Luke 16:14
And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) And the Pharisees also, who were covetous.—The words are important as showing that they had been listening during the previous parable, and that the words, though addressed to the disciples, had been meant also for them. (See Note on Luke 16:1.) The word for “covetous” is literally lovers of money, as distinct from more general cupidity, and as being used by St. Paul in 2Timothy 3:2, and nowhere else in the New Testament, furnishes another instance of community of language between him and the Evangelist.

Derided him.—The verb implies visible rather than audible signs of scorn—the distended nostril, and the sneering lip, the naso suspendere adunco of the Roman satirist. It is, i.e., a word that forcibly expresses the physiognomy of contempt (see Galatians 6:7). Here again we have a word common to the two writers just named. The motive of the derision lies on the surface. That they, the teachers of Israel, should be told that they were like the Unjust Steward, that they were wasting their Lord’s goods, that they must make friends with the unrighteous mammon of quite another kind than those whom they were wont to court—this was more than they could stand. They have felt the force of the rebuke, and therefore they stifle it with mockery—

“A little grain of conscience made them sour.”

Luke 16:14-15. The Pharisees, who were covetous — Of a very worldly spirit; heard all these things — Namely, concerning the true use of riches, and the impossibility of men’s serving God and mammon at the same time; and they derided him — As a visionary, who despised the riches, honours, and pleasures of life for no other reason but because he could not procure them. The original word, εξεμυκτηριζον, is very emphatical, signifying, they mocked him, by a scornful motion of the mouth and nose, as well as by what they spake to him. The word might properly be rendered, they sneered. “There was a gravity and dignity in our Lord’s discourse which, insolent as they were, would not permit them to laugh out; but by some scornful air they hinted to each other their mutual contempt.” — Doddridge. And he said, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men — By shunning the company of sinners, and your care of external appearances, you make specious pretences to extraordinary sanctity before the world, and you seldom fail to acquire a great reputation for it. Or, the meaning may be, You think yourselves righteous, and persuade others to think you so. But God knoweth your hearts — You cannot justify yourselves before him, who knows you to be so far from being righteous, that you are very wicked. For though you may have covered the foulness of your crimes with the painted cloak of hypocrisy, and by going about, thus adorned, have cheated those who look no further than the outside, into a high admiration of you, you cannot screen yourselves from the detection of God, whose eye penetrates through every covering, and who judges of things not by their appearances, but according to truth. For that which is highly esteemed among men, &c. — In consequence of which it comes to pass that he often abhors both men and things that are held in the highest estimation.

16:13-18 To this parable our Lord added a solemn warning. Ye cannot serve God and the world, so divided are the two interests. When our Lord spoke thus, the covetous Pharisees treated his instructions with contempt. But he warned them, that what they contended for as the law, was a wresting of its meaning: this our Lord showed in a case respecting divorce. There are many covetous sticklers for the forms of godliness, who are the bitterest enemies to its power, and try to set others against the truth.They derided him - The fact that they were "covetous" is here stated as the reason why they derided him, or, as it is literally, "they turned up the nose at him." They contemned or despised the doctrine which he had laid down, probably because it showed them that with their love of money they could not be the true friends of God, or that their profession of religion was really false and hollow. They were "attempting" to serve God and mammon, and they, therefore, looked upon his doctrine with contempt and scorn.

Justify yourselves - "Attempt" to appear just; or; you aim to appear righteous in the sight of people, and do not regard the heart.

That which is highly esteemed - That is, mere external works, or actions performed merely to "appear" to be righteous.

Is abomination - Is abominable, or hateful. The word used here is the one that in the Old Testament is commonly given to "idols," and denotes God's "abhorrence" of such conduct. These words are to be applied "chiefly" to what Jesus was discoursing about. There are many things esteemed among people which are "not" abomination in the sight of God; as, for example, truth, parental and filial affection, industry, etc. But many things, much sought and admired, "are" hateful in his sight. The love of wealth and show, ambition and pride, frivolous and splendid vices, and all the wickedness that people contrive to "gild" and to make appear like virtue - external acts that "appear" well while the heart is evil - are abominable in the sight of God, and "should be" in the sight of people. Compare Luke 18:11-14; 1 Samuel 16:7.

14-18. covetous … derided him—sneered at Him; their master sin being too plainly struck at for them to relish. But it was easier to run down than to refute such teaching. Concerning the Pharisees’ covetousness we have often heard before; and indeed they were so from this principle, that none but the rich were happy and blessed, and that all poor people were cursed, John 7:49; in opposition to whom some think that our Saviour, Luke 6:20, blessed the poor. The promises relating to the Old Testament, and made to the Jews, were generally of temporal blessings, though under them spiritual mercies were also understood. As hypocrites can never endure to have their beloved lusts touched, and persons that have drank in an error have no patience to hear it contradicted; so the Pharisees had no patience to hear that doctrine, which crossed what they had taught, and struck at their darling lusts.

They derided him: the word used signifieth a deriding with the highest degree of scorn and contempt.

