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Matthew 19:30-20:16 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

The Parable of the Vineyard Workers

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers on one denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine in the morning,[a] he saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. To those men he said, ‘You also go to my vineyard, and I’ll give you whatever is right.’ So off they went. About noon and at three,[b] he went out again and did the same thing. Then about five[c] he went and found others standing around,[d] and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day doing nothing?’

“‘Because no one hired us,’ they said to him.

“‘You also go to my vineyard,’ he told them.[e] 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.’[f]

“When those who were hired about five[g] came, they each received one denarius. 10 So when the first ones came, they assumed they would get more, but they also received a denarius each. 11 When they received it, they began to complain to the landowner: 12 ‘These last men put in one hour, and you made them equal to us who bore the burden of the day and the burning heat!’

13 “He replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I’m doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me on a denarius? 14 Take what’s yours and go. I want to give this last man the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my business?[h] Are you jealous[i] because I’m generous?’[j]

16 “So the last will be first, and the first last.”[k]


  1. Matthew 20:3 Lit about the third hour
  2. Matthew 20:5 Lit about the sixth hour and the ninth hour
  3. Matthew 20:6 Lit about the eleventh hour
  4. Matthew 20:6 Other mss add doing nothing
  5. Matthew 20:7 Other mss add ‘and you’ll get whatever is right.’
  6. Matthew 20:8 Lit starting from the last until the first
  7. Matthew 20:9 Lit about the eleventh hour
  8. Matthew 20:15 Lit with what is mine
  9. Matthew 20:15 Lit Is your eye evil; an idiom for jealousy or stinginess
  10. Matthew 20:15 Lit good
  11. Matthew 20:16 Other mss add For many are called, but few are chosen.”

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