And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
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:
Whether of them twain did the will of [his] father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I [go], sir: and went not.
He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
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.
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?
Take [that] thine [is], and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee.
And if it bear fruit, [well]: and if not, [then] after that thou shalt cut it down.
And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung [it]:
Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
He spake also this parable; A certain [man] had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out [his] vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen?
And they caught him, and cast [him] out of the vineyard, and slew [him].
But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny?
Saying, These last have wrought [but] one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.
I the LORD do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest [any] hurt it, I will keep it night and day.
In that day sing ye unto her, A vineyard of red wine.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts [is] the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.
And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; [and] break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that is] an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.
And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
And when they had received [it], they murmured against the goodman of the house,
But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny.
And when they came that [were hired] about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny.
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.
They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, [that] shall ye receive.
And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?
Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.
And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
Related Topics and Bible Verses
the designation given to Shimei, the manager of David's vineyard
(1 Chr. 27:27).
vineyard of noble vines, a place in Idumea, the native place of
Samlah, one of the Edomitish kings (Gen. 36:36; 1 Chr. 1:47).
place of a multitude, a place where Solomon had an extensive
vineyard (Cant. 8:11). It has been supposed to be identical with
Baal-gad, and also with Hammon in the tribe of Asher (Josh.
19:28). Others identify it with Belamon, in Central Israel,
a Hebrew liquid measure, the tenth part of an homer (1 Kings
7:26, 38; Ezek. 45:10, 14). It contained 8 gallons 3 quarts of
our measure. "Ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath" (Isa.
5:10) denotes great unproductiveness.
(1.) A booth in a vineyard (Isa. 1:8); a temporary shed covered
with leaves or straw to shelter the watchman that kept the
garden. These were slight fabrics, and were removed when no
longer needed, or were left to be blown down in winter (Job
(2.) A lodging-place (rendered "lodge" in Isa. 1:8); a
slighter structure than the "booth," as the cucumber patch is
more temporary than a vineyard (Isa. 24:20). It denotes a frail
structure of boughs supported on a few poles, which is still in
use in the East, or a hammock suspended between trees, in which
the watchman was accustomed to sleep during summer.
(3.) In Zeph. 2:6 it is the rendering of the Hebrew _keroth_,
which some suppose to denote rather "pits" (R.V. marg., "caves")
or "wells of water," such as shepherds would sink.
house of a vineyard, a place in the tribe of Judah (Neh. 3:14)
where the Benjamites were to set up a beacon when they heard the
trumpet against the invading army of the Babylonians (Jer. 6:1).
It is probable that this place is the modern 'Ain Karim, or
"well of the vineyards," near which there is a ridge on which
are cairns which may have served as beacons of old, one of which
is 40 feet high and 130 in diameter.
(1.) Heb. ma'eder, an instrument for dressing or pruning a
vineyard (Isa. 7:25); a weeding-hoe.
(2.) Heb. mahareshah (1 Sam. 13:1), perhaps the ploughshare or
(3.) Heb. herebh, marg. of text (2 Chr. 34:6). Authorized
Version, "with their mattocks," marg. "mauls." The Revised
Version renders "in their ruins," marg. "with their axes." The
Hebrew text is probably corrupt.
of Babel (Gen. 11:4), Edar (Gen. 35:21), Penuel (Judg. 8:9, 17),
Shechem (9:46), David (Cant. 4:4), Lebanon (7:4), Syene (Ezek.
29:10), Hananeel (Zech. 14:10), Siloam (Luke 13:4). There were
several towers in Jerusalem (2 Chr. 26:9; Ps. 48:12). They were
erected for various purposes, as watch-towers in vineyard (Isa.
5:2; Matt. 21:33) and towers for defence.
fruits, "the Jezreelite," was the owner of a portion of ground
on the eastern slope of the hill of Jezreel (2 Kings 9:25, 26).
This small "plat of ground" seems to have been all he possessed.
It was a vineyard, and lay "hard by the palace of Ahab" (1 Kings
21:1, 2), who greatly coveted it. Naboth, however, refused on
any terms to part with it to the king. He had inherited it from
his fathers, and no Israelite could lawfully sell his property
(Lev. 25:23). Jezebel, Ahab's wife, was grievously offended at
Naboth's refusal to part with his vineyard. By a crafty and
cruel plot she compassed his death. His sons also shared his
fate (2 Kings 9:26; 1 Kings 21:19). She then came to Ahab and
said, "Arise, take possession of the vineyard; for Naboth is not
alive, but dead." Ahab arose and went forth into the garden
which had so treacherously and cruelly been acquired, seemingly
enjoying his new possession, when, lo, Elijah suddenly appeared
before him and pronounced against him a fearful doom (1 Kings
21:17-24). Jehu and Bidcar were with Ahab at this time, and so
deeply were the words of Elijah imprinted on Jehu's memory that
many years afterwards he refers to them (2 Kings 9:26), and he
was the chief instrument in inflicting this sentence on Ahab and
Jezebel and all their house (9:30-37). The house of Ahab was
extinguished by him. Not one of all his great men and his
kinsfolk and his priests did Jehu spare (10:11).
