Luke 13:1-9

Luke 13:1-9
Lent C17


At that very timeA there were some present who toldB him about the GalileansC

Notes on verse 1a

A “time” = kairos. This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.
B “told” = apaggello. From apo (from, away from) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive)}. This is to report, declare, bring word. It is an announcement that emphasizes the source.
C “Galileans” = Galilaios. 11x in NT. From galilaia (Galilee, the region and the sea); from Hebrew galil (cylinder, circuit, district); from galal (to roll in a literal or figurative sense, roll away, roll down, wallow, remove, trust). This is Galilean.

whose bloodD PilateE had mingled with their sacrifices.F 

Notes on verse 1b

D “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).
E “Pilate” = Pilatos. From Latin Pilatus (may mean one who has skill with a javelin); perhaps from pilum (javelin) OR perhaps from pileus (a soft cap made of felt that was brimless and was associated with people who were freedmen). This is Pilate. See
F “sacrifices” = thusia. From thuo (to breathe violently, seethe, rage; properly, to rush as breathing heavy; so smoke as in offering an animal sacrifice by fire; by extension, killing or slaying in general). This is a sacrifice or offering. It can refer to the act of sacrifice or the thig being sacrificed. Also, this is sacrifice in a literal or figurative sense.

He asked them, “Do you thinkG that because these Galileans sufferedH in this way they wereI worse sinnersJ than all other Galileans? 

Notes on verse 2

G “think” = dokeo. From dokos (opinion). This is to have an opinion, seem, appear, think, suppose. It deals with a personal judgment. This is the root of the word “doxology.”
H “suffered” = pascho. Akin to penthos (mourning, sorrow). This is to be acted on for good or ill. It is often used for negative treatment. Properly, it means feeling strong emotions – especially suffering. It can also be the ability to feel suffering.
I “were” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
J “sinners” = hamartolos. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. This is sinning, sinful, sinner. It referred to missing the mark or falling short. The term was also used in archery for missing the target.

No, I tell you; but unless you repent,K you will all perishL as they did.M 

Notes on verse 3

K “repent” = metanoeo. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect)}. This is to change how one thinks, to reconsider, to repent. It refers to a change of thinking, which means a change of purpose and behavior.
L “perish” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.
M “as they did” = homoios. From the same as homou (together); from homos (the same). This is similar to, resembling, like.

Or those eighteen who were killedN when the towerO of SiloamP fell on them—

Notes on verse 4a

N “killed” = apokteino. From apo (from, away from) + kteino (to kill). To put to death, kill, slay. Figuratively, this word can mean abolish, destroy, or extinguish.
O “tower” = purgos. 4x in NT. This is a tower or other kind of structure that is fortified.
P “Siloam” = Siloam. 3x in NT – tower of Siloam in Luke 13:4 and the pool of Siloam in John 9:7, 11. From Hebrew shelach (Shiloah or Siloah, reservoir in Jerusalem); from shalach (to send, send for, forsake, give a slave freedom). This is Siloam, meaning “sent,” a pool in Jerusalem.

do you think that they were worse offendersQ than all the othersR livingS in Jerusalem?T No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”U

Notes on verses 4b-5

Q “offenders” = opheiletes. 7x in NT. From opheilo (to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet; perhaps from the legal world, but then adopted in reference to morality; used to refer to humanity’s ethical responsibility); probably from ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is one who owes so it is a debtor or someone under obligation. Figuratively, it is a culprit, delinquent, or a sinner.
R “others” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face). This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
S “living” = katoikeo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home);{from oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple)}. This is to live or settle on a permanent basis.
T “Jerusalem” = Ierousalem. From Hebrew yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.
U “just as they did” = hosautos. This verse is identical to verse 3 except for this word. 17x in NT. In the same way, likewise.

Then he told this parable:V “A man had a fig tree plantedW in his vineyard;X

Notes on verse 6a

V “parable” = parabole. From paraballo (literally to throw beside, compare, arrive, liken); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a parable, comparison, adage. Quite often a tale told or a metaphor to establish a point, but it could be a true story.
W “planted” = phuteuo. 11x in NT. From phuton (a plant) OR from the base of phuo (to grow, produce, spring up; perhaps from the sense of puff or blow – to swell up; hence, to germinate; to grow literally or figuratively). This is plant or implant. Figuratively, this word is used for Christian teaching.
X “vineyard” = ampelon. From ampelos (vine or grapevine as that which coils around); perhaps from the base of amphoteros (both, all); {from amphi (around) + halon (the threshing floor where grain is rolled to separate from the chaff); {from halos (threshing floor); probably from helisso (to roll up, coil, wrap)}}. This is vineyard. Figuratively, it can be the religious life of the people of Israel or the body of Christ.

and he came looking forY fruitZ on it and foundAA none. 

Notes on verse 6b

Y “looking for” = zeteo. This is to seek, search for, desire. It is searching for something by inquiring or investigation. It can be seek in a literal or figurative sense. There is a Hebrew figure of speech “to seek God’s face” so it can also mean to worship God. Alternately, you could seek someone’s life i.e. plot to kill them.
Z “fruit” = karpos. Perhaps from harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take). This is a fruit or vegetable, through sometimes it refers to an animal. Figuratively, it is deeds, results, profits, or gain.
AA “found” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.

So he said to the gardener,BB ‘See here!CC For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down!DD Why should it be wastingEE the soil?’FF 

Notes on verse 7

BB “gardener” = ampelourgos. Related to “vineyard” in v6. 1x in NT. From ampelos (see note X above) + ergon (word, task, action, employment); {from ergo (to work, accomplish) or from erdo (to do)}. This is a vine-worker or gardener.
CC “see here” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
DD “cut…down” = ekkopto. 10x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is to cut off, down, out, or away. It can also mean to remove, prevent, hinder, or frustrate.
EE “wasting” = katargeo. Related to “gardener” in v7. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + argeo (to delay, linger, be at rest, be idle, do nothing); {from argos (inactive, idle, lazy, thoughtless, useless, unemployed, unprofitable) {from a (not) + ergon (see note BB above)}}. This is making something inactive or bringing it to nothing. So, it could mean making something inoperative or powerless, annulling, or severing. It can also mean to make something ineffective or invalid.
FF “soil” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

He replied, ‘Sir,GG let it aloneHH for one more year, until I digII around it and putJJ manureKK on it. 

Notes on verse 8

GG “sir” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
HH “let…alone” = aphiemi. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.
II “dig” = skapto. 3x in NT. This is to dig or excavate.
JJ “put” = ballo. Related to “parable” in v6. See note V above.
KK “manure” = kopria. Perhaps related to “cut…down” in v7. 2x in NT. From kopros (dung); perhaps akin to kopto (see note DD above). This is manure or a pile of manure.

IfLL it bearsMM fruit next year, well and good;NN but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Notes on verse 9

LL {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
MM “bears” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
NN “well and good” = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.

Image credit: “Purple-crested Turaco in a Sycamore Fig” at Kruger National Park in South Africa by Masteraah, 2007.

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