King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Luke 10

Seventy disciples sent forth. (1-16) The blessedness of Christ’s disciples. (17-24) The good Samaritan. (25-37) Jesus at the house of Martha and Mary. (38-42)

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Seventy disciples sent forth

1 After these things the LORD appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come.

2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

4 Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.

5 And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house.

6 And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.

8 And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you:

9 And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

10 But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say,

11 Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you.

12 But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city.

13 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon, which have been done in you, they had a great while ago repented, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.

14 But it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment, than for you.

15 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.

16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

The blessedness of Christ’s disciples

17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.

18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.

22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

23 And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see:

24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

The good Samaritan

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Jesus at the house of Martha and Mary

38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.

39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Other seventy-two. Most Greek copies, and the Syriac version, have seventy, as in the Prot. translation. Yet there seems no doubt but the true number was seventy-two. For seventy-two may be called seventy; but had they been only seventy, they could never have been called seventy-two. This was also the exact number of the judges chosen to assist Moses; (Exod. xxiv. 1.) though called seventy, (Numb. xi. 16.) as it is evident, because there were six chosen out of every one of the twelve tribes. In like manner the exact number of the interpreters called the Sept. must have been seventy-two; and also the just number of the Sanhedrim. — Two and two, that one might be a help and comfort to the other; as also a witness of the carriage and behaviour of his companion. Wi.

Ver. 4. As Moses formerly chose twelve elders as princes and fathers of the twelve tribes of Israel, and afterwards gave to each of these elders six others, to assist them in the arduous work of governing the people, so our divine Saviour chose twelve apostles to govern his Church. He likewise afterwards gave six disciples to each apostle, which makes 72, to serve as priests, and assist in governing the Church. Tirinus. — Salute no man, i.e. go forwards promptly, and do not stay to amuse yourselves with vain compliments and useless civilities towards those whom you meet. This was a proverb. Eliseus said the same to Giezi, when he sent him to restore life to the child of the widow of Sunamis. If any man meet you, salute him not; think of nothing but of executing the orders I give you. Calmet.

Ver. 15. And thou, Capharnaum, &c. Capharnaum is situated on the western coast of the sea of Tiberias. Christ having left Nazareth, made the former city the usual place of his abode. There was no city in which he had preached so much, or wrought so many miracles. On this account, he said it was exalted to the heavens; but for its incredulity he threatens it shall be cast down even unto hell. Calmet.

Ver. 18. I saw Satan as lightning, &c. Many expound it in this manner: I, who am from eternity, saw Satan with all the rebellious angels, as glorious as they were, fall from heaven; fear then, and tremble, though you have received such favours from God. Others take it in this sense, that Christ, by his incarnation, hath seen the power of the devils lessened and confounded, according to what he also said, (Jo. xii. 31.) Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. Wi. — What connexion have these words with what goes before? Some understand them thus: the reign of the devil is near at an end; this prince of darkness is going to be overturned; he will fall from the air, where he reigns, with the same precipitation as lightning, which cuts the clouds and presently disappears. It is almost the same thing he says in other places. “The prince of this world is already judged; behold now is the judgment of this world; behold now the prince of this world shall be cast forth! When I sent you to preach the gospel to the poor, I saw Satan fall; I saw his empire overturned. The last effort which this empire of darkness shall make is the death of our Saviour, as he himself says: This is your hour, and the power of darkness. Since his resurrection he has bound the dragon in the abyss for a thousand years; he has shut up the entrance, and sealed it with his seal.” Apoc. xii. 9. xx. 2. Others think that Jesus speaks here of the fall of Lucifer, at the beginning of the creation. Wishing to give his disciples a lesson in humility, on account of the vain complacency which he saw they took in the miracles they wrought, he says to them: Beware of pride, that precipitated the first angel from heaven: I have seen him in the glory with which he was surrounded, and I have seen him hurried into the abyss. Fear, lest the same should happen to you. The former explanation appears to us more simple and literal. Calmet.

Ver. 19. Given you power, &c. By these words our Saviour seems to insinuate, that the venom of serpents, and the other noxious qualities of some animals, proceed from the malice of the devil. These are the arms and the instruments he makes use of to kill us, being the prince of death and a murderer from the beginning, as the Scripture styles him. The Jews attributed sickness, poisons, and every thing of the same kind to evil spirits.

Ver. 21. He rejoiced in the Holy Ghost. In almost all Greek copies, we read in spirit, without holy. And it is expounded of Christ’s own spirit. Wi. — I give thanks, &c. In this verse we see plainly refuted the heretical Marcion, and his follower Manicheus, who asserted that God was not the creator of the earth, or of any thing existing on the earth. S. Epiphanius says, that in a gospel written by Marcion, the words Father and earth were entirely omitted. Who does not here deplore the blindness of heretics, who, in order to spread their errors, do not hesitate thus to corrupt the original Scripture received by the whole Christian world!!! D. Dion. Carth.

Ver. 25. Eternal life? The law of Moses does not expressly promise eternal life to the observers of it, but confines its promises to temporal blessings during this life. Still we always find that the Jews hoped in another life after this. This opinion is clearly observable in the books of Scripture, written both before and after the captivity, and in Josephus and Philo. Calmet.

Ver. 29. Neighbour? It appears this was a celebrated controversy among the doctors of the law; some probably affirming, that the Jews only were so; while others maintained that their friends alone were their neighbours. Maldonatus.

Ver. 30. A certain man, &c. This some would have to be a history: others rather judge it spoken by way of parable, to teach us to perform offices of charity towards all men without exception. Wi. — Were we to adhere to the mere words of this parable, it would seem to follow, that only those who do us good were to be esteemed our neighbours; for the context seems to intimate, that the Levite and the priest were not neighbours to the man who fell among the robbers, because they did not assist him. But according to the opinion of most fathers, the intent of this parable is the shew, that every person who has need of our assistance is our neighbour. Maldonatus.

Ver. 31. Our Saviour here shews the Jewish priests how preposterous was their behaviour, who, though scrupulously exact in performing all external acts of religion, entirely neglected piety, mercy, and other more essential duties. The Jews despised the Samaritans as wicked and irreligious men; but our Saviour here tells them that they were less exact in works of charity towards their neighbours than the very Samaritans. Tirinus.

Ver. 34. This is the allegorical meaning of the parable: The man that fell among robbers, represents Adam and his posterity; Jerusalem, the state of peace and innocence, which man leaves by going down to Jericho, which means the moon, the state of trouble and sin: the robbers represent the devil, who stripped him of his supernatural gifts, and wounded him in his natural faculties: the priest and Levite represent the old law: the Samaritan, Christ; and the beast, his humanity. The inn means the Church; wine, the blood of Christ; oil, his mercy; whilst the host signifies S. Peter and his successors, the bishops and priests of the Church. Origen, S. Jerom, S. Ambrose, S. Austin, and others.

Ver. 40. Calvin here ridicules the professors of evangelical poverty, because they gather from this place that there are two states of life, viz. the active and the contemplative, figured by Martha and Mary. But what will he answer, when he is informed, that this is the opinion not merely of monks, but even of a S. Austin, (Serm. xxvii, De verbis Domini,) of a S. Jerom, (Com. 3 cap. of Jeremiah,) of a S. Greg. and many others? Not that they were ignorant that there was another more natural explanation; but they were of opinion that nothing could be found more proper for the illustration of these different states of life. Maldonatus.

Ver. 42. One thing is necessary. Some think that Christ’s meaning was, that Martha was preparing many dishes, when one was sufficient. But others, that this one thing necessary, was to learn, and comply with the will of God; which Mary was employed about. Wi.