Luke 17:8

8 Wouldn't you be more likely to say, 'Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I've finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper'?

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 But the Master said, "You don't need more faith. There is no 'more' or 'less' in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it would do it.
7 "Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, 'Sit down and eat'?
8 Wouldn't you be more likely to say, 'Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I've finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper'?
9 Does the servant get special thanks for doing what's expected of him?
10 It's the same with you. When you've done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, 'The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.'"