Matthew 25:1
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

King James Bible
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.

Darby Bible Translation
Then shall the kingdom of the heavens be made like to ten virgins that having taken their torches, went forth to meet the bridegroom.

World English Bible
"Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom.

Young's Literal Translation
'Then shall the reign of the heavens be likened to ten virgins, who, having taken their lamps, went forth to meet the bridegroom;

Matthew 25:1 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Then shall the kingdom of heaven - See the notes at Matthew 3:2. The phrase here refers to his coming in the day of judgment.

Shall be likened - Or shall resemble. The meaning is, "When the Son of man returns to judgment, it will be as it was in the case of ten virgins in a marriage ceremony." The coming of Christ to receive his people to himself is often represented under the similitude of a marriage, the church being represented as his spouse or bride. The marriage relation is the most tender, firm, and endearing of any known on earth, and on this account it suitably represents the union of believers to Christ. See Matthew 9:15; John 3:29; Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:9; Ephesians 5:25-32.

Ten virgins - These virgins, doubtless, represent the church - a name given to it because it is pure and holy. See 2 Corinthians 11:2; Lamentations 1:15; Lamentations 2:13.

Which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom - The "lamps" used on such occasions were rather "torches" or "flambeaux." They were made by winding rags around pieces of iron or earthenware, sometimes hollowed so as to contain oil, and fastened to handles of wood. These torches were dipped in oil, and gave a large light. Marriage "ceremonies" in the East were conducted with great pomp and solemnity. The ceremony of marriage was performed commonly in the open air, on the banks of a stream. Both the bridegroom and bride were attended by friends. They were escorted in a palanquin. carried by four or more persons. After the ceremony of marriage succeeded a feast of seven days if the bride was a virgin, or three days if she was a widow. This feast was celebrated in her father's house. At the end of that time the bridegroom conducted the bride with great pomp and splendor to his own home.

This was done in the evening, or at night, Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 25:10; Jeremiah 33:11. Many friends and relations attended them; and besides those who went with them from the house of the bride, there was another company that came out from the house of the bridegroom to meet them and welcome them. These were probably female friends and relatives of the bridegroom, who went out to welcome him and his new companion to their home. These are the virgins mentioned in this parable. Not knowing precisely the time when the procession would come, they probably went out early, and waited until they should see indications of its approach. In the celebration of marriage in the East at the present day, many of the special customs of ancient times are observed. "At a Hindu marriage," says a modern missionary, "the procession of which I saw some years ago, the bridegroom came from a distance, and the bride lived at Serampore, to which place the bridegroom was to come by water. After waiting two or three hours, at length, near midnight, it was announced, in the very words of Scripture, 'Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' All the persons employed now lighted their lamps, and ran with them in their hands to fill up their stations in the procession. Some of them had lost their lights and were unprepared, but it was then too late to seek them, and the cavalcade moved forward to the house of the bride, at which place the company entered a large and splendidly illuminated area before the house, covered with an awning, where a great multitude of friends, dressed in their best apparel, were seated upon mats. The bridegroom was carried in the arms of a friend, and placed in a superb seat in the midst of the company, where he sat a short time, and then went into the house, the door of which was immediately shut and guarded by sepoys. I and others expostulated with the doorkeepers, but in vain. Never was I so struck with our Lord's beautiful parable as at this moment - 'And the door was shut.'"

The journal of one of the American missionaries in Greece contains an account of an Armenian wedding which she attended; and, after describing the dresses and previous ceremonies, she says that at 12 o'clock at night precisely the cry was made by some of the attendants, "Behold, the bridegroom cometh;" and immediately five or six men set off to meet him.

Bridegroom - A newly-married man.

Matthew 25:1 Parallel Commentaries

Library
'They that were Ready'
'They that were ready went in with him to the marriage.' --MATT. xxv. 10. It is interesting to notice the variety of aspects in which, in this long discourse, Jesus sets forth His Second Coming. It is like the flood that swept away a world. It is like a thief stealing through the dark, and breaking up a house. It is like a master reckoning with his servants. These three metaphors suggest solemn, one might almost say alarming, images. But then this parable comes in and tells how that coming is like
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Traders for the Master
'For the kingdom of heaven la as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18. But he that had received one
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Parable of the Talents (Matt. , xxv. , 14-30) Compared with that of the Pounds (Luke, xix. , 12).
The parable of the talents (Matt., xxv.) is evidently allied to that of the pounds [690] (Luke, xix., 12); but there are points of difference too striking to be ascribed to alterations in transmission. In the latter, each of the servants receives the same sum, one pound, and their position in the kingdom is assigned according to their gains. In the former, different sums are intrusted to the servants in proportion to their ability, and those who bring gains in the same proportion are rewarded accordingly.
Augustus Neander—The Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion

The Ten virgins.
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

Cross References
Matthew 13:24
Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.

Matthew 25:7
"Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

Luke 12:35
"Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit.

John 3:29
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.

John 18:3
Judas then, having received the Roman cohort and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Acts 20:8
There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered together.

Revelation 4:5
Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;

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