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









Volume 4:

Chapters 19-24





Compiled and Edited


Roland H. Worth, Jr.




Copyright © 2015 by author

Reproduction of this book for non-profit circulation

by any electronic or print media means is hereby freely granted

 at no cost—provided the text is not altered in any manner

and compiler credit is given.


If accompanied by additional, supplemental material

--in agreement or disagreement—

it must be clearly and visibly distinguishable

from the original text.





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






19:1                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    So He entered Jericho and was passing through the town.

WEB:              He entered and was passing through Jericho.          

Young’s:         And having entered, he was passing through Jericho,
Conte (RC):   And having entered, he walked through


19:1                 And Jesus entered and passed through.  Literally, “having entered Jericho was passing through it.”  [56]

Implies that Zacchaeus lived in the further part of the town.  [7]

                        Jericho.  It lay about seven miles west of the Jordan, opposite the place where the river parted to allow passage for the Israelites, and the same distance northwest of the Dead Sea, where that river empties into it.  Standing in a little oasis of freshness and verdure, it seemed a Paradise to the traveler who came upon it, wearied from the arduous canyons of the western mountain, or parched and thirsty through the arid sands of the Jordan plain.  [52]

                        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.  [52]

                        It was from a point opposite to it that Moses had viewed Canaan, Deuteronomy 34:1.  When taken by Joshua the site had been cursed (Joshua 6:26):  but, in the reign of Ahab, Hiel of Bethel defied and underwent the curse (1 Kings 16:34).  In later times Jericho became a great and wealthy town, being fertilized by its abundant spring (2 Kings 2:21) and enriched by its palms and balsams, Josephus, Antiquities, iv. 6; B. J., iv. 8; Ecclus. 24:14, “I was exalted like a palm tree in Engaddi and like a rose plant in Jericho.”  [56]



19:2                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    There was a man there called Zacchaeus, who was the local surveyor of taxes, and was wealthy.

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 7:14). It is curious that we find in the Talmud a man named Zakkai, the father of the famous rabbi Jochauan, living at Jericho.  [18]

                        which was the chief among the publicans.  Who presided over tax-collectors, or who received their collections and transmitted them to their government.  [11]

                        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.  [4]

                        He 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 Jericho (Josephus, Antiquities, xiv. 4, 1, xv. 4.2; Justin, Hist., vi. 3).  [56]

                        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.  [4]

                        How unlike the rich man in 16:19 he proved to be.  [14]



19:3                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    He was anxious to see what sort of man Jesus was; but he could not because of the crowd, for he was short in stature.

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.  [6]

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.  [11]

                        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.  [11]

                        The earnestness of his desire [to see Jesus] appears in the manner in which he overcame the difficulty.  [52] 

                        because he was little of stature.  Short.  Not a tall man.  [11]



19:4                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    So he ran on in front and climbed up a mulberry tree to see Him; for He was about to pass that way.

WEB:              He ran on ahead, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.   

Young’s:         and 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.  [2]



19:5                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    As soon as Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for I must stay at your house to-day."

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
Jericho that we can see no difficulty in his being known to Jesus by name.  [56]

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.  [3]      

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.”  [52]

                        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.  [14]

                        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.  [6]

                        Jesus never declined an invitation to hospitality, but this is the first instance in which He ever invited Himself.  [40]



19:6                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    So he came down in haste, and welcomed Him joyfully.

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.  [56]



19:7                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    When they all saw this, they began to complain with indignation. "He has gone in to be the guest of a notorious sinner!" they said.

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. [52]

they all murmured.  Found fault, complained.  [11]

                        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 9:11-13).  [56] 

                        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.  [8]

                        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.  [11]



19:8                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    Zacchaeus however stood up, and addressing the Lord said, "Here and now, Master, I give half my property to the poor, and if I have unjustly exacted money from any man, I pledge myself to repay to him four times the amount."

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 fourfold.'
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 18:11.  [56]

                        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.  [56]

                        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."  [2]

                        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.  [18]  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.  [6]

                        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."  [2]

                        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.  [4]

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.  [8]

                        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.  [11] 


                        In depth:  The improbability that Zacchaeus’ vow refers to past rather than future behavior [52].  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 (18:22).  It was an exhibition of true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.



