Mt.21:33,34 λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ - owner or vineyard?

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Stephen Hughes
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Mt.21:33,34 λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ - owner or vineyard?

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 1st, 2016, 10:58 pm

Matthew 21:33,34 wrote:Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε. Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης, ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν, καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνόν, καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον, καὶ ἐξέδοτο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. Ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν, ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς γεωργούς, λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ·
Is there something in this phrase τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ, or in the phrasing of thr passage as a whole, that makes it clear what the αὐτοῦ is referring to? My best guess is that the ἀπέστειλεν has an inherent sense of "for him", as well as the idea of sending. The sending is for a purpose (λαβεῖν), and the implied sense of "for him" carries throughout the phrase, leaving the αὐτοῦ of the τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ to refer to the vineyard, rather than the subject of ἀπέστειλεν as the αὐτοῦ of ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ does.

Are there other ways of looking at it?
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George F Somsel
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Re: Mt.21:33,34 λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ - owner or vineyar

Post by George F Somsel » May 2nd, 2016, 2:04 am

Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε. Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης, ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν, καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνόν, καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον, καὶ ἐξέδοτο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. Ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν, ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς γεωργούς, λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ·
.
I don't see any possibility here other than to have αὐτός reference either the householder or the vineyard itself since they are the only two singular items in the parable. Both οἰκοδεσπότης and ἀμπελών are masculine so that doesn't help to decide, but since the closer of the two references the householder I would choose him.
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mt.21:33,34 λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ - owner or vineyar

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 2nd, 2016, 5:20 am

George F Somsel wrote:
Ἄλλην παραβολὴν ἀκούσατε. Ἄνθρωπός τις ἦν οἰκοδεσπότης, ὅστις ἐφύτευσεν ἀμπελῶνα, καὶ φραγμὸν αὐτῷ περιέθηκεν, καὶ ὤρυξεν ἐν αὐτῷ ληνόν, καὶ ᾠκοδόμησεν πύργον, καὶ ἐξέδοτο αὐτὸν γεωργοῖς, καὶ ἀπεδήμησεν. Ὅτε δὲ ἤγγισεν ὁ καιρὸς τῶν καρπῶν, ἀπέστειλεν τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς γεωργούς, λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ·
.
I don't see any possibility here other than to have αὐτός reference either the householder or the vineyard itself since they are the only two singular items in the parable. Both οἰκοδεσπότης and ἀμπελών are masculine so that doesn't help to decide, but since the closer of the two references the householder I would choose him.
That was my thinking too initially. A rule of thumb is always a good starting point.

If the reference is to the vineyard, then the accusative τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ, is more logically a genitive. That is because not all of the produce goes to the landlord, just a part of it. If as it is here, the accusative makes sense if the αὐτοῦ is talking about the landlord, and only the share of the produce that he is entitled to receive is being specified. If it is an accusative standing for a genitive because the verb λαβεῖν usually takes an accusative, here in the sense that would normally be understood, that of a part of the produce, then the αὐτοῦ could be the vineyard - the theme throughout the parable. The immediately previous referent for the underlined αὐτὸν, is πύργον, but we assume that not only the tower was leased out, but the whole ἀμπελῶνα. The rule of thumb is not followed in that first case, and perhaps not in the second either.

Is an accusative that looks like it should be a partitive genitive used elsewhere? If that is common that it is more readily a reference to the vineyard.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
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Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mt.21:33,34 λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ - owner or vineyar

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 2nd, 2016, 8:57 pm

Luke 12:17 wrote:καὶ διελογίζετο ἐν ἑαυτῷ λέγων, Τί ποιήσω, ὅτι οὐκ ἔχω ποῦ συνάξω τοὺς καρπούς μου;
In this question in Lake 12:17, the meaning of τοὺς καρπούς μου exemplifies a difference in the meaning of a similar phrase. The man speaking owns all the produce already, and the accusative here in Lake 12:17 is referring to all of the produce.


