Luke

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Preface
Luke 1:11Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, (Luke 1:1).—Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us.
REV. GEORGE CAMPBELL, D. D., F. R. S.—The very circumstance of the number of such narratives, at so early a period, is itself an evidence that there was something in the first publication of the Christian doctrine which excited the curiosity and awakened the attention of persons of all ranks and denominations; insomuch, that every narrative which pretended to furnish men with additional information concerning so extraordinary a personage as Jesus, seems to have been read with avidity.Prelim. Disserts. and Notes.
REV. G. CAMPBELL, D. D., F. R. S.—In the gospel histories a simple narrative of the facts is given; but no attempt is made, by argument, asseveration, or animated expression, to bias the understanding or work upon the passions. The naked truth is left to its own native evidence.—Ibid.
Which from the beginning were eye-witnesses, and ministers of the word.
IDEM.—It is impossible, on reflection, to hesitate a moment in affirming, that the historian here meant to acquaint us, that he had received his information from those who had attended Jesus, and been witnesses of everything during his public ministration upon the earth, and who, after his ascension, had been entrusted by Him with the charge of propagating his doctrine throughout the Luke 1:3,43It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed. (Luke 1:3‑4).-It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou halt been instructed.
BISHOP WILLIAM THOMSON, D. D.—The third Gospel is ascribed, by general consent of ancient Christendom, to "the beloved physician," Luke, the friend and companion of the apostle Paul.—Smith's Dict. of Bible.
IRENÆUS,—Luke, the follower of Paul, preserved in a book the Gospel, which that apostle preached.—Cont. Hœr., III., I.
See Testimonies at the beginning of Matthew.
Burning Incense
Luke 1:99According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. (Luke 1:9).—According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense, when he went into the temple of the Lord.
WETSTEIN.—The sacerdotal offices being various, it was agreed among the priests, that all should be assigned or distributed by lot. By the first lot, was designated he who should cleanse the outside of the altar. Secondly, thirteen were taken who should sacrifice the lamb, sprinkle the blood, trim the lamps, and burn and scatter the incense. Thirdly, he who should ascend the high altar, and lay upon it the members of the victim. Them most honorable of all the functions was that of burning incense; an office that could only be discharged once.—From the Talmud.
Luke 1:7676And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; (Luke 1:76).—And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord, to prepare his ways.
The Taxing
Luke 2:11And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (Luke 2:1).—And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Carat Augustus, that all the world should be taxed (enrolled).
DR. HENRY ALFORD.—Augustus Caesar was the first Roman emperor. He was born A. U. C. 691 or B. C. 63. His father was Caius Octavius, and his mother, Atia, the sister of Julius Caesar. The senate conferred on him the title Augustus in the year B. C. 27. In A. D. 12, he adopted Tiberius as his successor, and admitted him to a share in the government. Augustus died at Nola, in Campania, Aug. 19th, A. D. 14, in the 76th year of his age.—Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 199.
PROF. EDWARD HAYES PLUMTRE, M. A.—An enrollment or census of persons and property was a common official act of the Romans. The inscription on the monument of Ancyra, names three general censuses in the years A. U. C. 726, 746, 767. Dion Cassius mentions another in Italy, A. U. C. 757. Others in Gaul are assigned to A. U. C. 727, 741, and 767. Strabo, writing early in the reign of Tiberius, speaks of such enrollments as if they were common things. In A. U. C. 726, when Augustus offered to resign his power, he laid before the senate a Rationarium imperil. After his death, in like manner, a Brevarium talus imperil was produced, containing full returns of the population, wealth, resources of all parts of the empire, a careful digest apparently of facts collected during the labors of many years... Two distinct registrations of this sort are mentioned in the New Testament, both of them by St. Luke; the first is said to have been the result of "a decree of the emperor Augustus," and the second is referred to in the speech of Gamaliel, Acts 5:3737After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. (Acts 5:37). Of this second census Josephus also gives a somewhat extended account.—Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 3185, 3186.
Luke 2:22(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) (Luke 2:2).—And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.
DR. HENRY ALFORD. —Considerable difficulty existed formerly in connection with this verse; 'but lately an unexpected light has been thrown upon it, by A. W. Zumpt, of Berlin, who has shown by arguments too long to be reproduced here, but very striking and satisfactory, that Cyrenius was, first, governor of Syria from the year 4-1 B. C.; and, a second time, from A. D. 6, forward.—Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 525.
PRESIDENT T. D. WOOLSEY, D. D., LL. D.—The enrollment in Luke 2:22(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) (Luke 2:2) might thus be called " the first " in opposition to the second, or more noted one, which Luke had in his mind, and which he mentions in his report of Gamaliel's speech, Acts 5:3737After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. (Acts 5:37).—Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 526.
Luke 2:4, 54And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. (Luke 2:4‑5).—And Joseph also went.... unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem „.. to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
TERTULLIAN.—This author, writing against Marcion, incidentally appeals to the returns of the Census for Syria (taken at this very time), as accessible to all who cared to search them, and as proving that the birth of Jesus took place at Bethlehem.—Adv. Marc., IV., 19.
The Savior Born at Bethlehem
Luke 2:77And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:7).—And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—In Palestine it not infrequently happens that the entire khan (" the inn ") or at any rate the portion of it in which the animals are housed, is one of those innumerable caves which abound in the limestone rocks of its central hills. Such seems to have been the case at the little town of Bethlehem, in the land of Judea. Justin Martyr, who was born at Shechem, A. D. 103, and was familiar with Palestine, places the scene of the nativity in a cave. This is, indeed, the ancient and constant tradition both of the Eastern and Western Churches, and it is one of the few to which, though unrecorded in the Gospel history, we may attach a reasonable probability. Over this Cave has risen the Church and Convent of the Nativity.... It is impossible to stand in the little Chapel of the Nativity, and to look, without emotion, on the Silver Star let into the white marble, encircled by its sixteen ever-burning lamps, and surrounded by the inscription, Hic de Virgine Maria Jesus Christus natus est.—Life of Christ, I., p. 5.
