Parallel Bible VersionsGreek Bible Study Tools

Luke 3:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanius the tetrarch of Abilene,
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Now in the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Ituraea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Now, in the fifteenth year of the supremacy of Tiberius Caesar,—Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and, Philip his brother, tetrarch of Ituraea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanius, tetrarch of Abylene,—
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And in the fifteenth year of the government of Tiberius Caesar—Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother, tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Now in the fifteenth yeere of the reigne of Tiberius Cesar, Pontius Pilate being Gouernour of Iudea, & Herode being Tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip Tetrarch of Iturea, and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the Tetrarch of Abilene,
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— NOW in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberios Cesar, in the government of Pontios Pilatos in Jehud, Herodes being chief of the Fourth in Galila, and Philipos his brother chief of the Fourth in Ituria and in the region of Trakona, and Lusania chief of the Fourth of Abilini;
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— And in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, in the presidency of Pontius Pilate in Judaea, while Herod was Tetrarch in Galilee, and Philip his brother Tetrarch in Ituraea and in the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias Tetrarch of Abilene,

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
in 1722
{1722} Prime
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
the fifteenth 4003
{4003} Prime
From G4002 and G2532 and G1182; five and tenth.
year 2094
{2094} Prime
Apparently a primary word; a year.
of the x3588
(3588) Complement

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).
reign 2231
{2231} Prime
From G2232; government, that is, (in time) official term.
of Tiberius 5086
{5086} Prime
Of Latin origin; probably pertaining to the river Tiberis or Tiber; Tiberius, a Roman emperor.
Caesar, 2541
{2541} Prime
Of Latin origin; Caesar, a title of the Roman emperor.
Pontius 4194
{4194} Prime
Of Latin origin; apparently bridged; Pontius, a Roman.
Pilate 4091
{4091} Prime
Of Latin origin; close pressed, that is, firm; Pilatus, a Roman.
being governor 2230
{2230} Prime
From G2232; to act as ruler.
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
of Judaea, 2449
{2449} Prime
Feminine of G2453 (with G1093 implied); the Judaean land (that is, judaea), a region of Palestine.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
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.
Herod 2264
{2264} Prime
Compound of ἥρως [[heros]] (a 'hero') and G1491; heroic; Herodes, the name of four Jewish kings.
being tetrarch 5075
{5075} Prime
From G5076; to be a tetrarch.
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
of Galilee, 1056
{1056} Prime
Of hebrew origin [H1551]; Galilaea (that is, the heathen circle), a region of Palestine.
and 1161
{1161} Prime
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
his 846
{0846} Prime
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.
brother 80
{0080} Prime
From G0001 (as a connective particle) and δελφύς [[delphus]] (the womb); a brother (literally or figuratively) near or remote (much like [H0001]).
Philip 5376
{5376} Prime
From G5384 and G2462; fond of horses; Philippus, the name of four Israelites.
tetrarch 5075
{5075} Prime
From G5076; to be a tetrarch.
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
of Ituraea 2484
{2484} Prime
Of Hebrew origin [H3195]; Ituraea (that is, Jetur), a region of Palestine.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
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.
of the region 5561
{5561} Prime
Feminine of a derivative of the base of G5490 through the idea of empty expanse; room, that is, a space of territory (more or less extensive; often including its inhabitants).
of Trachonitis, 5139
{5139} Prime
From a derivative of G5138; rough district; Trachonitis, a region of Syria.
and 2532
{2532} Prime
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.
Lysanias 3078
{3078} Prime
From G3080 and ἀνία [[ania]] (trouble); grief dispelling; Lysanias, a governor of Abilene.
the tetrarch 5075
{5075} Prime
From G5076; to be a tetrarch.
<5723> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 2549
of Abilene, 9
{0009} Prime
Of foreign origin (compare [H0058]); Abilene, a region of Syria.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Luke 3:1-2

_ _ Luke 3:1-20. Preaching, baptism, and imprisonment of John.

_ _ (See on Matthew 3:1-12; see on Mark 6:17, etc.).

