The Parable of the Sower

13 On that day Jesus went out of the house and[a] was sitting by the sea.[b] And large crowds gathered close around him, so that he got into a boat to sit down, and all the crowd was standing on the shore. And he spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow, and while he was sowing, some seed[c] fell on the side of the path, and the birds came and[d] devoured it. And other seed fell on the rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up at once because it did not have any depth of soil. But when[e] the sun rose it was scorched, and because it did not have enough root, it withered. And other seed fell among the thorn plants, and the thorn plants came up and choked it. But other seed fell on the good soil and produced grain,[f] this one a hundred times as much and this one sixty and this one thirty. The one who has ears, let him hear!”

The Reason for the Parables

10 And the disciples came up and[g] said to him, “Why[h] do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered and[i] said to them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to those people it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have an abundance. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand, 14 and with reference to them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says,

You will listen carefully[j] and will never understand,
    and you will look closely[k] and will never perceive.
15 For the heart of this people has become dull,
    and with their ears they hear with difficulty,
    and they have shut their eyes,
so that they would not see with their eyes
    and hear with their ears
    and understand with their heart
    and turn, and I would heal them.”[l]

16 But your eyes are blessed because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it,[m] and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it![n]

The Parable of the Sower Interpreted

18 “You, therefore, listen to the parable of the sower: 19 When[o] anyone hears the word about the kingdom and does not understand it,[p] the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown on the side of the path. 20 And what was sown on the rocky ground—this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 But he does not have a root in himself, but lasts only a little while,[q] and when[r] affliction or persecution happens because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 And what was sown into the thorn plants—this is the one who hears the word, and the anxiety of this world[s] and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word and it becomes unproductive. 23 But what was sown on the good soil—this is the one who hears the word and understands it,[t] who indeed bears fruit and produces, this one a hundred times as much, and this one sixty, and this one thirty.”

The Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat

24 He put before them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his[u] people were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed darnel[v] in the midst of the wheat and went away. 26 So when the wheat[w] sprouted and yielded grain, then the darnel appeared also. 27 So the slaves of the master of the house came and[x] said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have darnel?’ 28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ So the slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and[y] gather them?’ 29 But he said, “No, lest when you[z] gather the darnel you uproot the wheat together with it. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the season of the harvest I will tell the reapers, “First gather the darnel and tie it into bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my storehouse.”’”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

31 He put before them another parable, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man took and[aa] sowed in his field. 32 It[ab] is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it is grown it is larger than the garden herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the sky come and nest in its branches.”

The Parable of the Yeast

33 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and[ac] put into three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.”

Parables Fulfill Prophecy

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowds in parables, and he was saying nothing to them without a parable, 35 in order that what was spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, who said,

“I will open my mouth in parables;
    I will proclaim what has been hidden since the creation.”[ad][ae]

The Parable of the Weeds Interpreted

36 Then he left the crowds and[af] came into the house, and his disciples came to him saying, “Explain the parable of the darnel in the field to us.” 37 So he answered and[ag] said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world. And the good seed—these are the sons of the kingdom, but the darnel are the sons of the evil one. 39 And the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Thus just as the darnel is gathered and burned[ah] with fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels and they will gather out of his kingdom all the causes of sin and those who do lawless deeds, 42 and throw them into the fiery furnace.[ai] In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth! 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.[aj] The one who has ears, let him hear!

The Parable of the Treasure Hidden in a Field

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, that a man found and[ak] concealed, and in his joy he goes and sells everything that he has and buys that field.

The Parable of the Valuable Pearl

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. 46 And when he[al] found one very valuable pearl, he went and[am] sold everything that he possessed and purchased it.

The Parable of the Dragnet

47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish[an] of every kind, 48 which when it was filled they pulled to shore and sat down and[ao] collected the good fish[ap] into containers, but the bad they threw out. 49 Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the evil from among the righteous 50 and throw them into the fiery furnace.[aq] In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!

51 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.” 52 And he said to them, “For this reason every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like the master of the house who brings out of his storeroom new things and old things.”

Rejected at Nazareth

53 And it happened that when Jesus had finished these parables he went away from there. 54 And he came to his hometown and[ar] began to teach[as] them in their synagogue, so that they were amazed and said, “From where did this man get this wisdom and these miracles? 55 Is not this one the son of the carpenter? Is not his mother called Mary and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? From where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they were offended by him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not perform many miracles in that place because of their unbelief.

