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Luke 13:1-9

Context
A Call to Repent

13:1 Now 1  there were some present on that occasion who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2  13:2 He 3  answered them, “Do you think these Galileans were worse sinners 4  than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things? 13:3 No, I tell you! But unless you repent, 5  you will all perish as well! 6  13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed 7  when the tower in Siloam fell on them, 8  do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who live in Jerusalem? 9  13:5 No, I tell you! But unless you repent 10  you will all perish as well!” 11 

Warning to Israel to Bear Fruit

13:6 Then 12  Jesus 13  told this parable: “A man had a fig tree 14  planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. 13:7 So 15  he said to the worker who tended the vineyard, ‘For 16  three years 17  now, I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and each time I inspect it 18  I find none. Cut 19  it down! Why 20  should it continue to deplete 21  the soil?’ 13:8 But the worker 22  answered him, ‘Sir, leave it alone this year too, until I dig around it and put fertilizer 23  on it. 13:9 Then if 24  it bears fruit next year, 25  very well, 26  but if 27  not, you can cut it down.’”

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

2 sn This is an event that otherwise is unattested, though several events similar to it are noted in Josephus (J. W. 2.9.2-4 [2.169-177]; Ant. 13.13.5 [13.372-73], 18.3.1-2 [18.55-62]; 18.4.1 [18.85-87]). It would have caused a major furor.

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

4 sn Jesus did not want his hearers to think that tragedy was necessarily a judgment on these people because they were worse sinners.

5 sn Jesus was stressing that all stand at risk of death, if they do not repent and receive life.

6 tn Or “you will all likewise perish,” but this could be misunderstood to mean that they would perish by the same means as the Galileans. Jesus’ point is that apart from repentance all will perish.

7 tn Grk “on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them.” This relative clause embedded in a prepositional phrase is complex in English and has been simplified to an adjectival and a temporal clause in the translation.

8 sn Unlike the previous event, when the tower in Siloam fell on them, it was an accident of fate. It raised the question, however, “Was this a judgment?”

9 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

10 sn Jesus’ point repeats v. 3. The circumstances make no difference. All must deal with the reality of what death means.

11 tn Grk “similarly.”

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

13 tn Grk “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

14 sn The fig tree is a variation on the picture of a vine as representing the nation; see Isa 5:1-7.

15 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the man’s response as a result of the lack of figs in the preceding clause.

16 tn Grk “Behold, for.”

17 sn The elapsed time could be six years total since planting, since often a fig was given three years before one even started to look for fruit. The point in any case is that enough time had been given to expect fruit.

18 tn The phrase “each time I inspect it” is not in the Greek text but has been supplied to indicate the customary nature of the man’s search for fruit.

19 tc ‡ Several witnesses (Ì75 A L Θ Ψ 070 Ë13 33 579 892 al lat co) have “therefore” (οὖν, oun) here. This conjunction has the effect of strengthening the logical connection with the preceding statement but also of reducing the rhetorical power and urgency of the imperative. In light of the slightly greater internal probability of adding a conjunction to an otherwise asyndetic sentence, as well as significant external support for the omission (א B D W Ë1 Ï), the shorter reading appears to be more likely as the original wording here. NA27 puts the conjunction in brackets, indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

20 tn Grk “Why indeed.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

21 sn Such fig trees would deplete the soil, robbing it of nutrients needed by other trees and plants.

22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the worker who tended the vineyard) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 tn Grk “toss manure [on it].” This is a reference to manure used as fertilizer.

24 tn This is a third class condition in the Greek text. The conjunction καί (kai, a component of κάν [kan]) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

25 tn Grk “the coming [season].”

26 tn The phrase “very well” is supplied in the translation to complete the elided idea, but its absence is telling.

27 tn This is a first class condition in the Greek text, showing which of the options is assumed.



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