WHO IS THE UNRIGHTEOUS STEWARD
Luke chapter 16: 1-9
AFTER TWO THOUSAND YEARS THE TRUE UNDERSTANDING OF THE UNRIGHTEOUS STEWARD.
King David, Jacob, Rahab the Harlot, and all God’s chosen are dishonest stewards. The Children of God plunder from the Prince of this world.
Copyright © 2021 by Stephen J Nagle
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing, 2021
If you would like to leave a comment or share your opinion regarding this commentary please click the button to go to the DISCUSSION PAGE.
The scripture passage in LUKE Chapter 16 verses 1 through 9 has several names, depending on which version of The Bible is being read. The Unjust Steward, The Unrighteous Steward, The Dishonest Manager are used interchangeably.
I have used different versions of the scriptures in quotation references. I use abbreviations to designate which version is being referenced.
KJV-King James Version, (majority of time).
ESV-English Standard Version, NIV-New International Version
YLT-Young’s Literal Translation, (preferred Bible)
NKJV-New King James Version
ASV-American Standard Version, NASV- New American Standard
WHO IS THE UNRIGHTEOUS STEWARD?
LUKE CHAPTER 16, 1-9
The parable called “THE Unrighteous Steward” has puzzled bible teachers for two thousand years. Unfortunately Bible expositors in our day and research going back thru to Augustine (AD 430) show not one example of correct understanding of this passage. I am certain that I am not the only one who has understood this passage. There must be a correct account hidden in some library somewhere? No commentary, I could find, has looked into the scriptures, comparing spiritual with spiritual, to obtain the correct understanding. Let us try to look at this passage afresh and start with a “blank slate” in our mind. Try to banish the natural prejudice that arises from reading and hearing earlier commentaries. I have no church door to post my theses onto. I shall self-publish and create a WEB page for discussion, (www.thebibleunfolded.com). In order to understand correctly, it is helpful to review LUKE 16, verses 1-9(no verse #, ESV). He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses. So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are shrewder in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into eternal dwellings.
Publishers throughout the Christian era, using verse eight, have titled Luke 16 the parable of the “unjust steward”, “the dishonest manager”, and similar titles. As in all Bible parables it is an earthly story with a spiritual message. This parable is only found in the Gospel of Luke. Yet, it is often preached. The first eight verses of Luke 16 are what need to be correctly understood. Everyone understands verse nine.
Teachers usually struggle trying to explain why a dishonest manager is “commanded” by the master (verse 8). They discourse on his “wisdom” despite his dishonest actions. Many pastors title their sermons with references to the “Rascal” or “The Rouge”. They go to great lengths emphasizing how dishonest, slothful is “the manager”. Many even embellish and exaggerate the character of the manager (called “steward” in the KJV) without any scriptural justification. Teachers discuss why “the manager” cannot “dig” or “beg”. This is a complete misunderstanding of the true teaching of these scriptures. They discuss proper management skills, which is bordering on the absurd. “Does GOD take care for oxen? (1 Corinthians 9:9).” God has not written the Bible as a “How To” book. Gods is not instructing us on how to manage our finances, or run a business. The key ingredient to understanding is that the morality or ethical prospective is inverted. We live in a fallen rebellious creation. It is not un-ethical for a “prisoner of war” to try and escape? The Christian in this world is commanded to plunder Satan’s house. We are unrighteous stewards from Satan’s perspective or standpoint. It is the work of the Christian to plunder Satin of his captives.
No one in commentaries identifies the passages throughout the Old Testament where the “unjust steward” is clearly and in detail reviled. All the elect of God, Christians alive today and throughout antiquity are plunders of Satan’s Kingdom. We who send out the Gospel are disobedient to the king of this world (Satan); we are stealing his goods, devouring his kingdom. We are in a spiritual war. See Matthew 12:29; …. How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then he will spoil his house…….. Satan is the “strong man”. He is the prince and the owner of this world. He is bound by Christ at the cross. And we as Christ body are plundering his house. The “rich man”, in the passage, is Satan; we read in the temptation of Christ recorded in Luke 4: 5-6; And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, “all this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (KJV). Satan is professing his rightful ownership of this world. Also, in John 14 verse 30 Jesus says: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” And John 12 verse 31:” Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (KJV).
The unjust or dishonest “servant” is the Christian. All who have come into the covenant of Grace are engaged in defrauding and plundering Satan of his goods. We belong to Christ and go thru this world preaching the gospel in this foreign land. Yes, using our time, money, and energy to plunder the kingdom of Satan. This is not our permanent home. The Christian is waiting to be cast out of this world, as the servant in Luke 16 is going to lose his job. Hence Christians are the unrighteous stewards because we are not loyal to the king of this world. John 14:2+3, “in my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be eternally” (YLT). The redeemed, the Christians, are in Satan’s world for a short time and we are stealing his property. The Christians life is supposed to be about our father’s business. We travel through the world and send out the good news, making disciples of all people; “the great commission.” The elect of god often struggle in this life. This is not the eternal home of the Christians; it is Satan’s cursed world. Christians are foreigners and pilgrims here.
