Matthew 18:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

King James Bible
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Darby Bible Translation
But he not having anything to pay, [his] lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and his children, and everything that he had, and that payment should be made.

World English Bible
But because he couldn't pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

Young's Literal Translation
and he having nothing to pay, his lord did command him to be sold, and his wife, and the children, and all, whatever he had, and payment to be made.

Matthew 18:25 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

He had not to pay - That is not being able to pay. As there could not be the smallest probability that a servant, wholly dependent on his master, who was now absolutely insolvent, could ever pay a debt he had contracted of more than 67 millions! - so is it impossible for a sinner, infinitely indebted to Divine justice, ever to pay a mite out of the talent.

Commanded him to be sold - his wife - children, etc. - Our Lord here alludes to an ancient custom among the Hebrews, of selling a man and his family to make payment of contracted debts. See Exodus 22:3; Leviticus 25:30, Leviticus 25:47; 2 Kings 4:1. This custom passed from among the Jews to the Greeks and Romans. I have already remarked (see Genesis 47:19) that in the Burman empire the sale of whole families, to discharge debts, is very common.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Leviticus 25:39 And if your brother that dwells by you be waxen poor, and be sold to you; you shall not compel him to serve as a bondservant:

2 Kings 4:1 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets to Elisha, saying, Your servant my husband is dead...

Nehemiah 5:5,8 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children as their children: and, see...

Isaiah 50:1 Thus said the LORD, Where is the bill of your mother's divorce, whom I have put away?...

May 31. "Whosoever Therefore Shall Humble Himself as this Little Child" (Matt. xviii. 4).
"Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child" (Matt. xviii. 4). You will never get a humble heart until it is born from above, from the heart of Christ. For man has lost his own humanity and alas, too often has a demon heart. God wants us, as Christians, to be simple, human, approachable and childlike. The Christians that we know and love best, and that are nearest to the Lord, are the most simple. Whenever we grow stilted we are only fit for a picture gallery, and we are only good
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Forgiven and Unforgiving
'Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.' --MATT. xviii. 22. The disciples had been squabbling about pre-eminence in the kingdom which they thought was presently to appear. They had ventured to refer their selfish and ambitious dispute to Christ's arbitrament. He answered by telling them the qualifications of 'the greatest in the kingdom'--that they are to be humble like little children; that they are to be placable; that they are to use all means
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Wicked Servant
ST. MATTHEW xviii. 23. The kingdom of heaven is likened to a certain king, which would take account of his servants. This parable, which you heard in the Gospel for this day, you all know. And I doubt not that all you who know it, understand it well enough. It is so human and so humane; it is told with such simplicity, and yet with such force and brilliancy that--if one dare praise our Lord's words as we praise the words of men--all must see its meaning at once, though it speaks of a state of
Charles Kingsley—The Water of Life and Other Sermons

Meetings for Prayer.
Text.--"Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven."--Matthew xviii. 19. HITHERTO, in treating of the subject of Prayer, I have confined my remarks to secret prayer. I am now to speak of social prayer, or prayer offered in company, where two or more are united in praying. Such meetings have been common from the time of Christ, and even hundreds of years before. And it is probable
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

Cross References
Exodus 21:2
"If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.

Exodus 22:3
but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed. "Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution, but if they have nothing, they must be sold to pay for their theft.

Leviticus 25:39
"'If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.

2 Kings 4:1
The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the LORD. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."

Nehemiah 5:5
Although we are of the same flesh and blood as our fellow Jews and though our children are as good as theirs, yet we have to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. Some of our daughters have already been enslaved, but we are powerless, because our fields and our vineyards belong to others."

Matthew 18:24
As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.

Luke 7:42
Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

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