VINCENT'S WORD STUDIES
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Robertson's Word Pictures in the NT - Greek NT
To meet him (eiv apanthsin). The translation can hardly convey the meaning of the Greek phrase, which implies a custom or familiar ceremony. Come forth unto meeting.
Trimmed (ekosmhsan). From kosmov, order, and meaning to put in order or arrange. Tynd., prepared. Trench ("Parables") quotes from Ward ("View of the Hindoos"), describing a marriage ceremony in India:
"After waiting two or three hours, at length near midnight it was announced, was in the very words of Scripture, 'Behold the bridegroom cometh; go yet out to meet him.' All the person employed now lighted their lamps, and ran with them in their hands to fill up their stations in the procession. Some of them had lost their lights, and were unprepared, but it was then too late to seek them, and the cavalcade moved forward."
Their lamps (eautwn). Lit., "their own lamps;" emphasizing the personal preparation in contrast with the foolish, who depended for supply on their fellows.
They that were ready (ai etoimoi). Lit., the ready or prepared ones.
To the marriage (gamouv). Marriage-feast, as Matt. xxii. 2, 3, 4; and so Rev.
Traded with them (hrgasato en autoiv). Lit., wrought with them. The virgins wait, the servants work.
Made (epoihsen). Not made them, as A.V. The word is used in our sense of make money. Wyc. and Tynd., won. Geneva, gained. Some read ejkerdhsen, gained, as in ver. 17.
Strawed (dieskorpisav). Rev., didst scatter. Not referring to the sowing of seed, for that would be saying the same thing twice. The scattering refers to the winnowing of the loosened sheaves spread out upon the threshing-floor. "The word," as Trench observes "could scarcely be applied to the measured and orderly scattering of the sower's seed. It is rather the dispersing, making to fly in every direction." Hence used of the pursuit of a routed enemy (Luke i. 51); of the prodigal scattering his good; making the money fly, as we say (Luke xv. 13); of the wolf scattering the sheep (Matt. xxvi. 31). Wyc., spread abroad.
Exchangers (trapezitaiv). Taking their name from the table or counter at which they sat (trapeza). The Jewish bankers bore precisely the same name.
Usury (tokw). A very graphic word, meaning first childbirth, and then offspring. Hence of interest, which is the product or offspring of capital. Originally it was only what was paid for the use of money; hence usury; but it became synonymous with extortionate interest. Rev., better, with interest. The Jewish law distinguished between interest and increase. In Rome very high interest seems to have been charged in early times. Practically usury was unlimited. It soon became the custom to charge monthly interest at one per cent a month. During the early empire legal interest stood at eight per cent, but in usurious transactions it was lent at twelve, twenty-four, and even forty-eight. The Jewish bankers of Palestine and elsewhere were engaged in the same undertakings. The law of Moses denounced usury in the transactions of Hebrews with Hebrews, but permitted it in dealing with strangers (Deut. xxiii. 19, 20; Psalms xv. 5).
Separate them (autouv). Masculine, while the word nations is neuter. Nations are regarded as gathered collectively; but in contemplating the act of separation the Lord regards the individuals.
The sheep from the goats (or kids, so Rev. in margin). "The bald division of men into sheep and goats is, in one sense, so easy as not to be worth performing; and in another sense it is so hard as only to be possible for something with supernatural insight" (John Morley, "Voltaire"). Goats are an appropriate figure, because the goat was regarded as a comparatively worthless animal. Hence the point of the elder son's complaint in the parable of the Prodigal: Not so much as a kid (Luke xv. 29). The diminutive (erifia) expresses contempt.
On the right (ek dexiwn). Lit., from the right side or parts. The picture to the Greek reader is that of a row, beginning at the judge's right hand.