Laborers in the Vineyard

20 “For (A)the kingdom of heaven is like [a]a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his (B)vineyard. When he had agreed with the laborers for a [b]denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the [c]third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and to those he said, ‘You go into the vineyard also, and whatever is right, I will give you.’ And so they went. Again he went out about the [d]sixth and the ninth hour, and did [e]the same thing. And about the [f]eleventh hour he went out and found others standing around; and he *said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day long?’ They *said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He *said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’

“Now when (C)evening came, the [g]owner of the vineyard *said to his (D)foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, starting with the last group to the first.’ When those hired about the eleventh hour came, each one received a [h]denarius. 10 And so when those hired first came, they thought that they would receive more; [i]but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they grumbled at the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These who were hired last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day’s work and the (E)scorching heat.’ 13 But he answered and said to one of them, ‘(F)Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go; but I want to give to this last person the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I want with what is my own? Or is your (G)eye [j]envious because I am [k]generous?’ 16 So (H)the last shall be first, and the first, last.”

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Footnotes

  1. Matthew 20:1 Lit a man, a landowner
  2. Matthew 20:2 The denarius was a day’s wages for a laborer
  3. Matthew 20:3 I.e., 9 a.m.
  4. Matthew 20:5 I.e., noon and 3 p.m.
  5. Matthew 20:5 Lit similarly
  6. Matthew 20:6 I.e., 5 p.m.
  7. Matthew 20:8 Or lord
  8. Matthew 20:9 The denarius was a day’s wages for a laborer
  9. Matthew 20:10 Lit each one a denarius
  10. Matthew 20:15 Lit evil
  11. Matthew 20:15 Lit good