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Luke 20:20 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And they watched him, and sent forth spies, who feigned themselves to be righteous, that they might take hold of his speech, so as to deliver him up to the rule and to the authority of the governor.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And they watched [him], and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they [could] deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And they watched [him], and sent forth spies, who should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him to the power and authority of the governor.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And having watched [him], they sent out suborned persons, pretending to be just men, that they might take hold of him in [his] language, so that they might deliver him up to the power and authority of the governor.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, watching narrowly, they sent forth suborned men, feigning themselves to be, righteous, that they might lay hold of a word of his, so as to deliver him up unto the rule and the authority of the governor.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And, having watched [him], they sent forth liers in wait, feigning themselves to be righteous, that they might take hold of his word, to deliver him up to the rule and to the authority of the governor,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And being upon the watch, they sent spies, who should feign themselves just, that they might take hold of him in his words, that they might deliver him up to the authority and power of the governor.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And they watched him, and sent foorth spies, which should faine themselues iust men, that they might take holde of his words, that so they might deliuer him vnto the power and authoritie of the gouernour.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— And they sent to him spies, who should resemble just men, that they might take him in discourse, and deliver him to the judgment and to the authority of the governor.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And they sent to him spies, who feigned themselves righteous men, that they might insnare him in discourse, and deliver him up to a court, and to the authority of the president.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
they watched 3906
{3906} Prime
παρατηρέω
paratereo
{par-at-ay-reh'-o}
From G3844 and G5083; to inspect alongside, that is, note insidiously or scrupulously.
z5660
<5660> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 714
[him], and sent forth 649
{0649} Prime
ἀποστέλλω
apostello
{ap-os-tel'-lo}
From G0575 and G4724; set apart, that is, (by implication) to send out (properly on a mission) literally or figuratively.
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
spies, 1455
{1455} Prime
ἐγκάθετος
egkathetos
{eng-kath'-et-os}
From G1722 and a derivative of G2524; subinduced, that is, surreptitiously suborned as a lier in wait.
which should feign 5271
{5271} Prime
ὑποκρίνομαι
hupokrinomai
{hoop-ok-rin'-om-ahee}
Middle voice from G5259 and G2919; to decide (speak or act) under a false part, that is, (figuratively) dissemble (pretend).
z5740
<5740> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 544
y1511
[1511] Standard
εἶναι
einai
{i'-nahee}
Present infinitive from G1510; to exist.
z5750
<5750> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 135
themselves 1438
{1438} Prime
ἑαυτοῦ
heautou
{heh-ow-too'}
(Including all the other cases); from a reflexive pronoun otherwise obsolete and the genitive (dative or accusative) of G0846; him (her, it, them, also [in conjunction with the personal pronoun of the other persons] my, thy, our, your) -self (-selves), etc.
just men, 1342
{1342} Prime
δίκαιος
dikaios
{dik'-ah-yos}
From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively).
that 2443
{2443} Prime
ἵνα
hina
{hin'-ah}
Probably from the same as the former part of G1438 (through the demonstrative idea; compare G3588); in order that (denoting the purpose or the result).
they might take hold 1949
{1949} Prime
ἐπιλαμβάνομαι
epilambanomai
{ep-ee-lam-ban'-om-ahee}
Middle voice from G1909 and G2983; to seize (for help, injury, attainment or any other purpose; literally or figuratively).
z5638
<5638> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 66
of his 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
words, 3056
{3056} Prime
λόγος
logos
{log'-os}
From G3004; something said (including the thought); by implication a topic (subject of discourse), also reasoning (the mental faculty) or motive; by extension a computation; specifically (with the article in John) the Divine Expression (that is, Christ).
that so y1519
[1519] Standard
εἰς
eis
{ice}
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
they might deliver 3860
{3860} Prime
παραδίδωμι
paradidomi
{par-ad-id'-o-mee}
From G3844 and G1325; to surrender, that is, yield up, intrust, transmit.
z5629
<5629> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 454
him 846
{0846} Prime
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
unto the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
power 746
{0746} Prime
ἀρχή
arche
{ar-khay'}
From G0756; (properly abstract) a commencement, or (concrete) chief (in various applications of order, time, place or rank).
and 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
authority 1849
{1849} Prime
ἐξουσία
exousia
{ex-oo-see'-ah}
From G1832 (in the sense of ability); privilege, that is, (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
governor. 2232
{2232} Prime
ἡγεμών
hegemon
{hayg-em-ohn'}
From G2233; a leader, that is, chief person (or figuratively place) of a province.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Luke 20:20-26

