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    1. Watched (hsan parathroumenoi). The participle and finite verb, were engaged in watching. Closely (para). See on Mark iii. 2.

    2. Which had the dropsy (udrwpikov). Lit., a dropsical man. The usual way of marking a dropsical patient in medical language.

    4. Took. Took hold of him. Luke xx. 20; 1 Tim. vi. 12.

    5. Pit (frear). The primary meaning is a well, as distinguished from a fountain.

    Pull out. More correctly up (ana).

    7. They chose. Imperfect: were choosing. Something going on before his eyes.

    The chief seats. Or couches. The Greek writers refer to the absurd contentions which sometimes arose for the chief seats at table.

    Theophrastus designates one who thrusts himself into the place next the host as mikrofilotimov, one who seeks petty distinctions.

    8. Wedding. More properly, marriage-feast.

    9. Begin. Emphasizing the shame of the reluctant movement toward the lower place.

    The lowest. Since the other, intervening places are all assigned.

    10. Sit down (anapese). Lit., lay yourself back.

    11. Humbled. See on lowly, Matt. vii. 29.

    12. Dinner - supper. See on Matt. xxii. 4. Supper (deipnon) is the principal meal at evening, and corresponding to the modern late dinner. Call not thy friends, etc. A striking parallel occurs in Plato's "Phaedrus," 233. "And, in general, when you make a feast, invite not your friend, but the beggar and the empty soul, for they will love you, and attend you, and come about your doors, and will be the best pleased, and the most grateful, and will invoke blessings on your head."

    13. Feast (dochn). Or reception. Used by Luke only. See on ch. v. 29.

    15. Blessed. See on Matt. v. 3.

    16. Made (epoiei). Imperfect, was making. His preparations were in progress. A definite act among these preparations is described by the aorist, he bade (ekalesen), the technical word for inviting to a festival. See Matt. xxii. 3; John ii. 2.

    Sent his servant. "If a sheikh, bey, or emeer invites, he always sends a servant to call you at the proper time. This servant often repeats the very formula mentioned in Luke xiv. 17: Come, for the supper is ready. The fact that this custom is confined to the wealthy and to the nobility is in strict agreement with the parable, where the man who made the supper is supposed to be of this class. It is true now, as then, that to refuse is a high insult to the maker of the feast (Thomson, "Land and Book"). Palgrave mentions a similar formula of invitation among the Bedouins of Arabia. "The chief, or some unbreeched youngster of his family, comes up to us with the customary tefaddaloo, or do us the favor" ("Central and Eastern Arabia").

    18. Make excuse (paraiteisqai). Also rendered in New Testament refuse, Heb. xii. 19, 25, where both meanings occur. See also 2 Timothy ii. 23, Rev. Our phrase, beg off, expresses the idea here.

    I must needs (ecw anagkhn). Lit., I have necessity: a strong expression. Go (exelqein). Go out (ex) from the city.

    20. I cannot. A newly married man had special indulgence allowed him. See Deut. xxiv. 5. Herodotus relates how Croeus refused for his son an invitation to a hunt on this ground. "But Croesus answered, 'Say no more of my son going with you; that may not be in anywise. He is but just joined in wedlock, and is busy enough with that'" (i. 36). The man who had the most plausible excuse returned the surliest and most peremptory answer. Compare 1 Cor. vii. 33.

    21. Streets (plateiav) - lanes (rumav). The former word from platuv, broad; the broad streets contrasted with the narrow lanes. Wyc., great streets and small streets.

    22. As thou has commanded. Following the reading wJv, as. The best texts substitute o, what. Render as Rev., "What thou didst command is done."

    23. Hedges (fragmouv). See on Matt. xxi. 33. It may mean either a hedge, or a place enclosed with a hedge. Here the hedges beside which vagrants rest.

    Compel. Compare constrained, Matt. xiv. 22; Acts xxvi. 11; Galatians vi. 12. Not to use force, but to constrain them against the reluctance which such poor creatures would feel at accepting the invitation of a great Lord. May be filled (gemisqh). A very strong word; properly of loading a ship. "Nature and grace alike abhor a vacuum" (Bengel).

    27. His cross. More correctly, his own. An important charge. All must bear the cross, but not all the same cross: each one his own.

    28. A tower. The subject of the parable is the life of Christian discipleship, which is figured by a tower, a lofty structure, as something distinguished from the world and attracting attention.

    Counteth (yhfizei). Only here and Apoc. xiii. 18. From yhfov, a pebble (see Apoc. ii. 17), used as a counter. Thus Herodotus says that the Egyptians, when they calculate (logizontai yhfoiv, reckon with pebbles), move their hand from right to left (ii. 36). So Aristophanes, "Reckon roughly, not with pebbles (yhfoiv), but on the hand" ("Wasps," 656). Similarly calculate, from Latin calculus, a pebble. Used also of voting. Thus Herodotus: "The Greeks met at the altar of Neptune, and took the ballots (tav yhfouv) wherewith they were to give their votes." Plato: "And you, would you vote (an yhfon qeio, cast your pebble) with me or against me?" ("Protagoras," 330). See Acts xxvi. 10.

    Cost (thn dapanhn). Allied to daptw, to devour. Hence expense, as something which eats up resources.

    Sufficient (eiv apartismon). Lit., unto completion. The kindred verb ajpartizw, not used in New Testament, means to make even or square, and hence to complete.

    29. To finish (ektelesai). Lit., "to finish out" (ek).

    Behold (qewrountev). Attentively watching the progress of the building. See on ch. x. 18.

    Begin to mock. As his resources come to an end.

    30. This man (outov o anqrwpov). With sarcastic emphasis.

    Was not able (ouk iscusen). From ijscuv, strength. See on power, 2 Peter ii. 11. To be strong in body or in resources, and so to be worth, as Lat., valere. "This man was not worth enough, or was not good for the completion." In this latter sense, Matt. v. 13, "good for nothing."

    31. To make war against another king (eterw basilei sumbalein eiv polemon). Lit., to come together with another king for war. So Rev., to encounter another king in war.

    "Out he flashed, And into such a song, such fire for fame, Such trumpet-blowings in it, coming down To such a stern and iron-clashing close, That when he stopped we longed to hurl together." TENNYSON, Idyls of the King.

    With ten thousand (ejn deka ciliasin). Lit., in ten thousands: i.e., in the midst of; surrounded by. Compare Jude 14.

    32. Asketh (erwta). On a footing of equality: king treating with king. See on ch. xi. 9.

    Conditions of peace (ta prov eirhnhn). Lit., things looking toward peace: preliminaries. Compare Rom. xiv. 19, things which make for peace (ta thv eijrhnhv, the things of peace).

    33. Forsaketh (apotassetai). Bids good-by to. Rev., renounceth. See on ch. ix. 61. "In that forsaketh lies the key to the whole passage" (Trench). Christian discipleship is founded in self-renunciation.

    34. Have lost its savor. See on Matt. v. 34.

    Shall it be seasoned. See on Mark ix. 50.


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