From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
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WEB: Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first, that he was going through the grain fields. His disciples plucked the heads of grain, and ate, rubbing them in their hands.
Young’s: And it came to pass, on the second-first sabbath, as he is going through the corn fields, that his
disciples were plucking the ears, and were eating, rubbing with the hands,
Conte (RC): Now it happened that, on the second first Sabbath, as he passed through the grain field, his disciples were separating the ears of grain and eating them, by rubbing them in their hands.
6:1 Introduction: The chronological time of year of this incident . There can be no question as to the time of year at which the incident took place. The narrative seems to imply that the ears which the disciples plucked and rubbed were ears of wheat not of barley. Now the first ripe sheaf of barley was offered at the Passover (in spring) and the first ripe wheat sheaf at Pentecost (fifty days later). Wheat would ripen earlier in the rich deep hollow of Gennesareth. In any case therefore the time of year was spring or early summer, and the Sabbath was probably some Sabbath in the month Nisan. 
And it came to pass on the second Sabbath after the first. More exactly, a “second-first Sabbath.” The word so translated is not met with elsewhere in Greek except in allusion to this passage; nor has any place in Jewish literature been cited where the idea is expressed. Hence a grand field for speculation; and abundant ingenuity has been exercised to conceive of a series of Sabbaths, such that some one in it might naturally be called the “second-first.” More than a dozen schemes, probably, have been proposed. 
that He went through the corn fields. Compare Matthew 12:1-8; Mark -28. Mark uses the curious expression that “He went along through the corn fields” apparently in a path between two fields—“and His disciples began to make a way by plucking the corn ears.” All that we can infer from this is that Jesus was walking apart from His Apostles, and that He did not Himself pluck the corn. 
and His disciples plucked the ears of corn. Matthew in his “began to pluck” shows how eagerly and instantly the Pharisees clutched at the chance of finding fault. 
"corn" here means wheat or barley, and not maize, as in
The Rabbins called barley food for beasts. See 1 Kings iv. 28. 
We have no need to introduce the question of their poverty--which, in the case of several of them at least, we know did not exist--here leading them to this method of satisfying their hunger. They had probably been out for some hours with Jesus without breaking their fast, and, finding themselves in a field of ripe corn, took this easy, present means of gratifying a natural want. The Law expressly permitted them to do this: "When thou comest into the standing corn of thy neighbour, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thine hand" (Deut. xxiii. 25). 
and did eat, rubbing
them in their hands. They rubbed it in their hands to separate the
grain from the chaff. This was common and allowable. Dr. Thomson ("The
Land and the Book," vol. ii. p. 510, 511) says: "I have often seen my muleteers, as we
passed along the wheat fields, pluck off ears, rub them in their hands, and eat
the grains, unroasted, just as the apostles are said
to have done. This also is allowable. The Pharisees did not object to the thing
itself, only to the time when it was done. They said it was not lawful to do this on the
Sabbath-day. It was work forbidden by
those who, through their traditions, had made man for the Sabbath, not the
Sabbath for man." So Professor
Hackett ("Illustrations of Scripture," p. 176, 177) says: "The incident of plucking the ears of
wheat, rubbing out the kernels in their hands, and eating them (Luke 6:1), is
one which the traveler sees often at present who is in
In depth: What sabbath is under discussion ? "Second sabbath after the first." This phrase is, literally, "second-first." The phrase assumes that there is a succession of numerical counts, so that there may be a first series of 1, 2, 3, and a second series, and perhaps a third or more. Each first of these successive series would then be a first-first, a second-first, a third-first, and so on; this present instance being the "second-first."
But as this term is the only occurrence of this compound term anywhere in literature, the meaning is very doubtful. In fact the word itself is omitted in some manuscripts, and is quite possibly a marginal insertion incorporated into the text. Perhaps some manuscripts had "second," others "first," and both were finally conjoined into "second-first."
We give different interpretations; the first by Bishop Pearce, as follows: In the opinion of some, the Jews had three first Sabbaths; namely, the first Sabbath after the Passover; that after the feast of the Pentecost; and that after the feast of Tabernacles. According to which opinion, this "second-first" Sabbath must have been the first Sabbath after the Pentecost. So we have the first Sunday after Epiphany; the first after Easter; the first after Trinity; and the first in Lent.
The next interpretation supposes that the "second-first" Sabbath is the first Sabbath after the second day of the Passover; which second day of Passover was the day of the wave-sheaf. This day of the wave-sheaf was the ritual beginning of the harvest; previous to which it was unlawful for any Jew to pluck or eat parched corn or green ears. And as the wave-sheaf was the beginning of the harvest, so the Pentecost was the great thanksgiving feast of the completed harvest or ingathering; the ending of the harvest. Between the wave-sheaf and the Pentecost were seven weeks. This seven weeks included seven Sabbaths. And the first of these Sabbaths being the first after the second day of the Passover, was called the "second-first" Sabbath; the next Sabbath would be the "second-second;" the next would be the "second-third," and so on through the seven.
Although this is the most prevalent interpretation [in the mid-nineteenth century], it is not obvious how the second after the first would naturally be called the "second-first."
The third interpretation is that proposed by Wiesler and adopted by Tischendorf, Van Oosterzee, Ellicott, and other modern scholars. The Mosaic law had not only a week of seven days, and a week of seven weeks, but also a week of seven years; the seventh of which was a sabbatical year. Now according to Wiesler's chronology the commencement of our Lord's ministry was in a sabbatical year. The first Sabbath in the first of the seven years would be the first-first Sabbath; the first Sabbath of the second year would be the second-first, and so on through the sabbatic series of years. Wiesler adduces a single passage from Clement Alexandrinus showing that the first Sabbath of the year was technically called "first" Sabbath. If his chronological scheme be admitted, it furnishes a very natural meaning to the term.
In depth: Why and how a textual corruption might have occurred . It was, perhaps, introduced at an early date into many of the manuscripts of St. Luke, owing to some copyist writing in the margin of his parchment in this place "first" to distinguish this sabbath and its scene from the other sabbath alluded to four verses further on; "second" was not unlikely to have been written in correction of "first" by some other copyist using the manuscript, thinking it better thus to distinguish this from the sabbath alluded to in ch. iv. 31; and thus the two corrections may have got confused in many of the primitive copies. It can scarcely be imagined, if it really formed part of the original work of St. Luke, that so remarkable a word could ever have dropped out of the text of the most ancient and trustworthy authorities. Supposing it to have been a part of the original writing, scholars have suggested many explanations.
In depth: The Sabbath and the first day of the week . After the resurrection of Christ, the Jewish Sabbath, which was laid upon the primitive Sabbath, was abolished, and "the Lord's day" (Rev. i. 10), or Christian Sabbath, was superimposed upon another day--the first day of the week--thus making the day of universal and perpetual obligation.
