Luke 22:38
And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said to them, It is enough.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(38) Behold, here are two swords.—Peter, we find, had one (John 18:10); we can only conjecture who had the other. Possibly, Andrew; possibly, one of “the sons of thunder.”

It is enough.—Here again there is a touch of grave irony. The “two swords” were enough, and more than enough, for Him who did not mean them to use the swords at all. The word for “enough” may be noted as used far more often by St. Luke than in the other Gospels. The mystical interpretation which sees in the two swords the symbol of the spiritual and temporal authority committed to St. Peter, and to the Pope as his successor, stands on a level with that which finds the relations of the Church and the State foreshadowed in the “two great lights” of Genesis 1:16. Both are simply the dreams of a diseased fancy, and find their fit home at last in the limbo of vanities.

22:21-38 How unbecoming is the worldly ambition of being the greatest, to the character of a follower of Jesus, who took upon him the form of a servant, and humbled himself to the death of the cross! In the way to eternal happiness, we must expect to be assaulted and sifted by Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us. Nothing more certainly forebodes a fall, in a professed follower of Christ, than self-confidence, with disregard to warnings, and contempt of danger. Unless we watch and pray always, we may be drawn in the course of the day into those sins which we were in the morning most resolved against. If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God, and the prayer of Christ. Our Lord gave notice of a very great change of circumstances now approaching. The disciples must not expect that their friends would be kind to them as they had been. Therefore, he that has a purse, let him take it, for he may need it. They must now expect that their enemies would be more fierce than they had been, and they would need weapons. At the time the apostles understood Christ to mean real weapons, but he spake only of the weapons of the spiritual warfare. The sword of the Spirit is the sword with which the disciples of Christ must furnish themselves.Are two swords - The Galileans, it is said, often went armed. The Essenes did so also. The reason was that the country was full of robbers and wild beasts, and it was necessary to carry, in their travels, some means of defense. It seems that the disciples followed the customs of the country, and had with them some means of defense, though they had but two swords among the twelve.

It is enough - It is difficult to understand this. Some suppose that it is spoken "ironically;" as if he had said, "You are bravely armed indeed, with two swords among twelve men, and to meet such a host!" Others, that he meant to reprove them for understanding him "literally," as if he meant that they were then to procure swords for "immediate" battle. As if he had said, "This is absurd, or a perversion of my meaning. I did not intend this, but merely to foretell you of impending dangers after my death." It is to be observed that he did not say "the two swords are enough," but "it is enough;" perhaps meaning simply, enough has been said. Other matters press on, and you will yet understand what I mean.

38. two swords … enough—they thinking He referred to present defense, while His answer showed He meant something else. See Poole on "Luke 22:37" And they said, Lord, behold here are two swords,.... That is, the disciples said so, as the Persic version expresses it; for they understood Christ's words literally; and two swords being among them, and which they might bring with them from Galilee, to defend themselves from thieves, and robbers, which infested the roads between that country and Jerusalem; and one of these, as appears afterwards, belonged to Peter; they mention them with a desire of knowing they were sufficient, or whether they must provide themselves with more:

and he said unto them, it is enough; or, "they are sufficient", as the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions render it; which must be understood either ironically; yes, two swords, to be sure, are sufficient for eleven men, and against many and powerful enemies: or his meaning is, they were sufficient to answer his purpose, and be an emblem of what he designed by the sword: or this was a short way of speaking, suggesting their stupidity and ignorance: it is enough, it is very well, I perceive you do not understand my meaning, and I shall say no more at present.

And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 22:38. μάχαιραι δύο: how did such a peaceable company come to have even so much as one sword? Were the two weapons really swords, fighting instruments, or large knives? The latter suggestion, made by Chrysostom and adopted by Euthym., is called “curious” by Alford, but regarded by Field (Ot. Nor.) as “probable”.—ἱκανόν, enough! i.e., for one who did not mean to fight. It is a pregnant word = “for the end I have in view more than enough; but also enough of misunderstanding, disenchantment, speech, teaching, and life generally,” Holtzmann, H. C.38. here are two swords] It was a last instance of the stolid literalism by which they had so often vexed our Lord (Matthew 16:6-12). As though He could have been thinking of two miserable swords, such as poor Galilaean pilgrims took to defend themselves from wild beasts or robbers; and as though two would be of any use against a world in arms ! It is strange that St Chrysostom should suppose ‘knives’ to be intended. This was the verse quoted by Boniface VIII., in his famous Bull Unam sanctam, to prove his possession of both secular and spiritual power !

And he said unto them, It is enough] Not of course meaning that two swords were enough, but sadly declining to enter into the matter any further, and leaving them to meditate on His words. The formula was one sometimes used to waive a subject; comp. 1Ma 2:33. See p. 384. “It is a sigh of the God-man over all violent measures meant to further His cause.”Luke 22:38. Ὧδε, here) They had found in the room where they had supped, or else had brought with them, the two swords: see Luke 22:49. [For previously they had not been girt with swords; otherwise the Lord would have interdicted the use of them, when the disciples were being prepared for their embassy, Luke 22:35.—V. g.]—δύο, two) Comp. John 6:9[243]—ἱκανόν ἐστι, it is enough) i.e. There is no need of more than two swords. Jesus uttered so brief a reply as this, in order that the disciples might be able sufficiently to understand His mind (intention and meaning in what He said) as to buying a sword, Luke 22:36. Comp. John 14:30.[244] [245] not dissimilar phrase occurs, 1Ma 2:33, ἓως τοῦ νο͂ν ἱκανόν· ἐξέλθετε; Deuteronomy 3:26, ἱκανούσθω σοί.

[243] The “two small fishes;” expressing the same disproportion, as here, between the means, and the effects produced, when God’s blessing is vouchsafed.—E. and T.

[244] ‘Hereafter I will not talk much with you, for the prince of this world cometh,” etc. This accounts for the brevity of His reply.—E. and T.

[245] the Alexandrine MS.: in Brit. Museum: fifth century: publ. by Woide, 1786–1819: O. and N. Test. defective.Verse 38. - And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. As so often, the disciples took their Master's words with curious literalness, and, as a reply, produced two swords, as if these two poor weapons could help them in the coming times of sore need. If they were to stand firm in the long trial-season which lay before them, they must surely provide themselves with very different weapons to these; their arms in the campaign of the future must be forged in no earthly workshop. But our Lord sadly declined then to enter into further explanation. His meaning would be all clear to them soon, so he closed the dialogue with the words, "It is enough." This verse was curiously perverted in the famous Bull of Pope Boniface VIII., "Unam sanctam," to prove his possession of both secular and spiritual power: "Dicentibus apostolis, ecce gladii duo, in Ecclesia scilicet, quum apostoli loquereutur, non respondit Dominus nimis esse, sed satis... Uterque ergo in potestate est Ecclesiae, spiritualis scilicet gladius et materialis."
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