Take a discount (Lk 16:7-16:7)

“Then the manager

Asked another debtor.

‘How much do you owe?’

He replied.

‘A hundred containers

Of wheat.’

The manager said to him.

‘Take your bill!

Make it eighty!’”

 

ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις; ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου. λέγει αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα.

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the house manager asked another debtor (ἔπειτα ἑτέρῳ εἶπεν) how much did he owe his master (Σὺ δὲ πόσον ὀφείλεις).  This debtor replied (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed 100 cors or containers of wheat (Ἑκατὸν κόρους σίτου).  Once again, Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term κόρους that means a cor, about 15 bushels, a dry measure, equivalent to 120 gallons.  This dishonest manager then told him (λέγει αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα) and make it 80 cors (καὶ γράψον ὀγδοήκοντα).  This was only a 20% discount or a reduction from 1,500 bushels to 1,200 bushels of wheat.  This corrupt manager was not as kind to this debtor, compared to the first debtor.  Is debt a good thing to have?

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Write your debt in half (Lk 16:6-16:6)

“The man answered.

‘A hundred jugs

Of olive oil.’

This manager

Said to him.

Take your bill!

Sit down quickly!

Make it fifty!’”

 

ὁ δὲ εἶπεν Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα

 

This parable story about the dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that this debtor answered (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν) that he owed a 100 jugs or baths of olive oil (Ἑκατὸν βάτους ἐλαίου).  Once again, Luke used a word that does not appear any other place in the biblical literature, βάτους, that means a bath, an Israelite liquid measure, between eight and nine gallons.  Thus, this unjust house manager said to this debtor (ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ) to take his bill (Δέξαι σου τὰ γράμματα).  Then sitting down, quickly change it to 50 (καὶ καθίσας ταχέως γράψον πεντήκοντα).  This would have been a 50% reduction from about 800 gallons of olive oil to 400 gallons.  That was a nice gesture.  Would his master and lord like that?  Have you ever tried to reduce your debt?

How much do you owe? (Lk 16:5-16:5)

“Thus,

He summoned

His master’s debtors,

One by one.

He asked the first one.

‘How much do you owe

My master?’”

 

καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου;

 

This parable story about this dishonest household manager or steward can only be found in Luke, not in any of the other gospel stories.  Luke indicated that Jesus said that the plan of this fired house manager was to summon each one of his lord’s or master’s debtors (καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα ἕκαστον τῶν χρεοφειλετῶν τοῦ κυρίου ἑαυτοῦ).  He asked the first debtor (ἔλεγεν τῷ πρώτῳ) how much he owed his lord or master (Πόσον ὀφείλεις τῷ κυρίῳ μου).  The plan was simple.  He was going to contact his master’s debtors, those who owed money to his lord.  He wanted to know how much they owed?  However, he should have known this, if he was a good manager.  Do you owe any money to anyone?

The king forgave the debt (Mt 18:26-18:27)

“Thus,

The slave

Fell on his knees

Before him.

He said.

‘Lord!

Have patience with me!

I will pay you everything!’

Out of pity for him

The lord of that slave

Released him.

He forgave him

His debt.”

 

πεσὼν οὖν ὁ δοῦλος προσεκύνει αὐτῷ λέγων Μακροθύμησον ἐπ’ ἐμοί, καὶ πάντα ἀποδώσω σοι.

σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου ἐκείνου ἀπέλυσεν αὐτόν, καὶ τὸ δάνειον ἀφῆκεν αὐτῷ.

 

This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew.  This debtor servant slave fell on his knees in front of the king (πεσὼν οὖν ὁ δοῦλος προσεκύνει αὐτῷ).  He asked his master lord to have patience with him (λέγων Μακροθύμησον ἐπ’ ἐμοί).  He said that he would repay him everything (καὶ πάντα ἀποδώσω σοι), an impossible task.  However, the king and master of this slave, out of pity and compassion for him (σπλαγχνισθεὶς δὲ ὁ κύριος τοῦ δούλου), released him (ἐκείνου ἀπέλυσεν αὐτόν) and forgave him his debt (καὶ τὸ δάνειον ἀφῆκεν αὐτῷ).  This was extremely generous on the part of this slaveowner king.