Luke 16:1-13

Luke 16:1-13
Ordinary C43


Then Jesus said to the disciples,I “There was a richII manIII who hadIV a manager,V

Notes on verse 1a

I “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.
II “rich” = plousios. From ploutos (abundance, wealth, or riches; money, possessions, spiritual abundance, or a valuable bestowment); from polus (much, many, abundant) OR pleo (to sail, voyage); {probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow)} OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is wealthy, having full resources. It can be a rich person or refer to God’s abundance.
III “man” = anthropos. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (become, seem, appear)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
IV “had” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
V “manager” = oikonomos. 10x in NT. From oikos (house – the building, the household, the family, descendants; the temple) + nemo (to manage) OR from oikos (see above) + the base of nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}. This is a steward, manager, or guardian. It refers to someone whose job it is to oversee a house. It can also be a treasurer or other fiscal agent. Figuratively, this can mean someone who preaches the good news.

and charges were broughtVI to him that this man was squanderingVII his property.VIII 

Notes on verse 1b

VI “charges were brought” = diaballo. 1x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, rush, drop). This is to bring charges – quite often implying malicious intent. Literally, it is to throw to one side and the other, whether a physical object or a careless word. It is the verb that the Greek word for the devil is based on (diabolos).
VII “squandering” = diaskorpizo. 9x in NT. From dia (through, on account of, across, thoroughly) + skorpizo (to scatter, distribute, dissipate, waste). This is to separate or disperse. Figuratively, it can be squander or waste.
VIII “property” = huparcho. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or be ready, to exist or possess. It is what one already has or possesses.

So he summonedIX him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hearX about you? GiveXI me an accountingXII

Notes on verse 2a

IX “summoned” = phoneo. From phone (voice, sound, tone or noise; also a language or dialect); probably from phemi to declare, say, use contrasts in speaking to shed light on one point of view); {from phao (to shine) or phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to call out, summon, shout, address. It is making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument.
X “hear” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
XI “give” = apodidomi. From apo (from, away from) + didomi (give, offer, place, bestow, deliver; give in a literal or figurative sense). This is to give back, return, give away. It is to restore as when one makes payment – to rend what is due, to sell.
XII “accounting” = logos. From lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.

of your managementXIII because you cannotXIV be my managerXV any longer.’ 

Notes on verse 2b

XIII “management” = oikonomia. Related to “manager” in v1. 9x in NT. From oikonomeo (a steward, manager, or guardian; someone whose job it is to oversee a house; a treasurer or other fiscal agent; figuratively, someone who preaches the good news); from oikonomos (see note V above). This is stewardship, management, or administration. It is one who looks after the resources or household affairs for someone else (their house or estate). It can also refer to a religious economy.
XIV “cannot” = oudunamai. Dunamai is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
XV “be…manager” = oikonomeo. Related to “manager” in v1 & “management” in v2. 1x in NT. See note XIII above.

Then the manager said to himself, ‘What will I do,XVI now that my masterXVII is taking the positionXVIII awayXIX from me?

Notes on verse 3a

XVI “do” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
XVII “master” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
XVIII “position” = oikonomia. Same as “management” in v2. See note XIII above.
XIX “taking…away” = aphaireo. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + haireo (to take, choose, or prefer) {probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove)}. This is remove, take away, cut in a literal or figurative sense.

I am not strong enoughXX to dig,XXI and I am ashamedXXII to beg.XXIII 

Notes on verse 3b

XX “strong enough” = ischuo. Related to “had” in v1. From ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance); {perhaps from is (force) + echo (see note IV above)}. This is to be strong or have power. It can also refer to being healthy and vigorous. Further, it can mean to prevail. It is strength in action against resistance, exercising force in a literal or figurative sense.
XXI “dig” = skapto. 3x in NT – all in parables in Luke. This is to dig or excavate.
XXII “am ashamed” = aischunomai. 5x in NT. From aischos (shame, disgrace, disfigurement). This is to be ashamed, be put to shame, consider something a disgrace, shrink.
XXIII “beg” = epaiteo. 2x in NT. From epi (on, upon, to, against, what is fitting) + aiteo (to ask, demand, beg, desire). This is to beg as in ask for alms. It can also mean being a beggar.

