The Meaning of Luke 19:13 Explained

Luke 19:13

KJV: And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

YLT: and having called ten servants of his own, he gave to them ten pounds, and said unto them, Do business -- till I come;

Darby: And having called his own ten bondmen, he gave to them ten minas, and said to them, Trade while I am coming.

ASV: And he called ten servants of his, and gave them ten pounds, and said unto them, Trade ye herewith till I come.

What does Luke 19:13 Mean?

Study Notes

"mina," here translated "a pound," is 12 ounces and a half.

Verse Meaning

Before departing the king entrusted ten of his servants (Gr. doulous) with equal responsibility for advancing his interests while he was absent. A mina was a Greek coin worth100 drachmas or slightly more than three months wages. [1] In the parable it probably represents the life potential that each servant of Jesus has to invest for His glory. Ten is apparently a round number representing all His servants. Jesus did not mean just the Twelve. He pictured His servants in the role of modern investors who were responsible to increase the amount of money He had entrusted to each during His absence.
In the parable of the talents, each servant received a different sum representing the different gifts and talents that each has compared with the others. In this parable each servant received the same sum representing the one life that each has to invest for the Master.

Context Summary

Luke 19:11-27 - Doing Business For God
In many respects this parable differs from that of the ten talents. In that, the servants are entrusted with different amounts; in this, the same amount is allotted to each. Obviously, the former deals with our powers and opportunities for service, which greatly differ; whereas the latter deals with those ordinary gifts which are common to all, and especially with the gift of salvation. All have the opportunity of using and enjoying the same bestowment of life which is in Jesus Christ for those who believe, Judges 1:3.
Some make the greatest possible use of "our common salvation." They increase its blessings by much prayer and faith and experience. They speak of it to others and spread the knowledge of the heights and depths of God's love. The more they do this, the more it grows on them. Others pass through life without realizing or enjoying Christ's gift of eternal life. They hope that they may be saved; but they have no deep experimental knowledge of His love. These are they who misuse their pound! What a contrast between such and Paul or Luther or Wesley! [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 19

1  Of Zacchaeus a tax collector
11  The ten minas
28  Jesus rides into Jerusalem with triumph;
41  weeps over it;
45  drives the buyers and sellers out of the temple;
47  Teaching daily in it The rulers seek to destroy him, but fear the people

Greek Commentary for Luke 19:13

Trade ye herewith till I come [πραγματευσαστε εν ωι ερχομαι]
First aorist middle imperative of πραγματευομαι — pragmateuomai an old verb from πραγμα — prāgma business. Here only in the N.T. Westcott and Hort in their text read πραγματευσασται — pragmateusasthai first aorist middle infinitive (-αι — ai and -ε — e were pronounced alike). The infinitive makes it indirect discourse, the imperative direct. [source]
While I am coming []
is what εν ωι ερχομαι — en hōi erchomai really means. [source]
His ten servants [δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ]
Rev., rightly, changes to ten servants of his, since the his is emphatic; lit., his own. Moreover, it would be absurd to suppose that this nobleman, of consequence enough to be raised to a royal dignity, had but ten servants. The number of slaves in a Roman household was enormous, sometimes reaching hundreds. Toward the end of the Republic, it was considered reprehensible not to have a slave for every sort of work. [source]
Pounds [μνᾶς]
Minas. Between sixteen and eighteen dollars apiece. Meyer very aptly remarks: “The small sum astonishes us. Compare, on the other hand, the talents (Luke 19:17); which relation is less regarded in the parable in Matthew” (“Commentary on Luke”). [source]
Occupy [πραγματεύσασθε]
The word occupy has lost the sense which it conveyed to the makers of the A. V. - that of using or laying out what is possessed. Anoccupier formerly meant a trader. Occupy, in the sense of to use, occurs Judges 16:11: “new ropes that never were occupied; ” which Rev. changes to wherewith no work hath been done. Compare the Prayer-Book version of the Psalter, Psalm 107:23: “occupy their business in great waters.” So Latimer, “Sermons,” “He that occupieth usury.” Rev., trade ye. Wyc., merchandise ye. Tynd., buy and sell. See on traded, Matthew 25:16. [source]
Till I come [ἕως ἔρχομαι]
It is strange that the Rev. follows this reading without comment, while the Revisers' text takes no notice whatever of the reading of four of the leading manuscripts, which is adopted by both Tischendorf and Westcott and Hort; ἐν ᾧ ἔρχομαι , “while I come,” a condensed form of expression for while I go and return. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 19:13

Luke 19:15 Had gained by trading [διεπραγματεύσατο]
Only here in New Testament. See on Luke 19:13. [source]
2 Timothy 2:4 Entangleth himself [εμπλεκεται]
Old compound, to inweave (see Matthew 27:29 for πλεκω — plekō), in N.T. only here and 2 Peter 2:20. Present middle (direct) indicative. In the affairs (ταις πραγματειαις — tais pragmateiais). Old word (from πραγματευομαι — pragmateuomai Luke 19:13), business, occupation, only here in N.T. Of this life No “this” in the Greek, “of life” (course of life as in 1 Timothy 2:2, not existence ζωη — zōē). Him who enrolled him as a soldier (τωι στρατολογησαντι — tōi stratologēsanti). Dative case after αρεσηι — aresēi (first aorist active subjunctive of αρεσκω — areskō to please, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, purpose clause with ινα — hina) of the articular first aorist active participle of στρατολογεω — stratologeō literary Koiné{[28928]}š word (στρατολογος — stratologos from στρατος — stratos and λεγω — legō), only here in N.T. [source]
2 Timothy 2:4 In the affairs [ταις πραγματειαις]
Old word (from πραγματευομαι — pragmateuomai Luke 19:13), business, occupation, only here in N.T. [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 19:13 mean?

Having called then ten servants of himself he gave to them ten minas and said to them Do business until that I come back
καλέσας δὲ δέκα δούλους ἑαυτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς δέκα μνᾶς καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς Πραγματεύσασθε ἐν ἔρχομαι

καλέσας  Having  called 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: καλέω  
Sense: to call.
δέκα  ten 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: δέκα 
Sense: ten.
δούλους  servants 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: δοῦλοσ1 
Sense: a slave, bondman, man of servile condition.
ἑαυτοῦ  of  himself 
Parse: Reflexive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: ἑαυτοῦ  
Sense: himself, herself, itself, themselves.
ἔδωκεν  he  gave 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διδῶ 
Sense: to give.
αὐτοῖς  to  them 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Masculine 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
δέκα  ten 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: δέκα 
Sense: ten.
μνᾶς  minas 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: μνᾶ  
Sense: in the OT, a weight of 300 shekels was one pound.
εἶπεν  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
Πραγματεύσασθε  Do  business 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Middle, 2nd Person Plural
Root: πραγματεύομαι  
Sense: to be occupied in anything.
ἐν  until 
Parse: Preposition
Root: ἐν 
Sense: in, by, with etc.
Parse: Personal / Relative Pronoun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: ὅς 
Sense: who, which, what, that.
ἔρχομαι  I  come  back 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Middle or Passive, 1st Person Singular
Root: ἔρχομαι  
Sense: to come.