Let us look at four examples of God’s people, in the OLD TESTAMENT, that live out this parable (Luke 16) in scripture. They plunder and betray their masters and send gifts to God’s elect, making friends that will receive them when they are “cast out” of their station. David while living among the Philistines, Jacob while servant to Laban, The Children of Israel plunder the Egyptians, and Rahab the Harlot, all are “unrighteous stewards.” Lastly, we will discuss how and why “all the existing explanations” of Luke chapter16; 1-9, have been completely incorrect. This includes the most re-noun and famous bible teachers in history.
DAVID IS AN UNRIGHTEOUS SERVANT TO KING ACHISH.
David, while just a boy, is anointed with oil by Samuel the prophet to be king over Israel (1st Samuel 16:13). He does not manifest his kingdom for approximately 20 years. David makes a covenant with Jonathan (King Saul’s son) years before he is crowned king. He is forced to flee Israel because of persecution from King Saul. He lives among the Philistines. While there, he deceives his new master King Achsih. David plunders the peoples around him (the historic enemies of Israel) and sends gifts of the plunder to the tribe of Juda, in Israel, to his friends. This goes on for about 16 months (1st Samuel 27 verse7).
READ 1st Samuel CHAPTER 27, KJV. (The verse # omitted, bold type added for emphasis to compare the story to that of the unrighteous steward).
AND David said in his heart, “I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.” And David arose, and he passed over with the 600 hundred men that werewith him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, everyman with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoa the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelites, Nabal’s wife. And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.
¶ And David said unto Achish, “if I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant (David has become “the servant”) dwell in the royal city with thee?” Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertain unto the kings of Judah unto this day. And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.
¶ And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur (south), even unto the land of Egypt. And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. And Achish said, “Where have ye made a road to day?” And David said, “against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites” (Davidis lying tothe king). And David saved neither man nor woman alive; to bring tidings to Gath, “saying, lest they should tell on us, saying, so did David and so will be his manner all the while he dwelled in the country of the Philistines.” And Achish believed David, saying, “He hath made his people Israel utterly toabhor him; therefore he shall be my servant forever.” ( David is referred to as my servant).
Look closely at verses in bold type. This is brutal history of David plundering and killing the people living near to Achish’s kingdom. He is gaining wealth for himself and his people while deceiving his adopted King. David knows he will eventually leave the Philistine lands and become King of Israel. But Achish is deceived, he states in verse 12: “he shall be my servant forever.” Also, chapter 28 verse 2 shows Achish is being deceived. David said to Achish, “Very well u shall know what your servant can do.” So Achish said to David, “Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life” (NASV).
Then in verse 26 of chapter 30 of 1st Samuel we learn of David sending gift to the Elders of Judea (his particular tribe), saying “behold a present from the Lord.” He is preparing for his exiting, that is fleeing, the service of Achish to become King of Judah. As in Luke 16:9, he is making “friends of the mammon of unrighteousness” When he is cast out of Achish’s service, he is received into Judea by his friends. Thus David’s sojourn among the Philistines is a living example of the unrighteous steward of Luke 16.
1st Samuel chapter 30 verses 26 thru 31 in the KJV. ¶ And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD; To them which were in Beth-el, and to them which were in south Ramoth, and to them which were in Jattir, And to them which were in Aroer, and to them which were in Siphmoth, and to them which were in Eshtemoa, And to them which were in Rachel, and to them which were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to them which were in the cities of the Kenites, And to them which were in Hormah, and to them which were in Chor-ashan, and to them which were in Athach. And to them which were in Hebron, and to all the places whereDavid himself and his men were wont to haunt. All the cities listed belong to Judea. The city Rachel is Bethlehem, David’s home town.
In conclusion, we see David’s behavior while dwellingamongthePhilistines is one of plundering the enemies of Israel and deceiving the Philistine King. David islaying up store in Israel, so that he will be receivedasa friend when the time comes for him to return to Israel. David is a type or a picture of the “Unrighteous Steward.”
Jacob is the “unrighteous steward” of Laban.
In Genesis chapter 28, the patriarch Jacob is sent by Isaac and Rebekah (his parents) to seek a wife from his uncle Laban (Rebekah’s brother) in the area called Padan-aram (Syria). His stay in Padan-aram will be temporary. During his sojourn in the service of Laban he acquires four wives and a great amount of wealth. He will then return to the “Promised Land.” Jacob knows before arriving in Padam-aram that God will bring him back to his father’s land. Interesting to note, Jacob is fleeing his Brother Esau. This is very similar to David fleeing King Saul. In Genesis 28; 5 we read: And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother (KJV).
