When thou comest into thy neighbour's vineyard
To take a walk in it for recreation, and to see how the vines flourish, and what sort of fruit and what quantity of it they bear; being invited thither by the owner, or occasionally passing that way stepped in, and even it may be on purpose to taste the fruits of the vine and quench thirst and satisfy appetite:
then thou mayest eat grapes thy fill, at thine own pleasure;
as many as they would, till nature was satisfied:
but thou shall not put [any] in thy vessel;
to carry away, to be eaten by them or theirs at another time and place; they were to put none into their pockets or into their baskets, as the Targum of Jonathan, or whatsoever vessel they might have with them in the vineyard. Jarchi says, the Scripture speaks of a workman, and only at the time of gathering the grapes, when he was putting into his master's vessels, and might not put any into his own, and carry away; so the Jewish writers F9 generally interpret it of a workman only, and of his eating those things in which he works, and not of such as pass by the way; so the Targums: and there are many traditions in the Misnah F11 concerning this affair; as that by this law a workman might eat while in his work, as the ox may while it is treading out the corn, and when his work is perfect; and that he may eat of what he is employed about; only if he is at work upon figs, he may not eat of grapes, and if on grapes, he may not eat of figs; nor might he eat more than his hire came to; and that he might make a covenant for his son and daughter, servant and handmaid, adult (that they shall take money and not eat), and for his wife, because they are endowed with knowledge; but not for his son and daughter, servant and maidservant, minors, because they are not: but Josephus F12, their countryman, better interprets this law, who says, that travellers, of those that passed by the way, were not forbidden tasting ripe fruits, and even were permitted to fill themselves with them as if their own, whether they were of the country or strangers.
F9 Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Maaserot, c. 2. sect. 7.
F11 Misn. Bava Metzia, c. 7. sect. 2, 4, 5, 6.
F12 Antiqu. l. 4. c. 8. sect. 21.