Luke 3:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.

New Living Translation
The valleys will be filled, and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth.

English Standard Version
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,

Berean Study Bible
Every valley shall be filled in, and every mountain and hill made low. The crooked ways shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth.

Berean Literal Bible
Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low; and the crooked will become into straight, and the rough ways into smooth.

New American Standard Bible
'EVERY RAVINE WILL BE FILLED, AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL WILL BE BROUGHT LOW; THE CROOKED WILL BECOME STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH;

King James Bible
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low; the crooked will become straight, the rough ways smooth,

International Standard Version
Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight, and the rough roads will be made smooth.

NET Bible
Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low, and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth,

New Heart English Bible
Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low, and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways smooth.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“All the valleys will be filled and all the mountains and high places will be leveled and the rugged place will be smooth and the difficult region a plain,”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be leveled. The crooked ways will be made straight. The rough roads will be made smooth.

New American Standard 1977
‘EVERY RAVINE SHALL BE FILLED UP,
            AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE BROUGHT LOW;
            AND THE CROOKED SHALL BECOME STRAIGHT,
            AND THE ROUGH ROADS SMOOTH;

Jubilee Bible 2000
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked ways shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

King James 2000 Bible
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

American King James Version
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

American Standard Version
Every valley shall be filled, And every mountain and hill shall be brought low; And the crooked shall become straight, And the rough ways smooth;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain;

Darby Bible Translation
Every gorge shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked [places] shall become a straight [path], and the rough places smooth ways,

English Revised Version
Every valley shall be filled, And every mountain and hill shall be brought low; And the crooked shall become straight, And the rough ways smooth;

Webster's Bible Translation
Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

Weymouth New Testament
Every ravine shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill levelled down, the crooked places shall be turned into straight roads, and the rugged ways into smooth;

World English Bible
Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth.

Young's Literal Translation
every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straightness, and the rough become smooth ways;
Study Bible
The Mission of John the Baptist
4as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord; make straight paths for Him.’ 5Every valley shall be filled in, and every mountain and hill made low. The crooked ways shall be made straight, and the rough ways smooth. 6And all mankind will see God’s salvation.”…
Cross References
Isaiah 40:4
"Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley;

Isaiah 42:16
"I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone."
Treasury of Scripture

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

valley.

Luke 1:51-53 He has showed strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in …

Isaiah 2:11-17 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men …

Isaiah 35:6-8 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb …

Isaiah 40:4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall …

Isaiah 49:11 And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Ezekiel 17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought …

James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

and the crooked.

Isaiah 42:16 And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead …

Isaiah 45:2 I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will …

Hebrews 12:12,13 Why lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees…

(5) Every valley shall be filled.--The fuller citation by St. Luke, as compared with the other Gospels, is interesting, and suggests the thought that he was led to see in the manifold aspects of the Baptist's ministry a fulfilment of this part of the prophecy. The "valley" was filled, when lowly and penitent souls received the assurance of pardon; "mountains and hills" were "brought low" when the pride of Pharisees and Sadducees was rebuked; the "crooked made straight" when Publicans learnt to be honest; the "rough places smooth" when soldiers were taught to do violence to no man. The imagery is, of course, taken from the work of pioneers levelling a road for the march of a great king.

(5) Here St. Matthew's record stops, while St. Luke continues to trace the succession back to Adam--his list of names agreeing with those in Genesis 11:10 and 1Chronicles 1:24-27 as far as Noah, and Genesis 5 and 1Chronicles 1:1-4 from Noah to Adam, with the exception of the insertion of a Cainan between Arphaxad and Salah in the former section.

Each of these points calls for separate consideration, the first being obviously the most important.

(5) (a) The fact that the genealogy goes back to Adam may have been originally in the document which St. Luke translated, without any special significance; but it at least falls in with the whole character of his Gospel as intended to set forth the universality of the gospel, to prepare the way for the truth of the brotherhood of mankind in Christ. It represented Christ as the second Adam, as St. Matthew's genealogy represented Him as the heir of Abraham. (b) The insertion of Cainan between Salah and Arphaxad agrees with the text of all known copies of the Greek version of Genesis 11. This may imply an original Hebrew text older than that which we now possess; but, on the other hand, as all existing copies of the LXX. version were made for Christian use, it is possible that the name may have been inserted to bring the genealogy in Genesis 11 into agreement with that given by St. Luke. The name does not appear in this place in the Vulgate, Syriac, or Samaritan versions of the Pentateuch, and in one of the best MSS. of the New Testament (the Codex Bez) it is wanting here. Further than this we cannot go in dealing with a question which, after all, is infinitesimally small in itself, and has no direct bearing on any graver issues.

