ICC New Testament Commentary
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,3:1-9:50. THE MINISTRY
3:1-22. The External Preparation for the Ministry of the Christ: the Ministry of John the Baptist, Matthew 3:1-12; Mark 1:1-8; John 1:15-28Hic quasi scena N. T. panditur is Bengel’s illuminative remark. “It was the glory of John the Baptist to have revived the function of the prophet” (Ecce Homo, p. 2); and it is difficult for us to realize what that meant. A nation, which from Samuel to Malachi had scarcely ever been without a living oracle of God, had for three or four centuries never heard the voice of a Prophet. It seemed as if Jehovah had withdrawn from His people. The breaking of this oppressive silence by the voice of the Baptist caused a thrill through the whole Jewish population throughout the world. Lk. shows his appreciation of the magnitude of the crisis by the sixfold attempt to give it an exact date. Of the four Evangelists he is the only one to whom the title of historian in the full sense of the term can be given; and of Christian writers he is the first who tries to fit the Gospel history into the history of the world. It is with a similar wish to do justice to a crisis that Thucydides gives a sixfold date of the entry of the Thebans into Platæa, by which the thirty years’ truce was manifestly broken and the Peloponnesian War begun (ii. 2; comp. v. 20).
The section is carefully arranged. First the Date (1, 2); then a Description of the new Prophet (3-6); then an account of his Preaching and its Effects (7-17); and an Explanation as to how it came to an End (18-20). He baptizes the Christ (21, 22).
1, 2. The Date. The event that is thus elaborately dated is the appearance of the new Prophet, not the beginning of Christ’s ministry. See below on the conclusion of ver. 2. Ellicott considers it the date of the captivity of the Baptist. This had been advocated by Wieseler in his Synopsis (ii. ch. ii. Eng. tr. p. 178), but he abandoned it in his Beiträge. Others would make it refer to Christ’s baptism, which may have followed closely upon John’s first appearance as a preacher (Caspari, Chron. Einl. § 33, Eng, tr. p. 41). But the interval between the beginning of John’s ministry and his baptizing Jesus cannot be determined Some estimate it at one month, others at six months, because John was six months older than Jesus (Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1171). Weiss (Leben Jesu, I. ii. 8, Eng. tr. 1. p. 316) shows that the interval was not more than six months. The appearance of one who seemed to be a Prophet soon attracted immense attention; and when large numbers accepted his doctrine and baptism, it became imperative that the hierarchy should make inquiry as to his authority and claims. But it appears from John 1:19-28 that the first investigation made by the Sanhedrin was about the time when the Baptist met Jesus. In neither case can year or time of year be determined. If Jesus was born towards the end, John about the middle, of 749 (b.c. 5), then John might begin to preach about the middle of 779, and Jesus be baptized early in 780 (a.d. 27).
It is little or no confirmation of this result that both the Greek and the Roman Churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ on Jan. 6th. Originally, the Nativity, the Visit of the Magi, and the Baptism were all celebrated on Jan. 6th. When Dec. 25th was adopted as the date of the Nativity, the Roman Church continued to celebrate the Baptism with the Epiphany to the Gentiles on Jan. 6th, while the Greek Church transferred the latter along with the Nativity to Dec. 25th, commemorating the Baptism alone on Jan. 6th. The fact that both the Eastern and the Western Church have concurred in celebrating the Baptism on Jan. 6th seems at first sight to be imposing testimony. But there is little doubt that all trustworthy evidence had perished before any of these dates were selected.1
Instead of the elaborate dates given in these first two verses, Mt. (3:1) has simply Ἐν δὲ ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις, while Mk. (1:4) has nothing. Comp. the somewhat similar dating of the erection of Solomon’s temple (1 Kings 6:1). Beng. says of this date, Epocha eccltsiæ omnium maxima. Hic quasi scena N.T. panditur. Ne nativitatis quidem, aut mortis, resurrectionis, ascensionis christi tempus tam præcise definitur.
1. Ἐν ἔτει δὲ πεντεκαιδεκάτῳ τῆς ἡγεμονίας Τιβερίου Καίσαρος. He naturally begins with the Roman Empire, and then takes the local governors, civil and ecclesiastical. “Now in the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar,” or “of Tiberius as Cæsar.” Is the 15th year to be counted from the death of Augustus, Aug. 19th, a.u.c. 767, a.d. 14? or from the time when he was associated with Augustus as joint ruler at the end of 764 or beginning of 765, a.d. 11 or 12? It is impossible to determine this with certainty. Good authorities (Zumpt, Wieseler, Weiss) plead for the latter reckoning, which makes the Gospel chronology as a whole run more smoothly; but it is intrinsically less probable, and seems to be inconsistent with the statements of Tacitus and Suetonius. See Hastings, D.B. i. p. 405.
The main points are these. 1. Tiberius was not joint Emperor with Augustus; he was associated with him only in respect of the provinces and armies: ut provincias cum Augusto communiter administraret, simulque censum ageret (Suet. Tib. 21.); ut æquum ei jus in omnibus provinciis exercitibusque esset (Vell. Paterc. 2:121); filius, collega imperii, consors tribuniciæ protestatis adsumitur, omnisque per exercitus ostentatur (Tac. Ann. 1:3, 3; comp. i. 11. 2 and iii. 56, 2). 2. It is clear from Tacitus (Ann. 1:5-7) that, when Augustus died, Tiberius was not regarded by himself or by others as already Emperor. Suetonius confirms this by saying that Tiberius, while manifestly getting the imperial power into his hands, for a time refused the offer of it (Tib. 24.). 3. No Instance is known of reckoning the reign of Tiberius from his association with Augustus. The coins of Antioch, Lk.’s own city, which helped to convert Wieseler from the one view to the other by seeming to date the reign of Tiberius from the association, are not admitted by Eckhel to be genuine. On the other hand, there are coins of Antioch which date the reign of Tiberius from the death of Augustus. It remains, therefore, that, although to reckon from the association was a possible method, especially in the provinces, for there Tiberius had been really a consort of Augustus, yet it is more probable that Lk. reckons in the usual way from the death of the predecessor (see Wieseler, Chron. Synop. 2Ch_2.; Keim, Jesus of Naz. ii. pp 381, 382; Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1044; Sanday, Fourth Gospel, p. 65). Fifteen years from the death of Augustus would be a.d. 29, at which time our Lord would probably be 32 years of age, which sufficiently agrees with Lk.’s “about 30” (ver. 23).If the earlier date is admissible, the agreement becomes exact.
ἡγεμονίας. Quite a vague term, and applicable to the rule of emperor, king, legatus, or procurator, as is shown by Jos. Ant. 18:4, 2, and by the use of ἡγεμών in N.T.: 20:20, 21:12; Acts 23:24, Acts 23:26, Acts 23:33, etc. Wieseler is alone in seeing in this word (instead of μοναρχία). and in καῖσαρ (instead of Σεβαστός), evidence that the co-regency of Tiberius is meant (Beiträge z. richtigen Würdigung d. Evan. 1869, pp. 191-194). From the Emperor Lk. passes to the local governor under him.
ἡγεμονεύοντος. The more exact ἐπιτροπεύοντος of D and other authorities is an obvious correction to mark his office with precision: ἐπίτρπος=procurator. Pilate succeeded Valerius Gratus a.d. 25, and was recalled a.d. 36 or 37 by Tiberius, who died, March a.d. 37, before Pilate reached Rome. Having mentioned the Roman officials, Lk. next gives the local national rulers.
τετραρχοῦντος. The word occurs nowhere else in N.T., but is used by Josephus of Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis (B. J. iii. 10, 7). The title tetrarch was at first used literally of the governor of a fourth; e.g. of one of the four provinces of Thessaly (Eur. Alc. 1154), or one of the fourths into which each of the three divisions of Galatia were divided (Strabo, 430, 540, 560, 567). But after-wards it came to mean the governor of any division, as a third or a half, or of any small country; any ruler not a βασιλεύς (How Sat. 1:3, 12). Such seems to be the meaning here; but it may be used in its literal sense, Pilate’s province representing the fourth tetrarchy, viz. the dominions of Archelaus.
In d we have the singular rendering: in anno quintodecimo ducatus Tibert Cæsaris procurants Pontio Pilato Judææ, quaterducatus Galilææ Herode.
Ἡρῴδου. Antipas, son of Herod the Great and Malthace the Samaritan. See small print on 1:5 for the iota subscript. Two inscriptions have been found, one at Cos and one at Delos, which almost certainly refer to him as tetrarch, and son of Herod the king (Schürer, Jewish People in the T. of J. C. I. vol. 2. p. 17). His coins have the title tetrarch, and, like those of his father, bear no image. Herod Philip was the first to have any portrait on the coins of a Jewish prince. He had the images of Augustus and Tiberius put upon his coins. As his dominions were wholly heathen, this would cause little scandal. He even went so far as to put the temple of Augustus at Panias on his coins. Herod Antipas was made tetrarch of Peræa and Galilee, b.c. 4 (Jos. Ant. 17:11, 4; B. J. 2:6, 3). As he ruled this district until a.d. 39 or 40, the whole of Christ’s life falls within his reign, and nearly the whole of Christ’s ministry took place within his dominions. For his character see on 13:32. He was by courtesy allowed the title of βασιλεύς (Mark 6:14); and as Agrippa had obtained this by right, Antipas and Herodias went to Rome, a.d. 39, to try and get the courtesy title made a real one by Caligula. The attempt led to his banishment, the details of which are uncertain, for Josephus makes inconsistent statements. Either he was banished at Baiæ, a.d. 39, to Lugdunum (Ant. 18:7, 2), or he had a second audience with Caligula at Lugdunum, a.d. 40, and was banished to Spain (B. J. 2:9, 6). The latter is probably correct (Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1561). But see Farrar, Herods, p. 178.
Θιλίππου. Herod Philip, son of Herod the Great and Cleopatra. He reigned for nearly 37 years, b.c. 4 to a.d. 33, when he died at Julias, which he had built and named in honour of the infamous Julia, d. of Augustus and wife of Tiberius. He was the builder of Cæsarea Philippi (B. J. 2:9, 1), and was the best of the Herods (Ant. 18:4, 6). He married his niece Salome soon after she had danced for the head of the Baptist, c. a.d. 31 (Ant. 18:5, 4). Trachonitis τραχών = τραχὺς καὶ πετρώδης τόπος derived its name from the rugged character of the country. It lay N.E. of Galilee in the direction of Damascus, and its inhabitants were skilled archers and very often banditti (Ant. xv. 10. 1). The expression τῆς Ἰτ. καὶ Τρ. χώρας, “the region of Ituræa and Trachonitis,” seems to indicate that more than these two is included; probably Auranitis and Batanæa. Ἰτυραία, both here and perhaps everywhere, is an adjective. Farrar, p. 164.
