The Meaning of Luke 18:12 Explained

Luke 18:12

KJV: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

YLT: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all things -- as many as I possess.

Darby: I fast twice in the week, I tithe everything I gain.

ASV: I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I get.

What does Luke 18:12 Mean?

Context Summary

Luke 18:9-17 - Those Whom God Accepts
We are taught here the spirit in which we should pray. Too many pray "with themselves." The only time that we may thank God for not being as others is when we attribute the contrast to His grace, 1 Timothy 1:12-14. Let it never be forgotten that those who will be justified and stand accepted before God are they who are nothing in their own estimate.
To be self-emptied and poor in spirit is the fundamental and indispensable preparation for receiving the grace of God. "Be propitiated to me" (r.v., margin), cried the publican. "There is a propitiation for our sins," is the answer of Hebrews 2:17, r.v. Each penitent counts himself the sinner, 1 Timothy 1:15. Bow yourself at the feet of Christ and He will lift you to His throne.
We think that children must grow up to become like us before they are eligible to the Kingdom. Nay, we must grow down to become like them, in simplicity, in humility and in faith. [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 18

1  Of the importunate widow
9  Of the Pharisee and the tax collector
15  Of Children brought to Jesus
18  A ruler would follow Jesus, but is hindered by his riches
28  The reward of those who leave all for his sake
31  He foretells his death;
35  and restores a blind man to sight

Greek Commentary for Luke 18:12

Twice in the week [δις του σαββατου]
One fast a year was required by the law (Leviticus 16:29; Numbers 29:7). The Pharisees added others, twice a week between passover and pentecost, and between tabernacles and dedication of the temple. [source]
I get [κτωμαι]
Present middle indicative, not perfect middle κεκτημαι — kektēmai (I possess). He gave a tithe of his income, not of his property. [source]
Twice in the week []
The law required only one fast in the year, that on the great day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29; Numbers 29:7); though public memorial fasts were added, during the Captivity, on the anniversaries of national calamities. The Pharisees fasted every Monday and Thursday during the weeks between the Passover and Pentecost, and again between the Feast of Tabernacles and that of the Dedication of the Temple. [source]
I give tithes [ἀποδεκατῶ]
See on Matthew 23:23. [source]
Possess [κτῶμαι]
Wrong. The Israelite did not pay tithes of his possessions, but only of his gains - his annual increase. See Genesis 28:22; Deuteronomy 14:22. Besides, the verb, in the present tense, does not mean to possess, but to acquire; the meaning possess being confined to the perfect and pluperfect. Rev., get. Compare Matthew 10:9 (Rev.); Acts 22:28; Luke 21:19 (on which see note); 1 Thessalonians 4:4 (Rev.). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 18:12

Matthew 9:14 The disciples of John [οι ματηται Ιωανου]
One is surprised to find disciples of the Baptist in the role of critics of Christ along with the Pharisees. But John was languishing in prison and they perhaps were blaming Jesus for doing nothing about it. At any rate John would not have gone to Levi‘s feast on one of the Jewish fast-days. “The strict asceticism of the Baptist (Matthew 11:18) and of the Pharisaic rabbis (Luke 18:12) was imitated by their disciples” (McNeile). [source]
John 20:1 Now on the first day of the week [τηι δε μιαι των σαββατων]
Locative case of time when. Both Mark (Mark 16:2) and Luke (Luke 24:1) have this very idiom of the cardinal τηι μιαι — tēi miāi instead of the usual ordinal τηι πρωτηι — tēi prōtēi (first), an idiom common in the papyri and in the modern Greek (Robertson, Grammar, p. 671). In all three instances also we have the genitive plural των σαββατων — tōn sabbatōn for “the week” as in Acts 20:7. The singular σαββατον — sabbaton also occurs for “the week” as in Luke 18:12; Mark 16:9. Cometh Mary Magdalene Vivid historical present. Mary Magdalene is not to be confounded with Mary of Bethany. While it was yet dark Genitive absolute. For σκοτια — skotia see John 6:17; Matthew 10:27. Mark (Mark 16:2) says the sun was risen on their actual arrival. She started from the house while still dark. Taken away Perfect passive participle of αιρω — airō predicate accusative in apposition with τον λιτον — ton lithon f0). [source]
Acts 1:18 Purchased [ἐκτήσατο]
See on possess, Luke 18:12. Better, as Rev., obtained. Judas did not purchase the field, but the priests did with the money which he returned to them, (Matthew 27:7). The expression means merely that the field was purchased with the money of Judas. [source]
Acts 13:2 And fasted [και νηστευοντων]
Genitive absolute also. Christian Jews were keeping up the Jewish fast (Luke 18:12). Note fasting also in the choice of elders for the Mission Churches (Acts 14:23). Fasting was not obligatory on the Christians, but they were facing a great emergency in giving the gospel to the Gentile world. Separate me (απορισατε δη μοι — aphorisate dē moi). First aorist active imperative of αποριζω — aphorizō old verb to mark off boundaries or horizon, used by Paul of his call (Romans 1:1; Galatians 1:15). The Greek has δη — dē a shortened form of ηδη — ēdē and like Latin jam and German doch, now therefore. It ought to be preserved in the translation. Cf. Luke 2:15; Acts 15:36; 1 Corinthians 6:20. Μοι — Moi is the ethical dative. As in Acts 13:1 Barnabas is named before Saul. Both had been called to ministry long ago, but now this call is to the special campaign among the Gentiles. Both had been active and useful in such work. Whereunto Here εις — eis has to be repeated from εις το εργον — eis to ergon just before, “for which” as Jesus sent the twelve and the seventy in pairs, so here. Paul nearly always had one or more companions. [source]
1 Corinthians 16:2 Upon the first day of the week [κατα μιαν σαββατου]
For the singular σαββατου — sabbatou (sabbath) for week see note on Luke 18:12 and note on Mark 16:9. For the use of the cardinal μιαν — mian in sense of ordinal πρωτην — prōtēn after Hebrew fashion in lxx (Robertson, Grammar, p. 672) as in Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; Acts 20:7. Distributive use of κατα — kata also. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 18:12 mean?

I fast twice in the week I tithe all things as many as I gain
νηστεύω δὶς τοῦ σαββάτου ἀποδεκατῶ πάντα ὅσα κτῶμαι

νηστεύω  I  fast 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: νηστεύω  
Sense: to abstain as a religious exercise from food and drink: either entirely, if the fast lasted but a single day, or from customary and choice nourishment, if it continued several days.
δὶς  twice 
Parse: Adverb
Root: δίς  
Sense: twice.
τοῦ  in  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
σαββάτου  week 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: σάββατον  
Sense: the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work.
ἀποδεκατῶ  I  tithe 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἀποδεκατεύω 
Sense: to give, pay a tithe of anything.
πάντα  all  things 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: πᾶς  
Sense: individually.
ὅσα  as  many  as 
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Accusative Neuter Plural
Root: ὅσος  
Sense: as great as, as far as, how much, how many, whoever.
κτῶμαι  I  gain 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 1st Person Singular
Root: κτάομαι  
Sense: to acquire, get, or procure a thing for one’s self, to possess.