Matthew 13
Meyer's NT Commentary

Matthew 13:1. The omission of δέ (Lachm. Tisch. 8) is supported by B א, three Curss. It. Arm. Aeth. Or. But the apparently superfluous δέ might very easily be left out, coming as it does before τῇ.

ἀπὸ τ. οἰκ.] Lachm. Tisch. 8 : ἐκ τ. οἰκ., after Z א, 33, Or. Chrys. Weakly attested. Yet B, Or. (once) omit the preposition altogether.

Matthew 13:2. τὸ πλοῖον] Lachm.: πλοῖον (B C L Z א). But see on Matthew 8:23.

Matthew 13:4. ἦλθε] Lachm.: ἦλθον, after D L Z, Curss. Since κατέφαγεν below necessarily presupposes the singular, this reading must be regarded as merely an error on the part of the transcriber, which was amended in B, Curss. by substituting ἐλθόντα and omitting the following καί (so Tisch. 7). Otherwise, Fritzsche, de conform. N. T. crit. Lachm. p. 52 f.

Matthew 13:7. Instead of ἀπέπνιξαν, with Tisch. 8, read ἔπνιξαν, after D א, Curss. The reading of the Received text is from Luke.

Matthew 13:9. ἀκούειν] is, with Tisch., to be deleted, in accordance with B L א* Codd. It. See on Matthew 11:15.

Matthew 13:14. αὐτοῖς] Elz.: ἐπʼ αὐτοῖς, against decisive testimony. An interpretation.

Matthew 13:15. συνῶσι] So Elz. 1624, 1633, 1641, Griesb. Matth. Lachm. Tisch., according to decisive testimony. Scholz: συνιῶσι.

ἰάσωμαι] Lachm. Tisch.: ἰάσομαι, after testimony of so decisive a character that it cannot have been derived from the LXX., while the subjunctive mood may have been adopted for sake of conformity with the preceding verbs. Comp. on John 12:40.

Matthew 13:16. After ὦτα Lachm. deletes the superfluous ὑμῶν, only according to B, Curss. Codd. It. Hil.; and for ἀκούει, he and Tisch. read ἀκούουσιν, after B C M X א and Curss. Or. Eus. Cyr. Chrys. The latter is a mechanical conformation to the previous verb.

Matthew 13:17. γάρ] is deleted by Tisch. 8, only after X א, Curss. It. Arm. Aeth. Hil.

Matthew 13:18. For σπείροντος Lachm. Tisch. 8 read σπείραντος, after B X א* Curss. Syr. p. Chrys. Correctly; the σπείρων of Matthew 13:3 would still be lingering in the minds of the transcribers. Therefore, in deference to still stronger testimony, should σπείραντι be adopted in Matthew 13:24, with Lachm. and Tisch. 8.

Matthew 13:22. τούτου] omitted after αἰῶνος in B D א* Arm. Cant. Verc. Germ. 1, Corb. 2, Clar. Deleted by Lachm. and Tisch. Explanatory addition.

Matthew 13:23. The form συνιείς (Lachm. Tisch., after B D א, 238, Or.) instead of συνιών has been adopted in consequence of Matthew 13:19.

Matthew 13:25. ἔσπειρε] Lachm. and Tisch.: ἐπέσπειρεν, after B א ** (* has ἐπέσπαρκεν) and Curss. Arm. It. Vulg. Clem. Or. and several Fathers. Correctly; how easily might the preposition be dropped through carelessness in transcribing! More easily than that the ἐπέσπειρεν, which occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, should have been inserted as a gloss.

Matthew 13:27. The article, which in Elz. is placed before ζιζάνια, is deleted by Griesb. and the later critics, according to decisive testimony. So also with regard to τῷ before καιρῷ in Matthew 13:30, where Fritzsche wrongly maintains τῷ to be necessary.

Matthew 13:30. εἰς δέσμας] D L X Δ, Curss. Or. Chrys. Codd. I. have merely δέσμας, some with and others without αὐτά. Tisch. 7 has deleted εἰς (comp. Rinck), and that correctly; an explanatory addition.

Matthew 13:32. The form κατασκηνοῖν (Lachm. Tisch.) is only found in B* D; in the case of Mark 4:32, only in B*.

Matthew 13:34. οὐκ] Lachm. Tisch.: οὐδέν, after B C M Δ א* Curss. Syr. p. Arm. Clem. Or. Chrys., should be adopted on the strength of this testimony, and because οὐκ is found in Mark, and is by way of toning down the expression.

