Luke 16:12

12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?

Luke 16:12 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 16:12

And if ye have not been faithful in that which is
another man's
Which is not a man's own, but what is committed to him by another; (Myrxa Nwmmb) , "with the mammon of others F1", to speak in the language of the Jews; and of mammon, our Lord is speaking, and here of another man's, of which they were only stewards, as he in the preceding parable was: hence we read F2 of (Nwmm yrmwv) , "keepers of mammon", who were intrusted with another's substance; and such are here supposed, which, if unfaithful in,

who shall give you that which is your own?
that is, should you unjustly detain, or make an ill use of another man's substance lodged in your hands, how can you expect but that you will be dealt with in like manner by others, who will not pay you yours, they have in their possession, but convert it to their own use? A like distinction of another's and a man's own, may be observed among the Jews:

``there are (say they F3,) four sorts of men in respect of giving alms; he that would give, but would not have others give, his eye is evil, (Myrxa lvb) , "in that which is other men's" (i.e. as the commentator observes F4, lest the goods of others should be increased, and they get a good name); he that would that others should give, but he will not give himself, his eye is evil, (wlvb) , "in that which is his own"; he that gives, and would have others give, he is a "good man"; he that neither gives, nor would have others give, he is an "ungodly man";''

see ( Romans 5:7 Romans 5:8 ) . Interpreters generally understand by "that which is another man's", in the first clause, the things of this world, which men are possessed of, because these are not of themselves, but from another, from God; and they are but stewards, rather than proprietors of them; and they are for the good of others, and not for themselves; and are not lasting, but in a little while will pass from them to others: and by "that which is your own", they understand the good things of grace and glory, which, when once bestowed on man, are his own property, and for his own use, and will never be alienated from him, but will always abide with him: but if he is unfaithful in the former, how should he expect the latter to be given to him?


F1 Jarchi in Pirke Abot, c. 5, sect. 13.
F2 T. Hieros. Succa, fol. 53. 1.
F3 Pirke Abot, c. 5. sect. 13.
F4 Jarchi in ib.

Luke 16:12 In-Context

10 "Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.
11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own?
13 No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all this, and they ridiculed him.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.