_ _ Here the curtain of the New Testament is, as it were, drawn up, and the greatest of all epochs of the Church commences. Even our Lord’s own age (Luke 3:23) is determined by it [Bengel]. No such elaborate chronological precision is to be found elsewhere in the New Testament, and it comes fitly from him who claims it as the peculiar recommendation of his Gospel, that he had “accurately traced down all things from the first” (Luke 1:3). Here, evidently, commences his proper narrative. Also see on Matthew 3:1.

_ _ the fifteenth year of Tiberius — reckoning from the period when he was admitted, three years before Augustus’ death, to a share of the empire [Webster and Wilkinson], about the end of the year of Rome 779, or about four years before the usual reckoning.

_ _ Pilate ... governor of Judea — His proper title was Procurator, but with more than the usual powers of that office. After holding it about ten years he was ordered to Rome, to answer to charges brought against him, but ere he arrived Tiberius died (a.d. 35), and soon after Pilate committed suicide.

_ _ Herod — (See on Mark 6:14).

_ _ Philip — a different and very superior Philip to the one whose wife Herodias went to live with Herod Antipas. (See Mark 6:17).

_ _ Iturea — to the northeast of Palestine; so called from Ishmael’s son Itur or Jetur (1 Chronicles 1:31), and anciently belonging to the half tribe of Manasseh.

_ _ Trachonitis — farther to the northeast, between Iturea and Damascus; a rocky district, infested by robbers, and committed by Augustus to Herod the Great to keep in order.

_ _ Abilene — still more to the northeast, so called from Abila, eighteen miles from Damascus [Robinson].

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Luke 3:1-14

_ _ John's baptism introducing a new dispensation, it was requisite that we should have a particular account of it. Glorious things were said of John, what a distinguished favourite of Heaven he should be, and what a great blessing to this earth (Luke 1:15, Luke 1:17); but we lost him in the deserts, and there he remains until the day of his showing unto Israel, Luke 1:80. And now at last that day dawns, and a welcome day it was to them that waited for it more than they that waited for the morning. Observe here,

_ _ I. The date of the beginning of John's baptism, when it was that he appeared; this is here taken notice of, which was not by the other evangelists, that the truth of the thing might be confirmed by the exact fixing of the time. And it is dated,

_ _ 1. By the government of the heathen, which the Jews were under, to show that they were a conquered people, and therefore it was time for the Messiah to come to set up a spiritual kingdom, and an eternal one, upon the ruins of all the temporal dignity and dominion of David and Judah.

_ _ (1.) It is dated by the reign of the Roman emperor; it was in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, the third of the twelve Caesars, a very bad man, given to covetousness, drunkenness, and cruelty; such a man is mentioned first (saith Dr. Lightfoot), as it were, to teach us what to look for from that cruel and abominable city wherein Satan reigned in all ages and successions. The people of the Jews, after a long struggle, were of late made a province of the empire, and were under the dominion of this Tiberius; and that country which once had made so great a figure, and had many nations tributaries to it, in the reigns of David and Solomon, is now itself an inconsiderable despicable part of the Roman empire, and rather trampled upon than triumphed in.

En quo discordia cives, Perduxit miseros
— What dire effects from civil discord flow!

_ _ The lawgiver was now departed from between Judah's feet; and, as an evidence of that, their public acts are dated by the reign of the Roman emperor, and therefore now Shiloh must come.

_ _ (2.) It is dated by the governments of the viceroys that ruled in the several parts of the Holy Land under the Roman emperor, which was another badge of their servitude, for they were all foreigners, which bespeaks a sad change with that people whose governors used to be of themselves (Jeremiah 30:21), and it was their glory. How is the gold become dim! [1.] Pilate is here said to be the governor, president, or procurator, of Judea. This character is given of him by some other writers, that he was a wicked man, and one that made no conscience of a lie. He reigned ill, and at last was displaced by Vitellius, president of Syria, and sent to Rome, to answer for his mal-administrations. [2.] The other three are called tetrarchs, some think from the countries which they had the command of, each of them being over a fourth part of that which had been entirely under the government of Herod the Great. Others think that they are so called from the post of honour they held in the government; they had the fourth place, or were fourth-rate governors: the emperor was the first, the pro-consul, who governed a province, the second, a king the third, and a tetrarch the fourth. So Dr. Lightfoot.

