The tenants beat the slave (Lk 20:10-20:10)

“When the harvest time came,

The vineyard owner

Sent a slave

To the tenants.

Thus,

They might give him

His share

Of the produce

Of the vineyard.

But the tenants

Beat him.

They sent him away

Empty-handed.”

 

καὶ καιρῷ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς δοῦλον, ἵνα ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος δώσουσιν αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν αὐτὸν δείραντες κενόν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus said that when the harvest time came (καὶ καιρῷ), this land owner sent a slave to these tenants (ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς δοῦλον), so that they might give him (δώσουσιν αὐτῷ) his share of the produce from the vineyard (ἵνα ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος).  However, the tenants beat him (δείραντες).  They sent him away empty-handed (οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ ἐξαπέστειλαν αὐτὸν…κενόν).  This parable about the wicked tenants can also be found in Matthew, chapter 21:34-35, and Mark, chapter 12:2-3.  Mark said that when the harvest season time came, the right time (τῷ καιρῷ), the landowner sent a slave (καὶ ἀπέστειλεν…δοῦλον), to these tenants or renters (πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς).  He was to collect or receive (λάβῃ) from these tenant farmers (ἵνα παρὰ τῶν γεωργῶν) his share of the fruit produced from this vineyard (ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος).  This all seemed very reasonable.  However, these tenant farmers seized this slave (καὶ λαβόντες αὐτὸν).  They beat him (ἔδειραν).  Then they sent him away empty-handed (καὶ ἀπέστειλαν κενόν).  There was only one slave in both these accounts, instead of the 3 different slaves that Matthew indicated that Jesus talked about at this harvest time.  Matthew remarked that Jesus said that when the time came when the grapes were ripe for picking (ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν), the landowner sent his slaves (ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ), not one slave, to these tenants or renters (τοὺς γεωργοὺς) to collect his fruit produce (λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ).  However, these tenant farmers seized his slaves (καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ).  They beat one slave (ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν).  Then they killed another slave (ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν) and stoned still another slave (ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν).  These tenant farmers were not very nice.  Only Matthew had the 3 different slaves rather than the one slave as in Luke and Mark.  They were also more destructive in Matthew.  Have you been a good tenant?

The fruit of the tree (Lk 6:44-6:44)

“Each tree

Is known

By its own fruit.

Figs are not gathered

From thorns.

Grapes are not picked

From a bramble bush.”

 

ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται· οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀκανθῶν συλλέγουσιν σῦκα, οὐδὲ ἐκ βάτου σταφυλὴν τρυγῶσιν.

 

Luke indicated that Jesus continued with his metaphor about fruits.  He said that each tree was known by its own fruit (ἕκαστον γὰρ δένδρον ἐκ τοῦ ἰδίου καρποῦ γινώσκεται).  Figs are not gathered from thorn bushes (οὐ γὰρ ἐξ ἀκανθῶν συλλέγουσιν σῦκα).  Neither are grapes picked or gathered from a bramble or thorn bush.  This saying of Jesus was somewhat similar to Matthew, chapter 7:16, perhaps indicating a Q source.  There Jesus told his disciples that they would know or discern people by their fruits.  Then he asked the question whether grapes could be gathered from thorn bushes or figs gathered from thistles?  Certain kinds of fruits only come from certain kinds of trees.  Thus, you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit.  The thorn bushes were not going to produce figs or grapes.  What kind of tree are you?

The tenants beat and kill the landowner’s slaves (Mt 21:34-21:35)

“When the harvest time

Had come,

The landowner sent his slaves

To the tenants,

To collect his produce.

But the tenants

Seized his slaves.

They beat one slave.

They killed another slave.

They stoned still another slave.”

 

ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν, ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ.

καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν, ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν, ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν.

