|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:9-19 Christ spake this parable against those who resolved not to own his authority, though the evidence of it was so full. How many resemble the Jews who murdered the prophets and crucified Christ, in their enmity to God, and aversion to his service, desiring to live according to their lusts, without control! Let all who are favoured with God's word, look to it that they make proper use of their advantages. Awful will be the doom, both of those who reject the Son, and of those who profess to reverence Him, yet render not the fruits in due season. Though they could not but own that for such a sin, such a punishment was just, yet they could not bear to hear of it. It is the folly of sinners, that they persevere in sinful ways, though they dread the destruction at the end of those ways.
Verses 9-19. - Parable of the wicked husbandmen in the vineyard, and the simile of the corner-stone. Verse 9. - A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen. Under a very thin parabolic veil, Jesus foretells the awful tragedy of the next few days. He adopts a well-known imagery, and seems to say, "Listen to Isaiah's well-known story of the vineyard, the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, which is the house of Israel. I will expand it a little, that I may show you how it stands with you as regards this matter of 'authority,' that we may see whether you have as much respect for the ascertained will of God as ye pretend, so that ye should be sure to submit to me if only ye were satisfied that I was an accredited Messenger of God" (Professor Bruce). For a long time. Representing the nearly two thousand years of Jewish history.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then began he to speak to the people this parable,.... According to the other evangelists it seems to be spoken to the chief priests, Scribes, and elders; and certain it is, that they looked upon themselves as struck at in it; it might be spoken to both. Christ having silenced the sanhedrim, turned himself to the people, and delivered the parable of the vineyard to them, though his principal view was to the priests:
a certain man planted a vineyard; the people of the Jews are designed by the vineyard, and the "certain man", or "householder", as Matthew calls him, Matthew 21:28 is the Lord of hosts; and the planting of it is to be understood of his bringing and settling the people Israel in the land of Canaan. Luke omits certain things which the other evangelists relate, as setting an hedge about it, digging a winepress, and building a tower in it; and the Persic version here adds, "and planted trees, and set a wall about it"; all which express the care that was taken to cultivate and protect it; and signify the various blessings and privileges the Jew's enjoyed under the former dispensation; see Gill on Matthew 21:33 and See Gill on Mark 12:1.
and let it forth to husbandmen; put the people of the Jews under the care not only of civil magistrates, but of ecclesiastical governors, who were to dress this vine, or instruct these people in matters of religion, that they might be fruitful in good works:
and went into a far country for a long time; for a long time it was, from the times of Moses and Joshua, when the first settlement, both of the civil and ecclesiastical state of the Jews, was made, to the time of Christ; it was fourteen or fifteen hundred years; see the notes, as above.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9-13. vineyard—(See on Lu 13:6). In Mt 21:33 additional points are given, taken literally from Isa 5:2, to fix down the application and sustain it by Old Testament authority.
husbandmen—the ordinary spiritual guides of the people, under whose care and culture the fruits of righteousness might be yielded.
went, &c.—leaving it to the laws of the spiritual husbandry during the whole length of the Jewish economy. (See on Mr 4:26.)
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