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Matthew 25:1-46

Before we continue, we should realize that the context continues from Matthew chapter 24 where the learning-disciples said to Jesus, “You must say to us when will these-things be, and what will be the sign of your presence and completing-together of the age?” Jesus then began teaching and explaining concerning these topics, and in Matthew 24:36 he said that concerning that day and hour when the son of man will come, not-one-person knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the son, except the Father only.

Matthew 25:1-13:

25:1”Then the kingdom of the heavens will be made-like ten virgins, the-ones-who having taken the torches of themselves went-out with-a-view-to a meeting of the bridegroom, .2but five out-from them used-to-be dull and five thoughtful, .3for the dull-ones having taken their torches did not take olive-oil with themselves .4but the thoughtful-ones took olive-oil in the little-containers with the torches of themselves. .5But (during) the bridegroom’s taking-time all were drowsy and used-to lie-down-asleep. .6But midst of (the) night a crying-out came-to-pass2, ‘Look!, the bridegroom – you must go-out into a meeting.’ .7Then all those virgins were raised-up and they orderly-arranged the torches of themselves, .8but the dull-ones said to the thoughtful-ones, ‘You must give to us from your olive-oil because our torches are being quenched.’ .9But the thoughtful-ones answered saying, ‘Lest-perhaps it may never suffice for us and you, you must journey rather towards the (people) selling and buy for yourselves.’ .10But (during) their going-away to buy, the bridegroom came and the prepared-ones went with him into the marriage (celebrations) and the door was shut. .11But the remaining virgins afterwards come also saying, ‘Lord, lord, you must open for us.’ .12But the (lord) having answered said, ‘With-certainty I say to you, I did not know2 you.’ .13Therefore you must wakefully-watch because you did not know2 the day nor the hour.

Jesus continues, “Then the kingdom of the heavens will be made-like ten virgins (at that time God’s kingdom will be caused to be like, to be similar to ten female virgins), the ones who, having taken the torches of themselves (their own family torches) went out with-a-view-to a meeting of the bridegroom (the purpose being into, directed to the bridegroom's meeting where they come together from different places to be face-to-face), but five out-from them were dull (five of them were not acute, they were absurd, foolish, moronic) and five thoughtful (having thoughts in their minds, sensible and intellectual), for the dull virgins having taken their torches did not take olive oil with themselves but the thoughtful virgins took olive oil in the little containers (small vessels, receptacles) with the torches belonging to themselves.”

The word "virgins" refers here to females who had not yet had sexual relations with a man and were still unmarried. In the context these ten are the bridesmaids who wait in a special room in the inn for the bridegroom and his party to arrive for the marriage and then they were to join them continuing on into the marriage area. There were usually ten virgins because the marriage celebrations would last for ten days and each virgin would have a specific assignment to perform on a particular day. These ten would have already spent time in the bride’s home decorating it and making it ready for the bridegroom’s arrival. On the night when the bridegroom was scheduled to arrive they would go to the gate of the city where there was a public inn and wait in a room set aside for them until his arrival. The word “torches” refers to lamps or torches which needed to be fed olive oil to burn for light, and for such occasions each family had at least one set aside.

“But while the bridegroom was taking chronological time to arrive, all the virgins were drowsy (got torpid, dazed) and were voluntarily lying down asleep. At midnight (the time when the bridegroom and his party were due to arrive) a crying-out came to pass (an outcry, screaming, shouting happened) and what was cried did not change, ‘Look (see, behold, pay attention to what is being said)!, the bridegroom (is here) – you must go out into a meeting (with the bridegroom – this loud cry/shout was usually done by one assigned by the bridegroom to announce his arrival).’

Then all those virgins were raised-up (awoken from sleep) and they orderly-arranged the torches of themselves (they ornamented, adorned; the root of this verb is the same as “world” which is the ordered arrangement that God created, the universe), but the dull virgins said to the thoughtful virgins, ‘You must give to us from your olive oil because our torches are being quenched (presently being extinguished, the torches’ lights are going out – because the olive oil is running out).’ The thoughtful virgins answered them by saying, ‘Lest-perhaps it may never suffice for us and you, you must journey rather towards the people selling and buy for yourselves (whether or not at some time, whether it may happen or not, that the amount of olive oil we have would definitely not be sufficient for all of us and then none of us would have lighting torches, you must pass more-so towards those who sell olive oil and purchase some for yourselves).’

But while those five virgins were gone away to buy some olive oil (as a person buys in a marketplace), the bridegroom came and the prepared-ones (the other five virgins who were ready because they had brought a sufficient amount of olive oil with them) went with the bridegroom into the marriage celebrations (wedding festivities) and the door was shut (the entrance door was closed).

But the remaining virgins afterwards come also (after the door was shut, the rest of them, i.e. the five who went away because they did not bring the olive oil that was required for this event, came to where the marriage was taking place) saying, ‘Lord, lord (master), you must open for us (open the door so that we can enter, access).’ But the lord answered by saying, ‘With-certainty (amen, surely, truly) I say to you, I did not know and continue not to know you (I have not perceived, seen you; I don’t know you; you did not come within my sphere of perception or circle of vision, I did not see you to the end of perceiving and knowing with the mind).’” These five virgins did not come to the bridegroom when he arrived because they did not have what was needed. They did not come to meet him and therefore they could not be given access before the door was shut.

Jesus continues: “Therefore you (learning disciples who are Israelites/Judeans) must wakefully-watch because you did not know and continue not to know the day nor the hour (following-on logically from what I have just told you, you must be watchful, keep awake, figuratively have your eyes open and be alert and sensitive to what God wants you to know and do, because you have not and still do not perceive the day nor the hour – when the son of man will come to accomplish what Jesus has been discussing in response to their questions in Matthew chapter 24).”

[Reference: Matthew 24:31, 42 and 44. Note: verbs with a superscript 2 (2) immediately following them indicate the "perfect" tense - details are provided in the "Relevant Notes" link of this study.]

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