19:9                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    Turning towards him, Jesus replied, "To-day salvation has come to this house, seeing that he too is a son of Abraham.

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.  [11]

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.  [3]

                        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; 13:24).  He was one of “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  [52]

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 8:56), he has shown himself worthy to be called his son.  Abraham was an example of distinguished piety; the father of the faithful (Romans 4:11), 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.  [11]



19:10                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

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."


19:10               For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.  Quite in the spirit of 5:32; 13:16; 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.  [52]



19:11                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    As they were listening to His words, He went on to teach them by a parable, because He was near to Jerusalem and they supposed that the Kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.

WEB:              As they heard these things, he went on and told a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God would be revealed immediately.          

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
Jerusalem, and because they guessed that the kingdom of God might be manifested without delay.


19:11               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. [52]

                        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 kingdom of God in visible form, and (2) they were near Jerusalem, in which city they all supposed the kingdom was to be proclaimed.  Jesus had to tell them that the kingdom, in the sense in which they understood it, was not coming; and at the same time to remind them that there was a real disciple life.  This intimation is made not to the Twelve and other familiar disciples, but to the crowd, who seem ready to proclaim Him the Messianic King.  The main thought in the story is a disciple life of waiting and working.  The principal figure is a cold-blooded tyrant, and he ranks with the unjust judge and the unfaithful steward.  [6]

                        He was nigh to Jerusalem.  Jericho was about seventeen miles north-east of Jerusalem.  The Passover was near.  Great crowds of Jews would be in the city at the feast.  Every thing seemed favorable to an outbreak against the Roman government.  [4]

                        and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.  “Immediately” is emphatic.  This was the main reason for uttering the parable.  Their idea was, that, as soon as they reached Jerusalem, “the glorious appearing” of the Son of Man would blaze forth.  [52]

That Jesus 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 kingdom of Christ, even to the last.  Acts 1:6.  [4]

                        By this approaching Jerusalem with a multitude, it seemed to the people that Jesus was consenting to be crowned.  And they were filled with those dreams and expectations which a few days later resulted in the triumphal entry.  All things pointed to a crisis, and the people were eagerly looking for honors and rewards under the new ruler. Jesus corrected these false views by a parable which showed that there must be patient waiting and faithful work before there could be any season of reward.  [53]


                        In depth:  The different central points of the parable of the pounds and the parable of the talents [47].  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 [9]?  [This is] a different parable from that of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30):  For

                        (1)  The parable was spoken "when He was nigh to Jerusalem" (verse 11); that one, some days after entering it, and from the Mount of Olives.

                        (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.  [16]

                        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, spoken in Jericho; that, while Christ was seated on the Mount of Olives.  This was addressed to a mixed multitude; that, to Christ's own immediate disciples.  In this there are ten servants; in that there are three.  This shows that Christians differ in the diligence they display; that shows that they differ in the amount of gifts they receive.  [ ? ]   



19:12                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    So He said to them, "A man of noble family travelled to a distant country to obtain the rank of king, and to return.

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.


19:12               He said therefore, A certain nobleman.  A prince; a man descended from kings, and having a title, therefore, to succeed in the kingdom.  [11]

                        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.  [4]


                        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 Rome to obtain the kingdom of Judea.  By the interest of Anthony with the senate, he was appointed king, and afterwards at Rhodes received it again from Augustus. Josephus Antiquiries xiv 14:4-5; xv 6:6-7.  So also his sons Archelaus and Antipas went to Rome to receive the kingdom at their father's death; and the Jews sent an embassy there, with accusations against Archelaus and protesting against his reigning over them.  See Josephus Antiquities xiv. 11.1, and 12.2.  The place was appropriate for here, in Jericho, stood the royal palace which Archelaus had built.  [8]

                        As an allusion to incidents involved in Arcelaus in particular gaining power.  Jesus was at Jericho, the city of Archelaus and none of His hearers would for a moment fail to recognize the principal figure in the story.  On the death of Herod the Great, Archelaus and other members of the family went to Rome to obtain the emperor's confirmation of his father's will and the kingdom of Judea (12).  The proconsul Varus permitted the popular leaders to send an embassy to protest against having Archelaus to reign over them (14).  This embassy consisted of fifty men, and when the Jews in Rome heard that they were coming, 8000 Roman Jews escorted them to the emperor's palace.  The rivals had to wait for months ere the decision was given.  Archelaus had left servants in charge of his money affairs in Palestine (13).  When judgment was given in his favor, and when he had returned to Palestine, he slew most of the leaders of the embassy against him (27).  He rewarded his servants by making them governors of one or more cities in Judea and Samaria (17).  [6]  



19:13                                                   Translations

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 come;
Conte (RC):   And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and he said to them: 'Do business until I return.'


