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Bible Commentaries

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 5

 

 

Introduction

CHAPTER 5

Luke 5:2. The MSS. have ἀπέπλυναν (so Elz. Scholz), ἔπλυναν, ἔπλυνον, ἀπέπλυνον. Tisch. has the second reading, Lachm. the third. The preponderance of evidence wavers between ἔπλυνον (B D) and ἔπλυναν (C* L Q X א ), and excludes the compound form. But since, according to this, even the MSS. which read the Recepta (A E F G, etc.) add to the evidence in favour of ἔπλυναν, this form receives the critical preponderance. The compound form is either a mere clerical error (as Ev. 7 has even ἐπέπλυνον), or a gloss for the sake of more precise specification.

Luke 5:6. πλῆθος ἰχθύων] So Griesb. Matth. Scholz, Tisch., following the greater number of the Uncials, but not B D, which have ἰχθύων πλῆθος, which Lachm. has again restored. Comp. Vulg. and codd. of It. The reading of Griesb. is to be preferred on account of its preponderating evidence, and still more because the words πλῆθος πολύ would more readily be brought together by the transcribers than separated.

Luke 5:15. As ὑπʼ αὐτοῦ is wanting in important authorities, in others stands after ἀκούειν, and A has ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ, it is rightly condemned by Griesb., struck out by Lachm. and Tisch. An addition by way of gloss.

Luke 5:17. ἐληλυθότες] Lachm. has συνεληλ., following only A* D, min. Goth. Verc.

αὐτούς] Tisch. has αὐτόν, following B L ξ א . Rightly; αὐτούς arose from a misunderstanding, because an accusative of the object appeared necessary.

Luke 5:19. ποίας] Elz. has διὰ ποίας, in opposition to decisive evidence. An interpretation.

Luke 5:21. With Lachm. and Tisch. read ἁμαρτίας ἀφεῖναι, according to B D L ξ, Cyr. Ambr. The Recepta is from Mark 2:7. But in Luke 5:24 the form ἀφεῖναι (Tisch.) is too weakly attested [Tisch. 8 has ἀφιέναι].

Luke 5:22. The omission of ἀποκριθ. (Lachm.) is too feebly accredited.

Luke 5:24. παραλελυμένῳ] Lachm. has παραλυτικῷ, following important authorities, but it is taken from the parallels.

Luke 5:25. Instead of ἐφʼ , Elz. Scholz, Lachm. have ἐφʼ . But the former has a preponderance of evidence in its favour, and more naturally occurred to the transcribers.

Luke 5:28. ἠκολούθησεν] Lachm. and Tisch. have ἠκολούθει, following B D L ξ 69. The Recepta is taken from the parallels.

Luke 5:29. Before λευΐς (Tisch. has on very good authority λευείς) the article (Elz.) is on decisive evidence deleted.

Luke 5:30. αὐτῶν] is wanting in D F X א, min. vss., and is regarded with suspicion by Griesb., but it was omitted as being superfluous and apparently irrelevant. The arrangement οἱ φαρισ. κ. οἱ γρ. αὐτ. is, with Lachm. and Tisch., to be adopted in accordance with B C D L א, min. Vulg. It. and others. The Recepta is taken from Mark 2:16 . The article before τελωεῶν, which is not found in Elz., is adopted on decisive evidence by Griesb. Scholz, Lachm. Tisch. καὶ ἁμαρτ., also, is so decisively attested that it is now rightly defended even by Tisch.

Luke 5:33. διὰ τί] is wanting in B L ξ, 33, 157, Copt.; deleted by Tisch. An addition from the parallels.

Luke 5:36. ἱματίου καινοῦ] B D L X ξ א, min. vss. have ἀπὸ ἱματίου καινοῦ σχίσας (yet σχίσας is not found in X, and also otherwise too weakly attested). Recommended by Griesb., adopted by Tisch. But it is manifestly a gloss inserted for explaining the genitive, for which there appeared a reason in this place although not in the parallels.

