Matthew 25:33

ESV And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
NIV He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
NASB and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.
CSB He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left.
NLT He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
KJV And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

What does Matthew 25:33 mean?

The act of judgment Jesus enacts at some point in the end times (Matthew 25:31–32) takes place in this part of the passage. He places each person into one of two groups. These are described as the sheep, on His right hand, and the goats, on His left. Christ does not give details on how this will be accomplished in real time. It is difficult to imagine this happening with a planet fulfilled with people; however, Jesus does not seem to depict this as a parable or metaphor. This is a real judgment, and a real separation.

Scholars dispute who, exactly, is subject to this judgment. The eternal fate of non-believers is declared at the great white throne, sometime after the millennium (Revelation 20:11–15) and just prior to the arrival of New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:1–2). Believers have their eternal judgment, for rewards only, at the so-called "Bema seat" of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).

How the judgment of sheep and goats fits into the calendar of end-times events is not entirely clear. Some interpreters believe this is a general description of the only two possible fates for each person. Others suggest the people here have survived the tribulation (Matthew 24:21–22) and are being judged to see who enters the millennial kingdom of Christ (Revelation 20:1–6).
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