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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Luke 11



Other Authors
Verse 1

As he was praying in a certain place (εν τωι ειναι αυτον εν τοπωι τινι προσευχομενονen tōi einai auton en topōi tini proseuchomenon). Characteristically Lukan idiom: ενen with articular periphrastic infinitive (ειναι προσευχομενονeinai proseuchomenon) with accusative of general reference (αυτονauton).

That. Not in the Greek, asyndeton (και εγενετο ειπενkai egeneto eipen).

When he ceased (ως επαυσατοhōs epausato). Supply προσευχομενοςproseuchomenos (praying), complementary or supplementary participle.

Teach us (διδαχον ημαςdidaxon hēmas). Jesus had taught them by precept (Matthew 6:7-15) and example (Luke 9:29). Somehow the example of Jesus on this occasion stirred them to fresh interest in the subject and to revival of interest in John‘s teachings (Luke 5:33). So Jesus gave them the substance of the Model Prayer in Matthew, but in shorter form. Some of the MSS. have one or all of the phrases in Matthew, but the oldest documents have it in the simplest form. See notes on Matthew 6:7-15 for discussion of these details (Father, hallowed, kingdom, daily bread, forgiveness, bringing us into temptation). In Matthew 6:11 “give” is dos (second aorist active imperative second singular, a single act) while here Luke 11:3 “give” is didou (present active imperative, both from δοςdidōmi) and means, “keep on giving.” So in Luke 11:4 we have “For we ourselves also forgive” (διδουkai gar autoi aphiomen), present active indicative of the late διδωμι verb και γαρ αυτοι απιομενaphiō while Matthew 6:12 has “as we also forgave” (ωhōs kai hēmeis aphēkamen), first aorist (απιωk aorist) active of ως και ημεις απηκαμενaphiēmi So also where Matthew 6:12 has “debts” (κta opheilēmata) Luke 11:4 has “sins” (απιημιtas hamartias). But the spirit of each prayer is the same. There is no evidence that Jesus meant either form to be a ritual. In both Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4 τα οπειληματαmē eisenegkēis occurs (second aorist subjunctive with τας αμαρτιαςmē in prohibition, ingressive aorist). “Bring us not” is a better translation than “lead us not.” There is no such thing as God enticing one to sin (James 1:13). Jesus urges us to pray not to be tempted as in Luke 22:40 in Gethsemane.

Verse 5

At midnight (μεσονυκτιουmesonuktiou). Genitive of time.

And say to him (και ειπηι αυτωιkai eipēi autōi). This is the deliberative subjunctive, but it is preceded by two future indicatives that are deliberative also (εχει πορευσεταιhexei χρησον μοιporeusetai).

Lend me (κιχρημιchrēson moi). First aorist active imperative second singular. Lend me now. From δανειζωkichrēmi an old verb, to lend as a matter of friendly interest as opposed to daneizō to lend on interest as a business. Only here in the N.T.

Verse 6

To set before him (ο παρατησω αυτωιho parathēsō autōi).

Which I shall place beside him. Future active of παρατιτημιparatithēmi See Luke 9:16 for this same verb.

Verse 7

And he (κακεινοςkakeinos). Emphatic.

Shall say (ειπηιeipēi). Still the aorist active deliberative subjunctive as in Luke 11:5 (the same long and somewhat involved sentence).

Trouble me not (μη μοι κοπους παρεχεmē moi kopous pareche). ΜηMē and the present imperative active. Literally, “Stop furnishing troubles to me.” On this use of κοπους παρεχωkopous parechō see also Matthew 26:10; Mark 14:6; Galatians 6:17 and the singular κοπονkopon Luke 18:5.

The door is now shut (ηδη η τυρα κεκλεισταιēdē hē thura kekleistai). Perfect passive indicative, shut to stay shut. Oriental locks are not easy to unlock. From κλειωkleiō common verb.

In bed (εις τεν κοιτηνeis ten koitēn). Note use of ειςeis in sense of ενen Often a whole family would sleep in the same room.