σχίσει is well attested by B C D L X א, min., and συμφωνήσει still better (by the additional evidence of A). Approved by Schulz, adopted by Lachm. and Tisch. Rightly; σχίζει occurred at once in consequence of the preceding ἐπιβάλλει and of αἴρει in the parallels, and then drew after it συμφωνεῖ.

Elz. has ἐπίβλημα τὸ . τ. κ. So also Scholz, Lachm. Tisch. But with Griesb. and Rinck ἐπίβλημα is to be condemned, as it is wanting in A E F K M R S U V γ δ, min. Goth. Slav. Theophyl.; in D it stands after καινοῦ, and betrays itself as a gloss added to the absolute τό.

Luke 5:38. καὶ ἀμφ. συντηρ.] is wanting in B L א, min. Copt. Suspected by Griesb., deleted by Tisch. An addition from Matthew 9:17, from which passage also Mark 2:22 has been expanded.

Luke 5:39. εὐθέως] is wanting in B C* L א, min. Copt. Arm. Aeth. Deleted by Tisch. An addition for more precise specification.


Verses 1-11

Luke 5:1-11. Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 are parallel passages. Nevertheless, the history of the calling in Luke, as compared with it in Matthew and Mark, is essentially different, for in these latter the point of the incident is the mere summons and promise (without the miracle, which, without altering the nature of the event, they could not have passed over; in opposition to Ebrard and others); in Luke it is the miracle of the draught of fishes Moreover, in Matthew and Mark no previous acquaintance on the part of Jesus with Peter is presupposed, although, probably, it is in Luke 4:38 ff., whereby, at the same time, Luke falls into self-contradiction, since Luke 5:8 does not allow it to be supposed that such miraculous experiences have previously occurred to him as, according to Luke 4:38 ff., Peter had already had in connection with Jesus. Luke follows a source of later and more plastic tradition (in opposition to Schleiermacher, Sieffert, Neander, v. Ammon, who ascribe to Luke the merit of being the earliest), which, fastening in pursuit of symbolic meaning upon the promise in Luke 5:10 (Matthew 4:19; Mark 1:17), glorified the story of the call of the fishermen by joining to it a similar story of the draught of fishes, John 21 (comp. Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 288); but in the historical sequence after Luke 4:38 ff. Luke has become confused.

καὶ αὐτός] not: he also, but: and he; he on his part, in respect of this pressing ( ἐπικεῖσθαι) of the people upon him. Comp. on Luke 5:15; Luke 5:17; as to καί after ἐγένετο, see on Luke 5:12.

ἔπλυναν] “ut peracto opere,” Bengel; see Luke 5:5.

Luke 5:4. ἐπανάγαγε, the special word for going out into the deep sea (Xen. Hell. vi. 2. 28; 2 Maccabees 12:4); the singular in reference to Peter alone, who was the steersman of the craft; but χαλάσατε in reference to the whole fisher company in the vessel. Changes of number, to be similarly accounted for by the connection, are often found in the classical writers. See Bornemann, Schol. p. 35 f.; Kühner, ad Xen. Anab. i. 2. 27.

Luke 5:5. ἐπιστάτα] Superintendent (see in general, Gatacker, Op. posth. p. 877 ff., and Kypke, I. p. 228) occurs only in Luke in the New Testament, and that, too, always addressed to Jesus, while he has not the ῥαββί which is so frequent in the other evangelists. Peter does not yet address Him thus as his doctrinal chief, but generally (Luke 5:1; Luke 5:3). Comp. Luke 17:13.

νυκτός] when fishing was accustomed to be carried on successfully. See Aristotle, H. A. viii. 19; Heindorf, ad Plat. Soph. p. 287.

ἐπί] of the reason: for the sake of Thy word (on the ground of Thy word). Comp. Winer, p. 351 [E. T. 491]: “Senserat Petrus virtutem verborum Jesu,” Bengel. οὕτως ἦν τὴν πίστιν θερμὸς καὶ πρὸ τῆς πίστεως, Theophylact.

