New American Standard Bible
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, 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.
Darby Bible Translation
And persons engaged in military service also asked him saying, And we, what should we do? And he said to them, Oppress no one, nor accuse falsely, and be satisfied with your pay.
World English Bible
Soldiers also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?" He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages."
Young's Literal Translation
And questioning him also were those warring, saying, 'And we, what shall we do?' and he said unto them, 'Do violence to no one, nor accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.'
Luke 3:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The soldiers likewise - It seems that "they," also came to his baptism. Whether these were Jews or Romans cannot be ascertained. It is not improbable that, as Judea was a Roman province, they were Jews or Jewish proselytes in the service of Herod Antipas or Philip, and so were really in the Roman service.
Do violence ... - Do not take the property of any by unlawful force, or do not use unjust force against the person or property of any individual. it is probable that many of them were oppressive, or prone to violence, rapine, or theft, and burdensome even in times of peace to the inhabitants.
Neither accuse any falsely - It is probable that when they wished the property of others and could not obtain it by violence, or when there was no pretext for violence, they often attempted the same thing in another way, and falsely accused the persons of crime. The word rendered "falsely accused" is the one from which our word "sycophant" is derived. The proper meaning of the word "sycophant" was this: There was a law in Athens which prohibited the importation of "figs." The "sycophant" (literally "the man who made figs to appear," or who showed them) was one who made complaint to the magistrate of persons who had imported figs contrary to law, or who was an "informer;" and then the word came to be used in a general sense to denote "any" complainer - a calumniator - an accuser - an informer. As such persons were usually cringing and fawning, and looked for a reward, the word came to be used also to denote a fawner or flatterer. It is always used in a bad sense. It is correctly rendered here, "do not accuse any falsely."
Be content ... - Do not murmur or complain, or take unlawful means to increase your wages.
Wages - This word means not only the "money" which was paid them, but also their "rations" or daily allowance of food. By this they were to show that their repentance was genuine; that it had a practical influence; that it produced a real reformation of life; and it is clear that "no other" repentance would be genuine. Every profession of repentance which is not attended with a change of life is mere hypocrisy. It may farther be remarked that John did not condemn their profession, or say that it was unlawful to be a soldier, or that they must abandon the business in order to be true penitents. It was possible to be a good man and yet a soldier. What was required was that in their profession they should show that they were really upright, and did not commit the crimes which were often practiced in that calling. It is lawful to defend oneself, one's family, or one's country, and hence, it is lawful to be a soldier. Man everywhere, in all professions, should be a Christian, and then he will do honor to his profession, and his profession, if it is not a direct violation of the law of God, will be honorable.
LibraryJohn's Witness to Jesus, and God's
'And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; 16. John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: 17. Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable. …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture
Genealogy According to Luke.
Quirinius the Governor of Syria
"You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
"You shall not bear a false report; do not join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness.
And the crowds were questioning him, saying, "Then what shall we do?"
And he said to them, "Collect no more than what you have been ordered to."
Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much."
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
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