The Angel's Announcement
Luke 2:88And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. (Luke 2:8).—And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM.—The same practice continues to this day.—Nat. Hist. of Bible, p. 139.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—One mile from Bethlehem is a little plain, in which, under a grove of olives, stands the bare and neglected chapel known by the name of The Angel to the Shepherds. It is built over the traditional site of the fields where, in the beautiful language of St. Luke-more exquisite than any idyll to Christian ears—" there were shepherds keeping watch over their flock by night, when, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them." The present rude chapel is, perhaps, a mere fragment of a church built over the spot by Helena.—Life of Christ, I., T.
Luke 2:22(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) (Luke 2:2).—Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
HINDOO INSCRIPTION—written in Sanscreet, on a stone found, and still existing, in a cave, near the ancient city of Gya, in the East Indies:
The Deity, who is the Lord, the possessor of all, APPEARED in this ocean of natural beings, at the beginning of the Kalee Yoog (Age of contention and baseness). He who is omnipresent, and everlastingly to be contemplated, the Supreme Being, the Eternal One, the Divinity worthy to be adored-appeared here with a portion of his Divine Nature. Reverence be unto thee, in the form of Bŏŏd-dhă (Author of happiness). Reverence be to thee the Lord of the earth! Reverence be unto thee an INCARNATION of the Deity, and the Eternal One! Reverence' be unto thee, O God, in the form of the God of Mercy; the dispeller of pain and trouble, the Lord of all things, the Deity who overcometh the sins of the Kalee Yoog; the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy towards those who serve thee, O' M! (Jehovah); the possessor of all things in Vital Form! Thou art Brahma, Veeshnoo, and Măhĕsa! (the Hindu Trinity). Thou art Lord of the universe! Thou art under the form of all things, movable and immovable, the possessor of the whole! and thus I adore thee. Reverence be unto the BESTOWER OF SALVATION, and the Ruler of the Faculties! Reverence be unto thee the Destroyer of the evil spirit! O Damordara! (God of Virtue) show me favor! I adore thee, who art celebrated by a thousand names, and under various forms, in the shape of Bŏŏd-dhă, the God of Mercy! Be propitious, O most High God!-Translation, by Dr. C. Wilkins, in Asiatic Researches, Vol. I., p. 284.
The Period of John's Ministry
Luke 3:1-31Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, 2Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. 3And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; (Luke 3:1‑3).—Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
PROF. H. B. HACKETT, D. D., LL. D.—Tiberius, the second Roman emperor, began to reign A. D. 14, and reigned until A. D. 37. It will be seen hence that the ministry of John the Baptist, the public life of the Savior, and some of the introductory events of the apostolic age, must have fallen within his administration. The ancient writers who supply most of our knowledge respecting this emperor are Tacitus and Suetonius.—Smith's Dict. of the Bible, p. 3245.
JOSEPHUS.—Herod the Great, in his last will and testament, made on his dying bed (B. C. 4), appointed Herod Antipas his son to be tetrarch of Galilee and Perea.... Herod Antipas, accompanied by his wife, went to Rome, from whence, under certain accusations brought against him, he was banished into Gaul (A. D. 39), and there he died an exile. (Thus it will be seen that the period of Herod's tetrarchy covered the ministry of both John and of Christ.) —Antiq., 17, 8, I; and 18, 7, 2.
IDEM.—By the appointment of Cæsar, Batanea, and Trachonitis, and Auranitis, and certain parts of Zeno's house about Jamnia, with a revenue of a hundred talents, were made subject to Philip. (He died A. D. 34.)—Jewish Wars, 2, 6, 3.
IDEM.—(That Lysanias bore the office and title of tetrarch is sufficiently proved by the following incidental allusion of the Jewish historian.) And Caius gave to Agrippa the tetrarchy of Lysanias, and changed his iron chain for a golden one of equal weight.—J. B., 18, 6,
IDEM.—Annas was appointed high priest by Quirinus, the imperial governor of Syria, in his thirty-seventh year (A. D. 7). After a term of seven years, he had to resign his office, which after having been occupied by a number of others, was conferred on his son-in-law, Joseph Caiaphas, who remained till the Passover of A. D. 37. Annas and Caiaphas were together at the head of the Jewish people, the latter as actual high priest, and the former as president of the Sanhedrim.—See Antiq., 18, 2, I; and 18, 2, 2; and 20, 9, I.
REV. ALBERT BARNES.—There is one remark to be made here about the manner in which the Gospels were written. They have every mark of openness and honesty An impostor does not mention names, and times, and places,, particularly. For thereby it would be easily seen that he was an impostor. But the sacred writers describe objects and men as if they were perfectly familiar with them. They never appear to be guarding themselves. They speak of things most minutely. And if they had been impostors, it would have been easy to detect them. If, for example, John did not begin to preach in the fifteenth year of Tiberius; if Philip was not tetrarch of Iturea; if Pontius Pilate was not governor of Judea; how easy would it have been to detect them in falsehood! Yet it was never done. Nay we have evidence of that age in Josephus that these descriptions are strictly true; and consequently the Gospels must have been written by men who were personally acquainted with what they wrote, who were not impostors, and who were honest men. If they were honest, then the Christian religion is true.—Note, In loco.
