The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15

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The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 15 - Christogenea on Talkshoe 09-21-2012

1 Then all of the tax-collectors and the wrongdoers were approaching Him to hear Him. 2 And both the Pharisees and the scribes were murmuring saying that “He receives wrongdoers and eats together with them!” 3 So He spoke to them this parable, saying: 4 “Which man from among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave behind the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go for that which is lost until he should find it? 5 And finding it places it upon his shoulder rejoicing, 6 and coming to the house will call together friends and neighbors saying to them ‘Rejoice with me, because I found my sheep which is lost!’ 7 I say to you that thusly there shall be joy in heaven upon the repenting of one wrongdoer rather than upon ninety-nine righteous who have no need of repentance!

A lot may be said of this allegory, aside from the illustration of how valuable each and every one of the sheep are to their Shepherd, which is yet another illustration that all Israel shall indeed be saved. There are a hundred sheep, comparatively, and the ninety-nine are left in the wilderness while the one which is lost is pursued. Note that the ninety-nine are not in the stables (i.e. in Jerusalem) or in some civilized safe haven, but in the wilderness. Note also that the sheep do not seek the Shepherd, but rather that the Shepherd seeks the sheep. We shall take this opportunity to examine the allegory of “lost sheep” in New Testament scripture. In John chapter 10 Christ speaks of the sheep He has in another fold which, ostensibly, are not in Judaea: “14 I am the Good Shepherd and I know Mine and Mine know Me, 15 just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father, and I lay down My life on behalf of the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep which are not from this pen, and these it is necessary for Me to bring and they shall hear My voice, and they shall be one flock, one shepherd.” Israel was to be driven off into the wilderness, which we can see in Revelation chapter 12: “6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” The comparison of the children of Israel to sheep – and especially to lost sheep – was made quite often in the Gospels and was first made in the prophets. For example, Isaiah 53:6 speaks of the children of Israel where it says “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” In that Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 53, it is clearly illustrated that the iniquity which Christ took upon Himself is the iniquity of the children of Israel alone, and only they are the so-called “lost sheep”. Now we should examine what became of the “lost sheep” Israelites, beginning with the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 34: “1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. [Christ in His ministry did all of these things, proving that He alone is the True Shepherd.] 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. 7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; 9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; 10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. 11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. [The sheep do not seek the Shepherd, but the Shepherd seeks the sheep.] 12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. [Only the children of Israel are the “lost sheep”.] 13 And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. 15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. 16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. 17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. 18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? 19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. 20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. 21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; 22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. 23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. 24 And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it. 25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. 26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. 27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. 28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. 29 And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. 30 Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. 31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men [Adam], and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.”

By the time Ezekiel wrote his prophecy, practically all of the ten northern tribes of Israel had long been taken away into the Assyrian captivity, all except for a small remnant. A great portion of the kingdom of Judah was also taken away by the Assyrians, except for a remnant in the outlying areas and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, which the Assyrians besieged but failed to capture. Additionally, long before the Assyrian captivity the Israelites were colonizing western Europe. By the time of Christ many of the nations of Europe had descended from Israelites who migrated west long before the Assyrian captivity. All together, these were the sheep which had “wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill” of Ezekiel 34:6. As for these people - and among other prophecies - Isaiah 66:19 tells us exactly where to find them, as Yahweh tells us there: “And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.” The only people in history who appeared in all of these places after Isaiah wrote these things are the Germanic people, the Scythian descendants of the deported Israelites, and they began to do so barely 200 years after Isaiah wrote. The gospel went out immediately to the European nations because that is where the dispersed children of Israel were. Those peoples were the “lost sheep”, and still are to this very day.

The “one flock, one Shepherd” statement of John 10:16 is parallel to Ezekiel chapter 37: “15 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, 16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: 17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. 18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? 19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. 20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. 21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all: 23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God. 24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.” An honest comparison of the words of Christ with the words of the prophets proves the Christian Identity and Covenant Theology message to be true beyond doubt.

8 “Or what woman having ten drachma should lose one drachma, would not ignite a lamp and sweep the house and seek carefully until when she would find it? 9 And finding it would call together lady-friends and women neighbors saying ‘Rejoice with me, because I found the drachma which I had lost!’ 10 Thusly, I say to you, there is joy at the presence of the messengers of Yahweh upon the repenting of one wrongdoer.”

The δραχμή (1406), only here in the New Testament, was “an Attic silver coin...worth 6 obols...nearly = Roman denarius” (Liddell & Scott).

Again, the comparison infers that Yahweh shall indeed recover every one of His children. There is an important cultural note which must be made here, which is not usually observed in the standard references. The phrases “lady friends” and “women neighbors” which appear here in the Christogenea New Testament are translations of Greek nouns and articles of the feminine gender, as opposed to the masculine gender nouns of the phrase “friends and neighbors” which appear in verse 6. The usage of these masculine and feminine nouns reveals a normal element of moral culture which has, unfortunately, broken down in the modern West: men had male friends and neighbors for companions, and women had female friends and neighbors for companions. As a rule, men of the time did not have casual female friends, and women did not have casual male friends. That was also true not long ago in western society, which is now morally debased by the Jewish ideals of revolutionary Europe. In Classical Greece, women were by custom not even to look directly at men. For instance, in Euripides’ Hecuba, lines 968-975 the title character states that custom “ordains that women shall not look directly at men.”

11 Then He said: “A certain man has two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to the father, ‘Father, give to me the allotted portion of the property.’

The phrase τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος, “the allotted portion” here, is “the portion that falls to one” as used in the Iliad and the New Testament, according to Liddell & Scott. The word ἐπιβάλλω (1911) is to throw or cast upon and μέρος (3313) a part, a share. The phrase intends to reference that portion which would fall to the son as an inheritance.

So he divided the substance with them. 13 And after not many days gathering everything the younger son traveled abroad to a distant land and there squandered his property, living profligately.

The word διασκορπίζω (1287) is literally to scatter abroad but in this context is rendered to squander, as it also at Luke 16:1 in the Christogenea New Testament, and with which Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon agrees.

14 Then upon his spending everything there came a severe famine upon that land, and he began to be in want. 15 And going he joined himself to one of the citizens of that land, who then sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he desired to be fed from the husks of which the swine were eating, yet no one gave to him.

The word husks is after the A.V. rendering of κεράτιον (2769, only here in the N.T.), which is literally a little horn. The reference is actually to the carob, fruit of the carob tree which “is shaped like a horn and has a sweet taste” (Thayer). The rendering would more accurately be “carob pods”. At κερατέα Liddell & Scott have “the carob or locust-tree…its fruit κεράτια…is called St. John’s bread, from a notion that it was the fruit he ate in the wilderness”.

17 And coming to his senses he said ‘How many employees of my father have abundance of bread, but I perish here in famine!

The phrase rendered “coming to his senses”, εἰς ἐαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν, is literally “and coming into himself”. The word μίσθιος (3407), only appearing here in Luke 15:17-21 in the New Testament, literally refers to one who is salaried, or hired.

18 Arising I shall go to my father and I shall ask him, ‘Father I did wrong to heaven and before you, 19 no longer am I worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your employees!’ 20 And arising he went to his father. Yet upon his still being afar off, his father seeing him then had been deeply moved and running fell upon his neck and kissed him. 21 But the son said to him ‘Father, I did wrong to heaven and before you. No longer am I worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your employees!’ 22 But the father said to his servants: ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and clothe him, and provide rings for his hands and sandals for his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf, sacrifice, and eating we should celebrate, 24 because he my son was dead and lives again, was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

The word θύω (2380) is kill in the King James Version where here it is rendered sacrifice. The word is “to offer...to sacrifice, i.e., by slaying a victim...to slaughter, slay...to sacrifice, offer sacrifices...to celebrate with offerings or sacrifices...” (Liddell & Scott) and it is part of a family of words having to do with sacrifice, such as θυσία, which is an offering and θυσιαστήριον which is an altar. While “kill” is not wholly incorrect, there are many other words which express as much without the connection to sacrifice.

