Matthew 20:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
These who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.'

New Living Translation
'Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.'

English Standard Version
saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’

Berean Study Bible
These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.'

Berean Literal Bible
saying, 'These the last have worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us, the ones having borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'

New American Standard Bible
saying, 'These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.'

King James Bible
Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Christian Standard Bible
'These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day's work and the burning heat.'

Contemporary English Version
They said, "The ones who were hired last worked for only one hour. But you paid them the same that you did us. And we worked in the hot sun all day long!"

Good News Translation
'These men who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said, 'while we put up with a whole day's work in the hot sun--yet you paid them the same as you paid us!'

Holman Christian Standard Bible
These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!'

International Standard Version
These last fellows worked only one hour, but you paid them the same as us, and we've been working all day, enduring the scorching heat!'

NET Bible
saying, 'These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.'

New Heart English Bible
saying, 'These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.'

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And they were saying, 'These last ones have worked one hour and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
They said, 'These last workers have worked only one hour. Yet, you've treated us all the same, even though we worked hard all day under a blazing sun.'

New American Standard 1977
saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
saying, These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us who have borne the burden and heat of the day.

King James 2000 Bible
Saying, These last have worked but one hour, and you have made them equal unto us, who have borne the burden and heat of the day.

American King James Version
Saying, These last have worked but one hour, and you have made them equal to us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

American Standard Version
saying, These last have spent but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Saying: These last have worked but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the burden of the day and the heats.

Darby Bible Translation
saying, These last have worked one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the heat.

English Revised Version
saying, These last have spent but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.

Webster's Bible Translation
Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, who have borne the burden and heat of the day.

Weymouth New Testament
"'These who came last have done only one hour's work, and you have put them on a level with us who have worked the whole day and have borne the scorching heat.'

World English Bible
saying, 'These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!'

Young's Literal Translation
that These, the last, wrought one hour, and thou didst make them equal to us, who were bearing the burden of the day -- and the heat.
Study Bible
The Parable of the Workers
11On receiving their pay, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour, they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat’ of the day. 13But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Did you not agree with me on one denarius?…
Cross References
Jonah 4:8
When the sun came up God appointed a scorching east wind, and the sun beat down on Jonah's head so that he became faint and begged with all his soul to die, saying, "Death is better to me than life."

Matthew 20:11
On receiving their pay, they began to grumble against the landowner.

Luke 12:55
And when the south wind blows, you say, 'It will be hot,' and it is.

James 1:11
For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its flower falls and its beauty is lost. So too, the rich man will fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
Treasury of Scripture

Saying, These last have worked but one hour, and you have made them equal to us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.

wrought but one hour. or, continued one hour only. equal.

Luke 14:10,11 But when you are bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that …

Romans 3:22-24,30 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to …

Ephesians 3:6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and …

borne.

Isaiah 58:2,3 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation …

Zechariah 7:3-5 And to speak to the priests which were in the house of the LORD of …

Malachi 1:13 You said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and you have snuffed …

Malachi 3:14 You have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that …

Luke 15:29,30 And he answering said to his father, See, these many years do I serve …

Luke 18:11,12 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank you, …

Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? No: …

Romans 9:30-32 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after …

Romans 10:1-3 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that …

Romans 11:5,6 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according …

1 Corinthians 4:11 Even to this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, …

2 Corinthians 11:23-28 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors …

(12) But one hour.--Literally, in what was probably the technical language of labourers, made but one hour:

The burden and heat of the day.--The word rendered "heat" is elsewhere used--as in James 1:11, and the LXX. of Jonah 4:8--for the "burning wind" that often follows on the sunrise, and makes the labour of the first half of the day harder than that of the latter.

Verse 12. - These last have wrought but one hour; μίαν ὥραν ἐπσίησαν: una hora fecerunt (Vulgate); have spent but one hour (Revised Version). The verb ποιεῖν is used with nouns of time in the sense of "spend," "pass," as in Ruth 2:19 (Septuagint); Acts 15:33, etc. They speak of the late workers contemptuously (οὑτοι οἱ ἔσχατοι), "these fellows who are last." They do not allow that they laboured - they "made" one hour nominally. Equal unto us. Bengel notes, "Envy does not demand more for itself, but wishes that others should have less." Their complaint is that others who have worked less are not docked of their wages in due proportion. Burden and heat of the day; τό βάρος τῆς ἡμέρας καὶ τὸν καύσωνα: the burden of the day and the scorching heat (Revised Version). The latter word is used for the hot dry wind which, blowing from the east, was fatal to vegetation and prejudicial to human comfort, if not to life. The remonstrance of these men may be compared with that of the elder brother in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:29, 30). They how somewhat of the spirit of the apostles when they asked, "What shall we have therefore?" (Matthew 19:27). Saying, these last have wrought but one hour,.... Thinking it hard, that they should have the same reward for the service of one hour, others had for the service of many. This is grudged by the Jews (x);

""Bath Kol", a voice from heaven, went out and said, "Ketiah bar Shallum", is prepared for the life of the world to come; Rabbi wept, and said, there is that obtains his world (or the world to come for himself) , "in one hour"; and there is that obtains it in many years.''

