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32 Now learn a parable of knoweth no man, no, not the the fig-tree: When his branch angels of heaven, but my Father is yet tender, and putteth forth only. leaves, ye know that summer is 37 But as the days of Noe nigh.
were, so shall also the coming 33 So likewise ye, when ye of the Son of man be. shall see all these things, know 38 For, as in the days that that it is near, even at the doors. were before the flood, they were
34 Verily I say unto you, eating and drinking, marrying This generation shall not pass, and giving in marriage, until till all these things be ful- the day that Noe entered into filled.
35 Heaven and earth shall 39 And knew not, until the pass away, but my words shall flood came and took them all not pass away.
away; so shall also the coming 36 But of that day and hour of the Son of man be.
32. A parable; instruction by way tion of the certainty of the events preof resemblance. The Saviour was dicted. Compare 5: 18. now on the mount of Olives, which 36. Of that day and hour, &c.; of abounded with fig-trees as well as the precise day (compare v.50) no one with olives.
but God knows. General informa33. These things; particularly the tion was given, namely, that the time things spoken of in vs. 5–12, 24. would be during the lives of some then
It is near ; the ruin predicted in v. 2. living; but a more particular designaLuke (21:28) says, “ your redemption tion was withholden, Mark (13: 32) draweth nigh;” that is, the deliverance says, “Of that day and that hour of Christians from the persecutions of knoweth no man, no, not the angels the Jews. This would be connected which are in heaven, neither the Son, with the overthrow of their city. In but the Father.” Jesus here probably v. 31, Luke also says, “ the kingdom spoke of himself, in his capacity as a of God is nigh at hand;" that is, the prophet, authorized to communicate Messiah's reign will then be establish- ihe will of God; he spoke in respect ed, the new dispensation will have to his human nature. triumphed over its deadly foes, and 37. The days of Noe; the time when the Messiah will reign gloriously in Noah lived, particularly just before the extension of his cause.
the flood. See Gen. 6:5-7. 34. This generation, &c. The de- 33. Eating and drinking, &c.; re struction of Jerusalem and of the Jew- gardless of the calamity which awaitish state, happened about forty years ed them. from the time the Saviour was speak- 39. Knew not ; considered not, were ing this prophecy; so that many who inattentive to the warnings of God. were then alive, and were daily seeing Thus it would be, the Saviour said, at the temple in its glory, lived to be the time when hé should come to ex. hold its desolation, and to experience ecute vengeance on the Jews. And the calamities connected with its de- thus it was; for though calamities struction.
were thickening around them, and the 35. Heaven and earth ; the visible Roman army was drawing nearer and creation. Though this visible creation nearer, multitudes of the Jews were shall perish (2 Pet. 3:7, 10), yet my cherishing the vain confidence, that predictions shall stand; a strong asser- these very troubles were assurances 40 Then shall two be in the thief would come, he would field; the one shall be taken, have watched, and would not and the other left.
have suffered his house to be 41 Two women shall be grind- broken up. ing at the mill; the one shall be 44 Therefore, be ye also taken, and the other left. ready; for in such an hour as ye
42 Watch, therefore; for ye think not, the Son of man cometh. know not what hour your Lord 45 Who, then, is a faithful doth come.
and wise servant, whom his lord 43 But know this, that if hath made ruler over his housethe good man of the house hold, to give them meat in due had known in what watch the season ? of the speedy coming of the Messiah as which have particular respect to each their conquering prince, and that deliv- one's end of life, and each one's beerance would arise to them by his sud- ing called to judginent; and thus he den appearing to rout the Roman army. passed on, in his discourse, to give in
40, 41. Some would still be en- formation respecting the general judggaged in the ordinary affairs of life, inent at the end of the world. not expecting the final calamity which 43, 44. The Saviour first noticed, in awaited them; and while thus occu- the way of illustration, that if a maspied, sudden destruction would come ter of a family knew the particular on them, so that scarcely any would time at which a thief would come, he escape. Two might be together in a would put himself in readiness. But field; but so unexpected and so gen- since no information is given, as to eral would be the calamity, that only the precise time of the Lord's coming, one of them would escape. So of two either for the destruction of Jerusalem, grinding at a mill. iVomen. Mills or for the end of the world, or (which were among the Hebrews driven by to each individual is, for all practical the hand; and two persons, generally purposes, the same) for calling each women, were employed in the opera. one to his account, it is incumbent on tion. The mill consisted of two cir- each to be habitually in a watchful cular stones; the lower one having frame of mind; lest the Lord should a slight elevation in the centre, the come when the person was off his upper, in order to fit to the lower, guard. Good man of the house; an being slightly hollowed. In the mid- öld expression for head of the family, dle of the upper was a hole, into which or master of the house. || In what the grain was put. To the upper a watch. The night was divided into handle was attached, by which it was four watches. See on 14 : 25. || House turned round; one person pushing it to be broken up. See on 6: 19. half-way, and the other pulling it 45. The Saviour next inculcated wholly round. Compare Luke 17:35. diligence in duty, and watchfulness,
42. Ye know not, &c. Since no by noticing the manner in which a information could be given of the pre- servant would be treated by his mascise hour when judgment upon the ter who had entrusted him with a nation would be consummated, it was particular charge. Who then is, &c. incumbent on all to be in a waiting This question is equivalent to the posture, to take seasonable warning, expression If a servant is faithful and and to be habitually ready. The Sa- wise. See a similar expression in viour so shaped his language here, as James 3: 13. Deut. 20: 5. to make it applicable at all times, and lord hath made ruler ; to whom his to all men, and thus prepared the master hath given authority as a suminds of his hearers for exhortations perintendent, to direct the other ser
46 Blessed is that servant, shall come in a day when he whom his lord, when he cometh, looketh not for him, and in an shall find so doing.