In chapter 28 verses 11 thru 16: he dreams and receives the promise by god of his eventual return to his father’s land: God speaking in Jacob’s dream: “And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goes, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken tothee of.” ¶ And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, “Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.”
This dream is the famous account of “Jacob’s Ladder”, and deserves much inquiry at another time. Our purpose is just to stress that Jacob was to sojourn with Laban for his wife and possessions, knowing full well he would return to his father Abraham and Isaac’s land. His permeate home is the “Promised Land” of Abraham. He knows he will return to Bethel where he has had the dream. Let’s focus on Jacob and his wives deceiving and the plundering of Laban’s goods. Jacob literally is a steward to Laban. In Genesis Chapter 30 verse 26 through verse 3 of chapter 31 in the KJV, (chapter breaksare not divinely inspired) Jacob is speaking to Laban. “Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou know my service which I have done thee.” And Laban said unto him, “I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.” And he said, “Appoint me thy wages, and I will give.” And he said unto him, “Thou know how I have served thee, and how thy cattle were with me. For it was little which thou had before I came, and it is now Increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall I provide for mine own house also?” And he said, “What shall I give thee?” And Jacob said,” Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock: I will pass through all thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire. So shall my righteousness answer for me in time to come, when it shall come for my hire before thy face: every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats, and brown among the sheep, that shall be counted stolen with me.” And Laban said, “Behold, I would it might be according to thy word.” And he (Laban) removed that day the he goats that were ring streaked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted, and every one that had some white in it, and all the brown among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons (Laban’s sons). And he set three days’ journey betwixt himself and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban’s flocks.
Laban has just removed all the sheep and goats that will breed for Jacob in order that Jacob not receives fair compensation. He only leaves white colored animals so Jacob will not breed the color that is for him. The passage is a little hard to follow. It takes some concentration to follow the littoral event. The passage once understood displays’ Laban is dishonest and corrupt. He wants to exploit Jacob and make wealth off Jacob’s labor. He wants Jacob to serve him as long as possible.
Continuing in verse 37: ¶ And Jacob took him rods of green poplar, and of the hazel and chestnut tree; and pilled white strakes in them, and made the white appear which was in the rods. And he set the rods which he had pilled before the flocks in the gutters in the watering troughs when the flocks came to drink, that they should conceive when they came to drink. And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ring streaked, speckled, and spotted. And Jacob did separate the lambs, and set the faces of the flocks toward the ring streaked, and all the brown in the flock of Laban; and he put his own flocks by themselves, and put them not unto Laban’s cattle. And it came to pass, when so ever the stronger cattle did conceive, that Jacob laid the rods before the eyes of the cattle in the gutters that they might conceive among the rods. But when the cattle were feeble, he put them not in: so the feebler were Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. And the man (Jacob) increased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maidservants, and menservants, and camels, and asses.
In verses 37 through 43 Jacob is placing the rods in front of the sheep. The rods are the same Greek word as staff (#H4731 Strong’s Concordance). Used in 1st Samuel 17:43; And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog that thou come to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The word is similar to the Rod used throughout the bible as “Arron’s Rod” which is used to bring miracles in Egypt. It is similar to the famous Psalm 23verse 4:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The rods represent God’s power. God is blessing Jacob at the expense of Laban. Jacob removes the weak or feeble cattle and puts them into Laban’s herd. Jacob’s herds and flocks increase, by an act of God, Yes, God blesses Jacob, he prospers despite Laban’s’ attempt to defraud him. Jacob’s time in Syria he servers for a wife and his flocks. It is a picture of Christ working for his church. See Hosea 12 veses12 thru14: And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel (Jacob) served for a wife, and for a wife he kept sheep. And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved.
Throughout the Bible Gods profits are employed as shepherds. Jacob, Mosses, David, Amos, and others are pictures of Christ the “GOOD SHEPARD” who lays down his life for the sheep. John 10; 11“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” Jacob’s wives and his sheep, goats, and cattle are a picture of the church. Despite Laban’s efforts and his deceit, God prospers Jacob. It is God divine plan he gathers substance to bring back to “The Promise Land.” As in Matthew16 verse18; 12“I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”.
Jacob is accounted as an unjust steward by Laban and his sons.
GENESIS 31:1-3(KJV); AND he heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob hath taken away all that was our father’s; and of that which was our father’shath he gotten all this glory.” And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before. And the Lord said unto Jacob,” Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.”
