Let's look at the background for these two readings.

 Friday, 2/27/16

Up until the Israelites became captives in Babylon after 587 B.C., they had no acquaintance with written records. Each tribe had storytellers who passed their legends on through families of story tellers. They were trained to chant the old tales. Then,  on discovering the way the Babylonians had kept a written record of their history and myths, The Israelites sat their story tellers down to slowly chant their legends to men who scratched the cuneiform wording on clay tablets.

With each of the tribes having its own storytellers, sometimes there were differences in the way different tribes remembered ancient events. This story about how Joseph was taken away is told in Chapter 37 of Genesis. If you look closely at the Bible account, you will see how verse 21 says it was Reuben who tried to save Joseph, while verse 26 says it was Judah who tried protecting him.

As for the Gospel, while it seems that the tenants had no excuse for being so mean and grabby, they did have some law on their side. Jewish Law did not permit those who planted a vineyard to market the grapes for the first five years. The Law as well, forbade planting two different crops on the same plot. However, it did allow for planting produce between the vines for those five years before their first vintage. There often were disputes between owners and tenants as to who gained the profit for selling such between-the=vines produce.

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