14:18 But one after another they all 1 began to make excuses. 2 The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, 3 and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ 4 14:19 Another 5 said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, 6 and I am going out 7 to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 14:20 Another 8 said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’ 9
1 tn Or “all unanimously” (BDAG 107 s.v. ἀπό 6). "One after another" is suggested by L&N 61.2.
2 sn To make excuses and cancel at this point was an insult in the culture of the time. Regardless of customs concerning responses to invitations, refusal at this point was rude.
3 sn I have bought a field. An examination of newly bought land was a common practice. It was this person’s priority.
4 sn The expression Please excuse me is probably a polite way of refusing, given the dynamics of the situation, although it is important to note that an initial acceptance had probably been indicated and it was now a bit late for a refusal. The semantic equivalent of the phrase may well be “please accept my apologies.”
5 tn Grk “And another.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
6 sn Five yoke of oxen. This was a wealthy man, because the normal farmer had one or two yoke of oxen.
7 tn The translation “going out” for πορεύομαι (poreuomai) is used because “going” in this context could be understood to mean “I am about to” rather than the correct nuance, “I am on my way to.”
8 tn Grk “And another.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
9 sn I just got married, and I cannot come. There is no request to be excused here; just a refusal. Why this disqualifies attendance is not clear. The OT freed a newly married man from certain responsibilities such as serving in the army (Deut 20:7; 24:5), but that would hardly apply to a banquet. The invitation is not respected in any of the three cases.