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 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 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.

Yahweh wants to harvest the wicked ones (Joel 3:13-3:13)

“Put in the sickle!

The harvest is ripe!

Go in!

Tread!

The wine press is full!

The vats overflow!

Their wickedness is great!”

Yahweh, via Joel, wanted the Israelites to get out their sickles. The harvest of wickedness was ripe. They were to go in and tread down the wicked ones. The winepress and the vats were full and overflowing with great wickedness. It was time to take action.

Old age (Wis 4:7-4:9)

“But the righteous,

Even though they die early,

Will be at rest.

Old age is not honored for length of time.

Old age is not measured

By the number of years.

But understanding is gray hair for anyone.

A blameless life is a ripe old age.”

Even if the righteous ones (δίκαιος) die early, they will rest. After all, old age is not honored for just the years that one has lived. However, gray hairs are a sign of understanding. A blameless life is really a ripe old age.

The fate of the children of the ungodly (Wis 4:3-4:6)

“But the prolific brood of the ungodly

Will be of no use.

None of their illegitimate seedlings

Will strike a deep root.

They will not take a firm hold.

Even if they put forth boughs for a while,

Standing insecurely,

They will be shaken

By the wind.

They will be uprooted

By the violence of the winds.

Their branches will be broken off

Before they come to maturity.

Their fruit will be useless.

It will not be ripe enough to eat.

It is good for nothing.

Children born of unlawful unions

Are witnesses of evil

Against their parents,

When God examines them.”

This author makes a comparison between the children of the ungodly (ἀσεβῶν) from unlawful unions and a tree. Even if they have a lot of children, they will be of no use. These children will not have deep roots so that they will not last. The strong winds will uproot them. The branches of these trees, if they survive, will break off before they reach maturity. They will have useless fruit that will not be ripe enough to eat. The children of these unlawful unions (ἀνόμων ὕπνων τέκνα) are witnesses to the evil (μάρτυρές εἰσι πονηρίας) of their parents. God will examine them. Just as in the preceding chapter, this is a very strong rebuke of the so-called bastard children of these ungodly unlawful unions.

The punishment of the wicked ones (Job 15:28-15:35)

“They will live in desolate cities.

They will live in houses that no one should inhabit.

They will live in houses destined to become heaps of ruins.

They will not be rich.

Their wealth will not endure.

They will not strike root in the earth.

They will not escape from darkness.

The flame will dry up their shoots.

Their blossoms will be swept away by the wind.

Let them not trust in emptiness by deceiving themselves.

Emptiness will be their recompense.

It will be paid in full before their time.

Their branch will not be green.

They will shake off their unripe grape on the vine.

They will cast off their blossoms,

Like the olive tree.

The company of the godless is barren.

Fire consumes the tents of bribery.

They conceive mischief.

They bring forth evil.

Their heart prepares deceit.”

The wicked ones are punished, just like Job has been punished. They will live in desolate cities, where the houses are not fit to be lived in. They will not be rich. What wealth they have will not endure. They will not be able to plant anything. They will not escape darkness. Their shoots will go up in flames. Their blossoms will be blown away. Emptiness is their reward. Their branches will not turn green. They will pick the grapes before they are ripe. Everyone will be barren in their family. Fire will consume their living tents. They conceive and bring forth evil and iniquity because they have deceitful hearts.