Luke 24:13 MEANING

Luke 24:13
(13) And, behold, two of them.--The long and singularly interesting narrative that follows is peculiar to St. Luke, and must be looked upon as among the "gleaning of the grapes," which rewarded his researches even after the full vintage had apparently been gathered in by others. The Emmaus in Galilee, about a mile from Tiberias, was famous for its medicinal warm springs (Jos. Ant. xviii. 2, ? 3; Wars, iv. 1, ? 3), and had the narrative referred to it, we might have supposed St. Luke to have visited it on that account. We have no record of any such springs in the Emmaus near Jerusalem, which is also named by Josephus (Wars, vii. 6, ? 6) as at a distance of sixty stadia, or furlongs, from Jerusalem. The name, however, was probably, as Josephus states (as above), significant, connected with the modern Arabic term, Hammam, or Hummum, for a "bath," and indicating, therefore, like the Latin "Aquae," or the French "Aix," the presence of such springs, and if so, the same hypothesis may fit in here. In the case of the Emmaus (afterwards Nicopolis), in the plain of Philistia, there was a fountain mentioned by early writers as famous for its healing powers (Euseb. Chron. 41). We can hardly doubt, from the prominence given to the name of Cleopas, that he was St. Luke's informant. We are not told when the disciples started, but as it was "towards evening" when they reached Emmaus, it could not well have been before their noontide meal. The fulness with which the whole account is given may well lead us to think of it as taken down at the time from the lips of the narrator.

Verses 13-35. - The meeting with the risen Jesus on the way to Emmaus. Verse 13. - And, behold, two of them. This long piece, which relates in a singularly vivid and picturesque manner one of the earliest appearances of the Risen, is peculiar to St. Luke. St. Mark (Mark 16:12, 13) mentions it, but as it were only in passing. This Gospel, written probably after the Gospels of SS. Matthew and Mark, holds a middle place between the earliest apostolic memoirs represented by the first two Gospels and the last memoir, that of St. John, which was probably put out in its present form by the apostle "whom Jesus loved" some time in the last fifteen years of the first century. Writers of varied schools unite in expressions of admiration for this singularly beautiful "memory of the Lord." Godet styles it one of the most admirable pieces in St. Luke's Gospel. Renan, belonging to another, perhaps the most cheerless of all schools of religious thought, writes thus: "L'episode des disciples d'Emmaus est un des recits les plus fins, les plus nuances qu'il y ait duns aucune langue" ('Les Evangiles,' p. 282). Dean Plumptre speaks of "the long and singularly interesting narrative peculiar to St. Luke." He says, "It must be looked upon as among the ' gleaning of the grapes,' which rewarded his researches even after the full vintage had apparently been gathered in by others" (i.e. SS. Matthew and Mark). The "two of them," although doubtless well known in the apostolic age, seem to have held no distinguished place in early Christian history (see note on ver. 18, where Cleopas is mentioned). That same day. The first day of the week - the first Easter Day. The events of the early morning of the Resurrection have been already commented upon. To a village called Emmaus. This Emmaus, the narrative tells us, was about sixty furlongs - some six miles and a half - from the holy city. It was situated east-south-east from Jerusalem. The name is connected with the modern Arabic term Hammam (a bath), and indicates probably, like the Latin Aquae, or the French Aix, and the English "Bath," or "Wells," the presence of medicinal springs; and this may possibly account for St. Luke the physician's attention having in the first instance been drawn to the spot. This Emmaus is now called Kulonieh. A curious Talmudical reference, quoted by Godet, belongs to this place Emmaus, now Kulonieh: "At Mattza they go to gather the green boughs for the Feast of Tabernacles" (Talmud, 'Succa,' 4:5). Elsewhere it is said that "Maflza is Kulonieh."

