Matthew 25: This chapter is to be taken in context of the way the previous chapter ends. Yeshua was just saying that we are not to be “asleep” or act as if we are unawares. This is a reference to keeping Torah in our lives.
(Mat 25:1 NASB) “Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom.
(Mat 25:2 NASB) “And five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.
Mat 25:2: Elohim is dividing up the ten virgins into ones that are foolish and ones that are prudent. Who are the “virgins” being spoken of here? The way to interpret this parable is the same as interpreting other parables and prophecy. We should use Scripture to interpret this for us. A virgin is often a reference to Israel (2 Kings 19:21, Jer. 14:17, 31:21). However a virgin can also be from Babylon or Egypt (Jer. 46:11, Isaiah 47:1).
However, all of the virgins in this parable have lamps. According to Scripture a lamp is the Word of Elohim, especially His commandments (Psalm 119:105, 43:3, Prov 6:3). Peter speaks of the Word of Elohim being a lamp also (2 Peter 1:19). Therefore the virgins with lamps is speaking of Israel.
Yeshua says that five of the virgins were “foolish.” The word really means “stupid.” Strong’s Concordance # 3474. moros, mo-ros’; prob. from the base of G3466; dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (mor.) blockhead, (appar.) absurd:–fool (-ish, X -ishness).
The other five virgins are described as “prudent.” The Greek word denotes wisdom (NASC Conc.) “G5429. phronimos, from G5426; practically wise, sensible:– more shrewd(1), prudent(5), sensible(2), shrewd(1), wise(4), wise men(1).”
(Mat 25:3 NASB) “For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them,
Mat 25:3: We are told that the foolish virgins had their lamps, but they did not take any oil. What is oil according to Scripture? Many state that it is the Spirit. But that analogy is not in Scripture. If it is, I could not find it.
Symbolically, oil refers to reproof from Scripture (Psalm 141:5). The aforementioned passage of Prov 6:23 mentions that the commandments being a lamp and reproof a way of life. Reproof from Scripture is essentially righteousness in our lives (Psalm 45:7). This does fit other Scriptures which state that Scriptural reproof is for the wise, but is hated by the foolish (Prov. 9:8-10, 13:18, 15:5, 19:25, 25:12, Rev. 3:19, Job 5:17, Psalm 94:12). It is the “foolish” who reject the Torah of Elohim (Prov. 21:20, Jer. 5:21, Luke 24:25). It is with oil that priests were consecrated (set apart) in service to Elohim (Lev. 8:12, Ex. 28:41, 30:30).
Soooo. If we examine this passage according to Scripture, it is saying that there are ten people, all with the Word of Elohim. But five of them, although they had the Word of Elohim, were not interested in righteousness or correction and reproof. The very term in the Greek for “foolish” means “heedless.” They did not heed the Word which they had.
(Mat 25:4 NASB) but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.
Mat 25:4: The prudent ones are those who have the oil of righteousness and live accordingly.
(Mat 25:5 NASB) “Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.
Mat 25:5: The “delaying” of the bridegroom is Israel awaiting the coming of Messiah (2 Peter 3:4-10). The Bridegroom is delaying because he wants all of His to be at His return.
They “got drowsy and began to sleep” is probably a reference to those who have died since the time of Messiah.
(Mat 25:6 NASB) “But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
(Mat 25:7 NASB) “Then all those virgins rose, and trimmed their lamps.
(Mat 25:8 NASB) “And the foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
Mat 25:8: Those without righteousness will not be able to walk in His paths (Prov. 4:18-18, 13:9).
(Mat 25:9 NASB) “But the prudent answered, saying, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’
Mat 25:9: We cannot redeem each other. That is something that can occur only between that man and Elohim (Psalm 49:7-9, Ezek. 14:13-16, 20). The evil man must forsake his ways and turn to Torah while there is still time (Isa. 55:1-3, 6-7)
(Mat 25:10 NASB) “And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.
Mat 25:10: The Wedding Feast spoken of is the Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9). The door is shut to those who are disobedient (Heb. 3:18-19).
(Mat 25:11 NASB) “And later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’
(Mat 25:12 NASB) “But he answered and said, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’
Mat 25:12: Those who do not have the righteousness of Torah do not know Elohim or His Son (1 John 2:3-7, Matt. 7:21-23, Titus 1:16).
(Mat 25:13 NASB) “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
Mat 25:13: We do not know the day or hour Messiah will return. Because of this, we are to always have oil in our lampstands. Meaning we are to always be practicing His righteous Torah in our lives.
(Mat 25:14 NASB) “For it is just like a man about to go on a journey, who called his own slaves, and entrusted his possessions to them.
(Mat 25:15 NASB) “And to one he gave five talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and he went on his journey.
Mat 25:15: The depth of the pit of misunderstanding when it comes to these Kingdom Parables is almost bottomless. According to John MacArthur, the English word “talent” comes from a misunderstanding of this parable. The word “talent” was understood here to stand for the natural gifts given to us by God. We could have singing talent, teaching talent, business talent, etc…But especially the talent of “giving…” right?? This parable is where we got that word in our language. However, the Greek word is talanton and it is a weight measure of money.
What is represented by the talent here? It is His Word (His Torah in particular) and applying it to our lives (Job 28:12-15, Psalm 119:72, 19:9-11, Prov. 3:13-15, 8:10-11, 16:16).
