Matthew 21:33
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"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.

New Living Translation
"Now listen to another story. A certain landowner planted a vineyard, built a wall around it, dug a pit for pressing out the grape juice, and built a lookout tower. Then he leased the vineyard to tenant farmers and moved to another country.

English Standard Version
“Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country.

Berean Study Bible
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 tower. Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey.

Berean Literal Bible
Hear another parable: There was a man, a master of a house, who planted a vineyard, and placed around it a fence, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower; and he rented it out to farmers and traveled abroad.

New American Standard Bible
"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey.

King James Bible
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Listen to another parable: There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a watchtower. He leased it to tenant farmers and went away.

International Standard Version
"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a wall around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went abroad.

NET Bible
"Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a fence around it, dug a pit for its winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenant farmers and went on a journey.

New Heart English Bible
"Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went on a journey.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Hear another parable: there was a certain man, a landowner, and he had planted a vineyard enclosed by a fence and he had dug a wine press and had built a tower in it, and had given its care to laborers, and he went abroad.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Listen to another illustration. A landowner planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, made a winepress, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to vineyard workers and went on a trip.

New American Standard 1977
“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Hear another parable: There was a certain husband of a house who planted a vineyard and hedged it round about and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and let it out to husbandmen and went into a far country,

King James 2000 Bible
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to tenants, and went into a far country:

American King James Version
Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dig a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to farmers, and went into a far country:

American Standard Version
Hear another parable: There was a man that was a householder, who planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Hear ye another parable. There was a man an householder, who planted a vineyard, and made a hedge round about it, and dug in it a press, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen; and went into a strange country.

Darby Bible Translation
Hear another parable: There was a householder who planted a vineyard, and made a fence round it, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and left the country.

English Revised Version
Hear another parable: There was a man that was a householder, which planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country.

Webster's Bible Translation
Hear another parable; There was a certain householder, who planted a vineyard, and hedged it around, and digged a wine-press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a remote country:

Weymouth New Testament
"Listen to another parable. There was a householder who planted a vineyard, made a fence round it, dug a wine-tank in it, and built a strong lodge; then let the place to vine-dressers, and went abroad.

World English Bible
"Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country.

Young's Literal Translation
'Hear ye another simile: There was a certain man, a householder, who planted a vineyard, and did put a hedge round it, and digged in it a wine-press, and built a tower, and gave it out to husbandmen, and went abroad.
Study Bible
The Parable of the Wicked Tenants
32For John came to you in a righteous way and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him. 33Listen 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 tower. Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey. 34When the harvest time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his share of the crop.…
Cross References
Song of Solomon 8:11
"Solomon had a vineyard at Baal-hamon; He entrusted the vineyard to caretakers. Each one was to bring a thousand shekels of silver for its fruit.

Isaiah 5:1
Let me sing now for my well-beloved A song of my beloved concerning His vineyard. My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.

Isaiah 5:2
He dug it all around, removed its stones, And planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it And also hewed out a wine vat in it; Then He expected it to produce good grapes, But it produced only worthless ones.

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 21:28
"But 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.'

Matthew 25:14
For it is just like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted them with his possessions.

Matthew 25:15
To one he gave five talents, to another two talents, and to another one talent--each according to his own ability. And he promptly went on his journey.

Mark 12:1
Then Jesus began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a wine vat, and built a watchtower. Then he rented it out to some tenants and went away on a journey.

Luke 20:9
Then He proceeded to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it out to some tenants, and went away for a long time.

John 15:1
I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard.
Treasury of Scripture

Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dig a wine press in it, and built a tower, and let it out to farmers, and went into a far country:

Hear. In this parable, in its primary sense, the householder denotes the Supreme Being; the family, the Jewish nation; the vineyard, Jerusalem; the fence, the Divine protection; the wine-press, the law and sacrificial rites; the tower, the temple; and the husbandmen, the priests and doctors of the law.

