The term husbandman means “farmer” or “worker of the soil.” Husbandry is an agricultural term related to the production of crops or livestock. And to husband is to manage something well, showing prudence and economic sense. The word husbandman is not often used anymore.
In the New Testament, the word husbandman is a translation of the Greek word georgos, as in 2 Timothy 2:6 and James 5: 7. In the Old Testament, the word husbandman comes from the Hebrew word adamah, which simply means “land” or “of the earth.” This is the same Hebrew word from which we get Adam, the name of the first man, whom God placed in Eden “to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15; cf. 5:2). In Genesis 9:20, Noah is called a husbandman when he plants a vineyard.
The word husbandman is found primarily in the King James Version of the Bible. Other versions use the word gardener, vine-dresser, or farmer, instead (see Jeremiah 51:3; Amos 5:16; Zechariah 13:5). In Genesis 4:2, Cain is called a husbandman because he raised crops. Later, in Genesis 25:27, Esau is also called a husbandman because he loved the outdoors, as opposed to Jacob, who worked indoors.
Jesus compared God to a husbandman in John 15:1–2: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit” (KJV). A good husbandman works the earth, cultivates his plants, and naturally expects them to produce fruit commensurate with the amount of effort he has invested in them. Our heavenly Father, the divine Husbandman, seeks to produce fruit through us as we abide in Christ.
Just as God is a good husbandman, bringing forth fruitfulness in our lives, so should we be good husbandmen with the resources He has entrusted to us.