Matthew 13:35. διά] א* 1, 13, 33, 124, 253 insert Ἠσαΐου, which is supported by Eus. Porphyr. and Jerom. A false gloss,[447] notwithstanding that it is adopted by Tisch. 8. Jerom. suggests Ἀσάφ.

κόσμου] deleted by Tisch. 8, after B א** 1, 22, several Codd. of the It. Syrcur or Clem. Eus. The omission was occasioned by the LXX., which has merely ἈΠʼ ἈΡΧῆς.

Matthew 13:36. Ὁ ʼΙΗΣΟῦς] and ΑὐΤΟῖς, Matthew 13:37, as well should be deleted as interpolations, according to B D א, Curss. Verss. and Or. Chrys.

Matthew 13:40. ΚΑΊΕΤΑΙ] Elz. Lachm. and Tisch. 8 : ΚΑΤΑΚΑΊΕΤΑΙ, after B D א. Taken from Matthew 13:30.

For ΑἸῶΝ. ΤΟΎΤΟΥ Lachm. and Tisch. have merely ΑἸῶΝΟς, after B D Γ א, Curss. Verss. Cyr. Ir. Hil. Correctly; ΤΟΎΤΟΥ is quite a common addition, as in Matthew 13:22.

Matthew 13:44. ΠΆΛΙΝ ὉΜΟΊΑ] B D א, Vulg. It. Syrcur Copt. Arm. Tisch. have merely ὉΜΟΊΑ; Lachm. has ΠΆΛΙΝ only in brackets. It would be more readily deleted than inserted, for at this point a new series of parables begins, and it would seem to be in its proper place in the passage that follows (Matthew 13:45; Matthew 13:47).

Matthew 13:46. For Ὃς ΕὙΡΏΝ, we should, with Griesb. Fritzsche, Scholz, Lachm. and Tisch., read ΕὙΡῺΝ ΔΈ, after B D L א, 1, 33, Cyr. Cypr. and Verss. To continue the discourse with the relative was in accordance with what precedes and what comes after, which accounts for the relative construction superseding the ΕὙΡῺΝ ΔΈ, which would seem to break the continuity. Matthew 13:48. Lachm. has ΑὐΤΉΝ after ἈΝΑΒΙΒ.; so also Tisch. 7. On too inadequate testimony. With Tisch. 8, and on sufficient testimony, read instead of ἈΓΓΕῖΑ the more uncommon term ἌΓΓΗ.

Matthew 13:51. ΛΈΓΕΙ ΑὐΤΟῖς Ὁ ἸΗΣΟῦς] before ΣΥΝΉΚ. is wanting in B D א, Copt. Aeth. Vulg. Sax. It. (not Brix. Clar. Germ. 2) Or. Deleted by Fritzsche, Lachm. and Tisch.; would be more readily inserted than omitted, although the discourse of Jesus is only continued. With Fritzsche, Lachm. Tisch., and on somewhat similar authority, we should delete the κύριε after ναί as being a common addition.

Matthew 13:52. τῇ βασιλείᾳ] Elz. Scholz: εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν, Lachm.: ἐν τῇ βασιλ. (D M 42, Vulg. It. Chrys. Ir. Hil. Ambr. Aug.). Both readings appear to be explanations of τῇ βασιλ., which latter is sufficiently confirmed by the testimony of B C K Π א, Curss. Syr. Ar. Aeth. Slav. Or. Ath. Cyr. Procop.

Matthew 13:55. Ἰωσῆς] without adequate testimony, B C א** 1, 33, Copt. Syr. p. (on the margin) Syrcur It. (exc. Cant.) Vulg. Sax. Or. (twice) Eus. Jer. have Ἰωσήφ.; D E F G M S U V X Γ א*? Curss. Cant. Or. (once) have Ἰωάννης. Accordingly, with Lachm. and Tisch., we ought to prefer Ἰωσήφ as having the largest amount of testimony in its favour. See, besides, Wieseler in the Stud. u. Krit. 1840, p. 677 ff.

[447] A clear idea of the age of this erroneous addition may be obtained from the fact that it was even found in a copy of Matthew made use of by the Clementine Homilies (see Uhlhorn, Homil. u. Recogn. d. Clem. p. 119), and also from the circumstance of Porphyry’s chuckling over the Ἠσαΐου as being an error on the part of the inspired evangelist. But the weight of critical testimony is very decidedly in favour of rejecting the reading Ἠσαΐου in Matthew as spurious (in answer to Credner, Beitr. I. p. 302 ff.; Schneckenburger, p. 136, and Bleek).

