Luke 9:52
And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(52) And sent messengers before his face.—It is remarkable that the words “Samaria” and “Samaritan” do not occur at all in St. Mark, and in St. Matthew in one passage only (Matthew 10:5), and then in the command given to the Twelve that they were not to enter into any city of the Samaritans. St. Luke, on the other hand, seems to have carried his inquiries into that country, and to have treasured up whatever he could find of our Lord’s acts and words in relation to it. This seems accordingly the right place for a short account of the region and the people, and of their relations, in our Lord’s time, to their neighbours of Judæa and Galilee. The city of Samaria (the modern Sebastieh) first comes into notice as built by Omri to be the capital of the kingdom of Israel (1Kings 16:23-24). It continued to occupy that position till its capture by Salmaneser, B.C. 721. After the deportation of the ten tribes, Esar-haddon (Ezra 4:2; Ezra 4:10), after the manner of the great monarchs of the East, brought a mingled race from Babylon, and Cuthah, and Ava, and Hamath, and Sepharvaim (2Kings 17:24), to occupy the district thus left depopulated, and from these the Samaritans of later history were descended. They were accordingly of alien races, and their neighbours of Judæa kept up the memory of their foreign origin by speaking of them as Cuthæans. Under the influence of a priest of Israel sent by the king of Assyria, they became worshippers of Jehovah (2Kings 17:41), and on the return of Judah and Benjamin from the Captivity, they sought to be admitted as co-religionists, to share with them in the work of rebuilding the Temple, and therefore to obtain like privileges as worshippers in its courts. That claim was, however, refused, and they in return, B.C. 409, guided by Manasseh, a priest who had been expelled from Jerusalem by Nehemiah. for an unlawful marriage with the daughter of Sanballat the Horonite (Nehemiah 13:28), obtained permission from the Persian king, Darius Nothus, to erect a temple on Mount Gerizim. Josephus, it should be added (Ant. xi. 7), places the whole story much later, in the time of Darius Nothus and Alexander the Great. The new worship thus started, placed them at once in the position of a rival and schismatical sect, and their after-history presented the usual features of such antagonism. They refused all hospitality to pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, or would way-lay and maltreat them on their journey. They mocked the more distant Jews by false signals of the rising of the Paschal moon at Jerusalem. (See Note on Luke 6:1.) They found their way into the Temple, and profaned it by scattering dead men’s bones on the sacred pavement (Jos. Ant. xviii. 2, § 2; xx. 6, § 1). Outrages of this kind rankled in the memory of the Jews, and they, in their turn, looked on the Samaritans as worse than heathen, “had no dealings with them” (John 4:9), cursed them in their synagogues, and even the wise of heart among them, like the son of Sirach, named them as a people that they abhorred (Ecclesiasticus 1:25-26). Probably in consequence of this bitter hostility, the Samaritans became more and more jealous in their observance of the Law, boasted that they possessed the authentic copy of it, substituted Gerizim for Ebal in Deuteronomy 27:4, to support its claim to sanctity, and maintained that it, and not the Temple at Jerusalem, was the chosen sanctuary of Jehovah. They too were looking for the Messiah, who would come as a prophet, and tell them all things (John 4:25). Such was the relative position of the two races in the time of our Lord’s ministry, and we cannot wonder that He should have shrunk (if we may so speak) from bringing His disciples at the outset of their work into contact with a people who hated all Jews, and whom all Jews had learnt to hate in return. He Himself, however, had not shrunk from that contact; and some few of the disciples, at all events, had, at an early period of His work, learnt that He saw in them those whom He owned as the sheep of His flock, though not of that fold. In the narrative now before us we find Him apparently endeavouring to continue the work which had then begun so successfully. (See Note on John 4:39.)

9:51-56 The disciples did not consider that the conduct of the Samaritans was rather the effect of national prejudices and bigotry, than of enmity to the word and worship of God; and through they refused to receive Christ and his disciples, they did not ill use or injure them, so that the case was widely different from that of Ahaziah and Elijah. Nor were they aware that the gospel dispensation was to be marked by miracles of mercy. But above all, they were ignorant of the prevailing motives of their own hearts, which were pride and carnal ambition. Of this our Lord warned them. It is easy for us to say, Come, see our zeal for the Lord! and to think we are very faithful in his cause, when we are seeking our own objects, and even doing harm instead of good to others.Sent messengers - In the original the word is "angels;" and the use of that word here shows that the word "angel" in the Bible does not always mean heavenly beings.

