From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
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Weymouth: Then calling the Twelve together He conferred on them power and authority over all the demons and to cure diseases;
WEB: Then calling the Twelve together He conferred on them power and authority over all the demons and to cure diseases;
Young’s: And having called together his twelve
disciples, he gave them power and authority over all the demons, and to cure
Conte (RC): Then calling together the twelve Apostles, he gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases.
9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together. The place from which the apostles were sent forth is not indicated. In Mark, Nazareth appears to be the last preceding note of locality. 
and gave them power and authority. When the apostles quarreled over “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1, for instance), they thought in terms of authority over people. It appealed to their pride and arrogance. What Christ gave them--without even being requested to--was “power and authority” over what plagues human existence “devils and . . . diseases.” [rw]
over all devils, and to cure diseases. The reader will please to observe: 1. That Luke mentions both demons and diseases; therefore he was either mistaken, or demons and diseases are not the same. 2. The treatment of these two was not the same: the demons were to be cast out, the diseases to be healed. See Matthew 10:1. 
Weymouth: and sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to cure the sick.
WEB: He sent them forth to preach the Kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
Young’s: and he sent them to proclaim the reign of
God, and to heal the ailing.
Conte (RC): And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the infirm.
9:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God. They had now been long enough with the Master, sharing His special instruction, to warrant their being sent abroad by themselves, on a kind of trial tour, partly to prove them for the work which must before long devolve wholly on them, and partly to reach the inhabitants of Galilee more thoroughly in their need (Matthew 9:36), than Jesus could Himself do before He must leave that favored region forever. 
This was at the close of the missionary journeys alluded to in Matthew 9:35; Mark 6:6. Matthew gives a touching reason for the mission of the Twelve. It was because He pitied the multitude, who were like harassed and panting sheep without a shepherd, and like a harvest left unreaped for want of labourers (Matthew 9:36-38). 
and to heal
the sick. They were, like their Master, to care for the
health of both body and soul. The
former, as really as the latter, was a matter of deep concern to our Lord; and
although we truly say that His chief and ultimate aim was benefit to souls, no
one can set limits to what He would have done simply to relieve men from bodily
Weymouth: And He commanded them, "Take nothing for your journey; neither stick nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have an extra under garment.
WEB: He said to them, "Take nothing for your journey--neither staffs, nor wallet, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats apiece.
Young’s: And he said unto them, 'Take nothing for
the way, neither staff, nor scrip, nor bread, nor money; neither have two coats
Conte (RC): And he said to them: "You should take nothing for the journey, neither staff, nor traveling bag, nor bread, nor money; and you should not have two tunics.
9:3 And He said unto them. For a much fuller account of the instructions given to the Twelve see Matthew 10:5-15. Some of these are recorded by Luke as given also to the Seventy, 10:1-16. 
Take nothing for your journey. Act with the same self-confidence as if you were merely going to the other end of the town. [rw]
neither staves [staffs, NKJV]. Or a staff [singular]. The plural may have been frivolously introduced by some copyist who wished to avoid an apparent discrepancy with Mark 6:8, “save a staff only.” St. Matthew also says, “not even a staff.” Minute and wholly unimportant as the variation would have been, it may turn on the fact that our Lord told them not specially to procure (Matthew) these things for the journey; or on the fact that speaking in Aramaic He used the phrase which might be explained, even if you have a staff it is unnecessary.” 
nor scrip [bag, NKJV]. i.e., a wallet, a bag carried over the shoulder to contain a few dates or other common necessaries. 1 Samuel 17:40. 
neither bread. Which they usually took with them, verse 13; Matthew 16:7. 
neither money. Literally, “silver.” St. Luke uses the word because it was the common metal for coinage among the Greeks. St. Mark uses “copper,” the common Roman coinage. 
neither have two coats apiece. i.e., do not carry with you a second tunic (ketoneth)—which indeed is a rare luxury among poor [in that region]. If they carried a second tunic at all they could only do so conveniently by putting it on (Mark 6:9). 
Weymouth: Whatever house you enter, make that your home, and from it start afresh.
WEB: Into whatever house you enter, stay there, and depart from there.
Young’s: and into whatever house ye may enter,
there remain, and thence depart;
Conte (RC): And into whatever house you shall enter, lodge there, and do not move away from there.
9:4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide. On entering any new place they were to select, after due and careful inquiry (Matthew 10:11), a family likely and able to assist them in their evangelistic work. This "house" they were to endeavour to make the centre of their efforts in that locality. This rule we find continued in the early years of Christianity. In the history of the first Churches, certain "houses" in the different cities were evidently the centres of the mission work there. We gather this from such expressions in St. Paul's letters as "the Church which is in his house" (comp., too, Acts 16:40, where the house of Lydia was evidently the head-quarters of all missionary work in Philippi and its neighbourhood). 
and thence depart. Don’t go shifting around your place of accommodation. These folk were kind enough to receive you in the first place. Show them the respect they deserve instead of grabbing the first—or any—“better offer” that comes your way. Jesus is surely thinking not just in terms of the physical accommodations but also in terms of the local social and economic prestige of the homeowner. [rw]
Weymouth: Wherever they refuse to receive you, as you leave that town shake off the very dust from your feet as a protest against them."
WEB: As many as don't receive you, when you depart from that city, shake off even the dust from your feet for a testimony against them."
Young’s: and as many as may not receive you, going
forth from that city, even the dust from your feet shake off, for a testimony
Conte (RC): And whoever will not have received you, upon departing from that city, shake off even the dust on your feet, as a testimony against them."
9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them. Don’t “cuss them out” (in its first century equivalency), just show them symbolically how little you think of them: You don’t even want the dust of their city on your shoes—so spiritually worthless and uninterested are they! [rw]
Weymouth: So they departed and visited village after village, spreading the Good News and performing cures everywhere.
WEB: They departed, and went throughout the villages, preaching the Good News, and healing everywhere.
Young’s: And going forth they
were going through the several villages, proclaiming good news, and healing
Conte (RC): And going forth, they traveled around, through the towns, evangelizing and curing everywhere.
