From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
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Weymouth: At one place where He was praying, when He rose from His knees one of His disciples said to Him, "Master, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples."
WEB: It happened, that when he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples."
Young’s: And it came to pass, in his being in a
certain place praying, as he ceased, a certain one of his disciples said unto
him, 'Sir, teach us to pray, as also John taught his disciples.'
Conte (RC): And it happened that, while he was in a certain place praying, when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."
11:1 And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place. Luke has taken notice of our Savior's praying often. Thus, at His baptism (); in the wilderness (); before the appointment of the apostles, He continued all night in prayer (); He was alone praying (); His transfiguration also took place when He went up to pray (-29). 
in a certain place. As in many designations of time and place by our author, especially in this section of his work, “a certain” seems to mean ‘some place, not necessary to be more definitely pointed out.” 
when He ceased, one of the disciples said unto Him. His supplications were sometimes audible, as at Gethsemane, probably here also, and from the attention which they excited, we must conclude that the matter, or the manner, or both, of His prayers, was such as to impress others with a sense of their own deficiency. Evidently it did so here. His prayer made them feel that they could not pray aright. 
Lord, teach us to pray. Jesus had already taught His disciples how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount. This disciple probably thought that the prayer already taught was too brief to be sufficient, especially as Jesus often prayed so long. 
as John also taught his disciples. His prayer, however good, is lost. 
It was customary for the rabbis to give their disciples forms of prayer, and the Baptist seems to have followed this practice. 
In depth: Relationship of this prayer to the similar one given by Matthew . We cannot easily suppose that those who had heard His particular instructions on the mount concerning prayer, but a few months before, would need to be informed how they ought to pray. This raises the question whether we have here the source and true occasion of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew, as some suppose.
We think it more probable that it was original in both connections. To assume a frequent repetition of His sayings, on the part of Jesus, within the short compass of one of the Gospels, is unreasonable; but if we imagine the question to have been asked by one who had more recently joined Him, it was very natural that He should give the substance of the former prayer. That it is the same only in substance, shows that it was neither intended by Christ, nor understood by the first disciples as an obligatory form.
In depth: Parallels between the contents of the prayer and those preserved in rabbinic sources . Various parallels for the different petitions of the Lord’s Prayer have been adduced from the Talmud, nor would there be anything strange in our Lord thus stamping with His sanction whatever was holiest in the petitions which His countrymen had learnt from the Spirit of God. But note that (1) the parallels are only to some of the clauses (e.g. not to the fourth and fifth); (2) they are mostly distant and imperfect; (3) there can be no certainty as to their priority, since the earliest portion of the Talmud (the Mishna) was not committed to writing till the second century after Christ; (4) they are nowhere blended into one incomparable petition. 
In depth: A reconstruction of the chronological setting of the current material that places it as occurring, time wise, earlier back in Galilee . The extreme vagueness of these expressions [at the beginning of the chapter] shews that St. Luke did not possess a more definite note of place or of time; but if we carefully compare the parallel passages of Matthew 12:22-50, 15:1-20; Mark 3:22-35, it becomes probable that this and the next chapter are entirely occupied with the incidents and teachings of one great day of open and decisive rupture with the Pharisees shortly before our Lord ceased to work in Galilee, and they do not belong to the period of the journey through Peraea. This great day of conflict was marked (1) by the prayer of Jesus and His teaching the disciples what and how to pray; (2) by the healing of the dumb demoniac; (3) by the invitation to the Pharisee’s house, the deadly dispute which the Pharisees there originated, and the terrible denunciation consequently evoked; (4) by the sudden gathering of a multitude, and the discourses and incidents of chapter xii. 
WEB: He said to them, "When you pray, say, 'Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven.
Young’s: And he said to them, 'When ye may pray,
say ye: Our Father who art in the heavens; hallowed be Thy name: Thy reign
come; Thy will come to pass, as in heaven also on earth;
Conte (RC): And he said to them: "When you are praying, say: Father, may your name be kept holy. May your kingdom come.
11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say. The divergence of Luke’s form from that of Matthew, as given in critical editions of the N.T., is sufficient evidence that the Apostolic Church did not so understand their Lord's will, and use the prayer bearing His name as a formula. 
Our father who art in heaven. "Father" here inspires confidence; "in heaven," awe. 
We have here grouped together the three principles which settle man's just relations to this and to the next world: 1. The Filicl. We see in the Most High a Father. This representation of God as Father of those who worship Him, teaches us that He stands in a relation toward them similar to that in which a father stands to his children, and that He regards them in a manner similar to that in which a father regards and acts toward his children--really loving them, and disposed to bestow on them everything that is necessary to their true happiness. 2. The Fraternal. We come not with our private needs and vows alone, but with those of our race and brotherhood. "Our Father." Believers, in all their prayers, should think of others as well as themselves. 3. The Celestial. Though we are now of the earth, and attached to it by these mortal and terrene bodies, we are not originally from it, nor were we made to be eternally upon it. We are of Heaven, and for Heaven, for there and not here our Father is, and where He is our true home is. God, though omnipresent, has Heaven as His special residence. "We are to have no earthly thoughts respecting the heavenly majesty of God." The very commencement of the prayer assumes in the suppliant a spirit penetrated with reverence and love and confidence--a spirit which, like the Psalmist, thinks of God as the highest and best portion. (Ps. lxxiii. 25-26.) 
hallowed be Thy name. (See Matt. vi. 9.) By the name of God, we are to understand His revealed character, and attributes--even all that is implied in the appellation by which He is known among men. (See Ex. xxxiv. 5-7.) The word hallowed is nearly synonymous with "Sanctified," or "glorified." God's name may be hallowed by us in three ways. 1. In our hearts, by entertaining suitable conceptions of Him; 2. By our lips, when we acknowledge His Divine perfections, and tell of all His wondrous works; 3. In our lives, when the consideration of these Divine perfections engages us to suitable obedience. 
Thy kingdom come. The individualistic interpretation—it refers to the coming of the kingdom into each individual heart rather than the time of its establishment as an institution : (Ps. xxii. 28; Dan. ii. 44; see on Matt. vi. 10.) This petition implies an earnest desire that the kingdom of God may be set up in our own hearts, reducing all within us to entire subjection to Christ, our king, that it may be set up in the hearts of our children, relatives, servants, friends, neighbors, that the word of the kingdom may, in all nations, "be preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from Heaven," that Christian churches may be established in every region of our earth, and that "the kingdoms of this world may become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ," that every opposing power may be put down, and God be all in all. The final setting up of this kingdom has been long predicted. (Gen. iii. 15; Rom. viii. 22; Rev. xi. 15 and xxii. 20.)
Alternate approach: the “kingdom” refers to Jesus’ full triumph and reign at the end of the current temporal universe : It is a far onlook to the close of this dispensation, which close, we believe, is hindered by human sin and [stubbornness]. It is the prayer for the end, when there will be no more tears and partings, no more sorrow and sin. It tells of the same feeling which John, at the close of the Revelation, expressed in "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." 
Thy will be done, as in heaven. “Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word,” Psalms 103:20. 
so in earth. This is the part we have control over. We can’t control what happens in heaven since we aren’t there. However we can control what happens on earth at least so far as it is we ourselves who are doing it. Furthermore note the implicit connection with “as in heaven:” Just as obedience to God is complete and perfect in heaven so should we strive for it on earth. [rw]
WEB: Give us day by day our daily bread.
appointed bread be giving us daily;
Conte (RC): Give us this day our daily bread.
11:3 Give us day by day. The prayer (i) acknowledges that we are indebted to God for our simplest boons [= blessings]; (ii) asks them for all; (3) asks them only day by day; and (iv) asks for no more, Proverbs 30:8; John 6:27. St. Luke’s version brings out the continuity of the gift (Be giving day by day); St. Matthew’s its immediate need (Give today). The word rendered “daily” is epiousion, of which the meaning is much disputed. But that this prayer is primarily a prayer for needful earthly sustenance has been rightly understood by the heart of mankind. 
our daily bread. An allusion probably to the manna which was given day by day. 
Great differences of opinion exist among commentators as to the strict meaning of the word rendered daily. The principal explanations are the following:
1. From ἐπιέναι, to come on. Hence,
a. The coming, or to-morrow's bread.
b. Daily: regarding the days in their future succession.
d. Yet to come, applied to Christ, the Bread of life, who is to come hereafter.
2. From ἐπί and οὐσία, being. Hence,
a. For our sustenance (physical), and so necessary.
b. For our essential life (spiritual).
c. Above all being, hence pre-eminent, excellent.
It would be profitless to the English reader to go into the discussion. A scholar is quoted as saying that the term is "the rack of theologians and grammarians." A satisfactory discussion must assume the reader's knowledge of Greek. Those who are interested in the question will find it treated by Tholuck ("Sermon on the Mount"), and also very exhaustively by Bishop Lightfoot (" On a Fresh Revision of the New Testament"). The latter adopts the derivation from [Greek] to come on, and concludes by saying, "the familiar rendering, daily, which has prevailed uninterruptedly in the Western Church from the beginning, is a fairly adequate representation of the original; nor, indeed, does the English language furnish any one word which would answer the purpose so well." The rendering in the margin of Revision is, our bread for the coming day. It is objected to this that it contradicts the Lord's precept in Matt. vi. 34, not to be anxious for the morrow. But the word said in the evening, no doubt it would mean the following day; but supposing it to be used before dawn, it would designate the day then breaking" (the coming day). "And further, if the command not to be anxious is tantamount to a prohibition against prayer for the object about which we are forbidden to be anxious, then not only must we not pray for to-morrow's food, but we must not pray for food at all; since the Lord bids us (Matt. vi. 25) not to be anxious for our life" (Lightfoot, condensed). 
