They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Jump to: Alford • Barnes • Bengel • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Chrysostom • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Exp Grk • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • 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)Took no oil with them.—In the interpretation of the parable, the lamp or torch is obviously the outward life of holiness by which the disciple of Christ lets his light shine before men (Matthew 5:16), and the “oil” is the divine grace, or more definitely, the gift of the Holy Spirit, without which the torch first burns dimly and then expires. The foolish virgins neglected to seek that supply, either from the Great Giver, or through the human agencies by which He graciously imparts it.Matthew 25:13. It is not to teach us the relative "number" of those who shall be saved and who shall not. In teaching us to "watch and to be ready," our Lord gives great additional interest by the circumstances of this narrative; but there is no authority for saying that he meant to teach that just half of professing Christians would be deceived. The moral certainty is that "nothing like" that number will be found to have been hypocrites.
Oil in their vessels - The five foolish virgins probably expected that the bridegroom would come immediately; they therefore made no provision for any delay. The wise virgins knew that the time of his coming was uncertain, and they therefore furnished themselves with oil. This was carried in "vessels," so that it could be poured on the torches when it was necessary.See Poole on "Matthew 25:13".
and took no oil with them: by oil is meant, not temporal blessings, nor spiritual ones, nor the Gospel, nor the gifts of the Spirit, all which are sometimes signified by oil; but either the Spirit of God himself, who is the oil of gladness, and the anointing which teacheth all things; or the regenerating and sanctifying grace of the Spirit, even all the graces which are implanted by him in conversion: this is so called, in allusion to the anointing oil under the law, in its excellent nature, its costly matter, its curious make, and particular application; and in the use of it to anoint both things, the tabernacle and its vessels, and persons, prophets, priests, and kings; see Exodus 30:23, &c. The grace of the Spirit being of an holy and sanctifying nature, exceeding valuable and precious, and a curious piece of workmanship, and what is only applied unto, and bestowed on the elect of God; and with which all the vessels of mercy, small and great, are anointed, and are made prophets, priests, and kings, and is what is, as that was, lasting and abiding: or else with respect to the precious oil, or ointment poured on Aaron's head, which was emblematical of the grace of the Spirit, which was poured forth, without measure, on Christ, and from him descends to all his members: or to the lamp oil for the candlestick in the tabernacle, which was oil olive, pure, beaten, and was for light, to cause the lamp to burn always; and fitly represented grace, which comes from Christ, the true olive tree; is pure, and of a purifying nature; and comes through a bruised, crucified Christ; and being put into the heart, causes the light of good works, and a becoming conversation, to shine forth: or else to oil in common, which is of a cheering and refreshing nature; is beautifying and adorning, supplying and healing, feeding and fattening, searching and penetrating, and will not mix with any thing else; upon all which accounts grace may be compared to it. Now these foolish virgins, though they took up a lamp of a profession, yet were unconcerned for the oil of grace, to fill, maintain, and trim this lamp: they were ignorant of the nature and use of true grace; they saw no need of it, and therefore did not ask for it, or about it; they neglected it, made light of it, and denied it as useless; and being destitute of it, took up their profession without it; and in this lay their folly.They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 25:3. Αἵτινες μωραί] sc. ἦσαν, quotquot erant stultae.
ἔλαβον they took, on setting out; not for the pluperfect (Erasmus, Vatablus).
μεθʼ ἑαυτῶν] with themselves, namely, besides the oil that was burning in their lamps.Matthew 25:3. ἔλαιον: the statement about the foolish, indicating the nature or proof of their folly, is that they took their lamps but did not take oil. None? or only not a supply sufficient for an emergency—possible delay? Goebel (Die Parabeln Jesu) decides for the former view. His idea of the whole situation is this: the virgins meet at the bride’s house, there wait the announcement of the bridegroom’s approach, then for the first time proceed to light their lamps, whereupon the foolish find that there is nothing in the dish except a dry wick, which goes out shortly after being lighted. In favour of this view he adduces the consideration that the other alternative makes the wise too wise, providing for a rare occurrence. Perhaps, but on the other hand Goebel’s view makes the foolish too foolish, and also irrelevantly foolish, for in the case supposed they would have been at fault even if the bridegroom had not tarried. But the very point of the parable is to illustrate the effect of delay. On the various ways of conceiving the situation, vide The Parabolic Teaching of Christ.3. They that were foolish took their lamps] All watch for their Lord, but some only—“the wise”—with true intensity and with due provision for the watch. The foolish virgins have sufficient oil if the Lord come quickly; not sufficient for long and patient expectation. It is a rebuke to shallow religion that dies away when the excitement passes.
The oil seems to mean generally the perfection of the Christian life or preparedness for the Lord’s coming.Matthew 25:3. Ἔλαιον, oil) i.e. except that with which the lamps were then burning: see latter part of Matthew 25:8. The lamp burning is faith; the lamp with oil beside is abundant faith.
 Elsewhere he suggests another interpretation, viz.: “In a Burning Lamp there is Fire and Oil. By the Fire is here signified the supernatural, heavenly, fiery Spirit-power (Geisteskraft) which is bestowed upon the soul without its co-operation (ohne ihr Zuthun): see 2 Peter 1:3-4; and by the Oil, holy Assiduity (Fleiss) on the part of man: see 2 Peter 1:5. And of this, man should have not only enough for the exigencies of the present time, but also an abundant supply, see 2 Peter 1:8 [sc. “if these things be in you and abound”], for all future circumstances: so does the entrance to the Wedding-House become sure to him, and abundant besides, see 2 Peter 1:11 [sc. “an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly”]. The foolish virgins did not even remain resting only on their own unassisted nature: they too had something of grace and of the Spirit. Nowhere is it more clearly (deutlicher) written than here how far a soul can advance in good, and yet fall through (durchfallen): see Matthew 25:8.”—B. G. V. in loc.Verse 3. - They that were foolish (αἵτινες μωραί)... took no oil with them. It has been doubted whether they brought no oil of their own at all, trusting to get their lamps filled by others, or whether they neglected to bring an additional supply to replenish them when exhausted. The latter seems most likely to be the sense intended; as the spiritual aspect of the parable places both classes in exactly the same position at starting, and we know from other sources that, the oil reservoirs being very small, it was the custom to carry another vessel from which to refill them. Some good manuscripts commence the verse with "for," thus making the verse justify the epithets applied to the virgins.
Read αἱ γὰρ μωραὶ, for the foolish. The for justifies the epithet foolish in the preceding verse.
LinksMatthew 25:3 Interlinear
Matthew 25:3 Parallel Texts
Matthew 25:3 NIV
Matthew 25:3 NLT
Matthew 25:3 ESV
Matthew 25:3 NASB
Matthew 25:3 KJV
Matthew 25:3 Bible Apps
Matthew 25:3 Parallel
Matthew 25:3 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 25:3 Chinese Bible
Matthew 25:3 French Bible
Matthew 25:3 German Bible