Luke 9:28
And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
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(28-36) And it came to pass.—See Notes on Matthew 17:1-13, and Mark 9:2-13. St. Luke’s way of reckoning, “about an eight days,” where the other two Gospels give “after six days,” is interesting, as throwing light on the mode of reckoning which sees three days in the interval between our Lord’s death and resurrection. (See Note on Matthew 27:63.)

Luke 9:28-36. It came to pass about eight days after — Including the day on which the discourse, recorded in the preceding chapter, was delivered, and that on which the fact, here mentioned, took place: otherwise, exclusively of these two days, it was six days after, as Matthew has it. See the following account of our Lord’s transfiguration, explained at large in the notes on Matthew 17:1-8, with some additional observations on Mark 9:2-10. Moses and Elias, who appeared in glory — Like Christ, with whom they talked. They saw his glory — The very same expression in which it is described by John 1:14; and by Peter, 2 Peter 1:16-17.

9:28-36 Christ's transfiguration was a specimen of that glory in which he will come to judge the world; and was an encouragement to his disciples to suffer for him. Prayer is a transfiguring, transforming duty, which makes the face to shine. Our Lord Jesus, even in his transfiguration, was willing to speak concerning his death and sufferings. In our greatest glories on earth, let us remember that in this world we have no continuing city. What need we have to pray to God for quickening grace, to make us lively! Yet that the disciples might be witnesses of this sign from heaven, after awhile they became awake, so that they were able to give a full account of what passed. But those know not what they say, that talk of making tabernacles on earth for glorified saints in heaven.See an account of the transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-13, and Mark 9:2-13.Lu 9:28-36. Jesus Transfigured.

28. an eight days after these sayings—including the day on which this was spoken and that of the Transfiguration. Matthew and Mark say (Mt 17:1; Mr 9:2) "after six days," excluding these two days. As the "sayings" so definitely connected with the transfiguration scene are those announcing His death—at which Peter and all the Twelve were so startled and scandalized—so this scene was designed to show to the eyes as well as the heart how glorious that death was in the view of Heaven.

Peter, James, and John—partners before in secular business; now sole witnesses of the resurrection of Jairus' daughter (Mr 5:37), the transfiguration, and the agony in the garden (Mr 14:33).

a mountain—not Tabor, according to long tradition, with which the facts ill comport, but some one near the lake.

to pray—for the period He had now reached was a critical and anxious one. (See on [1610]Mt 16:13). But who can adequately translate those "strong cryings and tears?" Methinks, as I steal by His side, I hear from Him these plaintive sounds, "Lord, who hath believed Our report? I am come unto Mine own and Mine own receive Me not; I am become a stranger unto My brethren, an alien to My mother's children: Consider Mine enemies, for they are many, and they hate Me with cruel hatred. Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail. Thou that dwellest between the cherubim, shine forth: Show Me a token for good: Father, glorify Thy name."

Ver. 28-36. See Poole on "Matthew 17:1", and following verses to Matthew 17:9. See Poole on "Mark 9:2", and following verses to Mark 9:10.

And it came to pass, about an eight days after those sayings,.... About a week after he had declared the above things, at, or near to Caesarea Philippi. The other evangelists, Matthew and Mark, say it was six days after: the reason of this difference is, because Luke takes in the day in which he delivered these sayings, and that in which he was transfigured, and they only reckon the intermediate days:

he took Peter, and John, and James; the same that he admitted to be with him at the raising of Jairus's daughter, and in the garden afterwards:

and went up into a mountain to pray; to his God and Father, that his disciples might have a visible display of his glory, as an emblem and pledge of that in which he shall hereafter appear: it was usual with Christ to go up into a mountain to pray; Matthew 14:23. See Gill on Matthew 17:1.

{6} And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

(6) So that his disciples do not stumble at his debasing himself in his flesh, he teaches them that it is voluntary, showing in addition for a moment the brightness of his glory.

Luke 9:28-36. See on Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13.

ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτώ] without construction (comp. Luke 9:13), see on Matthew 15:32; Winer, pp. 458, 497 [E. T. 648 f., 704]; Buttmann, Neutest. Gr. p. 122 [E. T. 139]. The ὡσεί protects Luke from the reproach of representing himself as paying more attention than Mark to chronology (Holtzmann).

προσεύξασθαι] See on v. 16.

Luke 9:29. τὸ εἶδος] the appearance of His countenance: “Transformatio splendorem addidit, faciem non subtraxit,” Jerome.

λευκός] not instead of an adverb, but ἐξαστρ. is a second predicate added on by way of climax without καί (Dissen, ad Pind. p. 304), white, glistening. On ἐξαστρ., comp. LXX. Ezekiel 1:4; Ezekiel 1:7; Nahum 3:3; Thryphiod. 103.

