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Bible Commentaries

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 24

 

 

Verse 1

Luke 24:1. τῇ δὲ μ. τ. σ.: the δὲ answers to the μὲν in the preceding clause (Luke 23:56) and carries the story on without any break. The T.R. properly prints the clause introduced by τῇ δὲ as part of the sentence beginning with καὶ τὸ μὲν, dividing the two clauses by a comma.— ὄρθρου βαθέως ( βαθέος, T. R., a correction), at deep dawn = very early. βαθέως is either an adverb or an unusual form of the genitive of βαθύς. This adjective is frequently used in reference to time. Thus Philo says that the Israelites crossed the Red Sea περὶ βαθὺν ὄρθρον. The end of the dawn was called ὄρθρος ἔσχατος, as in the line of Theocritus: ὄρνιχες τρίτον ἄρτι τὸν ἔσχατον ὄρθρον ἄειδον (Idyll xxiv., v., 63).— ἀρώματα: the μύρα omitted for brevity.


Verses 1-11

Luke 24:1-11. The women at the tomb (Matthew 28:1-10, Mark 16:1-8).


Verse 2

Luke 24:2. τὸν λίθον, the stone, not previously mentioned by Lk., as in Mt. and Mk.; nor does he (as in Mk.) ascribe to the women any solicitude as to its removal: enough for him that they found it rolled away.


Verse 3

Luke 24:3. εἰσελθοῦσαι δὲ: this is obviously a better reading than καὶ εἰσ. (T.R.), which implies that they found what they expected, whereas the empty grave was a surprise.


Verse 4

Luke 24:4. ἄνδρες, two men in appearance, but with angelic raiment ( ἐν ἐσθῆτι ἀστραπτούσῃ).


Verse 5

Luke 24:5. ἐμφόβων, fear-stricken, from ἔμφοβος, chiefly in late writers, for ἐν φόβῳ εἶναι. Vide Hermann, ad Viger., p. 607.— τὸν ζῶντα, the living one, simply pointing to the fact that Jesus was risen: no longer among the dead.— μετὰ τῶν νεκρῶν, among the dead. The use of μετὰ in the sense of among, with the genitive, is common in Greek authors, as in Pindar’s line (Pytkia, v., 127): μάκαρ μὲν ἀνδρῶν μέτα ἔναιεν. Wolf mentions certain scholars who suggested that μετὰ τ. νεκρῶν should be rendered “with the things for the dead,” i.e., the spices and mortuaria. But of this sense no example has been cited.


Verse 6

Luke 24:6. μνήσθητε, etc.: the reference is to what Jesus told the disciples in the neighbourhood of Caesarea Philippi (9). There is no indication elsewhere that women were present on that occasion.— ὡς: not merely “that,” but “how,” in what terms.— ἐν τῇ γαλιλαίᾳ: this reference to Galilee suggests that Lk. was aware of another reference to Galilee as the place of rendezvous for the meeting between the disciples and their risen Master (Matthew 26:32, Mark 14:28, to which there is nothing corresponding in Lk.).


Verse 7

Luke 24:7. τὸν υἱὸν τ. .: standing before ὅτι δεῖ may be taken as an accusative of reference = saying as to the Son of Man that, etc.— ἀνθρώπων ἁμαρτωλῶν, sinful men, not necessarily Gentiles only (Meyer, J. Weiss, etc.), but men generally (Hahn) Jesus actually expressed Himself in much more definite terms.


Verse 9

Luke 24:9. ἀπήγγειλαν, etc.: cf. the statement in Mark 16:8, according to which the women said nothing to any person.


Verse 10

Verse 11

Luke 24:11. ἐφάνησαν: plural with a neuter pl. nom. ( τὰ ῥήματα), denoting things without life (vide John 19:31), because the “words,” reports, are thought of in their separateness (vide Winer, § lviii., 3 a).— λῆρος: here only in N.T. = idle talk, not to be taken seriously.


