Luke 19
Vincent's Word Studies
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

The city was close to the fords of the Jordan, on the frontier of Peraea, and on the richest plain of Palestine, abounding most in the choicest productions, especially balsam; and was, therefore, an appropriate seat for an officer of superior rank to preside over the collection of revenues. See on Matthew 9:9; Luke 3:12.


The city was close to the fords of the Jordan, on the frontier of Peraea, and on the richest plain of Palestine, abounding most in the choicest productions, especially balsam; and was, therefore, an appropriate seat for an officer of superior rank to preside over the collection of revenues. See on Matthew 9:9; Luke 3:12.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
Named (ὀνόματι καλούμενος)

Lit., called by name. Compare Luke 1:61.


Saccai, "the just."

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
He sought (ἐζήτει)

Imperfect. He was busy seeking as Jesus passed.

Who he was

Lit., is. Not to see what kind of a person, but which one of the crowd he was.

Stature (ἡλικίᾳ)

See on Luke 12:25.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
Sycamore (συκομορέαν)

From συκῆ, fig-tree, and μόρον, the mulberry. The fig-mulberry, resembling the fig in its fruit, and the mulberry in its leaves. Some old writers derived it from μωρὸς, foolish, because it produced worthless figs. Dr. Thomson says that it bears several crops yearly, which grow on short stems along the trunk and the large branches. They are very insipid, and none but the poorer classes eat them. Hence Amos expresses the fact that he belongs to the humblest class of the community, by calling himself a gatherer of sycamore fruit (Amos 7:14). It grows with its large branches low down and wide open, so that Zacchaeus could easily have climbed into it. It is a favorite and pleasant conceit with old commentators that Zacchaeus' sycamore that day bore precious fruit.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
I must abide

"Adopting the royal style which was familiar to him, and which commends the loyalty of a vassal in the most delicate manner by freely exacting his services" ("Ecce Homo").

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
To be guest (καταλῦσαι)

More correctly, Rev., lodge. See on Luke 9:12.

A sinner

See on Luke 3:12.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Stood (σταθεὶς)

See on Luke 18:11. Describing a formal act, as of one who is about to make a solemn declaration. He was like the Pharisee in attitude, but not in spirit. The more formal word for standing, applied to the Pharisee in the temple, is here used of the publican.


Not, It is my practice to give. Zacchaeus' statement is not a vindication, but a vow. "I now give by way of restoration."

If I have taken anything by false accusation (εἴ τι ἐσυκοφάντησα)

If - anything does not state a merely possible case, as if Zacchaeus were unconscious of any such extortion; but is a milder way of saying "Whatever I have taken." See on Luke 3:14. It is an odd coincidence, nothing more, that the fig-mulberry (sycamore) should occur in connection with the fig-shewer (sycophant). It was common for the publicans to put a fictitious value on property or income, or to advance the tax to those unable to pay, and then to charge usurious interest on the private debt. On the harsh exaction of such debts, see Matthew 18:28; Luke 12:58.


The restoration required of a thief (Exodus 22:1).

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
Appear (ἀναφαίνεσθαι)

Only here and Acts 21:3. It means to be brought to light; shown forth. The common phrase show up (ἀνά) represents it.

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
His ten servants (δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ)

Rev., rightly, changes to ten servants of his, since the his is emphatic; lit., his own. Moreover, it would be absurd to suppose that this nobleman, of consequence enough to be raised to a royal dignity, had but ten servants. The number of slaves in a Roman household was enormous, sometimes reaching hundreds. Toward the end of the Republic, it was considered reprehensible not to have a slave for every sort of work.

Pounds (μνᾶς)

Minas. Between sixteen and eighteen dollars apiece. Meyer very aptly remarks: "The small sum astonishes us. Compare, on the other hand, the talents (Matthew 25). But in Matthew, the Lord transfers to his servant his whole property; here he has only devoted a definite sum of money to the purpose of putting his servants to the proof therewith; and the smallness of the amount corresponds to what is so carefully emphasized in our parable, viz., the relation of faithfulness in the least to its great recompense (Luke 19:17); which relation is less regarded in the parable in Matthew" ("Commentary on Luke").

Occupy (πραγματεύσασθε)

The word occupy has lost the sense which it conveyed to the makers of the A. V. - that of using or laying out what is possessed. An occupier formerly meant a trader. Occupy, in the sense of to use, occurs Judges 16:11 : "new ropes that never were occupied;" which Rev. changes to wherewith no work hath been done. Compare the Prayer-Book version of the Psalter, Psalm 107:23 : "occupy their business in great waters." So Latimer, "Sermons," "He that occupieth usury." Rev., trade ye. Wyc., merchandise ye. Tynd., buy and sell. See on traded, Matthew 25:16.