In the phrase under discussion from Matthew 21:34, whichever way the αὐτοῦ is taken, the accusative in λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ represents only part of the total produce - either (i) "to get part of the total produce of the vineyard" (αὐτοῦ = vineyard), or (ii) "to get that part of the produce of the vineyard that was due to their master" (αὐτοῦ = their master). Therefore, in the first case the second overall theme of the passage, the vineyard, comes to the foreground, and the master, the first overall theme of the passage, who is sending is supplying the background -the person for whose advantage they have been sent, while in the second case, the owner is in the foreground, and the secondary theme of the passage supplies the context of the meaning of what the fruit that they got was a part of. Either way, the τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ means only part of the produce.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

Stephen Hughes
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Re: Mt.21:33,34 λαβεῖν τοὺς καρποὺς αὐτοῦ - owner or vineyar

Post by Stephen Hughes » May 8th, 2016, 10:53 pm

A place where there is a similar usage to Matthew 21:34 with λαμβάνειν + an accusative of what belongs or should be given to somebody is
Matthew 15:26 wrote: Ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν, Οὐκ ἔστιν καλὸν λαβεῖν τὸν ἄρτον τῶν τέκνων, καὶ βαλεῖν τοῖς κυναρίοις.


In the synoptic parallels to Matthew 21:34,
Mark 12:2 wrote:Καὶ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς τῷ καιρῷ δοῦλον, ἵνα παρὰ τῶν γεωργῶν λάβῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος.
Luke 21:10 wrote:καὶ ἐν καιρῷ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς τοὺς γεωργοὺς δοῦλον, ἵνα ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος δῶσιν αὐτῷ· οἱ δὲ γεωργοὶ δείραντες αὐτὸν ἐξαπέστειλαν κενόν.
The partative genitive with ἀπὸ is used of the produce, and instead of the αὐτοῦ that is to be found in Matthew 21:34, those two Evangelists make clear the referent, by using τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος. If supposing or hypothesis ingredients is thinking outside the box to better understand what is in the box, then it is worthwhile to ask, "What if the ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ τοῦ ἀμπελῶνος had been ἀπὸ τοῦ καρποῦ αὐτοῦ?". The ἀπό is still ἀπό, because they were sent to remove some of the produce from the context of the vineyard and take it for sale or for their master's use.

With the corresponding (complementarily antonymous) verb δίδωμι Matthew 25:8 is used in a context of a request, which could be trying to formally a contrast between their situation and that of the others:
Αἱ δὲ μωραὶ ταῖς φρονίμοις εἶπον, Δότε ἡμῖν ἐκ τοῦ ἐλαίου ὑμῶν, ὅτι αἱ λαμπάδες ἡμῶν σβέννυνται.
Perhaps something like, "C'mon, you're not going to miss it. Just a little.". It seems that the imprudent young women are portrayed as using some form of exageration to get their point across. The prudent young women reply by expressing a fear, which may be a more realistic evaluation of the situation, which is that they will need more than the little bit of their oil ἐκ τοῦ ἐλαίου ὑμῶν that will be needed to keep the lamps from going out.
Luke 15:16 wrote:Καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι· καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ [γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν κερατίων ...].
In terms of the partitive genitive in Luke and Mark then, there may be an intended pathos, contrasting (the seriousness of) the killing with the (small or expected) amount of the produce that were going to give. If somebody had come and demanded the food out of their children's mouths, then maltreating the servants might not seem so pointless or tragic. In Matthew it is probably a contrast between rightful or legal (contractual) amount of the fruit due to the owner, and the mistreatment.

In case anyone is wondering, the prodigal son uses the more formal language (of a system of calculating - either legal or economic):
Luke 15:12 wrote:καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί, Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας. Καὶ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον.
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Γελᾷ δ' ὁ μωρός, κἄν τι μὴ γέλοιον ᾖ
(Menander, Γνῶμαι μονόστιχοι 108)

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