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
Matthew 13:1-52. Ἐν δὲ τῇ ἡμ. ἐκ.] fuller detail than in Mark 4:1, which evangelist, however, describes the situation with more precision, though he likewise introduces the parable of the sower immediately after the scene with the mother and brothers (otherwise in Luke 8), and indeed as one of the many (Luke 4:2; Luke 4:33) that were spoken at that time, and thereupon proceeds in Matthew 13:26 ff. to add another having reference to sowing, which is followed again by the parable of the mustard seed, which Luke does not introduce till Matthew 13:18 ff. along with that of the leaven. But seeing that Matthew lets it be distinctly understood (Matthew 13:36) that the four first parables (on to Matthew 13:34) were spoken in presence of the multitude, and the other three again within the circle of the disciples, there is the less reason for regarding the similarity of character which runs through the seven, as recorded by Matthew, in the light of an “overwhelming” with parables (Strauss), and the less need to ascribe some of them (Keim, comp. Schenkel), and especially those of the mustard seed and the leaven, to a different period, from their being supposed to be applicable (Weizsäcker) to a later order of things. Yet, when we consider that Jesus surveyed the future of his work with a prophetic eye, we need not be at a loss to see how a parabolic address might contemplate a later state of things just as fittingly as does the Sermon on the Mount, to which this series of parables stands in the same relation as the superstructure to the foundation of a building. Comp. Ewald, who holds, however, that originally the parables stood in a somewhat different order.

ἀπὸ τ. οἰκίας] is to be taken in connection with ἔξω, Matthew 12:46, and not to be regarded as referring to no house in particular (Hilgenfeld).

And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
Matthew 13:2. Τὸ πλοῖον] the boat standing by.

ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλόν] along the shore (comp. Matthew 14:19), as in Matthew 18:12. Winer, p. 380 [E. T. 508]; Nägelsbach, note on Hom. Il. ii. 308. The expression is suited to the idea of a gathering of people extending over a considerable space.

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
Matthew 13:3 f. Παραβολή (Arist. Rhet. ii. 20), מָשָׁל, the narrating of an incident which, though imaginary, still falls within the sphere of natural events, with the view of thereby illustrating some truth or other (ἵνα καὶ ἐμφατικώτερον τὸν λόγον ποιήσῃ, καὶ πλείονα τὴν μνήμην ἐνθῇ, καὶ ὑπʼ ὄψιν ἀγάγῃ τὰ πράγματα, Chrysostom). See Unger, de parabolar. Jesu natura, interpretatione, usu, 1828, who gives the following definition: collatio per narratiunculam fictam, sed veri similem,[448] serio illustrans rem sublimiorem.[449] The correct canon for the interpretation of the parables is already to be found in Chrysostom on Matthew 20:1 : ΟὐΔῈ ΧΡῊ ΠΆΝΤΑ ΤᾺ ἘΝ ΤΑῖς ΠΑΡΑΒΟΛΑῖς ΚΑΤᾺ ΛΈΞΙΝ ΠΕΡΙΕΡΓΆΖΕΣΘΑΙ, ἈΛΛᾺ ΤῸΝ ΣΚΌΠΟΝ ΜΑΘΌΝΤΕς, ΔΙʼ ὋΝ ΣΥΝΕΤΈΘΗ, ΤΟῦΤΟΝ ΔΡΈΠΕΣΘΑΙ ΚΑῚ ΜΗΔῈΝ ΠΟΛΥΠΡΑΓΜΟΝΕῖΝ ΠΕΡΑΙΤΈΡΩ.

] the sower, whom I have in view. Present participle, used as a substantive. See on Matthew 2:20. A similar parable is given in the Jerusalem Talmud Kilaim I. f. 27.

ΠΑΡᾺ Τ. ὉΔΌΝ] upon the road (which went round the edge of the field), so that it was not ploughed in or harrowed in along with the rest.

τὰ πετρώδη] the rocky parts, i.e. “saxum continuum sub terrae superficie tenui,” Bengel.

[448] To be distinguished from the fable, which, for example, may introduce animals, trees, and such like as speaking and acting. “Fabula est, in qua nec vera nec verisimiles res continentur,” Cic. invent. i. 19. So far as appears from the New Testament, Christ never made use of the fable; as little did the apostles; in the Old Testament, in Jdg 9:8 ff.

