Luke 12:54
And he said also to the people, When you see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway you say, There comes a shower; and so it is.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(54-56) When ye see a cloud rise out of the west.—See Notes on Matthew 16:2. The differences in form are, however, noticeable enough to suggest the impression here also of like teaching at a different time. In St. Matthew the words come as an answer to the demand for a sign, here without any such demand; there the signs are the morning and the evening redness of the sky, here the cloud in the west and the south wind blowing. It is, however, probable enough that the like answer was called forth by a like occasion.

Luke 12:54-56. And he said to the people — Namely, to the unbelieving multitude, which on this occasion was gathered together, and stood around him: When ye see a cloud, &c. — As if he had said, The perverseness which I have spoken of, as about to take place when my gospel is more fully and universally preached, already shows itself in your overlooking so many proofs of the Messiah’s appearance among you, while you discover such sagacity in your observations with respect to other things. For when you see a cloud rise out of the west — Or coming from that quarter; ye say, There cometh a shower Ομβρος, a heavy shower, and so it is: it happens as foretold. The Mediterranean sea lying west from Judea, the clouds and showers usually came from that quarter. See 1 Kings 18:44-45. And when ye see the south wind blow — From the deserts of Arabia, and other hot climates; ye say, There will be heat Καυσων, sultry or scorching heat; and it cometh to pass — Your conjecture is verified. The wind which came from the southward of Judea, blowing over the hot sands of Arabia and Egypt, occasioned, as it still does, a great heat in the air. Those which are called the hot winds in that climate are so hot that they bring on fainting and difficulty of breathing. Ye hypocrites — Who pretend to ask for a further sign, as if you were really desirous to know whether I be or be not a divine teacher; ye can discern the face of the sky — So as to foretel the changes in the weather before they come; but how is it that ye do not discern this time — This season of the Messiah’s coming, distinguishable by so many surer signs. He meant both the time of the Messiah’s appearing on earth to accomplish the salvation of mankind, according to the ancient prophecies, and also the time of his coming to destroy the Jewish nation, which he had described under the similitude of one who comes secretly and unexpectedly to rob a house.12:54-59 Christ would have the people to be as wise in the concerns of their souls as they are in outward affairs. Let them hasten to obtain peace with God before it is too late. If any man has found that God has set himself against him concerning his sins, let him apply to him as God in Christ reconciling the world to himself. While we are alive, we are in the way, and now is our time.See the notes at Matthew 16:2-3.

South wind - To the south and southwest of Judea were situated Arabia, Egypt, and Ethiopia, all warm or hot regions, and consequently the air that came from those quarters was greatly heated.

How is it that ye do not discern this time! - You see a cloud rise, and predict a shower; a south wind, and expect heat. These are regular events. So you see my miracles; you hear my preaching; you have the predictions of me in the prophets; why do you not, in like manner, infer that "this is the time" when the Messiah should appear?

Lu 12:54-59. Not Discerning the Signs of the Time.

54. to the people—"the multitude," a word of special warning to the thoughtless crowd, before dismissing them. (See on [1653]Mt 16:2, 3).

Ver. 54-56. We met with a discourse of the same nature; See Poole on "Matthew 16:2", See Poole on "Matthew 16:3". The sense of our Saviour is, that God by his prophets had given them more certain signs and revelations of the coming of the Messiah, and of the nature of his kingdom, and the effects and consequences of it, than were written in nature of any natural effects; and upbraids their stupid ignorance and unbelief, that they could give credit to and discern the latter and not the former, whereas the former were much more certain. And he said also to the people,.... For what Christ had before said, were chiefly, if not solely, directed to his disciples; but now he turned himself to the innumerable multitude that were about him, and particularly addressed himself to the Scribes and Pharisees that were among them:

when ye see a cloud rise out of the west; the watery vapours being attracted by the heat of the sun, out of the Mediterranean Sea, which lies west of the land of Judea, and formed into a cloud, and drove by the wind:

straightway ye say there comes a shower; as soon as it is seen, it is presently concluded and affirmed, that a very heavy shower will soon fall, it having been frequently observed so to do, when this has been the case:

and so it is; for the most part, there commonly follows a large shower on such an appearance, and they were seldom mistaken in their conclusions.

{14} And he said also to the people, When ye see a cloud {n} rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is.