Weymouth: and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive every one who fails in his duty to us; and bring us not into temptation.'"
WEB: Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'"
Young’s: and forgive us our sins, for also we
ourselves forgive every one indebted to us; and mayest
Thou not bring us into temptation; but do Thou deliver us from the evil.'
Conte (RC): And forgive us our sins, since we also forgive all who are indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation."
11:4 And forgive us our sins. What is left out: The Saviour does not here explain the ground on which pardon can consistently be granted to the sinner, but He mentions a disposition or state of the heart, which necessarily goes with faith in Christ, as precedent to it—the disposition, namely, to forgive those who have injured us. (Compare the fuller statement, Matthew 6:14-15). 
The absence unforgiven, Matthew 18:34, 35; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13. The absence of any mention here of the Atonement or of Justification is, as Godet observes, a striking proof of the authenticity of the prayer. The variations are, further, a striking proof that the Gospels are entirely independent of each other. 
Sins as equivalent to moral debts: St. Matthew uses the word “debts,” which is implied in the following words of St. Luke: “For indeed we ourselves remit to every one who oweth to us.” Unforgiving, unforgiven: Matthew 18:34, 35; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:13. 
for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. This is somewhat different from the expression in Matthew, though the sense is the same. The idea is that unless we forgive others, God will not forgive us; and unless we come to Him really forgiving all others, we cannot expect pardon. It does not mean that by forgiving others we deserve forgiveness or merit it, but that it is a disposition without which God cannot consistently pardon us. 
every one that is indebted to us. It does not refer to [financial] transactions but to offenses similar to those which we have committed against God. 
And lead us not into temptation. The prince of darkness alone can be thought of as shaping the circumstances of our life so as by them to cite in us evil dispositions and conduct. What we pray to God for is, that He will, in His all powerful providence, so guide our way that we may escape the temper’s snares. It is but putting into a prayer what Paul assured his Corinthians brethren God would do for them (1 Corinthians 10:13). 
but deliver us. Implies the desire of deliverance. 
God permits us to be tempted (John ; Revelation ), but we only yield to our temptations when we are “drawn away of our own lust and enticed” (James ). But the temptations which God permits us are only human, not abnormal or irresistible temptations, and with each temptation He makes also the way to escape (1 Corinthians ). We pray, therefore, that we may not be tried above what we are able, and this is defined by the following words: Our prayer is, Let not the tempting opportunity meet the too susceptible disposition. If the temptation comes, quench the desire; if the desire, spare us the temptation. 
from evil. (Ps. l. 15; see on Matt. vi. 13.) This may mean, either from that which is evil, or from him who is evil--from the evil thing or from the evil one. We prefer the first sense as the more comprehensive one, and as including the second. It is a prayer to be preserved from everything that is really prejudicial to us, especially from sin, that evil in which there is no good. In this petition we confess that ever since the fall, the world "lieth in the wicked one" (1 John v. 19). 
Besides the variations in the expressions in this prayer, Luke has omitted the doxology, or close, altogether and this shows that Jesus did not intend that we should always use just this form, but that it was a general direction how to pray; or, rather, that we were to pray for these things, though not always using the same words. 
WEB: He said to them, "Which of you, if you go to a friend at , and tell him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
Young’s: And he said unto them, 'Who of you shall
have a friend, and shall go on unto him at midnight, and may say to him,
Friend, lend me three loaves,
Conte (RC): And he said to them: "Which of you will have a friend and will go to him in the middle of the night, and will say to him: 'Friend, lend me three loaves,
11:5 And he said unto them, Which of you have a friend. In teaching how God will do, Jesus, at the same time, teaches how we should behave. The same argument is used here as in the parable of the unjust judge, one from the less to the greater, or, more accurately, from the worse to the better, with this difference, however, that here the narrow-heartedness and selfishness of man is set against the liberality of God, while there it is his unrighteousness which is tacitly contrasted with the righteousness of God. 
and shall go unto him at . The heat in warm countries makes evening preferable for travelling to day; but "" is everywhere a most unseasonable hour of call, and for that very reason it is here selected. 
and say unto him, Friend. Friend” is probably a euphemism for whatever name is actually being called. On the other hand, one could easily imagine the name being hollered out and then these words (or their essence) immediately added: “You are my friend; lend me three loaves!” In other words, an invoking of the friendship would make perfect sense in the context of asking someone to go out of their way to help. [rw]
lend me. Not “give,” but “lend.” It’s the middle of the night and bread is essential for the meal and he has none left (verse 6). When his family has had the opportunity to bake fresh bread in the morning, he’ll replay his neighbor for what has been provided. The neighbor is being inconvenienced, admittedly, but would be “losing” nothing. [rw]
three loaves. There is nothing particularly denoted by the number "three" in this place. Jesus often threw in such particulars merely to fill up the story or to preserve the consistency of it. 
To the extent that there is any “significance” to the number, it is solely due to the need for the number to match the circumstances: The occasion here described would call for three loaves, that the host and the guest might each have one, and that there might be one in reserve as an evidence of liberality. 
Weymouth: for a friend of mine has just come to my house from a distance, and I have nothing for him to eat'?
WEB: for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,'
Young’s: seeing a friend of mine came out of the
way unto me, and I have not what I shall set before him,
Conte (RC): because a friend of mine has arrived from a journey to me, and I do not have anything to set before him.'
11:6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me. No one wants to be knocking even on a friend’s door at midnight, but journeys sometimes don’t go according to schedule and you arrive whenever you arrive, even if it’s late at night. Note that the visitor is called “a friend.” In other words he has a recognized social obligation that his neighbor will help him meet. [rw]
and I have nothing to set before him. The customs of the land then made hospitality so obligatory that the greatest inconvenience and deepest poverty did not excuse one from practicing it. 
WEB: and he from within will answer and say, 'Don't bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give it to you'?
Young’s: and he from within answering may say, Do
not give me trouble, already the door hath been shut, and my children with me
are in the bed, I am not able, having risen, to give to thee.
Conte (RC): And from within, he would answer by saying: 'Do not disturb me. The door is closed now, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give it to you.'
11:7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not. [Unlike the requester in verse 5,] The man within does not use the word "friend". His answer is blunt and discouraging. 
the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. Not necessarily in the same; though poor families often slept in the same room on mattresses on the floor. 
They were all in bed, the house was still, the door was shut, and it was troublesome for him to rise at that time of night to accommodate him. This is not to be applied to God; all that is to be applied to God in this parable is simply that it is proper to persevere in prayer. As a man often gives because the request is repeated, and as one is not discouraged because the favor that he asks of his neighbor is delayed, so God often gives after long and [repeated] requests. 
Weymouth: "I tell you that even if he will not rise and give him the loaves because he is his friend, at any rate because of his persistency he will rouse himself and give him as many as he requires.
WEB: I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs.
Young’s: 'I say to you, even if he will not give
to him, having risen, because of his being his friend, yet because of his
importunity, having risen, he will give him as many as he doth need;
Conte (RC): Yet if he will persevere in knocking, I tell you that, even though he would not get up and give it to him because he is a friend, yet due to his continued insistence, he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
11:8 I say unto you. The Latin Vulgate here adds, "If he shall continue knocking." Though this is not in the Greek, yet it is indispensable that it should be understood in order to [obtain the intended] sense. Knocking once would not denote "importunity," but it was because he continued knocking. 
Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity [persistence, NKJV]. His troublesome perseverance; his continuing to disturb the man, and refusing to take any denial. This is to be applied to God in [the] sense that He often grants blessings even long after they appear to be unanswered or withheld. He does not promise to give blessings at once. He promises only that He will do it, will answer prayer. He leaves them to persevere for months or years until they feel entirely their dependence on Him; until they see that they are prepared for it. They may be proud or have no just sense of their dependence; or they would not value the blessing; or it may, at that time, not be best for them to obtain it. But let no one despair. If the thing is for our good, and if it is proper that it should be granted, God will [ultimately] give it. 
he will rise. Not merely half raise himself, or get out of bed, as in verse 7 (anastas), but “thoroughly aroused and getting up” (egertheis). 
and give him as many as he needeth. Whether it be the three loaves mentioned (verse 5) or more. [rw]
WEB: "I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you.
Young’s: and I say to you, Ask, and it shall be
given to you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you;
Conte (RC): And so I say to you: Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you.
11:9 And I say unto you. No matter what you have heard from others, this is what I have to say—what I have to solemnly promise. 
Ask. αἰτεῖτε -- The word for the asking of an inferior (Acts ; Acts 3:2); and hence of man from God (Matthew 7:7; James 1:5). Christ never uses the word of his own asking from the Father, but always ἐρωτῶ, as asking on equal terms. Martha shows her low conception of His person when she uses the term of his asking God (John ). 
and it shall be given you. Matthew 7:7-11, ; Mark 11:24; John 16:23. Doubtless these teachings were repeated more than once to different listeners. God’s unwillingness to grant is never more than in semblance, and for our good (Matthew ; Genesis 32:28). 
seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. What all of these (ask / seek / knock) have in common is action on our part. God is quite willing to give; He is not willing to be taken for granted. He is not willing for us to arrogantly act like it is simply what we are “due” or what we have a “right” to by the mere fact of our existence. [rw]
Weymouth: For every one who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door shall be opened.
