Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 16:7

Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?' And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.' He *said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cor;   Covetousness;   Dishonesty;   Embezzlement;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Malfeasance in Office;   Probation;   Servant;   Steward;   Wheat;   Worldliness;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Creditors;   Parables;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Parables;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Heaven, Heavens, Heavenlies;   Wealth;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Measure;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Weights and Measures;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Kor;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Weights and Measures;   Wheat;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Almsgiving ;   Asceticism (2);   Bill;   Circumstantiality in the Parables;   Common Life;   Corn;   Debt, Debtor (2);   Discourse;   Foolishness;   Friendship;   Honesty ;   Husbandman ;   Laughter;   Loans;   Mammon;   Paradox;   Premeditation;   Property (2);   Spiritualizing of the Parables;   Steward, Stewardship;   Trade and Commerce;   Wealth (2);   Weights and Measures;   Wheat;   Winter ;   Writing (2);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Weights and Measures;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Weights and Measures;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Wheat;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Four;   Lazarus;   Steward;   Trade;   Wheat;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

A hundred measures of wheat - Ἑκατον κορους, a hundred cors. Κορος, from the Hebrew כר cor, was the largest measure of capacity among the Hebrews, whether for solids or liquids. As the bath was equal to the ephah, so the cor was equal to the homer. It contained about seventy-five gallons and five pints English. For the same reason for which I preserve the names of the ancient coins, I preserve the names of the ancient measures. What idea can a mere English reader have of the word measure in this and the preceding verse, when the original words are not only totally different, but the quantity is as seven to seventy-five? The original terms should be immediately inserted in the text, and the contents inserted in the margin. The present marginal reading is incorrect. I follow Bishop Cumberland's weights and measures. See on Luke 15:8; (note).

In the preceding relation, I have no doubt our Lord alluded to a custom frequent in the Asiatic countries: a custom which still prevails, as the following account, taken from Capt. Hadley's Hindostan Dialogues, sufficiently proves. A person thus addresses the captain: "Your Sirkar's deputy, whilst his master was gone to Calcutta, established a court of justice.

"Having searched for a good many debtors and their creditors, he learned the accounts of their bonds.

"He then made an agreement with them to get the bonds out of the bondsmen's hands for half the debt, if they would give him one fourth.

"Thus, any debtor for a hundred rupees, having given fifty to the creditor, and twenty-five to this knave, got his bond for seventy-five rupees.

"Having seized and flogged 125 bondholders, he has in this manner determined their loans, and he has done this business in your name." Hadley's Gram. Dialogues, p. 79. 5th edit. 1801.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-16.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Measures of wheat - The measure here mentioned - the “kor,” or homer - contained, according to the tables of Dr. Arbuthnot, about 32 pecks, or 8 bushels; or, according to the marginal note, about 14 bushels and a “pottle.” A “pottle” is 4 pints. The Hebrew “kor,” כר koror “homer,” חמר chomerwas equal to 10 baths or 70 gallons, and the actual amount of the measure, according to this, was not far from 8 gallons. Robinson, Lexicon), however, supposes that the bath was 11 12 gallons, and the kor or homer 14 to 45 bushels. The amount is not material to the proper understanding of the parable.

Fourscore - Eighty.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-16.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then said he to another, and how much owest thou?.... To my Lord, as before:

and he said, an hundred measures of wheat, or "cors of wheat"; the same with "homers", Ezekiel 45:14 the same quantity as in Ezra 7:22 where, as here, they are called an hundred measures of wheat; and were, as Jarchi on the place observes, למנחות, "for the meal, or flour offerings": according to the above writerF14Moses & Aaron, l. 6. c. 9. , this measure held five bushels, and five gallons; so that the whole was five hundred, sixty bushels, and a half: some make the measure to hold eight bushels and a half; and others, fourteen bushels and a pottle, which greatly increases the quantity.

And he said unto him, take thy bill and write fourscore. The Persic version reads "seventy". Inasmuch now as oil and wheat were things expended in the observance of the ceremonial law, and these men's debts lay in them, it may have regard to the deficiency of the Jews in those things: wherefore by "the bill" may be meant the law; and which is sometimes called by the same name as here, γραμμα, the "writing", or "letter", 2 Corinthians 3:6 and is so called, not merely because it was written in letters; but because it is a mere letter, showing only what is to be done and avoided, without giving strength to perform, or pointing where it is to be had; and it is so, as obeyed by an unregenerate man; and as abstracted from the spirituality of it; and as weak, and without efficacy, to quicken, justify, or sanctify: and whereas the steward, the Scribes and Pharisees, ordered the debtors to write a lesser sum; this may regard the lessening, and even laying aside of many things in the law, after the destruction of the temple; as particularly the daily sacrifice, and other things; see Daniel 9:27 and the doctrine of the Pharisees was always a curtailing of the law, and making less of it than it was; as appears from the glosses they put upon it, refuted by our Lord in Matthew 5:1. They compounded the matter with the people, as some men do now, and taught them, that an imperfect righteousness would do in the room of a perfect one: a doctrine very pleasing to men, and which never fails of gaining an access into the hearts and houses of carnal men; though very injurious to God, and to his divine perfections, particularly his justice and holiness; as the methods this steward took were unjust to his Lord, though very agreeable to his debtors, and were well calculated to answer the end he proposed, an after provision for himself. I am much indebted to a learned writerF15Teelnianni Specimen Explicat. Parabolarum. , whose name is in the margin, for several thoughts and hints in the explanation of this parable; and also of that of the rich man and Lazarus, in the latter part of this chapter.

