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7: XI. 2, 9.
a Ephie ir to meet a the bridegroom. 26 And five of them were r wise, a Eph. v. 29,
30. Rev. xix. moc vno Niues von beh. Sila b ch. xiii. 47:
and five were r foolish. 3 8They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them : 4 but the wise took oil
in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom o 1 Thess. 7. 6.
t tarried, “they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there a was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom [' cometh];
go ye out to meet him. 7 Then all those virgins arose, I in the ancient authorities these words are transposed. S read, For the foolish, when they took their lamps. t render, delayed.
I see note.
Vomit. in marriage processions : see also Luke xix. The lamps being the hearts lit with the 13.
to meet the bridegroom] It flame of heavenly love and patience, supwould appear that these virgins had left plied with the oil of the Spirit,- now comes their own homes, and were waiting some in the difference between the wise and fool. where for the bridegroom to come,-pro ish:-the one made no provision for the bably at the house of the bride ; for the supply of this-the others did. How so? object of the marriage procession was to The wise ones gave all diligence to make fetch the bride to the bridegroom's house. their calling and election sure (2 Pet. i. 10 Meyer however supposes that in this case and 5-8), making their bodies, souls, and the wedding was to be held in the bride's spirits (their vessels, 2 Cor. iv. 7) a means house, on account of the thing signified- of supplying spiritual food for the light the coming of the Lord to His Church ;- within, by seeking, in the appointed means but it is better to take the ordinary cus. of grace, more and more of God's Holy tom, and interpret accordingly, where we Spirit. The others did not this — but trust. can. In both the wedding parables (seeing that the light, once burning, would ch. xxii.) the bride does not appear-for ever burn, made no provision for the she, being the Church, is in fact the aggre- strengthening of the inner man by watch. gate of the guests in the one case, and of fulness and prayer. 5—7] delayed : the companions in the other. We may compare ch. xxiv. 48, where the Greek perhaps say that she is here, in the strict verb rendered delayeth is the same. The interpretation, the Jewish Church, and same English rendering ought to have these ten virgins Gentile congregations ac- been kept here. But the thought of the companying her. This went forth is not foolish virgins is very different from that their final going out in ver. 6, for only half of the wicked servant: his—there will be of them did so,—but their leaving their plenty of time, my Lord tarrieth ;'—theirs, own homes : compare took, in vv. 3, 4. 'surely He will soon be here, there is no The interpretation is—these are souls come need of a store of oil. This may serve to out from the world into the Church, and shew how altogether diverse is the ground there waiting for the coming of the Lord of the two parables. they all slumnot hypocrites, but faithful souls, bearing bered and slept] I believe no more is meant their lamps (their own lamps ; so, lite. bere than that all, being weak by nature, rally : compare 1 Thess. iv. 4)—the inner gave way to drowsiness: as indeed the wakespiritual life fed with the oil of God's Spirit fulness of the holiest Christian, compared (see Zech. iv. 2–12: Acts x. 38: Heb. i. with what it should be, is a sort of slum9). All views of this parable which repre. ber :-but, the while, how much difference sent the foolish virgins as having only a was there between them! Some understand dead faith, only the lamp without the this verse of sleep in death. But, not to light, the body without the spirit, &c., are mention that this will not fit the machinery quite beside the purpose ;-the lamps (see of the parable (see below on ver. 8), it would ver. 8) were all burning at first, and for a assume (they all) that none of the faithful certain time. Whether the equal par. would be living on earth when the Lord tition of wise and foolish have any deep comes a cry made] See Isa. lxii. meaning we cannot say; it may be so. 5–7: and the porter's duty, Mark xiii.
3, 4.] These were not torches, nor 34. This warning cry is before the coming: wicks fastened on staves, as some have see ver. 10. The exact rendering is presupposed, but properly lamps : and the oil sent, graphically setting the reality before vessels (which is most important to the us: there ariseth a cry all] All parable) were separate from the lamps. now seem alike-all wanted their lamps
and a trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said unto a Luke xii. 35. the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are w gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, [Not 80 ;] lest there be not enough for us and you : but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and y they that were ready went in with him to ? the marriage : and e the door was e Luke xiii. 25. shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying,
Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, ' sh. vii. 21, 22, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 138 Watch there- 8 ch. xxix. 12, fore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour [a wherein tiesis. r. o. the Son of man cometh].