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 13:1 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“went out”) has been translated as a finite verb
  2. Matthew 13:1 That is, the Sea of Galilee
  3. Matthew 13:4 Literally “some of which”
  4. Matthew 13:4 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“came”) has been translated as a finite verb
  5. Matthew 13:6 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal genitive absolute participle (“rose”)
  6. Matthew 13:8 Literally “fruit,” describing here the grain harvested from the healthy plants; in contemporary English this would more naturally be expressed by terms like “grain” or “crop”
  7. Matthew 13:10 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“came up”) has been translated as a finite verb
  8. Matthew 13:10 Literally “because of what”
  9. Matthew 13:11 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“answered”) has been translated as a finite verb
  10. Matthew 13:14 Literally “with hearing you will hear”
  11. Matthew 13:14 Literally “seeing you will see”
  12. Matthew 13:15 A quotation from Isa 6:9–10
  13. Matthew 13:17 *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  14. Matthew 13:17 *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  15. Matthew 13:19 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal genitive absolute participle (“hears”)
  16. Matthew 13:19 *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  17. Matthew 13:21 Literally “is temporary”
  18. Matthew 13:21 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal genitive absolute participle (“happens”)
  19. Matthew 13:22 Some manuscripts have “of the world”
  20. Matthew 13:23 *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  21. Matthew 13:25 Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun
  22. Matthew 13:25 A weed that looks similar to wheat but has poisonous seeds
  23. Matthew 13:26 Literally “grass,” “hay,” but in this context referring to the good plants as opposed to the weeds
  24. Matthew 13:27 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“came”) has been translated as a finite verb
  25. Matthew 13:28 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“go”) has been translated as an English infinitive
  26. Matthew 13:29 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“gather”) which is understood as temporal
  27. Matthew 13:31 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“took”) has been translated as a finite verb
  28. Matthew 13:32 Literally “which,” but a new sentence is started here in the English translation
  29. Matthew 13:33 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“took”) has been translated as a finite verb
  30. Matthew 13:35 A quotation from Ps 78:2
  31. Matthew 13:35 Some manuscripts have “since the creation of the world”
  32. Matthew 13:36 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“left”) has been translated as a finite verb
  33. Matthew 13:37 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“answered”) has been translated as a finite verb
  34. Matthew 13:40 Some manuscripts have “burned up”
  35. Matthew 13:42 An allusion to Dan 3:6
  36. Matthew 13:43 An allusion to Dan 12:3
  37. Matthew 13:44 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“found”) has been translated as a finite verb
  38. Matthew 13:46 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“found”) which is understood as temporal
  39. Matthew 13:46 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“went”) has been translated as a finite verb
  40. Matthew 13:47 Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  41. Matthew 13:48 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“sat down”) has been translated as a finite verb
  42. Matthew 13:48 Here the word “fish” is not in the Greek text but is implied
  43. Matthew 13:50 An allusion to Dan 3:6
  44. Matthew 13:54 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“came”) has been translated as a finite verb
  45. Matthew 13:54 The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here (“began to teach”)

The Parable of the Sower(A)(B)(C)

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house(D) and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat(E) and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred,(F) sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”(G)

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven(H) has been given to you,(I) but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.(J) 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.(K)

14 In them is fulfilled(L) the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
    you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
    they hardly hear with their ears,
    and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
    hear with their ears,
    understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[a](M)

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.(N) 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see(O) but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom(P) and does not understand it, the evil one(Q) comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.(R) 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth(S) choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”(T)

The Parable of the Weeds

24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like(U) a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”(V)

The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast(W)(X)

31 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like(Y) a mustard seed,(Z) which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”(AA)

33 He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like(AB) yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds[b] of flour(AC) until it worked all through the dough.”(AD)

34 Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable.(AE) 35 So was fulfilled(AF) what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,
    I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”[c](AG)

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable(AH) of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.(AI) 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,(AJ) 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest(AK) is the end of the age,(AL) and the harvesters are angels.(AM)

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man(AN) will send out his angels,(AO) and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(AP) 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun(AQ) in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.(AR)

The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl

44 “The kingdom of heaven is like(AS) treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.(AT)

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like(AU) a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

The Parable of the Net

47 “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like(AV) a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds(AW) of fish. 48 When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous(AX) 50 and throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.(AY)

51 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

A Prophet Without Honor(AZ)

53 When Jesus had finished these parables,(BA) he moved on from there. 54 Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue,(BB) and they were amazed.(BC) “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?(BD) Isn’t his mother’s(BE) name Mary, and aren’t his brothers(BF) James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense(BG) at him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own home.”(BH)

58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 13:15 Isaiah 6:9,10 (see Septuagint)
  2. Matthew 13:33 Or about 27 kilograms
  3. Matthew 13:35 Psalm 78:2

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