Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT


1-10. Compare Matt. viii. 5-13.

vers 1.
Sayings (rhmata). See on ch. i. 37.

In the ears (eiv tav akoav). Lit., into the ears. See on ears, Luke iv. 37.

vers 2.
Centurion (ekatontarcou). From ekaton, a hundred, and arcw, to command. Commander of a hundred men. Mark uses kenturiwn, a Graecized form of the Latin word centurio. A centuria was originally a division consisting of a hundred things of a kind; and thence came to mean any division, whether consisting of a hundred or not. In military language it meant a division of troops, a company, not necessarily of a hundred, the caption of which was called centurio. The numbers of a century varied from about fifty to a hundred. The Roman legion consisted of ten cohorts or speirai, bands, as "the Italian band," of which Cornelius was a centurion (Acts x. 1). The commanders of these cohorts were called chiliarchs, or chief captains (John xviii. 12, Rev.). Each cohort contained six centuries, or companies, of which the commanders were called centurions. The duty of the centurion was chiefly confined to the regulation of his own corps, and the care of the watch. The badge of his office was the vitis, or vine-stock. He wore a short tunic, and was also known by letters on the crest of his helmet. Dean Howson ("Companions of St. Paul") remarks on the favorable impression left upon the mind by the officers of the Roman army mentioned in the New Testament, and cites, besides the centurion in this passage, the one at the cross, and Julius, who escorted Paul to Rome. See, further, on Acts x. 1.

Servant (doulov). A bond-servant. Matthew has paiv, a servant, which occurs also at ver. 7.

Dear (entimov). Lit., held in honor or value. It does not necessarily imply an affectionate relation between the master and the servant, though such may well have existed. It may mean only that he was a valuable servant. See on 1 Pet. ii. 4. In this case Luke omits the mention of the disease, which is given by Matthew.

Beseeching (erwtwn). Too strong. Better asking, as Rev. The word to beseech (parakalew) occurs in the next verse. See on Matt. xv. 23.

Heal (diaswsh). Better as Rev., save. See on ch. vi. 19.

vers 4.
They besought him instantly (parekaloun spoudaiwv). On besought, see on ch. vi. 24. Instantly, which commonly means at once, is used in its older meaning, pressingly, from the Latin instare, to urge or press upon. So Rom. xii. 12, "instant in prayer." Wyc., prayed busily. That he was worthy (oti axiov estin). The A.V. renders oti as a conjunction, that. The Rev., more correctly, takes it as a mark of quotation, besides properly rendering ejstin is, instead of was. Render as Rev., He is worthy that thou shouldst do this; for the best texts read parexh, the second person, thou shouldst do, instead of the third person, parexei, he shall do.

vers 5.
He hath built (autov wkodomhsen). He is emphatic; himself, at his own expense.

A synagogue (thn sunagwghn). The article, "the synagogue," marks the particular synagogue which these elders represented. Hence Rev., rightly, "our synagogue." "He did not merely avoid profaning the synagogue" (Bengel).

vers 6.
Went (eporeueto). The imperfect tense is explained by what follows. He was going, was on the way, when he was met by the second messenger from the centurion.

Friends. Possibly kinsmen, not elders now.

Trouble (skullou). Lit., worry. See on Matt. ix. 36; Mark v. 35.

Worthy (ikanov). Lit., sufficient. Compare Matt. iii. 11, "worthy to bear;" and 2 Cor. iii. 5, "not that we are sufficient (ikanoi), but our sufficiency (ikanothv) is of God." It is also used in the sense of much, many, long. See ch. vii. 12; viii. 27, 32; xx. 9; Acts ix. 23.

vers 7.
Say in a word. Lit., "say with a word."

My servant shall be healed (iaqhtw o paiv mou). It is strange that the Rev. should have omitted to note the imperative mood here, at least in the margin. The literal rendering is the more graphic: Let my servant be healed. Note the professional word for heal. See on ch. vi. 19.

vers 8.
Also. See on Matt. viii. 9.

Set under authority (upo exousian tassomenov). It is not easy to render the exact force of these words. The sense of the present participle with the verb eijmi, I am, is very subtle. The words set under are commonly understood to mean placed in a subordinate position; but this would be more accurately expressed by the perfect participle, tetagmenov. The present participle indicates something operating daily, and the centurion is describing not his appointed position so much as his daily course of life. The word set originally means arranged, drawn up in order; so that the words might be paraphrased thus: "I am a man whose daily course of life and duty is appointed and arranged by superior authority." The centurion speaks in a figure which is well explained by Alford: "I know how to obey, being myself under authority; and I know how others obey, having soldiers under me. If then I, in my subordinate station of command, am obeyed, how much more thou, who art over all, and whom diseases serve as their Master." Just what estimate of Jesus these words imply we cannot say. It seems evident, at least, that the centurion regarded him as more than man. If that be so, it is a question whether the word man (anqrwpov) may not imply more than is commonly assigned to it. Taking the Greek words in their order they may read, "For I also, a man (as compared with thee), am set under authority, having soldiers under myself. See on Matt. viii. 9.

vers 10.
Whole (ugiainonta). See on ch. v. 31. The best texts omit that had been sick.

