Matthew 20:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"But he answered one of them, 'I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn't you agree to work for a denarius?

New Living Translation
"He answered one of them, 'Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage?

English Standard Version
But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

Berean Study Bible
But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Did you not agree with me on one denarius?

Berean Literal Bible
And answering one of them, he said, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

New American Standard Bible
"But he answered and said to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?

King James Bible
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"He replied to one of them, Friend, I'm doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me on a denarius?

International Standard Version
"But he told one of them, 'Friend, I'm not treating you unfairly. You did agree with me for a denarius, didn't you?

NET Bible
And the landowner replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn't you agree with me to work for the standard wage?

New Heart English Bible
"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But he answered and said to one of them, 'My friend, I do no evil to you. Did you not agree with me for a denarius?'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The owner said to one of them, 'Friend, I'm not treating you unfairly. Didn't you agree with me on a day's wages?

New American Standard 1977
“But he answered and said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius?

Jubilee Bible 2000
But he answered one of them and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong; didst not thou agree with me for a denarius?

King James 2000 Bible
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny?

American King James Version
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny?

American Standard Version
But he answered and said to one of them, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a shilling?

Douay-Rheims Bible
But he answering said to one of them: Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny?

Darby Bible Translation
But he answering said to one of them, [My] friend, I do not wrong thee. Didst thou not agree with me for a denarius?

English Revised Version
But he answered and said to one of them, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?

Webster's Bible Translation
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a penny?

Weymouth New Testament
"'My friend,' he answered to one of them, 'I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me for a shilling?

World English Bible
"But he answered one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn't you agree with me for a denarius?

Young's Literal Translation
'And he answering said to one of them, Comrade, I do no unrighteousness to thee; for a denary didst not thou agree with me?
Study Bible
The Parable of the Workers
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? 14Take your pay and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you.…
Cross References
Matthew 20:2
He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:14
Take your pay and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you.

Matthew 22:12
Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' But the man was speechless.

Matthew 26:50
"Friend," Jesus replied, "do what you came for." Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus, and arrested Him.
Treasury of Scripture

But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did not you agree with me for a penny?

Friend.

Matthew 22:12 And he said to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding …

Matthew 26:50 And Jesus said to him, Friend, why are you come? Then came they, …

I do.

Genesis 18:25 That be far from you to do after this manner, to slay the righteous …

Job 34:8-12,17,18 Which goes in company with the workers of iniquity, and walks with wicked men…

Job 35:2 Think you this to be right, that you said, My righteousness is more than God's?

Job 40:8 Will you also cancel my judgment? will you condemn me, that you may …

Romans 9:14,15,20 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid…

(13) Friend.--The word so translated (literally, comrade, companion) always carries, with it in our Lord's lips a tone of reproof. It is addressed to the man who had not on a wedding garment (Matthew 22:12), and to the traitor Judas (Matthew 26:50).

I do thee no wrong.--The answer of the house holder is that of one who is just where claims are urged on the ground of justice, generous where he sees that generosity is right. Had the first-called labourers shared this generosity, they would not have grudged the others the wages that they themselves received, and would have found their own reward in sympathy with their joy. This would be true even in the outer framework of the parable. It is fortiori true when we pass to its spiritual interpretation. No disciple who had entered into his Master's spirit would grudge the repentant thief his rest in Paradise (Luke 23:43). No consistent Christian thinks that he ought to have some special reward because he sees a death-bed repentance crowned by a peace, the foretaste of eternal life, as full and assured as his own.

Verse 13. - He answered one of them. The Lord condescended to show, not to all the labourers, but to one of them - the ringleader probably - the futility of the ground of his murmur. Christ often explains himself to his friends, while he refuses further elucidation to enemies and the hardened. Friend (ἑταῖρε). Not a term of affection, or special good will, but one of indifference, addressed to an inferior. It was the word used to Judas (Matthew 26:50) when he came to betray his Lord, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?" I do thee no wrong. The labourer had really nothing to complain of in strict justice; he had received the full amount of the stipulated wages. But he very naturally felt that he had not been fairly dealt with. He would say to himself, "If one hour's work, and that in the cool of the evening, is deemed worth a penny, surely a whole day's labour, in the full heat of the sun, ought to deserve a higher remuneration." The difficulty here must be felt by every one. Nor is the master's solution perfect; it would scarcely commend itself to the dissatisfied murmurer. And doubtless it is not intended to be complete. But he answered one of them,.... Who was the forwardest and loudest in his complaints, and represented the rest;

and said, friend, I do thee no wrong; by giving all alike, the same privileges and blessings to the last, as to the first, since nothing was withheld from him. And indeed the Lord does no wrong to any, by the distinction which he makes among his creatures: he is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works: he does no injury to the evil angels, by choosing the good angels, and confirming them in the estate in which they were created; when the others are reserved in chains of darkness, to the judgment of the great day; or by choosing fallen men, in Christ, and making provisions of grace for them, and not devils: and so there is no unrighteousness in him, nor does he do any wrong to any, when, like the potter, out of the same clay, he makes one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour; any more than when, in a providential way, he gives riches and wealth to some, and withholds them from others; or sends his Gospel, the means of grace to one, and not to another: and still less can he be thought to do wrong to the sons of men, by giving to them alike the same grace and privileges here, and the same happiness and glory hereafter; since neither have any right to what they have, or shall enjoy, and no one has the less for what is given to the other.

Didst thou not agree with me for a penny? That is, to labour in the vineyard all the day for a penny; yea, this agreement was made personally with him, not with a servant, or messenger of his; though if it had, it ought, according to the Jewish canons, to have been abode by, which run thus (b):

"A man says to his messenger, or servant, go and hire workmen for me for three pence; he goes and hires them for four pence: if the messenger says to them, your wages be upon me, he gives them four pence, and takes three pence of the master of the house; he looses one out of his own purse: if he says to them, your hire be upon the master of the house, the master of the house gives them according to the custom of the province: if there are one in the province that hired for three pence, and others that are hired for four pence, he gives them but three pence, "and the murmuring" is against the messenger; in what things? When the work is not known, but when the work is known, and it is worth four pence, the master of the house gives them four pence; but if his messenger does not say to them four pence, they do not labour and do what deserves four pence. The householder says to him, hire me for four pence, and the messenger goes and hires for three pence, though the work deserves four pence, they have but three pence; because that , "they took it upon themselves", (i.e. they agreed for so much,) and their murmuring is against the messenger.''

Thus the argument in the parable proceeds upon the agreement, which ought to be abode by.

(b) Maimon. Hilch, Shecirut, c. 9. sect. 3.13. But he answered one of them—doubtless the spokesman of the complaining party.

and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? etc.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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