led about by the spirit: The Greek word pneuʹma refers here to God’s spirit, which can act as a driving force, moving and impelling a person to do things in accord with God’s will.—Mr 1:12; see Glossary, “Spirit.”
Devil: See study note on Mt 4:1.
Man must not live on bread alone: In recording Jesus’ quote from the Hebrew Scriptures, Luke cites a shorter portion of De 8:3 than Matthew does. Some ancient Greek manuscripts and translations, however, complete the quote and add “but by every word of God,” making Luke’s record similar to the parallel account at Mt 4:4. However, the shorter reading in Luke’s account has earlier manuscript support. Even so, it is worth noting that a number of translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J7, 8, 10, 14, 15, 17 in App. C) that have the longer reading use the Tetragrammaton. They could be rendered “but by everything proceeding from Jehovah’s mouth.”
So he brought him up: The parallel account at Mt 4:8 adds the detail that the Devil took Jesus to “an unusually high mountain.” Luke here records the temptations in an order different from that of Matthew, but in this case, the order of events presented by Matthew is likely the correct one. (Mt 4:1-11) It seems reasonable to assume that Satan introduced the first two temptations with the subtle phrase “if you are a son of God” and then concluded with a blatant temptation to break the first of the Ten Commandments. (Ex 20:2, 3) It also seems fitting that Jesus would say: “Go away, Satan!” when replying to the last of the three tests. (Mt 4:10) And while the evidence is not conclusive, scholars have also noted that Mt 4:5 introduces the second temptation with a Greek word rendered “then.” Therefore, the wording of Matthew’s account may be slightly more specific as to time sequence than the Greek word rendered “so” here at Lu 4:5. While it is true that Luke followed a “logical order,” it was not necessarily a strict chronological order.—See study note on Lu 1:3.
showed him: See study note on Mt 4:8.
kingdoms: See study note on Mt 4:8.
do an act of worship: See study note on Mt 4:9.
battlement of the temple: See study note on Mt 4:5.
synagogues: See Glossary, “Synagogue.”
according to his custom on the Sabbath day: There is no evidence that the Jews gathered in synagogues to observe the Sabbath at any point before the Babylonian exile. However, likely from the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, the custom of doing so developed. Fittingly, Jesus observed this spiritually beneficial custom. Throughout Jesus’ early life, his family was accustomed to going to the synagogue in Nazareth. In time, a similar practice of gathering for worship was instituted in the Christian congregation.
stood up to read: Scholars note that this is the earliest known description of a synagogue service. According to Jewish tradition, the service usually began with private prayers as the congregants entered the building, after which the words of De 6:4-9 and 11:13-21 were recited. Public prayers followed, after which a portion of the Pentateuch was read aloud according to a schedule. Ac 15:21 states that in the first century C.E., such reading was done “on every Sabbath.” The next portion of the service, which seems to be the focus of this verse, was a reading from the prophets along with a lesson based on the reading. The reader customarily stood, and he may have had some freedom to choose his prophetic passage.—See study note on Ac 13:15.
the scroll of the prophet Isaiah: The Dead Sea Scroll of Isaiah is composed of 17 parchment strips attached one to another, making up a roll measuring 7.3 m (24 ft) in length with 54 columns. The scroll used in the synagogue in Nazareth may have been of similar length. Without the help of chapter and verse numbers, which did not exist in the first century, Jesus would have had to locate the passage he wanted to read. But the fact that he found the place where the prophetic words were written demonstrates his thorough familiarity with God’s Word.
he anointed: Luke here quotes from the Septuagint version of Isaiah’s prophecy, which reads “he anointed.” However, Jesus would have read from the Hebrew text of Isaiah’s prophecy (61:1, 2), where the verb for “anointed” is used along with the divine name, represented by four Hebrew consonants (transliterated YHWH). A number of translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures into Hebrew (referred to as J7, 8, 10, 14, 15 in App. C) use the divine name here and read “Jehovah anointed.”
to proclaim liberty to the captives: Here Jesus quotes Isaiah’s prophecy, which some Jews might have applied literally. (Isa 61:1) However, Jesus’ ministry focused on releasing people from spiritual bondage. Therefore, the liberation that Jesus announced was a spiritual one. This prophecy and Jesus’ application of it to his ministry are evidently allusions to the Jubilee, which was to be celebrated every 50th year. During the Jubilee year, liberty was to be proclaimed throughout the land.—Le 25:8-12.
Jehovah’s acceptable year: Or “the year of Jehovah’s favor.” Here Jesus quotes from Isa 61:1, 2. Luke’s Greek text uses “acceptable year,” which follows the Septuagint rendering of the Hebrew expression “year of . . . goodwill [or, “favor,” ftn.].” Jesus applied this verse to himself, indicating that his ministry of salvation marked the beginning of this “year” that was “acceptable” to Jehovah for showing his goodwill and accepting people. Jesus’ reading stopped short of Isaiah’s next words concerning God’s relatively short “day of vengeance,” apparently to keep the focus on that longer “acceptable year,” during which God would show favor to those turning to him for salvation.—Lu 19:9, 10; Joh 12:47.
and sat down: Jesus thereby signaled that he was about to speak. It was the custom in the synagogue that the one who read before the congregation did not go back to his former seat but sat down to teach where “all in the synagogue” could see him.—Compare study note on Mt 5:1.