These verses (1-3) are similar to Luke 16:1-2, the rich man hears that his steward has wasted his goods. Laban’s sons must be telling their father about Jacob. Laban is hearing about Jacob’s growing wealth. Interesting the last word Genesis 31:1 is “glory” in the King James, but it is “honor” in Young’s Literal Translation, and “wealth” in the English Standard Version.
The verse regarding Laban’s countenance is similar to the passage of Genesis 4:6 and the Lord said unto Cain, “Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen?” For Laban is jealous of Jacobs’s blessings.
The rest of chapter 31(a total of 55 verses) reveals the nature of this adverse relationship between Laban and Jacob. It is a picture of two distinct people who inhabit the earth. Laban the man of the earth, he is not a member of Gods elect. Laban serves Satan in this world; he is rich in this world and dishonest. Jacob is a sojourner in Syria. He is a child of God. He will leave and go back to the “Promised Land”. Syria is not his home. He came there to get a wife as Christ came to redeem his bride. Laban wants Jacob with him because he knows God has blessed Jacob and he benefits from his service. When Jacob leaves he takes the mammon of unrighteousness with him back to the “Promise Land.” He takes it from Laban without telling him. All of his wealth can be described as mammon of this world. Look at some verses of Genesis chapter 31:14 through 44(KJV, some words are modernized to work with spell check or I use the ESV in certain places. I will add bold text to emphasize the message of the “unjust steward” and add some commits between the verses in black to distinguish from the scriptures).
14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him (Jacob) “Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house? (They are speaking as one person, very rare, they are often adversaries.)
15 Are we not counted of him strangers? For he hath sold us, and hath indeed devoured our money.” (Rachel & Leah have forsaken their father’s world for the kingdom of God. Rebecca years before left her family to become the bride of Isaac. Ruth the Moabites will also forsake her people and become the Bride of Boas and grandmother of King David. Also Rahab the harlot will betray her people).
16 “For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, belongs to us, and our children: Now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do”. (“God hath taken”, very profound, it is not Jacob but GOD’s work. They are departing from their father’s land to go to a “promise land” where they have never been. All Christians are doing this. WE forsake this present place for our new home. They take with them plunder, as the un-just steward.)
17. ¶ Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels.
18. And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padan-aram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.(“The cattle of his getting”, the phrase is an interesting description. Jacob is a picture of Christ leading his church out of Satin’s kingdom to their eternal home.)
19. And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen those images that were her father’s.
(Verse 19 alone should be evidence that Rachel is an example of the Luke 16 parable, but no teachers I find connects them in commentaries. She steals from her Father as the Children of Israel will plunder the Egyptians’ in the Exodus led by Mosses. Also, her theft will set up the discussion later between Jacob and Laban in verses 36 thru 44).
20. And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. (The language steeling away is figurative, Jacob is not literally stealing. He is returning home with his earnings and the statue that Rachel stole without his knowledge. But he is described as one stealing.)
21. So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
22. And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled.
23. And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days’ journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead.
24. And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, “Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.”
25. ¶ Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead.
26. And Laban said to Jacob, “What hast thou done, and that thou hast stolen away unawares to me and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?” Jacobs’s flight from Laban is curiously similar to David returning from the slater of the Amalekites in1st Samuel chapter 30. Jacobs is leading away his wives and possessions from Laban. He has figuratively taken “captivity captive”. (Ps 68:18 in ESV) You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there. David literally takes his captives with his sword and leads them away in 1st Samuel: 18-20. Jacob is accused by Laban of doing the same (verse 26 above).
27. Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp?
28. And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
29. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spoke unto me yester night, saying, “Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.”
30. “And now,thou would-est needs be gone, because thou sore longest after thy father’s house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods?” (Four times the verb stolen or stealing is used within 10 verses.)
31. And Jacob answered and said to Laban, because I was afraid: for I said, peradventure thou would take by force thy daughters from me.
32. With whomsoever thou finds thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them.
33. And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the two maidservants’ tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent.
34. Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel’s furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched the entire tent, but found them not.
35. And she said to her father, Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images.
36. ¶ And Jacob was wroth, and chode with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban,” What is my trespass? What is my sin, which thou hast so hotly pursued after me? (Christ the Lord is sinless; Jacob is a picture of Christ).
37. Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? Set it here before my brethren and thy brethren that they may judge betwixt us both.
38. This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and the she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
39. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night.
40. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
41. Thus have I been 20 years in thy house; I served thee 14 years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages 10 times.
42. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou haste sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night”. (Verses 37 thru 42 are a picture. Jacob is a figure of Christ who works to redeem his people, while Laban is a type of Satan who is plundered of his possessions by Christ.).
43. ¶ And Laban answered and said unto Jacob, “These daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou sees is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born? (Satan owns the world; “all that thou sees is mine”).
44. Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.” Satan (Laban) is defeated by Christ. He must let the captives go free. Leah and Rachel give us a picture of the bride of Christ as they are leaving there homeland and their father’s house to go to the land of promise. They take plunder with them. As Abraham was called out of Syria, Rebecca also left her family. All Christians are foreigners in this world and we seek the kingdom of GOD. See Mark 1:20: And straightway he (Jesus) called them: and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went after him. Luke 14:26: Jesus speaking “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Likewise, Ruth of Moab forsakes her people and country to go with Naomi. Ruth: 1:16&17, But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death part me from you.”
There are two kingdoms in this world. The children of God and the children of wrath co-exist in this world. Thus Jacob and his family represent God’s people and are acting out the roll of plundering Laban (Satan) of his goods. As we read in Luke 12 verse 51&52; “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.” Laban knows God has taken his goods and given them to Jacob: Verse 24: And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him, “Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.”
Jacob’s reply to Laban, Verse42: “Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me; surely thou have sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked thee last night.” The Christians after Pentecost, in year 33 AD, goes thru the kingdom of Satan (this world), and takes out souls by preaching, and making disciples; we can do this because of Christ work. Jacob refers to his work in verse Genesis 31: 36 thru 42. Satan cannot prevent the building of Gods church. He has been defeated at the cross of Christ. Jesus speaking in Matthew16:19; “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Also, in Rev10 verse15: And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in Heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
Laban’s property now belongs to Jacob. As The LORD Jesus works to free his church so does Jacob labor for his wives and herds of sheep and goats.
Continuing with the example of the unjust steward (Luke: 16), we see in Genesis 32 that Jacob (a child of God) sends presents to his brother. He uses his goods taken from Laban and sends them to his brother to befriend him. Jacob is afraid of his brother (the flesh is weak), but the spiritual lesson is that of Luke16. Let us look at some verses: KJV, Genesis 32; 3through 5: ¶ And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, “Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau; Thy servant Jacob says, I have sojourned with Laban, and stayed there until now: And I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and women servants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight
Continuing in verse 13 through 21, “And he lodged there that night: and took of that which came to his hand a present for Esau his brother; 200 she goats, and 20 he goats, 200 ewes, and 20 rams, 30 milking camels with their colts, 40 cows, and 10 bulls, 20 she asses, and 10 foals. And he delivered them into the hand of his servants, every drove by themselves; and said unto his servants, Pass over before me, and put a space betwixt drove and drove. And he commanded the foremost, saying, When Esau my Brother meets thee, and ask thee, saying, “whose art thou? And whither goest thou? And whose are these before thee?” Then thou shalt say, “they are thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us.” And so commanded he the second, and the third, and all that followed the droves, saying,” On this manner shall ye speak unto Esau, when ye find him.” And say ye moreover “Behold thy servant Jacob is behind us. For he said, “I will appease him with the present that go before me, and afterward I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me.” So went the present over before him: and he himself lodged that night in the company.
Esau is not a child of God, but he does live in the promise land and he represents Jacob’s family. He does receive Jacob into his inheritance as a loving brother. This is a picture of the child of God (Jacob) returning from his sojourning in a foreign land. The word “present” is repeated four times. As in 1st Samuel, where David sends gifts back to his friends in Judea, so is Jacob sending gifts to make friends that will receive him. In both these accounts the plunder (gifts), are reflective of Luke16:9”And I say unto you, make to yourselves friends of the “mammon of unrighteousness”.
THE CASTING OUT OF THE CHILDREN OF ISREAL FROM EGYPT, AND THE PLUNDERING OF THE EGYPTIONS IS AN EXAMPLE OF THE UNJUST STEWARD OF LUKE 16.
IN Exodos we have the detailed story of the children of Israel and their departure from Egypt. Now the Israelites are servants to the Egyptians. One of the subtle themes within the interesting and rich story is how the children are “cast out” by Pharaoh, and details of their plundering the Egyptians as they leave Egypt. As the unjust steward of Luke 16, the children of Israel use deception as a means to steal their master’s wealth. First look at the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 15; 13&14(ESV). Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.
In Exodos chapter 6:1 we read: THEN the LORD said unto Moses, “Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land.” I have highlighted the text to emphasize that the children of Jacob are cast out, by the Egyptians as the steward in Luke 16 is cast out of his job. In Exodos 3:21 &22(KJV) we read of God’s instruction to Moses that they shall “borrow” of their neighbors, jewels of silver, gold, and raiment. “And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty. But every woman shall borrow of her neighbor and of her that Sojourned in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians.”
The word “spoil” is “plunder” in most translations. Most commentaries recognize Pharaoh as a type of Satan and Egypt as synonymous of this world. The children of God are to leave this world. The LORD (Jesus Christ) has promised to bring us to his father’s mansion. The plundering of the Egyptians is a picture of our plundering this world. We Use our wealth in this world, to make friend for the next world. Of course we do not plunder physical wealth but spiritual wealth: the souls of mankind are taken from Satan.
