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Luke 17:6-7

Context
17:6 So 1  the Lord replied, 2  “If 3  you had faith the size of 4  a mustard seed, you could say to this black mulberry 5  tree, ‘Be pulled out by the roots and planted in the sea,’ 6  and it would obey 7  you.

17:7 “Would any one of you say 8  to your slave 9  who comes in from the field after plowing or shepherding sheep, ‘Come at once and sit down for a meal’? 10 

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of previous action(s) in the narrative.

2 tn Grk “said.”

3 tn This is a mixed condition, with ἄν (an) in the apodosis.

4 tn Grk “faith as,” “faith like.”

5 sn A black mulberry tree is a deciduous fruit tree that grows about 20 ft (6 m) tall and has black juicy berries. This tree has an extensive root system, so to pull it up would be a major operation.

6 tn The passives here (ἐκριζώθητι and φυτεύθητι, ekrizwqhti and futeuqhti) are probably a circumlocution for God performing the action (the so-called divine passive, see ExSyn 437-38). The issue is not the amount of faith (which in the example is only very tiny), but its presence, which can accomplish impossible things. To cause a tree to be uprooted and planted in the sea is impossible. The expression is a rhetorical idiom. It is like saying a camel can go through the eye of a needle (Luke 18:25).

7 tn The verb is aorist, though it looks at a future event, another rhetorical touch to communicate certainty of the effect of faith.

8 tn Grk “Who among you, having a slave… would say to him.”

9 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.

10 tn Grk “and recline 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. See BDAG 70 s.v. ἀναπίπτω 1.



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