Luke 19:17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant:

KJV Verse: 

Luke 19:17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And, he told him, "Well done, worthy servant! Seeing that in the tiniest trustworthy you have become, be the power of authority having more than  ten communities."

Hidden Meaning: 


The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

"He said" is from the Greek verb that means "to say" and "to speak" also.

The word translated as "unto him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English. 

"Well" is from an adverb that means "well", "rightly", and without a verb, "good!", " well said!" and "well done!" This is a stronger form of the "good" used in the similar verse in Matthew 25:21.

The "thou" comes from the form of addressed used for the word "servant".

The adjective translated as "good" means "useful", "worthwhile," and "of high quality. As a noun, the word "valuables" makes the idea clearer than "goods".  See this article on the real Greek meaning of the terms translated as "good" and "evil."

The noun translated as "servant" means "bondsman" and "slave." It is translated as "servant" to update the Bible.

The word translated as "because" introduces a statement of fact or cause.

The word translated as "thou hast been" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.

The word translated as "faithful" means "trusting" and "trustworthy."   This is a good example of how it means not only trusting others but being worthy of trust.

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

 The word translated as "a very little" also means "smallest", "shortest", "the fewest", and similar ideas. 

The word translated as "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and . It is an adjective, "having" and it applies to the ten cities, not to "authority".

The "thou" here is really the verb that mean "be you!". It is the common form of "to be" in Greek. It means to have a certain characteristic or remain in a certain condition. It is in the form of a command.

The term translated as "authority" means control, and the ability to choose. It is the power of authority.

The word "over" is from a preposition meaning both "on" and "in front of", but it doesn't mean "over" in the sense used here. When used with numbers, as it is here, it means "more than".

"Ten" is the number ten.

The Greek word for "city" meant not only a city but a nation, culture, or a society. It worked something like the word "community" today.


καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

εἶπεν ( verb 3rd sg aor ind act ) "He said" is eipon, which means "to speak", "to say", "to recite", "to address", "to mention", "to name", "to proclaim", "to plead", "to promise," and "to offer." --

αὐτῷ   (adj sg masc dat) "Unto him" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there."

Εὖγε, [ uncommon](adv) "Well" is euge, the word for "well", "rightly", and without a verb, "good!", " well said!" and "well done!"

ἀγαθὲ (adj sg masc voc) "Good" is from agathos which means "good" and, when applied to people, "well-born", "gentle", "brave," and "capable." When applied to things, it means "serviceable", "morally good," and "beneficial." --

δοῦλε, (noun sg masc voc) "The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave." 

ὅτι (adv/conj) "Because" is hoti, which introduces a statement of fact "with regard to the fact that", "seeing that," and acts as a causal adverb meaning "for what", "because", "since," and "wherefore."

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

ἐλαχίστῳ ( adj sg masc dat ) "A very little" is from elachistos, which is the superlative form of elachus which means "small", "little," and "short." It means "the smallest", "the shortest", "the least," and "the fewest." -

πιστὸς ( adj sg masc nom ) "Faithful" is pistos means "believing", "trustful", "obedient," "genuine", "deserving belief", "credible", "unmistakable", "believing", "relying on", "obedient", and "loyal."

ἐγένου, ( verb 2nd sg aor ind mid ) "thou hast been" is ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", of things "to be produced," of events "take place", "come to pass", "to be engaged in", math "to be multiplied into", "become one of", "turn into".and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state. --

ἴσθι ( verb 2nd sg pres imperat act ) "Thou" is eimi, which means "to be", "to exist", "to be the case," of circumstance and events "to happen",  and "is possible." (The future form is esomai. The 3rd person present indicative is "esti.") --

ἐξουσίαν ( noun sg fem acc ) "Authority" is exousia which means "control", "the power of choice", "permission", "the power of authority", "the right of privilege", "abundance of means," and "abuse of power."

ἔχων (part sg pres act masc nom ) "Have" is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to have due to one", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to carry", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do." 

ἐπάνω (adv) "Over" is from epano, which is an adverb meaning "above", "on the upper side", "[former] times", "more [of numbers]", "in front of," and "in the presence of." --

δέκα (numeral) "Ten" is from deka, which means the number ten. -- "Ten" is the Greek word for the numeral "ten". 

πόλεων. ( noun pl fem gen ) "City" is polis, which means "city", "citadel", "one's city", "one's country", "community", "state", "state affairs," and "civic duties." --

Related Verses: 

Nov 10 2018