Luke 22:38 - It is enough!

Steven Lo Vullo doulos at
Sat Oct 20 14:43:23 EDT 2001

on 10/20/01 9:26 AM, Neal Stublen at nstublen at wrote:

> When the disciples come up with two swords, as Jesus had just encouraged
> them to do, he says to them, "IKANON ESTIN."
> When I read this it seems that Jesus is saying that their two swords are
> sufficient - they don't need to get any more.  However, others I have
> interacted with suggest this is a rebuke of the disciples - Jesus has had
> enough of their foolish talk - he did not mean for them to literally get
> swords, but he was speaking figuratively concerning the attitude they would
> need in the coming days. (This is similar to the understanding given by
> Norval Geldenhuys in his commentary on Luke (NICNT), where he states that
> most expositors agree that Jesus talked of buying swords in a figurative
> sense.)
> Is this second understanding at all possible from IKANON ESTIN?  Can this
> phrase be issued as a way of saying, "That's enough - now be quiet!"

The swords here must be literal swords. When Jesus commands them to buy
swords in v. 36, he states as the reason in v. 37 GAR LEGW hUMIN hOTI TOUTO
TO PERI EMOU TELOS ECEI ("For I tell you that this which is written must be
fulfilled in me, 'AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH TRANSGRESSORS'; for that which
refers to me has [its] fulfillment.") GAR explains why they should get
swords: the scripture that says he will be numbered with the transgressors
must be fulfilled, and it will be fulfilled by the disciples having swords,
like revolutionaries (see v. 50). When told they had two swords, Jesus
responds hIKANON ESTIN ("It is sufficient."), i.e., it is sufficient to
fulfill the scripture about him being numbered with the transgressors.

Steven Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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