Verse 12

Luke 24:12. Peter runs to the sepulchre. This verse, omitted in (202) and some copies of the old Latin version, is regarded by some as an interpolation. For Rohrbach’s theory vide notes on the appendix to Mark’s Gospel (Luke 16:9-20).— ἀναστὰς, rising up, suggesting prompt action, like the man; as if after all he at last thought there might be something in the women’s story.— παρακύψας may mean: stooping down so as to look in, but in many passages in which the verb is used the idea of stooping is not suggested, but rather that of taking a stolen hasty glance with outstretched neck. Kypke gives as its meaning in profane writers exserto capite prospicere (examples there). Field (Ot. Nor.) quotes with approval these words of Casaubon against Baronius (p. 693): “Male etiam probat humilitatem sepulchri ex eo quod dicitur Joannes se inclinasse; nam Graeca veritas habet παρακύψαι, quod sive de fenestra sumatur sive de janua, nullam inclinationem corporis designat, qualem sibi finxit B., sed protensionem colli potius cum modica corporis incurvatione”.— μόνα, alone, without the body.— πρὸς ἑαυτὸν (or αὑτὸν): most connect this with ἀπῆλθεν = went away to his home, as in John 20:10 ( πρὸς τὴν ἑαυτοῦ διαγωγήν, Euthy. Zig.). The Vulgate connects with θαυμάζων = secum mirans, and is followed by not a few, including Theophyl. and Grotius; Wolf also, who lays stress on the fact that the ancient versions except the Coptic so render.— θαυμάζων, wondering; for, remarks Euthy., he knew that the body had not been carried off, for then the clothes would have been carried off also.


Verse 13

Luke 24:13 ff. δύο ἐξ αὐτῶν, two of them. The reference ought naturally to be to the last-named subject, the Apostles (Luke 24:10); yet they were evidently not Apostles. Hence it is inferred that the reference is to τοῖς λοιποῖς in Luke 24:9. Feine (also J. Weiss) thinks the story had been originally given in a different connection.— εμμαούς: now generally identified with Kalonieh, the Emmaus of Josephus, B. J., vii. 6, 6, lying to the north-west of Jerusalem (vide Schürer, Div. I., vol. ii., p. 253, note 138, and Furrer, Wanderungen, pp. 168–9).


Verses 13-35

Luke 24:13-35. On the way to Emmaus: in Lk. only, and one of the most beautiful and felicitous narratives in his Gospel, taken, according to J. Weiss (in Meyer), from Feine’s precanonical Luke. Feine, after Holtzmann, remarks on the affinities in style and religious tone between it and Luke 1, 2.


Verse 15

Luke 24:15. συζητεῖν. This word, added to ὁμιλεῖν to describe the converse of the two disciples, suggests lively discussion, perhaps accompanied by some heat. One might be sceptical, the other more inclined to believe the story of the resurrection.


Verse 16

Luke 24:16. ἐκρατοῦντο, their eyes were held, from recognising Him (here only in this sense). Instances of the use of the verb in this sense in reference to the bodily organs are given by Kypke. It is not necessary, with Meyer, to suppose any special Divine action or purpose to prevent knowledge of Jesus.


Verse 17

Luke 24:17. ἀντιβάλλετε: an expressive word (here only in N.T.), confirming the impression of animated and even heated conversation made by συζητεῖν. It points to an exchange of words, not simply, but with a certain measure of excitement. As Pricaeus expresses it: “fervidius aliquanto et commotius, ut fieri amat ubi de rebus noves mirisque disserentes nullamque expediendi nos viam invenientes, altercamur”. The question of the stranger quietly put to the two wayfarers is not without a touch of kindly humour.— καὶ ἐστάθησαν, σκυθρωποί: this well-attested reading gives a good graphic sense = “they stood still, looking sad” (R. V(203)). A natural attitude during the first moments of surprise at the interruption of their talk by an unknown person, and in a puzzling tone.


Verse 18

Luke 24:18. ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ: at last after recovering from surprise one of them, Cleopas, finds his tongue, and explains fully the subject of their conversation.— σὺ μόνος, etc.: he begins by expressing his surprise that the stranger should need to be told. What could they be talking about but the one supreme topic of the hour? The verb παροικεῖς might mean: live near, and the point of the question be: dost thou live near Jerusalem (in the neighbourhood of Emmaus, a few miles distant), and not know, etc. So Grotius, Rosenmüller, Bleek, etc. The usual meaning of the verb in Sept(204) and N.T. (Hebrews 11:9) is to sojourn as a stranger, and most take it in that sense here = art thou a stranger sojourning in Jerusalem (at passover time), and therefore ignorant? The μόνος implies isolation over and above being a stranger. There were many strangers in Jerusalem at passover season; the two friends might be among them; but even visitors from Galilee and other places knew all about what had happened = do you live alone, having no communication with others—a stranger in Jerusalem so as to be the only man who does not know? ( μόνος qualifies ἔγνως as well as παροικεῖς).


Verse 19

Luke 24:19. ποῖα, what sort of things? with an affected indifference, the feigning of love— οἱ δὲ εἶπον: both speak now, distributing the story between them.— ἀνὴρ προφήτης, a prophetic man, a high estimate, but not the highest.— ἀνὴρ may be viewed as redundant—“eleganter abundat,” Kypke.


Verse 20

Luke 24:20. ὅπως τε, and how; ὅπως here = πῶς, used adverbially with the indicative, here only in N.T. The τε connects what follows with what goes before as together constituting one complete tragic story: the best of men treated as the worst by the self-styled good.— καὶ ἐσταύρωσαν: this confirms the idea suggested in the previous narrative of the crucifixion that Lk. regarded that deed as the crime of the Jewish people, and even as executed by them.


Verse 21

Luke 24:21. ἡμεῖς δὲ, but we, on the other hand, as opposed to the priests and rulers.— ἠλπίζομεν, were hoping; the hope dead or in abeyance now. But how wide asunder these disappointed ones from the rulers, ethically, in that they could regard such an one as Jesus as the Redeemer of Israel! λυτροῦσθαι is to be taken in the sense of Luke 1:68; Luke 1:74.— ἀλλά γε: these two particles stand together here contrary to the ordinary usage of Greek writers, who separate them by an intervening word. It is not easy to express the turn of feeling they represent. Does the ἐστιν in the previous clause mean that they think of Him as still living, hoping against hope on the ground of the women’s report, mentioned in the following clause, and does the ἀλλά γε express a swing of feeling away in the opposite direction of hopelessness? = we hoped, we would like to hope still; yet how can we? He is dead three days, and yet again on the other hand ( ἀλλά καὶ, Luke 24:22) there is a story going that looks like a resurrection. How true to life this alternation between hope and despair! σὺν πᾶσι τούτοις, in addition to all these things, i.e., all that caused them to hope: prophetic gifts, marvellous power in word and work, favour with the people: there is the hard fact making hope impossible.— ἄγει: probably to be taken impersonally = agitur, one lives this third day since. So Grotius and many others. Other suggestions are that χρόνος or ἰησοῦς is to be understood (cf. Acts 19:38).


Verse 22

Luke 24:22. ἀλλὰ καὶ γ. τ.: introducing another hope-inspiring phase of the story.— ἐξέστησαν ., astonished us.— ὀρθριναὶ: ὀρθρινός is a late form for ὄρθριος, and condemned by Phryn.; the adjective instead of the adverb = early ones, a common classical usage.


Verse 23

Luke 24:23. μὴ εὑροῦσαι, etc.: that part of the women’s story—the body gone—is accepted as a fact; their explanation of the fact is regarded as doubtful, as appears from the cautious manner of expression.— λέγουσαι, etc., they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who say. Yet the use of the present indicative, λέγουσιν, in reporting what the angels said, shows a wish to believe the report.


Verse 24

Luke 24:24. τινες τῶν σὺν ἡμῖν: a general reference to the Apostles, though the phrase covers all the lovers of Jesus. The τινες were Peter and John (John 20:3).— αὐτὸν δὲ οὐκ εἶδον, but Him they saw not, as surely, think the two friends, they ought to have done had He really been alive from the dead.