9:6 And they departed, and went through the towns. Better, “throughout the villages.” As no mention is made of cities, we may infer that, in the circuits which Jesus had already made through Galilee, the cities and towns had been chiefly visited, and that these messengers occupied themselves with the smaller places, in order that the glad tidings might reach every needy soul. 
preaching the gospel. This is to be understood with the necessary and obvious limitation to Galilee. It is an instance of young ministers being exercised and tested, first, on [less contentious] fields. 
and healing every where. No place was skipped. If there were the physically needy present, then they were restored to health. No regional or local chauvinism overcame the desire to use the talent for whoever needed it. [rw]
Weymouth: Now Herod the Tetrarch heard of all that was going on; and he was bewildered because of its being said by some that John had come back to life,
WEB: Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him; and he was very perplexed, because it was said by some that John had risen from the dead,
Young’s: And Herod the tetrarch heard of all the
things being done by him, and was perplexed, because it was said by certain,
that John hath been raised out of the dead;
Conte (RC): Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all the things that were being done by him, but he doubted, because it was said
9:7 Now Herod the tetrarch. This was Herod Antipas; he was a son of Herod the Great; his mother's name was Malthace. After his father's death he became tetrareh or prince-ruler of Galilee, Peraea, and of a fourth part of the Roman province of Syria. His first wife was daughter of Aretas, a famous Arabian sheik spoken of by St. Paul as "king of the Damascenes" (2 Corinthians 11:32). This princess he divorced, and contracted a marriage at once incestuous and adulterous with his niece Herodias, the beautiful wife of his half-brother Philip. Philip was not a sovereign prince, and it was probably from motives of ambition that she deserted Philip for the powerful tetrarch Herod Antipas. 
heard of all that was done by Him. His subordinates would know what he had interest in and anything out of the ordinary would be on that list for it might require him to do (or not do) something he had planned. Even heavy handed rulers—if they are wise—try to carry out their policies with calculation lest they inflame the citizenry against them. [rw]
and he was perplexed. Used by Luke only. From διά, through, and ὰπορέω, to be without a way out. The radical idea of the compound verb seems to be of one who goes through the whole list of possible ways, and finds no way out. Hence, to be in perplexity. 
because that it was said of some that John was risen from the dead. To this opinion Herod’s guilty conscience made him sometimes incline, Mark 6:16. His alarm may have been intensified by the strong condemnation of his subjects, who long afterwards, looked on his defeat by his injured father-in-law Aretas as a punishment for this time (Josephus, Antiquities xviii. 5; 1, 2). 
Herod might have been able to handle the idea of a resurrected individual, but of all those it might have happened to, surely John was at the bottom of his list due to the needless injustice inflicted upon him. Surely he must have uncomfortably thought that he was returned from the dead not just to preach, but to exact revenge. Would it even be possible to stop such a revenge seeker? He assumed so—or hoped so—for he desired to see who it was for himself (verse 9). [rw]
Weymouth: by others that Elijah had appeared, and by others that some one of the ancient Prophets had come back to life.
WEB: and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen again.
Young’s: and by certain, that Elijah did appear,
and by others, that a prophet, one of the ancients, was risen;
Conte (RC): by some, "For John has risen from the dead," yet truly, by others, "For Elijah has appeared," and by still others, "For one of the prophets from of old has risen again."
9:8 And of some, that Elias had appeared. Not risen—as he had been “translated,” that he should not see death. This view directly connected Jesus in their minds with the Messiah as about to appear (compare Malachi 4:5), and involved an explanation of His miraculous efficiency. 
The Talmud is full of the expected appearance of Elijah, and of instances in which he shewed himself to eminent Rabbis. 
and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again. Compare 7:16; Deuteronomy 18:15; Numbers 24:17. The Jews thought that Jeremiah or one of the other great prophets (see verse 19) might rise to herald the Messiah, John 1:21. See 2 Esdras 2:10, 18, “Tell my people . . . For thy help will I send my servants Isaiah and Jeremiah;” 1 Maccabees 14:41, “ “Simon should be high priest . . . until there arose a faithful prophet.” In 2 Maccabees 2:4-8, 15:13-16, Jeremiah appears in a vision. It was believed that he would reveal the hiding place of the Ark, Urim, and Sacred Fire. 
Herod had to take some comfort in such speculations for it permitted him alternatives beyond the one he very much did not want to accept. [rw]
Weymouth: And Herod said, "John I have beheaded; but who is this, of whom I hear such reports?" And he sought for an opportunity of seeing Jesus.
WEB: Herod said, "John I beheaded, but who is this, about whom I hear such things?" He sought to see him.
Young’s: and Herod said, 'John I did behead, but
who is this concerning whom I hear such things?' and he was seeking to see him.
Conte (RC): And Herod said: "I beheaded John. So then, who is this, about whom I hear such things?" And he sought to see him.
9:9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? There seems to be here a (cautious?) dismissal that it could really be John the Baptist. That still left the problem: If it isn’t, just who is it and what does all this indicate? Will a man with such miracle working powers be content with what he is doing or might he desire to use them in a hostile manner? Recognizing that there are some matters that others can’t really handle for you, he recognized that—like it or not—he really did need to meet this person. [rw]
And he desired to see Him. Literally, “was seeking;” this agrees with 23:8, “he was desirous to see him of a long season.” St. Luke may have heard particulars about Herod from Chuzas (8:3) when he was with Paul at Caesarea Stratonis, or from Manaen at Antioch (Acts 13:1). The curiosity of Herod about Jesus does not seem to have been aroused before this period. A half-alien tyrant such as he was, belonging to a detested house, is often little aware of what is going on among the people; but the mission of the Twelve in all directions, and therefore possibly to Tiberias, produced effects which reached his ears. His to see Jesus was not gratified till the day of the crucifixion;--partly because our Lord purposely kept out of his reach, feeling for him a pure contempt (“this fox,” 13:32), and for this among other reasons never so much as entered the polluted and half-heathen streets of Herod’s new town of Tiberias (which partly covered the site of an old cemetery); and partly because after the news of John’s murder, He seems at once to have withdrawn from all permanent work in Gennesareth. During the mission of the Twelve we infer that He made a journey alone to Jerusalem to the unnamed feast of John 5:1, probably the Feast of Purim. During this visit occurred the healing of the cripple at Bethesda. 
Weymouth: The Apostles, on their return, related to Jesus all they had done. Then He took them and withdrew to a quiet retreat, to a town called Bethsaida.
WEB: The apostles, when they had returned, told him what things they had done. He took them, and withdrew apart to a deserted place of a city called Bethsaida.
Young’s: And the apostles having turned back,
declared to him how great things they did, and having taken them, he withdrew
by himself to a desert place of a city called Bethsaida,
Conte (RC): And when the Apostles returned, they explained to him all the things that they had done. And taking them with him, he withdrew to a deserted place apart, which belongs to Bethsaida.
9:10 And the apostles, when they were returned. How long they were absent can not be told—probably some weeks, but not months. 
told Him all that they had done. Gave Him a full and complete report. [rw]
And He took them, and went aside privately into a desert [deserted, NKJV] place. This, as we shall see, expresses rather what He desired and aimed at, than what He accomplished. His motive seems to have been, partly, the desire of rest for them, probably also for Himself (Mark 6:31), and partly that He might, with them, consider deliberately their report for instruction and encouragement to them. For this there was no opportunity, amid the multitude of “comers and goers” (Mark), where they were. 
belonging to the city called Bethsaida. A city on the east bank of the river Jordan, near where the river enters into the sea of Tiberias. 
Putting together this and the “desert place” of Matthew and Mark, we see that the design was to reach the unoccupied plain east of the mouth of the Jordan, at the northern end of the lake. There, two miles up the river, lay the new city of Bethsaida, called specially “Bethsaida Julias” = Julia’s Bethsaida, because Philip the tetrarch had built it in honor of the emperor’s daughter, Julia. 
Weymouth: But the immense crowd, aware of this, followed Him; and receiving them kindly He proceeded to speak to them of the Kingdom of God, and those who needed to be restored to health, He cured.
