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Matthew 25:9

Peradventure there will not be enough for us and you (mhpote ou mh arkesei hmn kai umn). There is an elliptical construction here that is not easy of explanation. Some MSS. Aleph A L Z have ouk instead of ou mh. But even so mh pote has to be explained either by supplying an imperative like ginesqw or by a verb of fearing like poboumeqa (this most likely). Either ouk or ou mh would be proper with the futuristic subjunctive arkesei (Moulton, Prolegomena, p. 192; Robertson, Grammar, pp. 1161,1174). "We are afraid that there is no possibility of there being enough for us both." This is a denial of oil by the wise virgins because there was not enough for both. "It was necessary to show that the foolish virgins could not have the consequences of their folly averted at the last moment" (Plummer). It is a courteous reply, but it is decisive. The compound Greek negatives are very expressive, mhpote--ou mh.

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