From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
Over 50 Interpreters
Explain the Gospel of Luke
A COMPENDIUM OF THE MOST INSIGHTFUL MATERIAL FROM COMMENTARIES
AND OTHER WORKS
NOW IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
Compiled and Edited
Roland H. Worth, Jr.
Copyright © 2015 by author
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The primary text of this work is the traditional King James Version. More modern renditions are included from the New King James Version of selected words and phrases and occasionally others.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
Books Utilized Code Numbers at End of Chapter
entered and was passing through
Young’s: And having entered, he was passing
Conte (RC): And having entered, he walked through
19:1 And Jesus entered and passed through. Literally, “having entered
Implies that Zacchaeus lived in the further part of the town. 
Jericho was celebrated for its production of highly prized balsam, and other articles of commerce; and lying on the only route of trade across Southern Palestine, between the West and the East, must have given much occupation to the exactors of revenue. 
It was from a point
opposite to it that Moses had viewed
WEB: There was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.
Young’s: and lo, a man, by name called Zaccheus, and he was a chief tax-gatherer, and he was rich,
Conte (RC): And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. And he was the leader of the tax collectors, and he was wealthy.
19:2 And, behold, there
was a man named Zacchaeus. Zakkai signifies "pure" (see Ezra
2:9; Nehemiah ). It is
curious that we find in the Talmud a man named Zakkai,
the father of the famous rabbi Jochauan, living at
which was the chief among the publicans. Who presided over tax-collectors, or who received their collections and transmitted them to their government. 
One who, by his superior wealth, was able to receive the lighter offices of his trade. A whole province was farmed, or hired out to single persons, who employed deputy collectors to receive its taxes, and were necessarily responsible for the payment of the income of the province. 
may even have risen as some Jews did, from the subordinate rank of the portitores to that of publicanus
(Josephus, B. J., ii. 14.9).
Priests and publicans—the latter employed to regulate the balsam-duties,
and the exports and imports between the domains of the Romans and of
Antipas—were the chief classes at
and he was rich. As his office of chief collector of taxes shows. Despised as the publicans were by the Jews, there was nothing absolutely wrong in their occupation. Taxes are necessary, and of course persons to collect them must be found. 
How unlike the rich man in he proved to be. 
WEB: He was trying to see who Jesus was, and couldn't because of the crowd, because he was short.
Young’s: and he was seeking to see Jesus, who he
is, and was not able for the multitude, because in stature he was small,
Conte (RC): And he sought to see Jesus, to see who he was. But he was unable to do so, because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.
19:3 And he sought to see. The tense implies that he had tried repeatedly to catch a sight of Jesus, but could not for the crowd. 
Jesus who He was. What sort of person He was or how He appeared. He had that curiosity which is natural to men to see one of whom they have heard much. 
and could not for the press [because of the crowd, NKJV]. The multitude that surrounded Jesus. Earthly princes are often borne in splendid equipages, or even carried, as in eastern nations, in palanquins on the shoulders of men. Jesus mingled with the multitude, not seeking distinctions of that sort, and perhaps, in appearance, not distinguished from thousands that followed him. 
The earnestness of his desire [to see Jesus] appears in the manner in which he overcame the difficulty. 
because he was little of stature. Short. Not a tall man. 
WEB: He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.
having run forward before, he went up on a sycamore, that he may see him,
because through that way he was about to pass by.
Conte (RC): And running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree, so that he might see him. For he was to pass near there.
19:4 And he ran before . . . for He was to pass that way. Since he couldn’t get a decent view—perhaps no more than a fleeting (“was that Him?”) moment—he dealt with the problem by running ahead of the direction the crowd was moving and get himself a little height to compensate for his own lack of it. [rw]
and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see Him. The fig-mulberry, resembling the fig in its fruit, and the mulberry in its leaves. Some old writers derived it from [a Greek term meaning] foolish, because it produced worthless figs. Dr. Thomson says that it bears several crops yearly, which grow on short stems along the trunk and the large branches. They are very insipid, and none but the poorer classes eat them. Hence Amos expressed the fact that he belongs to the humblest class of the community, by calling himself a gatherer of sycamore fruit (Amos vii. 14). It grows with its large branches low down and wide open, so that Zacchaeus could easily have climbed into it. 
WEB: When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."
Young’s: And as Jesus came up to
the place, having looked up, he saw him, and said unto him, 'Zaccheus, having hastened, come down, for to-day in thy
house it behoveth me to remain;'
Conte (RC): And when he had arrived at the place, Jesus looked up and saw him, and he said to him: "Zacchaeus, hurry down. For today, I should lodge in your house."
19:5 And when Jesus
came to the place, he looked up, and saw him. Did He
look up out of curiosity?—although people often reacted energetically to Jesus’
presence, finding someone in a tree was not one of the normal
events of His everyday ministry! [rw]
and said unto him, Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was so prominent a person in
Or: Running before, and climbing the sycamore tree, he waited for Him to pass. It is also altogether probable that the multitude, seeing the well-known little man resorting to this device, spoke of it one to another, mentioning him by name. It is not necessary, therefore, to suppose, as some have done, a previous acquaintance with him by the Savior, to account for His addressing him by name. 
make haste, and come down. We may well suppose that [Zacchaeus’] conduct, interpreted by the look and air of the man, as Jesus drew near, would indicate in him an unusual preparedness for the reception of the gospel. Hence the seemingly abrupt direction, “Make haste.” 
for today I must abide at thy house. Jesus waits not for the uttered invitation, for he knows that a wish in the publican's heart, deeper than words can express, invites Him. He does not say "I will;" it is a settled case. 
In a priestly city Jesus selected a publican's house and that as an evidence that He came to seek and to save them that are lost. Jesus acted His parables of the Lost Sheep and of the Lost Drachma. 
Jesus never declined an invitation to hospitality, but this is the first instance in which He ever invited Himself. 
WEB: He hurried, came down, and received him joyfully.
Young’s: and he having hastened did come down, and
did receive him rejoicing;
Conte (RC): And hurrying, he came down, and he received him joyfully.
19:6 And he made haste, and came down. He could have hung in the tree motionless in shock until reminded a second time. After all, this was not the kind of treatment he expected from a firm advocate of strict morality and upstanding behavior—both of which were virtually antonyms for “publicans and tax-collectors.” [rw]
and received him joyfully. This public honor done by the Messiah to one so despised by all classes of his countrymen, ennobled him with a new feeling of happiness and self-respect. 
WEB: When they saw it, they all murmured, saying, "He has gone in to lodge with a man who is a sinner."
Young’s: and having seen it, they were all
murmuring, saying -- 'With a sinful man he went in to lodge!'
Conte (RC): And when they all saw this, they murmured, saying that he had turned aside to a sinful man.
19:7 And when they saw it. The accompanying multitude. 
they all murmured. Found fault, complained. 
Rather, “they all began to murmur aloud.” The “all” is very significant as showing how deep-seated was the national feeling which, because it was unworthy, our Lord at the very zenith of His earthly popularity thus unflinchingly braved. Many of them may not have heard His previous vindication of His object (Matthew -13). 
saying, That He was gone to be guest. This term means "to lodge" or put up for the night. It may here mean only to make a friendly visit to his house and be entertained by him. 
with a man that is a sinner. All publicans they regarded as great sinners; and the chief of the publicans, therefore, they regarded as peculiarly [= specially] wicked. It would appear from Zacchaeus' confession that his character had been that of an oppressive man. 