I have decidedXXIV what to do so that, when I am dismissedXXV as manager, people may welcomeXXVI me into their homes.’XXVII 

Notes on verse 4

XXIV “decided” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
XXV “dismissed” = methistemi. 5x in NT. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + histemi (to make to stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand by, stand still, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is to change, remove, transfer, dismiss, carry away, seduce.
XXVI “welcome” = dechomai. This is to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome. It is to receive in a literal or figurative sense.
XXVII “homes” = oikos. Related to “manager” in v1 & “management” and “be…manager” in v2. See note V above.

So, summoningXXVIII his master’s debtorsXXIX one by one,XXX he asked the first,XXXI ‘How much do you oweXXXII my master?’ 

Notes on verse 5

XXVIII “summoning” = proskaleo. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud); {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to oneself, summon.
XXIX “debtors” = chreopheiletes. 2x in NT. Probably from chreos (debt) + opheiletes (one who owes, is a debtor or someone under obligation; figuratively, a culprit, delinquent, or sinner); {from opheilo (to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet; perhaps from the legal world, but then adopted in reference to morality; used to refer to humanity’s ethical responsibility); probably from ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase)} OR from chrao (to lend); {akin to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary); from chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request)} + opheiletes (see above). This is someone who owes a loan, a debtor.
XXX “one by one” = heis + hekastos. Heis is one, a person, only, some. Hekastos is perhaps from hekas (separate). This is each one, any, every. It is every individual as a distinct entity as opposed to those counted as a group in small sets.
XXXI “first” = protos. From pro (before, first, in front of, earlier). This is what is first, which could be the most important, the first in order, the main one, the chief.
XXXII “owe” = opheilo. Related to “debtors” in v5. See note XXIX above.

He answered, ‘A hundredXXXIII jugsXXXIV of olive oil.’XXXV

He said to him, ‘TakeXXXVI your bill,XXXVII

Notes on verse 6a

XXXIII “hundred” = hekaton. 17x in NT. This is hundred literal or figurative.
XXXIV “jugs” = batos. 1x in NT. From Hebrew bath (a bath; an old measurement used for liquids); probably from battah (steep, desolation; root may mean to shatter). This is a bath, an old measurement used for liquids.
XXXV “olive oil” = elaion. 11x in NT. From elaia (the olive tree or that which it produces; can also refer to the Mount of Olives). This is olive oil.
XXXVI “take” = dechomai. Same as “welcome” in v4. See note XXVI above.
XXXVII “bill” = gramma. 15x in NT. From grapho (to write, describe). This is something drawn or written. So, it could be a letter of the alphabet, an epistle, a book, literature, etc.

sit downXXXVIII quickly,XXXIX and makeXL it fifty.’XLI 

Notes on verse 6b

XXXVIII “sit down” = kathizo. From kathezomai (to sit down, be seated); {from kata (down, against, according to, among) + hezomai (to sit); {from aphedron (a seat, a base)}}. This is to sit, set, appoint, stay, rest.
XXXIX “quickly” = tacheos. 10x in NT. From tachus (quickly, promptly; without unreasonable delay). This is quickly, at once, soon, suddenly.
XL “make” = grapho. Related to “bill” in v6. See note XXXVII above.
XLI “fifty” = pentekonta. 7x in NT. From pente (five; perhaps symbolically linked with the Temple or redemption) + deka (ten or -teen). This is fifty.

Then he asked another,XLII ‘And how much do you owe?