19:13               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.  [11]

                        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.  [2]

                        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.  [4]

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.  [6]

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. [3]

                        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.  [11]

                        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.  [4]

                        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. [56]



19:14                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "Now his countrymen hated him, and sent a deputation after him to say, 'We are not willing that he should become our king.'

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.'


19:14               But his citizens.  His subjects, or the people whom he was desirous of ruling.  [11]

                        hated him.  On account of his character and their fear of oppression.  [11]

                        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.  [11]

                        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 Rome.  [18]

                        this man.  The “this” is supremely contemptuous.  [56]  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]



19:15                                                   Translations

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.


19:15                           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.  [56]

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. [52] 



19:16                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "So the first came and said, "'Sir, your pound has produced ten pounds more.'

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.'


19:16               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?  [52]

                        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.  [52]

Literally, “earned in addition.”  As though there were no merit of his own in the matter.  [56]


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 [18].  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. 



19:17                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "'Well done, good servant,' he replied; 'because you have been faithful in a very small matter, be in authority over ten towns.'

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.'


19:17               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.  [1]

                        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 2:12.  [56]



19:18                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "The second came, and said, "'Your pound, Sir, has produced five pounds.'

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.'


19:18               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]



19:19                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "So he said to this one also, "'And you, be the governor of five towns.'

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.'


19:19               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 10:40.  [52]



19:20                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "The next came. "'Sir,' he said, 'here is your pound, which I have kept wrapt up in a cloth.

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.


19:20               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] 



19:21                                                   Translations

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.


19:21               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.  [11]        

                        thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.  Sounds like a proverbial euphemism for “dost commit robbery.”  [52]



19:22                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "'By your own words,' he replied, 'I will judge you, you bad servant. You knew me to be a severe man, taking up what I did not lay down, and reaping what I did not sow:

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.


19:22               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.   [11]

                        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]     



19:23                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    why then did you not put my money into a bank, that when I came I might have received it back with interest?

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?'


19:23               Wherefore then gaves not thou my money into the bank.  Lit., the table of the money-changer.  [2]

                        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.  [18]

                        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 23:20), as he professed no affinity for the Master.  [8]


                        Aside:  Evidence for the genuineness of a non-canonical statement attributed to Jesus [56]?  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.”  



19:24                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "And he said to those who stood by, "'Take the pound from him and give it to him who has the ten pounds.'

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.'


19:24               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.  [52]

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]



19:25                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    (omitted)

WEB:              "They said to him, 'Lord, he has ten minas!'           

Young’s:         (and they said to him, Sir, he hath ten pounds) --
Conte (RC):   And they said to him, 'Lord, he has ten pounds.'


19:25               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.  [11]

                        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.  [11]



19:26                                                   Translations

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.


19:26               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.  [11] 

                        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]



19:27                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    But as for those enemies of mine who were unwilling that I should become their king, bring them here, and cut them to pieces in my presence.'"

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 me.'
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.' "


19:27               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.  [11] 

                        enemies.  They had once been “citizens,” verse 14.  [56]

                        bring hither, and slay them before me.  Expresses strongly the severity and hopelessness of the coming retribution.  [9]



19:28                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    After thus speaking, He journeyed onward, proceeding up to Jerusalem.

WEB:              Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.         