WEB: For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.
Young’s: for every one who is asking doth receive;
and he who is seeking doth find; and to him who is knocking it shall be opened.
Conte (RC): For everyone who asks, receives. And whoever seeks, finds. And whoever knocks, it shall be opened to him.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Bengel paraphrases the passage thus: "Ask—gifts to supply your wants. Seek--the hidden things which ye have lost, recovering yourselves from error. Knock--ye who stand without, that ye may gain an entrance." 
Sadler says, "Ask, seek, knock. The gradations of the action are to be noticed. The simple asking, the more diligent seeking, the still more [forceful and persistent] knocking. The three can be taken together; God rewards earnestness. The first asking may be somewhat listless. It must be followed up by the seeking which gives itself trouble, and makes use of all means, after the manner of the woman in the parable who lit the candle, and took in hand the broom, and pried into the corners: and upon this the knocking must follow, not waiting until the door is opened, but the [insistent] disturbance of the [occupant] till he opens the door. Such knocking would not be the proof of irreverence, but of earnest desire and zeal." 
asketh. We must ask aright, that is in faith. Some ask amiss, asking for merely selfish purposes (James 1:5-7). Hence their prayers are not answered. 
St. Basil well says, "When you ask and receive not, it is because your request was improperly made, either without faith or lightly, or for things which are not good for you, or because you left off praying. But some frequently make the objection, 'Why pray we? Is God then ignorant of what we have need?' He knows undoubtedly, and gives us richly all temporal things even before we ask. But we must first desire good works, and the kingdom of heaven; and then having desired, ask in faith and patience, bringing into our prayers whatsoever is good for us, convicted of no offence by our own conscience." 
receiveth. Believing prayer is never unsuccessful, never. It will be answered in some way, but how may not be known until [the] Judgement (Matthew ; Mark ; John ). 
In depth: Biblical examples of successful/answered prayer .
(1) Abraham's servant prays--Rebekah appears (Genesis 24:12).
(2) Jacob prays--Esau's mind is wonderfully turned from the revengeful
purpose he had cherished for twenty years (Genesis 32:24).
(3) Moses cries to God--the sea divides (Exodus ).
(4) Moses prays--Amalek is defeated (Exodus ).
(5) Joshua prays--Achan is discovered (Joshua 7:7).
(6) Hannah prays--Samuel is born (1 Samuel ).
(7) David prays--Ahithophel hangs himself (2 Samuel ).
(8) Asa prays--a victory is gained (2 Chronicles ).
(9) Isaiah prays--185,000 Assyrians are dead in twelve hours
(10) Hezekiah prays--his life is lengthened (Isaiah 38:2).
(11) Daniel prays--the dream is revealed (Daniel ).
(12) Daniel prays--the lions are muzzled (Daniel ).
(13) Daniel prays--the 70 weeks are revealed (Daniel ).
(14) Ezra prays--God answers (Ezra -23).
(15) Nehemiah darts a prayer--the king's heart is softened in a minute
(16) Elijah prays--a drought of three years succeeds (1 Kings 17:1)
(17) Elijah prays--rain descends in torrents (1 Kings ).
(18) Elisha prays--
(19) Elisha prays--a child's soul comes back. Prayer reaches eternity.
1 Kings : Elijah. 2 Kings : Elisha.
(20) The apostles pray--the Holy Ghost descends upon them (Acts 2:1).
(21) The disciples pray--Peter is delivered by an angel (Acts )
Weymouth: And what father is there among you, who, if his son asks for a slice of bread, will offer him a stone? or if he asks for a fish, will instead of a fish offer him a snake?
WEB: "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won't give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?
Young’s: 'And of which of you -- the father -- if
the son shall ask a loaf, a stone will he present to him? and
if a fish, will he instead of a fish, a serpent present to him?
Conte (RC): So then, who among you, if he asks his father for bread, he would give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he would give him a serpent, instead of a fish?
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Bad as our nature, the father [element] is not extinguished. 
Whether the actions are motivated by concrete love or merely the fact that he is our son, the protective instinct still runs strong. This child will be my heir to the next generation. It’s my permanent, ongoing gift. [rw]
Weymouth: or if he asks for an egg, will offer him a scorpion?
WEB: Or if he asks for an egg, he won't give him a scorpion, will he?
Young’s: and if he may ask an egg, will he present
to him a scorpion?
Conte (RC): Or if he will ask for an egg, he would offer to him a scorpion?
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? Both could be grasped in the hand. Curled, [they] resemble an egg. 
Most scorpions in
WEB: If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
Young’s: If, then, ye, being evil, have known good
gifts to be giving to your children, how much more shall the Father who is from
heaven give the Holy Spirit to those asking Him!'
Conte (RC): Therefore, if you, being evil, know how to give good things to your sons, how much more will your Father give, from heaven, a spirit of goodness to those who ask him?"
If ye then being evil. St. Cyril: ". . . [N]amely having a mind capable of wickedness, and not uniform and settled in good, as God. . . ." 
know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father. By definition, God must be greater than a mere mortal or how could He be God? Hence Deity must inherently be regarded as more generous than even the most generous human and, especially, as in this case, anyone labeled as “evil.” [rw]
give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Matthew has "good things" (Matthew ) where Luke has "Holy Spirit". The Holy Spirit is the best of all gifts, being as necessary to the soul as food to the body. 
Weymouth: On one occasion He was expelling a dumb demon; and when the demon was gone out the dumb man could speak, and the people were astonished.
WEB: He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. It happened, when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled.
Young’s: And he was casting forth a demon, and it
was dumb, and it came to pass, the demon having gone forth, the dumb man spake, and the multitudes wondered,
Conte (RC): And he was casting out a demon, and the man was mute. But when he had cast out the demon, the mute man spoke, and so the crowds were amazed.
And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb [mute, NKJV]. i.e., of course, the possession by the spirit caused dumbness in the man. If this incident be the same as in Matthew 12:22, the wretched sufferer seems to have been both dumb, and blind, and mad. Exorcisms, and attempted exorcisms (Acts ), were indeed common among the Jews (cf. ), but apparently only in the simplest cases, and never when the possession was complicated with blindness and dumbness. 
And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake. The person suffered under a double burden: demon possession and a muteness perhaps triggered by the presence of that demon. Curing either problem alone, could have left him only half restored to fullness of being. [rw]
and the people wondered. Not improbably the professional exorcists had tried here and signally failed; hence the special wonder of the people. 
WEB: But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."
Young’s: and certain of them said, 'By Beelzeboul, ruler of the demons, he doth cast forth the
Conte (RC): But some of them said, "It is by Beelzebub, the leader of demons, that he casts out demons."
But some of them said. The circumstances under which the accusation was made, and the reply of the Lord spoken, were as follows: The scene is still in the provinces, the time somewhere in the period between October and the spring of the last Passover--the period which the Master spent in that slow solemn progress, through as yet unvisited places, towards Jerusalem. 
Regional opponents envolved?
We learn from Matthew ()
that this notable suggestion emanated from “the Pharisees” and, as Mark () adds, from “the scribes which
Learned and experienced members of the Pharisee party, scribes and doctors of the Law, had been told to watch the dangerous and popular Galilean Teacher, and, whenever it was possible, to lessen His influence among the people. 
He casteth out devils through Beelzebub. Puzzled and dismayed by the marvellous acts of power worked by Jesus, it was only too easy to say that he had friends and helpers among these spirits of evil which the Jew knew well were working unseen on earth. 
The name and reading are involved in obscurity. In 2 Kings 1:3 we are told that Beelzebub was god of Ekron; and the LXX and Josephus (Antiquities IX. 2, 1) understood the name to mean “lord of flies.” He may have been a god worshipped to avert the plagues of flies on the low sea-coast like Zeus Apomuios (Averter of flies) and Apollos Ipuktonos (Slayer of vermin). But others interpret the name to mean “lord of dung,” and regard it as one of the insulting nicknames which the Jews from a literal rendering of Exodus felt bound to apply to heathen deities. In this place perhaps Beelzebub is the true reading and that means “lord of the (celestial) habitation,” i.e., prince of the air, Ephesians 2:3. Possibly Matthew [has] an allusion to this meaning. In any case the charge was the same as that in the Talmud that Jesus wrought His miracles (which the Jews did not pretend to deny) by magic. 
the chief of the devils. Recognizing that even the supernatural world has a “hierarchy.” [rw]
Weymouth: Others, to put Him to the test, asked Him for a sign in the sky.
WEB: Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
Young’s: and others, tempting, a sign out of
heaven from him were asking.
Conte (RC): And others, testing him, required a sign from heaven of him.
And others. These men starting, perhaps, from the allegation of the others, that He had done this miracle through power from below, ask ironically, that He should give them some proof of His mission from God by a miracle out of heaven. But the expression was often used by them to signify some particularly striking display of supernatural action. 
