Luke 19:11

And as they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.
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Ambrose of Milan

AD 397
But the ten cities are the souls over whom he is rightly placed who has deposited in the minds of men his Lord's money and the holy words, which are tried as silver is tried in the fire. For as Jerusalem is said to be built as a city, so are peace-making souls. And as angels have rule, so have they who have acquired the life of angels. Or perhaps differently; he who gained five pounds has all the moral virtues, for there are five senses of the body. He who gained ten has so much more, that is to say, the mysteries of the law as well as the moral virtues. The ten pounds may also here be taken tomean the ten words, that is, the teaching of the law; the five pounds, the ordering of discipline. But the scribe must be perfect in all things. And rightly, since He is speaking of the Jews, are there two only who bring their pounds multiplied, not indeed by a gainful interest of money, but a profitable stewardship of the Gospel. For there is one kind of usury in money lent on interest, another ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
In the Gospel, you have heard both the reward of the good servants and the punishment of the bad. The fault of that servant who was reproved and severely punished was this and only this: that he would not put to use what he had received. He preserved it intact, but his master was looking for a profit from it. God is greedy for our salvation. If such condemnation befalls the servant who did not use what he had received, what should they who lose it expect? We therefore are dispensers. We expend, but you receive. We expect a profit on your part—living good lives—for that is the profit from our dispensing. Do not think that you are free from the obligation of dispensing. Of course, you cannot dispense your gifts as from this higher station of ours, but you can dispense them in whatever station you happen to be. When Christ is attacked, defend him. Give an answer to those who complain. Rebuke blasphemers, but keep yourselves far from any fellowship with them. If in this way you gain anyone...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
We are well aware of the threats made by the Lord’s merciful “greed.” He is everywhere seeking a profitable return on his money. He says to the lazy servant, who wished to pass judgment on something he could not see, “Wicked servant, out of your own mouth I condemn you. You said I am a difficult man, reaping where I have not sown, gathering where I have not scattered. So you knew all about my greed. You, then, should have given my money to the stockbrokers. When I came, I would have demanded it with interest.” We could only lay out our Lord’s money. He is the one who will demand the interest on it, not only from this man but also from all of us. ...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Or the far country is the Gentile Church, extending to the uttermost parts of the earth. For He went that the fullness of the Gentiles might come in; He will return that all Israel may be saved. Or by the ten pounds he signifies the law, because of the ten commandments, and by the ten servants, those to whom while under the law grace was preached. For so we must interpret the ten pounds given them for trading, seeing that they understood the law, when its veil was removed, to belong to the Gospel. And they sent a message after Him, because after His resurrection also, they persecuted His Apostles, and refused the S preaching of the Gospel. He also returns after having received His kingdom, because in all glory will He come who appeared lowly to them to whom He said, My kingdom is not of this world. Or else; That one of those who well employed their money gained ten pounds, another five, signifies that they acquired them for the flock of God, by whom the law was now understood through ...

Basil the Great

AD 379
Noble, not only in respect of His Godhead, but of His manhood, being sprung from the seed of David according to the flesh. He went into a far country, separated not so much by distance of placeas by actual condition. For God Himself is nigh to every one of us, when our good works bindus to Him. And He is afar off, as often as by cleaving to destruction, we remove ourselves away from Him. To this earthly country then He came at a distance from God, that He might receive the kingdom of the Gentiles, according to the Psalm, Ask of me, and I will give youthe heathen for your inheritance. ...