Interestingly, it is the women that borrow from the Egyptians. It is Rachel, Jacob’s wife that steals from her father. It is the bride of Christ Jesus that sends out the Gospel and makes disciples of all nations. It is the bride of Christ, his Church, which plunders Satan’s kingdom.
The texts of Exodus chapter 3 are repeated in chapter 12 verses 31thru 36(KJV).
¶ And he (Pharaoh) called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, “we be all dead men.” And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.
36. And the LORD gave the people favors in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians (spoiled/ plunder same word in most translations).
This is similar to Genesis 31 verse 24 and 29 where Laban is warned in a dream by God not to hurt Jacob. Rebecca took her father’s statues, so too the Israelites take the Egyptians gold, silver, clothing. The children of Rachel and Leah are “cast out” and they plunder the Egyptians. We can conclude that in these examples the “children of god” are depicted as plundering their masters wealth as in Luke 16.
Johnathan Edwards in his Notes On Scripture 1722, (Vol 15, and pp336) has an excellent commentary on the borrowing of Egyptians’ gold. But he never addresses Luke 16. Likewise he does not link Rachel’s theft to any spiritual meaning. But Rachel stealing from Laban is very similar to her children in Egypt approximately five hundred years later.
ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF AN “UNRIGHTEOUSE STEWART IN THE OLD TESTAMENT, IS RAHAB THE HARLET.
Rahab is a subject of the King of Jericho. She betrays her King and her people as does Rachel, Leah, and David. She conspires and contracts with the spies to save herself and her house from the destruction to come. She hides the spies, lies to the King’s messengers, she advises the two spies on how to avoid arrest. Rahab conspirers with the spies and she is saved after the destruction of Jericho. Rahab the harlot has done “wisely”, as the unjust steward in Luke16 verse 8. Let us read the BOOK of JOSHUA, CHAPTER 2 in the English Stander Version. (I have removed the verse numbering to make it easier to read.) And Joshua the son of Nun sent two men secretly from Shittim as spies, saying, “Go, and view the land, especially Jericho.” And they went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab and lodged there. And it was told to the king of Jericho, “Behold, men of Israel have come here tonight to search out the land.” Then the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who entered your house, for they have come to search out all the land.” But the woman had taken the two men and hidden them. And she said, “True, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And when the gate was about to be closed at dark, the men went out. I do not know where the men went. Pursue them quickly, for you will overtake them.” But she had brought them up to the roof and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. So the men pursued after them on the way to the Jordan as far as the fords. And the gate was shut as soon as the pursuers had gone out.
Before the men lay down, she came up to them on the roof and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you devoted to destruction. And as soon as we heard it, our hearts melted, and there was no spirit left in any man because of you, for the LORD your God, he is God in the heavens above and on the earth beneath. Now then, please swear to me by the LORD that, as I have dealt kindly with you, you also will deal kindly with my father’s house, and give me a sure sign that you will save alive my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, and all who belong to them, and deliver our lives from death.” And the men said to her, “Our life for yours even to death! If you do not tell this business of ours, then when the LORD gives us the land we will deal kindly and faithfully with you.”
Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was built into the city wall, so that she lived in the wall. And she said to them, “Go into the hills, or the pursuers will encounter you, and hide there three days until the pursuers have returned. Then afterward you may go your way.” Rahab is listed in Hebrews chapter 11: verse 31, the great list of examples of Faith. Hebrews 11:31(KJV) by faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
The concept of Christ plundering the kingdom of Satan is evident in other scriptures. Next we will look at a few of these scriptures. IN the book of Esther chapter 8 verses1-2: Haman, the adversary to the Jews, is destroyed and his wealth is given to Mordechai.
ON that day did the king Ahasuerus give the house of Haman the Jews’ enemy unto Esther the Queen. And Mordecai came before the king; for Esther had told what he was unto her. And the king took off his ring, which he had taken from Haman, and gave it unto Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman (KJV).
JOB 27:16&17 in the ESV. Though he (the unsaved such as “Laban”) heap up silver like dust, and pile up clothing like clay, He may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver. (The innocent are the redeemed, the true children of God)
ECCLESIASTES 2:26 For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and Knowledge and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God. This also is vanity and vexation of spirit.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children: And the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.
In these verses we must remember that the wealth the Christian gets from God is spiritual, not carnal. We do not literally plunder the unsaved as did Jacob, David, and the children of Israel did to the Egyptians. The Old Testament gives us pictures. After the resurrection of The Lord Jesus the Christians are plundering Satin’s Kingdom till the return of Jesus at the end of the age.
