Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent, , at sacred-texts.com
Watched (ἧσαν παρατηρούμενοι)
The participle and finite verb, were engaged in watching. Closely (παρά). See on Mar 3:2.
Which had the dropsy (ὑδρωπικὸς)
Lit., a dropsical man. The usual way of marking a dropsical patient in medical language.
Took hold of him. Luk 20:20; Ti1 6:12.
The primary meaning is a well as distinguished from a fountain.
More correctly up (ἀνά).
Imperfect: were choosing. Something going on before his eyes.
The chief seats
Or couches. The Greek writers refer to the absurd contentions which sometimes arose for the chief seats at table. Theophrastus designates one who thrusts himself into the place next the host as μικροφιλότιμος one who seeks petty distinctions.
More properly, marriage-feast.
Emphasizing the shame of the reluctant movement toward the lower place.
Since the other, intervening places are all assigned.
Sit down (ἀνάπεσε)
Lit., lay yourself back.
See Mat 11:29.
Dinner - supper
See on Mat 22:4. Supper (δειπνον) is the principal meal at evening, and corresponding to the modern late dinner.
Call not thy friends, etc
A striking parallel occurs in Plato's "Phaedrus," 233. "And, in general, when you make a feast, invite not your friend, but the beggar and the empty soul, for they will love you, and attend you, and come about your doors, and will be the best pleased, and the most grateful, and will invoke blessings on your head."
Or reception. Used by Luke only. See on Luk 5:29.
See on Mat 5:3.
Imperfect, was making. His preparations were in progress. A definite act among these preparations is described by the aorist, he bade (ἐκάλεσεν), the technical word for inviting to a festival. See Mat 22:3; Joh 2:2.
Sent his servant
"If a sheikh, bey, or emeer invites, he always sends a servant to call you at the proper time. This servant often repeats the very formula mentioned in Luk 14:17 : Come, for the supper is ready. The fact that this custom is confined to the wealthy and to the nobility is in strict agreement with the parable, where the man who made the supper is supposed to be of this class. It is true now, as then, that to refuse is a high insult to the maker of the feast (Thomson, "Land and Book"). Palgrave mentions a similar formula of invitation among the Bedouins of Arabia. "The chief, or some un-breeched youngster of his family, comes up to us with the customary tefaddaloo, or do us the favor" ("Central and Eastern Arabia").
Make excuse (παραιτεῖσθαι)
Also rendered in New Testament refuse, Heb 12:19, Heb 12:25, where both meanings occur. See also Ti2 2:23, Rev. Our phrase, beg off, expresses the idea here.
I must needs (ἔχω ἀνάγκην)
Lit., I have necessity: a strong expression.
Go out (ἐξ) from the city.
A newly married man had special indulgence allowed him. See Deu 24:5. Herodotus relates how Croesus refused for his son an invitation to a hunt on this ground. "But Croesus answered, 'Say no more of my son going with you; that may not be in anywise. He is but just joined in wedlock, and is busy enough with that'" (i., 36). The man who had the most plausible excuse returned the surliest and most peremptory answer. Compare Co1 7:33.
Streets (πλατείας) - lanes (ῥύμας)
The former word from πλατύς, broad; the broad streets contrasted with the narrow lanes. Wyc., great streets and small streets.
As thou hast commanded
Following the reading ὡς, as. The best texts substitute ὃ, what. Render as Rev., "What thou didst command is done."
See on Mat 21:33. It may mean either a hedge, or a place enclosed with a hedge. Here the hedges beside which vagrants rest.
Compare constrained, Mat 14:22; Act 26:11; Gal 6:12. Not to use force, but to constrain them against the reluctance which such poor creatures would feel at accepting the invitation of a great lord.
May be filled (γεμισθῇ)
A very strong word; properly of loading a ship. "Nature and grace alike abhor a vacuum" (Bengel).
More correctly, his own. An important charge. All must bear the cross, but not all the same cross: each one his own.
The subject of the parable is the life of Christian discipleship, which is figured by a tower, a lofty structure, as something distinguished from the world and attracting attention.
Only here and Rev 13:18. From ψῆφος, a pebble (see Rev 2:17), used as a counter. Thus Herodotus says that the Egyptians, when they calculate (λογιζονται ψήφοις, reckon with pebbles), move their hand from right to left (ii., 36). So Aristophanes, "Reckon roughly, not with pebbles (ψήφοις), but on the hand" ("Wasps," 656). Similarly calculate, from Latin calculus, a pebble. Used also of voting. Thus Herodotus: "The Greeks met at the altar of Neptune, and took the ballots (τὰς ψήφοις) wherewith they were to give their votes." Plato: "And you, would you vote (ἂν ψῆφον θεῖο, cast your pebble) with me or against me ?" ("Protagoras," 330). See Act 26:10.
Cost (τὴν δαπάνην)
Allied to δάπτω, to devour. Hence expense, as something which eats up resources.
Sufficient (εἰς ἀπαρτισμόν)
Lit., unto completion. The kindred verb ἀπαρτίζω, not used in New Testament, means to make even or square, and hence to complete.
To finish (ἐκτελέσαι)
Lit., "to finish out" (ἐκ).
Attentively watching the progress of the building. See on Luk 10:18.
Begin to mock
As his resources come to an end.
This man (οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος)
With sarcastic emphasis.
Was not able (οὐκ ἴσχυσεν)
From ἰσχύς, strength. See on power, Pe2 2:11. To be strong in body or in resources, and so to be worth, as Lat., valere. "This man was not worth enough, or was not good for the completion." In this latter sense, Mat 5:13, "good for nothing."
To make war against another king (ἑτέρῳ βασιλεῖ συμβαλεῖν εἰς πόλεμον)
Lit., to come together with another king Jer war. So Rev., to encounter another king in war.
"Out he flashed,
And into such a song, such fire for fame,
Such trumpet-blowings in it, coming down
To such a stern and iron-clashing close,
That when he stopped we longed to hurl together."
Tennyson, Idyls of the King.
With ten thousand (ἐν δέκα χιλιάσιν)
Lit., in ten thousands: i.e., in the midst of; surrounded by. Compare Jde 1:14.
On a footing of equality: king treating with king. See on Luk 11:9.
Conditions of peace (τὰ πρὸς εἰρήνην)
Lit., this looking toward peace: preliminaries. Compare Rom 14:19, things which make for peace (τὰ τῆς εἰρήνης, the things of peace).
Bids good-by to. Rev., renounceth. See on Luk 9:61. "In that forsaketh lies the key to the whole passage" (Trench). Christian discipleship is founded in self-renunciation.
Have lost its savor
See on Mat 5:13.
Shall it be seasoned
See on Mar 9:50.