Matthew 20:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.'

New Living Translation
"That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first.

English Standard Version
And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’

New American Standard Bible
"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.'

King James Bible
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his foreman, Call the workers and give them their pay, starting with the last and ending with the first.'

International Standard Version
"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told his manager, 'Call the workers and give them their wages, beginning with the last and ending with the first.'

NET Bible
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the workers and give the pay starting with the last hired until the first.'

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But when it was evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his custodian, 'Call the laborers and give them their wages, and start from the last ones up to the first ones.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told the supervisor, 'Call the workers, and give them their wages. Start with the last, and end with the first.'

Jubilee Bible 2000
So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard said unto his steward, Call the labourers and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

King James 2000 Bible
So when evening came, the lord of the vineyard said unto his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

American King James Version
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first.

American Standard Version
And when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward: Call the labourers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even to the first.

Darby Bible Translation
But when the evening was come, the lord of the vineyard says to his steward, Call the workmen and pay [them] their wages, beginning from the last even to the first.

English Revised Version
And when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.

Webster's Bible Translation
So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first.

Weymouth New Testament
"When evening came, the master said to his steward, "'Call the men and pay them their wages. Begin with the last set and finish with the first.'

World English Bible
When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.'

Young's Literal Translation
'And evening having come, the lord of the vineyard saith to his steward, Call the workmen, and pay them the reward, having begun from the last -- unto the first.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - When even was come. According to Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy 24:15), a hired labourer was to be paid his wages at sunset, i.e. at the twelfth hour. Steward. The lord himself is said to have hired the labourers, but he commits the payment of them to his steward, as his representative, to whom such matters of detail were entrusted. From the last. Those last hired were first to receive their hire (τὸν μισθόν), that which it had been agreed to pay them, in one case "a penny," in the others "that which was just." Why the last are rewarded first is one of the difficulties of the parable. To say that this is done because in their one hour's work they did more than all the rest, is a solution which is supported by nothing in the story itself. It should, in the primary interpretation, rather be conceived as depending on the lord's good pleasure.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

So when even was come,.... At six o'clock, or when the sun was set, which was the time of paying labourers their wages: thus in the parable of the Jews, before referred to, which bears some resemblance to this, it is said,

"bre tel, (s) that "at evening time" the labourers came to take their wages.''

Sooner than this, one that was hired for a day, could not demand it; nor was the master of the vineyard, who hired him, obliged to pay him till the sun was set (t), which was the time of his going forth from his labour (u). This even may be understood, either of the evening of the Jewish state, upon the calling of the Gentiles; or of the end of the world, the close of the Gospel dispensation; when the work of it will be over, when all the elect of God, Jews and Gentiles, shall be called and gathered in, and all brought to repentance towards God, and faith in Christ.

The lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward: by the lord of the vineyard may be meant God the Father, who has chosen and separated the vineyard of the church for himself; and has made it the care and charge of his Son Jesus Christ; who, as mediator, may be designed by "his steward"; who has not only all the stores of grace in his hand, to distribute to his people, in this life, as their cases require; but has also eternal life and happiness in his possession for them; not only the promise of it, but that itself; and has a power of giving it to as many as the Father hath given him; and which he, the righteous judge, and faithful steward, will give at the day of judgment, to all that love his appearing.

Call the labourers, and give them their hire; the proper time being come: for the Jews say (w).

"it is an affirmative precept to give the wages of an hired person in its time; as it is said, Deuteronomy 24:15 at "his day thou shalt give him his hire"; and if it is prolonged after its time, it is transgressing a negative precept, as it is said, (in the same place,) "neither shall the sun go down upon it."''

So Jews and Gentiles were called to partake of the same Gospel privileges; and so will all the faithful labourers in the Lord's vineyard be called together, and have the reward of eternal life bestowed upon them, and be bid to enter into the joy of their Lord, and inherit the kingdom prepared for them, as they before were ordered to go into the vineyard, and work. And though eternal life may be called hire or reward, because as hire is given to labourers, so is eternal life; and as that is given at the even and close of the day, and when the labourer has done his work, so everlasting glory will be given to the saints at the end of life, and when they have done the will and work of God: yet it will not be bestowed by way of merit, or, as if there was a just proportion between the work, labour, and services of the saints, and the glory that shall be revealed in them. Their purest services, even their sufferings for Christ, are not worthy to be compared with that; nor are there any that are done by them, but what are due to God, what he has a right unto, and are their duty to perform; so that when they are done by them in the best and most perfect manner, they are but unprofitable servants: nor can they, by anything they do, be profitable to God, or give anything to him, which can be obligatory upon him, to do anything for them, or be a valuable consideration for anything they should receive from him; and therefore they cannot merit anything at his hand, and much less eternal life: besides, their services are impure and imperfect, and whenever anything is well done by them, it is done not by their own strength and might, but by the assistance and grace of God; and therefore they can have no demand upon him for what they do: eternal life, though a reward, is not a reward of debt, but of grace; it is the free gift of God through Christ; God has graciously promised it in the covenant of his grace, before the world began; he has given it into the hands of his Son for his people, with whom it is sure; and he gives it freely to all the sheep the Father has given him.

Beginning from the last unto the first; beginning with the last that was called and sent into the vineyard, and so proceeding on to the next to them; giving them their wages as he went along, till he came to the first, who were early in the morning hired into this service; intimating, that some such method will be taken in the introducing of the saints into the kingdom of the Messiah here, and into his everlasting kingdom hereafter; whereby that saying of our Lord's which occasioned this parable, will be also fulfilled, "the first shall be last, and last first".

(s) Shirashirim Rabba, fol. 21. 3. Midrash Kohelet, fol. 72. 4. T. Hicros. Beracot, fol. 5. 3.((t) Bartenora in Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 9. sect. 11. (u) Jarchi in Leviticus 19.13. (w) Maimen, Helch. Secirut, c. 11. sect. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. So when even was come—that is, the reckoning time between masters and laborers (see De 24:15); pointing to the day of final account.

the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward—answering to Christ Himself, represented "as a Son over His own house" (Heb 3:6; see Mt 11:27; Joh 3:35; 5:27).

Call the labourers and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first—Remarkable direction this—last hired, first paid.

Matthew 20:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Parable of the Vineyard Workers
7"They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' 8"When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last group to the first.' 9"When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a denarius.…
Cross References
Leviticus 19:13
"'Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. "'Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.

Deuteronomy 24:15
Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the LORD against you, and you will be guilty of sin.

Matthew 20:7
"'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'

Matthew 20:9
"The workers who were hired about five in the afternoon came and each received a denarius.

Luke 8:3
Joanna the wife of Chuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
Treasury of Scripture

So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first.

when.

Matthew 13:39,40 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of …

Matthew 25:19,31 After a long time the lord of those servants comes, and reckons with them…

Romans 2:6-10 Who will render to every man according to his deeds…

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every …

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…

Revelation 20:11,12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose …

unto.

Genesis 15:2 And Abram said, LORD God, what will you give me, seeing I go childless, …

Genesis 39:4-6 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made …

Genesis 43:19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph's house, and they communed …

Luke 10:7 And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as …

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom …

Luke 16:1,2 And he said also to his disciples, There was a certain rich man, …

1 Corinthians 4:1,2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards …

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, …

1 Peter 4:10 As every man has received the gift, even so minister the same one …

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