Luke 16:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.

New Living Translation
"The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.

English Standard Version
The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.

New American Standard Bible
"And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light.

King James Bible
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"The master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted astutely. For the sons of this age are more astute than the sons of light in dealing with their own people.

International Standard Version
The master praised the dishonest servant manager for being so clever, because worldly people are more clever than enlightened people in dealing with their own.

NET Bible
The master commended the dishonest manager because he acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the people of light.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And our Lord praised the evil steward, because he acted wisely, for “The children of this world in this their generation are wiser than the children of light.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The master praised the dishonest manager for being so clever. Worldly people are more clever than spiritually-minded people when it comes to dealing with others."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the lord commended the unjust steward because he had done discreetly; for the sons of this age are in their generation more prudent than the sons of light.

King James 2000 Bible
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

American King James Version
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

American Standard Version
And his lord commended the unrighteous steward because he had done wisely: for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the lord commended the unjust steward, forasmuch as he had done wisely: for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.

Darby Bible Translation
And the lord praised the unrighteous steward because he had done prudently. For the sons of this world are, for their own generation, more prudent than the sons of light.

English Revised Version
And his lord commended the unrighteous steward because he had done wisely: for the sons of this world are for their own generation wiser than the sons of the light.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

Weymouth New Testament
"And the master praised the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for, in relation to their own contemporaries, the men of this age are shrewder than the sons of Light.

World English Bible
"His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light.

Young's Literal Translation
'And the lord commended the unrighteous steward that he did prudently, because the sons of this age are more prudent than the sons of the light, in respect to their generation.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely. This, again, is a detail which has little bearing on the main teaching. It is a graphic and sarcastic eulogy which a good-humoured man of the world would pronounce upon a brilliant and skilful, although unprincipled, action, and it completes the story as a story. It seems evident that the intentions of the steward in regard to the debtors were carried out, and that they were really indebted to him for the release of a part of their indebtedness, and that the owner of the property did not dispute the arrangement entered into by his steward when in office. For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. This was a melancholy and sorrowful reflection. It seems to say, "I have been painting, indeed, from the life. See, the children of this world, men and women whose ends and aims are bounded by the horizon of this world, who only live for this life, how much more painstaking and skilful are they in their working for the perishable things of this world than are the children of light in their noble toiling after the things of the life to come. The former appear even more in earnest in their search after what they desire than do the latter. There is underlying the Lord's deep and sorrowful reflection here, a mournful regret over one feature that is, alas! characteristic of well-nigh all religious life - the unkindness which religious professors so often show to one another. One great division of Christianity despises, almost hates, the other; sect detests sect; a very slight difference in religious opinion bars the way to all friendship, often to even kindly feeling. With truth Godet remarks here "that the children of this world use every means for their own interest to strengthen the bonds which unite them to their contemporaries of the same stamp, but, on the other hand, the children of light neglect this natural measure of prudence; they forget to use God's goods to form bonds of love to the contemporaries who might one day give them a full recompense, when they themselves shall want everything, and these shall have abundance."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the Lord commended the unjust steward,.... Not the Lord Jesus Christ, who delivered this parable, as the Syriac version seems to suggest, rendering it, "our Lord"; but the Lord of the steward, or "God", as the Ethiopic version reads: not that he commended him for the fact he did, or the injustice of it for this is contrary to his nature and perfections; but for his craft and cunning in providing himself a maintenance for time to come: for he is on that account branded as an "unjust steward", as he was, in wasting his Lord's goods; putting false glosses on the Scriptures; doing damage both to the souls and worldly estates of men: and in neglecting and despising lawful and honest ways of living, by digging or begging, asking favours at the hand of God, and doing good works; and in falsifying accounts; breaking the least of the commandments, and teaching men so to do; and in corrupting others, making proselytes twofold more the children of hell than himself; and in being liberal with another's property, to wrong objects, and for a wrong end. It was not therefore because he had done justly to his Lord, or right to others, that he is commended; but

became he had done wisely for himself: the wit, and not the goodness of the man is commended; which, in the language and sense of the Jews, may be thus expressed (p):

"because a man, , "does good" for himself with "mammon" which is not his own.''