χαλάσω] Simon speaks thus in his capacity of captain. Comp. afterwards ποιήσαντες.

Luke 5:6. διεῤῥήγνυτο] The tearing asunder(93) actually began, but was only beginning. See on Luke 1:59. The assistance for which they signalled prevented further damage. The subsequent phrase ὥστε βυθίζεσθαι, is similar. Hence there is no exaggeration (Valckenaer, de Wette).

Luke 5:7. κατένευσαν] they made signs to, according to Euthymius Zigabenus: μὴ δυνάμενοι λαλῆσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἐκπλήξεως κ. τοῦ φόβου. So also Theophylact. This would have needed to be said. In the whole incident nothing more is implied than that the other craft still lying close to the shore, Luke 5:2, was too far away for the sound of the voice to reach, and hence they were restricted to making signs, which, moreover, for the fishermen of the other boat—who, according to Luke 5:4, were doubtless eagerly giving attention—was quite sufficient. As to συλλαβ., see on Philippians 4:3.

Luke 5:8. On προσέπεσε τ. γόνασι, comp. Soph. O. C. 1604. It might also be put in the accusative (Eur. Hec. 339, and thereon Pflugk).

ἔξελθε] out of the ship. He dimly recognises in Christ a something superhuman, the manifestation of a holy divine power, and in the consciousness of his own sinful nature he is terrified in the presence of this power which may, perchance, cause some misfortune to befall him; just as men feared the like on the appearances of God or of angels. Comp. 1 Kings 17:18. Euthymius Zigabenus and Grotius in loc. Eisner and Valckenaer are mistaken in saying that Peter speaks thus in accordance with the notion that one ought not to stay on board a ship with any criminal (Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 37; Diog. Laert. i. 86; Horat. Od. iii. 2. 26 ff.). He does not indeed avow himself a criminal, but only as a sinful man in general, who as such cannot without risk continue in the presence of this θεῖος καὶ ὑπερφυὴς ἄνθρωπος (Euthymius Zigabenus). See the later exaggeration of the sinfulness of the apostles before their call, in Barnabas 5.

Luke 5:9. ἄγρα] in this place is not the draught, as at Luke 5:4, but that which was caught ( τὸ θηρώμενον, Pol. v. 1), as Xen. De Venat. xii. 3, xiii. 13, and frequently.

Luke 5:10. This mention of James and John at the end is one of the traces that the narrative grew out of the older history of the call. But certainly Andrew was not found in the source from which Luke drew.

ἀνθρώπους] instead of fishes.

ζωγρῶν] vivos capiens—in characteristic keeping with this ethical draught (winning for the Messiah’s kingdom), as well as with the figure taken from fishermen (Aristaen. Ep. ii. 23).


Verses 12-14

Luke 5:12-14. See on Matthew 8:1-4; Mark 1:40-44. According to Matthew, immediately after the Sermon on the Mount; in Luke (comp. Mark), without any definite statement of place or time, as a fragment of the evangelic tradition.

ἐγένετοκαί] as Luke 2:15; Matthew 9:10. καί is not nempe (Fritzsche, ad Matth. p. 341), but, in accordance with Hebraic simplicity, the and, which, after the preparatory and yet indefinite ἐγένετο, leads the narrative farther on. The narrator, by means of ἐγένετο together with a note of time, first calls attention to the introduction of a fact, and then, in violation of ordinary syntax, he brings in afterwards what occurred by the word καί.

ἐν μιᾷ τ. πόλ.] according to Mark: in a house.

πλήρης] a high degree of the sickness.

Luke 5:14. καὶ αὐτός] and He, on His part.

ἀπελθὼν κ. τ. λ.] a transition to the oratio directa. See on Mark 6:8.


Verse 15-16

Luke 5:15-16. Comp. Mark 1:45.

