Matthew 25:16

ESV He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more.
NIV The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more.
NASB The one who had received the five talents immediately went and did business with them, and earned five more talents.
CSB the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more.
NLT The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more.
KJV Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

What does Matthew 25:16 mean?

This parable about how Christ-followers should make use of God-given assets uses the metaphor of servants. They have been asked to do business on behalf of their master. The story begins with a wealthy landowner who is leaving town to go on a journey. He entrusts massive amounts of wealth to three of his trusted servants. After sizing up their ability to do business, he gives one of them five talents, another two talents, and the last one a single talent. A "talent" in that era was an amount of a tradable metal, such silver or gold, and could weigh as much as 80 pounds. The master's clear expectation was that his servants would earn more money with the money he left in their care (Matthew 25:14–15).

The first servant begins immediately to start making his master's wealth earn more wealth. He does so by trading with it. That suggests that the servant entrusted with the five talents used it to buy goods and then sell them at higher prices. In other words, he went into business as a trader, and he did extraordinarily well. He used his master's five talents to earn another five.

It cannot be understated what a large fortune five talents would have been during this time. Depending on the scale used, a common laborer might earn a total of one talent for twenty years of labor. The first servant in this parable is responsible for more money than most people would see in several lifetimes. Some interpreters think Jesus may have chosen a deliberately unrealistic number to catch the imagination of His audience.
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