Matthew 13:18 Hear you therefore the parable of the sower.

1 Kings 22:19 And he said, Hear you therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD …

Isaiah 1:10 Hear the word of the LORD, you rulers of Sodom; give ear to the law …

Jeremiah 19:3 And say, Hear you the word of the LORD, O kings of Judah, and inhabitants …

Hosea 4:1 Hear the word of the LORD, you children of Israel: for the LORD has …

There.

Psalm 80:8-16 You have brought a vine out of Egypt: you have cast out the heathen, …

Songs 8:11,12 Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon; he let out the vineyard to keepers…

Isaiah 5:1-4 Now will I sing to my well beloved a song of my beloved touching …

Jeremiah 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then …

Mark 12:1 And he began to speak to them by parables. A certain man planted …

Luke 20:9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man …

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer.

husbandmen.

Matthew 23:2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:

Deuteronomy 1:15-17 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made …

Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges and officers shall you make you in all your gates, which the …

Deuteronomy 17:9-12 And you shall come to the priests the Levites, and to the judge that …

Deuteronomy 33:8-10 And of Levi he said, Let your Thummim and your Urim be with your …

Malachi 2:4-9 And you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that …

went.

Matthew 25:14,15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country, …

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

Luke 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to …

(33) Which planted a vineyard.--The frequent recurrence of this imagery at this period of our Lord's ministry is significant. (Comp. Matthew 20:1; Matthew 21:28; Luke 13:6.) The parable that now meets us points in the very form of its opening to the great example of the use of that image in Isaiah 5:1. Taking the thought there suggested as the key to the parable, the vineyard is "the house of Israel;" the "fence" finds its counterpart in the institutions which made Israel a separate and peculiar people; the "wine-press" (better, wine-vat--i.e., the reservoir underneath the press), in the Temple, as that into which the "wine" of devotion, and thanksgiving, and charity was to flow; the "tower" (used in vineyards as a place of observation and defence against the attacks of plunderers; comp. Isaiah 1:8), in Jerusalem and the outward polity connected with it. So, in like manner, the letting out to husbandmen and the going "into a far country" answers historically to the conquest by which the Israelites became possessors of Canaan, and were left, as it were, to themselves to make what use they chose of their opportunities.

