Luke 8
Vincent's Word Studies
And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
Afterward (ἐν τῷ καθεξῆς)

Rev., soon afterward. See on Luke 7:11.

Throughout every city and village (κατὰ πόλιν καὶ κώμην)

Lit., by city and village. See on Luke 8:4.

Preaching (κηρύσσων)

Or proclaiming, as a herald. Compare Luke 4:18, and see on 2 Peter 2:5.

And the twelve were with him

The were is supplied by the translators. Better, "he himself went about," etc., "and the twelve (went) with him;" or, as Rev., and with him the twelve.

And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.
Steward (ἐπιτρόπου)

From ἐπιτρέπω, to turn toward; thence to turn over to, transfer, and so commit or intrust to. The word thus literally means, one to whom the management of affairs is turned over.

And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable:
Out of every city (κατὰ πολίν)

City by city.

Were come (ἐπιπορευμένων)

The present participle denoting something in progress. They kept coming. Rev., resorted.

A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
To sow

See on Matthew 13:3.

His seed

Peculiar to Luke.

By the way-side

See on Matthew 13:4.

Was trodden down

A rendering which would apply better to standing grain. Render, as Rev., trodden under foot. Peculiar to Luke.

And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
The rock (τὴν πέτραν)

Matthew has the rocky place, and Mark the rocky ground.

Sprung up (φυὲν)

Lit., having sprung up. Rev., better, grew. Sprung up is Matthew's ὲξανέτειλεν. Only here and Hebrews 7:15, where it is a quotation from the Septuagint. See on Matthew 13:7.

Moisture (ἱκμάδα)

Only here in New Testament. Matthew and Mark have depth of earth. The word is the medical expression for juices of the body, of plants, and of the earth. Aristophanes, metaphorically, the juice of thought ("Clouds," 233). Hippocrates uses this and the preceding word together, comparing the juices of the body with those of the earth.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
Among (ἐν μέσῳ)

In the midst. Stronger than the simple ἐν, in, as giving more prominence to the danger.

Sprung up with it (συμφυεῖσαι)

Only here in New Testament. See on Luke 8:6, and Matthew 13:7. The technical word among physicians for closing of wounds or ulcers, and the uniting of nerves or bones. Dioscorides uses it, as here, of plants growing in the same place: "The hellebore grows together with the vines."

Choked (ἀπέπνιξαν)

Lit., choked off. Matthew has the simple ἔπνιξαν, choked; and Mark συνέπνιξαν; the σύν, together, emphasizing the idea of compression. Luke is very fond of compounds and sonorous words. See on Luke 23:51.

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
A hundred-fold.

Omitting the thirty and sixty of Matthew and Mark. See on Matthew 13:8.

And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

See on Matthew 13:11.

Understand (συνιῶσιν)

See on understanding, the kindred noun, Mark 12:33.

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The parable is this

According to its interpretation.

Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
For awhile believe

See on Matthew 13:21. Matthew and Mark have endureth, or endure for a while.

In time of temptation

Matthew and Mark have, when tribulation or persecution cometh.

Fall away

Lit., withdraw or stand aloof. Matthew and Mark have stumble.

And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Go forth (πορευόμενοι)

The present participle. Much better Rev., "they that have heard, and as they go on their way are choked," etc.

Choked with (ὕπο, under)

Implying the impulse under which they pursue their course.

Bring (no fruit) to perfection (τελεσφοροῦσιν)

Only here in New Testament. Matthew and Mark have, it becometh unfruitful. The verb literally means to bring to an end or accomplishment.

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
These are they which (οὗτοί εἰσιν οἵτινες)

Which denotes them as belonging to a class. Hence Rev., rightly, such as.

Honest and good heart

Peculiar to Luke. Honest; lit., fair, noble. Honest, not in the popular sense, but in the sense of the Latin honestus ; noble, virtuous, worthy.

Keep (κατέχουσιν)

Much better Rev., hold it fast, giving the force of the compound verb.

With patience

Or in patience. Peculiar to Luke. In contrast with fall away, Luke 8:13.

No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.
Candle (λύχνον)

Rev., properly, lamp. See on Mark 4:21.

Candlestick (λυχνίας)

Correctly, as Rev., a stand. See on Matthew 5:15.

For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Nothing is secret - manifest

Correctly rendered in A. V., but not so the parallel passage, Mark 4:22, on which see note.

Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.
How ye hear (τῶς)

The manner of hearing. Mark has τί, what ye hear; the matter.

