Parable of the unforgiving servent

God’s Grace Is the Model for Forgiveness (Mat 18:23-27)

At the appropriate time of year the king wanted to settle accounts with his servants. Although the talent’s worth varied in different periods, ten thousand talents represented between sixty and one hundred million denarii, or between thirty and one hundred million days’ wages for an average peasant—a lot of work. (100 million days is equivalent to approx 274,000 years of work!). –

(Additional commentary below, optional to read)The combined annual tribute of Galilee and Perea just after the death of the repressive Herod the Great came to only two hundred talents (Jos. Ant. 17.318; Jeremias [1972] p. 30); the tribute of Judea, Samaria and Idumea came to six hundred talents (Jos. Ant. 17.320). This fact starkly reveals the laughably hyperbolic character of the illustration: the poor man owes the king more money than existed in circulation in the whole country at the time! The man was a fool to get so far in debt, and the king had been a fool to let him get away with it. Jesus could compare God with a father (Luk 15:12) or landowner (Mat 21:33-37) so merciful that hearers would consider him shamelessly indulgent. So here he compares God with a king who let a subordinate get too far into debt to ever pay him back. The grace of God is so deep and unimaginable that it repeatedly bursts the bounds of Jesus’ metaphor.[106]Selling the man into slavery would recover virtually none of the loss, though it might abate some of the king’s anger: the most expensive slave recorded would sell for only a talent, the average being one-twentieth to one-fifth of that (Jeremias [1972] p. 211). Jewish custom prohibited the sale of women and children, but Jesus’ hearers recognized that a pagan king wouldn’t care about such just technicalities 

If one dinarri equals 64$ If one talent equals 1000 – 30,000$ then: The unforgiving servant owed: 10,000,000$ to 300,000,000$ While the servant below him owed:  6400$

Seventy times seven is illimitable forgiveness. These numbers denote the perfection of perfection; and if God asks so much of us, what is He not prepared to do! Despair of yourself, but never despair of God’s forgiving mercy! The cause of soul-ruin is not sin, but the unbelief that thinks sin too great to be forgiven.

The difference between the two amounts of debt named in the parable sets forth the vast difference between our indebtedness to man and to God; and the free pardon of the king teaches us that God desires not only to forgive us, but to wipe out all memory of our sins. We could never pay all, but God will forgive all. Yet, notice that this servant forfeited the king’s pardon, so that it ceased to operate. Similarly we may shut ourselves out of the benefits of Christ’s death-though it has reconciled the world unto God-by an unforgiving and merciless spirit.

Jewish NT (JNT)
Many millions, literally, “ten thousand talents.” In Roman times one talent equalled 6,000 denarii, a denarius being roughly a day’s wages for a common laborer. If a day’s wages today is in the neighborhood of $50, 10,000 talents would be $3 billion! In the Tanakh a talent weighs 75.6 avoirdupois pounds. This amount of gold, at $350/troy ounce, is worth nearly $4 billion; the same amount of silver, at $4/troy ounce, comes to over $40 million. Haman offered King Achashverosh of Persia 10,000 talents of silver to destroy the Jews (Est 3:9). The museum in Heraklion, Crete, displays 3,500-year-old Minoan talents-metal ingots used to settle debts.


  • what i originally thought, in the BILLIONS. NOT 20 years worth! but 7500 years worth, for the president of the US, who makes 400k, and worse for us who make less than that! 60,000 years for those who make 50k! YIKES!