Matthew 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near...

KJV Verse: 

Mat 21:34 And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

At the time when the season/opportunity for fruits/profits apporached, he dispatched his slave to get profits of it.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The economic assumption here is that ownership of land (or means of production, if you want to get all Marxian) deserves profit from the produce of the land. The fact that the "husbandmen" do all the work does not mean that they should get all the benefit. The owner expects a profit.

The Greek word translated as "and" is usually translated as "but" because it joins phrases in an adversarial way. Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.

"When" is from an adverb that means "when", "as when", "at the time when."

"The time" is from a noun that means "due measure", "season", "opportunity", "time," and "profit." The word used sounds like the Greek word for "fruit."

The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors."

The word translated as "drew near" is an invented verb from the adverb that means "to bring near", "to approach", "to bring up to," and "to be imminent."

The "he sent" is from a word that means "to send off" and "dispatch." It is the source of our word "apostle."

"The servant" is from a nound that means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

The word translated as "to husbandmen" means to those "tilling the ground," and from that, "vine dresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

The word translated as "That they might receive" primarily means "take." However, it means "receive" in the same sense that we use "get" to mean "receive" and has many different uses as we use "get" in English. Among these are the ideas of "understanding" and "possessing." It is an infinitive, "to get."

The word translated as "fruit" primary meaning is "fruit", "seed," or "offspring," but its secondary meaning is "returns," specifically, "profit," as we would say "fruit of our labors." In this second use, the meaning in clearly profits since transporting the grapes seems unlikely, especially since there was a winevat on the property.

In this analogy, the landowner is symbolic of God. Again, the landowner is the opposite of evil. He is the one who provides the means of production for those who have nothing but their own time. Without God, we would have no means to be productive.

"Receive" is from lambanô, which means "to take", "to seize", "to catch", "to apprehend with the senses", "to receive", "to accept," and "to conceive."

Greek Vocabulary: 

ὅτε "When" is from hote, which means "when", "as when", "at the time when," and "sometimes."

δὲ "And" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

ἤγγισεν (3rd, aor act sng ind)"Drew" is from eggizo, which means "to bring near", "to join one things to another," to draw near," and "to approach." This word does not appear in the Perseus dictionary. It comes from an adverb ἐγγύς, eggus, which means 1) (of place) "near", "nigh", "at hand," 2) (of time) "nigh at hand" 3) (of numbers) "nearly", "almost", "coming near," and 4) (of relationship) "akin to."

καιρὸς (noun sg masc nom) "The time" is from kairos, which means "due measure", "proportion", "fitness", "exact time", "season", "opportunity", "time", "critical times", "advantage," and "profit."

τῶν καρπῶν, (noun pl masc gen) "Fruit" is from karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

ἀπέστειλεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "He sent" is from apostello, which means "to send off", "to send away," or "to dispatch."

τοὺς δούλους (noun pl masc acc) "The servant" is from doulos, which means a "slave," a "born bondsman," or "one made a slave."

αὐτοῦ (adj sg masc/neut gen) "His" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

πρὸς "To" is from pros, which means "on the side of", "in the direction of", "from (place)", "towards" "before", "in the presence of", "in the eyes of", "in the name of", "by reason of", "before (supplication)", "proceeding from (for effects)", "dependent on", "derivable from", "agreeable,""becoming", "like", "at the point of", "in addition to", "against," and "before."

τοὺς γεωργοὺς (adj pl masc acc) "The husbandmen" is from georgos, which means "tilling the ground," and from that, "husbandman", "vine dresser", "gardener," and "peasant."

λαβεῖν (verb aor inf act) "That they might receive" is from lambano means to "take", "take hold of", "grasp", "seize", "catch", "overtake", "find out", "detect", "take as", "take [food or drugs]", "understand", "take in hand", "undertake", "take in", "hold", "get", "receive [things]", "receive hospitably", "receive in marriage", "receive as produce", "profit", "admit", "initiate", "take hold of", "lay hold on", "seize and keep hold of", "obtain possession of", "lay hands upon", "find fault with", "censure," "to apprehend with the senses", "to take hold of," and "to seize." It is also specifically used to mean "seized with emotion."

τοὺς καρποὺς (noun pl masc acc) "Fruits" is from karpos, which means "fruit", "the fruits of the earth", "seed", "offspring", "returns for profit," and "reward."

αὐτοῦ.(adj sg masc/neut gen) "Of it" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."

Wordplay: 

The word for "time" and "fruit" are sound alikes (kairos, karpon). They both can mean "profit."  The second use clearly means "profit." 

Related Verses: