And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Likewise a Levite.—The passage is memorable as the only mention of Levites in the Gospels. He is represented as at once better and worse than the priest—better in that he does not altogether turn aside, but “comes” and looks; worse in that his second thoughts are at variance with his first, and prevail against them. If he has more light, he also sins more against it. He, too, may have been coming, like the priest, from his week of service in the Temple.Numbers 8:5-22; 1 Chronicles 23:3-5, 1 Chronicles 23:24-32; 1 Chronicles 24:27-31.
Came and looked on him - It is remarked by critics, here, that the expression used does not denote, as in the case of the priest, that he accidentally saw him and took no farther notice of him, but that he came and looked on him more attentively, but still did nothing to relieve him.
saw him—It was not inadvertently that he acted.
came and looked—a further aggravation.
passed by—although the law expressly required the opposite treatment even of the beast not only of their brethren, but of their enemy (De 22:4; Ex 23:4, 5; compare Isa 58:7).See Poole on "Luke 10:30"
came and looked on him; and that was all; but neither spoke a comfortable word, nor administered any relief to him, or in the least assisted him:
and passed by on the other side; as the priest had done before him: by the "priest" may be meant, the moral law, and by the Levite the ceremonial law; and so by both, the whole law of Moses; and intimates, that no mercy is to be expected from thence: the law makes no abatement in its demands, nor any allowance for the fall and weakness of man: nor is it become milder under the Gospel dispensation; nor will it accept of an imperfect, though sincere obedience, in the room of a perfect one; and is deaf to all repentings, cries, and tears: no relief is to be had from thence, for a naked, wounded, and dead man; no robe of righteousness to cover a naked soul; for by the law is the knowledge of sin, but not a justifying righteousness by the deeds of it: for the deeds of the law, performed by sinful men, are impure and imperfect; and were they pure and perfect, they would be unprofitable, and could not justify in the sight of God from former sins; for could they, they would establish boasting, and disannul the death of Christ, and frustrate the grace of God; and therefore righteousness cannot be by the law, that leaves a man as naked as it finds him: nor is there any healing by it to a wounded conscience; there is no pity from it, no justification by it, no pardon through it, no expiation or atonement of sin, by obedience to it; no word of comfort is spoken by it; so far from it, that when it comes with power, it opens the wounds of sin, fills the conscience with wrath and terror, destroys all the man's former hopes of happiness, and leaves him where it found him; without healing him itself, or pointing out a physician to him: much less can it give life to a dead sinner: spiritual life is not communicated by it, nor can eternal life, or any true hope of it, be attained through it; it is so far from it, that it is the killing letter, and the ministration of condemnation and death.And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 10:32. Observe the climax in the description—having reached the place (in question), he went, when he had come (approached) and seen (the state of the case), by on the other side. On γενόμ. κατά, comp. Herod. iii. 86: ὡς κατὰ τοῦτο τὸ χωρίον ἐγένοντο; Xen. Cyrop. vii. 1. 14, and elsewhere. Comp. Luke 10:33.Luke 10:32. ὁμοίως Λευίτης ἀντιπ., likewise a Levite … passed by, the repetition of ἀντιπαρῆλθεν has a rhetorical monotony suggestive of the idea: such the way of the world—to pass by, “in nine cases out of ten that is what you may expect” (The Parabolic Teaching of Christ, p. 348).32. came and looked on him] This vivid touch shews us the cold curiosity of the Levite, which was even baser than the dainty neglect of the Priest. Perhaps the Priest had been aware that a Levite was behind him, and left the trouble to him: and perhaps the Levite said to himself that he need not do what the priest had not thought fit to do.
By choosing Galatians 3:16-23 as the Epistle to be read with this Gospel (13th Sunday after Trinity) the Church indicates her view that this Parable implies the failure of the Jewish Priesthood and Law to pity or remove the misery and sin of man.Verse 32. - And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. They both, priest and Levite, shrank from the trouble and expense of meddling with the poor victim of the robbers; perhaps a cowardly fear of being identified with the robbers was mixed with these feelings. The whole of their conduct was inhuman, but not unnatural; alas! how faithfully is it copied by multitudes of men and women professing Christianity now! The Levite's conduct was better and worse than his official superior's - better, in that he did feel a little pity, and stopped to look, no doubt compassionately, on the sufferer; and worse, because he selfishly strangled the noble impulse in its birth, and passed on to his own place without so much as throwing a cloth over the poor maimed body to shelter it from the scorching sun, or the cold night dew.
Rev., saw. Seeming to imply that the Levite went farther than the priest in coming near to the wounded man, and, having observed his condition, passed on.
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