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might make merry with my friends : 30 but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad : * for this thy brother was dead, and k ver. 24. is alive [c again); and was lost, and is found.

XVI. 1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward ; and the same was

Comit. these ? this elder son also then has friends, the spirit and words of the elder son. He who are not his father's friends : see Matt. was breaking his Father's commandinent xxii. 16, they sent out unto him their even when he made the assertion,- and disciples with the Herodians."

the making it is part of his hypocrisy. 30. this thy son] The last degree of scorn

The result of the Father's entreaty and contempt, - just such as was shewn by is left purposely uncertain (see Trench, the Pharisees towards the publicans and Parables) : is it possible that this should sinners (see ch. xviii. 11). I will not have been the case, had the Jewish nation count such an impure person my brother. been meant by the elder brother ? But

thy living] A covert reproach of his now, as he typifies a set of individuals who father for having given it to him.

might themselves be (and many of them with harlots) A charitable addition on the were) won by repentance,- it is thus part of the elder brother, such as those broken off, to be closed by each individual represented by him always take care to for himself. For we are all in turn make under similar circumstances. Even examples of the cases of both these supposing it a necessary inference from brothers, containing the seeds of both the kind of life which he had been leading, evil courses in our hearts : but, thanks be it was one which nothing but the bitterest to God, under that grace, which is suffijealousy would have uttered at such a cient and willing to seek and save us from time. thou hast killed for him the both. fatted calf] Parallel with “he receiveth CHAP. XVI. 1-8.] PARABLE OF THE sinners and eateth with them,ver. 2. UNJUST STEWARD. Peculiar to Luke. No • Thou hast not only made him equal to parable in the Gospels has been the subject me, but hast received him into superior of so much controversy as this: while, at favour.

31.] thou art ever with the same time, the general stream of interme, as a reason why no extraordinary joy pretation is well defined, and, in the main, should be shewn over him ; other reasons satisfactory. It would be quite beyond might be assigned, and lie indeed in the the limits of this note to give any thing background, suggested by his tone and like a catalogue of the views respecting it: words : but this is the soft answer to turn the principal ones which differ from that away wrath. all that I have is which I have adopted, will be noticed in thine, because the portion of goods which the course of my remarks. 1.] he remained was his. 32. It was meet] said also—a continuation. I believe, of the The Father still asserts the restored son- foregoing :-certainly closely connected in ship of his returned prodigal - this thy subject with it, as is the second parable in brother. We may remark that the diffi. this chapter also: see below. unto culties which have been found in the latter his disciples, not to the Twelve only, but to part of the parable, from the uncontra. the multitude of the disciples; and more dicted assertion in ver. 29, if the Pharisees immediately perhaps to the Publicans, are meant, --and the great pride and un- whose reception by Him had been the charitableness shewn, if really righteous occasion of this discourse. I say this bepersons are meant,--are considerably cause I believe them to hold a place, lightened by the consideration, that the though not a principal or an exclusive one, contradiction of that assertion would have in the application of the parable which been beside the purpose of the parable; follows. There was a certain rich that it was the very thing on which the man ....) The history of this parable Pharisees prided theinselves; that, besides, is, in itself, purely worldly. The master it is sufficiently contradicted in fact, by is a son of this world, as well as his

accused unto him that he d had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, e How is it that I hear this of thee? *give an account of thy stewardship; for thou & mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh

away from me the stewardship : I cannot dig; to beg I d render, was wasting--literally, scattering. e see note.

f render, give up the account. 8 render, canst.

steward: bear this in mind :-the whole malicious : and the reason why the word has parabolic machinery is from the standing. come so generally to signify "wrongful acpoint of the children of this world.