I cannot (ου δυναμαιou dunamai). That is, I am not willing.

Verse 8

Though (ει καιei kai). Και ειKai ei would be “Even if,” a different idea.

Because he is his friend (δια το ειναι πιλον αυτουdia to einai philon autou). ΔιαDia and the accusative articular infinitive with accusative of general reference, a causal clause= “because of the being a friend of his.”

Yet because of his importunity (δια γε την αναιδιαν αυτουdia ge tēn anaidian autou). From αναιδηςanaidēs shameless, and that from αa privative and αιδωςaidōs shame, shamelessness, impudence. An old word, but here alone in the N.T. Examples in the papyri. The use of γεge here, one of the intensive particles, is to be noted. It sharpens the contrast to “though” by “yet.” As examples of importunate prayer Vincent notes Abraham in behalf of Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33) and the Syro-Phoenician woman in behalf of her daughter (Matthew 15:22-28).

Verse 9

Shall be opened (ανοιγησεταιanoigēsetai). Second future passive third singular of ανοιγνυμιanoignumi and the later ανοιγωanoigō f0).

Verse 11

Of which of you that is a father (τινα δε εχ υμων τον πατεραtina de ex humōn ton patera). There is a decided anacoluthon here. The MSS. differ a great deal. The text of Westcott and Hort makes τον πατεραton patera (the father) in apposition with τιναtina (of whom) and in the accusative the object of αιτησειaitēsei (shall ask) which has also another accusative (both person and thing) “a loaf.” So far so good. But the rest of the sentence is, will ye give him a stone? (μη λιτον επιδωσει αυτωιmē lithon epidōsei autōi̱). ΜηMē shows that the answer No is expected, but the trouble is that the interrogative τιναtina in the first clause is in the accusative the object of αιτησειaitēsei while here the same man (he) is the subject of επιδωσειepidōsei It is a very awkward piece of Greek and yet it is intelligible. Some of the old MSS. do not have the part about “loaf” and “stone,” but only the two remaining parts about “fish” and “serpent,” “egg” and “scorpion.” The same difficult construction is carried over into these questions also.

Verse 13

Know how to give (οιδατε διδοναιoidate didonai). See Matthew 7:11 for this same saying. Only here Jesus adds the Holy Spirit (πνευμα αγιονpneuma hagion) as the great gift (the summum bonum) that the Father is ready to bestow. Jesus is fond of “how much more” (ποσωι μαλλονposōi māllon by how much more, instrumental case).

Verse 14

When (του δαιμονιου εχελτοντοςtou daimoniou exelthontos). Genitive absolute ana asyndeton between και εγενετοkai egeneto and ελαλησενelalēsen as often in Luke (no οτιhoti or καιkai).

Verse 15

Dumb (κωπονkōphon). See note on Matthew 9:32.

By Beelzebub (en Beezeboul). Blasphemous accusation here in Judea as in Galilee (Mark 3:22; Matthew 12:24, Matthew 12:27). See notes on Matthew for discussion of the form of this name and the various items in the sin against the Holy Spirit involved in the charge. It was useless to deny the fact of the miracles. So they were explained as wrought by Satan himself, a most absurd explanation.

Verse 16

Tempting him (πειραζοντεςpeirazontes). These “others” (ετεροιheteroi) apparently realized the futility of the charge of being in league with Beelzebub. Hence they put up to Jesus the demand for “a sign from heaven” just as had been done in Galilee (Matthew 12:38). By “sign” (σημειονsēmeion) they meant a great spectacular display of heavenly power such as they expected the Messiah to give and such as the devil suggested to Jesus on the pinnacle of the temple.

Sought (εζητουνezētoun). Imperfect active, kept on seeking.

Verse 17

But he (αυτος δεautos de). In contrast with them.

Knowing their thoughts (ειδως αυτων τα διανοηματαeidōs autōn ta dianoēmata). From διανοεωdianoeō to think through or distinguish. This substantive is common in Plato, but occurs nowhere else in the N.T. It means intent, purpose. Jesus knew that they were trying to tempt him.

