Luke 3:14
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

King James Bible
And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

American Standard Version
And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Extort from no man by violence, neither accuse any one wrongfully; and be content with your wages.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay.

English Revised Version
And soldiers also asked him, saying, And we, what must we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither exact anything wrongfully; and be content with your wages.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the soldiers likewise asked him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said to them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.

Weymouth New Testament
The soldiers also once and again inquired of him, "And we, what are we to do?" His answer was, "Neither intimidate any one nor lay false charges; and be content with your pay."

Luke 3:14 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

Soldiers (στρατευόμενοι)

Strictly, soldiers on service: hence the participle, serving as soldiers, instead of the more comprehensive term στρατιῶται, soldiers by profession. Some explain it of soldiers engaged in police inspection in connection with the customs, and hence naturally associated with the publicans.

What shall we do?

The we in the Greek is emphatic, closing the question. Hence Rev., very aptly, and we, what must we do?

Do violence (διασείσητε)

Only here in New Testament. Lit., to shake violently; hence to agitate or terrify; and so to extort money from one by terrifying him. The corresponding Latin word concutere is used by later writers in the same sense. Xenophon says of Socrates' "I know of his once having heard from Crito that life at Athens was a hard thing for a man who desired to mind his own business. 'For,' said he, 'they bring actions against me, not because they are wronged by me, but because they think I would rather pay money than have any trouble'" ("Memorabilia," ii., 9, 1). For this process of blackmail, σείω, to shake, was used. Thus Aristophanes ("Knights," 840):

"Thou shalt make much money by falsely accusing and frightening" (σείων τε καῖ ταράττων).

And again ("Peace," 639):

"And of their allies they falsely accused (ἔσειον) the substantial and rich."

The word in this passage of Luke has the later, secondary meaning, to extort; and therefore the American Revisers rightly insist on, extort from no man by violence. It is used by medical writers, as, for instance, by Hippocrates, of shaking the palsied or benumbed limbs of a patient; or of a shaking by which the liver was relieved of an obstruction. Luke also uses two other compounds of the verb σείω: κατασείω, to beckon, Acts 12:17 (peculiar to Luke); and ἀνασέιω, to stir up, which occurs also in Mark 15:11. Both these are also used by medical writers.

Accuse any falsely (συκοφαντήσητε)

The common explanation of this word is based on the derivation from σῦκον, a fig, and φαίνω, to make known ; hence of informing against persons who exported figs from Attica, contrary to the law, or who plundered sacred fig-trees. As informers were tempted to accuse innocent persons by the reward paid for pointing out violators of the law, the verb acquired the meaning to accuse falsely. Such is the old explanation, which is now rejected by scholars, though the real explanation is merely conjectural. The fig-tree was the pride of Attica, ranking with honey and olives as one of the principal products, and there is no authority for the statement that there was a time when figs were scarce, and required legal protection against export. Neither is it proven that there was a sacred kind of fig. Rettig, in an interesting paper in the "Studten und Kritiken" (1838), explains that, as tribute in Attica was paid in kind as well as in money, and as figs represented a great deal of property, there was a temptation to make false returns of the amount of figs to the assessors; and that thus a class of informers arose who detected and reported these false returns, and received a percentage of the fine which was imposed. These were known as fig shewers. Another writer has suggested that the reference is to one who brings figs to light by shaking the tree; and so, metaphorically, to one who makes rich men yield up the fruits of their labor or rascality by false accusation. Whatever explanation we may accept, it is evident that the word had some original connection with figs, and that it came to mean to slander or accuse falsely. From it comes our word sycophant. The sycophants as a class were encouraged at Athens, and their services were rewarded. Socrates is said by Xenophon to have advised Crito to take a sycophant into his pay, in order to thwart another who was annoying him; and this person, says Xenophon, "quickly discovered on the part of Crito's accusers many illegal acts, and many persons who were enemies to those accusers; one of whom he summoned to a public trial, in which it would be settled what he should suffer or pay, and he would not let him off until he ceased to molest Crito and paid a sum of money besides." Demosthenes thus describes one: "He glides about the market like a scorpion, with his venomous sting all ready, spying out whom he may surprise with misfortune and ruin, and from whom he can most easily extort money, by threatening him with an action dangerous in its consequences....It is the bane of our city that it protects and cherishes this poisonous brood, and uses them as informers, so that even the honest man must flatter and court them, in order to be safe from their machinations." The word occurs only here and Luke 19:8, of Zacchaeus, the publican. The American Revisers hold to the A. V., and render neither accuse any one wrongfully, extortion being described by the previous word. Wyc., neither make ye false challenge. In the Sept. it is used in the sense of to oppress or deceive.

Wages (ὀψωνίοις)

From ὄψον, cooked meat, and later, generally, provisions. At Athens, especially, fish. Compare ὀψάριον, fish, John 21:9, John 21:10, John 21:13. Hence ὀψώνιον is primarily provision-money, and so used of supplies and pay for an army. With this understanding the use of the word at Romans 6:23, "the wages of sin," becomes highly suggestive.

Luke 3:14 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the soldiers.

Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came to him a centurion, beseeching him,

Acts 10:7 And when the angel which spoke to Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants...

Do violence to no man. or, Put no man in fear.

Romans 13:9,10 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet...

Philippians 2:15 That you may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the middle of a crooked and perverse nation...

accuse.

Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor...

Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 23:1 You shall not raise a false report: put not your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Leviticus 19:11 You shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine...

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ...

and be.

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.

1 Timothy 6:8-10 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content...

Hebrews 13:5,6 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for he has said, I will never leave you...

wages. or, allowance.

Cross References
Exodus 20:16
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Exodus 23:1
"You shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.

Luke 3:10
And the crowds asked him, "What then shall we do?"

Luke 3:13
And he said to them, "Collect no more than you are authorized to do."

Luke 19:8
And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold."

Philippians 4:11
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.

Jump to Previous
Accusation Accuse Acts Amount Army Content Demanded Engaged Enough Exact Extort False. Falsely Likewise Pay Payment Persons Questioning Right Soldiers Violence Violent Wages Wrongfully
Jump to Next
Accusation Accuse Acts Amount Army Content Demanded Engaged Enough Exact Extort False. Falsely Likewise Pay Payment Persons Questioning Right Soldiers Violence Violent Wages Wrongfully
Links
Luke 3:14 NIV
Luke 3:14 NLT
Luke 3:14 ESV
Luke 3:14 NASB
Luke 3:14 KJV

Luke 3:14 Bible Apps
Luke 3:14 Biblia Paralela
Luke 3:14 Chinese Bible
Luke 3:14 French Bible
Luke 3:14 German Bible

Bible Hub

ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Luke 3:13
Top of Page
Top of Page