[449] Observe, moreover, that the New Testament παραβολή and מָשָׁל may mean something more comprehensive and less definite (including every description of figurative speech, Mark 3:23; Mark 4:30; Mark 7:17; Luke 4:23; Luke 5:36; Luke 6:39; Luke 14:7; Matthew 15:15; Matthew 24:32) than is implied in the above definition of the parable as a hermeneutical terminus technicus. Comp. the Johannean παροιμία (note on John 10:6). John does not use the word parable; but then he does not report any such among the sayings of Jesus, though he has a few allegories; as, for example, those of the vine and the good shepherd.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Matthew 13:6 f. Ἐκαυματ.] was scorched (Revelation 16:8 f.; Plut. Mor. p. 100 D, with reference to fever-heat).

διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν] Owing to the shallowness of the earth, the seed sent up shoots before the root was duly formed.

ἐπὶ τὰς ἀκάνθ.] upon the thorns (which were about to spring up there), and these grew up (ἀνέβησαν, Xen. Oec. xix. 18), shot up. Comp. Jeremiah 4:3; Theophrastus, c. pl. ii. 17. 3 : τὸ τῇ ἀκάνθῃ ἐπισπειρόμενον σπέρμα.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Matthew 13:8. Ἑκατὸν κ.τ.λ.] That grains are meant is self-evident, without our having to supply καρπούς. For the great fertility of the East, and especially of Galilee, consult Wetstein on this passage. Dougtius, Anal. II. p. 15 f.; Köster, Erläut. p. 171; Keim, II. p. 448. However, such points of detail (comp. as to ἑκατόν, Genesis 26:12) should not be pressed, serving as they do merely to enliven and fill out the picture.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:9-10. See on Matthew 11:15.

The parabolic discourse is resumed at Matthew 13:24, after Jesus has finished the private exposition of those already spoken, into which he was led in consequence of the question addressed to him by the disciples. The exposition was given in the boat, where it is sufficiently possible to conceive such a conversation to have taken place without the necessity of our regarding the whole situation as imaginary (Hilgenfeld), or without our having to suppose it “rather more probable” that the exposition took place after the whole series of parables was brought to a close (Keim).

Matthew 13:10. The question, which in Matthew is framed to suit the reply (Neander, Weiss, Holtzmann), appears in a different and certainly more original form (in answer to Keim) in Mark 4:10; Luke 8:9.

And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Matthew 13:11. Δέδοται] by God, through the unfolding, that is, of your inward powers of perception, not merely by means of the exposition (Weizsäcker, p. 413). The opposite condition, Matthew 13:13.

γνῶναι] even without the help of parabolic illustration, although previous to the outpouring of the Spirit, nay, previous to the second coming (1 Corinthians 13:9 f.), this would always be the case only to an imperfect degree.

τὰ μυστ. τ. βας. τ. οὐραν.] the secret things of the Messiah’s kingdom, things which refer to the Messiah’s kingdom. They are called μυστήρια, because their ἀποκάλυψις was now being brought about for the first time by means of the gospel. Comp. note on Romans 11:25; Romans 16:25. They are the purposes that are hid in God, which man can only know by the help of divine teaching, and which the gospel unveils.

ἐκείνοις δὲ οὐ δέδοται] is still to be connected with ὅτι (because).

For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
Matthew 13:12. Proverbial saying derived from the experience of ordinary life (Matthew 25:29): The wealthy man will become still richer even to superabundance; while the poor man, again, will lose the little that still remains to him; see Wetstein. In this instance the saying is used with reference to spiritual possessions, and is applied thus: With the knowledge you have already acquired, you are ever penetrating more deeply and fully into the things of God’s kingdom; the multitude, on the other hand, would lose altogether the little capacity it has for understanding divine truth, unless I were to assist its weak powers of apprehension by parabolic illustrations. The contrast between the two cases in question is not to be regarded as consisting in uti and non uti (Grotius), being willing and not being willing (Schegg).

For the passive περισσεύεσθαι, to be in possession of a superabundance, see on Luke 15:17.

ὅστις ἔχει is the nominative absolute, as in Matthew 7:24, Matthew 10:14. ἔχειν and οὐκ ἔχειν, in the sense of rich and poor, is likewise very common in classical authors, Ast, ad Plat. Legg. V. p. 172; Bornemann, ad Xen. Anab. vi. 6. 38.

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Matthew 13:13. Διὰ τοῦτο] refers to what immediately precedes; because their case is similar to that of the poor, and so they would lose the little that they had; but the ὅτι (because, namely) which follows introduces an explanation by way of justifying διὰ τοῦτο (comp. John 10:17), and which depicts in proverbial language (Isaiah 32:3; Isaiah 35:5 f., 9 f.; Jeremiah 5:21) the people’s dulness of apprehension. It is unnecessary to make the reference of διὰ τοῦτο extend so far back as Matthew 13:11 (Fritzsche, de Wette, Bleek). In defiance of grammar, yet in deference to the parallels in Mark and Luke, Olshausen says that ὅτι, because, expresses the result intended (ἵνα); similarly Schegg; comp. also Weizsäcker, p. 413.

