Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:4

I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Covetousness;   Dishonesty;   Embezzlement;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Malfeasance in Office;   Probation;   Servant;   Steward;   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Parables;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Heaven, Heavens, Heavenlies;   Wealth;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Dispensation;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Steward;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Almsgiving ;   Asceticism (2);   Circumstantiality in the Parables;   Common Life;   Discourse;   Foolishness;   Friendship;   Honesty ;   Laughter;   Mammon;   Paradox;   Premeditation;   Property (2);   Spiritualizing of the Parables;   Steward, Stewardship;   Trade and Commerce;   Wealth (2);   Winter ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Father's House;   Lazarus;   Steward;   Trade;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

They may receive me - That is, the debtors and tenants, who paid their debts and rents, not in money, but in kind; such as wheat, oil, and other produce of their lands.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I am resolved - He thought of his condition. He looked at the plans which occurred to him. He had been dishonest, and knew that he must lose his place. It would have been better to have “considered before this,” and resolved on a proper course of life, and to be faithful to his trust; and his perplexity here teaches us that dishonesty will sooner or later lead us into difficulty, and that the path of honesty is not only the “right” path, but is the path that is filled with most comfort and peace.

When I am put out … - When I lose my place, and have no home and means of support.

They may receive me … - Those who are now under me, and whom I am resolved now to favor. He had been dishonest to his master, and, having “commenced” a course of dishonesty, he did not shrink from pursuing it. Having injured his master, and being now detected, he was willing still farther to injure him, to take revenge on him for removing him from his place, and to secure his own interest still at his expense. He was resolved to lay these persons under such obligations, and to show them so much kindness, that they could not well refuse to return the kindness to him and give him a support. We may learn here,

1.That one sin leads on to another, and that one act of dishonesty will be followed by many more, if there is opportunity.

2.Men who commit one sin cannot get along “consistently” without committing many more. One lie will demand many more to make it “appear” like the truth, and one act of cheating will demand many more to avoid detection. The beginning of sin is like the letting out of waters, and no man knows, if he indulges in one sin, where it will end.

3.Sinners are selfish. They care more about “themselves” than they do either about God or truth. If they seek salvation, it is only for selfish ends, and because they desire a comfortable “abode” in the future world rather than because they have any regard to God or his cause.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-16.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

Hobbs said that this place might be rendered, "I've got it; I know what I will do!"[12] His dishonest purpose was soon revealed. He would involve all the debtors in defrauding the lord, and then presume upon their charity when he needed it. Human gratitude for past favors is a broken reed indeed; and that is possibly the reason why the parable allows the presumption that he received it to stand, without regard to what might really have happened afterward.

ENDNOTE:

[12] Herschel H. Hobbs, An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1966), p. 239.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/luke-16.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I am resolved what to do,.... Or "I know what to do"; I have a scheme in my head, and I am determined to execute it, which will provide for me, and secure me a maintenance:

that when I am put out of the stewardship; drove from Jerusalem, and from the temple and the synagogues:

they may receive me into their houses; either Jews or Gentiles, after their dispersion.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

may receive me, etc. — Observe his one object - when cast out of one home to secure another. This is the key to the parable, on which there have been many differing views.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-16.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

I am resolved (εγνωνegnōn). Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκωginōskō A difficult tense to reproduce in English. I knew, I know, I have known, all miss it a bit. It is a burst of daylight to the puzzled, darkened man: I‘ve got it, I see into it now, a sudden solution.

What to do (τι ποιησωti poiēsō). Either deliberative first aorist active subjunctive or deliberative future active indicative.

When I am put out (οταν μεταστατωhotan metastathō). First aorist passive subjunctive of μετιστημιmethistēmi (μετα ιστημιmeta δεχωνταιhistēmi), old verb, to transpose, transfer, remove. He is expecting to be put out.

They may receive me (δεχομαιdexōntai). First aorist middle subjunctive of ιναdechomai common verb. Subjunctive with final particle των χρεοπιλετωνhina He wishes to put the debtors under obligation to himself.

Debtors (χρεοςtōn chreophiletōn). A late word. In the N.T. only here and Luke 7:41 from οπειλετηςchreos loan, and opheiletēs debtor. It is probable that he dealt with “each one” separately.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-16.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

They may receive

The debtors of his master (Luke 16:5).

