Luke 9
Vincent's Word Studies
Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Called together

Matthew and Mark have called to.

And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
Take (αἴρετε)

Lit., lift, with a view of carrying away.


Following the reading ῥάβδους, for which read ῥάβδον staff.

Two coats (ἀνά δύο χιτῶνας)

Lit., two apiece: the force of ἀνά, as in John 2:6.

And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
There abide

See on Matthew 10:10.

And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
Shake off

See on Matthew 10:14.

And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
Throughout the towns (κατὰ τὰς κώμας)

Rev., rightly, villages. The preposition is distributive, village by village.

Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
The tetrarch

See on Matthew 14:1.

That was done (τὰ γινόμενα)

The present participle. Lit., all that is being done.

Was perplexed (διηπόρει)

Used by Luke only. From διά, through, and ὰπορέω, to be without a way out. The radical idea of the compound verb seems to be of one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out. Hence, to be in perplexity.

And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.
And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
He desired (ἐζήτει)

Rev., he sought. He did more than desire.

And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
Declared (διηγήσαντο)

Related everything throughout (διά). See on Luke 8:39; and Luke 1:1.


Peculiar to Luke. It means Fishing-place.

Healed (ἰᾶτο) them that had need of healing (θεραπείας)

See on Luke 5:15.

And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.
And when the day began to wear away, then came the twelve, and said unto him, Send the multitude away, that they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals: for we are here in a desert place.
And when the day began to wear away

Omit when. Render, and the day began, etc. To wear away (κλίνειν). Lit., to decline. Wyc., very literally, to bow down.

Lodge (καταλύσωσιν)

Peculiar to Luke. Primarily the verb means to break up or dissolve. Hence often in New Testament to destroy (Matthew 5:17; Mark 13:2). Intransitively, to take up one's quarters; lodge; either because the harness of the travellers' horses is loosed, or because the fastenings of their garments are untied. The kindred word κατάλυμα, a guest-chamber, occurs, Mark 14:14; or inn, Luke 2:7.

Victuals (ἐπισιτισμόν)

Only here in New Testament. Properly a stock of provisions. Thus Xenophon. "Cyrus hastened the whole journey, except when he halted in order to furnish himself with supplies" (ἐπισιτισμοῦ ἕνεκα).

Desert (ἔρημῳ)

See on Matthew 14:15.

But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
Give ye

The ye emphatic, closing the sentence in the Greek order. See on Matthew 14:15.

Buy food

Compare Mark 6:37.

For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
In a company (κλισίας)

The plural, in companies. Lit., table-companies. The word is also used in classical Greek of a couch for reclining at table. Only here in New Testament. See on Mark 6:39.

And they did so, and made them all sit down.
Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
Brake and gave (κατέκλασεν - ἐδίδου)

Note the two tenses, as in Mark 6:41, and see note there.

To set before (παραθεῖναι)

Lit., to set beside, since the table was at the side of the guest. A common word for serving up a meal. Compare Luke 10:8; Acts 16:34. From the sense of placing beside, comes that of putting in charge, committing (Luke 12:48; Luke 23:46; 1 Timothy 1:18). Hence the kindred noun παραθήκη (2 Timothy 1:12), a deposit: that which f halve committed.

And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
Were filled

See on Matthew 5:6.

There were taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets (καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα)

The Rev. is more accurate, putting the comma after αὐτοῖς to them, instead of after κλασμάτων, fragments; and making the latter word depend on κόφινοι, baskets. Render, therefore, And there was taken up that which remained over to them, of broken pieces, twelve baskets.


See on Matthew 14:20.

And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
As he was praying

Peculiar to Luke.

They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

Emphatic: "but ye, whom do ye say that Iam?"

The Christ of God

Each evangelist gives Peter's confession differently. Matthew, The Christ, the Son of the living God. Mark, The Christ. See on Matthew 16:15. On Christ, see on Matthew 1:1.

And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
He straitly charged (ἐπιτιμήσας)

The word implies an emphatic, solemn charge; its meaning being, strictly, to lay a penalty upon one, and thence, to charge under penalty.

No man (μηδενὶ)

The conditional negative: no man, whoever he might be.

Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
Be rejected (ἀποδοκιμασθῆναι)

The verb means to reject on scrutiny or trial, and therefore implies deliberate rejection.