On this day, when His disciples were assembled, Jesus appeared to them. The appearance was repeated by Him on the same day a week afterward. On this day, in all probability, the Holy Ghost was given, for the day of Pentecost signifies the fiftieth day from the first day of the feast of the Passover, and always happened on the first day of the week. On the first day of the week the disciples assembled for worship. (Acts xx. 7.) On it contributions were made for charitable purposes. (1 Cor. xvi. 1-2.) John refers to it as "the Lord's day" (Rev. i. 10), meaning that it was that day which was consecrated to the worship and service especially of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, A.D. 101, says: "Let us (Christians) no more sabbatize," that is, keep the seventh day, as the Jews did, "but let us keep the Lord's day." Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, about A.D. 162, says: "Both custom and reason challenge from us that we should honor the Lord's day, seeing on that day it was that our Lord Jesus completed His resurrection from the dead." Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, A.D. 167, who had been a disciple of Polycarp, the companion of the Apostles, says: "On the Lord's day every one of us Christians keeps the Sabbath, meditating on the law, and rejoicing in the works of God."
WEB: But some of the Pharisees said to them, "Why do you do that which is not lawful to do on the Sabbath day?"
Young’s: and certain of the Pharisees said to
them, 'Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the
Conte (RC): Then certain Pharisees said to them, "Why are you doing what is not lawful on the Sabbaths?"
6:2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them. This could be taken as either indicating that a few of their number spoke out about a matter of general concern among the other Pharisees as well or that the behavior was one that annoyed these Pharisees in particular either in contrast to the others or far more than the others. It should be remembered that not all Pharisees were the same. They did not always present a united front. [rw]
As the chronological sequence of the incident is uncertain, these may be some of the spy-Pharisees who as His ministry advanced dogged His steps (Matthew 15:1; Mark , 7:1), in the base and demoralizing desire to convict Him of heresy or violation of the Law. Perhaps they wished to see whether He would exceed the regulated Sabbath day’s journey of 2,000 cubits (Exodus ). We have already met with some of the carping criticisms dictated by their secret hate (, 21, 30). 
Why do ye? Under what authority or right? Implying a censure. It was not the act itself, but the time that gave offense. 
In St. Mark the question is scornfully addressed to Jesus. “See why do they do on the Sabbath day that which is not lawful?” 
It is quite likely that the apostles did not have anything more than a stammering and inadequate reply: “we’ve always done this,” would have been a natural and truthful response but one that the Pharisees would not have accepted when they were in a grievance seeking mood. Jesus either over-heard them and intervened on their behalf or the critics figured that Jesus was unlikely to come up with anything better and so challenged Him next. [rw]
that which is not lawful to do. This could not refer to walking in the fields, for, according to Jewish tradition, one might travel beyond the limits of a town, "a Sabbath-day's journey," which was about seven-eights of a mile. (Ex. xvi. 20; Acts i. 12.) The plucking of ears of corn by passengers in a corn-field through which a path lay, was allowed by the law. (Deut. xxiii. 25.) 
The point was this. Since the Law had said that the Jews were “to do no manner of work” on the Sabbath, the Oral Law had laid down thirty-nine principal prohibitions which were assigned to the authority of the Great Synagogue and which were called abhoth “fathers” or chief rules. From these were deduced a vast multitude of toldoth “descendants” or derivative rules. Now “reaping” and “threshing” on the Sabbath day were forbidden by the toldoth it was asserted that plucking was a kind of reaping, and rubbing them a kind of threshing. But while they paid service attention to these trivialities the Pharisees “omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith,” Matthew ). The vitality of these artificial notions among the Jews is extraordinary. Abarbanel relates that when in 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain, and were forbidden to enter the city of Fez lest they should cause a famine, they lived on grass; yet even in this state ‘religiously avoided the violation of their sabbath by plucking the grass with their hands.’ To avoid this they took the much more laborious method of groveling on their knees, and cropping it with their teeth! 
on the Sabbath days. The injunction in the fourth commandment, to "remember" it, implies that it was an institution with which the Israelites were already acquainted. 
Or: Even more plausible is the idea that God—in the command to “remember” the Sabbath--was softly reminding (with a touch of warning?) not to forget to observe it. A well established custom already in existence would seemingly require no encouragement to continue since it was already routine. The language fits best with an innovation that, due to its very newness, might easily fade into non-existence, especially when they were in their new homeland and the importance of pleasing God would not be as obviously important as during their lengthy exodus. If there is a historical allusion at all, it would likely be to how God rested on the Sabbath / seventh-day and how it was now their time to engage in such periods of rest. [rw]
WEB: Jesus, answering them, said, "Haven't you read what David did when he was hungry, he, and those who were with him;
Young’s: And Jesus answering said unto them, 'Did
ye not read even this that David did, when he hungered, himself and those who
are with him,
Conte (RC): And responding to them, Jesus said: "Have you not read this, what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him?
6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this [even read this, NKJV]. Among the many Scriptural proofs of the innocence of my conduct. The verb is a preterit—“Did ye not even read?” Mark, with a more decided shade of irony, “Did ye never?” Surely, this should have attracted the attention of such zealous devotees of the law. 
Perhaps the reproving question may have derived an additional sting from the fact that the very passage which our Lord quoted (1 Samuel 21:1-6) had been read on that Sabbath as the Haphtarah of the day. 
what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him. He puts himself parallel to David, and his disciples to the companions of David. 
WEB: how he entered into the house of God, and took and ate the show bread, and gave also to those who were with him, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests alone?"
Young’s: how he went into the house of God, and
the loaves of the presentation did take, and did eat, and gave also to those
with him, which it is not lawful to eat, except only to the priests?'
Conte (RC): How he entered into the house of God, and took the bread of the Presence, and ate it, and gave it to those who were with him, though it is not lawful for anyone to eat it, except the priests alone?"
6:4 How he went into the
house of God.
I.e., the tabernacle when it was in Nob, an
old priestly town (1 Samuel ) near
and did take and eat. St. Mark says that this was “in the days of Abiathar the high priest.” The priest who actually gave the bread to David was Ahimelech, the father of Abiathar. 
the shewbread. Literally, “loaves of setting forth;” “continual bread,” Numbers 4:7. “Bread of the Face,” i.e. set before the Presence of God, Leviticus 24:6, 7. Compare “Angel of the Face” Leviticus 24:6-8; Exodus 25:30, 29:33. They were twelve unleavened loaves sprinkled with frankincense set on a little golden table. 
The reference is to 1 Sam. xxi. 5. David's visit to the sanctuary at Nob took place evidently on the Sabbath, as the fresh supply of shewbread had been apparently just laid out; he must, too, have violated another rule by his journey on that day. 
and gave also to them that were with him. There was little enough to eat, but what there was he freely shared with the others. Leadership has its privileges, but with honorable men and women privileges yield to obligations and responsibilities. [rw]
which it is not
lawful to eat but for the priests alone. “It shall be Aaron’s and his sons: and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him,” Leviticus
24:9. Thus David, their favorite saint
and hero, had openly and fearlessly violated the letter of the Law with the
full sanction of the High Priest, on the plea of necessity,--in other words
because mercy is better than sacrifice; and because the higher law of moral
obligation must always supersede the lower law of ceremonial. This was a proof by way of fact from
the Kethubim or sacred books (Hagiographa); in Matthew our Lord adds a still more
striking argument by way of principle from the Law itself. By its own provisions the Priests in the
laborious work of offering sacrifices violated the Sabbath and yet were
blameless. Hence the later Jews deduced
the remarkable rule that “there is no sabbatism in
In depth: An apocryphal axiom of Christ found in a few manuscripts . After this verse two or three ancient manuscripts have a remarkable addition in the following words, "On the same day, seeing one working on the Sabbath, He said unto him, Man if indeed thou knowest what thou dost, blessed art thou; but if thou knowest not, thou art accursed and a transgressor of the law."
In this anecdote Jesus is made to assume that under His dispensation the Sabbath is abolished. If the man does not know this abolishment, and so is purposing to violate the Sabbath, he is in heart and will, a transgressor. If, however, he knows what he is doing, namely, working under a dispensation without a Sabbath, he is then a Christian, and works in accordance with conscience, right, and law. But as no such assumption of the abolition of the Sabbath is founded on anything that Jesus ever taught, we hold the passage as not containing a genuine saying of Jesus.
But the passage, though spurious, strikingly illustrates how [the evaluation of conduct] depends upon the interior motive, view, or purpose. If the man "knew not" the law to have been abolished, it was his purpose to break the law; and of that intentional transgression he was guilty. The law existed for him. "Whatever is not of faith is sin."
WEB: He said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."
Young’s: and he said to them, -- 'The Son of Man
is lord also of the sabbath.'
Conte (RC): And he said to them, "For the Son of man is Lord, even of the Sabbath."
6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath. The purport of this must be that His judgment as to what is right on the Sabbath warrants His disciples, and justifies His disciples in what they were doing. As He is the source of authority for the Sabbath, His authority forestalls all questions of the Pharisees and others. 
For Jesus to be “Lord of the Sabbath” requires that He be supernatural. To whatever extent His words were taken as even a hint of this—or anything approaching it—their anger had to be even greater. [rw]
WEB: It also happened on another Sabbath that he entered into the synagogue and taught. There was a man there, and his right hand was withered.
Young’s: And it came to pass also, on another sabbath, that he goeth into the
synagogue, and teacheth, and there was there a man,
and his right hand was withered,
Conte (RC): And it happened that, on another Sabbath, he entered into the synagogue, and he taught. And there was a man there, and his right hand was withered.
6:6 And it came to pass also on another Sabbath. Luke states that it was a different Sabbath from that just before mentioned. How long after the other, is not mentioned. It may have been very soon, or the succession here may have been designed to multiply evidences of Christ’s superiority to the merely ritual requirements (fasting; minute scruples about the Sabbath) of the Pharisaic religion. 
that he entered into the synagogue. Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6. None of the Evangelists enable us to decide on the time or place when the healing occurred. 
and taught. This was His central purpose in being in the synagogue. He wasn’t engaged in a “healing ministry;” He was engaged in a “teaching ministry.” He would happily heal, but that was a secondary activity and not the primary one. His healings would literally last a lifetime and then the healed ones would die; His teachings, however, would last so long as this earth does. [rw]
and there was a man whose right hand was withered. Obviously he had come in the hope of being healed; and even this the Pharisees regarded as reprehensible, . The Gospel of the Ebionites adds that he was a stonemason, maimed by an accident, and that he implored Jesus to heal him, that he might not have to beg his bread (Jerome on Matthew ). 
whose right hand. A very precise mode of statement. Lit., his hand the right one. Luke only specifies which hand was withered. This accuracy is professional. Ancient medical writers always state whether the right or the left member is affected. 
WEB: The scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him.
Young’s: and the scribes and the Pharisees were
watching him, if on the sabbath
he will heal, that they might find an accusation against him.
Conte (RC): And the scribes and Pharisees observed whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might thereby find an accusation against him.
6:7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him. Not out of curiosity or desire to hear what He said in His teaching. They were looking for something He might do that they could jump on in condemnation. It’s an old tactic: If you can’t answer a person’s arguments try to find some “mud” to throw at him. Discredit him even if you can’t do that to the argument itself. [rw]
whether He would heal on the sabbath day. It was one of seven miracles wrought on the Sabbath. The seven are: (1) the cripple at the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-16); (2) the demoniac in the synagogue at Capernaum (Mark 1:21-28); (3) Peter's wife's mother (Mark 1:29-31); (4) this man with the withered hand (Mark 3:1-6); (5) the blind man at Siloam (John 9:1-41); (6) the paralytic woman (Luke 13:11-17); (7) the man with the dropsy (Luke 14:1-6). 
The fury of the Pharisees had been excited by the open manner in which our Lord set aside as frivolous and unauthoritative the burdens which the Oral Law had attached to the Sabbath. In laying His axe at the root of a proud and ignorant Sabbatarianism, He was laying His axe at the root of all that “miserable micrology” which they had been accustomed to take for religious life. They had turned the Sabbath from a holy delight into a revolting bondage. 
that they might
find an accusation against him. How serious an accusation it would be,
appears from the fact that the Jews in
[As at] Luke 20:20. The followers of Shammai, at that epoch the most powerful of the Pharisaic Schools, were so strict about the Sabbath, that they held it a violation of the Law to tend the sick, or even to console them on that day. Hence what the Pharisees were waiting to see was whether He was going to side with them in their Sabbatic views, or with the more lax Sadducees, whom the people detested. If He did the latter, they thought that they could ruin the popularity of the Great Prophet. But in this, as in every other instance (1) our Lord absolutely refuses to be guided by the popular orthodoxy of the hour, however ostensibly deduced from Scripture; and (2) ignores every consideration of party in order to appeal to principles. 
WEB: But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Rise up, and stand in the middle." He arose and stood.
Young’s: And he himself had known their
reasonings, and said to the man having the
withered hand, 'Rise, and stand in the midst;'
and he having risen,
Conte (RC): Yet truly, he knew their thoughts,
and so he said to the man who had the withered
hand, "Rise up and stand in the middle." And
rising up, he stood still.
