Nazarene Space

Understanding the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers

Understanding
The Parable of Wicked Vinedressers
By James Scott Trimm

33 Hear you another parable: There was a man that was a householder: which planted a
vineyard, and surrounded it with a hedge, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower,
and delivered it to vinedressers to cultivate it, and went abroad.
34 And when the time of the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, to
receive the fruit.
35 But the vinedressers seized his servants: and beat one, and slew another, and another
they stoned.
36 Again he sent other servants more than the first, and they did to them likewise.
37 But at last he sent to them his son, saying, Perhaps they will honor my son.
38 But the vinedressers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours! i
39 And they seized him, and brought him outside the vineyard, and slew him.
40 Think for yourselves, when the master of the vineyard has come, what will he do to
these vinedressers?
41 And they answered Him and said, He will destroy the wicked vinedressers in their
wickedness: and will hire out his vineyard to another, which will render him the fruit in
its seasons.
(Mt. 21:33-41)

Christians generally misinterpret this parable to mean that the vinedressers represent the wicked Jews who reject and kill the prophets and ultimately the Messiah when the master of the vineyard then rejects the Jews and replaces Israel with the Church.

OK, lets start by looking at Matt. 21:33-34

33 Hear you another parable: There was a man that was a householder: which planted a
vineyard, and surrounded it with a hedge, and dug a winepress in it, and built a tower,
and delivered it to vinedressers to cultivate it, and went abroad.
34 And when the time of the fruit came near, he sent his servants to the vinedressers, to
receive the fruit.
(Mt. 21:33-34)

Yeshua here is paraphrasing Isaiah 5:1-2:

…my well-beloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill;
and he digged it, and cleared it of stones, and planted it
with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it,
and also hewed out a vat therein; and he looked that it should
bring forth grapes, and it brought forth grapes.
(Isaiah 5:1-2)

“built a tower in it” – i.e. the Temple, as the Targum to this section of Isaiah paraphrases “I built a sanctuary in their midst”.

Thus the parable of the vineyard in Matt. 21:33-46 is an extension to the parable of the vineyard in Isaiah 5. This is very helpful information in “decoding” the parable because Isaiah tells us flatly:

For the vineyard of YHWH Tzva’ot is the House of Yisrael,
and the men of Y’hudah the plant of his delight…
(Is. 5:7)

The context of Isaiah 5 is that the “vineyard” (House of Israel) and the “plant of his delight” (the men of Y’hudah) are made vulnerable when YHWH takes down the fence around the vineyard and allows it to be trodden down (Is. 5:5) This represents the Babylonian captivity (Is. 5:13). The “workers” sent into the vineyard are not the Jews, the Jews are the “plant of his delight” in the vineyard. YHWH turned the “plant of his delight” over to the Gentiles. These are the vinedresser of Matt. 21:33-46. These gentiles rejected Moses and the prophets and kill the son so that the vineyard (“House of Israel”) would be their own (replacement theology). YHWH comes and brings judgment upon the gentiles and gives the vineyard (“House of Israel”) to others (non-Gentiles, i.e. “Jews”)

“And therefore I tell you: the Kingdom of Elohim will be taken away from you, and
given to people609 who will bring forth the fruits thereof.”
(Matt 21:43)

The Aramaic L’AM is ambiguous and can be translated either “to a nation” or “to a people”. This verse tells us that the Kingdom would be taken the vinedressers (Gentiles) and given "to a nation" bearing its fruits (the fruits being repentance, see Mt. 3:2, 8)

The vinedressers are now trying to ban the Hebraic Roots Version Scriptures.

The Hebraic Roots Version has now been in print for eight years (since 2001) and during that time the HRV has become a staple in the Hebraic Roots movement, and the standard English edition Scriptures for much of Nazarene Judaism (the official version of both the WNAE and IANI).

I am constantly hearing from people who tell me how much the HRV has helped them in their understanding of the Word of YHWH. Do not let the Enemy prevail in banning the HRV.

Now more than ever we need your financial support. A special legal defense fund has been created to defend the HRV against this Christian organization. The WNAE is barely receiving enough funds to function, so we are asking the community to increase giving in order to support the WNAE and to help us defend the HRV from this frivolous law suite. HaSatan’s plan here is to financially tie down the WNAE and potentially ban the HRV Scriptures.

If you are not already tithing now is the time to start, the rubber is hitting the road, the battle is heating up, and there is no more time to play around. If you do not feel that you can tithe, then please make whatever offerings you can, as the time is now, the battle is here.