11-17. Peculiar to Luke.

vers 11.
The day after (en th exhv). Others read ejn tw eJxhv, soon after. So Rev. Luke's usage favors the latter.

Nain. Mentioned nowhere else in the Bible. "On the northern slope of the rugged and barren ridge of Little Hermon, immediately west of Endor, which lies in a further recess of the same range, is the ruined village of Nain. No convent, no tradition marks the spot. But, under these circumstances, the name alone is sufficient to guarantee its authenticity. One entrance alone it could have had - that which opens on the rough hillside in its downward slope to the plain. It must have been in this steep descent, as, according to Eastern custom, they 'carried out the dead man,' that, 'nigh to the gate' of the village, the bier was stopped, and the long procession of mourners stayed, and 'the young man delivered back to his mother'" (Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine"). "It is in striking accord with the one biblical incident in the history of Nain that renders it dear to the Christian heart, that about the only remains of antiquity are tombs. These are cut in the rock, and are situated on the hillside to the east of the village" (Thomson, "Land and Book").

vers 12.
Carried out. The tombs were outside of the city.

vers 13.
The Lord. See on Matt. xxi. 3.

Saw her. Edersheim says, "Had it been in Judaea, the hired mourners and musicians would have preceded the bier; in Galilee they followed. First came the women; for, as an ancient Jewish commentary explains, woman, who brought death into our world, ought to lead the way in the funeral procession" ("Jewish Social Life").

Had compassion (esplagcnisqh). From splagcna, the nobler entrails, regarded as the seat of the affections. See on pitiful, 1 Pet. iii. 8.

vers 14.
Touched. Not fearing the ceremonial defilement of contact with the dead.

The bier (sorov). In classical Greek, originally, of a vessel for holding anything: sometimes of a cinerary urn. Here the open bier. Edersheim says "of wicker-work."

vers 15.
Sat up (anekaqisen). Compare Acts ix. 40. In this intransitive sense the word is used mostly by medical writers.

Delivered (edwken). Rev., gave. "For he had already ceased to belong to his mother" (Bengel). Compare ch. ix. 42.

vers 16.
There came a fear on all (elaben de fobov apantav). Lit., as Rev., fear took hold on all.

vers 17.
This rumor. Rev., report: viz., of a great prophet who had vindicated his claims by raising the dead.

18-35. Compare Matt. xi. 2-19.

vers 19.
Two (duo tinav). Lit, two certain ones. Rev., in margin, certain two. Art thou. The thou is emphatic. See on Matt. xi. 3.

vers 21.
Diseases-plagues (noswnmastigwn). See on Matt. iv. 23; Mark iii. 10. Marking the two classes of disease recognized in medical writings, chronic and acute.

Evil spirits (pneumatwn). On ponhrov, evil, see ch. iii. 19. It is applied to evil spirits by Luke only, with the single exception of Matt. xii. 45. In accordance with its signification of evil on its active side, it is applied in medicine to that which spreads destruction or corruption; as the poison of serpents. Note, moreover, that Luke distinguishes here between disease and demoniac possession, as often. See ch. vi. 17, 18; viii. 2; xiii. 32. He gave (ecarisato). More is expressed by this verb than simple giving. He gave as a free, gracious, joy-giving gift. See on cariv, favor, ch. i. 30; and compare freely give, Rom. viii. 32. Also, 1 Cor. ii. 12.

vers 22.
The blind receive, etc. Better, are receiving, are walking, even while Jesus is speaking and John is in doubt.

vers 23.
Shall not be offended (mh skandalisqh). Rev., shall find none occasion of stumbling. See on Matt. v. 29. Note also the conditional not (mh): "shall not find, whatever may occur."

vers 24.
To see (qeasasqai). Rev. is correct but awkward, to behold. The verb implies steadfast, intent gazing. See on Matt. xi. 7.

vers 25.
Gorgeously apparelled (en imatismw endoxw). Lit., in splendid clothing.

Live delicately (trufh uparcontev). Lit., are in luxury. On uJparcontev, are, see on Jas. ii. 15. On trufh, luxury, see on 2 Peter ii. 13, the only other place where it occurs. Compare the kindred verb trufaw, to live in luxury, Jas. v. 5.