14 h For [b the kingdom of heaven is) ' as a man c travelling i ceske. . 12 into a far country, [who] called his own servants, and W render, going out.
not expressed in the original. y render for perspicuity (the pronoun is feminine), the virgins. Z render, the marriage feast. & omit. b not expressed in the original.
© the original has only, leaving his country, or, his home : see ch. xxi. 33.
41. 1 Cor.
trimmed-but for the neglectful, there but simply that it was too late-for that is not wherewith. It is not enough to time. For it is not the final coming of the have burnt, but to be burning, when He Lord to judgment, when the day of grace comes. Raise the wick as they will, what will be past, that is spoken of,- except in avails it if the oil is spent ? trimmed] so far as it is hinted at in the background, “by pouring on fresh oil, and removing and in the individual application of the the fungi about the wick: for the latter parable (virtually, not actually) coincides, purpose a sharp-pointed wire was attached to each man, with the day of his death. to the lamp, which is still seen in the This feast is the marriage supper of Rev. bronze lamps found in sepulchres.” Webst. xix. 7-9 (see also ib. xxi. 2); after which and Wilk. 8, 9.] are going out;- these improvident ones gone to buy their oil not as A. V.,-'are gone out :' and there shall be judged in common with the rest of is deep truth in this : the lamps of the the dead, ibid. xx. 12, 13. Observe foolish virgins are not extinguished alto bere, I know you not is very different, as gether. Test there be not enough the whole circumstances are different, from See Ps. xlix. 7: Rom. xiv. 12. No man “ I never knew you,” in ch. vii. 23, where can have more of this provision than will the “ Depart from me” binds it to our supply his own wants. go ye rather ver. 41, and to the time of the final judgThis is not said in mockery, as some sup- ment, spoken of in that parable. [See pose : but in earnest. them that sell] the note at the end of the chapter.] These are the ordinary dispensers of the 14-30.] PARABLE OF THE TALENTS. means of grace-ultimately of course God Peculiar to Matthew. The similar parable Himself, who alone can give his Spirit contained in Luke xix. 11-27 is altogether The counsel was good, and well followed distinct, and uttered on a different occabut the time was past. Observe that those sion: see notes there.
14.] The who sell are a particular class of persons- ellipsis is rightly supplied in the A. V., no mean argument for a set and appointed For [the kingdom of heaven is) as a ministry; and moreover for a paid minis. man, &c. We have this parable and the try. If they sell, they receive for the thing preceding one alluded to in very few words sold: compare our Lord's saying, Luke x. by Mark xiii. 3 36. In it we have the 7. This selling bears no analogy with the active side of the Christian life, and its crime of Simon Magus in Acts viii. : com- danger, set before us, as in the last the pare our Lord's other saying, Matt. x. 8. contemplative side. There, the foolish vir.
10–12.] We are not told that they gins failed, from thinking their part too could not buy-that the shops were shut- easy-here the wicked servant fails, from
1 Cor. xii. 7, 11, 20. Eph. iv. 11.
ver. 34, 48. m 2 Tim. ii. 12.
Heb. xii, 2.
delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave k Rom. xiis ; five talents, to another two, and to another one; k to every
man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents : behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His
lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful 1 ch. xxiv. 47. servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, 'I will milim, 12. make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into m the
joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents : behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful
servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will thinking his too hard. The parable is still the judgment of the millennial advent. concerned with Christians (his own ser This to the servants of Christ (his own servants), and not the world at large.