WEB: But the multitudes, perceiving it, followed him. He welcomed them, and spoke to them of the Kingdom of God, and he cured those who needed healing.
Young’s: and the multitudes having known did
follow him, and having received them, he was speaking to them concerning the
reign of God, and those having need of service he cured.
Conte (RC): But when the crowd had realized this, they followed him. And he received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God. And those who were in need of cures, he healed.
9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed Him. The ensuing miracle is one of the few narrated by all four Evangelists (Matthew 14:13-33; Mark 6:30-52; John 6:1-21), and is most important from the power displayed, the doctrines symbolized (Christ the bread of life), and the results to which it led (John 6). Combining the narratives, we see the embarkation of Jesus to sail from Capernaum to the northern Bethsaida had been noticed by the people, and as it is only a sail of six miles they went on foot round the head of the lake to find Him. He had barely tried to retire with His disciples to one of the hills when a crowd assembled on the little plain which was momentarily swelled by the throngs of pilgrims who paused to see the Great Prophet on their way to the approaching Passover at Jerusalem (John 6:5), which Jesus Himself could not attend without danger, owing to the outburst caused by the Sabbath healing of the cripple (John 5:1-16). Towards afternoon He came down the hill to the multitude to teach and heal their sick. 
and He received them. How much time alone He had is impossible to establish, but there is nothing to suggest it was less than was needed. One can’t help but wonder about the unknowable: What words of encouragement or realism did Jesus use lest their Divinely given talent go to their heads? The fact that the talents weren’t there to serve their egos, but to benefit others might easily get lost in the joy of the moment. Yet having handled anything that needed to be said to His own satisfaction, He now turns back to the large crowd that had gathered. [rw]
and spake unto them of the kingdom of God. Jesus’ teaching was intended to prepare them for the quickly coming Divine kingdom. Would they be willing to accept its spiritual nature and abide by its ethical demands? Would they be able to accept a warfare that used the spiritual sword to slay evil impulses and desires rather than a physical one to merely kill Romans? Hence the need to root as many, as deeply as possible, in the spiritual nature of that kingdom while He was yet with them. [rw]
and healed them that had need of healing. Note the clearly implied “universalism:” whoever needed it, was healed. Period. Contrast modern day purported healing in Jesus’ name where the failures number a multitude and the “successes” a few. [rw]
Weymouth: Now when the day began to decline, the Twelve came to Him and said, "Send the people away, that they may go to the villages and farms round about and find lodging and a supply of food; because here we are in an uninhabited district."
WEB: The day began to wear away; and the twelve came, and said to him, "Send the multitude away, that they may go into the surrounding villages and farms, and lodge, and get food, for we are here in a deserted place."
Young’s: And the day began to decline, and the
twelve having come near, said to him, 'Let away the multitude, that having gone
to the villages and the fields round about, they may lodge and may find
provision, because here we are in a desert place.'
Conte (RC): Then the day began to decline. And drawing near, the twelve said to him: "Dismiss the crowds, so that, by going into the surrounding towns and villages, they may separate and find food. For we are here in a deserted place."
9:12 And when the day began to wear away. Drew towards evening. 
then came the twelve. John alone tells us that He had compassionately suggested the difficulty to Philip, watching with gentle irony the trial of his faith; and that Philip despairingly said it would cost more than 200 denarii to procure them even a minimum of food. Philip was “of Bethsaida,” but this had nothing to do with our Lord’s speaking to him, for he longed to the western Bethsaida. 
and said unto Him, Send the multitude away they may go into the towns and country round about, and lodge, and get victuals. The crowd was on the desert side of the sea, in a rugged, desolate country, and the short Eastern twilight would soon be upon them. The famished multitude might come to harm. 
for we are here in a desert place. Simple consideration for the crowds, among whom we know were women and children, probably dictated this remark of the twelve, though it has been with some ingenuity suggested that the advice of the disciples was owing to their fear that, as darkness would soon creep over the scene, some calamity might happen which would give a fresh handle against Jesus to His many enemies. 
Weymouth: "You yourselves," He said, "must give them food." "We have nothing," they replied, "but five loaves and a couple of fish, unless indeed we were to go and buy provisions for all this host of people."
WEB: But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." They said, "We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we should go and buy food for all these people."
Young’s: And he said unto them, 'Give ye them to
eat;' and they said, 'We have no more than five
loaves, and two fishes: except, having gone, we may buy for all this people
Conte (RC): But he said to them, "You give them something to eat." And they said, "There is with us no more than five loaves and two fish, unless perhaps we are to go and buy food for this entire multitude."
9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. Although Jesus was going to make a serious point, I can’t help but wonder if there were a mischievous chuckle in His eyes and smile as He gave them the challenge: “You recognized the problem. That is fine and good. Now what are you going to do about it? You, not the crowd?” [rw]
And they said, We have no more but five and two fishes. The loaves were barley-cakes (John 6:9) and it was Andrew who found the lad, a little boy (paidarion) who carried them. These barley-cakes were the food of the poor, and a barley-cake was a most insignificant thing (Judges 7:13). The fishes were small dried fish usually eaten as something tasty with the barley-bread. The five small cakes and the two fishes were the remains of the boy's day's provisions. 
except [unless, NKJV] we should go and buy meat [food, NKJV] for all this people. In essence their answer is: “The only way we could possibly do anything is if we leave and buy them food.” And if their remark about this being “a desert[ed] place” is as literal as it sounds, they could easily have added: “And it’s unlikely we could even find that much food for there aren’t that many people around even in the first place.” Which leads us to the likely reason that Jesus performed this particular miracle in the first place: Even if He had sent the crowd away, many of them were going to have a major problem finding the food they needed. To use a modern expression, if Jesus did not miraculously intervene, they were going to be “in a mountain of hurt.” [rw]
Weymouth: But He said to His disciples, "Make them sit down in parties of about fifty each."
WEB: For they were about five thousand men. He said to his disciples, "Make them sit down in groups of about fifty each."
Young’s: for they were about five thousand men.
And he said unto his disciples, 'Cause them to recline in companies, in each
Conte (RC): Now there were about five thousand men. So he said to his disciples, "Have them recline to eat in groups of fifty."
9:14 For they were about five thousand men. To successfully do what was about to do—to avoid all the confusion and chaos that could easily go with it—the crowd had to be organized in an efficient manner. Hence the instruction that comes next. [rw]
And He said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties. Divide them into manageable size groups instead of leaving them in this massive conglomerate of people. [rw]
in a company. The plural, in companies. Lit., table-companies. The word is also used in classical Greek of a couch for reclining at table. Only here in New Testament. 
Weymouth: They did so, making them all, without exception, sit down.
WEB: They did so, and made them all sit down.
Young’s: and they did so, and made all to recline;
Conte (RC): And they did so. And they caused them all to recline to eat.
9:15 And they did so, and made them all sit down. Presumably telling them either, “Jesus wants everyone to sit down for a while” and/or “It’s time to eat so you need to sit down.” [rw]
Weymouth: Then He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to Heaven He blessed them and broke them into portions which He gave to the disciples to distribute to the people.
