Luke 6:17
And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) And he came down with them, and stood in the plain.—We are again confronted with harmonistic difficulties. In St. Matthew (Matthew 10) the mission of the Twelve is followed by a full discourse on their Apostolic work and its perils. Here it is followed by a discourse which has so many points of resemblance with the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, 6, 7, that many have supposed it to be identical. It is a partial explanation of the difficulty that St. Mark and St. Luke distinguish the choice of the Twelve from their mission, the latter meeting us in Luke 9:1, Mark 6:7, and that in a form which implies the previous existence of the Twelve as a distinct body; but we still have to face the fact that events which St. Mark and St. Luke place even before the choice, St. Matthew places after the mission. (See Note on Luke 6:13.)

Stood in the plain.—Better, on a plain, or on a level place. The Greek has no article.

A great multitude of people.—The description that follows has many points of resemblance both with that in Mark 3:7-12, and with that in Matthew 4:24, immediately before the Sermon on the Mount. It is probable enough that each separate report of any of our Lord’s great discourses dwelt upon the multitudes who were present to hear them.

Luke 6:17-19. And he came down with them, &c. — After he had acquainted these twelve persons with his design, and had given them such private instructions as he judged necessary to render their attendance on him subservient to the execution of their important office, he came down from the mountain with them, and stood in the neighbouring plain; where were assembled, not only the rest of his disciples, but a great multitude of people collected from parts at a great distance from each other, namely, not only out of all Judea and Jerusalem, but from the coast of Tyre and Sidon — Many of whom came to hear and be instructed by his discourses, and others to be healed of their diseases: circumstances these which prove beyond contradiction, how universal the persuasion now was, that he was a divinely-commissioned teacher; and that real miracles were wrought by him. And the whole multitude sought to touch him, &c. — In order to multiply the proofs of his mission, and to render them indubitable, he caused virtue to go out from himself, and to heal all, without exception, who came and touched, though it were but his clothes, in expectation of being healed; and that, in some instances, in which Christ did not so much as take any apparent notice of the cases. By this benignity he put the cure in the power of the diseased themselves; and wrought many more miracles than could have been performed in the way of a formal application to him for a cure.

6:12-19 We often think one half hour a great deal to spend in meditation and secret prayer, but Christ was whole nights engaged in these duties. In serving God, our great care should be not to lose time, but to make the end of one good duty the beginning of another. The twelve apostles are here named; never were men so privileged, yet one of them had a devil, and proved a traitor. Those who have not faithful preaching near them, had better travel far than be without it. It is indeed worth while to go a great way to hear the word of Christ, and to go out of the way of other business for it. They came to be cured by him, and he healed them. There is a fulness of grace in Christ, and healing virtue in him, ready to go out from him, that is enough for all, enough for each. Men regard the diseases of the body as greater evils than those of their souls; but the Scripture teaches us differently.And stood in the plain - It is not affirmed, however, that he stood in the plain when he delivered the following discourse. There has been some doubt whether the following discourse is the same as that recorded in Matthew 5; 6; 7, or whether the Saviour "repeated" the substance of that discourse, and that Luke recorded it as he repeated it. The reasons which have led many to suppose that they refer to the same are:

1. That the beginning and the close are alike.

2. That the "substance" of each is the same. And,

3. That "after" the discourse was delivered, both affirm that Jesus went to Capernaum and healed the servant of the centurion, Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10.

On the other hand, "Matthew" says that the sermon was delivered on the "mountain" Matthew 5:1; it is thought to be implied that "Luke" affirms that it was in the "plain." Matthew says that he "sat;" Luke, that he "stood." Yet there is no reason to suppose that there is a difference in the evangelists. Jesus spent the night on the mountain in prayer. In the morning he descended into the open plain and healed many. While there, as Luke says, he "stood" and received those who came to him, and healed their diseases. There is no impropriety in supposing that, being pressed by multitudes, he retired into the mountain again, or to an eminence in the plain, or to the side of the mountain, where the people might be more conveniently arranged and seated to hear him. There he "sat," as recorded by Matthew, and delivered the discourse; for it is to be observed that Luke does "not" say that he delivered the sermon "on the plain," but only that he "healed the sick there."

Tyre and Sidon - See the notes at Matthew 11:21.

