Luke 13:16
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
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(16) Whom Satan hath bound.—The words imply the belief that there was another source than mere bodily disease for the infirmity—in part, at least, the belief that all disease—or very many forms of it—is directly or indirectly traceable to the power of the Enemy. So St. Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”—assuming it to be some sharp bodily suffering—is “the messenger of Satan.” (See Note on 2Corinthians 12:7.)

It is obvious that this narrative would have for one like St. Luke a special interest over and above that which like narratives had for the other Evangelists. We can scarcely fail to think of the “beloved physician” as practising his art for the good of men, his brothers, on the Sabbath, as on other days. In doing so he would doubtless be met, on the part of Jews and Judaisers, with words like those of the ruler of the synagogue, “There are six days on which men ought to work; do thy work of healing on them.” For such a one it would be a comfort unspeakable to be able to point to our Lord’s words and acts as sanctioning his own practice.

13:10-17 Our Lord Jesus attended upon public worship on the sabbaths. Even bodily infirmities, unless very grievous, should not keep us from public worship on sabbath days. This woman came to Christ to be taught, and to get good to her soul, and then he relieved her bodily infirmity. This cure represents the work of Christ's grace upon the soul. And when crooked souls are made straight, they will show it by glorifying God. Christ knew that this ruler had a real enmity to him and to his gospel, and that he did but cloak it with a pretended zeal for the sabbath day; he really would not have them be healed any day; but if Jesus speaks the word, and puts forth his healing power, sinners are set free. This deliverance is often wrought on the Lord's day; and whatever labour tends to put men in the way of receiving the blessing, agrees with the design of that day.A daughter of Abraham - A descendant of Abraham. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. She was therefore a Jewess; and the ruler of the synagogue, professing a special regard for the Jewish people, considering them as especially favored of God, should have rejoiced that she was loosed from this infirmity.

Whom Satan hath bound - Satan is the name given to the prince or leader of evil spirits, called also the devil, Beelzebub, and the old serpent, Matthew 12:24; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 20:2. By his "binding" her is meant that he had inflicted this disease upon her. It was not properly a "possession" of the devil, for that commonly produced derangement; but God had suffered him to afflict her in this manner, similar to the way in which he was permitted to try Job. See the notes at Job 1:12; Job 2:6-7. It is no more "improbable" that God would suffer "Satan" to inflict pain, than that he would suffer a wicked "man" to do it; yet nothing is more common than for one "man" to be the occasion of bringing on a disease in another which may terminate only with the life. He that seduces a virtuous man and leads him to intemperance, or he that wounds him or strikes him, may disable him as much as Satan did this woman. If God permits it in one case, he may, for the same reason, in another.

16. ought not, &c.—How gloriously the Lord vindicates the superior claims of this woman, in consideration of the sadness and long duration of her suffering, and of her dignity notwithstanding, as an heir of the promise! See Poole on "Luke 13:15"

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham,.... Not only a woman, or rational creature, and much preferable, as such, to an irrational one; but a descendant of Abraham, of whom the Jews gloried, and in descent from him prided themselves, and trusted; and chose to call their women by this name (w), which gave them a character above others: and who, besides all this, was doubtless a good woman, a spiritual worshipper of the God of Israel; who, in a spiritual sense, was a daughter of Abraham, that walked in the steps of his faith, and was now a believer in Christ, and appeared to be a chosen vessel of salvation:

whom Satan hath bound, lo these eighteen years; with a bodily distemper that none could loose her from in so long a time. The Persic version, very wrongly, reads "twelve years"; though in Luke 13:11 it observes the right number.

Should not such an one be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? the force of Christ's reasoning is this, that if it was lawful, on a sabbath day, to lead out a beast to watering, to quench its thirst, that so it may not suffer so much as one day for want of water, how much more reasonable must it be, that a rational creature, one of Abraham's posterity, and a religious person, who had been for eighteen years under a sore affliction, through the power of Satan over her, by divine permission, should be freed from so long and sore an affliction on the sabbath day? if mercy is to be shown to beasts, much more to men and women.

(w) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 72. 2. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 109. 1.

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
Luke 13:16. The case of the woman described so as to suggest a parallel and contrast: a daughter of Abraham versus an ox or ass; bound by Satan, not merely by a chain round the neck; for eighteen years, not for a few hours. The contrast the basis of a strong a fortiori argument. The reply is thoroughly in the spirit of Jesus, and the whole incident, though peculiar to Lk., is a credible reminiscence of His ministry; whether placed in its true historical setting is a matter of minor moment.

16. ought not] Our Saviour gives him back his own word “ought— but the man’s ought had been one of ceremonial obligation, and the ought of Jesus was founded on the divine necessity of love.

being a daughter of Abraham] See Luke 19:9.

whom Satan hath bound
] Compare 2 Corinthians 12:7.

Luke 13:16. Θυγατέρα Ἀβραὰμ, a daughter of Abraham) not merely a daughter of Adam. There is a strong antithesis to the beast of burden (the ox or the ass). Christ brought salvation to all the children of Abraham: they who remained without share in it had themselves to blame. Comp. as to Zaccheus, ch. Luke 19:9.—ἰδοὺ δέκα καὶ ὀκτὼ ἔτη eighteen years ago. The nominative. So the LXX. according to the Aldine copy, in Joshua 1:11, ἔτι τρεῖς ἡμέραι ὑμεῖς διαβήσεσθε [Al. καὶδιαβαίνετε]. A specimen of the omniscience of Jesus Christ: The Lord knew all about the cause of the disease, and its duration, which seems not to have been made known to Him previously by any outward means of information. זה ἰδου τεσσαράκοντα ἔτη, Deuteronomy 8:4.—οὐκ ἔδει, ought not, was it not fitting?) The argument holds good, both when drawn from the daily necessary wants of the beast, Luke 13:15, and also when drawn from any sudden danger into which it may fall, ch. Luke 14:5. Nor is it permitted one to make the objection: “But the human being, who has been sick for so many years, may wait some few hours until the end of the Sabbath;” for not even in the case of the beast is the case one of the extremest necessity, and yet help is given to the beast; and in the case of a human being’s affliction, where there is the opportunity of getting or giving aid, even an hour is of great importance, when first the patient and the physician meet one another.

Luke 13:16Satan

"True to its principle of contrast, this book gives Satan a prominent position" (Abbot). See Luke 4:13; Luke 10:18; Luke 22:3, Luke 22:31. See Introduction.

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