383 The Servants Duty

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Data

(1) Luke 17:7-10
(2) HermSim 5:2,4-7

Crossan analysis:

Item: 383
Stratum: III (80-120 CE)
Attestation: Double
Historicity: -



Texts

(1) Luke 17:7-10

Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’


(2) HermSim 5:2,4-7

He deliberated to himself saying: ‘I have completed the lord’s command. Now I will dig up this vineyard, and it will look better when it is dug; without weeds it will give better fruit, since the weeds will not be choking it.’ So he dug up the vineyard and pulled out all the weeds that were in it. That vineyard improved and was thriving without weeds choking it. 5 After a while, the owner of the slave and the vineyard returned and went to the vineyard. Seeing the vineyard nicely enclosed and even dug and weeded, and the vines thriving, he was extremely happy about what the slave did. 6 Calling his loved son whom he held as heir, and his friends whom he held as advisors, he told them what he had commanded the slave and what he found achieved. These congratulated the slave according to the testimony given by the owner. 7 He said to them: ‘I promised freedom to this slave if he kept the commandment I gave him. He kept my commandment and added good work to the vineyard, and so has pleased me greatly. In return for this work he has done, I want to make him joint heir with my son, for he appreciates the good and did not neglect it, but completed it.’ Hermeneia




Literature




Parallels

Rabbinic

Lachs, Rabbinic Commentary on the New Testament, (317) notes:

The point of this passage is clear. Whatever is demanded of man by God is to be performed precisely because he is God’s servant, and a servant, because of his position, must do all that the master imposes upon him, even though the master is not sensitive or considerate or the task is not appealing. Man should not expect anything in return for performing what is his duty too do. ... In rabbinic literature treatment of one’s slaves is not the same as described here. “When R. Johanan ate meat he also gave his slave to eat, and when he drank he also gave his slaves, etc.” [TJ BQ 8.5, 6c (2)]
R. Johanan b. Zakkai said, ‘If you have studied much Torah, do not claim merit for yourself, for for this were you created.’ [M. Avot 2.8]




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