I am assuming that the following three paragraphs constitute a dialog
you were conducting with someone else. I would like to add some
comments, if I am.
Paul Miller wrote:
> > In 21 the removing of clothes is associated with the return of owners of
> a field that the children have been living in. The children remove their
> clothing in front of the owners as part of the process of returning control
> of the field to the owners.
> As for #21, I'm not sure what the "field" represents, or who "the owners"
> are. Do you have any intuitions here?-----------
> Field = World , Owners = Lords , with lords being similar to absent
> vineyard owner or absent master of a house or absent nobleman in distant
> country, all in the synoptics and due to return and take possession from
> caretakers of sorts.
I'd like to start with a portion of the original saying.
Mary said to Jesus, "Whom are your disciples like?"
He said, "They are like little children living in a field that is not
theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, 'Give our
field back to us.' The children will take off their clothes in the
presence of the owners, and thus give the field back and return it to
I have proposed elsewhere that the field may have been of hemp, which if
memory serves me, was a fairly common crop in the middle east. Hemp has
a number of uses, rope and textiles among them. Should the field have
been of hemp, the children would have harvested the crop when it came
season, whether the owners were there or not.
"... Let there be among you a person who understands. When the crop
ripened, a reaper came quickly with sickle in hand and harvested it.
Whosoever has ears to hear ought to listen."
So perhaps the children harvested the hemp and made from it cloth, which
they clothed themselves with. When the owners returned the children
removed the clothes from their bodies, thereby returning the field to
There is another aspect of this as well:
... "For this reason I say: if the owner of a house knows when a thief
is coming, the owner will be on guard before the thief arrives, and will
not let the thief break into the house of the estate and steal the
Here since the children are wearing the clothes, the thieves would not
be likely to steal them.
This can be compared to saying 65, where the workers are in a vineyard
and not a hemp field. Note that drunkenness is a reoccurring theme in
Compare also with saying 57, where weeds have been sown with the wheat.
Later the weeds will be burnt. If we associate hemp with weed this
takes on an added layer of meaning. The workers are given the
impression that the weeds are without value.
In saying 35 we have the hands of the owner being bound with rope,
another product of hemp. If the hemp is what is of true value than the
thieves have been foiled again.
eGroup home: http://www.eGroups.com/list/gthomas
Free Web-based e-mail groups by eGroups.com