Luke 19:21
For I feared you, because you are an austere man: you take up that you layed not down, and reap that you did not sow.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(21) I feared thee, because thou art an austere man.—The Greek adjective (from which the English is derived) is not used elsewhere in the New Testament. Literally, it means dry, and so, hard and stiff. In 2 Maccabees 14:30 it is translated “churlish.” On the plea of the wicked servant, see Note on Matthew 25:22.

19:11-27 This parable is like that of the talents, Mt 25. Those that are called to Christ, he furnishes with gifts needful for their business; and from those to whom he gives power, he expects service. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal, 1Co 12:7. And as every one has received the gift, so let him minister the same, 1Pe 4:10. The account required, resembles that in the parable of the talents; and the punishment of the avowed enemies of Christ, as well as of false professors, is shown. The principal difference is, that the pound given to each seems to point out the gift of the gospel, which is the same to all who hear it; but the talents, distributed more or less, seem to mean that God gives different capacities and advantages to men, by which this one gift of the gospel may be differently improved.An austere man - Hard, severe, oppressive. The word is commonly applied to unripe fruit, and means "sour," unpleasant; harsh. In this case it means that the man was taking every advantage, and, while "he" lived in idleness, was making his living out of the toils of others.

Thou takest up ... - Thou dost exact of others what thou didst not give. The phrase is applied to a man who "finds" what has been lost by another, and keeps it himself, and refuses to return it to the owner. All this is designed to show the sinner's view of God. He regards him as unjust, demanding more than man has "power" to render, and more, therefore, than God has a "right" to demand. See the notes at Matthew 25:24.

15-26. (See on [1698]Mt 25:19-29.)

ten … five cities—different degrees of future gracious reward, proportioned to the measure of present fidelity.

See Poole on "Luke 19:12" For I feared thee,.... Not with a right fear, with a fear of his goodness, who had bestowed such an excellent gift on him; for this would have taught him to have departed from evil, and have put him on doing his master's will, and making use of his gift to his glory: his fear was not of the right kind, and was ill grounded, as appears by what follows:

because thou art an austere man; cruel and uncompassionate to his servants, and hard to be pleased; than which nothing is more false, since it is evident, that Christ is compassionate both to the bodies and souls of men; is a merciful high priest, and is one that has compassion on the ignorant, and them that are out of the way, and cannot but be touched with the feeling of his people's infirmities; and is mild and gentle in his whole deportment, and in all his administrations:

thou takest up that thou layest not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow; suggesting, that he was covetous of that which did not belong to him, and withheld what was due to his servants, and rigorously exacted service that could not be performed; a most iniquitous charge, since none so liberal as he, giving gifts, grace and glory, freely; imposing no grievous commands on men; his yoke being easy, and his burden light; never sending a man to a warfare at his own charge; but always giving grace and strength proportionable to the service he calls to, and rewarding his servants in a most bountiful manner, infinitely beyond their deserts.

For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 19:21. As to this apology and its rejection, Luke 19:22 f., see on Matthew 25:24 ff.

αἴρεις κ.τ.λ.] a closer reference to the meaning of ἄνθρ. αὐστηρὸς εἶ, comp. Luke 19:22, hence no longer dependent on ὅτι, thou takest up what thou hast not laid down. This is to be left in the generality of its proverbial form as an expression of the unsparingness of the property of others, which, however, is here conceived of not as dishonest, but in stringent vindication of legitimate claims. The servant pretends that he was afraid for the possible case of the loss of the mina; that the rigorous lord would indemnify himself for it from his property. De Wette and Bleek are wrong in reading: thou claimest back what thou hast not entrusted,—opposed to which is the literal meaning of αἴρεις and its correlation with ἔθηκας. Moreover, Luke 19:23 is not in harmony therewith. Comp. rather the injunction in Josephus, c. Revelation 2 : ὃ μὴ κατέθηκέ τις, οὐκ ἀναιρήσεται, and the law of Solon in Diog. Laert. i. 2. 9 : ἃ μὴ ἔθου, μὴ ἀνέλῃ. The austere character (αὐστηρός) consists in the regardlessness of the inhumanity, in respect of which is experienced the “summum jus, summa injuria.” The epithet σκληρός in Matthew denotes the same thing, but under a different figurative representation (in opposition to Tittmann, Synon. p. 139).Luke 19:21. αὐστηρὸς (here only in N.T.), harsh in flavour, then in disposition.—αἴρεις, etc., you lift what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow; accusing the master of an exorbitant demand for profit. He despaired of pleasing him in that respect, therefore did nothing—a pretext of course.21. I feared thee] A sure sign that he did not love him, 1 John 4:18.

takest up that thou layedst not down] A typical description of injustice forbidden alike by Jewish and Greek laws (Jos. c. Ap. 11. 130).Austere (αὐστηρὸς)

From aὔω, to dry. Dry, and thence hard. See on hard, Matthew 25:24.

Sow (ἔσπειρας)

See on strawed, Matthew 25:24.

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