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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - LUKE 13

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    13:1 {At that very season} (en autwi twi kairwi). Luke's frequent idiom, "at the season itself." Apparently in close connection with the preceding discourses. Probably "were present" (paresan, 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} (hwn to haima peilatos emixen meta twn qusiwn autwn). 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} (hamartwloi para pantas). para means "beside," placed beside all the Galileans, and so beyond or above (with the accusative). {Have suffered} (peponqasin). Second perfect active indicative third plural from pascw, common verb, to experience, suffer. The tense notes that it is "an irrevocable fact" (Bruce).

    13:3 {Except ye repent} (ean me metanoete). Present active subjunctive of metanoew, to change mind and conduct, linear action, keep on changing. Condition of third class, undetermined, but with prospect of determination. {Ye shall perish} (apoleisqe). Future middle indicative of apollumi and intransitive. Common verb.

    13:4 {The tower in Siloam} (ho purgos en silwam). 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} (ofeiletai). 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 me metanoesete). First aorist active subjunctive, immediate repentance in contrast to continued repentance, metanoete in verse #3, though Westcott and Hort put metanoete in the margin here. The interpretation of accidents is a difficult matter, but the moral pointed out by Jesus is obvious.

    13:6 {Planted} (pefuteumenen). Perfect passive participle of futeuw, to plant, an old verb, from futon, a plant, and that from fuw, to grow. But this participle with eicen (imperfect active of ecw) 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 ete af' hou ercomai). 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} (ekkoyon). "Cut it out," the Greek has it, out of the vineyard, perfective use of ek with the effective aorist active imperative of koptw, where we prefer "down." {Why?} (hina ti). Ellipsis here of genetai of which ti is subject (Robertson, _Grammar_, pp. 739,916). {Also} (kai). Besides bearing no fruit. {Doth cumber the ground} (ten gen katargei). Makes the ground completely idle, of no use (kata, argew, 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} (hews hotou skayw). First aorist active subjunctive like balw (second aorist active subjunctive of ballw), both common verbs. {Dung it} (balw kopria). Cast dung around it, manure it. kopria, late word, here alone in the N.T.

    13:9 {And if it bear fruit thenceforth} (k'an men poiesei 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} (en didaskwn). Periphrastic imperfect active.

    13:11 {A spirit of infirmity} (pneuma asqeneias). A spirit that caused the weakness (asqeneias, lack of strength) like a spirit of bondage (#Ro 8:15), genitive case. {She was bowed together} (en sunkuptousa). Periphrastic imperfect active of sunkuptw, 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 me dunamene anakuyai eis to panteles). Negative form of the previous statement. anakuyai, first aorist active infinitive of anakuptw (ana, kuptw, 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} (prosefwnesen). To come to him (pros). {Thou art loosed} (apolelusai). Perfect passive indicative of apoluw, common verb, loosed to stay free. Only N.T. example of use about disease.

    13:13 {He laid his hands upon her} (epeqeken autei tas ceiras). First aorist active indicative of epitiqemi. As the Great Physician with gentle kindness. {She was made straight} (anwrqwqe). First aorist (effective) passive indicative of anorqow, 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 qeon). Imperfect active. Began it (inchoative) and kept it up.

    13:14 {Answered} (apokriqeis). 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 (aganaktwn, from agan and acomai, 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 (twi oclwi). {Ought} (dei). Really, must, necessary, a direct hit at Jesus who had "worked" on the sabbath in healing this old woman. {And not} (kai me). Instead of kai ou, because in the imperative clause.

    13:15 {The Lord answered him} (apekriqe de autwi 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 humwn). 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} (fatnes). Old word, in the N.T. only here and #Lu 2:7,12,16 the manger where the infant Jesus was placed. {To watering} (potizei). Old verb, causative, to give to drink.

    13:16 {Daughter of Abraham} (qugatera abraam). Triple argument, human being and not an ox or ass, woman, daughter of Abraham (Jewess), besides being old and ill. {Ought not} (ouk edei). Imperfect active. Of necessity. Jesus simply had to heal her even if on the sabbath. {Whom Satan bound} (hen edesen ho satanas). Definite statement that her disease was due to Satan.

    13:17 {Were put to shame} (kateiscunonto). Imperfect passive of kataiscunw, old verb, to make ashamed, make one feel ashamed. Passive here, to blush with shame at their predicament. {Rejoiced} (ecairen). 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} (kokkwi sinapews). 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 kepon heautou). Different from "earth" (Mark) or "field" (Matthew.)" kepos, 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 _Koin‚_ though rare in papyri; this use of eis after words like _ginomai_. It is a translation Hebraism in Luke. {Lodged} (kateskenwsen). Mark and Matthew have kataskenoin infinitive of the same verb, to make tent (or nest).

    13:20 {Whereunto shall I liken?} (tini homoiwsw;). 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 ierosoluma). 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 swzomenoi;). Note use of ei as an interrogative which can be explained as ellipsis or as ei=e (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 1024). this was an academic theological problem with the rabbis, the number of the elect.

    13:24 {Strive} (agwnizesqe). Jesus makes short shrift of the question. He includes others (present middle plural of agwnizomai, common verb, our agonize). Originally it was to contend for a prize in the games. The kindred word agwnia 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 (pules) while here it is the entrance to the house, "the narrow door" (quras).

    13:25 {When once} (af' 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 #24) 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, af' hou = apo toutou hote with an and the aorist subjunctive (egerqei and apokleisei). See Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 978. {Hath shut to} (apokleisei), first aorist active subjunctive of apokleiw, 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 arxesqe). First aorist middle subjunctive of arcomai with af' hou an like egerqei and apokleisei. {To stand} (hestanai). Second perfect active infinitive of histemi, intransitive tense {and to knock} (kai krouein). Present active infinitive, to keep on knocking. {Open to us} (anoixon hemin). 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 af' hou clause.

    13:26 {Shall ye begin} (arxesqe). Future middle, though Westcott and Hort put arxesqe (aorist middle subjunctive of arcomai) and in that case a continuation of the af' hou construction. It is a difficult passage and the copyists had trouble with it. {In thy presence} (enwpion sou). As guests or hosts or neighbors 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 poqen 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 ten anomian. But apostete (second aorist active imperative) here, and there apocwreite (present active imperative).

    13:28 {There} (ekei). Out there, outside the house whence they are driven. {When ye shall see} (hotan oyesqe). First aorist middle subjunctive (of a late aorist "psamˆn) of horaw, though oyesqe (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} (humas de ekballomenous exw). 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} (anakliqesontai). 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} (escatoi). this saying was repeated many times (#Mt 19:30; Mr 10:31; Mt 20:16).

    13:31 {In that very hour} (en autei tei hwrai). Luke's favorite notation of time. {Pharisees} (farisaioi). 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} (tei alwpeki tautei). 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 teleiow, 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} (tei ecomenei). See #Ac 20:15. The same as the third day in verse #32. A proverb. {It cannot be} (ouk endecetai). 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 Jerusalem.

    13:34 {O Jerusalem, Jerusalem} (ierousalem, ierousalem). In #Mt 23:37f. Jesus utters a similar mourn 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 mourn 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 episunagw, a double compound of late Greek (Polybius). Both have "How often would I" (posakis eqelesa). 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} (eremos) is wanting in #Lu 13:35 and is doubtful in #Mt 23:39.

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