Verses 33-46. - Parable of the vineyard let out to husbandmen. (Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19.) Verse 33. - Hear another parable. The domineering and lately imperious party are reduced to the position of pupils; they have to listen to teaching, not to give it; to answer, not to put questions. This parable sets forth, under the guise of history, the Pharisaical party in its official character, and as the representative of the nation. It also denounces the punishment that surely awaited these rejecters of the offered salvation; thus exemplifying the teaching of the withered fig tree (vers. 17-20). As applicable to the Jewish nation generally, it represents the long suffering of God and the various means which, in the course of their history, he had used to urge them to do their duty as his servants; and it ends with a prophecy of the coming events, and the terrible issue of impenitence. We must take the parable as partly retrospective, and partly predictive. There was a certain householder; a man (ἄνθρωπος) that was an householder. Christ in his parables often, as here, introduces God in his dealings with mankind as a man. His house is the house of Israel in particular, and in general the whole human family. A vineyard. God's kingdom upon earth, and particularly the Jewish Church. The figure is common throughout Scripture (see on Matthew 20:1). It was planted when God gave Israel a law, and put them in possession of the promised land. The parable itself is founded on Isaiah 5:1-7, where, however, the vineyard is tended by the Lord himself, not by husbandmen, and it bears wild grapes, not good grapes. By these differences different developments of declension are indicated. In the earlier times it was the nation that apostatized, fell into idolatry and rebellion against God, the theocratical Head of their race and polity. In later days it is the teachers, rabbis, priests, false prophets, who neglect the paths of righteousness, and lead people astray. In the parable these last come into painful prominence as criminally guilty of opposing God's messengers. Hedged it round; put a hedge around it. The fence would be a stone wall - a necessary defence against the incursions of wild animals. This fence has been regarded in two senses - first, as referring to the physical peculiarities of the position of the Holy Land, separated from alien nations by deserts, seas, rivers, and so isolated from evil contagion; second, as intimating the peculiar laws and minute restrictions of the Jewish polity, which differentiated Judaism from all other systems of religion, and tended to preserve purity and incorruption. Probably the "hedge" is meant to adumbrate both senses. Many, however, see in it the protection of angels, or the righteousness of saints, which seem hardly to be sufficiently precise for the context. Digged a winepress. The phrase refers, not to the ordinary wooden troughs or vats which were used for the purpose of expressing and receiving the juice of the grapes, but to such as were cut in the rock, and were common in all parts of the country. Remains of these receptacles meet the traveller everywhere on the hill slopes of Judaea, and notably in the valleys of Carmel. The winepress is taken to signify the prophetic spirit, the temple services, or all things that typified the sacrifice and death of Christ. A tower; for the purpose of watching and guarding the vineyard. This may represent the temple itself, or the civil power. Whatever interpretation may be put upon the various details, which, indeed, should not be unduly pressed, the general notion is that every care was taken of the Lord's inheritance, nothing was wanting for its convenience and security. Let it out to husbandmen. This is a new feature introduced into Isaiah's parable. Instead of paying an annual sum of money to the proprietor, these vine dressers payed in kind, furnishing a stipulated amount of fruit or wine as the hire of the vineyard. We have a lease on the former terms in Song of Solomon 8:11, where the keepers have "to bring a thousand pieces of silver for the fruit." The husbandmen are the children of Israel, who had to do their part in the Church, and show fruits of piety and devotion. Went into a far country; ἀπεδήμησεν: went abroad. In the parabolic sense, God withdrew for a time the sensible tokens of his presence, no longer manifested himself as at Sinai, and in the cloud and pillar of fire. "Innuitur tempus divinae taciturnitatis, ubi homines agunt pro arbitrio" (Bengel). God's long suffering gives time of probation. Hear another parable,.... Which, though Luke says was spoken to the people, who, were gathered round about him, yet was directed to, and against the chief priests; who continued with him till it was delivered, and the application of it made; when they perceived it was spoken of them. The design of it is, to set forth the many favours and privileges bestowed on the Jewish nation; their unfruitfulness, and the ingratitude of the principal men among them; and their barbarous usage of the servants of the Lord, and particularly of the Son of God himself: the consequence of which would be, the removal of the Gospel from them, and the miserable destruction of them. So that this parable is partly a narrative, of some things past, and partly a prophecy of some things to come:

there was a certain householder: by whom the great God of heaven and earth is meant; who may be so called, either with respect to the whole world, which is an house of his building, and the inhabitants of it are his family, who live, are nourished, and supplied by him; or to the church, the house of the living God, the family in heaven and in earth, called the household of God, and of faith; or to the people of Israel, often called the house of Israel, the family, above all the families of the earth, God took notice of, highly favoured, and dwelt among,

Which planted a vineyard: of the form of a vineyard, the manner of planting it, and the size of it, the Jews say many things in their Misna (f),

"He that plants a row of five vines, the school of Shammai say, "it is a vineyard"; but the school of Hillell say, it is not a vineyard, unless there are two rows--he that plants two vines over against two, and one at the tail or end, , "lo! this is a vineyard"; (it was a little vineyard;) but if two over against two, and one between the two, or two over against two, and one in the midst, it is no vineyard, unless there are two over against two, and one at the tail or end.

Again (g),

"a vineyard that is planted with less than four cubits (between every row), R. Simeon says, is no vineyard; but the wise men say it is a vineyard.