hour that he is not aware of, 47 Verily I say unto you,
51 And shall cut him asunThat he shall make him ruler der, and appoint him his porover all his goods.
tion with the hypocrites; there 48 But and if that evil ser- shall be weeping, and gnashing vant shall say in his heart, My of teeth. lord delayeth his coming ; 49 And shall begin to smite
CHAPTER XXV. his fellow-servants, and to eat THEN shall the kingdom of and drink with the drunken :
heaven be likened unto ten 50 The lord of that servant virgins, which took their lamps, vants. || His household ; family of the right hand and the left foot; or
When there was a number both feet and hands were cut off at of servants in a family, one was se- the joints. || The hypocrites ; those lected to have charge over the rest. servants who have been detected as A peculiar responsibility thus rested unfaithful, as merely pretending to on him; and it became him to be render service, but being in reality unprudent and watchful. ! To give worthy of confidence, and therefore them meat; to furnish provisions. consigned to punishment. Il Gnash
46. So doing; intent on the busi- ing of teeth; extreme anguish. ness entrusted to him. || Blessed ; happy. His master will honor him.
REFLECTION. Let us all be im. 47, Ruler over all his goods ; put pressed with the need of constant into his charge all his affairs. Com- watchfulness, and habitual readiness pare Gen. 24 : 2. Such a servant for the coming of our Lord. Whethwould be promoted to a more honora- er we are in public life, or private, ble station. Having conducted prop- we have a trust committed to us; erly in the charge of steward of the and it is only by being habitually ocservants, so as to furnish them sea- cupied in our duties, that we shall be sonably with provisions, he would be ready for our Lord's approach. We promoted to the higher office of a do not, indeed, now expect the speedy general superintendence over his dissolution of the world; but we are master's affairs. Thus watchfulness all exposed at every moment to death; in spiritual concerns will be approved and death is to each one as really the by our heavenly Master, and will se- end of his probation, as if the world cure to us his continued and increased should, at his departure, have actufavor.
ally come to an end. 48. Evil servant. But should a servant thus entrusted prove himself
CHAPTER XXV. bad, and neglect his master's orders, 1. Then; at that time, when the and abuse his office, he would surely Messiah shall be entering, upon the be detected, and consigned to merited consummation of his reign. The punishment.
Saviour proceeded in his exhorta51. Cut him asunder; severely tions, directing his disciples to the punish him. This manner of speak- final coming, which, as being the final ing was drawn from a mode of puñ- redemption of his people and overishment which was practised in some throw of his adversaries, would be Eastern nations. Different parts of intimately connected in his mind with the body were cut off, as, for instance, the coming to destroy Jerusalem. the left hand and the right foot; or | In the disciples' mirds, the two
and went forth to meet the the wise, Give us of your oil ; bridegroom.
for our lamps are gone out. 2 And five of them were 9 But the wise answered, wise, and five were foolish. saying, Not so; lest there be
3 They that were foolish took not enough for us and you : bus their lamps, and took no oil go ye rather to them that sell, with them :
and buy for yourselves. 4. But the wise took oil in 10 And while they went to their vessels with their lamps. buy, the bridegroom came, and
5 While the bridegroom tar- they that were ready went in ried, they all slumbered and with him to the marriage: and slept.
the door was shut. 6 And at midnight there was 11 Afterward came also the a cry made, Behold, the bride- other virgins, saying, Lord, groom cometh; go ye out to Lord, open to us. meet him.
