11:16 Others, to test 1 him, 2 began asking for 3 a sign 4 from heaven. 11:17 But Jesus, 5 realizing their thoughts, said to them, 6 “Every kingdom divided against itself is destroyed, 7 and a divided household falls. 8 11:18 So 9 if 10 Satan too is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? I ask you this because 11 you claim that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. 11:19 Now if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons 12 cast them 13 out? Therefore they will be your judges. 11:20 But if I cast out demons by the finger 14 of God, then the kingdom of God 15 has already overtaken 16 you. 11:21 When a strong man, 17 fully armed, guards his own palace, 18 his possessions are safe. 19 11:22 But 20 when a stronger man 21 attacks 22 and conquers him, he takes away the first man’s 23 armor on which the man relied 24 and divides up 25 his plunder. 26 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, 27 and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 28
11:24 “When an unclean spirit 29 goes out of a person, 30 it passes through waterless places 31 looking for rest but 32 not finding any. Then 33 it says, ‘I will return to the home I left.’ 34 11:25 When it returns, 35 it finds the house 36 swept clean and put in order. 37 11:26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there, so 38 the last state of that person 39 is worse than the first.” 40
11:27 As 41 he said these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out 42 to him, “Blessed is the womb 43 that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!” 44 11:28 But he replied, 45 “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey 46 it!”
11:29 As 47 the crowds were increasing, Jesus 48 began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, 49 but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 50 11:30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, 51 so the Son of Man will be a sign 52 to this generation. 53 11:31 The queen of the South 54 will rise up at the judgment 55 with the people 56 of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, 57 something greater 58 than Solomon is here! 11:32 The people 59 of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them 60 – and now, 61 something greater than Jonah is here!
11:33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place 62 or under a basket, 63 but on a lampstand, so that those who come in can see the light. 11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, 64 your whole body is full of light, but when it is diseased, 65 your body is full of darkness. 11:35 Therefore see to it 66 that the light in you 67 is not darkness. 11:36 If 68 then 69 your whole body is full of light, with no part in the dark, 70 it will be as full of light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” 71
1 tn Grk “testing”; the participle is taken as indicating the purpose of the demand.
2 tn The pronoun “him” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
3 tn Grk “seeking from him.” The imperfect ἐζήτουν (ezhtoun) is taken ingressively. It is also possible to regard it as iterative (“kept on asking”).
4 sn What exactly this sign would have been, given what Jesus was already doing, is not clear. But here is where the fence-sitters reside, refusing to commit to him.
5 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
6 sn Jesus here demonstrated the absurdity of the thinking of those who maintained that he was in league with Satan and that he actually derived his power from the devil. He first teaches (vv. 17-20) that if he casts out demons by the ruler of the demons, then in reality Satan is fighting against himself, with the result that his kingdom has come to an end. He then teaches (v. 21-22) about defeating the strong man to prove that he does not need to align himself with the devil because he is more powerful. Jesus defeated Satan at his temptation (4:1-13) and by his exorcisms he clearly demonstrated himself to be stronger than the devil. The passage reveals the desperate condition of the religious leaders, who in their hatred for Jesus end up attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan.
7 tn Or “is left in ruins.”
8 tn Grk “and house falls on house.” This phrase pictures one house collapsing on another, what is called today a “house of cards.”
9 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that the clause that follows is a logical conclusion based on the preceding examples.
10 tn This first class condition, the first of three “if” clauses in the following verses, presents the example vividly as if it were so. In fact, all three conditions in these verses are first class. The examples are made totally parallel. The expected answer is that Satan’s kingdom will not stand, so the suggestion makes no sense. Satan would not seek to heal.
11 tn Grk “because.” “I ask you this” is supplied for the sake of English.
12 sn Most read your sons as a reference to Jewish exorcists (cf. “your followers,” L&N 9.4; for various views see D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1077-78), but more likely this is a reference to the disciples of Jesus themselves, who are also Jewish and have been healing as well (R. J. Shirock, “Whose Exorcists are they? The Referents of οἱ υἱοὶ ὑμῶν at Matthew 12:27/Luke 11:19,” JSNT 46 : 41-51). If this is a reference to the disciples, then Jesus’ point is that it is not only him, but those associated with him whose power the hearers must assess. The following reference to judging also favors this reading.
13 tn The pronoun “them” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.
