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Matthew 20:1-16 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

20 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who went out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the workers on a wage of one denarius, [the standard daily wage,] he sent them off to his vineyard. Then, on going out at about nine in the morning, he saw more men standing around in the market-square doing nothing, and said to them, ‘You go to the vineyard too — I’ll pay you a fair wage.’ So they went. At noon, and again around three in the afternoon, he did the same thing. About an hour before sundown, he went out, found still others standing around, and asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day, doing nothing?” They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ ‘You too,’ he told them, ‘go to the vineyard.’

“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last ones hired and ending with the first.’ The workers who came an hour before sunset each received a denarius, 10 so the workers who came first expected they would get more, but each of them also received just a denarius. 11 On receiving their wages, they began grumbling to the farmer, 12 ‘These latecomers have worked only one hour, while we have borne the brunt of the day’s work in the hot sun, yet you have put them on an equal footing with us!’ 13 But he answered one of them, ‘Look, friend, I’m not being unfair with you. Didn’t you agree to work today for a denarius? 14 Now take your pay and go! I choose to give the last worker as much as I’m giving you. 15 Haven’t I the right to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ 16 Thus the last ones will be first and the first last.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Matthew 20:1-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard

20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle,[a] and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’[b]

“So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”[c]

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 20:6 NU-Text omits idle.
  2. Matthew 20:7 NU-Text omits the last clause of this verse.
  3. Matthew 20:16 NU-Text omits the last sentence of this verse.
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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