Luke 9:31
Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
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(31) Spake of his decease.—St. Luke’s is the only narrative that names the subject of the words that passed between our Lord and Moses and Elias. The use of the word “decease” (exodos) instead of “death” is remarkable: (1) because it had not been commonly so used by Greek authors; (2) because in its wider range of meaning it covered all the special phenomena connected with the close of the ministry of the Lawgiver and the Tishbite (comp. Deuteronomy 34:5-6; 2Kings 2:11), and not less so, the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord, as well as the Crucifixion; (3) as meeting us in close connection with a reference to the Transfiguration in 2Peter 1:15.

Which he should accomplish.—Literally, which He was about to accomplish.

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.In glory - Of a glorious appearance. Of an appearance like that which the saints have in heaven.

His decease - literally, his "exit" or "departure." The word translated here "decease" - that is, exit, or "going out" - is elsewhere used to denote death. See 2 Peter 1:15. Death is a departure or going out from this life. In "this" word there may be an allusion to the "departure" of the children of Israel from Egypt. As that was going out from "bondage," pain, and humiliation, so death, to a saint, is but going forth from a land of captivity and thraldom to one of plenty and freedom; to the land of promise, the Canaan in the skies.

He should accomplish - Which was about to take place.

31. spake—"were speaking."

of his decease—"departure"; beautiful euphemism (softened term) for death, which Peter, who witnessed the scene, uses to express his own expected death, and the use of which single term seems to have recalled the whole by a sudden rush of recollection, and occasioned that delightful allusion to this scene which we find in 2Pe 1:15-18.

which he should accomplish—"was to fulfil."

at Jerusalem—Mark the historical character and local features which Christ's death assumed to these glorified men—as important as it is charming—and see on [1611]Lu 2:11. What now may be gathered from this statement? (1) That a dying Messiah is the great article of the true Jewish theology. For a long time the Church had fallen clean away from the faith of this article, and even from a preparedness to receive it. But here we have that jewel raked out of the dunghill of Jewish traditions, and by the true representatives of the Church of old made the one subject of talk with Christ Himself. (2) The adoring gratitude of glorified men for His undertaking to accomplish such a decease; their felt dependence upon it for the glory in which they appeared; their profound interest in the progress of it, their humble solaces and encouragements to go through with it; and their sense of its peerless and overwhelming glory. "Go, matchless, adored One, a Lamb to the slaughter! rejected of men, but chosen of God and precious; dishonored, abhorred, and soon to be slain by men, but worshipped by cherubim, ready to be greeted by all heaven. In virtue of that decease we are here; our all is suspended on it and wrapped up in it. Thine every step is watched by us with ineffable interest; and though it were too high an honor to us to be permitted to drop a word of cheer into that precious but now clouded spirit, yet, as the first-fruits of harvest; the very joy set before Him, we cannot choose but tell Him that what is the depth of shame to Him is covered with glory in the eyes of Heaven, that the Cross to Him is the Crown to us, that that 'decease' is all our salvation and all our desire." And who can doubt that such a scene did minister deep cheer to that spirit? It is said they "talked" not to Him, but "with Him"; and if they told Him how glorious His decease was, might He not fitly reply, "I know it, but your voice, as messengers from heaven come down to tell it Me, is music in Mine ears."

Ver. 31. See Poole on "Luke 9:28"

Who appeared in glory,.... In a very glorious manner, in most divine and beautiful forms to Christ, and to his disciples:

and spake of his decease, which he should accomplish at Jerusalem; the word, rendered "decease", is "Exodus", the name of the second book of Moses; so called from the departure of the children of Israel out of Egypt, it gives an account of; and which departure is expressed by this word, in Hebrews 11:22 and to which the allusion is here. Death is a departure out of this world, and goes by this name, 2 Peter 1:15 and so here it signifies Christ's death, or exit, which he was to make at Jerusalem; and Moses and Elias talk with him about this; the nature, manner, use, and near approach of it; and to which they might encourage him, as man. The sufferings and death of Christ were what Moses and the prophets had foretold; and these two speak of the same things now; and which must serve to confirm what Christ a few, days ago had showed his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and there suffer and die. Dr. Lightfoot thinks that the ascension of Christ to heaven is contained in the word "Exodus", which was his final departure out of this world, as well as his sufferings and death; and especially if there is any, allusion to the Israelites' departure out of Egypt, which was in victory and triumph; and the rather, because "the time of his receiving up", Luke 9:51 may be thought to refer to this; and so Moses and Elias conversed with him, not only about, his sufferings and death; but his ascension, and of which also the "Exodus", or going of Elias out of this world to heaven, which was by a translation and ascension, was a figure. Some render this word, "Expedition", and think it refers to the whole affair of the redemption of Christ's people by him, from the bondage of sin, Satan, and the law, by his sufferings and death; of which the deliverance of the people of Israel out of Egypt was a lively representation: an expedition which Moses was sent upon, and accomplished: but now the discourse turns upon an expedition of greater importance, which shortly was to be accomplished at Jerusalem, where Christ was to be arraigned, and condemned, and then suffer without the gates of it, in order to obtain eternal redemption for the whole Israel of God.