WEB: He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to the sky, he blessed them, and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the multitude.
Young’s: and having taken the five loaves, and the
two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and was
giving to the disciples to set before the multitude;
Conte (RC): Then, taking the five loaves and the two fish, he gazed up to heaven, and he blessed and broke and distributed them to his disciples, in order to set them before the crowd.
9:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes. Nothing has been added to it and those closest to Jesus could observe just how few it was and wonder just how that was going to meet everyone’s need. [rw]
and looking up to heaven. Even though He was the Son of God, still God the Father deserved to be thanked and honored. [rw]
He blessed them. It was customary with the Jews at every meal to offer a prayer commencing with the thankful words "Blessed be God." Hence the Hebrew "to bless," which originally had for its object God as the author of the meal, took as its objective case the food itself, and thence arose the phrase to bless the food or to ask a blessing on the food. 
and brake. Turning the food into manageable size servings that could be passed around by the apostles.
and gave. In Mark and Luke the tense of the verb rendered "gave," in the original Greek, is an imperfect, and signifies, "he gave, and kept on giving." This supplies a hint as to the way of working the miracle. Each disciple kept coming to him for a fresh supply of bread. 
to the disciples to set before the multitude. The disciples didn’t “sign up” to be servants distributing food, but in the kingdom you do—whatever needs to be done whether it’s in your perceived “duties list” or not. [rw]
Weymouth: So they ate and were fully satisfied, all of them; and what they had remaining over was gathered up, twelve baskets of fragments.
WEB: They ate, and were all filled. They gathered up twelve baskets of broken pieces that were left over.
they did eat, and were all filled, and there was taken up what was over to them
of broken pieces, twelve baskets.
Conte (RC): And they all ate and were satisfied. And twelve baskets of fragments were taken up, which were left over from them.
9:17 And they did eat. None of our Lord's miracles were better attested than this one. Five or more thousand witnesses could not be deceived, for the miracle was done openly, and was easy to be observed. The want of food was known to them all--they were in a desert where it could not be obtained. There was no delay to allow the disciples to buy it in the distant villages, and no secret supplies could have been obtained without detection. The senses of the people convinced them it was real. They saw the small provision enlarged more than a thousand fold; they heard the blessing given; they felt the food in their hands; they tasted it and were satisfied that what they received was real fish and bread. 
and were all filled. “All” the five thousand. Not merely “some” or “a few.” [rw]
and there was taken up of fragments. The “broken pieces” are not so well thought to be “fragments” left by the eaters, as pieces broken by Christ, and ready for them if they had wanted more. 
Compare 2 Kings 4:43-44. These were collected by the order of Jesus, who thus strikingly taught that wastefulness even of miraculous plenty is entirely alien to the divine administration. 
that remained to them twelve baskets. Cophini, probably wicker-baskets (salsilloth, Jeremiah 6:9). Every Jew carried such a basket about with him to avoid the chance of his food contracting any Levitical pollution in heathen places (Juvenal, Sat. III. 14, VI. 542). The baskets used at the miracle of the four thousand [however] were large rope-baskets, “frails” (spurides). The accuracy with which each word is reserved by all the narrators for each miracle is remarkable. 
Weymouth: One day when He was praying by Himself the disciples were present; and He asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"
WEB: It happened, as he was praying alone, that the disciples were with him, and he asked them, "Who do the multitudes say that I am?"
Young’s: And it came to pass, as
he is praying alone, the disciples were with him, and he questioned them,
saying, 'Who do the multitudes say me to be?'
Conte (RC): And it happened that, when he was praying alone, his disciples also were with him, and he questioned them, saying: "Who do the multitudes say that I am?"
9:18 And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, His disciples were with Him. He again had found opportunity to be away from the crowds for a while. No matter how exhilarating and challenging such work was, it had to bring with it a sense of fatigue and tiredness after a while. And the simple desire to be alone—or at least with just His apostles, where He could speak more frankly. [rw]
and He asked them, saying, whom say the people that I am? Not that Christ was ignorant of, or vain-gloriously inquired after, the opinion of the multitude; but, as the time had now come when He must speak more openly than He had to His disciples of His approaching suffering and death, before He would grant them a deeper view into the nature of His work, He designs to establish them more firmly in their faith in His person and His character. 
In depth: Possible reasons for Luke omitting a large section of Jesus' ministry found in Matthew and Mark at this point . At this point occurs a great gap in Luke's narrative as compared with those of Matthew and Mark, all between Matthew 14:22 and 16:12 and between Mark 6:45 and 8:27 being omitted. Various explanations have been suggested: accident (Meyer, Godet), not in the copy of Mark used by Luke (Reuss), mistake of the eye, passing from the second feeding as if it were the first (Beyschlag). These and other explanations imply that the omission was unintentional.
But against this hypothesis is the fact that the edges of the opposite sides of the gap are brought together in Luke's narrative at 9:18: Jesus alone praying, as in Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:45-46, yet the disciples are with Him though alone, and He proceeds to interrogate them. This raises the question as to the motives for intentional omission, which may have been such as these: avoidance of duplicates with no new lesson (second feeding), anti-Pharisaic matter much restricted throughout (ceremonial washing), Jewish particularism not suitable in a Gentile Gospel, not even the appearance of it (Syrophenician woman).
[There is] no trace in this Gospel of Caesarea Philippi, or indeed of the great northerly journey (or journeys) so prominently recognized in Mark, the aim of which was to get away from crowds, and obtain leisure for [work] with the Twelve in view of the approaching fatal crisis. This omission can hardly be without intention. Whether Luke knew Mark's Gospel or not, so careful and interested an inquirer can hardly have been ignorant of that northern excursion. He may have omitted it because it was not rich in incident, in favor of the Samaritan journey about which he had much to tell. But the very raison d'etre of the journey was the hope that it might be a quiet one, giving leisure for [interaction] with the Twelve. But this private fellowship of Jesus with His disciples with a few to their instruction is just one of the things which is not [treated in detail] in this Gospel.
Weymouth: "John the Baptist," they replied; "but others say Elijah; and others that some one of the ancient Prophets has come back to life."
WEB: They answered, "'John the Baptizer,' but others say, 'Elijah,' and others, that one of the old prophets is risen again."
Young’s: And they answering said, 'John the
Baptist; and others, Elijah; and others, that a prophet, one of the ancients,
Conte (RC): But they answered by saying: "John the Baptist. But some say Elijah. Yet truly, others say that one of the prophets from before has risen again."
9:19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. Note that the apostles were reporting the same set of opinions that Herod the tetrarch was receiving (verses 8-9). [rw]
but some say Elias. The two miracles of creating the loaves and fishes for a great famishing crowd especially suggested this idea. There was a shadowy, but not an unreal resemblance here to the well-remembered miracle of Elijah, worked for the Sarepta widow and her son, with the cruse of oil and the barrel of meal which failed not (1 Kings 17:14). The words of Malachi (Malachi 4:5) pointed in the same direction. 