Of the elders (ἀπό)

Lit., from the side of; on the part of.

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Will come after (θέλει)

Not the future tense of the verb come, but the present of the verb to will: wills to come. See on Matthew 1:19; and Mark 8:34. Rev., properly, would come.


Peculiar to Luke.

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
Will save (θέλῃ σῶσαι)

The same construction as will come after (Luke 9:23). Rev., would save.

Life (ψυχὴν)

See on soul, Mark 12:30.

For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Gain (κερδήσας)

A merchant's word. Jesus is putting the case as a common-sense question of profit and loss.

Lose (ἀπολέσας)

"When he might have been saved" (Bengel). This word, in classical Greek, is used: 1. Of death in battle or elsewhere. 2. Of laying waste, as a city or heritage. 3. Of losing of life, property, or other objects. As an active verb, to kill or demolish. 4. Of being demoralized, morally abandoned or ruined, as children under bad influences. In New Testament of killing (Matthew 2:13; Matthew 12:14). 5. Of destroying and perishing, not only of human life, but of material and intellectual things (1 Corinthians 1:19; John 6:27; Mark 2:22; 1 Peter 1:7; James 1:11; Hebrews 1:11). 6. Of losing (Matthew 10:6, Matthew 10:42; Luke 15:4, Luke 15:6, Luke 15:8). Of moral abandonment (Luke 15:24, Luke 15:32). 7. Of the doom of the impenitent (Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:3; John 3:15; John 10:28; 2 Peter 3:9; Romans 2:12.

Cast away (ζημιωθείς)

Another business term. The word means to fine, amerce, mulct; to punish by exacting forfeit. Hence Rev., correctly, forfeit his own self. See on win your souls, Luke 21:19. Also on Matthew 16:26.

For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
Shall be ashamed (ἐπαισχυνθῇ)

The feeling expressed by this word has reference to incurring dishonor or shame in the eyes of men. It is "the grief a mail conceives from his own imperfections considered with relation to the world taking notice of them; grief upon the sense of disesteem" ("South," cit. by Trench). Hence it does not spring out of a reverence for right in itself, but from fear of the knowledge and opinion of men. Thus in the use of the kindred noun αἰσχύνη, shame, in the New Testament. In Luke 14:9, the man who impudently puts himself in the highest place at the feast, and is bidden by his host to go lower down, begins with shame to take the lowest place; not from a right sense of his folly and conceit, but from being humiliated in the eyes of the guests. Thus, Hebrews 12:2, Christ is said to have "endured the shame," i.e., the public disgrace attaching to crucifixion. So, too, in the use of the verb, Romans 1:16 : "I am not ashamed of the gospel," though espousing its cause subjects me to the contempt of the Jew and of the Greek, to whom it is a stumbling-block and foolishness. Onesiphorus was not ashamed to be known as the friend of a prisoner (2 Timothy 1:16). Compare Hebrews 2:11; Hebrews 11:16. It is used of the Son of Man here by a strong metaphor. Literally, of course, the glorified Christ cannot experience the sense of shame, but the idea at the root is the same. It will be as if he should feel himself disgraced before the Father and the holy angels in owning any fellowship with those who have been ashamed of him.

His glory, etc

Threefold glory. His own, as the exalted Messiah; the glory of God, who owns him as his dearly beloved son, and commits to him the judgment; and the glory of the angels who attend him.

But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Taste of death

The word taste, in the sense of experience, is often used in classical Greek; as, to taste of toils, of sorrow, of freedom, but never of death. The phrase, taste of death, is common in Rabbinical writings. In the New Testament only here and Hebrews 2:9, used of Christ. Chrysostom (cited by Alford) compares Christ to a physician who first tastes his medicines to encourage the sick to take them.

The kingdom of God

See on Luke 6:20.

And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
A mountain

Rev., the mountain. The tradition that this mountain was Tabor is generally abandoned, and Mount Hermon is commonly supposed to have been the scene of the transfiguration. "Hermon, which is indeed the centre of all the Promised Land, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt; the mount of fruitfulness, from which the springs of Jordan descended to the valleys of Israel. Along its mighty forest-avenues, until the grass grew fair with the mountain lilies, his feet dashed in the dew of Hermon, he must have gone to pray his first recorded prayer about death, and from the steep of it, before he knelt, could see to the south all the dwelling-place of the people that had sat in darkness, and seen the great light - the land of Zabulon and of Naphtali, Galilee of the nations; could see, even with his human sight, the gleam of that lake by Capernaum and Chorazin, and many a place loved by him and vainly ministered to, whose house was now left unto them desolate; and, chief of all, far in the utmost blue, the hills above Nazareth, sloping down to his old home: hills on which the stones yet lay loose that had been taken up to cast at him, when he left them forever" (Ruskin, "Modern Painters," iv., 374).

