Luke 10:1-24

The Mission of the Seventy-Two

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him two by two into every town and place where he himself was about to go. 10:2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest. 10:3 Go! I am sending you out like lambs surrounded by wolves. 10:4 Do not carry 10  a money bag, 11  a traveler’s bag, 12  or sandals, and greet no one on the road. 13  10:5 Whenever 14  you enter a house, 15  first say, ‘May peace 16  be on this house!’ 10:6 And if a peace-loving person 17  is there, your peace will remain on him, but if not, it will return to you. 18  10:7 Stay 19  in that same house, eating and drinking what they give you, 20  for the worker deserves his pay. 21  Do not move around from house to house. 10:8 Whenever 22  you enter a town 23  and the people 24  welcome you, eat what is set before you. 10:9 Heal 25  the sick in that town 26  and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God 27  has come upon 28  you!’ 10:10 But whenever 29  you enter a town 30  and the people 31  do not welcome 32  you, go into its streets 33  and say, 10:11 ‘Even the dust of your town 34  that clings to our feet we wipe off 35  against you. 36  Nevertheless know this: The kingdom of God has come.’ 37  10:12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom 38  than for that town! 39 

10:13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! 40  Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if 41  the miracles 42  done in you had been done in Tyre 43  and Sidon, 44  they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 10:14 But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you! 10:15 And you, Capernaum, 45  will you be exalted to heaven? 46  No, you will be thrown down to Hades! 47 

10:16 “The one who listens 48  to you listens to me, 49  and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects 50  the one who sent me.” 51 

10:17 Then 52  the seventy-two 53  returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons submit to 54  us in your name!” 55  10:18 So 56  he said to them, “I saw 57  Satan fall 58  like lightning 59  from heaven. 10:19 Look, I have given you authority to tread 60  on snakes and scorpions 61  and on the full force of the enemy, 62  and nothing will 63  hurt you. 10:20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice that 64  the spirits submit to you, but rejoice 65  that your names stand written 66  in heaven.”

10:21 On that same occasion 67  Jesus 68  rejoiced 69  in the Holy Spirit and said, “I praise 70  you, Father, Lord 71  of heaven and earth, because 72  you have hidden these things from the wise 73  and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will. 74  10:22 All things have been given to me by my Father. 75  No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son decides 76  to reveal him.”

10:23 Then 77  Jesus 78  turned 79  to his 80  disciples and said privately, “Blessed 81  are the eyes that see what you see! 10:24 For I tell you that many prophets and kings longed to see 82  what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

tn Grk “And after these things.” Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

tc There is a difficult textual problem here and in v. 17, where the number is either “seventy” (א A C L W Θ Ξ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï and several church fathers and early versions) or “seventy-two” (Ì75 B D 0181 pc lat as well as other versions and fathers). The more difficult reading is “seventy-two,” since scribes would be prone to assimilate this passage to several OT passages that refer to groups of seventy people (Num 11:13-17; Deut 10:22; Judg 8:30; 2 Kgs 10:1 et al.); this reading also has slightly better ms support. “Seventy” could be the preferred reading if scribes drew from the tradition of the number of translators of the LXX, which the Letter of Aristeas puts at seventy-two (TCGNT 127), although this is far less likely. All things considered, “seventy-two” is a much more difficult reading and accounts for the rise of the other. Only Luke notes a second larger mission like the one in 9:1-6.

tn Or “city.”

tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

sn The phrase Lord of the harvest recognizes God’s sovereignty over the harvest process.

tn Grk “to thrust out.”

tn Grk “Behold I.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

sn On the imagery of lambs see Isa 40:11, Ezek 34:11-31, and John 10:1-18.

sn This imagery of wolves is found in intertestamental Judaism as well; see Pss. Sol. 8:23.

10 sn On the command Do not carry see Luke 9:3. The travel instructions communicate a note of urgency and stand in contrast to philosophical teachers, who often took a bag. There is no ostentation in this ministry.

11 tn Traditionally, “a purse.”