Ahab humbled himself at Elijah's words (1 Kings 21:28, 29),
and therefore the prophecy was fulfilled not in his fate but in
that of his son Joram (2 Kings 9:25).
The history of Naboth, compared with that of Ahab and Jezebel,
furnishes a remarkable illustration of the law of a retributive
providence, a law which runs through all history (comp. Ps.
one of the most important products of Israel. The first
mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen. 9:20). It is
afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New
Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are
evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was
cultivated in Israel before the Israelites took possession of
it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley
of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that "they bare it
between two upon a staff" (Num. 13: 23). The vineyards of
En-gedi (Cant. 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa.
16:8-10; Jer. 48:32, 34), and Helbon (Ezek. 27:18), as well as
of Eshcol, were celebrated.
The Church is compared to a vine (Ps. 80:8), and Christ says
of himself, "I am the vine" (John 15:1). In one of his parables
also (Matt. 21:33) our Lord compares his Church to a vineyard
which "a certain householder planted, and hedged round about,"
Hos. 10:1 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Israel is a
luxuriant vine, which putteth forth his fruit," instead of
"Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself,"
of the Authorized Version.
originally denoted only the sea-coast of the land of Canaan
inhabited by the Philistines (Ex. 15:14; Isa. 14:29, 31; Joel
3:4), and in this sense exclusively the Hebrew name Pelesheth
(rendered "Philistia" in Ps. 60:8; 83:7; 87:4; 108:9) occurs in
the Old Testament.
Not till a late period in Jewish history was this name used to
denote "the land of the Hebrews" in general (Gen. 40:15). It is
also called "the holy land" (Zech. 2:12), the "land of Jehovah"
(Hos. 9:3; Ps. 85:1), the "land of promise" (Heb. 11:9), because
promised to Abraham (Gen. 12:7; 24:7), the "land of Canaan"
(Gen. 12:5), the "land of Israel" (1 Sam. 13:19), and the "land
of Judah" (Isa. 19:17).
The territory promised as an inheritance to the seed of
Abraham (Gen. 15:18-21; Num. 34:1-12) was bounded on the east by
the river Euphrates, on the west by the Mediterranean, on the
north by the "entrance of Hamath," and on the south by the
"river of Egypt." This extent of territory, about 60,000 square
miles, was at length conquered by David, and was ruled over also
by his son Solomon (2 Sam. 8; 1 Chr. 18; 1 Kings 4:1, 21). This
vast empire was the Promised Land; but Israel was only a part
of it, terminating in the north at the southern extremity of the
Lebanon range, and in the south in the wilderness of Paran, thus
extending in all to about 144 miles in length. Its average
breadth was about 60 miles from the Mediterranean on the west to
beyond the Jordan. It has fittingly been designated "the least
of all lands." Western Israel, on the south of Gaza, is only
about 40 miles in breadth from the Mediterranean to the Dead
Sea, narrowing gradually toward the north, where it is only 20
miles from the sea-coast to the Jordan.
Israel, "set in the midst" (Ezek. 5:5) of all other lands,
is the most remarkable country on the face of the earth. No
single country of such an extent has so great a variety of
climate, and hence also of plant and animal life. Moses
describes it as "a good land, a land of brooks of water, of
fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a
land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and
pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; a land wherein
thou shalt not eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack
any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose
hills thou mayest dig brass" (Deut. 8:7-9).
"In the time of Christ the country looked, in all probability,
much as now. The whole land consists of rounded limestone hills,
fretted into countless stony valleys, offering but rarely level
tracts, of which Esdraelon alone, below Nazareth, is large
enough to be seen on the map. The original woods had for ages
disappeared, though the slopes were dotted, as now, with figs,
olives, and other fruit-trees where there was any soil.
Permanent streams were even then unknown, the passing rush of
winter torrents being all that was seen among the hills. The
autumn and spring rains, caught in deep cisterns hewn out like
huge underground jars in the soft limestone, with artificial
mud-banked ponds still found near all villages, furnished water.
Hills now bare, or at best rough with stunted growth, were then
terraced, so as to grow vines, olives, and grain. To-day almost
desolate, the country then teemed with population. Wine-presses
cut in the rocks, endless terraces, and the ruins of old
vineyard towers are now found amidst solitudes overgrown for
ages with thorns and thistles, or with wild shrubs and poor
gnarled scrub" (Geikie's Life of Christ).
