And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And came down to Capernaum.—See Note on Matthew 4:13. St. Luke, it will be noticed, gives, what St. Matthew does not give, the reason of the removal.Luke 4:31-32. And came down to Capernaum — And dwelt there, entirely quitting his abode at Nazareth, in consequence of the rude treatment which he met with from his townsmen. Here let it be observed, that by settling in Capernaum our Lord fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy, Isaiah 9:1, which elegantly describes the effect of the Messiah’s residence in Galilee. See notes on Matthew 4:13-16. And he taught them on the sabbath days — Namely, according to Matthew 4:17, and Mark 1:15, proclaimed that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and exhorted them to repent and believe the gospel. This was his testimony during the time of his abode at Capernaum, and this he made the subject of his preaching in their synagogue on the sabbath days, not being discouraged by the ill usage that he had met with at Nazareth, upon his bearing the same testimony there. And they were astonished — Powerfully struck, and very much affected; with his doctrine. For his word was with power — With authority and majesty, which incomparably exceeded that low and servile manner of preaching which the scribes and Pharisees commonly used, in retailing their precarious traditions and insipid comments to the people. Our Lord, however, did not confine himself to Capernaum, for he frequently made excursions into the neighbouring country, and on such occasions, no doubt, preached several times every day.Mark 1:21-39.
1. The tameness of his temper.
2. The hatred between him and Herod.
It appears, from Luke 4:23, he had been at Capernaum before, but stayed very little, hastening to his own country of Nazareth in the other Galilee: from thence he now again removeth, hearing of John’s imprisonment, and seeing the baseness of his countrymen. When he came there, he keeps on his course preaching upon the Jewish sabbath, not abolished till his resurrection. It appeareth by Luke 4:33, that he preached in the synagogue here also.
It is said that the people
were astonished at his doctrine. Astonishment is one thing, believing is another. Men may be some ways and to some degrees affected at the word of God, that yet are far enough from believing, as the most of these Capernaites were; else Christ had never upbraided them as he did, Matthew 11:23.
For his word was with power. That this phrase is to be understood only of those powerful and miraculous operations, by which Christ confirmed the word which he preached to be from God, I cannot yield. It is better interpreted by Mark 1:22, He taught them as one that had authority, not as the scribes; and to be understood of the gravity and spirituality of his doctrine, his majesty and life in the delivering of it, and the power of God going along with it for the conviction of sinners; to all which were added his miraculous operations, of which the evangelist goeth on giving us a more particular account.
a city of Galilee: of lower Galilee, near the sea of Galilee:
and taught them on the sabbath days: that is, he went into the synagogue at Capernaum, on the sabbath days, whenever he was there, and taught the inhabitants, explained some passage or other in the Old Testament, as he had done at Nazareth and instructed them in the doctrines of the Gospel.And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 4:31-37. See on Mark 1:21-28, whom Luke with some slight variations follows.
κατῆλθεν] Down from Nazareth, which lay higher up, to Capernaum, which was situated on the shore. Comp. Matthew 4:13.
πόλιν τ. Γαλιλ.] for here Capernaum occurs for the first time in Luke in the course of the history (it is otherwise at Luke 4:23).
ἦν διδάσκ.] expresses the constant occupation of teaching on the Sabbaths (otherwise in Mark), comp. on Matthew 7:29.
Luke 4:33. πνεῦμα δαιμονίου ἀκαθάρτου] The genitive is a genitive of apposition or of nearer definition (Winer, p. 470 [E. T. 666–7]); and δαιμόνιον, which, according to Greek usage, is in itself applicable to either good or evil spirits, being used by Luke for the first time in this passage, is qualified by ἀκαθάρτου.
ἔα] not the imperative of ἐάω (Vulg.: sine; Euthymius Zigabenus, ad Marc. ἄφες ἡμᾶς, comp. Syr.), but “interjectio admirationis metu mixtae” (Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. p. 465): ha! Plato, Prot. p. 314 D. Seldom occurring elsewhere in prose, even in the New Testament only in this place (not Mark 1:24). See Fritzsche, ad Marc. p. 32 f., who, nevertheless, traces back the origin of the expression to the imperative form.
ἦλθες κ.τ.λ.] not interrogatively. The words themselves are simply taken from Mark; all the less therefore is any hint to be read into them of the redeeming ministry of Jesus to the Gentile world (Baur, Evang. p. 429 f.).
Luke 4:35. ῥῖψαν] is to be accented thus. See Bornemann, p. 4; comp., nevertheless, Lipsius, Gramm. Unters. p. 31 ff.
εἰς μέσον] He threw him down into the midst in the synagogue. The article might, but must not, be added. See the instances from Homer in Duncan, ed. Rost; Krüger, ad Xen. Anab. i. 8. 15. Observe, moreover, that here Luke describes more vividly than Mark, although his description is too unimportant “to glorify the miracle” (Holtzmann).
