A manager was accused of wasting his rich master's possessions, and the master called for an explanation. The manager was in a quandary. He did not care to get a job to do some digging, not being strong enough, and he was ashamed to beg.
In verse 4 most versions are wiser than the Greek, and read, "I know what I shall do," as if the manager had suddenly hit on a clever scheme. But the Greek reads "I knew," past tense (egnOn). Many translations go wrong here, e.g., The New World, Darby, Goodspeed, Concordant, Diaglott, Robertson, Moffatt. Rotherham (1872) has "I perceived what I might do!" which at least is in the past tense. The A.V. and British Revised read "I am resolved what to do." The R.S.V. has "I have decided what to do," a sense which might be neutral. The Companion Bible quotes the A.V. and adds a rather foolish note, "or, I have it! I know, etc." Young reads "I have known what I shall do." Yes, the manager knew all along what he would do, if dismissed. So he laid his plans well in advance, just as most rogues and thieves would do.
A.T. Last updated 19.11.2005