“Jesus said to them.
‘The harvest is plentiful.
But the laborers
Pray earnestly to
The Lord of the harvest
To send out
Into his harvest.’”
ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι· δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to these 70 disciples (ἔλεγεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτούς) that the harvest was plentiful (Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς), but the work men or laborers were few (οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι). Therefore, they should pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest (δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ) to send out more laborers or work men into his harvest (ὅπως ἐργάτας ἐκβάλῃ εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ). This saying about the laborers for the harvest is nearly the same, as in Matthew, chapter 9:37-38, indicating a probable Q source. However, there Jesus spoke to his disciples, right before he appointed and commissioned his 12 apostles. He told them that the harvest was plentiful, but there were few field laborers. He wanted them to request or pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out more field laborers into his harvest field. The Father is the Lord of the harvest. Are you willing to work for the Lord of the harvest?
“When John’s messengers
To the crowds
‘What did you go out
Into the wilderness
To look at?
A reed shaken
By the wind?’”
Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου ἤρξατο λέγειν πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους περὶ Ἰωάνου Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι; κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον;
Luke indicated that after John’s messengers had gone (Ἀπελθόντων δὲ τῶν ἀγγέλων Ἰωάνου), Jesus began to speak (ἤρξατο λέγειν) to the crowds (πρὸς τοὺς ὄχλους) about John the Baptist (περὶ Ἰωάνου). These questions are word for word like Matthew, chapter 7:24, indicating a possible Q source. Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. He asked them what did they go out into the wilderness to look at (Τί ἐξήλθατε εἰς τὴν ἔρημον θεάσασθαι)? Was it a reed shaken by the wind (κάλαμον ὑπὸ ἀνέμου σαλευόμενον)? Matthew indicated the same when he said that as these disciples of John were leaving on their journey, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John. He asked them these questions. Why did they go out into the wilderness to see John? Was he a reed shaking in the wind? This idea of the plentiful reeds waving in the desert would be compared to the luxury of a royal palace. What do you think of John the Baptist?
“Then he said
To his disciples.
‘The harvest is plentiful.
But the laborers are few.
Ask the Lord
Of the harvest
To send out laborers
Into his harvest.’”
τότε λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι·
δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ ὅπως ἐκβάλῃ ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ.
This saying about the laborers for the harvest is exactly the same, word for word, as in Luke, chapter 10:2, indicating a probable Q source. This time, Jesus spoke to his disciples (τότε λέγει τοῖς μαθηταῖς αὐτοῦ), not the crowds. He told them that the harvest was plentiful or full (Ὁ μὲν θερισμὸς πολύς), but there were few field laborers or few workers (οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι). He wanted them to request, beseech, or pray to the Lord of the harvest (δεήθητε οὖν τοῦ Κυρίου τοῦ θερισμοῦ) to send out more field laborers or workers into his harvest field (ἐκβάλῃ ἐργάτας εἰς τὸν θερισμὸν αὐτοῦ). Who is the Lord of the harvest? Is this the Father?
“Yahweh will give rain for the seed
With which you sow the ground.
Grain will be the produce of the ground.
It will be rich
It will be plentiful.
On that day,
Your cattle will graze in broad pastures.
The oxen will till the ground.
The donkey will eat silage
That has been winnowed
With shovels and forks.
On every lofty mountain,
On every high hill,
There will be brooks running with water.
On this day of the great slaughter,
The towers will fall.
The light of the moon will be
Like the light of the sun.
The light of the sun
Will be sevenfold,
Like the light of seven days.
On the day
When Yahweh binds up
The hurt of his people,
He will heal the wounds
Inflicted by his own blows.”
In this future time, things will be good. Yahweh will send rain to make the seed grains grow rich and plentiful. The cattle will graze in large pastures. There will be plenty of winnowed silage for the working oxen and donkeys so that they can till the ground. All the mountains and the hills will have flowing brooks. The towers will fall on the day of slaughter. However, the light from the moon will be like that of the sun, while the light from the sun will be like the light of a week of sunlight. Yahweh will heal the wounds that people have suffered even from his own blows.
“Yet he commanded the skies above.
He opened the doors of heaven.
He rained down on them manna to eat.
He gave them the grain of heaven.
Mortals ate of the bread of the angels.
He sent them food in abundance.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens.
By his power he led out the south wind.
He rained flesh upon them like dust.
Winged birds like the sand of the seas.
He let them fall within their camp.
They were all around their dwellings.
They were well filled.
He gave them what they craved.”
Yahweh was kind to the Israelites. He opened the skies of heaven and let manna rain down on them. Here this manna is called the bread of angels. This is an embellishment of the story in Exodus, chapter 16. There the manna was more quizzical “what is this stuff?” Here, this is the grain or bread of angels as if angels had to eat food like humans. Here, instead of quails it is winged birds that fall from the sky. These winged birds were as plentiful as dust on the earth or sand in the seas. They ate the manna and birds until they were filled. They got what they were asking for.