He replied, ‘A hundred containersXLIII of wheat.’XLIV

He saidXLV to him, ‘Take your bill and make it eighty.’XLVI 

Notes on verse 7

XLII “another” = heteros. This is other, another, different, strange. It is another of a different kind in contrast to the Greek word allos, which is another of the same kind. This could be a different quality, type, or group.
XLIII “containers” = koros. 1x in NT. From Hebrew kor (cor, kor; originally, a large vessel; used specifically for a unit of dry measure); from the same as kur (furnace, smelting pot; root may mean to dig or excavate). This is a cor – a unit of dry measure. It may be about 120 gallons.
XLIV “wheat” = sitos. 15x in NT. This is used for any kind of grain that you can eat. It is usually wheat, but it can also be barley and other grains.
XLV “said” = lego. Related to “accounting” in v2. See note XII above.
XLVI “eighty” = ogdoekonta. Related to “fifty” in v6. 2x in NT. From ogdoos (the eighth); {from okto (eight)} + deka (see note XLI above). This is eighty.

And his master commendedXLVII the dishonestXLVIII manager because he had actedXLIX shrewdly,L

Notes on verse 8a

XLVII “commended” = epaineo. 6x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aineo (to praise, praise God); {from ainos (praise, saying, story, proverb)}. This is to praise or laud. It is to give someone the credit that they are due.
XLVIII “dishonest” = adikia. From adikos (unjust, unrighteous, wicked, treacherous); {from a (not, without) + dike (the principle of justice; that which is right in a way that is very clear; a decision or the execution of that decision; originally, this word was for custom or usage; evolved to include the process of law, judicial hearing, execution of sentence, penalty, and even vengeance; more commonly, it refers to what is right); may be from deiknumi (to show, point out, exhibit; figurative for teach, demonstrate, make known)}. This is injustice, unrighteousness, of some other kind of harm or wrong. It is justice in a legal setting or a morally wrong action or character.
XLIX “acted” = poieo. Same as “do” in v3. See note XVI above.
L “shrewdly” = phronimos. 1x in NT. From phronimos (wise in a practical sense, prudent, or sensible; savvy, rooted in one’s own point of view, thoughtful; also conceited); from phroneo (to think, judge, use one’s mind, have an opinion, shape one’s opinion through action); from phren (diaphragm, heart, intellect, understanding; figurative for personal opinion or inner mindset; thought regulating action; sympathy, feelings, cognition); perhaps from phrao (to rein in or curb). This is sensibly, wisely – guided by one’s gut insight.

for the childrenLI of this ageLII are more shrewdLIII in dealing with their own generationLIV than are the children of light.LV 

Notes on verse 8b

LI “children” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
LII “age” = aion. From the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
LIII “more shrewd” = phronimos. Related to “shrewdly” in v8. 14x in NT. See note L above.
LIV “generation” = genea. From genos (family, offspring, kin – in a literal or figurative sense); from ginomai (to come into being, to happen, become, be born; to emerge from one state or condition to another; this is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth). This is family, generation, kind, or nation. As generation, it implies an age as a period of time. It can also mean infinity. This is the root of the word “generation.
LV “light” = phos. Related to “summoned” in v2. From phao (see note IX above). This is light, a source of light, fire, or radiance. This is light with specific reference to what it reveals. It is luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative.

And I tell you, makeLVI friendsLVII for yourselves by means of dishonest wealthLVIII so that

Notes on verse 9a

LVI “make” = poieo. Same as “do” in v3. See note XVI above.
LVII “friends” = philos. This is dear, beloved, a friend, an associate; friendship with personal affection, a trusted confidante; love from personal experience with another person.
LVIII “wealth” = mamonas. 4x in NT. From Aramaic mamona (money, wealth); related to Hebrew mamon (money, property). This is riches, wealth, possessions, mammon, or property. See

when it is goneLIX they may welcome you into the eternalLX homes.LXI

Notes on verse 9b

LIX “is gone” = ekleipo. 4x in NT. From ek (from, from out of) + leipo (to leave behind, remain, lack, abandon, fall behind while racing). This is to leave out, omit, cease, be obscured, die out.
LX “eternal” = aionios. Related to “age” in v8. From aion (see note LII above). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
LXI “homes” = skene. Perhaps related to skeuos (vessel, tool, container, implement; also vessel in a figurative or literal sense) or perhaps related to skia (shadow, thick darkness, outline; figurative for a spiritual situation that is good or bad). This is a tent, booth, tabernacle, or dwelling. It could be a cloth hut. This is a tent in a literal or figurative sense.