6:8 But he knew their thoughts. All those machinations which aimed to catch Him in the trap of their traditions and to put Him to death. He knew them and determined to meet them boldly. 
and said to the man which had the withered hand. Which implies that He looked directly at him and left no doubt to others in the synagogue whom he was addressing. This forced everyone to pay attention to what was about to happen and acted to protect the man against criticism: He had only done what the synagogue teacher of the day had instructed him. What possible harm could there be in doing that? [rw]
Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Jesus publicly bade the sufferer to stand out in a prominent place in the assembly, and then in the hush that followed proceeded with his public instruction, the poor man with the withered had standing before him. 
WEB: Then Jesus said to them, "I will ask you something: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?"
Young’s: Then said Jesus unto them, 'I will
question you something: Is it lawful on the sabbaths to do good, or to do evil? life to save or to kill?'
Conte (RC): Then Jesus said to them: "I ask you if it is lawful on the Sabbaths to do good, or to do evil? To give health to a life, or to destroy it?"
6:9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing. Thus calmly engaging their attention and that of the audience. 
Rather, “I further ask you.” Implying that He had already addressed some questions to their consciences on this subject, or perhaps because they had asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” Matthew 12:10. 
Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? What is the real use and Divine intent of the Sabbath? But why does the Savior propose and repeat an alternative question? Why speak of doing “evil,” i.e., harm? And of killing? Did any one maintain that it was lawful to do this? Or that one must do it if he did not do what was good and helpful?
Some have supposed that He meant, “I must do one or the other. To heal this poor man’s hand, by which he earns his livelihood, is in effect to save his life; and in effect I not only harm him, but destroy his life by failing to heal him. This, however, though the view is maintained by Godet, seems forced and quibbling. It would afford no answer to their probable argument that the work of mercy could wait till the next day; nor does it account for the “madness” which His question excited in their breasts.
Better [to] refer one branch of the alternative in both questions to Him, the other to His enemies. I propose to do a good thing, and to save a life by restoring to this man the ability to work, and by arresting the spread of his malady; you are scheming even to kill me (compare John 5:16); a most wicked deed. Which of us is to be condemned? There was no reply. 
Weymouth: And looking round upon them all He said to the man, "Stretch out your arm." He did so, and the arm was restored.
WEB: He looked around at them all, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did, and his hand was restored as sound as the other.
Young’s: And having looked round on them all, he
said to the man, 'Stretch forth thy hand;' and he did so, and his hand was
restored whole as the other;
Conte (RC): And looking around at everyone, he said to the man, "Extend your hand." And he extended it. And his hand was restored.
And looking round about upon them all. To see if any dared challenge Him, carefully making sure that everyone of them had the opportunity—if they dared. [rw]
[Looking] very deliberately, so as to note the expression of every one; and with a look, no doubt, of triumphant confidence, but in which there was mingled anger against His malignant adversaries, and sorrow for the hardness of their hearts (Mark 3:5). 
He said unto the man. He would have everything open and above board. There should be no room for allegations of jugglery or deception of any kind. The healing change was to take place in the eyes of the congregation. 
Stretch forth thy hand. It must have sounded a strange command to the people in the synagogue. How could he stretch out that withered, powerless limb? But with the command went forth the power. 
Better: The "arm" [itself] was not withered. 
Yet the attempt to even move the arm itself would be an act of faith, a show of confidence that Jesus could make the hand just as well as the unharmed parts of the arm. Indeed for the people to see clearly the transformation, the hand needed to be placed in the most visibility possible. [rw]
WEB: But they were filled with rage, and talked with one another about what they might do to Jesus.
Young’s: and they were filled with madness, and
were speaking with one another what they might do to
Conte (RC): Then they were filled with madness, and they discussed with one another, what, in particular, they might do about Jesus.
And they were filled with madness. Peculiar to Luke. [The Greek for] "madness", is, properly, want of understanding. The word thus implies "senseless" rage, as distinguished from intelligent indignation. 
Fury and rage at being unable to reply to our Lord. Hence their murderous thoughts regarding Him. 
Probably they reacted this way], 1. Because he had shown his "power" to work a miracle. 2. Because he had shown his power to do it "contrary" to what "they" thought was right. 3. Because by doing it he had shown that he was from "God," and that "they" were therefore "wrong" in their views of the Sabbath. And, 4. Because he had shown no respect "to their views" of what the law of God demanded. 
Why the situation may have changed: The two first Sabbath miracles (, 39) had excited no opposition, because none of these religious spies and heresy-hunters () were present. 
That may well be true: Every movement has its fanatics who are so convinced they have everything worked out to the nth degree that any deviation produces the desire to crush the opponent at any cost—an attitude that removes the moral foundation beneath their faith even when, intellectually, they are in the right. However another scenario could also be involved along with this or in place of it: Something new takes time to figure out. The first two Sabbath healings gave the Pharisees an implicit opposition they were not expecting. Only after they had discussed it repeatedly among themselves might their collective sentiments have reached this exploding point. [rw]
and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. Conspired. Began to form plans to injure Jesus. 
And St. Mark adds, with the Herodians. This shows the extremity of their hate, for hitherto the Pharisees had regarded the Herodians as a half-apostate political party, more nearly allied to the Sadducees, and ready with them to sacrifice the true interests of their country and faith. St. Matthew () says that they actually “held a council against Him.” 
The rage may not yet have grown to include death on the agenda. They wished to discredit a public adversary and crush any rallying point and were seeking some means—any means—to do it. It was bad enough that they had to put up with the Sadducees who were high priests and dominated the Jerusalem religious establishment, but to have this “hillbilly from Galilee”—and they probably did use a contemporary equivalent to the imagery—added insult to the grievance. The powerful Sadducees could not be quashed but surely this “nobody” could somehow be dealt with! [rw]
what they might do. The form used—what is called the Aeolic aorist—implies extreme perplexity. 
WEB: It happened in these days, that he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God.
Young’s: And it came to pass in those days, he
went forth to the mountain to pray, and was passing the night in the prayer of
Conte (RC): And it happened that, in those days, he went out to a mountain to pray. And he was in the prayer of God throughout the night.
And it came to pass in those days. In that time period, making no effort at specificity. [rw]
that He went out into a mountain to pray. Jesus was accustomed to resort to such places to hold communion with God (Mark ). He did it because it was free from interruption and fitted by impressiveness and grandeur to raise the thoughts to the God that had formed the high hills and the deep shaded groves. 
