Questions on Luke 11:31-37


#1

My Questions:

  1. Why is Christ referring to the Queen of the South ? Why is he saying that she specifically will condemn them ?
  2. What does Christ mean when he says : “If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome”
  3. Why is he saying that the eye is the light of the body ? What is the meaning of this ?

Commentary from the writings and words of the Saints focusing on these verses would be helpful as well.
(Douay-Rheims)
[31] The queen of the south shall rise in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold more than Solomon here. [32] The men of Ninive shall rise in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it; because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas; and behold more than Jonas here. [33] No man lighteth a candle, and putteth it in a hidden place, nor under a bushel; but upon a candlestick, that they that come in, may see the light. [34] The light of thy body is thy eye. If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome. [35] Take heed therefore, that the light which is in thee, be not darkness.

[36] If then thy whole body be lightsome, having no part of darkness; the whole shall be lightsome; and as a bright lamp, shall enlighten thee. [37] And as he was speaking, a certain Pharisee prayed him, that he would dine with him. And he going in, sat down to eat.


#2

The passage…from the RSV translation
29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin’eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation. 31The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.32The men of Nin’eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. 33"No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a bushel, but on a stand, that those who enter may see the light. 34Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. 35Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”

  1. Why is Christ referring to the Queen of the South ? Why is he saying that she specifically will condemn them ?

The queen of the south is a convenient symbol of a person who came a great distance in order to learn of the Wisdom of God.
Her condemnation will be because this generation does not see the great wisdom standing before them in the person of Jesus.
She traveled a great distance, and they cannot see what is standing right in front of them.

  1. What does Christ mean when he says : “If thy eye be single, thy whole body will be lightsome: but if it be evil, thy body also will be darksome”

I think the RSV might be a more clear translation of this.
“Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness.”
Much of what we know of the world enters through our eye…What we do with that information will be either good or bad…If we take in what is good and reject what is bad, then we will project only good…If we take in what is bad and reject the good, (dark) then were will project evil.

  1. Why is he saying that the eye is the light of the body ? What is the meaning of this ?

I would suggest that this refers to the idea that much can be told from a person’s eye. Consider how people will say, “I could see it in his eyes.” The eye is an expression of what is inside of us…It comes out through our expressions - and the eyes are very expressive.

Just some thoughts…

Peace
James


#3

Maybe this ?

Your eyes show how you feel on the inside

If your eyes shine, it’s because you feel good on the inside.

If your eyes look sick, it’s because you feel bad on the inside.


#4

The Queen of the South, like the Ninivites, was a pagan. She travelled a great distance to do honour and learn from Solomon. The Jews had the Law and the Prophets and Jesus in their midst yet unlike the Queen they for the most part did Him no honour and learnt nothing from Him.

What we look upon with the eyes of our heart fills us with its light. If we look upon Jesus our heart will be filled with Jesus. If we look upon the things of the world and of satan then our heart will be filled with lust and desires.


#5

St. Bede says the Queen of the South condemns the generation by her superior action.

Queen of the South shall condemn this generation, not by exercising the power of judgment against them, but by having performed an action which, when put in competition with theirs, will be found superior to them. (Ven. Bede)

Some commentators take eye to figuratively mean reason.

If thy eye be single. As when the eyes of the body are pure, and free from the mixture of bad humours, the whole body is lightsome; so if the eyes of the mind, viz. reason, faith and understanding, are not infected with the pestiferous humours of envy, avarice, and other vices, the whole mind will be illuminated by the presence of the Holy Ghost. Take care, therefore, lest by giving way to these vices, the light which is in thee be turned into darkness. (Barradius)

Ver. 34.—The light of the body is the eye. Figuratively the eye represents reason, intellect, especially good intention—for what the eye is to the body, such is reason or good intention to the mind.

When thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light, i.e. illumined by a single, a clear and unclouded eye. (Cornelius a Lapide)


#6

Thank you all for your answers !


#7

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