_ _ 2. By the government of the Jews among themselves, to show that they were a corrupt people, and that therefore it was time that the Messiah should come, to reform them, Luke 3:2. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. God had appointed that there should be but one high priest at a time, but here were two, to serve some ill turn or other: one served one year and the other the other year; so some. One was the high priest, and the other the sagan, as the Jews called him, to officiate for him when he was disabled; or, as others say, one was high priest, and represented Aaron, and that was Caiaphas; Annas, the other, was nasi, or head of the sanhedrim, and represented Moses. But to us there is but one high priest, one Lord of all, to whom all judgment is committed.

_ _ II. The origin and tendency of John's baptism.

_ _ 1. The origin of it was from heaven: The word of God came unto John, Luke 3:2. He received full commission and full instructions from God to do what he did. It is the same expression that is used concerning the Old Testament prophets (Jeremiah 1:2); for John was a prophet, yea, more than a prophet, and in him prophecy revived, which had been long suspended. We are not told how the word of the Lord came to John, whether by an angel, as to his father, or by dream, or vision, or voice, but it was to his satisfaction, and ought to be to ours. John is here called the son of Zacharias, to refer us to what the angel said to his father, when he assured him that he should have this son. The word of the Lord came to him in the wilderness; for those whom God fits he will find out, wherever they are. As the word of the Lord is not bound in a prison, so it is not lost in a wilderness. The word of the Lord made its way to Ezekiel among the captives by the river of Chebar, and to John in the isle of Patmos. John was the son of a priest, now entering upon the thirtieth year of his age; and therefore, according to the custom of the temple, he was now to be admitted into the temple-service, where he should have attended as a candidate five years before. But God had called him to a more honourable ministry, and therefore the Holy Ghost enrols him here, since he was not enrolled in the archives of the temple: John the son of Zacharias began his ministration such a time.

_ _ 2. The scope and design of it were to bring all the people of his country off from their sins and home to their God, Luke 3:3. He came first into all the country about Jordan, the neighbourhood wherein he resided, that part of the country which Israel took possession of first, when they entered the land of promise under Joshua's conduct; there was the banner of the gospel first displayed. John resided in the most solitary part of the country: but, when the word of the Lord came to him, he quitted his deserts, and came into the inhabited country. Those that are best pleased in their retirements must cheerfully exchange them, when God calls them into places of concourse. He came out of the wilderness into all the country, with some marks of distinction, preaching a new baptism; not a sect, or party, but a profession, or distinguishing badge. The sign, or ceremony, was such as was ordinarily used among the Jews, washing with water, by which proselytes were sometimes admitted, or disciples to some great master; but the meaning of it was, repentance for the remission of sins: that is, all that submitted to his baptism,

_ _ (1.) Were thereby obliged to repent of their sins, to be sorry for what they had done amiss, and to do so no more. The former they professed, and were concerned to be sincere in their professions; the latter they promised, and were concerned to make good what they promised. He bound them, not to such ceremonious observances as were imposed by the tradition of the elders, but to change their mind, and change their way, to cast away from them all their transgressions, and to make them new hearts and to live new lives. The design of the gospel, which now began, was to make men devout and pious, holy and heavenly, humble and meek, sober and chaste, just and honest, charitable and kind, and good in every relation, who had been much otherwise; and this is to repent.

_ _ (2.) They were thereby assured of the pardon of their sins, upon their repentance. As the baptism he administered bound them not to submit to the power of sin, so it sealed to them a gracious and pleadable discharge from the guilt of sin. Turn yourselves from all your transgressions, so iniquity shall not be your ruin; agreeing with the word of the Lord, by the Old Testament prophets, Ezekiel 18:30.

