Matthew 20:9

New Testament

8 When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages starting with the last hired until the first.’ 9 When those hired about five o’clock came, each received a full day’s pay. 10 And when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each one also received the standard wage. 11 When they received it, they began to complain against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last fellows worked one hour, and you have made them equal to us who bore the hardship and burning heat of the day.’ 13 And the landowner replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me to work for the standard wage? 14 Take what is yours and go. I want to give to this last man the same as I gave to you.

Jerusalem Berakhot 2.8

Jerusalem Talmud

When Rebbi Abun bar Rebbi Ḥiyya One of the frequently quoted authorities of the Jerusalem Talmud, a student of Rebbi Yoḥanan and Rebbi Zeïra; he died young as his eulogy shows. died, Rebbi Zeïra ascended his pulpit and eulogized him: (Eccl. 5:11) “Sweet is the year of the worker.” It does not say here “sleeps” but “whether he eats little or much.” To what can Rebbi Bun bar Ḥiyya be likened? To a king who hired many workers and there was one worker who was exceptionally productive in his work. What did the king do? He took him and walked with him the long and the short. In the evening, the workers came to receive their wages and he gave him his total wages with them. The workers complained and said: we were toiling the entire day and this one did toil only for two hours and he gave him his total wages with us! The king told them: This one produced in two hours more than what you produced all day long. So Rebbi Bun produced in Torah in 28 years what an outstanding Or, with the Arabic ותֹיק “constant, resolute”. student cannot learn in a hundred years.

 Notes and References

"... When evening came, laborers were to be paid on the day they performed the work (Leviticus 19:13; Deuteronomy 24:14–15). Owner, Greek “kyrios,” “Lord” (compare Pirkei Avot 2:14). Beginning with the last, the owner sets up the first hired to believe they will receive more than those hired last. 12: You have made them equal to us, the issue is not when one follows Jesus, but that one does so. 13: Friend, not necessarily indicating friendliness (22:12; 26:50). Rabbinic sources offer a similar story of equal wages for differing durations (Jerusalem Berakhot 2:8) ..."

Levine, Amy-Jill & Brettler, Marc Zvi The Jewish Annotated New Testament (p. 36) Oxford University Press, 2011

 User Comments

The piece from the Jerusalem Berakhot 2.8 is dated 375-425 C.E.
One commentary I read suggested that this is where where Matthew got the parable in Matt 20.9.
But that does not fit, does it?

Hilary Wakeman, August 22, 2023, 2:59 pm

Hilary, the dates here are probably when it was written but the oral traditions go back even further

Anonymous, September 2, 2023, 7:56 am

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