Luke 3:1-22

Luke 3:1-22
Narrative Lectionary 321


In the fifteenth year of the reignI of EmperorII Tiberius,III

Notes on verse 1a

I “reign” = hegemonia. 1x in NT. From hegemon (a leader in general, but also specifically a governor or commander); from hegeaomai (to think, suppose, have an opinion; to lead the way, what comes in front or first, initial thought, high esteem or authority; one who commands in an official capacity); from ago (lead, bring, carry, drive, go). This is rule, sovereignty, authority, or government. It is where the word “hegemony” comes from.
II “Emperor” = Kaisar. From Latin (Caesar); perhaps from Punic caesai (elephant) OR from Latin a cesiis oculis (because of the blue eyes) OR from Latin a caesarie (because of the hair) OR from Latin a caeso matris utero (born by Caesarean section) OR from Latin caedo (to cut). This is Caesar, at first a last name, then taken as a title by Roman emperors. See
III “Tiberius” = Tiberios. 1x in NT. From Latin Tiberius (related to the Tiber); from Tiberis (the Tiber River); perhaps from Celtic dubros (water) OR from Proto-Indo-European the- (to flow or melt). This is Tiberius. See

when PontiusIV PilateV was governorVI of Judea,VII

Notes on verse 1b

IV “Pontius” = Pontios. 3x in NT. From Latin Pontius (Pontius, a name); from Oscan pontus or pmptus (given names Pontus or Pomptus); {from Proto-Italic kenke (give)} OR from Latin pons (bridge); {from Proto-Indo-European pontehs (path, road); from pent (path)}. This is Pontius, perhaps meaning “bridged.” See
V “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
VI “was governor” = hegemoneuo. Related to “reign” in v1. 2x in NT. From hegemon (see note I above). This is to govern or be ruler.
VII “Judea” = Ioudaia. From Hebrew Yehudah (Judah, son of Jacob, his tribal descendants, a name for the southern kingdom. Literally, it means praised); probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judea, which was a Roman province.

and HerodVIII was rulerIX of Galilee,X and his brotherXI PhilipXII

Notes on verse 1c

VIII “Herod” = Herodes. Perhaps from heros (hero, warrior) + oide (song, ode, legend, tale); {from aoide (song, ode, legend, tale); {from aeido (to sing) + e (this is added to verbs to make them nouns)}} OR from hera (Hera) + oide (same as above). This is Herod, perhaps “hero’s song,” “Hera’s song,” or “heroic.” See
IX “was ruler” = tetrarcheo. 3x in NT – all in this verse. From tetraarcheo (to be tetrarch); from tetraarches (tetrarch; governor with power over a fourth of an area); {from tessares (four; figuratively, total coverage) + archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power)}. This is to rule a territory as its tetrarch.
X “Galilee” = Galilaia. 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 Galilee, meaning perhaps region or cylinder.
XI “brother” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
XII “Philip” = Philippos. From philos (dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person) + hippos (horse). This is Philip, meaning one who loves horses or is fond of horses.

ruler of the regionXIII of IturaeaXIV and Trachonitis,XV and LysaniasXVI ruler of Abilene,XVII 

Notes on verse 1d

XIII “region” = chora. From chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is space, land, region, fields, open area – the countryside in contrast to the town.
XIV “Iturea” = Itouraios. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Yetur (Jetur, Yetur; one of Ishmael’s sons, his lineage, or their lands; “encircled” or “enclosed”); from the same as tur (something arranged in a row, i.e. a wall). This is Iturea, east of the Sea of Galilee. It may mean border, or “land of the encampments.” See
XV “Trachonitis” = Trachonitis. 1x in NT. From trachus (rough, uneven, rocky); perhaps from rhegnumi (to break, burst, wreak, crack, break apart). This is Trachonitis, south of Damascus. It means “rough district.”
XVI “Lysanias” = Lusanias. 1x in NT. From luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld) + ania (trouble). This is Lysanias, a tetrarch of Abilene. His name means “ending sorrow” or “grief-dispelling.”
XVII “Abilene” = Abilene. 1x in NT. Perhaps from abel (stream); from abel (to flow like a river) OR from balal (to mix as flour with oil) OR from yabal (to flow on a course like a conduit or in a river). This is Abilene, northwest of Damascus in the mountains in Syria. It may mean “land of streams,” “any wind can blow them,” or “grassy place.” See

