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The eleventh hour (Matthew 20:6)

Picture description: Parable
Picture copyright: V.

bible verse

“He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?” (Matthew 20:6)


Today, when you do something at the eleventh hour, you do something at the last minute.

origin and application

This phrase comes from a parable that Jesus used in his teaching. One day, a landowner went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. They agreed on working for a penny a day. At the eleventh hour, when the landowner went out, he saw others idling around and decided to hire them. Although they came to work late at the eleventh hour, they were paid the same as those who worked since the early morning. There are several interpretations to this story. In one school of thought, it is believed that Jesus used this story to send a message that those who set their eyes on monetary return for work done would not be appreciated. On the other hand, those who were hired at the eleventh hour were rewarded the same, because they cared not for the return of work, but for the opportunity to work.
In another school of thought, it is believed that however late in life you turn to Christ or follow his teachings, you will be rewarded.



eleventh    last   

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