_ _ III. The fulfilling of the scriptures in the ministry of John. The other evangelists had referred us to the same text that is here referred to, that of Esaias, Isaiah 40:3. It is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, which he heard from God, which he spoke for God, those words of his which were written for the generations to come. Among them it is found that there should be the voice of one crying in the wilderness; and John is that voice, a clear distinct voice, a loud voice, an articulate one; he cries, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight. John's business is to make way for the entertainment of the gospel in the hearts of the people, to bring them into such a frame and temper as that Christ might be welcome to them, and they welcome to Christ. Luke goes further on with the quotation than Matthew and Mark had done, and applies the following words likewise to John's ministry (Luke 3:5, Luke 3:6), Every valley shall be filled. Dr. Hammond understands this as a prediction of the desolation coming upon the people of the Jews for their infidelity: the land should be made plain by the pioneers for the Roman army, and should be laid waste by it, and there should then be a visible distinction made between the impenitent on the one side and the receivers of the gospel on the other side. But it seems rather to be meant of the gospel of Christ, of which that was the introduction. 1. The humble shall by it be enriched with grace: Every valley that lies low and moist shall be filled and be exalted. 2. The proud shall by it be humbled; the self-confident that stand upon their own bottom, and the self-conceited that lift up their own top, shall have contempt put upon them: Every mountain and hill shall be brought low. If they repent, they are brought to the dust; if not, to the lowest hell. 3. Sinners shall be converted to God: The crooked ways and the crooked spirits shall be made straight; for, though none can make that straight which God hath made crooked (Ecclesiastes 7:13), yet God by his grace can make that straight which sin hath made crooked. 4. Difficulties that were hindering and discouraging in the way to heaven shall be removed: The rough ways shall be made smooth; and they that love God's law shall have great peace, and nothing shall offend them. The gospel has made the way to heaven plain and easy to be found, smooth and easy to be walked in. 5. The great salvation shall be more fully discovered than ever, and the discovery of it shall spread further (Luke 3:6): All flesh shall see the salvation of God; not the Jews only, but the Gentiles. All shall see it; they shall have it set before them and offered to them, and some of all sorts shall see it, enjoy it, and have the benefit of it. When way is made for the gospel into the heart, by the captivation of high thoughts and bringing them into obedience to Christ, by the leveling of the soul and the removing of all obstructions that stand in the way of Christ and his grace, then prepare to bid the salvation of God welcome.

_ _ IV. The general warnings and exhortations which he gave to those who submitted to his baptism, Luke 3:7-9. In Matthew he is said to have preached these same things to many of the Pharisees and Sadducees, that came to his baptism (Matthew 3:7-10); but here he is said to have spoken them to the multitude, that came forth to be baptized of him, Luke 3:7. This was the purport of his preaching to all that came to him, and he did not alter it in compliment to the Pharisees and Sadducees, when they came, but dealt as plainly with them as with any other of his hearers. And as he did not flatter the great, so neither did he compliment the many, or make his court to them, but gave the same reproofs of sin and warnings of wrath to the multitude that he did to the Sadducees and Pharisees; for, if they had not the same faults, they had others as bad. Now observe here,

_ _ 1. That the guilty corrupted race of mankind is become a generation of vipers; not only poisoned, but poisonous; hateful to God, hating one another. This magnifies the patience of God, in continuing the race of mankind upon the earth, and not destroying that nest of vipers. He did it once by water, and will again by fire.

_ _ 2. This generation of vipers is fairly warned to flee from the wrath to come, which is certainly before them if they continue such; and their being a multitude will not be at all their security, for it will be neither reproach nor loss to God to cut them off. We are not only warned of this wrath, but are put into a way to escape it, if we look about us in time.

_ _ 3. There is no way of fleeing from the wrath to come, but by repentance. They that submitted to the baptism of repentance thereby evidenced that they were warned to flee from the wrath to come and took the warning; and we by our baptism profess to have fled out of Sodom, for fear of what is coming upon it.

_ _ 4. Those that profess repentance are highly concerned to live like penitents (Luke 3:8): “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance, else, notwithstanding your professions of repentance, you cannot escape the wrath to come.” By the fruits of repentance it will be known whether it be sincere or no. By the change of our way must be evidenced the change of our mind.

_ _ 5. If we be not really holy, both in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and his church will stand us in no stead at all: Begin not now to frame excuses from this great duty of repentance, by saying within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father. What will it avail us to be the children of godly parents if we be not godly, to be within the pale of the Church if we be not brought into the bond of the covenant?

