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Luke 13

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A Call to Repent

13:1 Now 1  there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2  13:2 He 3  answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners 4  than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? 13:3 No, I tell you! But unless you repent, 5  you will all perish as well! 6  13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed 7  when the tower in Siloam fell on them, 8  do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 9  13:5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent 10  you will all perish as well!” 11 

Warning to Israel to Bear Fruit

13:6 Then 12  Jesus 13  told this parable: “A man had a fig tree 14  planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 13:7 So 15  he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For 16  three years 17  now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it 18  I find none. Cut 19  it down! Why 20  should it continue to deplete 21  the soil?’ 13:8 But the worker 22  answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer 23  on it. 13:9 Then if 24  it bears fruit next year, 25  very well, 26  but if 27  not, you can cut it down.’”

Healing on the Sabbath

13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues 28  on the Sabbath, 13:11 and a woman was there 29  who had been disabled by a spirit 30  for eighteen years. She 31  was bent over and could not straighten herself up completely. 32  13:12 When 33  Jesus saw her, he called her to him 34  and said, “Woman, 35  you are freed 36  from your infirmity.” 37  13:13 Then 38  he placed his hands on her, and immediately 39  she straightened up and praised God. 13:14 But the president of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which work 40  should be done! 41  So come 42  and be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day.” 13:15 Then the Lord answered him, 43  “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from its stall, 44  and lead it to water? 45  13:16 Then 46  shouldn’t 47  this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan 48  bound for eighteen long 49  years, be released from this imprisonment 50  on the Sabbath day?” 13:17 When 51  he said this all his adversaries were humiliated, 52  but 53  the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things 54  he was doing. 55 

On the Kingdom of God

13:18 Thus Jesus 56  asked, 57  “What is the kingdom of God 58  like? 59  To 60  what should I compare it? 13:19 It is like a mustard seed 61  that a man took and sowed 62  in his garden. It 63  grew and became a tree, 64  and the wild birds 65  nested in its branches.” 66 

13:20 Again 67  he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God? 68  13:21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with 69  three measures 70  of flour until all the dough had risen.” 71 

The Narrow Door

13:22 Then 72  Jesus 73  traveled throughout 74  towns 75  and villages, teaching and making his way toward 76  Jerusalem. 77  13:23 Someone 78  asked 79  him, “Lord, will only a few 80  be saved?” So 81  he said to them, 13:24 “Exert every effort 82  to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 13:25 Once 83  the head of the house 84  gets up 85  and shuts the door, then you will stand outside and start to knock on the door and beg him, ‘Lord, 86  let us in!’ 87  But he will answer you, 88  ‘I don’t know where you come from.’ 89  13:26 Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 90  13:27 But 91  he will reply, 92  ‘I don’t know where you come from! 93  Go away from me, all you evildoers!’ 94  13:28 There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth 95  when you see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, 96  and all the prophets in the kingdom of God 97  but you yourselves thrown out. 98  13:29 Then 99  people 100  will come from east and west, and from north and south, and take their places at the banquet table 101  in the kingdom of God. 102  13:30 But 103  indeed, 104  some are last 105  who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

Going to Jerusalem

13:31 At that time, 106  some Pharisees 107  came up and said to Jesus, 108  “Get away from here, 109  because Herod 110  wants to kill you.” 13:32 But 111  he said to them, “Go 112  and tell that fox, 113  ‘Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day 114  I will complete my work. 115  13:33 Nevertheless I must 116  go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible 117  that a prophet should be killed 118  outside Jerusalem.’ 119  13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 120  you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! 121  How often I have longed 122  to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but 123  you would have none of it! 124  13:35 Look, your house is forsaken! 125  And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” 126 

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1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

2 sn This is an event that otherwise is unattested, though several events similar to it are noted in Josephus (J. W. 2.9.2-4 [2.169-177]; Ant. 13.13.5 [13.372-73], 18.3.1-2 [18.55-62]; 18.4.1 [18.85-87]). It would have caused a major furor.

3 tn Grk “And he.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

4 sn Jesus did not want his hearers to think that tragedy was necessarily a judgment on these people because they were worse sinners.

5 sn Jesus was stressing that all stand at risk of death, if they do not repent and receive life.

6 tn Or “you will all likewise perish,” but this could be misunderstood to mean that they would perish by the same means as the Galileans. Jesus’ point is that apart from repentance all will perish.

7 tn Grk “on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them.” This relative clause embedded in a prepositional phrase is complex in English and has been simplified to an adjectival and a temporal clause in the translation.

8 sn Unlike the previous event, when the tower in Siloam fell on them, it was an accident of fate. It raised the question, however, “Was this a judgment?”