Weymouth: "But you," He asked, "who do you say that I am?" "God's Anointed One," replied Peter.
WEB: He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
Young’s: and he said to them, 'And
ye -- who do ye say me to be?' and Peter answering said, 'The Christ of God.'
Conte (RC): Then he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" In response, Simon Peter said, "The Christ of God."
9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? The apostles had far more opportunity to hear what the people thought about Jesus than the Master Himself, since these envolved matters that they could easily feel uncomfortable about mentioning outright and explicitly. But the apostles put a “layer of distance” between the subject and who they were talking about and permitted less self-consciousness in what was said. (Not to mention the cases where the apostles would simply over hear conversations among others.)
The logical follow up question was the one Jesus raises in this verse: “You’ve told me what they say about Me. What do you say?” This was important (1) so they would say openly what they thought and thereby be that more committed to it; (2) so that He could know whether they needed to be pointed in a different direction or receive more explicit teaching. [rw]
Peter answering said, Christ of God. This reply of Peter was in his own name and in that of his brethren. Some make the words, of God, equivalent to the Son of God; others interpret the whole expression, as "the Messiah sent of God." Matthew has it: "The Christ the Son of the living God." (xvi. 16.) Mark: "The Christ." (viii. 29.) All are varied forms of expression for the Messiah. The veil of Christ's human nature did not prevent the eye of the disciples' faith discerning Him in His true character. 
Dr. Morrison very beautifully pictures the disciples' state of mind at this juncture. "No doubt the true light on the subject had often gleamed through the darkness of their minds (see John 1:29, 33, 34, 41, 45, 49, etc.). But, though gleam succeeded gleam, in flashes that revealed the Illimitable, the darkness would ever, more or less, close in again. They could not altogether help it. They were witnesses of a 'humiliation' which they could not reconcile with the notions they had inherited in reference to the power and pomp of the Messiah. And yet it was evident that he was entirely unlike all other rabbis. He was the Master of masters, and a mystery over and above. An inner lustre was continually breaking through. It was glorious; it was unique. His character was transcendently noble and pure. He had not, moreover, obtruded [= forced] self-assertions on them. He had left them, in a great measure, to observe for themselves; and they had been observing."
Weymouth: And Jesus strictly forbad them to tell this to any one;
WEB: But he warned them, and commanded them to tell this to no one,
Young’s: And having charged them, he commanded
them to say this to no one,
Conte (RC): But speaking sharply to them, he instructed them not to tell this to anyone,
9:21 And He straitly charged them. Straitly charged (ἐπιτιμήσας): The word implies an emphatic, solemn charge; its meaning being, strictly, to lay a penalty upon one, and thence, to charge under penalty. 
and commanded them to tell no man that thing. For these perhaps among other reasons:--1. Because His work was not yet finished. 2. Because as yet their faith was very weak and their knowledge very partial. 3. Because they had not yet received the Holy Spirit to give power to their testimony. 4. Because the public proclamation of the truth would have [prematurely] precipitated the workings of God’s foreordained plan (prothesis, Ephesians 1:9; 3:11). 
Jesus’ identification as the prophesied Messiah/Christ was loaded with a mountain of popular misunderstanding: In modern language think, “dangerous political revolutionary.” The concept had become so warped in so many minds, it was language best saved until after His death and resurrection, which would prove that He never intended to be that kind of Messianic Redeemer. [rw]
Weymouth: and He said, "The Son of Man must suffer much cruelty, be rejected by the Elders and High Priests and Scribes, and be put to death, and on the third day be raised to life again."
WEB: saying, "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up."
Young’s: saying, "The Son of Man must suffer
many things, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be
killed, and the third day be raised up."
Conte (RC): saying, "For the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the leaders of the priests and the scribes, and be killed, and on the third day rise again."
9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer. It was necessary at once to dissipate the crude Messianic conceptions of earthly splendour and victory in which they had been brought up, and to substitute the truth of a suffering for that of a triumphant Messiah. 
many things. It was not merely one violent indignity but multiple ones. One might, perhaps, be dismissed as inadvertent or unintentional or somehow otherwise whitewashed. But in regard to Jesus: there was the pre-determination to both arrest Jesus and have him killed, bribe a close confederate to betray Him, push through the condemnation during the night time and allow no time for a considered evaluation of any charges, “leaning” upon the governor to strong-arm him into approving a death penalty that even he—pagan though he was—knew was flat out unjust. Hence there were, indeed, “many things” to accuse this punch of leaders of. All done by those claiming to be pious and devout and smearing the integrity of the very faith they claimed to hold dear! [rw]
and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes. i.e., by each of the three great sections which formed the Jewish Sanhedrin; by all who up to that time had been looked upon as religious authorities in the nation. 
These are the people who were supposed to know better than be envolved in blatant injustice. These were the ones who were supposed to be so scripturally knowledgeable that they would cheerfully promote the cause of the Messiah. But when the Messiah had a far different agenda than they—not defending their positions and well-entrenched religious practices rather than those enjoined by Scripture—well, by definition, He couldn’t possibly be the Messiah, could He? Otherwise how could he possibly be “blind” to such matters? [rw]
and be slain. The mode of death, and the delivery to the Gentiles, were culminating horrors which He mercifully kept back till the last journey to Jerusalem, Matthew 20:19. Hitherto He had only spoken of His death in dim and distant intimations, John 2:19, 3:14, 6:51. His revelation of it was progressive, as they were able to bear it. Matthew 9:15, 10:38; John 3:14; Matthew 16:4, 21; 17:22; 20:18; 26:2. 
and be raised the third day. In verse 45 Luke shews us (as events proved) how entirely they failed to attach any distinct meaning to these words, Mark 9:10. 
In depth: Did Jesus actually predict His death and resurrection or was this a later invention ? Strauss and Baur contented themselves with denying the details of the prediction in which Jesus foretold His death. Volkmar and Holsten at the present day refuse to allow that He had any knowledge of this event before the last moments. According to Holsten, He went to Jerusalem full of hope, designing to preach there as well as in Galilee, and confident, in case of need, of the interposition of God and of the swords of His adherent. The holy Supper itself was occasioned simply by a passing presentiment. His terrible mistake took Jesus by surprise at the last moment.
Keim acknowledges that it is impossible to deny the authenticity of the scene and conversation at Caesarea Philippi. According to him, Jesus could not have failed to have foreseen His violent death long before the catastrophe came. This is proved by the bold opposition of St. Peter, also by such sayings as those referring to the bridegroom who is to be taken away, to death as the way of life (Luke 9:23-24), to Jerusalem which kills the prophets; lastly, by the reply to the two sons of Zebedee. We may add 9:31, 12:40, John 1:40, 4:18, 6:53, 12:7, 24--words at once characteristic and inimitable. And as to the details of this prediction, have we not a number of facts which leave no room for doubt as to the supernatural knowledge of Jesus (22:10-34, John 1:49; 4:18, 6:64, etc.)?