You can make donations to this legal defense fund at http://www.wnae.org or at http://www.nazarenespace.com. You can also make tithes and offerings to the WNAE general fund at the same locations.


Views: 149

Comment by Shawn on August 25, 2009 at 12:35pm
Interesting study I enjoyed it My two cents about the statement "And therefore I tell you: the Kingdom of Elohim will be taken away from you, and given to a people/nation who are bearing the fruit thereof"

The Northern kingdom of Israel is also known as Ephraim which means "Fruitfull - bearing the fruit". I believe it is highly likely that this phrase should be understood as giving the kingdom to Ephraim. This statement would align with the rabbinic understanding (though I cant remember where I read it) that for a time the kingdom of Judah would decrease in power and world wide influence and for a time the kingdom of Ephraim would increase in power and world wide influence.
Comment by Yishmael on August 25, 2009 at 1:15pm
ummm i don't believe this to be true actually because of the simple fact that Trimm is right now contradicting what the Nazarene Writings say itself...

Mattiyahu 21
45. And when the chief priests and Pharisees heard his parables, they knew that he spoke against them. 46. And they sought to arrest him, but they were afraid because of the crowd, as they were regarding him as a prophet.

allthough i do agree Yeshua was drawing from prophet Yeshayahu when he told this parable this study talks about christians but Yeshua was actually talking about Jews who did not recognize he is the Messiah he makes the same statement in other places

Mattiyahu 8:12
12. but bnay d'Malkut will be cast into outer darkness . There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
bnay d'Malkut means Children of the Kingdom and we all know who are born with the heritage to the Kingdom rigth?? the very same ones who Yeshua pointed his message to yes.. Jewish Yisraelites!!


The wrong christian theology lies indeed in replacement theology for instance if you take a look at Revelations you can clearly see that the Kingdom which Moshiach will bring will be full of Yisraelite Jews..

but again mr Trimm the Nazarene Writings say the opposite of what you say in this study so..
Comment by James Trimm on August 25, 2009 at 1:23pm
There are two ways of understanding Mt. 21:45-46

In the Hebrew and Aramaic as I recall Messiah says "they new he spoke CONCERNING them" not "against them".

This could mean that they understood that the choice vine of the vineyard represents the Jews (i.e. "us") that they understood that the Land of Judah ("us") is the vineyard in the parable.

Or they could have been referring to the fact that the Pharisees had (100 years earlier) invited the Gentiles (Rome) to overthrow the Hasmonian/Maccabean dynasty which by this time was controlled by their Sadducee enemies. Once the Romans came into the land, they were never going to leave.
Comment by James Trimm on August 25, 2009 at 1:34pm
In this case they were worried that Yeshua would bring Rome down on them, as they were afraid his parable portraying their Roman occupiers as these wickedvine dressers would instigate revolution.
Comment by Brian Forbes on August 25, 2009 at 2:19pm
"And they seized [the son], and brought him outside the vineyard, and slew him."

I don't know how this works if it wasn't talking about the Jews of the day, namely those who heard his message.
Comment by James Trimm on August 25, 2009 at 4:05pm
Yeshua was killed by Roman soldiers... Jews of the day did NOT have the power to execute.
Comment by Brian Forbes on August 26, 2009 at 3:54pm
Ah.. you're saying that the son is Israel. I missed that the first time. I think I'll read it again, and closer.
"...the prophets and kill the son so that the vineyard (“House of Israel”)..."
Comment by Brian Forbes on August 26, 2009 at 3:59pm
I really wasn't paying attention. That was the whole point. And now that I look at it, your support seems pretty solid.
Comment by Yishmael on August 27, 2009 at 6:44am
wow ok rabbi trimm i read it again real thoroughly this time and it seems that you are dead on right about the vineyard parable.. thank you for enlightening me because now i really understand it all! :)

but one little question i indeed know that the Sadducees were pretty much corrupted and totally in league with the Romans but the Prushim were not in league with the Romas so why does the Peshitta also mention the Prushim being the ons who this parable was about ???
Comment by jacob on August 29, 2009 at 12:13am
This does seem to make sence. However, what about Acts 7:51-54? I mean, clearly Stephen is talking to the Pharisees (6:12, 8:1/26:5) when he said "...Was there ever a PROPHET your fathers did not persecute? They even KILLED those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now YOU have betrayed and MURDERED Him(Y'shua)—you who have received the law that was put into effect through angels but have NOT OBEYED (Mat 5:20, 15:3, 23:3, 23:23, Rom 2:8 &17-23, Gal 6:13) it."

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