Luke 4:16-21

Luke 4:16-21
Narrative Lectionary


16 When he cameA to Nazareth,B where he had beenC brought up,D

Notes on verse 16a

A “came” = erchomai.  This is to come or go.
B “Nazareth” = Nazareth. 12x in NT. Perhaps from netser (branch) OR from natsar (to watch, guard, protect). This is Nazareth, meaning perhaps branch or protected. It is a city in Galilee. See
C “been” = eimi. This is to be or exist.
D “brought up” = trepho. 9x in NT. Perhaps from trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation). This is to bring up, rear, nourish, fatten, nurse. Properly, it is to enlarge through proper nourishment.

he wentE to the synagogueF on the sabbathG day,H

Notes on verse 16b

E “went” = eiserchomai. Related to “came” in v16. From eis (to, into, for, among) + erchomai (see note A above). This is to go in in a literal or figurative sense.
F “synagogue” = sunagoge. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). Literally, this is a bringing together, a place of assembly. The term can be used for the people or for the place where they assemble. It is also sometimes used of Christian churches in the New Testament. So, this is synagogue, assembly, congregation, or church. This is where the word “synagogue” comes from.
G “sabbath” = sabbaton. From Hebrew shabbath (sabbath); from shabath (to rest, stop, repose, cease working; by implication, to celebrate). This is the sabbath. It can also be used as shorthand for a week i.e. the time between two sabbaths.
H “day” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.

as was his custom.I He stood upJ to read,K 

Notes on verse 16c

I “custom” = etho. 4x in NT– 1x of Pilate’s custom of releasing a prisoner for the crowd, 1x of Jesus’s custom of teaching the crowds, 2x of the custom of going to the synagogue. This is a custom, what is customary – doing something habitually.
J “stood up” = anistemi. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to raise up, rise, appear. It is to stand up literally or figuratively. Can also mean to resurrect.
K “read” = anaginosko. From ana (upwards, up, again, back, anew) + ginosko (know, recognize, learn from firsthand experience). This is literally to know again – to recognize, read, or discern.

17 and the scrollL of the prophetM IsaiahN was givenO to him.

Notes on verse 17a

L “scroll” = biblion. From biblos (the inside bark of papyrus so it could refer to anything that was written on – a scroll, book, record, roll; could also have an association with the sacred); 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 paper, book, scroll, certificate. It is where the word “Bible” comes from.
M “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.
N “Isaiah” = Esaias. From Hebrew Yeshayahu (Isaiah, “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 (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 Isaiah, meaning “salvation of the Lord.”
O “given” = epididomi. 9x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is to deliver, give over, give up, surrender.

He unrolledP the scroll and foundQ the placeR where it was written:S

Notes on verse 17b

P “unrolled” = anaptusso. 1x in NT. From ana (up, again, back, among, anew) + ptusso (to fold, close, roll up); {probably from petannumi (to spread); from petomai (to fly) AND related to ptuo (to spit)}. This is to unroll, unfold, or open.
Q “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.
R “place” = topos. This is a place or region. It is a smaller space that can only hold a limited number of people whereas chora is a larger place. Figuratively it could be an opportunity.
S “written” = grapho. This is to write or describe. It is where the word “graphic” comes from.

18 “The SpiritT of the LordU is upon me,
    because he has anointedV me
        to bring good newsW to the poor.X

Notes on verse 18a

T “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.
U “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.
V “anointed” = chrio. 5x in NT. Probably related to chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request); related to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary). This is to anoint with olive oil, to consecrate or appoint divinely to a particular office or mission. It’s the root that “Christ” comes from.
W “bring good news” = euaggelizo. Related to “synagogue” in v16. 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 F 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.
X “poor” = ptochos. From ptosso (to crouch or cower as a beggar does). This is poor or destitute – someone who is extremely poor and bowed down because of a long struggle under poverty. Properly, it means bent over so figuratively it is someone who is deeply destitute and lacking tangible resources. This is a beggar – as extremely opposite a wealthy person as possible.

