion of
slipping away secretly, \hupo-\)
is a very common Greek verb, but
in the N.T. occurs in Luke alone. Elsewhere in the N.T.
\anachōreō\ (to go back) appears.

5:17 {That} (\kai\). Use of \kai\ = \hoti\ (that) like the Hebrew
_wav_, though found in Greek also. {He} (\autos\). Luke sometimes
has \autos\ in the nominative as unemphatic "he" as here, not "he
himself." {Was teaching} (\ēn didaskōn\). Periphrastic imperfect
again like our English idiom. {Were sitting by} (\ēsan
. Periphrastic imperfect again. There is no "by" in
the Greek. {Doctors of the law} (\nomodidaskaloi\). A compound
word formed after analogy of \hierodidaskalos\, but not found
outside of the N.T. and ecclesiastical writers, one of the very
few words apparently N.T. in usage. It appears here and Ac 5:34;
1Ti 1:7. It is not likely that Luke and Paul made the word, but
they simply used the term already in current use to describe
teachers and interpreters of the law. Our word "doctor" is Latin
for "teacher." These "teachers of the law" are called elsewhere
in the Gospels "scribes" (\grammateis\) as in Matthew and Mark
(see on ¯Mt 5:20; 23:34) and Lu 5:21; 19:47; 21:1; 22:2. Luke
also employs \nomikos\ (one skilled in the law, \nomos\) as in
10:25. One thinks of our LL.D. (Doctors of Civil and Canon
, for both were combined in Jewish law. They were usually
Pharisees (mentioned here for the first time in Luke) for which
see on ¯Mt 3:7,20. Luke will often speak of the Pharisees
hereafter. Not all the "Pharisees" were "teachers of the law" so
that both terms often occur together as in verse 21 where Luke
has separate articles (\hoi grammateis kai hoi Pharisaioi\),
distinguishing between them, though one article may occur as in
Mt 5:20 or no article as here in verse 17. Luke alone
mentions the presence here of these Pharisees and doctors of the
law "which were come" (\hoi ēsan elēluthotes\, periphrastic past
perfect active, {had come})
. {Out of every village of Galilee and
Judea and Jerusalem}
(\ek pasēs kōmēs tēs Galilaias kai Ioudaias
kai Ierousalēm\)
. Edersheim (_Jewish Social Life_) observes that
the Jews distinguished Jerusalem as a separate district in Judea.
Plummer considers it hyperbole in Luke to use "every village."
But one must recall that Jesus had already made one tour of
Galilee which stirred the Pharisees and rabbis to active
opposition. Judea had already been aroused and Jerusalem was the
headquarters of the definite campaign now organized against
Jesus. One must bear in mind that Joh 4:1-4 shows that Jesus
had already left Jerusalem and Judea because of the jealousy of
the Pharisees. They are here on purpose to find fault and to make
charges against Jesus. One must not forget that there were many
kinds of Pharisees and that not all of them were as bad as these
legalistic and punctilious hypocrites who deserved the indictment
and exposure of Christ in Mt 23. Paul himself is a specimen of
the finer type of Pharisee which, however, developed into the
persecuting fanatic till Jesus changed his whole life. {The power
of the Lord was with him to heal}
(\dunamis Kuriou ēn eis to
iāsthai auton\)
. So the best texts. It is neat Greek, but awkward
English: "Then was the power of the Lord for the healing as to
him (Jesus)." Here \Kuriou\ refers to Jehovah. {Dunamis}
(dynamite) is one of the common words for "miracles"
(\dunameis\). What Luke means is that Jesus had the power of the
Lord God to heal with. He does not mean that this power was
intermittent. He simply calls attention to its presence with
Jesus on this occasion.

5:18 {That was palsied} (\hos ēn paralelumenos\). Periphrastic
past perfect passive where Mr 2:3; Mt 9:2 have \paralutikon\
(our paralytic). Luke's phrase is the technical medical term
(Hippocrates, Galen, etc.) rather than Mark's vernacular word
(Ramsay, _Luke the Physician_, pp. 57f.). {They sought}
(\ezētoun\). Conative imperfect.

