Matthew 25:24

Then he who had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not spread:
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George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
I know that thou art a hard man. This is an insignificant part, that is, an ornament of the parable only; as also when it is said: I should have received mine with usury. ver. 27. (Witham) This seems to have been an adage levelled at avaricious men, who are never pleased but with what increases their hoards. Under this symbol is also depicted the excuse of many, who accuse God of being the cause of their idleness, both here and in the judgment to come; as that God is too severe and unbending, whose service is extremely hard, and who adopts, rejects, and reprobates whom he pleases; who deals out heavier burdens than the weak nature of man is made to support; who denies the grace of obedience, and thus wishes to reap where he has not sown. (Jansenius) ...

Gregory The Dialogist

AD 604
But the third servant was unwilling to work with his talent. He returned to his master with words of excuse: “Master, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, gathering where you have not scattered; being afraid, I went away and hid your talent in the earth. Here it is; see, you have what is yours.” The useless servant called his master hard, and yet he neglected to serve him for profit. He said that he was afraid to invest the talent for interest, when he should have been afraid only of bringing it back to his master without interest. For many people in the church resemble that servant. They are afraid to attempt a better way of life but not of resting in idleness. When they advert to the fact that they are sinners, the prospect of grasping the ways of holiness alarms them, but they feel no fear at remaining in their wickedness. Peter is a good example. When he was still weak, he saw the miracle of the fishes and said, “Depart from me, O Lord, because I am a si...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
But not so that other one, but how? “Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow. I was afraid. I hid your talent. Here it is. It belongs to you.” The Gospel of Matthew, Homily

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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