Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
Lit., debtors. Possibly with reference to the figure at the close of the last chapter. Compare Mat 5:25; Mat 6:12; Mat 18:24; Luk 11:4.
These three years I come
The best texts insert ἀφ' οὗ, from which, or since. "It is three years from the time at which I came."
Cut it down (ἔκκοψον)
Rather, "cut it out" (ἐκ) from among the other trees and the vines.
Why cumbereth it
The A. V. omits the very important καὶ, also (Rev.), which, as Trench observes, is the key-word of the sentence. Besides being barren in itself, it also injures the soil. "Not only is it unfruitful, but it draws away the juices which the vines would extract from the earth, intercepts the sun, and occupies room" (Bengel). The verb cumbereth (καταργεῖ) means to make of no effect. So Rom 3:3, Rom 3:31; Gal 3:17. Cumbereth expresses the meaning in a very general and comprehensive way. The specific elements included in it are expressed by Bengel above. De Wette, makes the land unfruitful. See on barren and unfruitful, Pe2 1:8.
And if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that
Join afar that with bear fruit. "If it bear fruit for the future (εἰς τὸ μέλλον, Rev., thenceforth), well; but if not, thou shalt cut it down." Trench ("Parables") cites an Arabian writer's receipt for curing a palm-tree of barrenness. "Thou must take a hatchet, and go to the tree with a friend, unto whom thou sayest, 'I will cut down this tree, for it is unfruitful.' He answers, 'Do not so, this year it will certainly bear fruit.' But the other says, 'It must needs be - it must be hewn down;' and gives the stem of the tree three blows with the back of the hatchet. But the other restrains him, crying, 'Nay, do it not, thou wilt certainly have fruit from it this year, only have patience with it, and be not overhasty in cutting it down; if it still refuses to bear fruit, then cut it down.' Then will the tree that year be certainly fruitful and bear abundantly." Trench adds that this story appears to be widely spread in the East.
Thou shalt cut it down
The vine-dresser does not say, "I will cut," but refers that to the master.
Spirit of infirmity
A spirit which caused infirmity. An evil demon, see Luk 13:16, though it is not certain that it was a case of possession. The details of the disease, and the noting of the time of its continuance, are characteristic of a physician's narrative.
Bowed together (συγκύπτουσα)
Only here in New Testament.
Lift herself up (ἀνακύψαι)
Only here in New Testament, unless Joh 8:7-10 be accepted as genuine. Used by Galen of strengthening the vertebrae of the spine.
Thou art loosed (ἀπολέλυσαο)
The only passage in The New Testament where the word is used of disease. Medical writers use it of releasing from disease, relaxing tendons, and taking off bandages. (Luk 13:25). In Mat 7:13, where the image is of a gate opening into a way, πύλη, gate, is used.
She was made straight (ἀνορθώθη)
The verb occurs, Act 15:16, of setting up the tabernacle of David, and Heb 12:12, of lifting up the hands which hang down.
Compare thou art loosed, Luk 13:12.
See on Luk 2:7.
"True to its principle of contrast, this book gives Satan a prominent position" (Abbot). See Luk 4:13; Luk 10:18; Luk 22:3, Luk 22:31. See Introduction.
Rev., more correctly, were put to shame.
See on Mat 11:20.
Were done (γινομένοις)
Lit., are being done, denoting their being then in progress.
Properly, as Rev., his own (ἑαυτοῦ) where he could personally observe and tend it.
The best texts omit great.
See on Luk 9:58.
See on Mar 11:8.
See on Mat 13:33.
Used only by Luke and Paul, except Joh 18:36. Originally to contend for a prize in the public games; and thus conveying a sense of struggle. The kindred noun, ἀγωνία, agony, is used of Christ's struggle in Gethsemane (Luk 22:44). Compare Ti1 6:12; Ti2 4:7.
Strait gate (στενῆς θύρας)
Rev., narrow door. See on Mat 7:13. The door of a house, and not a gate, is meant
When once (ἀφ' ou)
Lit., from the time that. Compare Luk 13:7. Some editors connect this with the previous sentence: "Shall not be able when once," etc.
Of what family. Ye do not belong to my household. See Joh 7:27 : "We know whence he (Jesus) is;" i.e., we know his birthplace and family.
In thy presence (ἐνώπιον σοῦ)
Not as beloved and familiar guests. Compare with you (μεθ' ὑμῶν), Mat 26:29.
I know not whence
"The sentence is fixed, but it is repeated with emphasis" (Bengel).
Shall sit down (ἀνακλιθήσονται)
Sit down at table. Jesus casts his thought into a familiar Jewish image. According to the Jewish idea, one of the main elements of the happiness of the Messianic kingdom was the privilege of participating in splendid festive entertainments along with the patriarchs of the nation. With this accords Luk 13:30, in allusion to places at the banquet. Compare Luk 14:7-9; Mat 23:6.
The best texts read hour.
Will kill (θέλει ἀποκτεῖναι)
As in so many cases the A. V. renders as the future of the verb to kill; whereas there are two distinct verbs; to will or determine, and to kill. The meaning is, Herod willeth or is determined to kill thee. Rev., would fain, seems rather feeble.
Herod. Describing his cunning and cowardice.
Used by Luke only.
I shall be perfected (τελειοῦμαι)
The present tense: "the present of the certain future" (Meyer). The meaning is, I come to an end: I have done. Expositors differ greatly. Some interpret, "I end my career of healing," etc.; others, my life.
It cannot be (οὐκ ἐνδέχεται)
The verb means to accept or admit; so that the sense is, "it is not admissible that." The expression is ironical and hyperbolical, with reference to Jerusalem as having a monopoly of such martyrdoms. "It would be contrary to use and wont, and, in a manner, to theocratic decorum, if such a prophet as I should perish elsewhere than in Jerusalem" (Godet).
Would I have gathered (ἠθέλησα ἐπισυνάξαι)
Lit., "I desired to gather." See on will kill, Luk 13:31.
See on Mat 23:37.