WEB: Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor. If I have wrongfully exacted anything of anyone, I restore four times as much."
Young’s: And Zaccheus
having stood, said unto the Lord, 'Lo, the half of my goods, sir, I give to the
poor, and if of any one anything I did take by false accusation, I give back
Conte (RC): But Zacchaeus, standing still, said to the Lord: "Behold, Lord, one half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone in any matter, I will repay him fourfold."
19:8 And Zacchaeus stood. The word means “taking his position” in sight of all the crowd; see . 
By standing, everyone present could see and
clearly hear him making his pledge of reformation. Words spoken quietly in the ear of Jesus
could easily be “overlooked” by him later, but he told Jesus in a manner that
everyone else could hear it as well—assuring that word would spread throughout
the local public of his vow of behavioral change. That would seal “in concrete” his
pledge, because now he could not go back on his words without becoming a
laughing stock and subject of public mockery.
Being considered dishonest is one thing; being a laughing stock as well,
would carry a public, self-inflicted humiliation that would be virtually
impossible for most men to endure. [rw]
and said unto the Lord. Not to the crowd who had nothing but contempt and hatred for him, but to Him who loved the nobler self which He saw in him, and of whose notice he desired to be more worthy. 
Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give. As a reference to future behavior: Not, “It is my practice to give.” Zacchaeus' statement is not a vindication, but a vow. "I now give by way of restoration." 
As a reference to past, on-going behavior: The chief publican's words do not refer to a future purpose, but they speak of a past rule of life which he had set for himself to follow, and probably had followed for a long period. So Godet, who paraphrases thus: "He whom thou hast thought good to choose as thy host is not, as is alleged, a being unworthy of thy choice. Lo, publican though I am, it is no ill-gotten gain with which I entertain thee." In a profession like his, it was easy to commit involuntary injustice. There may, too, have been, probably was, many a hard if not an unjust act worked by the chief of the tax-gatherers and his subordinates in their difficult employment.  Also see “In depth” section at end of verse.
half of my goods. Half of his yearly income he meant to bestow on the poor as a way of making restitution to those whom he had ignorantly defrauded. 
If I have taken anything by false accusation. If--anything does not state a merely possible case, as if Zacchaeus were unconscious of any such extortion; but is a milder way of saying "Whatever I have taken." 
false accusation. By making out false estimates of the taxes due on any property. This is a common mode of extortion in the East, and is eluded by the inhabitants adopting every possible device to conceal their wealth from the tax gatherers. See Luke 14:14. 
This term is the same used in 3:14, where [John the Baptist] replied to the inquiring soldiers that they should accuse no man falsely, that is, should not be informants against any wrongfully, for extortion. Here it may easily apply to the publican's office taxing unjustly or otherwise extorting. 
fourfold. Four times as much as had been unjustly taken. This was the amount that was required in the Jewish law when a sheep had been stolen and a man was convicted of the theft by trial at law (Exodus 22:1). If he confessed it himself, without being detected and tried, he had only to restore what was stolen and add to it a fifth part of its value (Numbers 5:6-7). The sincerity of Zaccheus' repentance was manifest by his being willing to make restoration as great as if it had been proved against him. The Jews were allowed to take no interest of their brethren (Leviticus 25:35-36) and this is the reason why that is not mentioned as the measure of the restitution. 
In depth: The improbability that Zacchaeus’ vow refers to past rather than future behavior . At some point of the time, he, being aware of their cries [against him], resolved to meet them before the Savior, and so stood forth, in calm and unabashed dignity. Was it the dignity of conscious innocence toward their accusations, or of penitent rectification of conscious wrongs?
Godet and others take the former view, according to which the publican says: “Lord, I am not so unworthy of Thy attention as they allege; I give, habitually, the half of my goods to the poor,” etc. This has in its favor the present tense of the verbs, “I give, I restore.” But against it lies the absurdity of habitually giving half one’s goods, and remaining rich; that it almost precludes the question of such a man’s exacting aught “wrongfully” of any man; and, above all, that it breathes no whisper of repentance.
Therefore, we hold to the common view, that Zaccheus now meets his defamers by declaring that he does, here and now, to Jesus vow the gift of half his fortune to the poor, both out of gratitude for the blessing which comes to him through the presence of the Lord, and also as a restitution of what he may have acquired not with that honesty which, in Christ’s presence, at least, he feels right. To make this last point sure he specifically vows to restore fourfold to any individuals from whom it shall appear that he has, in his office, taken what they should not have paid. Thus, the present tense of the verb is fully justified.
The resolution and promise went far beyond anything required in the law in such a case. Here was such exercise of the spirit of the law of love as had been required of the rich young man (). It was an exhibition of true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.
WEB: Jesus said to him, "Today, salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.
Young’s: And Jesus said unto him -- 'To-day
salvation did come to this house, inasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham;
Conte (RC): Jesus said to him: "Today, salvation has come to this house; because of this, he too is a son of Abraham.
19:9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house. This family. They this day received the blessings of the gospel and became interested in the Messiah's kingdom. 
Not simply because it has received the personal visit of Christ, but because, by means of that visit, Zacchaeus has been shown to be not the abandoned sinner which the multitude thought, but a true son of Abraham. Under the warming influence of the Savior’s favor, the latent capacity for salvation has been developed—and filled. 
forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. The last sentence, while addressed to the
publican, is modified in form into a justification of the favor shown him as
against the reproaches of the people.
Christ would say, “in blessing him, I go not beyond the circle of My mission” (Matthew 10:5, 6; ).
He was one of “the lost sheep of the house of
Hitherto, although a Jew, yet he was a great sinner. He was not worthy to be called a son of Abraham. Now by repentance, and by receiving the Christ whose day Abraham saw and was glad (John ), he has shown himself worthy to be called his son. Abraham was an example of distinguished piety; the father of the faithful (Romans ), as well as the ancestor of the Jews. They were called his sons who were descended from him, and particularly they who resembled him. In this place the phrase is used in both senses. 
WEB: For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."
Young’s: for the Son of Man came to seek and to
save the lost.'
Conte (RC): For the Son of man has come to seek and to save what had been lost."
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Quite in the spirit of ; ; and of the whole of chapter 15. Zaccheus was “lost” to his neighbors, in the infamy of his occupation; to Jesus, in the estrangement of his heart from the peace of God. Thus we see Christ at the very close of His life, persisting, and now against greater inducements than ever before through the offered homage of a numberless and friendly throng, in manifesting a special favor toward those whom that throng specially despised and avoided; or—because they specially needed His sympathy and aid. 
WEB: As they
heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near
Young’s: And while they are hearing these things,
having added he spake a simile, because of his being
nigh to Jerusalem, and of their thinking that the reign of God is about
presently to be made manifest.
Conte (RC): As they were listening to these things, continuing on, he spoke a parable, because he was nearing
And as they heard these things. This is evidently a general designation of the time. Not precisely while they were hearing His discourse with Zaccheus, but while the impression of that was fresh in their minds; the next recorded thing that He spoke was the following parable. 