There is a message here which may not be evident to some. The sinner repenting should not merely be sorry for his sins, but in addition should be willing to go to the extent even to do the will of God as if he were but a hired servant, rather than as if he were a privileged son. The father here, recognizing the extent and more importantly the sincerity of the son's repentance, was more than happy to accept him back as a son, and to reward him beyond where he would have been if he had never left in the first place.

Note that the son said in his confession that he “did wrong to heaven and before” his father. When we squander our inheritance, or when we sin against our brethren, we do wrong to God in the presence of our brethren. It is Yahweh who supplied the father here with what he may pass on to the son, and it is Yahweh who shall reward them both in turn.

25 And his elder son was in the field. And coming as he approached the house he heard music and dancing, 26 and calling to one of the servants he inquired what these things could be, 27 and he said to him that ‘Your brother has come, and your father has sacrificed the fattened calf, because he being healthy has been recovered!’ 28 Then he was angry and did not wish to enter in, but his father coming out called to him. 29 And replying he said to his father: ‘Behold, I serve you so many years and at no time have I transgressed your command, yet to me you have never given a goat [literally a kid, a young goat] in order that I may make merry with my friends. 30 But when that son of yours is come, who has devoured your substance with prostitutes, you have sacrificed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 So he said to him ‘Child, you are always with me, and all things that are mine are yours, 32 but to celebrate and to rejoice is necessary, because he your brother was dead and lives, and lost and is found!’”

The older son was envious, but even more than that, he was self-righteous. He supposed that he himself should have been celebrated for not having sinned against God and his father – at least apparently. Not only was the elder son envious and self-righteous, but even worse, he was envious of his own brother, to the point of despising him and even referring to him as “that son of yours” before his father. Christians should never despise their brethren, no matter how well the brethren are rewarded and even if it is perceived that they do not deserve any reward. Christians should never despise their brethren, no matter how great sinners they are, so long as they are willing to repent. We are all sinners, and in the end we shall all find room for repentance, because all Israel shall indeed be saved.

Matthew 18: “21 Then coming forth Petros said to Him 'Prince, how many times shall my brother do wrong to me, that I shall forgive him? As many as seven?' 22 Yahshua says to him: 'I do not say to you as many as seven, but as many as seventy times seven!'”

1 John 2: “9 He purporting to be in the light and hates his brother is in darkness even now. 10 He loving his brother abides in the light and there is no offense in him. 11 But he hating his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness and knows not where he goes, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.”

James 2: “10 For he who should keep the whole law but would fail in one thing, has become liable for all.”

1 John 1: “8 If we should say that we have no guilt, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we would admit our errors, He is trustworthy and just, that He would remit the errors for us and would cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we should say that we have not done wrong, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

Romans 3: “23 for all have done wrong and fall short of the honor of Yahweh”

If we have all sinned, and it is certain that we have, how can we condemn our brethren for what we ourselves are also guilty of having done? Rather we love our brother, and pray for his repentance also, rejoicing along with our father in heaven upon its fulfillment.

Now to introduce Luke Chapter 16, from a paper which I had written some years ago, entitled Translating Luke 16: 8 & 9: The Parable of the Unrighteous Steward:

Luke 16:1-13, or the parable of the unrighteous steward, is perhaps one of the most misunderstood pericopes in the Bible. The reason for its being so misunderstood is, I believe, due to the poor translations of the text found at verses 8 and 9 of the pericope, and the entire parable must be presented and discussed here, yet these two verses shall be examined most thoroughly. I have translated Luke 16:1-13 thusly:

1 Then He also said to the students: “There was a certain wealthy man who had a steward, and he had suspected him of squandering his possessions. 2 And calling him he said to him ‘What is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship, for you are no longer able to be steward.’ 3 And the steward said to himself ‘What shall I do, that my master has taken the stewardship from me? I am not able to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do, in order that when I have been removed from the stewardship they shall receive me into their houses!’ 5 And calling on each one of those indebted to his master, he said to the first ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said ‘A hundred baths of olive oil.’ So he said to him ‘Take your records, and quickly sitting down write fifty.’ 7 Next he said to another ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said ‘A hundred kors of grain.’ He said to him ‘Take your records and write eighty.’ 8 And the master praised the unrighteous steward because he did wisely, because the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light are towards their own race. 9 And I say to you, shall you make for yourselves friends from the riches of unrighteousness, that when you should fail they may receive you into eternal dwellings?

10 “He who is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and he who is unrighteous with little is also unrighteous with much. 11 Therefore if you have not been faithful with the unrighteous riches, who shall entrust to you the true? 12 And if with that of another you have not been faithful, who will give to you that which is your own? 13 No one servant is able to serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will endure the one and despise the other. You are not able to serve Yahweh and riches!”

A “steward” here is an οἰκονόμος (3623), “one who manages a household” (An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon Founded Upon The Seventh Edition Of Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon, hereinafter Liddell & Scott), and was typically the chief servant on an estate, who oversaw all of its operations. This particular steward had been squandering his master’s possessions (verse 1), and upon being found out, and relieved of his position, he worried about how he may further make his living (verse 3). Therefore, the steward concocted a plan whereby he would win the favor of those who were indebted to his master, and hopefully be received by them, ostensibly for further employment. So he called upon each of them and reduced their debts in the household records, instructing them to do likewise (verses 4-7). This is no different than if he had stolen his master’s property in order to bribe the debtors. Not being told specifically the reactions of the debtors, we might assume that each of them went along with the scheme of the steward. Yet somehow the master had discovered the acts of the unrighteous steward (verse 8). Perhaps one of his debtors was honest and informed him of the steward’s actions, yet we are not told as much. Surprisingly, this master praised the steward for what he had done, yet not for the reason which many may think. Here the Greek word for race at verse 9, a word which most versions errantly translate as generation, should be defined:

γενεά (1074), “race, stock, family” (Liddell & Scott), is race here after the basic meaning of the word and not, as it may be in some contexts, and as Liddell and Scott define the word's secondary uses, either “I … 2. a race, generation” or “II … 2. age, time of life” as we understand a generation. This is evident without resorting to any other Biblical references, but from the full statement here in these verses alone, which I shall endeavor to elucidate. The full clause, ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ [because the sons] τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου [of this age] φρονιμώτεροι [are wiser, are is the last word of the Greek phrase] ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς [than the sons of light] εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν [are towards their own race] εἰσιν, shall be examined here.

  1. ὅτι (“because”) οἱ υἱοὶ (“the sons”, in the Nominative case and therefore the subject of the clause).

  2. τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου (“of this age”, the pronoun referring to what precedes). αἰῶνος is the Genitive singular of αἰών (165), “age” here. The word is “a period of existence...an age, generation...a long space of time, an age...a definite space of time, an era, epoch, age, period...” (Liddell & Scott). It is the source of our English word “eon”, and usually in the N.T. it infers a long period of time, and so may be presumed to be equivalent to the span of many “generations”, as we use that term today. If αἰών indeed infers such a long space of time here, then γενεά must be rendered “race”, since many generations would be required to fill “this age”. Yet if αἰών infers a shorter duration, a single “generation” or era, γενεά still must be rendered “race”, lest the use of the word is redundant and it becomes meaningless. The King James Version translators must have realized this predicament, and here (as they did elsewhere) they rendered αἰών as world, a meaning that the word certainly does not have! αἰών can only refer to a period of time, not of space.

