33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower, and rented it out to farmers and went on a journey. 34 When the time of the fruit approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect the fruits of it.
35 “The tenants seized his servants and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Again he sent other servants more than the first, and they did the same thing to them. 37 But last of all, he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’
38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 They took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”
41 They said to him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent outhis vineyard to other tenants, who will give him the proceeds at the proper seasons.”
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible
21:34 Collect the fruits of it—Alluding to the ancient custom of paying the rent of a farm in kind; that is, by a part of the produce of the farm. This custom anciently prevailed in most nations; and still prevails in the highlands of Scotland, and in some other places. The Boldon book, a survey made of the state of the bishopric of Durham in 1183, shows how much of the rents was paid in cows, sheep, pigs, fowls, eggs, etc., the remaining part being made up chiefly by manual labor.
Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
21:33 And rented it out …—This was not an uncommon thing. Vineyards were often planted to be rented out for profit.
21:35 And beat one—The word translated here as “beat” properly means to flay or to take off the skin; hence to beat or to whip so that the skin in many places is taken off.
21:37 Saying, ‘They will respect my son’—To “respect” means to honor, to esteem, to show deference to. It is that feeling which we have in the presence of one who is greatly our superior. It means to give to such a person, in our feelings and our deportment, the honor which is due to his rank and character.
John Lightfoot’s Commentary on the Gospels
21:33 Planted a vineyard—Concerning vines and their husbandry see Kilaim, where there is a large discourse of the beds of a vineyard, the orders of the vines, of the measure of the winepress, of the hedge, of the trenches, of the void space, of the places within the hedge which were free from vines, whether they were to be sown or not to be sown, &c.
21:35 Beat; killed; stoned—There seems to be an allusion to the punishments and manners of death in the council: 1. Beat, which properly signifies the flaying off of the skin, is not amiss rendered by interpreters beat; and the word seems to related to whipping where forty stripes save one did miserably flay off the skin of the poor man … 2. Killed, signifies a death by the sword … Four kinds of death are delivered to the Sanhedrim, stoning, burning, killing, and strangling.