AD 735
A pound which in the Greeks is equal in weight to a hundred drachmas, and every word of Scripture, as suggesting to us the perfection of the heavenly life, shines as it were with the greatness of the hundredth number. The first servant is the order of teachers sent to the circumcision, who received one pound to put out to use, inasmuch as it was ordered top reach one faith. But this one pound gained ten pounds, because by its teaching it united to itself the people who were subject to the law. It follows, And he said to him, Well done, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little The servant is faithful in avery little w ho does not adulterate the word of God. For all the gifts we receive now are but small in comparison of what we shall have. That servant is the assembly of those who were sent to preach the Gospel to the uncircumcision, whose pound, that is the faith of the Gospel, gained five pounds, because it converted to the grace of Evangelical faith, the nati...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
And as they heard these things. Christ had made frequent mention of His kingdom, and had promised it to His followers. The Apostles hoped, therefore, that it would be brought to pass now, as He was going to Jerusalem, and that they as His friends would share in it, and reign with Him among the first. The fame and glory of Christ, which had shone forth with so much brightness and brilliance from His recent miracles, and especially, the stupendous conversion of Zacchæus, increased this hope, from which, as Jesus was entering Jerusalem a little after, the Apostles set Him upon an ass, and cried to the same multitude, as if He were the Messiah and the King, about to be inaugurated in Jerusalem, "Blessed is the kingdom of our father David which cometh"—"Blessed be the King who cometh in the name of the Lord." Ver38. Christ, therefore, to disabuse them of this opinion, spoke the following parable, by which He signified that He must first be put to death by the Jews, and rule by faith through...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
To those who believe in him, the Savior distributes a variety of divine gifts. We affirm that this is the meaning of the talent. Truly great is the difference between those who receive the talents and those who have even completely denied his kingdom. They are rebels that throw off the yoke of his scepter, while the others are endowed with the glory of serving him. As faithful servants, therefore, they are entrusted with their Lord’s wealth. They gain something by doing business. They earn the praises due to faithful service, and they are considered worthy of eternal honors. Commentary on Luke, Homily ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
This parable is intended to set before us the mysteries of Christ from the first to the last. For God was made man, who was the Word from the beginning; and though He becamea servant, yet was He noble because of His unspeakable birth from the Father. For ascending up to heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Majesty on high. But being ascended, He has dispensed to those that believe on Him different divine graces, as to the servants were committed their Lord's goods, that gaining something they might bring him token of their service. As it follows, And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds. But greatly indeed do these differ from those who denied the kingdom of God, of whom it is added, But his citizens hated him. And this it is for which Christ upbraided the Jews, when He said, But now have they both seen and hated me and my Father. But they rejected His kingdom, saying to Pilate, We have no king but Caesar. But when Christ returns, baying taken to Himself His ki...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
It says that his citizens hated him. Likewise, Christ admonishes the Jewish crowds, saying, “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.” They would not let him reign over them, and yet the holy prophets were constantly speaking predictions of Christ as a king. One of them even said, “Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion, for your King comes to you, just, and a Savior; he is meek, and riding on a donkey, and on a new foal.” Blessed Isaiah says of him and of the holy apostles, “Behold, a just king shall reign, and princes shall rule with judgment.” Again, Christ somewhere said by the voice of the psalmist, “But I have been appointed King by him on Zion, his holy mount, and I will declare the commandment of the Lord.” They then denied his kingdom. When they came near to Pilate saying, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him,” he asked them, or rather said to them in derision, “Shall I cruci...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The scope of the parable briefly represents the whole meaning of the dispensation that was for us and of the mystery of Christ from the beginning even to the end. The Word, being God, became man. He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, because of this he is also called a servant. He is and was free born, because the Father unspeakably begot him. He is also God, transcending all in nature and in glory and surpassing the things of our estate, or rather even the whole creation, by his incomparable fullness…. By nature God, he is said to have received from the Father the name that is above every name when he became man. We might then believe in him as God and the King of all, even in the flesh that was united to him. When he had endured the passion on the cross for our sakes and had abolished death by the resurrection of his body from the dead, he ascended to the Father and became like a man journeying to a far country. Heaven is a different country from earth, and he ascended so that...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
The sacred Scripture clearly shows how he distributed, who the persons are, and what the talents that he distributes signify. He continues to distribute even to this day. Blessed Paul said, “There are distributions of gifts but the same Spirit. There are distributions of ministries but the same Lord. There are distributions of things to be done but the same God who works all in every man.” Explaining what he said, he states the kinds of the gifts as follows: “For to one is given the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, and to another faith, and to another gifts of healing, and so on. These words make plain the differences in the gifts. Commentary on Luke, Homily ...

