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Luke 11:5-12

Context

11:5 Then 1  he said to them, “Suppose one of you 2  has a friend, and you go to him 3  at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 4  11:6 because a friend of mine has stopped here while on a journey, 5  and I have nothing to set before 6  him.’ 11:7 Then 7  he will reply 8  from inside, ‘Do not bother me. The door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. 9  I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 10  11:8 I tell you, even though the man inside 11  will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of the first man’s 12  sheer persistence 13  he will get up and give him whatever he needs.

11:9 “So 14  I tell you: Ask, 15  and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door 16  will be opened for you. 11:10 For everyone who asks 17  receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door 18  will be opened. 11:11 What father among you, if your 19  son asks for 20  a fish, will give him a snake 21  instead of a fish? 11:12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 22 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

2 tn Grk “Who among you will have a friend and go to him.”

3 tn Grk “he will go to him.”

4 tn The words “of bread” are not in the Greek text, but are implied by ἄρτους (artou", “loaves”).

5 tn Grk “has come to me from the road.”

6 sn The background to the statement I have nothing to set before him is that in ancient Middle Eastern culture it was a matter of cultural honor to be a good host to visitors.

7 tn Κἀκεῖνος (kakeino") has been translated “Then he.”

8 tn Grk “answering, he will say.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “he will reply.”

9 tn Grk “my children are with me in the bed.” In Jewish homes in the time of Jesus, the beds were often all together in one room; thus the householder may be speaking of individual beds (using a collective singular) rather than a common bed.

10 tn The syntax of vv. 6-7 is complex. In the Greek text Jesus’ words in v. 6 begin as a question. Some see Jesus’ question ending at v. 6, but the reply starting in v. 8 favors extending the question through the entire illustration. The translation breaks up the long sentence at the beginning of v. 7 and translates Jesus’ words as a statement for reasons of English style.

11 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the man in bed in the house) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Grk “his”; the referent (the first man mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn The term ἀναίδεια (anaideia) is hard to translate. It refers to a combination of ideas, a boldness that persists over time, or “audacity,” which comes close. It most likely describes the one making the request, since the unit’s teaching is an exhortation about persistence in prayer. Some translate the term “shamelessness” which is the term’s normal meaning, and apply it to the neighbor as an illustration of God responding for the sake of his honor. But the original question was posed in terms of the first man who makes the request, not of the neighbor, so the teaching underscores the action of the one making the request.

14 tn Here καί (kai, from καγώ [kagw]) has been translated as “so” to indicate the conclusion drawn from the preceding parable.

15 sn The three present imperatives in this verse (Ask…seek…knock) are probably intended to call for a repeated or continual approach before God.

16 tn Grk “it”; the referent (a door) is implied by the context and has been specified in the translation for clarity.

17 sn The actions of asking, seeking, and knocking are repeated here from v. 9 with the encouragement that God does respond.

18 tn Grk “it”; the referent (a door) is implied by the context and has been specified in the translation for clarity.

19 tn Grk “the”; in context the article is used as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

20 tc Most mss (א A C D L W Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï lat syc,p,h bo) have “bread, does not give him a stone instead, or” before “a fish”; the longer reading, however, looks like a harmonization to Matt 7:9. The shorter reading is thus preferred, attested by Ì45,75 B 1241 pc sys sa.

21 sn The snake probably refers to a water snake.

22 sn The two questions of vv. 11-12 expect the answer, “No father would do this!”



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