The results of trading (Lk 19:15-19:15)

“This nobleman

Received royal power.

When he returned,

He ordered those slaves,

To whom

He had given the money,

To be summoned.

Thus,

He might find out

What they had gained

By trading.”

 

καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν αὐτὸν λαβόντα τὴν βασιλείαν καὶ εἶπεν φωνηθῆναι αὐτῷ τοὺς δούλους τούτους οἷς δεδώκει τὸ ἀργύριον, ἵνα γνοῖ τίς τί διεπραγματεύσατο.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this nobleman did receive his royal power (καὶ ἐγένετο…αὐτὸν λαβόντα τὴν βασιλείαν) and then he returned home (ἐν τῷ ἐπανελθεῖν).  Once again, only Luke used this term ἐπανελθεῖν that means to return or come back again.  This nobleman ordered those 10 slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned to him (καὶ εἶπεν φωνηθῆναι αὐτῷ τοὺς δούλους τούτους οἷς δεδώκει τὸ ἀργύριον).  He wanted to find out what they had gained by trading (ἵνα γνοῖ τίς τί διεπραγματεύσατο).  Sure enough, this is the only use of the word διεπραγματεύσατο, in all the Greek biblical literature that means to examine thoroughly, to gain by trading, or doing business.  There is an equivalent in Matthew, chapter 25:19, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus said that after a long time (μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον), the master or lord of these slaves came back (ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων).  He then wanted to settle his accounts with his slaves (καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετ’ αὐτῶν).  Luke had the more colorful language to explain the returning rich man who wanted to see how his slaves had done in their business dealings.  Have you ever traded stocks or other assets to make money?

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?

Be on watch (Mk 13:34-13:34)

“The end times

Is like a man

Going on a journey.

When he leaves home,

He puts his slaves

In charge,

Each with

Their own work tasks.

He commands

The doorkeeper

To be on the watch.”

 

ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν, ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ, καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ.

 

This parable is similar to Matthew, chapter 25:14 and to Luke, chapter 19:12-27, where the story is about the power of a nobleman with 10 slaves, but the basic concept is the same.  Mark indicated that Jesus said that the end times would be like a man going on a journey (ὡς ἄνθρωπος ἀπόδημος).  He left his house (ἀφεὶς τὴν οἰκίαν αὐτοῦ).  He gave his slaves the authority (καὶ δοὺς τοῖς δούλοις αὐτοῦ τὴν ἐξουσίαν) to perform their own individual tasks (ἑκάστῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ).  He commanded a doorkeeper to stand watch over this whole situation (καὶ τῷ θυρωρῷ ἐνετείλατο ἵνα γρηγορῇ).

The reward for the slave with two talents (Mt 25:23-25:23)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:19, where the nobleman said that this 2nd trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 5 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 2nd diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This 2nd slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).  Notice that the Greek wording is exactly the same, word for word, as it was for the first slave with the 5 talents in verse 21.  They both belonged in the same category as good trustworthy faithful slaves.

 

The reward for the slave with five talents (Mt 25:21-25:21)

“His master

Said to him.

‘Well done!

Good slave!

Trustworthy slave!

You have been

Faithful

In a few things.

I will put you

In charge

Of many things.

Enter into the joy

Of your master.’”

 

ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ Εὖ, δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ, ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός, ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω· εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:17, where the nobleman said that the trader slave had done well, so that he put him in charge of 10 cities.  Here Jesus said that this master said to this 1st diligent trader slave (ἔφη αὐτῷ ὁ κύριος αὐτοῦ) that he done a good job (Εὖ).  He was a good trustworthy slave (δοῦλε ἀγαθὲ καὶ πιστέ).  As he had been trustworthy or faithful in a few things (ἐπὶ ὀλίγα ἦς πιστός), this master was going to put him in charge or appoint him over many things (ἐπὶ πολλῶν σε καταστήσω), without being specific.  This first slave was to enter into the joy of his master or lord (εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν χαρὰν τοῦ κυρίου σου).

The master settles accounts (Mt 25:19-25:19)

“After a long time,

The master

Of those slaves

Came back.

He settled accounts

With them.”

 

μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετ’ αὐτῶν.

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is an equivalent in Luke, chapter 19:15, where the nobleman wanted to settle his accounts after being away for a time.  Jesus said that after a long time (μετὰ δὲ πολὺν χρόνον), the master or lord of these slaves came back (ἔρχεται ὁ κύριος τῶν δούλων ἐκείνων).  He then wanted to settle his accounts with his slaves (καὶ συναίρει λόγον μετ’ αὐτῶν).

He gave money to his slaves (Mt 25:15-25:15)

“He gave to one slave

Five talents.

He gave to another slave

Two talents.

He gave to another slave

One talent.

He gave to each slave

According to his ability.

Then he went away

Immediately.”

 

καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα, ᾧ δὲ δύο, ᾧ δὲ ἕν, ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. Εὐθέως

 

This parable is unique to Matthew, but there is something similar in Luke, chapter 19:13, where this nobleman gave 10 minas to 10 slaves.  A mina was a gold coin worth about 100 drachmas or about $65,000 US.  Here they are dealing with talents, which was even more valuable.  There were 3,600 shekels in a talent.  There were 60 minas to a talent.  So that one talent was worth nearly $4,000,000 US.  Thus, these talents were a lot of money.  The first slave would have gotten around $20,000,000 US and the 2nd one about $8,000,000, enormous sums of money.  This rich man gave to one of his slaves 5 talents (καὶ ᾧ μὲν ἔδωκεν πέντε τάλαντα) or about 20 million dollars.  He gave 2 talents (ᾧ δὲ δύο) or about 8 million dollars to the 2nd slave and 1 talent (ᾧ δὲ ἕν) about 4 million dollars to the 3rd slave.  They received this according to their ability (ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν ἰδίαν δύναμιν).  Then he went away immediately (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. Εὐθέως).  He was a very trusting person.

The land and its ruler (Eccl 10:16-10:17)

“Woe to you!

O land!

When your king is a child or servant,

Your princes feast in the morning!

Happy are you!

O land!

When your king is a noble man,

Your princes feast at the proper time!

They have strength!

They are not for drunkenness!”

The land was always important for the Israelites. Qoheleth said that it was better to have a king who was a nobleman and not a child or servant. The princes would then feast at the proper time, not in the morning. Instead of being a woeful land, it would be a happy land because they would have strength and not be drunk.