during the high priesthoodXVIII of AnnasXIX and Caiaphas,XX

Notes on verse 2a

XVIII “high priesthood” = archiereus. Related to “was ruler” in v1. From archo (see note IX above) + hiereus (a priest literal or figurative – of any faith); {from hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to God or a god)} This is a high or chief priest.
XIX “Annas” = Hannas. 4x in NT. From Hebrew chananyah (Hannaniah; “the Lord has been gracious” or “the Lord has favored); {from chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status) Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); from havah (to become) or hayah (to be, become, happen)}}. This is Annas, meaning “the Lord has been gracious.”
XX “Caiaphas” = Kaiaphas. 9x in NT. From Aramaic (as beautiful) OR from kefa (rock, stone) OR from Akkadian kaypha (dell, depression). This is Caiaphas. See

the wordXXI of GodXXII cameXXIII to JohnXXIV son of ZechariahXXV in the wilderness.XXVI 

Notes on verse 2b

XXI “word” = rhema. From rheo (to speak, command, make, say, speak of); from ereo (to all, say, speak of, tell; denotes ongoing speech). This is word, which implies a matter or thing spoken, a command, report, promise, thing, or business. Often used for narration, commands, or disputes.
XXII “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
XXIII “came” = 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.
XXIV “John” = Ioannes. Related to “Annas” in v2. From Hebrew yochanan (Johanan); from Yehochanan (“the Lord has been gracious”); {from YHVH (see note XIX above) + 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.”
XXV “Zechariah” = Zacharias. Related to “Annas” and “John” in v2. 11x in NT. From Hebrew Zekaryah (Zechariah, “the Lord has remembered”); {from zakar (to remember, to mark something so that it can be recalled, to be mindful of, to mention) + Yah (see note XIX above)}. This is Zacharias or Zechariah, meaning “the Lord has remembered.”
XXVI “wilderness” = eremos. Properly, a place that is not settled or farmed, not populated. It could be a deserted area or a desert place. It could be seen as secluded, solitary, or lonesome. Any kind of vegetation is sparse, but so are people generally.

He went into all the region aroundXXVII the Jordan,XXVIII proclaimingXXIX a baptismXXX

Notes on verse 3a

XXVII “region around” = perichora. Related to “region” in v1. 9x in NT. From peri (all-around, encompassing, excess) + chora (see note XIII above). This is neighboring, surrounding region, circum-adjacent.
XXVIII “Jordan” = Iordanes. 15x in NT. From Hebrew yarden (Jordan river, meaning “descending”); from yarad (to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense; going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy). This is the Jordan River, meaning “descending.”
XXIX “proclaiming” = kerusso. This is to proclaim, preach, publish. Properly, it is to act as a herald – announcing something publicly with confidence and/or to persuade.
XXX “baptism” = baptisma. From baptizo (to submerge, wash, or immerse; used specially for baptism); from bapto (to dip or dye; to entirely cover with liquid, to stain). This is dipping or sinking. Also, the rite of baptism.

of repentanceXXXI for the forgivenessXXXII of sins,XXXIII 

Notes on verse 3b

XXXI “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.”
XXXII “forgiveness” = aphesis. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to sent away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go)}. This is sending away – a release or letting go. So, it can be releasing someone from debt, slavery, or some other obligation – thus, freedom or liberty. Figuratively it can mean to pardon as releasing from the debt of sin.
XXXIII “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.

as it is written in the bookXXXIV of the wordsXXXV of the prophetXXXVI Isaiah,XXXVII

Notes on verse 4a

XXXIV “book” = biblos. 10x in NT– 5x in reference to books of the Bible, 3x of the book of life, 1x of genealogical account of Jesus, 1x of books of magic. Perhaps from bublos (papyrus); from Phoenician Byblos (a Phoenician city that exported papyrus for writing); {from gb (well, origin) + I (God)}; from Proto-Canaanite g-b-l (Gubla – maybe meaning to border). This is the inside bark of papyrus so it could refer to anything that was written on – a scroll, book, record, roll. It could also have an association with the sacred. See
XXXV “words” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.
XXXVI “prophet” = prophetes. From pro (before, in front of, earlier than) + phemi (to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear)}. This is a prophet or poet – one who speaks with inspiration from God.
XXXVII “Isaiah” = Esaias. Related to “Annas” and “John” and “Zechariah” in v2. From Hebrew Yeshayahu (Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord”); {from yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe; to free someone) + Yah (see note XIX above)}. This is Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord.”

