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Luke 12 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

12 1 The leaven of the Pharisee. 5 Who is to be feared. 8 To confess Christ. 16 The parable of the rich man whose land was very fertile. 21 Not to care for earthly things. 31 But to seek the kindom of God. 39 The thief in the night. 51 Debate for the Gospel’s sake.

In [a]the meantime, there gathered together [b]an innumerable multitude of people, so that they trod one another: and he began to say unto his disciples first, Take heed to yourselves of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed: neither hid, that shall not be known.

Wherefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness, it shall be heard in the light: and that which ye have spoken in the ear, in secret places, shall be preached on the houses.

[c]And I say unto you, my friends, be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that are not able to do anymore.

But I will [d]forewarn you, whom ye shall fear: fear him which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell: yea, I say unto you, him fear.

Are not five sparrows bought for two farthings, and yet not one of them is forgotten before God?

Yea, and all the hairs of your head are numbered: fear not therefore: ye are more of value than many sparrows.

[e]Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man confess also before the Angels of God.

But he that shall deny me before men, shall be denied before the Angels of God.

10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that shall blaspheme the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven.

11 [f]And when they shall bring you unto the Synagogues, and unto the rulers and Princes, take no thought how, or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall speak.

12 For the holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour, what ye ought to say.

13 [g]And one of the company said unto him, Master, bid my brother divide the inheritance with me.

14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you?

15 Wherefore he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of [h]covetousness: for though a man have abundance, yet his [i]life standeth not in his riches.

16 [j]And he put forth a parable unto them, saying, The [k]ground of a certain rich man brought forth fruits plenteously.

17 Therefore he [l]thought with himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where I may lay up my fruits?

18 And he said, This will I do, I will pull down my barns, and build greater, and therein will I gather all my fruits, and my goods.

19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, live at ease, eat, drink, and [m]take thy pastime.

20 But God said unto him, O fool, this night will they fetch away thy soul from thee: then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?

21 So is he that gathereth riches [n]to himself, and is not rich in God.

22 [o]And he spake unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat: neither for your body, what ye shall put on.

23 The life is more than meat: and the body more than the raiment.

24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap: which neither have storehouse nor barn, and yet God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than fowls?

25 And which of you with taking thought, can add to his stature one cubit?

26 If ye then be not able to do the least thing, why take ye thought for the remnant?

27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they labor not, neither spin they: yet I say unto you, that Solomon himself in all his royalty was not clothed like one of these.

28 If then God so clothe the grass which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

29 Therefore ask not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither [p]hang you in suspense.

30 For all such things the people of the world seek for: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

31 [q]But rather seek ye after the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be cast upon you.

32 [r]Fear not, little flock: for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom.

33 [s]Sell that ye have, and give [t]alms: make you bags which wax not old: a treasure that can never fail in heaven, where no thief cometh neither moth corrupteth.

34 For where your treasure is, there will your hearts be also.

35 [u]Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning,

36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

37 Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh shall find waking: verily I say unto you, he will gird himself about, and make them to sit down at table, and will come forth, and serve them.

38 And if he come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and shall find them so, blessed are those servants.

39 Now understand this, that if the good man of the house had known at what hour the thief would have come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be dug through.

40 [v]Be ye also prepared therefore: for the Son of man will come at an hour when ye think not.

41 Then Peter said unto him, Master, tellest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?

42 And the Lord said, Who is a faithful steward and wise, whom the master shall make ruler over his household, to give them their [w]portion of meat in season?

43 Blessed is that servant, whom his master when he cometh, shall find so doing.

44 Of a truth, I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

45 But if that servant say in his heart, My master doth defer his coming, and shall begin to smite the servants, and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken,

46 The master of that servant will come in a day when he thinketh not, and at an hour when he is not aware of, and will cut him off, and give him his portion with the unbelievers.

47 And that servant that knew his master’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

48 But he that knew it not, and yet did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes: for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required, and to whom men much commit, [x]the more of him will they ask.

49 [y]I am come to put fire on the earth, and what is my desire, if it be already kindled?

50 Notwithstanding I must be baptized with a baptism, and how am I grieved till it be ended?

51 Think ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay, but rather debate.

52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father: the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother: the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

54 [z]Then said he to the people, When ye see a cloud [aa]rise out of the West, straightway ye say, A shower cometh: and so it is.

55 And when ye see the South wind blow, ye say, that it will be hot: and it cometh to pass.

56 Hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the earth, and of the sky: but why discern ye not this time?

57 [ab]Yea, and why judge ye not of yourselves what is right?

58 While thou goest with thine adversary to the ruler, as thou art in the way, give diligence in the way, that thou mayest be delivered from him, lest he draw thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the [ac]jailer, and the jailer cast thee into prison.

