Luke 24:50
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.

New Living Translation
Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them.

English Standard Version
And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.

Berean Study Bible
When Jesus had led them out as far as Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

Berean Literal Bible
And He led them out as far as to Bethany, and having lifted up His hands, He blessed them.

New American Standard Bible
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

King James Bible
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands He blessed them.

International Standard Version
Later, he led them out as far as Bethany, lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

NET Bible
Then Jesus led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.

New Heart English Bible
He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he brought them unto Bethany and he lifted his hands and he blessed them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then Jesus took them to a place near Bethany. There he raised his hands and blessed them.

New American Standard 1977
And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands and blessed them.

King James 2000 Bible
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

American King James Version
And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

American Standard Version
And he led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he led them out as far as Bethania: and lifting up his hands, he blessed them.

Darby Bible Translation
And he led them out as far as Bethany, and having lifted up his hands, he blessed them.

English Revised Version
And he led them out until they were over against Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he led them out as far as to Bethany: and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Weymouth New Testament
And He brought them out to within view of Bethany, and then lifted up His hands and blessed them.

World English Bible
He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

Young's Literal Translation
And he led them forth without -- unto Bethany, and having lifted up his hands he did bless them,
Study Bible
The Ascension
49And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 50When Jesus had led them out as far as Bethany, He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51While He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven.…
Cross References
Leviticus 9:22
Then Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people and blessed them, and he stepped down after making the sin offering and the burnt offering and the peace offerings.

Joshua 22:6
So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went to their tents.

Matthew 21:17
Then He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where He spent the night.

Luke 24:51
While He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven.

Acts 1:9
After He had said this, they watched as He was taken up, and a cloud hid Him from their sight.

Acts 1:12
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near the city, a Sabbath day's journey away.

1 Timothy 2:8
Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or dissension.
Treasury of Scripture

And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.

as far.

Mark 11:1 And when they came near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at …

Acts 1:12 Then returned they to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which …

he lifted.

Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he …

Genesis 27:4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring it to me, that …

Genesis 48:9 And Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given …

Genesis 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their …

Numbers 6:23-27 Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, On this wise you shall bless …

Mark 10:16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.

Hebrews 7:5-7 And truly they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office …

(50) And he led them out as far as to Bethany.--It must be admitted that this narrative, taken by itself, would leave the impression that the Ascension followed with not more than a day's interval on the Resurrection. We must remember, however, that even the coincidences between the close of St. Luke's first book and the beginning of his second, show that he was already looking forward to resuming his work, and that the interval of forty days is distinctly recognised in Acts 1:3, though there also, as here, there is no mention of any return to Galilee in the interval. Is it a conceivable solution of the problem that the devout women, who were St. Luke's informants, remained at Jerusalem in almost entire seclusion, and hardly knew of what had passed outside the walls of their house from the day of the Resurrection onwards to that of the Ascension? To them, as to others who look back upon periods in which intense sorrow and intense joy have followed one on the other, all may have seemed, when they looked back upon it in after years, as a dream, the memory of which was in one sense, as to its outcome, indelible, but in which the sequence of details could no longer be traced with clearness. If we may distinguish between two words often used as synonymous, it was with them, not recollection, but memory. On the brief narrative that follows, see Notes on Acts 1:9-11.

