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Bible Commentaries

Vincent's Word Studies

Luke 21



Verse 1


See on Mark 12:41.


Standing last and emphatically in the sentence,” Saw them that were casting, etc. - rich men. Not the rich only were casting in. Compare Mark 12:41.

Verse 2


See on Matthew 5:3.


See on Mark 12:42.

Verse 3

This poor widow

See on Mark 12:43.

Verse 4

Offerings of God

The best texts omit of God. Rev., more simply, unto the gifts.

Penury ( ὑστερήματος )

Lit.,lack. Rev., neatly, of her want.


Verse 5


See on Mark 13:1.

Offerings ( ἀναθήμασιν )

Only here in New Testament. From ἀνατίθημι ,to set up. Hence of something set up in the temple as a votive offering. Such were the golden vines presented by Herod the Great, with bunches of grapes as large as a man, and mounted above the entrance to the holy place. The magnificent porch of the temple was adorned with many such dedicated gifts, such as a golden wreath which Sosius offered after he had taken Jerusalem in conjunction with Herod; and rich flagons which Augustus and his wife had given to the sanctuary. Gifts were bestowed by princes friendly to Israel, both on the temple and on provincial synagogues. The word ἀνάθεμθ (Galatians 1:8, Rev.), is the same word, something devoted, and so devoted to evil and accursed. Luke uses the classical form. The other is the common or Hellenistic form. The two forms develop gradually a divergence in meaning; the one signifying devoted in a good, the other in a bad sense. The same process may be observed in other languages. Thus knave, lad, becomes a rascal: villain, a farmer, becomes a scoundrel: cunning, skilful, becomes crafty.

Verse 6

Behold ( θεωρεῖτε )

See on Luke 10:18.

Thrown down

See on Mark 13:2.

Verse 8


Rev., rightly, led astray. See on Matthew 24:4.

In my name

See on Matthew 18:5.

Verse 9

Commotions ( ἀκαταστασίας )

From ἀ , not, and καθίστημι , to establish. Hence disestablishments; unsettlements. Rev., tumults.

Be not terrified ( μὴ πτοηθῆτε )

Only here and Luke 24:37.

By and by ( εὐθέως )

Better as Rev., immediately.

Verse 11


See on Mark 13:7.

Famines and pestilences ( λιμοὶ καὶ λοιμοὶ )

Some texts reverse the order of the words. A paronomasia or combination of like-sounding words: limoiloimoiEspecially common in Paul's epistles.

Fearful sights ( φοβητρά )

Only here in New Testament, and rare in classical Greek. In Septuagint, Isaiah 19:17. Not confined to sights, but fearful things. Rev., better, terrors. Used in medical language by Hippocrates, of fearful objects imagined by the sick.

Verse 13

It shall turn ( ἀποβήσεται )

Lit., turn out; issue.

Verse 14

To answer

See on answer, 1 Peter 3:15.

Verse 19

Possess ye ( κτήσεσθε )

Wrong. See on Luke 18:12. Rev. rightly, ye shall win.


Verse 22

Vengeance ( ἐκδικήσεως )

Of rendering full justice, or satisfaction. See on avenge, Luke 18:3.

Verse 23

Distress ( ἀνάγκη )

Originally constraint, necessity; thence force or violence, and in the classical poets, distress, anguish.

Verse 24

Edge ( στόματι )

Lit., the mouth. So Wyc. Either in the sense of the foremost part, or picturing the sword as a devouring monster. In Hebrews 11:33, Hebrews 11:34, the word is used in both senses: “the mouths of lions;” “the edge of the sword.”

Led away captive

See on captives, Luke 4:18.

Trodden down

Denoting the oppression and contempt which shall follow conquest.

Verse 25

Signs ( σημεῖα )

See on Matthew 24:24.

Distress ( συνοχὴ )

Only here and 2 Corinthians 2:4. Kindred with συνεχομένη , taken (Luke 4:38), on which see note. The original idea of the word is being held in a tight grasp.

With perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring

The A. V. follows the reading ἠχούσης , the participle, roaring. The proper reading is ἠχοῦς the noun, the roaring. Render perplexity for the roaring of the sea, etc. Ἠχώ , roaring, is properly a returned sound, an echo. Generally a ringing sound, as of the blows on an anvil.

Waves ( σάλου )

Only here in New Testament. The radical notion of the word is unsteady motion, especially the rolling swell of the sea. Rev., better, billows.

Verse 26

Failing ( ἀποψυχόντων )

Only here in New Testament. The word originally means to leave off breathing; to swoon. Thus Homer, when Laertes recognizes Ulysses:

“He threw

Round his dear son his arms. The hardy chief,

Ulysses, drew him fainting ( ἀποψύχοντα ) to his heart.”

Odyssey, xxiv., 846.

So also Sophocles, of Hector dragged behind Achilles' chariot:

“He breathed out his life ( ἀπέψυξεν βίον ).

Ajax, 1031.

Matthew alone uses the simple verb, ψύχω , to breathe or blow. See on wax cold, Matthew 24:12. Luke uses four compounds of this simple verb, all of which are peculiar to him. Compare cool, Luke 16:24; refreshing, Acts 3:19; gave up the ghost, Acts 5:5, Acts 5:10.

Expectation ( προσδοκίας )

Only here and Acts 12:11.

The world

See on Luke 2:1.

Shall be shaken ( σαλευθήσονται )

Compare Matthew 11:7; Luke 6:38; Acts 4:31; Hebrews 12:26, Hebrews 12:27. The root of the verb is the same as that of billows, Luke 21:25.

Verse 28

Look up

See on Luke 13:11. Graphic, as implying being previously bowed down with sorrow.

Redemption ( ἀπολύτρωσις )

See on lettest depart, Luke 2:29.

Verse 29


See on Matthew 24:32.

Verse 30

Ye see ( βλέποντες )

Lit., “looking, ye know,” etc. Implying careful observation, with a view to determine the progress of the season.

Know ( γινώσκετε )

Perceive would be better.

Verse 31

Come to pass ( γινόμενα )

The present participle. Rev., more correctly, “coming to pass'” in process of fulfilment. Compare Mark 13:29.

Verse 34

Overcharged ( βαρηζῶσιν )

Weighed down. Compare Luke 9:32; 2 Corinthians 5:4.

Surfeiting ( κραιπάλῃ )

Only here in New Testament. Derivation uncertain: akin to the Latin crapula,intoxication. Trench finds an equivalent in fulsomeness, in its original sense offulness. In the medical writings it is used of drunken nausea or headache.

Drunkenness ( μέθῃ )

Compare are well drunk, John 2:10. This and kindred words in the New Testament always refer to intoxication, or that which intoxicates. See note on John 2:10.

Cares ( μερίμναις )

See on Matthew 6:25.

Of this life ( βιωτικαῖς )

The rendering is too general; though it might be difficult to give a better. Βίος , life, means life considered either as to its duration (1 Peter 4:3); the means of support (Mark 12:44; Luke 8:43; Luke 21:4; 1 John 3:17); or the manner of leading it (1 Timothy 2:2). The meaning here is pertaining to the support or luxury of life; and so in the only other passages where it occurs, 1 Corinthians 6:3, 1 Corinthians 6:4. The parallel is Matthew 6:31. Wyc., business of this life.

Suddenly ( αἰφνίδιος )

Only here and 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

Verse 35

As a snare

Join with the previous sentence: “come suddenly as a snare.” Compare entangle, Matthew 22:15.

Verse 36


See on Mark 13:33.

Verse 37

Abode ( ηὐλίζετο )

Only here and Matthew 21:17.

Verse 38

Came early in the morning ( ὤρθριζεν )

Only here in New Testament.


Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.

Bibliography Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 21:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

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