13:1 On that day went Jesus out of the house1, and sat by the sea side2. THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Beside the Sea of Galilee.) A. INTRODUCTION Matthew 13:1-3; Mark 4:1,2; Luke 8:4
On that day went Jesus out of the house. It is possible that
Matthew here refers to the house mentioned at Mark
3:19. If so, the events in Sections 48-51 all occurred on the same day.
There are several indications in the gospel narratives that this is so.
And sat by the sea side. By the Sea of Galilee.
13:2 And there were gathered unto him great
multitudes, so that he entered into a boat, and sat1;
and all the multitude stood on the beach.
He entered into a boat, and sat. See Mark
13:3 And he spake
to them many things in parables1, saying, Behold,
the sower went forth to sow2;
And he spake to them many things in parables. See Mark
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Beside the Sea of Galilee.) B.
PARABLE OF THE SOWER. Matthew
Behold, the sower went forth to sow. See Mark
13:4 and as he
sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side1, and the birds
came and devoured them:
And as he sowed, some [seeds] fell by the way side. See Mark
13:5 and others
fell upon the rocky places1, where they had not much
earth: and straightway they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And others fell upon the rocky places. See Mark
13:7 And others
fell upon the thorns1; and the thorns grew up and choked
And others fell upon the thorns. See Mark
13:8 and others
fell upon the good ground1, and yielded fruit, some a
hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
And others fell upon the good ground, etc. See Mark
13:9 He that hath
ears, let him hear1.
He that hath ears, let him hear. See Mark
13:10 And the disciples came, and said
unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables1?
Why speakest thou unto them in parables? See Mark
13:11 And he answered and said unto them, Unto
you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven1,
but to them it is not given.
Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven,
etc. See Mark
whosoever hath, to him shall be given1, and he shall have
abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, etc. See Mark
13:13 Therefore speak I to them in
parables; because seeing they see not1,
and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Because seeing they see not, etc. See Mark
4:12. The language here is an elaboration of the thoughts contained in Matthew
13:14 And unto
them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah1, which saith, By
hearing ye shall hear2, and shall in no wise understand;
And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:
Unto them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. See Isaiah
6:9,10. In the original passage which Matthew quotes, Isaiah is
apparently commanded to harden the hearts of the people. If read
superficially, it might seem that God desired to harden their hearts. The
true meaning is that God commanded Isaiah to teach, even though the people,
by hardening themselves against his teaching, should be made worse rather
than better by it. Thus, though rebellious, Israel might not be blessed by
Isaiah's teaching; they might, by their examples, waken a wholesome fear in
their posterity, and cause it to avoid like a sin.
By hearing ye shall hear, etc. See Mark
13:15 For this
people's heart is waxed gross1, And their ears are dull of
hearing, And their eyes they have closed; Lest haply they should perceive with
their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart, And
should turn again, And I should heal them.
For this people's heart is waxed gross, etc. See Isaiah
13:16 But blessed
are your eyes, for they see1; and your ears, for they
But blessed are your eyes, for they see, etc. Jesus here addresses
his disciples, who were a cheering contrast to the unbelievers.
13:17 For verily I say unto you, that many
prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which ye see1,
and saw them not; and to hear the things which ye hear, and heard them not.
Many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which ye see,
etc. Our Lord here gives us a glance into the very hearts of the prophets,
and reveals to us their desire to be witnesses of Messiah's ministry. But
knowing they were not to see their visions realized, they contented
themselves with trying to understand the full meaning of their visions, that
they might anticipate the days which were to come (1 Peter
13:19 When any one heareth the word of the
kingdom, and understandeth it not, [then] cometh the evil [one], and snatcheth
away that which hath been sown in his heart. This is he
that was sown by the way side1.
This is he that was sown by the way side. See Mark
13:20 And he that
was sown upon the rocky places1, this is he that heareth
the word, and straightway with joy receiveth it;
And he that was sown upon the rocky places, etc. See Mark
13:22 And he that
was sown among the thorns1, this is he that heareth the
word; and the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the
word, and he becometh unfruitful.
And he that was sown among the thorns, etc. See Mark
13:23 And he that
was sown upon the good ground1, this is he that heareth
the word, and understandeth it; who verily beareth fruit, and bringeth forth,
some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
And he that was sown upon the good ground, etc. See Mark
13:24 Another parable set he before them,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man that sowed good seed in his
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Beside the Sea of Galilee.) D. THE PARABLE
OF THE TARES. Matthew
13:25 but while
men slept1, his enemy came and
sowed tares also2 among the
wheat, and went away3.
But while men slept. While they innocently rested, not while they
His enemy came and sowed tares also. Darnel, which closely
resembles our cheat, that is the common chess or bromegrass ("Bromus
secalinus"), widely distributed as a weed.
Among the wheat, and went away. Though not common, there have been
instances of such malignant mischief as is here indicated.
13:26 But when the blade sprang up and
brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also1.
Then appeared the tares also. The difference between darnel and
wheat does not become apparent until the two kinds of grain are nearly ripe.
13:29 But he saith, Nay;
lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with them1.