And the decision is according to them. Now by this vineyard is meant, the house of Israel and the men of Judah, the nation of the Jews, as in Isaiah 5:7 from whence our Lord seems to have taken many of the ideas expressed in this parable; who were a people separated from the rest of the world, and set with valuable plants, from whom fruit might reasonably be expected: the planting of them designs the removing them out of Egypt, the driving out the natives before them, and settling them in the land of Canaan, where they were planted with choice vines, such as Joshua, Caleb, &c. and where they soon became a flourishing people, though for their iniquities, often exposed to beasts of prey, the neighbouring nations, that were suffered at times to break in upon them. The Jews often speak (h) of the house of Israel, as the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, and even call their schools and universities vineyards: hence we read (i) of

, the vineyard in Jabneh, where the scholars were placed in rows, as in a vineyard,

And hedged it round about; as it was usual to set a hedge, or make a wall round a vineyard, which according to the Jewish writers, was to be ten hands high, and four broad; for they ask (k),

"rdg hz ya, "what is a hedge?" That which is ten hands, high.

And elsewhere (l),

"An hedge that encompasses a vineyard, which is less than ten hands high, or which is ten hands high, but not four hands broad, it has no circuit (or void place between that and the vines)--an hedge which is ten hands high, and so a ditch which is ten hands deep, and four broad, lo! this is lawful to plant a vineyard on one side of it, and herbs on the other; even a fence of reeds, if there is between the reeds the space of three hands, lo! this divides between the vineyard and the herbs, as an hedge.

By this "hedge" is designed, either the law, not the oral law, or the traditions of the elders, which the Jews (m) call , "an hedge for the law", which was none of God's setting, but their own; but either the ceremonial law, which distinguished them from other people, was a middle wall of partition between them, and the nations of the world, and kept them from coming among them, and joining together; or the moral law, which taught them their duty to God and man, and was the means of keeping them within due bounds; or else the protection of them by the power of God, which was an hedge about them, is here intended; and which was very remarkable at the time of their three feasts of passover, pentecost, and tabernacles; when all their males went up to Jerusalem, and the whole country was, left an easy prey to the nations about them; but God preserved them, and, according to his promise, suffered not their neighbours to have any inclination or desire after their land,

And digged a winepress in it; which is not "the ditch", that went through a, vineyard; for this cannot be said of a winepress, and is Dr. Lightfoot's mistake (n); but "the winefat", in which they squeezed the grapes and made the wine, and this used to be in the vineyard: the rule about it is this,

continued...33. Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard—(See on [1336]Lu 13:6).

and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower—These details are taken, as is the basis of the parable itself, from that beautiful parable of Isa 5:1-7, in order to fix down the application and sustain it by Old Testament authority.

and let it out to husbandmen—These are just the ordinary spiritual guides of the people, under whose care and culture the fruits of righteousness are expected to spring up.

and went into a far country—"for a long time" (Lu 20:9), leaving the vineyard to the laws of the spiritual husbandry during the whole time of the Jewish economy. On this phraseology, see on [1337]Mr 4:26.21:33-46 This parable plainly sets forth the sin and ruin of the Jewish nation; and what is spoken to convict them, is spoken to caution all that enjoy the privileges of the outward church. As men treat God's people, they would treat Christ himself, if he were with them. How can we, if faithful to his cause, expect a favourable reception from a wicked world, or from ungodly professors of Christianity! And let us ask ourselves, whether we who have the vineyard and all its advantages, render fruits in due season, as a people, as a family, or as separate persons. Our Saviour, in his question, declares that the Lord of the vineyard will come, and when he comes he will surely destroy the wicked. The chief priests and the elders were the builders, and they would not admit his doctrine or laws; they threw him aside as a despised stone. But he who was rejected by the Jews, was embraced by the Gentiles. Christ knows who will bring forth gospel fruits in the use of gospel means. The unbelief of sinners will be their ruin. But God has many ways of restraining the remainders of wrath, as he has of making that which breaks out redound to his praise. May Christ become more and more precious to our souls, as the firm Foundation and Cornerstone of his church. May we be willing to follow him, though despised and hated for his sake.
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