DR. ADAM CLARKE.—The facts which St. Luke mentions in these verses tend much to confirm the truth of the evangelical history. Here we find the persons, the places, and the times marked with the utmost exactness. It was under the first Cæsars that the preaching of the Gospel took place; and in their time, the facts on which the whole of Christianity is founded made their appearance: an age the most enlightened, and Vest known from the multitude of its historic records. It was in Judea, where everything that professed to come from God, was scrutinized with the most exact and unmerciful criticism. In writing the history of Christianity, the evangelists appeal to certain facts which were publicly transacted in such places, under the, government and inspection of such and such persons, and in such particular times. A thousand persons could have confronted the falsehood, had it been one! These appeals are made—a challenge is offered to the Roman government, and to the Jewish rulers and people—a new religion has been introduced, in such a place, at such a time—this has been accompanied with such and such facts and miracles! who can disprove this? None—because none could. (Nay, the acknowledgment was forced from the bitterest enemies of the cause—" That indeed notable miracles have been done by these men is manifest to all them that dwell at Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.") Now, let it be observed, that the persons of that time, only, could confute these things had they been false—they never attempted it: therefore these facts are absolute and incontrovertible truths: this conclusion is necessary. Shall a man then give up his faith in such attested facts as these, because more than a thousand years after, an infidel creeps out, and ventures publicly to sneer at what his iniquitous soul hopes is not true 2—In loco.
Luke 3:33And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; (Luke 3:3).—And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
John's Teaching
Luke 3:1313And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. (Luke 3:13).—And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
PROF. E. H. PLUMTRE, M. A.—The Publicani were banded together to support each other's interest, and at once resented and defied all interference. Their agents, the Portiores, were encouraged in the most vexatious or fraudulent exactions, and a remedy was all but impossible. Cicero, in writing to his brother, speaks of the difficulty of keeping the Publicans within bounds, and yet not offending them, as the hardest task of the governor of a province.—Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 2636.
The Precipice of Nazareth
Luke 4:2929And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. (Luke 4:29).—And they led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—The little town of Nazareth nestles in the southern hollows of that hill; many a mass of precipitous rock lies imbedded in its slopes, and it is probable that the hill-side may have been far more steep and precipitous two thousand years ago. To one of these rocky escarpments they dragged Him, in order to fling Him headlong down. It may have been the cliff above the Maronite church, which is about forty feet high. When I was at Nazareth, my horse was hurt, and might easily have been killed, by sliding down a huge mass of rock on the hill-side.—Life of Christ, I., p. 227.
PLUTARCH. —The people of Delphi having condemned Æsop, the ambassador of Crœsus, for sacrilege, put him to death by casting him down from the summit of the rock which they call Hyampea.—De Ser. Num. Vind., c. 12.
Descent From Nazareth to Capernaum
THE COMPILER.—The site of Nazareth stands 1,750 feet higher than that of Capernaum, by the Sea of Galilee, so that when He came from the former to the latter place, as stated both by Luke and John, he literally "went down" to Capernaum. So accurate are the statements of the Gospel history.—Harmonies of the Universe, p. 638.
Luke 4:3232And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power. (Luke 4:32).—And they were astonished at his doctrine; for his word was with power.
Luke 5:22And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. (Luke 5:2).—And he saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
Fishing in the Sea of Tiberias
Luke 5:66And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. (Luke 5:6).—And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake.
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM, LL. D., F. R. S.—Walking along the shore, not far from Mejdel (Magdala), we had an opportunity of watching the mode of fishing as it is now carried on. An old Arab sat on a low cliff, and threw poisoned crumbs of bread as far as he could reach, which the fish seized, and, turning over dead, were washed ashore and collected for the market. The shoals were marvelous black masses of many hundred yards long, with the black fins projecting out of the water as thickly as they could pack. No wonder that any net should break which enclosed such a shoal. The lake swarms with fish, as I could not have believed water could swarm.—Land of Israel, p. 430.
Luke 5:1212And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (Luke 5:12).—Behold a man full of leprosy; who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Luke 5:2727And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. (Luke 5:27).—And after these things, he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom.
Old and New Wine
Luke 5:3939No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. (Luke 5:39).—No man having drunk old wine straightway desireth new; for he saith, The old is better.
ANACREON.—Bring me, then, my gentle page, Wine that glows with strength and age.— Anacr., carm. 38.
HORACE.—Bring us down the mellow'd wine, Rich with years that equal mine.— Hor., lib. v., carm., 13.
Luke 6:3636Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:36).—Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
Luke 6:4747Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: (Luke 6:47)—49.—Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, etc.
Nain
Luke 7:36-3836And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (Luke 7:36‑38).—And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.... And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not, etc.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—Nain—now a squalid and miserable village—is about twenty-five miles from Capernaum, and lies on the northwest slope of Jebel el-Duhy, or little Hermon. The name (which it still retains) means " fair," and its situation near Endor—nestling picturesquely on the hill-slopes of the graceful mountain, and full in view of Tabor and the heights of Zebulon—justifies the flattering title.— Life of Christ, I., 284.
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM.—To the east of Nain, by the roadside, about ten minutes walk from the village, lies the ancient burying-ground, still used by the Moslems; and probably on this very path our Lord met that sorrowing procession.—Land of Israel, p. 129.