_ _ 6. We have therefore no reason to depend upon our external privileges and professions of religion, because God has no need of us or of our services, but can effectually secure by his own honour and interest without us. If we were cut off and ruined, he could raise up to himself a church out of the most unlikely, — children to Abraham even out of stones.

_ _ 7. The greater professions we make of repentance, and the greater assistances and encouragements are given us to repentance, the nearer and the sorer will our destruction be if we do not bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Now that the gospel begins to be preached, now that the kingdom of heaven is at hand, now that the axe is laid to the root of the tree, threatenings to the wicked and impenitent are now more terrible than before, as encouragements to the penitent are now more comfortable. “Now that you are upon your behaviour, look to yourselves.”

_ _ 8. Barren trees will be cast into the fire at length; it is the fittest place for them: Every tree that doth not bring forth fruit, good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire. If it serve not for fruit, to the honour of God's grace, let it serve for fuel, to the honour of his justice.

_ _ V. The particular instructions he gave to several sorts of persons, that enquired of him concerning their duty: the people, the publicans, and the soldiers. Some of the Pharisees and Sadducees came to his baptism; but we do not find them asking, What shall we do? They thought they knew what they had to do as well as he could tell them, or were determined to do what they pleased, whatever he told them. But the people, the publicans, and the soldiers, who knew that they had done amiss, and that they ought to do better, and were conscious to themselves of great ignorance and unacquaintedness with the divine law, were particularly inquisitive: What shall we do? Note, 1. Those that are baptized must be taught, and those that have baptized them are concerned, as they have opportunity, to teach them, Matthew 28:19, Matthew 28:20. 2. Those that profess and promise repentance in general must evidence it by particular instances of reformation, according as their place and condition are. 3. They that would do their duty must desire to know their duty, and enquire concerning it. The first good word Paul said, when he was converted, was, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? These here enquire, not, What shall this man do? but, What shall we do? What fruits meet for repentance shall we bring forth? Now John gives answer to each, according to their place and station.

_ _ (1.) He tells the people their duty, and that is to be charitable (Luke 3:11): He that has two coats, and, consequently, one to spare, let him give, or lend at least, to him that has none, to keep him warm. Perhaps he saw among his hearers some that were overloaded with clothes, while others were ready to perish in rags, and he puts those who had superfluities upon contributing to the relief of those that had not necessaries. The gospel requires mercy, and not sacrifice; and the design of it is to engage us to do all the good we can. Food and raiment are the two supports of life; he that hath meat to spare, let him give to him that is destitute of daily food, as well as he that hath clothes to spare: what we have we are but stewards of, and must use it, accordingly, as our Master directs.

_ _ (2.) He tells the publicans their duty, the collectors of the emperor's revenue (Luke 3:13): Exact no more than that which is appointed you. They must do justice between the government and the merchant, and not oppress the people in levying the taxes, nor any way make them heavier or more burdensome than the law had made them. They must not think that because it was their office to take care that the people did not defraud the prince they might therefore, by the power they had, bear hard upon the people; as those that have ever so little a branch of power are apt to abuse it: “No, keep to your book of rates, and reckon it enough that you collect for Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and do not enrich yourselves by taking more.” The public revenues must be applied to the public service, and not to gratify the avarice of private persons. Observe, He does not direct the publicans to quit their places, and to go no more to the receipt of custom; the employment is in itself lawful and necessary, but let them be just and honest in it.

