“Gathering” and “Scattering” in Luke-Acts

Luke 1:51 He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered (diaskorpizo) the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

Luke 3:17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather (synago) the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Luke 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather (synago) with me scatters (skorpizo).

Luke 12:1 Meanwhile, when the crowd gathered (episynago) by the thousands, so that they trampled on one another, he began to speak first to his disciples, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, that is, their hypocrisy.”

Luke 13:34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather (episynago) your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

Luke 15:13 A few days later the younger son gathered (synago) all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered (diaskorpizo) his property in dissolute living.

Luke 16:1 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was squandering (diaskorpizo) his property.”

Luke 17:37 Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather (episynago).”

Luke 22:66 When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people, both chief priests and scribes, gathered (synago) together, and they brought him to their council.

Luke 23:48 And when all the crowds who had gathered (symparavinomai) there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts.

Luke 23:55 The women who had come with (synerchomai) him from Galilee followed, and they saw the tomb and how his body was laid.

Luke 24:33 That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered (athroizo) together.

Acts 1:6 So when they had come together (synerchomai), they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”

Acts 1:21 So one of the men who have accompanied (synerchomai) us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

Acts 2:3 Divided (diamerizō, “distributed” or “apportioned”) tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.

Acts 2:6 And at this sound the crowd gathered (synerchomai) and was bewildered (sygcheō, the same verb/noun used in Gen 11:7, 9), because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

[How much of the gathering-scattering language of Luke-Acts has Genesis 11, the story of the tower of Babel in mind, with the Pentecost story of Acts 2 as its reversal? Consider these verses:

Genesis 11:4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered (diaspeirō) abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11:7-9 Come, let us go down, and confuse (sygcheō, the same verb used in Acts 2:6) their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered (diaspeirō) them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel (Sygchysis, “Confusion”) because there the LORD confused (sygcheō) the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered (diaspeirō) them abroad over the face of all the earth.]

Acts 4:26-27 The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers have gathered (synago) together against the Lord and against his Messiah.’ For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered (synago) together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed,

Acts 4:31 When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered (synago) together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God with boldness.

Acts 5:37 After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered (diaskorpizo).

Acts 8:1 And Saul approved of their killing him. That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered (diaspeiro) throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria.

Acts 8:4 Now those who were scattered (diaspeiro) went from place to place, proclaiming the word.

Acts 11:19 Now those who were scattered (diaspeiro) because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews.

Acts 13:44 The next sabbath almost the whole city gathered (synago) to hear the word of the Lord.

  • Other instances of synerchomai (“gather,” “come together,” “assemble,” “come with,” “accompany”) in Acts are: Acts 5:16, Acts 9:39, Acts 10:23, Acts 10:27, Acts 10:45, Acts 11:12, Acts 15:38, Acts 16:13, Acts 19:32, Acts 21:16, Acts 22:30, Acts 25:17, Acts 28:17.
  • Other verses where “gather” appears in the NRSV: Lk. 5:15, Lk. 6:44, Lk. 8:4, Lk. 9:17, Acts 5:16, Acts 12:12, Acts 15:30, Acts 16:13, Acts 19:25, Acts 28:3
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