Or: These probably felt that the criticisms of the Pharisees were unjust, and wished that Jesus might put them to silence by showing some great sign, such as the pillar of cloud which sanctioned the guidance of Moses, or the descending fire which vindicated Elijah. 
tempting Him. i.e., wanting to try Him, to put Him to the test. The temptation was precisely analogous to that in the wilderness—a temptation to put forth a self-willed or arbitrary exertion of power for personal ends (cf. 4:3, 12). 
sought of him a sign from heaven. They persuaded the people that His miracles were wrought by unhallowed arts, and that such arts would be impossible in a sign from heaven like the Pillar of Cloud, the Fire of Elijah, etc. But our Lord refused their demand. Miracles were not to be granted to insolent unbelief; nor were they of the nature of mere prodigies. Besides it was His will to win conviction, not to enforce acceptance. This seems therefore to have been the one weapon of attack which the Pharisees found most effective against Him—the one which most deeply wounded His spirit and finally drove Him away from the plain of Gennesareth (Mark 8:11, 12). 
Of course, if He had granted such a miracle they would have found some excuse to reject it. Having decided that Jesus was “wrong”—period—nothing He could possibly do would ever be adequate to prove Him right. [rw]
Weymouth: And, knowing their thoughts, He said to them, "Every kingdom in which civil war rages goes to ruin: family attacks family and is overthrown.
WEB: But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls.
Young’s: And he, knowing their thoughts, said to
them, 'Every kingdom having been divided against itself is desolated; and house
against house doth fall;
Conte (RC): But when he perceived their thoughts, he said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself will become desolate, and house will fall upon house.
He, knowing their thoughts. By His omniscience. 
said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. Although spoken to His critics, the words were probably addressed to the bystanders. Knowing that nothing He could do would convince them, He appealed to the far less hostile crowd in the hope of showing them the folly of any claim that exorcism could be performed by the power of the devil. If there were one or two among His foes that would actually listen to reason, that would be a “bonus” in this situation. [rw]
Weymouth: And if Satan really has engaged in fierce conflict with himself, how shall his kingdom stand?--because you say that I expel demons by the power of Baal-zebul.
WEB: If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
Young’s: and if also the Adversary against himself
was divided, how shall his kingdom be made to stand? for ye say, by Beelzeboul is my
casting forth the demons.
Conte (RC): So then, if Satan is also divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that it is by Beelzebub that I cast out demons.
If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. For a kingdom to survive, a ruler must have a consistent policy. Anything else and the subjects will have no idea of what is expected of them, they “freeze up” and do nothing rather than risk doing what will bring them censure and perhaps outright punishment. If Beelzebub suddenly embraced both exorcism of devils and devil possession, how could his demonic subjects have any idea what they really should be doing? [rw].
WEB: But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore will they be your judges.
Young’s: 'But if I by Beelzeboul
cast forth the demons -- your sons, by whom do they cast forth? because of this your judges they shall be;
Conte (RC): But if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your own sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils. Assuming that your accusation is true, you still have a problem that you really don’t want to face: how others successfully cast out demons. [rw]
by whom do your sons. A question has been raised respecting these professed exorcists of evil spirits whom Jesus here styles "your sons." Who were they?
Some, notably the older patristic expositors, have supposed that our Lord here alluded to his own apostles, to whom a measure of this power over unclean spirits was certainly given. Others, that they are identical with the "pupils of the wise," disciples of the great rabbinical schools, such as were presided over by the famous doctors of the Talmud. This is quite possible; but we have no proof that professional exorcists were pupils in any of the known rabbinical schools.
It is more
likely that by this general term Jesus alluded to the exorcists. These were, at this period of Jewish history,
numerous. They are alluded to in Acts ; by Josephus ('
cast them out. The reality of the Jewish exorcisms is not necessarily admitted (Acts ). It was enough that the admitted pretensions to such powers among the Pharisees justified this incontrovertible argumentum ad hominem. 
therefore shall they be your judges. Unless their own sons were in league with Beelzebub, there was no ground for charge against Him. 
WEB: But if I
by the finger of God cast out demons, then the
Young’s: but if by the finger of God I cast forth
the demons, then come unawares upon you did the reign of God.
Conte (RC): Moreover, if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then certainly the
But if I with the finger of God cast out devils. The "finger of God" in Matthew, where the same or a similar discourse is related, is called the "Spirit of God." The expression is strange, but is one not unusual in ancient Hebrew phraseology. So the Egyptian magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God" (Exodus ). The ten commandments are described as written on the two tables of stone with the "finger of God." 
no doubt the
WEB: "When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe.
Young’s: 'When the strong man armed may keep his
hall, in peace are his goods;
Conte (RC): When a strong armed man guards his entrance, the things that he possesses are at peace.
When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace. The exegesis is easy here. The strong man is the devil; his palace is the world; his goods especially here [are] the poor possessed; the stronger than he [verse 22] is Jesus Himself. 
WEB: But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils.
Young’s: but when the stronger than he, having
come upon him, may overcome him, his whole-armour he
doth take away in which he had trusted, and his spoils he distributeth;
Conte (RC): But if a stronger one, overwhelming him, has defeated him, he will take away all his weapons, in which he trusted, and he will distribute his spoils.
But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. Jesus doesn’t deny that the devil is strong. The devil’s problem is that however much strength he has—in delusion or in reality—Jesus remains the far stronger. [rw]
Weymouth: Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever is not gathering with me is scattering abroad.
WEB: "He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn't gather with me scatters.
Young’s: he who is not with me is against me, and
he who is not gathering with me doth scatter.
Conte (RC): Whoever is not with me, is against me. And whoever does not gather with me, scatters.
He that is not with Me is against Me. The remark holds good pre-eminently as to that portion of His hearers who had charged Him with being in league with Beelzebub. 
and he that gathereth not with me. We either work “with” Jesus or we are working against Jesus, no matter what we decide to call our conduct. [rw]
scattereth. Wastes the harvest and does what he can to frustrate My design of salvation. 
WEB: The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, 'I will turn back to my house from which I came out.'
Young’s: 'When the unclean spirit may go forth
from the man it walketh through waterless places
seeking rest, and not finding, it saith, I will turn
back to my house whence I came forth;
Conte (RC): When an unclean spirit has departed from a man, he walks through waterless places, seeking rest. And not finding any, he says: 'I will return to my house, from which I departed.'
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places. The devil, expelled for a season, watches his opportunity and quickly returns; the exorcist-physician was powerless without the aid of Christ to accomplish anything more than a half-cure; the relapse, as we shall see, was worse than the original malady. The imagery of the "dry place" through which the devil walked during his temporary absence from the afflicted soul, was derived from the popular tradition that spirits of evil frequented ruins and desert places (see the Talmud, 'Treatise Berachoth,' fol. 3, a; and Tobit 8:3). 
seeking rest. Not to be in possession of some human soul is (for them) to be in torment. 
and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. There is no option of the devils going there way and finding contentment though no longer plaguing human beings. Their pleasure is in causing such problems. It is their rationale for existence and without it, existence is stripped of its joy and happiness. [rw]
Weymouth: and when it comes, it finds the house swept clean and in good order.
WEB: and when it comes, it finds the house swept clean and in good order.
Young’s: and having come, it findeth
it swept and adorned;
Conte (RC): And when he has arrived, he finds it swept clean and decorated.
And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Where he returns he find an empty shell—all nice and clean and empty and without anything protecting it. The spiritual defenses that might have done good aren’t in place; the shield of faith is abandoned (or never put on) because the external causes for seeking such resources no longer exists. He “doesn’t need it.” Until he finds himself defenseless when, through God and Christ, he could have found himself quite well protected. God is never keen on doing for you what you could easily have done for yourself. This poor soul is about to learn that bitter lesson. [rw]
WEB: Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
Young’s: then doth it go, and take to it seven
other spirits more evil than itself, and having entered, they dwell there, and
the last of that man becometh worst than the first.'
Conte (RC): Then he goes, and he takes in seven other spirits with him, more wicked than himself, and they enter and live there. And so, the end of that man is made worse the beginning."
Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits. As instances of such a terrible possession, not improbably the result of a relapse such as is above portrayed, might be cited the cases of Mary Magdalene, out of whom we are told went seven devils, and of the Gergesene demoniac, who was possessed by a swarm or legion of these unclean spirits. 
Or: Compare 8:2, 30. The number is figurative of complete wickedness and (in this case) final possession. 
more wicked than himself. You thought you had it bad the first time around; now you are going to discover just how bad it can be! [rw]
and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. The most striking comment on the verse is furnished by Hebrews 6:4-6, -29, and especially 2 Peter 2:20, 21. “Sin no more,” said our Lord to the impotent man, “lest a worse thing come unto thee,” John 5:14. The parable was an allegory, nor only of the awful peril of relapse after partial conversion, but also of the history of the Jews. The demon of idolatry had been expelled by the Exile; “but had returned in the sevenfold virulence of letter-worship, formalism, exclusiveness, ambition, greet, hypocrisy and hate;” and on the testimony of Josephus himself the Jews of that age were so bad that their destruction seemed an inevitable retribution. 
Weymouth: As He thus spoke a woman in the crowd called out in a loud voice, "Blessed is the mother who carried you, and the breasts that you have sucked."
WEB: It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!"
Young’s: And it came to pass, in his saying these
things, a certain woman having lifted up the voice out of the multitude, said
to him, 'Happy the womb that carried thee, and the paps
that thou didst suck!'
Conte (RC): And it happened that, when he was saying these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you."
And it came to pass, as he spake these things. Placing the timing of the event as at the same time he was doing the above teaching. The interjection shows that not everyone (that is, few?) were actually buying the propaganda line the critics preferred. [rw]
a certain woman of the company. One of the crowd. 
