Luke 16:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg--

New Living Translation
"The manager thought to himself, 'Now what? My boss has fired me. I don't have the strength to dig ditches, and I'm too proud to beg.

English Standard Version
And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.

Berean Study Bible
The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, now that my master is taking away my position? I am too weak to dig and too ashamed to beg.

Berean Literal Bible
And the manager said within himself, 'What shall I do, for my master is taking away the management from me? I am not able to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

New American Standard Bible
"The manager said to himself, 'What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

King James Bible
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Then the manager said to himself, What should I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I'm not strong enough to dig; I'm ashamed to beg.

International Standard Version
"Then the servant manager told himself, 'What should I do? My master is taking my position away from me. I'm not strong enough to plow, and I'm ashamed to beg.

NET Bible
Then the manager said to himself, 'What should I do, since my master is taking my position away from me? I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm too ashamed to beg.

New Heart English Bible
"The manager said within himself, 'What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I do not have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
That steward said to himself, “What shall I do? My Lord has taken the stewardship from me; I cannot dig, and I am ashamed to beg.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The manager thought, 'What should I do? My master is taking my job away from me. I'm not strong enough to dig, and I'm ashamed to beg.

New American Standard 1977
“And the steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes the stewardship away from me; I cannot dig, and I am ashamed to beg.

King James 2000 Bible
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

American King James Version
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

American Standard Version
And the steward said within himself, What shall I do, seeing that my lord taketh away the stewardship from me? I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship? To dig I am not able; to beg I am ashamed.

Darby Bible Translation
And the steward said within himself, What shall I do; for my lord is taking the stewardship from me? I am not able to dig; I am ashamed to beg.

English Revised Version
And the steward said within himself, What shall I do, seeing that my lord taketh away the stewardship from me? I have not strength to dig; to beg I am ashamed.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg.

Weymouth New Testament
"Then the steward said within himself, "'What am I to do? For my master is taking away the stewardship from me. I am not strong enough for field labour: to beg, I should be ashamed.

World English Bible
"The manager said within himself, 'What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don't have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg.

Young's Literal Translation
'And the steward said in himself, What shall I do, because my lord doth take away the stewardship from me? to dig I am not able, to beg I am ashamed: --
Study Bible
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager
2So he called him in to ask, ‘What is this I hear about you? Turn in an account of your management, for you cannot be manager any longer.’ 3The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking away my position? I am too weak to dig and too ashamed to beg. 4I know what I will do, so that after my removal from management, people will welcome me into their homes...’…
Cross References
Matthew 20:8
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last ones hired and moving on to the first.'

Luke 16:2
So he called him in to ask, 'What is this I hear about you? Turn in an account of your management, for you cannot be manager any longer.'

Luke 16:4
I know what I will do, so that after my removal from management, people will welcome me into their homes. . .'
Treasury of Scripture

Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord takes away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.

said.

Luke 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, …

Esther 6:6 So Haman came in. And the king said to him, What shall be done to …

What.

Luke 12:17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I …

Isaiah 10:3 And what will you do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation …

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their …

Hosea 9:5 What will you do in the solemn day, and in the day of the feast of the LORD?

Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what will you have me …

I cannot.

Proverbs 13:4 The soul of the sluggard desires, and has nothing: but the soul of …

Proverbs 15:19 The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way …

Proverbs 18:9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

Proverbs 21:25,26 The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor…

Proverbs 24:30-34 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man …

Proverbs 26:13-16 The slothful man said, There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets…

Proverbs 27:23-27 Be you diligent to know the state of your flocks, and look well to your herds…

Proverbs 29:21 He that delicately brings up his servant from a child shall have …

2 Thessalonians 3:11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, …

to beg.

Luke 16:20,22 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his …

Proverbs 20:4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall …

Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his …

John 9:8 The neighbors therefore, and they which before had seen him that …

Acts 3:2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they …

(3) I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed.--In the outer framework of the parable there is something eminently characteristic in this utterance of the steward's thoughts. He has lost the manliness and strength which would have fitted him for actual labour. He retains the false shame which makes him prefer fraud to poverty. He shudders at the thought that it might be his lot to sit, like Lazarus, and ask an alms at the rich man's door. Spiritually, we may see what happens to a religious caste or order, like the Pharisees, when it forfeits its true calling by misuse. It has lost the power to prepare the ground for future fruitfulness by the "digging," which answers, as in Luke 13:8, to the preliminary work of education and other influences that lie outside direct religious activity. It is religious and ecclesiastical, or it is nothing. It is ashamed to confess its spiritual poverty, and to own that it is "poor, and blind, and naked" (Revelation 3:17). Anything seems better than either of those alternatives.

