If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Luke 11:11-12. If a son shall ask bread of any of you — Further to assist your faith on these occasions, reflect upon the workings of your own hearts toward your offspring. Let any of you, that is a father, and knows the heart of a father, a father’s affection to, and care for, a child, say, if his Song of Solomon ask bread to satisfy his hunger, will he give him a stone — In the shape of a loaf? or, If he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent — Which has some resemblance of a fish; or if he ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion — Which, instead of nourishing him, might sting him to death?
Naturalists tell us, that the body of a scorpion is very like an egg, especially if the scorpion be of the white kind, which is the first species mentioned by Ælian, Avicenna, and others. Bochart has produced testimonies to prove that the scorpions in Judea were about the bigness of an egg; and therefore there, a white scorpion being very like an egg, might to children, who were not capable of distinguishing the one from the other, be offered in place thereof, if the person so doing meant that it should sting and destroy them. These different instances are mentioned by Jesus, in order that the doctrine which he is here inculcating might make the stronger impression upon his hearers. See on Matthew 7:9-11.Matthew 7:7-11.See Poole on "Luke 11:10"
will he give him a stone? should he do so, he would show that his heart was as hard, or harder than the stone he gives:
or if he ask a fish, will he, for a fish, give him a serpent? And endeavour to deceive him by the likeness of the one to the other, especially some sort of fish, which would poison or sting him, but not refresh and nourish him: such inhuman brutish parents are not surely to be found; See Gill on Matthew 7:9, Matthew 7:10.If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 11:11-13. Comp. on Matthew 7:9-11. Still on the hearing of prayer, but now in respect of the object petitioned for, which is introduced by the particle δέ expressing transition from one subject to another.
The construction here also is an instance of anacoluthon (comp. on Luke 11:5), so that the sentence is continued by μὴ λίθον κ.τ.λ., as if instead of the question a conditional protasis (as at Luke 11:12) had preceded.
τὸν πατέρα] Whom of you will his son ask as his father for a loaf?
ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ δώσει] Attraction, instead of ὁ ἐν οὐρανῷ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ δώσει. See on Luke 9:61, and Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 323 [E. T. 377].
πνεῦμα ἅγιον] this highest and best gift; a more definite, but a later form of the tradition than that which is found in Matthew. Comp. the critical remarks on Luke 11:2.Luke 11:11. τίνα δὲ: δὲ introduces a new parabolic saying: which of you, as a father, shall his son ask? etc. In the T.R. Lk. gives three examples of possible requests—Mt.’s two: a loaf, and a fish, and a third, an egg. Cod. B omits the first (W.H put it on the margin).—ᾠόν, σκορπίον: in the two first instances there is resemblance between the thing asked and supposed to be given: loaf and stone, fish and serpent; in Lk.’s third instance also, the σκορπίος being a little round lobster-like animal, lurking in stone walls, with a sting in its tail. The gift of things similar but so different would be cruel mockery of which almost no father would be capable. Hens were not known in ancient Israel. Probably the Jews brought them from Babylon, after which eggs would form part of ordinary food (Benziger, Heb. Arch., p. 94).
 Westcott and Hort.Luke 11:11. Τίνα—τὸν πατέρα) The article τὸν has in this passage a force less definite: there is an Apposition [Of what man who is a father will his son ask bread, etc.].—δὲ, but) There is a gradation (ascending climax) from a friend to a parent: and yet in this case also there is added the How much more, in Luke 11:13.—ἰχοὺν, a fish) viz. αἰτήσει, shall ask.—ἀντὶ ἰχθύος, for a fish) The child might take (mistake) a serpent or snake for a fish.
 So spiritually also, in estimating things.—ED. and TRANSL.Verse 11. - If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? The Master keeps on adducing instances of the loving Fatherhood of God. All the while men were thinking hard things of him and his sovereignty. "Children," urged the Savior, "such things, such a cruel part as you would in your dark sad thoughts ascribe to the loving heavenly Father, is simply unthinkable in the case of earthly parents. They never really turn a deaf ear to their children's pleading; think you that your Father which is in heaven will refuse to listen to you when you indeed call on him?"
The A. V. renders as though the pronoun were indefinite; but it is interrogative and commences the sentence. Rev., therefore, rightly, of which of you that is a father, etc.
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