David, during his reign as king, lays up great wealth taken from the gentile nations. He leaves the wealth for Solomon his heir to build the temple. Solomon reign is a picture of the New Covenant Church after Christ resurrection. Another picture of building the church is the plunder from the Egyptians by the children of Israel. The gold and silver vessels stolen from Egypt are used to build the sanctuary in the wilderness.
The scriptures are pictures. Jesus teaching the “UNRIGHTEOUS STEWARD” in Luke 16 should remind us of the pictures in the OLD TESTAMENT. How often in the Gospels does Jesus say “it is written” or remember when Moses, Abraham, David, Or Elisha did such and such. As in Matthew 12:3(KJV), “ But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him;.?” “Have ye not read” is quoted six different times by JESUS. When we read LUKE 16, and all scripture, we need to search other scriptures for the understanding. The answer is the pictures recorded in the Old Testament. The OLD and NEW Testaments are one book, one author. Luke 16 and the rest of the Bible are about the Gospel, the good news, God’s free gift of grace to his chosen people. It is not a teaching about morality, or ethics. Unfortunately sermons are given and commentaries written that teach morality and miss the true meaning in the scriptures.
A SHORT LIST OF COMMENTARIES REGARDING LUKE 16:1THRU 9.
The following commentaries are a few that fail to explain the true teaching of the passage. I will list the persons that have written the commentaries. Next I will list the date of the commentary. I may add a note about their commits regarding Luke 16. I can find no commentaries that even in a remote way corroborate what I have written.
1. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871, three authors. Some insight, better than most commentaries, but does not explain true meaning. It does reference some Old Testament Verses, but not the correct verses.
2. Geneva Study Bible, original 1560. Not much content, what is written is wrong.
3. A commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraic by Lightfoot 1658. It has a large amount of content, but not on point, just historical antidotes.
4. John Darby: Synopsis of the books of the Bible 1869. It is just completely wrong.
5. John Gill Exposition of whole Bible 1746. Completely wrong, tries to find a spiritual meaning, but misses.
6. Mathew Henry commentary on the whole bible 1710. Completely off, a long commentary never gets near truth.
7. People’s Word Pictures of the New Testament 1891, historic narrative, off point.
8. Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament 1933, off point, of no value.
9. Martyn Lloyd Jones1899-1981. I could find no commits.
10. Wesley’s Explanatory Notes: 1755, never mentions true meaning.
11. Erasmus 1536 (Roman Catholic), totally wrong.
12. Jonathan Edwards 1736 does not understand true meaning, commits much on verse 9.
13. John Calvin 1564; off message, no spiritual understanding, shallow.
14. Bollinger’s Companion Bible Notes 1550s, wrong, not worth reading.
15. Clark Commentary 1834, off point.
16. Charles Spurgeon’s verse Expositions of Luke, chapter 16 is omitted. The commentary lists the chapter, but no commits, why? Could it be Spurgeon did not understand Luke 16, and rather than guess or force an explanation he let it alone? Many pastors, expositors, should reflex on that. Better to admit u cannot understand than give misleading and incorrect interpretation. However, years later in MAY of 1858 and in 1869, he preaches on Luke 16:2, “Give Account of Thy Stewardship”. He never develops the correct answer. He, as all the other teachers, gives a moral explanation of the scripture and fails to understand it.
17. Treasury of Knowledge 1830, published by Samuel Bagster, is quite interesting. It gives many cross references but all are off point. This seems to be a consequence of cross-referencing words. The truth of the passage is found by comparing the theme of scripture. Just cross references of words will not give insight. But it was a better attempt than most other commits.
18. The Gospel of Luke: an exposition, Erdman Charles 1921. More incorrect commits.
19. Lange’s Commentary Luke, about 1850. Totally off point.
20. Augustan, I did not find any commits by him on Luke 16, but there very well may be some. The earlier church fathers tended to write on Doctrine and subjects (the Trinity, Manicheanism, and Anti-Pelagius).There is much less of the verse by verse exposition that seems to arrive after the reformation. This may have been caused by the ability of humans to print Bibles cheaply. A larger percent of people, after the invention of Guttenberg’s movable type, were able to own and read Bibles. Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) is credited as the first person, in the reformation, to teach verse by verse from the scriptures.
There are literally hundreds more sermons and commentaries on this particular scripture. None talk about the true meaning. I have gone thru all the commentaries on STUDYLIGHT.ORG, Bible Study Tool.com, and some from Reformed Books Online. A google search of Luke 16 will find hundreds of oral sermons on the web. Most churches have web pages and archives of sermons. Every sermon I have seen in print or heard is incorrect (I just listen to the introduction; often the title reveals the content). I have also searched the commentaries on Genesis chapter 31(Jacob fleeing Laban) to see if any compares to Luke 16. The result is the same, failure to understand, incorrect interpretation, of the scriptures. Even the theft of Laban’s statues, by Rachel, is not compared to the “Unrighteous Steward” or to the spoiling of the Egyptians. All the commentaries have a similar pattern. They discuss the historical meanings, the culture of the day, not the spiritual understanding. They do not bring out the good news of salvation or the spiritual war that rages in this world. No one looks into the Old Testament to understand the New Testament.
