Luke 10:1
After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.
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(1) After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also.—Some MSS. of importance give “seventy-two,” but the evidence preponderates in favour of the reading “seventy.” The number had a threefold significance. (1) Seventy elders had been appointed by Moses to help him in his work of teaching and judging the people (Numbers 11:16), and to these the spirit of prophecy had been given that they might bear the burden with him. In appointing the Seventy our Lord revived, as it were, the order or “school” of prophets which had been so long extinct. The existence of such men in every Church is implied in well-nigh every Epistle (e.g., Acts 13:1; Acts 15:32; 1Corinthians 12:28; 1Corinthians 14:29; 1Thessalonians 5:20), and the fact that St. Paul and others join together the “Apostles and Prophets” as having been jointly the foundation on which the Church was built (Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:11; 2Peter 3:2), makes it probable that the latter words, no less than the former, pointed in the first instance to a known and definite body. The Seventy presented such a body. They, though not sharers in the special authority and functions of the Twelve, were yet endowed with like prophetic powers, and the mysteries of the kingdom were revealed to them (Luke 10:21). (2) As the Sanhedrin or great Council of scribes and priests and elders consisted of seventy members besides the president, the number having been fixed on the assumption that they were the successors of those whom Moses had chosen, our Lord’s choice of the number could hardly fail to suggest the thought that the seventy disciples were placed by Him in a position of direct contrast with the existing Council, as an assembly guided, not by the traditions of men, but by direct inspiration. (3) But the number seventy had come to have another symbolical significance which could not fail to have a special interest. Partly by a rough reckoning of the names of the nations in Genesis 10, partly on account of the mystical completeness of the number itself, seventy had come to be the representative number of all the nations of the world; and so, in the Feast of Tabernacles, which in any harmonistic arrangement of the Gospel narrative must have almost immediately preceded the mission of the Seventy (see Note on John 7:2), a great sacrifice of seventy oxen was offered as on behalf of all the non-Israelite members of the great family of mankind (Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr. in Joann. 7). Bearing this in mind, and remembering the words that our Lord had spoken during that feast as to the “other sheep, not of that fold” (John 10:16), which He had come to gather, we may see in what is here recorded a step full of meaning, a distinct and formal witness of the future universality of the Church of Christ. The omission, in the charge addressed to them, of the command given to the Twelve against entering into the way of the Gentiles or any city of the Samaritans (Matthew 10:5) is on this view full of interest.

The question, of course, occurs to us how it was that such a mission should have been omitted by St. Matthew and St. Mark. To this, only partial answers can be given. (1) The mission belonged to the last period of our Lord’s ministry, where their records are comparatively scanty, and was confined to the region, apparently of Peræa and Judæa, which He was then about to visit. (2) It was one in which, from the nature of the case, the Twelve were not sharers, and which, therefore, naturally came to occupy a less prominent place in the recollections of those from whom the narratives of the first two Gospels were primarily derived.



Luke 10:1 - Luke 10:11
, Luke 10:17 - Luke 10:20.

The mission of the Seventy is clearly distinguished from and contrasted with that of the Twelve by the word ‘others’ in verse 1, which points back to Luke 9:1. The Twelve were prohibited from going beyond Jews; the Seventy were under no such restriction, and were probably sent to the half-Gentile districts on the east of Jordan. The number of twelve had reference to the number of the tribes; that of seventy may have referred to the number of the elders, but it has also been suggested that its reference is to the supposed number of the nations. The appointment of the Twelve was to a permanent office; that of the Seventy to a transitory mission. Much of the charge given to either is given to both, as is most natural, since they had the same message, and both were sent to prepare for Christ’s personal ministry. But though the Seventy were sent out but for a short time, permanent principles for the guidance, not only of Christian workers, but of all Christian lives, are embodied in the charge which they received.

We note, first, that all personal service should be preceded by intense realisation of the immense field, and of the inadequacy, of Christian effort, which vision will culminate in prayer for more toilers to be ‘sent forth.’ The word implies a certain measure of compulsion, for an overmastering impulse is always needed to overcome human reluctance and laziness. No man has ever done large service for God who has not felt that, like the prophet, he was laid hold of by the Spirit, and borne away, whether he would or no. ‘I must speak,’ is felt by every true messenger of God. The prayer was answered by the sending of the pray-ers, as it often is. Note how Jesus implies that He is Lord of the harvest, in that His sending them is the answer to the petition. Note, too, the authority which He claims to exercise supreme sovereignty over the lives of men. He has the right to fling them into deadly peril for no other purpose than to proclaim His name. Lambs, ringed round by wolves with white, gleaming teeth, have little chance of life. Jesus gives His servants full warning of dangers, and on the very warning builds an exhortation to quiet confidence; for, if the sentence ends with ‘lambs in the midst of wolves,’ it begins with ‘I send you forth,’ and that is enough, for He will defend them when He seeth the wolf coming. Not only so, but He will also provide for all their needs, so they want no baggage nor money, nor even a staff. A traveller without any of these would be in poor case, but they are not to carry such things, because they carry Jesus. He who sends them forth goes with them whom He sends. Now, this precept, in its literal form, was expressly abolished afterwards {Luke 22:36}, but the spirit of it is permanent. If Christ sends us, we may trust Him to take care of us as long as we are on His errands.