Luke 4:36. τίς ὁ λόγος οὗτος] not: quid hoc rei est? (Beza, Er. Schmid, Grotius, Kuinoel, de Wette); but: what sort of a speech is this? to wit, that which is related in Luke 4:35; comp. Theophylact: τίς ἡ πρόσταξις αὕτη ἣν προστάσσει, ὅτι ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ φιμώθητι. It is otherwise at Luke 4:32, where λόγος is the discourse which teaches; here, the speech which commands. Mark 1:27 has, moreover, given the former particular (the διδαχή) here again as the object of the people’s astonishment and conference; but Luke, working after him, distinguishes the two, using for both, indeed, the general expression λόγος, but clearly limiting this expression in Luke 4:32 by διδαχή, and in Luke 4:36 by ἐπιτάσσει. Baur decides otherwise in the Theol. Jahrb. 1853, p. 70.
ὅτι] since he, etc., accounts for this question asked in astonishment.
ἐν ἑξουσίᾳ κ. δυνάμ.] with authority aud power. The former is the authority which He possesses, the latter the power which He brings into operation.
Luke 4:37. ἦχος] noise (Acts 2:2; Hebrews 12:19), a stronger, expression for rumour. The classical writers use ἠχώ thus (Herod. ix. 24; Pind. Ol. xiv. 29).Luke 4:31-37. In Capernaum; the demoniac (Mark 1:21-28).—κατῆλθεν εἰς Κ. He went down from Nazareth, not from heaven, as suggested in Marcion’s Gospel, which began here: “Anno quinto-decimo principatus Tiberiani Deum descendisse in civitatem Galilaeae Capharnaum,” Tertull. c. Marc. Luke 4:7.—πόλιν τ. Γ.: circumstantially described as it is the first mention in Lk.’s own narrative. Yet the description is vague, as if by one far off, for readers in the same position. No mention here of the lake (vide Luke 5:1).
31. came down to Capernaum] St Matthew (Matthew 4:13-16) sees in this the fulfilment of Isaiah 9:1-2, omitting the first part which should be rendered “At the former time he brought contempt on the Land of Zebulun and on the Land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he brought honour.” It was perhaps on His way to Capernaum that our Lord healed the courtier’s son (John 4:47-54). Capernaum is in all probability Tell Hûm. The name means village (now Kefr) of Nahum, and Tell Hûm is ‘the ruined mound’ or ‘heap’ of (Na)hum. It is now a heap of desolation with little to mark it except the ruins of one white marble synagogue—possibly the very one built by the friendly centurion (Luke 7:5)—and the widely-scattered débris of what perhaps was another. But in our Lord’s time it was a bright and populous little town, at the very centre of what has been called “the manufacturing district of Palestine.” It lay at the nucleus of roads to Tyre and Sidon, to Damascus, to Sepphoris (the capital of Galilee), and to Jerusalem, and was within easy reach of Peraea and Ituraea. It was in fact on the “way of the sea” (Isaiah 9:1)—the great caravan road which led to the Mediterranean. It was hence peculiarly fitted to be the centre of a far-reaching ministry of which even Gentiles would hear. These things, as St Paul graphically says, were “not done in a corner,” Acts 26:26. Besides the memorable events of the day here recorded, it was here that Christ healed the paralytic (Luke 5:18) and the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:2), and called Levi (Matthew 9:9), rebuked the disciples for their ambition (Mark 9:35), and delivered the memorable discourse about the bread of life (John 6).
a city of Galilee] These little descriptions and explanations shew that St Luke is writing for Gentiles who did not know Palestine. Comp. Luke 1:26, Luke 21:37, Luke 22:1.Luke 4:31. [Ἐν τοῖς σάββασι, on the Sabbath days) By this proceeding a beginning was made. Subsequently a multitude on other days also were collected together to Him in the open air.—V. g.]Verses 31-44. - AT CAPERNAUM. Verse 31. - And came down to Capernaum. Capernaum was the real home of the Master during the two years and a half of his public ministry. He chose this flourishing lakecity partly because his kinsmen and first disciples lived in it or its immediate neighborhood, but more especially on account of its situation. It has been termed the very center of the manufacturing district of Palestine; it lay on the high-road which led from Damascus and the Syrian cities to Tyro, Sidon, and Jerusalem. "It was, in fact, on 'the way of the sea' (Isaiah 9:1), the great caravan-road which led (from the East) to the Mediterranean. It was hence peculiarly fitted to be the center of a far-reaching ministry, of which even Gentiles would hear" (Farrar). The evangelist speaks of "coming down" to the shore of the lake, in contrast with Nazareth, which was placed in the hills. We do not meet with the name Capernaum in the Old Testament; it therefore appears not to have been a city belonging to remote antiquity. Its name is generally interpreted as being compounded of two words, signifying "town of consolations," בפר גחים - a beautiful and significant derivation. It may, however, originally have taken its name from the Prophet Nahum. Josephus, the historian, tells us. the name originally belonged to a fountain. He dwells also on the mildness of the climate; it would therefore seem as though, in the first place, Capernaum was used as a health resort, and then its admirable situation favored its adoption as a convenient center. The extensive ruins of Tel-Hum, on the lake-shore, are generally believed to be the remains of the once rich and populous Capernaum. And taught them on the sabbath days.
Correctly, as Rev., was teaching. The finite verb and participle denoting continuance.
On the Sabbath-days (τοῖς σάββασιν)
Rev., day. The word is often used in the plural form for the single day, as in Luke 4:16; probably after the analogy of plural names of festivals, as τὰ ἄζυμα, the feast of unleavened bread; τὰ γενέσια, the birth-day; or perhaps following the Aramaic plural.
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