Luke 13:15

15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?

Luke 13:15 in Other Translations

15 The Lord then answered him, and said,Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
15 Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?
15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water?
15 But Jesus shot back, "You frauds! Each Sabbath every one of you regularly unties your cow or donkey from its stall, leads it out for water, and thinks nothing of it.
15 But the Lord answered him and said, "Hypocrites! Doesn't each one of you untie his ox or donkey from the feeding trough on the Sabbath and lead it to water?

Luke 13:15 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 13:15

The Lord then answered him and said
Though he did not direct his speech to him, he knew that he struck at him, and suggested that he was a violator of the sabbath, as well as the people: and therefore in defence of himself, and of what he had done, and to expose the hypocrisy of this man, made answer as follows,

thou hypocrite;
the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read in the plural, "hypocrites"; as do the Complutensian edition, and four ancient copies of Beza's, and the Alexandrian copy; but the Syriac and Persic versions read in the singular, "hypocrite"; as this man was, who covered his malice and envy at Christ, with a show of zeal for the sabbath day; and yet did that upon it, which must be allowed by themselves, and others, to be a much greater violation of the sabbath, than this cure could ever be thought to be:

doth not each one of you, on the sabbath day, loose his ox, or
his ass, from the stall,
or rack, where he is fastened with a rope;

and lead him away to watering?
to some place of water, where he may drink, after having filled himself at the rack: and that this was agreeably to their own canons and practice, that beasts may be led out on a sabbath day, is certain; for they deliver various rules concerning leading them out, with what they might, and with what they might not be brought out; and particularly, among others, mention asses and heifers F17; and they speak F18 of leading them to water, not only to drink of it, but to wash their chains in it, which, it seems, received pollution, and needed washing, and might be done on a sabbath day; yea, they allow, that not only a beast may be led out to watering, but a man might fill a vessel of water, and pour it out into a trough for it, provided he did not directly set it before it: the rule is this F19

``a man may not fill water (a vessel of it), and put it on a sabbath day before his beast, but he may fill it, and pour it out, and it may drink of it.''

And particularly on a feast day, their rule is F20, that

``they do not water nor slay beasts of the desert, but they water and slay domestic ones. Domestic ones are such as lie in the city (i.e. as Maimonides says F21, within the sabbatical border, 2000 cubits from the city), and those of the desert are such as lie in pastures.''

And therefore very justly does our Lord observe to the ruler of the synagogue their own practices towards a beast, in defence of his works of mercy to men.


F17 Misn. Sahbat, c. 5. sect. 1, 2, 3, 4. & 18. 2. T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 51. 2. & Piske Tosephot in ib. art. 226, 227, 228, 233.
F18 Bartenora in Misn. Sabbat, c. 5. sect. 1.
F19 T. Bab. Erubin, fol. 20. 2.
F20 Misn. Betza, c. 5. sect. 7.
F21 In ib.

Luke 13:15 In-Context

13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Cross References 1

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