Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Luke 13:32

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Tell that fox - Herod was a very vicious prince, and lived in public incest with his sister-in-law, Mark 6:17; : if our Lord meant him here, it is hard to say why the character of fox, which implies cunning, design, and artifice, to hide evil intentions, should be attributed to him, who never seemed studious to conceal his vices. But we may suppose that Christ, who knew his heart, saw that he covered his desire for the destruction of our Lord, under the pretense of zeal for the law and welfare of the Jewish people. A fox among the Jews appears to have been the emblem of a wicked ruler, who united cunning with cruelty, and was always plotting how he might aggrandize himself by spoiling the people. See a quotation in Schoettgen.

The following observation from the judicious Bishop Pearce deserves attention. "It is not certain," says he, "that Jesus meant Herod here; he might only have intended to call that man so, from whom the advice of departing came, (whether from the speaker himself, or the person who sent him), for it is probable, that the advice was given craftily, and with design to frighten Jesus, and, make him go from that place."

To-day and to-morrow - I am to work miracles for two days more, and on the third day I shall be put to death. But it is probable that this phrase only means, that he had but a short time to live, without specifying its duration.

Perfected - Or finished, τελειουμαι . I shall then have accomplished the purpose for which I came into the world, leaving nothing undone which the counsel of God designed me to complete. Hence, in reference to our Lord, the word implies his dying; as the plan of human redemption was not finished, till he bowed his head and gave up the ghost on the cross: see John 19:30, where the same word is used. It is used also in reference to Christ's death, Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:9; see also Acts 20:24, and Hebrews 12:23. The word finish, etc., is used in the same sense both by the Greeks and Latins. See Kypke.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Tell that fox - A fox is an emblem of slyness, of cunning, and of artful mischief. The word is also used to denote a dissembler. Herod was a wicked man, but the “particular thing” to which Jesus here alludes is not his “vices,” but his “cunning, his artifice,” in endeavoring to remove him out of his territory. He had endeavored to do it by stratagem - by sending these people who pretended great friendship for his life.

Behold, I cast out devils … - Announce to him the fact that I am working miracles in his territory, and that I shall continue to do it. I am not afraid of his art or his enmity. I am engaged in my appropriate work, and shall continue to be as long as is proper, in spite of his arts and his threats.

Today and tomorrow - A little time. The words seem here to be used not strictly, but proverbially - to denote a short space of time. Let not Herod be uneasy. I am doing no evil; I am not violating the laws. I only cure the sick, etc. In a little time this part of my work will be done, and I shall retire from his dominions.

The third day - After a little time. Perhaps, however, he meant “literally” that he would depart on that day for Jerusalem; that for two or three days more he would remain in the villages of Galilee, and then go on his way to Jerusalem.

I shall be perfected - Rather, I shall have ended my course “here;” I shall have “perfected” what I purpose to do in Galilee. It does not refer to his “personal” perfection, for he was always perfect, but it means that he would have “finished or completed” what he purposed to do in the regions of Herod. He would have completed his work, and would be ready then to go.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ, in calling Herod a fox, gave him his true character. The greatest of men were accountable to God, therefore it became him to call this proud king by his own name; but it is not an example for us. I know, said our Lord, that I must die very shortly; when I die, I shall be perfected, I shall have completed my undertaking. It is good for us to look upon the time we have before us as but little, that we may thereby be quickened to do the work of the day in its day. The wickedness of persons and places which more than others profess religion and relation to God, especially displeases and grieves the Lord Jesus. The judgment of the great day will convince unbelievers; but let us learn thankfully to welcome, and to profit by all who come in the name of the Lord, to call us to partake of his great salvation.