He added and spake a parable
because. Luke gives two
reasons for the parable: (1) The crowd
thought that Jesus was about to set up the
He was nigh to Jerusalem.
they thought that the
would give the word, and marshal His servants into an army, assume royal state,
and begin His reign in the city. This vain
dream, drawn from the letter of prophecy, and cherished by the carnal hearts of
the disciples, blinded their eyes to the spiritual
By this approaching
In depth: The different central points of the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents . The relation between this parable of the pounds and the other of the talents has often been misunderstood, and is very noteworthy. They are not two editions of one parable variously manipulated by the Evangelists, but they are two parables presenting two kindred and yet diverse aspects of one truth. They are neither identical, as some have supposed, nor contradictory, as others have imagined; but they are complementary.
The parable of the talents represents the servants as receiving different endowments; one gets five; another two; another one. They make the same rate of profit with their different endowments. The man that turned his two talents into four did just as well as he that turned his five into ten. In either case the capital is doubled. Since the diligence is the same, the rewards are the same, and to each is given the identical same eulogium and the same entrance into the joy of his Lord. So the lesson of that parable is that, however unequal are our endowments, there may be as much diligence shown in the use of the smallest as in the greatest, and where that is the case, the man with the small endowments will stand on the same level of recompense as the man with the large.
But that is not all. This parable comes in to complete the thoughts. Here all the servants get the same gift, the one pound, but they make different profits out of it, one securing twice as much as the other. And, inasmuch as the diligence has been different, the rewards are different.
So the lesson of this parable is that unequal faithfulness in the use of the same opportunities results in unequal retribution and reward. Unequal faithfulness, I say, because, of course, in both the profit is not any accidental circumstance, but the earnestness and faithfulness of the servant. Christ does not pay for results; He pays for motives. And it is not because the man has made a certain number of pounds, but because in making them he has shown a certain amount of faithfulness, that he is rewarded. Christ does not say, "Well done! good and successful servant," but "Well done good and faithful servant."
In depth: Further thoughts on the meaning of the two parables and why they can not be regarded as variant versions of the same parable ? [This is] a different parable from that of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30): For
(1) The parable was spoken "when He was nigh
(2) This parable was spoken to the crowd; that to the Twelve alone. Accordingly,
(3) Besides the "servants" in this parable, who profess subjection to him, there is a class of "citizens" who refuse to own Him, and are treated differently; whereas, in the Talents, spoken to the former class alone, this latter class is omitted.
(4) In the Talents, each servant receives a different number of them (5, 2, 1); in the Pounds all receive the same one pound, which is but about the 60th part of a talent; also, in the Talents, each shows the same fidelity by doubling what he received (the 5 are made 10, the 2, 4); in the Pounds, each receiving the same, renders a different return (one making his pound 10, another 5).
Plainly, therefore the intended lesson is different, the one illustrating equal fidelity with different degrees of advantage; the other, different degrees of improvement of the same opportunities; yet with all this difference, the parables are remarkably similar. 
Some have regarded this
parable and that of the Talents as one and the same. But they are not so. Although in many of their features there is a
strong resemblance, in others there is a decided difference. This parable was, as just intimated,
WEB: He said therefore, "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
Young’s: He said therefore, 'A certain man of
birth went on to a far country, to take to himself a kingdom, and to return,
Conte (RC): Therefore, he said: "A certain man of nobility traveled to a far away region, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
He said therefore, A certain nobleman. A prince; a man descended from kings, and having a title, therefore, to succeed in the kingdom. 
went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. Herod and his son had gone to Rome, which was a long way off from Judea, to receive their investiture. Our Lord was to depart to the regions invisible to us, that ascending up on high, He might receive the reward of His obedience. 
In depth: possible
historical allusions in the parable. As an
allusion to the reliance of the Herod family upon Roman approval of their
reigns. There is here an allusion to historical facts
with which they were very familiar. Herod the Great himself went to
allusion to incidents involved in Arcelaus in
particular gaining power.
Jesus was at Jericho, the city of
Weymouth: And he called ten of his servants and gave each of them a pound, instructing them to trade with the money during his absence.
WEB: He called ten servants of his, and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, 'Conduct business until I come.'
Young’s: and having called ten servants of his
own, he gave to them ten pounds, and said unto them, Do business -- till I
Conte (RC): And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and he said to them: 'Do business until I return.'
And he called his ten servants. Nothing in particular is denoted by the number "ten." It is a circumstance intended to keep up the narrative. In general, by these servants, our Savior denotes His disciples, and intends to teach us that talents are given to us to be improved, for which we must give an account at His return. 
The [English] Revised [Version], rightly, changes to ten servants of his, since the his is emphatic; literally, his own. Moreover, it would be absurd to suppose that this nobleman, of consequence enough to be raised to a royal dignity, had but ten servants. The number of slaves in a Roman household was enormous, sometimes reaching hundreds. Toward the end of the Republic, it was considered reprehensible not to have a slave for every sort of work. 
and delivered them. The servants represent the disciples of Jesus; not the twelve only, but all those who are employed in the sacred duties of the Church. 
ten pounds. The word translated "pound" is mina = 100 drachmas or denarii. It therefore represents a sum that a working man could earn in 100 days' work. 
Here we note a radical difference between this parable and that of the talents. In that the gain and reward are proportioned to the original gift, the underlying principle being that where much is given much will be required. Here the endowment is made the same in each case, not to represent the actual fact, but to bring out into greater prominence the truth that the future reward is not dependent (as it might seem to be in the parable of the talents) upon the amount given, but upon faithfulness in the use of that which is given. 
and said unto them, Occupy [do business, NKJV] till I come. The word "occupy" here means not merely to possess, as it often does in our language, but to improve, to employ in business, for the purpose of increasing it, or of making profit on it. The direction was to use this money so as to gain more. So Jesus commands His disciples to improve their talents; to make the most of them; to increase their capability of doing good, and to do it until He comes to call us hence, by death, to meet Him. See 1 Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:7. 
Keep and use these pounds, in such ways as to increase them. The disciples received a stewardship which they were to exercise for the glory of the absent Prince, until His return. 
Historical note: Archelaus did actually leave money in the charge of some of his servants, especially entrusting Philippus to look after his pecuniary interests in his absence. 
WEB: But his citizens hated him, and sent an envoy after him, saying, 'We don't want this man to reign over us.'
Young’s: and his citizens were hating him, and did
send an embassy after him, saying, We do not wish this
one to reign over us.
Conte (RC): But his citizens hated him. And so they sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this one to reign over us.'
But his citizens. His subjects, or the people whom he was desirous of ruling. 
hated him. On account of his character and their fear of oppression. 
Historical note: And this was not strange, seeing that the very beginning of his reign had been signalized by a hideous massacre of his subjects. (Josephus Antiquities, xvii. 9.3.)
and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. His discontented subjects, fearing what would be the character of his reign, sent an embassy to [argue] against his being appointed as the ruler. By this part, Christ designed to denote that the Jews would reject Him—the Messiah--and would say that they did not desire Him to rule over them. See John 1:11. So it is true of all sinners, that they do not wish Jesus to reign over them; they reject Him; and, if it were possible, would cast Him off, and never submit to His reign. 
Historical note: History
supplies the framework. This was what
the Jews had done in the case of Archelaus. They had sent a hostile deputation to
complain of their future king before the emperor's court at
this man. The “this” is supremely contemptuous.  They were not contemptuous of having a ruler over them nor—at least openly—of the authority of the ruler to appoint whoever he wished to this subordinate kingship position. Anyone was acceptable to them—but this man. [rw]
Weymouth: And upon his return, after he had obtained the sovereignty, he ordered those servants to whom he had given the money to be summoned before him, that he might learn their success in trading.
