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On Seeking Seats of Honor

Then[a] when Jesus[b] noticed how the guests[c] chose the places of honor,[d] he told them a parable. He said to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast,[e] do not take[f] the place of honor, because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host.[g] So[h] the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place.’ Then, ashamed,[i] you will begin to move to the least important[j] place. 10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host[k] approaches he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’[l] Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but[m] the one who humbles[n] himself will be exalted.”

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  1. Luke 14:7 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.
  2. Luke 14:7 tn Grk “he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. Luke 14:7 tn Grk “those who were invited.”
  4. Luke 14:7 tn Or “the best places.” The “places of honor” at the meal would be those closest to the host.
  5. Luke 14:8 tn Or “banquet.” This may not refer only to a wedding feast, because this term can have broader sense (note the usage in Esth 2:18; 9:22 LXX). However, this difference does not affect the point of the parable.
  6. Luke 14:8 tn Grk “do not recline in the place of honor.” 1st century middle eastern meals were not eaten while sitting at a table, but while reclining on one’s side on the floor with the head closest to the low table and the feet farthest away.
  7. Luke 14:8 tn Grk “by him”; the referent (the host) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  8. Luke 14:9 tn Grk “host, and.” Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate this action is a result of the situation described in the previous verse. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  9. Luke 14:9 tn Or “then in disgrace”; Grk “with shame.” In this culture avoiding shame was important.
  10. Luke 14:9 tn Grk “lowest place” (also in the repetition of the phrase in the next verse).
  11. Luke 14:10 tn Grk “the one who invited you.”
  12. Luke 14:10 tn Grk “Go up higher.” This means to move to a more important place.
  13. Luke 14:11 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context, which involves the reversal of expected roles.
  14. Luke 14:11 sn The point of the statement the one who humbles himself will be exalted is humility and the reversal imagery used to underline it is common: Luke 1:52-53; 6:21; 10:15; 18:14.