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the flood came and took them all away ; so shall also the com40 ing of the Son of Man be. Then shall two be in the field ; 41 the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall
be grinding at the mill ; the one shall be taken, and the other 42 left. Watch, therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord 43 doth come. But know this, that, if the goodman of the house
had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have
watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken 44 up. Therefore be ye also ready ; for in such an hour as ye 45 think not, the Son of Man cometh. Who then is a faithful
and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his
erer would appear, though on the ful. It is an exhortation worthy of brink of ruin. - Knew not, i. e. re our attention in every age; for the garded not, considered not, though coming of the Son of Man to us inforewarned by the righteous patri- dividually, in the event of death, arch. Luke xii. 35, xvii. 34. will be, we know not how soon or
40, 41. Then shall two, fc. i. e. how sudden. two men, as the word is masculine 43. He proceeds more impressivein the original. Men would be se- ly to inculcate this duty by a paracurely engaged in their usual affairs, ble. - The good man of the house,
-such is the general sense of these i. e. the householder would not have illustrations, - when they would be slept and suffered his house to be swept off, with such hurry and con broken through, had he known, not fusion, that the nearest associates the hour, but even so much as the would be separated from each other. watch, a space of several hours ; Some interpret it, that a providen- but would have taken precautions tial distinction would be made, one of resistance. There were four being lost, and another rescued. watches during the night, of three Two women, fic. The machine for hours each. - Thief. The correct grinding grain in the east consists translation is robber, one who steals of a simple mill of two stones, a with acts of violence or outrage, concave and a convex, turned one not the stealthy pilferer. - Broken upon the other by a female hand. up. Better, broken into. When the upper stone is large, or 44. Therefore. Since you are in unusual despatch is required, two a similar condition with the housewomen are employed.
holder, and liable to be surprised at 42. Watch, Therefore, fc. This is any moment, be on the alert, and a particular precept, adapted to that suffer not the overwhelming catasexigency. They were to be on the trophe to come upon you unawares; watch for the coming of those signs for it will descend suddenly and uni and wonders, that preceded the fall expectedly. of the Jewish commonwealth, for 45 – 47. Jesus continues still furtheir own personal safety and their ther to illustrate the need of vigiusefulness to the world depended lance and circumspection, by the upon their vigilance. The precise parable of the wise and the evil serhour and day were not known, they vant. Whom his lord hath made were therefore exhorted to be watch- ruler, fc. To whom his master
household, to give them meat in due season ? Blessed is that 46 servant whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. Verily, I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all 47 his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart : 48 My lord delayeth his coming ; and shall begin to smite his 49 fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken ; the 50 lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of; and shall cut 51 him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites ; there shall be weeping, and gnashing of teeth. hath given the superintendence of with greater probability, render the the rest of the servants, to distribute passage thus : will cut him off from the rations of food at the proper his household, or discard him, and times, which, according to general give him his portion, or punishment, custom, were monthly, as some crit- with the unfaithful and perfidous, ics maintain. - Ruler over all his who only served, as hypocrites, goods. For his fidelity he would with an eye-service. - Weeping, be promoted to the office of treas- and gnashing of teeth. Servants, urer or steward. Luke xii. 42 - or slaves, who were unfaithful, 46.
were, according to Macknight, 48, 49. But and if. But if. - sometimes condemned to the mines; That evil servant. But if the ser and as this was one of the severest vant, thus intrusted with authority, of punishnients, when they first enshould prove vicious and unfaithful, tered, nothing. was heard among and should presume upon his mas them but weeping and gnashing of ter's absence, and begin to commit teeth, on account of their fatiguing acts of outrage and oppression and distressed life in those gloomy against the other servants, and to caverns, without the prospect of ever indulge in revelry, he would be sur- being released. Though Jesus prised by his lord's unexpected re- spoke for the special warning of his turn, and meet with condign punish- little circle of followers seated ment. The reference of this parable around him on the Mount of Olives, is, like the rest of the chapter, to to prepare them for events that the destruction of Jerusalem, for would descend upon that generawhich the disciples were most sol- tion, yet his words have a wider emnly warned to be ready.