 

This parable of the wicked tenants can be found in Mark, chapter 12:2-3, and Luke, chapter 20:10, but there was only one slave in both these accounts, instead of the 3 different slaves here.  When the harvest time came, the time when the grapes would be ripe for picking (ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν), the landowner sent his slaves (ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ) to these tenants or renters (τοὺς γεωργοὺς) to collect his fruit produce (λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ).  However, his tenant farmers seized his slaves (καὶ λαβόντες οἱ γεωργοὶ τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ).  They beat one slave (ὃν μὲν ἔδειραν).  Then they killed another slave (ὃν δὲ ἀπέκτειναν) and stoned still another slave (ὃν δὲ ἐλιθοβόλησαν).  These tenant farmers were not very nice.

Know them by their fruits (Mt 7:16-7:16)

“You know them

By their fruits.

Are grapes gathered

From thorn bushes?

Are figs gathered

From thistles?”

 

ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς. μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὰς ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα;

 

This saying of Jesus is somewhat similar to Luke, chapter 6:44-45, perhaps indicating a Q source.  Jesus told his disciples, via Matthew, that they would know or discern people by their fruits (ἀπὸ τῶν καρπῶν αὐτῶν ἐπιγνώσεσθε αὐτούς).  Then he asked the question whether grapes could be gathered from thorn bushes (μήτι συλλέγουσιν ἀπὸ ἀκανθῶν σταφυλὰς) or figs gathered from thistles (ἢ ἀπὸ τριβόλων σῦκα).  Certain kinds of fruits only come from certain kinds of trees.  Thus, you can tell what kind of tree it is by its fruit.

The bad harvest (Hab 3:17-3:17)

“The fig trees

Do not blossom.

There is no fruit

On the vines.

The produce

Of the olive tree fails.

The fields yield

No food.

The flock is cut off

From the fold.

There is no herd

In the stalls.”

These farmers have hit bad times.  The fig trees were not blossoming, while there were no fruits of grapes on the vines in the vineyard.  The fields were not yielding any kind of food.  The flocks were running aimlessly, while the herd was not in its stalls.  Things were in bad shape.

Yahweh’s punishment (Mic 6:13-6:15)

“Therefore,

I have begun

To strike you down.

I will make you desolate,

Because of your sins.

You shall eat,

But not be satisfied.

There shall be

A gnawing hunger

Within you.

You shall put away,

But not save.

What you save,

I will hand over to the sword.

You shall sow,

But not reap.

You shall tread olives,

But not anoint yourselves

With oil.

You shall tread grapes,

But not drink wine.”

With great irony, Yahweh, via Micah, pointed out that his punishment for these wicked people in the city would be unrewarded labor.  In other words, Yahweh was going to strike them down and make them desolate because of their sins.  They would eat, but not be satisfied because of a continual gnawing hunger.  They would try to save money, but none would be put away, because what little they had saved would be turned over to the robbers with swords.  They would sow seeds, but not be around for the harvest reaping.  They would tread grapes and olives, but they would not be able to anoint themselves with oil or drink any wine.  They were just wasting their time.

Restoration of the people of Israel (Am 9:13-9:15)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The time is surely coming

When the one who plows

Shall overtake

The one who reaps.

When the one who treads grapes

Shall overtake

The one who sows the seed.

The mountains shall drip

Sweet wine.

All the hills

Shall flow with it.

I will restore

The fortunes

Of my people Israel.

They shall rebuild

The ruined cities.

They shall

Inhabit them.

They shall

Plant vineyards.

They shall

Drink their wine.

They shall

Make gardens.

They shall

Eat their fruit.

I will plant them

Upon their land.

They shall never again

Be plucked up

Out of the land

That I have given them.’

Says Yahweh

Your God.”

This later oracle of Yahweh assumed that the Israelites had been taken from their land in captivity.  However, in this restoration, those plowing would be greater than those reaping.  Those who treaded the grapes would be more than those sowing the seeds.  There would be abundance and hope all around.  The mountains and hills would drip and flow with abundant sweet wine.  The Israelites would have their fortunes restored, so that they would rebuild their cities and inhabit them.  They would plant vineyards and drink wine.  They would plant gardens with lots of fruit.  These Israelites would be planted on their own land, never to be plucked away again.