Kings' courts (basileioiv). Only here in New Testament. Often rendered palaces. Sometimes, in later Greek, applied to a capital or royal city, a royal treasury, and a royal diadem.

vers 26.
A prophet (profhthn). The popular conception of a prophet is limited to his foretelling future events. This is indeed included in the term, but does not cover its meaning entirely. The word is from fhmi, to speak, and pro, before, in front of. This meaning of the preposition may have reference to time, viz., before, beforehand; or to place, viz., in front of, and so, publicly; and this latter meaning, in turn, easily runs into that of in behalf of; for. The prophet is, therefore, primarily, one who speaks standing before another, and thus forming a medium between him and the hearer. This sense runs naturally into that of instead of. Hence it is the technical term for the interpreter of a divine message. So Plato: "For this reason it is customary to appoint diviners or interpreters to be judges of the true inspiration. Some persons call them diviners, seers (manteiv); they do not know that they are only repeaters of dark sayings and visions, and are not to be called diviners at all, but interpreters, (profhtai) of things divine" ("Timaeus," 72). Similarly of an advocate to speak for, or instead of one. The central idea of the word is, one to whom God reveals himself and through whom he speaks. The revelation may or may not relate to the future. The prophet is a forth-teller, not necessarily a foreteller. The essence of the prophetic character is immediate intercourse with God. One of the Hebrew names for "prophet," and, as some maintain, the earlier name, signified a shewer or seer. See 1 Sam. ix. 10; and in 1 Cor. xiv. 26-30, Paul shows that revelation stands in necessary connection with prophesying.

vers 27.
Prepare (kataskeuasei). See on ch. i. 17.

Least (mikroterov). Lit., less. Rev., but little; or, as we might say, "comparatively little."

vers 29.
Justified God. Declaring, by being baptized, that God's will concerning John's baptism was right.

vers 30.
Lawyers (nomikoi). Not legal practitioners, but interpreters and doctors of the Mosaic law.

Rejected (hqethsan). Set aside, or annulled; made it vain through their disobedience.

Against themselves (eis eautouv). More strictly, with reference to themselves.

vers 32.
Children (paidioiv). Diminutive; little children. See on Matthew xi. 16.

Market-place. See on Matt. xi. 16.

We piped. Playing at wedding.

Mourned (eqrhnhsamen). Rev., much better, wailed: playing at funeral. Weep (eklausate). Of audible weeping. See on Matt. v. 4. Matthew has ejkoyasqe, beaten your breasts. See on Matt. xi. 17.

vers 33.
Bread and wine. Peculiar to Luke.

vers 37.
A woman who (htiv). Of that class which was, etc.

A sinner. Wyc., a sinneress. Her presence there is explained by the Oriental custom of strangers passing in and out of a house during a meal to see and converse with the guests. Trench cites a description of a dinner at a consul's house in Damietta. "Many came in and took their places on the side-seats, uninvited and yet unchallenged. They spoke to those at table on business or the news of the day, and our host spoke freely to them" ("Parables"). Bernard beautifully says: "Thanks to thee, most blessed sinner: thou hast shown the world a safe enough place for sinners - the feet of Jesus, which spurn none, reject none, repel none, and receive and admit all. Where alone the Pharisee vents not his haughtiness, there surely the Ethiopian changes his skin, and the leopard his spots" (cit. by Trench, "Parables").

Sat (katakeitai). Lit., is reclining at meat: a lively change to the present tense.

Alabaster. See on Matt. xxvi. 7.

vers 38.
At his feet behind. The body of the guest rested on the couch; the feet were turned from the table toward the walls, and the left elbow rested on the table.

Wash (brecein). More literally and better, as Rev., wet, as with rain. Wiped (exemassen). See on ch. v. 2.

vers 41.
Creditor (daneisth). From daneion, a loan. Properly a lender of money at interest. Rev., lender. See on ch. vi. 34.

Pence (dhnaria). See on Matt. xx. 2.

vers 42.
Frankly forgave (ecarisato). Rev. omits frankly, which is implied in the verb. See on ver. 21.

vers 43.
I suppose (upolambanw). The verb literally means to take up by getting under. It might be rendered, accordingly, I take it.

vers 45.
Ceased (dielipen). Only here in New Testament. Common in medical language, meaning to be intermittent, and to discontinue giving remedies for a time.

To kiss (katafilousa). The compound verb has the force of kissing tenderly, caressing.

vers 46.
Oil (elaiw). In vv. 37, 38, the word muron, liquid ointment, is used. This was the finer and costlier of the two. Christ means to say to Simon, "thou didst not anoint my head, the nobler part, with ordinary oil. She hath anointed my feet with costly ointment.

vers 49.
They began. Luke notes the first uprising of the thought.

Within themselves (en eautoiv). Better, among themselves, as Rev., in margin.

Also (kai). Much better as Rev., "who even forgiveth sins."

vers 50.
In peace (eiv eirhnhn). Lit., into peace. See on Mark v. 34.

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