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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Matthew 25



Verse 1

Then = At that point in a then future time. The Structure (p. 1366) shows that this parable formed the closing part of the Lord"s teaching on the Mount of Olives (see Matthew 24:1, Matthew 24:3); and was designed to illustrate and enforce His teaching as to watchfulness, in view of the then immediate parousia, conditional on the repentance of that generation in response to the ministry of Peter and the Twelve, beginning at Pentecost, proclaimed and formulated in Acts 3:19-26. See the Structure (p. 1366). The Parable has nothing to do with the Church to-day as to interpretation, though there is the same solemn application as to watchfulness.

shall = will.

the kingdom of heaven. See App-114.

heaven = the heavens. Compare Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

lamps = torches. See App-130.

to meet = for the meeting (of two parties from opposite directions): i.e. the meeting and returning with. Greek. apanantesis. Occurs only here, Matthew 25:6. Acts 28:15, and 1 Thessalonians 4:17. But all the texts read hupanteeis, as in John 12:13.

Verse 2

wise = prudent.

Verse 3

no. Greek. ou. App-105.

with. Greek. meta. App-104.

Verse 4

vessels. Containing oil, to pour on the torches. Greek. angeion. Occ only here, and Matthew 13:48.

Verse 5

slumbered = became drowsy. Greek. nustazo. Occurs only here and 2 Peter 2:3.

slept = went to sleep (and continued asleep). Greek. katheudo.

Verse 6

there was a cry made = there arose a cry.

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos.

Verse 7

those = those former ones.

Verse 8

are gone out = are going out.

Verse 9

Not so. Or, supply the Ellipsis thus: "[we must refuse] lest there be not enough", &c.

not. Greek. ou. App-105. But all the texts read "ou me". App-105.

Verse 10

went: were on their way.

marriage = marriage, or wedding feast; as in Matthew 22:2, Matthew 22:3, Matthew 22:4.

Verse 11

came also the other virgins = "came the other virgins also".

lord, lord. Figure of speech Epizeuxis, App-6, for emph., denoting urgency.

Verse 12

Verily. See note on Matthew 5:18.

I know you not. Greek. oida.

Verse 13

Watch. This is the great lesson of the parable.

neither = not. Greek. ou, as in Matthew 25:6.

wherein = in (Greek. en. App-104.) which.

the Son of man. See App-98.

Verse 14

the kingdom of heaven. Or, supply the Ellipsis from Matthew 25:13, "[the coming of the Son of man]".

travelling, &c. See note on "went", &c, Matthew 21:33.

Verse 15

talents. Greek. talanton. Occurs only here, and in Matthew 18:24. See App-51. Hence the word comes to be used now of any gift entrusted to one for use.

every man = each one.

according to. Greek. kata. App-104.

his several ability = his own peculiar capacity.

took his journey. Same as "travelling" in Matthew 25:14.

Verse 16

traded with = trafficked or wrought in (Greek. en. App-104.) The virgins wait: the servants work.

made them. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for "gained".

Verse 17

he = he also.

Verse 18

went = went off.

earth = ground. Greek. ge. App-129.

Verse 19

After. Greek. meta. App-104.

reckoneth = compareth accounts. Greek. sunairo. Occurs only here, and in Matthew 18:23, Matthew 18:24.

Verse 20

beside = upon. Greek. epi.

Verse 21

make = set.

enter. joy. He enters into joy, and joy enters into him.

the joy = the [place of] joy.

Verse 24

Then he = He also.

had received. Note the change from the Aorist to the Perf. He had received it, and it remained with. him.

I knew thee = I got to know thee. Greek. ginosko. App-132. Not the same as verses: Matthew 25:12, Matthew 25:13, Matthew 25:26.

hast not sown = didst not sow.

hast not strawed = didst not scatter.

Verse 25

lo, there. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

that is thine = thine own.

Verse 26

wicked. Greek. poneros. App-128.

thou knewest. Greek. oida. App-132.

Verse 27

exchangers = bankers. So called from the tables or counters at which they sat. Greek. trapezites. Occurs only here.

usury = interest. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 23:19, Deuteronomy 23:20). Compare Psalms 15:5. Hebrews were forbidden to take it from Hebrews, but allowed to take it from foreigners.

Verse 28

from = away from. Greek. apo. App-104.

Verse 29

not. Greek. me. App-105. Not the same word as in verses: Matthew 25:9, Matthew 25:12, Matthew 25:24, Matthew 9:26, Matthew 9:43, Matthew 9:44, Matthew 9:45.

Verse 30

outer = the outer. Greek. exoteros. Occurs only in Matthew (here, Matthew 8:12, and Matthew 22:13).

weeping and gnashing. See note on Matthew 8:12.

Verse 31

When the Son of man. See the Structure (p. 1366).

shall come = shall have come.

the throne., Luke 1:32. Compare Psalms 47:8. Jeremiah 3:17; Jeremiah 14:21. Zephaniah 3:8.

Verse 32

shall be gathered all nations. There is no resurrection here. Therefore no reference to Rev 20. The gathering is to be on earth (Isaiah 34:1, Isaiah 34:2. Joel 3:1, Joel 3:2, Joel 3:11, Joel 3:12). There are three classes, not two. The test is not even "works", but the treatment of the "brethren" by the other two. No believer, i.e. those who "received the word" (Acts 2:41. 1 Thessalonians 2:13): for these were (and will yet he)"taken out of all nations", Acts 15:14, Israel not gathered here, because "not reckoned among the nations" (Numbers 23:9). The Church of the Mystery (Eph 3) not here, because the reward here is "from the foundation (App-146) of the world" (Matthew 25:34); while the Church was chosen "before" that (Matthew 1:4). The "throne" is that of David (Luke 1:32).

all nations = all the nations.

them. Refers to individuals, because it is Masc, while "nations" are Neuter, and therefore are regarded collectively

goats. Greek. eriphion. Occ only here.

Verse 34

Father. App-98.

the foundation, &c See App-146.

Verse 35

an hungred = hungry.

Verse 36

Naked = Scantily clothed. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Whole), App-6.

Verse 37

Then shall the righteous answer, &c. Figure of speech Dialogismos.

Verse 40

the least. Emph. = even the least.

Verse 41

say also unto them = say unto them also.

ye cursed = that are abiding under a curse.

everlasting fire = the fire, the age-abiding [fire]. See App-151.

Verse 46

everlasting Greek. aionion. App-151. In the same sense as in Hebrews 5:9 (Isaiah 45:17); Matthew 6:2; Matthew 9:12. 2 Thessalonians 1:9. (Compare Psalms 52:5; Psalms 92:7.) The eternal result must be the same as in the next clause.

punishment. Greek. kolasis. According to Aristotle kolasis has regard to him who suffers it, while timoria has regard to the satisfaction of him who inflicts it. (Occurs only in Hebrews 10:29. The verb timoreo only in Acts 22:5, and Acts 26:11.) Kolasis occ only here, and 1 John 4:18 (the verb kolazomai only in Acts 4:21; 2 Peter 2:9). What this kolasis is must be learnt from Matthew 25:41. Compare Matthew 3:12, and note on Luke 3:17.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 25:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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