Atlanta Bible Students

The Book of Matthew

Chapter 25
Go To Verse 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46

[1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. [3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. [5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom; go ye out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. [8] And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. [11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. [13] Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Suggested Reading: R5522 – The Ten Virgins

Verses 1-2  Expanded Bible Comments

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. [2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
QuestionAnswer
When is this parable applicable? "Then," i.e., at the time of our Lord's Return. Remember, Jesus is still answering the 3 questions of his disciples. This does not change simply because someone put in a chapter division. This is still part of "Our Lord's Great Prophecy."
What is "the kingdom of heaven?" Those who are supposed to be developed as a part of the Kingdom of Heaven class, i.e., the saints, the 144,000. In his parables Jesus used it to refer to what was supposed to be the true church, but it often referred to the nominal church systems (which contained the true church.)
In general, what is the symbolic meaning of a "virgin?" One who (spiritually) is pure and is "not defiled with women," i.e., is united to our Lord Jesus and puts that relationship above that of any man-made church.
Does this term indicate gender? The context determines the gender.
In this parable, what is a "virgin?" Same as above except, based on the virgins going "forth to meet the bridegroom," we know the gender of these virgins is female. As such they picture they picture the (prospective) church of Christ.
How many virgins were there? Ten: 5 wise and 5 foolish.
What did the virgins have in their possession? Lamps – picturing the word of God, the Bible. The time setting for this is the end of the Gospel Age. This is AFTER 1799. Bible Societies were bringing the Bible out of the sackcloth of dead languages and making it available to the people in their own languages.
What did the ten virgins do? They "took their lamps (Bibles), and went forth to meet the bridegroom."
How many groups of "virgins" were there and how many in each group? 2 groups, 5 in each group.
What are we told about the groups of "virgins?" One group of 5 were "wise" and the other group of 5 were "foolish."

Verses 3-4  Expanded Bible Comments

They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: [4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
QuestionAnswer
What about the foolish and the wise virgins is the same? Both took lamps with them.
What about the foolish and the wise virgins is the different? Only the wise took oil with them.
What is pictured by "their lamps?" Their Bibles, the Word of God. Psa. 119:105
What is pictured by their "vessels?" Themselves, their hearts.
What is pictured by the oil? Oil almost always pictures the Holy Spirit. Psa. 133:1-3; B23:1; C92:1; C93:1; C191

Verses 5-7  Expanded Bible Comments

While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. [6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom; go ye out to meet him. [7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
QuestionAnswer
Who is "the bridegroom?" Our Lord Jesus.
What did "the bridegroom" do? He "tarried."
From the standpoint of the virgins He tarried. They all expected Him to arrive at a point in time. Indeed, the predetermined time had been set. It was the virgins who made the mistake as to when that time would be. Therefore, to them, he appeared to tarry.
What did "the virgins" do? "They all slumbered and slept."
What historical movement is pictured by this (in verse 5)? The Millerite movement which culminated with the failure of their expectations in 1844. C92
What is pictured by this midnight cry? After the "Adventist" movement of the 1830's, the Lord (bridegroom) actually did come.
What was the cry and what did it mean? "Behold the bridegroom!" It meant that Christ had returned.
How could the virgins obey the command to "go ye out to meet him," what is pictured by this? By obeying the command to "come out of her my people." C194
How many of the virgins rose up? "All those virgins arose."
What is pictured by "trimmed their lamps?" Trimming a lamp is to make the wick clean it so the lamp may burn the brighter. This would seem to be studying the Scriptures and coming to a better understanding of God's Word. C92; R3243; R3869; R4654

Verses 8-10  Expanded Bible Comments

And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. [9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. [10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
QuestionAnswer
What is it about the "foolish virgins" that makes them "foolish?" They did not take enough oil in their lamps to keep their lamps burning.
Why didn't the "wise" share their oil with the "foolish?" Because they only had enough for themselves. This pictures the New Creation being given enough of the Holy Spirit for themselves. We get this by making a complete and unreserved consecration to the Lord. We maintain our supply by daily doing our best to keep the sacrifice of our wills on the altar.
What were the "foolish" instructed to do by the "wise," and what does that mean? "Go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves." This appears to indicate primarily experience in the world which has the tendency to drive the spirit-begotten towards living up to their consecration vows. Brother Russell also tied it to the Great Company gaining experience by passing through the great "time of trouble." C93:1; R1952
Does this show a little "cold-heartedness" on the part of the "wise virgins?" No.
Did the "foolish" follow the advice of the "wise?" Yes they did.
What happened while the "foolish virgins" were gone? "The bridegroom came; and they that were ready [the "wise virgins," the "little flock"] went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut."
What is indicated by "the door was shut?" The door of opportunity to enter into the racecourse as a probationary member of the "little flock," one of the 144,000.

