Luke 11:53
And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:
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(53) And as he said these things unto them.—The better MSS. give, “When He had gone forth from thence . . . ,” as though Jesus had left the house after uttering the “woe” of Luke 11:52, and was followed by the crowd of angry and embittered disputants.

To provoke him to speak.—The Greek verb has literally the sense of “causing to speak impromptu, without thought,” and is happily enough rendered by the English text.

Luke 11:53-54. As he said these things, the scribes and Pharisees began to urge him — The freedom which Jesus now took with the Pharisee and his guests, provoked them exceedingly, for they were guilty of the crimes which he laid to their charge; and to be revenged, they urged him to speak upon a variety of topics relative to religion and government, hoping that he might let something drop which would render him either obnoxious to the magistrate or to the people.

11:37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.To urge him vehemently - To press upon him "violently." They were enraged against him. They therefore pressed upon him; asked him many questions; sought to entrap him, that they might accuse him.

Provoke him ... - This means that they put many questions to him about various matters, without giving him proper time to answer. They proposed questions as fast as possible, and about as many things as possible, that they might get him, in the hurry, to say something that would be wrong, that they might thus accuse him. This was a remarkable instance of their cunning, malignity, and unfairness.

53, 54. Exceedingly vivid and affecting. They were stung to the quick—and can we wonder?—yet had not materials for the charge they were preparing against Him.

provoke him, &c.—"to harass Him with questions."

Ver. 53,54. Herein the vile genius of these wretched men was seen, Christ was become their enemy because he told them the truth; his reproofs in order to their reformation and amendment do but fill them with madness against him. Nor are wicked and malicious men at any time fair enemies.

They urge him vehemently, and provoke him to speak of many things; they lie at the catch, in wait for him; hoping that in his many words, and answers to their many captious questions, they should hear something from him, upon which they might form an accusation against him to Pilate, the Roman governor, for his blood was that they thirsted after. If it were thus done to the green tree, let us not wonder if it be so done also to the dry. The hearts and practices of malicious and wicked men, in succeeding generations, do (as in a glass) answer the hearts of persons of their spirits and morals in preceding generations. Malice will never regard justice or equity.

And as he said these things unto them,.... Denounced the above woes upon them, charging them with the above crimes, and threatening them with divine vengeance:

the Scribes and Pharisees began to urge him vehemently; to fall upon him with their tongues, and express great rage, wrath, and virulence against him:

and to provoke him to speak of many things; they put questions to him, and urged him to answer them, and did all they could to irritate him to say things that they could improve against him, to draw words out of his mouth, and then wrest and pervert them.

{17} And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to {o} provoke him to speak of many things:

(17) The more the world is reprehended, the worse it is, and yet we must not betray the truth.

(o) They proposed many questions to him, to draw something out of his mouth which they might traitorously find fault with.

Luke 11:53-54. Κἀκεῖθεν ἐξελθόντος αὐτοῦ] (see the critical remarks) and when He had gone forth thence (from the Pharisee’s house, Luke 11:37).

As to the distinction between γραμματεῖς and νομικοί, see on Matthew 22:35. The νομικοί are included in the γραμματ. κ. Φαρισ. Comp. on Luke 11:45.

ἐνέχειν] not: to be angry (as usually interpreted), which would require a qualifying addition such as χόλον (Herod. i. 118, vi. 119, viii. 27), but: they began terribly to give heed to Him, which in accordance with the context is to be understood of hostile attention (enmity). So also Mark 6:19; Genesis 49:23; Test. XII. Patr. p. 682; in the good sense: Jamblichus, Vit. Pyth. 6.

