Parable of Ten Virgins
1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps and went to (a)meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish [thoughtless, silly, and careless], and five were wise [far-sighted, practical, and sensible]. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil along with their lamps. 5 Now while the bridegroom was delayed, they all began to nod off, and they fell asleep. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! The bridegroom [is coming]! Go out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order [trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them]. 8 But the foolish virgins said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise replied, ‘No, otherwise there will not be enough for us and for you, too; go instead to the dealers and buy oil for yourselves.’ 10 But while they were going away to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut and locked. 11 Later the others also came, and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open [the door] for us.’ 12 But He replied, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, I do not know you [we have no relationship].’ 13 Therefore, be on the alert [be prepared and ready], for you do not know the day nor the hour [when the Son of Man will come].
Parable of the Talents
14 “For it is just like a man who was about to take a journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his possessions.(A) 15 To one he gave five (b)talents, to another, two, and to another, one, each according to his own ability; and then he went on his journey. 16 The one who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he [made a profit and] gained five more. 17 Likewise the one who had two [made a profit and] gained two more. 18 But the one who had received the one went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
19 “Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 And the one who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted to me five talents. See, I have [made a profit and] gained five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
22 “Also the one who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you entrusted two talents to me. See, I have [made a profit and] gained two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little, I will put you in charge of many things; share in the joy of your master.’
24 “The one who had received one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a harsh and demanding man, reaping [the harvest] where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter seed. 25 So I was afraid [to lose the talent], and I went and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is your own.’
26 “But his master answered him, ‘You wicked, lazy servant, you knew that I reap [the harvest] where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter seed. 27 Then you ought to have put my money with the bankers, and at my return I would have received my money back with interest. 28 So take the talent away from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents.’
29 “For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away.(B) 30 And throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place [of grief and torment] there will be weeping [over sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [over distress and anger].
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and majesty and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.(C) 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him [for judgment]; and He will separate them from one another, as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats;(D) 33 and He will put the sheep on His right [the place of honor], and the goats on His left [the place of rejection].
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God, appointed to eternal salvation], inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; 36 I was naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me [with help and ministering care]; I was in prison, and you came to Me [ignoring personal danger].’(E) 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.’(F)
41 “Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Leave Me, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels (demons); 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 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 [with help and ministering care].’ 44 Then they also [in their turn] will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or as a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will reply to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did not do it for one of the least of these [my followers], you did not do it for Me.’(G) 46 Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by His remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life.”(H)
a. Matthew 25:1: In a procession, the bridegroom and his friends brought the bride from her father’s house to his house where the wedding feast was prepared.
b. Matthew 25:15: A talent was a measurement of weight, usually 58-80 pounds. One talent of silver was worth more than 15 years’ wages. One talent of gold was worth even more.