5:19 {By what way they might bring him in} (\poias eis enegkōsin
. Deliberative subjunctive of the direct question retained
in the indirect. {The housetop} (\to dōma\). Very old word. The
flat roof of Jewish houses was usually reached by outside
stairway. Cf. Ac 10:9 where Peter went for meditation. {Through
the tiles}
(\dia tōn keramōn\). Common and old word for the tile
roof. Mr 2:4 speaks of digging a hole in this tile roof. {Let
him down}
(\kathēkan auton\). First aorist (k aorist) effective
active of \kathiēmi\, common verb. Mr 2:4 has historical
present \chalōsi\, the verb used by Jesus to Peter and in Peter's
reply (Lu 5:4f.). {With his couch} (\sun tōi klinidiōi\). Also
in verse 24. Diminutive of \klinē\ (verse 18) occurring in
Plutarch and _Koinē_ writers. Mr 2:4 has \krabatton\ (pallet).
It doubtless was a pallet on which the paralytic lay. {Into the
midst before Jesus}
(\eis to meson emprosthen tou Iēsou\). The
four friends had succeeded, probably each holding a rope to a
corner of the pallet. It was a moment of triumph over
difficulties and surprise to all in the house (Peter's
apparently, Mr 2:1)

5:20 {Their faith} (\tēn pistin autōn\). In all three Gospels.
{Man} (\anthrōpe\). Mark and Matthew have "child" or "Son"
(\teknon\). Are forgiven (\apheōntai\). This Doric form of the
perfect passive indicative is for the Attic \apheintai\. It
appears also in Lu 5:23; 7:47,48; Joh 20:23; 1Jo 2:12. Mr 2:6;
Mt 9:2 have the present passive \aphientai\. Possibly this man's
malady was due to his sin as is sometimes true (Joh 5:14). The
man had faith along with that of the four, but he was still a
paralytic when Jesus forgave his sins.

5:21 {But God alone} (\ei mē monos ho theos\). Mark has \heis\
(one) instead of \monos\ (alone).

5:22 {Perceiving} (\epignous\). Same form (second aorist active
participle of \epiginōskō\, common verb for knowing fully)
in Mr
2:8. {Reason ye} (\dialogizesthe\) as in Mr 2:8. Mt 9:4 has

5:24 {He saith unto him that was palsied} (\eipen tōi
. This same parenthesis right in the midst of the
words of Jesus is in Mr 2:11; Mt 9:6, conclusive proof of
interrelation between these documents. The words of Jesus are
quoted practically alike in all three Gospels, the same purpose
also \hina eidēte\ (second perfect active subjunctive).

5:25 {Whereon he lay} (\eph' ho katekeito\). Imperfect, upon
which he had been lying down. Luke uses this phrase instead of
repeating \klinidion\ (verse 24). {Glorifying God} (\doxazōn
ton theon\)
. As one can well imagine.

5:26 {Amazement} (\ekstasis\). Something out of its place, as the
mind. Here the people were almost beside themselves as we say
with the same idiom. See on ¯Mr 5:42. So they kept glorifying
God (imperfect tense, \edoxazon\) and at the same time "were
filled with fear" (\eplēsthēsan phobou\, aorist passive).
{Strange things} (\paradoxa\). Our very word paradox, contrary to
(\para\) received opinion (\doxa\). Plato, Xenophon, and Polybius
use it. Here alone in the N.T.

5:27 {A publican named Levi} (\telōnen onomati Leuein\). Mr
2:13 has also "The son of Alphaeus" while Mt 9:9 calls him
"Matthew." He had, of course, both names. All three use the same
words (\epi to telōnion\) for the place of toll. See discussion
of {publican} (\telōnēs\) on Mt 9:9. All three Gospels give the
command of Jesus, {Follow me} (\akolouthei\).

5:28 {He forsook all} (\katalipōn panta\). This detail in Luke
alone. He left his profitable business for the service of Christ.
{Followed him} (\ēkolouthei autōi\). Imperfect active, perhaps
inchoative. He began at once to follow him and he kept it up.
Both Mr 2:14; Mt 9:9 have the aorist (\ēkolouthēsen\), perhaps

5:29 {A great feast} (\dochēn megalēn\). Here and in Lu 14:13
only in the N.T. The word \dochē\, from \dechomai\, means
reception. Occurs in Plutarch and LXX. Levi made Jesus a big
reception. {Publicans and others} (\telōnōn kai allōn\). Luke
declines here to use "sinners" like Mr 2:15 and Mt 9:10
though he does so in verse 30 and in 15:1. None but social
outcasts would eat with publicans at such a feast or barbecue,
for it was a very large affair. {Were sitting at meat with them}
(\ēsan met' autōn katakeimenoi\). Literally, were reclining with
them (Jesus and the disciples). It was a motley crew that Levi
had brought together, but he showed courage as well as loyalty to