I believe my conclusions are correct and as of now all the previous interpretations have miss understood the passage; LUKE 16.1-8. David, Jacob and his Wives, Rahab, and others are plundering the King of this world. Christian alive today are spiritually plundering this world by sending out the good news of salvation.
I ask for help, please search out more sermons. Help to find if anyone else presents similar interpretation to what I have stated. There are possible hundreds of sermons among the Puritan records that are easily accessible one web. It is a herculean task but with many people searching we can find out if any corroboration is recorded in the Christian record.
PLEASE GIVE YOUR OPINION, IF U AGREE OR DISAGREE, ON THE WEB PAGE. www.thebibleunfolded.com
WHY ARE THE COMMETARIES WRONG?
How come many knowledgeable and learned theologians are totally wrong when teaching on the first eight verses of Luke 16? There are several reasons we should consider.
First, student tends to gravitate to and agree with their teachers. If Jonathan Edwards, John Gill, Martyn Lloyd Jones, Mathew Henry, and dozens more have incorrect commentary, then other will repeat the mistake. But one must remember, the revered teacher of yesterday did make mistakes. Luther, Calvin, did not agree on certain issues. In fact they both had errors on many interpretations. No one has total discernment. 1st Corinthians;13, For we see now through a mirror obscurely, and then face to face; now I know in part, and then I shall fully know, as also I was known(YLT).
Another problem to understanding the scriptures is a prejudice against searching for the spiritual meaning. Why this is so? Many teachers discourage looking into allegorical and spiritual meaning of scripture. Any atheist can understand the literal and historical meaning of a text. But the Bible is a spiritual book. What separates the scriptures from all other writing ever created is the spiritual message. The narratives in the Old Testament and in The Acts of the Apostles, The Psalms, The Epistles, and every page of the scriptures contain a deeper hidden meaning. Every page of the Bible is about the spiritual message. The Bible is not a history text. The truth is often hidden from the casual reading of plain text. John 6:63(KJV) “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. Also, in Mark4:33-34 we read “With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.” The Holy Spirit is still teaching. There are many texts which are yet to be understood correctly. Despite the volumes of sermon and commentaries, some scriptures (LUKE 16; 1-9) have never been understood. There are many more verses that have never been correctly understood.
J.C. PHILPOT, a gifted bible expositor (1802-69), describes the scriptures in THE HEIR OF HEAVEN Walking in Darkness, and the Heir of Hell walking in Light as follows: “The word of God appears to me to resemble a vast and deep mine, in which precious metals of various kinds lie, concealed. The rocks and mountains and the general surface of the ground above the mine, every eye may see; but “the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places” (Isaiah 45.3) that lie beneath, are known to but few. And thus many letter-learned professors and wise doctors may understand the literal meaning of the Scriptures, and explain very correctly the connection and historical sense of a text, who are as ignorant of the rich vein of experience that lies beneath the surface of the letter, as the mules in South America are of the nature and value of the silver which they draw up from the bottom of the mine.” There are many learned persons who cannot understand the true meaning of scripture, yet they are teachers?
Some are called to teach but struggle from an incorrect hermetic. Jesus said to Nicodemus in John3; 10, (ESV) “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?” Many other persons in pulpits are not called and cannot understand because the Holy Spirit is not in them. J.C. Philpot, a dissenter from the Church of England is one of the best discerners of scripture in history. Yet very rarely will one hear him quoted or recommended from a pulpit. The church bookstore does not promote his timeless sermons. All who want a deeper understanding of Scripture, and “true Christians” desire to understand, they will be greatly benefitted by reading Philpot.
Everyone has sat thru boring and incorrect sermons. The message taught is usually about morality. The correct spiritual understanding is not taught. God did not preserve the scriptures to teach morality or history. Scriptures cannot be understood from a literal or historic interpretation. Luke 16 is an example of such scripture. The morality teaching in the passage is inverted. Only spiritual and or allegorical interpretations will un-lock the hidden truth in the Bible. Yes, the Bible is a hidden, “dark sentence” See Psalm 78:2 KJV; I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old”. Also (Pro 1:5&6, YLT), Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, For understanding a proverb and its sweetness, words of the wise and their acute sayings. Let us meditate on the word of God. Pray that the Holy Spirit reveals the true understanding of The Scriptures.