Nay; lest haply while ye gather up the tares, ye root up the wheat with
them. The roots of wheat and darnel so intertwine that they cannot be
separated without pulling up both. Jesus' explanation of this parable will
be found in subdivision F. See Matthew
13:31 Another parable set he before them,
saying, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of
mustard seed1, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Beside the Sea of Galilee.) PARABLES OF
THE MUSTARD SEED AND LEAVEN. Matthew
Like unto a grain of mustard seed. See Matthew
indeed is less than all seeds1; but
when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs2, and
becometh a tree, so that the birds of the heaven come and lodge in the branches
Which indeed is less than all seeds. See Mark
But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs. See Mark
13:33 Another parable spake he unto them; The
kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven1, which
a woman took2, and hid in three
measures of meal3, till it was
The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven. In Oriental
housekeeping, yeast is not preserved in a separate form. A piece of leavened
dough saved over from the last baking is added to the new dough to ferment
Which a woman took. A woman is named because baking was part of her
And hid in three measures of meal. Three measures contained the
quantity usually taken for one baking.
Till it was all leavened. Leaven represents the quickness,
quietness, thoroughness, and sureness with which gospel truth diffuses
itself through human society.
13:34 All these
things spake Jesus in parables unto the multitudes1; and
without a parable spake he nothing unto them2:
All these things spake Jesus in parables unto the multitudes. See Mark
And without a parable spake he nothing unto them. See Mark
13:35 that it
might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet1,
saying, I will open my mouth in parables2;
I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world.
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet. At
78:2 which is usually attributed to Asaph, who is called a seer (2 Chronicles
I will open my mouth in parables, etc. Jesus fulfilled this
prophecy in a notable manner, being the only teacher in history
distinguished in any marked degree by the use of parables.
13:36 Then he left the multitudes, and
went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Explain
unto us the parable of the tares of the field2.
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Beside the Sea of Galilee.) F. THE PARABLE
OF THE TARES EXPLAINED. Matthew
Then he . . . went into the house. Probably Simon Peter's house.
Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field. This parable
and its explanation are sometimes urged as an argument against church
discipline, but such a use of them is clearly erroneous. The field is not
the church, but the world, and the teaching of the parable is that we are
not to attempt to exterminate evil men. Any who attempt to exterminate
heretics in the name of Christ by physical force are condemned by this
13:43 Then shall the righteous shine forth
as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He that hath
ears, let him hear1.
He that hath ears, let him hear. See Mark
13:44 The kingdom
of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field1;
which a man found, and hid; and in his joy he goeth and selleth all that he
hath, and buyeth that field.
THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES. (Beside the Sea of Galilee.) G. PARABLES OF
TREASURE, PEARL, AND NET. Matthew
The three parables in this section appear to have been addressed privately
to the disciples.
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in the field.
In the absence of banks and other trust repositories, the men of that day
hid their treasures as best they could. The sudden death of the hider often
resulted in the loss of all knowledge as to the whereabouts of the treasure.
The parable speaks of such a treasure.
Which a man found, and hid; . . . and buyeth that field.
Technically it belonged to the owner of the field, but practically it
belonged to him who found it. Hence the finder conceals it again until he
had made perfect his title to it by the purchase of the field. The gist of
the parable does not require us to pass upon the conduct of the finder,
which was certainly questionable.
13:45 Again, the
kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant seeking goodly pearls1:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a merchant
seeking goodly pearls. In the preceding parable the treasure was found
by accident; in this, the pearl was sought. Some find without seeking, as
did the Samaritan woman (John
4:28,29); some only after diligent search, as did the eunuch (Acts
13:47 Again, the
kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea1,
and gathered of every kind2:
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the
sea. Like the parable of the tares (Matthew
13:24-30), this one indicates the continuance of the mixture of bad and
good, and points to the final separation.
And gathered of every kind. The contents of a net cannot be sorted
while it is being drawn. The tares indicate such evils as can be seen and as
tempt us to uproot them. The net shows that in the dark and turbulent
waters, and in the hurry-scurry of its teeming life, there are things which
cannot be seen.
13:48 which, when it was filled, they drew
up on the beach; and they sat down, and gathered the
good into vessels, but the bad they cast away1.
They sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but the bad they
cast away. The judgment shall be with care, as when men, in the broad
light of day, on the quiet beach, sit down to sort the fish. If the parable
of the tares emphasizes the waiting, the parable of the net emphasizes the
13:52 And he said unto them, Therefore
every scribe who hath been made a disciple1 to the kingdom
of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of
his treasure things new and old.
Therefore every scribe who hath been made a disciple, etc. As a
householder graces his banquet with things already in the house, and with
other things which have just been provided, so a religious teacher must
refresh his hearers out of both his past and his present experiences and
13:53 And it came to pass, when Jesus had
finished these parables, he departed thence1.
He departed thence. He went from the house to the sea in the
afternoon, and entering a boat a little later, he stilled the storm.
13:54 And coming
into his own country he1 taught them in their synagogue,
insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence
hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works3?
JESUS VISITS NAZARETH AND IS REJECTED. Matthew
And coming into his own country he. Nazareth. As to this city, see
notes at Luke
He taught them in their synagogue. For comment on this usage of the
synagogue, see Mark
Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? See Mark
13:55 Is not this
the carpenter's son1? is not his mother called Mary? and
his brethren, James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas?
Is not this the carpenter's son? etc. See Mark
13:57 And they
were offended in him1. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet
is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house.
And they were offended in him. See Mark
A prophet is not without honour, etc. See Mark