Λυσανίου τῆς Ἀβιληνῆς τετρ. Not merely Strauss, Gfrörer, B. Bauer, and Hilgenfeld, but even Keim and Holtzmann, attribute to Lk. the gross chronological blunder of supposing that Lysanias, son of Ptolemy, who ruled this region previous to b.c. 36, when he was killed by M. Antony, is still reigning 60 years after his death. Such a mistake is very improbable; and the only difficulty about Lk.’s statement is that we have no indisputable evidence of this tetrarch Lysanias. D.C.G. art. “Lysanias.”
But 1. Lysanias, son of Ptolemy, was styled king and not tetrarch, and the seat of his kingdom was Chalcis in Cœle-Syria, not Abila in Abilene. 2. It is pure assumption that no one of his name ever ruled in these parts afterwards. 3. Josephus (Ant. xix. 5, 1) speaks of “Abila of Lysanias,” and (xx. 7, 1) of a tetrarchy of Lysanias (comp. B. J. ii. 11, 5, 12. 8); and as the son of Ptolemy was not called tetrarch, nor was connected with Abila, and, moreover, reigned for only 5 or 6 years, it is improbable that “Abila of Lysanias” was called after him. Therefore these passages in Josephus confirm rather than oppose Luk_4. A medal found by Pococke designates Lysanias “tetrarch and high priest.” If this refers to either, it is more likely to refer to Lk.’s Lysanias. 5. Two inscriptions exist, one of which proves that Lysanias, the son of Ptolemy, left children; the other, that at the time when Tiberius was associated with Augustus there was a “tetrarch Lysanias” (Boeckh, Corp. inscr. Gr. 4523, 4521). See Davidson, Intr. to N. T. 1. pp. 214-221, 1st ed.; Rawlinson, Bampton Lectures for 1859, P. 203; Wieseler in Herzog,2 1. PP. 87-89; and the reff. in Thayer’s Grimm under Λυσανίας.
2. ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέωσἍννα καὶ Καιάφα. Lk. now passes to the ecclesiastical rulers. The singular is probably not accidental, and certainly not ironical. “Under the high priest Annas-Caiaphas,” which means that between them they discharged the duties; or that each of them in different senses was regarded high priest, Annas de jure (Acts 4:6) and Caiaphas de facto (John 11:49).
Annas had held office a.d. 7-14, when he had been deposed by Valerius Gratus, the predecessor of Pilate, who set up in succession Ismael, Eleazar (son of Annas), Simon, and Joseph surnamed Caiaphas, who held office a.d. 18-36, when he was deposed by Vitellius. Four more sons of Annas succeeded Caiaphas, the last of whom (another Annas) put to death James the “brother of the Lord” and the first bishop of Jerusalem. It is manifest that Annas retained very great influence, and sometimes acted as high priest. “Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest” (Acts 4:6). Perhaps, so far as it was safe to do so, he was encouraged to ignore the Roman appointments and to continue in office during the high priesthoods of his successors. This would be especially easy when his own son-in-law or son happened to be the Roman nominee.1 There were no less than twenty-eight high priests from the time of Herod the Great to the capture of Jerusalem by Titus (Jos. Ant. 20:10).
ἐγένετο ῥῆμα Θεοῦ ἐπὶ Ἰωάνην. It is clear from this that what Lk. is anxious to date with precision is not any event in the life of the Messiah, but the appearance of the new Prophet, who was to be the Messiah’s herald, and who was by some mistaken for the Messiah. John’s preaching and baptizing is an epoch with Lk. (Acts 1:22, Acts 10:37, Acts 13:24). As distinct from ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ, which means the Gospel message as a whole (see on 8:11), ῥῆμα Θεοῦ means some particular utterance (Matthew 4:4; Comp. Luke 22:61). The phrase γίνεσθαι ῥῆμα Κυρίου (not Θεοῦ) is freq. in LXX (Genesis 15:1; 1 Samuel 15:10; 2 Samuel 7:4; 1 Kings 17:2, 1 Kings 17:8, 1 Kings 17:18:1, 1 Kings 17:20:28, etc.); also γίνεσθαι λόγον Κυρίου (2 Samuel 24:11; 1 Kings 6:11, 1 Kings 12:22, 1 Kings 13:20, 1 Kings 14:1, etc.). It is the O.T. formula. to express Divine inspiration. In such cases the phrase is almost always followed by πρός: but in 1 Chronicles 22:8 (?) and Jeremiah 1:1 we have ἐπί. Jeremiah 1:1 is a close parallel to this : τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦ Θεοῦ ὃ ἐγένετο ἐπὶ Ἰερεμίαν. The phrase occurs nowhere else in N.T.
Ἰωάνην τὸν Ζαχαρίου υἱόν. Lk. alone describes the Baptist thus. No other N.T. writer mentions Zacharias.—ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ. The one mentioned as his abode (1:80). Both AV. and RV. rather obscure this by using “deserts” in 1:80 and “wilderness” here. Mt. calls it “the wilderness of Judæa” (3:1). It is the Jeshimon of 1 Samuel 23:19. See D. B.2 art. “Arabah,” and Stanley, Sin. & Pal. p. 310.
3-6. Description of the New Prophet. Lk. omits the statements about his dress and food (Matthew 3:4; Mark 1:6), and also the going out of the people of Jerusalem and Judæa to him (Matthew 3:5; Mark 1:5). The famous account of the Baptist in Jos. Ant. 18:5, 2 should be compared. It may have been altered by Christian scribes, but its divergence from the Gospel narrative as to the motive for imprisoning and killing John, is in favour of its originality.1 See Hastings, D.B. i. p. 240.
3. πᾶσαν περίχωρον τοῦ Ἰορδάνου. The same as “the plain of Jordan,” which is thus rendered in LXX Genesis 13:10, Genesis 13:11; by τῷ περιχώρῳ τοῦ Ἰ., 2 Chronicles 4:17; and by τῷ περιοίκῳ τοῦ Ἰ., 1 Kings 7:46. The expression covers a considerable portion of the Jordan valley at least as far north as Succoth (2 Chronicles 4:17). The Baptist, therefore, moved north from the limestone desert on the W. shore of the Dead Sea, and perhaps went almost the whole length of the valley to the confines of the Sea of Galilee. For “Bethany (Beth-Anijah =‘House of Shipping’) beyond Jordan” must have been near Galilee (John 1:28), and is supposed by Conder to be the same as Bashan (Handbook of the Bible, pp. 315, 320). See, however, D. B.2 art. “Bethabara.” John was sometimes on one bank and sometimes on the other, for we read of his working in Peræa (John 10:40). His selection of the valley of the Jordan as his sphere of work was partly determined by the need of water for immersion. Stanley, Sin. & Pal. p. 312.
κηρύσσων … ἁμαρτιῶν. Verbatim as Mark 1:4. Nowhere in N.T. has κηρύσσειν its primary meaning of “act as a herald”; but either “proclaim openly” (8:39, 12:3; Mark 1:45, etc.) or “preach the Gospel” (Matthew 11:1; Mark 3:14; Romans 10:14, Romans 10:15, etc.). To “preach baptism” is to preach the necessity or value of baptism; and “repentance baptism” (βάπτισμα μετανοίας) is baptism connected with repentance as being an external symbol of the inward change (Acts 13:24, Acts 19:4). The repentance precedes the baptism, which seals it and reminds the baptized of his new obligations. To submit to this baptism was to confess that one was a sinner, and to pledge oneself to a new life. The “change of mind”1 (μετάνοια) has reference both to past deeds and to future purposes, and is the result of a realization of their true moral significance (Wsctt. on Hebrews 6:1, Hebrews 6:6, Hebrews 6:12:17). This inward change is specially insisted upon in the account of John’s preaching in Jos. Ant. 18:5, 2. The word is rare in Mt. (3:8, 11) and Mk. (1:4), and does not occur in Jn. It is freq. in Lk. (ver. 8, 5:32, 15:7, 24:47; Acts 5:31, Acts 11:18, etc.). We find it in Jos. Ant. 13:11, 3 of Aristobulus after the murder of his brother; to Plut. Pericles, X., of the Athenians after the banishment of Cimon; and in Thuc. iii. 36, 3 of the Athenians after the sentence on Mitylene. See American Ch. Rev. No. 134, pp. 143 ff. John’s “repentance baptism” was εἰς ἄφεσιν ἀμαρτιῶν. This was its purpose, assuring the penitent of forgiveness, and of deliverance from the burden, penalty, and bondage of sin (Trench, Syn. xxxiii.; Crem. Lex. p. 297: comp. Luke 1:77; Acts 2:38; Hebrews 10:18).
4. ἐν βίβλῳ λόγων. With the exception of Php 4:3, ἐν βίβλῳ is peculiar to Lk. (20:42; Acts 1:20, Acts 7:42). The form βίβλος is usual where the meaning is a writing or document, βύβλος where the plant or papyrus as writing material is intended (Hdt. 2:96, 3, 5:58. 3). For λόγοι in the sense of the “utterances of a teacher or prophet” comp. Acts 20:35; Amos 1:1.