Entertainment in Simon's House
Luke 7:36-3836And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. (Luke 7:36‑38).—And he went into the Pharisee's, and sat down to meat. And behold a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
SCOTCH MISSION.—At a dinner at the Consul's house at Damietta, we were much interested in observing a custom of the country. In the room where we were received, besides the divan on which we sat, there were seats all round the walls. Many came in and took their places on those 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. This made us understand the scene in Simon's house at Bethany, where Jesus sat at supper, and Mary came in and anointed his feet with ointment; and also the scene in the Pharisee's house, where the woman who was a sinner came in, uninvited and yet not forbidden, and washed his feet with her tears. We afterward saw this custom at Jerusalem, and there it was still more fitted to illustrate these incidents. We were sitting round Mr. Nicolayson's table, when first one and then another stranger opened the door, and came in, taking their seat by the wall. They leaned forward, and spoke to those at the table.— Narrative of a Mission of Inquiry to the Jews in 5839.
Luke 7:4646My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. (Luke 7:46).—My head with oil thou didst not anoint; but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment.
DR. HENRY J. VAN-LENNEP.—Egyptian monuments represent servants anointing guests on their arrival at their entertainer's house, and alabaster vases still exist which retain traces of the ointment they once contained. This was adopted from the Egyptians by the Jews, and the settlement of many of these people at Alexandria served to maintain Egyptian customs among them.—Bible Lands, 534.
Luke 8:26-3626And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. 27And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. 28When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. 29(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) 30And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. 31And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. 32And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. 33Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. 34When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. 35Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 36They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. (Luke 8:26‑36).—And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city, a certain man, which had devils long time, etc.
See Matt. To: 9.
See Matt. 14:55.
Luke 9:2525For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? (Luke 9:25).—For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Looking Back
Luke 9:6262And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9:62).—And Jesus said unto him, No man having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
HESIOD.—
He steadily shall cut the furrow true
Nor towards his fellows glance a rambling view,
Still on his task intent.
Oper. et Dies, v. 445.
Salutations
DR. W. M. THOMSON—The same is now required of special messengers.
No doubt the customary salutations were formal and tedious, as they are still, and consume much valuable time. There is also such an amount of insincerity, flattery, and falsehood in the terms of salutation prescribed by etiquette, that our Lord, who is truth itself, desired his representatives to dispense with them as far as possible, perhaps tacitly to rebuke them.—The Land and the Book, I., 534.
Luke 10:55And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. (Luke 10:5).—And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.
Scorpions
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM. —Scorpions swarm in every part of Palestine. Their sting is very painful, and sometimes fatal.—Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 303.
The Road From Jerusalem to Jericho
THE COMPILER.—The scene of the parable of "The Good Samaritan" is laic on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho; and for the deed of violence and blood which it describes, no more suitable scene could have been found in all the land and the topographical allusions in this beautiful narrative offer clear evidence that its author was familiar with the country, and had himself traveled the road and marked the peculiar features of the scene of which he has given so correct and vivid a picture. The unfortunate traveler, it is said, "went down" from Jerusalem to Jericho: the former city stood on the high central ridge of the country, the latter in the deep Jordan valley, more than 3,000 feet below; see hence how strictly accurate the description of the parable is. The road from immediately beyond Bethany lay through "a wilderness as bare and as solitary as the Desert of Arabia," and for part of its course through a deep and tremendous gorge, dismal and desolate to the last degree. Buckingham, in his Travels speaking of this portion of the road, says: " The very aspect of the scenery, the bold projecting crags of rocks, the dark shadows in which everything lay buried below, the towering height of the cliffs above, and the forbidding desolation: which everywhere reigned around, seem to tempt to robbery and murder, an occasion a dread of it in those who pass that way." And Stanley, describing this locality, says: "The caves in the overhanging mountains, the sharp turns of the road, the projecting spurs of the rocks, everywhere facilitate the attack an escape of the plunderers." Here they seize upon the traveler, and rifle him of everything valuable about him, and then leave him bleeding and naked under the fierce heat reflected from the white, glaring mountains, to die, unless pet chance a passer-by pity and save him. A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. This touching description, while thus in perfect keeping with the features of the scene, is also in entire harmony with its whole history. Josephus testifies that not only was Judea at this time overrun with robbers and ruffians, who committed the greatest excesses, but that this road in particular was deplorably harassed by banditti. St. Jerome also mentions that this particular part of the road between Jerusalem and Jericho was called the "Red Way," as much blood had there been shed by robbers; and that in his time, there was at one point in this wilderness a Fort, with a Roman garrison, for the protection of travelers; so that the incident of the poor traveler in the parable falling in that very journey among robbers seems taken from life. And this dread locality is the resort of robbers to this day, and nowhere in Palestine is a guard more necessary; he who goes down from Jerusalem to Jericho without an escort is as liable now as ever to fall among thieves. The parable, indeed, has been enacted within our own day, not a Jew, but an Englishman, being the victim on this occasion.—Harmonies of the Universe, p. 671.
The Good Part
Luke 10:4242But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42).—Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. ARISTOTLE.—We declare that the true good is something belonging to and within ourselves, and which cannot easily be taken away from us.—Eth., lib. i., c. 5.
The Blessed Mother
Luke 11:2727And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. (Luke 11:27).—A certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.
MUSÆUS.—
Blessed is the father from whose loins you sprung,
Blessed is the mother at whose breast you hung,
Blessed, doubly blessed, the fruitful womb that bore
This Heavenly Form for mortals to adore.
Her. et Leand., v. 138.
The Innumerable Multitude
JOSEPHUS.—The cities lie here very thick; and the very numerous villages are so full of people, because of the fertility of the land... that the very smallest of them contain above 15,000 inhabitants.—B. J., 3, 3, 2.
