The Meaning of Luke 9:28 Explained

Luke 9:28

KJV: And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

YLT: And it came to pass, after these words, as it were eight days, that having taken Peter, and John, and James, he went up to the mountain to pray,

Darby: And it came to pass after these words, about eight days, that taking Peter and John and James he went up into a mountain to pray.

ASV: And it came to pass about eight days after these sayings, that he took with him Peter and John and James, and went up into the mountain to pray.

What does Luke 9:28 Mean?

Study Notes

And it came
See note on the transfiguration, .

Verse Meaning

Matthew and Mark said that the Transfiguration happened "after six days" ( Matthew 17:1; Mark 9:2), but Luke wrote "some (about) eight days." Luke"s reference is less precise and may reflect a Hellenistic way of referring to a week. Again Luke reversed the normal order of the three primary apostles perhaps to link Peter with John , the leaders of the apostolic church in Palestine (cf. Luke 8:51).
His use of the definite article with "mountain" suggests a specific mountain, but Luke did not identify it. Perhaps the Transfiguration was so well known when he wrote that he did not need to identify it but only mentioned it as the mountain on which this event happened. Another idea is that he referred to the mountain this way to set it off in some special symbolic way as similar to Mt. Sinai and or Mt. Olivet (cf. Mt. Olympus). [1] Playing down the identity of the mountain has the effect of magnifying Jesus. In view of Jesus" geographical movements with His disciples it seems to me that the mountain was probably Mt. Hermon just north of Caesarea Philippi. Other possibilities are Mt. Tabor, Mt. Arbel, and Mt. Meron. [2] Mt. Tabor is the traditional site, but it is too far from Caesarea Philippi and appears to have been occupied at this time. [3]
Again Luke referred to Jesus praying. The implication is that the Transfiguration was an answer to His prayer. Frequently in Old Testament times revelations followed prayer (e.g, Daniel 9; et al.; cf. Acts 22:6; Acts 26:13), though this one came to the disciples, not to Jesus.

Context Summary

Luke 9:28-36 - A Glimpse Of Glory
From some aspects this was the highest point in our Savior's earthly career. He was the second Adam and had not sinned. There was no reason, therefore, that He should die. He might in a moment have been changed; that which was mortal might have been swallowed up of life. The door through which Moses and Elijah had come stood open, and by it our Lord might have returned. But He could never, under those circumstances, have been the Savior of mankind. He knew this, so He turned His back on the joy set before Him and set His face toward Calvary.
Moses came as representing the Law; and Elijah, the Prophets. Each of these great departments of divine revelation had anticipated His coming, Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44. As stars fade in the sunrise, so their mission was now merged in Him. They spoke of His decease, literally, His exodus, and it was from this that Peter caught the term which he applied to his own death, 2 Peter 1:15. The Apostles never forgot this manifestation of the glory of the Lord, 1 John 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:17. When you hear that Christ is the Beloved of God, remember Ephesians 1:6. [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 9

1  Jesus sends his apostles to work miracles, and to preach
7  Herod desires to see Jesus
10  The apostles return
12  Jesus feeds five thousand;
18  inquires what opinion the world had of him; foretells his passion;
23  proposes to all the pattern of his patience
28  The transfiguration
37  He heals the lunatic;
43  again forewarns his disciples of his passion;
46  commends humility;
51  bids them to show mildness toward all, without desire of revenge
57  Many would follow him, but upon conditions

Greek Commentary for Luke 9:28

About eight days [ωσει ημεραι οκτω]
A nominativus pendens without connexion or construction. Mark 9:2 (Matthew 17:1) has “after six days” which agrees with the general statement. [source]
Into the mountain [εις το ορος]
Probably Mount Hermon because we know that Jesus was near Caesarea Philippi when Peter made the confession (Mark 8:27; Matthew 16:13). Hermon is still the glory of Palestine from whose heights one can view the whole of the land. It was a fit place for the Transfiguration.To pray (προσευχασται — proseuxasthai). Peculiar to Luke who so often mentions Christ‘s habit of prayer (cf. Luke 3:21). See also Luke 9:29 “as he was praying” (εν τωι προσευχεσται — en tōi proseuchesthai one of Luke‘s favourite idioms).His countenance was altered Literally, “the appearance of his face became different.” Matthew 17:2 says that “his face did shine as the sun.” Luke does not use the word “transfigured” Literally, And his raiment white radiant. There is no and between “white” and “dazzling.” The participle εχαστραπτων — exastraptōn is from the compound verb meaning to flash The simple verb is common for lightning flashes and bolts, but the compound in the lxx and here alone in the N.T. See note on Mark 9:3 “exceeding white” and the note on Matthew 17:2 “white as the light.” [source]
To pray [προσευχασται]
Peculiar to Luke who so often mentions Christ‘s habit of prayer (cf. Luke 3:21). See also Luke 9:29 “as he was praying” (εν τωι προσευχεσται — en tōi proseuchesthai one of Luke‘s favourite idioms). [source]
His countenance was altered [εγενετο το ειδος του προσωπου αυτου ετερον]
Literally, “the appearance of his face became different.” Matthew 17:2 says that “his face did shine as the sun.” Luke does not use the word “transfigured” Literally, And his raiment white radiant. There is no and between “white” and “dazzling.” The participle εχαστραπτων — exastraptōn is from the compound verb meaning to flash The simple verb is common for lightning flashes and bolts, but the compound in the lxx and here alone in the N.T. See note on Mark 9:3 “exceeding white” and the note on Matthew 17:2 “white as the light.” [source]
And his raiment white radiant []
. There is no and between “white” and “dazzling.” The participle εχαστραπτων — exastraptōn is from the compound verb meaning to flash The simple verb is common for lightning flashes and bolts, but the compound in the lxx and here alone in the N.T. See note on Mark 9:3 “exceeding white” and the note on Matthew 17:2 “white as the light.” [source]
and []
between “white” and “dazzling.” The participle εχαστραπτων — exastraptōn is from the compound verb meaning to flash The simple verb is common for lightning flashes and bolts, but the compound in the lxx and here alone in the N.T. See note on Mark 9:3 “exceeding white” and the note on Matthew 17:2 “white as the light.” [source]
A mountain []
Rev., the mountain. The tradition that this mountain was Tabor is generally abandoned, and Mount Hermon is commonly supposed to have been the scene of the transfiguration. “Hermon, which is indeed the centre of all the Promised Land, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt; the mount of fruitfulness, from which the springs of Jordan descended to the valleys of Israel. Along its mighty forest-avenues, until the grass grew fair with the mountain lilies, his feet dashed in the dew of Hermon, he must have gone to pray his first recorded prayer about death, and from the steep of it, before he knelt, could see to the south all the dwelling-place of the people that had sat in darkness, and seen the great light - the land of Zabulon and of Naphtali, Galilee of the nations; could see, even with his human sight, the gleam of that lake by Capernaum and Chorazin, and many a place loved by him and vainly ministered to, whose house was now left unto them desolate; and, chief of all, far in the utmost blue, the hills above Nazareth, sloping down to his old home: hills on which the stones yet lay loose that had been taken up to cast at him, when he left them forever” (Ruskin, “Modern Painters,” iv., 374). [source]
To pray []
Peculiar to Luke. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 9:28