To pray

Peculiar to Luke.

And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
Was altered (ἐγένετο ἕτερον)

Lit., became different. Luke avoids Matthew's word, μεταμορφώθη, was metamorphosed. He was writing for Greek readers, to whom that word represented the transformations of heathen deities into other forms. See, for instance, the story of the capture of Proteus by Menelaus, in the fourth book of Homer's "Odyssey." See on Matthew 17:2.

White (λευκὸς)

In classical Greek very indefinite as an expression of color; being used, not only of the whiteness of the snow, but of gray dust. Its original sense is clear. All three evangelists use the word, but combined with different terms. Thus, Matthew, as the light. Mark, στίλβοντα, glistering (see on Mark 9:3). Luke, ἐξαστράπτων (only here in New Testament), flashing as with the brilliance of lightning. Rev., dazzling.

And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
There talked (συνελάλουν)

The imperfect is graphic; as the vision revealed itself, the two were in the act of talking.

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

But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
Heavy (βεβαρημένοι)

The perfect participle. Lit., burdened or oppressed. "It was but natural for these men of simple habits, at night, and after the long ascent, and in the strong mountain air, to be heavy with sleep; and we also know it as a psychological fact, that, in quick reaction, after the overpowering influence of the strongest emotions, drowsiness would creep over their limbs and senses" (Edersheim).

And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.
As they were departing (ἐν τῷ διαχωρίζεσθαι ἀυτοὺς)

Lit., in their departing. The verb only here in New Testament. The whole sentence is peculiar to Luke's narrative.


See on Luke 5:5.

Let us make

See on Matthew 17:4.


See on Matthew 17:4. "Jesus might have smiled at the naive proposal of the eager apostle that they six should dwell forever in the little succo equals th of wattled boughs on the slopes of Hermon" (Farrar).

Not knowing what he said

Not implying any reproach to Peter, but merely as a mark of his bewilderment in his state of ecstasy.

While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
A cloud

"A strange peculiarity has been noticed about Hermon, in the extreme rapidity of the formation of cloud on the summit. In a few minutes a thick cap forms over the top of the mountain, and as quickly disperses and entirely disappears" (Edersheim).

Overshadowed them (ἐπεσκίαζεν)

A beautiful imperfect: "began to overshadow them;" thus harmonizing with the words, "as they entered into." Them (αὐτοὺς) must, I think, be confined to Moses, Elias, and Jesus. Grammatically, it might include all the six; but the disciples hear the voice out of the cloud, and the cloud, as a symbol of the divine presence, rests on these three as a sign to the disciples. See Exodus 14:19; Exodus 19:16; 1 Kings 8:10; Psalm 104:3.

And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.
When the voice was past (ἐν τῷ γενέσθαι τὴν φωνὴν)

Lit., in the coming to pass of the voice. Rev., when the voice came, with A. V. in margin.

And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.
Come down (κατελθόντων)

Very frequent in Luke, and only once elsewhere: James 3:15.

And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.
Master (διδάσκαλε)


Look upon (ἐπίβλεψαι)

Only here and James 2:3. To look with pitying regard; and by medical writers of examining the condition of a patient.

And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.
Taketh (λαμβάνει)

See on Mark 9:18.

Suddenly (ἐξαίφνης)

Used only once outside of the writings of Luke: Mark 13:36. Naturally, frequent in medical writers, of sudden attacks of disease. Luke has more medical details in his account than the other evangelists. He mentions the sudden coming on of the fits, and their lasting a long time. Mr. Hobart remarks that Aretaeus, a physician of Luke's time, in treating of epilepsy, admits the possibility of its being produced by demoniacal agency. Epilepsy was called by physicians "the sacred disease."