WEB: "It happened when he had come back again, having received the kingdom, that he commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by conducting business.
Young’s: 'And it
came to pass, on his coming back, having taken the kingdom, that he commanded
these servants to be called to him, to whom he gave the money, that he might
know what any one had done in business.
Conte (RC): And it happened that he returned, having received the kingdom. And he ordered the servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called so that he would know how much each one had earned by doing business.
And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom. Historical note from the parallel of Archelaus: Not however [with] the coveted title of king, which was refused him. 
then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money. A natural and inevitable action upon the part of any ruler: to know how much cash and other reserves he has available and how effective his various appointees were in administering what he left under their responsibility. This element works as a parable and story point for the same reason others of Jesus do—it is grounded in reality and how real people react to events in the world around them. Parables are normally of this nature: Things that either have occurred or could occur. [rw]
that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. This verse is prophetic of Christ’s procedure when He shall come in royal authority at the end of the world. The Greek is nearly, “Who had accomplished anything by trading, and what.” This would determine with what fidelity and success they had occupied [their time]. In “that day” the Judge will strictly inquire who has turned to account that fund of truth and grace which was lent to each one, and how much more there is of it now for future use. 
WEB: The first came before him, saying, 'Lord, your mina has made ten more minas.'
Young’s: 'And the first came near, saying, Sir,
thy pound did gain ten pounds;
Conte (RC): Now the first approached, saying: 'Lord, your one pound has earned ten pounds.'
Then came the first. The reports of three only are given, that being enough to exhibit the whole method and spirit of the trial. The order, first, second, third, is so conceived that the first proves the one who has been the most successful, the second the next best; then (passing over all who were profitable in lesser degrees), third, the one who has done nothing. Or, are we to understand that out of every three, one has turned out useless, and two, more or less profitable servants? 
saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. He does not take the credit of having done it; the master’s pound has wrought with this result. 
Literally, “earned in addition.” As though there were no merit of his own in the matter. 
In depth: the small amount given as a warning to the apostles that they would not receive the immediate abundance of influence and importance that they assumed they would . Here the very smallness of the sum entrusted to the servants has its deep meaning. The “nobly born” one who is about to receive a kingdom, represents our Lord, who here is in a state of the deepest poverty and humiliation. The little sum in one sense represents the work he was able then to entrust to his own. Again, the paltriness of the sum given them seems to suggest what a future lay before them.
No sharing in what they hoped for--the glories of a Messianic kingdom on earth. No rest in repose under the shadow of the mighty throne of King Messiah. The “very little” (verse 17) told them--if they would only listen--that their future as his servants would be a life of comparatively obscure inglorious activity, without rank or power, landless, homeless, well-nigh friendless. But the sequel of the parable told more than this. It proclaimed that their Master was able to estimate the moral worth of those who had been faithful and true in a “very little;” ay, more, was in a position to reward the faithful servant. And the recompense, a city for a pound, just hints at the magnificent possibilities of the heaven-life, just suggests the splendor of its rewards.
WEB: "He said to him, 'Well done, you good servant! Because you were found faithful with very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.'
Young’s: and he said to him, Well done, good
servant, because in a very little thou didst become faithful, be having authority over ten cities.
Conte (RC): And he said to him: 'Well done, good servant. Since you have been faithful in a small matter, you will hold authority over ten cities.'
And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant. We are not all qualitatively equal in relationship to the Lord; it varies from individual to individual. Do one’s duty the best one can then one enjoys the respect and recognition that comes from being a “good servant” and the rewards that come from it. Try to get by doing the least or nothing, why should a person count on heavenly rewards? Unfortunately late twentieth century society has bred an entitlement attitude manifested in its most extreme form as: we deserve a reward for the act of showing up. It might harm our tender pride if we were to be judged by either the result or the amount of effort we put into an endeavor. One can imagine this being a subject of heavenly amusement—or despair—at the follies of mortals. [rw]
because thou hast been faithful in a very little. That results will vary is the normal course of human affairs. It will vary by our intelligent and perceptive use of our resources and the amount of work we put into it—not to mention good luck. But for the result to be maximized it virtually always requires that we put our full effort into it; anything less and we fall short. Hence the Lord faces a person who has, though possessing little, used it with the maximum success that his labor could produce. [rw]
have thou authority over ten cities. This is to be understood as referring to the new kingdom which the nobleman had just received. His former trustiest and most faithful servants he now represents as being made governors, under him, over a number of cities, according to the capacity he found in each; which capacity was known by the improvement of the minas. 
Historical note: Another strange touch explained by the history of the times. Archelaus had actually assigned the government of cities to his adherents who had proved faithful, and this was not an uncommon plan among the Herodian princes. “We shall also reign with Him,” 2 Timothy . 
WEB: "The second came, saying, 'Your mina, Lord, has made five minas.'
Young’s: 'And the second came, saying, Sir, thy
pound made five pounds;
Conte (RC): And the second came, saying: 'Lord, your one pound has earned five pounds.'
And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. He could not present as large an advance on the Lord’s investment as the first person, but it had still grown enough to manifest clear evidence that he had also put a lot of work into the effort. [rw]
WEB: "So he said to him, 'And you are to be over five cities.'
Young’s: and he said also to this one, And
thou, become thou over five cities.
Conte (RC): And he said to him, 'And so, you shall be over five cities.'
And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. The second servant called has, according to his ability, done well also with the treasure committed to him, and receives a reward proportional to that of the other, as was the efficiency. The teaching naturally suggests a graduation in the rewards of the blessed, absolutely considered, while that of each one is complete for him. Compare Matthew 20:23; Mark . 
WEB: Another came, saying, 'Lord, behold, your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief,
Young’s: 'And another came, saying, Sir, lo, thy
pound, that I had lying away in a napkin;
Conte (RC): And another approached, saying: 'Lord, behold your one pound, which I kept stored in a cloth.
And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin. It had gained nothing; it had merely survived. If all there is to life, is to live it and die, of what possible value is life? It is meant to be used and to prosper both ourselves and the cause of our Creator. Then we can face eternity recognizing that--however modestly successful we may have been--we have still giving it everything we are capable of giving. Fearing lack of success (verse 21) will not work as an excuse. There is always something that can be done—no matter how humble in size and prestige. [rw]
Weymouth: For I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man: you take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow.'
WEB: for I feared you, because you are an exacting man. You take up that which you didn't lay down, and reap that which you didn't sow.'
Young’s: for I was afraid of thee, because thou
art an austere man; thou takest up what thou didst
not lay down, and reapest what thou didst not sow.
Conte (RC): For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You take up what you did not lay down, and you reap what you did not sow.
For I feared thee. To many of us, if this was the situation, the situation would have called for action—any action, but something, anything that might, somehow bring a good result. Instead he chooses the one action absolutely guaranteeing failure! [rw]
because thou art an austere man. [Austere:] Hard, severe. The word is commonly applied to unripe fruit, and means sour, unpleasant, harsh. 
thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. Sounds like a proverbial euphemism for “dost commit robbery.” 
WEB: "He said to him, 'Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant! You knew that I am an exacting man, taking up that which I didn't lay down, and reaping that which I didn't sow.