Young’s:         And having said these things, he went on before, going up to Jerusalem.
Conte (RC):   And having said these things, he went ahead, ascending to


19:28               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 Jerusalem.  [rw]

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.  [56]

ascending up to Jerusalem.  Jericho, about fourteen miles distant, was not far from 3,600 feet lower than the summit of Mount Olivet, which they must cross.  [52]



19:29                                                   Translations

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,


19:29               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.  [6]      

                        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 suburb of Jerusalem.  Bethphage, which lay between the city and Bethany, was by the rabbis legally counted as part of Jerusalem.  [18]  

                        and Bethany.  Perhaps "the house of dates," the village of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary, was about two miles from Jerusalem, at the southeast base of the Mount of Olives.  [6]

                        Here the throng of Galilean pilgrims would leave Him to go to their friends in Jerusalem, or to make booths for themselves in the valley of the Kidron and on the slopes of Olivet.  His stay at Bethany may have been due to friendship, or may have been dictated by prudence.  [56]

                        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 passing between Jerusalem and Jericho.  [52]

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.  [52]

The minute touch of description in Mark 11:4 has led to the conjecture that Peter was one of these two.  [56]


                        In depth:  Events Luke omits between Jesus' arrival in the Jerusalem area and His triumphal entry [6].  The triumphal entry took place on the first day of the week.  The Jewish Sabbath was our Saturday, but their day counted from sunset to sunset; and therefore after their Sabbath began on our Friday after sunset and ended on our Saturday after sunset.  The order of events was probably as follows:

                        (1)  Jesus left Jericho on the morning and reached Bethany on the evening of Friday (Luke 19:28).

                        (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 Bethany.

                        (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 Jerusalem, who had heard from pilgrims of His arrival, went out to see Him and Lazarus (John 12:9). 

                        (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 12:12), i.e., on the first day of the week, the narrative of Luke resumes.  



19:30                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    saying to them, "Go into the village facing you. On entering it you will find an ass's foal tied up which no one has ever yet ridden: untie it, and bring it here.

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.


19:30               Saying, Go into the village over against you.  Bethphage.  [9] 

                        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 Bethany to Jerusalem, as it passed along the side of the Mount of Olives, encountered a deep valley, and made a long detour around the head of the valley, to avoid the descent and ascent.  A short footpath, however, led directly across the valley, and it was, probably, from the point where this parted from the road, that the disciples were sent for the ass to the village on the opposite side, where the path again met the road [at the “winding-road” (Mark 11:4), not “where two ways met”]—a site still marked by ruins  The owner could have seen the whole procession winding around the valley; and he must have already known, from the multitudes going out of Jerusalem to meet Jesus (John 12:13), what it meant.”  [52]   

                        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 Palestine; horses were seldom to be met with.  The horse was an animal of pride and war; the ass, of humility and peace.  (Hos. i. 7; Micah v. 10-11.)  Even Solomon rode on a mule in state.  (1 Kings i. 38; see Gen. xxii. 3; Ex. iv. 20; Judges x. 4.)  [9]

                        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.  [18]

                        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).  [18]

Animals that had never been used were put to sacred purposes.  (Num. xix. 2; Deut. xxi. 3; 1 Sam. vi. 7.)  [9]

                        loose him, and bring him hither.  For Jesus’ own use.  [rw]



19:31                                                   Translations

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.' "


19:31               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).  [14]

                        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.).  [18]



19:32                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    So those who were sent went and found things as He had told them.

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.


19:32               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]



19:33                                                   Translations

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?"


19:33               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]



19:34                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    and they replied, "The Master needs it."

WEB:              They said, "The Lord needs it."

Young’s:         and they said, 'The Lord hath need of it;'
Conte (RC):   So they said, "Because the Lord has need of it."


19:34               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]



19:35                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    Then they brought it to Jesus, and after throwing their outer garments on the colt they placed Jesus on it.

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.


19:35               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.  [2]

                        [Purpose:]  to do Jesus royal honor.  Compare 2 Kings 9:13.  [56]

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 Lake of Gennessaret.  [52]

                        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).  [56]  



19:36                                                   Translations

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.


19:36               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 Damascus, visited Jerusalem in 1834, at a time of great distress.  [56]  

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 Mycenae.  Clytemnnestra, in the ‘Agamemnon’ of AEschylus, says--


                                                            “But my loved lord,

                                    Leave now that car; nor on the bare ground set

                                    That royal foot, beneath whose mighty tread

                                    Troy trembled.  Haste, ye virgins, to whose care

                                    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.”