And a house divided against a house falleth (και οικος επι οικον πιπτειkai oikos epi oikon piptei). It is not certain that διαμεριστεισαdiameristheisa (divided) is to be repeated here as in Matthew 12:25; Mark 3:25. It may mean, and house falls upon house, “one tumbling house knocking down its neighbour, a graphic picture of what happens when a kingdom is divided against itself” (Bruce).

Verse 18

Because ye say (οτι λεγετεhoti legete). Jesus here repeats in indirect discourse (accusative and infinitive) the charge made against him in Luke 11:15. The condition is of the first class, determined as fulfilled.

Verse 19

And if I by Beelzebub (ει δε εγω εν εεζεβουλei de egō en Beezeboul). Also a condition of the first class, determined as fulfilled. A Greek condition deals only with the statement, not with the actual facts. For sake of argument, Jesus here assumes that he casts out demons by Beelzebub. The conclusion is a reductio ad absurdum. The Jewish exorcists practiced incantations against demons (Acts 19:13).

Verse 20

By the finger of God (εν δακτυλωι τεουen daktulōi theou). In distinction from the Jewish exorcists. Matthew 12:28 has “by the Spirit of God.”

Then is come (αρα επτασενara ephthasen). ΠτανωPhthanō in late Greek comes to mean simply to come, not to come before. The aorist indicative tense here is timeless. Note αραara (accordingly) in the conclusion (αποδοσιςapodosis).

Verse 21

Fully armed (κατωπλισμενοςkathōplismenos). Perfect passive participle of κατοπλιζωkathoplizō an old verb, but here only in the N.T. Note perfective use of καταkata in composition with οπλιζωhoplizō to arm (from οπλαhopla arms). Note indefinite temporal clause (οτανhotan and present subjunctive πυλασσηιphulassēi).

His own court (την εαυτου αυληνtēn heautou aulēn). His own homestead. Mark 3:27; Matthew 12:29 has “house” (οικιανoikian). ΑυληAulē is used in the N.T. in various senses (the court in front of the house, the court around which the house is built, then the house as a whole).

His goods (τα υπαρχοντα αυτουta huparchonta autou). “His belongings.” Neuter plural present active participle of υπαρχωhuparchō used as substantive with genitive.

Verse 22

But when (επαν δεepan de). Note οτανhotan in Luke 11:21.

Stronger than he (ισχυροτερος αυτουischuroteros autou). Comparative of ισχυροςischuros followed by the ablative.

Come upon him and overcome him (επελτων νικησηι αυτονepelthōn nikēsēi auton). Second aorist active participle of επερχομαιeperchomai and first aorist active subjunctive of νικαωnikaō Aorist tense here because a single onset while in Luke 11:22 the guarding (πυλασσηιphulassēi present active subjunctive) is continuous.

His whole armour (την πανοπλιαν αυτουtēn panoplian autou). An old and common word for all the soldier‘s outfit (shield, sword, lance, helmet, greaves, breastplate). Tyndale renders it “his harness.” In the N.T. only here and Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:13 where the items are given.

Wherein he trusted (επ ηι επεποιτειeph' hēi epepoithei). Second past perfect active of πειτωpeithō to persuade. The second perfect πεποιταpepoitha is intransitive, to trust. Old and common verb. He trusted his weapons which had been so efficacious.

His spoils (τα σκυλα αυτουta skula autou). It is not clear to what this figure refers. Strong as Satan is Jesus is stronger and wins victories over him as he was doing then. In Colossians 2:15 Christ is pictured as triumphing openly over the powers of evil by the Cross.

Verse 23

He that is not with me (ο μη ων μετ εμουho mē ōn met' emou). This verse is just like Matthew 12:30.

Verse 24

And finding none (και μη ευρισκονkai mē heuriskon). Here Matthew 12:43 has και ουχ ευρισκειkai ouch heuriskei (present active indicative instead of present active participle). Luke 11:24-26 is almost verbatim like Matthew 12:43-45, which see. Instead of just “taketh” (παραλαμβανειparalambanei) in Luke 11:26, Matthew has “taketh with himself” (παραλαμβανει μετ εαυτουparalambanei meth' heautou). And Luke omits: “Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation” of Matthew 12:45.