16 tn The phrase ἔφθασεν ἐφ᾿ ὑμᾶς (efqasen ef’ Juma") is important. Does it mean merely “approach” (which would be reflected in a translation like “has come near to you”) or actually “come upon” (as in the translation given above, “has already overtaken you,” which has the added connotation of suddenness)? The issue here is like the one in 10:9 (see note there on the phrase “come on”). Is the arrival of the kingdom merely anticipated or already in process? Two factors favor arrival over anticipation here. First, the prepositional phrase “upon you” suggests arrival (Dan 4:24, 28 Theodotion). Second, the following illustration in vv. 21-23 looks at the healing as portraying Satan being overrun. So the presence of God’s authority has arrived. See also L&N 13.123 for the translation of φθάνω (fqanw) as “to happen to already, to come upon, to come upon already.”
17 tn The referent of the expression “a strong man” is Satan.
18 tn The word αὐλή (aulh) describes any building large and elaborate enough to have an interior courtyard, thus “dwelling, palace, mansion” (L&N 7.6).
19 tn Grk “his goods are in peace.”
20 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
21 tn The referent of the expression “a stronger man” is Jesus.
22 tn Grk “stronger man than he attacks.”
23 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the first man mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
24 tn Grk “on which he relied.”
25 tn Or “and distributes.”
26 sn Some see the imagery here as similar to Eph 4:7-10, although no opponents are explicitly named in that passage. Jesus has the victory over Satan. Jesus’ acts of healing mean that the war is being won and the kingdom is coming.
27 sn Whoever is not with me is against me. The call here is to join the victor. Failure to do so means that one is being destructive. Responding to Jesus is the issue.
28 sn For the image of scattering, see Pss. Sol. 17:18.
30 tn Grk “man.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.
31 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).
32 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
33 tc ‡ Most
34 tn Grk “I will return to my house from which I came.”
35 tn Grk “comes.”
36 tn The words “the house” are not in Greek but are implied.
37 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.
38 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the concluding point of the story.
39 tn Grk “man.” This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both males and females.
40 sn The point of the story is that to fail to respond is to risk a worse fate than when one started.
41 tn Grk “And it happened that as.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
42 tn Grk “lifted up her voice and said.” This idiom is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “spoke out.”
43 tn For this term see L&N 8.69.
44 sn Both the reference to the womb and the breasts form a figure of speech called metonymy. In this case the parts are mentioned instead of the whole; the meaning is “Blessed is your mother!” The warnings seem to have sparked a little nervousness that brought forth this response. In the culture a mother was valued for the accomplishments of her son. So this amounts to a compliment to Jesus.
45 tn Grk “said.”
47 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
48 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
50 sn As the following comparisons to Solomon and Jonah show, in the present context the sign of Jonah is not an allusion to Jonah being three days in the belly of the fish, but to Jesus’ teaching about wisdom and repentance.
52 tn The repetition of the words “a sign” are not in the Greek text, but are implied and are supplied here for clarity.
53 tc Only the Western ms D and a few Itala
54 sn On the queen of the South see 1 Kgs 10:1-3 and 2 Chr 9:1-12, as well as Josephus, Ant. 8.6.5-6 (8.165-175). The South most likely refers to modern southwest Arabia, possibly the eastern part of modern Yemen, although there is an ancient tradition reflected in Josephus which identifies this geo-political entity as Ethiopia.
56 tn Grk “men”; the word here (ἀνήρ, anhr) usually indicates males or husbands, but occasionally is used in a generic sense of people in general, as is the case here (cf. BDAG 79 s.v. 1, 2). The same term, translated the same way, occurs in v. 32.
57 tn Grk “behold.”
60 tn Grk “at the preaching of Jonah.”
sn The phrase repented when Jonah preached to them confirms that in this context the sign of Jonah (v. 30) is his message.
61 tn Grk “behold.”
62 tn Or perhaps “in a cellar” (L&N 28.78). The point is that the light of Jesus’ teaching has been put in public view.
63 tc The phrase “or under a basket” is lacking in some important and early
tn Or “a bowl”; this refers to any container for dry material of about eight liters (two gallons) capacity. It could be translated “basket, box, bowl” (L&N 6.151).
64 tn Or “sound” (so L&N 23.132 and most scholars). A few scholars take this word to mean something like “generous” here (L&N 57.107), partly due to the immediate context of this saying in Matt 6:22 which concerns money, in which case the “eye” is a metonymy for the entire person (“if you are generous”).
65 tn Or “when it is sick” (L&N 23.149).
sn There may be a slight wordplay here, as this term can also mean “evil,” so the figure uses a term that points to the real meaning of being careful as to what one pays attention to or looks at.
66 tn This is a present imperative, calling for a constant watch (L&N 24.32; ExSyn 721).
67 sn Here you is a singular pronoun, individualizing the application.
68 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text, so the example ends on a hopeful, positive note.
70 tn Grk “not having any part dark.”
71 tn Grk “it will be completely illumined as when a lamp illumines you with its rays.”