φωνὴ βοῶντος … τὰς τρίβους αὐτοῦ. From Matthew 3:3 and Mark 1:3 we see that, in the tradition of which all three make use, these words were quoted as applying to the Baptist. This is therefore a primitive interpretation; and we learn from John 1:23 that it originated with the Baptist himself. John was a φωνή making known the Λόγος. “The whole man was a sermon.” The message was more than the messenger, and hence the messenger is regarded as mainly a voice. Jn. has εὐθύνατε for εὐθείας ποιεῖτε (1:23), and this looks as if he were translating direct from the Hebrew, which has one word and not two. The quotation in the other three is identical, and (with the substitution of αὐτοῦ for τοῦ Θεοῦ [ἡμῶν] verbatim as LXX. Lk. quotes Isaiah 40:4, Isaiah 40:5 as well as 40:3, and here slightly varies from LXX, having εὐθείας for εὐθεῖαν, and αἱ τραχεῖαι εἰς ὁδοὺς λείας, for ἡ τραχεῖα εἰς πεδία.1
ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ. It is possible to take these words with ἑτοιμάσατε rather than with φωνὴ βοῶντος: but here, as in Mt. and Mk., the latter arrangement is more natural—vox clamantis in deserto. Barnabas (9:3) connects them with βοῶντος. It is evident from the scenery which is mentioned that it is in a desert that the road for the coming King has to be made. The details symbolize the moral obstacles which have to be removed by the repentance baptism of John, in order to prepare the people for the reception of the Messiah, or (as some prefer) of Jehovah (Isaiah 35:8-10). That Lk. means the Messiah is shown by the substitution of αὐτοῦ for τοῦ Θεοῦ: and that this interpretation is in accordance with the primitive tradition is shown by the fact that all three Gospels have this substitution. Just as Oriental monarchs, when making a royal progress, send a courier before them to exhort the population to prepare roads, so the Messiah sends His herald to exhort His own people (John 1:11) to prepare their hearts for His coming.
5. φάραγξ. “A valley shut in by precipices, a ravine”; here only in N.T., but found in LXX (Judith 2:8) and in class. Grk. (Thuc. 2:67, 4). It is perhaps from the same root as φαράω=“plough” and foro=“bore.”
βουνός. Herodotus seems to imply that this is a Cyrenaic word (4:199, 2): but it is freq. in later writers and in LXX. Comp. 23:30, and for the sense Zechariah 4:7; Isaiah 40:4.
ἔσται τὰ σκολιὰ εἰς, κ.τ.λ. “The crooked places shall become straight ways, and the rough ways smooth ways”: i.e. roads shall be made where there were none before, and bad roads shall be made good roads. Comp. the account of Vespasian’s march into Galilee, especially the work of the pioneers (Jos. B. J. iii. 6, 2).
6. πᾶσα σάρξ. Everywhere in N.T. this expression seems to refer to the human race only; so even Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20; 1 Peter 1:24; comp. Acts 2:17; Romans 3:20. Fallen man, man in his frailty and need of help, is meant. In LXX it often includes the brutes: Genesis 6:19, Genesis 6:7:15, Genesis 6:16, Genesis 6:21, Genesis 6:8:17, Genesis 6:9:11, Genesis 6:15, Genesis 6:16, Genesis 6:17; Psalm 136:25; Jeremiah 32:27, Jeremiah 45:5. The phrase is one of many which occur frequently in Is. 40-45., but not at all in the earlier chapters (Driver, Isaiah, p. 197).
τὸ σωτήριον. It was obviously for the sake of this declaration that Lk. continued the quotation thus far. That “the salvation of God” is to be made known to the whole human race is the main theme of his Gospel.
7-17. John’s Preaching and its Effects. This section gives us the burden of his preaching (Ἑλεγεν, imperf.) in accordance (οὖν) with the character which has just been indicated. The herald who has to see that hearts are prepared for the Messiah must be stern with hypocrites and with hardened sinners, because the impenitent cannot escape punishment (7-9); must supply different treatment for different classes (10-14; comp. ver. 5); and must declare the certainty of his Master’s coming and of its consequences (15-17).
7. Ἔλεγεν οὖν. “He used to say, therefore”: being the predicted Forerunner, his utterances were of this character. We need not regard this as a report of what was said on any one occasion, but as a summary of what he was in the habit of saying during his ministry to the multitudes who came out of the towns and villages (ἐκπορευομένοις) into the wilderness to hear the Prophet and gain something from him. Mt. (3:7) represents this severe rebuke as addressed to the Pharisees and Sadducees; which confirms the view that Lk. is here giving us the substance of the preaching rather than what John said on some particular day. What he said to some was also said to all; and as the salvation offered was universal, so also was the sin. This is thoroughly characteristic of Lk.
βαπτισθῆναι. As a substitute for repentance, or as some magical rite, which would confer a benefit on them independently of their moral condition. Their desire for his baptism showed their belief in him as a Prophet; otherwise the baptism would have been valueless (John 1:25; comp. Zechariah 13:1 ; Ezekiel 36:25). Hence the indignation of John’s disciples when they heard of Jesus baptizing, a rite which they regarded as their master’s prerogative (John 3:26). The title ὁ βαπτιστής or ὁ βαπτίζων shows that his baptism was regarded as something exceptional and not an ordinary purification (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5, 2). Its exceptional character consisted in (1) its application to the whole nation, which had become polluted; (2) its being a preparation for the more perfect baptism of the Messiah. It is only when baptism is administered by immersion that its full significance is seen.
βαπτίζω is intensive from βάπτω, like βαλλίζω from βάλλω: βάπτω, “I dip”; βαπτίζω, “I immerse.” Γεννήματα is “offspring” of animals or men (Ecclus. 10:18); “fruits” of the earth or of plants (Deuteronomy 28:4, Deuteronomy 28:11, Deuteronomy 28:18, Deuteronomy 28:42, Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18); “rewards” of righteousness (Hosea 10:12; 2 Corinthians 9:10).
Γεννήματα ἐχιδνῶν. Genimina (Vulg.) or generatio (b ff2 l q r) or progenies (a c d e f) viperarum. In Mt. this is addressed to the Pharisees, first by John and afterwards by Jesus (3:7, 12:34, 23:33). It indicates another parentage than that of Abraham (John 8:44), and is perhaps purposely used in opposition to their trust in their descent: comp. Aesch. Cho. 249; Soph. Ant. 531. John’s metaphors, like those of the prophecy (ver. 5), are from the wilderness;—vipers, stones, and barren trees. It is from this stern, but fresh and undesecrated region, and not from the “Holy,” but polluted City, that the regenerating movement proceeds (Isaiah 41:18). These serpent-like characters are the σκολιά that must be made straight. Comp. Psalm 58:4, Psalm 140:3.
ὑπέδειξεν. “Suggested” by showing to eye or ear: 6:47, 12:5; Acts 9:16, Acts 9:20:35; elsewhere in N.T. only Matthew 3:7.
τῆς μελλούσης ὀργῆς. It is possible that this refers primarily to the national judgments involved in the destruction of Jerusalem and the banishment of the Jews (21:23; 1 Mac. 1:64); but the penalties to be inflicted at the last day are probably included (Romans 1:18, Romans 1:2:5, Romans 1:8, Romans 1:3:5, Romans 1:5:9). The Jews believed that the judgments of God, especially in connexion with the coming of the Messiah, as threatened by the Prophets (Joel 2:31; Malachi 3:2, Malachi 3:4:1; Isaiah 13:9), were to be executed on the heathen. The Baptist proclaims that there is no such distinction. Salvation is for all who prepare their hearts to receive the Messiah; judgment, for all who harden their hearts and reject Him. Birth is of no avail.
8. ποιήσατε οὖν καρποὺς ἀξίους τ. μ. “If you desire to escape this wrath and to welcome the Messiah (οὖν), repent, and act at once (aor. imperat.) as those who repent.” Comp. 20:24; Acts 3:4, Acts 3:7:33, Acts 3:9:11, Acts 3:16:9, Acts 3:21:39, Acts 3:22:13; and see Win. xliii. 3. a, p. 393. Mt. has καρπ ό ν (3:8), which treats the series of acts as a collective result. Comp. S. Paul’s summary of his own preaching, esp. ἄξια τῆς μετανοίας ἔργα πράσσοντας (Acts 26:20).
It was a Rabbinical saying, “If Israel would repent only one day, the Son of David would come forthwith”; and again, “If Israel would observe only one sabbath according to the ordinance, forthwith would the Son of David come”; and, “All the stages are passed, and all depends solely on repentance and good works.”
The phrase ποιεῖν καρπόν is not necessarily a Hebraism (Genesis 1:11, Genesis 1:12): it occurs [Arist.] De Plant. i. 4, p. 819, ii. 10, p. 829. Comp. Jam 3:12: Mark 4:32.
μὴ ἄρξησθε. “Do not even begin to have this thought in your minds.” Omnem excusationis etiam conatum præcidit (Beng.). If there are any passages in which ἄρχομαι with an infin. is a mere periphrasis for the simple verb (20:9), this is not one of them. See Win. lxv. 7. d, p. 767; Grim-Thay. p. 79; Fritzsche on Matthew 16:21, p. 539.— λέγειν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς. “To say within yourselves” rather than “among yourselves.” Comp. 7:49 and λέγετε ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν (Psalm 4:5). For the perennial boast about their descent from Abraham comp. John 8:33, John 8:53; Jam 2:21; Jam_2 Esdr. 6:56-58; Jos. Ant. iii. 5, 3; B. J. v. 9, 4; Wetst. on Matthew 3:9.
ἐκ τῶν λίθων τούτων. There is a play upon words between “children” (banim) and “stones” (abanim). It was God who made Abraham to be the rock whence the Jews were hewn (Isaiah 51:1, Isaiah 51:2); and out of the most unpromising material He can make genuine children of Abraham (Romans 4:9:6, Romans 4:7, 11:Romans 4:13-24; Galatians 4:21-31). The verb ἐγεῖραι is applicable to both stones and children.
9. ἤδη “Although you do not at all expect it.” The image of the axe is in harmony with that of the fruits (ver. 8). In the East trees are valued mainly for their fruit; and trees which produce none are usually cut down. “And even now also the axe is laid unto the root.”
The πρός after κεῖται may be explained either, “is brought to the root and lies there”; or, “lies directed towards the root.” In either case the meaning is that judgment is not only inevitable, but will come speedily: hence the presents, ἐκκόπτεται and βάλλεται.
The δὲ καί (in Mt. simply δέ) is Lk.’s favourite method of giving emphasis; ver. 12, 2:4, 4:41, 5:10, 36, 9:61, 10:32, 11:18, 12:54, 57, 14:12, 16:1, 22, 18:9, 19:19, 20:12. For μή with a participle, expressing a reason or condition, comp. 2:45, 7:30, 11:24, 12:47, 24:23; Acts 9:26, Acts 9:17:6, Acts 9:21:34, Acts 9:27:7; and see Win. Lev_5 (β), p. 607. For ἐκκόπτειν, “to cut off,” of felling trees, comp. 13:7, 9; Hdt. ix. 97, 1. See notes on 6:43.
