Luke indicated that Jesus said that when once the owner of the house (ὁ οἰκοδεσπότης) had got up (ἀφ’ οὗ ἂν ἐγερθῇ) and shut the door (καὶ ἀποκλείσῃ τὴν θύραν), they would begin to stand outside (καὶ ἄρξησθε ἔξω ἑστάναι). They would knock at the door (καὶ κρούειν τὴν θύραν), saying. “Lord! Open to us (λέγοντες Κύριε, ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν)!” However, he would reply to them (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ἐρεῖ ὑμῖν) that he did not know where they came from (Οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶς πόθεν ἐστέ). Matthew’s unique parable story about the 10 virgins, chapter 25-10-12, has an ending similar to this saying. Matthew indicated that Jesus said that the 5 foolish bridesmaids finally came to the wedding banquet. They called out to the bridegroom calling him “Lord”. They wanted him to open the door for them. However, he replied to them, using the solemn pronouncement of Jesus’ phraseology, saying he did not know them (οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ), the same as this saying in Luke. Thus, the repudiation of the 5 foolish bridesmaids was complete. Here Luke said that Jesus did not know where they came from. Will Jesus know where you are from?
Luke indicated that Jesus said that they should be like servant men who were waiting for their master or lord (καὶ ὑμεῖς ὅμοιοι ἀνθρώποις προσδεχομένοις τὸν κύριον ἑαυτῶν) to return from the wedding banquet or feast (πότε ἀναλύσῃ ἐκ τῶν γάμων). Thus, they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks (ἵνα ἐλθόντος καὶ κρούσαντος εὐθέως ἀνοίξωσιν αὐτῷ). Notice that the returning person was called lord (τὸν κύριον). Matthew chapter 25:1-12 had a wedding theme, but it was about 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom. Here Luke has servant men waiting for their master to return from a wedding. They should be ready to open the door for him as soon as he arrived. Would you be a good servant?
This explanation of the importance of parables is similar to Matthew, chapter 13:34. Jesus, via Mark, presented the word (ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον), using many parables (Καὶ τοιαύταις παραβολαῖς πολλαῖς) so that they were able to hear them (καθὼς ἠδύναντο ἀκούειν). In fact, he told hem nothing that was not a parable (χωρὶς δὲ παραβολῆς οὐκ ἐλάλει αὐτοῖς). He only spoke in parables. However, he explained everything in private for his disciples (κατ’ ἰδίαν δὲ τοῖς ἰδίοις μαθηταῖς ἐπέλυεν πάντα). Both Mark and Matthew underlined the role of parables in their gospel stories. Matthew, chapter 13:35, uniquely cited a prophecy from Psalm 78:2, that Mark had not mentioned. Jesus was going to open his mouth in parables about the old-fashioned sayings, like the wisdom writers. The parables were a way of conveying wisdom, with only the initiated, his disciples, able to understand them.
This parable story is unique to Matthew. Jesus said that after a while, the 5 foolish bridesmaids finally came to the wedding banquet (ὕστερον δὲ ἔρχονται καὶ αἱ λοιπαὶ παρθένοι). They called out to the bridegroom calling him “Lord (λέγουσαι Κύριε κύριε)”. They wanted him to open the door for them (ἄνοιξον ἡμῖν). However, he replied (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς) to them, using the solemn pronouncement of Jesus’ phraseology (εἶπεν Ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν), saying he did not know them (οὐκ οἶδα ὑμᾶ). The repudiation of the 5 foolish bridesmaids was complete.
This parable story is unique to Matthew. Jesus continued with this story. The wise bridesmaids replied (ἀπεκρίθησαν δὲ αἱ φρόνιμοι λέγουσαι) that they would not give the foolish ones any oil with a flat “no (οὐ).” They said that there would not be enough oil for both groups of them (Μή ποτε οὐ μὴ ἀρκέσῃ ἡμῖν καὶ ὑμῖν). Instead, they suggested that they go to some oil dealers (πορεύεσθε μᾶλλον πρὸς τοὺς πωλοῦντας) to buy some oil for themselves (καὶ ἀγοράσατε ἑαυταῖς). I am not sure what oil dealers would be open in the middle of the night. This seems like the wise ones gave a very self-righteous rude response.
Matthew uniquely cited this prophecy from the Psalms, Psalm 78:2, where the psalmist Asaph explained the teachings from long ago. Jesus was going to open his mouth in parables about the old-fashioned sayings, like the wisdom writers. These sayings had been passed on from his ancestors, showing the great deeds of Yahweh that he had done for Israel. Jesus, via Matthew, justified or fulfilled (ὅπως πληρωθῇ) what the prophet Asaph in the psalms had said (τὸ ῥηθὲν διὰ τοῦ προφήτου λέγοντος) about the use of parables. He would open his mouth in parables (Ἀνοίξω ἐν παραβολαῖς τὸ στόμα μου) to proclaim the hidden mysteries from the foundations of the earth (ἐρεύξομαι κεκρυμμένα ἀπὸ καταβολῆς). The parables were a way of conveying wisdom, with only the initiated able to understand them.
Be a faithful reader, regularly and with the eyes of faith. Be an active reader, intelligently and critically. Put the texts in context, read from a tradition and a believing community. Read the Bible as a whole, not isolating passages. Understand the background of each book. Try to understand the consensus opinion about texts. Appreciate the major themes and narratives. Be open to God and his word. Be aware of the continuity and discontinuity. Try to translate the Bible to your life situations
Some prophets wrote things, while others had people write things about them. Thus, there is a mixed bag about the Hebrew prophets. Generally speaking, a prophet was someone who believed that a higher power had contacted them. Thus, they became the intermediary between Yahweh, their God, and their fellow human beings. Almost like angels, these humans delivered a divine message. Quite often, the message itself that the prophet conveyed was called a prophecy. The Hebrew prophets were moral teachers. Some prophets may have had a role with the institutional Temple priests. Many religious groups have had what are called prophetic priests. The Hebrew word navi, meaning spokesperson, has been traditionally translated as prophet. These navi was considered to be the mouth of Yahweh or God, since they were open to receive and transmit his divine wisdom. Besides writing and speaking messages from God, these Israelite Nevi’im often acted out prophetic parables in their life. They were not always praised, since some prophets were even considered bad or false prophets. Thus, they were sometimes the target of persecution and opposition.
Yahweh was going to stretch out his hand to destroy the enemy of Israel to the north, the Assyrians. He had just punished the people on the west, the Philistines, the people on the east, the Moabites and the Ammonites, and the people to the south, the Ethiopians. Yahweh was going to make northern Nineveh a desolate wasteland desert. Every kind of wild animal and various herds would live there. A variety of owls would nest in their ornate towers. Owls would hoot at their windows, while ravens would croak at their doorsteps. All their cedar wood work would be open to the weather.
Yahweh warned that these proud people would have a hard time, because their spirit was not right. The main theme of this simple response was that the righteous live by their faith. This idea that the righteous live by faith was a strong part of the apostle Paul in his Christian belief. On the other hand, wealth was treacherous for the greedy. Thus, the arrogant ones would not endure, because they were more open to the shadowy afterlife of Sheol. These greedy people never had enough. Just like death itself, they were always looking for more people. They had tried to gather all people and countries to themselves as their own, but they were never satisfied.