Bruising (συντρῖβον)

See on bruised, Luke 4:18. The word literally means crushing together. Rev. expresses the σύν, together, by sorely. Compare the details in Mark, gnashing the teeth and pining away (Mark 9:18). The details in Mark 9:21, Mark 9:22, we might rather expect to find in Luke; especially Christ's question, how long he had been subject to these attacks. See note on Mark 9:18.

And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.
And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

See on Mark 9:19.


See on Matthew 17:17.

How long (ἕως πότε)

Lit., until when.

Suffer (ἀνέξομαι)

Better as Rev., bear with. See Acts 18:14; 2 Corinthians 11:1. The literal meaning is to "bear up (ἀνά) under."

And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
Threw him down (ἔῤῥηξεν)

See on teareth, Mark 9:18.

Tare (συνεσπάραξεν)

Only here in New Testament. Convulse, which is the exact Latin equivalent, would, perhaps, be the nearest rendering. Σπαραγμός, a kindred noun, is the word for a cramp.

And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
Astonished (ἐξεπλήσσοντο)

See on Matthew 7:28.

Mighty power (μεγαλειότητι)

Used only by Luke and at 2 Peter 1:16, on which see note.

He did (ἐποίει)

Imperfect. Better, was doing.

Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
Let these sayings sink down into your ears

Lit., put these sayings into your ears.

Shall be delivered (μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι)

Rather, is about to be delivered.

But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.
Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
A reasoning (διαλογισμὸς)

A debate or discussion. See on Luke 24:38, and James 1:22; James 2:4.

And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
He took a little child (ἐπιλαβόμενος παιδίου)

Strictly, having laid hold of.

By him (παῤ ἑαυτῷ)

Lit., by himself. Mark alone record the taking him in his arms.

And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
In my name

See on Matthew 18:5.

And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
When the time was come (ἐν τῷ συμπληροῦσθαι τὰς ἡμέρας)

Lit., in the fulfilling of the days. This means when the days were being fulfilled; not when they were fulfilled: when the time was drawing near. Rev., were well-nigh come. Luke is speaking of a period beginning with the first announcement of his sufferings, and extending to the time of his being received up.

That he should be received up (τῆς ἀναλήμψεως αὐτοῦ)

Lit., the days of his being taken up: his ascension into heaven. Ἀνάλημψις, occurs nowhere else in the New Testament; but the kindred verb, ἀναλαμβάνω, is the usual word for being received into heaven. See Acts 1:2, Acts 1:11, Acts 1:22; 1 Timothy 3:16.

And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
A certain man

Matthew, a scribe.

Thou goest (ἀπέρχῃ)

Lit., "goest away" (ἀπό). I will follow thee whithersoever-away thou goest.

And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

See on Matthew 8:20.

Birds (πετεινὰ)

Strictly, flying fowl. The common word for bird in the New Testament. Ὄρνις, occurs Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34; but both times in the sense of hen. See on Matthew 23:37. Ὄρνεον is found in Revelation 18:2; Revelation 19:17, Revelation 19:21; and πτηνόν, another form for the word in this passage, occurs 1 Corinthians 15:30.


See on Matthew 8:20.

And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
Their dead (τοὺς ἑαυτῶν νεκρούς)

As Rev., their own dead.

Preach (διάγγελλε)

Publish abroad, as Rev. διά, throughout all regions.

And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
To bid farewell (ἀποτάξασθαι)

In this sense the word is used only in later Greek. In classical Greek it signifies to set apart or assign, as a soldier to his post or an official to his office, and later to detach soldiers. Hence to dismiss one with orders. This latter sense may, as Kypke suggests, be included in the meaning of the word in this passage; the man desiring to return home, not merely to take formal leave, but also to give his final instructions to his friends and servants. Similarly, Acts 18:18, of Paul taking leave of the brethren at Corinth, and, presumably, giving them instructions at parting. In the New Testament the word is used invariably in the sense of bidding farewell. Mark 6:46 is rendered by Rev. after he had taken leave of them. See note there, and compare Luke 14:33; 2 Corinthians 2:13.

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Put his hand to (ἐπιβαλὼν ἐπί)

Lit., having laid his hand upon.

Back (εἰς τὰ ὀπίσω)

Lit., to things behind. "The figure is that of a man who, while engaged in labor, instead of keeping his eye on the furrow which he is drawing, looks behind at some object which attracts his interest. He is only half at work, and half-work only will be the result" (Godet).

Fit (ἔυθετός)

Lit., well-placed: adjusted.

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

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