Luke 21
Vincent's Word Studies
And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.

See on Mark 12:41.


Standing last and emphatically in the sentence," Saw them that were casting, etc. - rich men." Not the rich only were casting in. Compare Mark 12:41.

And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.

See on Matthew 5:3.


See on Mark 12:42.

And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
This poor widow

See on Mark 12:43.

For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.
Offerings of God

The best texts omit of God. Rev., more simply, unto the gifts.

Penury (ὑστερήματος)

Lit., lack. Rev., neatly, of her want.

And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,

See on Mark 13:1.

Offerings (ἀναθήμασιν)

Only here in New Testament. From ἀνατίθημι, to set up. Hence of something set up in the temple as a votive offering. Such were the golden vines presented by Herod the Great, with bunches of grapes as large as a man, and mounted above the entrance to the holy place. The magnificent porch of the temple was adorned with many such dedicated gifts, such as a golden wreath which Sosius offered after he had taken Jerusalem in conjunction with Herod; and rich flagons which Augustus and his wife had given to the sanctuary. Gifts were bestowed by princes friendly to Israel, both on the temple and on provincial synagogues. The word ἀνάθεμθ (Galatians 1:8, Rev.), is the same word, something devoted, and so devoted to evil and accursed. Luke uses the classical form. The other is the common or Hellenistic form. The two forms develop gradually a divergence in meaning; the one signifying devoted in a good, the other in a bad sense. The same process may be observed in other languages. Thus knave, lad, becomes a rascal: villain, a farmer, becomes a scoundrel: cunning, skilful, becomes crafty.

As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
Behold (θεωρεῖτε)

See on Luke 10:18.

Thrown down

See on Mark 13:2.

And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Rev., rightly, led astray. See on Matthew 24:4.

In my name

See on Matthew 18:5.

But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
Commotions (ἀκαταστασίας)

From ἀ, not, and καθίστημι, to establish. Hence disestablishments; unsettlements. Rev., tumults.

Be not terrified (μὴ πτοηθῆτε)

Only here and Luke 24:37.

By and by (εὐθέως)

Better as Rev., immediately.

Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

See on Mark 13:7.

Famines and pestilences (λιμοὶ καὶ λοιμοὶ)

Some texts reverse the order of the words. A paronomasia or combination of like-sounding words: limoi, loimoi. Especially common in Paul's epistles.

Fearful sights (φοβητρά)

Only here in New Testament, and rare in classical Greek. In Septuagint, Isaiah 19:17. Not confined to sights, but fearful things. Rev., better, terrors. Used in medical language by Hippocrates, of fearful objects imagined by the sick.

But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
It shall turn (ἀποβήσεται)

Lit., turn out; issue.

Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
To answer

See on answer, 1 Peter 3:15.

For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
In your patience possess ye your souls.
Possess ye (κτήσεσθε)

Wrong. See on Luke 18:12. Rev. rightly, ye shall win.

And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
Vengeance (ἐκδικήσεως)

Of rendering full justice, or satisfaction. See on avenge, Luke 18:3.

But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
Distress (ἀνάγκη)

Originally constraint, necessity; thence force or violence, and in the classical poets, distress, anguish.

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Edge (στόματι)

Lit., the mouth. So Wyc. Either in the sense of the foremost part, or picturing the sword as a devouring monster. In Hebrews 11:33, Hebrews 11:34, the word is used in both senses: "the mouths of lions;" "the edge of the sword."

Led away captive

See on captives, Luke 4:18.

Trodden down

Denoting the oppression and contempt which shall follow conquest.

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Signs (σημεῖα)

See on Matthew 24:24.

Distress (συνοχὴ)

Only here and 2 Corinthians 2:4. Kindred with συνεχομένη, taken (Luke 4:38), on which see note. The original idea of the word is being held in a tight grasp.

With perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring

The A. V. follows the reading ἠχούσης, the participle, roaring. The proper reading is ἠχοῦς the noun, the roaring. Render perplexity for the roaring of the sea, etc. Ἠχώ, roaring, is properly a returned sound, an echo. Generally a ringing sound, as of the blows on an anvil.

Waves (σάλου)

Only here in New Testament. The radical notion of the word is unsteady motion, especially the rolling swell of the sea. Rev., better, billows.

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Failing (ἀποψυχόντων)

Only here in New Testament. The word originally means to leave off breathing; to swoon. Thus Homer, when Laertes recognizes Ulysses:

"He threw

Round his dear son his arms. The hardy chief,

Ulysses, drew him fainting (ἀποψύχοντα) to his heart."

Odyssey, xxiv., 846.

So also Sophocles, of Hector dragged behind Achilles' chariot:

"He breathed out his life (ἀπέψυξεν βίον).

Ajax, 1031.

Matthew alone uses the simple verb, ψύχω, to breathe or blow. See on wax cold, Matthew 24:12. Luke uses four compounds of this simple verb, all of which are peculiar to him. Compare cool, Luke 16:24; refreshing, Acts 3:19; gave up the ghost, Acts 5:5, Acts 5:10.

Expectation (προσδοκίας)

Only here and Acts 12:11.

The world

See on Luke 2:1.

Shall be shaken (σαλευθήσονται)

Compare Matthew 11:7; Luke 6:38; Acts 4:31; Hebrews 12:26, Hebrews 12:27. The root of the verb is the same as that of billows, Luke 21:25.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Look up

See on Luke 13:11. Graphic, as implying being previously bowed down with sorrow.

Redemption (ἀπολύτρωσις)

See on lettest depart, Luke 2:29.

And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

See on Matthew 24:32.

When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
Ye see (βλέποντες)

Lit., "looking, ye know," etc. Implying careful observation, with a view to determine the progress of the season.

Know (γινώσκετε)

Perceive would be better.

So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Come to pass (γινόμενα)

The present participle. Rev., more correctly, "coming to pass'" in process of fulfilment. Compare Mark 13:29.

Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Overcharged (βαρηζῶσιν)

Weighed down. Compare Luke 9:32; 2 Corinthians 5:4.

Surfeiting (κραιπάλῃ)

Only here in New Testament. Derivation uncertain: akin to the Latin crapula, intoxication. Trench finds an equivalent in fulsomeness, in its original sense of fulness. In the medical writings it is used of drunken nausea or headache.

Drunkenness (μέθῃ)

Compare are well drunk, John 2:10. This and kindred words in the New Testament always refer to intoxication, or that which intoxicates. See note on John 2:10.

Cares (μερίμναις)

See on Matthew 6:25.

Of this life (βιωτικαῖς)

The rendering is too general; though it might be difficult to give a better. Βίος, life, means life considered either as to its duration (1 Peter 4:3); the means of support (Mark 12:44; Luke 8:43; Luke 21:4; 1 John 3:17); or the manner of leading it (1 Timothy 2:2). The meaning here is pertaining to the support or luxury of life; and so in the only other passages where it occurs, 1 Corinthians 6:3, 1 Corinthians 6:4. The parallel is Matthew 6:31. Wyc., business of this life.

Suddenly (αἰφνίδιος)

Only here and 1 Thessalonians 5:3.

For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
As a snare

Join with the previous sentence: "come suddenly as a snare." Compare entangle, Matthew 22:15.

Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

See on Mark 13:33.

And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
Abode (ηὐλίζετο)

Only here and Matthew 21:17.

And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.
Came early in the morning (ὤρθριζεν)

Only here in New Testament.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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