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Luke 9:28-36

Context
The Transfiguration

9:28 Now 1  about eight days 2  after these sayings, Jesus 3  took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up the mountain to pray. 9:29 As 4  he was praying, 5  the appearance of his face was transformed, 6  and his clothes became very bright, a brilliant white. 7  9:30 Then 8  two men, Moses and Elijah, 9  began talking with him. 10  9:31 They appeared in glorious splendor and spoke about his departure 11  that he was about to carry out 12  at Jerusalem. 13  9:32 Now Peter and those with him were quite sleepy, 14  but as they became fully awake, 15  they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. 9:33 Then 16  as the men 17  were starting to leave, 18  Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us make three shelters, 19  one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah” – not knowing what he was saying. 9:34 As 20  he was saying this, a cloud 21  came 22  and overshadowed 23  them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 9:35 Then 24  a voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One. 25  Listen to him!” 26  9:36 After 27  the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. So 28  they kept silent and told no one 29  at that time 30  anything of what they had seen.

1 tn Grk “Now it happened that about.” 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.

2 tn Matt 17:1 and Mark 9:2 specify the interval more exactly, saying it was the sixth day. Luke uses ὡσεί (Jwsei, “about”) to give an approximate reference.

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

4 tn Grk “And as.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

5 tn Here the preposition ἐν (en) plus the dative articular aorist infinitive has been translated as a temporal clause (ExSyn 595).

6 tn Or “the appearance of his face became different.”

sn In 1st century Judaism and in the NT, there was the belief that the righteous get new, glorified bodies in order to enter heaven (1 Cor 15:42-49; 2 Cor 5:1-10). This transformation means the righteous will share the glory of God. One recalls the way Moses shared the Lord’s glory after his visit to the mountain in Exod 34. So the disciples saw the appearance of his face transformed, and they were getting a sneak preview of the great glory that Jesus would have (only his glory is more inherent to him as one who shares in the rule of the kingdom).

7 tn Or “became bright as a flash of lightning” (cf. BDAG 346 s.v. ἐξαστράπτω); or “became brilliant as light” (cf. BDAG 593 s.v. λευκός 1).

8 tn Grk “And behold.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this statement has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

9 sn Commentators and scholars discuss why Moses and Elijah are present. The most likely explanation is that Moses represents the prophetic office (Acts 3:18-22) and Elijah pictures the presence of the last days (Mal 4:5-6), the prophet of the eschaton (the end times).

10 tn Grk “two men were talking with him, who were Moses and Elijah.” The relative clause has been simplified to an appositive and transposed in keeping with contemporary English style.

11 tn Grk “his exodus,” which refers to Jesus’ death in Jerusalem and journey back to glory. Here is the first lesson that the disciples must learn. The wondrous rule comes only after suffering.

12 tn Or “accomplish,” “bring to completion.”

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

14 tn Grk “weighed down with sleep” (an idiom).

15 tn Or “after they became fully awake,” “but they became fully awake and saw.”

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

17 tn Grk “as they”; the referent (“the men,” referring to Moses and Elijah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn Grk “to leave from him.”

19 tn Or “booths,” “dwellings” (referring to the temporary booths constructed in the celebration of the feast of Tabernacles).

sn By making three shelters Peter apparently wanted to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths that looked forward to the end and to treat Moses, Elijah, and Jesus as equals. It was actually a way of expressing honor to Jesus, but the remark at the end of the verse makes it clear that it was not enough honor.

20 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

21 sn This cloud is the cloud of God’s presence and the voice is his as well.

22 tn Or “appeared.”

23 tn Or “surrounded.”

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

25 tc Most mss, especially the later ones, have ἀγαπητός (agaphto", “the one I love”; A C* W Ë13 33 Ï it), or ἀγαπητὸς ἐν ᾧ ()υδόκησα (agaphto" en |w (h)udokhsa, “the one I love, in whom I am well pleased”; C3 D Ψ pc) here, instead of ἐκλελεγμένος (eklelegmeno", “the Chosen One”), but these variants are probably assimilations to Matt 17:5 and Mark 9:7. The text behind the translation also enjoys excellent support from Ì45,75 א B L Ξ (579) 892 1241 pc co.

tn The participle ὁ ἐκλελεγμένος (Jo eklelegmeno"), which could be translated “the One who has been chosen,” is best understood as a title rather than a descriptive phrase, probably deriving from Isa 42:1 (LXX) which uses the similar ὁ ἐκλεκτός (Jo eklekto") which also appears in Luke 23:35.

sn This divine endorsement is like Luke 3:22 at Jesus’ baptism. One difference here is the mention of the Chosen One, a reference to the unique and beloved role of the regal, messianic Son.

26 sn The expression listen to him comes from Deut 18:15 and makes two points: 1) Jesus is a prophet like Moses, a leader-prophet, and 2) they have much yet to learn from him.

27 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

28 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the concluding summary of the account.

29 sn Although the disciples told no one at the time, later they did recount this. The commentary on this scene is 2 Pet 1:17-18.

30 tn Grk “in those days.”



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