(14) Men who are very quick to see with regard to earthly things are blind with regard to those things which pertain to the heavenly life, and this through their own malice.

(n) Which appears, and gathers itself together in that part of the air.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 12:54-56. See on Matthew 16:2 f. The reason of those hostile separations, spoken of in Luke 12:52 f., lay, on the part of the people in whose bosom they were sure to arise, in the mistaking of the Messianic period as such. Hence the rebuke that now follows is addressed to the people; it is otherwise in the historical connection that appears in Matthew. Still the significant saying, in different forms, may have been uttered on two different occasions.

τὴν νεφέλην] the cloud, which shows itself.

ἀπὸ δυσμ.] therefore from the region of the sea. Comp. 1 Kings 8:44, and see Robinson, Pal. II. p. 305.

εὐθέως] so undoubted it is to you.

Luke 12:55. νότον πνέοντα] scil. ἴδητε, to wit, in the objects moved by it.

Luke 12:56. ὑποκριταί] see on Matthew 16:3. Not unsuitable as an address to the people (de Wette), but it has in view among the people, especially through pharisaical influence (Luke 12:1), the untrue nature (the ὑπόκρισις) which, as such, made them blind to the signs of the times!

τὸν δὲ καιρὸν τοῦτον] but this season, the phenomena of which so unmistakeably present to you the nearness of the Messiah’s kingdom (and Jesus Himself as the Messiah), how is it possible that ye should leave it so unexamined?Luke 12:54-59. A final word to the crowd (cf. Matthew 16:2 f., Luke 5:25 f.).—τοῖς ὄχλοις: in Mt. Jesus speaks to the Pharisees and Sadducees, in reply to their demand for a sign, which gives a more definite occasion. But the words might quite appropriately have been addressed to the people at large. The weather-skill ascribed to the audience is such as any one might possess, and all Jews needed the warning. The precise circumstances in which this logion was spoken are uncertain.—ἐπὶ δυσμῶν, in the west, the region of the setting sun, and of the Mediterranean. A cloud rising up from that quarter meant, of course, rain (1 Kings 18:44-45).54-59. The Signs of the Times, and resultant Duty.

54
. to the people] Rather, to the multitudes, whom He now addresses, having finished the lessons which were most necessary for His timid and discouraged disciples.

a cloud] Rather, the cloud, comp. Matthew 16:2-3.

rise out of the west] In Hebrew the same word is used for ‘west’ and ‘sea.’ A cloud rising from the Mediterranean indicated heavy rain, 1 Kings 18:44-45.Luke 12:54. Καὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις, also to the multitudes) For He had spoken the former words to the apostles. See Luke 12:42, note. The imitators of Christ ought to submit even to division (διαμερισμὸν, Luke 12:51) for the sake of His name: whereas the multitude, being void of the influence of that heavenly motive, ought to seek after peace as their chief aim. In the case of the people, quarrels are an impediment to the entrance of grace. See Luke 12:58.—ἀπὸ δυσμῶν, from the west [the setting of the sun]) The sea was on the west of the Jews: whence rain arose from that quarter.—εὐθέως, straightway) without hesitation or doubt.Verse 54. - And he said also. A note of the compilers, SS. Luke and Paul, which seems to say, "Besides all the important sayings we have just written down, which were spoken on this occasion, the Master added as a conclusion the following words." It is probable that the expressions used in the next seven verses were called out by the general apathy with which his announcement of the coming woes was received by the listening multitude. Possibly he had noticed a smile of incredulity on the faces of some of the nearer by-standers. The words had already been used on other occasions in a different connection. Here he used them as a last appeal, or rather as a remonstrance. He seems to say to the people, "O blind, blind to the awful sins of the times! You are weather-wise enough, and can tell from the appearance of the sky and the sighing of the wind whether a storm is brewing or no: why not use the same faculty of discernment in higher and more important matters? Ah! be wise; make your peace with God without delay; it will soon be too late; there is an awful judgment close at hand!" When ye see a cloud rise out of the west, straightway ye say, There cometh a shower; and so it is. To the west of Palestine lay the great Mediterranean Sea, from which, of course, came all the rains which fell on that country. A cloud

With the definite article, the cloud, which you so often see.

There cometh a shower

Or, a shower is coming. See on James 5:7.

It is (γίνεται)

Better, as Rev., it cometh to pass.

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