cusation,' is, that malicious charges are so In the interpretation, this rich man is the frequently slanderous. The steward himAlmighty Possessor of all things. This is self does not deny it. The charge against the only tenable view. Meyer, who sup. him was not, that he had wasted (A. V.), poses him to be Mammon (defending it by but was wasting, his master's goods. In the consideration that dismissal from his this charge (spiritually) we may see the real service is equivalent to being received into guilt of every man who is entrusted with everlasting habitations, which it is not the goods of our Heavenly Father. We see below), is involved in inextricable diffi- are all “scattering his goods.' If some culties further on. Olshausen's view, that one is to be found to answer to the ac. he represents the Devil, the prince of this cusers, the analogy of the Accuser of the world, will be found equally untenable. brethren' is too striking to escape us. Schleiermacher's, that the Romans are in- 2.] It makes very little difference either in tended, whose stewards the Publicans were, admissibility of construction or of sense, and that the debtors are the Jews, hardly whether we render, 'why do I hear this of needs refuting ;-certainly not more refu. thee?' i. e. what is the ground of this ting, than any consistent exposition will of report ? --what occasion hast thou given itself furnish

a steward, a general for this being brought to me ?' or, What overlooker- very much what we under is this that I hear of thee?' i. e. 'give stand by an agent, or “a man of busi some account of it.' I prefer rather the ness,' or, in the larger sense, a steward. former, because no opportunity of explaThey were generally of old, slaves : but nation what it is, is given him, but he is this man is a freeman, from vv. 3, 4. This commanded to produce his books, to shew steward represents especially the Publicans, how it has arisen. give up the acbut also all the disciples, i. e. every man count of thy stewardship; for (taking for in Christ's Church. We are all God's granted the correctness of the report, the stewards, who commits to our trust His steward not denying it) thou wilt not be property :-each one's office is of larger able to retain thy stewardship any longer, or smaller trust and responsibility, accord. -in ordinary English, thou canst not, &c. ing to the measure entrusted to him. The impossibility lies in the nature of I say, especially the Publicans, because things-thou art precluded from. the Twelve, and probably others, had The interpretation of this announcement relinquished all and followed Christ, and to the steward, is the certainty, spoken by therefore the application of the parable to God in every one of our consciences, that them would not be so direct : and also we must give up, and give an account of, because I cannot but put together with our stewardship at death. The great truth this parable and consider as perhaps lies in the background, that that dismissal, prompted by it or the report of it, the death itself, is the consequence of the scat. profession of Zacchæus, ch. xix. 8. Others tering His goods—the wages of sin. have supposed the steward to represent 3.] The steward sets before himself the the Pharisees--but then the parable should certainty of poverty and misery. He has have been addressed to them, which it was not by his waste of his lord's property been not: and this view entirely fails in the ap- laying up any store for himself ;-that is plication was accused unto him: it not the point of the parable ;-he has lived is the same word in the original which softly and effeminately, and cannot do an generally represents false or wrongful ac- honest day's work :-dig is used for all cusation. This it was not here, but it was manual labours. This speech, of digging

am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of h his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord ? 6 And he said, An hundred i measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred i measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And k the lord commended Ithe unjust steward because he had done wisely : for the mchildren of this world are n in their generation wiser than a the mchildren of light. 9 And I say unto you, thes... h render, his own lord's. i see note.

render, his lord. I literally, the steward of unrighteousness. m render, sons.

n render, for their own.

a John xii. 38.

Eph. V.8.
1 Thess. v.5.

and begging, must not be sought for in bushels, according to Josephus. There the interpretation; it belongs to the truth does not appear to be any designed meanof the parable itself, as introducing the ing in the variation of the amount deducted. scheme which follows, but has no ulte. We may easily conceive a reason, if we wil, rior meaning.

4.] I am resolved: in the different circumstances of the debtors. implying, I have just arrived at the know

8.] his lord- of course, the lord of ledge,- an idea has just struck me, I the steward. The A. V. ought to have have a plan. they may receive me been thus expressed, and not “the lord,- viz. those who are about to be spoken and there would have been no ambiguity. of, the debtors. He has them in his mind. He praised him, because he had acted