What particular mountain is intended has been much debated, and without any certain conclusion. It seems not likely that, in contrast with the lake shore, the elevated tract which, as we have seen (5:1) almost everywhere rises back of it, might be called the mountain, although Meyer denies that “the mountain” can be taken in that sense as equivalent to “mountain region.” We do not see how it could help meaning just that, often, in the mouths of the people below. 
and continued all night. Not short, but prolonged prayer. Not minutes or less, but hours. His career (see the examples below) show Him engaged in both types. Different times and situations made the difference. On the psychological level, it surely helped Him as well--to maintain His stability under intense pressure and in spite of much opposition. [rw]
in prayer to God. The Evangelists frequently call attention to the prayers of Jesus: (1) at His baptism (Luke 3:21); (2) after the day of toil in healing (Mark 1:35); (3) after a day of like severe toil (Luke 5:16); (4) before choosing the apostles (Luke 6:12); (5) before Peter's great confession (Luke 9:18); (6) when the people would have made Him king (John 6:15); (7) at His transfiguration (Luke 9:28-29); (8) for Peter (Luke 22:32); (9) in Gethsemane (Mark 14:35); (10) for His murderers (Luke 23:34); (11) at the moment of death (Luke 23:46). 
The expression used is peculiar. It is literally “in the prayer of God.” Hence some have supposed that it should be
rendered “in the Prayer-House of God.”
The word proseuche meant in Greek not
only “prayer,” but also “prayer-house,” as in the question to a poor person
in Juvenal, “In what proseucha am I to look
for you?” The proseuchae
were merely walled spaces without roof, set apart for purposes of
worship where there was no synagogue, as at
WEB: When it was day, he called his disciples, and from them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles:
Young’s: and when it became day, he called near
his disciples, and having chosen from them twelve, whom also he named apostles,
Conte (RC): And when daylight had arrived, he called his disciples. And he chose twelve out of them (whom he also named Apostles):
And when it was day. With the early streaks of morning, according to the habits of that country, to begin work with the opening light. 
He called unto Him His disciples. That is the company that in a general sense bore that name. Did they probably suspect His object or what consequences were involved in this convocation? If they did suspect, what emotions must have filled their minds while waiting in the Master’s presence? 
and of them He chose twelve whom also He named apostles. Before they had borne the name of “disciples” only, in common with all the rest; now they took the additional title appropriate to their specific function—apostles. 
The literal meaning of this term is "one who is sent," but in classical Greek it had acquired a distinct meaning as "envoy or ambassador" of a sovereign or of a state. These favored men, then, received this as the official designation by which they were ever to be known. 
Those who were not taken for the peculiar service now desired, were not rejected for other duties of discipleship, but were, by the very omission distinctly confirmed in them. 
twelve. The number was in all probability fixed with
reference to the twelve tribes of
In depth: The evolution from discipleship to apostleship . The persons commissioned were disciples before they were Apostles, to teach us that Christ will have such as preach the Gospel to be His disciples before they are ministers--trained up in the faith and doctrine of the Gospel, before they undertake a public charge. The successive stages of apostolic induction are, First, the admitting to a more intimate association of one and another as disciples. (John i. 35-52.) Second, a choice of one or several at a time to be strictly His intimate followers in order to be His future preachers. (Luke v. 1-11.) Third, the formation of the whole into an organism of twelve, under the title of Apostles, as specified here, in verse 13.
Fourth, a sending of them forth on a trial mission (Matt. x. 1-42.) Fifth, the apostolic keys. (Matt. xvi. 13-20.) Sixth, their qualifications for the exercise of their inspired and miraculous apostolic authority by the Pentecostal effusion of the Spirit. (Acts ii. 4.) It will be remembered, also, that Christ called them at first servants (Matt. x. 24), afterward friends and children (John xiii. 33; xv. 15), finally, even brethren. (John xx. 17.)
WEB: Simon, whom he also named Peter; Andrew, his brother; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew;
Young’s: (Simon, whom also he named Peter, and
Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
Conte (RC): Simon, whom he surnamed Peter, and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
Simon (whom He also
Simon was the son of Jonas, or Jona. This was his original name, and signifies hearing. He was born at
Andrew his brother. Andrew was a native of Bethsaida, and brother of Peter. Whether he was Peter's elder or younger brother is uncertain. He, too, was called from his fishing-net to be a fisher of men. The name Andrew was Greek, and is found in Herodotus. He probably had a Hebrew name besides, which had been gradually superseded by the Greek one. 
James and John. These two Apostles in most passages of the Gospels are named together, and from the prevailing order it is inferred that John was the younger. Their father was Zebedee, their mother Salome, whom some recent critics identify with the sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in John xix. 25. Zebedee, whose occupation the two sons followed, was a fisherman of Bethsaida, on the lake of Tiberias, who, as he had a vessel of his own and hired servants (Mark i. 20), appears to have been in good circumstances for his station in life. We know nothing of him beyond his interposing no refusal when his sons were called to leave him (Matt. iv. 21), and his disappearance from the Gospel narrative leads to the inference that his death set Salome free to join her children in ministering to the Lord. (Luke viii. 3.) 
Philip. The name is an old Greek one, and is found everywhere in ancient history. Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter (John i. 44), and apparently was among the Galilean peasants of that district who flocked to hear the preaching of the Baptist. He was a firm believer in the Messiahship of Christ. (John i. 25.) The statement that Jesus found him (John i. 43), implies a previous seeking. To him, in the whole circle of the disciples, were spoken the words so full of meaning, "Follow Me." 
and Bartholomew. The identity of Nathaniel and Bartholomew appears highly probable: (a) John twice mentions Nathaniel (1:45; 21:2), but never Bartholomew; (b) the Synoptists speak of Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3; Mk. 3:18; Luke 6:14), but never of Nathaniel; (c) Philip first brought Nathaniel to Jesus and Bartholomew is mentioned by each of the Synoptists immediately after Philip; (d) Luke couples Philip with Bartholomew, precisely in the same way as Simon with his brother Andrew, and James with his brother John. 
WEB: Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called the Zealot;
Young’s: Matthew and Thomas, James of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
Conte (RC): Matthew and Thomas, James of Alphaeus, and Simon who is called the Zealot,
Matthew. Is the same as Levi. (Luke vi. 27, 29.) He was the son of a certain
and Thomas. Was also called Didymus, the two names being Aramaic and Greek synonyms, both meaning a twin. He was probably a Galilean, as well as the other Apostles, but the place of his birth and the circumstances of his calling are unknown. Besides the lists of the Apostles, he is named eight times in the Gospel of John: xi. 16, xiv. 5, xx. 24-29, xxi. 2. 
James the son of Alphaeus. The words the son, are not in the
original, but the ellipsis is no doubt to be supplied with them. He is called by Mark, James the Less (xv.
40), and appears to be that James whom Paul calls "the Lord's brother." (Gal. i.
and Simon called Zelotes. In Matt. x. 4, the Canaanite. The two epithets attached to his name have the same signification, the former being the Greek translation of the latter, which is Chaldee. Both seem to point him out as belonging to the Jewish faction called Zealots, which was animated by a most bitter and uncompromising zeal against the Roman rule, as a thing accursed, unlawful, and by every means to be put down, and which played so conspicuous a part in the last defense of Jerusalem. Simon is not mentioned in the New Testament out of the catalogue of the Apostles. 
