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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
Matthew 20



Verse 1

the kingdom of heaven. See App-114. This parable occurs only in Matthew, and is called forth by Peter"s question in Matthew 19:27.

heaven = the heavens. See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

a man that is an householder = a man a house holder. A Hebraism = master of a house.

early in the morning = together with the dawn.

to hire. Greek. misthoomai. Occurs only here, and Matthew 20:7.

into = for. Greek. eis. App-104.

vineyard. See Isaiah 5:1-7. Psalms 80:8, Psalms 80:9. Israel was in question, not the Church. See Matthew 19:28.

Verse 2

with. Greek. meta.

the labourers: i.e. the twelve Apostles (the first called).

for. Greek. ek. App-104; ek = out of, or from [the bargain] a penny a day.

penny. Greek. denarion (App-51.) = a day"s wage at that time (Luke 10:35 = two days"). Came to be used for any coin, as in English we "turn an honest penny". The initial of denarius came to be our "d" for pence.

Verse 3

the third hour = 9am. The hour named in connection with Pentecost (Acts 2:15).

others. Not there at the first hour. Other labourers were then engaged (Acts 4:36; Acts 6:1, Acts 6:5; Acts 8:4, Acts 8:12; Acts 9:10, Acts 9:25, Acts 9:27, Acts 9:30).

Verse 4

right = just.

give = pay.

Verse 5

the sixth . . . hour. The hour of the vision when Peter was sent to the Gentiles at Caesarea (Acts 10:9). ninth hour. The hour when the angel appeared to Cornelius (Acts 10:3), and others became labourers (Acts 21:16).

Verse 6

the eleventh hour. The Art. is emphatic, as with the "third". See note on "even" (Matthew 20:8). It was immediately before the end.

Verse 7

no man = no one.

us. These were the heralds of the gospel of the kingdom, immediately before the close of the dispensation of the Acts. See Acts 17:34; Acts 18:2, Acts 18:8, Acts 18:10, Acts 18:18, Acts 18:24; Acts 19:6-8, Acts 19:20; Acts 20:1, Acts 20:4, Acts 20:17; Acts 21:8, Acts 21:16. But, as the Nation refused the call to repent (Acts 28:25, Acts 28:26), "the eleventh hour" is still future, awaiting the proclamation foretold in Matthew 24:14.

Verse 8

even. Even Bengel held that this refers to "the last judgment". And it is clearly the time of reckoning and of the reward spoken of in Matthew 19:29, when all will be justly rewarded.

Verse 9

every man = each.

Verse 10

supposed = reckoned according to law. See note on Luke 3:23.

Verse 11

against. Greek. kata. App-104.

Goodman = the master of the house.

Verse 12

These = That these. Greek. hoti, putting their words between quotation marks. See note on Luke 23:43.

have wrought but one hour = made one hour. A Hebraism. Compare Ruth 2:19, "Where wroughtest thou to-day? "(Hebrew. "anah "asitha). So, in the sense of making or spending time (Acts 15:33; Acts 18:23. 2 Corinthians 11:25); used for continuing, as suggested in Authorized Version margin. But it is the same word rendered "made" in the next clause.

made them = done to them.

heat = scorching heat.

Verse 13

one. Representing the whole body, as Peter was the "one" in Matthew 19:27.

Friend. Greek. Hetairos = Comrade, more distant than philos (= beloved). Occurs only in Matthew (here; Matthew 11:16; Matthew 22:12; Matthew 26:50).

wrong = injustice.

Verse 14

Take = Take up.

that thine is = thine own.

I will give = for I will (App-102.) to give.

will = wish, or desire. App-102.

even as unto thee = as to thee also.

Verse 15

with = in. Greek. en. App-104.

mine own. Plural = mine own [affairs].

thine eye evil. A Hebraism. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 15:9). App-117.

evil = grudging. Greek. poneria. App-128.:3. Emphatic

good = generous.

