13:32 But 1 he said to them, “Go 2 and tell that fox, 3 ‘Look, I am casting out demons and performing healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day 4 I will complete my work. 5 13:33 Nevertheless I must 6 go on my way today and tomorrow and the next day, because it is impossible 7 that a prophet should be killed 8 outside Jerusalem.’ 9
1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
2 tn The participle πορευθέντες (poreuqente") has been taken as indicating attendant circumstance.
3 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).
4 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.
5 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.
6 tn This is the frequent expression δεῖ (dei, “it is necessary”) that notes something that is a part of God’s plan.
7 tn Or “unthinkable.” See L&N 71.4 for both possible meanings.
8 tn Or “should perish away from.”
9 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.