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Luke 4:16-21

Context
Rejection at Nazareth

4:16 Now 1  Jesus 2  came to Nazareth, 3  where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue 4  on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. 5  He 6  stood up to read, 7  4:17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He 8  unrolled 9  the scroll and found the place where it was written,

4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed 10  me to proclaim good news 11  to the poor. 12 

He has sent me 13  to proclaim release 14  to the captives

and the regaining of sight 15  to the blind,

to set free 16  those who are oppressed, 17 

4:19 to proclaim the year 18  of the Lords favor. 19 

4:20 Then 20  he rolled up 21  the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fixed on 22  him. 4:21 Then 23  he began to tell them, “Today 24  this scripture has been fulfilled even as you heard it being read.” 25 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

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

3 sn Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown (which is why he is known as Jesus of Nazareth) about 20 miles (30 km) southwest from Capernaum.

map For location see Map1 D3; Map2 C2; Map3 D5; Map4 C1; Map5 G3.

4 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

5 tn Grk “according to his custom.”

6 tn Grk “And he.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

7 sn In normative Judaism of the period, the OT scripture was read and discussed in the synagogue by the men who were present. See the Mishnah, m. Megillah 3-4; m. Berakhot 2. First came the law, then the prophets, then someone was asked to speak on the texts. Normally one stood up to read out of respect for the scriptures, and then sat down (v. 20) to expound them.

8 tn Grk “And unrolling the scroll he found.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. Instead a new sentence has been started in the translation.

9 tn Grk “opening,” but a scroll of this period would have to be unrolled. The participle ἀναπτύξας (anaptuxa") has been translated as a finite verb due to the requirements of contemporary English style.

10 sn The phrase he has anointed me is an allusion back to Jesus’ baptism in Luke 3:21-22.

11 tn Grk “to evangelize,” “to preach the gospel.”

12 sn The poor is a key term in Luke. It refers to the pious poor and indicates Jesus’ desire to reach out to those the world tends to forget or mistreat. It is like 1:52 in force and also will be echoed in 6:20 (also 1 Pet 2:11-25). Jesus is commissioned to do this.

13 tc The majority of mss, especially the later Byzantines, include the phrase “to heal the brokenhearted” at this point (A Θ Ψ 0102 Ë1 Ï). The phrase is lacking in several weighty mss (א B D L W Ξ Ë13 33 579 700 892* pc lat sys co), including representatives from both the Alexandrian and Western texttypes. From the standpoint of external evidence, the omission of the phrase is more likely original. When internal evidence is considered, the shorter reading becomes almost certain. Scribes would be much more prone to add the phrase here to align the text with Isa 61:1, the source of the quotation, than to remove it from the original.

14 sn The release in view here is comprehensive, both at a physical level and a spiritual one, as the entire ministry of Jesus makes clear (Luke 1:77-79; 7:47; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 5:31; 10:43).

15 sn Again, as with the previous phrase, regaining of sight may well mean more than simply miraculously restoring physical sight, which itself pictures a deeper reality (Luke 1:77-79; 18:35-43).

16 sn The essence of Jesus’ messianic work is expressed in the phrase to set free. This line from Isa 58 says that Jesus will do what the nation had failed to do. It makes the proclamation messianic, not merely prophetic, because Jesus doesn’t just proclaim the message – he brings the deliverance. The word translated set free is the same Greek word (ἄφεσις, afesi") translated release earlier in the verse.

17 sn Again, as with the previous phrases, oppressed may well mean more than simply political or economic oppression, but a deeper reality of oppression by sin (Luke 1:77-79; 18:35-43).

18 sn The year of the Lords favor (Grk “the acceptable year of the Lord”) is a description of the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:10). The year of the total forgiveness of debt is now turned into a metaphor for salvation. Jesus had come to proclaim that God was ready to forgive sin totally.

19 sn A quotation from Isa 61:1-2a. Within the citation is a line from Isa 58:6, with its reference to setting the oppressed free.

20 tn Grk “And closing.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the transition to a new topic.

21 tn Grk “closing,” but a scroll of this period would have to be rolled up. The participle πτύξας (ptuxas) has been translated as a finite verb due to the requirements of contemporary English style.

22 tn Or “gazing at,” “staring at.”

23 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

24 sn See the note on today in 2:11.

25 tn Grk “in your hearing.”



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