Matthew 20:1

New Testament

1For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 And after agreeing with the workers for the standard wage, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 When it was about nine o’clock in the morning, he went out again and saw others standing around in the marketplace without work. 4 He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and I will give you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. When he went out again about noon and three o’clock that afternoon, he did the same thing. 6 And about five o’clock that afternoon he went out and found others standing around, and said to them, ‘Why are you standing here all day without work?’

Genesis Rabbah 9:9


R. Ze‘ira said: BEHOLD, IT WAS VERY GOOD refers to Paradise; AND BEHOLD, IT WAS VERY GOOD, to Gehenna. Is then the Gehenna very good? How remarkable! This, however, may be compared to a king who had an orchard, into which he brought workers. He built a treasure house by its entrance and said: ‘Whoever will labour conscientiously in the work of the orchard may enter the treasure house, but he who will not show himself worthy in the work of the orchard may not enter the treasure house.’ Thus for him who treasures up religious acts and good. deeds, behold there is Paradise; while for him who does not lay up religious acts and good deeds, behold there is Gehenna.

 Notes and References

"... As far as amoraic Midrashim are concerned, images from the Bildfeld of the treasure, both in the sense of finding a treasure and partaking of items from a treasury, appear in Genesis Rabbah and Leviticus Rabbah. The idea of a divine reward for good deeds is associated with workers allowed to enter the king’s treasury in a king parable in Genesis Rabbah 9:9. The parable is used to illustrate the difference between the Garden of Eden and Gehenna. This is likened “to a king who had an orchard, and he brought workers into it, and he built a treasury [רצוא] at its entrance. He said: He who dedicates himself to the work of the orchard may enter the treasury; and he who does not dedicate himself to the work of the orchard may not enter the treasury”. The parable emphasizes the common rabbinic notion that Torah observance will be rewarded by God (compare Deuteronomy 28:12: “The Lord will open for you his good treasury...”) ..."

Hezser, Catherine Finding a Treasure: The Treasure Motif in Jewish, Christian, and Graeco-Roman Narratives in the Context of Rabbinic Halakhah and Roman Law (pp. 295-325) Mohr Siebeck, 2019

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