Who appeared in glory, and spake of his {h} decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

(h) What death he would die in Jerusalem.

Luke 9:31. ἐν δόξῃ: this is peculiar to Lk.—ἔλεγον, were speaking about. Kypke thinks more is meant: speaking with praise (cum laude aliquid commemorare). One could have accepted this sense had Peter’s opposition been reported.—τὴν ἔξοδον, decease, death; so in 2 Peter 1:15. Other words for death are ἔκβασις (Hebrews 13:7), ἄφιξις (Acts 20:29), ἀνάλυσις (2 Timothy 4:6). Perhaps the exodus here spoken of should be taken comprehensively as including death, resurrection and ascension. (So Kypke, also Godet.) πληροῦν in that case will mean “pass through all the stages”. But against this wide sense is ἐν Ἱερουσαλήμ.

31. spake of his decease] The word used is exodos, ‘departure’—a very unusual word for death, which also occurs in this connexion in 2 Peter 1:15. The reading doxan, ‘glory,’ though known to St Chrysostom, is only supported by a few cursives. Exodos is, as Bengel says, a very weighty word, involving His passion, cross, death, resurrection, and ascension.

Luke 9:31. Ἐν δόξῃ, in glory) They were like their Lord in this scene [and seem to have obtained a greater degree of glory after the death and glorification of Christ. These two personages are a sample of the coming resurrection and transfiguration.—V. g.]—ἔξοδον, His departure [decease]) out of the world. Comp. Hebrews 13:12-13. The same word occurs, 2 Peter 1:15.[82] The subject was a great one: the term describing it a very weighty one, wherein are contained the Passion, Cross, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ. The antithetic word is ΕἼΣΟΔΟς, His entrance into the world, Acts 13:24.

[82] Appropriately it was used by one who had himself been an eye-witness of the transfiguration, and who was divinely taught the connection of the ἔξοδος with the δόξα, 1 Peter 1:11.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 31. - Who appeared in glory. Why were these two chosen as the Lord's companions on that solemn night? Probably

(1) because they were what may be termed the two great representative men of the chosen race of Israel. The one was the human author of the Divine Law which for so many centuries had been the guide and teacher of the covenant people. The other had been the most illustrious of that great order of prophets who, during the centuries of their eventful history as a nation, had, under the commission of the Most Highest, kept alight the torch of the knowledge of the one true God. And

(2) because these men alone of the race of Israel apparently had kept their earthly bodies as the shrines of their immortal spirits. Elijah, we know, was translated alive into the other and the grander world; and as for Moses, God, his heavenly Friend, closed his eyes, and then hid his body from mortal sight, and, the mysterious words of Jude (ver. 9) would seem to tell us, from mortal corruption. And spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. Why was this the chosen subject of the august conference between the Lord and the heavenly pair?

(1) In all reverence we may feel that one reason for the visit of these blessed spirits on that solemn night was the strengthening the sinless Sufferer himself. The vista which lay immediately before Jesus, of rejection, desertion, the death of agony, and the dreadful sufferings which preceded it, - all this had been very present before him lately. He had dwelt upon these things, we know, to his own. He had pondered over them, no doubt, often when alone. It was not only in Gethsemane that his "soul was sorrowful even unto death." As in the garden-agony "appeared to him an angel from heaven strengthening him," so here on the mount came to him these glorified spirits for the same blessed purpose of ministering. And

(2) it was to help the three disciples. Their wavering faith would surely be strengthened if the words which they heard from those heavenly visitants dwelt with reverent awe and admiration on the circumstances of their Master's self-sacrificing career of agony and suffering. It must be remembered that a few days earlier they had listened to him, when he spoke to them of these things, with shrink-iv g terror and incredulous amazement. They would now know what was thought of all this in the courts of heaven. Luke 9:31This verse is peculiar to Luke.

Spake (ἔλεγον)

Imperfect, were speaking.

Decease (ἔξοδον)

The Rev. retains the word of the A. V., though it has, to modern ears, a somewhat formal sound. No word, however, could more accurately represent the original, which is compounded of ἐξ, out of, and ὁδός, a journeying; and thus corresponds to the Latin decessus, a going away, whence the word decease. The Greek word is familiar to us as exodus, applied principally to the migration of the Hebrews from Egypt, and thus used at Hebrews 11:22, departing. In the mouth of Christ it covers the ideas both of death and ascension. Peter uses it of his own death (2 Peter 1:15, where see note).

He should accomplish (ἔμελλεν πληροῦν)

Better, as Rev., was about to accomplish. "Accomplish," or "fulfil," is very significant with reference to Christ's death. Moses and Joshua had begun an exodus from Egypt, but had not accomplished the going out of God's people from this present world. See Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 4:8.

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