Matthew 4:5 Taketh [παραλαμβάνει]
The preposition παρά (with, by the side of )implies taketh along with himself, or conducteth. It is the same word which all three evangelists use of our Lord's taking his chosen apostles to the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1; Mark 9:9; Luke 9:28). [source]
Matthew 17:1 After six days [μετ ημερας εχ]
This could be on the sixth day, but as Luke (Luke 9:28) puts it “about eight days” one naturally thinks of a week as the probable time, though it is not important. [source]
Mark 9:2 By themselves [μονους]
Alone. This word only in Mark. See notes on Matthew 17:1-8 for discussion of the Transfiguration. Luke 9:28 adds “to pray” as the motive of Jesus in taking Peter, James, and John into the high mountain. [source]
John 17:1 Lifting up [επαρας]
First aorist active participle of επαιρω — epairō old and common verb with οπταλμους — ophthalmous (eyes) as in John 4:35; John 6:5; John 11:41. Father Vocative form as in John 16:5, John 16:11; John 11:41, Christ‘s usual way of beginning his prayers. It is inconceivable that this real Lord‘s Prayer is the free composition of a disciple put into the mouth of Jesus. It is rather “the tenacious memory of an old man recalling the greatest days of his life” (Bernard), aided by the Holy Spirit promised for this very purpose (John 14:26; John 16:13.). Jesus had the habit of prayer (Mark 1:35; Mark 6:46; Matthew 11:25.; Luke 3:21; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 9:18, Luke 9:28; Luke 11:22, Luke 11:42; Luke 23:34, Luke 23:46; John 11:41; John 12:27). He prayed here for himself (John 17:1-5), for the disciples (John 17:6-19), for all believers (John 17:20-26). The prayer is similar in spirit to the Model Prayer for us in Matthew 6:9-13. The hour for his glorification has come as he had already told the disciples (John 13:31.; John 12:23). Glorify thy Son First aorist active imperative of δοχαζω — doxazō the only personal petition in this prayer. Jesus had already used this word δοχαζω — doxazō for his death (John 13:31.). Here it carries us into the very depths of Christ‘s own consciousness. It is not merely for strength to meet the Cross, but for the power to glorify the Father by his death and resurrection and ascension, “that the Son may glorify thee” Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the first aorist active subjunctive. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 9:28 mean?

It came to pass now after the sayings these about days eight and having taken Peter John James He went up on the mountain to pray
Ἐγένετο δὲ μετὰ τοὺς λόγους τούτους ὡσεὶ ἡμέραι ὀκτὼ καὶ παραλαβὼν Πέτρον Ἰωάννην Ἰάκωβον ἀνέβη εἰς τὸ ὄρος προσεύξασθαι

Ἐγένετο  It  came  to  pass 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Middle, 3rd Person Singular
Root: γίνομαι  
Sense: to become, i.
δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
μετὰ  after 
Parse: Preposition
Root: μετά  
Sense: with, after, behind.
λόγους  sayings 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: λόγος  
Sense: of speech.
τούτους  these 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
ὡσεὶ  about 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡσεί  
Sense: as it were, (had been), as though, as, like as, like.
ἡμέραι  days 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Plural
Root: ἡμέρα  
Sense: the day, used of the natural day, or the interval between sunrise and sunset, as distinguished from and contrasted with the night.
ὀκτὼ  eight 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Feminine Plural
Root: ὀκτώ  
Sense: eight.
παραλαβὼν  having  taken 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: παραλαμβάνω  
Sense: to take to, to take with one’s self, to join to one’s self.
Πέτρον  Peter 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: Πέτρος  
Sense: one of the twelve disciples of Jesus.
Ἰωάννην  John 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰωάννης 
Sense: John the Baptist was the son of Zacharias and Elisabeth, the forerunner of Christ.
Ἰάκωβον  James 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰάκωβος  
Sense: son of Zebedee, an apostle and brother of the apostle John, commonly called James the greater or elder, slain by Herod, Acts 2.
ἀνέβη  He  went  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἀναβαίνω  
Sense: ascend.
ὄρος  mountain 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: ὄρος  
Sense: a mountain.
προσεύξασθαι  to  pray 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Middle
Root: προσεύχομαι  
Sense: to offer prayers, to pray.