Luke 4:16-27

Luke 4:16-27
A Women’s Lectionary – Sixth Sunday after Epiphany A


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.

22 All spoke well ofWW him and were amazedXX at the graciousYY wordsZZ

Notes on verse 22a

WW “spoke well of” = martureo. From martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr). This is to bear witness, testify, give evidence. It is to testify in a literal or figurative sense.
XX “were amazed” = thaumazo. From thauma (a wonder or marvel; used abstractly for wonderment or amazement; something that evokes emotional astonishment); may be from theaomai (to behold, look upon, see, contemplate, visit); from thaomai (to gaze at a spectacle; to look at or contemplate as a spectator; to interpret something in efforts to grasp its significance). This is to marvel, wonder, or admire. To be amazed out of one’s senses or be awestruck. Being astonished and starting to contemplate what was beheld. This root is where the word “theatre” comes from.
YY “gracious” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.
ZZ “words” = logos. Related to “say” in v21. From lego (see note RR above). 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.

that cameAAA from his mouth.BBB They said, “Is not this Joseph’sCCC son?”DDD 

Notes on verse 22b

AAA “came” = 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.
BBB “mouth” = stoma. Perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
CCC “Joseph’s” = Ioseph. From Hebrew Yoseph (he increases; Joseph); from yasaph (to add, increase, continue, exceed). This is Joseph, meaning “he increases.”
DDD “son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.

23 He said to them, “DoubtlessEEE you will quote to me this proverb,FFF ‘Doctor,GGG cureHHH yourself!’

Notes on verse 23a

EEE “doubtless” = pantos. Related to “all” in v20. 9x in NT. From pas (see note OO above). This is entirely, all, altogether, undoubtedly.
FFF “proverb” = 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.
GGG “doctor” = iatros. Related to {untranslated} in v18. 7x in NT. From iaomai (see note Z above). This is healer i.e. physician.
HHH “cure” = therapeuo. From therapon (servant, attendant, minister); perhaps from theros (properly heat and so used for summer); from thero (to heat). This is to serve, care, attend, heal, or cure. Since it means to attend to, it can be used for doctors, but also for those who serve God. So, it can mean worship. This is where the word “therapy” comes from.

And you will say, ‘DoIII here also in your hometownJJJ the things that we have heardKKK you didLLL at Capernaum.’”MMM 

Notes on verse 23b

III “do” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
JJJ “hometown” = patris. 8x in NT. From pater (father in a literal or figurative sense) OR from parasemos (marked on the side, wrongly marked a ship’s figurehead); {from para (beside, by, in the presence of) + semaino (to give a sign, signify, indicate, make known); {from sema (a sign or mark)}}. This is belonging to one’s father or ancestors. It could be hometown, native town, country, or heaven as home.
KKK “heard” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
LLL “did” = 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.
MMM “Capernaum” = Kapernaoum. 16x in NT. From Hebrew kaphar (village with walls); {from the same as kephir (a young lion, village); from kaphar (to appease, cover, pacify, cancel)} + Nachum (Nahum, “comfortable”); {from nacham (a strong breath or sigh; to be sorry, to pity, console, comfort, or repent; also to comfort oneself with thoughts of vengeance)}. This is Capernaum, meaning “Nahum’s village.”

24 And he said, “TrulyNNN I tell you, no prophet is acceptedOOO in the prophet’s hometown. 25 But the truthPPP is,

Notes on verses 24-25a

NNN “truly” = amen. From aman (to believe, endure, fulfill, confirm, support, be faithful, put one’s trust in, be steadfast. Figuratively, this is to be firm, steadfast, or faithful, trusting, believing, being permanent, morally solid). This word is literally firmness, but figuratively fidelity, faithfulness, honesty, responsibility, trust, truth, steadfastness. Properly, it is to be sure, certain, or firm. This is a word of emphasis indicating that something crucial follows.
OOO “accepted” = dektos. Same as “favor” in v19. See note II above.
PPP “truth” = aletheia. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic). {from a (not, without) + lanthano (unnoticed, concealed)}. Truth is literally that which is not or cannot be concealed. This word covers more than the sense of true versus false. It spoke of truth as that which corresponds to reality – reality as opposed to illusion. Thus, it includes, sincerity, straightforwardness, and reality itself.

