12:36 be like people 1 waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, 2 so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 12:37 Blessed are those slaves 3 whom their master finds alert 4 when he returns! I tell you the truth, 5 he will dress himself to serve, 6 have them take their place at the table, 7 and will come 8 and wait on them! 9
1 tn That is, like slaves (who are mentioned later, vv. 37-38), although the term ἀνθρώποις (anqrwpoi") is used here. Since in this context it appears generic rather than gender-specific, the translation “people” is employed.
2 sn An ancient wedding celebration could last for days (Tob 11:18).
3 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.
4 tn Or “watching”; Grk “awake,” but in context this is not just being awake but alert and looking out.
5 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”
7 tn Grk “have them recline at table,” as 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.
8 tn The participle παρελθών (parelqwn) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.
9 sn He…will come and wait on them is a reversal of expectation, but shows that what Jesus asks for he is willing to do as well; see John 13:5 and 15:18-27, although those instances merely foreshadow what is in view here.