According to the better readings “the Kananaean.” The word does not mean “Canaanite,” as our
Version incorrectly gives it, nor yet “inhabitant of Kana in
WEB: Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor.
Young’s: Judas of James, and Judas Iscariot, who
also became betrayer;)
Conte (RC): and Jude of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was a traitor.
And Judas the brother of James. The place here occupied by the name of Jude is filled by that of Lebbaeus in Matthew x. 3, and that of Thaddeus in Mark iii. 18. It is generally accepted that these were three names for one and the same person, who is therefore said by Jerome to have been trionymus. He is the "Judas, not Iscariot," mentioned by John, xiv. 22. 
and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. Who became,
or turned out to be the traitor. Judas
is uniformly mentioned last on the lists, with a brand of infamy. Many conjectures have been made as to the
meaning of the appellative Iscariot.
Some suppose it to signify, "The zealot;" others, that it is
derived from a word signifying suspension, and refers to the manner of
his death (Matt. xxvii. 5); others still, that it means "the man of Carioth," or Kerioth, a city
In depth: Events involving the individual apostles mentioned in the New Testament . The separate incidents in which individual Apostles are mentioned are as follows:
Peter: Prominent throughout; , ; Matthew , , , etc.
James and John: Both prominent throughout. Boanerges; calling down fire; petition for precedence, etc. James was the first Apostolic martyr; John the last survivor (Acts 12:2; John ).
Andrew: the first disciple, John 1:40; with Jesus on Olivet, Mark 13:3.
Philip: “Follow me,” John ; his frankness, John 6:7; the Greeks, id. ; “show us the Father,” id. 14:8.
Bartholomew: “an Israelite indeed,” John ; of
Matthew: his call, 5:27, 28.
Thomas: despondent yet faithful, John 11:16, 14:5, 20:25, 21:2.
James son of Alphaeus: no incident.
Jude son of James: his perplexed question, John 14:22.
Simon Zelotes: no incident.
Judas Iscariot: the betrayal and ultimate suicide.
Weymouth: With these He came down till He reached a level place, where there was a great crowd of His disciples, and a multitude of people from every part of Judaea, from Jerusalem, and from the sea-side district of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and to be cured of their diseases;
WEB: He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;
Young’s: and having come down with them, he stood
upon a level spot, and a crowd of his disciples, and a great multitude of the
people from all Judea, and Jerusalem, and the maritime Tyre
and Sidon, who came to hear him, and to be healed of
Conte (RC): And descending with them, he stood in a level place with a multitude of his disciples, and a copious multitude of people from all of Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast, and Tyre and Sidon,
And he came down with them, and stood in the plain. On a level place, of high table-land, probably on the summit of a hill. The word does not imply low land, but only a level place, such as might contain the crowd which was assembled. 
and the company of His disciples. Discipleship here means necessarily no more than acceptance of the truth of Christ’s Messiahship, in many cases no more than a belief that He was a “Teacher sent from God” (John 3:2). Their understanding of His real character, and the depth of their convictions, varied indefinitely with the various [individuals], and with the same one at different times. 
and a great multitude of people. The range of country from which the throng assembles, is greater than any previously named, showing the constant extension of the reports concerning Him. 
out of all
which came to hear Him. That they might make up their minds as to His character and requirements; some, doubtless, with hearts prepared to put themselves under those spiritual teachings of which they had caught hints. 
and to be healed of their diseases. Many would have no higher aim or faith than this. Trust in the great Healer, rewarded by unspeakable gains of bodily health and comfort, would naturally open their hearts to the offer, from the same source, of soundness and rest to sin-sick, troubled, and laboring souls. 
In depth: Is this the Sermon on the Mount or a different sermon? The case for two sermons being under consideration . "In the plain" [is] by some rendered "on a level place," i.e., a place of high tableland, by which they understand the same thing as "on the mountain," where our Lord delivered the sermon recorded by Matthew (5:1), of which they take this following discourse of Luke to be but an abridged form. But as the sense given in our version is the more accurate, so there are weighty reasons for considering the discourses different. This one contains little more than a fourth of the other; it has "woes" of its own, as well as the beatitudes common to both; but above all, that of Matthew was plainly delivered a good while before, while this was spoken after the choice of the twelve; and as we know that our Lord delivered some of His weightiest sayings more than once, there is no difficulty in supposing this to be one of His more extended repetitions; nor could anything be more worthy of it.
The case for the same sermon being under consideration in both texts . Without entering into any thorough discussion of the question, about which some difference of opinion exists, whether the sermon here given and that recorded in the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of Matthew are two relations of the same discourse, or distinct discourses, delivered at different times, we shall assume, as most harmonists and interpreters maintain, that they are identical. The very variations in them tend to establish an essential sameness. Both begin with the same blessings and end with the same striking parable concerning the difference between hearing and doing, and it is inherently improbable that Christ, at different periods in His life, should have made use of the same commencement and the same conclusion of His discourse.
Between this common beginning and ending, it is true, there is much in Matthew which Luke does not give, and some passages in Luke which do not appear in Matthew, yet it is also true that the passages common to the two Evangelists are perfectly identical in substance, follow in the same order, and contain those truths which are of universal concern to the disciples of Christ in every age. Should it be asked why Luke omitted such extended and important parts of the discourse, this question might be answered, first, by replying that he repeats the like sentiments in other passages of his Gospel, and, secondly, by asking why Mark omitted the whole discourse, or why Matthew passed over all that is contained in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke? It is well that the Evangelists did not follow servilely each in the steps of his predecessor, else what need would there have existed for four Gospels? In what respect would the second, third and fourth have added to the amount of information given in the first?
In order to harmonize the arrangement of Luke's report of the sermon with that of Matthew, we must read the verses in the following order: 20-26, 29-30, 27, 28, 32-42. Verses 34 and 35 in Luke are additional matter.
WEB: as well as those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and they were being healed.
Young’s: and those harassed by unclean spirits,
and they were healed,
Conte (RC): who had come so that they might listen to him and be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled by unclean spirits were cured.
And they that were vexed. Being demon possessed was always a harmful experience. They never improved a person, but undermined their bodily and mental capabilities. They were destructive to human welfare rather than building it up. On a physical level, they revealed their master, Satan’s, inherent intents that were on a spiritual level—negative and destructive even when well disguised. [rw]
with unclean spirits. Demons that were impure and unholy, having a delight in tormenting and in inflicting painful and loathsome diseases. 
and they were healed. There were other such healers in Jesus’ day, but there was one pivotal difference: None went away from Jesus unhealed. Others could claim the power to cast out demons, but Jesus could, unfailingly, demonstrate it. [rw]
WEB: All the multitude sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.
