And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)While they went to buy.—The words imply that had they gone earlier, as the wise virgins, by hypothesis, had done, all would have been well. The mistake lay in their not having gone before. It is too late, in other words, to have recourse to the ordinary means of grace for the formation of character, to ordinances, sacraments, rules of life, at the moment of the crisis in personal or national life, which answers to the coming of the bridegroom. The door is then shut, and is no longer opened even to those who knock.Matthew 25:10-12. While they went to buy — While they made some unsuccessful efforts to obtain oil, and light their lamps; the bridegroom came, and they that were ready — They who had put on the wedding- garment, who had an interest in Christ’s obedience unto death, and were renewed by his Spirit, who had recovered the divine likeness, the whole image of God stamped upon their soul; who had done and suffered the whole will of God unto the end, while they had kept themselves unspotted from the world: they, (to speak in the language of Christ,) whose loins were girded, and their lamps burning, and themselves like unto men waiting for their Lord, went in with him to the marriage — For blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, they rest from their labours, and their works follow them: and those that are found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless, in whatever way he comes to them, shall enter into the joy of their Lord, and sit down at the marriage-feast with patriarchs and prophets, and all the company of heaven. And the door was shut — The door of salvation, of pardoning mercy, and divine acceptance; the door of repentance, faith, and holiness; of grace and glory. This is always shut at death. It is universally acknowledged among Protestants, that as death leaves us judgment finds us. And surely then it is shut, when the final sentence is passed at the great day, and the eternal Judge has fixed the states of mankind for ever. Then all entrance into the heavenly city will be for ever precluded, and he that is filthy must remain filthy still. Afterward came also the other virgins — After the door was shut and bolted against them by the irreversible decree of Heaven, they came to enter, that is, they came too late, and therefore when they would have inherited the blessing, they were rejected, and found no place for repentance. For he answered, &c. — He was heard answering from within, I know you not — Ye pretended to be my friends, and to do me honour: but you have not acted as friends, nor do I acknowledge you as such.Mark 16:16; John 5:24; Acts 3:19; Revelation 22:11; 2 Peter 3:11-12; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; 2 Timothy 4:6-8.
The door was shut - No more could be admitted to the marriage-feast. So, when the truly righteous shall all be received into heaven, the door will be closed against all others. There will be no room for preparation afterward, Revelation 22:11; Ecclesiastes 11:3; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Matthew 25:46.See Poole on "Matthew 25:13".
the bridegroom came; in person, to raise the saints that were dead, to change the living ones, to espouse them all openly, and take them all to himself, and to judge the world; for this must be understood of his second and personal coming:
and they that were ready; not by a mere profession of religion, or submission to Gospel ordinances, or by an external righteousness, or negative holiness, and abstinence from the grosser sins of life, or an outward humiliation for them, or by a dependence on the absolute mercy of God; but through being clothed with the wedding garment, washed in the blood of Christ, being regenerated and sanctified, and having the oil of grace in their hearts, a spiritual knowledge of Christ, faith in him, and interest in him: such are ready for every good work, and to give a reason of their faith and hope, to confess Christ, and suffer for his sake; and are ready for death and eternity, and to meet the bridegroom, and for the marriage of the Lamb, to enter into the new Jerusalem. The Jews say (s), that
"the Jerusalem of the world to come, is not as the Jerusalem of this world: the Jerusalem of this world, everyone may go into it that will; but the Jerusalem of the world to come, none may go into it, but , "those that are prepared for it".''
went in with him to the marriage: the Syriac reads it, "into the wedding house", and the Persic, "the nuptial parlour"; the marriage chamber, where the bridegroom and bride celebrated their marriage; kept their marriage feast; and where were received the bridemaids, and friends of the bridegroom, called in Talmudic language, , "the children of the bridechamber" (t). Such as were these that went in: and the marriage may here denote, either heaven, Christ's Father's house, and the mansions of glory in it, which the saints shall enter into along with Christ; or the act of celebrating the marriage between Christ and the Lamb, and the whole body of the elect; when these virgins will not be bare spectators and witnesses, but parties concerned; and which will only be a publication before his Father and the holy angels, of what has been already done: for these were secretly betrothed to him from everlasting, and were particularly espoused to him, one by one, in conversion; but it now will be declared of them all together, that they are his spouse and bride: or the marriage feast, or supper, is here intended; and which designs not the provision of the Gospel in Christ's house, or church on earth, in general, nor the ordinance of the Lord's supper in particular, nor the feast in the latter day, but the heavenly glory; and happy are those, who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, and who will be ready when he comes; these shall partake of it: they will go in with Christ, and be for ever with him, and never return more.