Verse 3. - What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship. This day of dismissal must be prepared for; very carefully, very anxiously, the man who has received the sentence of doom ponders over his future. The lesson of the Master is spoken to all; it is a solemn warning to each of us to see what we can do by way of providing for the inevitable day when we shall find ourselves alone and naked and perhaps friendless in the great, strange world to come. The hero of the parable seems suddenly, after a life of carelessness and thoughtlessness, to have awakened to a sense of his awful danger. So the voice of the real Owner of the goods, which we have so long deluded ourselves into thinking were our own, comes to us, bidding us make ready to give them back again to him, their Owner, and at the same time to render an account of our administration of them. The voice comes to us in the varied forms of conscience, sickness, misfortune, old age, sorrow, and the like; well for us if, when we hear it, we at once determine, as did the steward of the parable, to make a wise use of the goods in our power for the little time they are still left to us to dispose of as we will. Then the steward said within himself,.... As the Scribes and Pharisees were wont to do, Matthew 3:9

what shall I do? he does not say, what will become of me? I am undone, and what shall I do to be saved? or what shall I do for my Lord and Master I have so much injured? or what shall I do to make up matters with him? or what account shall I give? but what shall I do for a maintenance? how shall I live? what shall I do to please men, and gain their opinion and good will, and so be provided for by them? of this cast were the Pharisees, men pleasers, and self-seekers:

for my Lord taketh away from me the stewardship: the priesthood was changed, and there was a change also of the law; the ceremonial law was abrogated, and the ordinances of the former dispensation were shaken and removed; so that these men must of course turn out of their places and offices:

I cannot dig; or "plough", as the Arabic version renders it; or do any part of husbandry, particularly that which lies in manuring and cultivating the earth; not but that he was able to do it; but he could not tell how to submit to such a mean, as well as laborious way of life; for nothing was meaner among the Jews than husbandry: they have a saying, that , "you have no trade", or business, "lesser", or meaner "than husbandry" (g):

and to beg I am ashamed; for nothing could be more disagreeable, to one who had lived so well in his master's house, and in so much fulness and luxury, as the Scribes and Pharisees did. The Jews have a saying, that (h).

"want of necessaries, , "is better than begging": (and says one) I have tasted the bitterness of all things, and I have not found any thing more bitter "than begging:"''

and which was literally true of the Jews, after the destruction of Jerusalem; when multitudes of them were condemned to work in the mines; and vast numbers were scattered about every where as vagabonds, begging their bread; both which were very irksome to that people: though both these phrases may be mystically understood: and "digging" may intend a laborious searching into the Scriptures, and a diligent performance of good works: neither of which the Pharisees much cared for, though they made large pretensions to both; nor did they dig deep to lay a good foundation whereon to build eternal life and happiness: nor could they attain to the law of righteousness by all their toil and labour, they would be thought to have taken: and for "begging", they were above that: read the Pharisee's prayer in Luke 18:11 and you will not find one petition in it. To ask any thing at the throne of grace, in a way of mere grace and favour, and not merit: or to beg any thing at the hands of Christ, as life, righteousness, pardon, cleansing, healing, food, &c. they were ashamed of, and cared not for.

(g) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 63. 1.((h) Mischar Hapeninim apud Buxtorf. Florileg, Heb. p. 262. 3. cannot dig … to beg, ashamed—therefore, when dismissed, shall be in utter want.16:1-12 Whatever we have, the property of it is God's; we have only the use of it, according to the direction of our great Lord, and for his honour. This steward wasted his lord's goods. And we are all liable to the same charge; we have not made due improvement of what God has trusted us with. The steward cannot deny it; he must make up his accounts, and be gone. This may teach us that death will come, and deprive us of the opportunities we now have. The steward will make friends of his lord's debtors or tenants, by striking off a considerable part of their debt to his lord. The lord referred to in this parable commended not the fraud, but the policy of the steward. In that respect alone is it so noticed. Worldly men, in the choice of their object, are foolish; but in their activity, and perseverance, they are often wiser than believers. The unjust steward is not set before us as an example in cheating his master, or to justify any dishonesty, but to point out the careful ways of worldly men. It would be well if the children of light would learn wisdom from the men of the world, and would as earnestly pursue their better object. The true riches signify spiritual blessings; and if a man spends upon himself, or hoards up what God has trusted to him, as to outward things, what evidence can he have, that he is an heir of God through Christ? The riches of this world are deceitful and uncertain. Let us be convinced that those are truly rich, and very rich, who are rich in faith, and rich toward God, rich in Christ, in the promises; let us then lay up our treasure in heaven, and expect our portion from thence.
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