The Master has given His Torah to His servants. The servants were given different measures of His Word. Some were given larger amounts than others. This is likely referring to different time periods when only certain amounts of Torah could be followed due to access to the Tabernacle/Temple and Jerusalem. It could also be a referring to the fact that not all of Torah was revealed to all people in all times.
(Mat 25:16 NASB) “Immediately the one who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and gained five more talents.
Mat 25:16: The ones who had received the five talents went and “traded.” The Greek word for traded is better translated “worked” or “performed.” The Greek word is G2038. ergazomai, from G2041; to work, labor:– accomplish(1), accomplished(1), accomplishing(1), achieve(1), committing(1), do(2), does(3), doing(2), done(3), make a living(1), perform(5), performed(1), performing(1), practice(1), produces(1), traded(1), work(13), working(7), works(1), wrought(1).
That amount of Elohim’s Word which was performed by this man was a blessing to him. Much more of His Word was then imparted to Him.
(Mat 25:17 NASB) “In the same manner the one who had received the two talents gained two more.
Mat 25:17: “In the same manner..” This man performed the Word that was given to him. For this, he was granted more of Elohim’s Word.
(Mat 25:18 NASB) “But he who received the one talent went away and dug in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
Mat 25:18: The man who received one talent went and hid it. He must have been ashamed of it.
(Mat 25:19 NASB) “Now after a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.
(Mat 25:20 NASB) “And the one who had received the five talents came up and brought five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted five talents to me; see, I have gained five more talents.’
Mat 25:20: The Master will return and settle all accounts (2 Cor. 5:10, Psalm 7:6-8, 9:7-8, Ecc. 12:13-14, Ezek. 18:30-32).
The one who had five talents brought more back with him and gave them to His Master.
(Mat 25:21 NASB) “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Mat 25:21: The Master congratulated the servant. He was obedient and he prospered (2 Chron. 31:20-21, Psalm 1:2-3, Joshua 1:7-8).
(Mat 25:22 NASB) “The one also who had received the two talents came up and said, ‘Master, you entrusted to me two talents; see, I have gained two more talents.’
(Mat 25:23 NASB) “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Mat 25:23: The servant with two talents also was obedient to His Master’s Word and was rewarded in a similar manner.
(Mat 25:24 NASB) “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed.
(Mat 25:25 NASB) ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground; see, you have what is yours.’
Mat 25:25: The one who received one talent knew that Elohim was a hard man (a righteous judge). He was correct (Job 21:14-18, Mal. 1:12-14).
This man said he was afraid, so he went and hid the Word of the Master in the ground instead of performing it (Rev. 21:8)
(Mat 25:26 NASB) “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I scattered no seed.
(Mat 25:27 NASB) ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest.
Mat 25:27: This slave is called lazy and “wicked.” This is obviously a reference to his lack of good works and his doing of evil (anti-Torah) ways. This slave knew about Elohim, but still did not heed His Word.
Verse 27 is almost strange. What is meant by “and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest?” Usury is the reference. Usury could be charged to the foreigner (Deut 23:19-20). This is probably a reference to the fact that at least others outside of Israel (the foreigner) could have benefited from his minor observance of Torah, had he the courage to be obedient in front of them.
(Mat 25:28 NASB) ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
(Mat 25:29 NASB) “For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.
(Mat 25:30 NASB) “And cast out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Mat 25:30: Everyone who has (maintains, regards) Torah shall have in abundance. Those who do not, will have everything taken away (Hos. 2:9-11). They will be cast out of the Kingdom into outer darkness.
(Mat 25:31 NASB) “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
(Mat 25:32 NASB) “And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
Mat 25:32: The gathering of the nations and being separated by sheep and goats in described in Ezekiel 34:17-31. Those who serve Him will be separated from those who don’t (Mal. 3:17-18).
(Mat 25:33 NASB) and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
(Mat 25:34 NASB) “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
(Mat 25:35 NASB) ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
(Mat 25:36 NASB) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’
Mat 25:36: All these things are commanded in Torah and the Tanakh. Hungry (Deut. 15:7-11, Psalm 112:5-10. Prov. 14:31) Thirsty (Prov. 25:21). Stranger (Lev. 19:33-34). Naked (Job 31:19-22). Sick (Ezek. 34:4). And as far as being in prison, we remember the account in Torah of Joseph in prison and needing comfort.
(Mat 25:37 NASB) “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink?
(Mat 25:38 NASB) ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
(Mat 25:39 NASB) ‘And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
Mat 25:39: His people who are obedient just do what they are commanded without thought of doing otherwise. They are surprised at their commendation.
(Mat 25:40 NASB) “And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
Mat 25:40: If we honor the least of these, our brothers, we honor our Father (Prov. 14:31, 19:17, 28:27, Psalm 41:1-3).
(Mat 25:41 NASB) “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
(Mat 25:42 NASB) for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
(Mat 25:43 NASB) I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’
(Mat 25:44 NASB) “Then they themselves also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry,or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’
(Mat 25:45 NASB) “Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’
(Mat 25:46 NASB) ”And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Mat 25:46: Scripture does not say that the difference between the sheep and the goats was from what they believed. It is from what they did or did not do according to His Word (Torah).