Luke 11:4
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
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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.For we also forgive ... - This is somewhat different from the expression in Matthew, though the sense is the same. The idea is, that unless we forgive others, God will not forgive us; and unless we come to him "really" forgiving all others, we cannot expect pardon. It does not mean that by forgiving others we "deserve" forgiveness ourselves, or "merit it," but that this is a disposition or state of mind without which God cannot consistently pardon us.

Every one that is indebted to us - Every one that has "injured" us. This does not refer to pecuniary transactions, but to offences similar to those which "we" have committed against God, and for which we ask forgiveness. Besides the variations in the "expressions" in this prayer, Luke has omitted the doxology, or close, altogether; and this shows that Jesus did nor intend that we should always use just this "form," but that it was a general direction how to pray; or, rather, that we were to pray for these "things," though not always using the same words.

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.Ver. 4 See Poole on "Luke 11:2" And forgive us our sins,.... Beza's most ancient copy reads "debts", as in See Gill on Matthew 6:12; and which best agrees with the phrase "indebted", after mentioned:

for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; See Gill on Matthew 6:12, Matthew 6:13. The doxology there used, and the word "Amen", are here omitted. Some of the petitions in this prayer are not delivered in the very same words as they are in Matthew. The three first petitions are word for word the same; for though the third petition is different in our translation, it is the same in the original. The fourth and fifth vary: in Matthew the fourth is, "give us this day our daily bread"; here in Luke, "give us day by day our daily bread." The fifth in Matthew is, "and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"; here, "and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us". And these verbal variations, though the sense is the same, together with the omission of the doxology, and the word "Amen", show, that this prayer was not designed to be an exact form, and to be so used, but as a directory of prayer. I have, in my notes See Gill on Matthew 6:9 &c. shown the agreement there is between the petitions in this prayer, and some that were made use of among the Jews; and have supposed that our Lord took notice of such petitions, which the good people among the Jews frequently used; and which he approved of, and singled out, and put them into the order and method in which they stand, with some alterations for the better, to be a directory to his disciples and followers. Which to suppose, I apprehend, does not at all countenance the making and using stinted forms of prayer; since the petitions used by good men among the Jews, were not used as forms of prayer, but what they were led unto by the Spirit of God from common and constant experience to make use of; just as we may observe now, that good people in different parts, who use no form of prayer, nor have ever heard one another pray, and yet make use of the same petitions, and almost, if not altogether, in the selfsame words, their wants, necessities, cases, and circumstances being the same; and these frequently returning, oblige to a repeated use of them, in the same words, or near unto them. And though forms of prayer might not be in use among the Jews in the times of Christ, yet it is easy to account for it, how Christ came to be acquainted with the petitions in general use with good men; since not only he is God omniscient, and knows all the prayers of his people, both in public and private; but, as man, must know what were used, by his attendance on public worship, and by the private communion he had with the saints and children of God. It must indeed be owned, that forms of prayer very early obtained among the Jews; and if not in Christ's time, yet in the times of his apostles. There is frequent mention (h) of the eighteen prayers in the times of Gamaliel, the master of the Apostle Paul; and of a nineteenth composed by one of his disciples (i), Samuel the little, who is thought, by some, to be Saul himself, whilst he was a scholar of his; and which is directed against the heretics, or Christians, as they were called by the Jews; and this easily accounts for, how the petitions of the ancient good men among the Jews came to be put with others into their forms of prayer, where we now find them. For that they should take these petitions from this directory of Christ's, is not reasonable to suppose, considering their implacable enmity against him. Moreover, supposing, but not granting, that these petitions which our Lord took, and put into this order, for the use and instruction of his disciples, had been used by good men as forms of prayer, it will not justify the use of forms by any authority of Christ, or as being agreeably to his will; since it is certain, that however these petitions were used by good men before, our Lord never designed they should be used as an exact, precise form of prayer by his disciples; seeing there are several variations in them as here delivered, from what they are as they stand in Matthew; whereas, had they been intended as a stinted form, they would have been expressed in the selfsame words: and moreover, to approve of here and there a petition, which for their matter are excellently good, and to approve of them all together, as a form, are two different things: to which may be added, that though there is an agreement between the petitions, as used by the Jews, and those our Lord directs to; yet there are some variations and alterations much for the better, which destroy the form of them.

(h) Misn. Beracot, c. 4. sect. 3. T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 28. 2. T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 65. 3. Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 7. sect. 7. (i) T. Bab. Beracot, ib. Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 2. sect. 1, 2. Gauz. Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 25. 2.

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
Luke 11:4. ἁμαρτίας: for Mt.’s ὀφειλήματα, but it is noticeable that the idea of sins is not introduced into the second clause. Lk. avoids making our forgiving and God’s parallel: we forgive debts, God sins. Whether the debts are viewed as moral or as material is not indicated, possibly both.—On the whole, vide Mt.Luke 11:4. Καὶ γὰρ, for also) The for denotes here the removal of an obstruction in the way of prayers being heard, not a meritorious cause. Great as is the brevity of this prayer in Luke, yet a petition is set down in it for the remission of our debts or sins.Verse 4. - And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. Unforgiving is unforgiven. Nothing apparently more easy to frame with the lips, and to desire intensely with the heart, than this petition that the Father would forgive us our sins, only, in praying the prayer, how many forget, or at least slur over, the condition of that forgiveness - a condition they impose themselves! We forget the ten thousand talents as we exact the hundred pence, and, in the act of exacting, we bring back again the weight of the great debt on ourselves. And lead us not into temptation. The simple meaning of this concluding petition in St. Luke's report of the prayer is, "Thou knowest, Father, how weak I am; let me not be tempted above that I am able." Forgive

See on Luke 3:3; and James 5:15.

Sins (ἁμαρτίας)

See on Matthew 1:21. Compare debts, Matthew 6:12.

That is indebted

Matthew's debts appears here.

Lead (εἰσενέγκῃς)

Rev. gives "bring us not," which, besides being a more accurate rendering of the word (εἰς, into, φέρω, to bear or bring), avoids the invidious hint of seducing or enticing which attaches to lead. James tells us that God does not tempt any man (James 1:13); but the circumstances of a man's life often, indeed always, involve possibilities of temptation. A caution is written even over the door of God's own house (Ecclesiastes 5:1). God also sends trials to prove and chasten us; but something may change the salutary power of trial into the corrupting power of evil solicitation; and that something, as James tells us (James 1:14), is our own evil desire. God tempteth no man; but "every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed." We pray, therefore, "suffer us not to be drawn away by our own lusts: keep us out of the power of our own evil hearts. Thou knowest our frame, and rememberest that we are dust. Remember our weakness. What thou imposest we would not shun. What thou dost not impose, keep us from seeking. Forbid that our evil desire should convert our temptable condition into actual temptation. Keep us out of situations in which, so far as we can judge, it would be beyond our present strength to keep from sinning." It is not a coward's prayer. No man is a coward for being afraid of his own heart. It marks the highest quality of courage to know what to be afraid of and to fear it. To pray that God will not bring us within the possibility of temptation, would be to ignore our manhood, or to pray to be taken out of the world. But we may pray, and will surely pray, the more keenly conscious we become of the weakness of our nature, that God will not suffer the trials of life to become temptations to evil.


See on Matthew 6:13.

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