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Matthew 25 Living Bible (TLB)

25 “The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids[a] who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2-4 But only five of them were wise enough to fill their lamps with oil, while the other five were foolish and forgot.

5-6 “So, when the bridegroom was delayed, they lay down to rest until midnight, when they were roused by the shout, ‘The bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!’

7-8 “All the girls jumped up and trimmed their lamps. Then the five who hadn’t any oil begged the others to share with them, for their lamps were going out.

“But the others replied, ‘We haven’t enough. Go instead to the shops and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were gone, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked.

11 “Later, when the other five returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Sir, open the door for us!’

12 “But he called back, ‘Go away! It is too late!’[b]

13 “So stay awake and be prepared, for you do not know the date or moment of my return.[c]

14 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going into another country, who called together his servants and loaned them money to invest for him while he was gone.

15 “He gave $5,000 to one, $2,000 to another, and $1,000 to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities—and then left on his trip. 16 The man who received the $5,000 began immediately to buy and sell with it and soon earned another $5,000. 17 The man with $2,000 went right to work, too, and earned another $2,000.

18 “But the man who received the $1,000 dug a hole in the ground and hid the money for safekeeping.

19 “After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to him to account for his money. 20 The man to whom he had entrusted the $5,000 brought him $10,000.

21 “His master praised him for good work. ‘You have been faithful in handling this small amount,’ he told him, ‘so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Begin the joyous tasks I have assigned to you.’

22 “Next came the man who had received the $2,000, with the report, ‘Sir, you gave me $2,000 to use, and I have doubled it.’

23 “‘Good work,’ his master said. ‘You are a good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over this small amount, so now I will give you much more.’

24-25 “Then the man with the $1,000 came and said, ‘Sir, I knew you were a hard man, and I was afraid you would rob me of what I earned,[d] so I hid your money in the earth and here it is!’

26 “But his master replied, ‘Wicked man! Lazy slave! Since you knew I would demand your profit, 27 you should at least have put my money into the bank so I could have some interest. 28 Take the money from this man and give it to the man with the $10,000. 29 For the man who uses well what he is given shall be given more, and he shall have abundance. But from the man who is unfaithful, even what little responsibility he has shall be taken from him. 30 And throw the useless servant out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

31 “But when I, the Messiah,[e] shall come in my glory, and all the angels with me, then I shall sit upon my throne of glory. 32 And all the nations shall be gathered before me. And I will separate the people[f] as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and place the sheep at my right hand, and the goats at my left.

34 “Then I, the King, shall say to those at my right, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, into the Kingdom prepared for you from the founding of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger and you invited me into your homes; 36 naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison, and you visited me.’

37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you anything to drink? 38 Or a stranger, and help you? Or naked, and clothe you? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’

40 “And I, the King, will tell them, ‘When you did it to these my brothers, you were doing it to me!’ 41 Then I will turn to those on my left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry and you wouldn’t feed me; thirsty, and you wouldn’t give me anything to drink; 43 a stranger, and you refused me hospitality; naked, and you wouldn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’

44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’

45 “And I will answer, ‘When you refused to help the least of these my brothers, you were refusing help to me.’

46 “And they shall go away into eternal punishment; but the righteous into everlasting life.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 25:1 bridesmaids, literally, “virgins.”
  2. Matthew 25:12 It is too late, literally, “I know you not.”
  3. Matthew 25:13 of my return, implied.
  4. Matthew 25:24 and I was afraid you would rob me of what I earned, literally, “reaping where you didn’t sow, and gathering where you didn’t scatter, and I was afraid.”
  5. Matthew 25:31 the Messiah, literally, “the Son of Man.”
  6. Matthew 25:32 separate the people, literally, “separate the nations.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Matthew 25 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

25 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

“At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

“Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

“‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’

12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The Parable of the Bags of Gold

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. 17 So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. 18 But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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