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Matthew 13:14-15. Καί] still depending on ὅτι; but, in a manner suited to the simplicity of the language, and the conspicuous reference to the fulfilling of the prophecy, it begins a new sentence: and—indeed so utterly incapable are they of comprehending the pure, literal statement of divine truth—is being fulfilled with regard to them, and so on. ἀναπληρ., as being more forcible than the simple verb (comp. on Galatians 6:2, and ἐκπληρ., Acts 13:33), is expressly chosen (occurring nowhere else in Matthew, and, as referring to the predictions and such like, not found again in the whole New Testament), and for sake of emphasis placed at the beginning of the sentence; αὐτοῖς is the dative of reference: the fulfilment of the prophet’s words is realized in them.

The passage in question is Isaiah 6:9-10, as found in the LXX. Comp. on John 12:40; Acts 28:25 ff.

ἐπαχύνθη] in a metaphorical sense, like pinguis. See Wetstein. The expression represents the indolent and inactive state into which the energies of the spiritual life have been allowed to sink.

βαρέως ἤκουσαν] they have become dull of hearing (βαρυήκοοι).

ἐκάμμυσαν] have they closed, Isaiah 6:10; Isaiah 29:10; Lamentations 3:44. The genuine Greek form is καταμύειν. See Lobeck, Phryn. p. 339 f.; Becker, Anecd. I. p. 103.

μήποτε] ne; they are not willing to be instructed by me, and morally healed. This shows that, in regard to the weakness of their capacity, it is their own will that is to blame.

By adopting the reading ἰάσομαι (see the critical remarks) we do not introduce the meaning, which is out of place in the present instance: and I will heal them (Fritzsche), but rather effect a change in the construction of μήποτε (Heindorf, ad Plat. Crat. p. 36; Hermann, ad Soph. El. 992; Winer, p. 468 [E. T. 630]), that is, in accordance with the sense (because expressing the result). Comp. note on Mark 14:2. Notice in ἰάσομαι the consciousness of being a personal revelation of God.


According to Matthew, then, the principle on which Jesus proceeds is this: He speaks to the multitude in parables, because this mode of instruction is suited to their intellectual poverty and obtuseness. Plain literal teaching would fail to attract them, and so lead to their conversion, which latter their very obtuseness stubbornly resists. But what is spoken in a parabolic form captivates and lays hold of the man of limited comprehension, so that it does not repel him from his instructor, but rather becomes in him, even though not yet apprehended in its abstract meaning, the starting-point of a further gradual development of fuller understanding and ultimate conversion. There is no reason why de Wette should be stumbled to find that the disciples themselves likewise failed to understand the parable, and were therefore on the same level as the multitudes; therefore, he argues, one is at a loss to see why Jesus did not favour the latter also with an explanation. But the difference between the two cases is, that the disciples, from having been already converted, and from their minds having been already stimulated and developed by intercourse with Jesus, were just in a position to understand the interpretation, which the people, on the other hand, were incapable of doing, so that it was necessary to present to them the mere illustration, the parable without the interpretation, in order to, first, interest and attract them. They had to be treated like children, for whose physical condition the only suitable food is milk, and not strong meat likewise, whereas the disciples had already shown themselves capable of receiving the strong meat as well. Consequently de Wette is wrong in conceiving of the matter differently from the representation of it given by the evangelists, and which is to this effect: that the object of Jesus in awakening a spirit of inquiry by means of the parables was, that those so awakened should come to Him to obtain instruction; that those who did so are to be regarded as the μαθηταί in the more comprehensive sense of the word; and that to them the explanation was given and the congratulation addressed; while, on the other hand, Jesus pities the unimpressionable multitude, and applies to them the words of Isaiah 6:9 f. (comp. already Münster). Lastly, Hilgenfeld professes to find in this passage indications of the view, censured by Strauss as “melancholy,” that the use of parables was not intended to aid weak powers of comprehension, but in the truly literal sense of the words to keep them slumbering. But as regards Matthew, above all, this is out of the question, seeing that in Matthew 13:13 he has ὅτι, and not ἵνα. Comp. Keim also, II. p. 441. It is otherwise in Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10.

For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
Matthew 13:16-17. Ὑμῶν] stands first for sake of emphasis, and in contrast to the stupid multitude.

μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοί] Personification of the faculty of sight. Luke 11:27; Acts 5:9; Isaiah 52:7.