9 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

10 sn Jesus’ point repeats v. 3. The circumstances make no difference. All must deal with the reality of what death means.

11 tn Grk “similarly.”

12 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

13 tn Grk “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 sn The fig tree is a variation on the picture of a vine as representing the nation; see Isa 5:1-7.

15 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the man’s response as a result of the lack of figs in the preceding clause.

16 tn Grk “Behold, for.”

17 sn The elapsed time could be six years total since planting, since often a fig was given three years before one even started to look for fruit. The point in any case is that enough time had been given to expect fruit.

18 tn The phrase “each time I inspect it” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied to indicate the customary nature of the man’s search for fruit.

19 tc ‡ Several witnesses (Ì75 A L Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33 579 892 al lat co) have “therefore” (οὖν, oun) here. This conjunction has the effect of strengthening the logical connection with the preceding statement but also of reducing the rhetorical power and urgency of the imperative. In light of the slightly greater internal probability of adding a conjunction to an otherwise asyndetic sentence, as well as significant external support for the omission (א B D W Ë1 Ï), the shorter reading appears to be more likely as the original wording here. NA27 puts the conjunction in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

20 tn Grk “Why indeed.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

21 sn Such fig trees would deplete the soil, robbing it of nutrients needed by other trees and plants.

22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the worker who tended the vineyard) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Grk “toss manure [on it].” This is a reference to manure used as fertilizer.

24 tn This is a third class condition in the Greek text. The conjunction καί (kai, a component of κάν [kan]) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

25 tn Grk “the coming [season].”

26 tn The phrase “very well” is supplied in the translation to complete the elided idea, but its absence is telling.

27 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text, showing which of the options is assumed.

28 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

29 tn Grk “and behold, a woman.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this statement has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

30 tn Grk “a woman having a spirit of weakness” (or “a spirit of infirmity”).

31 tn Grk “years, and.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

32 tn Or “and could not straighten herself up at all.” If εἰς τὸ παντελές (ei" to pantele") is understood to modify δυναμένη (dunamenh), the meaning is “she was not able at all to straighten herself up”; but the phrase may be taken with ἀνακύψαι (anakuyai) and understood to mean the same as the adverb παντελῶς (pantelws), with the meaning “she was not able to straighten herself up completely.” See BDAG 754 s.v. παντελής 1 for further discussion. The second option is preferred in the translation because of proximity: The phrase in question follows ἀνακύψαι in the Greek text.

33 tn The participle ἰδών (idwn) has been taken temporally. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

34 tn The verb προσεφώνησεν (prosefwnhsen) has been translated as “called (her) to (him),” with the direct object (“her”) and the indirect object (“him”) both understood.

35 sn Woman was a polite form of address (see BDAG 208-9 s.v. γυνή), similar to “Madam” or “Ma’am” used in English in different regions.

36 tn Or “released.”

37 tn Or “sickness.”

38 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

39 sn The healing took place immediately.

40 sn The irony is that Jesus’ “work” consisted of merely touching the woman. There is no sense of joy that eighteen years of suffering was reversed with his touch.

41 tn Grk “on which it is necessary to work.” This has been simplified in the translation.

42 tn The participle ἐρχόμενοι (ercomenoi) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

43 tn Grk “answered him and said.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been shortened to “answered him.”

44 tn Grk “from the manger [feeding trough],” but by metonymy of part for whole this can be rendered “stall.”

45 sn The charge here is hypocrisy, but it is only part one of the response. Various ancient laws detail what was allowed with cattle; see Mishnah, m. Shabbat 5; CD 11:5-6.

46 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to show the connection with Jesus’ previous statement.

47 tn Grk “is it not necessary that.” Jesus argues that no other day is more appropriate to heal a descendant of Abraham than the Sabbath, the exact opposite view of the synagogue leader.

48 sn Note that this is again a battle between Satan and God; see 11:18-23.

49 tn The word “long” reflects the emphasis added in the Greek text by ἰδού (idou). See BDAG 468 s.v. 1.

50 tn Or “bondage”; Grk “bond.”

51 tn Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

52 tn Or “were put to shame.”

53 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

54 sn Concerning all the wonderful things see Luke 7:16; 19:37.

55 tn Grk “that were being done by him.” The passive has been converted to an active construction in the translation.

56 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

57 tn Grk “said,” but what follows is a question.

58 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

59 sn What is the kingdom of God like? Unlike Mark 4 or Matt 13, where the kingdom parables tend to be all in one location in the narrative, Luke scatters his examples throughout the Gospel.

60 tn Grk “And to.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

61 sn The mustard seed was noted for its tiny size.

62 tn Grk “threw.”

