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Luke 12:22-32

Context
Exhortation Not to Worry

12:22 Then 1  Jesus 2  said to his 3  disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry 4  about your 5  life, what you will eat, or about your 6  body, what you will wear. 12:23 For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing. 12:24 Consider the ravens: 7  They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds 8  them. How much more valuable are you than the birds! 12:25 And which of you by worrying 9  can add an hour to his life? 10  12:26 So if 11  you cannot do such a very little thing as this, why do you worry about 12  the rest? 12:27 Consider how the flowers 13  grow; they do not work 14  or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! 12:28 And if 15  this is how God clothes the wild grass, 16  which is here 17  today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, 18  how much more 19  will he clothe you, you people of little faith! 12:29 So 20  do not be overly concerned about 21  what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not worry about such things. 22  12:30 For all the nations of the world pursue 23  these things, and your Father knows that you need them. 12:31 Instead, pursue 24  his 25  kingdom, 26  and these things will be given to you as well.

12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is well pleased 27  to give you the kingdom.

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative. Jesus’ remarks to the disciples are an application of the point made in the previous parable.

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

3 tc αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”) is lacking in Ì45vid,75 B 1241 c e. Although the addition of clarifying pronouns is a known scribal alteration, in this case it is probably better to view the dropping of the pronoun as the alteration in light of its minimal attestation.

4 tn Or “do not be anxious.”

5 tc Most mss (Ì45 Ψ 070 Ë13 33 Ï) supply the pronoun ὑμῶν (Jumwn, “your”) here, although several important and early witnesses omit it (Ì75 א A B D L Q W Θ Ë1 700 2542 al lat). Externally, the shorter reading is superior. Internally, the pronoun looks to be a scribal clarification. In context the article can be translated as a possessive pronoun anyway (ExSyn 215), as it has been done for this translation.

6 tc Some mss (B 070 Ë13 33 1424 al) supply the pronoun ὑμῶν (Jumwn, “your”) here, although the witnesses for the omission are early, important, and varied (Ì45vid,75 א A D L Q W Θ Ψ Ë1 Ï lat). See previous tc note for more discussion.

7 tn Or “crows.” Crows and ravens belong to the same family of birds. English uses “crow” as a general word for the family. Palestine has several indigenous members of the crow family.

8 tn Or “God gives them food to eat.” L&N 23.6 has both “to provide food for” and “to give food to someone to eat.”

9 tn Or “by being anxious.”

10 tn Or “a cubit to his height.” A cubit (πῆχυς, phcu") can measure length (normally about 45 cm or 18 inches) or time (a small unit, “hour” is usually used [BDAG 812 s.v.] although “day” has been suggested [L&N 67.151]). The term ἡλικία (Jhlikia) is ambiguous in the same way as πῆχυς. Most scholars take the term to describe age or length of life here, although a few refer it to bodily stature (see BDAG 435-36 s.v. 1.a for discussion). Worry about length of life seems a more natural figure than worry about height. However, the point either way is clear: Worrying adds nothing to life span or height.

11 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.

12 tn Or “why are you anxious for.”

13 tn Traditionally, “lilies.” According to L&N 3.32, “Though traditionally κρίνον has been regarded as a type of lily, scholars have suggested several other possible types of flowers, including an anemone, a poppy, a gladiolus, and a rather inconspicuous type of daisy.” In view of the uncertainty, the more generic “flowers” has been used in the translation.

14 tn Traditionally, “toil.” Although it might be argued that “work hard” would be a more precise translation of κοπιάω (kopiaw) here, the line in English scans better in terms of cadence with a single syllable.

15 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text.

16 tn Grk “grass in the field.”

17 tn Grk “which is in the field today.”

18 tn Grk “into the oven.” The expanded translation “into the fire to heat the oven” has been used to avoid misunderstanding; most items put into modern ovens are put there to be baked, not burned.

sn The oven was most likely a rounded clay oven used for baking bread, which was heated by burning wood and dried grass.

19 sn The phrase how much more is a typical form of rabbinic argumentation, from the lesser to the greater. If God cares for the little things, surely he will care for the more important things.

20 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate a conclusion drawn from the previous illustrations.

21 tn Grk “do not seek,” but this could be misunderstood to mean that people should make no attempt to obtain their food. The translation “do not be overly concerned” attempts to reflect the force of the original.

22 tn The words “about such things” have been supplied to qualify the meaning; the phrase relates to obtaining food and drink mentioned in the previous clause.

23 tn Grk “seek.”

24 tn Grk “seek,” but in the sense of the previous verses.

25 tc Most mss (Ì45 A D1 Q W Θ 070 Ë1,13 33 Ï lat sy) read τοῦ θεοῦ (tou qeou, “of God”) instead of αὐτοῦ (autou, “his”; found in א B D* L Ψ 579 892 pc co). But such a clarifying reading is suspect. αὐτοῦ is superior on both internal and external grounds. Ì75 includes neither and as such would support the translation above since the article alone can often be translated as a possessive pronoun.

26 sn His (that is, God’s) kingdom is a major theme of Jesus. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21.

27 tn Or perhaps, “your Father chooses.”



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