And said to them; Go you also into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Whatsoever is right.—The absence of a definite contract in hiring the labourers who did less than the day’s work obviously involved an implicit trust in the equity of the householder. They did not stipulate for wages, or ask, as the disciples had asked, “What shall we have therefore?” The implied lesson thus suggested is, that a little work done, when God calls us, in the spirit of trust, is better than much done in the spirit of a hireling.
I will give you. And they went their way.See Poole on "Matthew 20:16".
and whatsoever is right I will give you which is to be understood, not of strict justice; for in this sense nothing could be given to sinful mortals, for their services; but of grace, for what is had on this score, whether in this, or in the other world, is in a way of giving and receiving, which are the phrases used here, and in the context. It properly signifies what is meet and convenient, and will be satisfying; and since it is not expressed what he would give them, and they should receive, it calls for faith and dependence on divine goodness: for it does not yet appear, what the faithful labourers in Christ's vineyard will want, and shall receive in this life, nor what will be their happiness in the world to come: the glories and joys of heaven are unseen things; and eternal life is a hidden one at present, and must be trusted for:
and they went their way: into the vineyard, the church, to labour there; which shows, that the call was powerful and efficacious; they were powerfully wrought upon by it; were at once inclined, and made willing to, and did go cheerfully, without standing to dispute about their work or wages.And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 20:4. Κἀκείνοις] to those also he spoke. The point of assimilation (also) lies in the circumstance that, as he had invited the first, so he now invites these also to go into the vineyard.
ὃ ἐὰν ᾖ δίκαιον] so that, as part of the day had already elapsed, he did not make with them any definite agreement as to wages for the day, and therefore acted differently in this case from what he had done in the former.Matthew 20:4. καὶ ὑμεῖς: he had got a fair number of workers in the morning, but he is pleased to have more for an urgent piece of work. The expression has reference to the Master’s mood rather than to the men’s knowledge of what had taken place at the first hour.—ὃ ἐὰν δίκαιον: no bargain this time, only a promise of fair equitable dealing, will be just at least, give in proportion to length of service; privately intends to do more, or at least is that way inclined.4. whatsoever is right I will give you] The justice of the award is disputed Matthew 20:12, on the ground that those who were first called had borne the burden and heat of the day. Man does not here acquiesce in the Judge’s decision, as in the parable of the debtors, ch. 18. What is just does not at first seem just, but, as in science many things that seemed untrue are proved to be true, what seems unjust will be proved just when we know all. Further, time is not the only element in service. An act of swift intelligence or of bravery wrought in the space of a single minute has saved an army or a people, and merited higher reward than a lifetime of ordinary service.Verse 4. - Ye also; implying that he had already set some to work at fixed wages. Whatsoever is right (δίκαιον); just and fair. He offers these no definite sum as remuneration, assuring them only that he will deal equitably with them; i.e. doubtless, according to their view, that he will give them three quarters of a day's wages, paying them pro rata. But at the end he treats them much more generously. Lightfoot notes that the Talmudists had tracts on the payment and regulation of labourers, and in their canons distinguished between being hired for a day and for some hours. They went their way, quite satisfied to leave their remuneration to the householder, with whom probably they were acquainted.
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