10-14. John’s Different Treatment of Different Classes. Peculiar to Lk., but probably from the same source as the preceding verses. It shows that, in levelling the mountains and raising the valleys, etc. (ver. 5), he did not insist upon any extraordinary penances or “counsels of perfection.” Each class is to forsake its besetting sin, and all are to do their duty to their neighbour. The stern warnings of the Baptist made the rulers leave in disgust without seeking baptism at his hands (7:30; Matthew 21:25); but they made the multitude anxious to comply with the conditions for avoiding the threatened judgment.
10. ἐπηρώτων. “Continually put this question.” The notion of repetition comes from the imperf. and not, as in ἐπαιτεῖν (16:3, 18:35), from the ἐπί, which in ἐπερωτᾷν indicates the direction of the inquiry; Plato, Soph. 249 E, 250. Comp. ἐπεδόθη in 4:17.
Τί οὖν ποιήσωμεν; “What then, if the severe things which thou sayest are true, must we do?” For the conjunctivus deliberativus Comp. 23:31; Matthew 26:54, Mark 12:14; John 12:27; and see Win. xli. 4. b, p. 356; Matth. 515. 2; Arnold’s Madvig, p. 99; Green, p. 150.
11. δύο χιτῶνας. The χιτών was the under and less necessary garment, distinguished from the upper and almost indispensable ἱμάτιον; 6:29; Acts 9:39; Matthew 5:40; John 19:23. When two of these χιτῶνες were worn at once, the under one or shirt would be the Hebrew cetoneth, the upper would be the Hebrew meil, which was longer than the cetoneth. It was common for travellers to wear two (Jos. Ant. xvii. 5, 7); but Christ forbade the disciples to do so (9:3; Matthew 10:10). It is not implied here that the two are being worn simultaneously. See Trench, Syn. l.; Conder, Handb. of B. p. 195; D. B.2 art. “Dress”; Schaff’s Herzog, art. “Clothing and Ornaments of the Hebrews.” If the owner of two shirts is to “give a share” (μεταδότω), he will give one shirt. Comp. Romans 1:11, Romans 1:12:8; and contrast Peter’s reply to the same question Acts 2:37, Acts 2:38. With regard to βρώματα, nothing is said or implied about having superfluity or abundance. He who has any food is to share it with the starving. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:18.
This verse is one of those cited to support the view that Lk. is Ebionite in his sympathies, a view maintained uncompromisingly by Renan (Les Évangiles, ch. xiii.; V. de J. chs. x., xi.), and by Campbell (Critical Studies in St. Luke, p. 193). For the answer see Bishop Alexander (Leading Ideas of the Gospel, p. 170). Here it is to be noticed that it is Mt. and Mk. who record, while Lk. omits, the poor clothing and poor food of the Baptist himself; and that it is Mt. who represents his sternest words as being addressed to the wealthy Pharisees and Sadducees, while Lk. directs them against the multitudes generally.
12. τελῶναι. From τέλη (Matthew 17:25; Romans 13:7) and ὠνέομαι; so that etymologically τελῶναι = publicani, “those who bought or farmed the taxes” under the Roman government. But in usage τελῶναι = portitores, “those who collected the taxes” for the publicani. This usage is common elsewhere, and invariable in N.T. Sometimes, and perhaps often, there was an intermediate agent between the τελῶναι and the publicani, e.g. ἀρχιτελώνης or magister (19:2).
These “tax-collectors” were detested everywhere, because of their oppressiveness and fraud, and were classed with the vilest of mankind: μοιχοὶ καὶ πορνοβοσκοὶ καὶ τελῶναι καὶ κόλακες καὶ συκοφάνται, καὶ τοιοῦτος ὅμιλος τῶν πάντα κυκώντων ἐν τῷ βίῳ (Lucian. Necyomant. xi.; comp. Aristoph. Equit. 248; Theophr. Charac. vi.; Grotius, in loco; Wetst. on Mt. v. 46). The Jews especially abhorred them as bloodsuckers for a heathen conqueror. For a Jew to enter such a service was the most utter degradation. He was excommunicated, and his whole was regarded as disgraced. But the Romans allowed the Herods to retain some powers of taxation; and therefore not all tax-collectors in Palestine were in the service of Rome. Yet the characteristic faults of the profession prevailed, whether the money was collected in the name of Cæsar or of Herod; and what these were is indicated by the Baptist’s answer. See Lightfoot, Opera, i. pp. 324, 325; Herzog, Pro_2 art. Zoll; Edersh. L. & T. 1. p. 515.
13. Διδάσκαλε. Publicani majore ceteris reverentia utuntur (Beng.). Syr-Sin. omits the word.
πλέον παρά. For παρά after comparatives comp. Hebrews 1:4, Hebrews 1:3:3, Hebrews 1:9:23, Hebrews 1:11:4, Hebrews 1:12:24; Hdt. 7:103. 6; Thuc. i . 23, 4, iv. 6, 1. The effect is to intensify the notion of excess: so also ὑπέρ, 16:8; Hebrews 4:12.
τὸ διατεταγμένον. “That which stands prescribed” (perf.), a favourite word with Lk.: 8:55; 17:9, 10; Acts 7:44, Acts 18:2, Acts 20:13, Acts 23:31, Acts 24:23. Comp. disponere, verordnen. It is from the general meaning of “transacting business” that πράσσειν acquires the special sense of “exacting tribute, extorting money”: comp. 19:23. This use is found from Herodotus onwards: Hdt. iii. 58. 4; Æsch. Cho. 311; Pers. 476; Eum. 624; Xen. Anab. vii. 6. 17: comp. πράκτωρ, εἰσπράσσειν, ἐκπράσσειν, and many illustrations in Wetst. Agere is similarly used: publicum quadragesimæ in Asia egit (Suet. Vesp. i.); but what follows is of interest as showing how rare an honourable publicanus was: manebantque imagines in civitatibus ei positæ sub hoc titulo ΚΑΛΩΣ ΤΕΛΩΝΗΣΑΝΤΙ. This is said of Sabinus, father of Vespasian. After farming the quadragesima tax in Asia he was a money-lender among the Helvetii. It is to be noticed that the Baptist does not condemn the calling of a tax-collector as unlawful for a Jew. He assumes that these τελῶναι will continue to act as such.
14. στρατευόμενοι. “Men on service, on military duty”; militantes rather than milites (Vulg.). In 2 Timothy 2:4, οὐδεὶς στρατευόμενος is rightly rendered nemo militans. Who these “men on service” were cannot be determined; but they were Jewish soldiers and not Roman, and not on service in the war between Antipas and his father-in-law Aretas about the former’s repudiation of the latter’s daughter in order to make room for Herodias. That war took place after the Baptist’s death (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5, 2), two or three years later than this, and probably a.d. 32 (Lewin, Fasti Sacri, 1171, 1412). These στρατευόμενοι were possibly gendarmerie, soldiers acting as police, perhaps in support of the tax-collectors. Such persons, as some modern nations know to their cost, have great opportunities for bullying and delation. By their καὶ ἡμεῖς they seem to connect themselves with the τελῶναι, either as knowing that they also were unpopular, or as expecting a similar answer from John.
Μηδένα διασείσητε. Like concutio, διασείω is used of intimidation, especially of intimidating to extort money (3 Mac. 7:21). Eusebius uses it of the extortions of Paul of Samosata (H. E. vii. 30. 7); where, however, the true reading may be ἐκσείει. In this sense σείω also is used (Aristoph. Equit. 840; Pax, 639); and it is interesting to see that Antipho couples σείω with συκοφαντῶ. Φιλοκράτης οὑτοσὶ ἑτέρους τῶν ὑπευθεύνων ἔσειε καὶ ἐσυκοφάντει (Orat. vi. p. 146, l. 22).1 This last passage, combined with the verse before us, renders it probable that συκοφάντης, a “fig-shower,” is not one who gives information to the police about the exportation of figs, but one who shows figs by shaking the tree; i.e. who makes the rich yield money by intimidating them. Nowhere is συκοφάντης found in the sense of “informer,” nor yet of “sycophant.” It always denotes a “false accuser,” especially with a view to obtaining money; Arist. Ach. 559, 825, 828. Hatch quotes from Brunet de Presle, Notices et textes du Musée du Louvre, a letter of b.c. 145 from Dioscorides, a chief officer of finance, to his subordinate Dorion: περὶ δὲ διασεισμῶν καὶ παραλειῶν ἐνίων δὲ καὶ συκοφαντεῖσθαι προσφερομένων βουλόμεθα ὑμᾶς μὴ διαλανθάνειν, κ.τ.λ., “in the matter of fictitious legal proceedings and plunderings, some persons being, moreover, alleged to be even made the victims of false accusations,” etc. (Bibl. Grk. p. 91). Comp. Leviticus 19:11; Job 35:9. Hesychius explains συκοφάντης as ψευδοκατήγορος.
ὀψωνίοις. From ὄψον, “cooked food” to be eaten with bread, and ὠμέομαι, “I buy”: hence “rations, allowance, pay” of a soldier; 1 Corinthians 9:7; 1Co_1 Mac. 3:28, Malachi 3:14:32; Mal_1 Esdr. 4:56; and freq. in Polybius. John does not tell these men on service that theirs is an unlawful calling. Nor did the early Christians condemn the life of a soldier: see quotations in Grotius and J. B Mozley, University Sermons, Serm. v.
15-17. The certainty of the Messiah’s Coming and the Consequences of the Coming. Matthew 3:11, Matthew 3:12. The explanatory opening (ver. 15) is peculiar to Lk. The substance of ver. 16 is common to all three; but here Lk. inserts the characteristic π ᾶ ς ι ν. In ver. 17 he and Mt. are together, while Mk. is silent. Lk. shows more clearly than the other two how intense was the excitement which the Baptist’s preaching caused.
15. Προσδοκῶντος. What were they expecting? The result of all this strange preaching, and especially the Messianic judgment. Would it be put in execution by John himself? For this absolute use of προσδοκάω comp. Acts 27:33. Excepting Matthew 11:3, Matthew 11:24:50, 2 Peter 3:12-14, the verb is peculiar to Lk. (1:21, 7:19, 20, 8:40, 12:46; Acts 3:5, etc.). Syr-Sin. omits.
The Vulg. here has the strange rendering existimante; although in 1:21, 7:19, 20, 8:40 προσδοκάω is rendered expecto, and in 12:46 spero.. Cod. Brix. has sperante here. See on 19:43 and 21:23, 25 for other slips in Jerome’s work. Here d has an attempt to reproduce the gen. abs. in Latin: et cogitantium omnium. Comp. 9:43, 19:11, 21:5, 24:36, 41.
