And the chief priests, and the Scribes, that same hour,
&c.] As soon as he had delivered the above parable, together with that of the two sons:
sought to lay hands on him;
they had a good will to it, being exceedingly gravelled with the question he put to them concerning John's baptism, which confounded them, and put them to silence; and with the parables he delivered, in which they were so manifestly pointed at:
and they feared the people;
lest they should rise and stone them, as in ( Luke 20:6 ) or rescue him out of their hands;
for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them:
and that they were the husbandmen that had used the servants of God so ill, and would put to death the son of God, the Messiah; and who would at length be destroyed themselves, and the kingdom of God be taken from them, though they seem to detest and deprecate it, saying in ( Luke 20:16 ) God forbid; that we should kill the heir, or that we should be destroyed, and the vineyard given to others: these things grievously nettled them, and exasperated them against him; but they knew not how to help themselves at present.