The Rich Fool
Luke 12:1818And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. (Luke 12:18).—And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
PHILEMON.—Let anyone who goes into the country and passes by the monuments and sepulchers of the dead, reflect thus-Each one of these used to say, In due season I will travel, I will extend my boundaries, and increase my possessions.—Apud. Comp. Men. et Philemon.
Luke 12:2020But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:20).—But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul 'shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
SENECA.—How ridiculous it is to promise ourselves a long life, when we are not certain of to-morrow! what folly to stretch out and enlarge on distant hopes, saying, I will buy; I will build; I will give credit; I will call in my debts; I will sue for honors; and when I have had enough of public business, I will retire, and indulge in my weary age, in repose and quiet! Believe me, all things are doubtful and uncertain, even to the most happy.—Epist., 101.
The Gospel a Cause of Division
Luke 12:5151Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: (Luke 12:51).—Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division, etc.
DR. THOMAS SCOTT.—The prediction of these effects, which no philosophizing or speculative observer would ever have expected from so benign a religion, forms an additional demonstration that it is from God.—Note, In loco.
Sign of Showers
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM, LL. D., F. R. S.—The winds in Palestine are remarkably regular, both in their seasons and in their effects. Thus, in the forty-three days during which rain fell in 1863-4, the wind was invariably west, or southwest.—Nat. Hist. of Bible, p. 33.
Sign of Heat
Luke 12:5555And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and it cometh to pass. (Luke 12:55).—And when ye see the south wind blow, ye say, There will be heat; and k cometh to pass.
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM.—The south wind, or Sirocco, is always oppressive at whatever time of the year it blows. We had two days' Sirocco with the south wind in November; again in January 14th and 15th; March 1st and 2nd; April 21st and 25th; May 15th, 16th, 26th and 27th. These were the only occasions on which there was south wind, and on each occasion the Sirocco was most oppressive.— Nat. Hist. of Bible, p. 33.
A Fig Tree in a Vineyard
THE COMPILER.—In this parable we meet a feature that to our notions seems peculiar, and, therefore, so far improbable—a Fig tree planted in a Vineyard. However at variance this may be with our ideas and practice in this Western World, where we never plant a mixture of vines and corn and fruit trees, but each kind by itself: yet, as Dean Stanley informs us from his own observation, nothing is more common in Palestine than to see fig trees, thorn trees, and apple trees growing in vineyards, and even in corn fields, wherever they can get soil to support them.—Harmonies of the Universe, p. 673.
The Fox Herod
Luke 13:3232And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. (Luke 13:32).—And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold I cast out devils, and I do cures to-day and to-morrow, etc.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—If ever there was a man who richly deserved contempt, it was the paltry, perjured princeling—false to his religion, false to his nation, false to his friends, false to his brethren, false to his wife—to whom Jesus gave the name of " this fox."... Judea might well groan under the odious and petty despotism of these hybrid Herodians—jackals who fawned about the feet of the Caesarean lions.—Life of Christ, II., 98.
The Highest and the Lowest Seat
Luke 14:8-108When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; 9And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. 10But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. (Luke 14:8‑10).—When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest seat. But when thou art bidden, go and sit in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
XENOPHON.—Let the best men with you be honored with the principal seats, as they are with me. The most deserving men in all companies are honored with the principal seats.—Cyrop., VIII., 6.
MORIER.—When the assembly was nearly full, the governor of Kashan, a man of humble mien, although of considerable rank, came in and seated himself at the lowest place; when the master of the house, after numerous expressions of welcome, pointed with his hand to an upper seat in the assembly, to which he desired him to move, and which he accordingly did.—Journey Through Persia.
Bid and Feast the Poor
Luke 14;12, 13.—When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: etc.
PLATO.—In private entertainments, it will not be proper to invite our friends, but mendicants, and those who are in need of a hearty meal.—Phœdo., c. 8.
CICERO.—In conferring or requiting kindness, the chief rule of our duty ought to be, if all other circumstances are equal, to confer most upon the man who stands in greatest need of assistance. The reverse of this is practiced by the generality, who direct their greatest services to the man from whom they hope the most, though he may stand in no need of them.—De Of, lib. i., c. 15.
Luke 14:2727And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:27).—And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
The Lost Sheep
PROF. R. C. TRENCH, M. A.—There is no image upon which the early church seems to have dwelt with greater delight than this of Christ as the Good Shepherd bringing home his lost sheep. We have abundant confirmation of this in the very many gems, seals, fragments of glass, and other early Christian relics which have reached us, on which Christ is thus portrayed as bringing back a lost sheep to the fold upon his shoulders. In Tertullian's time it was painted on the chalice of the Holy Communion. Christ appears in the same character of the Good Shepherd in bas-reliefs on sarcophagi, and paintings in the catacombs. Sometimes there are other sheep at his feet, generally two, looking up with apparent pleasure at him and his burden; in his right hand he most often holds the seven-reeded pipe, emblem of the attractions of Divine Love, while with his left he steadies the burden which he is bearing on his shoulders. Sometimes he is sitting down, as if weary with the length of the way. And it is observable that this representation always occupies the place of honor, the center of the vault or tomb.—Notes on the parables, p. 298.
The Ten Pieces of Silver
Luke 15:88Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? (Luke 15:8).—Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it.
BLOOMFIELD.—It will not seem strange that the woman should have needed to light a candle, in order to search for the coin, when we consider how exceedingly ill lighted were the houses of the lower ranks in ancient times. This is manifest from the relics of Herculaneum and Pompeii, where many of the smaller houses have no windows at all; and in such as have them they are rather loop-holes than windows.—In loco.
The Prodigal
BLOOMFIELD.—An employment contemptible among the Jews, as it had been with the Egyptians. Equally contemptible was it among the Greeks.—In loco.