Young’s: 'And he saith
to him, Out of thy mouth I will judge thee, evil servant: thou knewest that I am an austere man, taking up what I did not
lay down, and reaping what I did not sow!
Conte (RC): He said to him: 'By your own mouth, do I judge you, O wicked servant. You knew that I am an austere man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow.
And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee. By your own statement, or your own views of my character. If you knew that this was my character, it would have been the path of wisdom in you to have made the best use of the money in your power. But as you knew my character beforehand, you have no right to complain if you are condemned accordingly. 
thou wicked servant. His failure to act at all showed a fundamental character fault, his “wicked[ness].” Action and inaction both reveal our inner character. Even with the clear desire of his master to constructively utilize his “pound” he had done absolutely nothing. As if inaction alone—what you DON’T do--were somehow morally praiseworthy. [rw]
Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow. You knew my nature of ongoing success. You weren’t ignorant of it. Even if you were so suspicious of your talent and fearful of failure, there was always something where you could have made at least a modest profit for me. Not the great success of these other servants. But still something I would find acceptable.
We find here impressive and vital lessons for today since, truth be told, the church is composed of far more people of modest rather than gigantic abilities. God is not going to expect you to do what is beyond your capacity. But there is no way He will find acceptable using that as an excuse to do absolutely nothing. He has given you eyes to see and a brain to think with. Ask yourself what are the things you can contribute and are within your capacity? God only expects the possible out of us and not the impossible. [rw]
WEB: Then why didn't you deposit my money in the bank, and at my coming, I might have earned interest on it?'
Young’s: and wherefore didst thou not give my money
to the bank, and I, having come, with interest might have received it?
Conte (RC): And so, why did you not give my money to the bank, so that, upon my return, I might have withdrawn it with interest?'
Wherefore then gaves not thou my money into the bank. Lit., the table of the money-changer. 
Many in "the bank" have seen mirrored those Christian societies and religious organizations to which every believer may entrust the resources which he is uncertain how best to use himself. Without particularizing, however, it seems better to understand the Lord here is simply intending to teach, by his image of the bank, that no man in this world is doomed to inactivity or uselessness, but that there will be opportunity afforded to every one who is willing to use his talent in a humble and obscure, if not in a heroic and conspicuous, way. 
that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? Not as we use the term, for illegal interest, but in the old sense of lawful interest. The Jewish law allowed interest on money only in dealing with "strangers." This, therefore, would apply to his cause (Deuteronomy ), as he professed no affinity for the Master. 
Aside: Evidence for the genuineness of a non-canonical statement attributed to Jesus ? The Greek word for “bank” is trapeze (“a table”); hence a banker is trapezites. This touch contains the germ of the unrecorded saying (agraphon dogma) of our Lord, which is one of the most certainly genuine of those which are preserved by tradition—“Show yourselves approved money-changers.”
WEB: He said to those who stood by, 'Take the mina away from him, and give it to him who has the ten minas.'
Young’s: 'And to those standing by he said, Take
from him the pound, and give to him having the ten pounds
Conte (RC): And he said to the bystanders, 'Take the pound away from him, and give it to him who has ten pounds.'
And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound. Nothing is said here, as in regard to the misused talent in Matthew, chapter 25, of punishment to the craven servant, beyond the disgraceful deprivation of his trust. This may, perhaps, signify that he has been convicted only of inefficiency in the special and selected function assigned to him, but may still continue in some lower grade of service than that of the ten. Some hint of such an intention is suggested by the conjunction “howbeit” of the next sentence. 
And give to him that hath ten pounds. It does not go unused, but given to someone whose “track record” is one in which it is not only used, but used very well indeed. [rw]
WEB: "They said to him, 'Lord, he has ten minas!'
Young’s: (and they said to him, Sir, he hath ten
Conte (RC): And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds.'
And they said unto Him. Those standing around him said. This was probably an observation made by some of the bystanders as if to correct him in the distribution. 
Lord, he hath ten pounds. "He has already ten pounds. Why take away this one, and add to what he already possesses? Why should his property be increased at the expense of this man, who has but one pound?" The answer to this is given in the following verse, that every one that hath, to him shall be given; every man who is faithful and honest, and improves what God gives him, shall receive much more. 
Weymouth: "'I tell you that to every one who has anything, more shall be given; and from him who has not anything, even what he has shall be taken away.
WEB: 'For I tell you that to everyone who has, will more be given; but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him.
Young’s: for I say to you, that to every one
having shall be given, and from him not having, also what he hath shall be
taken from him,
Conte (RC): So then, I say to you, that to all who have, it shall be given, and he will have in abundance. And from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.
For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. These are the words of the nobleman, declaring the principles on which he would distribute the rewards of his kingdom. 
Either you will reap the reward of your success in your Lord’s service or you will lose whatever you had in the first place—however little. The only loser in this story is the one who made no effort at all. He assured himself of avoiding mistakes by not doing anything at all. Ironically, this hesitancy does not protect him against failure; it assured him of ultimate failure. [rw]
WEB: But bring those enemies of mine who didn't want me to reign over them here, and kill them before me.'"
Young’s: but those my
enemies, who did not wish me to reign over them, bring hither and slay before
Conte (RC): 'Yet truly, as for those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here, and put them to death before me.' "
But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them. By the punishment of those who would not that He should reign over them, is denoted the ruin that was to come upon the Jewish nation for rejecting the Messiah, and also upon all sinners for not receiving Him as their king. 
enemies. They had once been “citizens,” verse 14. 
bring hither, and slay them before me. Expresses strongly the severity and hopelessness of the coming retribution. 
said these things, he went on ahead, going up to
Young’s: And having said these
things, he went on before, going up to
Conte (RC): And having said these things, he went ahead, ascending to
And when he had thus spoken. Hence the parable of pounds was given during a “break” in their travels. [rw]
He went before. A natural leadership position. Here it may suggest that He
simply did not wish to further discuss the topic that He had just brought up
and He did so by resuming the pilgrimage to
Literally, “He began to journey in front of them;” as though, for the delivery of the parable, He had paused to let the crowd gather round Him. 
ascending up to
Weymouth: And when he was come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount called the Oliveyard, He sent two of the disciples on in front,
WEB: It happened, when he drew near to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples,
Young’s: And it came to pass, as he came nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, unto the mount called of the Olives,
he sent two of his disciples,
Conte (RC): And it happened that, when he had drawn near to Bethphage and Bethania, to the mount which is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples,
And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage. "The house of unripe figs," a hamlet on the spur of Olivet, distant rather more than a mile from the city, situated between two deep valleys. 
Bethphage is never mentioned in the Old Testament,
but in the Talmud we find it specified in some interesting ceremonial
directions. It was evidently an outlying
Here the throng of
Galilean pilgrims would leave Him to go to their friends in
at the mount
called the mount of Olives. This mountain, so named from ample olive
orchards on its western slope, stretches from north to south on the east of
Jerusalem, and distant, at its submit, from the wall of the city, 2,000 or
2,500 feet. It must be crossed in
He sent two of his disciples. He had now come so near that it was necessary to make preparations that He might enter the city conformably to the description of the prophets. 
The minute touch of description in Mark 11:4 has led to the conjecture that Peter was one of these two. 