12 tn Or possibly “a beggar’s bag” (L&N 6.145; BDAG 811 s.v. πήρα).

13 tn Or “no one along the way.”

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

15 tn Grk “Into whatever house you enter.” This acts as a distributive, meaning every house they enter; this is expressed more naturally in English as “whenever you enter a house.”

16 sn The statement ‘May peace be on this house!’ is really a benediction, asking for God’s blessing. The requested shalom (peace) is understood as coming from God.

17 tn Grk “a son of peace,” a Hebrew idiom for a person of a certain class or kind, as specified by the following genitive construction (in this case, “of peace”). Such constructions are discussed further in L&N 9.4. Here the expression refers to someone who responds positively to the disciples’ message, like “wisdom’s child” in Luke 7:30.

18 sn The response to these messengers determines how God’s blessing is bestowed – if they are not welcomed with peace, their blessing will return to them. Jesus shows just how important their mission is by this remark.

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

20 tn Grk “eating and drinking the things from them” (an idiom for what the people in the house provide the guests).

21 sn On the phrase the worker deserves his pay see 1 Tim 5:18 and 1 Cor 9:14.

22 tn Grk “And whatever town you enter,” but this is more often expressed in English as “whenever you enter a town.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

23 tn Or “city.” Jesus now speaks of the town as a whole, as he will in vv. 10-12.

24 tn Grk “and they”; the referent (the people who live in the town) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 tn 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.

sn Ministry (heal the sick) is to take place where it is well received (note welcome in the preceding verse).

26 tn Grk “in it”; the referent (that town) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

27 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.

28 tn Or “come near to you,” suggesting the approach (but not arrival) of the kingdom. But the combination of the perfect tense of ἐγγίζω (engizw) with the preposition ἐπί (epi) most likely suggests that the sense is “has come upon” (see BDAG 270 s.v. ἐγγίζω 2; W. R. Hutton, “The Kingdom of God Has Come,” ExpTim 64 [Dec 1952]: 89-91; and D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1000; cf. also NAB “is at hand for you”). These passages argue that a key element of the kingdom is its ability to overcome the power of Satan and those elements in the creation that oppose humanity. Confirmation of this understanding comes in v. 18 and in Luke 11:14-23, especially the parable of vv. 21-23.

29 tn Grk “whatever town you enter,” but this is more often expressed in English as “whenever you enter a town.”

30 tn Or “city.”

31 tn Grk “and they”; the referent (the people who live in the town) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

32 sn More discussion takes place concerning rejection (the people do not welcome you), as these verses lead into the condemnation of certain towns for their rejection of God’s kingdom.

33 tn The term πλατεῖα (plateia) refers to the “broad street,” so this refers to the main roads of the town.

34 tn Or “city.”

35 sn See Luke 9:5, where the verb is different but the meaning is the same. This was a sign of rejection.

36 tn Here ὑμῖν (Jumin) has been translated as a dative of disadvantage.

37 tn Or “has come near.” As in v. 9 (see above), the combination of ἐγγίζω (engizw) with the preposition ἐπί (epi) is decisive in showing that the sense is “has come” (see BDAG 270 s.v. ἐγγίζω 2, and W. R. Hutton, “The Kingdom of God Has Come,” ExpTim 64 [Dec 1952]: 89-91).

38 sn The allusion to Sodom, the most wicked of OT cities from Gen 19:1-29, shows that to reject the current message is even more serious than the worst sins of the old era and will result in more severe punishment. The noun Sodom is in emphatic position in the Greek text.

39 tn Or “city.”

40 sn Chorazin was a town of Galilee that was probably fairly small in contrast to Bethsaida and is otherwise unattested. Bethsaida was declared a polis by the tetrarch Herod Philip, sometime after a.d. 30.

41 tn This introduces a second class (contrary to fact) condition in the Greek text.

42 tn Or “powerful deeds.”

43 map For location see Map1-A2; Map2-G2; Map4-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

44 sn Tyre and Sidon are two other notorious OT cities (Isa 23; Jer 25:22; 47:4). The remark is a severe rebuke, in effect: “Even the sinners of the old era would have responded to the proclamation of the kingdom, unlike you!”

map For location see Map1-A1; JP3-F3; JP4-F3.