ὅτι βλέπουσιὅτι ἀκούει] The thought underlying this (and keeping in view Matthew 13:13; Matthew 13:15) may be stated thus: your intellect, as regards the apprehension of divine truth, is not unreceptive and obtuse, but susceptible and active.

γάρ] justifies the congratulation on the ground of the important nature of the matter in question.

δίκαιοι] Upright, holy men of old. Comp. Matthew 10:41, Matthew 23:29, also ἅγιοι, Matthew 27:52.

ἰδεῖν ἃ βλέπετε, κ.τ.λ.] the μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας, Matthew 13:11; Hebrews 11:13; Hebrews 11:39. The vision of Abraham, John 8:56, is foreign to the present passage, from the fact of its not having been seen during his life in the body.

The βλέπειν in Matthew 13:16 was equivalent to, to be capable of seeing, while here it means simply to see. Comp. note on John 9:39. But there is no ground for supposing that Matthew has mixed up two distinct discourses (de Wette).

For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.
Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
Matthew 13:18 f. Ὑμεῖς] emphatic, as in Matthew 13:16.

οὖν] for it is with you precisely as has been said in Matthew 13:16.

ἀκούσατε] not: understand (de Wette), but: hear, attend to the parable, that is, with a view to see the meaning that it is intended to convey.

παντὸς, κ.τ.λ.] an anacoluthon. The evangelist had perhaps intended to write: παντὸς ἀκούοντος

συνιέντος ἐκ τῆς καρδίας ἁρπάζει ὁ πονηρὸς τὸ ἐσπαρμένον, from the heart of every one that hears without understanding, the wicked one, and so on; but, from the circumstance of the ἔρχεται coming in the way, he was led to break off the construction with which he had set out. Bornemann in the Stud. u. Krit. 1849, p. 107.

τ. λόγον τ. βας.] the preaching of the Messianic kingdom, Matthew 4:23, Matthew 24:14; Acts 1:3; Acts 28:31.

συνιέντος] understands, not: attends to it, which is grammatically and contextually (ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ) wrong (in answer to Beza, Grotius). Mark and Luke say nothing whatever here about the not understanding; it does not appear to have been found in the collection of our Lord’s sayings (λογία), but to have been added to the original narrative by way of explanation (Ewald), its adoption being now rendered further necessary owing to the turn given to the sentence by παντός, which latter would otherwise be out of place. The explanation given in this addition happens, however, to be correct; for the word that is not understood, that is, not appropriated through the understanding, lies on the surface of the heart without being incorporated with the inner life, and therefore, in presence of the devil’s temptations, is the more liable to be forgotten again, and cast away, so that faith fails to take possession of the heart (Romans 10:10).

οὗτός ἐστιν, κ.τ.λ.] a cutting short of a similitude before it is fully worked out, that is not uncommon owing to the liveliness of the Oriental imagination. Not the man, but the truth taught, is ὁ σπαρείς. What is meant is to this effect: This is he in whose case the seed was sown upon the road. Others (Euth. Zigabenus, Erasmus, Beza, Erasmus Schmid, Maldonatus, Grotius, Bengel, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel) interpret: This is he who was sown upon the road. Paulus and Vater refer οὗτος to λόγος. Neither of the explanations harmonizes with Matthew 13:20; Matthew 13:22-23. That the loss of the seed is tantamount to the loss of one’s own life, though not stated in so many words (Lange), is implied in the nature of the case.

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Matthew 13:21. Description of one whose mind is so stirred as instantly to welcome the word with joy, but who, when subjected to the testing influence of affliction, abandons his faith and relapses into his former condition. Such an one is without root in his own inner being, i.e. he is destitute of that faith (Ephesians 3:16 f.) which, as a power in the heart, is fitted to maintain and foster the life that has been momentarily awakened by means of the word.

πρόσκαιρος] temporary, not lasting, not enduring. See Wetstein.

θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ] by means of the “or” the special is added on to the general.

σκανδαλίζεται] he encounters a stumbling-block, i.e. a temptation to unbelief; see notes on Matthew 5:29, Matthew 1:6. Affliction in his case proves a πειρασμός to which he succumbs. Substantially the same as Luke 8:13 : ἀφίστανται.

He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Matthew 13:22. Ἀκούων] is simply to hear, as in all the other cases in which it is here used; and neither, with Grotius, are we to supply καὶ μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων, nor, with Kuinoel and Bleek, to take it in the sense of admittere.