μή ποτε αὐτός. “If haply he himself were the Christ.” Their thinking this possible, although “John did no sign,” and had none of the insignia of royalty, not even descent from David, is remarkable. Non ita crassam adhuc ideam de Christo habebant, nam Johannes nil splendoris externi habebat et tamen talia de eo cogitabant (Beng.). That this question had been raised is shown by John 1:20. The Baptist would not have declared “I am not the Christ,” unless he had been asked whether he was the Messiah, or had heard the people discussing the point.
For the constr. comp. μή ποτε δῴη αὐτοῖς ὁ Θεὸς μετάνοιαν (2 Timothy 2:25). The opt. in indirect questions is freq. in Lk. both without ἄν (1:29, 8:9, Acts 17:11, Acts 21:33) and also with ἄν (1:62, 6:11, 15:26; Acts 5:24, Acts 10:17).
16. πᾶσιν. Showing how universal the excitement on this point was. Neither Mt. (3:11) nor Mk. (1:7) has the πᾶσιν of which Luke is so fond: comp. 6:30, 7:35, 9:43, 11:4, 12:10.
The aor. mid. ἀπεκρίνατο is rare in N.T. (23:9; Acts 3:12; Matthew 27:12; Mark 14:61; John 5:17, John 5:19); also in LXX (Jdg 5:29; 1 Kings 2:1; 1 Chronicles 10:13; Ezekiel 9:11). In bibl. Grk. the pass. forms prevail: see small print on 1:19.
Ἐγὼ μὲν ὕδατι. Both with emphasis: “I with water.”
ὁ ἰσχυρότερος. Valebat Johannes, sed Christus multo plus (Beng.). The art. marks him as one who ought to be well known.
λῦσαι τὸν ἱμάντα τῶν ὑποδημάτων. More graphic than Mt.’s τὰ ὑποδ. βαστάσαι, but less so than Mk.’s κύψας λῦσαι τὸν ἱμ. τῶν ὑποδ. αὐτοῦ Both AV. and RV. mark the difference between ὑπόδημα, “that which is bound under” the foot, and σανδάλιον, dim. of σάνδαλον, by rendering the former “shoe” (10:4, 15:22, 22:35; Acts 7:33, Acts 13:25) and the other “sandal” (Mark 6:9; Acts 12:8). The Vulg. has calceamenta for ὑποδήματα, and sandalia or caligæ for σανδάλια. In LXX the two words seem to be used indiscriminately (Joshua 9:5, Joshua 9:13); but ὑποδ. is much the more common, and it is doubtful whether the Jews before the Captivity wore shoes or manalim (Deuteronomy 33:25) as distinct from sandals. Comp. οἱ ἱμάντες τῶν ὑποδημάτων αὐτῶν (Isaiah 5:27). To unfasten shoes or sandals, when a man returned home, or to bring them to him when he went out, was the office of a slave (See Wetst. on Matthew 3:11). John is not worthy to be the bond-servant of the Christ. The αὐτοῦ is not so entirely redundant as in some other passages: “whose latchet of his shoes.”1
αὐτός. In emphatic contrast to the speaker.
ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ. See on 1:15. That the ἐν with πνεύματι ἁγίῳ and its absence from ὕδατι marks a distinction of any great moment, either here or Acts 1:5, must be doubted; for in Matthew 3:11 both expressions have the ἐν, and in Mark 1:8 neither. The simple dat. marks the instrument or matter with which the baptism is effected; the ἐν marks the element in which it takes place (John 1:31). See Hastings, D.B. i. p. 244.
καὶ πυρί. This remarkable addition is wanting in Mk. Various explanations of it are suggested. (1) That the fiery tongues at Pentecost are meant, is improbable. Were any of those who received the Spirit at Pentecost among the Baptist’s hearers on this occasion? Moreover, in Acts 1:5 καὶ πυρί is not added. (2) That it distinguishes two baptisms, the penitent with the Spirit, and the impenitent with penal fire, is very improbable. The same persons (ὑμᾶς) are to be baptized with the Spirit and with fire. In ver. 17 the good and the bad are separated, but not here. This sentence must not be made parallel to what follows, for the winnowing-shovel is not baptism. (3) More probably the πυρί refers to the illuminating, kindling, and purifying power of the grace given by the Messiah’s baptism. Spiritus sanctus, quo Christus baptizat, igneam vim habet: atque ea vis ignea etiam conspicua fuit oculis hominum (Beng.): comp. Malachi 3:2. (4) Or, the fiery trials which await the disciple who accepts Christ’s baptism may be meant: comp. 12:50; Mark 10:38, Mark 10:39. The passage is one of many, the exact meaning of which must remain doubtful; but the purifying of the believer rather than the punishment of the unbeliever seems to be intended.
17. πτύον. The “winnowing-shovel” (pala lignea; Vulg. ventilabrum), with which the threshed corn was thrown up into the wind (πτύω = “spit”).1 This is a further description of the Messiah,—He whose πτύον is ready for use. Note the impressive repetition of αὐτοῦ after τῇ χειρί, τὴν ἅλωνα, and τὴν ἀποθήκην.2
τὴν ἅλωνα. The threshing-floor itself, and not its contents. It is by removing the contents—corn to the barn, and refuse to the fire—that the floor is thoroughly cleansed. Christ’s threshing-floor is the world; or, in a more restricted sense, the Holy Land. See Mever on Matthew 3:12.
ἀσβέστῳ. Comp. Mark 9:43; Leviticus 6:12, Leviticus 6:13; Isaiah 34:8-10, 66:24; Jeremiah 7:20; Ezekiel 20:47, Ezekiel 20:48. In Homer it is a freq. epithet of γέλως, κλέος, βοή, μένος, and once of φλόξ (Il. xvi. 123). As an epithet of πῦρ it is opposed to μαλθακόν and μακρόν. See Heinichen on Eus. H. E. vi. 41, 15 and viii. 12, 1. It is therefore a fierce fire which cannot be extinguished, rather than an endless fire that will never go out, that seems to be indicated: and this is just such a fire as τὸ ἄχυρον (the refuse left after threshing and winnowing) would make. But ἄσβεστος is sometimes used of a fire that never goes out, as that of Apollo at Delphi or of Vesta at Rome (Dion. Hal. cxciv. 8). For κατακαίειν comp. Matthew 13:30, Matthew 13:40; also Exodus 3:2, where it is distinguished from καίειν: it implies utter consumption.
18-20. § Explanation of the Abrupt Termination of the Baptist’s Ministry. This is given here by anticipation in order to complete the narrative. Comp. the conclusions to previous narratives: 1:66, 80, 2:40, 52.
18. Λολλὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ ἕτερα. The comprehensive πολλὰ καὶ ἕτερα confirms the view taken above (ver. 7) that this narrative (7-18) gives a summary of John’s teaching rather than a report of what was said on any one occasion. The ἕτερα means “of a different kind” (Galatians 1:6, Galatians 1:7), and intimates that the preaching of the Baptist was not always of the character just indicated.
The cases in which μὲν οὗν occurs must be distinguished. 1. Where, as here, μέν is followed by a corresponding δέ, and we have nothing more than the distributive μὲν … δὲ … combined with οὖν (Acts 8:4, Acts 8:25, Acts 8:11:19, Acts 8:12:5, Acts 8:14:3, Acts 8:15:3, Acts 8:30, etc.). 2. Where no δέ follows, and μέν confirms what is said, while οὖν marks an inference or transition, quidem igitur (Acts 1:6, Acts 1:2:41, Acts 1:5:41, Acts 1:13:4, Acts 1:17:30; Hebrews 7:11, Hebrews 8:4, etc.). Win. liii. 8. a, p. 556.
παρακαλῶν εὐηγγελίζετο … ἐλεγχόμενος. These words give the three chief functions of the Baptist: to exhort all, to preach good tidings to the penitent, to reprove the impenitent. It is quite unnecessary to take τὸν λαόν with παρακαλῶν, and the order of the words is against such a combination.
In late Greek the acc. of the person to whom the announcement is made is freq. after εὐαγγελίζεσθαι (Acts 14:15, Acts 14:16:10; Galatians 1:9; 1 Peter 1:12; comp. Acts 8:25, Acts 8:40, Acts 8:14:21): and hence in the pass. we have πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται. The acc. of the message announced is also common (8:1; Acts 5:42, Acts 5:8:4, Acts 5:12?, 10:36, 11:20). Where both person and message are combined, the person addressed is in the dat. (1:19, 2:10, 4:43; Acts 8:35; comp. Luke 4:18; Acts 17:18; Romans 1:15, etc.): but in Acts 13:32 we have double acc. Here the Lat. texts vary between evangelizabat populum (Cod. Am.) and evang. populo (Cod. Brix.).
19. Ἡρῴδης. Antipas, as in ver. 1. The insertion of the name Φιλίππου after γυναικός comes from Mk. and Mt. (A C K X and some versions). This Philip must be carefully distinguished from the tetrarch Philip, with whom Jerome confuses him. He was the son of Mariamne, on account of whose treachery he had been disinherited by Herod the Great; and he lived as a private individual at Jerusalem (Jos. B. J. i. 30, 7). Josephus calls both Antipas and also this Philip simply “Herod” (Ant. xviii. 5, 4). Herodias became the evil genius of the man who seduced her from his brother. It was her ambition which brought about the downfall of Antipas. Lk. alone tells us that John rebuked Antipas for his wicked life (καὶ περὶ πάντων) as well as for his incestuous marriage. Obviously ἐλεγχόμενος means “rebuked, reproved” (1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:2), and not “convicted” or “convinced” (John 8:46, John 16:8). In the former sense ἐλέγχειν is stronger than ἐπιτιμᾷν: see Trench, Syn. iv.
Once more (see on ver. 1) we have a remarkable rendering in d: Herodes autem quaterducatus cum argueretur ad eo, etc.
Note the characteristic and idiomatic attraction (π ά ν τ ω ν ὦ ν), and comp. 2:20, 5:9, 9:43, 12:46, 15:16, 19:37, 24:25; Acts 3:21, Acts 10:39, Acts 13:39, Acts 22:10, Acts 26:2.
20. προσέθηκεν καὶ τοῦτο ἐπὶ πᾶσιν, κατέκλεισεν, κ.τ.λ. “He added this also on the top of all—he shut up John in prison”; i.e. he added this to all the other πονηρά of which he had been guilty. Farrar, Herods, p. 171.
