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Luke 13:31-35

Context
Going to Jerusalem

13:31 At that time, 1  some Pharisees 2  came up and said to Jesus, 3  “Get away from here, 4  because Herod 5  wants to kill you.” 13:32 But 6  he said to them, “Go 7  and tell that fox, 8  ‘Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day 9  I will complete my work. 10  13:33 Nevertheless I must 11  go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible 12  that a prophet should be killed 13  outside Jerusalem.’ 14  13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 15  you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! 16  How often I have longed 17  to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but 18  you would have none of it! 19  13:35 Look, your house is forsaken! 20  And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” 21 

1 tn Grk “At that very hour.”

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

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

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

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

8 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).

9 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.

10 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.

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

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

13 tn Or “should perish away from.”

14 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.

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

16 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”).

17 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.

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

19 tn Grk “you were not willing.”

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

21 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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