and more lasting significance, and 51. Shall cut him asunder. A call forth an echo from the human considerable difference of, opinion heart everywhere. His followers has existed among expositors, rela- of all times must watch and pray, tive to the nature of the punishment lest they enter into temptation, here described. Some have, like watch for the coming of sickness, our translators, supposed that it was accident, and death, and be prepared a literal cutting in two of the body, to meet the will of heaven with suband cite, in proof of it, the custom mission, and God in peace. of the east to punish criminals in
“Whate'er its form, whate'er its flow, that manner. But what follows, While life is lent io man below, the appointment of his portion with One duty stands confest,
To watch incessant, firm of mind, the hypocrites, is inconsistent with
And watch where'er the post's assigned, his having been killed. Others, And leave to God the rest."
CHAPTER XXV. The Parables of the Virgins, the Talents, and the Judgment. THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virCHAP. XXV.
and benevolence to others, in connexThe following chapter contains ion of course with other virtues, three parables, familiarly known as would be of the highest importance, those of the Virgins, the Talents, and a criterion of discipleship, as and the Judgment. Various inter- the several parabolical descriptions pretations of this passage have been represent. This view would avoid proposed by different commentators. the difficulties of double senses; or Some have referred the whole to of an abrupt change in the discourse the coming of Christ at the destruc- ' at the 31st verse, from speaking of tion of Jerusalem; others to a day the coming of Christ's kingdom at of general judgment. While a third the overthrow of the temple, to an class unites both of these views, and account of the scenes of eternity ; considers the words of Jesus as or of forcing the whole chapter to containing two senses ; a primary refer to the future state, contrary to one, relating to his coming at the the use of language in verses 13, 31, establishment of his religion on the the Son of Man shall come, &c., ruins of Judaism ; and a secondary which elsewhere is explained in alone, his coming to judgment in a lusion to the destruction of the Jews future state. Yet others believe the by the Romans ; see chap. xvi. 28, parables of the virgins and the tal. xix. 28, xxiv. 27, 30, 34, 44. This ents to relate to the overthrow of view would also escape the rather Jerusalem, but the representation of frigid explanation which refers the the judgment, as limited in its appli- whole, including the judgment scene, cation to another life. Great names, to the period of the fall of the Jews. which it is needless to mention, It also harmonizes with the fact of have espoused these several views, the elevated tone of feeling, in which and advanced plausible arguments Jesus was then speaking and the to sustain them. But we would in- solemn visions of his mighty kingquire, whether there has not been dom, his universal religion, then an unreasonable and injurious prom- rising and glowing before his mind. inence given to the question of time To his spiritual glance, Time was in the interpretation of this chapter. but an accident and a circumstance, Are not the words of our Lord rath- Death but a night between to-day er designed to describe the establish- and to-morrow, a door between this ment of his kingdom in a general apartment and that of the Father's sense ? a kingdom, which would be mansion. He saw his kingdom Bet up more manifestly, indeed, at coming in the hearts of men, searchthe fall of the holy city and the Mo- ing, and trying, and judging them, saic system, but which was already erecting the standard of eternal recenthroning itself in the hearts of his titude, and, now and for ever, in all disciples, which would spread from worlds and ages, connecting sin and them throughout the world, and last misery, goodness and happiness towithout end here and hereafter; a gether in bonds never to be broken. kingdom in which the duty of watch- The above interpretation is in subfulness, the faithful use of powers, stance advanced by some eminent and means, and the exercise of love critics of a recent date,
gins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 2 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with 3 them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 4 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 5 And at midnight there was a cry made : Behold, the bride- 6 groom cometh h; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins 7 arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the 8 wise : Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. But 9 the wise answered, saying : Not 80 ; Jest there be not enough for us and you ; but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for
1. Then is used rather as are merely ornamental. Thus, ten introductory word to the sentence, was a favorite Jewish number, and than as specifying a particular time. has no special significance here. - The kingdom of heaven. The 6. An Armenian wedding is thus Christian dispensation, or the com- described by a traveller : ing of Christ in his kingdom. - To large number of young females who meet the bridegroom. This refers to were present naturally reminded a marriage custom among the Jews me of the wise and foolish virgins and other eastern nations. It was in our Saviour's parable. These usual for the bridegroom, accom- being friends of the bride, the vir panied by other young men, his gins her companions, (Ps. xlv. 14,) friends, and attended by music, to had come to meet the bridegroom. go by night and wait upon his bride It is usual for the bridegroom to at her father's house, from which come at midnight; so that literally she returned to his home in a pro- at midnight the cry is made, Behold, cession, in which her female compan- the bridegroom cometh; go ye out ions joined carrying lighted torches to meet him. But on this occasion or flambeaux. It is to the virgins, the bridegroom tarried; it was two who attended on the bride and o'clock before he arrived." awaited the coming of the bride 7. Trimmed their lamps. Or, groom, that reference appears to be snuffed them, for they had burned had in the text. The whole com- low and dim, while they waited. pany then repaired to the bride 8. Our lamps are gone out. Or, groom's house, where the nuptial going out or expiring. They had services were performed and the made no provision for the delay of marriage feast held.