vants, ver. 14), is their final judgmentWe must remember the relation of master but not that of the rest of the world. We and slave, in order to understand his de may observe that this great account differs livering to them his property, and punish- from the coming of the bridegroom, inasing them for not fructifying with it. much as this is altogether concerned with 15.] In Luke each receives the same, but a course of action past—that with a pre. the profit made by each is different : see sent state of preparation. This holds, in notes there. Here, in fact, they did each the individual application, of the account receive the same, for they received accord. after the resurrection; that, at the utmost ing to their ability—their character and (and not in the direct sense of the parable powers. There is no Pelagianism in this even so much), of being ready for his sumfor each man's powers are themselves the mons at death. 20.7 The faithful sergift of God. 16-18.] The increase vant does not take the praise to bimself gained by each of the two faithful servants -thou deliveredst unto me is his confes. was the full amount of their talents :-of sion - and beside them the enabling cause each will be required as much as has been of his gain ;~'without Me, ye can do no. given. The third servant here is not to thing, John xv.5. This is plainer in Luke be confounded with the wicked servant (xix. 16), “ Thy pound hath gained ten in ch. xxiv. 48. This one is not actively pounds." See i Cor. xv. 10:-and on the an ill-doer, but a hider of the money en joy and alacrity of these faithful servants trusted to him—one who brings no profit: in the day of reckoning, 1 Thess. ii. 19: see on ver. 24. 19-23. After a long 2 Cor. i. 14: Phil. iv. 1. 21.) See the time] Here again, as well as in the delay corresponding sentence in Luke xix. 17, and of ver. 5 and ch. xxiv. 48, we have an in note. The joy here is not a feast, as sometimation that the interval would be no times interpreted, but that joy spoken of short one. This proceeding is not, strictly Heb. xii. 2, and Isa. liii. 11-that joy of the speaking, the last judgment, but still the Lord arising from the completion of His same as that in the former parable; the work and labour of love, of which the first beginning of judgment at the house of God Sabbatical rest of the Creator was typical
make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed : 25 and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, [d there] thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed : 27 thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the
d not expressed in the original. Gen. i. 31 ; ii. 2,—and of which His faith. (xix. 23) “ the bank” (exchange). ful ones shall in the end partake: see There was a saying very current among Heb. iv. 3–11: Rev. iii. 21. Notice the early Fathers, “ Be ye worthy exthe identity of the praise and portion of changers," which some of them seem him who had been faithful in less, with to attribute to the Lord, some to one those of the first. The words are, as of the Apostles. It is supposed by some has been well observed, “not, 'good and to be taken from this place, and it is successful servant,' but good and faith, just possible it may have been : but it ful servant :'" and faithfulness does not more likely was traditional, or from some depend on amount. 24, 25.] This apocryphal gospel. Suicer discusses the sets forth the excuse which men are per question, and inclines to think that it petually making of human infirmity and was a way of expressing the general moral inability to keep God's commands, when of the two parables in Matt. and Luke. they never apply to that grace which might But, in the interpretation, who are evable them to do so-an excuse, as here, these exchangers ? The explanation (Olsh., self-convicting, and false at heart. and adopted by Trench, Parables, p. 247) reaping where thou hast not sown] The of their being those stronger characters connexion of thought in this our Lord's who may lead the more timid to the useful last parable, with His first (ch. xii. 3-9), employments of gifts which they have not is remarkable. He looks for fruit where energy to use, is objectionable (1) as not He has sown-this is truth : but not beyond answering to the character addressedthe power of the soil by Him enabled-this he was not timid, but false and slothful : is man's lie, to encourage himself in idle --and (2) nor to the facts of the case : ness. I was afraid] See Gen. iii. 10. for it is impossible to employ the grace But that pretended fear, and this insolent given to one through another's means, speech, are inconsistent, and betray the without working one's self. I rather falsehood of his answer. thou hast take it to mean, 'If thou hadst really been that is thine This is also false—it was afraid, &c., slothful as thou art, thou not so-for there was his lord's time,-and mightest at least, without trouble to thyhis own labour, which was his lord's—to be self, have provided that I should have accounted for. 26, 27.] St. Luke pre not been defrauded of the interest of my fixes “out of thine own mouth will I judge money, but now thou art both slothful thee,”- viz. because, knowing the relation and wicked, in having done me this inbetween us, that of absolute power on my justice.' Observe there would have been part over thee,-if thou hadst really no praise due to the servant-but “that thought me such an hard master, thou which is mine” would not have lost its oughtest &c., in order to avoid utter ruin. increase. The machinery of religious and But this was not thy real thought-thou charitable societies in our day is very wert wicked and slothful.' thou much in the place of the exchangers. Let knewest, &c. is not concessive, but hy. the subscribers to them take heed that pothetical ;-God is not really such a they be not in the degraded case of this Master the exchangers, in Luke servant, even if his excuse had been genu
ch. xvi. 27:
1 Thess. iv.
Rev. xx. 12.
talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten nch. xiii. 19.
talents. 29 n For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance : but from him that hath not
shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And och, vilt, 12: cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness :
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. p Zech. xiv, 6. 31 p e When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and Acts 2:11. all the [f holy] angels with him, then shall he sit upon 10. We Thess. the throne of his glory : 32 and 9 before him shall be ga
Hello thered 8 all nations : and he shall separate them one from Revx:19 another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats : 2. ch. xiii. 33 and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the
e render, But when : literally, Whenever. omitted in many of the oldest authorities.
8 render, all the nations. ine. 28–31.] This command is an- the eagles (ministers of vengeance) to the swered in Luke xix. 25, by a remonstrance carcase. Notice the precision of the words from those addressed, which the Master in ver. 31, when(ever)—this setting forth overrules by stating the great law of His the indefiniteness of the time, the but kingdom. On ch. xiii. 12, we have ex- the distinction from the two parables foreplained this as applied to the system of going; and then, to mark a precise time teaching by parables. Here it is pre- when all this shall take place a day of dicated of the whole Christian life. It is judgment. Compare, for the better the case even in nature: a limb used is understanding of the distinction and constrengthened ; disused, becomes weak. The nexion of these two comings of the Lord, transference of the talent is not a matter 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17, and 2 Thess. i. 7-10. of justice between man and man, but is
This description is not a parable, done in illustration of this law, and in though there are in it parabolic passages, virtue of that sovereign power by which e.g. as a shepherd, &c. : and for that very God does what He will with his own : see reason, that which is illustrated by those Rom. xi. 29, and note there. In the outer likenesses is not itself parabolic. It will darkness there is again an allusion to the heighten our estimation of the wonderful marriage supper of the Lamb, from which sublimity of this description, when we the useless servant being excluded, gnashes recollect that it was spoken by the Lord his teeth with remorse without : see ch. only three days before his sufferings. xxii. 13.
81. in his glory] This expression, 31-46.7 TAE FINAL JUDGMENT OF repeated again at the end of the verse, is ALL THE NATIONS. Peculiar to Matthew. quite distinct from with power and great In the two former parables we have seen glory ch. xxiv. 30: see Rev. xx. 11. This the difference between, and judgment of, His glory is that also of all his saints, Christians in their inward readiness for with whom He shall be accompanied : see their Lord, and their outward diligence Jude ver. 14. In this his coming they in profiting by his gifts. And both these are with the angels, and as the angels : had reference to that first resurrection Bee Rev. xix. 14 (compare ver. 8): Zech. and millennial Kingdom, the reality of xiv. 5. 32.] The expression all the which is proved by the passages of Scrip. nations implies all the nations of the ture cited in the notes above, and during world, as distinguished from the elect which all Christians shall be judged. We already gathered to Him, just as the Gennow come to the great and universal tiles were by that name distinguished from judgment at the end of this period, also his chosen people the Jews. Among these prophesied of distinctly in order in Rev. are “ the other sheep which He has, not xx. 11-15-in which all the dead, small of this fold,” John X. 16. he shall and great, shall stand before God. This separate See Ezek. xxxiv. 17. The sheep last great judgment answers to the judg. are those referred to in Rom. ii. 7, 10; the ment on Jerusalem, after the Christians goats in ib. vv. 8, 9, where this same judg. had escaped from it: to the gathering of ment according to works is spoken of,