59 I tell thee, thou shalt not depart thence, till thou hast paid the utmost mite.


  1. Luke 12:1 The faithful teachers of God’s word, which are appointed by him for his people, must both take good heed of them, which corrupt the purity of doctrine with goodly glosses, and also take pains through the help of God, to set forth sincere doctrine, openly and without fear.
  2. Luke 12:1 Word for word, ten thousands of people, a certain number for an uncertain.
  3. Luke 12:4 Although hypocrites have princes to execute their cruelty, yet there is no cause why we could be afraid of them, the least iota that may be, seeing they can do nothing, but what pleaseth God, and God wills not anything that may be against the salvation of his elect.
  4. Luke 12:5 He warneth them of dangers that presently hang over their heads, for those that come upon the sudden, do make the greater wound.
  5. Luke 12:8 Great is the reward of a constant confession: and horrible is the punishment of the denying of Christ, yea impossible to be called back again shall the punishment be, if upon set purpose, both with mouth and heart we blaspheme a known truth.
  6. Luke 12:11 It is a great and hard conflict to confess the truth, yet he that can do all things, and is almighty, will not be wanting to the weakest which strive and contend in his appointed time.
  7. Luke 12:13 Christ would not for three causes be a judge to divide an inheritance. First, for that he would not foster up and cherish the fleshly opinion that the Jews had of Messiah: Secondly for that he would distinguish the civil governance, from the Ecclesiastical: Thirdly, to teach us to beware of them which abuse the show of the gospel, and also the name of ministers, to their own private commodities.
  8. Luke 12:15 By covetousness is meant, that greedy desire to get, commonly with other men’s hurt.
  9. Luke 12:15 God is the author and preserver of man’s life; goods are not.
  10. Luke 12:16 There are none more mad, than rich men which hang upon their riches.
  11. Luke 12:16 Or rather country, for here is set forth a man that possesseth not a piece of ground only, but an whole country, as they do, which join house to house, and field to field, Isa. 5:8.
  12. Luke 12:17 Made his reckoning within himself, which is the property of covetous churls that spend their life in those trifles.
  13. Luke 12:19 Be merry and make good cheer.
  14. Luke 12:21 Caring for no man but for himself, and minding to trust in himself.
  15. Luke 12:22 An earnest thinking upon the providence of God, is a present remedy against the most foolish and pining carefulness of men for this life.
  16. Luke 12:29 A Metaphor taken of things that hang in the air, for they that are careful for this worldly life, and hang upon the arm of man, have always wavering and doubtful minds, swaying sometimes this way, and sometimes that way.
  17. Luke 12:31 They shall lack nothing, which are careful for the kingdom of heaven.
  18. Luke 12:32 It is a foolish thing not to look for small things, at his hands, which giveth us freely the greatest things.
  19. Luke 12:33 A godly bountifulness is a ready way to get true riches.
  20. Luke 12:33 This is the figure Metonymy, for by this word, Alms, is meant that compassion and friendliness of an heart that tendereth the misery and poor estate of man, and showeth forth itself by some gift, and hath the name given it in the Greek tongue, of mercy and compassion: and therefore he is said to give alms, who parteth with some thing to another, and giveth to the poor, showing thereby, that he pitieth their poor estate.
  21. Luke 12:35 The life of the faithful servants of God, in this world is a certain watchful peregrination, having the light of the word going before it.
  22. Luke 12:40 None have more need to watch, than they that have some degree of honor in the household of God.
  23. Luke 12:42 That is, every month such measure of corn as was appointed them.
  24. Luke 12:48 More than of him to whom so much was not given.
  25. Luke 12:49 The Gospel is the only cause of peace between the goodly, and so is it the occasion of great trouble among the wicked.
  26. Luke 12:54 Men which are very quick of sight in earthly things, are blind in those things which pertain to the heavenly life, and that through their own malice.
  27. Luke 12:54 Which appeareth, and gathereth itself together in that part of the air.
  28. Luke 12:57 Men that are blinded with the love of themselves, and therefore are detestable and stubborn, shall bear the reward of their folly.
  29. Luke 12:58 To him that had to demand and gather the amerciaments which they were condemned unto that had wrongfully troubled men: moreover, the magistrate’s officers make them which are condemned, pay that, that they owe, yea, and oftentimes if they be obstinate, they do not only take the cost and charge of them, but also imprison them.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

Luke 12 New International Version (NIV)

Warnings and Encouragements

12 Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples, saying: “Be[a] on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

“I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

11 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

The Parable of the Rich Fool

13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Do Not Worry

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

41 Peter asked, “Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?”

42 The Lord answered, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 45 But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.

47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.

Not Peace but Division

49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Interpreting the Times

54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?

57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”


  1. Luke 12:1 Or speak to his disciples, saying: “First of all, be
  2. Luke 12:25 Or single cubit to your height
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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