“The voiceXXXVIII of one crying outXXXIX in the wilderness:
‘PrepareXL the wayXLI of the Lord,XLII

Notes on verse 4b

XXXVIII “voice” = phone. Related to “prophet” in v4. Probably from phemi (see note XXXVI above); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (see note XXXVI above). This is a voice, sound, tone or noise. It can also be a language or dialect.
XXXIX “crying out” = boao. 12x in NT. From boe (a cry or shout). This is cry out, make a distress call, ask for desperately need assistance.
XL “prepare” = hetoimazo. From hetoimos (make ready, be ready because of being prepared, standing by, adjusted; ready to meet some opportunity or challenge). This is to prepare or provide.
XLI “way” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.
XLII “Lord” = 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.

    makeXLIII his pathsXLIV straight.XLV

Notes on verse 4c

XLIII “make” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
XLIV “paths” = tribos. 3x in NT – all in the proclamation of John the Baptist in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. From tribo (to rub or thresh). This is a rut or path that is made from regular use – a road or highway.
XLV “straight” = euthus. 8x in NT. Perhaps from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + tithemi (to place, lay, set, establish). This is immediately, upright, straight and not crooked.

Every valleyXLVI shall be filled,XLVII
    and every mountain and hill shall be made low,XLVIII
and the crookedXLIX shall be made straight,
    and the roughL ways made smooth;LI

Notes on verse 5

XLVI “valley” = pharagx. Perhaps related to “Trachonitis” in v1. 1x in NT. Perhaps from peran (over, beyond, across); {akin to pera (on the far side); perhaps from periro (to pierce)} OR rhegnumi (see note XV above). This is valley, ravine, gap, or winter-torrent.
XLVII “be filled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.
XLVIII “made low” = tapeinoo. 14x in NT. From tapeinos (low in position, depressed, low in circumstance; fig humiliated, low in spirit). This is bringing someone or something low. Figuratively to humble or humiliate – to depress or abase.
XLIX “crooked” = skolios. 4x in NT. Perhaps from skelos (the leg); perhaps from skello (to parch). This is crooked, curved, bent, or winding It is bent because it is parched like wood. Used figuratively for morally twisted or perverse. It is something that does not meet God’s standards. Related to the root for “skeleton” and “scoliosis.”
L “rough” = trachus. Related to “Trachonitis” in v1 & “valley” in v5. 2x in NT. See note XV above.
LI “smooth” = leios. 1x in NT. This is smooth or level.

and all fleshLII shall seeLIII the salvationLIV of God.’”

Notes on verse 6

LII “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
LIII “see” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
LIV “salvation” = soterios. 5x in NT. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo (to save, heal, preserve, or rescue; taking someone from danger to safety; delivering or protecting literally or figuratively); from sos (safe, rescued, well). This is salvation, defender, something or someone saving.

John said to the crowds that came outLV to be baptizedLVI by him, “You broodLVII of vipers!LVIII

Notes on verse 7a

LV “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.
LVI “baptized” = baptizo. Related to “baptism” in v3. See note XXX above.
LVII “brood” = gennema. Related to “came” in v2. 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 (see note XXIII above). This is offspring, child, fruit, brood, or produce in a literal or figurative sense.
LVIII “vipers” = echidna. 5x in NT. From echis (viper, adder). This is some kind of poisonous snake or figuratively poisonous words.

Who warnedLIX you to fleeLX from the wrathLXI to come?LXII 

Notes on verse 7b

LIX “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.
LX “flee” = pheugo. This is to run away in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to flee, escape, shun, or vanish.
LXI “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.
LXII “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.

BearLXIII fruitsLXIV worthyLXV of repentance.

Notes on verse 8a

LXIII “bear” = poieo. Same as “make” in v4. See note XLIII above.
LXIV “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.
LXV “worthy” = axios. Related to “reign” and “was governor” in v1. From ago (see note I above). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.

