11 But as they heard these things, He added and told a parable, for He was near
Jerusalem, and they thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear
immediately. 12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a distant country, to receive for
himself a kingdom, and to return. 13 And he called his own ten servants, and he gave them ten minas and said to them, Do
business till I come. 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent an embassy after him, saying, We will not have
this man reign over us. 15 And it came to pass that when he had come back, having received the kingdom, he
also said that these servants should be called to him, to whom he had given the silver,
that he might know what everyone had gained by doing business. 16 And the first came, saying, Lord, thy mina has earned ten minas. 17 And he said to him, Well done , thou good servant; because thou hast been faithful in
the least, have authority over ten cities. 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy mina has made five minas. 19 And he said to him also, Be thou also over five cities. 20 And another came saying, Lord, behold, thy mina, which I have held laid up in a
handkerchief. 21 For I feared thee, for thou art an austere man; thou takest what thou didst not
deposit, and reapest what thou didst not sow. 22 And he says to him, Out of thine own mouth I will judge thee, wicked servant. Thou
didst know that I am an austere man, taking what I did not deposit, and reaping what I
did not sow. 23 Why then didst thou not give my silver to the bank 5 so that at my coming I might
have exacted it with interest? 24 And he said to those who stood by, Take the mina from him and give it to him who
has ten minas. 25 And they said to him, Lord, he has ten minas. 26 For I say to you that to everyone who has shall be given; but from him who has not,
even that which he has shall be taken away from him. 27 Nevertheless, those enemies of mine who were not willing that I should reign over
them, bring them here and slay them in front of me.
AE 675:7. Here the numbers “ten” and “five” are employed because “ten” signifies all people and all
things, and “five” some people and some things. “The ten servants” whom the nobleman going into
a far country called to him, mean all who are in the world, and in particular, all who are of the
church; for the “nobleman” means the Lord, and “going into a far country” means the Lord’s
departure out of the world and His then seeming to be absent. “The ten minas that he gave to the
ten servants to trade with” signify all the knowledges of truth and good from the Word, with the
ability to perceive them; for a “mina,” which was silver and was money, signifies the knowledges of
truth and the ability to perceive; and “to trade” signifies to acquire intelligence and wisdom by
means of them. Those who acquire much are meant by the servant who from a mina gained ten
minas; and those who acquire some are meant by him who from a mina gained five minas. The
“cities” which are said to be “given to them” signify the truths of doctrine, and “to possess them”
signifies intelligence and wisdom, and life and happiness from them. From this it is clear what is
signified by “ten cities” and by “five cities.”
Because those who acquire nothing of intelligence are like the “foolish virgins [in Matthew 25], and
because these possess truths in the memory only and not in the life, after their departure from this
world they are deprived of truths; while those who possess truths both in the memory and in the life
enrich themselves in intelligence to eternity. So it is said that “they should take away the mina from
him who gained nothing with it, and should give it to him who had ten minas.”
A mina was a monetary weight worth about 100 days’ wages for a laborer
(100 drachma or denarii), or one sixtieth of a talent.
“To the bank”: literally, “on the table” (AE 193:10)
Questions and Comments
In what ways does the Lord call you and entrust His resources to you to use on His
behalf while He is “away”?
What is a situation in which we might feel like God takes what He did not deposit and
reaps what He did not sow, and be fearful of investing thought and energy in fleeing
from evils and doing a good job?
In verse 25, they say, “Lord, he has ten minas,” as if complaining that he already has
more than enough. Does life sometimes feel unfair and unequal? How does the Lord
regard such inequalities?
Who do you think are meant by the nobleman’s enemies who were unwilling that he
should rule over them?