Luke 6:36-38

Luke 6:36-38
Narrative Lectionary


36 BeA merciful,B just as your FatherC is merciful.

Notes on verse 36

A “be” = 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.
B “merciful” = oiktirmon. 3x in NT. From oiktiro (to have compassion, sympathy, or pity); from oiktos (pity). This is merciful, compassionate, perhaps showing lament.
C “Father” = Pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

37 “Do not judge,D and you will not be judged; do not condemn,E and you will not be condemned. Forgive,F and you will be forgiven; 38 give,G and it will be given to you.

Notes on verses 37-38a

D “judge” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.
E “condemn” = katadikazo. 6x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, among) + dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known)}. This is to condemn, to judge as in giving a sentence. It is judgment in a particular, personal instance – to find guilty.
F “forgive” = apoluo. From apo (from, away from) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is letting go, setting free, or releasing. So, it can be to discharge, dismiss, divorce, pardon, or set at liberty.
G “give” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.

A goodH measure,I pressed down,J shaken together,K running over,L

Notes on verse 38b

H “goo” = 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.
I “measure” = metron. 14x in NT. This is a measure, whether of distance or volume. It can be a tool for measuring or the measure itself. Figuratively, it is that which determines what is sufficient. This is where the words “meter” and “metric” come from.
J “pressed down” = piezo. 1x in NT. Perhaps from piazo (to take, catch,  squeeze, capture from hunting, or arrest); {from piezo (to press down or together, to pack) OR related to biazo (to force, use power to seize); {from bia (strength, force, violence) or bios (life, livelihood, goods, wealth)}}. This is to pack or press down.
K “shaken together” = saleuo. 15x in NT. From salos (tossing, agitation, rolling – like the sea swells). This is to agitate or shake up. It can mean to disturb, topple, incite, or destroy.
L “running over” = huperekchunno. 1x in NT. From huper (over, above, beyond) + ekchunno (to pour out, gush, spill, bestow); {from the same as ekcheo (something poured out in a liberal fashion; gushing, spilling, or shedding); {from ek (from, from out of) + cheo (to pour)}}. This is to pour out or overflow.

will be putM into your lap,N for the measure you giveO will be the measure you get back.”P

Notes on verse 38c

M “put” = didomi. Same as “give” in v38. See note G above.
N “lap” = kolpos. 6x in NT. It is bosom (as in the bosom of Abraham from Like 16:22-23). It is also chest, where their garments would fold over. Reclining in this position connoted intimacy and union.
O “give” = metreo. Related to “measure” in v38. 11x in NT. From metron (see note I above). This is to measure or estimate.
P “measure…get back” = antimetreo. Related to “measure” and “give” in v38. 1x in NT. From anti (opposite, instead of, against) + metreo (see note O above). This is to measure again, measure out by a standard.

Image credit: “Egyptian Grains” by Dina Said, 2014.

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