Young’s: and all the multitude were seeking to
touch him, because power from him was going forth, and he was
Conte (RC): And the entire crowd was trying to touch him, because power went out from him and healed all.
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue [power, NKJV] out of him, and healed them all. The “whole multitude” refers to “the whole multitude of those who were sick,” i.e., is a description of their large number. [rw]
WEB: He lifted
up his eyes to his disciples, and said, "Blessed are you who are poor, for
yours is the
Young’s: And he, having lifted
up his eyes to his disciples, said: 'Happy the poor -- because yours is the
reign of God.
Conte (RC): And lifting up his eyes to his disciples, he said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the
Introduction: The outline of the Sermon on the Plain . The arrangement of the [Sermon] in
Godet more successfully arranges it thus: (1) the members of the new society (20-26; Matthew 5:1-12); (2) the fundamental principle of the new society (27-45; Matthew 5:13-6:12); (3) the judgment of God on which it rests (46-49; Matthew 7:13-27):--in other words (1) the appeal; (2) the principles; (3) the sanction.
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, blessed. S. Matthew mentions eight Beatitudes; S. Luke only four: but "the four," as S. Ambrose says, "are found in the eight, and the eight are resolved into the four." Meekness and peaceableness are contained under the virtue of patience; purity of heart is allied to poverty of spirit; mercifulness belongs to hunger after righteousness. —Ludolphus. 
be ye poor. Luke adopts the style of direct address; Matthew of abstract statement. 
This is explained by the terms in Matthew, "poor in spirit." A poverty of spirit may or may not be connected with poverty of [earthly status]. So in verse 21, "Ye that hunger." 
This is explained by the terms in Matthew, "poor in spirit." The reference is not to external situation, but to disposition and character. A bare outward poverty, or an avowed voluntary poverty, will entitle none to the blessing. Many poor persons are proud, ungodly, dishonest and profligate, while some of the rich are humble, pious and holy. Poverty, indeed, has advantages in respect of religion, but none are here pronounced blessed, except such as have "poverty of spirit," that is, are of a true, humble, lowly spirit. 
To suppose that Luke's report of this discourse refers only to this world's poverty, etc.--and the blessings to anticipated outward prosperity in the Messiah's Kingdom (De Wette, Meyer), is surely quite a misapprehension. Comparing these expressions with other passages in Luke himself, we must have concluded, even without Matthew's report, that they bore a spiritual sense; see ch. xvi. 11, where he speaks of the true riches,' and ch. xii. 21. And who would apply such an interpretation to in verse 21? 
He was gazing on a vast congregation mostly made of the literally poor. But we may conceive of some like Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathaea, Gamaliel, or the wealthy patrician centurion, in that listening crowd, gently asking the Teacher as he taught, "Are only the poor, then, to be reckoned among thy blessed ones?" Some such question, we think, elicited the qualifying words of Matthew, "Blessed are the poor in spirit," with some such underlying thought as, "Alas! this is not very often the character of the rich." It certainly was not while the Lord worked among men. While, then, the blessedness he spoke of belonged not to the poor because they were poor, yet it seemed to belong to them especially as a class, because they welcomed the Master and tried to share his life, while the rich and powerful as a class did not. 
for yours is. “This is indeed an admirably sweet friendly beginning . . . for He does not begin like Moses . . . with command and threatening, but in the friendliest possible way with free, enticing, alluring and amiable promises.” -- Luther 
WEB: Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Young’s: 'Happy those hungering now -- because ye
shall be filled. 'Happy those weeping now -- because ye shall laugh.
Conte (RC): Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who are weeping now, for you shall laugh.
Blessed are ye that hunger now. Is used in all languages to express vehement desire. 
The earnest desire of the soul for pardon, peace, and purity, is likened to hunger. They who have such desires after righteousness will not rest satisfied until by faith and obedience they obtain mercy. 
Compare 1:53; Psalms cvii. 9. St. Matthew here also brings out more clearly that it is the beatitude of spiritual hunger “after righteousness.” 
for ye shall be filled. Is a figure taken from cattle in good pasture, fed till they are satisfied, and graze no longer. Probably, many persons present were kept at a great distance from their necessary food by attention to our Lord's instructions, and thus would be the better prepared to appreciate the declaration that hungering after righteousness they should be satisfied in due time with Divine consolations and a holy felicity. 
Blessed are ye that weep now. Because the mortification of our worldly ambition and affections, ought to work in us repentance toward God. They who weep for sin are truly blessed, because they are in the way of hating and rejecting it. 
for ye shall laugh. There is a mourning which, as Augustine says, has no blessing from heaven attached to it, at best only a sorrow of this world and for the things of this world. What Jesus speaks of is a nobler grief, a weeping for our sins and the sins of others, for our weary exile here. This is "the only instance," writes Dean Plumptre, "in the New Testament of the use of 'laughter' as the symbol of spiritual joy. . . . The Greek word was too much associated with the lower forms of mirth. . . . It is probable that the Aramaic word which our Lord doubtless used here had a somewhat higher meaning. Hebrew laughter was a somewhat graver thing than that of Greek or Roman. Comedy was unknown among the Hebrew people." 
WEB: Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake.
Young’s: 'Happy are ye when men shall hate you,
and when they shall separate you, and shall reproach, and shall cast forth your
name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake --
Conte (RC): Blessed shall you be when men will have hated you, and when they will have separated you and reproached you, and thrown out your name as if evil, because of the Son of man.
Blessed are ye, when
men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. We have here
four steps of persecution increasing in virulence: (1) General hatred, (2) Exclusion from the
synagogue, a lesser excommunication, viz. the Neziphah
or exclusion for 30 days, or Niddoui for 90
days. Hence aphorismos
means “excommunication”), (3) Violent slander, (4) the Cherem,
Shammata, or great excommunication,--permanent
expulsion from the Synagogue and
shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil. “Malefic” or “execrable superstition” was the favorite description of Christianity among Pagans (Tacitus, Annals, xv. 44; Suetonius, Nero, 16), and Christians were charged with incendiarism, cannibalism, and every infamy. 
for the Son of Man’s sake [i.e.,
hatred of you for your religious commitment to Jesus of
the Son of Man [as a religious title / description]. In using [the expression] Christ “chooses for Himself that title which definitely presents His work in relation to humanity in itself, and not primarily in relation to God or to the chosen people, or even to humanity as fallen.” Canon Westcott (on John ) considers that it was not distinctively a Messianic title, and doubts its having been derived from Daniel . “The Son of God was made a Son of Man that you who were sons of men might be made sons of God.” -- Augustine, Sermon 121. As the “Second Adam” Christ is the representative of the race (1 Corinthians ) in its highest ideal; as “the Lord from Heaven” He is the Promise of its future exaltation. 
