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Additional References
Last Updated 8/27/00

The Kingdom of God is mentioned in other places in Scripture as well as in Jewish commentaries. In this section, we will examine some of these references, as a supplement to our Matthew study.

Elsewhere in Matthew, Yeshua alludes to the Kingdom when answering Peter's question on the subject of forgiving others. The lesson is simple yet important. If you do not forgive, you will not be forgiven. This is often overlooked today. There are many people who think they have an easy path to heaven, because they "believe" a certain way, all the while holding unforgiving grudges against others they feel did them wrong. Yeshua teaches otherwise:

Matthew 18-21-35 - Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

A more peculiar Kingdom teaching relating to "eunuchs," is found in the following chapter of Matthew:

Matthew 19:12 - For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Some insight to the above can be found by going back to the Torah, where God command that eunuchs were not allowed to enter the Tabernacle/Temple:

Deuteronomy 23:1- He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.

In the Kingdom of God however, even these eunuchs (as well as gentiles) will have access to all the things of God. This is because the kingdom is a time of tikkun (repair) where things that are now separated, are to be united:

Isaiah 56:4-5 - For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.

Yeshua offers another Kingdom parable where he teaches the principle that although we may accept God's offer of the Kingdom, we do not "earn" our way in. It should be noted that this teaching does not go against the principle that there will be varying degrees of reward in heaven. This has to do solely with entry into the Kingdom:

Matthew 20:1-16 - For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

A Kingdom parable with a harsh lesson is found later in Matthew. Here Yeshua teaches that even those who are given the minimal amount of opportunity by God, are without excuse if they fail to act on it:

Matthew 25:14-30 - For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The following parable has a fairly simple beginning, but the ending demands some study. Here, Yeshua speaks of a King (God) who was ready to hold a wedding feast for his son (Yeshua) and sent invites to through his servants (the prophets) to those destined to come (Israel). They (Israel) did not hold this message with high regard, even killing some of the servants (the prophets). The invite then went out to a general audience (the gentile world) many of whom accepted it.

That's the "easy" part. The difficulty arises with the last section. One of those invited did not bother to put on a proper wedding garment, and was cast out:

Matthew 22:1-14 - And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.

What is the significance of this wedding garment? We know a bit more about the wedding garment of the end time marriage feast, from the book of Revelation:

Revelation 19:7-8 - Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The Greek term for "righteousness" (as found in the King James version above), is dikaioma, a noun meaning righteous acts. This of course, would be acts of Torah, prepared for us from before the foundation of the world (i.e., Ephesians 2:10). This is consistent with other verses in Revelation that also state that those who obey God's Torah (including faith in Yeshua), are the ones who are declared righteous:

Revelation 14:12 - Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 22:14 - Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

It would seem then that the white wedding garment is directly tied to following Torah. This is also found in the Hebrew Zohar1:

Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 226b - Alas for men that they look not to their foundation, and neglect the precepts of the Torah. For some of these precepts fashion a glorious garment above, and some a glorious garment below, and some a glorious garment in this world; and man requires them all.

The book of Zechariah tells of a vision the prophet received, associated with the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Here, a high priest named Joshua (not the Joshua of Moses' day), was unable to immediately take his proper place, as Satan had an accusation against him (for iniquity - violating Torah). The angel of the Lord orders a "change of garments" for Joshua, and charges him to walk in His ways (Torah) in order to continue on as high priest:

Zechariah 3:1-10 - And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by. And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.

Those who claim to follow the Messiah, and expect to be priests in His Kingdom one day, should take heed to previous warnings that God gave on this subject:

Hosea 4:6 - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

Lastly, the following parable, with its lesson on always being prepared, is especially interesting as there is a similar story found in Jewish literature:

Matthew 25:1-12 - Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Here is the teaching from the Midrash Rabbah on the book of Ecclesiastes. This teaching seems to be a synthesis of the parables in Matthew 22:1-14 and 25:1-12, above:

Midrash Rabbah – Ecclesiastes IX:7 - To a king who made a banquet to which he invited guests. He said to them, ‘Go, wash yourselves, brush up your clothes, anoint yourselves with oil, wash your garments, and prepare yourselves for the banquet,’ but he fixed no time when they were to come to it. The wise among them walked about by the entrance of the king's palace, saying, ' Does the king's palace lack anything?’ The foolish among them paid no regard or attention to the king's command. They said, ‘We will in due course notice when the king's banquet is to take place, because can there be a banquet without labour [to prepare it] and company?’ So the plasterer went to his plaster, the potter to his clay, the smith to his charcoal, the washer to his laundry. Suddenly the king ordered, ' Let them all come to the banquet.’ They hurried the guests, so that some came in their splendid attire and others came in their dirty garments. The king was pleased with the wise ones who had obeyed his command, and also because they had shown honour to the king's palace. He was angry with the fools who had neglected his command and disgraced his palace. The king said, 'Let those who have prepared themselves for the banquet come and eat of the king's meal, but those who have not prepared themselves shall not partake of it.’

1. The Zohar is a collection of ancient Hebrew texts, much of which are Sod-level commentary on the passages of the Tenakh.