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Luke 19:12-27

19:12 Therefore he said, “A nobleman 1  went to a distant country to receive 2  for himself a kingdom and then return. 3  19:13 And he summoned ten of his slaves, 4  gave them ten minas, 5  and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ 19:14 But his citizens 6  hated 7  him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man 8  to be king 9  over us!’ 19:15 When 10  he returned after receiving the kingdom, he summoned 11  these slaves to whom he had given the money. He wanted 12  to know how much they had earned 13  by trading. 19:16 So 14  the first one came before him and said, ‘Sir, 15  your mina 16  has made ten minas more.’ 19:17 And the king 17  said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been faithful 18  in a very small matter, you will have authority 19  over ten cities.’ 19:18 Then 20  the second one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has made five minas.’ 19:19 So 21  the king 22  said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ 19:20 Then another 23  slave 24  came and said, ‘Sir, here is 25  your mina that I put away for safekeeping 26  in a piece of cloth. 27  19:21 For I was afraid of you, because you are a severe 28  man. You withdraw 29  what you did not deposit 30  and reap what you did not sow.’ 19:22 The king 31  said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, 32  you wicked slave! 33  So you knew, did you, that I was a severe 34  man, withdrawing what I didn’t deposit and reaping what I didn’t sow? 19:23 Why then didn’t you put 35  my money in the bank, 36  so that when I returned I could have collected it with interest?’ 19:24 And he said to his attendants, 37  ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has ten.’ 38  19:25 But 39  they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten minas already!’ 40  19:26 ‘I tell you that everyone who has will be given more, 41  but from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 42  19:27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, 43  bring them here and slaughter 44  them 45  in front of me!’”

1 tn Grk “a man of noble birth” or “a man of noble status” (L&N 87.27).

2 sn Note that the receiving of the kingdom takes place in the far country. This suggests that those in the far country recognize and acknowledge the king when his own citizens did not want him as king (v. 14; cf. John 1:11-12).

3 sn The background to this story about the nobleman who wentto receive for himself a kingdom had some parallels in the area’s recent history: Archelaus was appointed ethnarch of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea in 4 b.c., but the people did not like him. Herod the Great also made a similar journey to Rome where he was crowned King of Judea in 40 b.c., although he was not able to claim his kingdom until 37 b.c.

4 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.

5 sn That is, one for each. A mina was a Greek monetary unit worth one hundred denarii or about four months’ wages for an average worker based on a six-day work week.

6 tn Or “subjects.” Technically these people were not his subjects yet, but would be upon his return. They were citizens of his country who opposed his appointment as their king; later the newly-appointed king will refer to them as his “enemies” (v. 27).

7 tn The imperfect is intense in this context, suggesting an ongoing attitude.

8 tn Grk “this one” (somewhat derogatory in this context).

9 tn Or “to rule.”

10 tn Grk “And it happened that when.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.

11 tn Grk “he said for these slaves to be called to him.” The passive construction has been translated as an active one and simplified to “he summoned.”

12 tn Grk “in order that he might know” (a continuation of the preceding sentence). Due to the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronoun “he” as subject and the verb “wanted” to convey the idea of purpose.

13 sn The Greek verb earned refers to profit from engaging in commerce and trade (L&N 57.195). This is an examination of stewardship.

14 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the royal summons.

15 tn Or “Lord”; or “Master.” (and so throughout this paragraph).

16 tn See the note on the word “minas” in v. 13.

17 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the nobleman of v. 12, now a king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

18 tn See Luke 16:10.

19 sn The faithful slave received expanded responsibility (authority over ten cities) as a result of his faithfulness; this in turn is an exhortation to faithfulness for the reader.

20 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

21 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the second slave’s report.

22 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the nobleman of v. 12, now a king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

23 sn Though ten were given minas, the story stops to focus on the one who did nothing with the opportunity given to him. Here is the parable’s warning about the one who does not trust the master. This figure is called “another,” marking him out as different than the first two.

24 tn The word “slave” is not in the Greek text, but has been supplied for stylistic reasons.

25 tn Grk “behold.”

26 tn Or “that I stored away.” L&N 85.53 defines ἀπόκειμαι (apokeimai) here as “to put something away for safekeeping – ‘to store, to put away in a safe place.’”

27 tn The piece of cloth, called a σουδάριον (soudarion), could have been a towel, napkin, handkerchief, or face cloth (L&N 6.159).

28 tn Or “exacting,” “harsh,” “hard.”

29 tn Grk “man, taking out.” The Greek word can refer to withdrawing money from a bank (L&N 57.218), and in this context of financial accountability that is the most probable meaning. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation by supplying the pronoun “you” as subject and translating the participle αἴρεις (airei") as a finite verb.

30 tn The Greek verb τίθημι (tiqhmi) can be used of depositing money with a banker to earn interest (L&N 57.217). In effect the slave charges that the master takes what he has not earned.

31 tn Grk “He”; the referent (the nobleman of v. 12, now a king) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

32 tn Grk “out of your own mouth” (an idiom).

33 tn Note the contrast between this slave, described as “wicked,” and the slave in v. 17, described as “good.”

34 tn Or “exacting,” “harsh,” “hard.”

35 tn That is, “If you really feared me why did you not do a minimum to get what I asked for?”

36 tn Grk “on the table”; the idiom refers to a place where money is kept or managed, or credit is established, thus “bank” (L&N 57.215).

37 tn Grk “to those standing by,” but in this context involving an audience before the king to give an accounting, these would not be casual bystanders but courtiers or attendants.

38 tn Grk “the ten minas.”

39 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context. Those watching the evaluation are shocked, as the one with the most gets even more. The word “already” is supplied at the end of the statement to indicate this surprise and shock.

40 tc A few mss (D W 69 pc and a few versional witnesses) omit this verse either to harmonize it with Matt 25:28-29 or to keep the king’s speech seamless.

41 tn Grk “to everyone who has, he will be given more.”

sn Everyone who has will be given more. Again, faithfulness yields great reward (see Luke 8:18; also Matt 13:12; Mark 4:25).

42 sn The one who has nothing has even what he seems to have taken away from him, ending up with no reward at all (see also Luke 8:18). The exact force of this is left ambiguous, but there is no comfort here for those who are pictured by the third slave as being totally unmoved by the master. Though not an outright enemy, there is no relationship to the master either. Three groups are represented in the parable: the faithful of various sorts (vv. 16, 18); the unfaithful who associate with Jesus but do not trust him (v. 21); and the enemies (v. 27).

43 tn Grk “to rule over them.”

44 tn This term, when used of people rather than animals, has some connotations of violence and mercilessness (L&N 20.72).

45 sn Slaughter them. To reject the king is to face certain judgment from him.

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