(euphoreō; “produced abundantly”) as designating that it was already harvest time before the farmer recognized his extraordinary crop.
- The most obvious comparative text for this parable is the version found in Gospel of Thomas 63 (although the stories have significant differences). The Lukan story seems to focus on the use of one’s possessions, whereas the Thomas version functions more as an admonition against greed.
- Some scholars point to biblical comparative texts that stress that hard work and diligence lead to wealth (Prov 10:4, 22) and that God rewards those efforts with wealth and possessions (Eccl 5:19). Yet, even texts that have a positive view about gaining wealth can warn those who do so to be careful: “One becomes rich through diligence and self-denial, and the reward allotted to him is this: when he says, ‘I have found rest, and now I shall feast on my goods!’ he does not know how long it will be until he leaves them to others and dies” (Sir 11:18-19; cf. 5:1, 3).
- Other comparative texts, though, chastise the wicked as being always at ease and increasing in riches (Ps 73:12). Some comparative texts assume that the wealthy will become increasingly wicked while bemoaning the plight of the poor: “Keeping watch over riches wastes the flesh . . . . The poor man toils for a meager subsistence, and if ever he rests, he finds himself in want” (Sir 31:1-5). Still other texts condemn those who become wealthy through “unjust means,” who “have grown rich with accumulated goods,” and whose “granaries are (brim) full as with water”; such riches, we are told, “shall not endure” (1 Enoch 97:8-10).
- Hedrick cites comparative texts about farming practices, for example, from Roman elites like Cato, Varro, and Cicero (who praises the “provident and industrious” farmer who always has storerooms and cellars filled with abundant provisions). Roman farming manuals contain admonitions that storage facilities should be used so that the farmer can wait until a more propitious time to sell his crops. Cato, for one, advises that a farmer should “have a well-built barn and storage room and plenty of vats for oil and wine, so that he may hold his products for good prices; it will redound to his wealth, his self-respect, and his reputation” (On Agriculture 3.2).
- Proverbs 11:26, on the other hand, says that “people curse those who hold back grain.”