Luke 12:3
Therefore whatever you have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
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(3) Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness.—See Note on Matthew 10:27. There is, it will be noted, a difference of the same character as in the last verse. As recorded in St. Matthew, it is “What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light.” The disciples were warned of their responsibility and duty as hearers, bound to teach publicly what had been heard in secret. Here they are told of their responsibility as teachers. Every word, however secret, spoken in darkness, in the closet or cabinet, which was the symbol of secresy (see Note on Matthew 6:6); every whisper of false security or groundless fear, spoken in the ear of sinner or of penitent, would one day be made manifest, as in the presence of men and angels.

12:1-12 A firm belief of the doctrine of God's universal providence, and the extent of it, would satisfy us when in peril, and encourage us to trust God in the way of duty. Providence takes notice of the meanest creatures, even of the sparrows, and therefore of the smallest interests of the disciples of Christ. Those who confess Christ now, shall be owned by him in the great day, before the angels of God. To deter us from denying Christ, and deserting his truths and ways, we are here assured that those who deny Christ, though they may thus save life itself, and though they may gain a kingdom by it, will be great losers at last; for Christ will not know them, will not own them, nor show them favour. But let no trembling, penitent backslider doubt of obtaining forgiveness. This is far different from the determined enmity that is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall never be forgiven, because it will never be repented of.Shall be proclaimed upon the housetops - See the notes at Matthew 10:27. The custom of making proclamation from the tops or roofs of houses still prevails in the East. Dr. Thomson ("The Land and the Book," vol. i. p. 51, 52) says: "At the present day, local governors in country districts cause their commands thus to be published. Their proclamations are generally made in the evening, after the people have returned from their labors in the field. The public crier ascends the highest roof at hand, and lifts up his voice in a long-drawn call upon all faithful subjects to give ear and obey. He then proceeds to announce, in a set form, the will of their master, and demand obedience thereto." 2. hid—from knowledge. "Tis no use concealing anything, for all will one day come out. Give free and fearless utterance then to all the truth." (Compare 1Co 4:3, 5). We have something very like this Matthew 10:27, spoken by way of precept. It seemeth to be a sentence also variously applied: it may be left indifferent to the reader, whether he will understand it as a promise of the publication of the gospel, (to which purpose it seems to be spoken in the form of a precept, Matthew 10:27), or as a further enlargement of his former discourse, Luke 12:2. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness,.... In the most private manner, to one another:

shall be heard in the light; which makes all things manifest, the day shall declare it:

and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets; whispered to persons in their bedchambers, and places of the most secret retirement;

shall be proclaimed upon the housetops; declared in the most public manner: in Matthew 10:27 these words are so expressed, as to carry in them such a sense as this; that what was told the disciples by Christ, in the most private place and way, should be published by them, in the most free and open manner; See Gill on Matthew 10:27.

Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
Luke 12:3. ἀνθʼ ὧν, either = quare, inferring the particular case following from the general statement going before, or = because, assigning a reason for that statement. This verse = Matthew 10:27, but altered. In Mt. it is Christ who speaks in the darkness, and whispers in the ear; in Lk. it is His disciples. In the one representation the whispering stage has its place in the history of the kingdom; in the latter it is conceived as illegitimate and futile. What you whisper will become known to all, therefore whisper not but speak from the housetop.3. whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness] The application of the similar language in Matthew 10:26, Mark 4:22, is different. See Luke 8:17.

in closets] Literally, “in the treasuries or storehouses,” i.e. in closed, secret places.

upon the housetops] i.e. in the most public places of resort, so as to be heard in the streets below.Luke 12:3. Εἴπατε, ye have spoken) with some degree of fear.Closets (ταμείοις)

The word has the same root as: τέμνω, to cut or divide, and means an apartment where supplies are divided and apportioned: a treasury, magazine, and therefore a secret and well-guarded place. There the steward (ταμίας), the distributor, has his seat.


See on Matthew 24:17.

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