Luke 9:31. τὴν ἔξοδον αὐτοῦ] His departure, namely, from His life and work on earth: through His death, resurrection, and ascension (Joseph. Antt. iv. 8. 2). Comp. Wis 3:2; Wis 7:6; 2 Peter 1:15, and the passages in Suicer, Thes. I. p. 287, 1142; Elsner, Obss. p. 219. Corresponding to this is εἴσοδος, Acts 13:24. This subject of the συλλαλεῖν, of which neither Matthew nor Mark has any hint, first appeared in Luke from the later tradition which very naturally attained to this reflection, and, moreover, might gather it from Mark 9:9; Matthew 17:9.[118]

πληροῦν] The departure is conceived of as divinely foreordained, therefore as being fulfilled when it actually occurred. See Kypke, I. p. 253.

Luke 9:32. But Peter and his companions, while this was going on before them, were weighed down with sleep (drowsy); as they nevertheless remained awake, were not actually asleep, they saw, etc.

On βεβαρημ. ὕπνῳ, comp. Matthew 26:43; Jacobs, ad Anthol. VI. p. 77.

διαγρηγ.] is not to be explained as it usually is, postquam experrecti sunt (Castalio), but (so also Schegg), when, however, they had thoroughly awakened. Comp. Herodian, iii. 4. 8 : πάσης τῆς νυκτὸςδιαγρηγορήσαντες; Vulg. (Lachmann): vigilantes.

Luke 9:33. According to Luke, Peter desires by his proposal to prevent the departure of Moses and Elias.

μὴ εἰδὼς ὃ λέγει] He was not conscious to himself of what he said (so much had the marvellous appearance that had presented itself to him as he struggled with sleep confused him), otherwise he would not have proposed anything so improper. The whole feature of the drowsiness of the disciples belongs to a later form of the tradition, which, even as early as Mark, is no longer so primitive as in Matthew. Reflection sought to make the saying about the building of tabernacles intelligible; but the tendency-critics were the first to suggest that there was a design of throwing the primitive apostles, especially Peter, into the shade (Baur, Evang. p. 435, Markusevang. p. 68; Hilgenfeld, Evang. p. 179, 181; see, on the other hand, Köstlin, p. 200).

Luke 9:34 f. ἐπεσκίασεν αὐτούς] αὐτούς, as at Luke 9:33, refers to Moses and Elias, who are separating from Jesus, not to the disciples. (see on Matthew 17:5). It is otherwise in Matthew, who has not the detail ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι αὐτοὺς ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ.

While Peter speaks with Jesus, the cloud appears which overshadows the departing Moses and Elias. These (continuing their departure) pass away into the cloud; the voice resounds and the entire appearance is past, Jesus is alone.

ἐκλελεγμ.] See the critical remarks; comp. Luke 23:35.

Of the conversation on the subject of Elias, Luke has nothing. It was remote from his Gentile-Christian interest. But all the less are we to impute an anti-Jewish purpose (such as that he would not have John regarded as Elias) to Luke, whose style, moreover, elsewhere tends to abbreviation (in opposition to Baur in the Theol. Jahrb. 1853, p. 80).

Luke 9:36. ἐσίγησαν] Of the command of Jesus, with a view to this result, the abbreviating Luke has nothing.

[118] Comp. Weizsäcker, Evang. Gesch. p. 481.

Luke 9:28-36. The transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13).

28-36. The Transfiguration.

. about an eight days after] See Matthew 17:1-13; Mark 9:2-13. This is merely the inclusive reckoning which St Luke saw in his written sources, and means exactly the same thing as “after six days” in Mark 9:2. (This explains Matthew 27:63.)

he took] The solemnity of this special choice is marked in the other Gospels by the additional word anapherei, “He leads them up” (cf. Luke 24:51). Matthew 26:37.

Peter. and John and James] See Luke 6:14, Luke 8:51. The object of this occasion was to fill their souls with a vision which should support their faith amid the horrors which they afterwards witnessed.

into a mountain] Rather, into the mountain. The others say “into a lofty mountain.” There can be little doubt that Mount Hermon (Jebelcsh Sheikh) is intended, in spite of the persistent, but perfectly baseless tradition which points to Tabor. For (1) Mount Hermon is easily within six days’ reach of Caesarea Philippi, and (ii) could alone be called a “lofty mountain” (being 10,000 feet high) or “the mountain,” when the last scene had been at Caesarea. Further, (iii) Tabor at that time in all probability was (Jos. B. J. i. 8, § 7, Vit. 37), as from time immemorial it had been (Joshua 19:12), an inhabited and fortified place, wholly unsuited for a scene so solemn; and (iv) was moreover in Galilee, which is excluded by Mark 9:30. “The mountain” is indeed the meaning of the name “Hermon,” which being already consecrated by Hebrew poetry (Psalm 133:3, and under its old names of Sion and Sirion, or ‘breast-plate’ Deuteronomy 4:48; Deuteronomy 3:9; Song of Solomon 4:8), was well suited for the Transfiguration by its height, seclusion, and snowy splendour.

to pray] The characteristic addition of St Luke. That this awful scene took place at nighty and therefore that He ascended the mountain in the evening, is clear from Luke 9:32-33 : comp. Luke 6:12. It is also implied by the allusions to the scene in 2 Peter 1:18-19.

Luke 9:28. Ἐγένετο, it came to pass) Impersonal. For with ἡμέραι, we are to understand ἦσαν, as in ὁσημέραι [ἦσαν], daily. So Mark 8:2, in the best MSS., ἡμέραι τρεῖς προσμένουσί μοι.—καὶ Ἰωάννην καὶ Ἰάκωβον, and John and James) Where the most usual order of these names [James and John] is kept, nothing particular can be elicited from them: as in Luke 9:54. But where the order is changed, in no case must this be thought to have been done without purpose. Here Luke puts John before James, who had been put to death long ago, before the time when Luke wrote, inasmuch as John was yet alive, and therefore a better known witness of this most important event: in this respect he writes differently from Mark, ch. Luke 5:37, who, it seems, wrote before Luke.[81]

[81] The Germ. Vers. has “James and John,” following the margin of both editions rather than the Gnomon in this place.—E. B. DL support “James and John.” But Lachm. with best reading of Vulg. and some of the oldest authorities, has “John and James.”—ED. and TRANSL.

Verses 28-36. - The Transfiguration. Verse 28. - And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. Some eight days after this question asked in the neighbourhood of Caesarea Philippi, and its reply, and the sermon to the people on the subject of "No cross, no crown," which immediately followed, our Lord summoned the three leading disciples and took them up into a mountain to pray. They had spent the last few days apparently in quiet converse together. SS. Matthew and Mark speak only of six days. St. Luke gives the period in round numbers, counting portions of the first and last days as whole days. We may well imagine that this was a period of intense depression in the little company of Jesus. Their Master's popularity was fast waning among the people. His powerful enemies seemed gathering closer and closer round the Teacher whom they were determined to crush. The late utterances of Jesus, too, whether spoken to them alone, or publicly to the people, all foreshadowed a time of danger and suffering in the immediate future for him and for them - a time which, as far as he was concerned, would close with a violent death. To raise the fainting spirits of his own, to inspire them with greater confidence in himself, seems to have been the immediate purpose of that grand vision of glory known as the Transfiguration. It is true that to only three was vouchsafed the vision, and silence was enjoined on these, but the three were the leading spirits of the twelve. If Peter, James, and John were brave, earnest, and hopeful, there was little doubt that their tone of mind would be quickly reflected in their companions. Tradition, based on the fairly early authority of Cyril of Jerusalem, and of Jerome (fourth century), speaks of the mountain as Tabor, but the solitude evidently necessary for the manifestation would have been sought for in vain on Mount Tabor, a hill which rises abruptly from the Plain of Esdraelon, not very far from Nazareth to the south-east, for the summit of Tabor at that time was crowned with a fortress. The mount,in most probably was one of the lower peaks of Hermon, at no great distance from the fountain source of the Jordan and Caesarea Philippi, in which district we know Jesus and his companions had been teaching only a few days before. Luke 9:28A mountain

Rev., the mountain. The tradition that this mountain was Tabor is generally abandoned, and Mount Hermon is commonly supposed to have been the scene of the transfiguration. "Hermon, which is indeed the centre of all the Promised Land, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt; the mount of fruitfulness, from which the springs of Jordan descended to the valleys of Israel. Along its mighty forest-avenues, until the grass grew fair with the mountain lilies, his feet dashed in the dew of Hermon, he must have gone to pray his first recorded prayer about death, and from the steep of it, before he knelt, could see to the south all the dwelling-place of the people that had sat in darkness, and seen the great light - the land of Zabulon and of Naphtali, Galilee of the nations; could see, even with his human sight, the gleam of that lake by Capernaum and Chorazin, and many a place loved by him and vainly ministered to, whose house was now left unto them desolate; and, chief of all, far in the utmost blue, the hills above Nazareth, sloping down to his old home: hills on which the stones yet lay loose that had been taken up to cast at him, when he left them forever" (Ruskin, "Modern Painters," iv., 374).

To pray

Peculiar to Luke.

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