Than the first (των πρωτωνtōn prōtōn). Ablative case after the comparative χειροναcheirona The seven demons brought back remind one of the seven that afflicted Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2).

Verse 27

As he said these things (εν τωι λεγειν αυτονen tōi legein auton). Luke‘s common idiom, ενen with articular infinitive. Luke 11:27, Luke 11:28 are peculiar to Luke. His Gospel in a special sense is the Gospel of Woman. This woman “speaks well, but womanly” (Bengel). Her beatitude (μακαριαmakaria) reminds us of Elisabeth‘s words (Luke 1:42, ευλογημενηeulogēmenē). She is fulfilling Mary‘s own prophecy in Luke 1:48 (μακαριουσιν μεmakariousin me shall call me happy).

Verse 28

But he said (αυτος δε ειπενautos de eipen). Jesus in contrast turns attention to others and gives them a beatitude (μακαριοιmakarioi). “The originality of Christ‘s reply guarantees its historical character. Such a comment is beyond the reach of an inventor” (Plummer).

Verse 29

Were gathering together unto him (επατροιζομενωνepathroizomenōn). Genitive absolute present middle participle of επατροιζωepathroizō a rare verb, Plutarch and here only in the N.T., from επιepi and ατροιζωathroizō (a common enough verb). It means to throng together (ατροοςathroos in throngs). Vivid picture of the crowds around Jesus.

But the sign of Jonah (ει μη το σημειον Ιωναei mē to sēmeion Iōnā). Luke does not give here the burial and resurrection of Jesus of which Jonah‘s experience in the big fish was a type (Matthew 12:39), but that is really implied (Plummer argues) by the use here of “shall be given” (δοτησεταιdothēsetai) and “shall be” (εσταιestai), for the resurrection of Jesus is still future. The preaching of Jesus ought to have been sign enough as in the case of Jonah, but the resurrection will be given. Luke‘s report is much briefer and omits what is in Matthew 12:41.

Verse 31

With the men of this generation (μετα των ανδρων της γενεας ταυτηςmeta tōn andrōn tēs geneās tautēs). Here Matthew 12:42 has simply “with this generation,” which see.

Verse 32

At the preaching of Jonah (εις το κηρυγμα Ιωναeis to kērugma Iōna). Note this use of ειςeis as in Matthew 10:41; Matthew 12:41. Luke inserts the words about the Queen of the South (Luke 11:31) in between the discussion of Jonah (Luke 11:29., Luke 11:32). Both ΣολομωνοςSolomōnos (Luke 11:31) and ΙωναIōnā (Luke 11:32) are in the ablative case after the comparative πλειονpleion (more, something more).

Verse 33

In a cellar (εις κρυπτηνeis kruptēn). A crypt (same word) or hidden place from κρυπτωkruptō to hide. Late and rare word and here only in the N.T. These other words (lamp, λυχνονluchnon bushel, μοδιονmodion stand, λυχνιανluchnian) have all been discussed previously (see note on Matthew 5:15).

Verse 34

Luke 11:34 is like Matthew 6:22., which see notes for details.

Verse 35

Whether not (μηmē). This use of μηmē in an indirect question is good Greek (Robertson, Grammar, p. 1045). It is a pitiful situation if the very light is darkness. This happens when the eye of the soul is too diseased to see the light of Christ.

Verse 36

With its bright shining (τηι αστραπηιtēi astrapēi). Instrumental case, as if by a flash of lightning the light is revealed in him. See note on Luke 10:18.

Verse 37

Now as he spake (εν δε τωι λαλησαιen de tōi lalēsai). Luke‘s common idiom, ενen with the articular infinitive (aorist active infinitive) but it does not mean “after he had spoken” as Plummer argues, but simply “in the speaking,” no time in the aorist infinitive. See note on Luke 3:21 for similar use of aorist infinitive with ενen (ερωταιerōtāi). Present active indicative, dramatic present. Request, not question.