17. in the plain—by some rendered "on a level place," that is, a piece of high tableland, by which they understand the same thing, as "on the mountain," where our Lord delivered the sermon recorded by Matthew (Mt 5:1), of which they take this following discourse of Luke to be but an abridged form. But as the sense given in our version is the more accurate, so there are weighty reasons for considering the discourses different. This one contains little more than a fourth of the other; it has woes of its own, as well as the beatitudes common to both; but above all, that of Matthew was plainly delivered a good while before, while this was spoken after the choice of the twelve; and as we know that our Lord delivered some of His weightiest sayings more than once, there is no difficulty in supposing this to be one of His more extended repetitions; nor could anything be more worthy of it.Ver. 17-19. Such passages as these we meet with several times in the evangelists, who not writing a particular account of the several miracles wrought, or discourses made, by our Saviour, oftentimes they give us a general account of more than they particularly mention. Some think that Luke refers here to Mark 3:7,8; but Mark seemeth rather to refer to a multitude that followed him before he went up to the mountain, which yet might be the same people coming again the next morning, and waiting for Christ’s coming down from the mountain.

And he came down with them,.... With the twelve apostles, from the top of the mountain, where he had been praying all night, and where he had been that morning, ordaining, and giving instructions to the twelve he had chosen:

and stood in the plain; in a lower part of the mountain, in a plain place on it; which was large, and capable of holding a great number of people; for it was still upon the mount, that Christ taught his disciples, and said many of the things hereafter mentioned in this chapter; see Matthew 5:1.

And the company of his disciples: not only the twelve, but the large number out of which he had chosen twelve;

and a great multitude of people; who were hearers of him, and attendants on him, and who had a great esteem for him, though they were not as yet of the number of his disciples; who came

out of all Judea, and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon: drawn from these several parts by the fame of him, some for one thing, and some another; some of

which came to hear him: to hear him preach, and that they might know what manner of doctrine he taught: and others of them,

to be healed of their diseases; their bodily diseases, and some came perhaps for both.

And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the {c} sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

(c) From all the sea coast, which is called Syrophoenecia.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 6:17. Ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ] according to the connection of Luke (Luke 6:12, εἰς τὸ ὄρος; Luke 6:17, καταβάς), cannot be otherwise understood than: on a plain; not: over a plain (Michaelis and Paulus); nor: on a small overhanging place of the declivity (Tholuck); comp. Lange, who calls the discourse in Matthew the Summit-sermon, and that in Luke the Terrace-sermon. The divergence from Matthew 5:1 must be admitted, and remains still, even if a plateau is supposed on which jutted out a crest previously ascended by Jesus (Ebrard; comp. Grotius, Bengel, and others; a vacillating arbitrariness in Olshausen). Matthew’s narrative is original; Luke has a later tradition. As the crowd of hearers, according to this later tradition, came from greater distances, and were thus represented as more numerous, a plain was needed to accommodate them. According to Baur, Evang. p. 457, this divergence from Matthew is due also to the tendency of Luke to degrade the Sermon on the Mount, which would surely be a very petty sort of levelling.

καὶ ὄχλος κ.τ.λ.] scil. ἔστη. See on Luke 6:13. A similar structure in the narrative, Luke 8:1-3.

Luke 6:17. καταβὰς, descending, with the Twelve, suggesting descent to the foot of the hills, the plain below. Yet the expression τόπου πεδινοῦ is peculiar; hardly what we should expect if the reference were to the plain beside the lake; rather suggestive of a flat space lower down the hill.—πεδινὸς, here only in N. T. The descent takes place in order to the delivery of a discourse which, with the choice of the Apostles, constitutes the occasion with reference to which Jesus had spent the night in prayer. The audience consists of three classes separately named (1) the Twelve, (2) the company of disciples described as an ὄχλος πολὺς, (3) a multitude (πλῆθος) gathered from a wide area. This is the same multitude from which in Mk.’s narrative Jesus escaped to the hill, taking His disciples with Him, to get rest, and presumably to devote some leisure time to their instruction. Of this desire to escape from the crowd, so apparent in Mk., there is no trace in Lk. In indicating the sources of this great human stream Lk. omits Galilee as superfluous, mentions Judaea and Jerusalem, passing over ldumaea and Peraea (Mark 3:8), and winds up with Tyre and Sidon, defining the territory there whence people came by the expression τῆς παραλίου (χώρας understood), the sea-coast. The people come from all these places to hear Jesus (ἀκοῦσαι αὐτοῦ) in the first place, as if in expectation of a great discourse, and also to be healed. The eagerness to get healing even by touch, of which Mk. gives so graphic a picture (Luke 3:10), is faintly indicated by ἐζήτουν (ἐζήτει, T. R.).