WEB: Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.
Young’s: rejoice in that day,
and leap, for lo, your reward is great in the heaven, for according to these
things were their fathers doing to the prophets.
Conte (RC): Be glad in that day and exult. For behold, your reward is great in heaven. For these same things their fathers did to the prophets.
Rejoice in that day. See Acts . “We glory in tribulation;” Romans 5:3; James
1:2, 3; Colossians 1:14; Hebrews 9:26.
They accepted with joy that “ignominy of Christ” which made the very
name of “Christian” a term of execration; 1 Peter 4:14, 16. 
and leap for joy. We are made to think of King David dancing before the Lord with all his might, or of that man whom Peter and Paul had healed at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, who entered with them into the temple, walking and leaping and praising God. So in the Old Testament the Psalmist sings that by the help of God he shall leap over the wall, that is, no barrier of sin or malice of enemies shall restrain him. And in the Song of Solomon the beloved one is represented as "leaping upon the mountains" as the antelope. The sense is that the souls of the righteous, in days of persecution, are to be filled with enthusiasm and great zeal; they are to count no obstacle insurmountable; they are to persevere with tireless activity in the service of God. 
for, behold, your reward is great in heaven. In its own right this was a reward exceeding what they would otherwise expect to receive. The reason this will be the case is provided in the words that follow. [rw]
for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. Implying that just as those prophets received a worthy reward for their perseverance, so will you without being a prophet. [rw]
The terrible persecutions
which many of the old Hebrew prophets underwent were well known. These men of God endured this treatment
during several generations, while evil princes sat on the thrones of
prophets. The Lord already ranks His newly called apostles with Old Testament prophets. 
-26 Overview / Introduction: These verses are not found in St. Matthew's Gospel. They are in the same style as other teachings of Christ, being the necessary, reverse side of the former blessings. The Gospel is a savor of life to those who believe; of death to those who refuse. 2 Cor. ii. 16. 
WEB: "But woe to you who are rich! For you have received your consolation.
Young’s: 'But woe to you -- the rich, because ye
have got your comfort.
Conte (RC): Yet truly, woe to you who are wealthy, for you have your consolation.
But woe unto. While sin lasts, there must still be woes over against Beatitudes, as Ebal stands for ever opposite to Gerizim. In Matthew we find (Matthew 23) eight woes as well as eight Beatitudes. See too Jeremiah 17:5-8, but there the “cursed” precedes the “blessed.” 
that are rich. In this world's goods. They loved them; they had sought for them; they found their consolation in them. 
In the sense given by St. James, ii. 6-7; and v. 1-6. They whose riches have possession of their hearts, who live voluptuously and forget God. 
The “woe!” is not necessarily or wholly denunciatory; it is also the cry of compassion, and of course it only applies—not to a Chuzas or a Nicodemus or a Joseph of Arimathaea—but to those rich who are not poor in spirit, but trust in riches (Mark 10:24), or are not rich towards God (12:21) and have not got the true riches (16:11; Amos 6:1; James 5:1). Observe the many parallels between the Epistle of James and the Sermon on the Mount: James 1:2, 4, 5, 9, 20; 2:13, 14, 17, 18; 4:4, 10, 11; 5:2, 10, 12. 
for ye have received your consolation. It implies that they would not seek or receive consolation from the gospel. They were proud, and would not seek it; satisfied, and did not desire it; filled with cares, and had no time or disposition to attend to it. All the consolation which they had reason to receive they had [already] received. Alas! how poor and worthless is such consolation compared with that which the gospel would give. 
He pronounces a curse on the rich, not on all the rich, but on those who receive their consolation in the world; that is, who are so completely occupied with their worldly possessions, that they forget the life to come. This is finely illustrated by Augustine, who, in order to show that riches are not in themselves a hindrance to the children of God, reminds his readers that poor Lazarus was received into the bosom of rich Abraham. 
WEB: Woe to you, you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
Young’s: 'Woe to you who have been filled --
because ye shall hunger. 'Woe to you who are laughing now -- because ye shall
mourn and weep.
Conte (RC): Woe to you who are satisfied, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.
Woe unto you that are full. Satisfied with their wealth and not feeling their need of anything better than earthly wealth can give. 
this was the iniquity of thy sister
for ye shall hunger. Your property shall be taken away; you shall leave it; or you shall see that it is of little value. And then you shall see the need of something better; feel your want and wretchedness, and shall hunger for something to satisfy the desires of a dying, sinful soul. 
Woe unto you that laugh now. Are happy or thoughtless. 
With the laughter of fools, trifling levity and jollity. The Bible nowhere condemns innocent mirth. But no mirth is innocent that keeps us from serious things. 
Compare Ecclesiastes 2:2, 7:6; Proverbs 14:13. 
for ye shall mourn and weep. The time is coming when you shall sorrow deeply. In sickness, in calamity, in the prospect of death, in the fear of eternity, your laughter shall be turned into sorrow. 
WEB: Woe, when men speak well of you, for their fathers did the same thing to the false prophets.
Young’s: 'Woe to you when all men shall speak well
of you -- for according to these things were their fathers doing to false
Conte (RC): Woe to you when men will have blessed you. For these same things their fathers did to the false prophets.
Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you. Alluding to the [attention] paid to the false prophets of old (Micah ). 
Opposition does not always prove one's doctrine to be true and good, though such doctrine will commonly meet opposition. If all speak well of you and of your doctrine (bad and good men alike) beware. Popularity of this sort shows something to be wrong. 
Dean Plumptre, with great force, remarks that these words "open a wide question as to the worth of praise as a test of human conduct, and tend to a conclusion quite the reverse of that implied in the maxim, Vox populi, vox Dei. 
“Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” James 4:4. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own,” John . 
for so did their fathers to the false prophets. A good instance of this is found in 1 Kings xviii. 19, where queen Jezebel honors the false prophets. See, too, King Ahab's conduct to such men (1 Kings xxii.), and Jeremiah's bitter plaint respecting the popularity of these false men (Jer. v. 31). 
false prophets. Isaiah 30:10; Jeremiah and and . Ezekiel 13:10-16; Zechariah 10:2. 
(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.
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,
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Translated by William Pringle. Reprint,
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.
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912.
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.
Volumes I and II. (Luke
is in part of both).
D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint.
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
Commentary on the Books of Scripture. Second Edition.
34 = Nathaniel S. Folsom. The Four Gospels: Translated . . . and with
Critical and Expository Notes. Third Edition.
Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.
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.
New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son, 1890; 1903 reprint.
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.