Matthew 22:2

New Testament

1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his slaves to summon those who had been invited to the banquet, but they would not come. 4 Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”’ 5 But they were indifferent and went away, one to his farm, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his slaves, insolently mistreated them, and killed them. 7 The king was furious! He sent his soldiers, and they put those murderers to death and set their city on fire. 8 Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but the ones who had been invited were not worthy. 9 So go into the main streets and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.’ 10 And those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all they found, both bad and good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to see the wedding guests, he saw a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But he had nothing to say. 13 Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!’ 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Shabbat 153a

Babylonian Talmud

Similarly, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai said the following story as a parable to this lesson: The situation is comparable to a king who invited his servants to a feast and did not set a time for them to come. The wise among them adorned themselves and sat at the entrance to the king’s house. They said: Is the king’s house missing anything necessary for the feast? Certainly the king could invite them at any moment. The fools among them went to attend to their work and said: Is there such thing as a feast without the toil of preparing for it? While the feast is being prepared, we will attend to other matters.

 Notes and References

"... However, it is just because both rabbinic literature and the New Testament are interpretations and/or re-readings of the ancient biblical texts that the one is able to explain and evaluate the other. An advantage of this reading of both literatures is that a mutual illumination of the contents is enabled, without supposing literary dependencies—which moreover are hardly reliable ... More important for selection is the theological relevance of the rabbinic texts, and especially the inspiration they might reflect for New Testament writers using the same Old Testament texts. Recourse to the source-texts allows evaluating of coincidences and differences between Jewish and Christian interpretations. The parable of the wedding guests is a good example (Matthew 22:1–14, compare Luke 14:15–24; Ecclesiastes Rabbah 9:8, compare b. Shabbat 153a). Here, we may appreciate the different applications of the source text: “Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head” (Ecclesiastes 9:8). In this way we try to respect the identity and legitimacy of both traditions ..."

Fernández, Migel Pérez "Midrash and the New Testament: A Methodology for the Study of Gospel Midrash" in Bieringer, R., editor. The New Testament and Rabbinic Literature (p. 369) Brill, 2010

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