Energetic pursuit of their work, unimpeded by distractions of social intercourse, is meant by the prohibition of saluting by the way. That does not mean churlish isolation, but any one who has ever seen two Easterns ‘saluting’ knows what a long-drawn-out affair it is. How far along the road one might have travelled while all that empty ceremony was being got through! The time for salutations is when the journey is over. They mean something then. The great effect of the presence of Christ’s servants should be to impart the peace which they themselves possess. We should put reality into conventional courtesies. All Christians are to be peacemakers in the deepest sense, and especially in regard to men’s relations with God. The whole scope of our work may be summed up as being to proclaim and bring peace with God, with ourselves, with all others, and with circumstances. The universality of our message is implied in the fact that the salutation is to be given in every house entered, and without any inquiry whether a ‘son of peace’ is there. The reflex blessedness of Christian effort is taught in the promise that the peace, vainly wished for those who would not receive it, is not wasted like spilt water, but comes back like a dove, to the hand of its sender. If we do no other person good, we bless ourselves by all work for others.

The injunctions as to conduct in the house or city that receives the messengers carry two principles of wide application. First, they demand clear disinterestedness and superiority to vulgar appetites. Christ’s servants are not to be fastidious as to their board and lodging. They are not to make demands for more refined diet than their hosts are accustomed to have, and they are not to shift their quarters, though it were from a hovel to a palace. The suspicion that a Christian worker is fond of good living and sensuous delights robs his work of power. But the injunction teaches also that there is no generosity in those who hear the message giving, and no obligation laid on those who deliver it by their receiving, enough to live and work on. The less we obviously look for, the more shall we probably receive. A high-minded man need not scruple to take the ‘hire’; a high-minded giver will not suppose that he has hired the receiver to be his servant.

The double substance of the work is next briefly stated. The order in which its two parts stands is remarkable, for the healing of the sick is put first, and the proclamation of the nearness of the kingdom second. Possibly the reason is that the power to heal was a new gift. Its very priority in mention may imply that it was but a means to an end, a part of the equipment for the true and proper work of preaching the coming of the kingdom and its King. At all events, let us learn that Jesus wills the continual combination of regard to the bodily wants and sicknesses, and regard to the spiritual needs of men.

The solemn instructions as to what was to be done in the case of rejection breathe a spirit the reverse of sanguine. Jesus had no illusions as to the acceptance of the message, and He will send no man out to work hiding from him the difficulties and opposition probably to be encountered. Much wisdom lies in deciding when a field of labour or a method of work should be abandoned as hopeless-for the present and for the individual worker, at all events. To do it too soon is cowardice; to delay it too long is not admirable perseverance, but blindness to plain providences. To shake off the dust is equivalent to severing all connection. The messenger will not bring away the least thing belonging to the city. But whatever men’s unbelief, it does not affect the fact, but it does affect their relation to the fact. The gracious message was at first that ‘the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you,’ but the last shape of it leaves out ‘unto you’: for rejection of the word cuts off from beneficial share in the word, and the kingdom, when it comes, has no blessing for the unbelieving soul.

The return of the Seventy soon followed their being sent forth. They came back with a childish, surprised joy, and almost seem to have thought that Jesus would be as much astonished and excited as they were with the proof of the power of His name. They had found that they could not only heal the sick, but cast out demons. Jesus’ answer is meant to quiet down their excitement by teaching them that He had known what they were doing whilst they were doing it. When did He behold Satan fall from heaven? The context seems to require that it should be at the time when the Seventy were casting out demons. The contest between the personal Source of evil and Jesus was fought out by the principals, not by their subordinates, and it is already victoriously decided in Christ’s sight. Therefore, as the sequel of His victory, He enlarges His gifts to His servants, couching the charter in the words of a psalm {Psalm 91:1 - Psalm 91:16}. Nothing can harm the servant without the leave of the Master, and if any evil befall him in his work, the evil in the evil, the poison on the arrow-head, will be wiped off and taken away. But great as are the gifts to the faithful servant, they are less to be rejoiced in than his personal inclusion among the citizens of heaven. Gifts and powers are good, and may legitimately be rejoiced in; but to possess eternal life, and to belong to the mother-city of us all, the New Jerusalem, is better than all gifts and all powers.

