And at the season he sent unto the husbandman a servant,
&c.] The Evangelist Matthew says, "when the time of the fruit drew near", ( Matthew 21:34 ) ; and so the Persic version here reads. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "in its own time", or "season", which was the fourth year from the planting of it; and then it was holy to the Lord; and might not be eaten until the fifth year, ( Leviticus 19:23-25 ) . According to the Jewish canons F12, a vineyard of the fourth year was marked with clods of earth, to show it was not to be eaten of; and the fruit of it was brought up to Jerusalem, from every place that was but a day's journey from thence, there to be eaten, or redeemed. Nor by the "servant" are intended the prophets of the Old Testament, who were sent to the Jews to call upon them to bring forth fruits of righteousness; for not a single person, but a set of men, are here designed; and the Evangelist Matthew expresses it in the plural number, "servants":
that he might receive from the husbandmen the fruit of the vineyard:
by the hands of his servants; for in Matthew it is, "that they might receive" such as righteousness and judgment, truth and holiness, so as to give an account of them, which might have been expected from a people under such advantages, ( Isaiah 5:7 ) ; (See Gill on Matthew 21:34).