"Then will the Kingdom of the Heavens be found to be like ten bridesmaids who took their torches and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
For the foolish, when they took their torches, did not provide themselves with oil;
but the wise, besides their torches, took oil in their flasks.
The bridegroom was a long time in coming, so that meanwhile they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
But at midnight there is a loud cry, "`The bridegroom! Go out and meet him!'
"Then all those bridesmaids roused themselves and trimmed their torches.
"`Give us some of your oil,' said the foolish ones to the wise, `for our torches are going out.'
"`But perhaps,' replied the wise, `there will not be enough for all of us. Go to the shops rather, and buy some for yourselves.'
"So they went to buy. But meanwhile the bridegroom came; those bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.
"Afterwards the other bridesmaids came and cried, "`Sir, Sir, open the door to us.'
"`In solemn truth I tell you,' he replied, `I do not know you.'
"Keep awake therefore; for you know neither the day nor the hour.
"Why, it is like a man who, when going on his travels, called his bondservants and entrusted his property to their care.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one--to each according to his individual capacity; and then started from home.
Without delay the one who had received the five talents went and employed them in business, and gained five more.
In the same way he who had the two gained two more.
But the man who had received the one went and dug a hole and buried his master's money.
"After a long lapse of time the master of those servants returned, and had a reckoning with them.
The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, and said, "`Sir, it was five talents that you entrusted to me: see, I have gained five more.'
"`You have done well, good and trustworthy servant,' replied his master; `you have been trustworthy in the management of a little, I will put you in charge of much: share your master's joy.'
"The second, who had received the two talents, came and said, "`Sir, it was two talents you entrusted to me: see, I have gained two more.'
"`Good and trustworthy servant, you have done well,' his master replied; `you have been trustworthy in the management of a little, I will put you in charge of much: share your master's joy.'
"But, next, the man who had the one talent in his keeping came and said, "`Sir, I knew you to be a severe man, reaping where you had not sown and garnering what you had not winnowed.
So being afraid I went and buried your talent in the ground: there you have what belongs to you.'
"`You wicked and slothful servant,' replied his master, `did you know that I reap where I have not sown, and garner what I have not winnowed?
Your duty then was to deposit my money in some bank, and so when I came I should have got back my property with interest.
So take away the talent from him, and give it to the man who has the ten.'
(For to every one who has, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him who has nothing, even what he has shall be taken away.)
`But as for this worthless servant, put him out into the darkness outside: *there* will be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.'
"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then will He sit upon His glorious throne,
and all the nations will be gathered into His presence. And He will separate them from one another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
and will make the sheep stand at His right hand, and the goats at His left.
"Then the King will say to those at His right, "`Come, my Father's blessed ones, receive your inheritance of the Kingdom which has been divinely intended for you ever since the creation of the world.
For when I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was homeless, you gave me a welcome;
when I was ill-clad, you clothed me; when I was sick, you visited me; when I was in prison, you came to see me.'
"`When, Lord,' the righteous will reply, `did we see Thee hungry, and feed Thee; or thirsty, and give Thee drink?
When did we see Thee homeless, and give Thee a welcome? or ill-clad, and clothe Thee?
When did we see Thee sick or in prison, and come to see Thee?'
"But the King will answer them, "`In solemn truth I tell you that in so far as you rendered such services to one of the humblest of these my brethren, you rendered them to myself.'
"Then will He say to those at His left, "`Begone from me, with the curse resting upon you, into the Fire of the Ages, which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels.
For when I was hungry, you gave me nothing to eat; when thirsty, you gave me nothing to drink;
when homeless, you gave me no welcome; ill-clad, you clothed me not; sick or in prison, you visited me not.'
"Then will they also answer, "`Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or homeless or ill-clad or sick or in prison, and not come to serve Thee?'
"But he will reply, "`In solemn truth I tell you that in so far as you withheld such services from one of the humblest of these, you withheld them from me.'
"And these shall go away into the Punishment of the Ages, but the righteous into the Life of the Ages."