the bridegroom, and were unable, 2-4. Wise. More exactly, pro- therefore, to moisten their wasted dent, and so throughout the parable. torches with new oil. Lamps. Or, torches made of iron
9. Not so.
These words were or earthen ware, to which rags supplied by the translators, as is soaked in olive oil were attached, shown by their being in Italics. and which were carried on a wood- Some critics propose to drop them, en stick or handle. They gave a and read the sentence thus : “ Lest brilliant light, but needed replenish- there be not enough for us and you, ing, from time to time, with oil. go ye rather to them that sell and Many circumstances in a parable buy for yourselves ;” but being
10 yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom
came; and they that were ready went in with him to the mar11 riage ; and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other 12 virgins, saying : Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered 13 and said : Verily, I say unto you, I know you not. Watch,
therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein 14 the Son of Man cometh. -For the kingdom of heaven is as a
man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, 15 and delivered unto them his goods ; and unto one he gave five omitted in the original as spurious, his spiritual manifestation in their by Griesbach and others.
heart, or his external coming at the 10. Marriage. Marriage feast. subversion of the Jewish church And the door was shut. The follow- and state, so ought we of these lating is a description of a Hindoo ter times to be likewise watching wedding by Mr. Ward : “ After and waiting unto prayer for his waiting two or three hours, at moral triumph in our souls, the length, near midnight, it was an- growth of his kingdom among men, nounced, as if in the very words of and the approach of that last solemn Scripture, Behold, the bridegroom event which will be a coming of cometh! Go ye out to meet him. him to our spirits individually. All the persons employed now “Let all your lamps be bright, lighted their lamps, and ran with And trim the golden flame;
Watch! 't is your Lord's command, them in their hands to fill up their
And while we speak he's near ; stations in the procession ; some of Mark the first signal of his hand, them had lost their lights and were
And ready all appear. unprepared, but it was then too late The last clause of this verse, whereto seek them, and the cavalcade in the Son of Man cometh, is probamoved forward to the house of the bly spurious, and has therefore been bride. The bridegroom was car- rejected by most biblical critics. ried in the arms of a friend, and 14. The kingdom of heaven is. placed on a superb seat in the midst These words were introduced by of the company, where he sat a the English translators, and have short time, and then went into the been well superseded in some verhouse, the door of which was im- sions with the clause, The Son of mediately shut and guarded by Se- Man is.- Travelling into a far counpoys. Í and others expostulated try. Or, simply journeying abroad, with the door-keepers, but in vain. or into another country. As Jesus Never was I so struck with our had in the preceding parable inculLord's beautiful parable as at this cated watchfulness, in the following moment: And the door was shut.' one, he enjoins the careful use of
12. I know you not, i. e. I acknow- the sinallest as well as largest gifts. ledge you not as belonging to my - His goods. His money or propfriends.
erty. Masters sometimes furnished 13. Watch, therefore. This is the their slaves with capital to be emimportant lesson and moral of the ployed in traffic. This custom is parable, and applicable to all ages. said to be still continued in the East, If the disciples of Jesus were to be and in Russia. prepared for his coming, whether 15. Talents. The talent has been