Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Matthew 18:24

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Ten thousand talents - Μυριων ταλαντων, a myriad of talents, the highest number known in Greek arithmetical notation. An immense sum, which, if the silver talent be designed, amounts to 4,500,000 sterling; but if the gold talent be meant which is by far the most likely, then the amount is 67,500,000 sterling, a sum equal to the annual revenue of the British empire! See the note on Exodus 25:39.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Ten thousand talents - A talent was a sum of money, or weight of silver or gold amounting to three thousand shekels. A silver shekel was worth, after the captivity, not far from half a dollar of our money. A talent of silver was worth (circa 1880‘s) 1,519.23 =342British pounds, 3 shillings, 9d.; of gold, 243,098.88 =5,475 British pounds. If these were silver talents, as is probable, then the sum owed by the servant was 15,180,000, or about 3,421,875 British sterling (circa 1880‘s), a sum which proves that he was not a domestic, but some tributary prince. The sum is used to show that the debt was immensely large, and that our sins are so great that they cannot be estimated or numbered. Compare Job 22:5.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we are backward to forgive the offences of our brethren. This parable shows how much provocation God has from his family on earth, and how untoward his servants are. There are three things in the parable: 1. The master's wonderful clemency. The debt of sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it. See here what every sin deserves; this is the wages of sin, to be sold as a slave. It is the folly of many who are under strong convictions of their sins, to fancy they can make God satisfaction for the wrong they have done him. 2. The servant's unreasonable severity toward his fellow-servant, notwithstanding his lord's clemency toward him. Not that we may make light of wronging our neighbour, for that is also a sin against God; but we should not aggravate our neighbour's wronging us, nor study revenge. Let our complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked, and of the afflictions of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left with him. 3. The master reproved his servant's cruelty. The greatness of sin magnifies the riches of pardoning mercy; and the comfortable sense of pardoning mercy, does much to dispose our hearts to forgive our brethren. We are not to suppose that God actually forgives men, and afterwards reckons their guilt to them to condemn them; but this latter part of the parable shows the false conclusions many draw as to their sins being pardoned, though their after-conduct shows that they never entered into the spirit, or experienced the sanctifying grace of the gospel. We do not forgive our offending brother aright, if we do not forgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek the welfare even of those who offend us. How justly will those be condemned, who, though they bear the Christian name, persist in unmerciful treatment of their brethren! The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewing grace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from him.
Ellen G. White
Christ's Object Lessons, 243-51

This chapter is based on Matthew 18:21-35.

Peter had come to Christ with the question, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The rabbis limited the exercise of forgiveness to three offenses. Peter, carrying out, as he supposed, the teaching of Christ, thought to extend it to seven, the number signifying perfection. But Christ taught that we are never to become weary of forgiving. Not “Until seven times,” He said, “but, Until seventy times seven.” COL 243.1

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, 260-4

In dealing with erring church members, God's people are carefully to follow the instruction given by the Saviour in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. 7T 260.1

Human beings are Christ's property, purchased by Him at an infinite price, bound to Him by the love that He and His Father have manifested for them. How careful, then, we should be in our dealing with one another! Men have no right to surmise evil in regard to their fellow men. Church members have no right to follow their own impulses and inclinations in dealing with fellow members who have erred. They should not even express their prejudices regarding the erring, for thus they place in other minds the leaven of evil. Reports unfavorable to a brother or sister in the church are communicated from one to another of the church members. Mistakes are made and injustice is done because of an unwillingness on the part of someone to follow the directions given by the Lord Jesus. 7T 260.2

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Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 136.2

Read the instruction given in the eighteenth chapter of Matthew. There is nothing more positive than this in all the oracles of God; and yet God is dishonored and His cause marred by the doing of the wrongs pointed out in this chapter. These words are for you and for me, and for all who claim to be disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus. He shows us the principles upon which we are to act in all cases and under all circumstances. There is to be no striving for the supremacy. Christ teaches that in His spiritual kingdom it is not position, not outward splendor or authority, that constitutes greatness, but spiritual excellence manifested in true conversion. UL 136.2

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Jesus' Ministry in Galilee and Journey to Jerusalem