Matthew 25:6
And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(6) At midnight.—The hour was obviously later than the virgins had expected, and in this we may see a half-veiled suggestion of a like lateness in the coining of the true Bridegroom. The “cry” would be that of the companions of the bridegroom, or of the crowd that mingled with them. In the interpretation of the parable we may see in it, over and above its reference to the final Advent, that which answers to the stir and thrill that announce any coming crisis in the history of Church or people.

Matthew 25:6-8. And at midnight — In an hour quite unthought of, and the most alarming. Perhaps the tradition mentioned by Jerome, which asserted that Christ would come to judgment at midnight, might be borrowed from hence; though certainly it is a very absurd one, since that can be the case only under one meridian at a time. There was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh — As Christ’s coming to judge the world will be at a time the least expected; so then a great cry will be made, for the apostle assures us, he will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, 1 Thessalonians 4:16. At this great cry, which will be heard to the ends of the earth, these virgins all awake, and begin to trim their lamps, to examine themselves, and prepare to meet their God: and now the foolish first perceive their folly: they find their lamps extinguished, and they have no oil wherewith to supply them: they find themselves destitute of vital religion, of union with Christ, and the graces of his Spirit, and that they have only a name to live while they are dead. Thus the hypocrite’s hope shall perish. And the foolish said unto the wise — Whom before, perhaps, they had despised and derided as needlessly provident; Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out — They were therefore once lighted and burning. As if they had said, The light that was in us has become darkness, and the warmth of our love and zeal has become cold and dead, and we are utterly unprepared to meet the bridegroom. What a time was this to make such a discovery! whether the time of being overtaken with some unexpected judgment, the time of death, or that of Christ’s second coming be intended. Reader, Unto which of the saints wilt thou turn? Who can help thee at such a season? 25:1-13 The circumstances of the parable of the ten virgins were taken from the marriage customs among the Jews, and explain the great day of Christ's coming. See the nature of Christianity. As Christians we profess to attend upon Christ, to honour him, also to be waiting for his coming. Sincere Christians are the wise virgins, and hypocrites the foolish ones. Those are the truly wise or foolish that are so in the affairs of their souls. Many have a lamp of profession in their hands, but have not, in their hearts, sound knowledge and settled resolution, which are needed to carry them through the services and trials of the present state. Their hearts are not stored with holy dispositions, by the new-creating Spirit of God. Our light must shine before men in good works; but this is not likely to be long done, unless there is a fixed, active principle in the heart, of faith in Christ, and love to God and our brethren. They all slumbered and slept. The delay represents the space between the real or apparent conversion of these professors, and the coming of Christ, to take them away by death, or to judge the world. But though Christ tarry past our time, he will not tarry past the due time. The wise virgins kept their lamps burning, but they did not keep themselves awake. Too many real Christians grow remiss, and one degree of carelessness makes way for another. Those that allow themselves to slumber, will scarcely keep from sleeping; therefore dread the beginning of spiritual decays. A startling summons was given. Go ye forth to meet Him, is a call to those prepared. The notice of Christ's approach, and the call to meet him, will awaken. Even those best prepared for death have work to do to get actually ready, 2Pe 3:14. It will be a day of search and inquiry; and it concerns us to think how we shall then be found. Some wanted oil to supply their lamps when going out. Those that take up short of true grace, will certainly find the want of it one time or other. An outward profession may light a man along this world, but the damps of the valley of the shadow of death will put out such a light. Those who care not to live the life, yet would die the death of the righteous. But those that would be saved, must have grace of their own; and those that have most grace, have none to spare. The best need more from Christ. And while the poor alarmed soul addresses itself, upon a sick-bed, to repentance and prayer, in awful confusion, death comes, judgment comes, the work is undone, and the poor sinner is undone for ever. This comes of having oil to buy when we should burn it, grace to get when we should use it. Those, and those only, shall go to heaven hereafter, that are made ready for heaven here. The suddenness of death and of Christ's coming to us then, will not hinder our happiness, if we have been prepared. The door was shut. Many will seek admission into heaven when it is too late. The vain confidence of hypocrites will carry them far in expectations of happiness. The unexpected summons of death may alarm the Christian; but, proceeding without delay to trim his lamp, his graces often shine more bright; while the mere professor's conduct shows that his lamp is going out. Watch therefore, attend to the business of your souls. Be in the fear of the Lord all the day long.At midnight - Later than was the usual custom, and hence, they had fallen asleep.

A cry made - Of those who were coming with the bridegroom.

6. And at midnight—that is, the time when the Bridegroom will be least expected; for "the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1Th 5:2).

there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him—that is, Be ready to welcome Him.

See Poole on "Matthew 25:13". And at midnight there was a cry made;.... Which is no other than the following notice of the bridegroom's coming, expressed in these words:

behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him: which supposes that then all things will be ready for his coming: all things respecting this world; all the strange and surprising events that were to come to pass, before the coming of Christ, will now be accomplished; an end put to all the monarchies of the earth; and all the preparations in nature, for the burning of the world finished: all things respecting the ungodly of the world: they will have filled up the measure of their iniquities, and finished their persecutions of the saints: and all things respecting the elect of God, they will be all born, and born again; they will have gone through all their sufferings for Christ, and have all their graces tried and perfected; for when the bridegroom comes, he will come to espouse them openly to himself, for which they must be prepared and adorned, and to take them to himself, that they may be for ever with him. It also supposes, that his coming will be very nigh at hand; it was so represented long ago; it is greatly desired by the saints to be quickly; and it will be in a very short time after this notice: and it signifies that there will be some notice given of it, a little before he comes; and that partly for the glory of his majesty; and that his own people, the wise virgins, may be ready; and that the foolish ones may be left without excuse: and this being prefaced with a "behold", shows the certainty of his coming, than which nothing is more certain, and to be depended on; as appears from Enoch's prophecy, and others of the Old Testament; from Christ's own promise; from the testimony of angels: from the words of the apostles; and from the ordinance of the Lord's supper: and also the importance of it; for things of the greatest moment will follow on it; such as the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the whole world, the complete happiness of the saints, and the destruction of the wicked: and likewise, that it will be wonderful and astonishing; Christ will come in amazing glory, in his own, in his Father's, and in the glory of the holy angels, and of his power and authority, as the judge of quick and dead. And in this notice advice is given to the virgins,