                                                                        (905--911.)         [18]




19:37                                                   Translations

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 seen,
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,


19:37               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 valley of Kedron.  [9]

Two distinct sights of Jerusalem are caught on this route, an inequality of ground hiding it for a time after one has first seen it.  Verse 37 marks the first sight, verse 41 the second and nearer view.  "At this point (the former) the first view is caught of the southeastern corner of the city.  The temple and the more northern portions are hid by the slope of Olivet on the right:  what is seen is only Mount Zion, now, for the most part, a rough field, crowned with the mosque of David, and the angel of the western walls, but then covered with houses to its base, and surmounted by the castle of Herod, on the supposed site of the palace of David.  It was at this point that the shout of triumph burst forth from the multitude" (Stanley, "Sinai and Palestine").  [2]

                        The whole multitude of the disciples.  These multitudes are called disciples in the larger sense of believers.  [14]

                        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.  [18]

                        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 physical Israel and restore it to the glory days in the reign of King David.  [rw]



19:38                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "Blessed is the King," they cried, "who comes in the name of the Lord: in Heaven peace, and glory in the highest realms."

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!"


19:38               Saying, blessed be the King.  When they style Jesus a king, they distinctly recognize in Him the Messiah (Psalms 118:26).  [52]

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.  [9] 

St. John alone (12:17) points out that the Messianic enthusiasm had been mainly kindled by the raising of Lazarus. [56]

                        that cometh in the name of the Lord.  As representing the person, wearing the character, and sharing the authority, of Jehovah. [52]

                        peace in heaven.  The cessation of Divine anger toward sinners, as the fruit of the Messiah’s mission, and consequent salvation.  [52]

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.  [9] 

                        and glory in the highest.  Glory and salvation be ascribed to Him in the highest heavens, and in the uttermost degree.  [9] 



19:39                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    Thereupon some of the Pharisees in the crowd appealed to Him, saying, "Rabbi, reprove your disciples."

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."


19:39               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.  [52]

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.  [52]   



19:40                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "I tell you," He replied, "that if *they* became silent, the very stones would cry out."

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."


19:40               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 2:11).  [9]

[In that Old Testament context, it] occurs amid denunciations of destruction on covetousness and cruelty.  [56]

                        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.  [11]

                        Godet 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 of Jerusalem lay.  It was there in full view of Jesus and the crowds.  The anxious look seemed to say that the Romans were on the watch for any signs of disaffection on the part of the hated and suspected Jews.  The answer of Jesus, continues the same writer, has a terrible majesty.  “If I could silence all these,” looking round on the impassioned faces of the multitude as they waved their palm branches in homage to their King, “the very stones on the ground would cry aloud.”  This striking imagery was a memory of our Lord of the prophecy of Habakkuk:  “The stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it” (ii. 11).  [18]



19:41                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    When He came into full view of the city, He wept aloud over it, and exclaimed,

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:


19:41               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"  (Stanley).  [2]

                        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!  [52] 

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.  [4]



19:42                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "O that at this time thou hadst known--yes even thou--what makes peace possible! But now it is hid from thine eyes.

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.


19:42               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.  [52]

                        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.”  [56]

                        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.  [4]



19:43                                                   Translations

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.


19:43               For the days shall come upon thee.  This happened about thirty years afterward.  [4]

                        that thine enemies.  The Romans.  Geographic Palestine was an occupied territory under Roman governance, split into more than one governing entity.  A dislike of the Romans bordering from modest to overwhelming was common and it was the one thing that revolutionaries of all stripes could agree on in the 60s A.D.  Jerusalem seemed unconquerable due to strength of her walls and large food reserves.  The one minimal demand the Romans had for peace was resubmission to Rome but the locals—at least their governing revolutionary regime--were convinced that it could outlast any siege.  They had not taken into consideration Roman persistence and how that a Roman victory here would work powerfully to discourage other regions from undertaking a similar rebellion.  [rw]

                        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.  [2]

                        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]



19:44                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    And they will dash thee to the ground and thy children within thee, and will not leave one stone upon another within thee; because thou hast not recognized the time of thy visitation."

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."


19:44               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).  [2]

                        This was literally done.  Titus caused a plough to pass over the place where the temple stood.  [11]

                        and thy children within thee.  Not minors, but native born inhabitants of any age.  [14]

                        and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another.  Speaking of the Temple in particular for that could rightly be described as the heart of Jerusalem—its essence; its reason for existence.  Level that and a Jerusalem might live on but the Jerusalem would be a thing of bitter memories and broken hopes.  [rw] 

                        because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.  The Messiah had come in mercy, and they were about to refuse His salvation.  [6]

                        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]



19:45                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    Then Jesus entered the Temple and proceeded to drive out the dealers.

