Luke 3:7-18

Luke 3:7-18
Advent C3


John said to the crowds that came outA to be baptizedB by him, “You broodC of vipers!D

Notes on verse 7a

A “came out” = ekporeuomai. From ek (from, from out of) + poreuomai (to go, travel, journey, die; refers to transporting things from one place to another; focuses on the personal significance of the destination); {from poros (passageway)}. This is to go forth, depart from, be spoken, flow out, project. This word emphasizes the result a process or passage – how it impacts the person or thing.
B “baptized” = baptizo. From bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is to submerge, wash, or immerse. Used specially for baptism.
C “brood” = gennema. 8x in NT. From gennao (to beget, give birth to, or bring forth; properly, procreation by the father, but used of the mother by extension; figuratively, to regenerate); from genna (descent, birth); from genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is offspring, child, fruit, brood, or produce in a literal or figurative sense.
D “vipers” = echidna. 5x in NT. From echis (viper, adder). This is some kind of poisonous snake or figuratively poisonous words.

Who warnedE you to fleeF from the wrathG to come?H 

Notes on verse 7b

E “warned” = hupodeiknumi. 6x in NT. From hupo (by, under, about, under someone’s authority) + deiknumi (to show, demonstrate, teach, make known). This is to teach, indicate, suggest, prove, exhibit, to show secretly, admonish.
F “flee” = pheugo. This is to run away in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to flee, escape, shun, or vanish.
G “wrath” = orge. From orgao (something that teems or stews; anger rising from prolonged personal contact that is fixed rather than an angry outburst; anger that stems from an individual’s sense of right and wrong, justice, etc.) or from orego (to stretch out towards, yearn for, aspire to, desire). This is impulse, wrath, anger, passion, punishment. Properly, this is fixed anger from ongoing personal irritation caused by something the one getting angry sees as unjust or evil. Wrath implies punishment. Can refer to human or divine wrath.
H “to come” = 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.

BearI fruitsJ worthyK of repentance.L

Notes on verse 8a

I “bear” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
J “fruits” = 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.
K “worthy” = axios. From ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.
L “repentance” = metanoia. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect)}. This is literally to change one’s mind – to choose to think differently and so to act differently because of a moral compunction. It is an intentional change to the inner self. This word shares a root with the English “paranoia.”

Do not beginM to sayN to yourselves, ‘We have AbrahamO as our ancestor’;P

Notes on verse 8b

M “begin” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
N “say” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
O “Abraham” = Abraam. From Hebrew Abraham (exalted father); from the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (father literal or figurative) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
P “ancestor” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

for I tell you, GodQ is ableR from these stonesS to raise upT childrenU to Abraham. 

Notes on verse 8c

Q “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
R “is able” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
S “stones” = lithos. This is stone in a literal or figurative sense.
T “raise up” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
U “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.

Even now the axV is lyingW at the rootX of the trees; everyY tree therefore that does not bear goodZ fruit is cut downAA and thrownBB into the fire.”CC

Notes on verse 9

V “ax” = axine. 2x in NT. Perhaps from agnumi (to break). This is axe.
W “lying” = keimai. This is to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined. It is to lie down literally or figuratively.
X “root” = rhiza. 17x in NT. This is a root literally or figuratively so it would be the root of what comes from it – shoot, source, descendant. This is where the word “rhizome” comes from.
Y “every” = pas. This is all or every.
Z “good” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
AA “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.
BB “thrown” = ballo. This is to throw, cast, rush, place, or drop. It is throwing, but it could be with more or less velocity and with more or less force/violence.
CC “fire” = pur. This is fire, lightning, heat from the sun. Figuratively, it can refer to strife or trials.

10 And the crowds askedDD him, “What then should we do?”EE 

11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has twoFF coatsGG must shareHH with anyone who has none; and whoever has foodII must do likewise.” 