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/luke-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

I know — That is, I am resolved, what to do.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-16.html. 1765.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

A GOOD RESOLUTION

‘I am resolved what to do.’

Luke 16:4

The words of the text were put by our Blessed Lord into the lips of a thoroughly worldly man, with whom we come in contact in that well-known parable—the Parable of the Unjust Steward. We want to remember, do we not, that our Lord’s advice to us is just this—as you mingle with the world, as you come in contact with men who are living for the world, who have as their aim securing all that the world can give, caring little or nothing what may happen so long as they secure that, then He would seem to say to us, Do not judge them, do not say hard things, do not forget that they, too, have been redeemed by the Saviour of the world, but try to learn from them a lesson which will help you in your struggle for your Christian freedom, and remember that if you are as true to your aims as they are to theirs, then you will go amongst your fellow-men as saviours of society.

You and I must give an account of our stewardship; we must give an account of the way in which we have lived our life, and used our time, and our money, and our talents.

I. Get time to think.—Anticipate the account which you must give of your stewardship. I do not doubt for one moment that our hearts are stirred by the tender appeal of the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; but have you let Him enter the great citadel of your will? Have you, too, said: ‘I am resolved what to do’? Have you given up the great gift which God has given to you to Him to keep for you until the day of your account?

II. Begin to act.—Watch the man of the world, see his promptness, see his position. He knows that the victories cannot be won by dreaming; he knows that he must act, and act in the living present. Give up this day, this hour, the sin that doth so easily beset you. Begin to do what in your highest moments you have again and again promised God that you would do. Forgive the enemy, and pray for him, and so make him one of your best friends. Give back in full restitution what you owe to others, and then begin like the wise man of the world—set your house in order, and take pains about your religious life. Do you leave your business to chance? Do you leave your appointments and your arrangements to the moment? You settle your plan; you have a method. You know that it would be fatal to leave such things to chance.

III. In the spiritual life there should be method.—Have we method in those early morning prayers? In the few minutes before we lie down to take our rest at night is the Word of God given any regular, systematic place in the lives that you and I are living, and do we feed our souls on the Bread of Life, and so get sustenance for this long, weary pilgrimage from the cradle to the Cross?

Then, if so, if that be our method, if we have learned our simple lesson which is being taught us every day of our lives in the world, then one last thought I leave you, and it is given you by the man who means to succeed in this life.

IV. Be consistent, persevere, let nothing turn you from the purpose which lies before you. You will be tempted, as we all are, to make those mean compromises with the world, to leave so many things as open questions until the residue of your religion is practically worth nothing. But to delay is fatal.

Rev. Canon Pollock.

Illustration

‘A young man who lived what is called a life of pleasure came home to die at his father’s house, ruined in constitution, sad at heart, until he learned once more the message of the pardon which comes to those who fulfil the conditions on which it is given from our Lord Jesus Christ. And yet from time to time a sadness came over that lad’s face. “Why,” said his father, “are you sad? Surely now you have found the answer to your heart-searching sadness and sorrow.” “Perfectly, father,” he said. “But I am sometimes sad when I remember all that God has now to give me, and I must die, and there is no life left in which to offer up my thanksgiving to God, to live my life for the honour and glory of my Saviour.”’

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-16.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

Ver. 4. They may receive me] This is that wit he showed for himself, and for the which he is here commended: teaching us by all lawful means (not by any unlawful, as he) to provide for ourselves, and to preserve our reputation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 16:4. I am resolved Anciently, stewards, besides taking care of their master's domestic affairs, gave leases of their lands, and settled the rent which each tenant was to pay; which is not an unusual mode in these days. Accordingly, the steward in the parable made use of this branch of his power to purchase the good-will of his lord's tenants. Having racked their rents in the leases which he had lately given, he now determined that they should have their possessions on the same terms as formerly. This interpretation of the parable may be gathered, not only from the nature of the thing, but from the proper sense of the words χρεωφειλετης and γραμμα, the one signifying any kind of debtor, and among the rest a tenant; and the other, any kind of obligatory writing, and among the rest a lease: besides, in this light, the favour which was done to the tenants was substantial, and laid them under lasting obligations: whereas, according to the common interpretation, the steward could not propose to reap so much benefit from any requital which the debtors would make to him for the sums forgiven them, as these sums were worth to himself; and therefore he might rather have exacted them, and put them in his own pocket.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-16.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

4.] ἔγνων—not = ἔγνωκα, which would be, ‘I know, as part of my stock of knowledge, I am well aware,’—but implying, I have just arrived at the knowledge,—an idea has just struck me—I have a plan.

δέξωνται—viz. those who are about to be spoken of, the χρεοφειλέται. He has them in his mind.

Observe, the aim of his scheme is that they may receive him into their houses,—give him shelter. This is made use of afterwards in the interpretation, for which see on Luke 16:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-16.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 16:4. The word ἔγνων, coming in without any connecting particle, depicts in a lively manner what was passing in his mind, and is true to nature. The aorist is used not as being the same as the perfect, although de Wette will have it so, but expresses the moment of occurrence: I have come to the knowledge. Bengel well says: “Subito consilium cepit.”

ὅταν μετασταθῶ] when (quando) I shall have been dismissed. He thus expresses himself to indicate the critical point of time, imminent to him by reason of the near experience that he is expecting, after the occurrence of which the δέχεσθαι κ. τ. λ. is to take place. Comp. Luke 16:9.

δέξωνται] the debtors of his master, οἱ ῥηθῆναι μέλλοντες, Euthymius Zigabenus. See Buttmann, Neut. Gr. p. 117 [E. T. 134].

οἴκους] houses, not families (Schulz), comp. Luke 16:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/luke-16.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 16:4. ἔγνων, I know [better the Eng. Vers. I am resolved]) He suddenly formed a plan.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-16.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "Luke 16:1"

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-16.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Знаю, что сделать Он ловко договорился с должниками своего хозяина и сделал им большие скидки на долги, которые они охотно согласились заплатить.

приняли меня в домы свои Уменьшая долги людей своему хозяину, он сделал их своими должниками. Таким образом, они будут обязаны принять его в свой дом, когда его выгонят из дома господина.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-16.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“I am resolved what to do, so that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.”

And then the brainwave hits him. He feels that he has discovered a way out of his dilemma. We should note that the circumstances are very much against what follows being seen as actually dishonest. Dishonesty would hardly make him a likely contender for a job, however pleased the customers were, it would rather render him liable to prosecution, and it would certainly not earn him commendation from his lord. Nor is there any reason for seeing it in that way, for what he is following is in fact good business practise, even though the circumstances are a little unfortunate. The only dishonesty is in the reasons for the discounts, and, however much suspected, that would be difficult to prove

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-16.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Put out of the stewardship—The steward here was an overseer to the landlord’s estate, namely, his landed property. He bargained with the tenants and took the rents. About to be expelled by his lord, he means now so to make friends of the tenants, that they will furnish him with house and home.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-16.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 16:4. : too weak to dig, too proud to beg, he hits upon a feasible scheme at last: I have it, I know now what to do.— is the dramatic or tragic aorist used in classics, chiefly in poetry and in dialogue. It gives greater vividness than the use of the present would.— : his plan contemplates as its result reception of the degraded steward into their houses by people not named; probably the very people who accused him. We are not to suppose that permanent residence in other people’s houses is in view. Something better may offer. The scheme provides for the near future, helps to turn the next corner.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

I am resolved, &c.; or, I haveit!

I know, &c. App-132.

to do = I will do.

when I am put out of = when I shall have been removed from.

they: i.e. the debtors.

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

their = their own.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-16.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses - `in grateful return for the services I am going to do them.' Thus his one object was, when cast out of one home to secure another. This will be found to be the great lesson of the parable.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-16.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) I am resolved what to do.—More literally, I know, or even, I knew, as of a man to whom a plan occurs suddenly. The dramatic abruptness of the parable leaves us uncertain who “they” are that are to “receive” him. The context that follows immediately supplies the deficiency. What answers to this, in the interpretation, is the moment when a Church or party or an individual teacher, halts between two policies—one that of striving after righteousness, and the other of secular expediency—and makes up its mind to adopt that which promises the most immediate and most profitable results.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.
Proverbs 30:9; Jeremiah 4:22; James 3:15
Reciprocal: Luke 16:8 - done

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.