Verses 11-13  Expanded Bible Comments

Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. [12] But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. [13] Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
QuestionAnswer
Who are "the other virgins?" The "foolish virgins," the Great Company class.
What do the "foolish virgins" say and why? "Lord, Lord, open to us." Because the door to the High Calling had been shut.
What was the response of the Lord and what does it mean? "Verily I say unto you, I know you not." Of course our Lord knew them, but not as members of the "little flock."
Why were our Lord's disciples instructed to "Watch?" Because they would not know in advance the date of our Lord's return.
Why is knowing of His return so important? Because if "the Son of Man, the Bridegoom" has not returned, then there is no urgency to make sure we have the oil in our vessels. The call to "come our of her my people" has not yet been given and there is less reason to leave mystic Babylon.

The Parable of the Talents

[14] For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. [15] And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. [16] Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. [17] And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. [18] But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. [19] After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. [20] And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. [21] His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. [22] He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. [23] His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. [24] Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strowed: [25] And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. [26] His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strowed: [27] Thou ougthest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. [28] Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. [29] For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. [30] And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Verse 14  Expanded Bible Comments

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
QuestionAnswer
What is "the kingdom of heaven?"
Those who are supposed to be developed as a part of the Kingdom of Heaven class, i.e., the saints, the 144,000. In his parables Jesus used it to refer to what was supposed to be the true church, but it often referred to the nominal church systems (which contained the true church.)
Who is the "man?"
Jesus.
What is the "far country" to which he travels?
Heaven itself.
Who are "his own servants?"
The Apostles first, and all the truly consecrated.
What are "his goods?"
Our abilities to be used in His service.

Verse 15  Expanded Bible Comments

And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
QuestionAnswer
Why does the parable show talents being distributed in an uneven manner (5 to one, 2 to another and 1 to another.) Isn't that unjust?
It is the opposite of being unjust because these talents were distributed "to every man according to his several ability."
What is pictured by the "talents?"
Abilities, both natural and spiritual abilities.
What did the man who had the servants do next?
"Straightway took his journey."
Who is pictured by the "man travelling into a far country?" Our Lord Jesus.
What is "the far country?" Heaven itself.

Verses 16-18  Expanded Bible Comments

Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. [17] And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. [18] But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
QuestionAnswer
What did the servant with 5 talents do?
By trading made an additional 5 talents.
What did the servant with 2 talents do?
By trading made an additional 2 talents.
What did the servant with 1 talent do?
"He that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money."
Who is pictured by the five talented servant? Those of the Lord's saints who have a great deal more abilities than most.
Who is pictured by the two talented servant? Those of the Lord's saints who have more abilities than many others – or at least average abilities.
Who is pictured by the one talented servant? Those who have made full consecration to serve the Lord and have average or even below average avilities.

Verse 19  Expanded Bible Comments

After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
QuestionAnswer
How long is "a long time" in this parable? Nearly 18½ centuries.
What does "the lord of those servants" do when he returns? He "reckons with them." 1 Pet. 4:17

Verses 20-21  Expanded Bible Comments

And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. [21] His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
QuestionAnswer
What did the servant who originally had received five talents do? He showed to his lord that he had gained another 5 talents.
What did "His lord" tell him? "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."
What is meant by "I will make thee ruler over many things?" Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21; 20:4

Verses 22-23  Expanded Bible Comments

He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. [23] His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
QuestionAnswer
What did the servant who originally had received two talents do? He showed to his lord that he had gained another 2 talents.
What did "His lord" tell him? "Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

Verses 24-25  Expanded Bible Comments

Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strowed: [25] And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
QuestionAnswer
How did the one-talented man view his Lord? "That thou art an hard man."
He claimed that his Lord reaped where he had not sown and gathered where he had not strowed. What would lead the one-talented man to think this? While we are not told directly, we may reasonably guess based upon the one-talented man's response. He did not receive his talent with joy at his opportunity, but rather as something to be done begrudgingly. His attitude seems to be that of "do I really have to do this?" This resulted in giving him a warped view of the Lord. He seems to have deduced that the Lord did not do any of the work Himself, but instead he gave it to others to do and then was taking the credit for himself.
What impact did this view have on the one-talented man? It made him to be afraid. 2 Tim. 1:7
What did the one-talented man do with the talent he possessed, and what significance does this have? He hid the talent and buried it in the earth. It indicates, not only that he did not seek to properly use the talent received, but additionally he buried it in earthly cares.