Luke 10:1. The Lord appointed other seventy also — Or rather, seventy others, as ετερους εβδομηκοντα, should certainly be translated; for the expression, other seventy, implies that seventy had been sent before, which certainly was not the fact, (those sent before being no more than twelve,) nor is it implied in the Greek. So inconsiderable a difference in the words makes a great alteration in the sense. “The scene of Christ’s ministry being, from this time forth, to lie in Judea, and the country beyond Jordan, it was expedient that his way should be prepared in every city and village of those countries whither he was to come. He therefore sent out seventy of his disciples on this work, mentioning the particular places which he intended to visit, and in which they were to preach; whereas, the twelve had been allowed to go where they pleased, provided they confined their ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Luke is the only evangelist who has given us this account of Christ’s sending out the seventy; and it is the less to be wondered at, that he should do it so particularly, if the ancient tradition be true, which Origen and Epiphanius have mentioned, that he was himself one of the number. It is remarkable that our Lord assigns the same reason for the mission of the seventy which he had assigned for the mission of the twelve disciples. The harvest was plenteous in Judea and Perea, as well as in Galilee, and the labourers there also were few. Hence his exhortation, Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth (Greek, εκβαλλη, thrust out) labourers. For God alone can do this: he alone can qualify and commission men for this work, and incline them to undertake it.

10:1-16 Christ sent the seventy disciples, two and two, that they might strengthen and encourage one another. The ministry of the gospel calls men to receive Christ as a Prince and a Saviour; and he will surely come in the power of his Spirit to all places whither he sends his faithful servants. But the doom of those who receive the grace of God in vain, will be very fearful Those who despise the faithful ministers of Christ, who think meanly of them, and look scornfully upon them, will be reckoned as despisers of God and Christ.After these things - After the appointment of the twelve apostles, and the transactions recorded in the previous chapters.

Other seventy - Seventy others besides the apostles. They were appointed for a different purpose from the apostles. The apostles were to be with him; to hear his instructions; to be witnesses of his miracles, his sufferings, his death, his resurrection and ascension, that they might "then" go and proclaim all these things to the world. The seventy were sent out to preach immediately, and chiefly where he himself was about to come. They were appointed for a temporary object. They were to go into the villages and towns, and prepare the way for his coming. The number "seventy" was a favorite number among the Jews. Thus, the family of Jacob that came into Egypt consisted of seventy, Genesis 46:27. The number of elders that Moses appointed to aid him was the same, Numbers 11:16, Numbers 11:25. The number which composed the great Sanhedrin, or council of the nation. was the same. It is not improbable that our Saviour appointed this number with reference to the fact that it so often occurred among the Jews, or after the example of Moses, who appointed seventy to aid him in his work; but it is evident that the office was "temporary" - that it had a specific design - and of course that it would be improper to attempt to find now a "continuation" of it, or a parallel to it, in the Christian ministry.

Two and two - There was much wisdom in sending them in this manner. It was done, doubtless, that they might aid one another by mutual counsel, and that they might sustain and comfort one another in their persecutions and trials. Our Lord in this showed the propriety of having "a religious friend," who would be a confidant and help. Every Christian, and especially every Christian minister, needs such a friend, and should seek some one to whom he can unbosom himself, and with whom he can mingle his feelings and prayers.


Lu 10:1-24. Mission of the Seventy Disciples, and Their Return.

As our Lord's end approaches, the preparations for the establishment of the coming Kingdom are quickened and extended.

1. the Lord—a becoming title here, as this appointment was an act truly lordly [Bengel].

other seventy also—rather, "others (also in number), seventy"; probably with allusion to the seventy elders of Israel on whom the Spirit descended in the wilderness (Nu 11:24, 25). The mission, unlike that of the Twelve, was evidently quite temporary. All the instructions are in keeping with a brief and hasty pioneering mission, intended to supply what of general preparation for coming events the Lord's own visit afterwards to the same "cities and places" (Lu 10:1) would not, from want of time, now suffice to accomplish; whereas the instructions to the Twelve, besides embracing all those to the Seventy, contemplate world-wide and permanent effects. Accordingly, after their return from this single missionary tour, we never again read of the Seventy.Luke 10:1-12 Christ sendeth out the seventy disciples to work

miracles and to preach.

