Then he said to them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)O fools, and slow of heart to believe.—The word for “fools” (more literally, silly, senseless) is not that which is used in Matthew 5:22; Matthew 23:17, but one belonging to a somewhat higher style of language. It is used by St. Paul of the “foolish Galatians” (Galatians 3:1), and elsewhere, and by no other New Testament writer. The word of reproof sounds strong, but we must remember that our Lord had already given hints as to the true interpretation of Messianic prophecies (Luke 9:22; Luke 9:44; Mark 14:21), which might have led thoughtful men to see that they pointed to suffering and death, as well as to sovereignty and triumph.Luke 24:25-27. Then he said, O fools — Ω ανοητοι, O foolish, or thoughtless persons. The word is not Ω μωροι, properly rendered, O fools, and is a term of great indignation, and sometimes of contempt; but that employed here is only a term of expostulation and reproof; and slow of heart to believe, &c. — From this reproof it would appear, that Cleopas and his companion were of the number of those who gave little credit to the tidings which the women had brought of their Master’s resurrection; his crucifixion and death, as they themselves acknowledge, having almost convinced them that he was not the Messiah. What he reproved them for was their not understanding and believing the prophets, which, he said, declared that, before the Messiah should enter into his glory, he must suffer such things as they said their Master had suffered. And beginning at Moses, &c. — And in order that his reproof might appear to be well founded, that their drooping spirits might be supported, and that they might be prepared for the discovery he was about to make of himself, he explained the whole types and prophecies of the Old Testament, which relate to the Messiah’s sufferings, such as the Mosaical sacrifices, the lifting up of the brazen serpent, the twenty-second Psalm, the fifty-third of Isaiah, &c. Thus did Jesus demonstrate to these desponding disciples, from the Scriptures, that their despair was without cause, and the suspicion without foundation, which they had taken up, of their being deceived in thinking him to be the Messiah, because the priests had put him to death.Matthew 5:22. That, however, is a different word in the Greek from the one which occurs here. The one there used implies contempt, but the one employed in this place denotes "weakness or dulness." He reproached them for not seeing what he had himself so clearly predicted, and what had been foretold by the prophets. The word used in the original does not imply as much "reproach" as the word "fool" does among us. It was not an expression of "contempt;" it was an expression denoting merely that they were "thoughtless," and that they did not properly "attend to" the evidence that he must die and rise again.
Slow of heart to believe - Not quick to perceive. Dull of learning. They had suffered their previous opinions and prejudices to prevent their seeing the evidence that he must die and rise from the dead.
All that the prophets have spoken - Respecting the character and sufferings of the Messiah. See the notes at Luke 24:27.
1. That it is not every saying, Thou fool, but a saying of it from a root of hatred, malice, and anger, which our Saviour makes to be a breach of the sixth commandment, Matthew 5:21,22. Our Saviour’s reprehension of them was out of a principle of love, and a root of good will to them.
2. That the best of us are very slow of heart to believe what cometh to us upon the mere credit of a Divine revelation. It is also observable from what we have, Luke 24:27, that Moses and the prophets are not to be rejected by Christians; they also have much concerning Christ; out of them Christ instructs these two disciples in the things concerning himself.
O fools; not in a natural sense, as if they were destitute of the common understanding of men; nor in a moral sense, as wicked men, and as they themselves had been in their unregenerate estate; nor in a way of anger and contempt, and with a design to provoke; wherefore Christ did not act contrary to his own rule, in Matthew 5:22 but because they were so void of understanding in the Scriptures, and were so very ignorant of them, and were so blind as to the knowledge of them; particularly those which concerned the sufferings and resurrection of the Messiah, being influenced by the popular prejudices of education: he therefore expresses himself with much warmth, concern, and surprise, that he should have been so long with them, and they so long under his doctrine and ministry; besides the advantages of having the Scriptures, and being conversant with them from their youth; and which they daily read, and had heard expounded, and yet were so very senseless and stupid:
and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken; that is, upon these points, concerning the sufferings of Christ, and his resurrection from the dead; and indeed, they were very slow of heart to believe, not only what the women reported from the angels, but even those of their brethren, who had seen him after he was risen; for which Christ upbraids them, Mark 16:14. Yea, one of them declared after all, that he would not believe, unless he saw the print of the nails in his hands and feet, and put his hand into it, and thrust it into his side; wherefore Christ had good reason to treat them in this sharp manner, and charge them with folly and incredulity; the Jews ought not to object to the word "fools", as unbecoming Christ, since they frequently represent God as making use of it; as for instance, it is said, (x).
"the holy blessed God said to them, "O ye fools" that are in the world, whatsoever ye do, ye do for your own necessities. ---And a little after, "O ye fools" that are in the world, he that labours on the evening of the sabbath, shall eat on the sabbath day.''Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 24:25-26. Αὐτός] He on His part, after the disciples had thus helplessly expressed themselves.