Verse 16

So, &c. See note on Matthew 19:30, which precedes the parable, as this concludes it.

Verse 17

Jesus. App-98.

Verse 18

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

the Son of man. See App-98.

betrayed, &c. = delivered up, as in Matthew 20:19. These are the additional features of this third announcement (see note on Matthew 16:21); the second and fourth being Matthew 17:22 and Matthew 20:28.

condemn. Greek. katakrino. App-122.

Verse 19

deliver Him = deliver Him up, as in Matthew 20:18.

the third day. See App-148.

Verse 20

came. With her sons. Mark 10:35 "came [with their mother]".

the mother. Salome. Compare Matthew 27:56 with Mark 15:40.

Zebedee"s. See note on Matthew 4:21.

children = sons. App-108. The two sons (James and John) acted with their mother (prompting her). Compare "Ye" (Matthew 20:22, and Mark 10:35). Mark"s account is supplementary.

sons. Implies what Mark says. All three came together. worshipping = prostrating herself. Greek. proskuneo. App-137.

desiring = asking.

of = from. Greek. para. App-104.

Verse 21

Grant = Bid, as in Matthew 4:3; or Matthew 23:3 ("bid").

the left = [Thy] left.

Verse 22

Ye. Ye two. know not = have no idea. Greek. oida. App-132.

ask = ask for. App-134.

the cup. Which would be at His right hand. A symbol of participation. Jeremiah 25:15; Jeremiah 49:12. Ezekiel 23:33.

shall drink of = am about to drink of.

baptized. App-115.

baptism. App-115.

Verse 23

shall = shall indeed. James (Acts 12:2), and John martyred, according to tradition.

but it shall be given to them for whom, &c. Omit all these italics, and read "but [to those] for whom". Compare Mark 10:40.

prepared: or, destined. of = by. Greek. hupo.

Father. App-98.

Verse 24

moved with indignation = took great umbrage.

against = about, or with respect to. Greek. peri.

Verse 25

exercise dominion = lord it over.

they that are great = the great ones.

exercise authority upon. The Prep, kata (= down. App-104.) in the verb implies a bad sense and = oppress them. Compare Luke 22:25; where the verb is not the same. See note there.

Verse 26

But = However.

among. Greek. en.

minister = servant (in relation to activity).

Verse 27

chief = first.

servant = bond-servant (in relation to servitude).

Verse 28

The fourth announcement of His sufferings. See note on Matthew 16:21.

to be ministered unto = to be served.

to minister = to serve.

life = soul.

ransom = redemption price. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 35:31). App-117.1.

for = in the stead of. Greek. anti. App-104.

Verse 29

departed = not approaching, as in Luke 18:35; or arriving and leaving, as in Mark 10:46.

great multitude. The population was about 100,000, doubtless with many blind about the gates.

Verse 30

two blind men. There are no "discrepancies" between this account and those of Mark 10:46 and Luke 18:35. They describe three miracles on four blind men: one on approaching Jericho; one on leaving; two after He had left. See App-152.

Sitting. Not "begging", as in Luke 18:35.

by = beside. Greek. para. App-104. The others were at each gate.

passed by = is passing by.

mercy = pity.

Lord. App-98.

Son of David. Therefore Israelites, having a claim on Him as such. The fifth of nine occurrences of this title in Matthew. See note on Matthew 1:1, and App-98.

Verse 31

rebuked . . . peace = charged them to be silent.

cried = kept crying.

the more. Greek. meizon. (Adverb) Occurs only here.

Son of David. The sixth of nine occurrences in Matthew. See note on Matthew 1:1.

Verse 32

called them. In the other cases He commanded them to be "called" (Mark 10:49), and "led" (Luke 18:40). App-152.

shall = should.

unto = for.

Verse 34

received = regained.

they followed. As in Mark 10:52, and Luke 18:43.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Matthew 20:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
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