This woman is the first on record to fulfill Mary's prediction (Luke ). 
lifted up her voice, and said unto him. Spoke loudly—perhaps because she was annoyed at the character assassination aimed at Him? [rw]
Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. She thought that the mother of such a person must be peculiarly happy, in having such a son. 
It is the only passage in the New Testament which even suggests the idolatry of Mariolatry, but it was far enough from it, being merely a womanly way of expressing admiration for the son by pronouncing blessings upon the mother who was so fortunate as to bear him. 
See , 48. “How many women have blessed the Holy Virgin, and desired to be such a mother as she was! What hinders them? Christ has made for us a wide way to this happiness, and not only women, but men may tread it—the way of obedience; this it is which makes such a mother, and not the throes of parturition.” St. Chrysostom. It is a curious undersigned coincidence that (as we see from Matthew ) the Virgin had just arrived upon the scene. 
WEB: But he said, "On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it."
Young’s: And he said, 'Yea, rather, happy those
hearing the word of God, and keeping it!'
Conte (RC): Then he said, "Yes, but moreover: blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."
But he said, yea. Jesus admits that she was happy; that it was an honor to be His mother. 
rather. But He says, that the chief happiness, the highest honor, was to obey the word of God. Compared with this, all earthly distinctions and honors are as nothing. 
blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Jesus does not deny the fact that Mary was blessed, but corrects any false idea with regard to her by pointing to the higher honor of being a disciple was greater than her blessing as a mother; her moral and spiritual relation to Jesus was more precious than her maternal. Mary's blessings came through believing God's word (Luke ). To know Christ after the Spirit is more blessed than to know Him after the flesh (2 Corinthians , 16; John 16:7). 
Or: Hearing without obedience was more than valueless, Matthew , ; Romans . 
WEB: When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, "This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet.
Young’s: And the multitudes crowding together upon
him, he began to say, 'This generation is evil, a sign it doth seek after, and
a sign shall not be given to it, except the sign of Jonah the prophet,
Conte (RC): Then, as the crowds were quickly gathering, he began to say: "This generation is a wicked generation: it seeks a sign. But no sign will be given to it, except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
And when the people were gathered thick together. Rather, “were densely gathering.” 
He began to say. A formula which intimates the opening of an important discourse. Indeed, there is no intimation in our Gospel of any cessation of the train of discourse here begun, until . 
This is an evil generation. “Evil” in that it refuses the clear manifestation of God’s presence in Him, in His teachings, His life, and His miracles. 
They seek. Greek, "demand," they would dictate what their Maker should do. 
a sign. Evidence in support of His high claims and lofty assertions was then in process of being supplied. What were their eyes beholding day by day, and their ears hearing? Evidence still more complete would yet be given them, but it would avail nothing! 
Or: The word “sign” is used here in that special and ostentatious sense in which some of them had presumptuously demanded it. No such sign would Christ condescend to give them. 
and there shall no sign except the sign of Jonas. The sign, that is, which lay in the history of Jonah. There was, indeed, one event yet to take place concerning Him, which, although far enough from their present thought, even they would have to admit was a sign from heaven—namely His resurrection. Hence He adds “Except.”
Weymouth: For just as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a token to the present generation.
WEB: For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will also the Son of Man be to this generation.
Young’s: for as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also shall the Son of Man be to this
Conte (RC): For just as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of man be to this generation.
For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites. The sign of Jonah is not further explained as in Mt. (xii. 40), and it might seem that the meaning intended was that Jonah, as a prophet and through his preaching, was a sign to the Ninevites, and that in like manner so was Jesus to His generation. But in reference to Jesus, Lk. does not say "is" but "shall be," [in the Greek], as if something else than Christ's ministry, something future in His experience, was the sign. Something is obscurely hinted at which is not further explained, as if to say: wait and you will get your sign. 
so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. What Jonah had been to a city, Jesus was to be to the nation and to the world. The sign of Jonah was heeded, but would the sign of Jesus? [rw]
Weymouth: The Queen of the South will awake at the Judgement together with the men of the present generation, and will condemn them; because she came from the extremity of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; but mark! One greater than Solomon is here.
WEB: The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here.
Young’s: 'A queen of the south shall rise up in
the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them, because
she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom
of Solomon; and lo, greater than Solomon here!
Conte (RC): The queen of the South will rise up, at the judgment, with the men of this generation, and she will condemn them. For she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. And behold, more than Solomon is here.
The queen of the south. The allusion here is to the queen of
The queen of
shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them. Providing the answer to the implicit question of the previous verse: whether “this generation” would heed the sign of Jesus that pointed to His authority and the need for personal reformation. The answer, unfortunately, would be “no.” Oh, there would be some—even many, truth be told. But proportionately to the potential, not so. [rw]
for she came from the utmost parts of the earth. A hyperbole, found also in the best Greek writers, for a great distance. It may have been intended to suggest a difference of race and of religion. The queen may well be supposed to have had some traditional knowledge of true religion, and, in the commercial intercourse of her country with that of the Hebrews, might have heard much of the wisdom and piety of Solomon, and to seek a converse with him she undertook a journey from what was then regarded as the uttermost parts of the earth. 
to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Just as the crowds of His day gathered to hear the wisdom of Jesus. [rw]
and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. At your very door, within the hearing of your ears, is one offering treasures of wisdom and grace and ye listen to Him only to cavil, to disobey, to hate. [?]
In order to feel the power of this comparison, we must realize to ourselves what is written in the Old Testament regarding Solomon. (1 Chron. 22:9-10; 1 Kings , 27, 31, 3:1, 9, 16-28; 2 Chron. ). 
WEB: The men
Young’s: 'Men of
Conte (RC): The men of
The men of Nineve shall rise up. ἀναστήσονται -- This verb is also used of rising from the dead, and that is implied here; but the meaning is, shall appear as witness. 
in the judgment with this generation. “With:” Pointing to a judgment not just of nations and not just of any particular generation while it was alive—that of Jonah and that of Jesus were centuries apart—but of all generations at one time. A universal judgment. [rw]
and shall condemn it. They will be witnesses not in favor of those of the first century but in indictment of it. They had taken advantage of their opportunity; these folk did not. [rw]
repented at the preaching of Jonas. “The people of
and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. The condemnation lies not only in that they refused to change their ways, but that there was Someone now present who was so Great that all excuse for legitimate human reluctance had been totally removed. [rw]
WEB: "No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light.
Young’s: And no one having lighted a lamp, doth put it in a secret place, nor under the measure,
but on the lamp-stand, that those coming in may behold the light.
Conte (RC): No one lights a candle and places it in hiding, nor under a bushel basket, but upon a lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.
No man, when he hath lighted a candle. This passage is given in a slightly varying form found in the Sermon on the Mount. See Matthew 5:15. It is here addressed to the Pharisees and reproves them for not using the light (His miracles) which was given to them. If they had had an eye single to goodness, Christ's light would have enlightened their souls. But their eye was double; they desired wonders and spectacular signs. 
putteth it in a secret place. The Gnostic concept of “hidden truths”—hidden even from most members of the church—is repudiated. The gospel had a message for one and all and one and all were to have the opportunity to hear it and embrace it. [rw]
neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick. The purpose of candles is to give light. No rational person is going to use them for anything else. But the benefit is not just for them only, as the next words show. [rw]
that they which come in may see the light. So it is not the design of God, in distinguishing the disciples with the knowledge of the gospel, that they should personally, selfishly, unprofitably to others, appropriate this light to themselves [alone], but that they should conspicuously exhibit and beneficently impart it to others about them who need it. 
The comparison is the same as in Matthew 5:14, Mark 4:21; but the application in the next verse is different. The light is here used for inward enlightenment, not to be seen afar. 
light. [This] is a well-known symbol of saving knowledge. 
WEB: The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness.
Young’s: 'The lamp of the body is the eye, when
then thine eye may be simple, thy whole body also is
lightened; and when it may be evil, thy body also is darkened;
Conte (RC): Your eye is the light of your body. If your eye is wholesome, your entire body will be filled with light. But if it is wicked, then even your body will be darkened.
The light of the body is the eye. Of those present that day, friend and foe of Jesus alike learned what they did of Jesus via what they “saw”—His actions and His teachings that they were present for. No matter what Jesus did, those who were hostile were determined to “see” only evil, resulting in what should have brought enlightenment being transformed by them into an excuse to further “darken” their understanding of Him until they were “full of darkness.” His virtues were to be relentlessly squeezed out so that their prejudices could be vindicated. [rw]
therefore when thine eye is single [good, NKJV], thy whole body also is full of light. It fulfills its purpose in existence. When it is “cloudy,” misfocused, or refuses to pay attention to what is happening, it is subverting and destroying its purpose for existence. Note how He personifies the eye as doing what the person’s inner nature has decided to do: If it has no wish to “see” the light/truth clearly, it won’t be seen. [rw]
but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. The “evil eye” is especially one of hate, Romans 12:8; Ecclus. 14:8-10. The inward eye should be spiritual; when it becomes carnal the man can no longer see that which is only spiritually discerned, and he takes God’s wisdom for foolishness, 1 Corinthians 2:14, 3:18-20. 
WEB: Therefore see whether the light that is in you isn't darkness.
Young’s: take heed, then, lest the light that is
in thee be darkness;
Conte (RC): Therefore, take care, lest the light that is within you become darkness.