17. And he came down with them, and stood in the plain] Rather, And descending with them, He stopped on a level place. Topos pedinos also occurs in Isaiah 13:2, LXX. If it be thus rendered there is no discrepancy between St Matthew, who says that “He went up into the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples approached Him” (Matthew 5:1). I believe that St Luke here meant to give such portions of the Sermon on the Mount as suited his design. Combining the two narratives with what we know of the scene we see that what occurred was as follows. The previous evening Jesus went to one of the peaks of Kurn Hattin (withdrawing Himself from His disciples, who doubtless bivouacked at no great distance), and spent the night in prayer. In the morning He called His disciples and chose Twelve Apostles. Then going with them to some level spot, either the flat space (called in Greek plax) between the two peaks of the hill, or some other spot near at hand, He preached His sermon primarily to His disciples who sat immediately around Him, but also to the multitudes. There is no need to assume two discourses—one esoteric and one exoteric, &c. At the same time there is of course no difficulty in supposing that our Lord may have uttered the same discourse, or parts of the same discourse, more than once, varying it as occasion required.

out of all Judea] St Matthew adds Galilee (which was to a great extent Greek), Decapolis, and Peraea; St Mark also mentions Idumaea. Thus there were Jews, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Arabs among our Lord’s hearers.

Luke 6:17. Αὐτῶν, them) [The Twelve] The First Class of His hearers.—τόπου πεδινοῦ, on a level spot) This spot was not in the bottom of the valley, but half-way down the mountain: a more suitable locality for addressing a large audience than a completely level plain.[60] Such a locality is called in LXX. Isaiah 13:2, ὌΡΟς ΠΕΔΙΝῸΝ, a mountain table-land [but Engl. Vers. from Hebr., “Lift ye up a banner upon the high mountain”].—ὌΧΛΟς ΜΑΘΗΤῶΝ, a crowd of His disciples) The Second Class, which was divided further [by the selection of the Seventy], ch. Luke 10:1. Supply ἔστη, stood.—πλῆθος πολὺ τοῦ λαοῦ, a great multitude of the people) The Third Class.—παραλίου) viz. ΧΏΡΑς, ΤΎΡΟΥ, the seacoast.

[60] Comp. Gnomon on ch. Luke 1:1. Obs. 2, Note, Marg.—E. B.

Verse 17. - And he came down with them, and stood in the plain. Leaving the uppermost slopes of the hill - the modern Kurm Hattin, or "Horns of Hattin" - where he had spent the night alone in prayer - Jesus probably descended a little and rejoined the band of disciples. Out of these he called the twelve above mentioned; and titan, with the whole body of disciples - the twelve, no doubt, closest to his Person - he continued the descent for some way. On a level spot situate on the hillside, very likely a fiat space between the two peaks of Hattin, the Master and his followers came upon a crowd of inquirers, who had ascended thus far to meet him. These were composed, as we shall see, of various nationalities. Some came with their sick friends, seeking a cure; some were urged by curiosity; others by a real longing to hear more of the words of life from his Divine lips. It was to this crowd that, surrounded by the newly elected twelve, as well as by the larger company of disciples, that Jesus spoke the famous discourse known as the sermon on the mount. A great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea-coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him. To the places here enumerated, St. Matthew adds Galilee, Decapolis, and the region beyond Jordan. St. Mark (Mark 3:8) - where the same period of our Lord's ministry is treated of - alludes to people from Idumaea forming part of the multitude which just then used to crowd round the Master as he taught. Thus the great sermon was addressed to men of various nationalities - to rigid and careless Jews, to Romans and Greeks, to Phoenicians from Tyre and Sidon, and to nomad Arabs from Idumaea. Luke 6:17In the plain (ἐπὶ τόπου πεδινοῦ)

There is no article. More literally, and better, as Rev., in a plain or level place. There is a discrepancy in the two narratives. Matthew says he went up into the mountain and sat down. Luke 6:17-19are peculiar to Luke.

Judaea and Jerusalem

See on Luke 5:17.

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