But for as much as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
Jump to: Alford • Barnes • Bengel • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Chrysostom • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Exp Grk • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Guzik • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • ICC • JFB • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Meyer • Parker • PNT • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • VWS • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)His lord commanded him to be sold.—The framework of the parable was necessarily drawn from human laws, and, except as indicating the sentence of condemnation passed upon the sinner himself, there is no occasion of pressing the details as we unfold the spiritual meaning that lies below the imagery.2 Kings 4:1; Leviticus 25:39-46; Amos 8:6. See Poole on "Matthew 18:35". Luke 17:10. We see also from hence, how much the saints are obliged to Christ Jesus, and how thankful they should be to him, who became a surety for such insolvent creatures; has paid all their debts for them, and procured for them every blessing of grace they stand in need of: but think, O sinner, what thou wilt be able to say and do, when God comes to reckon with thee, and thou hast nothing to pay, nor any to pay for thee, or be thy surety; a prison must be thy portion ever.
His Lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had; according to the Jewish laws, in such a case: of a man's being sold, or selling himself when poor, see Leviticus 25:47, for the law in Exodus 22:3, referred to by some as an instance of this, respects the selling of a man for theft, and not for debt. Of the selling of a man's wife for the payment of his debts, I do not remember to have read any law concerning it, or instances of it; but of children being taken for bondmen by the creditor, for their father's debts, mention is made, 2 Kings 4:1. These children, by the Jewish writers (i), are said to be the children of Obadiah, who contracted the debt to feed the prophets in a cave, when they were persecuted by Jezebel; and the creditor, according to them, was Jehoram, the son of Ahab, who lent him money on usury for this purpose, in his father's time; and now Obadiah being dead, he takes his children for the debt, and makes them bondmen; see also Nehemiah 5:5. There seems to be an allusion to this practice, in Isaiah 50:1, and it was not only the custom of the Jews to come upon children for the debts of parents, but of other nations: with the Athenians, if a father could not pay his debts, the son was obliged to pay, and in the mean while to be kept in bonds till he did (k): and as Grotius, in 2 Kings 4:1 proves from Plutarch and Dionysius Halicarnassensis, children were sold by the creditors of their parents, as in Asia, at Athens, and at Rome. Now this expresses the state of bondage, sin, as a debt, brings men into; they become slaves to their own lusts, vassals of Satan, and in bondage to the law; and also the ruin and destruction it exposes them to; as, the curse and condemnation of the law, the wrath of God, eternal death, even the destruction of body and soul in hell:
and payment to be made by punishment, which will always be making, and never finished. This order of the king was not intended to be executed, as the sequel shows; but declares the will of God, that the sad and woeful condition of man should be set before him by the ministers of the word; signifying what his state is, how deserving of vengeance, and what must be his portion, if grace prevent not: the view of which is to vindicate the rights of law and justice, to express the sinner's deserts, and move him to apply to the Lord for grace and mercy, which effect it had.But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 18:25. πραθῆναι … ἔχει: the order is given that the debtor be sold, with all he has, including his wife and children; hard lines, but according to ancient law, in the view of which wife and children were simply property. Think of their fate in those barbarous times! But parables are not scrupulous on the score of morality.—καὶ ἀποδοθῆναι: the proceeds of sale to be applied in payment of the debt.25. he had not to pay] He had wasted in extravagance the provincial revenues, or the proceeds of taxation.Matthew 18:25. Ἐκέλευσεν, κ.τ.λ., he commanded, etc.) The Lord shows His right, but does not use it: the servant, however, abuses whatever right he possesses.—ὅσα εἶχε, all that he had) The peculium, which, indeed, itself belonged to the Lord.
 Amongst the Romans, slaves had a certain allowance granted them for their sustenance, commonly four or five pecks of grain a month, and five denarii. They likewise had a daily allowance. Whatever they saved of these, or procured by any other means, with their masters’ consent, was called their PECULIUM. This money, with their masters’ permission, they put out at interest, or sometimes purchased with it a slave for themselves, from whose labours they might make profit. Such a slave was called servi vicarius, and formed part of the PECULIIM, with which also slaves sometimes purchased their own freedom. See Adams’s Roman Antiquities in voc.—(I. B.)Verse 25. - He had not to pay. He was absolutely bankrupt, and had no means whatever of meeting the deficit. To be sold. The Jewish Law ordered such process in the case of an impecunious debtor (see Exodus 22:3; Leviticus 25:39, 41; and the concrete case in 2 Kings 4:1; comp. also Isaiah 50:1; Psalm 44:12). But this law was mitigated by the enactment of the jubilee, which in the course of time restored the bondman to liberty. The instance in the parable appertains rather to Oriental depotism than to the proceedings under Mosaic legislation (see ver. 34, which is not in accordance with Jewish practice). The king, by this severity, may have desired to make the defaulter feel the weight of his debt, and to bring him to repentance, as we see that he was ready to accept the submission of the debtor, and to grant him forgiveness (St. Chrysostom). Payment to be made. The verb is put impersonally. Of course, the sale of himself, wife, family, possessions, would not produce enough to satisfy the debt; but the command is to the effect that the proceeds should be taken on account of the debt. The parable; must not be pressed in all its details; a false impression is often produced by fixing spiritual or allegorical meaning upon the unimportant accessories, which, in fact, merely give vividness to the offered picture. The sale of wife and children is of this character, though it may be said generally and experimentally that a man's sins react on his family in some sort, lowering position and reputation, and reducing to poverty etc.; but this result has no bearing on the lessening of the original debt.
LinksMatthew 18:25 Interlinear
Matthew 18:25 Parallel Texts
Matthew 18:25 NIV
Matthew 18:25 NLT
Matthew 18:25 ESV
Matthew 18:25 NASB
Matthew 18:25 KJV
Matthew 18:25 Bible Apps
Matthew 18:25 Parallel
Matthew 18:25 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 18:25 Chinese Bible
Matthew 18:25 French Bible
Matthew 18:25 German Bible