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Luke 4:25-27 New English Translation (NET Bible)

25 But in truth I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s days,[a] when the sky[b] was shut up three and a half years, and[c] there was a great famine over all the land. 26 Yet[d] Elijah was sent to none of them, but only to a woman who was a widow at Zarephath in Sidon.[e] 27 And there were many lepers[f] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha,[g] yet[h] none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”[i]


  1. Luke 4:25 sn Elijahs days. Jesus, by discussing Elijah and Elisha, pictures one of the lowest periods in Israel’s history. These examples, along with v. 24, also show that Jesus is making prophetic claims as well as messianic ones. See 1 Kgs 17-18.
  2. Luke 4:25 tn Or “the heaven”; the Greek word οὐρανός (ouranos) may be translated “sky” or “heaven,” depending on the context. Since the context here refers to a drought (which produced the famine), “sky” is preferable.
  3. Luke 4:25 tn Grk “as.” The particle ὡς can also function temporally (see BDAG 1105-6 s.v. 8).
  4. Luke 4:26 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast.
  5. Luke 4:26 sn Zarephath in Sidon was Gentile territory (see 1 Kgs 17:9-24). Jesus’ point was that he would be forced to minister elsewhere, and the implication is that this ministry would ultimately extend (through the work of his followers) to those outside the nation.
  6. Luke 4:27 sn The ancient term for leprosy covers a wider array of conditions than what is called leprosy today (Hansen’s disease). In the OT the Hebrew term generally referred to a number of exfoliative (scaly) skin diseases (when applied to humans). A person with one of these diseases was totally ostracized from society until he was declared cured (Lev 13:45-46). In the NT the Greek term also refers to a number of skin diseases, but there is some evidence that true leprosy (Hansen’s disease) could be referred to, since that disease began to be described by Greek physicians in Alexandria, Egypt around 300 B.C. and thus might have been present in Judea and Galilee just before the time of Jesus.
  7. Luke 4:27 sn On Elisha see 2 Kgs 5:1-14.
  8. Luke 4:27 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast.
  9. Luke 4:27 sn The reference to Naaman the Syrian (see 2 Kgs 5:1-24) is another example where an outsider and Gentile was blessed. The stress in the example is the missed opportunity of the people to experience God’s work, but it will still go on without them.
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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