To dine (οπως αριστησηιhopōs aristēsēi). Note οπωςhopōs rather than the common ιναhina Aorist active subjunctive rather than present, for a single meal. The verb is from αριστονariston (breakfast). See distinction between αριστονariston and δειπνονdeipnon (dinner or supper) in Luke 14:12. It is the morning meal (breakfast or lunch) after the return from morning prayers in the synagogue (Matthew 22:4), not the very early meal called ακρατισμαakratisma The verb is, however, used for the early meal on the seashore in John 21:12, John 21:15.

With him (παρ αυτωιpar' autōi). By his side.

Sat down to meat (ανεπεσενanepesen). Second aorist active indicative of αναπιπτωanapiptō old verb, to recline, to fall back on the sofa or lounge. No word here for “to meat.”

Verse 38

That he had not first washed before dinner (οτι ου πρωτον εβαπτιστη προ του αριστουhoti ou prōton ebaptisthē pro tou aristou). The verb is first aorist passive indicative of βαπτιζωbaptizō to dip or to immerse. Here it is applied to the hands. It was the Jewish custom to dip the hands in water before eating and often between courses for ceremonial purification. In Galilee the Pharisees and scribes had sharply criticized the disciples for eating with unwashed hands (Mark 7:1-23; Matthew 15:1-20) when Jesus had defended their liberty and had opposed making a necessity of such a custom (tradition) in opposition to the command of God. Apparently Jesus on this occasion had himself reclined at the breakfast (not dinner) without this ceremonial dipping of the hands in water. The Greek has “first before” (πρωτον προprōton pro), a tautology not preserved in the translation.

Verse 39

The Lord (ο κυριοςho kurios). The Lord Jesus plainly and in the narrative portion of Luke.

Now (νυνnun). Probably refers to him. You Pharisees do now what was formerly done.

The platter (του πινακοςtou pinakos). The dish. Old word, rendered “the charger” in Matthew 14:8. Another word for “platter” (παροπσιςparopsis) in Matthew 23:25 means “side-dish.”

But your inward part (το δε εσωτεν υμωνto de esōthen humōn). The part within you (Pharisees). They keep the external regulations, but their hearts are full of plunder (αρπαγηςharpagēs from αρπαζωharpazō to seize) and wickedness (πονηριαςponērias from πονηροςponēros evil man). See note on Matthew 23:25 for a like indictment of the Pharisees for care for the outside of the cup but neglect of what is on the inside. Both inside and outside should be clean, but the inside first.

Verse 40

Howbeit (πληνplēn). See note on Luke 6:24. Instead of devoting so much attention to the outside.

Those things which are within (τα ενονταta enonta). Articular neuter plural participle from ενειμιeneimi to be in, common verb. This precise phrase only here in the N.T. though in the papyri, and it is not clear what it means. Probably, give as alms the things within the dishes, that is have inward righteousness with a brotherly spirit and the outward becomes “clean” (καταραkathara). Properly understood, this is not irony and is not Ebionism, but good Christianity (Plummer).

Verse 42

Tithe (αποδεκατουτεapodekatoute). Late verb for the more common δεκατευωdekateuō So in Matthew 23:23. Take a tenth off (αποapo -). Rue (πηγανονpēganon). Botanical term in late writers from πηγνυμιpēgnumi to make fast because of its thick leaves. Here Matthew 23:23 has “anise.”

Every herb (παν λαχανονpān lachanon). General term as in Mark 4:32. Matthew has “cummin.”

Pass by (παρερχεστεparerchesthe). Present middle indicative of παρερχομαιparerchomai common verb, to go by or beside. Matthew 23:23 has “ye have left undone” (απηκατεaphēkate). Luke here has “love” (αγαπηνagapēn), not in Matthew.

Ought (εδειedei). As in Matthew. Imperfect of a present obligation, not lived up to just like our “ought” (οωεδowed not paid). ΠαρειναιPareinai as in Matthew, the second aorist active infinitive of απιημιaphiēmi to leave off. Common verb. Luke does not have the remark about straining out the gnat and swallowing the camel (Matthew 23:34). It is plain that the terrible exposure of the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23 in the temple was simply the culmination of previous conflicts such as this one.

