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Luke 4:24-27

4:24 And he added, 1  “I tell you the truth, 2  no prophet is acceptable 3  in his hometown. 4:25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days, 4  when the sky 5  was shut up three and a half years, and 6  there was a great famine over all the land. 4:26 Yet 7  Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. 8  4:27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, 9  yet 10  none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” 11 

1 tn Grk “said,” but since this is a continuation of previous remarks, “added” is used here.

2 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

3 sn Jesus argues that he will get no respect in his own hometown. There is a wordplay here on the word acceptable (δεκτός, dektos), which also occurs in v. 19: Jesus has declared the “acceptable” year of the Lord (here translated year of the Lord’s favor), but he is not “accepted” by the people of his own hometown.

4 sn Elijahs days. Jesus, by discussing Elijah and Elisha, pictures one of the lowest periods in Israel’s history. These examples, along with v. 24, also show that Jesus is making prophetic claims as well as messianic ones. See 1 Kgs 17-18.

5 tn Or “the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. Since the context here refers to a drought (which produced the famine), “sky” is preferable.

6 tn Grk “as.” The particle ὡς can also function temporally (see BDAG 1105-6 s.v. 8).

7 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast.

8 sn Zarephath in Sidon was Gentile territory (see 1 Kgs 17:9-24). Jesus’ point was that he would be forced to minister elsewhere, and the implication is that this ministry would ultimately extend (through the work of his followers) to those outside the nation.

map For location see Map1 A1; JP3 F3; JP4 F3.

9 sn On Elisha see 2 Kgs 5:1-14.

10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast.

11 sn The reference to Naaman the Syrian (see 2 Kgs 5:1-24) is another example where an outsider and Gentile was blessed. The stress in the example is the missed opportunity of the people to experience God’s work, but it will still go on without them.

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