Tower Builder and King Going to War Similes

& LOY Commentary 22 Comments

The Tower Builder and King Going to War similes explain why Jesus thought full-time discipleship was not suitable for everyone.

Luke 14:28-32

(Huck 171; Aland 217; Crook 261)[1]

Updated: 17 October 2022

מִי בָּכֶם שֶׁרוֹצֶה לִבְנוֹת מִגְדָּל הֲלֹא הוּא יוֹשֵׁב תְּחִלָּה וּמְחַשֵּׁב אֶת הַיְּצִיאָה אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ לִגְמֹר שֶׁמָּא כָּל הַרֹאִים אוֹתוֹ יַתְחִילוּ לְהַלְעִיג עָלָיו לוֹמַר זֶה הָאָדָם שֶׁהִתְחִיל לִבְנוֹת וְלֹא הָיָה יָכוֹל לְהַשְׁלִים וּמִי מֶלֶךְ שֶׁיּוֹצֵא לְמִלְחָמָה עַל מֶלֶךְ אַחֵר הֲלֹא הוּא יוֹשֵׁב תְּחִלָּה וְנִמְלָךְ אִם יָכוֹל לְצֵאת בַּעֲשֶׂרֶת אֲלָפִים לִקְרַאת הַבָּא עַלָיו עִם עֶשְׂרִים אֶלֶף וְאִם לָאו הַלֹא הוּא שׁוֹלֵחַ מַלְאָכִים וְשׁוֹאֵל בִּשְׁלוֹמוֹ

“Can you imagine anyone who would begin construction of a watchtower without first working out the cost to see if he has enough money to complete the job? Otherwise, everyone who sees him will ridicule him. ‘Look,’ they’ll say, ‘this fellow couldn’t finish what he started!’

“Or can you imagine a king who would attack another king without first sitting down with his advisors to discuss whether he is able to withstand the king who is coming against him with an army twice the size of his own? If the consensus is that he can’t, won’t he send messengers to signal his submission to the stronger king?”[2]








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Comments 22

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  • David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin

    David N. Bivin is founder and editor of Jerusalem Perspective. A native of Cleveland, Oklahoma, U.S.A., Bivin has lived in Israel since 1963, when he came to Jerusalem on a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to do postgraduate work at the Hebrew University. He studied at the Hebrew…
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    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton

    Joshua N. Tilton studied at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies (2002). Joshua continued his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts, where he obtained a Master of Divinity degree in 2005. After seminary…
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