Observe, the aim of his scheme is shrewdly, cleverly for his own interest. that they may receive him into their The point brought out is not merely the houses,-give him shelter. This is made shrewdness of the steward, but his lord, use of afterwards in the interpretation, for whose injury was wrought by this very which see on ver. 9. 5.] It is more shrewdness, praising it : for, our Saviour natural to suppose that these debtors had adds, the sons of this world, to which borrowed, i.e. not yet paid for these articles category both belonged-he who conceived of food out of the stores of the rich man, and he who praised the shrewdness—are than that they were contractors to the more shrewd (towards the purposes of) amounts specified of his own lord's, their own generation - for the purposes -shewing the unprincipled boldness of his of their self-interest, -than the sons of plan for saving himself: as we express the light. But this very expression their same when we say, "he robbed his own own generation," indicates that there is a father. 6.7 measures--this first time better and a higher generation, the family the word is baths, for liquids, as the ephah of light (John xii. 36: Rom. xiii. 12: Eph. for solids. See Ezek. xlv. 10, 11, 14. v. 8: 1 Thess. v. 5), whose interests reTake thy bill] The steward, not yet out of quire a higher and better wisdom and office, has all the vouchers by him, and foresight. It is hardly necessary to add returns each debtor his own bond for him that the discovery of the steward's trick to alter the figure (not, to make another, by the master is essential to the parable, which would imply the destruction of the as exemplifying the wisely and wiser. old bond, not its return). sit down is

9.] We now pass to the application graphic. quickly implies the hurry with at once-from the mouth of our Lord which the furtive business is transacted. Himself. All that is dishonest and, fur. The debtors seem to be all together, that tive in the character of the steward beall may be implicated and none may tell of longed entirely to him as a son of this the other. 7.] measures--this second world : but even in this character there time the word is the corus, twelve Attic was a point to praise and imitate. And

Matt. vi. 19:

b Dan. iv, 27. Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteb Dan. iv. 27.

mamma xix. 21. ch.

1:41. 1 Tim. ousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into vi. 17, 18, 19.

9.21. P everlasting habitations. 10 c He that is faithful in that ch, xix. 17.

which is least is faithful also in much : and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. 11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true [9 riches] ? 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another

man's, who shall give you that which is your own? d Matt. vi. 24. 13 d No servant can serve two masters : for either he will

hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to

the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and o read, when it fails.

P render, the everlasting. q not expressed in the original. the dishonesty itself is not inserted without name. They receive us there with joy, if purpose – viz. to shew us how little the they are gone before us: they receive us sons of this world scruple to use it, and there by making us partakers of their how natural it is to them. Now, however prayers, which move the Hand that moves we stand on higher ground : to the pure, the world,' even during this life. Deeds all things are pure :-in bringing up the then of charity and mercy are to be our example into the purer air which the spiritual shrewdness, by which we may children of light breathe, its grosser parts turn to our account the unjust mammon, drop off, and the finer only remain.

providing ourselves with friends out of it; Notice the emphasis, which ought always and the debtors are here perhaps to be to be observed in reading, And I say unto taken in their literal, not parabolic senseyou. It seems to recognize a necessary we are to lighten their burdens by timely difference in the two situations :- although relief-the only way in which a son of you are children of the light and the day, light can change the hundred into fifty, and can do no such furtive acts, yet I say or fourscore : see Isa. lviii. 6–8. to you'..... This view will explain how 10–12.] Closely connected with the forewe may make friends of the mammon of going ;-the faithfulness in the least' is unrighteousness, just as we can make an the same as the prudence and shrewdness example for ourselves out of the stoward of just spoken of ;-in the case of the children unrighteousness — that which is of itself of light they run up into one-who is the of unrighteousness—which belongs to, is faithful and wise steward, ch. xii. 42;part of a system of, unrighteousness, the least is the unrighteous mammon, which is the very root of all evils, the which is the same as that which is anresult, and the aptest concretion, of that other man's--the wealth of this present system of mine and thine (see ch. xv. 12) world, which is not the Christian's own, which is itself the result of sin having nor his proper inheritance. The much,entered into the world. And we are to the true [riches 1,- that which is your use this mammon of unrighteousness to own, is the true riches of God's inherit. make ourselves, – not palaces, nor barns, ance : of which the earth (see Matt. v. 5) nor estates, nor treasures,- but friends; forms a part, which God (implied in the i. e. to bestow it on the poor and needy- who ? for there will be none to give it (see ch. xii. 33, which is the most striking you if you be untrue during this state of parallel to our text-“when it fails,” with probation ;-He will not be your God) Ha treasure which shall not fail) that shall give to you. The wealth of this when it shall fail,- they, i. e. the friends world is another man's--forfeited by sin-(compare the joy in heaven ch. xv. 7, 10, only put into our hands to try us, and to and Baxter's remark cited there by Stier be rendered an account of. 13.] See - Is there joy in heaven at thy con- note on Matt. vi. 24. The connexion here version, and will there be none at thy is, – that we must, while put in trust with glorification ?') may receive you into the the unrighteous mammon, be serving not it, (or their) everlasting tabernacles. See also but God. The saying here applies adch. xiv. 13, 14. God repays in their mirably to the Pharisees and Publicans :

teemed amy and the PFGod is prezcasier way

Matt. iv 17 : xi. 12, 13.