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee. The moral judgment, which is designed to indicate the way of right living. 
be not darkness. It becomes so when we are “wise in our own conceit” (Proverbs 16:12) which makes us think a way right when it is the way of death (Proverbs 16:25), and makes us call evil good, and good evil, put darkness for light, and light for darkness, Isaiah 5:20, 21. 
WEB: If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light."
Young’s: if then thy whole body is lightened, not
having any part darkened, the whole shall be lightened, as when the lamp by the
brightness may give thee light.'
Conte (RC): So then, if your entire body becomes filled with light, not having any part in darkness, then it will be entirely light, and, like a shining lamp, it will illuminate you."
If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light. Enlightenment—to make a play on the word “light”—is designed to benefit the entire body. If it doesn’t—due to our prejudice and stubbornness—one has destroyed that which would bring spiritual and moral maturity to the entire body. [rw]
as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord. “God will light my candle,” Psalms 18:28. “Thy word is a lantern unto my feet.” In these words we catch an echo of those thoughts on the diffusiveness and divineness of light which are so fully developed in John’s Gospel (). 
WEB: Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table.
Young’s: And in his speaking, a certain Pharisee
was asking him that he might dine with him, and having gone in, he reclined (at
Conte (RC): And as he was speaking, a certain Pharisee asked him to eat with him. And going inside, he sat down to eat.
And as He spake. While He was addressing the people, and particularly while He was reproving that generation and declaring its [evils]. 
a Pharisee. This is the second time Jesus appears as a guest in a Pharisee's house in this gospel, speaking His mind with all due freedom but without breach of the courtesies of life. The effect and probable aim of these representations is to show that if it ultimately came to an open rupture between Jesus and the Pharisees it was their fault, not His. 
One possibility: The invitation was provided out of a curious local Pharisee genuinely interested in what else Jesus might have to say. He might be hostile or even mildly interested, but above all else he was curious and wanted to know more before making a final judgement. [rw]
Another possibility: the invitation was arranged out of ill-will. The day was not far advanced, and the Master was probably weary after the long and exciting discussion just related; taking advantage, probably, of this evident weariness, some of the Pharisee[s probably] suggested to one of their friends, who had a residence in the town where the events just related had taken place, that he should invite the Master to come in and rest awhile and partake of a repast. They wished, no doubt, to get him away from the fast increasing crowd, and, when alone with him, they hoped to entangle him in a fresh discussion, and entrap him into some statement which they would be enabled subsequently to make use of. 
besought Him to dine with Him. This was the morning meal, which was after the morning sacrifice, say at about --for Sabbaths about 12. The afternoon meal, which was the chief, was at , after the heat of the day. 
The evidence for this: The meal was not dinner (deipnon), but an earlier, lighter, and more informal meal (ariston). 
and he went in, and sat down to meat. The words imply that immediately He entered He sat down to table. The meal was probably some slight refreshment and probably our Lord was both suffering from hunger after His long hours of teaching, and was also anxious to save time. 
WEB: When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed himself before dinner.
Young’s: and the Pharisee having seen, did wonder that he did not first baptize himself
before the dinner.
Conte (RC): But the Pharisee began to say, thinking within himself: "Why might it be that he has not washed before eating?"
And when the Pharisee saw it. Saw that He sat immediately down without washing. 
he marveled. Wondered. Was amazed. It was so unusual, and in his view, so improper. 
that he had not first washed before dinner. There is no evidence He usually omitted the washing. 
Perhaps Christ omitted washing (Mark vii. 3), because He had just accepted the invitation, or because He was wearied by His work. It is more probable, however, that, knowing that the Pharisees imagined that washing of their hands before dinner rendered them holy, He purposely neglected to observe this custom. 
The Talmud has many references to these practices. R. Akhibha, it proudly relates, died of thirst rather than pass over these preliminary washings. In the same compilation we read that it was currently supposed that a demon sat on hands unwashed. 
Literally, “bathed.” No washing was necessary to eat a few dates or figs. At the chief meal of the day, where all dipped their hands into a common dish, it was a matter of cleanliness. But the duty of cleanliness had been turned by the Oral Law into a rigorous set of cumbersome and needless ablutions, each performed with certain elaborate methods and gesticulations (Mark 7:2, 3) which had nothing to do with religion or even with the Levitical Law, but only with Pharisaic tradition and the Oral Law. In the Shulchan Aruk, a book of Jewish ritual, no less than twenty-six prayers are given with which their washings are accompanied. But all this was not only devoid of divine sanction, but had become superstitious, tyrannous, and futile. The Pharisee “marveled” because he and his party tried to enforce the Oral Law on the people as even more sacred than the Written law. The subject of ablutions was one which caused several of these disputes with Christ (Matthew , 20). Our Lord astonished the conventionalism of these religious teachers and their followers by shewing that what truly defiles a man is that which comes from within—from the heart. 
WEB: The Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.
Young’s: And the Lord said unto him, 'Now do ye,
the Pharisees, the outside of the cup and of the plate make clean, but your
inward part is full of rapine and wickedness;
Conte (RC): And the Lord said to him: "You Pharisees today clean what is outside the cup and the plate, but what is inside of you is full of plunder and iniquity.
And the Lord said unto him. Our Lord's speech is unsparingly denunciatory. To some it seems strange that Jesus spoke thus in a house where he was an invited guest. But our Lord never suspended the solemn work of reproof out of mere [courtesy]. He was governed by higher laws than those of conventional politeness. 
Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter. No doubt that you do everything external quite proper, but that isn’t everything that you need to be concerned with. [rw]
but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness. Your mind and heart are wholly set on selfish gain, however unjust, and the gratification of evil desires. 
WEB: You foolish ones, didn't he who made the outside make the inside also?
Young’s: unthinking! did
not He who made the outside also the inside make?
Conte (RC): Fools! Did not he who made what is outside, indeed also make what is inside?
Ye fools. The literal meaning of the Greek word translated "fools," is, "persons without mind or understanding." It is the same word that Paul used (1 Cor. ). Since God has created the inside as well as the outside, one as much as the other must be held holy; and it is not only evil, but foolish, to wish to separate, even in thought, to say nothing of act, that which, in the nature of things, is absolutely inseparable. 
Or: The word denotes not only want of wisdom, but also wickedness. Compare Psalms 14:1; Proverbs 13:9; 14:9. Your conduct is not merely foolish, but it is a cloak for sin--designed to [tolerate] wickedness. 
did not He that made that which is without make that which is within also? Did not God, who made the body, make also the soul? You Pharisees take great pains to cleanse the body, under a pretense of pleasing God. Did He not also make the mind, and is it not of as much importance that that should be pure, as that the body should? 
Does not common sense teach that God the Creator has at least as much care about the internal state of things (including men), as the external? 
WEB: But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you.
Young’s: But what ye have give
ye as alms, and, lo, all things are clean to you.
Conte (RC): Yet truly, give what is above as alms, and behold, all things are clean for you.
But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. This we hold with Stier, and against Alford, to be ironical. Give alms, forsooth, and that is to make compensation for your extortions a purification of all your guilt! Our Lord cases no slur upon alms-giving, but upon using our alms-giving as a cover for sin. 
alms. Charity. [Gifts and services] to the poor. 
Such things as are given in charity, to poor and afflicted persons. 
of such things as ye have. Your property. 
behold, all things are clean. Among the Jews [this] signified that which may be lawfully used. 
"Unto the pure all things are pure, but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled." Titus 1:15. 
WEB: But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.
Young’s: 'But woe to you, the Pharisees, because
ye tithe the mint, and the rue, and every herb, and ye pass by the judgment,
and the love of God; these things it behoveth to do,
and those not to be neglecting.
Conte (RC): But woe to you, Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you ignore judgment and the charity of God. But these things you ought to have done, without omitting the others.
But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue. Rue was a small shrub about two feet high, and is said to have been used to flavor wine, and for medicinal purposes. 
and all manner of herbs. “Any kind and every kind.” All types you have access to. [rw]
and pass over. Ignore. Avoid. [rw]
judgment. Of themselves and of justice to their neighbors. 
and the love of God. They were theists, unquestionably. They were monotheists, unquestionably. But they ignored what admitting His existence and claiming to be His people required: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). “Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9). [rw]
these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Even if they had carried their tithing beyond what God demanded, God would not condemn them for it. What He would condemn them for were the things they blatantly left undone, while simultaneously “proving” their piety by such things as carrying their tithing beyond the Divine requirements. [rw]
WEB: Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces.
Young’s: 'Woe to you, the Pharisees, because ye
love the first seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the
Conte (RC): Woe to you, Pharisees! For you love the first seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the marketplace.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! The previous woe attacked them for their hypocrisy in singling out the secondary matter of tithing—by even applying it where there was no need—and taking it as far as they humanly could while simultaneously ignoring having the right attitude toward God (love and obedience). Now He stresses that they don’t have the right attitude toward their fellow man either, but gloat in their pride and position. [rw]
uppermost seats in the synagogues. These seats were in a semicircle round the pulpit or lectern of the reader; they faced the congregation. 
and greetings in the markets. In which they addressed one another by extravagant titles, and required from their followers an exaggerated reverence. 
WEB: Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don't know it."
Young’s: 'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites, because ye are as the unseen tombs, and the men walking above have
Conte (RC): Woe to you! For you are like graves that are not noticeable, so that men walk over them without realizing it."