go ye out to meet him; see Sol 3:11, and may intend either a going forth internally, as the wise virgins did in the exercise of grace, of faith in the coming of Christ, of love of his appearance, and earnest desire after it; or a going forth externally, as all the virgins did in a way of visible profession, taking up and trimming their lamps; or literally and corporeally, as the saints will, that will be found alive at Christ's coming. Now this notice is called "a cry"; and refers not to the voice of Christ in raising the dead, for this will be before the coming of Christ, whereas that will be when he is come; and for the same reason, not to the voice of the archangel, if he can be thought to be distinct from Christ. Some think it regards a secret general impulse, that will be upon the spirits of the people of God, with respect to the bridegroom's coming, but this does not seem to answer to a cry; rather it should intend some remarkable providence, as the earthquake in Revelation 11:13 when a tenth part of the city shall fall, seven thousand men of note be slain, and the rest affrighted; or the sounding of the seventh angel, Revelation 11:15, or, what is most likely, the voice of a great multitude, as of many waters, and of mighty thunderings, declaring, that the marriage of the Lamb was come, and the bride ready, Revelation 19:6, and will be a very loud one: it will awaken all the virgins, and will be the cry, not of one, but of many; and will be very sudden and surprising, though joyful to the saints: this cry will be made, not by the virgins, for they will be asleep; nor by Christ himself, for he will not be come; nor by the angels, for they will come with him, and not before; rather by the ministers of the Gospel, who are the angels so often spoken of in the book of the Revelations, who sound the trumpets at different times, and on different occasions; who also will sound this trumpet, and give this last and general notice of Christ's coming; who will be all at once apprized of it, and give an universal alarm of it together in all the churches: thus, as the notice of Christ's first coming was made by the prophets, the notice of his second coming will be made by the ministers of the Gospel: and this will be at "midnight": which expresses the state of the church a little before the coming of Christ: it will be a night season with it, a time of darkness both with respect to Gospel light, and the presence of God with his people; a time of coldness and lukewarmness, as to zeal for God, love to his people, and concern for the interest of Christ; a time of drowsiness and sleep, of insensibility and security, of indolence and inactivity: so as the coming of Christ will be later than was first expected; it will be sudden, and at unawares, and like a thief in the night; but whether it will be literally in the night season, as his first coming, is not certain. The Jews expect (q), that at the end of the world Moses and Messiah will come in the night, the one from the wilderness, and the other from Rome: and they make frequent mention of God's going into the garden of Eden, or paradise, at midnight, and there rejoicing with good men. It is said (r), that R. Eliezer and R. Jose

"were sitting one night, and studying in the law, and about midnight, a man cried (or the cock crowed), bless ye the blessing; says R. Eliezer, now is, the time that the holy, blessed God goes into the garden of Eden, to rejoice with the righteous.''

(q) Targum Hieros. in Exodus 12.42. (r) Zohar in Exod. fol. 76. 4. & in Lev. fol. 21. 1. & 23. 2.

And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 25:6. ἰδοὺ ὁ νυμφίος: at length at midnight a cry is raised by some one not asleep—lo! the bridegroom; laconic, rousing, heard by all sleepers.—ἐξέρχεσθε εἰς ἀπάντησιν, go forth to meeting: no words that can be dispensed with here either. Go forth whence? from the bride’s house (Goebel); from some inn, or private dwelling on the way, whither they have turned in on finding that the bridegroom tarried (Bleek, Meyer, Weiss). On this point Goebel’s view it to be preferred.6. there was a cry made] Literally, “there is a cry made.”Matthew 25:6. Μέσης δὲ νυκτὸς, but at midnight) i.e. during the deep sleep of even these virgins.—κραυγὴ, a cry) sc. to arouse them, accompanied by the blast of a trumpet.[1081]

[1081] Far louder than earth’s loudest artillery: see 1 Thessalonians 4:16.—B. G. V.Verse 6. - At midnight. When sleep is deepest and awaking most unwelcome. The Lord will come "as a thief in the night" (Matthew 24:42-44; 1 Thessalonians 5:2). There was a cry made (γέγονεν, hath been made). The cry comes either from the watchers or from the advancing company. We are told by the apostle (1 Thessalonians 4:16) that "the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." The suddenness of the event is indicated by the tense of the verb - "there hath been," "there is," a cry. The bridegroom cometh! The best manuscripts omit the verb, which omission makes the expression more graphic. The bridegroom is Christ; he comes now to judge, to punish and reward; and Christians have to meet him, and show how their duties have been performed, and how their personal preparation has been made. There was a cry made (κραυγὴ γέγονεν)

Rev., there is a cry. The verb is in the perfect tense, representing the past event as perpetuated in the present result, and hence is rendered by the English present. At great and decisive change was the result of the cry. No more sleeping, waiting, or silence. There is a cry, and behold the awaking, the bustle, the trimming of lamps and the running to the oil-vendors.

To meet him (εἰς ἀπάντησιν)

The translation can hardly convey the meaning of the Greek phrase, which implies a custom or familiar ceremony. Come forth unto meeting.

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