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A Story about Ten Young Women

25 (A) The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten young women took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom.[a] Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps.

The groom was late arriving, and the young women became drowsy and fell asleep. Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, “Here's the groom! Come to meet him!”

When the women got up and started getting their lamps ready, the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”

Those who were wise answered, “There's not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.”

10 While the foolish ones were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The five who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11 (B) Later the others returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!”

12 But the groom replied, “I don't even know you!”

13 So, my disciples, always be ready! You don't know the day or the time when all this will happen.

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  1. 25.1 to meet the groom: Some manuscripts add “and the bride.” It was the custom for the groom to go to the home of the bride's parents to get his bride. Young women and other guests would then go with them to the home of the groom's parents, where the wedding feast would take place.

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