Notes on verses 10-11

DD “asked” = eperotao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + erotao (asking a question or making an earnest request; used when one anticipates special consideration for their request); {from eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of)}. This is to question, interrogate, seek, or demand. The questioner is at an advantage – in a preferred position when they make their question.
EE “do” = poieo. Same as “bear” in v8. See note I above.
FF “two” = duo. This is two or both.
GG “coats” = chiton. 11x in NT. From a Semitic language – see Hebrew kethoneth (tunic). Root means to cover. This is the garment worn beneath the cloak or robe – the one that is closest to the skin.
HH “share” = metadidomi. 5x in NT. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is to share, bestow, offer something to make a change.
II “food” = broma. 17x in NT. From bibrosko (to eat); related to bora (food); perhaps from bosko (to feed or pasture a flock; figuratively, to nourish spiritually). This is any kind of food in a literal or figurative sense.

12 Even tax collectorsJJ cameKK to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher,LL what should we do?” 

Notes on verse 12

JJ “tax collectors” = telones. From telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax; going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one). This is tax collector, one who worked for the Romans taking taxes from Jews. It also meant the toll house. Literally, this is “paying at the end.”
KK “came” = erchomai. This is to come or go.
LL “Teacher” = didaskalos. From didasko (to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge; in the New Testament, almost always used for teaching scripture); from dao (to learn). This is teacher or master.

13 He said to them, “CollectMM no moreNN than the amount prescribedOO for you.” 

14 SoldiersPP also asked him, “And we, what should we do?”

Notes on verses 13-14a

MM “collect” = prasso. This is to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit. It can also mean to accomplish, attend, or commit.
NN “more” = pleion. From polus (much, many, abundant). This is many, more, great, having a greater value, more excellent.
OO “prescribed” = diatasso. 16x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine). This is to arrange thoroughly, charge, appoint, give orders to. It is a command that is a proper order, given with the chain of command and so binding. This is from ancient military language.
PP “soldiers” = strateuo. 7x in NT. From stratos (encamped army) OR from stratia (army; used figuratively for large, organized groups like the angels and the hosts of heaven, which is to say the stars); from the same as strateuo (to wage war, fight, serve as a soldier; used figuratively for spiritual warfare); or from the base of stronnuo (to spread, to spread out like a bed). This is to fight a war, be a soldier, doing military service. It can also mean doing spiritual warfare figuratively.

He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threatsQQ or false accusation,RR and be satisfied withSS your wages.”TT

15 As the peopleUU were filled with expectation,VV and allWW

Notes on verses 14b-15a

QQ “extort money…by threats” = diaseio. 1x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + seio (to shake, vibrate; figuratively to agitate or show fear). This is literally to shake violently. Figuratively, it is to intimidate, extort, of manhandle (a shakedown).
RR “false accusation” = sukophanteo. 2x in NT– also in Luke 19:8 when Zacchaeus promises, “if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” From sukon (ripe fig) + phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to defraud or make a false accusation. Literally, it refers to a law that made exporting figs illegal. Someone who used this law to defraud someone else was a “fig informer.” It is where the word “sycophant” comes from.
SS “be satisfied with” = arkeo. 8x in NT. This is to be content or satisfied. It can also mean to ward off.
TT “wages” = opsonion. 4x in NT. From the same as opsarion (fish or little fish. It can also refer to a cooked sauce or salted fish served as a condiment); from opson (cooked food) OR from optos (roasted, cooked); {related to hepso (to steep)} + oneomai (to buy); {from onos (a price or sum)}.  This is wages, salary, expenses, or provisions. It is purchasing food – used later of stipend for soldiers to get rations. It came to mean wages or other pay and figuratively eternal reward.
UU “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
VV “filled with expectation” = prosdokao. 16x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + dokeuo (to watch). This is to await, anticipate, expect, look for.
WW “all” = pas. Same as “every” in v9. See note Y above.

were questioningXX in their heartsYY concerning John,ZZ whether he might be the Messiah,AAA 

Notes on verse 15b

XX “questioning” = dialogizomai. Related to “say” in v8. 16x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + logizmai (to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense); {from logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; here, word as an account or accounting; can also be a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); from lego (see note N above)}. This is to consider, have a back and forth debate with an uncertain conclusion. It can be multiple confused minds reinforcing a faulty conclusion.
YY “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
ZZ “John” = Ioannes. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel); {from havah (to become); from hayah (to be, exist, happen)} + chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is John, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
AAA “Messiah” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.

