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Luke 6:47--7:16


6:47 “Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice 1  – I will show you what he is like: 6:48 He is like a man 2  building a house, who dug down deep, 3  and laid the foundation on bedrock. When 4  a flood came, the river 5  burst against that house but 6  could not shake it, because it had been well built. 7  6:49 But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice 8  is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When 9  the river burst against that house, 10  it collapsed immediately, and was utterly destroyed!” 11 

Healing the Centurion’s Slave

7:1 After Jesus 12  had finished teaching all this to the people, 13  he entered Capernaum. 14  7:2 A centurion 15  there 16  had a slave 17  who was highly regarded, 18  but who was sick and at the point of death. 7:3 When the centurion 19  heard 20  about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders 21  to him, asking him to come 22  and heal his slave. 7:4 When 23  they came 24  to Jesus, they urged 25  him earnestly, 26  “He is worthy 27  to have you do this for him, 7:5 because he loves our nation, 28  and even 29  built our synagogue.” 30  7:6 So 31  Jesus went with them. When 32  he was not far from the house, the centurion 33  sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, 34  for I am not worthy 35  to have you come under my roof. 7:7 That is why 36  I did not presume 37  to come to you. Instead, say the word, and my servant must be healed. 38  7:8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me. 39  I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, 40  and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 41  7:9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed 42  at him. He turned and said to the crowd that followed him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith!” 43  7:10 So 44  when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave 45  well.

Raising a Widow’s Son

7:11 Soon 46  afterward 47  Jesus 48  went to a town 49  called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 7:12 As he approached the town gate, a man 50  who had died was being carried out, 51  the only son of his mother (who 52  was a widow 53 ), and a large crowd from the town 54  was with her. 7:13 When 55  the Lord saw her, he had compassion 56  for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 57  7:14 Then 58  he came up 59  and touched 60  the bier, 61  and those who carried it stood still. He 62  said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 7:15 So 63  the dead man 64  sat up and began to speak, and Jesus 65  gave him back 66  to his mother. 7:16 Fear 67  seized them all, and they began to glorify 68  God, saying, “A great prophet 69  has appeared 70  among us!” and “God has come to help 71  his people!”

1 tn Grk “and does them.”

2 tn Here and in v. 49 the Greek text reads ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), while the parallel account in Matt 7:24-27 uses ἀνήρ (anhr) in vv. 24 and 26.

3 tn There are actually two different Greek verbs used here: “who dug (ἔσκαψεν, eskayen) and dug deep (ἐβάθυνεν, ebaqunen).” Jesus is placing emphasis on the effort to which the man went to prepare his foundation.

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

5 sn The picture here is of a river overflowing its banks and causing flooding and chaos.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in the context.

7 tc Most mss, especially later ones (A C D Θ Ψ Ë1,13 Ï latt), read “because he built [it] on the rock” rather than “because it had been well built” (Ì75vid א B L W Ξ 33 579 892 1241 2542 pc sa). The reading of the later mss seems to be a harmonization to Matt 7:25, rendering it most likely secondary.

8 tn Grk “does not do [them].”

9 tn Grk “against which”; because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative clause was converted to a temporal clause in the translation and a new sentence started here.

10 tn Grk “it”; the referent (that house) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Grk “and its crash was great.”

sn The extra phrase at the end of this description (and was utterly destroyed) portrays the great disappointment that the destruction of the house caused as it crashed and was swept away.

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

13 tn Grk “After he had completed all his sayings in the hearing of the people.”

14 sn Capernaum was a town on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee, 680 ft (204 m) below sea level. It was a major trade and economic center in the North Galilean region.

map For location see Map1 D2; Map2 C3; Map3 B2.

15 sn A centurion was a noncommissioned officer in the Roman army or one of the auxiliary territorial armies, commanding a centuria of (nominally) 100 men. The responsibilities of centurions were broadly similar to modern junior officers, but there was a wide gap in social status between them and officers, and relatively few were promoted beyond the rank of senior centurion. The Roman troops stationed in Judea were auxiliaries, who would normally be rewarded with Roman citizenship after 25 years of service. Some of the centurions may have served originally in the Roman legions (regular army) and thus gained their citizenship at enlistment. Others may have inherited it, like Paul.

16 tn The word “there” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.

17 tn Though δοῦλος (doulos) is normally translated “servant,” the word does not bear the connotation of a free individual serving another. BDAG notes that “‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times… in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished” (BDAG 260 s.v. 1). The most accurate translation is “bondservant” (sometimes found in the ASV for δοῦλος) in that it often indicates one who sells himself into slavery to another. But as this is archaic, few today understand its force. In addition, the parallel passage in Matt 8:6 uses the Greek term παῖς (pais), to refer to the centurion’s slave. This was a term often used of a slave who was regarded with some degree of affection, possibly a personal servant.

18 tn The term ἔντιμος (entimos) could mean “highly valued,” but this sounds too much like the slave was seen as an asset, while the text suggests a genuine care for the person. More archaically, it could be said the centurion was fond of this slave.

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

20 tn The participle ἀκούσας (akousas) has been taken temporally.

21 sn Why some Jewish elders are sent as emissaries is not entirely clear, but the centurion was probably respecting ethnic boundaries, which were important in ancient Greco-Roman and Jewish culture. The parallel account in Matt 8:5-13 does not mention the emissaries.

22 tn The participle ἐλθών (elqwn) has been translated as an infinitive in parallel with διασώσῃ (diaswsh) due to requirements of contemporary English style.

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

24 tn Although the participle παραγενόμενοι (paragenomenoi) is preceded by the Greek article (οἱ, Joi) which would normally cause it to be regarded as an adjectival or substantival participle, most modern translations, probably as a result of the necessities of contemporary English style, render it as a temporal participle (“when they came”).

25 tn Or “implored.”

26 tn Grk “urged him earnestly, saying”; the participle λέγοντες (legontes) is pleonastic (redundant) and has not been translated.

27 tn Grk “Worthy is he to have you do this”; the term “worthy” comes first in the direct discourse and is emphatic.

28 tn Or “people.” The use of ἔθνος (eqnos, “nation”) here instead of “God” probably meant the man was not a full proselyte, but that he had simply been supportive of the Jews and their culture. He could have been a God-fearer. The Romans saw a stable religious community as politically helpful and often supported it (Josephus, Ant. 16.6.2 [16.162-165], 19.6.3 [19.300-311]).

29 tn In the Greek text, the pronoun αὐτός (autos) is included, making this emphatic. Naturally the force of this statement is causative, meaning the centurion either had the synagogue built or donated the cost of its construction.

30 sn See the note on synagogues in 4:15.

31 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the resultative action.

32 tn The participle ἀπέχοντος (apeconto") has been taken temporally.

33 sn See the note on the word centurion in 7:2.

34 tn Or “do not be bothered.”

35 sn Note the humility in the centurion’s statement I am not worthy in light of what others think (as v. 4 notes). See Luke 5:8 for a similar example of humility.

36 tn Or “roof; therefore.”

37 tn Grk “I did not consider myself worthy to come to you.” See BDAG 94 s.v. ἀξιόω 1. “Presume” assumes this and expresses the idea in terms of offense.

38 tc The aorist imperative ἰαθήτω (iaqhtw, “must be healed”) is found in Ì75vid B L 1241 sa. Most mss (א A C D W Θ Ψ Ë1,13 33 Ï latt bo) have instead a future indicative, ἰαθήσεται (iaqhsetai, “will be healed”). This is most likely an assimilation to Matt 8:8, and thus, as a motivated reading, should be considered secondary. The meaning either way is essentially the same.

tn The aorist imperative may be translated as an imperative of command (“must be healed” or, more periphrastically, “command [my servant] to be healed”) or as a permissive imperative (“let my servant be healed”), which lessens the force of the imperative somewhat in English.

39 tn Grk “having soldiers under me.”

