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Luke 11:24-26

Context
Response to Jesus’ Work

11:24 “When an unclean spirit 1  goes out of a person, 2  it passes through waterless places 3  looking for rest but 4  not finding any. Then 5  it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ 6  11:25 When it returns, 7  it finds the house 8  swept clean and put in order. 9  11:26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so 10  the last state of that person 11  is worse than the first.” 12 

1 sn This is a reference to an evil spirit. See Luke 4:33.

2 tn Grk “man.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.

3 sn The background for the reference to waterless places is not entirely clear, though some Jewish texts suggest spirits must have a place to dwell, but not with water (Luke 8:29-31; Tob 8:3). Some suggest that the image of the desert or deserted cities as the places demons dwell is where this idea started (Isa 13:21; 34:14).

4 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

5 tc ‡ Most mss, including a few early and important ones (Ì45 א* A C D W Ψ Ë1,13 Ï lat), lack τότε (tote, “then”). Other mss, including some early and important ones (Ì75 א2 B L Θ Ξ 070 33 579 892 1241 pc co), have the adverb. Although the external evidence better supports the longer reading, the internal evidence is on the side of the shorter, for conjunctions and adverbs were frequently added by copyists to remove asyndeton and to add clarification. The shorter reading is thus preferred. The translation, however, adds “Then” because of English stylistic requirements. NA27 has τότε in brackets indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

6 tn Grk “I will return to my house from which I came.”

7 tn Grk “comes.”

8 tn The words “the house” are not in Greek but are implied.

9 sn The image of the house swept clean and put in order refers to the life of the person from whom the demon departed. The key to the example appears to be that no one else has been invited in to dwell. If an exorcism occurs and there is no response to God, then the way is free for the demon to return. Some see the reference to exorcism as more symbolic; thus the story’s only point is about responding to Jesus. This is possible and certainly is an application of the passage.

10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the concluding point of the story.

11 tn Grk “man.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.

12 sn The point of the story is that to fail to respond is to risk a worse fate than when one started.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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