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM.—" Husks "—fruit of the Carob tree—a tree very common in Palestine from Hebron northwards. It blossoms at the end of February, and the pods are found in numerous quantities in April and May. They are flat and narrow, from six to ten inches in length. Before they are ripe, they are of a sweetish taste. These " husks," or pods, are to be seen on the stalls in all Oriental towns. They are chiefly used for feeding animals, especially pigs. Both Horace and Juvenal speak of them as the food of the poorest and most miserable classes of men.—Nat. Hist. of Bib., p. 360,
Luke 15:3232It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. (Luke 15:32).—It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—All this is indeed a divine epitome of the wandering of man and the love of God, such as no literature has ever equaled, such as no, ear of man has ever heard elsewhere. Put in the one scale all that Confucius, or Sakya Mouni, or Zoroaster, or Socrates ever wrote or said—and they wrote and said many beautiful and holy words—and put in the other the Parable of the Prodigal Son alone, with all that this single parable connotes and means, and can any candid spirit doubt which scale would outweigh the other in eternal preciousness—in divine adaptation to the wants of man?—Life of Christ, II., 135.
Dives and Lazarus
SOCRATES.—If I did not think that I should go first of all amongst other deities who are both wise and good, and next amongst men who have departed this life, better than any here, I should be wrong in not grieving at death.— Phœdo, c. 8.
PHILEMON.—Do you think that the dead, who, during their lifetime, enjoyed all kinds of luxuries, have escaped the deity, as if unseen by him? There is an eye of Justice which sees all things. Even in Hades there are two paths; one of which is for the just, and the other for the unjust.—Apud Clem. Alex. Strom., VII.
Luke 17:11Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! (Luke 17:1).—Then said he unto his disciples, It is impossible but that offenses will come: but woe unto him, etc.
The Ten Lepers
Luke 17:1212And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: (Luke 17:12).—And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off.
LIGHTFOOT.—Lepers were not excluded from villages, and from those country towns which were unwalled in the time of Joshua.—In loco.
CARNE.—Near the foot of a hill, in Cyprus, in a most lonely spot, and in a wretched cottage, lived a family of lepers. These unfortunate people were avoided by all the other inhabitants, who dreaded to come near their dwelling. The disease was hereditary, for every one of their numerous family was afflicted with it. Some of them stood at the door, and looked the pictures of sadness and solitude. They would be starved, did not some of the people, who live in the plain, bring food occasionally, and place it at a short distance from the cottage. So great is the horror entertained of this disease.—Letters from the East.
Luke 17:2323And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. (Luke 17:23).—And they shall say to you, See here; or, See there: go not after them, nor follow them.
Luke 17:3737And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together. (Luke 17:37).—And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither, will the eagles be gathered together.
The Duty of Prayer
SENECA.—Cease not to pray; and ask particularly for wisdom, a sound mind, and health of body. Fear not to importune a gracious God, when you ask not for any foreign good, or for what belongs to another person.—Epist., 10.
Smiting Upon the Breast
QUINTILLIAN.—By clenching the hand, and smiting the breast, we imply, repentance or passion.—Quintil., lib. xi., c. 3.
HOMER.—Smiting upon his breast, Ulysses thus began to chide his heart.—Od., xx., 17.
Zaccheus
Luke 19:22And, behold, there was a man named Zaccheus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. (Luke 19:2).—And behold there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—A colony of publicans was established in the city of Jericho to secure the revenues accruing from the large traffic in a kind of balsam, which grew more luxuriantly there than in any other place, and to regulate the exports between the Roman province and the dominions of Herod Antipas. —Life of Christ, II., 183.
Luke 19:44And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. (Luke 19:4).—And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him; for he was to, pass that way.
PROF. H. B. TRISTRAM, LL. D., F. R. S.—In Palestine, the Sycamore tree only grows in the mild climate of the maritime plains, Phenicia, Acre, and Sharon, and in the hot Jordan valley. In growth with its low-spreading branches and dark foliage, it recalls the English oak, and its shade is most pleasing. It is, consequently, a favorite way-'side tree, and is often planted by an Arab café to tempt the wayfarer to rest. It is very easy to climb, with its short trunk, and its wide lateral branches forking out in all directions. There are still a few gnarled and aged sycamores among the ruins by the wayside at ancient Jericho, and by the channel of the Wady Kelt.—Nat. Hist. of Bible, J. 398.
The Nobleman Going to Receive a Kingdom
Luke 19:1212He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. (Luke 19:12).—A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
REV. ALBERT BARNES.—This expression is derived from the state of things in Judea in the time of our Savior. Judea was subject to the Romans, having been conquered by Pompey about sixty years before Christ. It was, however, governed by Jews who held the government under the Romans. It was necessary that the prince or king should receive a recognition of his right to the kingdom by the Roman emperor, and in order to this that he should go to Rome; or, as it is said here, that he might receive to himself a kingdom. This actually occurred several times. Archelaus, a son of Herod the Great, about the time of the birth of Jesus, went to Rome to obtain a confirmation of the title which his father had left him, and succeeded in doing it. Herod the Great, his father, had done the same thing before to implore the aid and countenance of Antony. Agrippa, the younger, grandson of Herod the Great, went to Rome also to obtain the favor of Tiberius, and to be confirmed in his government. Such instances, having frequently occurred, would make this parable perfectly intelligible to those to whom it was addressed.—Note, In loco.
Luke 19:1414But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. (Luke 19:14).—But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
REV. ALBERT BARNES.—This actually took place.—Archelaus went to Rome to obtain from Augustus a confirmation of his title to reign over that part of Judea which had been left him by his father, Herod the Great. The Jews knowing his character, sent an embassy of fifty men to Rome to prevail on Augustus not to confer the title on him, but they could not succeed. He received the kingdom, and reigned in Judea in the place of his father. As this fact was fresh in the memory of the Jews, it makes this parable much more striking.—Note, In loco.
Christ Weeping Over Jerusalem
Luke 19:4141And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, (Luke 19:41)—And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.
PROF. ARTHUR PENRHYN STANLEY, D. D.—Two vast streams of people met on that day. The one poured out from the city, the other streamed forth from Bethany. The two streams met mid-way. Gradually the long procession swept up and over the ridge, where first begins "the descent of the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem... A few moments, and the path mounts again, it climbs a rugged ascent, it reaches a ledge of smooth rock, and in an instant the whole city bursts into view. As now the dome of the Mosque El-Aksa rises like a ghost from the earth before the traveler stands on the ledge, so then must have risen the Temple tower; as now the vast enclosure of the Mussulman sanctuary, so then must have spread the Temple courts; as now the gray town on its broken hills, so then the magnificent city, with its background—long since vanished away—of gardens and suburbs on the western plateau behind. Immediately below was the valley of the Kedron, here seen in its greatest depth as it joins the Valley of Hinnom, and thus giving full effect to the great peculiarity of Jerusalem, seen only on its eastern side-its situation as of a city rising Out of a deep abyss. It is hardly possible to doubt that this rise and turn of the road,—this rocky ledge—was the exact point where the multitude paused again, and " He, when He beheld the city, wept over it." Nowhere else on the Mount of Olives is there a view like this; and this, almost the only spot which the Gospel narrative fixes with exact certainty, is almost the only unmarked spot,—undefiled Or unhallowed by mosque, or church, chapel, or tower—left to speak for itself, that here the Lord's feet stood, and here His eyes beheld what is still the most impressive view which the neighborhood of Jerusalem furnishes,-and the tears rushed forth at the sight.—Sinai and Palestine, p. 187-190.
Luke 19:4343For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, (Luke 19:43).—For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.
JOSEPHUS. —The Romans having begirt Jerusalem with their forces, and having made several assaults without the desired effect, Titus resolved to surround the city with a wall; and by the diligence and emulation of the soldiers, animated by the presence, and acting under the continual inspection of the General, this work, which was worthy of months, was with incredible speed completed in three days. The wall was of the dimensions of thirty furlongs, and was strengthened with thirteen forts at proper distances: so that all hope of safety was cut off from the Jews, together with all the means of escaping out of the city. No provisions could be carried in, and no person could come out unknown to the enemy.—Jewish Wars, lib. v., c. 12, § r, and 2 and 3.
Luke 20:66But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet. (Luke 20:6).—But if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.
Luke 20:2222Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no? (Luke 20:22).—Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Cesar, or no?
Luke 20:2727Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, (Luke 20:27).—Then came to him certain of the Sadducees, which deny that there is any resurrection; and they asked him, etc.
Destruction of the Temple and City Foretold
JOSEPHUS.—While the Jews, miserable people, allowed themselves to be persuaded by deceivers, they did not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, and did so plainly foretell their future desolation. Thus there was a star resembling a sword which stood over the city, and a comet that continued a whole year.—The people being assembled to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the ninth hour of the night, there shone so great a light about the altar and the temple, that it seemed to be bright day, and this continued for half an hour.—The eastern gate of the temple which was of solid brass and very heavy, and was scarcely shut at evening by twenty men and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen at the sixth hour of the night to open of its own accord, and could hardly be shut again.—Before the setting of the sun there was seen over all the country chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities.—At the Feast of Pentecost, as the priests were going into the inner temple by night as usual to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice as of a multitude, saying, " LET US DEPART HENCE."—And what might be reckoned the most terrible of all, one Jesus, an ordinary country fellow, four years before the war began, and when the city was in peace and plenty, came to the Feast of Tabernacles, and ran up and down the streets crying day and night, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the temple, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, a voice against all the people! " The magistrates endeavored by stripes and torture, to restrain him; but he still cried with a mournful voice, "We, we, to Jerusalem!" This he continued to do for seven years and five months together, and especially at the great Festivals; and he neither grew hoarse, nor was tired: but went about the walls, and cried with a loud voice, " We, we to the city, and to the people, and to the temple! " and, just as he added, at last, " We, we also to myself! " a stone hurled from an engine struck him and killed him immediately.— Jewish Wars, lib. vi., c. 5, § 3.
TACITUS.—Before the taking of Jerusalem by Titus there had been omens, and prodigies, things which that nation, so addicted to superstition, but so averse to the gods, hold it unlawful to expiate either by vows or victims. Hosts were seen to encounter in the air; refulgent arms appeared; and by a blaze of lightning shooting suddenly from the clouds, all the temple was illuminated; the great gates of the temple were suddenly thrown open, and a voice more than human was heard to declare that the gods were about to depart. —Hist., V., 13.
DR. JORTIN.—If Christ had not expressly foretold this, many, who give little heed to portents, and who know that historians have been too credulous in that point, would have suspected that Josephus exaggerated, and that Tacitus was misinformed; but as the testimonies of Josephus and Tacitus confirm the predictions of Christ, so the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by these historians.—Remarks on Eccles. Hist., Vol. I., p. 41.
BISHOP NEWTON.—Allowing all that incredulity can urge—that the light in the temple, and the armies in the air were but the play of natural meteors; that other of these prodigies were feigned, and others exaggerated—yet the prediction of them is not the less divine on that account.—Disserts., p. 337.
