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12 But before all this,[a] they will seize[b] you and persecute you, handing you over to the synagogues[c] and prisons. You[d] will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. 13 This will be a time for you to serve as witnesses.[e] 14 Therefore be resolved[f] not to rehearse[g] ahead of time how to make your defense. 15 For I will give you the words[h] along with the wisdom[i] that none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents,[j] brothers, relatives,[k] and friends, and they will have some of you put to death. 17 You will be hated by everyone because of my name.[l] 18 Yet[m] not a hair of your head will perish.[n] 19 By your endurance[o] you will gain[p] your lives.[q]

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  1. Luke 21:12 sn But before all this. Another note of timing is present, this one especially important in understanding the sequence in the discourse. Before the things noted in vv. 8-11 are the events of vv. 12-19.
  2. Luke 21:12 tn Grk “will lay their hands on you.”
  3. Luke 21:12 sn Some of the persecution is of Jewish origin (the synagogues). Some fulfillment of this can be seen in Acts. See the note on synagogues in 4:15.
  4. Luke 21:12 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  5. Luke 21:13 tn Grk “This will turn out to you for [a] testimony.”
  6. Luke 21:14 tn Grk “determine in your hearts.”
  7. Luke 21:14 tn This term could refer to rehearsing a speech or a dance. On its syntax, see BDF §392.2.
  8. Luke 21:15 tn Grk “a mouth.” It is a metonymy and refers to the reply the Lord will give to them.
  9. Luke 21:15 tn Grk “and wisdom.”
  10. Luke 21:16 sn To confess Christ might well mean rejection by one’s own family, even by parents.
  11. Luke 21:16 tn Grk “and brothers and relatives,” but καί (kai) has not been translated twice here since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.
  12. Luke 21:17 sn See Luke 6:22, 27; 1 Cor 1:25-31.
  13. Luke 21:18 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “yet” to indicate the contrast present in this context.
  14. Luke 21:18 sn Given v. 16, the expression not a hair of your head will perish must be taken figuratively and refer to living ultimately in the presence of God.
  15. Luke 21:19 sn By your endurance is a call to remain faithful, because trusting in Jesus is the means to life.
  16. Luke 21:19 tc Some significant Greek witnesses plus the majority of mss (א D L W Ψ ƒ1 M) read the aorist imperative κτήσασθε (ktēsasthe) here, though some mss (A B Θ ƒ13 33 lat sa) read the future indicative κτήσεσθε (ktēsesthe). A decision is difficult because the evidence is so evenly balanced, but the aorist imperative is the harder reading and better explains the rise of the other. J. A. Fitzmyer assesses the translation options this way: “In English one has to use something similar [i.e., a future indicative], even if one follows the [aorist imperative]” (Luke [AB], 2:1341); in the same vein, although this translation follows the aorist imperative, because of English requirements it has been translated as though it were a future indicative.
  17. Luke 21:19 tn Grk “your souls,” but ψυχή (psuchē) is frequently used of one’s physical life. In light of v. 16 that does not seem to be the case here. The entire phrase could be taken as an idiom meaning “you will save yourselves” (L&N 21.20), or (as in v. 18) this could refer to living ultimately in the presence of God.

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