ἀποστοματίζειν[151]] means first of all: to recite away from the mouth, i.e. by heart (Plat. Euthyd. p. 276 C, 277 A; Wetstein in loc.); then transitively: to get out of one by questioning (Pollux, ii. 102; Suidas: ἀποστοματίζειν φασὶ τὸν διδάσκαλον, ὅταν κελεύει τὸν παῖδα λέγειν ἄττα ἀπὸ στόματος). See Ruhnken, Tim. p. 43 f. So here; it is the ἀπαιτεῖν αὐτοσχεδίους κ. ἀνεπισκέπτους ἀποκρίσεις ἐρωτημάτων δολερῶν, Euthymius Zigabenus.

Luke 11:54. According to the corrected reading (see the critical remarks): while they lay in wait for Him, in order to catch up (to get by hunting) something out of His mouth. See instances of θηρεῦσαι in this metaphorical sense, in Wetstein.

[151] The Vulgate has os ejus opprimere, whereby it expresses the reading ἐπιστομίζειν, which still occurs in a few cursives. Luther follows the Vulgate.

Luke 11:53. The foregoing discourse, though toned down as compared with Mt., was more than the hearers could stand. The result is a more hostile attitude towards the free-spoken Prophet than the classes concerned have yet shown, at least in the narrative of Lk. They began δεινῶς ἐνέχειν, to be sorely nettled at Him (cf. Mark 6:19). Euthy. gives as equivalents ἐγκοτεῖν, ὀργίζεσθαι. The Vulgate has graviter insistere, to press hard, which A.V[112] and R.V[113] follow. Field (Ot. Nor.) decides for the former sense = the scribes and Pharisees began to be very angry.—ἀποστοματίζειν: Grimm gives three meanings—to speak from memory (ἀπὸ στόματος); to repeat to a pupil that he may commit to memory; to ply with questions so as to entice to offhand answers. In this third sense the word must be taken here as it is by Theophy. (and by Euthy.: ἀπαιτεῖν αὐτοσχεδίους καὶ ἀνεπισκέπτους ἀποκρίσεις ἐρωτημάτων δολερῶν = to seek offhand ill-considered answers to crafty questions).

[112] Authorised Version.

[113] Revised Version.

53. And as he said these things] Rather (with א, B, C, L), when He had gone forth from thence. The Pharisees in their anger followed Him.

to urge him vehemently] It is clear from this and the following verse that the Pharisee’s feast had been a base plot to entrap Jesus. None of His disciples seem to have been with Him, nor any of the people; and after these stern rebukes the Pharisees surrounded Him in a most threatening and irritating manner, in “a scene of violence perhaps unique in the Life of Jesus.

to provoke him to speak of many things] Perhaps “to cross-question Him,” or to catch words from His mouth about very many things. The classical sense of the verb apostomatizein is ‘to dictate.’

Luke 11:53. Δεινῶς, vehemently) Under this vehemence there was lurking a cunning design. See following verse.—ἀποστοματίζειν) Ἀποστοματίζω, I urge (whether myself or another), to give vent to [random or hasty] words from the mouth. With this comp. the following verse.

Verse 53. - And as he said these things unto them. The older authorities here, instead of these words, read, and when he was gone out from thence. Thus, after uttering the last "woe," Jesus appears abruptly to have risen and left the house of his Pharisee entertainers. A crowd of angry men, composed of scribes and lawyers and friends of the Pharisee party, appear to have followed the Galilaean Teacher, whose words just spoken had publicly shown the estimation in which he held the great schools of religious thought which then in great measure guided public Jewish opinion. From henceforth there could be only one end to the unequal combat. The bold outspoken Teacher must, at all hazards, be put out of the way.

Luke 11:53To urge him vehemently (δεινῶς ἐνέχειν)

See on Mark 6:19.

Provoke to speak (ἀποστοματίζειν)

Only here in New Testament. From ἀπό, from, and στόμα, the mouth. Originally to dictate to a pupil what he is to learn by heart. Thus Plato:" When the grammar-master dictated (ἀποστοματίζοι) to you" ("Euthydemus," 276). Hence to catechize, with the idea of putting words into Christ's mouth, and making him say what they wanted him to say.

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