Luke 19:11-27

Luke 19:11-27
A Women’s Lectionary 35


11 As they were listeningA to this, he went onB to tell a parable,C because he wasD nearE JerusalemF

Notes on verse 11a

A “listening” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
B “went on” = prostithemi. 18x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is to add, place to, bring together for a reason, or add up.
C “parable” = parabole. From paraballo (literally to throw beside, compare, arrive, liken); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a parable, comparison, adage. Quite often a tale told or a metaphor to establish a point, but it could be a true story.
D “was” = eimi. This is to be or exist.
E “near” = eggus. Perhaps from agcho (to squeeze). This is nearby or near in time.
F “Jerusalem” = Ierousalem. From Hebrew Yerushalaim (probably foundation of peace); {from yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (to make amends, to be complete or sound)}. This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

and because they supposedG that the kingdomH of GodI wasJ to appearK immediately.L 

Notes on verse 11b

G “supposed” = dokeo. From dokos (opinion). This is to have an opinion, seem, appear, think, suppose. It deals with a personal judgment. This is the root of the word “doxology.”
H “kingdom” = basileia. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (to walk, to go). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
I “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
J {untranslated} = mello. Perhaps from melo (something that one is worried or concerned about, something one pays attention to or thinks about). Properly, this is ready, about to happen, to intend, delay, or linger. This is just on the point of acting.
K “appear” = anaphaino. 2x in NT. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to discover, show, come into view.
L “immediately” = parachrema. 18x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + chrema (something needed or useful– money, possessions, price); {from chraomai (to use, make use of, give what is needed, act in a specific way, request); related to chre (what is proper, fitting, or necessary)}. This is immediately, soon.

12 So he said, “A noblemanM wentN to a distantO

Notes on verse 12a

M “nobleman” = anthropos + ho + eugenes. Anthropos is 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. Eugenes is 3x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done) + 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 noble or high status birth. It can literally refer to a higher rank or it can be used to speak of a noble nature, which is to say, generous.
N “went” = poreuomai. From poros (ford, passageway). This is to go, travel, journey, or die. It refers to transporting things from one place to another and focuses on the personal significance of the destination.
O “distant” = makran. 9x in NT. From makros (long, long lasting); from mekos (length); probably related to megas (great or large). This is far off, remote, far away in a literal or figurative sense.

regionP to receiveQ royal powerR for himself and then return.S 

Notes on verse 12b

P “region” = chora. From chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is space, land, region, fields, open area – the countryside in contrast to the town.
Q “receive” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
R “royal power” = basileia. Same as “kingdom” in v11. See note H above.
S “return” = hupostrepho. From hupo (by, under, about) + strepho (to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one); {from trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn)}. This is to turn back or behind in a literal or figurative sense.

13 He summonedT tenU of his slavesV

Notes on verse 13a

T “summoned” = kaleo. Related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on). This is to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud.
U “ten” = deka. This is ten, a number associated with perfection (to a lesser extent than the number seven). It is where “decade” and “decathlon” come from.
V “slaves” = doulos. Perhaps from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is used for a servant or for a slave, enslaved. It refers to someone who belongs to someone else. But, it could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved). It is used as a metaphor for serving Christ. Slavery was not inherited (i.e. the children of slaves were not assumed to be slaves) and slaves could buy their way to freedom. Slavery was generally on a contractual basis (that is for the duration of how long it took you to pay yokur debt and/or save up enough money to buy your freedom).

and gaveW them ten poundsX and said to them, ‘Do businessY with these until I come back.’Z 

Notes on verse 13b

W “gave” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
X “pounds” = mna. 9x in NT – only in Luke 19. From Hebrew maneh (a silver weight for payment – a maneh/mina or pound); from manah (to weigh out, reckon, count, number, set, tell; by implication, it is allotting or providing something officially). This is a silver weight for payment– a mina or pound. It was equivalent to 100 drachma – the same among a common laborer earned for as many days’ work.
Y “do business” = pragmateuomai. 1x in NT. From pragma (action, matter, or business; something done on a regular basis that is done in order to get something done); from prasso (to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit; to accomplish, attend, or commit). This is to occupy oneself, do business, barter, bear fruit, make a profit.
Z “come back” = erchomai. This is to come or go.

