Matthew 20:2
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard.

King James Bible
And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Darby Bible Translation
And having agreed with the workmen for a denarius the day, he sent them into his vineyard.

World English Bible
When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Young's Literal Translation
and having agreed with the workmen for a denary a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

Matthew 20:2 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

A penny a day - The coin here referred to was a Roman coin, equal in value, at different periods, to 15 cents or 17 cents (7 1/2 d. to 8 1/2 d.) (circa 1880's). The original denotes the Roman denarius δηνάριον dēnarion, a silver coin, which was originally equivalent to ten ases (a brass Roman coin), from which it gets its name. The consular denarius bore on one side a head of Rome, and an X or a star, to denote the value in ases, and a chariot with either two or four horses. At a later period the casts of different deities were on the obverse, and these were finally superseded by the heads of the Caesars. Many specimens of this coin have been preserved.

It was probably at that time the price of a day's labor. See Tobit 5:14. This was the common wages of a Roman soldier. In England, before the discovery of the mines of gold and silver in South America, and consequently before money was plenty, the price of labor was about in proportion. In 1351 the price of labor was regulated by law, and was a penny a day; but provisions were of course proportionally cheap, and the avails of a man's labor in articles of food were nearly as much as they are now.

Matthew 20:2 Parallel Commentaries

The Servant-Lord and his Servants
'Even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister.'--MATT. xx. 28. It seems at first sight strangely unsympathetic and irrelevant that the ambitious request of James and John and their foolish mother, that they should sit at Christ's right hand and His left in His kingdom, should have been occasioned by, and have followed immediately upon, our Lord's solemn and pathetic announcement of His sufferings. But the connection is not difficult to trace. The disciples believed that,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Delivered on the Lord's Day, on that which is Written in the Gospel, Matt. xx. 1, "The Kingdom of Heaven is Like unto a Man That
1. Ye have heard out of the Holy Gospel a parable well suited to the present season, concerning the labourers in the vineyard. For now is the time of the material [2841] vintage. Now there is also a spiritual vintage, wherein God rejoiceth in the fruit of His vineyard. For we cultivate God, and God cultivateth us. [2842] But we do not so cultivate God as to make Him any better thereby. For our cultivation is the labour of the heart, not of the hands. [2843] He cultivateth us as the husbandman doth
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Ci. Foretelling his Passion. Rebuking Ambition.
(Peræa, or Judæa, Near the Jordan.) ^A Matt. XX. 17-28; ^B Mark X. 32-45; ^C Luke XVIII. 31-34. ^b 32 And they were on the way, going up to Jerusalem [Dean Mansel sees in these words an evidence that Jesus had just crossed the Jordan and was beginning the actual ascent up to Jerusalem. If so, he was in Judæa. But such a construction strains the language. Jesus had been going up to Jerusalem ever since he started in Galilee, and he may now have still be in Peræa. The parable
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cii. Bartimæus and his Companion Healed.
(at Jericho.) ^A Matt. XX. 29-34; ^B Mark X. 46-52; ^C Luke XVIII. 35-43. ^c 35 And it came to pass, as he drew nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: 36 and hearing a multitude going by, he inquired what this meant. 37 And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. [Jesus came from the Jordan, and was entering Jericho by its eastern gate. As the crowd following Jesus passed by, Bartimæus asked its meaning and learned of the presence of Jesus. Jesus on this
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Matthew 9:37
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

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

Matthew 20:3
"And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the market place;

Mark 12:15
"Shall we pay or shall we not pay?" But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at."

Luke 20:24
"Show Me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?" They said, "Caesar's."

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