Josephus, in the famous passage which confirms and supplements the Gospel narrative respecting the Baptist (Ant. xviii. 5, 2), says that Antipas put him in prison because of his immense influence with the people. They seemed to be ready to do whatever he told them; and he might tell them to revolt. This may easily have been an additional reason for imprisoning him: it is no contradiction of the Evangelists. What Josephus states is what Antipas publicly alleged as his reason for arresting John: of course he would not give his private reasons. The prison in which the Baptist was confined was in the fortress of Machærus at the N.E. corner of the Dead Sea. Seetzen discovered the site in 1807 above the valley of the Zerka, and dungeons can still be traced among the ruins. Tristram visited it in 1872 (Discoveries on the East Side of the Dead Sea, ch. xiv.). It was hither that the daughter of Aretas fled on her way back to her father, when she discovered that Antipas meant to discard her for Herodias. Machærus was then in her father’s dominions; but Antipas probably seized it immediately afterwards (Jos. Ant. xviii. 5, 1, 2).
The expression προσέθηκεν τοῦτο, κατέκλεισεν must not be confounded with the Hebraisms προσέθετο πέμψαι (10:11, 12), προσέθετο συλλαβεῖν (Acts 12:3). It is true that in LXX the act. as well as the mid. is used in this manner: προσέθηκε τεκεῖν (Genesis 4:2); προσέθηκε λαλῆσαι (Genesis 18:29): see also Exodus 10:28; Deuteronomy 3:26; and for the mid. Exodus 14:13. But in this Hebraistic use of προστίθημι for “go on and do” the second verb is always in the infin. (Win. liv. 5, p. 588). Here there is no Hebraism, and therefore no sign that Lk. is using an Aramaic source.
Κατακλείειν is classical, but occurs in N.T. only here and Acts 26:10; in both cases of imprisoning. It is freq. in medical writers, and Galen uses it of imprisonment (Hobert, Med. Lang. of Lk. pp 66, 67). Matthew 14:3 we have ἀπέθετο, and Mark 6:17, ἔδησεν, of Herod’s putting John into prison.
21, 22. Jesus is baptized by John.—It is remarkable, that although the careers of the Forerunner and of the Messiah are so closely connected, and so similar as regards prediction of birth, retirement, ministry, and early end, yet, so far as we know, they come into actual contact only at one brief period, when the Forerunner baptized the Christ. Once some of John’s disciples raised the question of fasting, and Jesus answered it (5:33; Matthew 9:14), and once John sent some of his disciples to Jesus to question Him as to His Messiahship (7:19-23; Matthew 11:2-19); but there is no meeting between Christ and the Baptist. Lk., having completed his brief account of the Forerunner and his work, begins his main subject, viz. the Messiah and His work. This involves a return to the point at which the Forerunner met the Messiah, and performed on Him the rite which prepared Him for His work, by publicly uniting Him with the people whom He came to save, and proclaiming Him before them.
21. ἐν τῷ βαπτισθῆναι ἅπαντα τὸν λαόν. “After all the people had been baptized”; cum bapitizatus esset omnis populus (Cod. Brix.): not, “while they were being baptized”; cum baptizaretur (Cod. Am.). The latter would be ἐν τῷ with the pres. infin.
Both constructions are very freq. in Lk. Contrast the aorists in 2:27, 9:36, 11:37, 14:1, 19:15, 24:30, Acts 11:15 with the presents in 5:1, 12, 8:5, 42, 9:18, 29, 33, 51, 10:35, 38, 11:1, 27, 17:11, 14, 24:4, 15, 51; Acts 8:6, Acts 19:1. Lk. is also fond of the stronger form ἄ π α ς which is rare in N.T. outside his writings. Readings are often confused, but ἄπας is well attested 5:26, 8:37, 9:15, 19:37, 48, 23:1; Acts 2:44, Acts 2:4:31, Acts 2:5:16, Acts 2:10:8, Acts 2:11:10, Acts 2:16:3, Acts 2:28, Acts 2:25:24; and may be right in other places.
That there were great multitudes present when John baptized the Christ is not stated; nor is it probable. Had Lk. written ἐν τῷ βαπτίζεσθαι, this would have implied the presence of many other candidates for baptism; but it was not until “after every one of the people had been baptized” that the baptism of Jesus took place. Possibly Jesus waited until He could be alone with John. In any case, those who had long been waiting for their turn would go home soon after they had accomplished their purpose. It was some time after this that John said to the people, “He that cometh after me … is standing in the midst of you, and ye know Him not” (John 1:26). They could hardly have been so ignorant of Him, if large multitudes had been present when John baptized Him.
καὶ Ἴησοῦ βαπτισθέντος. It is remarkable that this, which seems to us to be the main fact, should be expressed thus incidentally by a participle. It is as if the baptism of all the people were regarded as carrying with it the baptism of Jesus almost as a necessary complement “After they had been baptized, and when He had been baptized and was praying.” But perhaps the purpose of Lk. is to narrate the baptism, not so much for its own sake as an instance of Christ’s conformity to what was required of the people, as for the sake of the Divine recognition and authentication which Jesus then received.
Jerome has preserved this fragment of the Gospel acc. to the Hebrews: “Lo, the mother of the Lord and His brethren said to Him, John the Baptist baptizeth for remission of sins: let us go and be baptized by him. But He said to them, Wherein have I sinned that I should go and be baptized by him? except perchance this very thing which I have said is ignorance” (Adv. Pelag. 3:1). The Tractatus de Rebaptismate says that the Pauli Prædicatio represented “Christ, the only man who was altogether without fault, both making confession respecting His own sin, and driven almost against His will by His mother Mary to accept the baptism of John: also that when He was baptized fire was seen on the water, which is no written in any Gospel” (17. ; Hartel’s Cyprian, 2. p. 90). The fire in the water is mentioned in Justin (Try. 88.), but not as recorded by the Apostles; and also in the Gospel acc. to the Hebrews.
καί προσευχομένου. Lk. alone mentions this. On his Gospel as emphasizing the duty of prayer see Introd. § 6. Mt. and Mk. say that Jesus saw the Spirit descending; Jn. says that the Baptist saw it; Lk. that it took place (ἐγένετο) along with the opening of the heaven and the coming of the voice. Mk. says simply τὸ πνεῦμα; Mt has πνεῦμα Θεοῦ; Lk. τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον. See On 1:15.
The constr. of ἐγένετο with acc. and infin. is on the analogy of the class. constr. of συνέβη: it is freq. in Lk. See note, p. 45. The form ἀνεῳχθῆναι is anomalous, as if assimilated to ἀνεῷχθαι: comp. John 9:10, John 9:14; Revelation 4:1, Revelation 6:1.
22. σωματικῷ εἴδει ὡς περιστεράν. “In a bodily form” is peculiar to Lk. Nothing is gained by admitting something visible and rejecting the dove. Comp. the symbolical visions of Jehovah granted to Moses and other Prophets. We dare not assert that the Spirit cannot reveal Himself to human sight, or that in so doing He cannot employ the form of a dove or of tongues of fire. The tongues were appropriate when the Spirit was given “by measure” to many. The dove was appropriate when the Spirit was given in His fulness to one. It is not true that the dove was an ancient Jewish symbol for the Spirit. In Jewish symbolism the dove is Israel. The descent of the Spirit was not, as some Gnostics taught, the moment of the Incarnation: it made no change in the nature of Christ. But it may have illuminated Him so as to complete His growing consciousness of His relations to God and to man (2:52). It served two purposes: (1) to make Him known to the Baptist, who thenceforward had Divine authority for making Him known to the world (John 1:32, John 1:33); and (2) to mark the official beginning of the ministry, like the anointing of a king. As at the Transfiguration, Christ is miraculously glorified before setting out to suffer, a voice from heaven bears witness to Him, and “the goodly fellowship of the Prophets” waits on His glory.
The phrase φωνὴν γενέσθαι is freq. in Lk. (1:44, 9:35, 36; Acts 2:6, Acts 7:31, Acts 10:13, Acts 19:34). Elsewhere only Mark 1:2, Mark 1:9:7; John 12:30; Revelation 8:5, Comp. ἔρχεται φωνή, John 12:28; ἐξέρχεται φωνή, Revelation 16:17, Revelation 19:5.
Σύ. Responsio ad preces, ver. 21 (Beng.). The Σύ shows that the voice conveyed a message to the Christ as well as to the Baptist. Mk. also has Σὺ εἶ: Matthew 3:17 we have Οὗτός ἐστιν. Diversitas locutionum adhuc etiam utilis est, me uno modo dictum minus intelligatur (Aug.). In the narrative of the Transfiguration all three have Οὗτός ἐστιν.
The reference seems to be to Psalm 2:7; and here D and other important witnesses have Τἰός μου εἶ σύ, ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε. Augustine says that this was the reading of some MSS., “although it is stated not to be found in the more ancient MSS.” (De Cons. Evang. 2:14: comp. Enchir. ad Laurent. 49.). Justin has it in his accounts of the Baptism (Try. 88., 103.). In Mt. it is possible to take ὁ ἀγαπητός with what follows: “The beloved in whom I am well pleased”; but this is impossible here and in Mark 1:11, and therefore improbable in Mt. The repetition of the article presents the epithet as a separate fact: “Thou art My Son, My beloved one.” Comp. μοῦνος ἐὼν ἀγπητός (Hom. Obadiah 1:2:365). It is remarkable that St. John never uses ἀγαπητύς of Christ: neither in the Fourth Gospel nor in the Apocalypse does the word occur in any connexion.
εὐδόκησα “I am well pleased”: the timeless aorist. Comp. John 13:3. The verb is an exception to the rule that, except where a verb is compounded with a prep., the verbal termination is not retained, but one from a noun of the same root is substituted: e.g. ἀδυνατεῖν, εὐεργετεῖν, not ἀδύνασθαι, εὐεργάζεσθαι. Comp. καραδοκεῖν and δυσθνήσκειν, which are similar exceptions, Win. 16:5, p. 125.