10 “Whoever is faithfulLXII in a very littleLXIII is faithful also in much,LXIV and whoever is dishonestLXV in a very little is dishonest also in much. 

Notes on verse 10

LXII “faithful” = pistos. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is faithful, trustworthy, reliable, sure, or true. It is a fullness of faith. This is the same root as the word “faith” in Greek.
LXIII “very little” = elachistos. 13x in NT. From elachus (short); used as a superlative for mikros (small). This is smallest or littlest in the sense of size, amount, rank, dignity, and so on.
LXIV “much” = polus. Related to “rich” in v1. See note II above.
LXV “dishonest” = adikos. Related to “dishonest” in v8. 12x in NT. See note XLVIII above.

11 If, then, you have not beenLXVI faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrustLXVII to you the trueLXVIII riches? 

Notes on verse 11

LXVI “been” = ginomai. Related to “generation” in v8. See note LIV above.
LXVII “entrust” = pisteuo. Related to “faithful” in v10. From pistis (faith, faithfulness, belief, trust, confidence; to be persuaded or come to trust); from peitho (see note LXII above). This is to believe, entrust, have faith it, affirm, have confidence in. This is less to do with a series of beliefs or doctrines that one believes and more to do with faithfulness, loyalty, and fidelity. It is trusting and then acting based on that trust.
LXVIII “true” = alethinos. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to the test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic); {from a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares)}. This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.

12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another,LXIX who will giveLXX you what is your own? 13 No slaveLXXI can serveLXXII

Notes on verses 12-13a

LXIX “another” = allotrios. 14x in NT. From allos (other, another; another of a similar kind or type). This is strange, another foreign. It is something that belongs to someone else. It could mean hostile or alien.
LXX “give” = didomi. Related to “give” in v2. See note XI above.
LXXI “slave” = oiketes. Related to “manager” in v1 & “management” and “be…manager” in v2 & “homes” in v4. 5x in NT. From oikeo (to settle or be established somewhere in a permanent way, to make a home or live at home); from oikos (see note V above). This is a servant working in a house.
LXXII “serve” = douleuo. From doulos (a servant or for a slave, enslaved; someone who belongs to someone else, but could be voluntary to pay off debt or involuntary – captured in war and enslaved; a metaphor for serving Christ); perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is to be a slave, serve, do service, obey, be devoted.

twoLXXIII masters, for a slave will either hateLXXIV the one and loveLXXV the otherLXXVI

Notes on verse 13b

LXXIII “two” = duo. This is two or both.
LXXIV “hate” = miseo. From misos (hatred). This word is used in two ways in the New Testament. One has to do with how we prioritize. In order to prioritize something the highest, it means we have to rank other things lower. We cannot have 10 number one priorities. So, the nine that are not number 1, we love less or we value them lower. We make a moral choice the springs from our values about where we put our time, efforts, energy, etc. The other way is detesting or hatred as we normally think of it. This sense has a particular affinity with persecuting the one we hate.
LXXV “love” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
LXXVI “other” = heteros. Same as “another” in v7. See note XLII above.

or be devotedLXXVII to the one and despiseLXXVIII the other. You cannot serve GodLXXIX and wealth.”

Notes on verse 13c

LXXVII “be devoted” = antecho. Related to “had” in v1 & “strong enough” in v3. 4x in NT. From anti (opposite, instead of, against) + echo (see note IV above). This is to hold against – to be devoted, cling to, hold fast support. It is a holding close that corresponds to what is being held lose, adhering to or caring for.
LXXVIII “despise” = kataphroneo. Related to “shrewdly” and “more shrewd” in v8. 9x in NT. From kata (down, against, among, according to) + phroneo (see note L above). This is to disregard despise look down, think little of. It can be active scorn or a generally hostile view. It can be disregarding or ignoring something because it is considered of little importance. This can also be thinking someone unworthy and hating them. Additionally, it can be to think against something.
LXXIX “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

Image credit: “Masada Ostraka” – Photo by Eliot from The Negev, 2006.

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