Cyril of Alexandria

AD 444
I think that I should mention whom Christ has entrusted with these gifts, according to the measure of each one’s readiness and disposition…. Another Evangelist is aware of a difference between the amounts of the talents distributed. To one, he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one. You see that the distribution was suitable to the measure of each one’s faculties. As to those who were entrusted with them, come, and let us to the best of our ability declare who they are. They are those who are perfect in mind to whom also strong meat is fitting and whose intellectual senses are exercised for the discerning of good and evil. They are those who are skilled in instructing correctly and acquainted with the sacred doctrines. They know how to direct both themselves and others to every better work. In short, the wise disciples were above all others. Next to these come those who succeeded to their ministry, or who hold it at this day, even the holy teachers that stand at the ...

Eusebius of Caesarea

AD 339
Or by His setting out into a far country, He denotes His own ascension from earth to heaven. But when He adds, To receive for himself a kingdom, and to return; He points out His second appearance, when He shall come as a King and in great glory. He first of all calls Himself a man, because of His nativity in the flesh, then noble; not yet a King, because as yet at His first appearance He exercised no kingly power. It is also well said to obtain for Himselfa kingdom, according to Daniel, Behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and a kingdom was given to him. By those then who receive the pounds, He means His disciples, giving a pound toeach, since He entrusts to all an equal stewardship; He bade them put it out to use, as it follows, Occupy till I come. Now there was no other employment but to preach the doctrine of His kingdom to those who would hear it. But there is one and the same doctrine for all, one faith, one baptism. And therefore is one pound given to ea...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
That the kingdom of God should immediately be manifested. The disciples were full of the expectation of the temporal kingdom of the Messias, though he had divers times told them he was to suffer and die on a cross. (Witham) Notwithstanding all that Jesus had said to them about his kingdom, his death, his consummation, and resurrection, they still believed that the kingdom of God was going to be manifested, and that Jesus, in this journey, would make himself be acknowledged king by the whole nation of the Jews. They could not lay aside the ideas they had formed of the personal and temporal reign of the Messias. Every thing which they could not reconcile with this standard, was completely impenetrable to them. It was a language they could not comprehend. (Calmet) ...

Greek Expositor

AD 1000
Because he receives the reward of his own good works, he is said to be set over ten cities. And some conceiving unworthily of these promises imagine that they themselves are preferred to magistracies and chief places in the earthly Jerusalem, which is built with precious stones, because they have had their conversation honest in Christ; so little do they purge their soul of all hankering after power and authority among men. ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
Holy Scripture is accustomed touse the number ten as a sign of perfection, for if any one wishes to count beyond it, he has again to begin from unity, having in ten as it were arrived at a goal. And so in the giving of the talents, the one who reaches the goal of divine obedience is said to have received ten pounds. Holy Scripture notes two kingdoms: of God, one indeed by creation, since by right of creation He is King over all men; the other by justification, since He reigns' over the just, of their own will made subject to Him. And this is the kingdom which He is here said to have received. For in earthly wealth it does not belong to one man to be made rich without another being made poor, but in spiritual riches, without his making another rich also. For in earthly matters participation lessens, in spiritual it increases wealth. In the payment of earthly riches the debtors are obliged only to strictness. Whatever they receive, so much must they return, nothing more is required of th...
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Theophilus of Antioch

AD 184
The Lord points out the vanity of their imaginations, for the senses cannot embrace the kingdom of God; He also plainly shows to the m, that as God He knew their thoughts, putting to them the following parable, A certain nobleman For with a napkin the face of the dead is covered; well then is this idler said to have wrapped up his pound in a napkin, because leaving it dead and unprofitable he neither touched nor increased it. For seeing that he gained ten, by multiplying his pound tenfold, it is plain that by having more to multiply, he would be an occasion of greater gain to his Lord. But of the slothful and idle, who stirs not himself to increase what he has received, shall be taken away even that which he possesses, that there may be no gap in the Lord's account when it is given to others and multiplied. But this is notto be applied only to the words of God and teaching, but also to the moral virtues; for in respect of these also, God sends us His gracious gifts, endowing one man wi...

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

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