From an early period the land was inhabited by the descendants
of Canaan, who retained possession of the whole land "from Sidon
to Gaza" till the time of the conquest by Joshua, when it was
occupied by the twelve tribes. Two tribes and a half had their
allotments given them by Moses on the east of the Jordan (Deut.
3:12-20; comp. Num. 1:17-46; Josh. 4:12-13). The remaining
tribes had their portion on the west of Jordan.
From the conquest till the time of Saul, about four hundred
years, the people were governed by judges. For a period of one
hundred and twenty years the kingdom retained its unity while it
was ruled by Saul and David and Solomon. On the death of
Solomon, his son Rehoboam ascended the throne; but his conduct
was such that ten of the tribes revolted, and formed an
independent monarchy, called the kingdom of Israel, or the
northern kingdom, the capital of which was first Shechem and
afterwards Samaria. This kingdom was destroyed. The Israelites
were carried captive by Shalmanezer, king of Assyria, B.C. 722,
after an independent existence of two hundred and fifty-three
years. The place of the captives carried away was supplied by
tribes brought from the east, and thus was formed the Samaritan
nation (2 Kings 17:24-29).
Nebuchadnezzar came up against the kingdom of the two tribes,
the kingdom of Judah, the capital of which was Jerusalem, one
hundred and thirty-four years after the overthrow of the kingdom
of Israel. He overthrew the city, plundered the temple, and
carried the people into captivity to Babylon (B.C. 587), where
they remained seventy years. At the close of the period of the
Captivity, they returned to their own land, under the edict of
Cyrus (Ezra 1:1-4). They rebuilt the city and temple, and
restored the old Jewish commonwealth.
For a while after the Restoration the Jews were ruled by
Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and afterwards by the high
priests, assisted by the Sanhedrin. After the death of Alexander
the Great at Babylon (B.C. 323), his vast empire was divided
between his four generals. Egypt, Arabia, Israel, and
Coele-Syria fell to the lot of Ptolemy Lagus. Ptolemy took
possession of Israel in B.C. 320, and carried nearly one
hundred thousand of the inhabitants of Jerusalem into Egypt. He
made Alexandria the capital of his kingdom, and treated the Jews
with consideration, confirming them in the enjoyment of many
After suffering persecution at the hands of Ptolemy's
successors, the Jews threw off the Egyptian yoke, and became
subject to Antiochus the Great, the king of Syria. The cruelty
and opression of the successors of Antiochus at length led to
the revolt under the Maccabees (B.C. 163), when they threw off
the Syrian yoke.
In the year B.C. 68, Israel was reduced by Pompey the Great
to a Roman province. He laid the walls of the city in ruins, and
massacred some twelve thousand of the inhabitants. He left the
temple, however, unijured. About twenty-five years after this
the Jews revolted and cast off the Roman yoke. They were
however, subdued by Herod the Great (q.v.). The city and the
temple were destroyed, and many of the inhabitants were put to
death. About B.C. 20, Herod proceeded to rebuild the city and
restore the ruined temple, which in about nine years and a half
was so far completed that the sacred services could be resumed
in it (comp. John 2:20). He was succeeded by his son Archelaus,
who was deprived of his power, however, by Augustus, A.D. 6,
when Israel became a Roman province, ruled by Roman governors
or procurators. Pontius Pilate was the fifth of these
procurators. He was appointed to his office A.D. 25.
Exclusive of Idumea, the kingdom of Herod the Great
comprehended the whole of the country originally divided among
the twelve tribes, which he divided into four provinces or
districts. This division was recognized so long as Israel was
under the Roman dominion. These four provinces were, (1) Judea,
the southern portion of the country; (2) Samaria, the middle
province, the northern boundary of which ran along the hills to
the south of the plain of Esdraelon; (3) Galilee, the northern
province; and (4) Peraea (a Greek name meaning the "opposite
country"), the country lying east of the Jordan and the Dead
Sea. This province was subdivided into these districts, (1)
Peraea proper, lying between the rivers Arnon and Jabbok; (2)
Galaaditis (Gilead); (3) Batanaea; (4) Gaulonitis (Jaulan); (5)
Ituraea or Auranitis, the ancient Bashan; (6) Trachonitis; (7)
Abilene; (8) Decapolis, i.e., the region of the ten cities. The
whole territory of Israel, including the portions alloted to
the trans-Jordan tribes, extended to about eleven thousand
square miles. Recent exploration has shown the territory on the
west of Jordan alone to be six thousand square miles in extent,
the size of the principality of Wales.