A Denarius A Day
July 19, 2006 Aiyalon Valley, Israel
This was the beginning of the harvest. Some of the grapes were not fully ripe. By the end of the harvest some of the grapes might be overripe, rotten brown. One might be reminded of the parable of the day laborers who were hired to work in a vineyard as told by Jesus.
The Talmud Baba Mesia 7:2 recorded a Jewish law allowing those who worked with fruit to eat the fruit while they worked. It was lawful for one working with figs to eat figs while working, but not to walk into another field and eat grapes.
Matthew 20:1-16 World English Bible (WEB): 1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. 4 He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 About the eleventh hour[d] he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ 7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’ 8 When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ 9 “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, 12 saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. 15 Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”