The care for this world
, which (Matthew 13:39; Matthew 13:49) extends even to the setting up of the promised kingdom (τούτου is a correct gloss), is the care which men cherish with regard to temporal objects and temporal affairs, as contrasted with the higher concern, the striving after the Messiah’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Comp. Tim. Matthew 4:10.

ἀπάτη] the deceitfulness of those riches, which (personified) delude men with their enticements; not: “Delectatio, qua divitiae animos hominum afficiunt” (Kuinoel), a classical meaning of ἀπάτη (Polyb. ii. 56. 12, iv. 20. 5) which is foreign to the New Testament, and which in this instance is as unnecessary as it is flat. 2 Thessalonians 2:10; Hebrews 3:13.

ἄκαρπ. γίν.] not the word (Bengel), but the man; see Matthew 13:23.

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
Matthew 13:23. Ὅς] refers to ἀκ. κ. συν.

For the more correct accentuation, συνίων, see note on Romans 3:11.

δή] gives significance and prominence to the ὅς: and now this is he who; “ut intelligas, ceteros omnes infrugiferos, hunc demum reddere fructum,” Erasmus. See Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 274 f.; Klotz, ad Devar. p. 404; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 106.

Whether we ought to read ὁ μὲνὁ δὲὁ δέ (Beza, Grotius), or ὃ μὲνὃ δὲὃ δέ (Bengel, Lachmann, Tischendorf, following the Vulgate), is certainly not to be determined by Mark 4:20, though I should say the latter is to be preferred, on account of the solemn emphasis with which, according to this reading, the concluding words of the parable itself are repeated at the close of the exposition, without their requiring any particular explanation: the one (seed, i.e., according to the blending which takes place of the figure and the person: one of those who hear and understand) brings forth a hundred, the other sixty, and so on.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
Matthew 13:24. Αὐτοῖς] to the multitude. Comp. Matthew 13:3; Matthew 13:10; Matthew 13:34.

ὡμοιώθη] the Messiah’s kingdom has become like (see note on Matthew 7:26). The aorist is to be explained from the fact that the Messiah has already appeared, and is now carrying on His work in connection with His kingdom. Comp. Matthew 12:28.

σπείραντι (see critical remarks): the sowing had taken place; whereupon followed the act that is about to be mentioned. It is to be observed, moreover, that the kingdom is not represented merely by the person of the sower, but by his sowing good seed, and by all that follows thereupon (as far as Matthew 13:30); but to such an extent is the sower the leading feature in the parable, that we are thereby enabled to account for such phraseology as ὡμοιώθη ἡ βασιλείαἀνθρώπῳ σπείραντι. Comp. Matthew 13:45; Matthew 18:23; Matthew 10:1.

But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
Matthew 13:25. Ζιζάνιον] Darnel, lolium temulentum, a grain resembling wheat, acting injuriously upon the brain and stomach, and likewise known by the name of αἶρα; see Suidas. In Talmudic language it is called זונין; Buxtorf, Lex. Talm. p. 680.

The people who slept are men generally (pragmatic way of hinting that it was during the night, when no one else would be present), not merely the agri custodes (Bengel), or the labourers (Michaelis, Paulus), whom it would have been necessary to indicate more particularly by means of δοῦλοι or some similar expression. This little detail forms part of the drapery of the parable (comp. Matthew 25:5), and is not meant to be interpreted (as referring, say to the sleep of sin, Calovius; or to the negligence of instructors, Chrysostom, Jerome; or to the slowness of man’s spiritual development, Lange), as is further evident from the fact that Jesus Himself has not so explained it.

αὐτοῦ ὁ ἐχθρ.] his enemy; comp. note on Matthew 8:3ἐπισπείρειν: to sow over what was previously sown, Pind. Nem. viii. 67; Theophr. c. pl. iii. 15. 4; Poll. i. 223.

But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
Matthew 13:26 ff. It was only when they were in the ear that it was possible to distinguish between the wheat and the tares, which when in the blade resembled it so much.

συλλέξωμεν] deliberative; shall we gather together?

ἐκριζώσητε] ye take out by the root. The roots of tares and wheat are intertwined with each other.

ἅμα αὐτοῖς] along with them. ἅμα, which is in the first instance to be regarded as an adverb (hence ἅμα σύν, 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:10), is also used as a preposition by classical writers (which Klotz, ad Devar. p. 97 f., denies, though without reason), and that not merely in reference to time (Matthew 20:1), but on other occasions, such as the present for example. Herod. vi. 138; Soph. Phil. 971, 1015; Polyb. iv. 2. 11, x. 18. 1; comp. Wis 18:11; 2Ma 11:7.