For the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light: by "the children of this world" may be meant the Israelites, who belonged to the Jewish nation and church, called the "world", and "this world", 1 Corinthians 10:11 especially the princes of it, the ecclesiastical doctors and rulers: and who also were the men of this present world; in general they were such who were, as they were born into the world; in their sins, in the pollution, and under the guilt of them; were carnal, in the flesh, or unregenerate, and in darkness and blindness: they were such as were not only in the world, but of it; they belonged to it, having never been called out of it; and were under the influence of the God of it; and were taken with the things of it, its riches, honours, and pleasures; and had their portion in it, and were of worldly spirits; all which agrees with the Scribes and Pharisees; see Psalm 17:14 and Aben Ezra on it, who has the very phrase here used: , a "man of the world", is sometimes (q) distinguished from a scholar, or a wise man; but , "the children of the world", as they frequently intend the inhabitants of the world (r), are sometimes distinguished from , "a son of the world to come" (s); and from "the children of faith" (t), the same as "the children of light" here; by whom are meant the children of the Gospel dispensation; or persons enlightened by the Spirit and grace of God, to see the sinfulness of sin, and their wretched state my nature; the insufficiency of their own righteousness to justify them before God; the way of life, righteousness, and salvation by Christ; who see that the several parts of salvation, and the whole, are of grace; have some light into the Scriptures of truth, and doctrines of the Gospel; and some glimpse of heaven, and the unseen glories of another world, though attended with much darkness in the present state: and who shall enjoy the light of glory. Now, the men of the world, or carnal men, are, generally speaking, wiser than these; not in things spiritual, but in things natural, in the affairs of life, in worldly matters. The phrase seems to answer to "generations" used in Genesis 6:9 "these are the generations of Noah", &c. and "the generations of Jacob"; by which are meant, not the genealogies of them, but their affairs; what befell them in life: as so the Jewish writers (u) explain the phrase by "the things which happened" unto them in this world, in the course of their pilgrimage: or they are wise, , "for their own generation": for the temporal good of their posterity, than saints are for the spiritual good of theirs: or they are wiser for the time that is to come in this life, than good men are concerning themselves for the time to come in the other world: or they are wiser, and more prudent in disposing of their worldly substance for their own secular good, and that of their offspring, than men of spiritual light and knowledge are, in disposing of their worldly substance for the glory of God, the interest of Christ, the honour of religion, their own spiritual good, and that of their posterity.

(p) T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 121. 1.((q) T. Bab Bava Netzia, fol. 27. 2.((r) Zohar in Exod. fol. 26. 2. & 58. 3, 4. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 99. 3. & 101. 2. & 102. 4. (s) Zohar in Exod. fol. 59. 4. (t) Zohar in Num. fol. 50. 4. (u) Aben Ezra in Gen. vi. 9. & xxxvii. 2. Sol. Urbin Obel Moed, fol. 85. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. the lord—evidently the steward's lord, so called in Lu 16:3, 5.

commended, &c.—not for his "injustice," but "because he had done wisely," or prudently; with commendable foresight and skilful adaptation of means to end.

children of this world—so Lu 20:34; compare Ps 17:14 ("their portion in this life"); Php 3:19 ("mind earthly things"); Ps 4:6, 7.

their generation—or "for their generation"—that is, for the purposes of the "world" they are "of." The greater wisdom (or shrewdness) of the one, in adaptation of means to ends, and in energetic, determined prosecution of them, is none of it for God and eternity—a region they were never in, an atmosphere they never breathed, an undiscovered world, an unborn existence to them—but all for the purposes of their own grovelling and fleeting generation.

children of light—(so Joh 12:36; Eph 5:8; 1Th 5:5). Yet this is only "as night-birds see better in the dark than those of the day owls than eagles" [Cajetan and Trench]. But we may learn lessons from them, as our Lord now shows, and "be wise as serpents."

Luke 16:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Parable of the Unrighteous Steward
7"Then he said to another, 'And how much do you owe?' And he said, 'A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, 'Take your bill, and write eighty.' 8"And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9"And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.…
Cross References
Matthew 12:32
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Luke 16:7
"Then he asked the second, 'And how much do you owe?' "'A thousand bushels of wheat,' he replied. "He told him, 'Take your bill and make it eight hundred.'

Luke 20:34
Jesus replied, "The people of this age marry and are given in marriage.

Luke 20:35
But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage,

John 12:36
Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Ephesians 5:8
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light

1 Thessalonians 5:5
You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.
Treasury of Scripture

And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.

unjust.

Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: …

Luke 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said.

done.

Luke 16:4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, …

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which …

Exodus 1:10 Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it …

2 Samuel 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah …

2 Kings 10:19 Now therefore call to me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, …

Proverbs 6:6-8 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise…

children of this.

Luke 20:34 And Jesus answering said to them, The children of this world marry, …

Psalm 17:14 From men which are your hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which …

1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise …

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory …

in.

Psalm 49:10-19 For he sees that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish …

Matthew 17:26 Peter said to him, Of strangers. Jesus said to him, Then are the children free.

children of light.

John 12:36 While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children …

Ephesians 5:8 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: …

1 Thessalonians 5:5 You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we …

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, …

1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the …

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