Luke 21:1717And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. (Luke 21:17).—And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
Luke 21:1818But there shall not an hair of your head perish. (Luke 21:18).—But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
REV. ALBERT BARNES.—This is a proverbial expression, denoting that they should not suffer any essential injury. This was strikingly fulfilled in the fact that in the calamities of Jerusalem there is reason to believe that no Christian suffered. Before those calamities came on the city (remembering the warning of Christ), they had fled to Pella, a city on the east of the Jordan.—Note, In loco.
Luke 21:2424And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24).—And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
JOSEPHUS.—The number of those who fell by the edge of the sword was very great. Those who perished during the siege of Jerusalem numbered no less than 1,100,000. Many were also slain at other times and in other places. By the command of Florus, who was the first author of the war, there were slain at Jerusalem 3,600. By the inhabitants of Caesarea, above 20,000. At Scythopolis 13,000. At Ascalon 2,500; and at Ptolemais 2,000. At Alexandria, under Tiberius Alexander the president, 50,000. At Joppa, when it was taken by Cestius Gallus, 8,400. In a mountain called Asamon near Sepphoris, above 2,000. At Damascus 10,000. In a battle with the Romans at Ascalon 10,000. In an ambuscade near the same plate 8,000. At Japha 15,000. Of the Samaritans upon Mount Gerizim 11,600. At Jotapa 40,000. At Joppa, when taken by Vespasian, 4,200. At Tarichea 6,500; and after the city was taken 1,200. At Gamala 4,000 slain, besides 5,000 who threw themselves down a precipice. Of those who fled with John from Gischala 6,000. Of the Gadarenes 15,000 slain, besides an infinite number drowned. In the villages of Idumea above 10,000 slain. At Gerasa 1,000. At Machærus 1,700. In the wood of Jardes 3,000. In the castle of Masada 960. In Cyrene by Catullus, the governor, 3,000. Besides these, many of every age, sex and condition, were slain in this war, who were not reckoned, but of those who are reckoned the number amounts to above 1,357,600.—See Jewish Wars; Books II., III., IV., VI. and VII.
And shall be led away captive into all nations.
JOSEPHUS.—The number of captives was very great. There were taken, particularly at Japha, 2,130; at Jotapa 1,200; at Tarichea 6,000 chosen young men were sent to Nero; the rest sold to the number of 30,400, besides those who were given to Agrippa; of the Gadarenes 2,200; in Idumea above 1,000. Many besides these were taken at Jerusalem, so that the number of the captives taken in the whole war amounted to 97,000: the tall and handsome young men Titus reserved for his triumph; of the rest, those above seventeen years of age were sent to the works in Egypt, but most were distributed through the Roman provinces; those under seventeen were sold for slaves.—See Jewish Wars, Books III., IV. and VI.
And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
BISHOP NEWTON.—And accordingly Jerusalem has never since been in the possession of the Jews, but hath constantly been in subjection to some other nation, as first to the Romans, and afterward to the Saracens, and then to the Franks, and then to the Mamelukes, and now to the Turks.—Disserts. on the, Prophs., p. 366.
Luke 22:22And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. (Luke 22:2).—And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.
The Bloody Sweat
Luke 22:4444And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:44)—And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
LIBR. WILLIAM ALDIS WRIGHT, M. A.—Of this malady, "bloody sweat," known in medical science by the term Diapedesis, there have been examples recorded both in ancient and modern times. The cause assigned is generally violent mental emotion.—Smith's Dict. of Bible, p. 3128.
ARISTOTLE.—It happens to some that they sweat a certain bloody moisture, caused by the disordered state of their bodies.—De Part. An., III., 5.
LUCIAN.—
Blood falls for tears, and o'er his mournful face
The ruddy drops their tainted passage trace:
His mouth and gushing nostrils pour a flood,
And ev'n the pores ooze out the trickling blood.
Phars., IX., 810.
MALDONATO.—A man at Paris, in full health and vigor, on hearing the sentence of death pronounced upon him, became covered with a bloody sweat.—Comm. in Evang.
Luke 23:11And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. (Luke 23:1).—And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
Luke 23:1616I will therefore chastise him, and release him. (Luke 23:16).—I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
The Evils and Sufferings of Coming Days
Luke 23:3030Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. (Luke 23:30).—Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—Many of them, and the majority of their children, would live to see such rivers of blood shed, and such complications of agony, as the world had never known before—days which would seem to overpass the capacity of human suffering, and would make men seek to hide themselves, if it might be, under the very roots of the hill on which their city stood.—These words of Christ met with a painfully literal illustration when hundreds of the unhappy Jews at the siege of Jerusalem hid themselves in the darkest and vilest subterranean recesses, and when, besides those who were hunted out, no less than 2,000 were killed by being buried under the ruins of their hiding-places (B. J., 6, 9, 4).— Life of Christ, II 397
Parting His Raiment
DR. F. W. FARRAR.—The clothes of the victims always fell as perquisites to the men who had to perform so weary and disagreeable an office as their crucifixion.—Life of Christ, II., p. 407.
Christ's Witnesses
Luke 24:4848And ye are witnesses of these things. (Luke 24:48).—And ye are witnesses of these things.
WHITBY.—Christ's resurrection, being a matter of fact, must be proved by the testimony of eye-witnesses, and, if they be honest men, and such as suffer the greatest prejudices in fortunes, reputation and life, for this testimony, we have the greater reason to believe it: for their honesty must render them unwilling to testify a falsehood; their interest and prudence would not suffer them, without any necessity laid upon them, to testify a lie; much more to testify the grossest falsehood, to their utmost damage, and without any prospect of advantage.—Note, In loco.