Gave his slaves money (Lk 19:13-19:13)

“This nobleman

Summoned

Ten of his slaves.

He gave them

Ten minas.

He said to them.

‘Do business

With these

Until I come back.’”

 

καλέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πραγματεύσασθε ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman summoned 10 of his slaves (λέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ).  He gave them each 10 minas (ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς).  Luke had this nobleman give 10 minas to 10 slaves.  Luke was the only biblical writer to use this term μνᾶς, that means a mina, a Greek monetary unit equal to 100 drachmas.  He used this word 9 times, mostly in this parable.  A rough equivalent would be $20.00 USA.  In ancient times, it was worth about a quarter of a year’s salary.  This nobleman told them (καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to do business (Πραγματεύσασθε) with these minas until he came back (ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι).  Once again, Luke used a word that is not found in any of the other Greek biblical writers, Πραγματεύσασθε, that means to busy oneself, or transact business trades.  Matthew, chapter 25:15, has something similar, perhaps this is a Q source.  In Matthew, the rich owner was dealing with talents, which was even more valuable.  There were 3,600 shekels in a talent.  There were 60 minas to a talent.  Thus, these talents were a lot of money.  This very trusting rich person gave to one of his slaves 5 talents (καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα).  He gave 2 talents (ᾧ δὲ δύο) to the 2nd slave and one talent (ᾧ δὲ ἕν) to the 3rd slave.  They received this according to their ability (ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν).  Then he went away immediately (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν Εὐθέως).  In each case, money was given to slaves in the household.  Luke had 10 slaves, but Matthew only had 3.  In Luke, there was an explicit saying to do business, while it was only implicit in Matthew, where some received more than others.  Luke had all of them receive the same amount, with a greater emphasis on equality.  Has someone ever entrusted you with some money?

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Light and heavy beatings (Lk 12:48-12:48)

“But the one

Who did not know,

Yet did

What deserved a beating,

Will receive

A light beating.

Everyone

To whom much is given,

Much will be required.

The one

To whom much

Has been entrusted,

Even more

Will be demanded.” 

 

ὁ δὲ μὴ γνοὺς, ποιήσας δὲ ἄξια πληγῶν, δαρήσεται ὀλίγας. παντὶ δὲ ᾧ ἐδόθη πολύ, πολὺ ζητηθήσεται παρ’ αὐτοῦ, καὶ ᾧ παρέθεντο πολύ, περισσότερον αἰτήσουσιν αὐτόν.

 

This is once again, unique to Luke.  He indicated that Jesus said that the one slave who did not know (ὁ δὲ μὴ γνοὺς) the will of his master, yet did the bad things that were worthy of punishment (ποιήσας δὲ ἄξια πληγῶν), also deserved a light beating (δαρήσεται ὀλίγας).  Everyone to whom much is given (παντὶ δὲ ᾧ ἐδόθη πολύ), much will be required (πολὺ ζητηθήσεται παρ’ αὐτοῦ).  The one to whom much has been entrusted (καὶ ᾧ παρέθεντο πολύ), even more will be demanded (περισσότερον αἰτήσουσιν αὐτόν).  Jesus made a distinction between those who knew the will of the master or lord and still disobeyed him, and those who did not know the will of the master but acted badly.  The latter would not be punished as much as those that knew what they should have been doing.  Those who have much, even much more would be required or demanded.  Do you live up to your responsibilities?

The disgrace of Ptolemy (2 Macc 10:12-10:13)

“Ptolemy, who was called Macron, took the lead in showing justice to the Jews because of the wrong that had been done to them. He attempted to maintain peaceful relations with them. As a result he was accused before Eupator by the king’s friends. He heard himself called a traitor at every turn, because he had abandoned Cyprus, which Philometor had entrusted to him. He had gone over to Antiochus Epiphanes. Unable to command the respect due his office, he took poison and ended his life.”

Ptolemy Macron had been in charge of Cyprus under the Egyptian King Ptolemy VI Philometor, who ruled from 180-145 BCE. King Ptolemy VI was the young king defeated by the Seleucid King Antiochus IV, who then outlived him. Ptolemy switched his allegiance from the Egyptian king to the King Antiochus IV so that he became the governor of Coele-syria and Phoenicia. He treated the Jews fairly so that there were complaints that he was a traitor to the young King Antiochus V. Everyone said that he could not be trusted. He poisoned himself and died. This is a strange story that seems to indicate that anyone who was kind to the Jews was not favored by the new king. However, he did commit suicide.