Luke 10:13-16 He pronounces a woe against Chorazin, Bethsaida, and


Luke 10:17-20 The seventy return with joy; Christ showeth them

wherein to rejoice.

Luke 10:21,22 He thanks his Father for having revealed his gospel

to the simple only.

Luke 10:23,24 He showeth the blessedness of those that were called

into his church.

Luke 10:25-37 He teacheth a lawyer how to attain eternal life; and

by the parable of the good Samaritan showeth whom we

are to consider as our neighbour.

Luke 10:38-42 He commendeth Mary’s attention to his doctrine in

preference to Martha’s busy care to entertain him.

We heard before of Christ’s first electing, then sending out, twelve, Luke 6:13-16 9:1-6; and we heard of their return, and giving an account of their trust to their Lord, Luke 10:10. What their particular account was we no where read, but it was such as our Saviour judged the harvest too great for the hands of the labourers. He therefore now resolves to send out seventy more. The names of these we have not in the evangelist, only that Christ sent them out, and that he sent them

two and two, which might be for their better mutual assistance of each other, and also for their mutual testimony one for another. When God sent out the first conductors, and governors of his people, he sent two, Moses and Aaron. John Baptist sent two of his disciples to Christ. Christ sent two of his disciples to prepare the passover, Luke 22:8. There seemeth to be nothing mysterious in this. Man is a sociable creature, and it is not good for him to be alone. We cannot determine that our Saviour had any regard to the numbers of twelve and seventy; though it is certain that both those numbers amongst the Jews seem to have had a more than ordinary character, twelve being the number of the tribes of Israel, according to the promise, Genesis 17:20 49:28; at Elim they found twelve wells of water, Exodus 15:27; according to the number of the tribes were the twelve pillars, Exodus 24:4, and the twelve stones in the breastplate of judgment, Exodus 28:21; and the number of the cakes for the shew bread was to be twelve, Leviticus 24:5. The princes of Israel were twelve, Numbers 1:44; and twelve men were sent to spy out the land of Canaan, Deu 1:23. So we shall observe that in a multitude of things they kept to the number of twelve: John in his description of the new Jerusalem, which he saw in his vision, says, it had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates were the names of the twelve tribes, Revelation 21:12. And the wall had twelve foundations, &c., Luke 10:14. And for the number of seventy: Jacob’s family, when they went down into Egypt, were seventy souls, Genesis 46:27; they mourned for Jacob seventy days, Genesis 50:3; at Elim they met with seventy palm trees, Numbers 33:9; the posterity of Jacob was in Babylon seventy years. The Jewish sanhedrim, or great court chosen upon the advice of Jethro, is said to have consisted first of seventy, then of seventy-two persons. So as the numbers of twelve and seventy seem to have been numbers to which the Jews had some respect. Whether our Saviour, in the choice of those whom he first sent to preach the gospel, had any respect or not to the Jewish value for those numbers, or designed by it to show them, that he was about to set up a new kingdom and government, which, though differing from what they had exercised formerly, yet in some little things should have some conformity to them, we cannot determine. We shall find the same powers and authority given to these seventy as to the twelve, and the same instructions: how some come to imagine a difference of order betwixt them I cannot tell; no such thing appeareth from the instructions given the one or the other upon their first sending out.

After these things,.... After the calling and mission of the twelve apostles, and giving them their powers, commissions, and instructions, with other things that followed thereon; Luke 9:1