Verse 43

The chief seats in the synagogues (την πρωτοκατεδριαν εν ταις συναγωγαιςtēn prōtokathedrian en tais sunagōgais). Singular here, plural in Matthew 23:6. This semi-circular bench faced the congregation. Matthew 23:6 has also the chief place at feasts given by Luke also in that discourse (Luke 20:46) as well as in Luke 14:7, a marked characteristic of the Pharisees.

Verse 44

The tombs which appear not (τα μνηνεια τα αδηλαta mnēneia ta adēla). These hidden graves would give ceremonial defilement for seven days (Numbers 19:16). Hence they were usually whitewashed as a warning. So in Matthew 23:27 the Pharisees are called “whited sepulchres.” Men do not know how rotten they are. The word αδηλοςadēlos (αa privative and δηλοςdēlos apparent or plain) occurs in the N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 14:8, though an old and common word.

Here men walking around (περιπατουντεςperipatountes) walk over the tombs without knowing it. These three woes cut to the quick and evidently made the Pharisees wince.

Verse 45

Thou reproachest us also (και ημας υβριζειςkai hēmās hubrizeis). Because the lawyers (scribes) were usually Pharisees. The verb υβριζωhubrizō is an old one and common for outrageous treatment, a positive insult (so Luke 18:32; Matthew 22:6; Acts 14;5; 1 Thessalonians 2:2). So Jesus proceeds to give the lawyers three woes as he had done to the Pharisees.

Verse 46

Grievous to be borne (δυσβαστακταdusbastakta). A late word in lxx and Plutarch (δυςdus and βασταζωbastazō). Here alone in text of Westcott and Hort who reject it in Matthew 23:4 where we have “heavy burdens” (πορτια βαρεαphortia barea). In Galatians 6:2 we have βαρηbarē with a distinction drawn. Here we have πορτιζετεphortizete (here only in the N.T. and Matthew 11:28) for “lade,” πορτιαphortia as cognate accusative and then πορτιοιςphortiois (dative after ου προσπσαυετεou prospsauete touch not). It is a fierce indictment of scribes (lawyers) for their pettifogging interpretations of the written law in their oral teaching (later written down as Mishna and then as Gemarah), a terrible load which these lawyers did not pretend to carry themselves, not even “with one of their fingers” to “touch” (προσπσαυωprospsauō old verb but only here in the N.T.), touch with the view to remove. Matthew 23:4 has κινησαιkinēsai to move. A physician would understand the meaning of προσπαυωprospauō for feeling gently a sore spot or the pulse.

Verse 48

Consent (συνευδοκειτεsuneudokeite). Double compound (συν ευ δοκεωsun μαρτυρεςeu dokeō), to think well along with others, to give full approval. A late verb, several times in the N.T., in Acts 8:1 of Saul‘s consenting to and agreeing to Stephen‘s death. It is a somewhat subtle, but just, argument made here. Outwardly the lawyers build tombs for the prophets whom their fathers (forefathers) killed as if they disapproved what their fathers did. But in reality they neglect and oppose what the prophets teach just as their fathers did. So they are “witnesses” (martures) against themselves (Matthew 23:31).

Verse 49

The wisdom of God (η σοπια του τεουhē sophia tou theou). In Matthew 23:34 Jesus uses “I send” (εγω αποστελλωegō apostellō) without this phrase “the wisdom of God.” There is no book to which it can refer. Jesus is the wisdom of God as Paul shows (1 Corinthians 1:30), but it is hardly likely that he so describes himself here. Probably he means that God in his wisdom said, but even so “Jesus here speaks with confident knowledge of the Divine counsels” (Plummer). See Luke 10:22; Luke 15:7, Luke 15:10. Here the future tense occurs, “I will send” (αποστελωapostelō).