Verses 26-27  Expanded Bible Comments

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strowed: [27] Thou ougthest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
QuestionAnswer
What kind of a servant was the one-talented man? "Wicked and Slothful."
Was his lord affirming that he had indeed reaped, sowed and gathered where he did not labor? No. He was recognizing that this is how the one-talented servant viewed the matter.
Even given the view of the slothful servant, what should he have done with the one talent? He should at least have lent the talent to someone who would make it grow, if even just a little (like placing it in an interest bearing account at the bank.)
Why should he have done this? So there would have been at least a little profit for his master. It would also show the love and respect he had for his lord.
What does this suggest to us about the attitude we should take about the talents we given to us? Be active in the Lord's service.

Verses 28-30  Expanded Bible Comments

Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. [29] For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. [30] And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
QuestionAnswer
Why take away the one talent? Failure to make use of it.
Why give the talent to the man who already has ten talents? For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
What is meant by "outer darkness?" In contrash with the special light shining into the hearts and minds of those who appreciate their privileges. Matt. 6:23 Heb. 10:22-26
What is meant by "weeping and gnashing of teeth?" F419

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats

[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: [32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: [33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. [34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: [35] For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? [40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. [41] Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: [42] For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: [43] I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. [44] Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? [45] Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. [46] And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Verse 31  Expanded Bible Comments

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
QuestionAnswer
How do we know when this parable applies? When Jesus returns AND all the saints are with Him.
What does Jesus do at that time? "Then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory."
What does "and all the holy angels with him" mean? The church class will be with Him. Col. 3:4; Jude 14
Is there an implied connection between "the Son of man shall come in his glory" and "all the holy angels with him?" If so, what? It implies that at the time spoken of here, his bride (the woman,) the church, is complete and glorified with him. 1 Cor. 11:7.

Verses 32-33  Expanded Bible Comments

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: [33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
QuestionAnswer
What is indicated by "all nations" being gathered before him? When one is brought before the King's throne it usually denotes judgement. Psa. 72:11; 86:9; Rev. 15:4
When are "all nations gathered before him?" During the Millennial Age, the Day of Judgment. 2 Pet. 3:7-8; Rev. 16:14,16
Who or what is pictured by the sheep? And by the goats? The sheep – Those of the world of mankind who will attain everlasting life.
The goats – Those who will be destroyed in the second death.
Do we have any indication about the size of one class as opposed to the other? Not directly. Please see R1984. We know there will be a large number of those who will die the second death. Rev. 20:7-9

Verse 34  Expanded Bible Comments

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
QuestionAnswer
Who (what group) was on the king's right hand? The sheep.
What is the significance of being on the right hand as opposed to being on the left? The right hand always represents the position of power, strength or the favored position. Psa. 16:8,11; 17:7; 45:4,9; 91:7; 110:1,5; Isa. 41:10; Matt. 26:64

Verses 35-39  Expanded Bible Comments

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: [36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. [37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? [39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
QuestionAnswer
If this has reference to the Mediatorial phase of the Millennium, why would someone then be:
  1. hungry?
  2. thirsty?
  3. a stranger?
  4. naked?
  5. sick?
  6. in prison?


  1. They hunger for truth.
  2. They are thirsty for the holy spirit. - Rev. 22:17
  3. They are strangers to the new arrangements.
  4. Like Adam after Eden, man needs a covering.
  5. They are still sin-sick and need to walk up the highway of holiness. James 5:14-15
  6. Still in the prison-house of death, the imperfect condition. They are still prisoners to their fallen characters. They do not fully receive life until they are brought to perfection. Psa. 146:5-7

Verse 40  Expanded Bible Comments

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
QuestionAnswer
What is the principle here? "Am I my brother's keeper?" Gen. 4:9. Yes, you are. Matt. 7:12

Begin Here July 28, 2019

Verse 41  Expanded Bible Comments

Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
QuestionAnswer
Who are on his "left hand?"
What is pictured by being "on the left hand?"
What are those on the left told to do?
How are they described?
When they depart, where do they go, and what does that mean?
Who was this "prepared for?"

Verses 42-44  Expanded Bible Comments

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: [43] I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. [44] Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
QuestionAnswer
If this has reference to the Mediatorial phase of the Millennium, why would someone then be:
  • hungry?
  • thirsty?
  • a stranger?
  • naked?
  • sick?
  • in prison?
See vss. 35-39

Verse 45  Expanded Bible Comments

Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
QuestionAnswer
How does verse 45 differ from verse 40?

Verse 46  Expanded Bible Comments

And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
QuestionAnswer
Who are "these?"
Where to "these" go?
Does this mean they will be tortured for all eternity? Rom. 6:23; Eze. 18:4,20
What happens to the righteous (the sheep?)