Seemeth (δοκεῖ)

Peculiar to Luke. Rev. renders "thinketh he hath," as James 1:26, on which see note. Wyc., guesseth; Tynd., supposeth.

Then came to him his mother and his brethren, and could not come at him for the press.
And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.
And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.
Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.
Let us go over unto the other side of the lake

Wyc. has, pass we over the standing water. On lake, see on Luke 5:1.

Launched forth (ἀνήχθησαν)

See on Luke 5:3. The verb literally means to lead up; hence to lead up to the high sea, or take to sea; put to sea. It is the word used of Jesus' being led up into the wilderness and the mount of temptation (Matthew 4:1; Luke 2:22); also of bringing up a sacrifice to an idol-altar (Acts 7:41). Often in Acts in the accounts of Paul's voyages.

But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.
He fell asleep (ἀφύπνωσεν)

Very graphic. He fell off (ἀπό) into sleep.

Came down (κατέβη)

More vivid than either Matthew or Mark, who have there arose. The word describes the action of the sudden storms which literally come down from the heights surrounding the lake. See on Matthew 8:24.

Storm (λαιλαψ)

See Mark 4:37. Matthew has σεισμὸς, a shaking. See on Matthew 8:24.

They were filling with water (συνεπληροῦντο)

Used by Luke only. Mark, as usual, goes into minuter detail, and describes how the waves beat into the boat. Note the imperfects: they were filling; they were beginning to be in danger, contrasted with the instantaneous descent of the storm expressed by the aorist came down.

And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

See on Luke 5:5.


Compare the more detailed narrative of Mark 4:39, and see notes there. Wyc., blamed.

The raging (κλύδωνι)

See on James 1:6.

Arose (διεγερθεὶς)

Wrong. It is the word used just before, awoke. Lit., having been thoroughly awakened. Rev., correctly, he awoke. Luke is especially fond of compounds with διά.

A calm

Matthew and Mark have "a great calm."

And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.
He commandeth

Peculiar to Luke.

And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee.
They arrived (κατέπλευσαν)

The verb means literally to sail down from the sea to the shore. Compare launched forth, Luke 8:22. Only here in New Testament. The two prepositions, up and down, are used in our nautical terms bear up and bear down. See Introduction, on Luke's variety of words for sailing. Matthew and Mark have came (ἐλθόντος, ἦλθον).


The texts vary, some reading Gadarenes, as A. V., others Gergesenes.

Over against (ἀντιπέρα)

Only here in New Testament.

And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.
There met him out of the city

The words out of the city belong rather with a certain man. So Rev.

Which had devils long time

The best texts insert καὶ, and, after devils (demons), and read "who had demons, and for a long time he had worn," etc. Long (ἱκανῷ). See on Luke 7:6.


See on Matthew 8:28. Compare Mark 5:4-6.

When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.
Fell down (προσέπεσεν)

Mark has προσεκύνησεν, which often implies religious or superstitious feeling, as Matthew 4:9, Matthew 4:10. This is the prostration of abject terror.

Cried out (ἀνακράξας)

The compound verb with ἀνά, up, implies what is conveyed by our phrase, lifting up the voice. See on Mark 5:5.

What have I to do with thee?

See on Mark 5:7.

Torment (βασαμίσῃς)

See on Matthew 4:24. Luke never uses the word of sickness, as Matthew 8:6. See on Luke 4:41.

(For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)
He had commanded (παρήγγελλεν)

Imperfect tense. Rev. does not improve by reading he commanded. The imperfect expresses the simultaneousness of the exorcism and the cry torment me not. Better, for he was commanding. So the Am. Rev.

It had seized (συνηρπάκει)

Used by Luke only. See Acts 6:12; Acts 27:15. The verb literally means to snatch and carry away with (σύν).

He was kept bound (ἐδεσμεύετο φυλασσόμενος)

Lit., he was bound, being guarded. Rev., was kept under guard and bound. The A. V. does not sufficiently bring out the vigilance with which he was attended.

Chains and fetters

See on Mark 5:4.

Breaking (διαρρήσσων)

Compare Mark 5:4, and see note there.

Was driven, etc

Peculiar to Luke.

And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.
Many devils were, etc

Compare Mark 5:9.

And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.
Command them

The plural, referring to the legion.

