But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I know you not.—The sentence of rejection is clothed in the same language as in Matthew 7:23. The Lord “ are His” (2Timothy 2:19), and their blessedness will be to know Him even as they are known (1Corinthians 13:12).Matthew 7:23; Psalm 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:12. See Poole on "Matthew 25:13".
verily I say unto you, I know you not; which must be understood in consistence with the omniscience of Christ: he knew their persons, conduct, and state; he knew they were foolish virgins, graceless professors, who had made no account of him and his righteousness; but had trusted to, and depended upon, their external profession of religion: they were none of the people whom he foreknew, or knew as his own, and loved with an everlasting love; he never knew them as his father's choice in him, or as this father's gift to him; he never knew them in the everlasting covenant, or as his sheep, for whom he died; he never knew them to believe in him, or love him; nor ever exalt his person, blood and sacrifice, at his table, nor do any good work with a single eye to his glory; he never approved of them, liked their persons, or their conduct; or ever owned them as the true companions, either of his bride, or of himself: which answer implies, that as the door was shut, so it should remain; there was no admittance for them, nor any to be hoped for; and it is all one as if he had said, begone, and depart hence. The Persic version adds such a clause, "begone from my door".But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 25:12 f. Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς] because ye were not amongst the bridesmaids who welcomed me, ye are to me as entire strangers whom I do not know, and who, therefore, can have no part in the marriage! The knowledge of experience arising out of the intercourse of life (Matthew 7:23; 1 Corinthians 8:3; 1 Corinthians 13:12; Galatians 4:9) is the point intended to be thus illustrated. Besides, Jesus might also have said (in opposition to Cremer): οὐκ ἔγνων ὑμ. (I have not known you).
οὖν] because the foolish virgins were shut out, and because something corresponding to this would happen to you unless you watch.
According to Matthew 25:13, the teaching of the parable is: that the moral preparedness that continues to maintain itself up till the moment of the advent, the day and hour of which do not admit of being determined, will lead to participation in the Messianic kingdom, whereas those in whom this preparedness has not been maintained till the end will, when surprised by the sudden appearing of the Lord, experience in themselves the irreparable consequences of their foolish neglect, and be shut out from, His kingdom. This latter is a negative expression of condemnation, not, as Olshausen supposes notwithstanding the ἐκλείσθη ἡ θύρα, merely a way of designating such a salvation as is spoken of in 1 Corinthians 3:15. More specific interpretations—of the virgins, the lamps, the oil, the κραυγή, etc.—are to be found not only in Origen, Hilary, Cyrill, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Augustine, Jerome (see Cremer, p. 156 ff.), but also in Olshausen, von Meyer, Cremer, Lange, Auberlen. In those interpretations subjective opinion has, in most diverse and arbitrary fashion, exceeded the limits indicated by Jesus in Matthew 25:13. Calvin well remarks: “Multum se torquent quidam in lucernis, in vasis, in oleo. Atqui simplex et genuina summa est, non sufficere alacre exigui temporis studium, nisi infatigabilis constantia simul accedat.” Neither is the falling asleep of the virgins intended to be specially significant; for, as it happened in the case of the exemplary wise ones as well, it cannot represent any moral shortcoming.Matthew 25:12. οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς, I do not know you; in the natural sphere not a judicial penalty for arriving too late, but an inference from the late arrival that those without cannot belong to the bridal party. The solemn tone, however (ἀμὴν λ. ὑ.), shows that the spiritual here invades the natural. Pricaeus refers to Luke 11:7 as helping to understand the temper of the speech from within = do not trouble me, the door is shut.Verse 12. - I know you not. They had not been in the bridal company, nor joined in the festive procession, so the bridegroom could only answer from within that he had no knowledge of them. What is meant spiritually by this rejection is doubtful. This is not a solitary instance of the use of the expression. In the sermon on the mount Christ declared that his sentence on those that professed, but practised not, would be, "I never knew you: depart from me!" (Matthew 7:23). He is said to know those whom he approves and acknowledges to be his (see John 10:14). God says of Abraham, "I know him" (Genesis 18:19) and of Moses, "I know thee by name" (Exodus 33:12). To be known of God is a higher blessing than to know God (Galatians 4:9). Many think that the words of our text imply utter reprobation. So Nosgen; and Chrysostom writes, "When he hath said this, nothing else but hell is left, and that intolerable punishment; or rather, this word is more grievous even than hell. This word he speaks also to them that work iniquity." But we must observe that in the present ease we have not the terrible addition, "Depart from me!" The sentence of exclusion from Christ's presence is not equivalent to that in ver. 41, which dooms souls to the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels. These five virgins had received the grace of God, and used it well for a time, and only failed at the last for lack of care and watchfulness. They had still some love for the Lord, still desired to serve him; it is not conceivable that they should suffer the same punishment as the utterly godless and profane, whose wickedness was perfect and Satanic. Doubtless they were punished; but as there are degrees of happiness in heaven, so there may be gradation of pains and penalties for those debarred from its blessings (see 1 Corinthians 3:15). But it is not improbable that the exclusion in the first place refers to the deprivation of participation in Messiah's future kingdom, whatever that may be, according to the vision in Revelation 20, and that the proceedings at the final judgment are not here intended.
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