Ten of his slaves.
He gave them
He said to them.
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?