the Lord appointed other seventy also; not that he had appointed before seventy, and now made an appointment of seventy more; but as the Syriac version renders it, "Jesus separated out of his disciples, seventy others" that is, besides the twelve, whom he chose and called out, from among the multitude of the disciples, and ordained them apostles, he selected and ordained seventy others, in allusion to the seventy elders of Israel, Numbers 11:16. The Vulgate Latin and Persic versions read, "seventy two", and so does Epiphanius (x). The Jewish sanhedrim is sometimes said to consist of seventy one (y), and sometimes of seventy two (z); though commonly said to be of the round number seventy, as these disciples might be. The above mentioned ancient writer gives the names of some of them, as the seven deacons; Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas; together with Matthias, Mark, Luke, Justus, Barnabas, Apelies, Rufus, and Niger. The names of all these disciples, according to ancient traditions, though not to be depended on, are given in an alphabetical order, with the places where they afterwards presided as bishops, or pastors, by a late learned writer (a), and are as follow, viz. Agabus, the prophet; Amphias, of Odyssus, sometimes called Amphiatus; Ananias, who baptized Paul, bishop of Damascus; Andronicus, of Pannonia, or Spain; Apelies, of Smyrna, or, according to others, of Heraclea; Apollo, of Caesarea; Aristarchus, of Apamea; Aristobulus, of Britain; Artemas, of Lustra; Asyncritus, of Hyrcania; Barnabas, of Milgin; Barnabas, of Heraclea; Caesar, of Dyrrachium; Caius, of Ephesus; Carpus, of Berytus, in Thracia; Cephas, bishop of Konia; Clemens, of Sardinia; Cleophas, of Jerusalem; Crescens, of Chalcedon, in Galatia; Demas, a priest of idols; Epaenetus, of Carthage; Epaphroditus, of Andriace; Erastus, of Paneas, or, according to others, of the Philippians; Evodus, of Antioch; Hermas, of Philippi, or Philippolls; Hermes, of Dalmatia; Hermogenus and Phygellus, who followed Simon Magus; Hermogenus, bishop of the Megarenes; Herodion, of Tarsus; James, the brother of our Lord, of Jerusalem; Jason, of Tarsus; Jesus Justus, bishop of Eleutheropolis: Linus, of Rome; Luke, the evangelist: Lucius, of Laodicea, in Syria; Mark, who is also John, of Biblopohs, or Byblus; Mark the evangelist, bishop of Alexandna; Mark, the sister's son of Barnabas, bishop of Apolloma; Matthias, added to the apostles; Narcissus, of Athens; Nicanor, he died when Stephen suffered martyrdom; Nicolaus, of Samaria; Olympius, a martyr at Rome; Onesiphorus, bishop of Corone; Parmenas, of the Soli, Patrobulus, the same with Patrobas, in Romans 16:14 of Puteoli, or as others, of Naples; Philemon, of Gaza; Philemon (in the Acts he is called Philip), by whom the eunuch of the queen of Ethiopia was baptized, of Trallium, of Asia; Philologus, of Sinope; Phlegon, bishop of Marathon; Phygellus, of Ephesus; Prochorus, of Nicomedia, in Bithynia; Pudens; Quartus, of Berytus; Rhodion, a martyr at Rome; Rufus, of Thebes; Silas, of Corinth; Sylvanus, of Thessalonica; Sosipater, of Iconium; Sosthenes, of Colophon; Stachys, of Byzantium; Stephen, the first martyr; Tertius, of Iconium; Thaddaeus, who carried the epistle of Jesus to Edessa, to Abgarus; Timon, of Bostra, of the Arabians; Trophimus, who suffered martyrdora with the Apostle Paul; Tychicus, bishop of Chalcedon, of Bithynia; Tychicus, of Colophon; Urbanus, of Macedonm; and, Zenas, of Diospolis. According both to this account, and Epiphanius, Luke was one of these seventy, and he is the only evangelist that makes mention of the appointment of them:

and sent them two and two before his face: as he did the twelve before, to be his harbingers and forerunners:

into every city and place, whither he himself would come: which he intended to visit: he sent them beforehand to acquaint the inhabitants of it; and prepare them by their ministry, for the reception of him; as John the Baptist, who was in a more eminent sense the harbinger and forerunner of Christ, went before him in his ministry, and prepared the way for him.

(x) Contr. Haeres. haeres. 20. (y) Maimon. Hilchot Sanhedrim, c. 1. sect. 3.((z) Misn. Yadim, c. 3. sect. 5. Aben Ezra in Numbers 11. 25. (a) Fabricii lux Evangelii, p. 115, 116, &c.

After {1} these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

(1) The seventy are sent as the second forewarners of the coming of Christ.

Luke 10:1. The appointment and mission of the Seventy are transferred by Luke to this last journey of Christ, and are narrated as if they were supposed by the author to have some reference to Luke 9:52 (ἀπέστειλεναὐτοῦ). Hence: καὶ ἑτέρους, which does not refer to the Twelve (Bleek and others), but to the intimation, which is nearer to it, both in place and meaning, in Luke 9:52; and μετὰ ταῦτα, which points back to Luke 9:57-62, although de Wette regards the reference as obscure and inappropriate. With arbitrary erroneousness Olshausen says that in this communication there is adopted a fragment from an earlier period, and that μετὰ ταῦτα is not chronological (after this, see Luke 5:27, Luke 18:4), but besides (following Schleiermacher, p. 169).

ἀνέδειξεν] renuntiavit, He announced them as nominated, Acts 1:24; 2Ma 9:25; 2Ma 10:11; 2Ma 14:26; 2 Maccabees 3 Esdr. Luke 1:37, Luke 2:3; occurs often in the classical writers; comp. ἀνάδειξις, Luke 1:80.