The deep (ἄβυσσον)

Lit., the bottomless. Transcribed into our abyss, as Rev. Mark has a quite different request, that he would not send them out of the country (Mark 5:10). In Romans 10:7, used of Hades, to which Christ descended; and in Revelation always of the bottomless pit. The demons refer to their place of abode and torment.

And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.
Ran violently (ὥρμησεν)

Rev., more neatly, rushed. Only Mark gives the number of the swine, two thousand.

A steep place

See on Matthew 8:32.

When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.
Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed.
He that was possessed with devils

Expressed in the Greek by two words, ὁ δαιμονισθείς, the demonized.

Was healed (ἐσώθη)

See on Luke 6:19.

Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.
They were taken (συνείχοντο)

See on Luke 4:38. The same word as of the fever.

Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,
Besought (ἐδέετο)

Imperfect: was beseeching. See on prayers, Luke 5:33. Rev., prayed. Beseech is used to render παρακαλέω (Mark 5:10). See on consolation, Luke 6:24. Παρακαλέω, beseech, is used of prayer to God in only one instance, 2 Corinthians 12:8, where Paul besought the Lord to remove the thorn in the flesh. Frequently or requests to Christ while on earth. Δεομαι, to pray, often of prayer to God (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2; Acts 8:22). It is noticeable that in Luke 8:28, where the demons address Christ as the Son of the highest God, they say δέομαι, I pray. In Luke 8:31, Luke 8:32, where they ask not to be sent away, and to be allowed to enter into the swine, they say παρακαλέω, I beseech. The restored man, recognizing Jesus' divine power, prayed (ἐδεῖτο) to be with him. The distinction, however, must not be closely pressed. The two words seem to be often used interchangeably in the New Testament.

Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
Shew (διηγοῦ)

Rather relate, recount, with the idea of telling the story throughout (διά). See on declaration, Luke 1:1.

Throughout the whole city

Mark says in Decapolis.

How great things (ὅσα)

Lit., how many things, and thus according with recount. Declared all things throughout, as many as Jesus had done.

And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:

The name of one of the Israelite chiefs, Jair, who conquered and settled Bashan (Numbers 32:41; Joshua 13:30). "His name lingered down to the time of the Christian era, when, in the same region as that which he conquered, we find a ruler of the synagogue named Jair" (Stanley, "Jewish Church").

For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
Thronged (συνέπνιγον)

With the idea of pressing together (σύν) upon him: stifling. The simple verb is that rendered choke, as in Luke 8:7, Luke 8:33.

And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
Had spent (προσαναλώσασα)

Only here in New Testament. Some texts omit who had spent all her living upon physicians. Luke, with professional sensitiveness, omits Mark's statement that she had suffered many things from many physicians, and was not bettered but made worse.

Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

See on Matthew 9:20.

Stanched (ἔστη)

A common medical term.

And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
Who touched (τίς ὁ ἁψαμενός)

Lit., who is he that touched ? Rev., who is it that.

Throng and press (συνέχουσιν - ἀποθλίβουσιν)

On the former word, see Luke 8:37, and Luke 4:38. Rev. renders the latter, which occurs here only, more literally, crush. It means to squeeze out, as wine from grapes. See on tribulation, Matthew 13:21.

And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
Hath touched (ἥψατο) - I perceive (ἔγνων)

Rev. renders the two aorists strictly: did touch, and I perceived, with reference to Jesus' knowledge of the touch at the moment it was applied.

Virtue (δύναμιν)

Rev., power. The evangelists use the word frequently of miracles - mighty works. It is used here in the sense of virtue, according to its use by naturalists and physicians. Still, too much stress must not be laid upon it as a mark of Luke's professional accuracy, as Dean Plumptre in "The Expositor," iv., 139; since Mark uses it in his narrative of the same incident, and in the same sense (Mark 5:30).

And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
Falling down

Not in worship, but in terror. See on fell down, Luke 5:8.

And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
In peace

See on Luke 7:50.

While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.
From the ruler of the synagogue's house

A. V. and Rev. properly supply house, as the ruler himself is present with Jesus.


Placed first in the Greek order, for emphasis. "Dead is thy daughter."


See on Matthew 9:36; and Mark 5:35. Tyndale renders dis-ease, in the old verbal sense of disturb.

But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.
And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
Wept and bewailed

Both imperfects, were weeping and bewailing. So, rightly, Rev. Compare on bewailing, Mark 5:38.

And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
Maid (ἡ παῖς)

Instead of the unclassical κορασίον, damsel, of Matthew and Mark.

And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.
And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.
Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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