διήρχετο] The report ran throughout, was spread abroad. So absolutely, Thuc. vi. 46: ἐπειδὴ διῆλθεν λόγος, ὅτι κ. τ. λ.; Soph. Aj. 978; Xen. Anab. i. 4. 7; Plat. Ep. vii. p. 348 B.

μᾶλλ.] in a still higher degree than before; only all the more. Comp. Luke 18:39. See Stallbaum, ad Plat. Ap. p. 30 A Nägelsbach on the Iliad, ed. 3, p. 227.

αὐτός] He, however, He on his part, in contrast with the multitudes who were longing for Him.

ἦν ὑποχωρῶν ἐν τοῖς ἐρημ.] i.e. He was engaged in withdrawing Himself into the desert regions (that were there), and in praying, so that He was therefore for the present inaccessible.

καὶ προσευχόμενος] This detail is given on several occasions by Luke alone. See Luke 3:21, Luke 6:12 f., Luke 9:18; Luke 9:29, and elsewhere.


Verses 17-26

Luke 5:17-26. See on Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12. Between this and the foregoing history Matthew has a series of other transactions, the sequence of which he accurately indicates. Luke vaguely says: ἐν μιᾷ τῶν ἡμέρων, which, however, specifies approximately the time by means of the connection (“on one of those days,” namely, on the journey entered upon at Luke 4:43 f.). Comp. Luke 8:22.

καὶ αὐτός] and He, as Luke 5:1, but here in opposition to the Pharisees, etc., who were surrounding Him.

ἐκ πάσης κώμης κ. τ. λ.] popularly hyperbolical. As to νομοδιδάσκ., see on Matthew 22:35.

δύναμις κυρίου κ. τ. λ.] and the power of the Lord (of God) was there (praesto erat, as at Mark 8:1) in aid of His healing. So according to the reading αὐτόν (see the critical remarks). According to the reading αὐτούς, this would have to be taken as a vague designation of the sufferers who were present, referring back to Luke 5:15; αὐτόν the subject, αὐτούς would be the object. Others, as Olshausen and Ewald, have incorrectly referred κυρίου to Jesus, whose healing power was stirred up (Luke 6:19). Wherever Luke in his Gospel calls Christ the Lord, and that, as would here be the case, in narrative, he always writes κύριος with the article. See Luke 7:13 (31), Luke 10:1, Luke 11:39, Luke 12:42, Luke 13:15, Luke 17:5-6, Luke 18:6, Luke 19:8, Luke 22:31; Luke 22:61.

In the following narrative the precedence of Mark is indeed to be recognised, but the tracing out of the features of dependence must not be carried too far (in opposition to Weiss in the Stud. u. Krit. 1861, p. 703 f.).

Luke 5:19. εἰσενέγκ.] into the house, where Jesus and His hearers (Luke 5:17) were. Comp. afterwards τὸ δῶμα.

ποίας] qualitative: in what kind of a way. On the ὁδοῦ, which must be supplied in analysing the passage, see Bos, Ellips., ed. Schaefer, p. 333; on the genitive of place (comp. Luke 19:4), see Bernhardy, p. 138; Krüger on Thucyd. iv. 47, 2. Accordingly, although no instance of ποίας and ἐκείνης used absolutely occurs elsewhere, yet the conjecture ποίᾳ and ἐκείνῃ (Bornemann) is not authorized.

διὰ τῶν κεράμων] through the tiles, with which the flat roof was covered, and which they removed from the place in question. Mark 2:4 describes the proceeding more vividly. See the details, sub loco, and Hug, Gutacht. II. p. 21 f.

Luke 5:21. ἤρξαντο] a bringing into prominence of the point of commencement of these presumptuous thoughts. A vivid description.

διαλογίζεσθαιλέγοντες] See on Matthew 16:7. They expressed their thoughts to one another; hence Luke 5:22 is not inappropriate (in opposition to Weiss).

Luke 5:24. εἶπε τῷ παραλελ.] is not to be put in parenthesis, but see on Matthew 9:6.