Isa. xl. 8: li. 6. Matt. v.



xix. 0. Mark

mammon. 14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, Matt xxiii. heard all these things: and they derided him. 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which 'justify yourselves fch. x. 29.

Ps. vii. o. before men; but 8 God knoweth your hearts : 1 for h that & Savi. 21.7.

1 Sam. I 1.7. which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. 16 i The law and the prophets were until 'M

ch. vii. 20. John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it. 17 k And it is easier k Ps. cit. 26, 37. for heaven and earth to pass, than one s tittle of the law is. Materi

18. 1 Pet. i. to fail. 18 ? Whosoever putteth away his wife and marrieth 1 Matt. v. 82: another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth 3:11 1 Cor.

vii. 10, 11. her that is put away from `t her husband committeth adultery. 19 tt There was a certain rich man, which was r render, because.

8 see on Matt. v. 18. t read, an.

tt render, Now there. the former were, to outward appearance, the circumstances, and with what had the servants of God, but inwardly served before been said. As early as Tertullian, Mammon ;-the latter, by profession in in the third century, it was remarked, the service of Mammon, were, by coming that an allusion was meant here to the to Jesus, shewing that they inwardly adultery of Herod Antipas with his brother served God.

Philip's wife, which the Pharisees had 14—31.] BY OCCASION OF THE COVET- tacitly sanctioned, thus allowing an open OUS PHARISEES DERIDING HIM, OUR breach of that law which Christ came to LORD SPEAKS THE PARABLE OF THE fulfil. To this mention of Herod's crime RICH MAN AND LAZARUS. The Pha. the until John gave relevance. Still the risees were not slow in perceiving that idea must not be too lightly assumed. the scope of all these things was to place Bleek's remark is worth notice, that, had this world's goods, and all that the covet such an allusion been intended, the last ous seek after, at a very low price. It words of the verse would have been otherwill be observed that the sayings which wise expressed. Antipas had not married follow are in reference to matters men. a divorced woman, but abduced a married tioned during the discourses, or arising woman from her husband. See on out of the character of the Pharisees as Matt. v. 32. 19—31.] Our Lord, in commented on in them. 15.] See this closing parable, grasps the whole last note, end justify yourselves covetous and self-seeking character of the before men-a contrast to “ I have sinned Pharisees, shews them a case in which it is before thee,ch. xv. 18: and abomination carried to the utmost, by one who made in the sight of God, to "joy in the presence no friends'-with the unrighteous Mam. of the angels of God," ch. xv. 10.

mon ;-places in contrast with it a case 16.] See Matt. xi. 12 and note.

of extreme destitution and poverty,—the connexion is,-'Ye are they that justify very thing which the covetous most yourselves before men; ye are no publi abhorred;- and then passes over into the cans and sinners,- no poor and needy, region beyond the grave, shewing them but righteous, and increased with this the contrast there also—and ending with world's goods. But, since John, a king. a mysterious prophetic hint at the final dom has been preached, into which every rejection of the Kingdom of God and one, publicans and sinners too (ch. xv. 1), Himself by those for whom the law and are pressing in. The true relation how prophets were insufficient to bring them ever of that kingdom to the law is not as to repentance. And while it does not ye suppose, to destroy the law (Matt. v. appear that the covetousness of the Phari. 17), but to fulfil! Then, as an example, sees shewed itself in this particular way, our Lord reiterates the decision which He our Lord here grasps the depravity by its had before given on a point much contro root, which is, a godless and loveless selfverted among the Jews—the law of adul- seeking-saying in the heart, There is tery. But this He does, not without no God'-and acting accordingly. occasion given, and close connexion with The explanation of particular points see VOL. I.


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