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Luke 11:37-39

Context
Rebuking the Pharisees and Experts in the Law

11:37 As he spoke, 1  a Pharisee 2  invited Jesus 3  to have a meal with him, so he went in and took his place at the table. 4  11:38 The 5  Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus 6  did not first wash his hands 7  before the meal. 11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean 8  the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 9 

1 tn The use of the aorist infinitive here should probably be translated “as he spoke” rather than “while he was speaking” (see ExSyn 595). The Pharisee did not necessarily interrupt Jesus to issue the invitation.

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

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

4 tn Grk “and reclined 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.

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

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

7 tn The words “his hands” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied for clarity.

sn Washing before meals was a cultural practice that was described in the OT, but not prescribed there (Gen 18:4; Judg 19:21). It was apparently related to concern about contracting ceremonial uncleanness (Lev 11:31-38; t. Demai 2.11-12).

8 sn The allusion to washing (clean the outside of the cup) shows Jesus knew what they were thinking and deliberately set up a contrast that charged them with hypocrisy and majoring on minors.

9 tn Or “and evil.”



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