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I was reading a book on “Satan & His Deception” by various authors (small booklet). In it, A.W. Pink referenced Luke 22:53 to Satan/devil, but I am not sure it is a reference to Satan.

Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” Luke 22:52-53

Another way to interpret it might be in reference to their sin?

Q: How do we interpret this verse?

To quote A.W. Pink:

“Satan is “the power of darkness” (Luk 22:53), and only the light of God can expose and expel him.” Pg.34

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A W Pink agrees with Bengel who writes of Luke 22:53 -

“The prince of this world”: of darkness, that is to say, of Satan. The abstract put for the concrete.

We may recall parallel texts such as:

  • Col 1:13 - He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His beloved Son
  • Acts 26:18 - to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those sanctified by faith in Me.’
  • John 12:31 - Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out.
  • John 14:30 - I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming, and he has no claim on Me.
  • John 16:11 - and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world has been condemned.
  • Eph 6:12 - For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
  • 1 Cor 2:6 - Among the mature, however, we speak a message of wisdom—but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
  • 1 Cor 2:8 - None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
  • Matt 6:23 - But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Note the text of Luke 22:53 -

Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on Me. But this hour belongs to you and to the power of darkness.”

This phrase "power of darkness" has been understood in several ways such as:

  1. Satan specifically which might be strengthened by the opposite where Jesus claims to be the "light of the world" (John 8:12). See also Acts 26:18, Col 1:13
  2. the combined evil rulership of the world - note the plural in many of the texts above, eg, Eph 6:12, 1 Cor 2:6, 8
  3. the general power of human sinfulness and its collective sinful nature, eg, Matt 6:23
  4. The general influence (on humans and human existence) of Satan and his minions who control the kingdom of darkness, eg, Col 1:13,

In fact, a slightly different case could be made in each of the above texts. In the specific case of Luke 22:53, commentators are divided between option #1 above and option #4 (and few in #3). My personal preference is option #4 above; however, since Satan rules the kingdom of darkness, the leader is often used as name of the kingdom.

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  • Interesting survey, +1.
    – Cork88
    Jun 20, 2022 at 15:47

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