  3. φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ (“are wiser beyond”). The word “are” comes from the last word of the clause, the third person plural form of εἰμί (1510), εἰσιν or “they are”. This is common in Greek, which orders its words quite differently than English. ὑπὲρ is a preposition which is properly “over” or “beyond” (what follows) but here is not rendered as such, the comparative form of φρόνιμος (5429), “wiser”, and the conjunction “than”, and so “are wiser than”, being sufficient to express the meaning in English.

  4. τοὺς υἱοὺς (“the sons”) here in the Accusative case, which distinguishes the noun as the object of a verb or of certain prepositions, here it is the object of the preposition ὑπὲρ or “beyond”, “than” in the text.

  5. τοῦ φωτὸς (“of light”), the Genitive singular of φῶς (5457), the Genitive is a case that expresses possession, source, or measurement, and here “the sons”, the preceding noun, belongs to it, so “the sons of light”.

  6. εἰς (1519) is a preposition used only with the Accusative case (as τὴν γενεὰν is which follows), and is properly “into, and then to” and also among other things “...at...with...to or towards...in regard to...for” (Liddell & Scott), and in certain contexts it may sometimes be rendered “in”, but is not commonly “in”. Liddell & Scott give one example, where in English we would say “to look in the face”, rather than the literal “at” or “towards” the face. The “in their generation” that the A.V. has here would be properly expressed with ἐν (1722) and the Dative case, and not with εἰς and the Accusative, as it is found here.

  7. τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν (“their own race”), or literally “the race that is of themselves”, the Articles (τὴν) and γενεὰν are all in the Accusative case, and so they are the object of the preposition εἰς. While the Article τὴν is the Accusative singular, the pronoun ἑαυτῶν (“of themselves”, or “their own” here) is Genitive plural (ἑαυτοῦ, 1438) and “reflects back to the subject” (MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 104), and so here τὴν γενεὰν belongs to one party only, the “sons of this age”, who are the subject of the clause, and so the word γενεὰν must again be rendered “race”, and not “generation”, since the sons of both “this age” and “light” are obviously contemporaneous and therefore share the same period of time. While such number and case mismatches are rare, the Article τὴν is Accusative singular while its noun ἑαυτῶν Genitive plural. Yet this is done expressly in order to avoid confusion, to show the relationship between ἑαυτῶν and τὴν γενεὰν here. The result is that there is no question that τὴν γενεὰν (“the race”) belongs to ἑαυτῶν (“of themselves”), referring to the subject of the clause: “the sons of this age”. Therefore the “sons of this age” are a race distinct from the “sons of light”, as the Greek grammar insists.

  8. εἰσιν the final word here, is the 3rd person plural of the verb “to be”, εἰμί (1510), and so is “they are”, or “are” here. It may be protested that “are” appears twice in the English version here, and that is true. “As in classical Greek, so also in the N.T.  εἰμί is very often omitted” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, εἰμί, VI., p. 180 col. B), and so it must be supplied in English as often as it is found wanting, yet admittedly this process can be quite subjective.

Here it should now be manifest, that the “sons of this age” and the “sons of light” are surely two separate races, as they are being contrasted to one another. These must be those races which have vied with each other throughout the age, just as Genesis 3:15 forebode that they would. For the phrases “sons of light” and “sons of this age”, representing two different races, can only be metaphors for the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent, and these two races are contrasted throughout the New Testament. See, for instance, Matt. 13:24-30, 36-43; Luke 11:47-51 (where “generation” is also properly rendered “race”, designating sons and fathers both near and remote in the context there); John 8:31-47; Rom. 9:1-13, 20-23; Rev. 2:9 and 3:9, et al. In first century Judaea the seed of the serpent was represented by the Edomite jews who descended from Esau, and other Canaanite, or “arab” (mixed) races of the larger region. These were brought into the kingdom of Judaea by the Maccabees from about 130 B.C., and converted to Judaism, for which see Strabo, Geography, 16.2.34, and Josephus, Antiquities, 13.9.1 (13:254-258); 13.15.4 (13:395-397); 15.7.9-10 (15:253-266); and Wars 2.20.4 (2:566-568). The seed of the woman were those Judaeans who were the remnant of pure Israelites who returned from the captivity, along with the many Greeks and Romans who were actually “lost” Israelites, having descended from tribes which had emigrated from ancient Israel 6 to 15 centuries before Christ. These two seeds are represented in the world today, for the most part, by the people of White Northern European descent who had descended from the ancient Israelites and other Adamic families and who are the seed of the woman, as opposed to the jews, arabs, and the mixed “Mediterranean” Europeans who descended from jews and arabs, who in turn descended from the Canaanites and other non-Adamic races, who are the seed of the serpent.