σοί] placed first for the sake of emphasis.

Luke 5:25. ἄρας ἐφʼ κατέκειτο] he took up that on which (till now) he lay, an expression purposely chosen to bring out the changed relation. With reference to ἐφʼ , on which he was stretched out, comp. the frequent εἶναι ἐπὶ χθόνα, and the like. See in general, Kühner, § 622 b.

Luke 5:26. The narrative is summary, but without precision, since the impression said to be produced by the miraculous incident ( τὰ παρὰ δόξαν γυγνόμενα, Polyb. ix. 16. 2. Comp. Wisdom of Solomon 16:17; Wisdom of Solomon 19:5; 2 Maccabees 9:24; Xen. Cyr. vii. 2, 16) applies indeed to the people present (Matthew 9:8), but not to the Pharisees and scribes.


Verses 27-39

Luke 5:27-39. See on Matthew 9:9-17; Mark 2:13-22.

ἐξῆλθε] out of the house, Luke 5:19.

ἐθεάσατο] He looked at him observingly.

Luke 5:28. The order of events is: after he had forsaken all, he rose up and followed Him. The imperfect (see the critical remarks) is used for the sake of vividness. ἅπαντα, as in Luke 5:11, refers to the whole previous occupation and position in life. Bengel well adds: “quo ipso tamen non desiit domus esse sua,” Luke 5:29.

Luke 5:29. καὶ ἦν] et aderat, as in Luke 5:17.

Luke 5:30. αὐτῶν] of the dwellers in the town.

πρός] an antagonistic direction.

Luke 5:33. οἱ δὲ εἶπον] As to this variation from Matthew and Mark, see on Matthew 9:17, Remark. On the association of fasting and making prayers, comp. Luke 2:37, and on ποιεῖσθαι δεήσεις, 1 Timothy 2:1.

ἐσθ. κ. πίνουσιν] the same thing as οὐ νηστεύουσι in the parallels, but more strongly expressed. In accordance with the deletion of διατί (see the critical remarks), there remains no question, but an affirmative reflection.

Luke 5:34. μὴ δύνασθε κ. τ. λ.] ye cannot, etc., brings out the inappropriateness of that reflection in a more concrete form than in Matthew and Mark.

Luke 5:35. καί] might be taken explicatively (and indeed) (Bornemann, Bleek). But it is more in keeping with the profound emotion of the discourse to take ἐλεύσονται κ. τ. λ. by itself as a thought broken off, and καί in the sense of: and: But days shall come (and not tarry) … and when shall be taken away, etc.

ἐν ἐκείν. ταῖς ἡμέρ.] a painful solemnity of expression, whereby the emphasis is laid upon ἐκείναις. Comp. on Mark 2:20.

Luke 5:36. ἐπίβλημα ἱματ. καινοῦ] i.e. a patch cut off from a new garment. By the use of ἱματίου the incongruity of the proceeding comes still more strongly into prominence than by ῥάκους, which is used in Matthew and Mark. An unintentional modification of the tradition—not an alteration proceeding from the Paulinism of the writer, and directed against the syncretism of the Jewish Christians, as Köstlin, p. 174, ingeniously maintains. Even Lange explains the expression by supposing that there floated already before the mind of the Pauline Luke a clearer vision of the Christian community as distinct from Judaism (L. J. III. p. 395).