24:13-27 This appearance of Jesus to the two disciples going to Emmaus, happened the same day that he rose from the dead. It well becomes the disciples of Christ to talk together of his death and resurrection; thus they may improve one another's knowledge, refresh one another's memory, and stir up each other's devout affections. And where but two together are well employed in work of that kind, he will come to them, and make a third. Those who seek Christ, shall find him: he will manifest himself to those that inquire after him; and give knowledge to those who use the helps for knowledge which they have. No matter how it was, but so it was, they did not know him; he so ordering it, that they might the more freely discourse with him. Christ's disciples are often sad and sorrowful, even when they have reason to rejoice; but through the weakness of their faith, they cannot take the comfort offered to them. Though Christ is entered into his state of exaltation, yet he notices the sorrows of his disciples, and is afflicted in their afflictions. Those are strangers in Jerusalem, that know not of the death and sufferings of Jesus. Those who have the knowledge of Christ crucified, should seek to spread that knowledge. Our Lord Jesus reproved them for the weakness of their faith in the Scriptures of the Old Testament. Did we know more of the Divine counsels as far as they are made known in the Scriptures, we should not be subject to the perplexities we often entangle ourselves in. He shows them that the sufferings of Christ were really the appointed way to his glory; but the cross of Christ was that to which they could not reconcile themselves. Beginning at Moses, the first inspired writer of the Old Testament, Jesus expounded to them the things concerning himself. There are many passages throughout all the Scriptures concerning Christ, which it is of great advantage to put together. We cannot go far in any part, but we meet with something that has reference to Christ, some prophecy, some promise, some prayer, some type or other. A golden thread of gospel grace runs through the whole web of the Old Testament. Christ is the best expositor of Scripture; and even after his resurrection, he led people to know the mystery concerning himself, not by advancing new notions, but by showing how the Scripture was fulfilled, and turning them to the earnest study of it.And behold two of them went that same day,.... Two of the disciples, as the Persic version reads; not of the eleven apostles, for it is certain that one of them was not an apostle; but two of the seventy disciples, or of the society of the hundred and twenty that were together: one of these was Cleophas or Alphaeus, as appears from Luke 24:18 the other is, by some, thought to be Luke the Evangelist, as Theophylact on the place observes, who, out of modesty, mentions not his name; others have thought that Nathanael was the other person; and Dr. Lightfoot seems very confident, from Luke 24:34 that the Apostle Peter was the other; but it is not certain who he was: however, this very remarkable affair happened, and therefore a "behold" is prefixed to it, on the "same day"; the first day of the week; the day on which Christ rose from the dead; and the third day from his death it was, see Luke 24:1 that these two disciples travelled:

to a village called Emmaus; whither they might go either to see their friends, or upon some secular affair, or to be retired from the noise of the city, and be secure from danger by their enemies; or it may be this was the place of Cleophas's abode, who, with the other disciple, was returning home after the celebration of the passover. The place whither they went is particularly mentioned, not because it was a place of note, but for the certainty of the fact. It was now but a village, having been burnt since the death of Herod the great, by the order of Varus, the Roman governors (l); though it afterwards became a considerable city, if it is the same with Nicopolis, as Jerom asserts (m); though that rather seems to be the Ammaus, or Chammath of Tiberias, since it was situated by the lake of Genesareth. However, it is certain, that Emmaus is reckoned, by Josephus (n), one of their chief cities; and Jarchi, and Bartenora (o) say, it is the name of a city; and Pliny (p) calls it a toparchy, and says it was watered with fountains; which agrees with the account the Jews give of it (q).

"R. Jochanan ben Zaccai had five disciples; all the time that he stood, or lived, they sat before him; when he departed, they went to Jabneh; and R. Eleazar ben Arach went to his wife, "at Emmaus", a place of pleasant waters, and a beautiful habitation.''

It is mentioned, in company with Bethoron, and Lud, or Lydda: it is said (r),

"from Bethoron, to "Emmaus", is the mountain; and from "Emmaus" to Lydda, the plain; and from Lydda to the sea, the valley.''

Bethoron is mentioned as near Nicopolis, by Jerom; and perhaps is the same with Betholone in Pliny: in Emmaus was a market: at least there was a butcher's market in it; hence we read of, , "the shambles of Emmaus" (s); mention is made of a place so called, as in:

"So they went forth with all their power, and came and pitched by Emmaus in the plain country.'' (1 Maccabees 3:40)

"So the camp removed, and pitched upon the south side of Emmaus.'' (1 Maccabees 3:57)

"Now when Judas heard thereof he himself removed, and the valiant men with him, that he might smite the king's army which was at Emmaus,'' (1 Maccabees 4:3)

Another Emmaus is here meant:

which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs; or seven miles and a half; for eight furlongs make a mile. Josephus (t) says the same, and confirms the account of the distance of this place from Jerusalem.

(l) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 17. c. 12. (m) Epitaph. Paul. fol. 59. B. Catalog. Script. Eccl. fol. 98. B. Tom. I. & in Daniel 8.14. Tom. V. (n) Antiqu. I. 14. c. 18. (o) In Misn. Ceritot, c. 3. sect. 7. (p) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 14. (q) Midrash Kohelet, fol. 74. 4. (r) T. Hieros. Sheviith, c. 9. fol. 38. 4. (s) Misn. Ceritot, c. 3. sect. 7. T. Bah, Cholin, fol. 91. 2. & Maccot, fol. 14. 1.((t) De Bello Jud. l. 7. c. 27.

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