saying: Or “proverb; parable; illustration.” The Greek word pa·ra·bo·leʹ, which literally means “a placing beside (together),” may refer to a parable, a proverb, a saying, or an illustration.—See study note on Mt 13:3.
your home territory: Lit., “your father’s place,” that is, Nazareth, the hometown of Jesus. In this context, the Greek word rendered “home territory” (pa·trisʹ) apparently refers to a relatively restricted area—the hometown of Jesus and his immediate family. However, this term may also be used of a larger geographical area, such as one’s native land, or country. In the context of Joh 4:43, 44, this Greek word apparently refers to all of Galilee, so it is rendered “homeland.”
for three years and six months: According to 1Ki 18:1, Elijah announced the end of the drought “in the third year.” Some have therefore claimed that Jesus contradicts the account in 1 Kings. However, the Hebrew Scripture account does not suggest that the drought lasted less than three years. The phrase “in the third year” evidently applies to the period that began when Elijah first announced the drought to Ahab. (1Ki 17:1) That announcement likely took place when the dry season—which typically lasts for up to six months but which may have lasted longer than usual—was already in progress. Further, the drought did not end immediately when Elijah again appeared before Ahab, “in the third year,” but only after the subsequent fire test on Mount Carmel. (1Ki 18:18-45) Hence, Jesus’ words recorded here, as well as the similar words of Christ’s half brother, recorded at Jas 5:17, harmonize well with the chronology suggested at 1Ki 18:1.
Zarephath: This Phoenician town was located on the Mediterranean Coast between the cities of Sidon and Tyre, that is, in non-Israelite territory. Its Greek name was Sarepta. The Hebrew name is mentioned at 1Ki 17:9, 10 and Ob 20. The name is preserved in that of Sarafand in modern-day Lebanon, located about 13 km (8 mi) SSW of Sidon, though the ancient site may have been a short distance away on the Mediterranean Coast.—See App. B10.
cleansed: Or “healed,” here referring to Naaman’s being cured of leprosy. (2Ki 5:3-10, 14) According to the Mosaic Law, this disease made a person ceremonially unclean. (Le 13:1-59) Thus, the Greek term is often used regarding the healing of lepers.—Mt 8:3; 10:8; Mr 1:40, 41.
in order to throw him down headlong: According to a Jewish tradition later recorded in the Talmud, a condemned man was sometimes thrown down from a precipice; then he was pelted with stones to ensure that he was dead. Whether the mob here in Nazareth had such a plan in mind or not, they certainly intended to kill Jesus.
Capernaum: From a Hebrew name meaning “Village of Nahum” or “Village of Comforting.” (Na 1:1, ftn.) A city of major importance in Jesus’ earthly ministry, it was located at the NW shore of the Sea of Galilee and was called “his own city” at Mt 9:1. Since Capernaum was over 200 m (650 ft) below sea level and Nazareth was located some 360 m (1,200 ft) above sea level, the account correctly says that Jesus went down to Capernaum.
with a spirit, an unclean demon: Or “with an unclean demon spirit.”—See Glossary, “Spirit.”
What have we to do with you, . . . ?: See study note on Mt 8:29.
Simon’s mother-in-law: That is, the mother-in-law of Peter, also called Cephas. (Joh 1:42) This statement agrees with Paul’s words at 1Co 9:5, where Cephas is referred to as a married man. Peter’s mother-in-law evidently lived in his home, one he shared with his brother Andrew.—Mr 1:29-31; see study note on Mt 10:2, where the apostle’s different names are explained.
suffering with a high fever: Matthew and Mark describe Peter’s mother-in-law as “lying down and sick with fever.” (Mt 8:14; Mr 1:30) Only Luke, apparently because he was a physician, draws attention to the seriousness of her condition, classifying it as “a high fever.”—See “Introduction to Luke.”
declare the good news: The Greek verb used here, eu·ag·ge·liʹzo·mai (“to declare good news”), appears 54 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. It is frequently found in Luke’s writings. (Lu 1:19; 2:10; 3:18; 4:18; 8:1; 9:6; 20:1; Ac 5:42; 8:4; 10:36; 11:20; 13:32; 14:15, 21; 15:35; 16:10; 17:18) There is a difference between the term ke·rysʹso, “to preach; to proclaim” (Mt 3:1; 4:17; 24:14; Lu 4:18, 19; 8:1, 39; 9:2; 24:47; Ac 8:5; 28:31; Re 5:2), and eu·ag·ge·liʹzo·mai, “to declare good news.” The former stresses the manner of the proclamation, that it is a public, authorized pronouncement. The latter stresses the content thereof, the declaring or bringing of “the good news.” The related noun eu·ag·geʹli·on (“good news”) appears 76 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures.—See study notes on Mt 4:23; 24:14 and Glossary, “Good news, the.”
the Kingdom of God: Throughout the Christian Greek Scriptures, the good news is closely linked with God’s Kingdom, the theme of Jesus’ preaching and teaching. The expression “the Kingdom of God” appears 32 times in Luke’s Gospel, 14 times in Mark’s Gospel, and 4 times in Matthew’s Gospel. However, Matthew used the synonymous expression “the Kingdom of the heavens” some 30 times.—See study notes on Mt 3:2; 24:14; Mr 1:15.