To make ready - To prepare a place, lodgings, refreshments. He had no reason to expect that he would experience any kind treatment from the Samaritans if he came suddenly among them, and if they saw that he was going to Jerusalem. He therefore made provision beforehand, and thus has shown us that it is not "improper' to look out beforehand for the supply of our wants, and to guard against want and poverty.

Samaritans - See the notes at Matthew 10:5. They had no dealings with the Jews, John 4:9.

52. messengers before his face … to make ready for him—He had not done this before; but now, instead of avoiding, He seems to court publicity—all now hastening to maturity.Ver. 52,53. The land of Canaan was by Joshua divided among all the twelve tribes of Israel, as we read in the book of Joshua, Joshua 14:1-15 15:1-63 16:1-10 17:1-18 Saul, David, and Solomon (after the death of Joshua, the judges, and Samuel) ruled over them all; but Rehoboam the son of Solomon, following the counsel of the young men in his counsels, ten tribes revolted from the house of David, 1 Kings 12:16-19. Jeroboam brought them to idolatry, Luke 9:28,29, setting up calves at Dan and Bethel. So as that there was a perpetual difference between the Israelites and those that adhered to the house of David, both upon a civil and religious account. This held for about two hundred and sixty years. In the time of Hoshea, their last king, the king of Assyria, after a siege of three years, takes Samaria their head city. Of this we have an account, 2 Kings 17:6, as also of those sins which had provoked God to give them up into his hands. 2 Kings 17:24 we read that the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel. He removed the most of the Jews, 2 Kings 17:6, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the Driver of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. After this there were several mutations in the government of those countries. We must not imagine that all the Jews were carried away, but the chief and principal men; and we read in 2 Kings 17:1-41, that a priest was sent back to instruct the new colonies how to worship the God of the country; because the lions infesting them, they conceived their non acquaintance with the methods of worship used toward the God of that country was the cause of it, 2 Kings 17:26,27. But yet the people of the several nations brought thither worshipped their several idols, as may be read there, 2 Kings 17:29. After this, about a hundred and sixty years, these places came under the dominion of Cyrus, who gave the Jews a liberty to return, but it chiefly concerned those that belonged to the kingdom of Judah, for we read, Ezra 1:5, that they were the fathers of Judah and Benjamin that rose up to return. The Samaritans were their enemies as to the building of the temple, Ezra 4:4,5. After this, they fell under the power, first of the Grecians, then of the Romans, under which they at this time were. This old feud, both upon the account of their former civil difference, and their difference in religion, still held, so as there was a great enmity (especially occasioned by their difference in religion) betwixt those who belonged to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the Samaritans, who were indeed idolaters. The Jews (for so now were they only called who adhered to the house of David) had no dealings with them, John 4:9; though it be the opinion of some that there were common civilities between them, and that the rigidness lay on the Jewish part, rather than the Samaritans’. Galilee lay beyond Samaria, and it should seem was more generally inhabited by native Jews. The king of Assyria planted his colonies (it is probable) more in that which was now more strictly called Samaria, which lay in the heart of the land; which might be the reason that the inhabitants of that part now called Samaria were more absurd and gross in their worship than the inhabitants of Galilee, amongst whom Christ so long preached. From whence (as was before said) Christ going to Jerusalem to the feast was to pass. The Samaritans refused to receive him, which ordinarily, it is said, they did not to passengers, but possibly their knowing that he was going to the feast was the cause, or his attendants might be more than they liked. When we come to John 4:1-54 we shall hear more of the religious differences between the Jews and the Samaritans. This is enough to have at present noted.

And sent messengers before his face,.... Who very likely were his two disciples, James and John, since they so highly resented the ill treatment their master met with from the Samaritans:

and they went; before him:

and entered into a village of the Samaritans; or "city", as the Vulgate Latin, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, and so one of Stephens's copies; which lay in the way from Galilee to Judea, where the disciples had been forbid to enter, that is, in order to preach, Matthew 10:5

To make ready for him; to prepare a lodging, and proper food for him and his disciples, as they passed on in their journey, for his intention was not to make any stay there.

And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 9:52-53. Ἀγγέλους does not as yet mean the Seventy (Neander), and ὥστε is as at Luke 4:29.

ἑτοιμάσαι αὐτῷ] to make preparation for Him (comp. Mark 14:15), i.e. in this case: ἑτοιμάσαι ὑποδοχὴν πρὸς καταγωγὴν αὐτοῦ, Euthymius Zigabenus.

Luke 9:53. καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν] which rejection was accomplished by the refusal given to the messengers that He had sent before, see Luke 9:52. That Jesus Himself followed them is not implied in the passage.

ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον, not because generally He was journeying towards Jerusalem (ἐναντίως γὰρ οἱ Σαμαρεῖται πρὸς τοὺς Ἱεροσολυμίτας διέκειντο, Euthymius Zigabenus; so usually), for through Samaria passed the usual pilgrims’ road of the Galilaeans, Josephus, Antt. xx. 6. 1; Vit. 52; comp. John 4:4; nor yet because they were unwilling to lodge “so large a Jewish procession” as the train of disciples (Lange, of which, however, nothing appears),—but because they regarded an alleged. Messiah journeying towards Jerusalem as not being the actual Messiah. We must think of the messengers themselves announcing Jesus as the Messiah, although, besides, according to John 4, the knowledge of His Messianic call might have already penetrated from Galilee to the Samaritan villages; but the Samaritans did not expect of the Messiah (see the expositors on John 4:25) the observance of festivals in Jerusalem, but the restoration and glorification of the worship upon Gerizim. (Comp. Bertholdt, Christol. p. 21 f.) The expression τὸ πρόσωπ. αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμ. is a Hebraism, Exodus 33:14; 2 Samuel 17:11.

Luke 9:52-56. Samaritan intolerance.—εἰς κώμην Σαμαρειτῶν: this indicates an intention to go southward through Samaritan territory. Not an unusual thing. Josephus (Antiq., xx., vi. 1) states that it was the custom for Galileans going to Jerusalem to the feasts to pass through Samaria.—ἐτοιμάσαι α., to prepare for Him, i.e., to find lodgings for the night.—ὥστε in view of the sequel can only express tendency or intention.—οὐκ ἐδέξαντο α.: the aorist, implying “that they at once rejected Him,” Farrar (C. G. T.).—ὅτι introduces the reason: Christ’s face was, looked like, going to Jerusalem. In view of what Josephus states, this hardly accounts for the inhospitable treatment. Perhaps the manner of the messengers had something to do with it. Had Jesus gone Himself the result might have been different. Perhaps He was making an experiment to see how His followers and the Samaritans would get on together. In that case the result would make Him change His plan, and turn aside from Samaria into Peraea. If so then Baur’s idea of a Samaritan ministry is a misnomer.

52. sent messengers] Some think that they were two of the Seventy disciples; others that they were James and John.

into a village of the Samaritans] On the way to Judaea from Galilee He would doubtless avoid Nazareth, and therefore His road probably lay over Mount Tabor, past Little Hermon (see Luke 7:11), past Nain, Enaor, and Shunem. The first Samaritan village at which He would arrive would be En Gannim (Fountain of Gardens), now Jenin (2 Kings 9:27), a pleasant village at the first pass into the Samaritan hills. The inhabitants are still described as “fanatical, rude, and rebellious” (Thomson, Land and Book, II. xxx.). The Samaritans are not mentioned in St Mark, and only once in St Matthew (Matthew 10:5).

to make ready for him] As He was now accompanied not only by the Twelve, but by a numerous multitude of followers, His unannounced arrival would have caused embarrassment. But, further than this, He now openly avowed Himself as the Christ.

Luke 9:52. Ἑτοιμάσαι, to make ready) viz. whatever needed to be made ready. The great number of those accompanying Him required this: nor was Jesus wont in His place of lodging to blend with the crowd.

Verse 52. - And sent messengers before his face. Probably, as the sequel shows, these were John and James. This was necessary at this period of the Lord's life. A numerous company now usually followed the Lord; it is probable that many of those most devoted to him, both men and women, scarcely ever left him, now that the popular enthusiasm was waning, and the number of his deadly enemies increasing. And they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. These Samaritans were the descendants of a, mixed race brought by Esarhaddon ( eighth century B.C.) from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim, to replace the ten tribes carried captive to the East. These became worshippers of Jehovah, and, on the return of Judah and Benjamin from captivity, sought to be allowed to share in the rebuilding of the temple, and then to be admitted as Jews to share in the religious privileges of the chosen race. Their wishes, however, were not complied with. They subsequently erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, and henceforward were known as a schismatical sect, and continued in a state of deadly enmity with the orthodox Jews. This bitter hatred is noticed in the New Testament (see John 4:9), where it is stated that the Jews "had no dealings with the Samaritans," whom they looked on as worse than heathen. In the synagogues these Samaritans were cursed. The Son of Sirach named them as a people that they abhorred (Ecclus. 1:25, 26); and in the Talmud we read this terrible passage, "Let not the Samaritans have part in the resurrection!" This hatred, however, we know, was not shared in by our Lord, and on more than one occasion we find him dealing gently and lovingly with this race. Luke 9:52
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