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,


19:45               And He went into the temple.   For the first cleansing, see John 2:13-17.  Pilgrims came to Jerusalem from all parts of the world to keep the Passover, and at Passover times the city was crowded to excess.  The money spent in the city during these feast occasions formed a great part of the means of livelihood of the native Jews.  For the convenience of visitors, one of the courts of the Temple was set apart for a market, where they could buy what animals they needed for sacrifice.  [6]

                        St. Matthew adds another interesting detail respecting the excitement caused by the presence of Jesus in the city.  “When he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?” (Matt. xxi. 10).

                        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.  [52]


                        In depth:  How and why the sale of goods was likely rationalized by the religious authorities permitting it [52].  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.

            They would, doubtless, insist on the great convenience of having money-changers present at this central spot, to give coin current at Jerusalem to those who came from all parts of the world, in order to meet the demands of the temple, and all their needs for other purchases.  And what should hinder the animals required for sacrifices from being kept in the same convenient neighborhood?

            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.



19:46                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    "It is written," He said, "'And My house shall be the House of Prayer,' but you have made it a robbers' cave."

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 robbers.'
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."


19:46               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.  [52]

                        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 Temple court resemble one of those caves where brigands quarreled over the spoils.  [6]

                        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].  [52] 



19:47                                                   Translations

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.


19:47               and He 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 the Mount of Olives, and returned on Thursday near sunset, to die there.  This fact of His daily teaching in the temple             was mentioned by our Savior, on the night of His capture, as an evidence that He had not concealed Himself from justice.  Luke xxii. 53.  [4]

                        Yet, this Temple was a den of thieves [as well] (verse 46), [yet the Jews rightly continued to worship there].  Hence, let persons beware how they separate themselves from any Church, provided it retains the essentials of a Church, and has nothing sinful in its terms of Communion.  Matt. xxiii. 1-3. —J. Ford.  [36]

                        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 Temple.  [6]

                        and the scribes and the chief of the people.  The effort had a broad basis of support among the Jerusalem religious leadership.  [rw]

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.  [52]



19:48                                                   Translations

Weymouth:    But they could not find any way of doing it, for the people all hung upon His lips.

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.


19:48               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.  [4]

                        Not that scruples of conscience could have restrained them from any measures, however violent or bloody.  But prudence hindered.  [52]

                        for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.  Jerusalem was crowded at the time by a large number of Jews [from distant places], who listened attentively to Jesus.  The rulers dared not offend them.  On one side was the heathen governor, who neither trusted nor loved them.  On the other, the crowds of Jews, who were eagerly looking for a king of their own faith.  How to seize the One who claimed to be so, without enraging the people, they could not find.  How easy had it been for the Savior to have destroyed them and their plans, by the very power which they brought against Him, the crowd; but He yielded.  [4]






Books Utilized

(with number code)



1          =          Adam Clarke.  The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and

Critical Notes.  Volume I:   Matthew to the Acts.   Reprint, Nashville,

Tennessee:  Abingdon Press.


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.  New York:  Hurd and Houghton, 1856,



5          =          John Kitto.  Daily Bible Illustrations.  Volume II:  Evening Series: 

The Life and Death of Our Lord.  New York:  Robert Carter and

Brothers, 1881.


6          =          Thomas M. Lindsay.  The Gospel According to St. Luke.  Two

volumes.  New York:  Scribner & Welford, 1887.


7          =          W. H. van Doren.  A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament: 

Saint Luke.  Two volumes.  New York:  D. Appleton and Company,



8          =          Melancthon W. Jacobus.  Notes on the Gospels, Critical and

Explanatory:  Luke and John.  New York:  Robert Carter &

Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.


9          =          Alfred Nevin.  Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts:  Luke. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  Ziegler & McCurdy, 1872.


10        =          Alfred Nevin.  The Parables of Jesus.  Philadelphia:  Presbyterian

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

Rapids, Michigan:  Wm. B.   Eerdmans Publishing Company.


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.

New York:  I. K. Funk & Company, 1881.


14        =          D.D. Whedon.  Commentary on the Gospels:  Luke-John.   New

York:  Carlton & Lanahan, 1866; 1870 reprint.   