It may be noted, lastly, that genealogies, such as those given by St. Matthew and St. Luke, were common in almost every Jewish family. The books of Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, compiled after the return from Babylon, show that they existed then. Josephus transcribes his own pedigree, from the time of the Asmonan, or Maccabean, priest-rulers, from public registers (Life, c. 1), and states (against Apion, i. 7) that not in Juda only, but in Alexandria and Babylon, and other cities, wherever the Jews were settled, such registers were kept of the births and marriages of all belonging to the priesthood; that copies were sent to Jerusalem; that the registers went back for 2,000 years. The prevalence of the name Cohen (= priest) among modern Jews indicates the same care in the priestly line. The members of the house of David were hardly likely to be less careful in preserving records of their descent than those of the house of Aaron. Hillel the scribe, i.e., was known to be of the lineage of David, and must have had evidence of some kind to prove it. So, at a later time, the Princes of the Captivity who ruled over the Jews of Babylonia, claimed their allegiance as sons of David.

Verse 5. - Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth. Godet and other commentators suggest, though they do not press, a particular application to each of the details of the picture. "For instance, the mountains that must be levelled may be referred to the pride of the Pharisees; the valleys to filled up, to the moral and religious indifference of such as the Sadducees; the crooked places to be made straight, to the frauds and lying excuses of the publicans; and lastly, the rough places, to the sinful habits found in all, even the best.' Every valley shall be filled,.... Luke cites more out of the same prophecy, as relating to the times of John the Baptist, and the Messiah, than the other Evangelists Matthew and Mark do: in the prophet it is, "every valley shall be exalted"; which is done, by filling it up; the metaphor is persisted in, of preparing and clearing the way, for the coming of the Messiah, done by the ministry of John; under which, such souls as were lowly and humble, and depressed with the sense of sin, should be raised and directed to believe in Christ, and be filled with divine consolation from him. These words are owned by the Jews (o) to belong to the world to come; that is, the times of the Messiah; though they understand them, of making way for the return of the Israelites from captivity, by the Messiah: just as they suppose such things were done by the miraculous cloud, for the children of Israel, as they passed through the wilderness; of which they say (p),

"that it went before them, smote the serpents and scorpions, and fiery serpents, and the rock; and if there was any low place, it raised it up; or high place, it made it low, and caused them to be plain; as it is said, Isaiah 40:3 "And every valley shall be exalted", &c.''

But what they say of this cloud literally, as preparing the way for the Israelites, is in a spiritual sense true, of the ministry of John; whereby many of the children of Israel, had the way prepared for them, for the reception of the Messiah; when as every humble soul had its expectation raised, and its faith encouraged, and its heart filled with spiritual joy; so such as were proud and haughty, were humbled:

and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; all such as are elated with their own abilities, and boast of their righteousness, trust in themselves, and look with disdain and contempt on others, their loftiness shall be bowed down, and their haughtiness made low; and the Messiah alone, in his person, grace, and righteousness, be exalted:

and the crooked shall be made straight: such as are of a crooked spirit, and walk in crooked ways, with the workers of iniquity, shall have new spirits given them, and be directed to right ways, and be led in the paths of righteousness and truth:

and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and men of rough tempers, comparable to lions and bears, shall become quiet and peaceable, smooth and easy; and moreover, whatever difficulties were in the minds of men concerning the Messiah, the end of his coming, and the nature of his kingdom; and whatever impediments were in the way of embracing him when come, should now be removed at least from many persons: R. David Kimchi, a very noted Jewish commentator (q), acknowledges that the whole of this passage is to be understood, , "by way of parable", in a mystical and figurative sense.

(o) T. Hieros. Erubin, fol. 25. 2.((p) Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 1. fol. 177. 1, 2. Vid. Targ. in Cant. ii. 6. & Jarchi in Cant. iii. 6. (q) In Isaiah 40.4. 5. Every valley, etc.—levelling and smoothing, obvious figures, the sense of which is in the first words of the proclamation, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord."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.
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