Verses 50-53. - THE ASCENSION. In considering the questions which suggest themselves in connection with the ascension of our blessed Lord, we are met on the threshold with the fact that only St. Luke, in his Gospel in this place, and in the Acts (1.), has given us a detailed account of the scene. But the fact is referred to plainly by St. John (John 3:13; John 6:62; John 20:17) and by St. Paul (Ephesians 4:9, 10; 1 Timothy 3:16). A vast number of passages besides, in the Epistles of SS. Paul, Peter, and James, and in the Revelation of St. John, presuppose the Ascension, when they describe the heavenly glory of Jesus and of his session at the right hand of God. St. John's triple mention of the Ascension (see above) is exactly in accordance with his constant practice in his Gospel; he avoids rewriting a formal narrative of things which, when he wrote, were well known i, the Churches; yet he alludes to these things in clear and unmistakable language, and draws from them his lessons and conclusions. Notably this is the case in the Fourth Gospel with regard to the sacraments. "It contains," says Dr. Westcott, "no formal narrative of the institution of sacraments, and yet it presents most fully the idea of sacraments." Neander writes with great force on this apparent omission of the Ascension: "We make the same remark upon the ascension of Christ as was before made upon his miraculous conception. In regard to neither is prominence given to the special and actual fact in the apostolic writings; in regard to both, such a fact is presupposed in the general conviction of the apostles, and in the connection of Christian consciousness. Thus the end of Christ's appearance on earth corresponds with its beginning. Christianity rests upon supernatural facts - stands or falls with them. By faith in them has the Divine life been generated from the beginning. Were this faith gone, there might indeed remain many of the effects of what Christianity has been; but as for Christianity in the true sense, as for a Christian Church, there could be none." Verse 50. - And he led them out as far as to Bethany; more accurately, and he led them out until they were over against Bethany. The scene of the Ascension could scarcely have been the central summit of the Mount of Olives (Jebel-el-Tur), according to ancient tradition; but it is more likely that it took place on one of the remoter uplands which lie above the village. "On the wild uplands which immediately overhang the village, he finally withdrew from the eyes of his disciples, in a seclusion which, perhaps, could nowhere else be found so near the stir of a mighty city; the long ridge of Olivet screening those hills, and those hills the village beneath them, from all sound or sight of the city behind; the view opening only on the wide waste of desert-rocks and ever-descending valleys, into the depths of the distant Jordan and its mysterious lake" (Dean Stanley, 'Sinai and Palestine,' ch. 3.). He lifted up his hands, and blessed them. In Acts 1:4 we read how Jesus, having assembled (συναλιζόμενος) the apostles, gave them some last commands before he left them. It is not expressly stated that only the eleven were present on this occasion.' When he had finished speaking, "he lifted up his hands, and blessed them." There is now no laying on of hands. "Jam non imposuit manus," comments Bengel. Those hands, as they were lifted up, were already separated from them, the space between the Risen and those he was blessing grew greater every moment. And he led them out as far as Bethany,.... Not the town of Bethany; could that be thought, it might be supposed that he led his disciples thither, to pay a visit to his dear friends there, Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, before his ascension; but the town of Bethany was fifteen furlongs, or near two miles distance from Jerusalem, John 11:18 whereas the place from whence Christ ascended was but a sabbath day's journey from it, which was two thousand cubits, or about a mile, Acts 1:12. This Bethany, therefore, was a tract of land, so called from the town, which began at the Mount of Olives, where Bethphage ended; see Mark 11:1 and hither from Jerusalem Christ led his disciples, in order to ascend to heaven in their sight; and this was the spot of ground, where he began to ride in triumph to Jerusalem, and here he ascended in a triumphant manner to heaven; this was the place he frequently retired to for solemn, and solitary prayer, and where he had put up many a strong cry to God, and now from hence he ascended to him; this was the place whither he went after he had ate his last passover, where he was taken, and from whence he came to suffer and die for his people:

and he lift up his hands, and blessed them. The lifting up of his hands was not in order to put them upon his disciples; though the Ethiopic version adds, "and put them on"; nor was it used as a prayer gesture; nor was the blessing of them prayer wise, or by praying for a blessing on them; but as Aaron, his type, lift up his hands towards the people of Israel, and blessed them, when he had offered the offerings for them, Leviticus 9:22 so Christ, as the great high priest, having offered himself a sacrifice for the sins of his people, lift up his hands towards his apostles, and blessed them in an authoritative way, by bestowing blessings upon them: he blessed them with a larger measure of the Spirit; for though they were to wait some few days longer for the extraordinary effusion of the Spirit, yet, in the mean while, they received from him more of it than they had formerly had; for he breathed upon them, and said, receive the Holy Ghost, John 20:22. He blessed them with larger measures of grace, and with more spiritual light, and understanding into the Scriptures of truth, and with much inward peace of mind, and with the fresh discoveries of pardoning love; and which seemed necessary, since by their conduct towards him, one by denying him, and the rest by forsaking him, the peace of their minds was broken, and they needed a fresh application of forgiving grace. The form of blessing the people used by Aaron, and his sons, the priests, who were types of Christ, is recorded in Numbers 6:23 and though our Lord might not use the same form in blessing his disciples, yet it seems he used the same gesture, lifting up his hands, as they did. The Targumists say (d), the blessing of the priests was done by stretching, or spreading out their hands; but other Jewish writers observe, it was by lifting them up: concerning which their rule is (e);

"in the province, the priests lift up their hands, as high as their shoulders, but in the sanctuary, above their heads, except the high priest, who did not lift up his hands above the plate of gold on his forehead.''

The reason of this was, because the name Jehovah was written upon it, and it was not proper his hands should be lifted up above that. The account Maimonides (f) gives of this affair is;

"how is the lifting up of hands? in the borders, at the time the messenger of the congregation comes to service, when he has said, who ever will, &c. all the priests that stand in the synagogue, remove from their places, and go, and ascend the desk (or pulpit), and stand there with their faces to the temple, and their backs to the people, and their fingers closed within their hands, until the messenger of the congregation has finished the confession, or thanksgiving; and then they turn their faces to the people, and stretch out their fingers, and lift up their hands to their shoulders and begin to bless, and the messenger of the congregation pronounces them (the blessings) word by word, &c. How is the blessing of the priests in the sanctuary? the priests go up into the desk (or pulpit), after the priests have finished the morning daily service, and lift up their hands above, over their heads, except the high priest, who does not lift up his hands above the plate of gold, on his forehead; and one pronounces them (the blessings) word for word, as they do in the borders (in the country), &c.''

And as our Lord used this gesture in blessing, it is very likely he complied with another rule, by expressing it in the Hebrew tongue; for the Jews say (g), the blessing of the priests is not said in any place, but in the holy tongue.

(d) Targum Jon. in Num. vi. 23. & Targum in Cant. vii. 7. (e) Misn Sota, c. 7. sect. 6. Bemidbar Rabba sect. 11. fol. 203. 3.((f) Hilchot Tephilla, c. 14. sect. 3. 9. (g) Hilchot Tephilla, c. 14. sect. 11. Vid. Targum Jon. & Rabba, ut supra, & T. Bab. Sota, fol. 38. 1.50-53. to Bethany—not to the village itself, but on the "descent" to it from Mount Olivet.24:50-53 Christ ascended from Bethany, near the Mount of Olives. There was the garden in which his sufferings began; there he was in his agony. Those that would go to heaven, must ascend thither from the house of sufferings and sorrows. The disciples did not see him rise out of the grave; his resurrection could be proved by their seeing him alive afterwards: but they saw him ascend into heaven; they could not otherwise have a proof of his ascension. He lifted up his hands, and blessed them. He did not go away in displeasure, but in love, he left a blessing behind him. As he arose, so he ascended, by his own power. They worshipped him. This fresh display of Christ's glory drew from them fresh acknowledgments. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy. The glory of Christ is the joy of all true believers, even while they are here in this world. While waiting for God's promises, we must go forth to meet them with our praises. And nothing better prepares the mind for receiving the Holy Ghost. Fears are silenced, sorrows sweetened and allayed, and hopes kept up. And this is the ground of a Christian's boldness at the throne of grace; yea, the Father's throne is the throne of grace to us, because it is also the throne of our Mediator, Jesus Christ. Let us rely on his promises, and plead them. Let us attend his ordinances, praise and bless God for his mercies, set our affections on things above, and expect the Redeemer's return to complete our happiness. Amen. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
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