15        =          Henry Alford.  The Greek Testament.  Volume I:  The Four Gospels.

Fifth Edition.  London:  Rivingtons, 1863.  


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.  Hartford:

S. S. Scranton Company, no date.


17        =          Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly.  An Exposition of the Gospel

of St. Luke.  New York:  Benziger Brothers, 1886.


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,

Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Wm. B.    Eerdmans Publishing Company.


20        =          Thomas Scott.  The Holy Bible ...with Explanatory Notes (and)

Practical Observations.  Boston:  Crocker and Brewster.


21        =          Henry T. Sell.  Bible Studies in the Life of Christ:  Historical and

Constructive.  New York:  Fleming H. Revell Company, 1902.


22        =          Philip Vollmer.  The Modern Student's Life of Christ.  New York:

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. 

Volume One.  Philadelphia:  Perkinpine & Higgins, 1860.


25        =          John Cummings.  Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-

ment:  St. Luke.  London:Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co,1854.


26        =          Walter F. Adeney, editor.  The Century Bible:  A Modern  

Commentary--Luke.  New York:  H. Frowdey, 1901.  Title page

missing from copy.


27        =          Pasquier Quesnel.  The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.

Volumes I and II.  (Luke is in part of both).  New York:  Anson

D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint. 


28        =          Charles R. Erdman.  The Gospel of Luke:  An Exposition.

Philadelphia:  Westminster   Press, 1921; 1936 reprint.


29        =          Elvira J. Slack.  Jesus:  The Man of Galilee.  New York:  National

Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.


30        =          Arthur Ritchie.  Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.  Milwaukee:

The Young Churchman Company, 1906.


31        =          Bernhard Weiss.  A Commentary on the New Testament.  Volume

Two:  Luke-The Acts.  New York:  Funk & Wagnalls Company,1906.


32        =          Matthew Henry.  Commentary on the Whole Bible.  Volume V:

Matthew to John.  17--.  Reprint, New York:  Fleming H. Revell

Company, no date.


33        =          C. G. Barth.  The Bible Manual:  An Expository and Practical

Commentary on the Books of Scripture.  Second Edition.

London:  James Nisbet and Company, 1865.


34        =          Nathaniel S. Folsom.  The Four Gospels:  Translated . . . and with

Critical and Expository Notes.  Third Edition.  Boston:  Cupples,

Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.


35        =          Henry Burton.  The Gospel according to Luke.  In the Expositor's

Bible series.  New York:  A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1895. 


36        =          [Anonymous].  Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from

Old and New Sources.  London:  Macmillan & Company, 1869.


37        =          Marcus Dods.  The Parables of Our Lord.  New York:  Fleming H.

Revell Company, 18--. 


38        =          Alfred Edersheim.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.  

Second Edition.  New York:  Anson D. F. Randolph and Company,



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

New Testaments.  Chicago:  Bible Institute Colportage Associat-

ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.


41        =          W. Sanday.  Outlines of the Life of Christ.  New York:  Charles

Scribner's Sons, 1905.


42        =          Halford E. Luccock.  Studies in the Parables of Jesus.  New York:

Methodist Book Concern, 1917.


43        =          George H. Hubbard.  The Teaching of Jesus in Parables.  New

York:  Pilgrim Press, 1907. 


44        =          Charles S. Robinson.  Studies in Luke's Gospel.  Second Series.

New York:American Tract Society, 1890.  


45        =          John Laidlaw.  The Miracles of Our Lord.  New York:  Funk &

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 MacDonald.  The Miracles of Our Lord.  New York:

George Routledge & Sons, 1878. 


49        =          Joseph Parker.  The People's Bibles:  Discourses upon Holy Scrip-

                        tureMark-Luke.    New York:  Funk & Wagnalls Company, 18--.


50        =          Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman.  A Critical Commentary and

Paraphrase on the New Testament:  The Four Gospels and the Acts

of the Apostles.  Philadelphia:  Carey & Hart, 1846.


51        =          Matthew Poole.  Annotations on the Holy Bible.  1600s.



52        =          George R. Bliss.  Luke.  In An American Commentary on the New

Testament.  Philadelphia:  American Baptist Publication Society,



53        =          J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton.  The Fourfold Gospel. 

1914.  Computerized.


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

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges” series.  Cambridge:  At

the University Press, 1882.