ἑβδομήκοντα] In accordance with the apostolic number of twelve, so far as this had reference to the tribes of the people, it is probable that Jesus had in view the ancient Hebrew analogue of the seventy (originally seventy-two) elders of the people (see Ewald, Alterth. p. 284 f.; Saalschütz, Mos. R. p. 39). It is unlikely that there is any reference to the Gentile nations numbering seventy, according to Genesis 10. (Eisenmenger, Entdeckt. Judenthum, II. p. 3, 736 f.; Gieseler, Versuch, p. 128), since there is no mention at all of any destination for the Gentiles (a subject on which Luke, least of all, would have been silent; in opposition to Olshausen, de Wette, Bleek, Gieseler, and others, especially Baur and his school, Köstlin also); nay, according to Luke 9:53-56, and according to the particulars of the journey, Samaria should not at all be regarded (in opposition to Wieseler, p. 326 f., Baur, and others) as the theatre of their ministry. Moreover, no reference is to be assumed (as with Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Valla, and others) to the seventy palm-trees of Exodus 15:27.

οὗ] see Winer, p. 419 [E. T. 592]. Lange, II. p. 1057 f., is wrong in explaining: into the places which He had Himself previously designed to visit; that Jesus, namely, sent the Seventy through Samaria; that He Himself did not make this circuit, but that, nevertheless, He was not willing to give up the Samaritan people (as representatives of the seventy Gentile nations), and therefore determined to convey the gospel to them by means of the Seventy. Against this invention of a “generous revenge,” πρὸ προσώπου αὐτοῦ and the imperfect ἤμελλεν are decisive. In general it is a mistake to assume that the mission of the Seventy went beyond the bounds of Judaism—on which assumption Baur and his school base the supposed Pauline tendency of the narrative. The region of the Samaritans is scarcely trodden before it is again forsaken, Luke 9:56, prior to the appointment of the Seventy. Weiss in the Stud. u. Krit. 1861, p. 711, is right in saying: “Of any appointment of the seventy disciples for Samaria, or for the heathen world at all, there is not a single word said.” Comp. Holtzmann, p. 393.


The narrative of the Seventy has been relegated into the unhistorical domain by Strauss, de Wette, Gfrörer (Jahr. d. Heils, II. p. 371), Theile (z. Biogr. J. p. 51 f.), von Ammon (L. J. II. p. 355 ff.), Baur (Evang. p. 498 ff.), Schwegler, Bruno Bauer, Köstlin, Zeller, Ritschl, and others. But (1) as they accept the position that this was only a temporary and special appointment for the present journey, and not a permanent function, Luke 10:1, the silence of the rest of the evangelists, who indeed have not in general the detailed thread of this journey, as well as the silence of the subsequent history about their doings, is very easy to understand.—(2) That Jesus in general had around Him a larger circle of constant disciples, besides the Twelve, from whom He could appoint seventy for a special commission, is in itself, and from the evidence of such passages as Acts 1:15; Acts 1:21, 1 Corinthians 15:6, as well as John 6:60, not to be doubted.—(3) The tradition would hardly have restrained itself within these narrow limits, but would have gone further than simply to allow the Seventy to be appointed and sent forth, and then to return and vanish; and would especially have passed over into the apostolic history.—(4) That Jesus gave them a commission similar to that which He gave the Twelve, arose from the similar character of their temporary relation, in respect whereof, moreover, it is to be conceded that the tradition involuntarily mingles elements out of the two commissions.[126] (5) If the narrative had been, as has been supposed (see especially Baur, Evang. p. 435 ff., 498 ff.), an invention of the author, intended typically to keep the apostolic call of Paul in incessant contrast with that of the Twelve, it would have been just as necessary as it was easy to the inventor to relate what they did, or at least to inweave into the commission characteristic references to the ministry of Paul, yet these are entirely wanting (comp. rather Luke 24:47 f.; Acts 1:8); moreover, the Acts of the Apostles would not have been perfectly silent about the Seventy. In like manner as Baur, Köstlin also, p. 267 f., judges, deriving the narrative, as an account typically prefiguring the mission to the heathen,[127] from the supposed Gospel of Peter, without, however, acquiescing in the opposition to the Twelve asserted by Baur. Ewald (Evang. p. 285, Gesch. Chr. p. 349), with whom in substance Holtzmann, p. 392 f., agrees, refers the narrative to a later period, in which the gradual disappearance of the Twelve gave to the Lord’s remaining companions so much more importance, that what was at first true only of the Twelve was involuntarily transferred to a wider circle; comp. also Weizsäcker, p. 161 f., 409 f. But against this also the reasons specified under 1–4 hold good. Ewald, in his Gesch. d. Apost. Zeitalt. p. 158, supposes that they belonged to the hundred and twenty persons mentioned in Acts 1:15.

