VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
They knew. The best texts read we knew: ascertained or recognized: with a reference to ver. 39.
Barbarous people. From the Roman point of view, regarding all as barbarians who spoke neither Greek nor Latin. Not necessarily uncivilized. It is equivalent to foreigners.
Compare Rom. i. 14; 1 Cor. xiv. 11. The inhabitants of Malta were of Carthaginian descent. "Even in the present day the natives of Malta have a peculiar language, termed the Maltese, which has been proved to be essentially an Arabic dialect, with an admixture of Italian" (Gloag).
No little (ou tucousan). See on special, ch. xix. 11. Rev., much better, "no common kindness."
Kindness (filanqrwpian). See on the kindred adverb courteously, ch xxviii. 3.
Present rain (ueton ton efestwta). Lit., which was upon us, or had set in. No mention of rain occurs up to this point in the narrative of the shipwreck. The tempest may thus far have been unattended with rain, but it is hardly probable.
Of sticks (fruganwn). Only here in New Testament. From ajpo to roast or parch. Hences dry sticks.
Out of (ek). The best texts read ajpo, by reason of.
Justice (Dikh). Personified.
Suffereth not (ouk eiasen). The aorist tense: did not suffer. His death is regarded as fixed by the divine decree.
The beast (to qhrion). Luke uses the word in the same way as the medical writers, who employed it to denote venomous serpents, and particularly the viper; so much so that an antidote, made chiefly from the flesh of vipers, was termed qhriakh. A curious bit of etymological history attaches to this latter word. From it came the Latin theriaca, of which our treacle (molasses) is a corruption. Treacle, therefore, is originally a preparation of viper's flesh, and was used later of any antidote. Thus Coverdale's translation of Jer. viii. 22 has, "There is no more treacle in Gilead." Gurnall ("Christian in Complete Armor") says: "The saints' experiences help them to a sovereign treacle made of the scorpion's own flesh (which they through Christ have slain), and that hath a virtue above all other to expel the venom of Satan's temptations from the heart." So Jeremy Taylor: "We kill the viper and make treacle of him."
Swollen (pimprasqai). Only here in New Testament. The usual medical word for inflammation.
Looked (prosdokwntwn). Occurring eleven times in Luke, and only five times in the rest of the New Testament. Frequent in medical writers, to denote expectation of the fatal result of illness.
No harm (mhden atopon). Lit., nothing out of place. The word atopov occurs three times in Luke, and only once elsewhere in the New Testament (2 Thess. iii. 2). Used by physicians to denote something unusual in the symptoms of disease and also something fatal or deadly as here. Rev., nothing amiss. Compare Luke xxiii. 41; and Acts xxv. 5, where the best texts insert the word.
Said (elegon). The imperfect, denoting current talk.
A God. "Observe," says Bengel, "the fickleness of human reasoning. He is either an assassin, say they, or a God. So, at one time bulls, at another stones" (Acts xiv. 13, 19).
The chief man (tw prwtw). Official title, without reference to his rank and possessions. Though not occurring as the official designation of the governor of Malta in any ancient author, it has been found in two inscriptions discovered in the island.
Sick (sunecomenon). Lit., taken or holden. See on taken, Luke iv. 38. Fever (puretoiv). Lit., fevers. This peculiarly medical use of the plural is confined to Luke in the New Testament. It denotes successive and varying attacks of fever.
Bloody flux (dusenteria). Only here in New Testament. Our word dysentery is nearly a transcript of it. Hippocrates often speaks of the two complaints in combination.
Healed (iasato). See on Luke vi. 19.
Honors (timaiv). The word was applied to payments for professional services, and that fact may have influenced Luke in selecting it; but it is evidently not used in that sense here.
Sign. Answering to the ship's name in modern times. It was the image of a God, a man, a beast, or of some other object, sculptured or painted on the prow. The figure of the guardian deity was affixed to the stern.
Castor and Pollux. Known as the twin brothers and the Dioscuri, or sons of Jove. They were regarded as tutelary deities of sailors.
The centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard. The best texts omit.
I am bound (perikeimai). Lit., compassed.
We desire (axioumen). Rather, we think it fitting. Compare ch. xv. 38. Sect. See on heresies, 2 Pet. ii. 1.
Agreed not. See on agreed together, ch. verse 9.
Waxed gross. See on Matt. xiii. 15.
Their ears are dull of hearing. Lit., with their ears they heard heavily. Closed. See on Matt. xiii. 15.
Hired house (misqwmati). Probably different from the xenia, or lodging-place, where he resided for the first few days, perhaps as the guest of friends, though under custody, and where he received the Jews (ver. 23).
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