Then said he to another, and how much owest thou?
my Lord, as before:
and he said, an hundred measures of wheat,
or "cors of wheat";
the same with "homers", (Ezekiel 45:14) the same quantity as in
(Ezra 7:22) where, as here, they are called an hundred measures of
wheat; and were, as Jarchi on the place observes, (twxnml) , "for
the meal, or flour offerings": according to the above writer F14,
this measure held five bushels, and five gallons; so that the whole
was five hundred, sixty bushels, and a half: some make the measure to
hold eight bushels and a half; and others, fourteen bushels and a
pottle, which greatly increases the quantity.
And he said unto him, take thy bill and write fourscore.
Persic version reads "seventy". Inasmuch now as oil and wheat were
things expended in the observance of the ceremonial law, and these
men's debts lay in them, it may have regard to the deficiency of the
Jews in those things: wherefore by "the bill" may be meant the law;
and which is sometimes called by the same name as here, (gramma) ,
the "writing", or "letter", (2 Corinthians 3:6) (Romans 2:29) (7:6) and is so
called, not merely because it was written in letters; but because it
is a mere letter, showing only what is to be done and avoided,
without giving strength to perform, or pointing where it is to be
had; and it is so, as obeyed by an unregenerate man; and as
abstracted from the spirituality of it; and as weak, and without
efficacy, to quicken, justify, or sanctify: and whereas the steward,
the Scribes and Pharisees, ordered the debtors to write a lesser sum;
this may regard the lessening, and even laying aside of many things
in the law, after the destruction of the temple; as particularly the
daily sacrifice, and other things; see ( 9:27) (Hosea 3:4) and the
doctrine of the Pharisees was always a curtailing of the law, and
making less of it than it was; as appears from the glosses they put
upon it, refuted by our Lord in (Matthew 5:1-48) . They compounded the
matter with the people, as some men do now, and taught them, that an
imperfect righteousness would do in the room of a perfect one: a
doctrine very pleasing to men, and which never fails of gaining an
access into the hearts and houses of carnal men; though very
injurious to God, and to his divine perfections, particularly his
justice and holiness; as the methods this steward took were unjust to
his Lord, though very agreeable to his debtors, and were well
calculated to answer the end he proposed, an after provision for
himself. I am much indebted to a learned writer F15, whose name is in
the margin, for several thoughts and hints in the explanation of this
parable; and also of that of the rich man and Lazarus, in the latter
part of this chapter.
F14 Moses & Aaron, l. 6. c. 9.
F15 Teelnianni Specimen Explicat. Parabolarum.