Matthew 25:12
But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) 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).

25:1-13 The circumstances of the parable of the ten virgins were taken from the marriage customs among the Jews, and explain the great day of Christ's coming. See the nature of Christianity. As Christians we profess to attend upon Christ, to honour him, also to be waiting for his coming. Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Those are the truly wise or foolish that are so in the affairs of their souls. Many have a lamp of profession in their hands, but have not, in their hearts, sound knowledge and settled resolution, which are needed to carry them through the services and trials of the present state. Their hearts are not stored with holy dispositions, by the new-creating Spirit of God. Our light must shine before men in good works; but this is not likely to be long done, unless there is a fixed, active principle in the heart, of faith in Christ, and love to God and our brethren. They all slumbered and slept. The delay represents the space between the real or apparent conversion of these professors, and the coming of Christ, to take them away by death, or to judge the world. But though Christ tarry past our time, he will not tarry past the due time. The wise virgins kept their lamps burning, but they did not keep themselves awake. Too many real Christians grow remiss, and one degree of carelessness makes way for another. Those that allow themselves to slumber, will scarcely keep from sleeping; therefore dread the beginning of spiritual decays. A startling summons was given. Go ye forth to meet Him, is a call to those prepared. The notice of Christ's approach, and the call to meet him, will awaken. Even those best prepared for death have work to do to get actually ready, 2Pe 3:14. It will be a day of search and inquiry; and it concerns us to think how we shall then be found. Some wanted oil to supply their lamps when going out. Those that take up short of true grace, will certainly find the want of it one time or other. An outward profession may light a man along this world, but the damps of the valley of the shadow of death will put out such a light. Those who care not to live the life, yet would die the death of the righteous. But those that would be saved, must have grace of their own; and those that have most grace, have none to spare. The best need more from Christ. And while the poor alarmed soul addresses itself, upon a sick-bed, to repentance and prayer, in awful confusion, death comes, judgment comes, the work is undone, and the poor sinner is undone for ever. This comes of having oil to buy when we should burn it, grace to get when we should use it. Those, and those only, shall go to heaven hereafter, that are made ready for heaven here. The suddenness of death and of Christ's coming to us then, will not hinder our happiness, if we have been prepared. The door was shut. Many will seek admission into heaven when it is too late. The vain confidence of hypocrites will carry them far in expectations of happiness. The unexpected summons of death may alarm the Christian; but, proceeding without delay to trim his lamp, his graces often shine more bright; while the mere professor's conduct shows that his lamp is going out. Watch therefore, attend to the business of your souls. Be in the fear of the Lord all the day long.I know you not - You were not in the company of those who attended me to the marriage-feast, and are unknown to me. Applied to professing Christians, having only a profession of religion, but no real piety, it means, I do not know or acknowledge you as Christians. I do not approve of you, or delight in you, or admit that you are my friends. The word "know" is often used in the sense of approving, loving, acknowledging as real friends and followers. See Matthew 7:23; Psalm 1:6; 2 Timothy 2:19; 1 Thessalonians 5:12. 12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not—The attempt to establish a difference between "I know you not" here, and "I never knew you" in Mt 7:23—as if this were gentler, and so implied a milder fate, reserved for "the foolish" of this parable—is to be resisted, though advocated by such critics as Olshausen, Stier, and Alford. Besides being inconsistent with the general tenor of such language, and particularly the solemn moral of the whole (Mt 25:13), it is a kind of criticism which tampers with some of the most awful warnings regarding the future. If it be asked why unworthy guests were admitted to the marriage of the King's Son, in a former parable, and the foolish virgins are excluded in this one, we may answer, in the admirable words of Gerhard, quoted by Trench, that those festivities are celebrated in this life, in the Church militant; these at the last day, in the Church triumphant; to those, even they are admitted who are not adorned with the wedding garment; but to these, only they to whom it is granted to be arrayed in fine linen clean and white, which is the righteousness of saints (Re 19:8); to those, men are called by the trumpet of the Gospel; to these by the trumpet of the Archangel; to those, who enters may go out from them, or be cast out; who is once introduced to these never goes out, nor is cast out, from them any more: wherefore it is said, "The door is shut." See Poole on "Matthew 25:13". But he answered and said,.... The Lord and bridegroom from within, thought fit to give them an answer, but an unexpected and awful one to them:

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. .), 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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