45 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

map For location see Map1-D2; Map2-C3; Map3-B2.

46 tn The interrogative particle introducing this question expects a negative reply.

47 sn In the OT, Hades was known as Sheol. It is the place where the unrighteous will reside (Matt 11:23; Luke 16:23; Rev 20:13-14).

48 tn Grk “hears you”; but as the context of vv. 8-9 makes clear, it is response that is the point. In contemporary English, “listen to” is one way to express this function (L&N 31.56).

49 sn Jesus linked himself to the disciples’ message: Responding to the disciples (listens to you) counts as responding to him.

50 tn The double mention of rejection in this clause – ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ (aqetwn aqetei) in the Greek text – keeps up the emphasis of the section.

51 sn The one who sent me refers to God.

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

53 tc See the tc note on the number “seventy-two” in Luke 10:1.

54 tn Or “the demons obey”; see L&N 36.18.

55 tn The prepositional phrase “in your name” indicates the sphere of authority for the messengers’ work of exorcism.

56 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that Jesus’ reply in vv. 18-20 follows from the positive report of the messengers in v. 17.

57 tn This is an imperfect tense verb.

58 tn In Greek, this is a participle and comes at the end of the verse, making it somewhat emphatic.

59 tn This is probably best taken as allusion to Isa 14:12; the phrase in common is ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ (ek tou ouranou). These exorcisms in Jesus’ name are a picture of Satan’s greater defeat at Jesus’ hands (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1006-7).

60 tn Or perhaps, “trample on” (which emphasizes the impact of the feet on the snakes). See L&N 15.226.

61 sn Snakes and scorpions are examples of the hostility in the creation that is defeated by Jesus. The use of battle imagery shows who the kingdom fights against. See Acts 28:3-6.

62 tn Or “I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and [authority] over the full force of the enemy.” The second prepositional phrase can be taken either as modifying the infinitive πατεῖν (patein, “to tread”) or the noun ἐξουσίαν (exousian, “power”). The former is to be preferred and has been represented in the translation.

sn The enemy is a reference to Satan (mentioned in v. 18).

63 tn This is an emphatic double negative in the Greek text.

64 tn Grk “do not rejoice in this, that.” This is awkward in contemporary English and has been simplified to “do not rejoice that.”

65 tn The verb here is a present imperative, so the call is to an attitude of rejoicing.

66 tn The verb here, a perfect tense, stresses a present reality of that which was a completed action, that is, their names were etched in the heavenly stone, as it were.

67 tn Grk “In that same hour” (L&N 67.1).

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

69 sn Jesus rejoiced. The account of the mission in 10:1-24 ends with several remarks about joy.

70 tn Or “thank.”

71 sn The title Lord is an important name for God, showing his sovereignty, but it is interesting that it comes next to a reference to the Father, a term indicative of God’s care. The two concepts are often related in the NT; see Eph 1:3-6.

72 tn Or “that.”

73 sn See 1 Cor 1:26-31.

74 tn Grk “for (to do) thus was well pleasing before you,” BDAG 325 s.v. ἔμπροσθεν 1.δ; speaking of something taking place “before” God is a reverential way of avoiding direct connection of the action to him.

75 sn This verse has been noted for its conceptual similarity to teaching in John’s Gospel (10:15; 17:2). The authority of the Son and the Father are totally intertwined.

76 tn Or “wishes”; or “intends”; or “plans” (cf. BDAG 182 s.v. βούλομαι 2.b). Here it is the Son who has sovereignty.

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

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

79 tn Grk “turning to the disciples, he said.” The participle στραφείς (strafei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

80 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

81 sn This beatitude highlights the great honor bestowed on the disciples to share in this salvation, as v. 20 also noted. See also Luke 2:30.

82 sn This is what past prophets and kings had wanted very much to see, yet the fulfillment had come to the disciples. This remark is like 1 Pet 1:10-12 or Heb 1:1-2.