_ _ (3.) He tells the soldiers their duty, Luke 3:14. Some think that these soldiers were of the Jewish nation and religion: others think that they were Romans; for it was not likely either that the Jews would serve the Romans or that the Romans would trust the Jews in their garrisons in their own nation; and then it is an early instance of Gentiles embracing the gospel and submitting to it. Military men seldom seem inclined to religion; yet these submitted even to the Baptist's strict profession, and desired to receive the word of command from him: What must we do? Those who more than other men have their lives in their hands, and are in deaths often, are concerned to enquire what they shall do that they may be found in peace. In answer to this enquiry, John does not bid them lay down their arms, and desert the service, but cautions them against the sins that soldiers were commonly guilty of; for this is fruit meet for repentance, to keep ourselves from our iniquity. [1.] They must not be injurious to the people among whom they were quartered, and over whom indeed they were set: “Do violence to no man. Your business is to keep the peace, and prevent men's doing violence to one another; but do not you do violence to any. Shake no man” ( so the word signifies); “do not put people into fear; for the sword of war, as well as that of justice, is to be a terror only to evil doers, but a protection to those that do well. Be not rude in your quarters; force not money from people by frightening them. Shed not the blood of war in peace; offer no incivility either to man or woman, nor have any hand in the barbarous devastations that armies sometimes make.” Nor must they accuse any falsely to the government, thereby to make themselves formidable, and get bribes. [2.] They must not be injurious to their fellow-soldiers; for some think that caution, not to accuse falsely, has special reference to them: “Be not forward to complain one of another to your superior officers, that you may be revenged on those whom you have a pique against, or undermine those above you, and get into their places.” Do not oppress any; so some think the word here signifies as used by the Septuagint in several passages of the Old Testament. [3.] They must not be given to mutiny, or contend with their generals about their pay: “Be content with your wages. While you have what you agreed for, do not murmur that it is not more.” It is discontent with what they have that makes men oppressive and injurious; they that never think they have enough themselves will not scruple at any the most irregular practices to make it more, by defrauding others. It is a rule to all servants that they be content with their wages; for they that indulge themselves in discontents expose themselves to many temptations, and it is wisdom to make the best of that which is.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Luke 3:1

The fifteenth year of Tiberius — Reckoning from the time when Angustus made him his colleague in the empire. Herod being tetrarch of Galilee — The dominions of Herod the Great were, after his death, divided into four parts or tetrarchies. This Herod his son was tetrarch of Galilee, reigning over that fourth part of his dominions. His brother reigned over two other fourth parts, the region of Iturea, and that of Trachonitis (that tract of land on the other side Jordan, which had formerly belonged to the tribe of Manasseh.) And Lysanias (probably descended from a prince of that name, who was some years before governor of that country) was tetrarch of the remaining part of Abilene, which was a large city of Syria, whose territories reached to Lebanon and Damascus, and contained great numbers of Jews. Matthew 3:1; Mark 1:1.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Luke 3:1

Now (1) in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

(1) John comes at the time foretold by the prophets and lays the foundation of the gospel which is exhibited unto us, setting forth the true observing of the law and free mercy in Christ, which comes after John, using also baptism which is the outward sign both of regeneration and also forgiveness of sins.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
am 4030, ad 26

Tiberius Caesar:

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Pontius Pilate:

Luke 23:1-4 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. ... Then said Pilate to the chief priests and [to] the people, I find no fault in this man.
Luke 23:24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
Genesis 49:10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him [shall] the gathering of the people [be].
Acts 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Acts 23:26 Claudius Lysias unto the most excellent governor Felix [sendeth] greeting.
Acts 24:27 But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix' room: and Felix, willing to shew the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.
Acts 26:30 And when he had thus spoken, the king rose up, and the governor, and Bernice, and they that sat with them:


Luke 3:19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
Luke 9:7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
Luke 23:6-11 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. ... And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked [him], and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.


Matthew 14:3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put [him] in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.
Mark 6:17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.

Ituraea was a province of Syria east of Jordan, now called Djedour, according to Burckhardt, and comprising all the flat country south of Djebel Kessoue as far as Nowa, east of Djebel el Sheikh, or mount Hermon, and west of the Hadj road. Trachonitis, according to Strabo and Ptolemy, comprehended all the uneven country on the east of Auranitis, now Haouran, from near Damascus to Bozra, now called El Ledja and Djebel Haouran. Abilene was a district in the valley of Lebanon, so called from Abila its chief town, eighteen miles n of Damascus, according to Antoninus.
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Gn 49:10. Mt 14:3. Mk 6:17. Lk 2:1; 3:19; 9:7; 23:1, 6, 24. Ac 4:27; 23:26; 24:27; 26:30.

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