Luke 12:38
Parallel Verses
New International Version
It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.

New Living Translation
He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.

English Standard Version
If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants!

New American Standard Bible
"Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

King James Bible
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If he comes in the middle of the night, or even near dawn, and finds them alert, those slaves are blessed.

International Standard Version
How blessed they will be if their master comes in the middle of the night or near dawn and finds them awake!

NET Bible
Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, blessed are those slaves!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“And if he will come in the second or third watch, and he will find them thus, blessings to those servants.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They will be blessed if he comes in the middle of the night or toward morning and finds them awake.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And if he shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those slaves.

King James 2000 Bible
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

American King James Version
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

American Standard Version
And if he shall come in the second watch, and if in the third, and find them'so blessed are those'servants .

Douay-Rheims Bible
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Darby Bible Translation
And if he come in the second watch, and come in the third watch, and find [them] thus, blessed are those [bondmen].

English Revised Version
And if he shall come in the second watch, and if in the third, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Webster's Bible Translation
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Weymouth New Testament
And whether it be in the second watch or in the third that He comes and finds them so, blessed are they.

World English Bible
They will be blessed if he comes in the second or third watch, and finds them so.

Young's Literal Translation
and if he may come in the second watch, and in the third watch he may come, and may find it so, happy are those servants.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:22-40 Christ largely insisted upon this caution not to give way to disquieting, perplexing cares, Mt 6:25-34. The arguments here used are for our encouragement to cast our care upon God, which is the right way to get ease. As in our stature, so in our state, it is our wisdom to take it as it is. An eager, anxious pursuit of the things of this world, even necessary things, ill becomes the disciples of Christ. Fears must not prevail; when we frighten ourselves with thoughts of evil to come, and put ourselves upon needless cares how to avoid it. If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Let us then examine whether we belong to this little flock. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants; not only working servants, but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait for their lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready to receive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension to heaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and his return to judge the world. We are uncertain as to the time of his coming to us, we should therefore be always ready. If men thus take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for our souls. Be ye therefore ready also; as ready as the good man of the house would be, if he knew at what hour the thief would come.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 38. - And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so. Among the Jews at the time of our Lord, the old division of the night into three watches had given place to the ordinary Roman division into four. They were reckoned thus: from six to nine, from nine to midnight, from midnight to three, and from three to six. In this parable the second and third watches are mentioned as necessary for the completeness of the picture; for the banquet would certainly not be over before the end of the first watch, and in the fourth the day would be breaking. The second and third watches, then, represent the still and weary hours of the night, when to watch is indeed a task of difficulty and painfulness; and here again the Lord repeats his high encomium on such devoted conduct in his second "blessed are those servants." It is perfectly clear that in this parable the master's return signifies the coming of Christ. The whole tone, then, is a grave reminder to us, to all impatient ones, that the great event may be long delayed, much longer than most Christian thinkers dream; but it tells us, too. that this long delay involves a test of their loyalty. "The parousia does not come so quickly as impatience, nor yet so late as carelessness, supposes" (Van Oosterzee).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And if he shall come in the second watch,.... Of the night, that is, after nine o'clock, or any time between nine or twelve; for the second watch was from nine o'clock till twelve; and this was coming early from an entertainment, or a wedding, which were commonly kept in the night, and late;

or come in the third watch, or after twelve o'clock, or any time between twelve and three; for the third watch was from twelve o'clock to three, which was late; See Gill on Matthew 14:25 The Persic version reads, "in the second, or third part of the night"; and the Ethiopic version, "in the second or third hour of the night";

and find them so. The Arabic version adds, "doing"; as above described, with their loins girt, lights burning, and they watching for their Lord's coming:

blessed are those servants; since they shall be used and treated as before related.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

38. second … third watch—To find them ready to receive Him at any hour of day or night, when one might least of all expect Him, is peculiarly blessed. A servant may be truly faithful, even though taken so far unawares that he has not everything in such order and readiness for his master's return as he thinks is due to him, and both could and would have had if he had had notice of the time of his coming, and so may not be willing to open to him "immediately," but fly to preparation, and let his master knock again ere he admit him, and even then not with full joy. A too common case this with Christians. But if the servant have himself and all under his charge in such a state that at any hour when his master knocks, he can open to him "immediately," and hail his "return"—that is the most enviable, "blessed" servant of all.

Luke 12:38 Additional Commentaries
Context
Be Ready for Service
37"Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes; truly I say to you, that he will gird himself to serve, and have them recline at the table, and will come up and wait on them. 38"Whether he comes in the second watch, or even in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. 39"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.…
Cross References
Matthew 24:43
But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.

Luke 12:39
But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
Treasury of Scripture

And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

Matthew 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; …

1 Thessalonians 5:4,5 But you, brothers, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake …

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