The purpose of the mission was not in any way to further the personal faith of those who were sent (Hase, p. 200; Krabbe, p. 306), but, as is evident from the commission itself (see especially Luke 10:9), to prepare, by miraculous cures and by preaching, for the imminent advent of the Messiah. This entire journey of Jesus was intended to afford the people an opportunity for a final decision before the Lord’s departure from what had up to this time been His field of action, and to be in every quarter that Messianic entry which culminated in the final entry into Jerusalem. This function of forerunners, which, according to Luke 10:1, was held in that respect by the Seventy, is at variance neither with Luke 10:7, which assumes no relatively long sojourn, but only forbids the change of quarters, nor with the return at Luke 10:17, which was necessary for pointing out the route of the journey.

The source from which Luke derived the section is none other than that of the entire narrative of the journey (see on Luke 9:51). That he gave to a fragment of the Logia “an expansion of the original title, from a mere calculation of what was probable,” is too hastily concluded by Holtzmann, p. 146.

[126] According to Baur, elements of the commission given to the Twelve are transferred tendentially by the evangelist to the discourse to the Seventy, in order to give the preference to the latter, as being the true and genuine disciples. Comp. also Baur, Das Christenthum der drei ersten Jahrh. p. 76 f.; Hilgenfeld, Evang. p. 183 ff. See, in general, against such supposed tendencies of Luke in regard to the primitive apostles, Holtzmann, p. 394 f.; Weiss, p. 709 ff. Weizsäcker, p. 163, rightly emphasizes the fact that it is just these sayings which, in an eminent measure, must have been the common property of tradition.

[127] Comp. Weizsäcker, p. 409.

Luke 10:1-12. The Seventy sent forth, peculiar to Lk. Many questions have been raised as to this narrative, e.g., as to its historicity, as to the connection between the instructions to the new missionaries and those to the Twelve, and as to the time and place of their election, and the sphere of their mission. On these points only the briefest hints can be given here. As to the first, the saying about the paucity of labourers, found also in Mt. (Matthew 9:38), implies that Jesus was constantly on the outlook for competent assistants, and that He would use such as were available. The cases mentioned in the closing section of last chapter confirm this inference. Whether He would send them out simultaneously in large numbers, twelve, or seventy, or piecemeal, one or more pairs now, and another small group then, is a matter on which it is precarious to dogmatise, as is done by W. Grimm when he says (Das Proemium des Lucas-Evang.) that Jesus did not send out twelve all at once, but two and two now and then, and besides the Twelve others of the second order, and that these piecemeal missions consolidated in the tradition into two large ones of twelve and seventy. As to the instructions: there would be such in every instance, and they would be substantially the same whether given once, twice, or twenty times, summed up in a few compact sentences, so racy and memorable as to be easily preservable even by oral tradition. It is, however, quite probable that versions of these instructions were to be found in documents, say in Mk. and in Mt.’s Logia; and Lk., as Weiss suggests, may have taken the instructions to the Twelve from the former, and those to the Seventy from the latter. Finally, as to time, place, and sphere, nothing certain can be determined, and there is room for various conjectures. Hahn, e.g., suggests, as the place of the appointment, Jerusalem; the time, the feast of tabernacles, mentioned in John 7:2; and the sphere of the mission, the towns and villages of Judaea or southern Palestine. There was certainly need for a mission there. The mission of the Twelve was in Galilee.

Luke 10:1-24. The Mission of the Seventy.

1. After these things] i.e. after finally leaving Galilee, and starting on His great Peraean progress.

other seventy also] Rather, also others (besides the Twelve) seventy in number. Some MSS. read seventy-two (B, D, M, &c.). The number had evident reference to the Elders of Moses (Numbers 11:16), where there is the same variation; the Sanhedrin; and the Jewish belief (derived from Genesis 10) as to the number of the nations of the world. The references to Elim with its 12 wells and 70 palm-trees are mere plays of allegoric fancy.

two and two] The same merciful provision that we see in the brother- pairs of the Twelve.

into every city, &c.] Clearly with the same object as in Luke 9:52. It may have been all the more necessary because hitherto He had worked less in the Transjordanic regions.