14 But the citizensAA of his country hatedBB him and sentCC

Notes on verse 14a

AA “citizens” = polites. 4x in NT. From polis (a city or its inhabitants; is a town of variable size, but one that has walls); probably from the same as polemos (war, quarrel, strife; battle, whether one time or on-going); {from pelomai (to bustle) or from polus (much, many, abundant)}. This is citizen or townsperson.
BB “hated” = 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.
CC “sent” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.

a delegationDD afterEE him, saying, ‘We do not wantFF this man to ruleGG over us.’ 

Notes on verse 14b

DD “delegation” = presbeia. 2x in NT. From presbeuo (to be mature; to be an elder, representative, or ambassador; figuratively, to a preacher); from presbuteros (an elder as one of the Sanhedrin and also in the Christian assembly in the early church); from presbus (old man). This is age, seniority, ambassador, delegation.
EE “after” = opiso. Related to “nobleman” in v12. From the same as opisthen (after, back, from the rear); probably from opis (back); from optanomai (see note M above). This is back, behind, after.
FF “want” = thelo. This is to wish, desire, will, or intend. It is to choose or prefer in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean inclined toward or take delight in. It can have a sense of being ready to act on the impulse in question.
GG “rule” = basileuo. Related to “kingdom” in v11. From basileus (see note H above). This is to reign as king, to rule in a literal or figurative sense.

15 HHWhen he returned,II having received royal power, he ordered these slaves to whom he had given the moneyJJ

Notes on verse 15a

HH {untranslated} = ginomai. Related to “nobleman” in v12. See note M above.
II “returned” = epanerchomai. Related to “come back” in v13. 2x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + anerchomai (to go up, ascend); {from ana (up, back, again, among, between, anew) + erchomai (see note Z above)}. This is to come back or return.
JJ “money” = argurion. From arguros (silver, whether the metal itself or things made from silver); from argos (shining). This is silver, which implies money – shekel, drachma, etc.

to be summonedKK so that he might find outLL what they had gained by doing business.MM 

Notes on verse 15b

KK “summoned” = phoneo. Related to “appear” in v11. 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 (see note K above). This is to call out, summon, shout, address. It is making a sound whether of an animal, a person, or an instrument.
LL “find out” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
MM “gained by doing business” = diapragmateuomai. Related to “do business” in v13. 1x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + pragmateuomai (see note Y above). This is to earn, examine, get through trading

16 The firstNN came forwardOO and said, ‘Lord,PP your pound has madeQQ ten more pounds.’ 

Notes on verse 16

NN “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.
OO “came forward” = paraginomai. Related to “nobleman” in v12 & {untranslated} in v15. From para (from beside, by) + ginomai (see note M above). This is to arrive, appear, reach. It implies appearing publicly.
PP “Lord” = 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.
QQ “made” = prosergazomai. 1x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + ergazomai (to work, labor); {from ergon (work, task, action, employment)}. This is to gain, acquire besides.

17 He said to him, ‘Well done,RR goodSS slave! Because you have beenTT trustworthyUU

Notes on verse 17a

RR “well done” = eu. Related to “nobleman” in v12. 6x in NT. See note M above.
SS “good” = agathos. This is good, a benefit, or a good thing. It is good by its very nature, intrinsically good. A different word, kalos, refers to external signs of goodness.
TT “been” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v15. See note HH above.
UU “trustworthy” = 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.

in a very small thing,VV takeWW chargeXX of ten cities.’YY 

Notes on verse 17b

VV “very small thing” = 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.
WW “take” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
XX “charge” = exousia. Related to “was” in v11. From exesti (to be permitted or lawful); {from ek (out, out of) + eimi (see note D above)}. This is power to act or weight. It especially denotes moral authority or influence. It can mean domain, liberty, freedom, capacity, mastery, right, force, or strength.
YY “cities” = polis. Related to “citizens” in v14. See note AA above.

18 Then the secondZZ came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has madeAAA fiveBBB pounds.’ 

19 He said to him, ‘And you, rule overCCC five cities.’ 

Notes on verses 18-19

ZZ “second” = deuteros. From duo (two, both). This is second, twice, again. It is part of where “Deuteronomy” comes from, which means “second law” or “a repetition of the law.” See
AAA “made” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
BBB “five” = pente. This is five. It may be symbolically associated with the Temple or redemption.
CCC {untranslated} = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v15. See note HH above.