_ _ Luke 20:20-40. Entangling questions about tribute and the resurrection — The replies.

_ _ sent forth — after consulting (Matthew 22:15) on the best plan.

_ _ spies — “of the Pharisees and Herodians” (Mark 12:13). See Mark 3:6.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Luke 20:20-26

_ _ We have here Christ's evading a snare which his enemies laid for him, by proposing a question to him about tribute. We had this passage before, both in Matthew and Mark. Here is,

_ _ I. The mischief designed him, and that is more fully related here than before. The plot was to deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor, Luke 20:20. They could not themselves put him to death by course of law, nor otherwise than by a popular tumult, which they could not depend upon; and, since they could not be his judges, they would willingly condescend to be his prosecutors and accusers, and would themselves inform against him. They hoped to gain their point, if they could but incense the governor against him. Note, It has been the common artifice of persecuting church-rulers to make the secular powers the tools of their malice, and oblige the kings of the earth to do their drudgery, who, if they had not been instigated, would have let their neighbours live quietly by them, as Pilate did Christ till the chief priests and the scribes presented Christ to him. But thus Christ's word must be fulfilled by their cursed politics, that he should be delivered into the hands of the Gentiles.

_ _ II. The persons they employed. Matthew and Mark told us that they were disciples of the Pharisees, with some Herodians. Here it is added, They were spies, who should feign themselves just men. Note, It is no new thing for bad men to feign themselves just men, and to cover the most wicked projects with the most specious and plausible pretences. The devil can transform himself into an angel of light, and a Pharisee appear in the garb, and speak the language, of a disciple of Christ. A spy must go in disguise. These spies must take on them to have a value for Christ's judgment, and to depend upon it as an oracle, and therefore must desire his advice in a case of conscience. Note, Ministers are concerned to stand upon their guard against some that feign themselves to be just men, and to be wise as serpents when they are in the midst of a generation of vipers and scorpions.

_ _ III. The question they proposed, with which they hoped to ensnare him. 1. Their preface is very courtly: Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, Luke 20:21. Thus they thought to flatter him into an incautious freedom and openness with them, and so to gain their point. They that are proud, and love to be commended, will be brought to do any thing for those that will but flatter them, and speak kindly to them; but they were much mistaken who thought thus to impose upon the humble Jesus. He was not pleased with the testimony of such hypocrites, nor thought himself honoured by it. It is true that he accepts not the person of any, but it is as true that he knows the hearts of all, and knew theirs, and the seven abominations that were there, though they spoke fair. It was certain that he taught the way of God truly; but he knew that they were unworthy to be taught by him, who came to take hold of his words, not to be taken hold of by them. 2. Their case is very nice: “Is it lawful for us” (this is added here in Luke) “to give tribute to Caesar — for us Jews, us the free-born seed of Abraham, us that pay the Lord's tribute, may give tribute to Caesar?” Their pride and covetousness made them loth to pay taxes, and then they would have it a question whether it was lawful or no. Now if Christ should say that it was lawful the people would take it ill, for they expected that he who set up to be the Messiah should in the first place free them from the Roman yoke, and stand by them in denying tribute to Caesar. But if he should say that it was not lawful, as they expected he would (for if he had not been of that mind they thought he could not have been so much the darling of the people as he was), then they should have something to accuse him of to the governor, which was what they wanted.

