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    4. Sinners (ofeiletai). Lit., debtors. Possibly with reference to the figure at the close of the last chapter. Compare Matt. v. 25; vi. 12; xviii. 24; Luke xi. 4.

    7. These three years I come. The best texts insert ajf ou=, from which, or since. "It is three years from the time at which I came."

    Cut it down (ekkoyon). Rather, "cut it out" (ek) from among the other trees and the vines.

    Why cumbereth it. The A.V. omits the very important kai, also (Rev.), which, as Trench observes, is the key-word of the sentence. Besides being barren in itself, it also injures the soil. "Not only is it unfruitful, but it draws away the juices which the vines would extract from the earth, intercepts the sun, and occupies room" (Bengel). The verb cumbereth (katargei) means to make of no effect. So Rom. iii. 3, 31; Galatians iii. 17. Cumbereth expresses the meaning in a very general and comprehensive way. The specific elements included in it are expressed by Bengel above. De Wette, makes the land unfruitful. See on barren and unfruitful, 2 Pet. i. 8.

    9. And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that. Join after that with bear fruit. "If it bear fruit for the future (eijv to mellon, Rev., thenceforth), well; but if not, thou shalt cut it down." Trench ("Parables") cites an Arabian writer's receipt for curing a palm-tree of barrenness. "Thou must take a hatchet, and go to the tree with a friend, unto whom thou sayest, 'I will cut down this tree, for it is unfruitful.' He answers, 'Do not so, this year it will certainly bear fruit.' But the other says, 'It must needs be - it must be hewn down;' and gives the stem of the tree three blows with the back of the hatchet. But the other restrains him, crying, 'Nay, do it not, thou wilt certainly have fruit from it this year, only have patience with it, and be not overhasty in cutting it down; if it still refuses to bear fruit, then cut it down.' Then will the tree that year be certainly fruitful and bear abundantly." Trench adds that this story appears to be widely spread in the East.

    Thou shalt cut it down. The vine-dresser does not say, "I will cut," but refers that to the master.

    11. Spirit of infirmity. A spirit which caused infirmity. An evil demon, see ver. 16, though it is not certain that it was a case of possession. The details of the disease, and the noting of the time of its continuance, are characteristic of a physician's narrative.

    Bowed together (sugkuptousa). Only here in New Testament.

    Lift herself up (anakuyai). Only here in New Testament, unless John viii. 7-10 be accepted as genuine. Used by Galen of strengthening the vertebrae of the spine.

    12. Thou art loosed (apolelusai). The only passage in the New Testament where the word is used of disease. Medical writers use it of releasing from disease, relaxing tendons, and taking off bandages.

    13. She was made straight (anorqwqh). The verb occurs, Acts xv. 16, of setting up the tabernacle of David, and Heb. xii. 12 of lifting up the hands which hang down.

    15. Loose (luei). Compare thou art loosed, ver. 12.

    Stall. See on ch. ii. 7.

    16. Satan. "True to its principle of contrast, this book gives Satan a prominent position (Abbot). See ch. iv. 13; x. 18; xxii. 3, 31. See Introduction.

    17. Were ashamed. Rev., more correctly, were put to shame.

    Glorious things. See on Matt. xi. 10.

    Were done (ginomenoiv). Lit., are being done, denoting their being then in progress.

    19. His garden. Properly, as Rev., his own (eautou) where he could personally observe and tend it.

    Great tree. The best texts omit great.

    Birds. See on ch. ix. 58.

    Branches (kladoiv). See on Mark xi. 8.

    21. Leaven. See on Matt. xii. 33.

    24. Strive. Used only by Luke and Paul, except John xviii. 36. Originally to contend for a prize in the public games; and thus conveying a sense of struggle. The kindred noun, ajgwnia, agony, is used of Christ's struggle in Gethsemane (ch. xxii. 44). Compare 1 Tim. vi. 12; 2 Tim. iv. 7.

    Strait gate (stenhv qurav). Rev., narrow door. See on Matt. vii. 13. The door of a house, and not a gate, is meant (ver. 25). In Matt. vii. 13, where the image is of a gate opening into a way, pulh, gate, is used.

    25. When once (af ou). Lit., from the time that. Compare ver. 7. Some editors connect this with the previous sentence: "Shall not be able when once," etc.

    Whence (poqen). Of what family. Ye do not belong to my household. See John vii. 27: "We know whence he (Jesus) is;" i.e., we know his birthplace and family.

    26. In thy presence (enwpion sou). Not as beloved and familiar guests. Compare with you (meq umwn), Matt. xxvi. 29.

    27. I know not whence. "The sentence is fixed, but it is repeated with emphasis" (Bengel).

    Shall sit down (anakliqhsontai). Sit down at table. Jesus casts his thought into a familiar Jewish image. According to the Jewish idea, one of the main elements of the happiness of the Messianic kingdom was the privilege of participating in splendid festive entertainments along with the patriarchs of the nation. With this accords ver. 30, in allusion to places at the banquet. Compare ch. xiv. 7-9; Matt. xxiii. 6.

    31. Day. The best texts read hour.

    Will kill (qelei apokteinai). As in so many cases the A.V. renders as the future of the verb to kill; whereas there are two distinct verbs; to will or determine, and to kill. The meaning is, Herod willeth or is determined to kill thee. Rev., would fain, seems rather feeble.

    32. That fox. Herod. Describing his cunning and cowardice.

    Cures (iaseiv). Used by Luke only.

    I shall be perfected (teleioumai). The present tense: "the present of the certain future" (Meyer). The meaning is, I come to an end: I have done. Expositors differ greatly. Some interpret, "I end my career of healing," etc.; others, my life.

    33. It cannot be (ouk endecetai). The verb means to accept or admit; so that the sense is, "it is not admissable that." The expression is ironical and hyperbolical, with reference to Jerusalem as having a monopoly of such martyrdoms. "It would be contrary to use and wont, and, in a manner, to theocratic decorum, if such a prophet as I should perish elsewhere than in Jerusalem" (Godet).

    34. Would I have gathered (hqelhsa episunaxai). Lit., "I desired to gather." See on will kill, ver. 31.

    Hen. See on Matt. xxiii. 37.


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