Matthew 21:28
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.'

New Living Translation
"But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, 'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.'

English Standard Version
“What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’

New American Standard Bible
"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.'

King James Bible
But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"But what do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, My son, go, work in the vineyard today.'

International Standard Version
"But what do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'

NET Bible
"What do you think? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But how does it seem to you? A certain man had two sons and he called the first and said to him, 'My son, go work today in the vineyard.'”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"What do you think about this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go to work in the vineyard today.'

Jubilee Bible 2000
But what do you think? A certain man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard.

King James 2000 Bible
But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in my vineyard.

American King James Version
But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

American Standard Version
But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to-day in the vineyard.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and coming to the first, he said: Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

Darby Bible Translation
But what think ye? A man had two children, and coming to the first he said, Child, go to-day, work in [my] vineyard.

English Revised Version
But what think ye? A man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work today in the vineyard.

Webster's Bible Translation
But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go, work to-day in my vineyard.

Weymouth New Testament
"But give me your judgement. There was a man who had two sons. He came to the elder of them, and said, "'My son, go and work in the vineyard to-day.'

World English Bible
But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.'

Young's Literal Translation
'And what think ye? A man had two children, and having come to the first, he said, Child, go, to-day be working in my vineyard.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

21:28-32 Parables which give reproof, speak plainly to the offenders, and judge them out of their own mouths. The parable of the two sons sent to work in the vineyard, is to show that those who knew not John's baptism to be of God, were shamed by those who knew it, and owned it. The whole human race are like children whom the Lord has brought up, but they have rebelled against him, only some are more plausible in their disobedience than others. And it often happens, that the daring rebel is brought to repentance and becomes the Lord's servant, while the formalist grows hardened in pride and enmity.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 28-32. - The parable of the two sons. (Peculiar to St. Matthew.) Verse 28. - But what think ye? A formula connecting what follows with what has preceded, and making the hearers themselves the judges. By this and the succeeding parables, Jesus shows his interlocutors their true guilty position and the punishment that awaited them. He himself explains the present parable in reference to his hearers, though, of course, it has, and is meant to have, a much wider application. A certain man (ἄνθρωπος, a man) had two sons. The man represents God; the two sons symbolize two classes of Jews - the Pharisees, with their followers and imitators; and the lawless and sinful, who made no pretence of religion. The former are those who profess to keep the Law strictly, to the very letter, though they care nothing for its spirit, and virtually divorce religion from morality The latter are careless and profane persons, whom the Lord calls "publicans and harlots" (ver. 31). The first. Westcott and Hort, relying on no very weighty authority, reverse the order of the sons' answers, altering ver. 31 in agreement with this arrangement. Christ's reply countenances the received text, setting the repentant before the professing son. It is a matter of small importance (see Tischendorf, in loc.). "The first son "here typifies the evil and immoral among the Jewish people. Go, work today. Two emphatic imperatives. Immediate obedience is required. "Today, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts" (Psalm 95:7, 8). God called his sons to serve in his vineyard - the Church. He called them by the prophets, and more especially by John the Baptist, to turn from evil ways, and to do works meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8). Christ gives two examples, showing how this call was received.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But what think you?.... See Gill on Matthew 18:12.

a certain man had two sons. This is a parable; the design of which is to show the hypocrisy and deceit of the Scribes and Pharisees, in pretending to works of righteousness, and not doing them; and to reprove them for their disbelief and rejection of John's ministry; and to make it appear, that the worst of sinners in the Jewish nation were preferable to them; and that many of them were, and would be, happy, when they would be miserable. By the "certain man", in the parable, God is designed; who, though he is not a man, nor to be represented by any human form; yet, as man is the image of God, he is therefore, in an improper and figurative sense, compared to man, and set forth by him; which may be allowed in a metaphorical and parabolical way: and though the Son of God only assumed human nature, and really became man; yet God, the Father, seems rather to be here intended, who is sometimes compared to a husbandman and a vinedresser; see John 15:1 and as appears from the relation of the "two sons" unto him; by whom are meant not Jews and Gentiles; for the latter can never be intended by the first son; for these were not sons in such sense as the Jews were, nor were upon an equal foot of sonship with them, as the parable supposes; much less were they called first, and bid to work in the vineyard: but, on the contrary John the Baptist, Christ, and his apostles, were first, and only sent to the Jews; and God, as yet, was not come even in the external ministry of the word to the Gentiles; nor were they brought to repentance and obedience: but by them are meant two sorts of people, among the Jews, the Scribes and Pharisees, and publicans and sinners; as the application of the parable, by our Lord himself, most clearly shows: these were both the sons of God; not only by creation, as all men are, all having, in this sense, but one common father, whose offspring they be; but also by national adoption; for to all, who were Israelites, according to the flesh, whether good men, or bad men, alike belonged the general privilege of adoption, Romans 9:4. This publicans and sinners had an equal right to, as well as the Scribes and Pharisees, though they were not all the sons of God by special grace, or spiritual adoption:

and he came to the first; the publicans and sinners among the Jews, by the ministry of John the Baptist, Christ, and his disciples, who first and chiefly preached to such sort of persons,

and said, son, go work today in my vineyard: by the "vineyard", is meant the kingdom of God, or of heaven, the Gospel church state, the then present dispensation of things, which was set up, and which men were called to embrace and enter into; the doors of which the Pharisees, who pretended to have the key of knowledge, did all they could to shut up, and hinder persons going in, as they refused to do themselves: this is called it a "vineyard"; See Gill on Matthew 20:1. To work in it signifies to hear the word preached, to believe in the Messiah, embrace his doctrines, and submit to his ordinances, particularly the ordinance of baptism, which was the then principal ordinance of that dispensation. The time of working in it is "today"; directly, immediately, and whilst it is day; for the hour cometh when no man can work, and when all these means and ordinances will be at an end, and attending on them will be over: the argument used to engage hereunto, is taken from the relation the person stood in as a "son", highly favoured by God, with the blessing of national adoption, besides that of natural sonship common to all mankind.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

28. But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first and said, Son, go work to-day in my vineyard—for true religion is a practical thing, a "bringing forth fruit unto God."

Matthew 21:28 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Parable of the Two Sons
28"But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.' 29"And he answered, 'I will not'; but afterward he regretted it and went.…
Cross References
Numbers 10:30
He answered, "No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people."

Matthew 20:1
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.

Matthew 21:27
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Then he said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

Matthew 21:29
"'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

Matthew 21:33
"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place.
Treasury of Scripture

But what think you? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.

what.

Matthew 17:25 He said, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented …

Matthew 22:17 Tell us therefore, What think you? Is it lawful to give tribute to …

Luke 13:4 Or those eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them…

1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge you what I say.

A certain.

Luke 15:11-32 And he said, A certain man had two sons…

Son.

Matthew 20:5-7 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise…

Mark 13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his …

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmovable, always …

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