there were manyQQQ widowsRRR in IsraelSSS in the timeTTT of Elijah,UUU

Notes on verse 25b

QQQ “many” = polus. This is much, often, plenteous – a large number or a great extent.
RRR “widows” = chera. Perhaps from the base of chasma (chasm, gap, gulf); from chasko (to yawn). This is widow literally or figuratively.
SSS “Israel” = Israel. Related to “Elijah” in v25. From Hebrew Yisrael (God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring); {from sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note UUU below)}. This is Israel the people and the land.
TTT “time” = hemera. Same as “day” in v16. See note H above.
UUU “Elijah” = Elias. Related to “Isaiah” in v17. From Hebrew Eliyyah (Elijah) {from el (God, god) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note N above)}. This is Elijah, “The Lord is God.”

when the heavenVVV was shut upWWW threeXXX yearsYYY and sixZZZ months,

Notes on verse 25c

VVV “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.
WWW “shut up” = kleio. 16x in NT. This is to close, shut, or lock in a literal of figurative sense. Figuratively used for shutting out of the kingdom of heaven or the wedding banquet, the heavens shutting as in there is no rain, and also for heartlessness.
XXX “three” = treis. This is three.
YYY “years” = etos. This is year or age.
ZZZ “six” = hex. 13x in NT. This is six. It is part of where “hexagon” comes from.

and there wasAAAA a severeBBBB famineCCCC over all the land;DDDD 

Notes on verse 25d

AAAA “was” = ginomai. Same as “did” in v23. See note LLL above.
BBBB “severe” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
CCCC “famine” = limos. 12x in NT. Probably from leipo (to leave behind, be lacking). This is hunger, famine, or lacking.
DDDD “land” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

26 yet Elijah was sentEEEE to none of them except to aFFFF widow at ZarephathGGGG in Sidon.HHHH 

Notes on verse 26

EEEE “sent” = pempo. This is to send, put forth, or dispatch. This often refers to a temporary errand. It is sending someone with a focus on the place they departed from. By contrast, another Greek word, hiemi, emphasizes the destination and yet another word, stello, focuses on the motion that goes with the sending.
FFFF {untranslated} = gune. Related to “did” in v23. Perhaps from ginomai (see note LLL above). This is woman, wife, or bride. This is where the word “gynecologist” comes from.
GGGG “Zarephath” = Sarepta. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Tsarephath (Tsarephath, Zarephath; “melting place” or “refinement”; a city); from tsaraph (to refine, smalt, or fuse metal; the smelter, goldsmith, or silversmith; figuratively, refine in a literal or figurative sense – to test or try, make pure). This is Zarephath or Sarepta, a city that is south of Sidon.
HHHH “Sidon” = Sidonios. 2x in NT. From Sidon (Sidon, a Phoenician city on the sea); from Phoenician tsydon (Sidon, maybe meaning “fishery” or “fishing town”). This is Sidonian – someone from Sidon. See &

27 There were also many lepersIIII in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha,JJJJ and none of them was cleansedKKKK except NaamanLLLL the Syrian.”MMMM

Notes on verse 27

IIII “lepers” = lepros. 9x in NT. From lepis (fish scale, skin flake); from lepo (to peel). This is scaly or leprous. It can also refer to a person with leprosy.
JJJJ “Elisha” = Elisaios. Related to “Isaiah” in v17 & “Elijah” and “Israel” in v25. 1x in NT. From Hebrew Elisha (Elisha, meaning “God is salvation”); from Elishua (Elishua, meaning “God is salvation”); {from el (see note UUU above) + yasha (see note N above)}. This is Elisha, meaning “God is salvation.”
KKKK “cleansed” = katharizo. 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 to cleanse, make clean, purify, purge, or declare to be clean. Like its roots, it includes cleansing in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense. Being pure or purified is not something that is only available to the rare few or the innocent. Anyone can be purified.
LLLL “Naaman” = Neeman. 1x in NT. From Naiman (Naaman, meaning “pleasant” or “pleasantness”); from Hebrew Naaman (Naaman, a Benjaminite and Syrian); from naem (to be pleasant, beautiful, sweet, or agreeable in a literal or figurative sense). This is Naaman, meaning “pleasantness” or “pleasant.”
MMMM “Syrian” = Suros. 1x in NT. From Suria (Syria); from Akkadian Ashshur (after the god Ashur, head of their gods). This is Syrian, named for the god Ashur. See;

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

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