ἀνόητοι (Romans 1:14; Galatians 3:2 f.), without intelligence, refers to the understanding, and βραδεῖς τῇ καρδίᾳ to the whole internal living activity, in respect of which (dative) its dulness, i.e. its deficiency in the proper susceptibility and fixedness of purpose, is reproved. σκληροκαρδία, Mark 16:14, is stronger. On βραδύς as tardus in the spiritual sense, comp. Il. x. 226; Plat. Defin. p. 415 E: δυσμαθία βραδυτὴς ἐν μαθήσει. Theophr. Mor. not. 14 ἡ βραδύτης τῆς ψυχῆς. The opposite: ἀγχίνους, Plat. Phaedr. p. 239 A; Diog. Laert. vii. 93; also ὀξύς, Plat. Rep. vii. p. 526 B.
τοῦ πιστεύειν] a genitive of nearer definition dependent on βραδεῖς (see Winer, p. 290 [E. T. 407]); slow to believing confidence in.
On πιστεύειν ἐπί with a dative, comp. Matthew 27:42; Romans 9:33; Romans 10:11; 1 Timothy 1:16; 1 Peter 2:6πᾶσιν] not merely referring to a single thing. There was wanting to them the faith without exception, otherwise they would have recognised even the suffering and death of the Messiah as prophesied, and have rightly discerned them; ἔστι γὰρ πιστεύειν καὶ μερικῶς καὶ καθόλου, Theophylact.
Luke 24:26. Must not the Messiah, etc., namely, according to the prophetically announced divine decree. Comp. Luke 24:44 ff.
ταῦτα] with emphasis: this, which He, to wit, had in fact suffered, and which causes you to be so cast down.
καὶ εἰσελθ. εἰς τ. δόξαν αὐτοῦ] not as though He had already by the resurrection in itself, and before the ascension, attained to His δόξα (for His heavenly condition is not until His glory after death, see Luke 9:26, Luke 21:27; Php 2:9 f.; 1 Peter 1:21; 1 Timothy 3:16; John 20:17; John 17:5, and elsewhere), but out of the foregoing ἔδει, δεῖ is here to be supplied: and must He not attain unto His glory? Wherefore, on the one hand, those sufferings needed first to precede; and, on the other, He must be again alive. The definite εἰσελθ. εἰς τ. δόξ. is not to be evaporated into the general “attain His destination” (Schleiermacher). As to supplying the verb in another tense, see Bornemann on Luke 24:27, ad Xen. Apol. § 26; and, generally, Krüger, § 62. 4. 1; also Nagelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, ed. 3, p. 76.Luke 24:25 f. Jesus speaks.—ἀνόητοι, “fools” (A.V) is too strong, “foolish men” (R.V) is better. Jesus speaks not so much to reproach as by way of encouragement. As used by Paul in Galatians 3:1 the word is harder. “Stupid” might be a good colloquial equivalent for it here.—πιστεύειν ἐπὶ π.: ἐπὶ with dative of person after πιστεύειν is common, with dative of the thing only here.
 Authorised Version.
 Revised Version.25. O fools] The expression is much too strong. It is not the word aphrones (see Luke 11:40), but anoetoi, ‘foolish,’ ‘unintelligent.’ (Galatians 3:1.)Luke 24:25. Ἀνόητοι, fools) [void of mind]. In proportion as faith is the slower or the speedier in being entertained, the worse or the better is the νοῦς (from which comes ἀνόητοι) or mind, Galatians 3:1 [O foolish Galatians]; John 1:49 [Nathanael’s quick confession, “Thou art the Son of God, Thou art the King of Israel”]. [A salutary reproof.—V. g.]—[βραδεῖς, slow) We ought to be quick in believing, where we have sufficient warrant of any word of GOD.—V. g.]—ἐπὶ, on the authority of [respecting]) The words of the prophets are open to you, and yet ye do not believe. Almost in the same way διὰ is used in John 4:41-42 [“Many more believed because of His own word (διὰ τὸν λόγον αὐτοῦ);—not because of (διὰ) thy saving”].Verse 25. - Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! better translated, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! The Stranger now replies to the confused story of sorrow and baffled hopes just lit up with one faint ray of hope, with a calm reference to that holy book so well known to, so deeply treasured by every Jew. "See," he seems to say, "in the pages of our prophets all this, over which you now so bitterly mourn, is plainly predicted: you must be blind and deaf not to have seen and heard this story of agony and patient suffering in those well-known, well-loved pages! When those great prophets spoke of the coming of Messiah, how came it about that you missed seeing that they pointed to days of suffering and death to be endured by him before his time of sovereignty and triumph could be entered on?"
This is an unfortunate translation, in the light of the ordinary, popular use of the word fool. Jesus would never have called those sorrowful disciples fools in that sense. The word is compounded of ἀ, not, and νοέω, which implies, besides seeing, perception of the mind as consequent upon sight. It is therefore equivalent to dull of perception. They had read what the prophets had spoken, but had failed to perceive its application to Christ. While this rebuke relates to the understanding, the following one, slow of heart, goes deeper, and contemplates the region of feeling and moral susceptibility. Your heart is dull and slow to respond to these testimonies of your own prophets. Compare hardiness of heart, Mark 16:14.
All (ἐπὶ πᾶσιν)
Rev., rightly, in all; relying upon (ἐπί) all the utterances of the prophets.
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