What the modern critics more generally dispute is the announcement of the resurrection. But if Jesus foresaw His death, He must have equally foreseen His resurrection, as certainly as a prophet believing in the mission of Israel could not announce the captivity without also predicting the return. And who would ever have dreamed of putting into the mouth of Jesus the expression three days and three nights after the event, when in actual fact the time spent in the tomb did not exceed one day and two nights?
It is asked how it came to pass if Jesus had so expressly predicted His resurrection, that this event should have been such an extraordinary surprise to His apostles? There we have a psychological problem, which the disciples themselves found it difficult to explain. Compare the remarks of the evangelists, 5:45, 18:34, and parallels, which can only have come from the apostles. The explanation of this problem is perhaps this: the apostles never thought, before the facts had opened their eyes, that the expressions death and resurrection used by Jesus should be taken literally. Their Master so commonly spoke in figurative language that up to the last moment they only saw in the first term the expression of a sad separation, a sudden disappearance; and in the second, only a sudden return, a glorious reappearance. And even after the death of Jesus, they in no way thought they should see Him ever again in His old form, and by the restoration to life of the body laid in the tomb. If they expected anything, it was His return as a heavenly king (23:42).
Weymouth: And He said to all, "If any one is desirous of following me, let him ignore self and take up his cross day by day, and so be my follower.
WEB: He said to all, "If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.
Young’s: And he said unto all, 'If any one doth
will to come after me, let him disown himself, and take up his cross daily, and
Conte (RC): Then he said to everyone: "If anyone is willing to come after me: let him deny himself, and take up his cross every day, and follow me.
9:23 And He said to them all. The word “all” implies the fact mentioned by St. Mark (8:34), that before continuing His discourse He called up to Him the multitudes who were at a little distance. St. Luke here omits the presumption and rebuke of Peter, which is alone sufficient to dispose of the unworthy theory of some German theologians that he writes with an animus against Peter or with some desire to disparage his position. 
If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. “For thy sake we are killed all the day long,” Romans 8:36. “I die daily,” 1 Corinthians 15:31. 
“Daily” equals regularly, without exception, as the regular pattern of life rather than only an occasional indulgence. [rw]
Weymouth: For whoever desires to save his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake shall save it.
WEB: For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it.
Young’s: for whoever may will to save his life,
shall lose it, and whoever may lose his life for my sake, he shall save it;
Conte (RC): For whoever will have saved his life, will lose it. Yet whoever will have lost his life for my sake, will save it.
9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For this statement to make any sense to anyone, it had to be interpreted on two levels: physical versus the soul (or, if you will, the spiritual life of the soul). The one who is willing to pay any price to “save his [physical] life” from death shall lose his spiritual life and soul--for God will not forget the betrayal. On the other hand the one who is willing to even be killed—if it comes to that—rather than give up his faith, even if he is physically destroyed, his soul will still be saved because of the ultimate value he placed on his spiritual life. [rw]
Weymouth: Why, what benefit is it to a man to have gained the whole world, but to have lost or forfeited his own self.
WEB: For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits his own self?
what is a man profited, having gained the whole world, and having lost or
having forfeited himself?
Conte (RC): For how does it benefit a man, if he were to gain the whole world, yet lose himself, or cause himself harm?
9:25 For what is a man advantaged [what profit is it], if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? There are precious few in the world who would consider it undesirable to be richer and have more of the world’s things. To want to have a better life is quite natural. But the question Jesus throws at His listeners is: How high a price are you willing to pay? Do you realize that some prices are simply too high and you will actually lose far more than you will ever gain? [rw]
lose. This word, in classical Greek, is used: 1. Of death in battle or elsewhere. 2. Of laying waste, as a city or heritage. 3. Of losing of life, property, or other objects. As an active verb, to kill or demolish. 4. Of being demoralized, morally abandoned or ruined, as children under bad influences. In New Testament of killing (Matt. ii. 13; xii. 14). Of destroying and perishing, (1 Cor. i. 19; John vi. 27; Mark ii. 22; 1 Pet. i. 7; Jas. i. 11; Heb. i. 11). Of losing (Matt. x. 6, 42; Luke xv. 4, 6, 8). Of moral abandonment (Luke xv. 24, 32). Of the doom of the impenitent (Matt. x. 98; Luke xiii. 3; John iii. 15; John x. 28; 2 Pet. iii. 9; Rom. ii. 12. 
Weymouth: For whoever shall have been ashamed of me and my teachings, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own and the Father's glory and in that of the holy angels.
WEB: For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his glory, and the glory of the Father, and of the holy angels.
Young’s: 'For whoever may be ashamed of me, and of
my words, of this one shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when he may come in his
glory, and the Father's, and the holy messengers';
Conte (RC): For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words: of him the Son of man will be ashamed, when he will have arrived in his majesty and that of his Father and of the holy Angels.
9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words. The sense of shame is one of the strongest in our nature, one of the social [attitudes] founded on our love of reputation, which was given us as a preservative from all that is properly shameful. When one is, in this sense, lost to shame, he is nearly past hope. Jeremiah 6:15. 
My words. Many people think highly of Jesus. They even recognize Him as Redeemer and Savior. But accept His words—His teachings and instructions—as obligatory, of course not: “They were well intentioned. But they aren’t for people like us.” But Jesus links into an inseparable respect for both His person and His teaching. [rw]
of him shall the Son of man be ashamed. Jesus shall return to judge. But that does not mean that He will be happy with all the judgments He will have to make. He will be ashamed of how some believers act and the contempt of others for His teaching, but He has the choice of either punishing as He has warned or playing the hypocrite. The latter He will NEVER do. Leave Jesus no option and one will rue the beginning of eternity rather than rejoice at it. [rw]
when He shall come in His own glory, and in His Father's, and of the holy angels. At that ending of the earth when we will see the wonder of Jesus not hidden inside humanity any more but in its full aura and brightness—phenomena that reflect those of His Father and which, in their own way, the accompanying angels will reflect as well. [rw]
Weymouth: I tell you truly that there are some of those who stand here who will certainly not taste death till they have seen the Kingdom of God."
WEB: But I tell you the truth: There are some of those who stand here, who will in no way taste of death, until they see the Kingdom of God."
Young’s: and I say to you, truly, there are
certain of those here standing, who shall not taste of death till they may see
the reign of God.'
Conte (RC): And yet, I tell you a truth: There are some standing here who shall not taste death, until they see the kingdom of God."
9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here. “Some” not all. What Jesus has in mind is chronologically close rather than hundreds or thousands of years away. [rw]
shall not taste of death. Death represented under the figure of a bitter cup ([cf.] Psalms11:6). 
The word taste, in the sense of experience, is often used in classical Greek; as, to taste of toils, of sorrow, of freedom, but never of death. The phrase, taste of death, is common in Rabbinical writings. In the New Testament only here and Heb. ii. 9, used of Christ. Chrysostom (cited by Alford) compares Christ to a physician who first tastes his medicines to encourage the sick to take them. 