The same observation is also made by the same person, on account of R. Eleazar ben Durdia (y). So in the parable of the Jews above mentioned, which is the broken remains of a common proverb among them like (z) this; it is observed, that there being one labourer among those that were hired, who did his work better than all the rest, and who was taken notice of by the king; that when

"at even the labourers came to take their wages, this labourer also came to take his; and the king gave him his wages equal with them, (or, as in another place, a perfect one,) the labourers began to press him with difficulty, (or as elsewhere (a) "they murmured",) and said, Oh! our Lord, the king, "we have laboured all the day"; but this man has not laboured but two or three hours in the day, and he takes his wages, even as ours, or a perfect reward.''

And so it follows here,

and thou hast made them equal to us, who have borne the burden and heat of the day; of all the Jewish rites and ceremonies, which were burdensome and intolerable. The ceremonial law was a burden to the Jewish people; the multitude of sacrifices enjoined them, and the frequent repetition of them, together with the great number of other ordinances and institutions, produced a weariness in them; especially in the carnal part of them, who saw not the things typified by them, the use and end of them, and so did not enjoy spiritual pleasure in them, Malachi 1:13. It was a yoke, and a yoke of bondage to them, which brought on them a spirit of bondage, through the fear of death, which was the penalty annexed to it; and it was an insupportable one, which neither they, nor their forefathers, were able to bear, because it made them debtors to keep the whole law: and this was made still more burdensome, by the traditions of the elders, which were added to it, and which the Scribes and Pharisees obliged to the observance of; to which they themselves still added, and bound heavy burdens, and grievous to be borne, and laid them on men's shoulders. The law was a fiery law, and the dispensation of it was a hot and scorching one; it was uncomfortable working under the flashes of a mount, that burned with fire: the law worked wrath, and possessed the minds of men with a fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation. This may also be applied to such Christians, who are called to more severe service or sufferings for Christ, than others are; who are almost pressed down without measure, and endure fiery trials, are scorched, and made black, with the sun of persecution beating upon them; as the saints under the ten persecutions of the Roman emperors, and as the confessors and martyrs in the times of papal power and cruelty; and who, it might be thought, will have a greater degree of glory and happiness hereafter; and so some have been of opinion, that these are they that shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years, Revelation 20:4 But it rather seems, that others will be made equal with them, who have not endured what they have done; for all the dead in Christ, all that have part in the first resurrection, when Christ comes, as all the saints will then rise, will share in that glory; even the innumerable company, chosen, redeemed, and called, out of every nation, tongue, and people, and will be admitted to the same honour and happiness, Revelation 7:9 And this character will also agree with many other servants of Christ, who are called to harder and more laborious service than others are, and labour more abundantly in the Lord's vineyard than others do, and are longer employed in it; as for instance, the Apostle Paul; and yet the same crown of righteousness that is laid up for him, and given to him, will be given to all that love the appearance of Christ, though they have not laboured for his name's sake, as he has done.

(x) T. Bab. Avoda Zara, fol. 10. 2.((y) Ib. fol. 17. 1.((z) Shirhashirim Rabba, fol 21. 4. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 72. 4. (a) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 3.12. Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat—the burning heat.

of the day—who have wrought not only longer but during a more trying period of the day.20:1-16 The direct object of this parable seems to be, to show that though the Jews were first called into the vineyard, at length the gospel should be preached to the Gentiles, and they should be admitted to equal privileges and advantages with the Jews. The parable may also be applied more generally, and shows, 1. That God is debtor to no man. 2. That many who begin last, and promise little in religion, sometimes, by the blessing of God, arrive at a great deal of knowledge, grace, and usefulness. 3. That the recompense of reward will be given to the saints, but not according to the time of their conversion. It describes the state of the visible church, and explains the declaration that the last shall be first, and the first last, in its various references. Till we are hired into the service of God, we are standing all the day idle: a sinful state, though a state of drudgery to Satan, may be called a state of idleness. The market-place is the world, and from that we are called by the gospel. Come, come from this market-place. Work for God will not admit of trifling. A man may go idle to hell, but he that will go to heaven, must be diligent. The Roman penny was sevenpence halfpenny in our money, wages then enough for the day's support. This does not prove that the reward of our obedience to God is of works, or of debt; when we have done all, we are unprofitable servants; but it signifies that there is a reward set before us, yet let none, upon this presumption, put off repentance till they are old. Some were sent into the vineyard at the eleventh hour; but nobody had hired them before. The Gentiles came in at the eleventh hour; the gospel had not been before preached to them. Those that have had gospel offers made them at the third or sixth hour, and have refused them, will not have to say at the eleventh hour, as these had, No man has hired us. Therefore, not to discourage any, but to awaken all, be it remembered, that now is the accepted time. The riches of Divine grace are loudly murmured at, among proud Pharisees and nominal Christians. There is great proneness in us to think that we have too little, and others too much of the tokens of God's favour; and that we do too much, and others too little in the work of God. But if God gives grace to others, it is kindness to them, and no injustice to us. Carnal worldlings agree with God for their penny in this world; and choose their portion in this life. Obedient believers agree with God for their penny in the other world, and must remember they have so agreed. Didst not thou agree to take up with heaven as thy portion, thy all; wilt thou seek for happiness in the creature? God punishes none more than they deserve, and recompenses every service done for him; he therefore does no wrong to any, by showing extraordinary grace to some. See here the nature of envy. It is an evil eye, which is displeased at the good of others, and desires their hurt. It is a grief to ourselves, displeasing to God, and hurtful to our neighbours: it is a sin that has neither pleasure, profit, nor honour. Let us forego every proud claim, and seek for salvation as a free gift. Let us never envy or grudge, but rejoice and praise God for his mercy to others as well as to ourselves.
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