Luke 14:7
And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying to them.
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(7) And he put forth a parable.—The passage has the interest of being, in conjunction with Luke 11:43, the germ of the great invective of Matthew 23:6, and the verses that follow. (See Notes there.)

Chief rooms.—Better, chief places, or chief couches; literally, the chief places to recline in after the Eastern fashion. This, again, implies the semi-public character of the feast. The host did not at first place his guests according to his own notions of fitness. They were left to struggle for precedence. What follows is hardly a parable in our modern sense of the term, but is so called as being something more than a mere precept, and as illustrated by a half-dramatic dialogue.

Luke 14:7-11. And he put forth a parable — The ensuing discourse is so termed, because several parts of it are not to be understood literally. To those which were bidden — From this circumstance, that the guests were bidden, and from what is said, Luke 14:12, it appears that this was a great entertainment, to which many were invited: which renders it still more probable that the meeting was concerted, and the company chosen with a view to insnare Jesus. When he marked how they chose out the chief roomsΠρωτοκλισιας, the chief seats. The pride of the Pharisees discovered itself in the anxiety which each of them had manifested to get the chief places at table. Jesus had taken notice of it, and now showed them both the evil and the folly of their behaviour, by its consequences. He mentioned this in particular, that pride exposes a man to many affronts, every one being desirous to mortify a vain person; whereas humility is the surest way to respect. The general scope of what our Lord here says is, (not only at a marriage-feast, but on every occasion,) He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.14:7-14 Even in the common actions of life, Christ marks what we do, not only in our religious assemblies, but at our tables. We see in many cases, that a man's pride will bring him low, and before honour is humility. Our Saviour here teaches, that works of charity are better than works of show. But our Lord did not mean that a proud and unbelieving liberality should be rewarded, but that his precept of doing good to the poor and afflicted should be observed from love to him.A parable - The word parable, here, means rather a "precept, an injunction." He gave a "rule or precept" about the proper manner of attending a feast, or about the humility which ought to be manifested on such occasions.

That were bidden - That were invited by the Pharisee. It seems that he had invited his friends to dine with him on that day.

When he marked - When he observed or saw.

Chief rooms - The word "rooms" here does not express the meaning of the original. It does not mean "apartments," but "the higher places" at the table; those which were nearest the head of the table and to him who had invited them. See the notes at Matthew 23:6. That this was the common character of the Pharisees appears from Matthew 23:6.

7-11. a parable—showing that His design was not so much to inculcate mere politeness or good manners, as underneath this to teach something deeper (Lu 14:11).

chief rooms—principal seats, in the middle part of the couch on which they reclined at meals, esteemed the most honorable.

A parable here hath somewhat a different signification from what it more ordinarily hath in the evangelists: it usually signifies a similitude; here it signifies either a wise saying, or a dark saying, by which he intended something further than in the parable he expressed, which he expounds, Luke 14:11. We may observe from hence, that the dining of friends together on the Lord’s day is not unlawful, only they ought to look to their discourses, that they be suitable to the day. And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden,.... To the dinner at the Pharisee's house, particularly the lawyers, or Scribes and Pharisees:

when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; the uppermost places at the table, which these men loved, coveted, and sought after; See Gill on Matthew 23:6.

saying unto them; as follows.

{2} And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,

(2) The reward of pride is dishonour, and the reward of true modesty is glory.

Luke 14:7-11. On the special propriety of this table conversation (in opposition to Gfrörer, Heil. Sage, I. p. 265, de Wette, Schenkel, Eichthal), comp. on Luke 11:38 f. Here, again, the circumstance especially which had just occurred with the dropsical man had prepared a point of view widely different from that of customary politeness.

παραβολήν] “sumtam a moribus externis, spectantem interna,” Bengel. The moral significance of this figurative apophthegm (משל) may be seen at Luke 14:11.

ἐπέχων] attendens, comp. on Acts 3:5, and see Valckenaer.

πρωτοκλισ.] See on Matthew 23:6; Lightfoot, p. 836.

Luke 14:8. εἰς γάμους] not generally: to an entertainment, but: to a wedding, in respect of which, however, a special purpose is not to be assumed (Bengel thinks that “civilitatis causa” Jesus did not name a feast in general); but the typical representation of the future establishment of the kingdom as a wedding celebration obviously suggested the expression (Matthew 22).

Luke 14:9. ὁ σὲ κ. αὐτὸν καλέσας] not: who invited thyself also (Bornemann), which would lay upon σέ an unfounded emphasis, so much as: qui te et ilium vocavit (Vulgate), the impartial host who must be just to both.

ἐρεῖ σοι] future, not dependent on μήποτε (comp. on Matthew 5:25), but an independent clause begins with καὶ ἐλθών

καὶ τότε ἄρξῃ] the shame of the initial movement of taking possession of the last place in which he now must acquiesce,[174] after his previously assumed πρωτοκλισία is here made prominent.

Luke 14:10. ἀνάπεσαι] 1 aor. imperative middle, which tense occurs also in Josephus, Bell. vii. 6. 4 (διεκπέσασθαι); Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 641, takes it as future, formed after the analogy of φάγεσαι and πίεσαι (Luke 17:8). But these forms come from the future forms φάγομαι and πίομαι, and hence are not analogous to the one before us.

ἵνα] corresponds to the μήποτε, Luke 14:8, and denotes the purpose of the ἀνάπεσαι εἰς τ. ἔσχ. τόπον. The result is then specified by τότε ἔσται.

προσανάβηθι] The host occupies the position where the higher place is (πρός=hither). Comp. moreover, Proverbs 25:7.

Luke 14:11. Comp. Matthew 23:12. A general law of retribution, but with an intentional application to the Messianic retribution. Comp. Erubin, f. xiii. 2 : “Qui semet ipsum deprimit; eum S. B. exaltat; et qui se ipsum exaltat, eum S. B. deprimit.”

[174] For the intervening places are already rightly arranged, and not to be changed. “Qui semel cedere jubetur, longe removetur,” Bengel.Luke 14:7-11. Take the lowest seat. Here begins the table talk of Jesus, consisting of three discourses. The first addressed to the guests in general is really a parable teaching the lesson of humility pointed in Luke 14:11. “Through the medium of a counsel of prudence relating to ordinary social life He communicates a lesson of true wisdom concerning the higher sphere of religion” (The Parabolic Teaching of Christ).7-11. Humility; a Lesson for the Guests.

7. he put forth a parable] See on Luke 4:23.

to those which were bidden
] to the invited guests, as distinguished from the onlookers.

they chose out] Rather, they were picking out for themselves. The selfish struggle for precedence as they were taking their places—a small ambition so universal that it even affected the Apostles (Mark 9:34)—gave Him the opportunity for a lesson of Humility.

the chief rooms] i.e. the chief places at table. These at each of the various triclinia would be those numbered 2, 5, and 8. The host usually sat at 9.Luke 14:7. Παραβολὴν, a parable) Taken from external manners, but having regard to internal principles.—ἐπέχων [when He marked] directing His attention to the fact[142]) Attention in conversation and social intercourse is a most wholesome (profitable) habit.

[142] In Vulg. ‘intendens.’ Supply νοῦν, fixing His attention on the circumstance, observing.—ED. and TRANSL.Verses 7-14. - At the Pharisee's feast. The Master's teaching on the subject of seeking the most honourable places. Who ought to be the guests at such feasts. Verse 7. - And he put forth a parable to those which were hidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them. The scene with the sufferer who had been healed of his dropsy was now over. The Master was silent, and the guests proceeded to take their places at the banquet. Jesus remained still, watching the manoeuvring on the part of scribes and doctors and wealthy guests to secure the higher and more honourable seats. "The chief rooms;" better rendered "first places." They chose

Imperfect: were choosing. Something going on before his eyes.

The chief seats

Or couches. The Greek writers refer to the absurd contentions which sometimes arose for the chief seats at table. Theophrastus designates one who thrusts himself into the place next the host as μικροφιλότιμος one who seeks petty distinctions.

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