Luke 17:8

8 Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and 1dress properly,[a] and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'?

Luke 17:8 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 17:8

And will not rather say to him
Or, "will he not say to him?" it is very likely, it is more agreeable to the language of a master, and the condition of a servant, that he should say to him,

make ready wherewith I may sup:
by dressing the food, spreading the table, and putting the food on it; for it was the business of servants to prepare, as at the passover, (See Gill on Matthew 26:17) so at ordinary suppers:

and gird thyself and serve me;
by giving him drink, or whatsoever he called for: and as they used to wear long garments in those countries, servants girded them up about their loins, that they might be fit for service, expedite in it, and perform it more readily, and with greater ease and dispatch:

till I have eaten and drunken;
finished his meal:

and afterward thou shalt eat and drink:
the, Persic and Ethiopic versions read in the imperative, "then eat thou and drink". If he was an Hebrew servant, he ate and drank the same as his master did: for so one of the Jewish canons runs F24;

``every Hebrew servant, or handmaid, their master is obliged to make them equal to himself "in food and in drink", in clothing, and in dwelling, as it is said, ( Deuteronomy 15:16 ) "because he is well with thee": wherefore, thou shalt not eat fine bread, and he eat coarse bread, nor drink old wine and he drink new wine''

And even a Canaanitish servant was to be provided with proper food and drink: they say indeed F25,

``it is lawful to cause a Canaanitish servant to serve with rigour: but though the law is such, the property of mercy, and the ways of wisdom are, that a man should be merciful, and not make his yoke heavy on his servant, nor oppress him; but cause him to "eat and drink" of all sorts of food and drink; and the former wise men used to give their servants of all sorts of food that they themselves ate of;''

which was using them as they did their Hebrew servants: yea, it is added;

``and they gave their beasts, and their servants, food, before they ate their own meal;''

but this was not commonly done: it does not appear to have been the practice in Christ's time; nor was it necessary.


FOOTNOTES:

F24 Maimon. Hilch. Abadim, c. 1. sect. 9. Vid. T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 22. 1.
F25 Maimon. ib. c. 9. sect. 8.

Luke 17:8 In-Context

6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
7 "Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'?
8 Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink'?
9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'"

Cross References 1

  • 1. John 13:4; [Luke 12:35, 37]

Footnotes 1