22 Till seventy times seven - That is, as often as there is
occasion. A certain number is put for an uncertain.
23 Therefore - In this respect.
24 One was brought who owed him ten thousand talents - According to
the usual computation, if these were talents of gold, this would amount
to seventy - two millions sterling. If they were talents of silver, it
must have been four millions, four hundred thousand pounds. Hereby our
Lord intimates the vast number and weight of our offences against God,
and our utter incapacity of making him any satisfaction.
25 As he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold - Such was
the power which creditors anciently had over their insolvent debtors in
30 Went with him before a magistrate, and cast him into prison, protesting
he should lie there, till he should pay the whole debt.
34 His lord delivered him to the tormentors - Imprisonment is a much
severer punishment in the eastern countries than in ours. State criminals,
especially when condemned to it, are not only confined to a very mean and
scanty allowance, but are frequently loaded with clogs or heavy yokes,
so that they can neither lie nor sit at ease: and by frequent scourgings
and sometimes rackings are brought to an untimely end. Till he should pay
all that was due to him - That is, without all hope of release, for this
he could never do. How observable is this whole account; as well as the
great inference our Lord draws from it:
1. The debtor was freely and fully forgiven;
2. He wilfully and grievously offended;
3. His pardon was retracted, the whole debt required,
and the offender delivered to the tormentors for ever.
And shall we still say, but when we are once freely and fully forgiven,
our pardon can never be retracted? Verily, verily, I say unto you, So likewise
will my heavenly Father do to you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every
one his brother their trespasses.