Not purloining - · Neither giving away, privately selling, nor in any way wasting, the master' s goods. The word signifies, not only stealing but embezzling another' s property; keeping back a part of the price of any commodity sold on the master' s account. In Acts 5:2, we translate it, to keep back part of the price; the crime of which Ananias and Sapphira were guilty. It has been remarked that among the heathens this species of fraud was very frequent; and servants were so noted for purloining and embezzling their master' s property that fur, which signifies a thief, was commonly used to signify a servant; hence that verse in Virgil, Eclog. iii. 16: -
\ri720 Quid domini faciant, audent cum talia Fures ?
\ri720 \cf1 "What may not masters do, when servants (thieves) are so bold?"
On which Servius remarks: Pro Servo Furem posuit, furta enim specialiter servorum sunt. Sic Plautus de servo, Homo es trium literarum , i.e. fur . "He puts fur , a thief, to signify a servant, because servants are commonly thieves. Thus Plautus, speaking of a servant, says: Thou art a man of three letters, i.e. f-u-r, a thief." And Terence denominates a number of servants, munipulus furum , "a bundle of thieves." Eun. 4, 7, 6. The place in Plautus to which Servius refers is in Aulul., act ii. scene iv. in fine: -
- Tun' , trium literarum homo,
Me vituperas? F-u-r, etiam fur trifurcifer .
"Dost thou blame me, thou man of three letters?
Thou art a thief, and the most notorious of all knaves."
It was necessary, therefore, that the apostle should be so very particular in his directions to servants, as they were in general thieves almost by profession.
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