63 tn Grk “garden, and it.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.

64 sn Calling the mustard plant a tree is rhetorical hyperbole, since technically it is not one. This plant could be one of two types of mustard popular in Palestine and would be either 10 or 25 ft (3 or 7.5 m) tall.

65 tn Grk “the birds of the sky” or “the birds of the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated either “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. The idiomatic expression “birds of the sky” refers to wild birds as opposed to domesticated fowl (cf. BDAG 809 s.v. πετεινόν).

66 sn The point of the parable seems to be that while the kingdom of God may appear to have insignificant and unnoticeable beginnings (i.e., in the ministry of Jesus), it will someday (i.e., at the second advent) be great and quite expansive. The kingdom, however, is not to be equated with the church, but rather the church is an expression of the kingdom. Also, there is important OT background in the image of the mustard seed that grew and became a tree: Ezek 17:22-24 pictures the reemergence of the Davidic house where people can find calm and shelter. Like the mustard seed, it would start out small but grow to significant size.

67 tn Grk “And again.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

68 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

69 tn Grk “hid in.”

70 sn This measure was a saton, the Greek name for the Hebrew term “seah.” Three of these was a very large quantity of flour, since a saton is a little over 16 lbs (7 kg) of dry measure (or 13.13 liters). So this was over 47 lbs (21 kg) of flour total, enough to feed over a hundred people.

71 tn Grk “it was all leavened.”

sn The parable of the yeast and the dough teaches that the kingdom of God will start small but eventually grow to permeate everything. Jesus’ point was not to be deceived by its seemingly small start, the same point made in the parable of the mustard seed, which preceded this one.

72 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

73 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

74 tn This is a distributive use of κατά (kata); see L&N 83:12.

75 tn Or “cities.”

76 tn Grk “making his journey toward.” This is the first of several travel notes in Luke’s Jerusalem journey section of Luke 9-19; other notes appear at 17:11; 18:31; 19:28, 41.

77 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

78 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

79 tn Grk “said to.”

80 sn The warnings earlier in Jesus’ teaching have led to the question whether only a few will be saved.

81 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that Jesus’ reply was triggered by the preceding question.

82 tn Or “Make every effort” (L&N 68.74; cf. NIV); “Do your best” (TEV); “Work hard” (NLT); Grk “Struggle.” The idea is to exert one’s maximum effort (cf. BDAG 17 s.v. ἀγωνίζομαι 2.b, “strain every nerve to enter”) because of the supreme importance of attaining entry into the kingdom of God.

83 tn The syntactical relationship between vv. 24-25 is disputed. The question turns on whether v. 25 is connected to v. 24 or not. A lack of a clear connective makes an independent idea more likely. However, one must then determine what the beginning of the sentence connects to. Though it makes for slightly awkward English, the translation has opted to connect it to “he will answer” so that this functions, in effect, as an apodosis. One could end the sentence after “us” and begin a new sentence with “He will answer” to make simpler sentences, although the connection between the two sentences is thereby less clear. The point of the passage, however, is clear. Once the door is shut, because one failed to come in through the narrow way, it is closed permanently. The moral: Do not be too late in deciding to respond.

84 tn Or “the master of the household.”

85 tn Or “rises,” or “stands up.”

86 tn Or “Sir.”

87 tn Grk “Open to us.”

88 tn Grk “and answering, he will say to you.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “he will answer you.”

89 sn For the imagery behind the statement “I do not know where you come from,” see Ps 138:6; Isa 63:16; Jer 1:5; Hos 5:3.

90 sn This term refers to wide streets, and thus suggests the major streets of a city.

91 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

92 tc Most mss (Ì75* A D L W Θ Ψ 070 Ë1,13 Ï) have ἐρεῖ λέγω ὑμῖν (erei legw Jumin; “he will say, ‘I say to you’”) here, while some have only ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν (“he will say to you” in א 579 pc lat sa) or simply ἐρεῖ (“he will say” in 1195 pc). The variety of readings seems to have arisen from the somewhat unusual wording of the original, ἐρεῖ λέγων ὑμῖν (erei legwn Jumin; “he will say, saying to you” found in Ì75c B 892 pc). Given the indicative λέγω, it is difficult to explain how the other readings would have arisen. But if the participle λέγων were original, the other readings can more easily be explained as arising from it. Although the external evidence is significantly stronger in support of the indicative reading, the internal evidence is on the side of the participle.

tn Grk “he will say, saying to you.” The participle λέγων (legwn) and its indirect object ὑμῖν (Jumin) are redundant in contemporary English and have not been translated.