5:30 {The Pharisees and their scribes} (\hoi Pharisaioi kai hoi
grammateis autōn\)
. Note article with each substantive and the
order, not "scribes and Pharisees," but "the Pharisees and the
scribes of them" (the Pharisees). Some manuscripts omit "their,"
but Mr 2:16 (the scribes of the Pharisees) shows that it is
correct here. Some of the scribes were Sadducees. It is only the
Pharisees who find fault here. {Murmured} (\egogguzon\).
Imperfect active. Picturesque onomatopoetic word that sounds like
its meaning. A late word used of the cooing of doves. It is like
the buzzing of bees, like \tonthorruzō\ of literary Greek. They
were not invited to this feast and would not have come if they
had been. But, not being invited, they hang on the outside and
criticize the disciples of Jesus for being there. The crowd was
so large that the feast may have been served out in the open
court at Levi's house, a sort of reclining garden party. {The
publicans and sinners}
(\tōn telōnōn kai hamartōlōn\). Here Luke
is quoting the criticism of the critics. Note one article making
one group of all of them.

5:31 {They that are whole} (\hoi hugiainontes\). Old Greek word
for good health from \hugiēs\, sound in body. So also in Lu
7:10; 15:27; 3Jo 1:2. This is the usual word for good health
used by Greek medical writers. Mr 2:17; Mt 9:12 have \hoi
ischuontes\ (those who have strength).

5:32 {To repentance} (\eis metanoian\). Alone in Luke not genuine
in Mr 2:17; Mt 9:12. Only sinners would need a call to
repentance, a change of mind and life. For the moment Jesus
accepts the Pharisaic division between "righteous" and "sinners"
to score them and to answer their criticism. At the other times
he will show that they only pretend to be "righteous" and are
"hypocrites" in reality. But Jesus has here blazed the path for
all soul-winners. The self-satisfied are the hard ones to win and
they often resent efforts to win them to Christ.

5:33 {Often} (\pukna\). Only in Luke. Common word for thick,
compact, often. {And make supplications} (\kai deēseis
. Only in Luke. {But thine} (\hoi de soi\). Sharp
contrast between the conduct of the disciples of Jesus and those
of John and the Pharisees who here appear together as critics of
Christ and his disciples (Mr 2:18; Mt 9:14), though Luke does
not bring that out sharply. It is probable that Levi had his
reception for Jesus on one of the Jewish fast days and, if so,
this would give special edge to their criticism.

5:34 {Can ye} (\mē dunasthe\). So Luke, adding {make}, \poiēsai\,
where Mark and Matthew have \mē dunantai\. All three have \mē\
and expect the answer no.

5:35 {Then in those days} (\tote en ekeinais tais hēmerais\).
Here Mr 2:20 has "then in that day," and Mt 9:15 only "then."

5:36 {Also a parable} (\kai parabolēn\). There are three parables
here in the answer of Jesus (the bridegroom, the patch on the
garment, the wineskin)
. They are not called parables save here,
but they are parables and Luke's language means that. {Rendeth}
(\schisas\). This in Luke alone. Common verb. Used of splitting
rocks (Mt 27:51). Our word schism comes from it. {Putteth it}
(\epiballei\). So Mt 9:16 when Mr 2:21 has \epiraptei\ (sews
. The word for "piece" or "patch" (\epiblēma\) in all the
three Gospels is from the verb \epiballō\, to clap on, and is in
Plutarch, Arrian, LXX, though the verb is as old as Homer. See on
Matthew and Mark for distinction between \kainos\ (fresh), \neos\
(new), and \palaios\ (old). {He will rend the new} (\kai to
kainon schisei\)
. Future active indicative. So the best MSS.
{Will not agree} (\ou sumphōnēsei\). Future active indicative. So
the best manuscripts again. {With the old} (\tōi palaiōi\).
Associative instrumental case. Instead of this phrase in Luke,
Mr 2:21; Mt 9:16 have "a worse rent" (\cheiron schisma\).

5:38 {Must be put} (\blēteon\). This verbal adjective in \-teos\
rather than \-tos\ appears here alone in the N.T. though it is
common enough in Attic Greek. It is a survival of the literary
style. This is the impersonal use and is transitive in sense here
and governs the accusative "new wine" (\oinon neon\), though the
agent is not expressed (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1097).

5:39 {The old is good} (\Ho palaios chrēstos estin\). So the best
MSS. rather that \chrēstoteros\, comparative (better). Westcott
and Hort wrongly bracket the whole verse, though occurring in
Aleph, B C L and most of the old documents. It is absent in D and
some of the old Latin MSS. It is the philosophy of the
obscurantist, that is here pictured by Christ. "The prejudiced
person will not even try the new, or admit that it has any
merits. He knows that the old is pleasant, and suits him; and
that is enough; he is not going to change" (Plummer). This is
Christ's picture of the reactionary Pharisees.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Luke: Chapter 5)