Some of them (εχ αυτωνex autōn). No “some” (τιναςtinas) in the Greek, but understood. They will act as their fathers did. They will kill and persecute.

Verse 50

That … may be required (ινα εκζητητηιhina εκζητεωekzētēthēi). Divinely ordered sequence, first aorist passive subjunctive of το εκκεχυμενονekzēteō a late and rare verb outside of lxx and N.T., requiring as a debt the blood of the prophets.

Which was shed (εκχεωto ekkechumenon). Perfect passive participle of εκχυννωekcheō and εκχυννομενονekchunnō (an Aeolic form appearing in the margin of Westcott and Hort here, απο καταβολης κοσμουekchunnomenon present passive participle). If the present passive is accepted, it means the blood which is perpetually shed from time to time.

From the foundation of the world (apo katabolēs kosmou). See also Matthew 25:34; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4, etc. It is a bold metaphor for the purpose of God.

Verse 51

From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah (απο αιματος Αβελ εως αιματος αχαριουapo haimatos Abel heōs haimatos Zachariou). The blood of Abel is the first shed in the Old Testament (Genesis 4:10), that of Zacharias the last in the O.T. canon which ended with Chronicles (2 Chronicles 24:22). Chronologically the murder of Uriah by Jehoiakim was later (Jeremiah 26:23), but this climax is from Genesis to II Chronicles (the last book in the canon). See note on Matthew 23:35 for discussion of Zachariah as “the son of Barachiah” rather than “the son of Jehoiada.”

Between the altar and the sanctuary (metaxu tou thusiastēriou kai tou oikou). Literally, between the altar and the house (Matthew 23:35 has temple, naou).

Verse 52

Ye took away the key of knowledge (ηρατε την κλειδα της γνωσεωςērate tēn kleida tēs gnōseōs). First aorist active indicative of αιρωairō common verb. But this is a flat charge of obscurantism on the part of these scribes (lawyers), the teachers (rabbis) of the people. They themselves (αυτοιautoi) refused to go into the house of knowledge (beautiful figure) and learn. They then locked the door and hid the key to the house of knowledge and hindered (εκωλυσατεekōlusate effective aorist active) those who were trying to enter (τους εισερχομενουςtous eiserchomenous present participle, conative action). It is the most pitiful picture imaginable of blind ecclesiastics trying to keep others as blind as they were, blind leaders of the blind, both falling into the pit.

Verse 53

From thence (κακειτενk'akeithen). Out of the Pharisee‘s house. What became of the breakfast we are not told, but the rage of both Pharisees and lawyers knew no bounds.

To press upon him (ενεχεινenechein). An old Greek verb to hold in, to be enraged at, to have it in for one. It is the same verb used of the relentless hatred of Herodias for John the Baptist (Mark 6:19).

To provoke him to speak (αποστοματιζεινapostomatizein). From αποapo and στομαstoma (mouth). Plato uses it of repeating to a pupil for him to recite from memory, then to recite by heart (Plutarch). Here (alone in the N.T.) the verb means to ply with questions, to entice to answers, to catechize.

Of many things (περι πλειονωνperi pleionōn). “Concerning more (comparative) things.” They were stung to the quick by these woes which laid bare their hollow hypocrisy.

Verse 54

Laying wait for him (ενεδρευοντες αυτονenedreuontes auton). An old verb from ενen and εδραhedra a seat, so to lie in ambush for one. Here only and Acts 23:21 in the N.T. Vivid picture of the anger of these rabbis who were treating Jesus as if he were a beast of prey.

To catch something out of his mouth (τηρευσαι το εκ του στοματος αυτουthēreusai to ek tou stomatos autou). An old Greek verb, though here only in the N.T., from τηραthēra (cf. Romans 11:9), to ensnare, to catch in hunting, to hunt. These graphic words from the chase show the rage of the rabbis toward Jesus. Luke gives more details here than in Luke 20:45-47; Matthew 23:1-7, but there is no reason at all why Jesus should not have had this conflict at the Pharisee‘s breakfast before that in the temple in the great Tuesday debate.


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 11:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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