Luke 3:14
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He replied, "Don't extort money and don't accuse people falsely--be content with your pay."

New Living Translation
"What should we do?" asked some soldiers. John replied, "Don't extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay."

English Standard Version
Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

New American Standard Bible
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages."

King James Bible
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Some soldiers also questioned him: "What should we do?" He said to them, "Don't take money from anyone by force or false accusation; be satisfied with your wages."

International Standard Version
Even some soldiers were asking him, "And what should we do?" He told them, "Never extort money from anyone by threats or blackmail, and be satisfied with your pay."

NET Bible
Then some soldiers also asked him, "And as for us--what should we do?" He told them, "Take money from no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your pay."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And soldiers were asking him and they were saying, “What shall we do also?” He said to them, “Do harm to no man, do no injustice and let your wages be sufficient for you.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?" He told them, "Be satisfied with your pay, and never use threats or blackmail to get money from anyone."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Oppress no one, neither accuse anyone falsely; and be content with your wages.

King James 2000 Bible
And the soldiers likewise asked of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

American King James Version
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

American Standard Version
And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse any one wrongfully; and be content with your wages.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay.

Darby Bible Translation
And persons engaged in military service also asked him saying, And we, what should we do? And he said to them, Oppress no one, nor accuse falsely, and be satisfied with your pay.

English Revised Version
And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither exact anything wrongfully; and be content with your wages.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the soldiers likewise asked him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.

Weymouth New Testament
The soldiers also once and again inquired of him, "And we, what are we to do?" His answer was, "Neither intimidate any one nor lay false charges; and be content with your pay."

World English Bible
Soldiers also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?" He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages."

Young's Literal Translation
And questioning him also were those warring, saying, 'And we, what shall we do?' and he said unto them, 'Do violence to no one, nor accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:1-14 The scope and design of John's ministry were, to bring the people from their sins, and to their Saviour. He came preaching, not a sect, or party, but a profession; the sign or ceremony was washing with water. By the words here used John preached the necessity of repentance, in order to the remission of sins, and that the baptism of water was an outward sign of that inward cleansing and renewal of heart, which attend, or are the effects of true repentance, as well as a profession of it. Here is the fulfilling of the Scriptures, Isa 40:3, in the ministry of John. When way is made for the gospel into the heart, by taking down high thoughts, and bringing them into obedience to Christ, by levelling the soul, and removing all that hinders us in the way of Christ and his grace, then preparation is made to welcome the salvation of God. Here are general warnings and exhortations which John gave. The guilty, corrupted race of mankind is become a generation of vipers; hateful to God, and hating one another. There is no way of fleeing from the wrath to come, but by repentance; and by the change of our way the change of our mind must be shown. If we are not really holy, both in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and his church, will stand us in no stead at all; the sorer will our destruction be, if we do not bring forth fruits meet for repentance. John the Baptist gave instructions to several sorts of persons. Those that profess and promise repentance, must show it by reformation, according to their places and conditions. The gospel requires mercy, not sacrifice; and its design is, to engage us to do all the good we can, and to be just to all men. And the same principle which leads men to forego unjust gain, leads to restore that which is gained by wrong. John tells the soldiers their duty. Men should be cautioned against the temptations of their employments. These answers declared the present duty of the inquirers, and at once formed a test of their sincerity. As none can or will accept Christ's salvation without true repentance, so the evidence and effects of this repentance are here marked out.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 14. - And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? Commentators generally discuss here who these soldiers were. The question is of little moment whether they were legionaries of Rome, or mercenaries in the pay of one of the tetrarchs or neighboring princes. The lesson is clear. As above to the publicans, so here to the soldiers, John says, "Remain in that profession of arms; you may. if you will, serve God in it, for it is never the work which ennobles, but the way in which the work is done."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him,.... Or "asked him": why our translators have rendered it, "demanded of him", I know not, unless they thought that such language best suited persons of a military character. Some think these were Gentile soldiers, since it does not look so likely that the Romans would employ Jews as soldiers in their own country; though it is more probable that they were Jews, in the pay of the Romans, who belonged to Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, or to Philip of Ituraea, whose dominions lay near the place where John was: since it is certain, that there were many of the Jews that betook themselves to a military life; and seeing John instructed them in no part of natural or revealed religion, but what was suitable to their character and employment: for upon these men saying,

what shall we do? to avoid the threatened ruin, and to prove the truth of our repentance, that so we may be admitted to the holy ordinance of baptism; John replied,

do violence to no man; or "shake" him, or put him, into bodily fear, by threatening, hectoring, and bullying him, and drawing the sword upon him, which is usual, upon the least offence, for such persons to do;

neither accuse any falsely, or play the sycophant; who, in order to flatter some, bring malicious accusations against others; and which was a vice that too much prevailed among the Jewish soldiery; who either to curry favour with the Roman officers and governors, would wrongfully accuse their fellow soldiers, or country men, to them; or in order to extort sums of money from them, that they might live in a more luxurious manner than their common pay would admit of: wherefore, it follows,

and be content with your wages; allowed by the government, and do not seek to increase them by any unlawful methods, as by mutiny and sedition, by rebelling against your officers, or by ill usage of the people. The Jewish Rabbins have adopted this word, into their language in the Misnic and Talmudic writings (w): and their gloss explains it by the money, for the soldiers, and the hire of soldiers, as here; and it includes every thing which by the Romans were given to their soldiers for pay, and which was food as well as money.

(w) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 2. sect. 4. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 18. 2. & 21. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

14. soldiers … Do violence to none—The word signifies to "shake thoroughly," and so to "intimidate," probably in order to extort money or other property. (Also see on [1554]Mt 3:10.)

accuse … falsely—acting as informers vexatiously, on frivolous or false grounds.

content with your wages—"rations." We may take this as a warning against mutiny, which the officers attempted to suppress by largesses and donations [Webster and Wilkinson]. And thus the "fruits" which would evidence their repentance were just resistance to the reigning sins, particularly of the class to which the penitent belonged, and the manifestation of an opposite spirit.

Luke 3:14 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Mission of John the Baptist
13And he said to them, "Collect no more than what you have been ordered to." 14Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages." 15Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ,…
Cross References
Exodus 20:16
"You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Exodus 23:1
"Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.

Luke 3:10
"What should we do then?" the crowd asked.

Luke 3:13
"Don't collect any more than you are required to," he told them.

Luke 19:8
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

Philippians 4:11
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Treasury of Scripture

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

the soldiers.

Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came to him a centurion, …

Acts 10:7 And when the angel which spoke to Cornelius was departed, he called …

Do violence to no man. or, Put no man in fear.

Romans 13:9,10 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You …

Philippians 2:15 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without …

accuse.

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half …

Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 23:1 You shall not raise a false report: put not your hand with the wicked …

Leviticus 19:11 You shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, …

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, …

and be.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever …

1 Timothy 6:8-10 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content…

Hebrews 13:5,6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with …

wages. or, allowance.

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