The voice does not proclaim Jesus as the Messiah, as a legend would probably have represented. No such proclamation was needed either by Jesus or by the Baptist. The descent of the Spirit had told John that Jesus was the christ (John 1:33). This voice from heaven, as afterwards at the Transfiguration (9:35), and again shortly before the Passion (John 12:28), followed closely upon Christ’s prayer, and may be regarded as the answer to it. His humanity was capable of needing the strength which the heavenly assurance gave. To call this voice from heaven the Bath-Kol, of the Rabbis, or to treat it as analogous to it, is misleading. The Rabbinic Bath-Kol, or “Daughter-voice,” is regarded as an echo of the voice of God: and the Jews liked to believe that it had been granted to them after the gift of prophecy had ceased. The utterances attributed to it are in some vases so frivolous or profane, that the more intelligent Raobis denounced it as a superstition.
It has been pointed out that Lk. appears to treat the baptism of Jesus by John as a matter of course. Mt. tells us that the Baptist at first protested against it; and many writers have felt that it requires explanation. Setting aside the profane suggestions that Jesus was not sinless, and therefore needed “repentance baptism for remission of sins,” or that He was in collusion with John, we may note four leading hypotheses. 1. He wished to do honour to Joh_2. He desired to elicit from John a declaration of His Messiahship. 3. He thereby gave a solemn sign that He had done with home life, and was beginning His public ministry. 4. He thereby consecrated Himself for His work.—This last seems to be nearest to the truth. The other three would be more probable if we were expressly told that multitudes of spectators were present; whereas the reverse seems to be implied. John’s baptism was preparatory to the kingdom of the Messiah. For everyone else it was a baptism of repentance. The Messiah, who needed no repentance, could yet accept the preparation. In each case it marked the beginning of a new life. It consecrated the people for the reception of salvation. It consecrated the Christ for the bestowing of it (Neander, L. J. C. § 42 (5), Eng. tr. p. 68). But besides this it was a “fulfilment of righteousness,” a complying with the requirements of the Law. Although pure Himself, through His connexion with an unclean people He was Levitically unclean. “On the principles of O.T. righteousness His baptism was required” (Lange L. of C. i. p. 355).
In the Fathers and liturgies we find the thought that by being baptized Himself Jesus elevated an external rite into a sacrament, and consecrated the element of water for perpetual use. Baptizatus est ergo Dominus non mundari volens, sed mundare aquas (Ambr. on Luke 2:21, Luke 2:23). “By the Baptisme of thy wel beloved sonne Jesus Christe, thou dydest sanctifie the fludde Jordan, and al other waters to this misticall washing away of synne” (First Prayer-Book of Edw. 6:1549, Public Baptism); which follows the Gregorian address, “By the Baptism of Thine Only-begotten Son halt been pleased to sanctify the streams of water” (Bright, Ancient Collects, p. 161).
There is no contradiction between John’s “Comest Thou to me?” (Matthew 3:14) and “I knew Him not” (John 1:31, John 1:33). As a Prophet John recognized the sinlessness of Jesus, just as Elisha recognized the avarice and untruthfulness of Gehazi, or the treachery and cruelty of Hazael (2 Kings 5:26, 2 Kings 8:10-12); but until the Spirit descended upon Him, he did not know that He was the Messiah (Weiss, Leben Jesu, I. ii. 9, Eng. tr. i. p. 320). John had three main functions: to predict the coming of the Messiah; to prepare the people for it; and to point out the Messiah when He came. When these were accomplished, his work was nearly complete.
23-38. The Genealogy of Jesus Christ. Comp. Matthew 1:1-17. The literature is very abundant: the following are among the principal authorities, from which a selection may be made, and the names of other authorities obtained.
Lord A. Harvey, The Genealogies of our Lord and Saviour, Macmillan, 1853; J. B. McClellan, The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour, 1. PP. 408-422, Macmillan, 1875; W. H. Mill, Observations on the Application of Pantheisdc Principles to the Theory and Historic Criticism of the Gospel, pp. 147-218; D.B.2 art. “Genealogy”; D. of Chr. Biog. art. “Africanus”; Schaffs Herzog, art. “Genealogy”; Commentaries of Mansel (Speaker), Meyer, Schaff, on Mat_1.; of Farrar, Godet, M. R. Riddle, on Luk_3.
Why does Lk. insert the genealogy here instead of at the beginning of his Gospel? It would be only a slight exaggeration to say that this is the beginning of his Gospel, for the first three chapters are only introductory. The use of ἀρχόμενος here implies that the Evangelist is now making a fresh start. Two of the three introductory chapters are the history of the Forerunner, which Lk. completes in the third chapter before beginning his account of the work of the Messiah. Not until Jesus has been anointed by the Spirit does the history of the Messiah, i.e. the Anointed One, begin; and His genealogy then becomes of importance. In a similar way the pedigree of Moses is placed, not just before or just after the account of his birth (Exodus 2:1, Exodus 2:2), where not even the names of his parents are given, but just after his public appearance before Pharaoh as the spokesman of Jehovah and the leader of Israel (Exodus 6:14-27).
The statement of Julius Africanus, that Herod the Great caused the genealogies of ancient Jewish families to be destroyed, in order to conceal the defects of his own pedigree (Eus. H. E. i. 7. 13), is of no moment. If he ever gave such an order, it would of necessity be very imperfectly executed. The rebuilding of the temple would give him the opportunity of burning the genealogies of the priests, which were preserved in the temple archives, but pedigrees in the possession of private families would be carefully concealed. Josephus was able to give his own genealogy, as he “found it described in the public records”—ἐν ταῖς δημοσίαις δέλτοις ἀναγεγραμμένην (Vita, 1); and he tells us what great care was taken to preserve the pedigrees of the priests, not merely in Judæa, but in Egypt, and Babylon, and “whithersoever our priests are scattered” (Apion. 1:7). It is therefore an empty objection to say that Lk. could not have obtained this genealogy from any authentic source, for all such sources had been destroyed by Herod. It is clear from Josephus that, if Herod made the attempt, he did not succeed in destroying even all public records. Jews are very tenacious of their genealogies; and a decree to destroy such things would be evaded in every possible way. The importance of the evidence of Africanus lies in his claim to have obtained information from members of the family, who gloried in preserving the memory of their noble extraction; and in his referring both pedigrees as a matter of course to Joseph. It is not probable that Joseph was the only surviving descendant of David who was known to be such. But it is likely enough that all such persons were in humble positions, like Joseph himself, and thus escaped the notice and jealousy of Herod. Throughout his reign he took no precaution against Davidic claimants; and had he been told that a village carpenter was the representative of David’s house, he would possibly have treated him as Domitian is said to have treated the grandsons of Judas the brother of the Lord—with supercilious indifference (Eus. H. E. iii. 20).
23. αὐτός. “He Himself,” to whom these miraculous signs had reference: comp. 1:22; Matthew 3:4. The AV. translation of the whole clause, αὐτὸς ἦν Ἰησοῦς ἀρχόμενος ὡσεὶ ἐτῶν τριάκοντα, “Jesus Himself began to be about thirty years of age,” is impossible. It is probably due to the influence of Beza: incipiebat esse quasi annorum triginta. But Cranmer led the way in this error in the Bible of 1539, and the later versions followed. Purvey is vague, like the Vulgate: “was bigynnynge as of thritti year,”—erat incipiens quasi annorum triginta. Tyndale is right: “was about thirty yere of age when He beganne”; i.e. when He began His ministry in the solemn way just recorded. Comp. the use of ἀρξάμενος in Acts 1:22. In both cases διδάσκειν may be understood, but is not necessary. In Mark 4:1 we have the full expression, ἤρξατο διδάσκειν, which is represented in the parallel, Matthew 13:1, by ἐκάθητο. Professor Marshall has shown that ἤρξατο and ἐκάθητο may be equivalents for one and the same Aramaic verb (Expositor, April 1891): see on 5:21.
It is obvious that this verse renders little help to chronology. “About thirty” may be anything from twenty-eight to thirty-two,—to give no wider margin. It is certain that our era is at least four years too late, for it begins with a.u.c. 754. Herod the Great died just before the Passover a.u.c. 750, which is therefore the latest year possible for the Nativity. If we reckon the “fifteenth year” of ver. 1 from the death of Augustus, Jesus was probably thirty-two at the time of His Baptism.
ὤν υἰός ὡς ἐνομίζετο, Ἰωσήφ τοῦ Ἡλεί. This is the right punctuation: “being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph the son of Heli.” It is altogether unnatural to place the comma after Ἰωσήφ and not before it: “being the son (as was supposed of Joseph) of Heli”; i.e. being supposed to be the son of Joseph, but being really the grandson of Heli. It is not credible that υἱός can mean both son and grandson in the same sentence. J. Lightfoot proposed that “Jesus” (viz. υἱός, not υἱοῦ) should be understood throughout; “Jesus (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, and so the son of Heli, and so the son of Matthat,” etc. (Hor. Heb. on Luke 3:23). But this is not probable: see on τοῦ Θεοῦ (ver. 38).
It is evident from the wording that Lk. is here giving the genealogy of Joseph and not of Mary. It would have been quite out of harmony with either Jewish ideas or Gentile ideas to derive the birthright of seas from His mother. In the eye of the law Jesus was the heir of Joseph; and therefore it is Joseph’s descent which is of importance. Mary may have been the daughter of Heli; but, if she was, Lk. ignores the fact. The difference between the two genealogies was from very early times felt to be a difficulty, as is seen from the letter of Julius Africanus to Aristides, c. a.d. 220 (Eus. H. E. 1:7; Routh, Rel. Sacr. 2. P. 228); and it is probable that so obvious a solution, as that one was the pedigree of Joseph and the other the pedigree of Mary, would have been very soon advocated, if there had been any reason (excepting the difficulty) for adopting it. But this solution is not advocated by anyone until Annius of Viterbo propounded it, c. a.d. 1490. Yet see Victorinus (?) on Revelation 4:7 (Migne v. 324).
The main fact of the two genealogies are these. From Adam to Abraham Lk. is alone. From Abraham to David, Lk, and Mt. agree. From David to Joseph they differ, excepting in the names of Zorobabel and his father Salathiel. The various attempts which have been made at reconciling the divergences, although in no case convincingly successful, are yet sufficient to show that reconciliation is not impossible. Neverthcless, the possibility that we have here divergent attempts of Jewish pedigree-makers may be admitted; for divergent theories, corresponding to the two genealogies, existed at the time. In addition to the authorities named above, the monographs of Hottinger, Surenhusius, and Voss may be consulted. See also the parallel tables in Resch, Kindheitsev. p. 188.