Do not beginLXVI to sayLXVII to yourselves, ‘We have AbrahamLXVIII as our ancestor’;LXIX

Notes on verse 8b

LXVI “begin” = archomai. Related to “was ruler” in v1 & “high priesthood” in v2. From archo (see note IX above). This is to begin or rule.
LXVII “say” = lego. Related to “words” in v4. See note XXXV above.
LXVIII “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.
LXIX “ancestor” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

for I tell you, God is ableLXX from these stones to raise upLXXI childrenLXXII to Abraham. 

Notes on verse 8c

LXX “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.
LXXI “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.
LXXII “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.

Even now the ax is lyingLXXIII at the rootLXXIV of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear goodLXXV fruit is cut downLXXVI and thrownLXXVII into the fire.”LXXVIII

Notes on verse 9

LXXIII “lying” = keimai. This is to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined. It is to lie down literally or figuratively.
LXXIV “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.
LXXV “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.
LXXVI “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.
LXXVII “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.
LXXVIII “fire” = pur. This is fire, lightning, heat from the sun. Figuratively, it can refer to strife or trials.

10 And the crowds askedLXXIX him, “What then should we do?”LXXX 

11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coatsLXXXI must shareLXXXII with anyone who has none; and whoever has foodLXXXIII must do likewise.” 

Notes on verses 10-11

LXXIX “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.
LXXX “do” = poieo. Same as “make” in v4. See note XLIII above.
LXXXI “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.
LXXXII “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.
LXXXIII “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 collectorsLXXXIV came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher,LXXXV what should we do?” 

13 He said to them, “CollectLXXXVI no more than the amount prescribedLXXXVII for you.” 

Notes on verses 12-13

LXXXIV “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.”
LXXXV “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.
LXXXVI “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.
LXXXVII “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.

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

He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threatsLXXXIX or false accusation,XC and be satisfied withXCI your wages.”XCII

Notes on verse 14

LXXXVIII “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.
LXXXIX “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).
XC “false accusation” = sukophanteo. Related to “prophet” and “voice” in v4. 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 (see note XXXVI above). 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.
XCI “be satisfied with” = arkeo. 8x in NT. This is to be content or satisfied. It can also mean to ward off.
XCII “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)}. 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.

15 As the peopleXCIII were filled with expectation,XCIV and all were questioningXCV in their heartsXCVI concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,XCVII 

Notes on verse 15

XCIII “people” = laos. This is the people or crowd – often used for the chosen people. This is where the word “laity” comes from.
XCIV “filled with expectation” = prosdokao. 16x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + dokeuo (to watch). This is to await, anticipate, expect, look for.
XCV “questioning” = dialogizomai. Related to “words” in v4 & “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 (see note XXXV 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.
XCVI “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.
XCVII “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, “IXCVIII baptize you with water; but one who is more powerfulXCIX than I is coming; I am not worthyC

Notes on verse 16a

XCVIII {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
XCIX “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.
C “worthy” = hikanos. From hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain). This is sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample.

to untieCI the thongCII of his sandals.CIII He will baptize you with the HolyCIV SpiritCV and fire. 

Notes on verse 16b

CI “untie” = luo. Related to “Lysanias” in v1. See note XVI above.
CII “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.
CIII “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.
CIV “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.
CV “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.

17 His winnowing fork is in his hand,CVI to clearCVII his threshing floorCVIII and to gatherCIX the wheatCX into his granary;CXI

Notes on verse 17a

CVI “hand” = cheir. Related to “region” in v1 & “region around” in v3. Perhaps from cheimon (winter, storm – winter as the rainy season); from cheo (to pour); related to chasma (see note XIII above). 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.
CVII “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.
CVIII “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.
CIX “gather” = sunago. Related to “reign” and “was governor” in v1 & “worthy” in v8. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (see note I 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.”
CX “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.
CXI “granary” = apotheke. Related to “straight” in v4. 6x in NT.  From apotithemi (to put aside, put away, renounce); {from apo (from, away from) + tithemi (see note XLV above)}. This is storehouse, granary, or barn – somewhere that things are stored.

but the chaffCXII he will burnCXIII with unquenchableCXIV fire.”

Notes on verse 17b

CXII “chaff” = achuron. 2x in NT. Perhaps from cheo (to shed forth). This is chaff.
CXIII “burn” = katakaio. From kata (down, against, among) + kaio (to burn, light, kindle). This is to burn up – entirely consume.
CXIV “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,CXV with many otherCXVI exhortations,CXVII he proclaimed the good newsCXVIII to the people. 

Notes on verse 18

CXV {untranslated} = men. Same as {untranslated} in v16. See note XCVIII above.
CXVI “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.
CXVII “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.
CXVIII “proclaimed the good news” = euaggelizo. Related to “reign” and “was governor” in v1 & “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 I 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.

19 But Herod the ruler,CXIX who had been rebukedCXX by him because of Herodias,CXXI his brother’s wife,CXXII and because of all the evil thingsCXXIII that Herod had done, 

Notes on verse 19

CXIX “ruler” = tetrarches. Related to “was ruler” in v1 & “high priesthood” in v2. 4x in NT. See note IX above.
CXX “rebuked” = elegcho. 17x in NT. This is to expose, reprove, discipline, convict, or rebuke. It is using convincing evidence to expose a wrong.
CXXI “Herodias” = Herodias. Related to “Herod” in v1. 6x in NT. From Herodes (see note VIII above). This is Herodias, perhaps meaning “hero’s song” or “heroic.” She was Herod the Great’s granddaughter.
CXXII “wife” = gune. Related to “came” in v2 & “brood” in v7. Perhaps from ginomai (see note XXIII above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
CXXIII “evil things” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.

20 addedCXXIV to them all by shutting upCXXV John in prison.CXXVI

Notes on verse 20

CXXIV “added” = prostithemi. Related to “straight” in v4 & “granary” in v17. 18x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + tithemi (see note XLV above). This is to add, place to, bring together for a reason, or add up.
CXXV “shutting up” = katakleio. 2x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + kleio (to close, lock, shut). This is to confine, lock, incarcerate.
CXXVI “prison” = phulake. From phulasso (to guard something so that it doesn’t escape – to watch over it vigilantly; being on guard in a literal or figurative sense); related to phulaks (military guard, sentry, watcher). This is the act of guarding, the person who guards, the place where guarding occurs (i.e. a prison), or the times of guarding (the various watches).

21 Now whenCXXVII allCXXVIII the people were baptized, and when JesusCXXIX also had been baptized and was praying,CXXX the heavenCXXXI was opened, 

Notes on verse 21

CXXVII “when” = ginomai. Same as “came” in v2. See note XXIII above.
CXXVIII “all” = hapas. From hama (at once, together with) +pas (all, every, every kind of) OR from a (with) + pas (see above). This is all; every part working together as a unit.
CXXIX “Jesus” = Iesous. Related to “Annas” and “John” and “Zechariah” in v2 & “Isaiah” in v4. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (see note XIX above) + yasha (see note XXXVII above)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.
CXXX “praying” = proseuchomai. From pros (advantageous for, at, toward) + euchomai (to wish, make a request, pray). This is to pray or pray for, to worship or supplicate. It is more literally exchanging one’s own wishes for God’s.
CXXXI “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.

22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodilyCXXXII formCXXXIII like a dove.CXXXIV And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;CXXXV with you I am well pleased.”CXXXVI

Notes on verse 22

CXXXII “bodily” = somatikos. Perhaps related to “salvation” in v6. 2x in NT. From soma (body or flesh in a literal or figurative sense, as the body of Christ); perhaps from sozo (see note LIV above). This is physical or bodily.
CXXXIII “form” = eidos. 5x in NT– including “Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove” in Luke 3:22, at the Transfiguration, “the appearance of his face changed” in Luke 9:29; also “we walk by faith, not by sight” in 2 Corinthians 5:7. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is form, shape, sight, appearance.
CXXXIV “dove” = peristera. 10x in NT. This is dove or pigeon.
CXXXV “Beloved” = agapetos. From agape (love, goodwill, benevolence; God’s divine love); from agapao (to love, take pleasure in, esteem; to prefer). This is Beloved or very dear one. It is a title for the Messiah, but also for Christians. Properly, this is one who personally experiences God’s love.
CXXXVI “am well pleased” = eudokeo. From eu (good, well, well done) + dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is to think well of, to be pleased or resolved. Properly, this is what someone finds good or acceptable – approving of some action or generally thinking well of.

Image credit: “John the Baptist” by LUMO Project.

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