In depth: Events Luke
omits between Jesus' arrival in the
(1) Jesus left
(2) There He remained with the Twelve, our Lord doubtless being with Lazarus and his sisters.
(3) The next day, Sabbath (our Saturday), He
spent in quiet at
(4) In the evening He was at supper in the house of Simon the leper, His disciples, with Lazarus and his sisters, being present (Matthew 26:6; John 12:1).
(5) At this feast He was anointed by Mary (John 12:3-8; Mark 14:3-9).
(6) During the afternoon Jews of
(7) This coming to the ears of the chief priests, a meeting of council was held at night to consider the propriety of putting both Jesus and Lazarus to death (John 12:10-11).
(8) On the morrow (John ), i.e., on the first day of the week, the narrative of Luke resumes.
WEB: saying, "Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat. Untie it, and bring it.
Young’s: having said, Go away to the village
over-against, in which, entering into, ye shall find a colt bound, on which no
one of men did ever sit, having loosed it, bring it;
Conte (RC): saying: "Go into the town which is opposite you. Upon entering it, you will find the colt of a donkey, tied, on which no man has ever sat. Untie it, and lead it here.
Saying, Go into the village over against you. Bethphage. 
The geographic context: In the absence of more definite topographical
knowledge, it is not clear in what sense the village was “over against”
them. Dr. F. Gardiner (Greek Harmony,
page 172, note) is authority for the statement that “the road from
in the which
at your entering ye shall find a colt tied. The
Messiah was predicted as coming on an ass.
(Zech. ix. 9.)
Asses and mules were in common use in
The account of this transaction is less circumstantial in St. Luke than in the other evangelists. The reference to the prophecy of Zech. ix. 9 is here left out. This prophecy is, however, necessary for the full understanding of the mystic act of riding upon an ass’s colt. St. Luke, compiling especially for Gentile readers, would feel that such a reference to the old Hebrew story would scarcely interest a foreigner, and would serve to distract such a one’s interest in the progress of the great recital. 
whereon yet never man sat. For this reason specially adapted for a sacred use (see Numb. xix. 2; Deut. xxi. 3; 1 Sam. vi.7). 
Animals that had never been used were put to sacred purposes. (Num. xix. 2; Deut. xxi. 3; 1 Sam. vi. 7.) 
loose him, and bring him hither. For Jesus’ own use. [rw]
Weymouth: And if any one asks you, 'Why are you untying the colt?' simply say, 'The Master needs it.'"
WEB: If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' say to him: 'The Lord needs it.'"
Young’s: and if any one doth question you, Wherefore do ye loose it? thus ye
shall say to him -- The Lord hath need of it.'
Conte (RC): And if anyone will ask you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say this to him: 'Because the Lord has requested its service.' "
And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? Jesus could have used His power of foreknowledge to know whether they would encounter such a person, but this example would seem to argue that He utilized such powers only when and where necessary. Furthermore, whether an answer would be needed or not, it would be psychologically reassuring to the disciples who are sent to know they are properly prepared for either contingency. [rw]
thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. The owners' yielding to the authority of the Lord does not necessarily imply that they were His disciples; for, attended by the applauding multitudes, He was acknowledged Lord of the present hour. Even the Pharisees saluted him as "master" (verse 39); with the multitudes He is "king" (verse 38). 
St. Matthew not only mentions the colt, but also the ass. This little detail is unnoticed by St. Luke. Probably the colt, though not broken in, would go the more quietly accompanied by its mother. But the reason of St. Matthew’s special mention of the ass as well as of the colt was the reference to Gen. xlix. 11, in which Justin Martyr, in a curious chapter of the ‘Dialogue with Trypho,’ finds a direct reference to the ass and the foal (see Justin Martyr, ‘Dialogue with Trypho,’ c. liii.). 
WEB: Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them.
Young’s: And those sent, having gone away, found
according as he said to them,
Conte (RC): And those who were sent went out, and they found the colt standing, just as he told them.
And they that were sent went their way, and found even as He had said unto them. Each prediction was proved true, they deepened their trust and confidence in Jesus as teacher and prophet of God. [rw]
Weymouth: And while they were untying the colt the owners called out, "Why are you untying the colt?"
WEB: As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
Young’s: and while they are loosing the colt, its
owners said unto them, 'Why loose ye the colt?'
Conte (RC): Then, as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? A most natural question coming from the owners of an animal facing someone ready to walk off with it. Even if he had specific forewarning that Jesus would be sending for it, he did not yet have confirmation that these men in particular came from Him. [rw]
WEB: They said, "The Lord needs it."
Young’s: and they said, 'The Lord hath need of
Conte (RC): So they said, "Because the Lord has need of it."
And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And the silence that comes next argues that that was all that they needed to say. Whether by prearrangement or by knowledge that Jesus was nearby and that the Galileans were likely to use the term “Lord” only with Him particularly in mind, it provided the information that the owners—note the plural—needed to have. [rw]
WEB: They brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Jesus on them.
Young’s: and they brought it unto Jesus, and
having cast their garments upon the colt, they did set Jesus upon it.
Conte (RC): And they led it to Jesus. And casting their garments on the colt, they helped Jesus onto it.
And they brought him to Jesus. Because He was the one intending to ride it. [rw]
and they cast their garments. More strictly, their own garments, in their reverence and love for their Lord. 
[Purpose:] to do Jesus royal honor. Compare 2 Kings . 
upon the colt, and
they set Jesus thereon. He was now ready to receive their recognition
of His Messiahship, and for the first time in His
life, so far as we are informed, journeyed otherwise than on foot,
or in the boats on the
It is clear that He rode upon the unused foal, which was probably led by the bridle, while it is possible that the mother went by its side. Matthew, however, alone (apparently) mentions two animals (21:2, 7), and possibly this may have been due to some confusion arising out of the Hebrew parallelism (Zechariah 9:9, “riding upon an ass, even upon a colt, son of she-asses”) in the translation into Greek from an Aramaic document. The ass in the East is not a despised animal (Genesis xlix. 14, 22:3; Judges 5:10), and it is only because it was despised by Gentiles that Josephus substitutes for it “horse” or “beast of burden,” and the Seventy (LXX) soften it down into “foal,” etc. The Gentile world abounded in sneers against this narrative, and had all sorts of absurd stories about the Jews and the ass, or ass’s head, which they were supposed to worship (Josephus, Against Apion, ii. 10; Tacitus, Hist., v. 3,4). The Christians were also called ass-worshippers (Tertullian, Apol., 16; Minuc. Fel. Oct., 9), and this calumny is alluded to in one of the hideously blasphemous wall caricatures (Graffiti). 
Weymouth: So He rode on, while they carpeted the road with their garments.
WEB: As he went, they spread their cloaks in the way.
Young’s: And as he is going, they were spreading
their garments in the way,
Conte (RC): Then, as he was traveling, they were laying down their garments along the way.
And as He went, they spread their clothes in the way. As well as leaves of trees and branches of
the palms, which they tore off and kept strewing as they went along (Matthew
21:8), as in the reception of Mordecai (Targum on Esther
x. 15) and of the Maccabees (2 Maccabees
10:7). The very same mode of showing
honor was adopted when Mr. Farran, the consul at
A common act of homage to a king or royal personage. So
in the case of Jehu, the officers of the army offered
him this tribute (2 Kings ix. 13). So Agamemnon walked on costly carpets and
tapestry when he entered his palace at
“But my loved lord,
Leave now that car; nor on the bare ground set
That royal foot, beneath whose mighty tread
This pleasing office is entrusted, spread
The streets with tapestry; let the ground be covered
With richest purple, leading to the palace,
That honour with just state may grace his entry.”
