11:38 The 1 Pharisee was astonished when he saw that Jesus 2 did not first wash his hands 3 before the meal. 11:39 But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean 4 the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 5 11:40 You fools! 6 Didn’t the one who made the outside make the inside as well? 7 11:41 But give from your heart to those in need, 8 and 9 then everything will be clean for you. 10
1 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.
2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
3 tn The words “his hands” are not in the Greek text, but have been supplied for clarity.
sn Washing before meals was a cultural practice that was described in the OT, but not prescribed there (Gen 18:4; Judg 19:21). It was apparently related to concern about contracting ceremonial uncleanness (Lev 11:31-38; t. Demai 2.11-12).
4 sn The allusion to washing (clean the outside of the cup) shows Jesus knew what they were thinking and deliberately set up a contrast that charged them with hypocrisy and majoring on minors.
5 tn Or “and evil.”
7 tn The question includes a Greek particle, οὐ (ou), that expects a positive reply. God, the maker of both, is concerned for what is both inside and outside.
8 tn Grk “Give the things inside as alms.” Three different approaches have been taken to the syntax and meaning of this phrase: (1) τὰ ἐνόντα (ta enonta, “the things inside”) is an accusative of respect (“give alms with respect to the things inside”); (2) τὰ ἐνόντα is an adverbial accusative (“give alms inwardly,” i.e., from the heart); (3) the word translated “alms” represents a mistranslation of the original Aramaic term “cleanse,” so the statement urges the hearers to “cleanse the things inside.” According to D. L. Bock (Luke [BECNT], 2:1115) the latter meaning is unlikely because the present verse is independent of Matt 23:26, not parallel to it, and makes good sense as it stands.
sn In Jewish culture giving alms to the poor was a very important religious observance; it was meant to be an act of mercy, kindness, and love (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1114). The implication from the text is that the Pharisees gave alms, but without any of the spiritual concern which should have motivated those generous actions. Here Jesus commands the Pharisees to give from within themselves to those in need instead of just giving of their possessions. In so doing they would show true inner purity acceptable to God. This is in keeping with the author’s social concerns elsewhere in the Gospel (cf., e.g., 1:52-53, 4:18-19, 6:20-21, 14:13).
9 tn Grk “and behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this clause has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).
10 sn The expression everything will be clean for you refers to the agreement that should exist between the overt practice of one’s religious duties, such as almsgiving, and the inner condition of one’s heart, including true love for God and the poor; one is not only to wash the outside of the cup and plate, but the inside as well, since as Jesus said, God created the inside too. Religious duties are not to be performed hypocritically, i.e., for the applause and esteem of people, but rather they are to be done out of a deep love for God and a sensitivity to and concern for the needs of others. Then, everything will be clean, both hearts and lives.