12 But he answered and 7 Then all those virgins said, Verily I say unto you, I arose, and trimmed their lamps. know you not.
8 And the foolish said unto 13 Watch, therefore, for ye events were probably united; and it and to wait for them at a proper place. was not material specially to correct When notice was given that the their misconception, as the Saviour's bridegroom was approaching, the feobject was the practical benefit of his male friends could then arise to meet disciples and followers, and they and join the procession. Ten was would soon learn to distinguish be- probably the usual number of virgins tween the two events. || The king- who performed this service; some say dom of heaven ; the Messiah's admin. the number was never less than ten. istration consummated; the state of 3. Lamps. What are here called glory: || To meet the bridegroom. lamps, were probably flambeaus or The importance of being habitually torches. They consisted of small ready for the coming of the Lord, is bars of iron or brass, inserted into a urged by an allusion to the manner stick, to which pieces of linen dipped of performing marriage ceremonies in oil were fastened. The bottom of among the Jews. On such occasions the stick was furnished with a small a sumptuous feast was prepared, and vessel of brass or iron, to receive the the celebration usually occupied a oil that would flow down frons the week. The bridegroom, clothed in burning linen. the festival-robe, attended by a com- 5. While the bridegroom tarried. pany of young men of about his own The case is here supposed, that some age, with music, conducted from her unexpected delay detained the bridefather's house the bride, who was also groom. accompanied by virgins of her own 11. Lord, Lord. These are the age, to his father's house, or to the terms by which the virgins addressed house where the nuptial entertain the bridegroom, or sent in a message ment was to be given. In case this to him; equivalent to our form of adwas done in the evening, the pro- dress, Sir, sir. cession was furnished with suitable 12. I know you not; I acknowledge torches. || Went forth. It is said to you not; you were not among my athave been the practice for the female tendants and friends. friends of the bride to go forth some 13. This verse contains the point time before the bridegroom and bride, I of instruction illustrated by the parakņow neither the day nor the earth, and hid his lord's money. hour wherein the Son of man 19 After a long time, the cometh.
lord of those servants cometh, 14 For the kingdom of heaven and reckoneth with them. is country, who called his own ser-ceived five talents, came and vants, and delivered unto them brought other five talents, sayhis goods.
ing, Lord, thou deliveredst unto 15 And unto one he gave me five talents; behold, I have five talents, to another two, and gained besides them five talents to another one; to every man more. according to his several ability; 21 His lord said unto him, and straightway took his journey. Well done, thou good and faith
16 Then he that had received ful servant; thou hast been the five talents, went and traded faithful over a few things, I with the same, and made them will bake thee ruler over many other five talents.
things : enter thou into the joy 17 And, likewise, he that of thy lord. had received two, he also gained 22 He, also, that had reother two.
ceived two talents, came,
and 18 But he that had received said, Lord, thou deliveredst one, went, and digged in the unto me two talents : behold, I. ble ; namely, heedless and unwatch-mates, a talent was equal to fifteen ful persons will be rejected.
hundred dollars of our money; accord14. By another similitude, the Sa- ing to others, it was worth nine hun. viour showed the need of every one's dred or a thousand dollars. As here paying a diligent and watchful atten- used, the word merely signifies a tion to his duties, as the Lord's ser- large and adequate amount of propvant. All will be called to an acerty. None of the servants was left count, and will be dealt with according without the means of accomplishing to the manner in which they have much for his master; and these means regarded the trust committed to them. were proportioned to the circum. The kingdom of heaven; the future stances and ability of each. state of glory, the consummation of 19. The lord ; the master. || Rechthe Messiah's administration on earth.oneth ; makes settlement. The manner in which the retributions 20. Lord ; master, or sir. of eternity will be awarded is repre- 21. I will make thee ruler sented by the manner in which a many things; I will give thee inperson having been long absent from creased authority ; I will promote his accustomed residence, and having thee to a higher station. || Enter assigned to his servants certain du- thou into the joy of thy lord; enter ties with the requisite means of per- upon the enjoyment which thy masforming those duties, called those ser. ter has prepared for thee. The Sa. vants to account, and awarded to each viour probably meant to represent a recompense suited to the conduct the master as having provided a of each. || His goods; his property. sumptuous entertainment for his
15. Talents. The word talent was faithful servants, as a token of his a pecuniary term, like our word dol- approbation, and as a sort of pledge lar, only it was of a much larger of continued enjoyment to be examount. According to some esti- | pected by them.