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees. In both of the previous two denunciations (verses 42 and 43) only the Pharisees were mentioned. The reference to “scribes” is probably added to remind them that though they have not been previously mentioned, things were no better at all when they acted in a similarly futile manner. It’s always easier when we hear a denunciation of behavior to react with, “why that’s exactly what X is guilty of!” rather than noticing that we too skirt the edge of the very same behavior . . . but rationalize our way out of guilt because we aren’t as obvious or blatant. [rw]
scribes. The fact that Jesus moves seamlessly from Pharisees alone (verse 43), to “scribes and Pharisees” (verse 44), and “one of the lawyers” insists “thou reproaches us also” (verse 45) . . . without explicitly having mentioned the presence of such folk . . . argues strongly that what Jesus is describing are widespread faults among the religious leadership class regardless of what specific “title” or “category” they technically belonged under: change the title and yet the behavior—far more likely than not—would be identical. [rw]
hypocrites! The first meaning of the word is “actors.” 
for ye are as graves which appear not. This "woe" is evidently adapted for Gentile use. In Matthew the sepulchres are made conspicuous by white-washing to warn passers-by, and the point is the contrast between the fair exterior and the inner foulness. Here the graves become invisible. 
Perhaps our Lord was alluding to Tiberias, which when it was being built was discovered to be partly on the site of an old unsuspected cemetery; so that every true Jew regarded it as pollution to live there, and Herod could only get it inhabited partly by bribes, partly by threats. 
In a country so long populated with towns therein both expanding, declining, even being abandoned and centuries later refounded, there inevitably were unknown graves that no one now alive knew were present. [rw]
and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. In other words they become inadvertent causes of spiritual pollution by “contaminating” those who—through their ignorance—see nothing wrong in embracing their practices. Rather than keeping their “dead spirituality” to themselves, they were zealous advocates of expanding how many embraced it. [rw]
WEB: One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you insult us also."
Young’s: And one of the lawyers answering,
saith to him, 'Teacher, these things saying, us also
thou dost insult;'
Conte (RC): Then one of the experts in the law, in response, said to him, "Teacher, in saying these things, you bring an insult against us as well."
Then answered one of the lawyers. It is not known in what way the lawyers differed from the "scribes," or whether they were Pharisees or Sadducees. 
One possibility: Our modern idea [of the word] differs entirely from that of the New Testament. Lawyers explained traditions, scribes text of the law. 
Another possibility: There was a difference between Pharisees and lawyers; the position of the latter involved more culture and distinction. They were the “divines,” the “theologians” of that day. Hence the man’s reproach. “Lawyer” and “Scribe” seem to be more or less convertible terms (verses 52, 53; Matthew ). Jesus here charges them with tyrannical insincerity (verse 46), persecuting rancour (verses 47-51), and theological arrogance and exclusiveness (verse 52). 
and said unto Him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. He felt that the remarks of Jesus about loving the chief seats, etc., applied to them as well as to the Pharisees. His conscience told him that if they were to blame, he was [as well], and he therefore applied the discourse to himself. 
It did not follow that all these professed jurists were of the Pharisee sect; some, doubtless, were Sadducees. This lawyer was certainly, considering the company he was associated with, of the strictest sect of Pharisees. This person could not believe that this able Rabbi from Galilee—for that they must all, after the morning's discussion, have allowed Jesus to be—could include him and his holy order in his terrible denunciations. 
The scribe intimated that Jesus had spoken hastily, and his speech is a suggestion to Jesus to correct or modify his unguarded words. But Jesus made no mistakes and spoke no hasty words. 
WEB: He said, "Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won't even lift one finger to help carry those burdens.
Young’s: and he said, 'And to you, the lawyers,
woe! because ye burden men with burdens grievous to be
borne, and ye yourselves with one of your fingers do not touch the burdens.
Conte (RC): So he said: "And woe to you experts in the law! For you weigh men down with burdens which they are not able to bear, but you yourselves do not touch the weight with even one of your fingers.
And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! Jesus had only implicitly criticized the category previously. Now He makes it explicit. Perhaps the best modern parallel to the category of “lawyers” would be that of Catholic “canon lawyers” who are experts on the technical rules of the Roman Catholic Church. Or, if one is even more cynical, to the broader category of modern “theologians” who plunge into minute details far beyond the capacity (or interest) of the vast bulk of believers to penetrate. They serve a useful function, but the efforts to be such can easily produce a perverse pride in knowing the exotica that non-specialists have no interest (or need) in burdening themselves with in the first place. [rw]
for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne. Precepts hard, or even impossible, for the people to comply with. 
and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. Their utter failure to keep their own commandments made their course all the more cruel to the people. 
Such religious specialists are needed to teach the “unwashed plebians” what they need to do, but due to their advanced knowledge they can find all types of reasons (= excuses) that it was “never intended” to apply in their own particular cases. Knowledge is a wonderful thing—until misused. [rw]
touch. Only here in New Testament. A technical term in medicine for feeling gently a sore part of the body, or the pulse. Matt. xxiii. 4, has [the Greek word for] move. 
WEB: Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Young’s: 'Woe to you, because ye build the tombs
of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Conte (RC): Woe to you, who build the tombs of the prophets, while it is your fathers who killed them!
Woe unto you! While professing great reverence for the former prophets, their spirit is one of intense and murderous hostility to those who come in the character of those prophets, and so they prove themselves children, indeed, of those who killed the prophets. 
For ye build the sepulchers of the prophets. We are not to understand this as though any part of the guilt lay in the building or adorning the tombs of the prophets, considered in itself, but in their falseness in giving this testimony of respect to the prophets, whilst they were actuated by the spirit, and following the example of their persecutors and murderers, insomuch that they appeared to erect those sepulchers, not to do honor to God's prophets, but to serve as monuments of the success of their progenitors in destroying them. 
“Ye build” means them, those of the current
generation. Unless rebuilding a
traditional site is solely under discussion (which would seem to unduely limit the words), then they were building new
tombs where there were none currently existing.
How could they possibly have known that “this is the burial spot
of prophet X”?
They couldn’t. They might have a
verbal tradition to work from, but the true prophets weren’t exactly the most
popular people in
and your fathers killed them. This is holy sarcasm. They [at least implicitly, rw] boasted that they would not have done as their fathers had done to the Prophets (Matthew ), yet they rejected John, the greatest of the Prophets, and crucified the Just One (Acts , 52). 
WEB: So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs.
Young’s: Then do ye testify, and are well pleased
with the works of your fathers, because they indeed killed them, and ye do
build their tombs;
Conte (RC): Clearly, you are testifying that you consent to the actions of your fathers, because even though they killed them, you build their sepulchers.
Truly ye bear witness that ye allow [approve, NKJV] the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchers. They implicitly approved the action of their ancestors—though they would never dare admit it to others or to themselves--by their venomous hatred of Jesus and willingness to destroy both His reputation and, if necessary, His very life. [rw]
The lawyers were not in fellowship with the prophets, but with those who murdered the prophets. Hence the Savior pictures the whole transaction from the killing of the prophets to the building of their sepulchers as "one act" in which all concurred, and all of which were guilty. Abbott gives the words a figurative meaning, thus: your fathers slew the prophets by violence, and you bury them by false teaching. 
WEB: Therefore also the wisdom of God said, 'I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute,
Young’s: because of this also the wisdom of God
said: I will send to them prophets, and apostles, and some of them they shall
kill and persecute,
Conte (RC): Because of this also, the wisdom of God said: I will send to them Prophets and Apostles, and some of these they will kill or persecute,
Therefore also said the wisdom of God. It is a general paraphrase of the tenor of several Old Testament passages. 
Read as a reference to 2 Chronicles : The difficulty is [primarily] that no such passage exists in the O.T. But I have little doubt that the true explanation is this: --the whole saying is a reference to 2 Chron. xxiv. 18-22, and so marked a one, that I am surprised no Commentators but Olshausen and Stier should have observed it, and they not thoroughly.
opens with remarks of the sacred historian on the deliquency
The words in our text are not indeed a citation, but an amplification of verse 19 there--a paraphrase of them, giving the true sense of what the wisdom of God intended by them;--enlarging the mere historical notice which laid hold of God's purpose only by one thread let down to the earth, into the divine revelation of the whole purpose of God as the counsel of His will in heaven.
As a reference to Proverbs 1 : The book of the Old Testament which in the primitive Church as well as among the Jews, in common with the books of Jesus Sirach and Wisdom, bore the name of "wisdom of God," was that of Proverbs. Now here is the passage which we find in that book (1:20-31): "Wisdom uttereth her voice in the streets, and crieth in the chief places of concourse . . . Behold, I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and I will make known my words unto you . . . But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. Therefore I will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh . . . (and I shall say), Let them eat of the fruit of their works!"
This is the passage which Jesus seems to me to quote. For the breath of His Spirit, whom God promises to send to His people to instruct and reprove them, Jesus substitutes the living organs of the Spirit--His apostles, the new prophets. Then He applies to the Jews of the day (verse 49b) the sin of obstinate resistance proclaimed in the same passage; finally (verses 50, 51), He paraphrases the idea of final punishment, which closes this prophecy. The parallelism seems to us to be complete, and justifies in the most natural manner the use of the term "the wisdom of God."
As a reference to Jesus Himself as the embodiment of Wisdom : It is a disputed question what the words, "said the wisdom of God" mean. Some regard them as merely referring to the widsom of God speaking, in 2 Chronicles xxiv. 18-22, of which Jesus here gives an amplification in the same spirit of Divine or avenging wisdom. They are, however, generally understood as denoting Christ Himself; and, as the words which follow are not found in the Old Testament, we may suppose that He meant, as the Word and Wisdom of God (1 Cor. i. 24), immediately to reveal to the hearers His wise counsels and purposes respecting them. In the parallel passage of Matthew (xxiii. 34), our Lord evidently spoke in His own person: "Wherefore, behold I send," etc.
