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?
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 26:36. In Luke, chapter 22:40, there is no mention of Gethsemane only the Mount of Olives, while in John, chapter 18:1, it is a garden in the Kidron Valley. Mark said that they went out (Καὶ ἔρχονται) to a place with the name of Gethsemane (εἰς χωρίον οὗ τὸ ὄνομα Γεθσημανεί). This Aramaic name Gethsemane means an oil press. Thus, this might have been the place where olive oil came from as this urban garden was at the foothills of the Mount of Olives, where they had just been. Jesus then told his disciples (καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ) to sit there (Καθίσατε), while he went to pray (ὧδε ἕως προσεύξωμαι). Thus, they have gone from the room where the Last Supper Passover meal took place to the Mount of Olives, and now to the garden in Gethsemane at the base of this hill filled with olives.
This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 14:32. In Luke, chapter 22:40, there is no mention of Gethsemane only the Mount of Olives, while in John, chapter 18:1, it is a garden in the Kidron Valley. Matthew and Mark say that Jesus went with his disciples (Τότε ἔρχεται μετ’ αὐτῶν ὁ Ἰησοῦς) to a place called Gethsemane (εἰς χωρίον λεγόμενον Γεθσημανεί). This Aramaic name Gethsemane means an oil press. Thus, this might have been the place where olive oil came from since this urban garden was at the foothills of the Mount of Olives, where they had just been. Jesus then told his disciples (καὶ λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς) to sit there (Καθίσατε αὐτοῦ), while he went away from them to pray (ἕως οὗ ἀπελθὼν ἐκεῖ προσεύξωμαι). Thus, they have gone from the room where the Last Supper Passover meal took place to the Mount of Olives, and now to the garden in Gethsemane at the base of this hill filled with olives.
This parable story is unique to Matthew. Jesus then pointed out this moment of crisis. The 5 foolish bridesmaids said to the 5 wise ones (αἱ δὲ μωραὶ ταῖς φρονίμοις εἶπαν) that they wanted some of their olive oil (Δότε ἡμῖν ἐκ τοῦ ἐλαίου ὑμῶν) that they had in their flasks. Their lamps were going out or extinguishing (ὅτι αἱ λαμπάδες ἡμῶν σβέννυνται). Thus, they needed more oil to keep their oil lamps going for this night procession.
This parable story is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that when the foolish ones took their lamps (αἱ γὰρ μωραὶ λαβοῦσαι τὰς λαμπάδας), they did not take any olive oil with them (ὐκ ἔλαβον μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν ἔλαιον). The foolish bridesmaids acted carelessly by not taking any extra olive oil for their lamps or lanterns. They would be ill prepared for what was to come. Oil could be a metaphor for righteousness, since the foolish would not be righteous.
Susanna told her two maids to get her some olive oil and other ointments. She wanted them to shut the garden doors. Thus, they went out by the side door into the house. They were doing what she had asked them to do. However, these maids did not see the elder judges, because they were hidden in the garden.
“But I alone went often to Jerusalem for the festivals, as it is prescribed for all Israel by an everlasting decree. I would hurry off to Jerusalem with the first fruits of the crops and the firstlings of the flock, the tithes of the cattle, and the first shearings of the sheep. I would give these to the priests, the sons of Aaron, at the altar. Likewise, I would give a tenth of the grain, wine, olive oil, pomegranates, figs, and rest of the fruits to the sons of Levi who ministered at Jerusalem. Also for six years I would save up a second tenth in money and go and distribute it in Jerusalem. A third tenth I would give to the orphans and widows, and to the converts who had attached themselves to Israel. I would bring it and give it to them in the third year. We would eat it according to the ordinance decreed concerning it in the Law of Moses and according to the instructions of Deborah, the mother of my father Tobiel. My father had died and left me an orphan. When I became a man I married a woman named Anna, a member of our family. By her I became the father of a son I called Tobias.”
Tobit goes on to explain why he is righteous. He went alone to the festivals at Jerusalem. The fact that he could take time to go to Jerusalem meant that he might have been among the rich of his area. He brought his tithes with him. He explained that he gave the tithes to the priests and Levites in Jerusalem. Every 3rd year, he would give a 10th to the orphans, widows, and converts to Judaism. This is one of the mentions of converts to Judaism. He followed the ordinances of the Law of Moses and his grandmother Deborah since his father had died and left him an orphan. Finally, he married Anna, from his family, and had a son called Tobias.
“You shall further command the Israelites to bring you pure oil of beaten olives for the light, so that a lamp may be set up to burn regularly. In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that is before the covenant, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before Yahweh. It shall be a perpetual ordinance to be observed throughout their generations by the Israelites.”
For the lamp, they were to use pure oil of beaten olives. We think of oil from the ground, but for the ancient people the oil of the olive trees was their oil. This was a perpetual lamp for the meeting tent that was outside the curtain, before the Ark of the Covenant. Aaron and his sons were responsible for this lamp. Once again, the Roman Catholic perpetual lamp before the tabernacle in medieval churches got its idea from here.