καὶ τὸ καινὸν σχίσει καὶ κ. τ. λ.] comprises the twofold mischief which will ensue (future, see the critical remarks) if one does not obey that principle taken from experience; He will not only cut the new (garment) in twain (in taking off the piece), but, moreover, the (piece) of the new (garment) will not be in keeping with the old (garment). Comp. Kypke, Paulus, de Wette, Bleek, Schegg, even as early as Erasmus. On σχίσει, comp. John 19:24; Isaiah 37:1. But usually τὸ καινόν is explained as the subject, and either σχίσει is taken intransitively (“scindet se a veteri,” Bengel), or τὸ παλαιὸν ἱμάτιον is regarded as its object: the new piece will rend asunder the old garment (comp. Kuinoel). Incorrectly; since this supplying of the object is not required by the context, but is obtruded for the sake of the harmony with Matthew 9:16, Mark 2:21, and τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦ καινοῦ (it is not τὸ καινόν) clearly shows that even to τὸ καινόν we are to understand only ἱμάτιον, not ἐπίβλημα; and, moreover, τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦ καινοῦ would be altogether superfluous and clumsy.

Luke 5:39. Peculiar to Luke; but it is as little to be explained as resulting from later reflection on the difficulty of the mission to the Jews (Weizsäcker), as is the emphasis laid upon the incompatibility of the two, Luke 5:36. As Jesus in Luke 5:36-38 made it manifest how unsuitable and injurious it would be to bind up the essence and the life of the new theocracy with the forms and institutions of the old, so now at Luke 5:39 he once more, by means of a parabolic expression, makes it intelligible how natural it is that the disciples of John and of the Pharisees should not be able to consent to the giving up of the OLD forms and institutions which had become dear to them, and to the exchanging of them for the NEW life in accordance with ITS fundamental principles. He says that this should be as little expected as that any one when he has drunk old wine should long for new, since he finds that the old is better. So in substance Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Erasmus, Clarius, Zeger, Calovius, Wolf, Bengel, Paulus, Olshausen, Lange, and others;(94) and rightly, since even in Luke 5:37 f. the contrast of the old and new wine typified the contrasted old and new theocratic life. Hence we are neither, with Wetstein, to suppose the meaning reversed: “Pharisaeorum austeritas comparator vino novo, Christi lenitas vino veteri;” nor, with Grotius (comp. Estius and Clericus), to interpret: “Homines non subito ad austeriorem vitam pertrahendos, sed per gradus quosdam assuefaciendos esse” (Jesus, in truth, had no wish to accustom them to an “austeriorem vitam!”); nor, with Schegg, to substitute the meaning: “that not till the old wine is expended (in reference to Luke 5:35) is the new drunk (which refers to fasts, etc., as a remedy for their being deprived of the presence of Christ).” But by the objection that the old wine is actually better (Sirach 9:10, and see Wolf and Wetstein) the parable is unduly pressed (in opposition to de Wette and others), since in Luke 5:37-39 the point of comparison is not the quality of the wine in itself, but the relation of the old and the new. Outside the point of comparison, every parable is apt to be at fault. Moreover, χρηστός denotes the agreeable delicious taste. Comp. Plut. Mor. p. 240 D, 1073 A. The new has, as it were, no taste if the old has been found agreeable. But irony is as little to be found in Luke 5:39 as in Luke 5:37 f., and the gentle exculpatory character of the discourse, Luke 5:39 (which must in no wise be taken to mean full approval, in opposition to Hilgenfeld in the Theol. Jahrb. 1853, p. 215), is perfectly explained from the fact that, according to Matthew 9:14, it is to be supposed that this conversation about fasting did not originally take place with the Pharisees, but with the disciples of John. See on Matthew. Comp. also Volkmar, Evang. Marcions, p. 219 ff. If in the two parables it were desired to abide by the general thought of unsuitableness (as it would be unsuitable to pour new wine into old skins, and after old wine immediately to drink new; so also it would be unsuitable if my disciples desired to bind themselves to the old institutions), the figure of Luke 5:39 would be very much out of harmony with the appropriate figure in Luke 5:38, and the unsuitable matter would at Luke 5:39 be represented in direct contradiction to fact (in opposition to de Wette); apart from this, moreover, that θέλει (not πίνει) applies the saying subjectively. According to Kuinoel and Bleek, Jesus spoke the words in Luke 5:39 at another time. But it is in keeping with the connection, and is certainly taken from the Logia.

 


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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 5:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-5.html. 1832.

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