As a reference to His own earlier teaching : Doubtless a quotation, but not from the Old Testament since no such passage occurs in it, and quotations from the Old Testament are never introduced by [this phrase]. To suppose a lost Jewish writing, however, which either may have had this title is contrary to the analogy of all the rest of the quotations made by Jesus, as well as the evangelical tradition itself, which according to Matthew 23:34, attributed these words to Jesus. Accordingly, it is to be supposed that Jesus is here quoting one of His own earlier utterances (observe the past tense), so that He represents the Wisdom of God (Wisdom ; Matthew ; Luke ) as having spoken through Him.
I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute. The essence of the point is that God will send messengers and God’s own people will be so annoyed at their message that they will make life miserable for them and even kill them. Being “God’s people” was enough for them, thank you very much. What is all this “silliness” of us being expected to obey rules as well? From our standpoint today, we might well sum up the situation this way: They wanted all the benefits of being God’s people without having to shoulder any of the “burdens” that go with it. (Note the quotation marks about “burdens:” far too often it isn’t a matter of them being all that difficult in the first place; it’s more a matter that we simply don’t want to take the time and effort—especially if it makes us look “different” from how other people behave and think. [rw]
Weymouth: so that the blood of all the Prophets, that is being shed from the creation of the world onwards, may be required from the present generation.
WEB: that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
Young’s: that the blood of all the prophets, that
is being poured forth from the foundation of the world, may be required from
Conte (RC): so that the blood of all the Prophets, which has been shed since the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation:
That the blood of
all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be
required of this generation. In late
20th century colloquialism:
“God was sick and tired of repeatedly having this happen and was going
to bring a definitive undeniable judgment of condemnation upon those claiming
to be His people and His earthly religious leaders.” What more profound judgment could it be than
the destruction of the
WEB: from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.' Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.
Young’s: from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, who perished between the altar and the house;
yes, I say to you, It shall be required from this
Conte (RC): from the blood of Abel, even to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. So I say to you: it will be required of this generation!
From the blood of Abel. Recorded in the book of Genesis. [rw]
unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple. Probably the allusion is not to any recent murder, but to 2 Chronicles 24:20-22, as the last recorded and most suitable case for illustration. And as Zacharias' last words were, "The Lord require it," so they are warned that "of that generation is should be required." 
verily I say unto you,
It shall be required of this generation. That
generation sanctioned all the sins of the past and went beyond them to the
crucifixion of the Son of God. The best
comment on this passage is the parable at Luke 20:9-16. God made that generation the focus of the
world's light and privilege, but the men of that time made it the focus of the
world's wickedness and punishment. The
punishment began about thirty-seven years later in the war with
WEB: Woe to you lawyers! For you took away the key of knowledge. You didn't enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered."
Young’s: Woe to you, the lawyers, because ye took
away the key of the knowledge; yourselves ye did not enter; and those coming
in, ye did hinder.'
Conte (RC): Woe to you, experts in the law! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You yourselves do not enter, and those who were entering, you would have prohibited."
Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge. A key is made to open a lock or door. By their false interpretation of the Old Testament, they had taken away the true key of understanding it. They had hindered the people from understand it aright. 
A true knowledge of the Scripture was a key which opened the door to the glories of Christ and His kingdom. This the lawyer had given away by teaching not the contents of the book, but the rubbish and trifles of tradition. 
ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. A sign of absolute confidence—but in the wrong thing: So convinced that the Jesus movement was unacceptable that he himself (and “lawyers” like him) not only refused to accept the message, but did everything humanly possible to obstruct others from doing so as well. [rw]
Weymouth: After He had left the house, the Scribes and Pharisees commenced a vehement attempt to entangle Him and make Him give off-hand answers on numerous points,
WEB: As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him;
Young’s: And in his speaking these things unto
them, the scribes and the Pharisees began fearfully to urge and to press him to
speak about many things,
Conte (RC): Then, while he was saying these things to them, the Pharisees and the experts in the law began to insist strongly that he restrain his mouth about many things.
And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things. This means that they put many questions to him about various matters, without giving Him proper time to answer. They proposed questions as fast as possible and about as many things as possible, that they might get Him, in the hurry, to say something that would be wrong, that they might thus accuse Him. 
Any search for the truth was thrown out the window. As was all sincerity. Rhetorical victory and making Jesus look like a fool was the only goal. [rw]
WEB: lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.
Young’s: laying wait for him, and seeking to catch
something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
Conte (RC): And waiting to ambush him, they sought something from his mouth that they might seize upon, in order to accuse him.
Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse Him. That they might bring charges against Him to some class of the people, and even to the Sanhedrin or governor. Compare Matthew 22:15-16, 23-24. 
What conduct of theirs could better justify His denunciations of them? 
(with number code)
1 = Adam Clarke. The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and
Volume I: Matthew to the Acts. Reprint,
2 = Marvin R. Vincent. Word Studies in the New Testament. Volume I:
The Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,
and Jude. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 printing.
3 = J. S. Lamar. Luke. [Eugene S. Smith, Publisher; reprint, 1977 (?)]
4 = Charles H. Hall. Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels;
volume two: Luke-John.
5 = John Kitto. Daily Bible Illustrations. Volume II: Evening Series:
The Life and Death of Our Lord.
6 = Thomas M. Lindsay. The Gospel According to St. Luke. Two
7 = W. H. van Doren. A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament:
Saint Luke. Two volumes.
8 = Melancthon W. Jacobus. Notes on the Gospels, Critical and
Explanatory: Luke and John.
Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.
9 = Alfred Nevin. Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts: Luke.
10 = Alfred Nevin.
The Parables of Jesus.
Board of Publication, 1881.
11 = Albert Barnes. "Luke." In Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.
Reprint, Kregel Publications, 1980.
12 = Alexander B. Bruce. The Synoptic Gospels. In The Expositor's
Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Reprint, Grand
13 = F. Godet. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Translated
from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.
14 = D.D. Whedon. Commentary on the Gospels: Luke-John. New
15 = Henry Alford. The Greek Testament. Volume I: The Four Gospels.
16 = David Brown. "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and
David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments.
Volume II: New Testament.
S. S. Scranton Company, no date.
17 = Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly. An Exposition of the Gospel
of St. Luke.
18 = H. D. M. Spence. “Luke.” In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.
M. Spence. Reprinted by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
19 = John Calvin. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,
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20 = Thomas Scott. The Holy Bible ...with Explanatory Notes (and)
21 = Henry T. Sell. Bible Studies in the Life of Christ: Historical and
22 = Philip Vollmer. The Modern Student's Life of Christ.
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23 = Heinrich A. W. Meyer. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
Gospels of Mark and Luke. Translated from the Fifth German
Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis. N. Y.: Funk and Wagnalls,
1884; 1893 printing.
24 = John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. A New
Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent.
25 = John Cummings. Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-
26 = Walter F. Adeney, editor. The Century Bible: A Modern
missing from copy.
27 = Pasquier Quesnel. The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.
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28 = Charles R. Erdman. The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition.
29 = Elvira J. Slack. Jesus: The Man of
Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.
30 = Arthur Ritchie. Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.
The Young Churchman Company, 1906.
31 = Bernhard Weiss. A Commentary on the New Testament. Volume
Two: Luke-The Acts.
32 = Matthew Henry. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Volume V:
Matthew to John. 17--. Reprint,
Company, no date.
33 = C. G. Barth. The Bible Manual: An Expository and Practical
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34 = Nathaniel S. Folsom. The Four Gospels: Translated . . . and with
Critical and Expository Notes. Third Edition.
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35 = Henry Burton. The Gospel according to Luke. In the Expositor's
36 = [Anonymous]. Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from
Old and New Sources.
37 = Marcus Dods.
The Parables of Our Lord.
Revell Company, 18--.
38 = Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
39 = A. T. Robertson. Luke the Historian in the Light of Research.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint.
40 = James R. Gray. Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and
ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.
41 = W.
Sanday. Outlines of the Life of Christ.
Scribner's Sons, 1905.
42 = Halford E. Luccock. Studies in the Parables
Methodist Book Concern, 1917.
43 = George H. Hubbard. The Teaching of Jesus in Parables. New
44 = Charles S. Robinson. Studies in Luke's Gospel. Second Series.
45 = John
Laidlaw. The Miracles of Our Lord.
Wagnalls Company, 1892.
46 = William M. Taylor. The Miracles of Our Saviour. Fifth Edition.
47 = Alexander Maclaren. Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Luke.
New York: George H. Doran Company, [no date].
48 = George
Miracles of Our Lord.
George Routledge & Sons, 1878.
49 = Joseph Parker. The People's Bibles: Discourses upon Holy Scrip-
50 = Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman. A Critical Commentary and
Paraphrase on the New Testament: The Four Gospels and the Acts
of the Apostles.
51 = Matthew Poole. Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1600s.
52 = George R. Bliss. Luke. In An American Commentary on the New
53 = J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. The Fourfold Gospel.
54 = John Trapp. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1654.
55 = Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews. The Life of Christ.
Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1900; 5th reprint,
56 = Frederic W. Farrar. The Gospel According to St. Luke. In “The
the University Press, 1882.