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Lukas 7:24-28


7:24 When 1  John’s messengers had gone, Jesus 2  began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness 3  to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 4  7:25 What 5  did you go out to see? A man dressed in fancy 6  clothes? 7  Look, those who wear fancy clothes and live in luxury 8  are in kings’ courts! 9  7:26 What did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more 10  than a prophet. 7:27 This is the one about whom it is written, ‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, 11  who will prepare your way before you.’ 12  7:28 I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater 13  than John. 14  Yet the one who is least 15  in the kingdom of God 16  is greater than he is.”

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[7:24]  1 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

[7:24]  2 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[7:24]  3 tn Or “desert.”

[7:24]  4 tn There is a debate as to whether one should read this figuratively (“to see someone who is easily blown over?”) or literally (Grk “to see the wilderness vegetation?…No, to see a prophet”). Either view makes good sense, but the following examples suggest the question should be read literally and understood to point to the fact that a prophet drew them to the desert.

[7:25]  5 tn Grk “But what.” Here ἀλλά (alla, a strong contrastive in Greek) produces a somewhat awkward sense in English, and has not been translated. The same situation occurs at the beginning of v. 26.

[7:25]  6 tn Or “soft”; see L&N 79.100.

[7:25]  7 sn The reference to fancy clothes makes the point that John was not rich or powerful, in that he did not come from the wealthy classes.

[7:25]  8 tn See L&N 88.253, “to revel, to carouse, to live a life of luxury.”

[7:25]  9 tn Or “palaces.”

[7:26]  10 tn John the Baptist is “more” because he introduces the one (Jesus) who brings the new era. The term is neuter, but may be understood as masculine in this context (BDAG 806 s.v. περισσότερος b.).

[7:27]  11 tn Grk “before your face” (an idiom).

[7:27]  12 sn The quotation is primarily from Mal 3:1 with pronouns from Exod 23:20. Here is the forerunner who points the way to the arrival of God’s salvation. His job is to prepare and guide the people, as the cloud did for Israel in the desert.

[7:28]  13 sn In the Greek text greater is at the beginning of the clause in the emphatic position. John the Baptist was the greatest man of the old era.

[7:28]  14 tc The earliest and best mss read simply ᾿Ιωάννου (Iwannou, “John”) here (Ì75 א B L W Ξ Ë1 579 pc). Others turn this into “John the Baptist” (K 33 565 al it), “the prophet John the Baptist” (A [D] Θ Ë13 Ï lat), or “the prophet John” (Ψ 700 [892 1241] pc). “It appears that προφήτης was inserted by pedantic copyists who wished thereby to exclude Christ from the comparison, while others added τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ, assimilating the text to Mt 11.11” (TCGNT 119).

[7:28]  15 sn After John comes a shift of eras. The new era is so great that the lowest member of it (the one who is least in the kingdom of God) is greater than the greatest one of the previous era.

[7:28]  16 sn The kingdom of God is a major theme of Jesus’ proclamation. It is a realm in which Jesus rules and to which those who trust him belong. See Luke 6:20; 11:20; 17:20-21. It is not strictly future, though its full manifestation is yet to come. That is why membership in it starts right after John the Baptist.

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