He has sentY me toZ proclaimAA releaseBB to the captivesCC

Notes on verse 18b

Y “sent” = apostello. Related to “stood up” in v16. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (see note J above)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
Z Some manuscripts add “to heal the broken-hearted” = iaomai + ho + suntribo + ho + kardia. Iaomai is to heal, particularly from a physical illness, but it could also be a spiritual difficulty. This is to cure or make whole in a literal or figurative sense. Suntribo is 8x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + the same as tribos (worn track or path like a rut that is formed from rubbing i.e. steady use; also road or highway); {from tribo (to rub or thresh)}. This is break in pieces, bruise, shatter, or crush completely. Kardia is 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.
AA “proclaim” = kerusso. This is to proclaim, preach, publish. Properly, it is to act as a herald – announcing something publicly with confidence and/or to persuade.
BB “release” = aphesis. Related to “been” in v16. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to send away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go); from eimi (see note C above)}. 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.
CC “captives” = aichmalotos. 1x in NT. From aichme (spear) + halosis (capturing); {from haliskomai (taken or conquered); from haireomai (to take, choose, or prefer); probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is a captive or prison, taken in battle.

    and recovery of sightDD to the blind,EE
        to let the oppressedFF goGG free,HH
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”II

Notes on verses 18c-19

DD “recovery of sight” = anablepsis. 1x in NT. From anablepo (to look up, regain sight); {from ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + blepo (to see, used primarily in the physical sense; figuratively, seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, beware, and acting on the visual information)}. This is recovery or restoration of sight.
EE “blind” = tuphlos. Derivation unclear. Perhaps from tuphoo (to be conceited, foolish, puffed up, haughty; properly, to blow smoke; figuratively being muddled or cloudy in mind; poor judgment that harms spiritual clarity; also, being covered with smoke – so filled with pride); from tuphos (smoke, vanity, arrogance); from tupho (to raise smoke, smolder, slowly consume without flame). This is blind or a blind person – perhaps in the sense of smoke making things opaque and impossible to see. This is blind literally or figuratively.
FF “oppressed” = thrauo. 1x in NT. This is to crush, smash to pieces, bruise, or oppress.
GG “let…go” = apostello. Same as “sent” in v18. See note Y above.
HH “free” = aphesis. Same as “release” in v18. See note BB above.
II “favor” = dektos. 5x in NT. From dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is favorable, welcome, approved, pleasing.

20 And he rolled upJJ the scroll, gave it backKK to the attendant,LL and sat down.MM The eyesNN of allOO in the synagogue were fixed onPP him. 

Notes on verse 20

JJ “rolled up” = ptusso. Related to “unrolled” in v17. 1x in NT. See note P above.
KK “gave…back” = apodidomi. Related to “given” in v17. From apo (from, away from) + didomi (see note O above). This is to give back, return, give away. It is to restore as when one makes payment – to rend what is due, to sell.
LL “attendant” = huperetes. From huper (by, under, subordinate to another) + eresso (to row). This is originally a rower or someone who crewed a boat on the lower deck. It came to mean underling, servant, or attendant. It is also used in the New Testament of disciples under the gospel.
MM “sat down” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
NN “eyes” = ophthalmos. From optanomai (to appear, be seen by). This is eye or sight. It is used figuratively for the mind’s eye, a vision, or for envy.
OO “all” = pas. This is all or every.
PP “fixed on” = atenizo. 14x in NT. From a (has an intensive sense) + teino (to stretch, extend, strain). This is to gaze or look steadily at with one’s full attention and fascination.

21 Then he beganQQ to sayRR to them, “TodaySS this scriptureTT has been fulfilledUU in your hearing.”VV 

Notes on verse 21

QQ “began” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
RR “say” = lego. This is to speak, say, name, call, command. It is generally to convey verbally.
SS “today” = semeron. Related to “day” in v16. From hemera (see note H above). This is today, now, at present.
TT “scripture” = graphe. Related to “written” in v17. From grapho (see note S above). This is literally writing, a document. In the New Testament, this is always used for scripture.
UU “fulfilled” = 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.
VV “hearing” = ous. This is the physical ear, or the perception of hearing, whether physical or cognitive.

Image credit: “Torah and Jad” – from an exhibit Big Synagogue Museum, Wlodawa – Poland. Photo by User: Merlin, 2006.

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply