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Luke 14:16-24

14:16 But Jesus 1  said to him, “A man once gave a great banquet 2  and invited 3  many guests. 4  14:17 At 5  the time for the banquet 6  he sent his slave 7  to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, because everything is now ready.’ 14:18 But one after another they all 8  began to make excuses. 9  The first said to him, ‘I have bought a field, 10  and I must go out and see it. Please excuse me.’ 11  14:19 Another 12  said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, 13  and I am going out 14  to examine them. Please excuse me.’ 14:20 Another 15  said, ‘I just got married, and I cannot come.’ 16  14:21 So 17  the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious 18  and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly 19  to the streets and alleys of the city, 20  and bring in the poor, 21  the crippled, 22  the blind, and the lame.’ 14:22 Then 23  the slave said, ‘Sir, what you instructed has been done, and there is still room.’ 24  14:23 So 25  the master said to his 26  slave, ‘Go out to the highways 27  and country roads 28  and urge 29  people 30  to come in, so that my house will be filled. 31  14:24 For I tell you, not one of those individuals 32  who were invited 33  will taste my banquet!’” 34 

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

2 tn Or “dinner.”

3 sn Presumably those invited would have sent a reply with the invitation stating their desire to attend, much like a modern R.S.V.P. Then they waited for the servant to announce the beginning of the celebration (D. L. Bock, Luke [BECNT], 2:1272).

4 tn The word “guests” is not in the Greek text but is implied.

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

6 tn Or “dinner.”

7 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.

8 tn Or “all unanimously” (BDAG 107 s.v. ἀπό 6). "One after another" is suggested by L&N 61.2.

9 sn To make excuses and cancel at this point was an insult in the culture of the time. Regardless of customs concerning responses to invitations, refusal at this point was rude.

10 sn I have bought a field. An examination of newly bought land was a common practice. It was this person’s priority.

11 sn The expression Please excuse me is probably a polite way of refusing, given the dynamics of the situation, although it is important to note that an initial acceptance had probably been indicated and it was now a bit late for a refusal. The semantic equivalent of the phrase may well be “please accept my apologies.”

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

13 sn Five yoke of oxen. This was a wealthy man, because the normal farmer had one or two yoke of oxen.

14 tn The translation “going out” for πορεύομαι (poreuomai) is used because “going” in this context could be understood to mean “I am about to” rather than the correct nuance, “I am on my way to.”

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

16 sn I just got married, and I cannot come. There is no request to be excused here; just a refusal. Why this disqualifies attendance is not clear. The OT freed a newly married man from certain responsibilities such as serving in the army (Deut 20:7; 24:5), but that would hardly apply to a banquet. The invitation is not respected in any of the three cases.

17 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the result of the preceding responses.

18 tn Grk “being furious, said.” The participle ὀργισθείς (orgisqei") has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.

19 sn It was necessary to go out quickly because the banquet was already prepared. All the food would spoil if not eaten immediately.

20 tn Or “town.”

21 sn The poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. Note how the list matches v. 13, illustrating that point. Note also how the party goes on; it is not postponed until a later date. Instead new guests are invited.

22 tn Grk “and the crippled.” Normally crippled as a result of being maimed or mutilated (L&N 23.177). Καί (kai) has not been translated here and before the following category (Grk “and the blind and the lame”) since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.

23 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the order of events within the parable.

24 sn And still there is room. This comment suggests the celebration was quite a big one, picturing the openness of God’s grace.

25 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the master’s response to the slave’s report.

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

27 sn Go out to the highways and country roads. This suggests the inclusion of people outside the town, even beyond the needy (poor, crippled, blind, and lame) in the town, and so is an allusion to the inclusion of the Gentiles.

28 tn The Greek word φραγμός (fragmo") refers to a fence, wall, or hedge surrounding a vineyard (BDAG 1064 s.v. 1). “Highways” and “country roads” probably refer not to separate places, but to the situation outside the town where the rural roads run right alongside the hedges or fences surrounding the fields (cf. J. A. Fitzmyer, Luke [AB], 1057).

29 tn Traditionally “force” or “compel,” but according to BDAG 60 s.v. ἀναγκάζω 2 this is a weakened nuance: “strongly urge/invite.” The meaning in this context is more like “persuade.”

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

31 sn So that my house will be filled. God will bless many people.

32 tn The Greek word here is ἀνήρ (anhr), which frequently stresses males or husbands (in contrast to women or wives). However, the emphasis in the present context is on identifying these individuals as the ones previously invited, examples of which were given in vv. 18-20. Cf. also BDAG 79 s.v. ἀνήρ 2.

33 sn None of those individuals who were invited. This is both the point and the warning. To be a part of the original invitation does not mean one automatically has access to blessing. One must respond when the summons comes in order to participate. The summons came in the person of Jesus and his proclamation of the kingdom. The statement here refers to the fact that many in Israel will not be blessed with participation, for they have ignored the summons when it came.

34 tn Or “dinner.”

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