And the door was shut: which expresses both the happy and comfortable case of the wise virgins, and the sad and miserable state of the foolish ones. The door being shut, the wise virgins will at once be freed from the disagreeable company of profane sinners, and formal professors; their state and condition will be everlastingly settled, their communion with Christ will be free and uninterrupted, and that, for ever; no enemy of their souls can follow them, to give them any disturbance; and they shall never return to a state of sin, sorrow, and imperfection: and it also represents, the woeful and miserable condition of the foolish virgins, in whatsoever sense the word "door" is taken. The church is a door, Sol 8:9, and an open one, to receive in proper persons, and will be so more especially in the latter day; but this will be shut, when all the elect of God are called and gathered in; there will be no longer a church state on earth, or ordinances. Christ himself is called a door, John 10:7, he is the door into the church and into the blessings of grace, and into heaven itself; and which stands open in the ministry of the word, to receive sinners, but will now be shut; Christ will be no more preached, and held forth in the word, as God's salvation: and there is the door of faith, Acts 14:27, which is the Gospel, so called, because faith is hereby let into the soul, and souls are by it let into the doctrine of faith; and this is sometimes an open door, when ministers have a fair opportunity of preaching it, and have freedom and liberty in it; when attention is given to it, and many souls are gathered in by it; and this will be shut when Christ comes; there will be no more preaching; and there is also the door of hope, Hosea 2:15, which now stands open, whilst the Gospel church state lasts: whilst Christ is preached, the word and ordinances administered, and whilst there is life, and Christ not yet come, there is hope of salvation, pardon, and eternal life; but when Christ comes, either by death, or at judgment, and finds persons in a graceless state, there is then no hope: add to all this, that the door of Christ's heart is now open, to receive all coming sinners; but then will be shut, against all their cries, entreaties, and importunities: it will be shut by himself, who opens and no man shuts, shuts and no man opens; and that against all wicked and profane sinners, all hypocrites and formal professors; even all without his righteousness, and the grace of the Spirit of God.And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 25:10 f. While they were going away, came (not: advenerat, Fritzsche).
εἰσῆλθον μετʼ αὐτοῦ] namely, into the house of the bride, whither the bridegroom was on his way, and to which the maids were conducting him, with a view to the celebration of the marriage. The idea of the bridegroom’s house being that referred to (see on Matthew 25:1) is precluded by the correlation in which ἦλθν ὁ νυμθίος and εἰσῆλθον μετʼ αὐτοῦ stand to each other.
κύριε, κύριε] expressive of most urgent and anxious entreaty. Comp. Matthew 7:21.Matthew 25:10. ἀπερχομένων, etc. The foolish took the advice and went to buy, and in so doing acted in character; foolish in that as in not having a good supply of oil. They should have gone on without oil, the great matter being to be in time. By reckoning this as a point in their folly we bring the foolish virgins into analogy with the foolish builder in chap. Matthew 7:26. Vide notes there, and also The Parabolic Teaching of Christ, p. 505 f. Of course, on this view the oil has no significance in the spiritual sphere. It plays a great part in the history of interpretation. For Chrys. and Euthy., the lamp = virginity, and the oil = pity, and the moral is: continence without charity worthless; a good lesson. “Nothing,” says the former, “is blinder than virginity without pity; thus the people are used to call the merciless dark (σκοτεινούς),” Hom. lxxviii.—ἐκλείσθη ἡ θύρα, the door was shut, because all the guests were supposed to be within; no hint given by the wise virgins that more were coming. This improbable in the natural sphere.10. went in with him to the marriage] Rather, to the marriage feast. The happiness of the blest is often described by the image of a great supper, cp. ch. Matthew 26:29.Matthew 25:10. Ἀπερχομένων δὲ αὐτῶν, but whilst they were going) Their danger arose from the circumstance on which they asked advice.—ΑἹ ἝΤΟΙΜΑΙ, they that were ready) The prudent were ready.
 They came short of entering by but a little, yet they did come short.—V. g.
 Ἐκλείσθη, was shut) Hardly any one, whilst the door is still open, can realise by thought, how great will be the lamentation of those who shall stand outside when the doors are once shut. How often a mere trifle, as we should think, forms the boundary between wisdom and folly: and yet the decision we come to is of the utmost importance to us. There are—1) those who enjoy an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom of joy: 2) those who, as it were rescued from shipwreck, are brought to shore: 3) those who are openly hurried along on the broad way to destruction: 4) those who, though having been very close to the obtaining of salvation, yet suffer themselves to lose it. The condition of these last is lamentable above that of all others.—V. g.Verse 10. - While they went to buy. They followed the advice given them. Whether they were successful or not is left untold; the issue would have been the same in either case; their return would have been too late. The opportunity they had had was not properly used; when preparation was comparatively easy they had neglected to make it; they had been once converted, so to speak, and rested in that fact, and thought it sufficient for all time, omitting to seek for daily supplies of grace, and now they find themselves miserably deceived. There is a certain wilful forgetfulness and negligence which can never be remedied on this side the grave. They that were ready. The five wise virgins who had made provision for the meeting, had renewed the grace of God in their hearts, and kept it alive by diligence and perseverance, according to the apostle's counsel (2 Peter 1:4-8). Went in with him to the marriage (τοὺς γάμους, the marriage feast). They not only duly met the bridegroom on his way, but accompanied him into the joyful scene, the bridal feast, the type of all spiritual happiness (Revelation 19:9). "This world," says 'Pirke Aboth,' "is like the vestibule, the world to come is like the dining chamber: prepare thyself in the vestibule, that thou mayest be able to enter into the dining chamber." Well says the Son of Sirach, "Let nothing hinder thee to pay thy vow in due time, and defer not until death to be justified" (Ecclus. 18:22). The door was shut (Luke 13:25). It is customary in the East, at great entertainments, to close the doors when all the guests are assembled. So at our universities, during the dinner hour, the gates of the colleges are always shut. Scott, in 'Old Mortality' (ch. 8. note), remarks that this custom was rigorously observed in Scotland. When the door is shut in the parable, there is no more entrance for any one. Trench quotes St. Augustine's saying, "Non inimicus intrat, nec amicus exit." Christ is the door by which our prayers reach God; through him alone they prevail; when this is closed the access to the heavenly throne is barred.
A present participle, and very graphic: while they are going away.
They that were ready (αἱ ἕτοιμοι)
Lit., the ready or prepared ones.
To the marriage (γάμους)
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