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“ were building reprobated, this is become for the head of a “ corner? This head is become so of the Lord ; and it is won“ derful in our eyes. 43 For this reason, I say unto you, The “ kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and given to a “ nation, producing the fruits thereof. 44 And he that hath “ fallen upon this stone, shall be dashed to pieces : and on whom“soever it may fall, it shall grind him to powder.”
Mark xii. 1–11. 1 And he began to speak to them in parables, saying, “ A “ man planted a vineyard, and put a fence about it, and dug a “ receptacle under the wine-press, and built a tower, and let it “ out to husbandmen, and went abroad. 2 And at the proper “ season, he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that he might
receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard. “ 3 And they having taken him, beat him, and sent him away “ empty. 4 And again he sent to them another servant; and “ that servant they stoned and wounded in the head, and sent “ away shamefully treated. 5 And again he sent another : and “ that servant they killed: and many others treated they like“ wise, beating some, and killing others. Having, therefore, “ still one son, his own beloved one, he sent him also unto them, “ last, saying, They will reverence my son. 7 But those men, “ the husbandmen, began to say unto themselves, This is the “ heir; come let us kill him, and his inheritance shall be ours. “8 And they took him and killed him, and cast him out of the “ vineyard. 9 What therefore, will the lord of the vineyard do? “ He will come, and will destroy the husbandmen, and will give “ the vineyard to others. 10 Have ye not read even this scrip“ ture? As to the stone, which they that were building repro“ bated, this is become for the head of a corner. 11 This head is “ become so of the Lord, and it is marvellous in our eyes."
LUKE xx. 9—18. 9 And he began to speak unto the people, this parable : “A “ certain man planted a vineyard, and let it out to husbandmen, “and went abroad a long time. 10 And in due time he sent to “ the husbandmen a servant, that they might give him of the “ fruit of the vineyard. But the husbandmen beat him and “sent him away empty. 11 And he proceeded to send another “ servant : and they having beaten that servant also, and shame
“ fully treated him, sent him away empty. 12 And he proceeded “ to send a third : and they wounded this servant also, and cast “ him out. 13 And the lord of the vineyard said, What shall I “ do? I will send my son, my beloved : it may be, when they “ have seen him they will reverence him. 14 And when the “ husbandmen had seen him, they began to reason with them“selves, saying, This man is the heir ; come, let us kill him, “ that his inheritance may become ours. 15 And having cast “ him out of the vineyard, they killed him. What, therefore, “ will the lord of the vineyard do to them ? 16 He will come, “and will destroy these husbandmen, and will give the vineyard “ to others.” And when they had heard this, they said, “ God “ forbid.” 17 And he looked steadfastly at them, and said, “What “ then is this which is written? As to the stone, which they " that were building reprobated, this is become for the head of a “ corner. 18 Every one that hath fallen upon that same stone, “ shall be dashed to pieces : and on whomsoever it may fall, it “ shall grind him to powder.”
HE existence of a vineyard, which might be cultivated by its owner for himself, or let out to others in his stead, being the first thing necessary to the transaction, recorded in the parable; the formation of the vineyard is the first circumstance specified in the order of its particulars : and the formation of a vineyard implying the conversion of a certain portion of a larger estate to the particular purpose of the culture of the vine, it is naturally attributed to some proper person, who being described as the master of an house, may well be supposed an owner of property in land.
The particulars of the formation, enumerated by two of the Evangelists, succeed each other in a very appropriate order. The planting of the vineyard,
that is, the selection of a convenient spot, within which to plant and cultivate the vine, was naturally prior to the surrounding it with a fence; the provision of a fence for it, to the construction of a winepress within it; and the formation of a wine-press, (as one of the most indispensable requisites to the integrity of every vineyard,) to the erection of a tower, as another of its component parts.
These several parts of the vineyard have so obviously their proper use, that it is almost superfluous to point it out in any one instancea. The fence
a There is a well-known description of a Jewish vineyard, and its component parts, Isaiah v. 1, 2, which deserves to be compared with this in the parable.
“1 Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved, “ touching his vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard on “ a very fruitful hill. 2 And he fenced it, and gathered out “ the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and “ built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine-press “therein :" &c. The words fenced il, in this description, are rendered in the margin more agreeably to the Hebrew, made a wall about it, which brings that part of the description nearer also to the language of the parable. That the vineyard of Isaiah had a wall about it, appears from verse 5.
Proverbs, xxiv. 30, 31, allusion occurs to the stone wall, about the vineyard of the sluggard, as out of repair and broken down. According to Mr. Harmer, i. 456. chap. v. obs. xvi., stone walls are still common about vineyards in the East, besides fences of living materials.
He observes from Hasselquist, loc. cit. that jackals are numerous in Palestine, and very troublesome and injurious, especially in the time of vintage, often destroying whole vineyards, and fields of cucumbers. These animals, we are told by the same author, had their runs and habitations in the live fences, which he observed round about Joppa.
That the same animals abounded in Palestine, in more ancient
would be wanted to define its limits, to protect it from trespass, or to preserve it from the encroachments of various kinds of animals, which in Judæa were liable to infest vineyards. The possession of a wine-press would be so essential to the final end of cultivating the vine, which is the conversion of its fruit into wine, that it might be unnecessary to allude to it, except to point out the nature of the provision for that purpose, as distinctly intimated by St. Mark's account, but implied only in St. Mat-' times, and were equally liable to injure vineyards and their productions then also, may be collected from the Song of Solomon, ii. 15: for the “ foxes, the little foxes,” there spoken of, are most probably the same with these jackals of Hasselquist. Cf. Judges xv. 4: Lament. v. 19: Ezek. xiii. 4: Nehemiah iv. 3. Not but that the fox, properly so called, is notoriously liable to infest vineyards, and to prey upon their fruit, wherever it is cultivated.
Among animals the most injurious to vineyards, Ps. lxxx. 13. mentions the wild boar out of the wood; and that too is known to have abounded in Palestine. No doubt enemies of this description were not to be effectually excluded except by fences, made of stone: though vineyards, under some circumstances, might have hedges of quick materials, such as Harmer specifies, iv. 83. ch. viii. Obs. cxxx., thorns, rosebushes, pomegranates, &c.
There is a beautiful description of a vineyard in Theocritus' first Idyllium, in which the hedge about it makes a part of its formation, and the fox preying upon its productions is a prominent figure in the description.
Τυτθόν δ' όσσον άπωθεν αλιτρύτοιο γέροντος,
Idyll. i. 45.
thew's. Besides the apparatus for crushing the fruit, and extracting its juice, a vat was necessary to receive the must, or juice expressed, which must either make part of the same apparatus as the press, or be connected in some manner with it. In the hot climate of Judæa it was of much importance that the fresh juice should be preserved in a cool state, during the subsequent process of fermentation; for which purpose, even when the wine-press was in the open air, or on the ground, the wine-vat consisted of a pit sunk into the earth, or a cistern excavated from the rock. Such appears to have been the case in the present instance ; for while St. Matthew tells us, that the owner of the vineyard digged a wine-press, (anuòv,) which is the general name of the apparatus in question collectively; St. Mark mentions, that he digged a vat beneath the press, (inohývrov,) which is the proper name for the receptacle of the juice, when it had passed through the press, in particular b.