16 John answered all of them by saying, “IBBB baptize you with water;CCC but one who is more powerfulDDD than I is coming;

Notes on verse 16a

BBB {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
CCC “water” = hudor. Perhaps from huetos (rain); from huo (to rain). This is water literal or figurative. It is one of the roots that “hydrogen” and “hydroelectric” come from.
DDD “more powerful” = ischuros. From ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance). This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.

I am not worthyEEE to untieFFF the thongGGG of his sandals.HHH

Notes on verse 16b

EEE “worthy” = hikanos. From hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain). This is sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample.
FFF “untie” = luo. This is to loose, release, or untie. Figuratively, it can mean to break, destroy, or annul. This is releasing what had been withheld.
GGG “thong” = himas. 4x in NT. Perhaps from the same as hama (at one, together with, early). This is a thong like a part of a sandal or a strap that is part of a scourge.
HHH “sandals” = hupodema. 10x in NT. From hupodeo (to bind under wear on the feet); {from hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited)}. This is a sandal – something bound under the sole.

He will baptize you with the HolyIII SpiritJJJ and fire. 17 His winnowing forkKKK is in his hand,LLL

Notes on verses 16c-17a

III “Holy” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
JJJ “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.
KKK “winnowing fork” = ptuon. 2x in NT– both from John the Baptist’s proclamation. This is a pitchfork, winnowing shovel, or fan.
LLL “hand” = cheir. This is the hand in a literal sense. Figuratively, the hand is the means a person uses to accomplish things so it can also mean power, means, or instrument.

to clearMMM his threshing floorNNN and to gatherOOO the wheatPPP

Notes on verse 17b

MMM “clear” = diakatharizo. 2x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + katharizo (to cleanse, make clean, purify, purge, or declare to be clean; includes cleansing in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense); {from katharos (clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying)}. This is cleanse or purge thoroughly.
NNN “threshing floor” = halon. 2x in NT. From halos (threshing floor); probably from helisso (to roll up, coil, wrap). This is threshing floor as a place where grain and chaff are rolled.
OOO “gather” = sunago. Related to “worthy” in v8. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (see note K above). This is to lead together and so to assemble, bring together, welcome with hospitality, or entertain. In the sense of assembly, this is the root of the word “synagogue.”
PPP “wheat” = sitos. 15x in NT. This is used for any kind of grain that you can eat. It is usually wheat, but it can also be barley and other grains.

into his granary;QQQ but the chaffRRR he will burnSSS with unquenchableTTT fire.”

Notes on verse 17c

QQQ “granary” = apotheke. 6x in NT. From apotithemi (to put aside, put away, renounce); {from apo (from, away from) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position)} This is somewhere that things are stored like a barn or repository.
RRR “chaff” = achuron. 2x in NT. Perhaps from cheo (to shed forth). This is chaff.
SSS “burn” = katakaio. 12x in NT. From kata (down, against, among) + kaio (to burn, light, kindle). This is to burn up – entirely consume.
TTT “unquenchable” = asbestos. 4x in NT. From a (not, without) + sbestos (extinguished); {from sbennumi (to quench or extinguish in a literal or figurative sense; to suppress)}. This is not extinguished, unquenchable. It can imply continual. This is where the word “asbestos” comes from.

18 So, with manyUUU, VVV otherWWW exhortations,XXX he proclaimed the good newsYYY to the people.

Notes on verse 18

UUU “many” = polus. Related to “more” in v13. See note NN above.
VVV {untranslated} = men. Same as {untranslated} in v16. See note BBB above.
WWW “other” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
XXX “exhortations” = parakaleo. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
YYY “proclaimed the good news” = euaggelizo. Related to “worthy” in v8 & “gather” in v17. From eu (well, good, rightly) + aggelos (angel, messenger; a messenger from God bringing news – whether a prophet or an angel) {from aggellos (to bring tidings); probably from ago (see note K above)}. This is evangelize – literally to preach the good news. It can be those who hear the news, the news, or a way to say gospel.

Image credit: “Holy Spirit and Fire with Baptismal Font” from Mexicali, Mexico.

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