Luke 16

Steward; a person intrusted with the care and management of property.

Give an account; prepare the accounts for settlement.

Oil; from the olive, used extensively by the Jews for food and for various other purposes.

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.

Because he had done wisely; that is, shrewdly, though dishonestly. It was his shrewdness only, in thus employing his power, while it lasted, to secure favors for himself when it should be gone, that the Lord praised.

The mammon of unrighteousness; wealth. The meaning is, that wealth will soon be taken away from its possessors, and that, while it remains in their power, they ought so to use it as to make friends who will receive them when it shall be forever gone.

In the unrighteous mammon; that is, in the care of money.

Is abomination; that is, is often abomination.

The connection between these remarks and those which precede is not obvious. Matthew records them as having been spoken on different occasions, (Matt. 11:12, 5:18, 19:9.) where their meaning and connection are obvious.

Putteth away his wife; that is, for ordinary causes. (Matt. 19:9.)

Purple; worn only by persons of very high rank.

A very graphic description of extreme helplessness and misery.

Abraham's bosom; into his presence and society.

The meaning is, that the change necessary to prepare the soul for heaven is a change in the affections and feelings of the heart; and any extraordinary revelations from heaven, or marvels of any kind, though they might produce wonder or alarm, would have no tendency to awaken love.—We must not allow the material images, which our Savior uses in this parable, to fix themselves permanently in our minds, and give form to our conceptions of the world of spirits. In this our present state of being, we can form no correct ideas of that world. The Savior teaches, in this parable, only certain spiritual truths, employing very striking imagery to give vividness and emphasis to the expression of them. These truths are, 1. That the conditions of men in this life do not correspond with their characters, and will often be reversed in the world to come, 2. That the ruin in which the sinner will then find himself involved is a permanent ruin, admitting of no restoration or remedy; and, 3. That the change necessary to prepare the impenitent for heaven, is a moral change, which can be produced only by moral influences.

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