VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
1-10. Compare Matt. viii. 5-13.
In the ears (eiv tav akoav). Lit., into the ears. See on ears, Luke iv. 37.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
11-17. Peculiar to Luke.
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").
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.
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."
Delivered (edwken). Rev., gave. "For he had already ceased to belong to his mother" (Bengel). Compare ch. ix. 42.
18-35. Compare Matt. xi. 2-19.
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.
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.
Least (mikroterov). Lit., less. Rev., but little; or, as we might say, "comparatively little."
Rejected (hqethsan). Set aside, or annulled; made it vain through their disobedience.
Against themselves (eis eautouv). More strictly, with reference to themselves.
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.
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.
Wash (brecein). More literally and better, as Rev., wet, as with rain. Wiped (exemassen). See on ch. v. 2.
Pence (dhnaria). See on Matt. xx. 2.
To kiss (katafilousa). The compound verb has the force of kissing tenderly, caressing.
Within themselves (en eautoiv). Better, among themselves, as Rev., in margin.
Also (kai). Much better as Rev., "who even forgiveth sins."