_ _ IV. His evading the snare which they laid for him: He perceived their craftiness, Luke 20:23. Note, Those that are most crafty in their designs against Christ and his gospel cannot with all their art conceal them from his cognizance. He can see through the most politic disguises, and so break through the most dangerous snare; for surely in vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird. He did not give them a direct answer, but reproved them for offering to impose upon him — Why tempt ye me? and called for a piece of money, current money with the merchants — Show me a penny; and asked them whose money it was, whose stamp it bore, who coined it. They owned, “It is Caesar's money.” “Why them,” saith Christ, “you should first have asked whether it was lawful to pay and receive Caesar's money among yourselves, and to admit that to be the instrument of your commerce. But, having granted this by a common consent, you are concluded by your own act, and, no doubt, you ought to give tribute to him who furnished you with this convenience for your trade, protects you in it, and lends you the sanction of his authority for the value of your money. You must therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. In civil things you ought to submit to the civil powers, and so, if Caesar protects you in your civil rights by laws and the administration of justice, you ought to pay him tribute; but in sacred things God only is your King. You are not bound to be of Caesar's religion; you must render to God the things that are God's, must worship and adore him only, and not any golden image that Caesar sets up;” and we must worship and adore him in such way as he had appointed, and not according to the inventions of Caesar. It is God only that has authority to say My son, give me thy heart.

_ _ V. The confusion they were hereby put into, Luke 20:26. 1. The snare is broken; They could not take hold of his words before the people. They could not fasten upon any thing wherewith to incense either the governor or the people against him. 2. Christ is honoured; even the wrath of man is made to praise him. They marvelled at his answer, it was so discreet and unexceptionable, and such an evidence of that wisdom and sincerity which make the face to shine. 3. Their mouths are stopped; they held their peace. They had nothing to object, and durst ask him nothing else, lest he should shame and expose them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Luke 20:20

Just men — Men of a tender conscience. To take hold of his discourse — If he answered as they hoped he would. Matthew 22:16; Mark 12:12.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Luke 20:20

(3) And they (a) watched [him], and sent forth (b) spies, which should feign themselves just men, (c) that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and (d) authority of the governor.

(3) The last refuge the false prophets have to destroy the true prophets is to charge them with rebellion and treason against the state.

(a) An appropriate time to take him in.

(b) Whom they had hired deceitfully.

(c) That they might latch on to something he said, and by this forge some false accusation against him.

(d) Put him to death.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
they watched:

Psalms 37:32-33 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him. ... The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
Psalms 38:12 They also that seek after my life lay snares [for me]: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.
Isaiah 29:20-21 For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: ... That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought.
Jeremiah 11:19 But I [was] like a lamb [or] an ox [that] is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, [saying], Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.
Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
Jeremiah 20:10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, [say they], and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, [saying], Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
Matthew 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in [his] talk.
Matthew 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, [ye] hypocrites?
Mark 12:13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in [his] words.
Mark 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see [it].

feign:

2 Samuel 14:2 And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:
1 Kings 14:2-6 And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, I pray thee, and disguise thyself, that thou be not known to be the wife of Jeroboam; and get thee to Shiloh: behold, there [is] Ahijah the prophet, which told me that [I should be] king over this people. ... And it was [so], when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, that he said, Come in, thou wife of Jeroboam; why feignest thou thyself [to be] another? for I [am] sent to thee [with] heavy [tidings].
Psalms 66:3 Say unto God, How terrible [art thou in] thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
Psalms 81:15 The haters of the LORD should have submitted themselves unto him: but their time should have endured for ever.
*marg.
2 Peter 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

they might deliver:

Matthew 27:2 And when they had bound him, they led [him] away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
John 18:28-32 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. ... That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
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2S 14:2. 1K 14:2. Ps 37:32; 38:12; 66:3; 81:15. Is 29:20. Jr 11:19; 18:18; 20:10. Mt 22:15, 18; 27:2. Mk 12:13, 15. Jn 18:28. 2P 2:3.

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