Verse 25

Luke 24:25 f. Jesus speaks.— ἀνόητοι, “fools” (A.V(205)) is too strong, “foolish men” (R.V(206)) is better. Jesus speaks not so much to reproach as by way of encouragement. As used by Paul in Galatians 3:1 the word is harder. “Stupid” might be a good colloquial equivalent for it here.— πιστεύειν ἐπὶ π.: ἐπὶ with dative of person after πιστεύειν is common, with dative of the thing only here.


Verse 26

Luke 24:26. ἔδει: here as always in Lk. pointing to the necessity that O.T. prophecy should be fulfilled. Accordingly Jesus is represented in the next verse as going on to show that prophecy demanded the course of experience described: first the passion, then entrance into glory.— καὶ εἰσελθεῖν: the passion is past, the entering into glory is still to come, therefore it seems unfit to make εἰσελ. dependent with παθεῖν on ἔδει. Meyer supplies δεῖ, Bornemann ταῦτα παθόντα, the Vulgate οὕτω = et ita intrare.


Verse 27

Luke 24:27. καὶ ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ, etc.: there is a grammatical difficulty here also. He might begin from Moses, but how could He begin from Moses and all the prophets? Hahn, after Hofmann, suggests that Moses and the prophets together are set in contrast to the rest of the O.T. But Lk. seems to have in mind not so much where Jesus began as what He began to do, viz., teach = beginning (to instruct them) from Moses, etc.


Verse 28

Luke 24:28. προσεποιήσατο, He assumed the air of one going farther. The verb in the active means to bring about that something shall be acquired by another, in middle, by oneself = “meum aliquid facio” (Alberti, Observ. Phil., ad loc.). Jesus wished to be invited to stay.


Verse 29

Luke 24:29. παρεβιάσαντο, they constrained by entreaty, again in Acts 16:15, found in Genesis 19:9.— μεθʼ ἡμῶν, with us, presumably in their home or lodgings. If they were but guests they could not well invite another.— πρὸς ἑσπέραν, κέκλικεν .: two phrases where one was enough, by way of pressing their fellow-traveller. They make the most of the late hour, which is not their real reason.


Verse 30

Luke 24:30. λαβὼν τ. α., etc.: Jesus possibly by request assumes the position of host, prepared for by the previous exercise of the function of Master. By this time a suspicion of who He was had dawned upon the two disciples. While He spoke old impressions of His teaching were revived (Pricaeus).


Verse 31

Luke 24:31. διηνοίχθησαν οἱ ὀφ., their eyes were at length opened, a Divine effect, but having its psychological causes. Euthy. suggests the use of the well-known blessing by Jesus as aiding recognition. The opening of the mind to the prophetic teaching concerning Messiah’s suffering was the main preparation for the opening of the eyes. The wonder is they did not recognise Jesus sooner.— ἄφαντος: an early poetical and late prose word = ἀφανής, not in Sept(207), here only in N.T. After being recognised Jesus became invisible, ἀπʼ αὐτῶν, not to them ( αὐτοῖς) but from them, implying departure from the house. Some take ἄφαντος adverbially as qualifying the departure = He departed from them in an invisible manner.


Verse 32

Luke 24:32. καρδία καιομένη, the heart burning, a beautiful expression for the emotional effect of new truth dawning on the mind; common to sacred writers (vide Psalms 39:4, Jeremiah 20:9) with profane. Their heart began to burn while the stranger expounded Scripture, and kept burning, and burning up into ever clearer flame, as He went on—“valde et diu,” Bengel. It is the heart that has been dried by tribulation that burns so. This burning of the heart experienced by the two disciples was typical of the experience of the whole early Church when it got the key to the sufferings of Jesus (Holtzmann, H. C.). Their doubt and its removal was common to them with many, and that is why the story is told so carefully by Lk.— ὡς ἐλάλει, ὡς διήνοιγεν (without καὶ), as He spoke, as He opened, etc.; first the general then the more specific form of the fact.


Verses 32-35

Luke 24:32-35. After Jesus’ departure.


Verse 33

Luke 24:33. αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ: no time lost, meal perhaps left half finished, no fear of a night journey; the eleven must be told at once what has happened. “They ran the whole way from overjoy” ( ὑπὸ περιχαρείας), Euthy. Zig.


Verse 34

Luke 24:34. λέγοντας: the apostolic company have their story to tell: a risen Lord seen by one of their number. The two from Emmaus would not be sorry that they had been forestalled. It would be a welcome confirmation of their own experience. On the other hand, the company in Jerusalem would be glad to hear their tale for the same reason. So they told it circumstantially ( τὰ ἐν τῇ ὁδῷ, Luke 24:35).


Verse 36

Luke 24:36. ἔστη ἐν μέσῳ α. suggests an appearance as sudden as the departure from the two brethren.


Verses 36-43

Luke 24:36-43. Jesus appears to the eleven (cf. Mark 16:14, John 20:19-23).


Verse 37

Luke 24:37. πνεῦμα, a spirit, i.e., a form recognisable as that of Jesus, but of Jesus not risen but come from the world of the dead disembodied or only with an apparent body; therefore they were terrified at the sight, notwithstanding what they had heard.


Verse 38

Luke 24:38. τί τεταραγμένοι ἐστέ; why are ye disturbed? or about what are ye disturbed? taking τί as object of τεταρ. (Schanz).


Verse 39

Luke 24:39. τὰς χεῖράς μου, etc.: Jesus shows His hands and feet with the wounds to satisfy them of His identity ( ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι αὐτός). Then He bids them touch Him ( ψηλαφήσατέ με) to satisfy themselves of His substantiality.— ἴδετε, see with the mind; with the eye in case of the preceding ἴδετε.— ὅτι: either that, or because.


Verse 40

Luke 24:40. Very nearly John 20:20 and possibly an interpolation. It seems superfluous after Luke 24:39.


Verse 41

Luke 24:41. ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς, a psychological touch quite in Lk.’s manner. Cf. Luke 22:45 : there asleep from grief, here unbelievers from joy. Hahn takes χαρά objectively.— τι βρώσιμον, anything eatable, here only in N.T.


Verse 42

Luke 24:42. ἀπὸ μελισσίου κηρίου, of a bee-comb. The adjective μελ. occurs nowhere else. κηρίον is the diminutive of κηρός. The words are probably a gloss.


Verse 43

Luke 24:43. That Jesus ate is carefully stated. The materiality thus evinced seems inconsistent with the pneumatic nature of Christ’s body as suggested by sudden appearing and departure, and with the immortal form of embodied life generally. Hahn suggests that the materiality was assumed by Jesus for the moment to satisfy the disciples that He had a body, and that He was risen. Euthy. Zig. expresses a similar view, stating that Jesus ate and digested supernaturally ( ὑπερφυῶς), and that what He did to help the faith of the disciples was exceptional in reference to the immortal condition of the body, which can have nothing to do with wounds or food ( οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἕτερος μετὰ τὴν ἀφθαρσίαν τοῦ σώματος ὠτειλὰς ἕξει, βρῶσιν προσήσεται).


Verses 44-49

Luke 24:44-49. Parting words.— εἶπε δὲ αὐτοῖς: it is at this point, if anywhere, that room must be made for an extended period of occasional intercourse between Jesus and His disciples such as Acts 1:3 speaks of. It is conceivable that what follows refers to another occasion. But Lk. takes no pains to point that out. His narrative reads as if he were still relating the incidents of the same meeting. In his Gospel the post-resurrection scenes seem all to fall within a single day, that of the resurrection.— οὗτοι οἱ λόγοι, etc., these are the words. With Euthy. Zig. we naturally ask: which? ( οὗτοι· ποῖοι; and there he leaves it). Have we here the concluding fragment of a longer discourse not given by Lk., possibly the end of a document containing a report of the words of Jesus generally (so J. Weiss in Meyer)? As they stand in Lk.’s narrative the sense must be: these events (death and resurrection) fulfil the words I spoke to you before my death. If that be the meaning the mode of expression is peculiar.— ἐν τ. ν. ΄ωσέως, etc.: Moses, Prophets, Psalms, a unity (no article before προφήταις or ψαλμοῖς) = the whole O.T. canon. So most. Or, these three parts of the O.T. the main sources of the Messianic proof (Meyer, Hahn, etc.). The latter the more likely.


Verse 45

Luke 24:45 points to detailed exposition of Messianic texts, generally referred to in Luke 24:44, as in the case of the two brethren.


Verse 46

Luke 24:46 gives the conclusion of the expository discourse in Christ’s own words ( καὶ εἶπεν, ὅτι) = the gist of prophecy is: the suffering and resurrection of the Christ, and the preaching in the name of the Risen One, to all nations, of repentance unto the remission of sins.


Verse 47

Luke 24:47. ἀρξάμενοι: this well-approved reading gives a satisfactory sense. We have to suppose a pause and then Jesus resuming says to the eleven—“beginning,” the implied though not expressed thought being: this preaching of repentance to the nations is to be your work; or go ye and do this—beginning at Jerusalem.


Verse 48

Luke 24:48. μάρτυρες τ., the witnessing function refers mainly to the resurrection, not exclusively as Luke 1:2 shows.


Verse 49

Luke 24:49. τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν τ. π.: the promise is the Spirit spoken of in prophetic oracles (Isaiah 44:1, Joel 2:28, etc.).— καθίσατε, sit still, patiently but with high hope.— ἕως οὗ: without ἄν, because the power is expected to come without fail.— ἐνδύσησθε: till ye be invested, a natural figure, and no mere Hebraism. Cf. Romans 13:14, Galatians 3:27. There may be a reference to warlike armour ( δίκην πανοπλίας, Euthy. Zig.).


Verse 50

Luke 24:50. ἐξήγαγε: does this imply that Jesus walked through the streets of Jerusalem towards Bethany visible to all? Assuming that it does, some (e.g., Holtz. in H. C.) find here a contradiction of the statement in Acts 10:41 that Jesus was manifested after His resurrection only to chosen witnesses.— ἕξω: the best MSS. leave this out, and it seems superfluous after ἐξήγ.; but such repetitions of the preposition are by no means uncommon in Greek (examples in Bornemann).— ἕως πρὸς ( εἰς T.R.): this reading adopted by the revisers they render: “until they were over against,” which brings the indication of place into harmony with that in Acts 1:12. Possibly harmonistic considerations influenced transcription, leading, e.g., to the adoption of πρὸς instead of εἰς (in (208) (209) (210), etc.). Bethany lay on the eastern slope of Olivet, about a mile beyond the summit.


Verses 50-53

Luke 24:50-53. Farewell! (cf. Mark 16:19-20, Acts 1:9-12).


Verse 51

Luke 24:51. διέστη, parted; taken by itself the verb might point merely to a temporary separation, but even apart from the next clause, referring to the ascension, it is evidently meant to denote a final leave-taking.— καὶ ἀνεφέρετο, etc.: the absence of this clause from (211) (212) and some old Latin codd. may justify suspicion of a gloss, meant to bring the Gospel statement into line with Acts. But on the other hand, that the author of both books should make a distinct statement concerning the final departure of Jesus from the world in the one as well as in the other was to be expected.


Verse 52

Luke 24:52. μετὰ χαρᾶς μεγάλης, with great joy, the joy of men convinced that their Lord was risen and gone up to glory, and that great events were impending in connection with the promise of the Spirit.


Verse 53

Luke 24:53. διὰ παντὸς ( χρόνου understood), continually, i.e., at the hours of worship when the temple was open. By frequenting the temple the disciples remained faithful to the programme “beginning at Jerusalem”. To the Jew first, and with the Jew as far and as long as possible: such was Lk.’s habitual attitude; manifest throughout in the Gospel and in Acts.

 


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Bibliography Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 24:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-24.html. 1897-1910.

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