Weymouth: And when He was now getting near Jerusalem, and descending the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began in their joy to praise God in loud voices for all the mighty deeds they had witnessed.
WEB: As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen,
Young’s: and as he is coming nigh now, at the
descent of the mount of the Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began
rejoicing to praise God with a great voice for all the mighty works they had
Conte (RC): And when he was now drawing near to the descent of Mount Olivet, the entire crowd of his disciples began to praise God joyfully, with a loud voice, over all the powerful works which they had seen,
And when he was
come nigh, even now at the descent of
the mount of Olives. i.e.,
where the road over the summit begins to descend toward the
The whole multitude of the disciples. These multitudes are called disciples in the larger sense of believers. 
began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice. Of the Messianic shouts of welcome which sounded in the crowd, St. Luke does not mention the “Hosanna!” of St. Matthew, no doubt because this peculiar Hebrew cry would not have conveyed any meaning to the Gentile readers to whom his story was especially addressed. 
all the mighty
works that they had seen. Jesus
had visibly demonstrated the vast power He was fully capable of
exercising. It wasn’t a matter of claiming
it; it was a matter of huge numbers actually beholding Him exercising
it. What many (the bulk?) surely hoped
for was that He would soon exercise those powers to gain the kingship over
WEB: saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!"
Young’s: saying, 'blessed is he who is coming, a
king in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.'
Conte (RC): saying: "Blessed is the king who has arrived in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory on high!"
Saying, blessed be the King. When they style Jesus a king, they distinctly recognize in Him the Messiah (Psalms 118:26). 
Christ was, indeed, a king, but His kingdom was not, as they supposed, of this world. (John xviii. 36) They expected the kingdom of "our father, David," to be restored, enlarged and glorified by this His more glorious Son. (See Mark xi. 10.) As David was the conqueror of surrounding nations, so, they supposed, this his illustrious descendant would emancipate Israel, subdue Rome, make Jerusalem mistress of the world, and thus be, in accordance with their desires, a temporal Messiah. 
that cometh in the name of the Lord. As representing the person, wearing the character, and sharing the authority, of Jehovah. 
peace in heaven. The cessation of Divine anger toward sinners, as the fruit of the Messiah’s mission, and consequent salvation. 
Or: This may refer to the blessing of peace to be dispensed upon earth as the gift of heaven, or it may have been a Scriptural phrase used at any period of great religious rejoicing. 
and glory in the highest. Glory and salvation be ascribed to Him in the highest heavens, and in the uttermost degree. 
WEB: Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"
Young’s: And certain of the Pharisees from the
multitude said unto him, 'Teacher, rebuke thy disciples;'
Conte (RC): And certain Pharisees within the crowd said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples."
And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude. Apparently of the milder sort, who were yet uncertain about the character and aims of the Galilean Teacher. 
said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. Finding that the zeal of the people tended to make of Jesus the Messiah, they seem to have supposed that, if reminded of it, He would correct their mistake. He rather rebukes them. 
WEB: He answered them, "I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out."
Young’s: and he answering said to them, 'I say to
you, that, if these shall be silent, the stones will cry out!'
Conte (RC): And he said to them, "I tell you, that if these will keep silent, the stones themselves will cry out."
And He answered and said unto them. But not the answer they were seeking or desiring. [rw]
I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. Perhaps a Jewish proverb (Habakkuk ). 
[In that Old Testament context, it] occurs amid denunciations of destruction on covetousness and cruelty. 
Proverbs are designed to express the truth strongly, but are not to be taken to signify as much as if they were to be interpreted literally. The sense is that His coming was an event of so much importance that it ought to be celebrated in some way, and would be celebrated. We are not to suppose, therefore, that our Savior meant to say that the stones were conscious of His coming or that God would make them speak, but only that there was strong feeling among the people, that it was proper that they should express it in this manner, and that it was not fit that He should attempt to repress it. 
graphically paints the scene in his suggestion that the words, “Rebuke thy
disciples” [in Matthew’s account], were accompanied with an irritated and
anxious look towards the frowning citadel of Antonia, where the Roman garrison
WEB: When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,
Young’s: And when he came nigh, having seen the
city, he wept over it,
Conte (RC): And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying:
And when he was
come near. "Again the procession advanced. The road descends a slight declivity, and the
glimpse of the city is again withdrawn behind the intervening ridge of
Olivet. A few moments, and the path
mounts again; it climbs a rugged ascent, it reaches a ledge of smooth rock, and
in an instant the whole city bursts into view.
It is hardly possible to doubt that this rise and turn of the road was
the exact point where the multitude paused again, and He when He beheld the
city, wept over it"
he beheld the city, and wept over it. Broke out into loud and tearful lamentations. The verb used properly denotes “loud expressions of grief”; see Liddell and Scott. The dreadful contrast between what might have been and what is to be! 
Three times our Savior is said to have wept: in this prophetic foresight of the devoted city, which was so soon to fill up the measure of its sins, and to go down to destruction; once when His heart was touched by the grief of others (John xi. 35); and again when it was wrung by the unspeakable agonies of the garden of Gethsemane. Heb. v. 7. While the disciples were exulting over their vain fancies, His eyes looked onward to the horrors that were coming fast upon the city for its cruelties. 
WEB: saying, "If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes.
Young’s: saying -- 'If thou didst know, even thou,
at least in this thy day, the things for thy peace; but now they were hid from thine eyes.
Conte (RC): "If only you had known, indeed even in this your day, which things are for your peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou. Or, “thou also,” as well as others who believe in Me; thou especially whose leaders are so alienated from God, and on whose repentance so much depends. 
at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! Isaiah 48:18, “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river.” 
There were preconditions to having peace with God and in past ages “thou”—the Jewish people and its leaders, even here in Jerusalem where Jesus was at—had turned their back on obedience to the Divine code repeatedly (as in Isaiah 48:18 above). Now, if anything, they were making the same mistake but with even more at stake—for now the long sought Messiah had finally arrived and they were unwilling to accept His wisdom and divine commission from the Father. [rw]
but now they are hid from thine eyes. They had become so hostile to truth, that now they would not see it, though almost forced upon them. 
Weymouth: For the time is coming upon thee when thy foes will throw up around thee earthworks and a wall, investing thee and hemming thee in on every side.
WEB: For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side,
Young’s: 'Because days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast around thee a rampart, and compass
thee round, and press thee on every side,
Conte (RC): For the days will overtake you. And your enemies will encircle you with a valley. And they will surround you and hem you in on every side.
For the days shall come upon thee. This happened about thirty years afterward. 
that thine enemies. The Romans. Geographic
shall cast a trench. Rev., correctly, as Tyndale, a bank. Only here in New Testament. The word literally means a pointed stake, used in fortifying the entrenchments of a camp; and thence the palisade itself. In fortifying a camp or besieging a city, a ditch was dug round the entire circuit, and the earth from it thrown up into a wall, upon which sharp stakes were fixed. Every Roman soldier carried three or four of these stakes on the march. 
about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. A partial entrenchment allowed at least limited opportunity to either flee the place or enter it. The purpose of a full entrenchment was to totally cut off the bringing of any supplies into the city—or at least any significant amount. It also assured that few who escaped from the city would be able to make their way into the countryside undetected; any who escaped would have to surrender to Romans and the Romans would make the decision what to do with them. [rw]
WEB: and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn't know the time of your visitation."
