1 THEN THE kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish (thoughtless, without forethought) and five were wise (sensible, intelligent, and prudent).
3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they did not take any [extra] oil with them;
4 But the wise took flasks of oil along with them [also] with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom lingered and was slow in coming, they all began nodding their heads, and they fell asleep.
6 But at midnight there was a shout, Behold, the bridegroom! Go out to meet him!
7 Then all those virgins got up and put their own lamps in order.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.
9 But the wise replied, There will not be enough for us and for you; go instead to the dealers and buy for yourselves.
10 But while they were going away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were prepared went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.
11 Later the other virgins also came and said, Lord, Lord, open [the door] to us!
12 But He replied, I solemnly declare to you, I do not know you [I am not acquainted with you].
13 Watch therefore [give strict attention and be cautious and active], for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come.
14 For it is like a man who was about to take a long journey, and he called his servants together and entrusted them with his property.
15 To one he gave five talents [probably about $5,000], to another two, to another one–to each in proportion to his own personal ability. Then he departed and left the country.
16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he gained five talents more.
17 And likewise he who had received the two talents–he also gained two talents more.
18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.
20 And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more.
21 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more.
23 His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.
24 He who had received one talent also came forward, saying, Master, I knew you to be a harsh and hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you had not winnowed [the grain].
25 So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is your own.
26 But his master answered him, You wicked and lazy and idle servant! Did you indeed know that I reap where I have not sowed and gather [grain] where I have not winnowed?
27 Then you should have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received what was my own with interest.
28 So take the talent away from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents.
29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will be furnished richly so that he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have will be taken away.
30 And throw the good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.
31 When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; [Ezek. 34:17.]
33 And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left.
34 Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me,
36 I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me. [Isa. 58:7.]
37 Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink?
38 And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You?
39 And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You?
40 And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me. [Prov. 19:17.]
41 Then He will say to those at His left hand, Begone from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!
42 For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink,
43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me and entertain Me, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me with help and ministering care.
44 Then they also [in their turn] will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?
45 And He will reply to them, Solemnly I declare to you, in so far as you failed to do it for the least [in the estimation of men] of these, you failed to do it for Me. [Prov. 14:31; 17:5.]
46 Then they will go away into eternal punishment, but those who are just and upright and in right standing with God into eternal life. [Dan. 12:2.]