The aim of this statement seems to be, pretty clearly, to cheer and sustain the disciples under the present and immediately threatening contrast of circumstances, to that glory which shall yet be revealed to them. Be not discouraged; the time is not long. Not all of you will see it during the term of your natural lives, but some will. 
till they see the kingdom of God. Various explanations of this phrase have been given: (1) The transfiguration, seen by Peter, James, and John; (2) Pentecost, and the progress of the gospel afterwards, seen by the Eleven; (3) the destruction of Jerusalem, which is spoken of as a type of the future advent, seen by John and perhaps by Philip. All three may be right; for what Christ promised was such a vision as would produce assurance of the triumph of His kingdom in the future. 
In depth: Theories of the coming of the kingdom . This magnificent promise has always been more or less a difficulty to expositors. Two favourite explanations which (1) in the Transfiguration mystery, (2) in the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Jewish state, see the fulfilment of this great prediction, must be put aside as inadequate, as failing utterly to satisfy any idea of the kingdom of God.
Concerning (1), it must be borne in mind that the words were addressed, not only to the disciples, but to a mixed multitude; the expression then, "there be some standing here," etc., would seem to point to more than three (Peter, James, and John were alone present at the Transfiguration) who should, while living, see the kingdom of God.
Concerning (2), those who were witnesses of the great catastrophe which resulted in the sack of Jerusalem and the ruin of the Jewish polity, can scarcely be said to have looked on the kingdom of God. It was rather a great and terrible judgment; in no way can it fairly be termed the kingdom, or even its herald; it was simply an awful event in the world's story.
But surely the Lord's disciples, the holy women, the still larger outer circle of loving followers of Jesus, who were changed by what happened during the forty days which immediately succeeded the Resurrection morning--changed from simple, loving, fearful, doubting men and women, into the brave resistless preachers and teachers of the new faith--the five hundred who gazed on the risen Lord in the Galilaean mountain,--these may in good earnest be said to have seen, while in life, "the kingdom of God." These five hundred, or at all events many of them, after the Resurrection, not only looked on God, but grasped the meaning of the presence and work of God on earth.
Alternative approach: In our judgment the far superior approach is to blend together two other predictions with a key fact to determine the date of fulfillment: The kingdom of God was to come with power: “Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). Furthermore power was to come with the baptism of the Holy Spirit: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you” (Acts 1:8). Hence, the kingdom came on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). [rw]
Weymouth: It was about eight days after this that Jesus, taking with Him Peter, John, and James, went up the mountain to pray.
WEB: It happened about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter, John, and James, and went up onto the mountain to pray.
Young’s: And it came to pass, after these words,
as it were eight days, that having taken Peter, and John, and James, he went up
to the mountain to pray,
Conte (RC): And it happened that, about eight days after these words, he took Peter and James and John, and he ascended onto a mountain, so that he might pray.
9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings. Including the day on which this was spoken and that of the Transfiguration. Matthew and Mark say "after six days," excluding these two days. 
He took Peter; James, and John. Why three witnesses? and why these three? As the Law required no more than two or three witnesses to constitute a regular and judicial proof, our Saviour frequently chose to have only this number of witnesses present at some of the most important and interesting scenes of His life. The Three disciples whom he now selected were those that generally attended Him on such occasions. They were chosen witnesses at the raising of Jairus' daughter, of the agony in Gethsemane, and of the Transfiguration. 
and went up into a mountain. Mount Hermon was the great northern landmark of Palestine (Psalms 89:12). Its peak was snow-capped. An old tradition made the top of Tabor the scene of the transfiguration; but, during the time of our Lord, Tabor was crowned by a fortress; and, besides, all evidence goes to show that Jesus was in the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi. Hermon is within six hours' journey of the city, and it is the mountain of the neighborhood. 
“Into a mountain:” Rather, “into the mountain.” The others say “into a lofty mountain.” There can be little doubt that Mount Hermon (Jebelesh Sheikh) is intended, in spite of the persistent, but perfectly baseless tradition which points to Tabor. For (i) Mount Hermon is easily within six days’ reach of Caeasarea Philippi, and (i) Mount Hermon is easily within six days’ [typesetter’s error for six hours?] reach of Caesarea Philippi, and (ii) could alone be called a “lofty mountain” (being 10,000 feet high) or “the mountain,” when the last scene had been at Caesarea. Further, (iii) Tabor at that time in all probability was (Josephus B. J. I.8.7, Vit. 37), as from time immemorial it had been (Joshua 19:12), an inhabited and fortified place, wholly unsuited for a scene so solemn; and (iv) was moreover in Galilee, which is excluded by Mark 9:30. “The mountain” is indeed the meaning of the name “Hermon,” which being already consecrated by Hebrew poetry (Psalms 133:3, and under its old names of Sion and Sirion, or ‘breast-late’ (Deuteronomy 4:48; 3:9; Canticles 4:8), was well suited for the Transfiguration by its height, seclusion, and snowy splendour. 
to pray. The characteristic addition of St. Luke. That this awful [= impressive] scene took place at night, and therefore that He ascended the mountain in the evening is clear from verses 32-33: compare 6:12. It is also implied by the allusions to the scene in 2 Peter 1:18-19. 
Weymouth: And while He was praying the appearance of His face underwent a change, and His clothing became white and radiant.
WEB: As he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became white and dazzling.
Young’s: and it came to pass, in his praying, the
appearance of his face became altered, and his garment white -- sparkling.
Conte (RC): And while he was praying, the appearance of his countenance was altered, and his vestment became white and shining.
9:29 And as He prayed. St Luke is alone in telling us that it was while He prayed that this change passed upon him. 
the fashion of His countenance was altered. “His face did shine as the sun,” Matthew 17:2. It is interesting to see how St. Luke avoids the word “He was metamorphosed” which is used by the other Synoptists. He was writing for Greeks, in whose mythology that verb was vulgarized by foolish associations. 
and his raiment was white and glistering. Literally, “lightning forth,” as though from some inward radiance. St. Matthew compares the whiteness of His robes to the light (17:2). St. Mark to the snow (9:3), and St. Luke in this word to the lightning. See John 1:14; Psalm 104:2; Habakkuk 3:4. 
As Mark says, "so as no fuller on earth can white them." 
Weymouth: And suddenly there were two men conversing with Him, who were Moses and Elijah.
WEB: Behold, two men were talking with him, who were Moses and Elijah,
Young’s: And lo, two men were speaking together
with him, who were Moses and Elijah,
Conte (RC): And behold, two men were talking with him. And these were Moses and Elijah, appearing in majesty.
9:30 And behold, there talked with Him two men. Literally, there were talking. Evidently these two glorified beings had been conversing with Jesus some time before the three apostles, heavy with sleep, had noticed their presence; wearied and tired, slumber had overtaken them; we are not told how long they slept. The glorious light which environed [= enveloped] them and the murmur of voices probably roused them, and in after-days they recounted what, after they were awake, they saw, and something of what they heard. 
which were Moses and Elias. The special lesson in the appearance of just these two, at this time, lay in the fact that they represented the law and the prophets, or the whole preparatory Dispensation of the national religion. Elijah, in a crisis of their history, had triumphantly opposed himself to the idolatrous perversion of the true worship, and, by providing for the training and support of prophets, had secured the continuance of a qualified line of these ministers of Jehovah, down to Malachi. 
