Luke 13
Vincent's Word Studies
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Sinners (ὀφειλέται)

Lit., debtors. Possibly with reference to the figure at the close of the last chapter. Compare Matthew 5:25; Matthew 6:12; Matthew 18:24; Luke 11:4.

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
These three years Icome

The best texts insert ἀφ' οὗ, from which, or since. "It is three years from the time at which Icame."

Cut it down (ἔκκοψον)

Rather, "cut it out" (ἐκ) from among the other trees and the vines.

Why cumbereth it

The A. V. omits the very important καὶ, also (Rev.), which, as Trench observes, is the key-word of the sentence. Besides being barren in itself, it also injures the soil. "Not only is it unfruitful, but it draws away the juices which the vines would extract from the earth, intercepts the sun, and occupies room" (Bengel). The verb cumbereth (καταργεῖ) means to make of no effect. So Romans 3:3, Romans 3:31; Galatians 3:17. Cumbereth expresses the meaning in a very general and comprehensive way. The specific elements included in it are expressed by Bengel above. De Wette, makes the land unfruitful. See on barren and unfruitful, 2 Peter 1:8.

And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that

Join afar that with bear fruit. "If it bear fruit for the future (εἰς τὸ μέλλον, Rev., thenceforth), well; but if not, thou shalt cut it down." Trench ("Parables") cites an Arabian writer's receipt for curing a palm-tree of barrenness. "Thou must take a hatchet, and go to the tree with a friend, unto whom thou sayest, 'I will cut down this tree, for it is unfruitful.' He answers, 'Do not so, this year it will certainly bear fruit.' But the other says, 'It must needs be - it must be hewn down;' and gives the stem of the tree three blows with the back of the hatchet. But the other restrains him, crying, 'Nay, do it not, thou wilt certainly have fruit from it this year, only have patience with it, and be not overhasty in cutting it down; if it still refuses to bear fruit, then cut it down.' Then will the tree that year be certainly fruitful and bear abundantly." Trench adds that this story appears to be widely spread in the East.

Thou shalt cut it down

The vine-dresser does not say, "I will cut," but refers that to the master.

And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
Spirit of infirmity

A spirit which caused infirmity. An evil demon, see Luke 13:16, though it is not certain that it was a case of possession. The details of the disease, and the noting of the time of its continuance, are characteristic of a physician's narrative.

Bowed together (συγκύπτουσα)

Only here in New Testament.

Lift herself up (ἀνακύψαι)

Only here in New Testament, unless John 8:7-10 be accepted as genuine. Used by Galen of strengthening the vertebrae of the spine.

And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
Thou art loosed (ἀπολέλυσαο)

The only passage in The New Testament where the word is used of disease. Medical writers use it of releasing from disease, relaxing tendons, and taking off bandages. (Luke 13:25). In Matthew 7:13, where the image is of a gate opening into a way, πύλη, gate, is used.

And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
She was made straight (ἀνορθώθη)

The verb occurs, Acts 15:16, of setting up the tabernacle of David, and Hebrews 12:12, of lifting up the hands which hang down.

And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
Loose (λύει)

Compare thou art loosed, Luke 13:12.


See on Luke 2:7.

And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?

"True to its principle of contrast, this book gives Satan a prominent position" (Abbot). See Luke 4:13; Luke 10:18; Luke 22:3, Luke 22:31. See Introduction.

And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
Were ashamed.

Rev., more correctly, were put to shame.

Glorious things

See on Matthew 11:20.

Were done (γινομένοις)

Lit., are being done, denoting their being then in progress.

Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I resemble it?
It is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.
His garden

Properly, as Rev., his own (ἑαυτοῦ) where he could personally observe and tend it.

Great tree

The best texts omit great.


See on Luke 9:58.

Branches (κλάδοις)

See on Mark 11:8.

And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God?
It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.

See on Matthew 13:33.

And he went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Used only by Luke and Paul, except John 18:36. Originally to contend for a prize in the public games; and thus conveying a sense of struggle. The kindred noun, ἀγωνία, agony, is used of Christ's struggle in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44). Compare 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 4:7.

Strait gate (στενῆς θύρας)

Rev., narrow door. See on Matthew 7:13. The door of a house, and not a gate, is meant

When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
When once (ἀφ' ou)

Lit., from the time that. Compare Luke 13:7. Some editors connect this with the previous sentence: "Shall not be able when once," etc.

Whence (πόθεν)

Of what family. Ye do not belong to my household. See John 7:27 : "We know whence he (Jesus) is;" i.e., we know his birthplace and family.

Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
In thy presence (ἐνώπιον σοῦ)

Not as beloved and familiar guests. Compare with you (μεθ' ὑμῶν), Matthew 26:29.

But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
I know not whence

"The sentence is fixed, but it is repeated with emphasis" (Bengel).

Shall sit down (ἀνακλιθήσονται)

Sit down at table. Jesus casts his thought into a familiar Jewish image. According to the Jewish idea, one of the main elements of the happiness of the Messianic kingdom was the privilege of participating in splendid festive entertainments along with the patriarchs of the nation. With this accords Luke 13:30, in allusion to places at the banquet. Compare Luke 14:7-9; Matthew 23:6.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.

The best texts read hour.

Will kill (θέλει ἀποκτεῖναι)

As in so many cases the A. V. renders as the future of the verb to kill; whereas there are two distinct verbs; to will or determine, and to kill. The meaning is, Herod willeth or is determined to kill thee. Rev., would fain, seems rather feeble.

And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
That fox

Herod. Describing his cunning and cowardice.

Cures (ἰάσεις)

Used by Luke only.

I shall be perfected (τελειοῦμαι)

The present tense: "the present of the certain future" (Meyer). The meaning is, I come to an end: I have done. Expositors differ greatly. Some interpret, "I end my career of healing," etc.; others, my life.

Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
It cannot be (οὐκ ἐνδέχεται)

The verb means to accept or admit; so that the sense is, "it is not admissible that." The expression is ironical and hyperbolical, with reference to Jerusalem as having a monopoly of such martyrdoms. "It would be contrary to use and wont, and, in a manner, to theocratic decorum, if such a prophet as I should perish elsewhere than in Jerusalem" (Godet).

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Would I have gathered (ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι)

Lit., "I desired to gather." See on will kill, Luke 13:31.


See on Matthew 23:37.

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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