Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him which has ten talents.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Take therefore the talent from him.—The sentence passed on the slothful servant confirms the view which sees in the “talents” the external opportunities given to a man for the use of his abilities. The abilities themselves cannot be thus transferred; the opportunities can, and often are, even in the approximate working out of the law of retribution which we observe on earth. Here also men give to him that hath, and faithful work is rewarded by openings for work of a higher kind. So, assuming a law, if not of continuity, at least of analogy, to work behind the veil, we may see in our Lord’s words that one form of the penalty of the slothful will be to see work which might have been theirs to do, done by those who have been faithful while on earth.Matthew 25:28-29. Take therefore the talent from him — Ye angels, the ministers of my will, take from him the blessing which he has thus abused, and give it unto him which hath ten talents — As a further token of my acceptance and favour. The master, who in disposing of the talents at first acted as an absolute owner and bountiful benefactor, now acts as a judge, and takes the talent from the unfaithful servant to punish him, and gives it to him that was eminently faithful, to reward him. And this may be applied, 1st, To any of the blessings of this life, such as wealth, honour, authority over others, health, strength, &c. Men are intrusted with these, that they may use them for the glory of God, and the good of their fellow-creatures: and he that conscientiously uses them for these ends, (which is signified in the next verse by having them; that is, having them to a good purpose,) shall have abundance, perhaps, of these things themselves, but if not, abundance of comfort in them, and of better things; but from him that hath not — That is, that hath these things as if he had them not, not doing good with them; they shall be taken away. Giving to the poor, and in other ways doing good with our talents, is trading with what we have, and the returns will be rich. The meal in the barrel, and the oil in the cruise will be multiplied, 1 Kings 17:14; but those that are niggardly and uncharitable will find that those riches which are so acquired and hoarded, Will perish by evil travail, or are kept by the owners thereof to their hurt, Ecclesiastes 5:13-14. And it often happens that Providence strangely transfers property from those that do not do good with it to those that do. And other gifts and endowments are frequently taken from those who do not employ them according to the design of the great Master, and are given to others who are disposed to make a better use of them. 2d, We may apply it to the means of grace. They who are diligent in improving the opportunities and advantages they have, may expect to have them continued and increased; but they who know not and improve not the day of their visitation, shall have the things that belong to their peace hid from their eyes. In proof of this, see what God did first to Shiloh, and then to Jerusalem, and to the churches of the Lesser Asia, mentioned Revelation 2., 3. 3d, We may apply it to spiritual gifts. He that hath these, and doth good with them, shall retain them and find them greatly enlarged, for they will improve by exercise, and brighten by use: but as to those who stir not up the gift that is in them, who do not exert themselves according to their capacity, their gifts rust and decay, and die away like a neglected fire. Matthew 21:12. This money was left with the servant, not to exchange, nor to increase it by any such idle means, but by honest industry and merchandise; but since he was too indolent for that, he ought at least to have loaned it to the exchangers, that his master might have received some benefit from it.
With usury - With interest, increase, or gain. The word "usury," in our language, has a bad signification, meaning unlawful or exorbitant interest. This was contrary to the law, Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:36. The original means "gain," increase, or lawful interest.
and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury—interest.See Poole on "Matthew 25:30".
and give it unto him which hath ten talents; for to diligent and laborious ministers of the word, more spiritual light and knowledge is given: but this is not to be understood, as though other men's gifts are, properly speaking, taken away from them, and bestowed on them; but that their gifts appear the more illustrious through the slothfulness of others.Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 25:28-30. Οὖν] because his conduct was so inexcusable.
Matthew 25:29. Justification of this mode of proceeding, by appealing to a principle founded on universal experience, and which was to find its verification in the case before us. Comp. Matthew 13:12.
τοῦ δὲ μὴ ἔχοντος] see critical remarks. The genitive, here placed first for sake of emphasis, might be regarded as dependent on ἀρθήσεται (Fritzsche), in accordance, that is, with the construction of verbs of depriving with τινός τι (Kühner, II. 1, p. 282). Inasmuch, however, as the ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ which follows would thus be superfluous and clumsy, it is better to take the genitive as absolute: as for him who has not (the poor man); comp. Thuc. v. 18. 8, and Krüger thereon. We thus obtain “duobus membris factis ex uno oppositio nervosior” (Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 272). For ὁ ἔχων, the rich man, comp. Isocr. vii. 55 and Benseler thereon.
For Matthew 25:30, comp. Matthew 8:12, Matthew 13:42; Matthew 13:50, Matthew 22:13, Matthew 24:51. The verse is not here out of place, but acquires a certain solemnity from its resemblance to the conclusion of ch. 24. (in opposition to Weiss, 1864, p. 129).
Teaching of the parable.
By a faithful use, after my departure, of those varied endowments which I have bestowed on each of you according to his special capacity, you are to do your utmost to promote my cause. For when I return and reckon with you (Matthew 25:19), then those who have exerted themselves in a dutiful manner will receive a distinguished reward in the kingdom of the Messiah; but those who have allowed their gifts, however small, to lie unused, will be deprived of that which has been entrusted to them, and be cast into Gehenna. For more minute and specific interpretations, all of them of a more or less arbitrary character, see Origen, Chrysostom, Theophylact. The reference to all Christian endowments generally (1 Corinthians 12), is to be regarded rather as an application of the parable in a more comprehensive sense.Matthew 25:28. ἄρατε, etc., take the one talent from the man who made no use of it; and give it to the man who will make most use of it.Verse 28. - The sentence on the unprofitable servant follows. It is to be observed that he is punished, not for fraud, theft, malversation, but for omission. He had left undone that which he ought to have done. Take therefore the talent from him. The forfeiture of the talent was just and natural. It was given to him for a special purpose; he had not carried this out; therefore it could be his no longer. A limb unused loses its powers; grace unemployed is withdrawn. God's Spirit will not always strive with man. There comes a time when, if wilfully resisted and not exercised, it ceases to inspire and to influence. Well may we pray, "Take not thy Holy Spirit from us!" Give it, etc. This is done on the principle stated in the next verse and Matthew 13:12. God's work must be done; his gifts are not lost; they are transferred to another who has proved himself worthy of such a charge. As the servant who had the ten talents lied already brought in his account and had received his reward, it seems, at first, difficult to understand how additional work and responsibility should be given to him. But it is the blessedness of Christ's servants that they rejoice in a new trust received, in added opportunities of serving him, whether in this life or in the life to come, and all the increase which they make is their own eternally and augments their joy.
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