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“Would any one of you say[a] to your slave[b] who comes in from the field after plowing or shepherding sheep, ‘Come at once and sit down for a meal’?[c] Won’t[d] the master[e] instead say to him, ‘Get my dinner ready, and make yourself ready[f] to serve me while[g] I eat and drink. Then[h] you may eat and drink’? He won’t thank the slave because he did what he was told,[i] will he?[j] 10 So you too, when you have done everything you were commanded to do, should say, ‘We are slaves undeserving of special praise;[k] we have only done what was our duty.’”[l]

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  1. Luke 17:7 tn Grk “Who among you, having a slave…would say to him.”
  2. Luke 17:7 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 7:2.
  3. Luke 17:7 tn Grk “and recline at table,” as 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. See BDAG 70 s.v. ἀναπίπτω 1.
  4. Luke 17:8 tn The question includes a Greek particle, οὐχί (ouchi), that expects a positive reply. The slave is expected to prepare a meal before eating himself.
  5. Luke 17:8 tn Grk “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  6. Luke 17:8 tn Grk “and gird yourself” (with an apron or towel, in preparation for service).
  7. Luke 17:8 tn BDAG 423 s.v. ἕως 2.b, “to denote contemporaneousness as long as, while…w. subjunctive…Lk 17:8.”
  8. Luke 17:8 tn Grk “after these things.”
  9. Luke 17:9 tn Grk “did what was commanded.”
  10. Luke 17:9 tn The Greek construction anticipates a negative reply which is indicated in the translation by the ‘tag’ at the end, “will he?” Thanks are not required.
  11. Luke 17:10 tn Some translations describe the slaves as “worthless” (NRSV) or “unworthy” (NASB, NIV) but that is not Jesus’ point. These disciples have not done anything deserving special commendation or praise (L&N 33.361), but only what would normally be expected of a slave in such a situation (thus the translation “we have only done what was our duty”).
  12. Luke 17:10 tn Or “we have only done what we were supposed to do.”