Greek Study Luke 7:11-17
11Soon afterwards he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went with him. 12As he approached the gate of the town, a man who had died was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow; and with her was a large crowd from the town.13When the Lord saw her, he had compassion for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” 14Then he came forward and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” 15The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” 17This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.
v:11 και εγενετο (γινομαι) aor. it happened - used by Luke to introduce a new literary unit.
εν τω/εξης "soon afterward" – an idiom literally meaning on the next [day].
καλουμενην (καλεω) pres. pas. part. "[a city] called" Ναιν "Nain" - A ‘village/city’ related to Nazareth and Capernaum, probably originally sited near the modern village of Nein, although the actual site is still open to speculation. At one time it might have been a royal city, as it had a gate so a wall is inferred, although modern archeology has turned up nothing near Nein” – the traditional/modern site. Like Emmaus, however, the actual site of Nain is unknown, and since there are literally hundreds of unexcavated Tells and other sites in a 40 mile radius around Tabor, it could be anyplace. At any rate I think this city designation has some hermeneutic value.
συνεπορευοντο (συμπορευομαι) imperf. "went along with" - were travelling with. Jesus who apparently had some reason for going to Nain.
v12 ως "as" - temporal, rather than comparative ηγγισεν (εγγιζω) aor. + dat. "he came near to” literally “within reach” – this same word is used in Mark to describe the proximity of the Kingdom of God as Jesus begins his preaching mnistry.
της πολεως (ις εως) gen. "the city" – in Greek, a polis is a political designation, for Nain to receive such a designation may have significance.
τη πυλη (η) dat. "gate" – literally a defensive gate, but as some scholars point out small villages may have had entrances that were decorative – two problems, one there has never been one found and two, why use such a word at all? Decorative entrances were rare for Israelite villages (for example much larger and wealthier Capernaum had none) and Israelite ‘villages’ (also a technical designation) were not called a ‘polis’. The Greek word for village is kome and Luke used this word elsewhere in his Gospel to describe many places in Galilee, in fact he uses it more than other Gospel writer.
εξεκομιζετο (εκκομιζω) imperf. pas. "was being carried out" - imperfect tense is durative, the procession is in progress. This is a technical term for carrying a dead body, and is used once only in NT.
τεθνηκως (θνησκω) perf. part. "a dead person" μονογενης adj. "the only [son]" - used by Luke to designate an only child τη μητρι (ηρ τρος) dat. "of his mother"
ικανος adj. "a large [crowd]" – used here is a quantitative sense; "many people from the town were walking along with her". This demonstrates both the importance of this even t in the life of the mother and her status within the polis
της πολεως (ις εως) gen. "from the city".
v13 ιδων (ειδον) aor. part. ο κυριος (ος) " the Lord having seen" – a title normally used of Jesus after his resurrection. Some scholars claim that because Luke is recounting a ‘resurrection’ story of sorts and he gives Jesus the title earlier.
εσπλαγχνισθη (σπλαγχνιζομαι) aor. pas. "his heart went out [to her]" – an emotion ascribed to Jesus on a number of occasions.
μη + pres. imp. "Don't [cry]" –expressing a command, "cease weeping". It sounds harsh, and it is, hence the use of the previous Greek word to underscore Jesus’ motive.
v14 προσελθων (προσερχομαι) aor. part. "then he went up" – approached and he ηψατο (απτω) aor. "touched" - an important observation, since by touching the bier makes Jesus ritually unclean. Some suggest this was shock value to stop the procession.
της σορου (ος) gen. "the bier" – used only once in the NT. Properly this was a plank of wood on which the body was laid, wrapped in a linen cloth.
σοι dat. pro. λεγω "I say to you" - "I command you" εγερθητι (εγειρω) aor. pas. imp. "be raised up”. The passive is used with active force so this is not a resurrection but more like Lazarus in John 11, a calling someone back from the dead.
v15 ο νεκρος adj. "the dead one" ανεκαθισεν (ανακαθιζω) aor. "sat up" – a word only used here and in Acts, in both cases of a person restored to life.
λαλεις (λαλεω) pres. inf. "[began] to talk" - infinitive is complementary and indicates the healing is complete.
εδωκεν (διδωμι) aor. "Jesus gave [him] back" – he presented him to τη μητρι (η ρος)
dat. "to [his] mother".
v16 ελαβεν (λαμβανω) aor. "they were [all] filled" - [fear] took, seized [all]. The classic response to a messianic sign.
εδοξαζον (δοξαζω) imperf. "praised" - a durative sense may be intended where the "fear" prompts ongoing praise.
οτι "because" – used twice here to introduce a dependent statement of direct speech, expressing what the people said, namely that.
μεγας ηγερθη "a great prophet has arisen" the article indicates that the crowd is not saying Jesus is the long awaited revived Elijah; nor is this a declaration messianic, in truth they are admitting that they do not know exactly who Jesus is.
επεσκοψατο (επισκεπτομαι) aor. "has come to visit” a phrase used of God's visitations to his people.
v17 ο λογος ουτος "this report” possibly generally, "this story about the healing of the widow's son", but probably more specifically the opinion that a prophet was again present in Israel.
εξηλθεν (εξερχομαι) aor. "spread" - the news of him (concerning Jesus and this event) filled every city, village, and home εν + dat. "throughout" - in [all Judea and the surrounding countryside]. The point being that John the Baptist hears of the "prophet" at work and, as a consequence, is confused.