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Luke 10:4 (NASB)

Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way.

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  • Probably for the same reason they are also asked not to go from house to house either (10:7).
    – Lucian
    Oct 11 '20 at 19:24
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    "Salutations among the Orientals did not consist, as among us, of a slight bow or an extension of the hand, but was performed by many embraces and inclinations, and even prostrations of the body on the ground. All this required much "time;" and as the business on which the seventy were sent was urgent, they were required not to "delay" their journey by long and formal salutations of the persons whom they met." -Albert Barnes commentary on Luke 10:4 Oct 11 '20 at 19:41
  • Lucian: Maybe it has to do with the customs of the time Oct 11 '20 at 19:43
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    www gffg.info why comment and not make it an answer? Oct 12 '20 at 17:46
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Similarly, Elisha instructed his servant in 2 Kings 4:29

Elisha said to Gehazi, "Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don't greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy's face."

Jesus sent his disciples out on a mission tour. He didn't want them to waste time and be sidetracked by friends or strangers. These are common tactics of Satan to delay or stall the mission. To avoid loitering and help them focus on the tasks at hand, Jesus commanded them not to perform these superficial activities.

There is also the story of the man of God from Judah in 1 Kings 13:

8 But the man of God answered the king, “Even if you were to give me half your possessions, I would not go with you, nor would I eat bread or drink water here. 9For I was commanded by the word of the Lord: ‘You must not eat bread or drink water or return by the way you came.’ ”

He obeyed, so far so good. But then later on, an old prophet

14 found him sitting under an oak tree and asked, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”
“I am,” he replied.

Big mistake! He socialized with him. Eventually,

24 as he went on his way, a lion met him on the road and killed him, and his body was left lying on the road, with both the donkey and the lion standing beside it.

To simplify the complications, it was best not even to greet anyone.

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  • Very Good answer! +1.
    – Dottard
    Oct 11 '20 at 20:38
  • Agreed! Look ‘back’ for the answer. +1
    – Dave
    Oct 11 '20 at 21:05
  • Excellent reference. +1
    – Nigel J
    Oct 11 '20 at 22:39
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    Is it possible "greet" is a bit different at the time than how we think of it now? A greeting on the street these days is, "hi," or a wave, and it takes no time and barely invites discourse. But similar to how Lot's wife "looked back" but it wasn't just a glance over her shoulder, I wonder if "greet" has a more serious implication.
    – Johnny
    Oct 24 '20 at 19:53
  • Certainly. Even today, in Saudi Arabia, there is a kind of ritual in greetings in terms of words and bodily movements.
    – Tony Chan
    Oct 24 '20 at 19:58

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