And his master commended the unjust manager [not for his misdeeds, but] because he had acted shrewdly [by preparing for his future unemployment]; for the sons of this age [the non-believers] are shrewder in relation to their own kind [that is, to the ways of the secular world] than are the sons of light [the believers].
And [his] master praised the dishonest (unjust) manager for acting shrewdly and prudently; for the sons of this age are shrewder and more prudent and wiser in [relation to] their own generation [to their own age and kind] than are the sons of light.
So, the master praised the ·dishonest [unrighteous; unjust] manager for being ·clever [shrewd; prudent]. Yes, ·worldly people [L the children of this age] are more ·clever [shrewd; prudent] with their own ·kind [contemporaries; generation] than ·spiritual people [L the children of light] are.
As a result the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light.”
Then there is this story he told his disciples: “Once there was a rich man whose agent was reported to him to be mismanaging his property. So he summoned him and said, ‘What’s this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship—you’re not fit to manage my household any longer.’ At this the agent said to himself, ‘What am I going to do now that my employer is taking away the stewardship from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I can’t sink to begging. Ah, I know what I’ll do so that when I lose my position people will welcome me into their homes!’ So he sent for each one of his master’s debtors. ‘How much do you owe my master?’ he said to the first. ‘A hundred barrels of oil,’ he replied. ‘Here,’ replied the agent, ‘take your bill, sit down, hurry up and write in fifty.’ Then he said to another, ‘And what’s the size of your debt?’ ‘A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he replied. ‘Take your bill,’ said the agent, ‘and write in eight hundred.’ Now the master praised this rascally steward because he had been so careful for his own future. For the children of this world are considerably more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than the children of light. Now my advice to you is to use ‘money’, tainted as it is, to make yourselves friends, so that when it comes to an end, they may welcome you into eternal habitations.
“Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.”
“The manager had not been honest. But the master praised him for being clever. The people of this world are clever in dealing with those who are like themselves. They are more clever than God’s people.
“The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.
And the Baal Bayit praised the unrighteous sochen because he acted with chochmah. Because the Bnei HaOlam HaZeh have more seichel in dealing with their own generation than the Bnei HaOhr. [Psa 17:14; 18:26]
When the manager’s boss realized what he had done, he congratulated him for at least being clever. That’s how it is: those attuned to this evil age are more clever in dealing with their affairs than the enlightened are in dealing with their affairs!
`Then the master praised the manager who did wrong. He praised him because he did what was wise. The people of this world are wiser than the people who have the Light. They know how to get along with people like themselves.
And the lord praised the bailiff of wickedness [And the lord praised the farmer of wickedness], for he had done prudently; for the sons of this world be more prudent in their generation than the sons of light.
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