And I say unto you
These are the words of Christ, as are also the latter part of the preceding verse, accommodating and applying the parable to his disciples, and for their instruction:
make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness:
by "mammon" are designed riches, wealth, and substance; (See Gill on Matthew 6:24) and is called "mammon of unrighteousness", because such wealth is often unrighteously detained, and is not made use of to right and good purposes, by the owners of it; or because, generally speaking, it is possessed by unrighteous men; and, for the most part, used in an unrighteous manner, in luxury, pride and intemperance, and is the root, instrument, and means of such unrighteousness: or it maybe rendered "mammon of hurt", or "hurtful mammon"; as it often is to those who are over anxious and desirous of it, or other disuse or misuse of it: or, as best of all, "mammon of falsehood", or "deceitful mammon"; so in the Targum F23, frequent mention is made of (rqvd Nwmm) , "mammon of falsity"; and stands opposed to "true riches" in ( Luke 16:10 ) for worldly riches are very empty and fallacious; wherefore deceitfulness is ascribed to them; and they are called uncertain riches, which are not to be depended upon. ( Matthew 13:22 ) ( 1 Timothy 6:17 ) unless it should be rather thought that it is so called, because gotten in an unrighteous way; as it was by Zacchaeus, and might be by Matthew, one of the disciples, Christ now speaks to, and the publicans and sinners, who were lately become his followers, and whom he advises, as the highest piece of wisdom and prudence, to dispose of in such a manner, as of it to "make" themselves "friends"; not God, Father, Son, and Spirit. These indeed are friends to the saints, but they are not made so by money; reconciliation and redemption are not procured this way; nor is the favour of the judge to be got by such means; the only means of reconciliation, are the blood and death of Christ; though indeed acts of beneficence, rightly performed, are well pleasing to God: nor are the angels meant, who are very friendly to all good men; nor rich men, to whom riches are not to be given, ( Proverbs 22:16 ) but rather riches themselves, which, if not rightly used, and so made friends of, will cry, and be a witness against the owners of them, ( James 5:1-3 ) though it may be the poor saints are intended; who by their prayers are capable of doing either a great deal of hurt, or a great deal of good; and it is the interest of rich men to make them their friends:
that when ye fail:
of money; or "that fails", as the Ethiopic version reads; or rather, when ye leave that, that is, when ye die; so in ( Jeremiah 42:22 ) "know certainly that ye shall die"; the Septuagint renders it, (ekleiqete) , "ye shall fall by the sword", &c.
they may receive you into everlasting habitations:
the mansions of glory, which are many, and of an eternal duration: this is to be understood of their being received thither, not by the poor, to whom they have been benefactors; for though these may now pray for their reception to glory when they die, and will hereafter rejoice at their reception thither; yet they themselves will not be receivers of them, or their introducers into the everlasting tents, or tabernacles: nor are the angels intended, who carry the souls of the righteous into Abraham's bosom, and will gather the elect together at the last day; for not they, but God and Christ, receive the saints to glory: the words may be rendered impersonally, "you may be received"; in a way of welldoing, though not for it; mention is made of the "everlasting tabernacles", in
``Their glory also will I take unto me, and give these the everlasting tabernacles, which I had prepared for them.'' (2 Esdras 2:11)and so the phrase may be rendered here, as opposed to the earthly and perishable tabernacles of the body ( 2 Corinthians 5:1 ) ( 2 Peter 1:13 2 Peter 1:14 )
F23 Targum in Job xxvii. 8. & in Isa v. 23. & xxxiii. 15. & in Ezek. xxii. 27. & in Hos. v. 11.