20 Then the otherDDD came, saying, ‘Lord, hereEEE is your pound. I wrappedFFF it up in a piece of cloth,GGG 

Notes on verse 20

DDD “other” = 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.
EEE “here” = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
FFF “wrapped” = echo + apokeimai. Echo is the same as “take” in v17. See note WW above. Apokeimai is 4x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + keimai (to lie, recline, be set, appointed, destined; to lie down literally or figuratively). This is to appoint, put away, store, reserve, await.
GGG “piece of cloth” = soudarion. 4x in NT. From Latin sudarium (sweat cloth) This is a napkin, face cloth, or handkerchief. It can be used as a towel to wipe sweat from the face or a cloth for the head of a corpse.

21 for I was afraidHHH of you, because you are a harshIII man;JJJ

Notes on verse 21a

HHH “was afraid” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
III “harsh” = austeros. 2x in NT. From hauo (to dry) OR perhaps from aer (air that we breathe); {from aemi (to breathe or blow)}. This is harsh, austere, severe, rough.
JJJ “man” = anthropos. Same as “nobleman” in v12. See note M above.

you takeKKK what you did not depositLLL and reapMMM what you did not sow.’NNN 

Notes on verse 21b

KKK “take” = airo. This is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).
LLL “deposit” = tithemi. Related to “went on” in v11. See note B above.
MMM “reap” = therizo. From theros (summer; the heat, which implies summer); from thero (to heat). This is to gather or harvest.
NNN “sow” = speiro. Probably from spao (to pull or draw like one draws a sword). This is sowing a seed or scattering. It is sowing in a literal or figurative sense.

22 He said to him, ‘I will judgeOOO you by your own words,PPP you wickedQQQ slave!

Notes on verse 22a

OOO “judge” = krino. To judge, decide, think good, condemn, determine, pass judgment, stand trial, sue. This is judging whether it is done in court or in a private setting. Properly, it refers to mentally separating or distinguishing an issue – to come to a choice or decision, to judge positively or negatively in seeking what is right or wrong, who is innocent or guilty. It can imply trying, condemning, punishing, or avenging.
PPP “by your own words” = ek + ho + stoma. Literally, “out of your mouth.” Stoma is perhaps from tomoteros (sharp, keener); from temno (to cut). This is mouth, speech, language, the tip of a sword, an opening in the ground.
QQQ “wicked” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.

You knew,RRR did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why, then, did you not putSSS my money into the bank?TTT Then when I returned,UUU I could have collectedVVV it with interest.’WWW 

Notes on verses 22b-23

RRR “knew” = eido. Related to “here” in v20. See note EEE above.
SSS “put” = didomi. Same as “gave” in v13. See note W above.
TTT “bank” = trapeza. 15x in NT. Probably from tessares (four; figuratively, can mean total inclusion or universality) + peze (by foot or land) or pezos (by foot or land); {from pous (foot)}. This is a table – whether for eating or conducting business. Literally, four feet. This is where the word “trapeze” comes from.
UUU “returned” = erchomai. Same as “come back” in v13. See note Z above.
VVV “collected” = prasso. Related to “do business” in v13 & “gained by doing business” in v15. See note Y above.
WWW “interest” = tokos. 2x in NT. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a birth. Figuratively, it is interest.

24 He said to the bystanders,XXX ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ 

25 (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) 

26 ‘I tell you, to allYYY those who have, more will be given, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But as for these enemiesZZZ of mine who did not want me to rule over them—bringAAAA them here and slaughterBBBB them in my presence.’”

Notes on verses 24-26

XXX “bystanders” = paristemi. From para (from beside, by) + histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is literally to place by stand. It can mean to present, exhibit, appear, bring, stand by, or prove. It can also mean to be ready, to assist, to yield, or to commend.
YYY “all” = pas. This is all or every.
ZZZ “enemies” = echthros. From echthos (hatred). This is an openly hostile person so an enemy, a foe, or a hated person. This speaks of irreconcilable hostility. It can also mean adversary and/or refer to Satan.
AAAA “bring” = ago. This is lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go.
BBBB “slaughter” = katasphazo. 1x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + sphazo (to slay, butcher an animal to eat or for sacrifice, slaughter, maim through violence). This is to kill off or slay.

Image credit: “The Entrusted Pounds” by Paulamaria Walter, 1963. Photo by Geak, 2014.

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