Young’s: and lay thee low, and thy children within
thee, and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou didst
not know the time of thy inspection.'
Conte (RC): And they will knock you down to the ground, with your sons who are in you. And they will not leave stone upon stone within you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."
And shall lay thee even with the ground. Only here in New Testament. Primarily, to beat level, like a threshing-floor or pavement. The Septuagint uses it in the sense of dashing down to the ground (Ps. cxxxvii. 9, and elsewhere). 
This was literally done. Titus caused a plough to pass over the place where the temple stood. 
and thy children within thee. Not minors, but native born inhabitants of any age. 
and they shall not
leave in thee one stone upon another. Speaking
because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. The Messiah had come in mercy, and they were about to refuse His salvation. 
See Isaiah 29:2-4; Hosea 10:14, 15. For the word “visitation” see 1 Peter 2:12; Ecclus. 18:20. The “visitation” which they had neglected was one of mercy (1:68). [rw]
WEB: He entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it,
Young’s: And having entered into the temple, he
began to cast forth those selling in it, and those buying,
Conte (RC): And entering into the temple, he began to cast out those who sold in it, and those who bought,
went into the temple.
For the first cleansing, see John 2:13-17. Pilgrims came to
St. Matthew adds another
interesting detail respecting the excitement caused by the presence of Jesus in
the city. “When he was come into
and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought. That Jesus should have thus purified the temple courts twice in His life (compare John 2:13ff), is thought by some so improbable, that they take this as only another report of the same occurrence as that in John. Really, however, it is not in the least unnatural that there should be fresh occasion for our Lord’s righteous displeasure. The impression made by the former chastisement would soon pass away. 
In depth: How and why the sale of goods was likely rationalized by the religious authorities permitting it . The impression made by the former chastisement would soon pass away. The sooner, because a great number, whose [financial] interests were involved in the unseemly traffic, would combine their influence against the [permanent removal]. Officials of the temple, and some of high rank in the Sadducean priesthood, whose great fortunes were at stake, would make a mighty combination.
would, doubtless, insist on the great convenience of having money-changers
present at this central spot, to give coin current at
The scruples of some might be [removed] by the consideration that it was only the Court of the Gentiles that they used for these purposes. A number of festivals had passed since Jesus taught them the previous lesson, and it would be strange if the old practices had not re-established themselves in full vigor, with all the accompanying fraud and practical robbery of the ignorant, poor, helpless worshippers in the sacred precincts. Jesus would at once perceive the vanity of all pleas of convenience as a justification of such abuses and crimes.
WEB: saying to them, "It is written, 'My house is a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of robbers'!"
Young’s: saying to them, 'It hath been written, My house is a house of prayer -- but ye made it a den of
Conte (RC): saying to them: "It is written: 'My house is a house of prayer.' But you have made it into a den of robbers."
Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer. Upon which some of His hearers might recall from Isaiah, “for all the nations,” those Gentiles whom they did their utmost to cheat and despoil. 
but ye have made it a den of thieves. The translation "thieves" misses
the picturesqueness of the original, which is
"robber" or "bandit."
The stir, wrangling, fierce words of dispute, made the
Jeremiah (7:11) had addressed his contemporaries as if they thought the house called by Jehovah’s name “a den of robbers,” in which very words Jesus tells the people [they have unquestionably made it into one]. 
Weymouth: And day after day He taught in the Temple, while the High Priests and the Scribes were devising some means of destroying Him, as were also the leading men of the people.
WEB: He was teaching daily in the temple, but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people sought to destroy him.
Young’s: And he was teaching
daily in the temple, but the chief priests and the scribes were seeking to
destroy him -- also the chiefs of the people --
Conte (RC): And he was teaching in the temple daily. And the leaders of the priests, and the scribes, and the leaders of the people were seeking to destroy him.
taught daily in the temple. As
long as He could with safety, till His hour came. He left it on Tuesday near sunset, to go to
But the chief priests. [These] included (1) the high priest; (2)
those who had been high priests; (3) the chiefs of twenty-four courses (1
Chronicles 24). The various authorities
mentioned all belong to the great Sadducean party,
who found their chief source of wealth in this profanation of the
and the scribes
and the chief of the people. The
effort had a broad basis of support among the
sought to destroy Him. The favor of the people toward Him had risen to such a pitch as to allow no delay. They must destroy Him, or a religious revolution, through His influence, would destroy them—destroy their influence and emoluments. 
WEB: They couldn't find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said.
Young’s: and they were not finding what they shall
do, for all the people were hanging on him, hearing him.
Conte (RC): But they could not find what to do to him. For all the people were listening to him attentively.
And could not find what they might do [were unable to do anything, NKJV]. They could not make up their minds what to do. The case was perplexing to them, and they had constant consultations together before they could resolve on any course. 
Not that scruples of conscience could have restrained them from any measures, however violent or bloody. But prudence hindered. 
for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.
(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.
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9 = Alfred Nevin. Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts: Luke.
10 = Alfred Nevin.
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12 = Alexander B. Bruce. The Synoptic Gospels. In The Expositor's
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13 = F. Godet. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Translated
from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.
14 = D.D. Whedon. Commentary on the Gospels: Luke-John. New
15 = Henry Alford. The Greek Testament. Volume I: The Four Gospels.
16 = David Brown. "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and
David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments.
Volume II: New Testament.
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17 = Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly. An Exposition of the Gospel
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18 = H. D. M. Spence. “Luke.” In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.
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19 = John Calvin. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,
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20 = Thomas Scott. The Holy Bible ...with Explanatory Notes (and)
21 = Henry T. Sell. Bible Studies in the Life of Christ: Historical and
22 = Philip Vollmer. The Modern Student's Life of Christ.
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23 = Heinrich A. W. Meyer. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
Gospels of Mark and Luke. Translated from the Fifth German
Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis. N. Y.: Funk and Wagnalls,
1884; 1893 printing.
24 = John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. A New
Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent.
25 = John Cummings. Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-
26 = Walter F. Adeney, editor. The Century Bible: A Modern
missing from copy.
27 = Pasquier Quesnel. The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.
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.
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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.
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35 = Henry Burton. The Gospel according to Luke. In the Expositor's
36 = [Anonymous]. Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from
Old and New Sources.
37 = Marcus Dods.
The Parables of Our Lord.
Revell Company, 18--.
38 = Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
39 = A. T. Robertson. Luke the Historian in the Light of Research.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint.
40 = James R. Gray. Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and
ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.
41 = W.
Sanday. Outlines of the Life of Christ.
Scribner's Sons, 1905.
42 = Halford E. Luccock. Studies in the Parables
Methodist Book Concern, 1917.
43 = George H. Hubbard. The Teaching of Jesus in Parables. New
44 = Charles S. Robinson. Studies in Luke's Gospel. Second Series.
45 = John
Laidlaw. The Miracles of Our Lord.
Wagnalls Company, 1892.
46 = William M. Taylor. The Miracles of Our Saviour. Fifth Edition.
47 = Alexander Maclaren. Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Luke.
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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.