And the Pharisees also who were covetous,.... Or lovers of money, the love of which is the root of all evil; and that they were, is evident from their devouring widows' houses, under a pretence of making long prayers for them, Matthew 23:14

heard all these things; as well as the disciples, being in company with them, Luke 15:2 even the parable concerning the unjust steward, and the application of it; and the directions given about using the things of this world, and the distributing of them to the poor, and showing a greater concern for riches of an higher nature:

and they derided him: lift up their nose, or drew it out to him, as the word signifies, in a sneering way; they rejected and despised what he said about their injustice, in their stewardship; the calling of them to an account for it, and the turning of them out of it; and concerning the true use of worldly riches, and the contempt of them; they looked upon themselves safe and secure in the good opinion of the people, and happy in the enjoyment of worldly things; and looked upon him as a weak man, to talk in the manner he did.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 16:14-15. The mocking sneer (ἑκμυκτηρίζειν, Luke 23:35; 2 Samuel 19:21; Psalm 2:4; Psalm 34:19; Psalms 3 Esdr. Luke 1:53) of the Pharisees, who indeed so well knew their pretended sanctity to be compatible with their striving after temporal possessions, Jesus, in Luke 16:15, discloses at its source, which was the self-conceit of their righteousness. ὑμεῖς ἐστε κ.τ.λ., ye are the people who make yourselves righteous (i.e. declare yourselves as righteous) before men. Contrast: the divine δικαίωσις as it especially became the substance of the Pauline Gospel.[201] The Pharisee in the temple, Luke 18:11 f., gives a repulsive illustration of the δικαιοῦν ἑαυτόν, and he even ventures it in the presence of God.

ὅτι τὸ ἐν ἀνθρώποις ὑψ. κ.τ.λ.] since, indeed, that which is lofty (standing in high estimation) among men is an abomination before God. Comp. Psalm 138:6. Thence it is plainly evident that God knows your (evil) hearts, otherwise that which is lofty among men would also be highly esteemed with Him, and not appear as an abomination. This generally expressed judgment of God has as its concrete background the seemingly holy condition of the Pharisees, and hence is not indeed to be arbitrarily limited (multa, quae, etc., Kuinoel); but, moreover, neither is it to be pressed to an absolute and equal application to all, although in relative variation of degrees it is valid without exception. Schleiermacher and Paulus find a concealed reference to Herod Antipas; but this without the slightest hint in the connection could not possibly present itself to the hearers; the less that even Luke 16:18 cannot be referred to the relation of Herod to Herodias (see already Tertullian, c. Marc. iv. 34), since this latter was not forsaken by Philip, but had separated herself arbitrarily from him.

[201] To attribute δικαιοσύνη as the fundamental demand of Christianity to the influence of Pharisaism on the development of Christ (see especially, Keim, Der Geschichtl. Chr. p. 35) is the more doubtful, as this fundamental thought prevails throughout the whole Old Testament.

Luke 16:14-18 form a “somewhat heavily built bridge” (H. C.) between the two parables, which set forth the right and the wrong use of riches.

14-31. Dives and Lazarus,—a Parable to the Covetous, Preceded By Rebukes To The Pharisees.

14
. who were covetous] Rather, lovers of money, 2 Timothy 3:2. The charge is amply borne out by the references in the Talmud to the rapacity shewn by the Rabbis and Priests of the period. See Matthew 23:13.

they derided him] The word is one expressive of the strongest and most open insolence, Luke 23:35. There is a weaker form of the word in Galatians 6:7. Here the jeering was doubtless aimed by these haughty and respected plutocrats at the deep poverty of Jesus and His humble followers. It marks however the phase of daring opposition which was not kindled till the close of His ministry. They thought it most ridiculous to suppose that riches hindered religion—for were not they rich and religious?

Luke 16:14. Καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι, the Pharisees also) His words were addressed to the disciples in the hearing of the Pharisees.—φιλάργυροι, covetous) A class of persons who are the most ready of all to take offence.—ἐξεμυκτήριζον, they began to deride Him) who was the teacher of singleness of heart. [Whereas they fancied themselves to be accomplished in (furnished with) such prudence as to be able admirably to combine the service of God and that of mammon.—V. g.]

Verse 14. - And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. This shows that many of the dominant sect had been present and had listened to the parable of the unjust steward. Although scrupulous, and in a way religious men, these Pharisees were notorious for their respect and regard for riches, and all that riches purchase, and they felt, no doubt deeply, the Lord's bitter reproach of covetousness. They, the rulers and leaders of Israel, the religious guides, were evidently attacked in such teaching as they had been lately listening to, not the common people whom they so despised. The scornful words alluded to in the expression, "they derided him," were no doubt directed against the outward poverty of the popular Galilaean Teacher. "It is all very well," they would say, "for one springing from the ranks of the people, landless, moneyless, to rail at wealth and the possessors of wealth; we can understand such teaching from one such as you." Luke 16:14Covetous (φιλάργυροι)

Rev. renders literally, according to the composition of the word, lover, of money. Only here and 2 Timothy 3:2. Compare the kindred noun, 1 Timothy 6:10. The usual word for covetous is πλεονέκτης (1 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 6:10).

Derided (ἐξεμυκτήριζον)

Only here and Luke 23:35. Lit., to turn up the nose at. The Romans had a corresponding phrase, naso adunco suspendere, to hang on the hooked nose: i.e., to turn up the nose and make a hook of it, on which (figuratively) to hang the subject of ridicule. Thus Horace, in one of his satires, giving an account of a pretentious banquet at the house of a rich miser, describes one of the guests as hanging everything to his nose; i.e., making a joke of everything that occurred. The simple verb occurs at Galatians 6:7, of mocking God.

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