The second slave (Lk 20:11-20:11)

“Next the vineyard owner sent

Another slave.

They also beat him.

They insulted him.

They sent him away

Empty-handed.”

 

καὶ προσέθετο ἕτερον πέμψαι δοῦλον· οἱ δὲ κἀκεῖνον δείραντες καὶ ἀτιμάσαντες ἐξαπέστειλαν κενόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that this landowner proceeded to send another slave (καὶ προσέθετο ἕτερον πέμψαι δοῦλον).  These wicked tenants also beat (οἱ δὲ κἀκεῖνον δείραντες) and insulted him (καὶ ἀτιμάσαντες).  They also sent him away empty-handed (ἐξαπέστειλαν κενόν).  This beating of the second slave can be found in Mark, chapter 12:4, and Matthew, chapter 21:36, but there were multiple slaves in MatthewMark said that this landowner sent another slave again to them (καὶ πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἄλλον δοῦλον) in another attempt to get his share of the crop.  This time, they beat or struck this second slave over the head (κἀκεῖνον ἐκεφαλίωσαν) and insulted or shamed him (καὶ ἠτίμασαν).  These wicked tenants did the same thing to him that they had done to the first slave.  There definitely was a pattern developing here.  Matthew had multiple individual slaves in both accounts, instead of one slave.  This landowner sent more slaves (πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν ἄλλους δούλους) this second time around.  This time, there was more than the 3 like the first time (πλείονας τῶν πρώτων), without any indication of how many.  However, the wicked tenants did the same thing to them (καὶ ἐποίησαν αὐτοῖς ὡσαύτως) that they had done to the first group of slaves, which included killing and stoning them, once again without being specific.  How would you treat bad tenants?

They wound another slave (Mk 12:4-12:4)

“Again,

He sent

Another slave

To them.

They beat him

Over the head.

They insulted him.”

 

καὶ πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἄλλον δοῦλον· κἀκεῖνον ἐκεφαλίωσαν καὶ ἠτίμασαν.

 

This beating of the second slave can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:36, and Luke, chapter 20:11, but there were multiple slaves in MatthewMark said that this landowner again sent another slave to them (καὶ πάλιν ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἄλλον δοῦλον) in another attempt to get his share of the crop.  This time, they beat or struck this 2nd slave over the head (κἀκεῖνον ἐκεφαλίωσαν) and insulted or shamed him (καὶ ἠτίμασαν).  These wicked tenants did the same thing to him that they had done to the first slave.  There definitely was a pattern developing here.

The growth to harvest time (Mk 4:28-4:29)

“The earth produces of itself.

First, there is the stalk.

Then comes the head.

Then there is

The full grain

In the head.

But when the grain

Is ripe,

At once,

He goes in

With his sickle,

Because the harvest

Has come.”

 

αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ, πρῶτον χόρτον, εἶτεν στάχυν, εἶτεν πλήρης σῖτος ἐν τῷ στάχυϊ.

ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός, εὐθὺς ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον, ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός.

 

Jesus, via this unique parable of Mark, explored the life of a farmer and the wonder of growth until the harvest time came.  The earth bore fruit by itself (αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ) without the help of any humans.  First, there was the stalk plant (πρῶτον χόρτον), then the head (εἶτεν στάχυν) and then finally the full grain in the head or ear (εἶτεν πλήρης σῖτος ἐν τῷ στάχυϊ).  However, when the grain was ripe or the fruit appeared (ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός), at once (εὐθὺς), he went with his sickle (ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον), because harvest time had arrived (ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός).  The kingdom of God was like a farmer who watched his crop grow and waited for the harvest time, before he gathered in his crop.

 

The offering of wheat and barley (Ezek 45:13-45:13)

“This is the offering

That you shall make.

There shall be

One sixth

Of an ephah

From each homer

Of wheat,

One sixth

Of an ephah

From each homer

Of barley.”

The wheat and barley offerings were to be the same, 1/6th of a homer or about a bushel. Thus, this was more than tithing or 10%, since this was about 16% for the barley and the wheat crop.

Yahweh the Redeemer (Isa 41:14-41:16)

“‘Do not fear!

You worm Jacob!

You insects of Israel!

I will help you!’

Says Yahweh.

Your Redeemer!

The Holy One of Israel!

‘Now I will make of you

A threshing sledge,

Sharp,

New,

Having teeth.

You shall thresh the mountains.

You shall crush them.

You shall make the hills

Like chaff.

You shall winnow them.

The wind shall carry them away.

The tempest shall scatter them.

You shall rejoice in Yahweh!

You shall glory in the Holy One of Israel!’”

Once again, Yahweh assumes the first person singular in Second Isaiah. He seems a little derogatory at first calling the Israelites the worm Jacob and the insect Israel. However, it is clear that he is here to help. He was going to be the Redeemer and the Holy One of Israel, no questions asked. He was going to make the Israelites strong, new, and sharp. They would be a teeth threshing sledge to beat up the crop. Instead of crops, they would go out and crush the mountains and the hills until they become like useless chaff. In other words they were to winnow or separate the grain from the chaff. Then they were to let the wind and the storms carry this chaff away and scatter it. They were to rejoice and glory in Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel.

Harvesting (Isa 28:7-28:29)

“Dill herbs are not threshed

With a threshing sledge.

Nor is a cart wheel rolled over carrot seeds.

But the dill herbs are beaten out with a stick.

The carrot seeds are beaten with a rod.

Grain is crushed for bread.

But one does not thresh it forever.

One drives the cart wheel with horses over it.

But he does not pulverize it.

This also comes from Yahweh of hosts.

He is wonderful in counsel.

He is excellent in wisdom.”

Each crop has a different form of harvesting. The dill herbs and carrot seeds are too fragile to be smashed with a threshing sledge hammer. You do not roll the cart wheels over the herbs and seeds like you do to the wheat and the barley. You beat the herbs and seeds with a stick or a rod that is gentler than the wheel cart. However, the threshing of the wheat and barley requires a heavy horse drawn cart wheel in order to provide grain for bread. However, you do not want to pulverize these grains into nothing. How do these farmers know how to do this? Why, the Lord of hosts, Yahweh has told them how to do it. Yahweh is wonderful in his counsel and excellent in his wisdom, as in the later wisdom tradition.

Buildings and sinners (Sir 21:8-21:10)

“Whoever builds his house

With other people’s money is

Like one who gathers stones

For his burial mound.

An assembly of the wicked is

Like a bundle of tow.

Their end is a blazing fire.

The way of sinners is

Paved with smooth stones.

But at its end is

The pit of Hades.”

Building your house with borrowed money is like gathering stones to build a burial mound. This is a fool’s task. You should probably wait until you have your own money to start building. Next Sirach warns us against “tow”, which is a kind of hemp or flax. He compares a bundle of this crop to an assembly of wicked people. They both will end up in a blazing fire. Then we have the expression about the sinner’s path that is paved with smooth stones that lead to hell or Hades, the afterlife underworld.