Till I come (ἕως ἔρχομαι)

It is strange that the Rev. follows this reading without comment, while the Revisers' text takes no notice whatever of the reading of four of the leading manuscripts, which is adopted by both Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort; ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι, "while I come," a condensed form of expression for while I go and return.

But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
Had gained by trading (διεπραγματεύσατο)

Only here in New Testament. See on Luke 19:13.

Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
Hath gained (προσηργάσατο)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., hath worked besides (πρὸς) the original sum. Rev., made.

Have thou authority (ἴσθι ἐξομσίαν ἔχων)

Lit., Be thou having authority.


"A city for a pound, yet not even a cottage could be bought for a pound" (Bengel).

And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
Made (ἐποίησεν)

See on Matthew 25:16.

And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
I kept (εἶχον)

The imperfect. I was keeping while thou wert absent.

Napkin (σουδαρίῳ)

The Latin sudarium, from sudor, perspiration: a cloth for wiping off the sweat. Trench notes that the napkin which the idle servant does not need for its proper use (Genesis 3:19) he uses for the wrapping up of his pound.

For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
Austere (αὐστηρὸς)

From aὔω, to dry. Dry, and thence hard. See on hard, Matthew 25:24.

Sow (ἔσπειρας)

See on strawed, Matthew 25:24.

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Thou knewest

To be read interrogatively. "Didst thou know that? Then, for that reason, thou shouldst have been the more faithful."

Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
Bank (τράπεζαν)

Lit., the table of the money-changer. Wyc., board. See on exchangers, Matthew 25:27.

Usury (τόκῳ)

Better interest, as Rev. See on usury, Matthew 25:27.

And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)
For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
But (πλὴν)

Rev., howbeit. However it may be with the unfaithful servant.

Slay (κατασφάξατε)

Only here in New Testament. A strong word: slaughter; cut them down (κατά).

And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

See on Matthew 21:1.

Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
The Lord

See on Matthew 21:3.

And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.
And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?
And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
Their garments

More strictly, their own garments (ἑαυτῶν), in their reverence and love for their Lord. See oil Matthew 25:7.

And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.
Spread (ὑπεστρώννυον)

Only here in New Testament.

And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
The descent

Two distinct sights of Jerusalem are caught on this route, an inequality of ground hiding it for a time after one has first seen it. Luke 19:37 marks the first sight, Luke 19:41 the second and nearer view (see Introduction, on Luke's topographical accuracy). "A t this point (the former) the first view is caught of the southeastern corner of the city. The temple and the more northern portions are hid by the slope of Olivet on the right: what is seen is only Mount Zion, now, for the most part, a rough field, crowned with the mosque of David, and the angle of the western walls, but then covered with houses to its base, and surmounted by the castle of Herod, on the supposed site of the palace of David....It was at this point that the shout of triumph burst forth from the multitude" (Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine").

Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
He drew nigh

"Again the procession advanced. The road descends a slight declivity, and the glimpse of the city is again withdrawn behind the intervening ridge of Olivet. A few moments, and the path mounts again; it climbs a rugged ascent, it reaches a ledge of smooth rock, and in an instant the whole city bursts into view....It is hardly possible to doubt that this rise and turn of the road was the exact point where the multitude paused again, and He, when he beheld the city, wept over it" (Stanley).

Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
Wept (ἔκλαυσεν)

With audible weeping.

For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
A trench (χάρακα)

Rev., correctly, as Tynd., a bank. Only here in New Testament. The word literally means a pointed stake, used in fortifying the intrenchments of a camp, and thence the palisade itself. In fortifying a camp or besieging a city, a ditch was dug round the entire circuit, and the earth from it thrown up into a wall, upon which sharp stakes were fixed. Every Roman soldier carried three or four of these stakes on the march. Wyc., with pale.

Keep thee in (συνέξουσιν)

See on Luke 4:38.

And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Lay thee even with the ground (ἐδαφιοῦσιν)

Only here in New Testament. Primarily, to beat level, like a threshing-floor or pavement. The Septuagint uses it in the sense of dashing down to the ground (Psalm 137:9, and elsewhere). So Rev., from the succeeding reference to the children, and in allusion to the Psalms.


See on 1 Peter 2:12.

And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;
Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Thieves (λῃστῶν)

See on Matthew 26:55; Luke 10:30; Mark 11:17.

And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
Were very attentive (ἐξεκρέματο)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., as Rev., hung upon him. Tynd., stuck by him.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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