The great Lawgiver and the great Prophet, of whom we are told that God buried the one (Deuteronomy 24:6) and the other had passed to heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:1, 11). The former had prophesied of Christ (Acts 3:22; Deuteronomy 18:18); of the latter it had been prophesied that he should be His forerunner. 
Weymouth: They came in glory, and kept speaking about His death, which He was so soon to undergo in Jerusalem.
WEB: who appeared in glory, and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.
Young’s: who having appeared in glory, spake of his outgoing that he was about to fulfil in Jerusalem,
Conte (RC): And they spoke of his departure, which he would accomplish at Jerusalem.
9:31 Who appeared in glory. Of a glorious appearance. 
and spake of. When Moses and Elias appeared in glory, to converse with our Transfigured Saviour on the Mount, their discourse was not on the government of kingdoms, the engagement of great armies, &c. These are the solemn trifles, that amuse mortals; but they discoursed upon the chief subject of the inspired Book—the decease, which He should accomplish at Jerusalem; those meritorious passions, and miraculous death, that were to redeem and save a whole world. Rev. v. 6, 9, 12. —R. Boyle. 
His decease. Literally, His "exit," or "departure." The word translated here is elsewhere used to denote death. See 2 Peter 1:15. Death is a departure or going out from this life. In this word there may be an allusion to the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt, as that was going out of bondage, pain, and humiliation to the land of promise. 
which He should accomplish at Jerusalem. Which was about to take place. Compare Acts 14:26. 
Weymouth: Now Peter and the others were weighed down with sleep; but, keeping themselves awake all through, they saw His glory, and the two men standing with Him.
WEB: Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they were fully awake, they saw his glory, and the two men who stood with him.
Young’s: but Peter and those with him were heavy
with sleep, and having waked, they saw his glory, and the two men standing with
Conte (RC): Yet truly, Peter and those who were with him were weighed down by sleep. And becoming alert, they saw his majesty and the two men who were standing with him.
9:32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep. Borne down with sleep--overcome with sleep. It may seem remarkable that they should fall asleep on such an occasion. But we are to bear in mind that it was in the night and that they were probably weary with the toils of the day. Besides, they did not fall asleep while the Transfiguration lasted. While Jesus was praying or perhaps after he closed, they fell asleep. While they were sleeping, His countenance was changed and Moses and Elias appeared. The first that they saw of it was after they awoke, being probably awaked by the shining of the light around them. 
and when they were awake. The word diagregoresantes does not here mean ‘having kept awake,’ but (to give the full force of the compound and aorist): suddenly starting into full wakefulness. They started up, wide awake after heavy sleep, in the middle of the vision. 
they saw His glory, and the two men that stood with Him. Astounded, amazed, still half asleep, all they can do is react emotionally since they haven’t had the time to think anything through. But even if they had, would their suggestion been any different? What else would have been more appropriate? [rw]
Weymouth: And when they were preparing to depart from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, we are thankful to you that we are here. Let us put up three tents--one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." He did not know what he was saying.
WEB: It happened, as they were parting from him, that Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here. Let's make three tents: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah," not knowing what he said.
Young’s: And it came to pass, in their parting
from him, Peter said unto Jesus, 'Master, it is good to us to be here; and we
may make three booths, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah,'
not knowing what he saith:
Conte (RC): And it happened that, as these were departing from him, Peter said to Jesus: "Teacher, it is good for us to be here. And so, let us make three tabernacles: one for you, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah." For he did not know what he was saying.
9:33 And it came to pass, as they departed from Him. What was the verbal or visual cue that this was happening—walking off, ascending, slowly disappearing where they stood—we are not told. The instinctive desire was for the event to continue, if not to learn what had already been said (by repetition) to see what might be added and—quite likely if they could summon the courage—to ask their own questions. [rw]
Peter said unto Jesus, It is good for us to be here. The word is not agathon, but kalon; it is an excellent thing, or ‘it is best’ (cf. Matthew 17:4; 26:24). 
and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. So that each might have his own shelter for however long this might last. [rw]
not knowing what He said. Not implying any reproach to Peter, but merely as a mark of his bewilderment in his state of ecstasy. 
Not knowing that the spectacle on Calvary was to be more transcendent and divine than that of Hermon, not knowing that the old was passing away and all things becoming new; not knowing that Jesus was not to die with Moses and Elijah on either side, but between two thiefs. 
Weymouth: But while he was thus speaking, there came a cloud which spread over them; and they were awe-struck when they had entered into the cloud.
WEB: While he said these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered into the cloud.
Young’s: and as he was speaking these things,
there came a cloud, and overshadowed them, and they feared in their entering
into the cloud,
Conte (RC): Then, as he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them. And as these were entering into the cloud, they were afraid.
9:34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud. He received a refusal not in words, but through what happened next. [rw]
"A strange peculiarity has been noticed about Hermon, in the extreme rapidity of the formation of cloud on the summit. In a few minutes a thick cap forms over the top of the mountain, and as quickly disperses and entirely disappears" (Edersheim). 
and overshadowed them. This luminous cloud, bright though it was, yet veiled the more intolerable brightness within. That such a bright cloud had the power of overshadowing and concealing, is not strange, for light in its utmost intensity hides as effectually as the darkness would do. God dwells in light inaccessible, whom therefore "no man hath seen, nor can see" (1 Timothy 6:16). 
and they feared as they entered into the cloud. “A bright cloud,” Matthew 17:5. Possibly the Shekinah, or cloud of glory which was the symbol of the Divine Presence (Exodus 33:9; 1 Kings 8:10). If a mere mountain cloud had been intended, there would have been no reason for their fear. 
Weymouth: Then there came a voice from within the cloud: "This is My Son, My Chosen One: listen to Him."
WEB: A voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!"
Young’s: and a voice came out of the cloud saying,
'This is My Son -- the Beloved; hear ye him;'
Conte (RC): And a voice came from the cloud, saying: "This is my beloved son. Listen to him."
9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son. They aren’t told who is doing the talking, but—under the circumstances—God Himself was the only option they had left. [rw]
hear Him. Reverentially, implicitly, alone. 
Moses said in Deut. xviii. 15: "The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me, unto Him ye shall hearken." 
Weymouth: After this voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. They kept it to themselves, and said not a word to any one at that time about what they had seen.
WEB: When the voice came, Jesus was found alone. They were silent, and told no one in those days any of the things which they had seen.
Young’s: and when the voice was past, Jesus was
found alone; and they were silent, and declared to no one in those days
anything of what they have seen.
Conte (RC): And while the voice was being uttered, Jesus was found to be alone. And they were silent and told no one, in those days, any of these things, which they had seen.
9:36 And when the voice was past. The other Synoptists add that at this Voice they fell prostrate, and, on Jesus touching them, suddenly raised their eyes and looked all around them, to find no one there but Jesus. 
Jesus was found alone. That is, the two men had left him. In respect to them He was alone. 
And they kept it close [kept quiet, NKJV], and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen. Matthew and Mark explain this silence by the command of Christ to this effect. 
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