Now to proceed to Luke 16:9, where Christ asks rhetorically “And I say to you, shall you make for yourselves friends from the riches of unrighteousness, that when you should fail they may receive you into eternal dwellings?” The word riches, which is μαμωνᾶς (3126) in the Greek in verses 9, 11 and 13, is mammon in the King James Version. Liddell & Scott state that Μαμμωνᾶς, or Μαμωνᾶς, was “a Syrian deity, god of riches; hence riches, wealth, N.T.” Yet translating this verse, my differences with the King James Version are much greater than this.

Luke 16:9 is very naturally read as a question, which neither the King James Version nor the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (NA27) nor any other of the versions which I’ve seen read in such a manner. Rather, many commentators use this verse as a statement, to justify the wicked methods of the dishonest steward, which amount to stealing! So much drivel has been written concerning this verse, because its being a rhetorical question has been overlooked by so many. The construction of the verbs here very naturally makes for a rhetorical question, where a verb of the Indicative mood is followed by a verb of the Subjunctive mood. The Greek verb ποιήσατε, the Future Indicative of ποιέω (4160), is “shall you make...?” in the Christogenea New Testament. Later in the sentence the verb ἐκλίπῃ, the Aorist Subjunctive of ἐκλείπω (1587) is “when you should fail” preceded by ὅταν (“when”) and may have been written “when you might fail” and the verb δέξωνται is the Aorist Subjunctive of δέχομαι (1209), here followed by ὑμᾶς (“you”) and being in the 3rd person plural, “they may receive you”, or “they might receive you”. A similar pattern is found at Galatians 6:5, which the Christogenea New Testament also read as a rhetorical question. The Indicative Mood, as ποιήσατε is here, is often used in interrogation (MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 43), and even without an interrogatory particle, and such is often done by Luke (and recognized by both the King James Version and by the NA27), where there are many examples both in his Gospel at 4:34; 7:19 and 20; 9:54; 12:51; 13:2, 4, and 15; 14:3; 20:4; 22:48; and 23:3; and in Acts 5:28; 16:37; 21:37; 23:3 and 4; 25:9; and 26:27.

Biblical evidence that in context this interpretation is the correct one, meaning that Luke 16:9 is indeed a rhetorical question, is quite plain. First, the commandment states that “thou shalt not steal”, and Christ is certainly not endorsing embezzlement here in this parable. Second, certainly the friends of the unrighteous steward cannot receive him into any “eternal dwelling”, for only Yahweh can do such a thing as that. Third, v. 13 plainly states that one cannot serve both Yahweh and riches simultaneously. So the obvious answer to the rhetorical question is a resounding “No!” The real lesson here is that the unrighteous steward, evidently one of the “sons of this age” (v. 8), acted as those of his race are expected to act: craftily, because they have no reward hereafter. The sons of light, the true Adamic Israelites, should not do as the others (note Matt. 7:16-20, “from their fruits you shall know them”). The Israelite’s eternal dwelling is with Yahweh, and there is none other. He should store his treasure there (Matt. 6:19-21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:16-21 and 31-34), since worldly riches, or mammon, mean nothing (i.e. Heb. 11:26).



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