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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 16:7". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-16.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Measures (κορουςkorous). Another Hebrew word for dry measure. The Hebrew cor was about ten bushels. Data are not clear about the Hebrew measures whether liquid (bath) or dry (cor).

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "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

To another ( ἑτέρῳ )

A different one with a different debt, and his circumstances demanding a different rate of discount.

Measures ( κόρους )

Cors. A cor was ten baths; the dry and the fluid measures being the same.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "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.

The Fourfold Gospel

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, A hundred measures of wheat. He saith unto him, Take thy bond, and write fourscore2.

  1. An hundred measures of wheat. The measure here is the Hebrew "cor", which contains ten baths, or ephahs, or, more exactly, 86.7 gallons.

  2. Take thy bond, and write fourscore. The amount remitted was about two hundred sixty-seven bushels, and the debtor himself altered the writings, that he might be in no uncertainty about it. Scholars disagree as to whether these debtors were tenants or traders; that is, purchasers of produce who had given their bonds or notes for the same. Meyer, Trench, Godet, and others favor this latter view, but the language used and the customs of the land rather indicate that the former is correct. In the East rents are in proportion to the crop, and hence they vary as it varies. It was natural, therefore, that the steward should ask the amount of the rent; and also natural, since rents were thus payable in kind, that the tenant should answer as to the very thing owed. A traders would have been held, not for the "purchase", but for the "price", and would rather have specified the money due than the quantity or thing bought. Since the price of produce varies, it has been the immemorial custom everywhere to fix the amount to be paid for it at the very time it is purchased, and the amount becomes the debt.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-16.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Wheat. Such debts as this and that of the oil often arose as rents for land; rents being, in former times, often paid in kind.--Fourscore; eighty.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-16.html. 1878.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

Ver. 7. See Luke 16:5.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-16.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

7. κόρους] ὁ δὲ κόρος δύναται μεδίμνους ἀττικοὺς δέκα, Jos. Antt. xv. 9. 2. There does not appear to be any designed meaning in the variation of the amount deducted. We may easily conceive a reason, if we will, in the different circumstances of the debtors.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-16.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 16:7. σὐ δὲ, but thou) The conjunction indicates, that the steward did not transact business separately with every debtor.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". 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

Ver. 7 See Poole on "Luke 16:1"

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 16:7". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-16.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Fourscore; eighty.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-16.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“Then said he to another, And how much do you owe? And he said, A hundred baths of wheat. He says to him, Take your bond, and write fourscore.”

The next debtor admits to owing a hundred kors of wheat, another large quantity, so the estate manager takes the same tack and on this occasion only offers a twenty per cent discount. The margins on oil were probably a lot larger than the margins on wheat, or it may be that in this case there had not been such large penalties. The debtor is equally pleased at the idea and also pays up immediately.

So now the steward is able to present his accounts demonstrating that all payments are up to date, and is able at the same time to give his lord a substantial amount of cash or goods which he had not been expecting. It gives him every impression of efficiency, and everyone is pleased. The lord because he has received payment, the debtors because they have had big discounts, and the estate manager because he knows that he has impressed everyone by his efficiency and that he has made friends in the right places.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-16.html. 2013.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 16:7. , eighty, a small reduction as compared with the first. Was there not a risk of offence when the debtors began to compare notes? Not much; they would not look on it as mere arbitrariness or partiality, but as policy: variety would look more like a true account than uniformity. He had not merely to benefit them, but to put himself in as good a light as possible before his master.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-16.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

another. Greek. heteros. App-124.

thou. Note the emphasis: "And thou, How much owest thou? "

measures. Greek. Plural of koros. App-51. (11) (8). Not the same word as in Luke 16:6

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "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

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures [ korous (G2884)] of wheat - also a heavy debt.

And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore - or a fifth less than the actual debt. There is nothing of spiritual significance in these amounts. They represent merely the shrewdness with which the steward dealt with each debtor, with sole reference probably to the greater or less ability of each to render a grateful return to himself when cast upon the world.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "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

(7) An hundred measures of wheat.—Here the measure is the Hebrew cor, which is reckoned as equal to ten baths (the latter, however, is a liquid, the former, a dry measure), and accordingly varies, according to the estimate given above, from thirteen to about ninety-seven gallons. One calculation makes it nearly equal to the English “quarter.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-16.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore.
An hundred
20:9,12; Song of Solomon 8:11,12
measures
"The word here interpreted a measure, in the original containeth about fourteen bushels and a pottle. Gr."
Reciprocal: Ezra 7:22 - measures;  Matthew 18:24 - owed

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 16:7". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-16.html.