Luke 11:3
Give us day by day our daily bread.
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11:1-4 Lord, teach us to pray, is a good prayer, and a very needful one, for Jesus Christ only can teach us, by his word and Spirit, how to pray. Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, stir up and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; teach me what I should say. Christ taught them a prayer, much the same that he had given before in his sermon upon the mount. There are some differences in the words of the Lord's prayer in Matthew and in Luke, but they are of no moment. Let us in our requests, both for others and for ourselves, come to our heavenly Father, confiding in his power and goodness.See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 6:9-13.3. day by day, &c.—an extension of the petition in Matthew for "this day's" supply, to every successive day's necessities. The closing doxology, wanting here, is wanting also in all the best and most ancient copies of Matthew's Gospel. Perhaps our Lord purposely left that part open: and as the grand Jewish doxologies were ever resounding, and passed immediately and naturally, in all their hallowed familiarity into the Christian Church, probably this prayer was never used in the Christian assemblies but in its present form, as we find it in Matthew, while in Luke it has been allowed to stand as originally uttered. See Poole on "Luke 11:2"

Give us day by day our daily bread. Or "for the day"; or "every day", as the Syriac version renders it; See Gill on Matthew 6:11 Give us {a} day by day our daily bread.

(a) That is, as much as is needed for us this day, by which we are not prevented from having an honest care for the maintenance of our lives; but that complaining care, which kills a number of men, is cut off and restrained.

Luke 11:3. τὸ καθʼ ἡμέραν, daily, for Mt.’s σήμερον, this day, is an alteration corresponding to the καθʼ ἡμέραν in the Logion concerning cross-bearing (Luke 9:23).—δίδου, for δὸς, is a change necessitated by the other.

3. Give us day by day our daily bread] The prayer (i) acknowledges that we are indebted to God for our simplest boons; (ii) asks them for all; (iii) asks them only day by day; and (iv) asks for no more, Proverbs 30:8; John 6:27. St Luke’s version brings out the continuity of the gift (Be giving day by day); St Matthew’s its immediate need (Give to-day). The word rendered ‘daily’ is epiousion, of which the meaning is much disputed. For a brief discussion of its meaning, see Excursus IV.; but that this prayer is primarily a prayer for needful earthly sustenance has been rightly understood by the heart of mankind.

our sins] ‘Trespasses’ is not in our Bible, but comes, as Dr Plumptre notices, from Tyndale’s version. St Matthew uses the word ‘debts,’ which is implied in the following words of St Luke: “For indeed we ourselves remit to every one who oweth to us.” Unforgiving, unforgiven, Matthew 18:34-35; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13. The absence of any mention here of the Atonement or of Justification is, as Godet observes, a striking proof of the authenticity of the prayer. The variations are, further, a striking proof that the Gospels are entirely independent of each other.

lead us not into temptation] God permits us to be tempted (John 17:15; Revelation 3:10), but we only yield to our temptations when we are “drawn away of our own lust and enticed” (James 1:14). But the temptations which God permits us are only human (ἀνθρώπινοι), not abnormal or irresistible temptations, and with each temptation He makes also the way to escape (καὶ τὴν ἔκβασιν, 1 Corinthians 10:13). We pray, therefore, that we may not be tried above what we are able, and this is defined by the following words: Our prayer is, Let not the tempting opportunity meet the too susceptible disposition. If the temptation comes, quench the desire; if the desire, spare us the temptation. See on Luke 4:2.

but deliver us from evil] Rather, from the Evil One. The article, it is true, would not necessitate this translation, but it seems to be rendered probable by the analogy of similar prayers among the Jews. The last three clauses for daily bread, forgiveness, and deliverance, cover the past, present, and future. “All the tones of the human breast which go from earth to heaven, sound here in their key-notes” (Stier). There is no doxology added. Even in St Matthew it is (almost certainly) a liturgical addition, and no real part of the Lord’s Prayer.

Luke 11:3. Τὸ καθʼ ἡμέραν) Comp. Acts 6:1.