27. τοῦ Ζοροβάβελ τοῦ Σαλαθιήλ. It is highly improbable that these are different persons from the Zerubbabel and the Shealtiel of Matthew 1:12. That at the same period of Jewish history there should be two fathers bearing the rare name Salathiel or Shealtiel, each with a son bearing the rare name Zerubbabel, and that both of these unusually-named fathers should come in different ways into the genealogy of the Messiah, is scarcely credible, although this hypothesis has been adopted by both Hottinger and Voss. Zerubbabel (= “Dispersed in Babylon,” or “Begotten in Babylon”) was head of the tribe of Judah at the time of the return from the Babylonish Captivity in the first year of Cyrus; and he was therefore an obvious person to include in the pedigree of the Messiah. Hence he was called the Rhesa or Prince of the Captivity. In 1 Chronicles 3:19 he is given as the son of Pedaiah and nephew of Shealtiel: and this is probably correct. But he became the heir of Shealtiel because the latter had no sons. In Matthew 1:12 and 1 Chronicles 3:17, Shealtiel is the son of Jechoniah, king of Judah; whereas Lk. makes him the son of Neri. Jeconiah. is called Coniah, Jeremiah 22:24, and Jehoiachin, 52:31; 2 Kings 24:6; 2 Chronicles 36:8, 2 Chronicles 36:9; and all three names mean “The Lord will establish.” From Jeremiah 22:30 we learn that he had no children; and therefore the line of David through Solomon became extinct in him. The three pedigrees indicate that an heir for the childless Jeconiah was found in Shealtiel the son of Neri, who was of the house of David through Nathan. Thus the junction of the two lines of descent in Shealtiel1 and Zerubbabel is fully explained. Shealtiel was the son of Neri of Nathan’s line, and also the heir of Jeconiah of Solomon’s line; and having no sons himself, he had his nephew Zerubbabel as adopted son and heir. Rhesa, who appears in Lk., but neither in Mt. nor in 1 Chron., is probably not a name at all, but a title, which some Jewish copyist mistook for a name. “Zerubbabel Rhesa,” or “Zerubbabel the Prince,” has been made into “Zerubbabel (begat) Rhesa.” This correction brings Lk. into harmony with both Mt. and 1 Chron. For (1) the Greek Ἰωανάς represents the Hebrew Hananiah (1 Chronicles 3:19), a generation which is omitted by Mt.; and (2) Lk.’s Ἰούδα is the same as Mt.’s Ἀβιούδ (Jud-a = Ab-jud). Again, Ἰούδα or Ἀβιούδ may be identified with Hodaviah (1 Chronicles 3:24); for this name is interchanged with Judah, as is seen by a comparison of Ezra 3:9 and Nehemiah 11:9 with Ezra 2:40 and 1 Chronicles 9:7.
36. Σαλὰ τοῦ Καινὰμ τοῦ Ἀρφαξάδ. In LXX this Cainan appears as the father of Sala or Shelah, and son of Arphaxad, in the genealogy of Shem (Genesis 10:24, Genesis 10:11:12; 1 Chronicles 1:18). But the name is not found in any Hebrew MS., or in any other version made from the Hebrew. In LXX it may be an insertion, for no one earlier than Augustine mentions the name. D omits it here, while א B L have the form Καινάμ for Καινάν. But the hypothesis that interpolation here has led to interpolation in LXX cannot be maintained upon critical principles.
38. Ἀδάμ. That Lk. should take the genealogy beyond David and Abraham to the father of the whole human race, is entirely in harmony with the Pauline universality of his Gospel. To the Jew it was all-important to know that the Messiah was of the stock of Abraham and of the house of David. Mt. therefore places this fact in the forefront of his Gospel. Lk., writing to all alike, shows that the Messiah is akin to the Gentile as well as to the Jew, and that all mankind can claim Him as a brother.1
But why does Lk. add that Adam was the son of God? Certainly not in order to show the Divine Sonship of the Messiah, which would place Him in this respect on a level with all mankind More probably it is added for the sake of Gentile readers, to remind them of the Divine origin of the human race,—an origin which they share with the Messiah. It is a correction of the myths respecting the origin of man, which were current among the heathen. Scriptura, etiam quod ad humani generis ortum pertinet, figit satiatque cognitionem nostram; eam qui spernunt aut ignorant, pendent errantque inter tempora antemundana et postmundana (Beng.). It is very forced and unnatural to take τοῦ Θεοῦ as the gen. of ὁ Θεός, and make this gen. depend upon ὤν υἱός at the beginning of the genealogy, as if Jesus and not Adam was styled the “son of God.” Thus the whole pedigree from ὡς ἐνομίζετο to Ἀδάμ would be a gigantic parenthesis between ὤν υἱός and τοῦ Θεοῦ. The τοῦ throughout belongs to the word in front of it, as is clear from the fact that Ἰωσήφ, the first name, has no τοῦ before it. Each τοῦ means “who was of,” i.e. either “the son of” or “the heir of.” Both AV. and RV. give the sense correctly.
1 For the chief data respecting the limits of our Lord’s life see Lft. Biblical Essays, p. 58, note; and on Lk.’s chronology in these verses see Ewald, Hist. of Israel, vi., Eng. tr. p. 149, and Lange. L. of C. bk. 2Pe_3. § 1, 1. p. 342.
D D. Cod. Bezae, sæc. vi. Given by Beza to the University Library at Cambridge 1581. Greek and Latin. Contains the whole Gospel.
1 Josephus says that David appointed Zadok high priest μετʼ Ἀβιαθάρου φίλος γὰρ ἦν αὐτῷ (Ant. 7:5, 4). See Lft. Biblical Essays, p. 163.
AV. Authorized Version.
RV. Revised Version.
D. B. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, 2nd edition.
1 “This part of John’s ministry, viz. his work as a reformer, Josephus has brought out prominently; while he has entirely failed to notice the indelible stamp of the Baptist’s labours left upon the history of the Theocracy” (Neander, L. J. C. § 34).
1 Lactantius, in writing de Pænitentia prefers resipiscentia as a better, although still inadequate, rendering. Is enim quem facti sui pænitet, errorem suum pristinum intelligit; ideoque Græci melius et significantius μετάνοιαν dicunt, quam nos latine possumus resipiscentiam dicere. Resipiscit enim at mentem suam quasi ab insania recipit, etc. (Div. Inst. 6:24, 6).
Trench, Trench, New Testament Synonyms.
Crem. Cremer, Lexicon of New Testament Greek.
1 Ewald says of the prophecy of which these verses form the introduction, that “it is not only the most comprehensive, but also, in respect of its real prophetic subject-matter, the weightiest piece of that time, and altogether one of the most important portions of the O.T., and one of the richest in influence for all future time. … It is especially the thought of the passing away of the old time, and the flourishing of the new, which is the life of the plece” (Prophets of O. T., Eng. tr. 4. pp. 244, 254; comp. pp. 257, 259).
Win. Winer, Grammar of N.T. Greek (the page refers to Moulton’s edition).
V. de J. Vie de Jésus.
Edersh. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
1 In the Passio S. Perpetuæ, iii., the martyr suffers much στρατιωτῶν συκοφαντίαις πλείσταις, and this is represented in the Latin by concussuræ militum, Comp. Tert. De Fuga in Pers. xii., xiii.
1 Comp. Mark 7:25; 1 Peter 2:24; Revelation 3:8, Revelation 3:7:2, Revelation 3:9, Revelation 3:13:8, Revelation 3:20:8. Such pleonasms are Hebraistic, and are specially common in LXX (Genesis 1:11; Exodus 35:29, etc.); Win. xxii. 4 (b), p. 184.
1 The wooden shovel, pala lignea (Cato, R. R. vi. 45. 151), ventilabrum (Varro, R. R. i. 52), seems to have been more primitive than the vannus, which was a basket, shaped like the blade of a large shovel. The πτύον was a shovel rather than a basket. In Tertullian (Præscrip. iii.) palam in manu portat ad purgandam aream suam is probably the true reading: but some MSS. have ventilabrum for palam.
2 The form διακαθᾶραι is worth noting: in later Greek ἐκάθᾱρα for ἐκάθηρα is not uncommon. Mt. here has διακαθαριεῖ, but classical writers prefer. διακαθαίρειν to διακαθαρίζειν.—For the details of Oriental threshing see Herzog, Pro_2 art. Ackerbau; D.B.2 art. “Agriculture.” For ἄχυρα comp. Job 21:18, and Hdt. iv. 72. 2; the sing. is less common (Jeremiah 23:28).
Eus. Eusebius of Cæsarea
§ Found in Luke alone.
Cod. Codex Amiatimus.
A A. Cod. Alexandrinus, sæc. v. Once in the Patriarchal Library at Alexandria; sent by Cyril Lucar as a present to Charles 1. in 1628, and now in the British Museum. Complete.
C. Cod. Ephraemi Rescriptus, sæc. 5. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the following portions of the Gospel: 1:2-2:5, 2:42-3:21, 4:25-6:4, 6:37-7:16, or 17, 8:28-12:3, 19:42-20:27, 21:21-22:19, 23:25-24:7, 24:46-53.
These four MSS. are parts of what were once complete Bibles, and are designated by the same letter throughout the LXX and N.T.
K K. Cod. Cyprius, sæc. ix. In the National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.
X X. Cod. Monacensis, sæc. ix. In the University Library at Munich. Contains 1:1-37, 2:19-3:38, 4:21-10:37, 11:1-18:43, 20:46-24:53.
1 Both forms of the name, Shealtiel and Salathiel, are found in Haggai and elsewhere in O.T.; but in the Apocrypha and N.T. the form used is Salathiel (“I have asked God”).
אԠא Cod. Sinaiticus, sæc. iv. Brought by Tischendorf from the Convent of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai; now at St. Petersburg. Contains the whole Gospel complete.
B B. Cod. Vaticanus, sæc. 4. In the Vatican Library certainly since 15331 (Batiffol, La Vaticane de Paul 3, etc., p. 86).
L L. Cod. Regius Parisiensis, sæc. viii. National Library at Paris. Contains the whole Gospel.
1 “In the one case we see a royal Infant born by a legal title to a glorinus inheritance; and in the other a ministering Saviour who bears the natural sum of human sorrow” (Wsctt. Int. to the Gospels, 7th ed. P. 316). The whole passage should be read.
Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
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;
And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.
Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?
And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.
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.
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,
Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,
Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,
Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,
Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,
Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,
Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,
Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,
Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,
Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,
Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.