The other slaves were angry (Mt 18:31-18:31)

“When his fellow slaves

Saw what had happened,

They were deeply distressed.

They went to their lord.

They reported to their king

All that had taken place.”

 

ἰδόντες οὖν οἱ σύνδουλοι αὐτοῦ τὰ γενόμενα ἐλυπήθησαν σφόδρα, καὶ ἐλθόντες διεσάφησαν τῷ κυρίῳ ἑαυτῶν πάντα τὰ γενόμενα.

 

This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew.  As this king was rich and had many slaves, their fellow servant slaves saw what had happened (ἰδόντες οὖν οἱ σύνδουλοι αὐτοῦ τὰ γενόμενα).  They were deeply upset, pained, and distressed (ἐλυπήθησαν σφόδρα).  They went and reported to their lord, the king (καὶ ἐλθόντες διεσάφησαν τῷ κυρίῳ ἑαυτῶν), everything that had taken place (πάντα τὰ γενόμενα).  Let’s see what happens now.

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The unforgiving servant slave (Mt 18:28-18:30)

“But that same slave,

As he went out,

Came upon

One of his fellow slaves.

He owed him

A hundred denarii.

He seizing him.

He started choking him.

He said.

‘Pay what you owe.’

Then his fellow slave fell down.

He pleaded with him.

‘Have patience with me!

I will pay you.’

But he refused.

Then he went.

He threw him in prison

Until he would pay the debt.”

 

ἐξελθὼν δὲ ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος εὗρεν ἕνα τῶν συνδούλων αὐτοῦ, ὃς ὤφειλεν αὐτῷ ἑκατὸν δηνάρια, καὶ κρατήσας αὐτὸν ἔπνιγεν λέγων Ἀπόδος εἴ τι ὀφείλεις.

πεσὼν οὖν ὁ σύνδουλος αὐτοῦ παρεκάλει αὐτὸν λέγων Μακροθύμησον ἐπ’ ἐμοί, καὶ ἀποδώσω σοι.

ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἤθελεν, ἀλλὰ ἀπελθὼν ἔβαλεν αὐτὸν εἰς φυλακὴν ἕως ἀποδῷ τὸ ὀφειλόμενον.

 

This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew.  Just as this servant slave was leaving his master (ἐξελθὼν δὲ ὁ δοῦλος ἐκεῖνος) after having a $15,000,000 debt forgiven, he ran into a fellow slave (εὗρεν ἕνα τῶν συνδούλων αὐτοῦ).  This fellow slave owed him a hundred denarii (ὃς ὤφειλεν αὐτῷ ἑκατὸν δηνάρια), about $150.00.  He seized him or took hold of him (καὶ κρατήσας αὐτὸν).  He started to choke him by the throat (ἔπνιγεν) and told him to pay what he owed (λέγων Ἀπόδος εἴ τι ὀφείλεις).  Obviously, he was using strong arm tactics to intimidate his fellow slave.  This fellow slave responded by using the same routine and words as he had just done to the king.  Then his fellow slave fell down (πεσὼν οὖν ὁ σύνδουλος αὐτοῦ).  He pleaded with him (παρεκάλει αὐτὸν λέγων) to have patience with him (Μακροθύμησον ἐπ’ ἐμοί) because he was going to pay it back to him (καὶ ἀποδώσω σοι).  However, the result was completely different.  Instead of forgiving his fellow slave, he refused to do that (ὁ δὲ οὐκ ἤθελεν).  He threatened him (ἀλλὰ ἀπελθὼν) and put him in jail or prison (ἔβαλεν αὐτὸν εἰς φυλακὴν) until he would pay off his debt (ἕως ἀποδῷ τὸ ὀφειλόμενον).

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.

The servant slave owed ten thousand talents (Mt 18:24-18:25)

“When he began

The reckoning,

The one who owed him

Ten thousand talents

Was brought to him.

He could not pay it.

His lord ordered him

To be sold,

With his wife

And children,

With all his possessions.

Thus,

Some payment

Would be made.”

 

ἀρξαμένου δὲ αὐτοῦ συναίρειν προσήχθη εἷς αὐτῷ ὀφειλέτης μυρίων ταλάντων.

μὴ ἔχοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀποδοῦναι ἐκέλευσεν αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος πραθῆναι καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὰ τέκνα καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἔχει, καὶ ἀποδοθῆναι.

 

This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew.  This king began to settle his accounts (ἀρξαμένου δὲ αὐτοῦ συναίρειν).  This first servant or slave owed the king 10,000 talents (προσήχθη εἷς αὐτῷ ὀφειλέτης μυρίων ταλάντων), an unbelievable sum.  A talent was about 60 mina, 10,000 denarii, or 3,000 shekels.  Thus, in current money that would be about $1,500 for a talent.  The amount owed would have been approximately $15,000,000.00, that’s right 15 million dollars.  There was no way that he could have acquired that much in debt, and certainly no way to repay it (μὴ ἔχοντος δὲ αὐτοῦ ἀποδοῦναι).  Thus, it is called a parable story.  This lordly king decided and commanded that the best way to get this debt off his books was sell him, his wife, his children, and all their possessions (ἐκέλευσεν αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος πραθῆναι καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ τὰ τέκνα καὶ πάντα ὅσα ἔχει,).  This would make a small payment (καὶ ἀποδοθῆναι) to this enormous debt, but not very much.  Things did not look good for this servant slave with the large debt.

Settle accounts with servant slaves (Mt 18:23-18:23)

“Therefore,

The kingdom of heaven

May be compared

To a king

Who wished

To settle accounts

With his servant slaves.”

 

Διὰ τοῦτο ὡμοιώθη ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν ἀνθρώπῳ βασιλεῖ ὃς ἠθέλησεν συνᾶραι λόγον μετὰ τῶν δούλων αὐτοῦ

 

This parable about the unforgiving servant slave is unique to Matthew.  This is not a hidden parable, because right up front, Jesus said that this was a comparison to the kingdom of heaven (Διὰ τοῦτο ὡμοιώθη ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν).  In this parable kingdom story, this male king (ἀνθρώπῳ βασιλεῖ) may be an allusion to God.  This king wished to settle his words or accounts (ὃς ἠθέλησεν συνᾶραι λόγον) with his servants or male slaves (μετὰ τῶν δούλων αὐτοῦ).  Matthew was the only New Testament writer who used the word “συνᾶραι” 3 times that means to settle a situation.  In other words, these household slaves would not have had much to settle.