40 sn I say to this one,Go,and he goes. The illustrations highlight the view of authority the soldier sees in the word of one who has authority. Since the centurion was a commander of a hundred soldiers, he understood what it was both to command others and to be obeyed.

41 tn The word “it” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context.

42 tn Or “pleased with him and amazed.” The expanded translation brings out both Jesus’ sense of wonder at the deep insight of the soldier and the pleasure he had that he could present the man as an example of faith.

43 sn There are two elements to the faith that Jesus commended: The man’s humility and his sense of Jesus’ authority which recognized that only Jesus’ word, not his physical presence, were required.

44 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the summarization at the end of the account.

45 tc Most mss, especially later ones (A C [D] Θ Ψ Ë13 33 Ï), have “the sick slave” here instead of “the slave.” This brings out the contrast of the healing more clearly, but this reading looks secondary both internally (scribes tended toward clarification) and externally (the shorter reading is well supported by a variety of witnesses: Ì75 א B L W Ë1 579 700 892* 1241 2542 it co).

46 tn Grk “And it happened that soon.” 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.

47 tc Several variants to ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ (egeneto en tw) are found before the adverb ἑξῆς (Jexh"), all of them clarifying by the use of the feminine article that the next day is meant (τῇ [th] in D; ἐγένετο τῇ in W; ἐγένετο ἐν τῇ in א* C K 565 892 1424 pm). But these readings are decidedly secondary, for they are more specific than Luke usually is, and involve an unparalleled construction (viz., article + ἡμέρα [Jhmera] + ἑξῆς; elsewhere, when Luke uses this adverb, the noun it modifies is either implied or after the adverb [cf. Luke 9:37; Acts 21:1; 25:17; 27:18)]. The reading adopted for the translation is a more general time indicator; the article τῷ modifies an implied χρόνῳ (cronw), with the general sense of “soon afterward.”

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

49 tn The term πόλις (polis) can refer to a small town, which is what Nain was. It was about six miles southeast of Nazareth.

50 tn Grk “behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).

51 tn That is, carried out for burial. This was a funeral procession.

52 tn Grk “and she.” The clause introduced by καί (kai) has been translated as a relative clause for the sake of English style.

53 sn The description of the woman as a widow would mean that she was now socially alone and without protection in 1st century Jewish culture.

54 tn Or “city.”

55 tn Grk “And seeing her, the Lord.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. The participle ἰδών (idwn) has been taken temporally.

56 sn He had compassion. It is unusual for Luke to note such emotion by Jesus, though the other Synoptics tend to mention it (Matt 14:14; Mark 6:34; Matt 15:32; Mark 8:2).

57 tn The verb κλαίω (klaiw) denotes the loud wailing or lamenting typical of 1st century Jewish mourning.

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

59 tn Grk “coming up, he touched.” The participle προσελθών (proselqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

60 sn The act of having touched the bier would have rendered Jesus ceremonially unclean, but it did not matter to him, since he was expressing his personal concern (Num 19:11, 16).

61 sn Although sometimes translated “coffin,” the bier was actually a stretcher or wooden plank on which the corpse was transported to the place of burial. See L&N 6.109.

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

63 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of Jesus’ command.

64 tn Or “the deceased.”

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

66 tn In the context, the verb δίδωμι (didwmi) has been translated “gave back” rather than simply “gave.”

67 tn Or “Awe.” Grk “fear,” but the context and the following remark show that it is mixed with wonder; see L&N 53.59. This is a reaction to God’s work; see Luke 5:9.

68 tn This imperfect verb has been translated as an ingressive imperfect.

69 sn That Jesus was a great prophet was a natural conclusion for the crowd to make, given the healing; but Jesus is more than this. See Luke 9:8, 19-20.

70 tn Grk “arisen.”

71 tn Grk “visited,” but this conveys a different impression to a modern reader. L&N 85.11 renders the verb, “to be present, with the implication of concern – ‘to be present to help, to be on hand to aid.’ … ‘God has come to help his people’ Lk 7:16.” The language recalls Luke 1:68, 78.

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