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Matthew 25:1-30

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 25:2 Five 1  of the virgins 2  were foolish, and five were wise. 25:3 When 3  the foolish ones took their lamps, they did not take extra 4  olive oil 5  with them. 25:4 But the wise ones took flasks of olive oil with their lamps. 25:5 When 6  the bridegroom was delayed a long time, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 25:6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.’ 7  25:7 Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 25:8 The 8  foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 25:9 ‘No,’ they replied. 9  ‘There won’t be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 25:10 But while they had gone to buy it, the bridegroom arrived, and those who were ready went inside with him to the wedding banquet. Then 10  the door was shut. 25:11 Later, 11  the other virgins came too, saying, ‘Lord, lord! Let us in!’ 12  25:12 But he replied, 13  ‘I tell you the truth, 14  I do not know you!’ 25:13 Therefore stay alert, because you do not know the day or the hour. 15 

The Parable of the Talents

25:14 “For it is like a man going on a journey, who summoned his slaves 16  and entrusted his property to them. 25:15 To 17  one he gave five talents, 18  to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 25:16 The one who had received five talents went off right away and put his money to work 19  and gained five more. 25:17 In the same way, the one who had two gained two more. 25:18 But the one who had received one talent went out and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money in it. 25:19 After 20  a long time, the master of those slaves came and settled his accounts with them. 25:20 The 21  one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, saying, ‘Sir, 22  you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 25:21 His master answered, 23  ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful in a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 25:22 The 24  one with the two talents also came and said, ‘Sir, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have gained two more.’ 25:23 His master answered, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave! You have been faithful with a few things. I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 25:24 Then the one who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man, harvesting where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed, 25:25 so 25  I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’ 25:26 But his master answered, 26  ‘Evil and lazy slave! So you knew that I harvest where I didn’t sow and gather where I didn’t scatter? 25:27 Then you should have deposited my money with the bankers, 27  and on my return I would have received my money back with interest! 28  25:28 Therefore take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. 29  25:29 For the one who has will be given more, 30  and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 31  25:30 And throw that worthless slave into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

1 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

2 tn Grk “Five of them.”

3 tn Grk “For when.” Here γάρ (gar) has not been translated.

4 tn The word “extra” is not in the Greek text but is implied. The point is that the five foolish virgins had only the oil in their lamps, but took along no extra supply from which to replenish them. This is clear from v. 8, where the lamps of the foolish virgins are going out because they are running out of oil.

5 tn On the use of olive oil in lamps, see L&N 6.202.

6 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

7 tc ‡ Most witnesses have αὐτοῦ (autou, “[with] him”) after ἀπάντησιν (apanthsin, “meeting”), a reading which makes explicit what is already implied in the shorter text (as found in א B 700). The translation likewise adds “him” for clarity’s sake even though the word is not considered part of the original text. NA27 has αὐτοῦ in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

8 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

9 tn Grk “The wise answered, saying, ‘No.’”

10 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.

11 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

12 tn Grk “Open to us.”

13 tn Grk “But answering, he said.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.

14 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amhn), I say to you.”

15 tc Most later mss (C3 Ë13 1424c Ï) also read here “in which the Son of Man is coming” (ἐν ᾗ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἔρχεται, en |h Jo Juio" tou anqrwpou ercetai), reproducing almost verbatim the last line of Matt 24:44. The longer reading thus appears to be an explanatory expansion and should not be considered authentic. The earlier and better witnesses ({Ì35 א A B C* D L W Δ Θ Ë1 33 565 892 1424* lat co}) lack this phrase.

16 tn See the note on the word “slave” in 8:9.

17 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

18 sn A talent was equal to 6000 denarii. See the note on this term in 18:24.

19 tn Grk “traded with them.”

20 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

21 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

22 tn Grk Or “Lord; or “Master” (and so throughout this paragraph).

23 tn Grk “His master said to him.”

24 tn Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

25 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated.

26 tn Grk “But answering, his master said to him.” This is somewhat redundant and has been simplified in the translation.

27 tn For the translation “deposited my money with the bankers,” see L&N 57.216.

28 sn That is, “If you really feared me you should have done a minimum to get what I asked for.”

29 tn Grk “the ten talents.”

30 tn Grk “to everyone who has, he will be given more.”

sn The one who has will be given more. Faithfulness yields great reward (see Matt 13:12; also Mark 4:25; Luke 8:18, 19:26).

31 sn The one who has nothing has even what he seems to have taken from him, ending up with no reward at all (see also Luke 8:18). The exact force of this is left ambiguous, but there is no comfort here for those who are pictured by the third slave as being totally unmoved by the master. Though not an outright enemy, there is no relationship to the master either.

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