Now there was a note of discord here. Luke continued his unique story of Jesus traveling through Samaria, on his way to Jerusalem. Luke noted that the people of this Samaritan town did not want to receive Jesus (καὶ οὐκ ἐδέξαντο αὐτόν), because he was only passing by on his way to Jerusalem (εἰς Ἱερουσαλήμ). These Samaritans did not look favorably on the Jerusalem pilgrims who passed by their towns on the way to the Temple. After all, Jesus had steadfastly set his face (ὅτι τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἦν πορευόμενον) to go there, not stopping or staying to worship at Mount Gerizim in Samaria. Thus, Jesus was not welcome, if he was going to the Judean place of worship in Jerusalem, and just visiting or passing through here. Would you be upset if someone said that they were planning to visit someone else but just stopped by?
Once again, there is a reference to Darius the Mede, also mentioned in chapter 9. As far as we can tell, there was no such person. Somehow, he comes between the Babylonian King Belshazzar and the Persian Cyrus the Great. Perhaps, he was the first Persian general who entered Babylon after its fall in 539 BCE, but there are no indications of that. He appears to be a literary fiction, perhaps based on the later Persian King Darius I, the 3rd ruler after Cyrus, from 522-486 BCE, who acted very favorably towards the returning Jews to Jerusalem. This time it is the angel Gabriel referring to how he helped Darius the Mede in his first year as the ruler, by supporting and strengthening him.
Baruch and these exiles looked very favorably on the king of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar (634-562 BCE), as they pray for him. They also pray for his son Belshazzar. They were going to live under the protection of both of them. They would serve both of them in order to find favor with them. King Nebuchadnezzar took over Babylon and consolidated his power around 605 BCE. He was succeeded by Amel-Marduk in 562 BCE, his son, who ruled for 2 years. Then his brother-in-law Nabonidus took over for 10 years. Belshazzar was the king of Babylon from 550-539, when the great empire fell. However, Belshazzar was not the son of King Nebuchadnezzar, but the son of Nabonidus and may have served as king with his father. Obviously there are some historical problems here.
Be careful when you are giving gifts that your words and attitude not betray your good deed. Do not criticize when you are doing good deeds. Don’t spoil your gifts with unkind words. Just like the morning dew gives relief from the later noon day heat, so too a nice word might be better than a good gift, and even surpass it. The gracious man offers both good words and good gifts. On the other hand, the fool is both ungracious and insulting. People do not look favorably on a grudging giver.