1 ‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out early in the morning to hire labourers for his vineyard.
2 After agreeing
with the labourers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his
3 When he went
out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the
4 and he said
to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you
whatever is right.” So they went.
5 When he went
out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same.
6 And about five
o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and
he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?”
7 They said to
him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them,
“You also go into the vineyard.”
8 When evening
came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call
the labourers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and
then going to the first.”
9 When those hired
about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily
10 Now when the
first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them
also received the usual daily wage.
11 And when they
received it, they grumbled against the landowner,
12 saying, “These
last worked only 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 replied
to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you
not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
14 Take what belongs
to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give
15 Am I not allowed
to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious
because I am generous?”
16 So the last
will be first, and the first will be last.’