Luke 10:1. Μετὰ ταῦτα, after these things) i.e. after proving those who were fit for the embassy or the contrary, of whom three are mentioned in ch. Luke 9:57, et seqq.—ἀνέδειξεν, declared or designated) as His ambassadors [Engl. Vers. appointed].—ὁ Κύριος, the Lord) There is described in this passage an act truly worthy of the Lord [Luke 10:2-3; Luke 10:9; Luke 10:11].—ἐτέρους, others) [of whom the embassy was not indeed of loner continuance, but yet was of such a nature as to be very nearly approximating to the apostolical office, so as that also not a few of them might be able in subsequent times to establish the testimony concerning Jesus Christ. Nay, indeed, individuals among them, who had seen and heard Jesus, as well as also through the faith which they entertained towards Him, testified concerning Him, had something analogous, according to their position (in their own sphere), to the eminence of the apostles themselves.—Harm., p. 391]. The kingdom of God is always acquiring more strength, and good undertakings have a tendency to growth: especially the prophetical office of Christ was not without speedy fruits appearing. The number increased from twelve to seventy, then to five hundred and more; see 1 Corinthians 15:6.—ἑβδομήκοντα, seventy) L. Valla remarks: “We observe the number both of the apostles and of the disciples prefigured by the Lord in the books of Moses, by the twelve fountains and seventy palms in the desert [Exodus 15:27]. Therefore we ought to read here seventy [not seventy-two]: which was also the number of those upon whom God bestowed a portion of the spirit which was in Moses [Numbers 11:16-17].” Valla finds fault with the Latin of the Vulgate, which has “septuaginta duos.” The word δύο follows within four words after ἑβδομήκοντα, [ἀνὰ δύο.] It would seem that some very ancient transcriber hastily transferred the word δύο from thence to this place. Or else Luke wrote the accurate number, seventy-two, in the first verse, and then in the seventeenth verse wrote in round numbers seventy: and so others set down in both verses either seventy or seventy-two.[91]—[καὶ ἀπέστειλεν, and sent them) It is not said that power was granted to these, as to the Twelve, to heal the sick and to cast out demons (comp. Luke 10:17, note).—V. g.]—ἀνὰ δύο, two by two) There were thus thirty-five or else thirty-six pairs.—οὗ ἔμελλεν αὐτὸς ἔρχεσθαι, whither He Himself was about to come) So, when the apostles preceded the Lord, those who wished to hear and to be healed, were able to flock together to Christ from the localities on both sides, adjoining the route through which they were directing their journey.—[δεήθητε οὖν, pray ye then) By this precept Jesus forthwith provoked the longing desires of the workmen, as also their prayers, and satisfied those prayers.—V. g.]

[91] The δύο, which Lachm. brackets, and Tisch. omits, is supported by BDacd, Amiat. the oldest MS. and other MSS. of Vulg. and Hil. But Ab and Cod. Fuldensis of the Vulg. Iren. 200, and, in express words, 146, support ἑβδομήκοντα without δύο. In Luke 10:17, all the best MSS. of Vulg. have the ‘duo.’ But otherwise the same authorities respectively support the opposite readings.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verses 1-24. - The mission of the seventy. The Lord's words to them of instruction and direction and warning. Verse 1. - After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also. That is to say, after the events just related which had taken place in the north of the Holy Land. "Alter these things" formally began the solemn marches in the direction of Jerusalem, which ended, as we have stated, in the last Passover. Roughly speaking, the seventy were first sent out about the October of the last year of the public ministry. The manuscripts vary between seventy and seventy two. The preponderance of authority is in favour of seventy. The Sanhedrin numbered seventy-one. The elders appointed by Moses were seventy. There was a Jewish saying also that the number of peoples on earth were seventy or seventy-two. Fourteen descended from Japhet, thirty from Ham, twenty-six from Shem. In the 'Clementine Recognitions,' a writing of the first half of the third century, the number of peoples is given as seventy-two. The Fathers dwell on the sacred symbolism of the desert-wanderings especially mentioned at Elim - "twelve wells and seventy palm trees," alluding to the two groups of Christ-sent missionaries, the twelve apostles and the "seventy" here mentioned. Two and two. As in the case of his apostles sent forth previously, for mutual help and comfort. Before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. By their means, as the time left him was now so short, all the needful preparations should be made before he personally visited the place. Villages and towns, too, where his presence was found, as in the case of the Samaritan village, unwelcome, would be thus carefully noted, and no time would needlessly be lost. Luke 10:1Appointed (ἀνέδειξεν)

Used by Luke only. Lit., to lift up and shew, as Acts 1:24 : "Shew which one thou hast chosen." Hence to proclaim any one elected to an office. See on the kindred noun, shewing, Luke 1:80.

Other seventy

Wrong; for he had not appointed seventy previously. Rev., rightly, seventy others, with reference to the twelve.

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