93 sn The issue is not familiarity (with Jesus’ teaching) or even shared activity (eating and drinking with him), but knowing Jesus. Those who do not know him, he will not know where they come from (i.e., will not acknowledge) at the judgment.

94 tn Grk “all you workers of iniquity.” The phrase resembles Ps 6:8.

95 sn Weeping and gnashing of teeth is a figure for remorse and trauma, which occurs here because of exclusion from God’s promise.

96 tn Grk “and Isaac and Jacob,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

97 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

98 tn Or “being thrown out.” The present accusative participle, ἐκβαλλομένους (ekballomenous), related to the object ὑμᾶς (Jumas), seems to suggest that these evildoers will witness their own expulsion from the kingdom.

99 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events in the discourse.

100 tn Grk “they”; the referent (people who will come to participate in the kingdom) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

101 tn Grk “and recline at table,” as 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away. The word “banquet” has been supplied to clarify for the modern reader the festive nature of the imagery The banquet imagery is a way to describe the fellowship and celebration of accompanying those who are included as the people of God at the end.

102 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

103 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

104 tn Grk “behold.”

105 sn Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last. Jesus’ answer is that some who are expected to be there (many from Israel) will not be there, while others not expected to be present (from other nations) will be present. The question is not, “Will the saved be few?” (see v. 23), but “Will it be you?”

106 tn Grk “At that very hour.”

107 sn See the note on Pharisees in 5:17.

108 tn Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

109 tn Grk “Go away and leave from here,” which is redundant in English and has been shortened to “Get away from here.”

110 sn Herod refers here to Herod Antipas. See the note on Herod Antipas in 3:1.

111 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

112 tn The participle πορευθέντες (poreuqente") has been taken as indicating attendant circumstance.

113 sn That fox. This is not fundamentally a figure for cleverness as in modern western culture, but could indicate (1) an insignificant person (Neh 4:3; 2 Esd 13:35 LXX); (2) a deceiver (Song Rabbah 2.15.1 on 2:15); or someone destructive, a destroyer (Ezek 13:4; Lam 5:18; 1 En. 89:10, 42-49, 55). Luke’s emphasis seems to be on destructiveness, since Herod killed John the Baptist, whom Luke calls “the greatest born of women” (Luke 7:28) and later stands opposed to Jesus (Acts 4:26-28). In addition, “a person who is designated a fox is an insignificant or base person. He lacks real power and dignity, using cunning deceit to achieve his aims” (H. W. Hoehner, Herod Antipas [SNTSMS], 347).

114 sn The third day is a figurative reference to being further on in time, not a reference to three days from now. Jesus is not even in Jerusalem yet, and the events of the last days in Jerusalem take a good week.

115 tn Or “I reach my goal.” The verb τελειόω (teleiow) is a key NT term for the completion of God’s plan: See Luke 12:50; 22:37; John 19:30; and (where it has the additional component of meaning “to perfect”) Heb 2:10; 5:8-9; 7:28.

116 tn This is the frequent expression δεῖ (dei, “it is necessary”) that notes something that is a part of God’s plan.

117 tn Or “unthinkable.” See L&N 71.4 for both possible meanings.

118 tn Or “should perish away from.”

119 sn Death in Jerusalem is another key theme in Luke’s material: 7:16, 34; 24:19; Acts 3:22-23. Notice that Jesus sees himself in the role of a prophet here. Jesus’ statement, it is impossible that a prophet should be killed outside Jerusalem, is filled with irony; Jesus, traveling about in Galilee (most likely), has nothing to fear from Herod; it is his own people living in the very center of Jewish religion and worship who present the greatest danger to his life. The underlying idea is that Jerusalem, though she stands at the very heart of the worship of God, often kills the prophets God sends to her (v. 34). In the end, Herod will be much less a threat than Jerusalem.

map For location see Map5-B1; Map6-F3; Map7-E2; Map8-F2; Map10-B3; JP1-F4; JP2-F4; JP3-F4; JP4-F4.

120 sn The double use of the city’s name betrays intense emotion.

121 tn Although the opening address (“Jerusalem, Jerusalem”) is direct (second person), the remainder of this sentence in the Greek text is third person (“who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her”). The following sentences then revert to second person (“your… you”), so to keep all this consistent in English, the third person pronouns in the present verse were translated as second person (“you who kill… sent to you”).

122 sn How often I have longed to gather your children. Jesus, like a lamenting prophet, speaks for God here, who longed to care tenderly for Israel and protect her.

123 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

124 tn Grk “you were not willing.”

125 sn Your house is forsaken. The language here is from Jer 12:7 and 22:5. It recalls exilic judgment.

126 sn A quotation from Ps 118:26. The judgment to come will not be lifted until the Lord returns. See Luke 19:41-44.



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