The parable of the vineyard (Mk 12:1-12:1)

“Jesus began

To speak to them

In parables.

‘A man planted

A vineyard.

He put a fence

Around it.

He dug a pit

For the wine press.

He built

A watchtower.

Then he leased it

To tenants.

He went away

To another country.”

 

Καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς λαλεῖν. ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν, καὶ περιέθηκεν φραγμὸν καὶ ὤρυξεν ὑπολήνιον καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον, καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν.

 

This parable of the absentee vineyard landowner can be found in Matthew, chapter 21:33, and Luke, chapter 20:9, almost word for word.  Mark said that Jesus began to speak to them in parables or stories (Καὶ ἤρξατο αὐτοῖς ἐν παραβολαῖς λαλεῖν).  This story was about a male landowner who planted a vineyard (ἀμπελῶνα ἄνθρωπος ἐφύτευσεν).  He then put a fence around this vineyard (καὶ περιέθηκεν φραγμὸν).  Then he dug a wine press (καὶ ὤρυξεν ὑπολήνιον).  He even built a fortified watchtower (καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον), so that it was a very nice vineyard.  This story is reminiscent of the allegory of the vineyard from Isaiah, chapter 5:1-2.  Isaiah had a song about a friend’s fertile field.  He also dug out stones and planted choice vines.  He put a tower in the middle to look over the vineyard with a carved wine vat there also.  However, he got bad grapes instead of good grapes.  Clearly, he did not get what he expected.  However, this landowner here leased his land or rented it to farmer tenants (καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς).  Then he left that region and went away to another country (καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν).  These last two things, renting and leaving the land, will cause him a problem.

Advertisements

The absentee land owner of the vineyard (Mt 21:33-21:33)

“Listen to another parable!

There was a landowner

Who planted a vineyard.

He put a fence around it.

He dug a wine press in it.

He built a watchtower.

Then he leased it

To tenants.

He went away

To another country.”

 

Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε. Ἄνθρωπος ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνὸν καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον, καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν.

 

This parable of the absentee landowner can be found in Mark, chapter 12:1, word for word, and Luke, chapter 20:9, almost word for word.  Jesus wanted them to listen to another parable or story (Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε) about a male landowner (Ἄνθρωπος ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης), who planted a vineyard (ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα).  He then put a fence around it (καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν) and dug a wine press in it (καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνὸν).  He even built a fortified watchtower (καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον).  This seemed like a very nice vineyard.  This was reminiscent of the allegory of the vineyard of Isaiah, chapter 5:1-2.  Isaiah had a song about a friend’s fertile field.  He also dug out stones and planted choice vines.  He put a tower in the middle to look over the vineyard with a carved wine vat there also.  However, he got bad grapes instead of good grapes.  Clearly, he did not get what he expected.  However, this landowner here leased his land or rented it to farmer tenants (καὶ ἐξέδετο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς).  Then he left that region and went away to another country (ἀπεδήμησεν).  These last two things, renting and leaving the land will cause him a problem.

The value of the vineyard (Isa 5:3-5:4)

“Now!

Inhabitants of Jerusalem!

People of Judah!

Judge between me

And my vineyard!

What more was there

To do for my vineyard,

That I have not done in it?

When I expected it

To yield grapes,

Why did it yield wild grapes?”

This song is clearly directed at the people of Jerusalem and Judah, not the northern tribes of Israel with its capital in Samaria. The vineyard is no longer that of a beloved friend. It is now the vineyard of Isaiah himself, who wanted them to judge between him and his vineyard. Who was at fault? Was it him the gardener or the vines themselves? Could he have done more? While he expected good grapes, he only got wild grapes. Why did this happen?

Personal prayer to Yahweh (Ps 142:1-142:3)

A Maskil of David, when he was in the cave, a prayer

“With my voice

I cry to Yahweh!

With my voice

I make supplication to Yahweh!

I pour out my complaint before him.

I tell my trouble before him.

When my spirit is faint,           

You know my way!”

Psalm 142 is a maskil or wisdom song of David, when he was in the cave. There is no explicit mention of an incident in the life of David where he was being persecuted in a cave. He may have been hiding out when he was trying to escape from King Saul. There is no doubt that it is a personal lament to Yahweh. David cries with his voice to Yahweh as he makes his supplications or complaints. He was telling Yahweh his troubles because his spirit was weak or faint. Yahweh knew David so that made him hopeful.

Yahweh knows all things (Ps 139:1-139:6)

To the choirmaster leader, a psalm of David

“Yahweh!

You have searched me!

You have known me!

You know

When I sit down.

You know

When I rise up.

You discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path.

You search out my lying down.

You are acquainted with all my ways.

Yahweh!

Even before a word is on my tongue,

You know it completely.

You hem me in,

Behind and before.

You lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.

It is so high

That I cannot attain it.”

Psalm 139 is a choral psalm or song of David, as the title indicates. This prayer for deliverance emphasizes the great knowledge of Yahweh. Yahweh truly knew David. He knew when he sat down or rose up. He knew his thoughts from far away. He knew when he was walking or lying down. He knew all about his ways. He knew what he was going to say before David said it, so that David felt hemmed in on all sides. The hand of Yahweh was on him. Yahweh’s knowledge was so wonderfully high that David could not attain it.

A song of thanksgiving to Yahweh (Ps 124:1-124:5)

A song of ascents, of David

“If it had not been Yahweh

Who was on our side,

Let Israel now say.

If it had not been Yahweh

Who was on our side,

When our enemies attacked us,

Then they would have swallowed us up alive.

Their anger was kindled against us.

Then the flood would have swept us away,

The torrent would have gone over us.

Then over us would have gone

The raging waters.”

Psalm 124 is another short song or psalm of thanksgiving on the pilgrimage ascending to Jerusalem, like the others in this series. Notice the repetition of the opening verses that made it easier to remember while moving on pilgrimage. If Yahweh was not on their side, they would have been swallowed up alive. Their enemies or the flood waters would have destroyed them. They were blessed that Yahweh was on their side of the battle against man and nature.

The servant prayer (Ps 123:1-123:2)

A song of ascents

“To you I lift up my eyes.

O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

As the eyes of servants

Look to the hand of their master,

As the eyes of a maid

Look to the hand of her mistress,

So our eyes look to Yahweh our God,

Until he has mercy upon us.”

Psalm 123 is another very short psalm, or song, sung on the ascending way to Jerusalem in a pilgrimage. However, the tone is more somber as there is a cry for help against enemies. Both the male and female servants look to Yahweh to help them. They lift up their eyes to the heavens, like servants looking to the hands of their masters. Their eyes cry for mercy towards Yahweh, their God.