Verse 3. - Give us day by day our daily bread. There would need no comment upon this - at first sight - quite simple prayer, but for the word ἐπιούσιος, rendered "daily." This word, in all Greek literature, occurs only in these two evangelists, in SS. Matthew and Luke's report of the Lord's Prayer. Now, does this strange word mean "daily," as our translation gives it; or is it the rough Greek rendering of some Aramaic word of a loftier signification? Most probably our Lord was speaking Aramaic in this place, far away from the capital, in the heart of Palestine. Jerome attempts to Latinize literally the Greek compound word with supersubstantialis; hence the Rheims Version renders it "supersubstantial," and Wickliffe "over other substance." Generally speaking, the patristic expositors interpret this famous word in such a way that the petition prays, not for the common bread of everyday life, but for a spiritual food, even the Bread from heaven, which giveth life unto the world. So, with unimportant differences, interpret Origen, Tertullian, Cyril of Jerusalem, Athanasius, Ambrose, and Augustine. Among the moderns who adopt the same view may be cited Olshausen, Stier, and Dean Plumptre. The last-named scholar's words are an admirable answer to any who would abandon this higher and nobler meaning, for the sake of preserving the reference to the commonplace of everyday life. "So taken, the petition.., raises us to the region of thought in which we leave all that concerns our earthly life in the hands of our Father, without asking him even for the supply of its simplest wants, seeking only that he would sustain and perfect the higher life of our spirit." If, however, the interpretation (on the whole unlikely) of common, everyday bread, be accepted, and the simple reference of Luke 10:42 to the necessity for only one dish at table be adopted, then, with the charge to the seventy contained in Luke 10:7, to eat and drink "such things as they give," and the further instruction to "take no thought... what ye shall eat" (Luke 12:22), we have, in this last period of our Lord's public life, clear expressions on the part of the Master of his wish that his followers should ever content themselves with the simplest human food, avoiding not only all excess, but all extravagance, and even consideration and thought, in providing for anything beyond the simplest daily sustenance. Luke 11:3Daily bread (τὸν ἄρτον τὸν ἐπιούσιον)

Great differences of opinion exist among commentators as to the strict meaning of the word rendered daily. The principal explanations are the following:

1. From ἐπιέναι, to come on. Hence,

a. The coming, or to-morrow's bread.

b. Daily: regarding the days in their future succession.

c. Continual.

d. Yet to come, applied to Christ, the Bread of life, who is to come hereafter.

2. From ἐπί and οὐσία, being. Hence,

a. For our sustenance (physical), and so necessary.

b. For our essential life (spiritual).

c. Above all being, hence pre-eminent, excellent.

d. Abundant.

It would be profitless to the English reader to go into the discussion. A scholar is quoted as saying that the term is "the rack of theologians and grammarians." A satisfactory discussion must assume the reader's knowledge of Greek. Those who are interested in the question will find it treated by Tholuck ("Sermon on the Mount"), and also very exhaustively by Bishop Lightfoot ("On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament"). The latter adopts the derivation from ἐπιέναι, to come on, and concludes by saying, "the familiar rendering, daily, which has prevailed uninterruptedly in the Western Church from the beginning, is a fairly adequate representation of the original; nor, indeed, does the English language furnish any one word which would answer the purpose so well." The rendering in the margin of Rev. is, our bread for the coming day. It is objected to this that it contradicts the Lord's precept in Matthew 6:34 :, not to be anxious for the morrow. But the word does not necessarily mean the morrow. "If the prayer were said in the evening, no doubt it would mean the following day; but supposing it to be used before dawn, it would designate the day then breaking" (the coming day). "And further, if the command not to be anxious is tantamount to a prohibition against prayer for the object about which we are forbidden to be anxious, then not only must we not pray for to-morrow's food, but we must not pray for food at all; since the Lord bids us (Matthew 6:25) not to be anxious for our life" (Lightfoot, condensed).

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