So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Matthew 13:30. Ἐν καιρῷ] without the article, Winer, p. 118 [E. T. 147 ff.].

δήσατε αὐτὰ δεσμ.] (see critical remarks): bind them into bundles. For this construction of δής. with two accusatives, considering the resemblance between it and the root of δεσμ., comp. Kühner, II. 1, p. 274.

The explanation of the parable, which latter is different from that given in Mark 4:26 ff. (in answer to Holtzmann, Weiss), is furnished by Jesus Himself in Matthew 13:37 ff. It is to this effect. The visible church, up till the day of judgment, is to comprise within its pale those who are not members of the invisible church, and who shall have no part in the kingdom that is to be established. The separation is not a thing with which man is competent to deal, but must be left in the hands of the Judge. The matter is to be understood, however, in a broad and general way, so that it cannot be said at all to affect the right of individual excommunication and restoration. In regard to individuals, there remains the possibility (to which, however, the parable makes no reference whatever): “ut qui hodie sunt zizania, eras sint frumentum,” Augustine.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:
Matthew 13:31. Σίναπι] a herbaceous plant that, in the East, sometimes attains to the height of a small tree; Celsii Hierob. II. p. 250 ff. In Attic Greek it is called νᾶπυ, Phrynichus, ed. Lobeck, p. 228. Inasmuch as the plant belongs (Matthew 13:32) to the order of the λαχάνα, it is unnecessary to suppose, with Ewald (Jahrb. II. p. 32 f.), that it is the mustard-tree (Salvadora Persica, Linnaeus) that is intended; comp. in preference the expression δενδρολάχανα (Theophrastus, h. pl. i. 3. 4).

λαβών] an instance of the usual circumstantiality (comp. Matthew 13:33), but not intended to convey the idea of the care with which so tiny a seed is taken into the hand (Lange).

Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Matthew 13:32. ] refers to κόκκος σινάπ., and owes its gender to the fact of its being attracted by the neuter following; Winer, p. 156 [E. T. 217 ff.].

μικρότερον] not instead of the superlative; see, however, on note Matthew 11:11. But, inasmuch as this is a proverbial expression of a hyperbolical character, little need be made of the fact that seeds of a still more diminutive kind are to be met with; comp. Matthew 17:20, and Lightfoot. “Satis est, in genere verum esse, quod dicit Dominus,” Erasmus.

τῶν λαχάνων] than any other vegetable.

ὅταν δὲ αὐξ. κ.τ.λ.] but when it shall have grown, portrays the extraordinary result that follows the sowing of the tiny little seed. The astonishing nature of such a result is still more forcibly brought out in Luke 13:19 by means of δένδρον μέγα.

κατασκ.] dwell. The interpretation of the word as meaning to build nests (Erasmus) is not general enough; comp. note on Matthew 8:20.

Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Matthew 13:33. Σάτον] מְאָה, one-third of an ephah, a dry measure, and, according to Josephus, Antt. ix. 4. 5, and Jerome on this passage, equivalent to one and a half Roman bushels. It befits the pictorial style of the passage that it should mention a definite quantity of flour; without any special object for doing so, it mentions what appears to be the usual quantity (Genesis 18:6; Jdg 6:19; 1 Samuel 1:24). So much the more arbitrary is Lange’s remark, that three is the number of the spirit. A great deal in the way of allegorizing the three σάτα is to be found in the Fathers. According to Theodore of Mopsuestia, they denote the Greeks, Jews, and Samaritans; Augustine, Melanchthon suppose them to signify the heart, the soul, and the spirit.

The parable of the mustard seed is designed to show that the great community, consisting of those who are to participate in the Messianic kingdom, i.e. the true people of God as constituting the body politic of the future kingdom, is destined to develope from a small beginning into a vast multitude, and therefore to grow extensively; ποίμνιον ὄντες ὀλίγον, εἰς ἄπειρον ηὐξήθησαν, Euth. Zigabenus; Acts 1:15; Acts 2:41; Acts 2:47; Acts 4:4; Acts 5:14; Acts 6:7; Acts 21:20; Romans 15:19; Romans 11:25 f. The parable of the leaven, on the other hand, is intended to show how the specific influences of the Messiah’s kingdom (Ephesians 4:4 ff.) gradually penetrate the whole of its future subjects, till by this means the entire mass is brought intensively into that spiritual condition which qualifies it for being admitted into the kingdom.

All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:
Matthew 13:34. Οὐδὲν ἐλάλει] κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν ἐκεῖνον δηλαδή, Euth. Zigabenus; comp. Chrysostom. This is further indicated by the imperfect relative (previously aorists were being used). The absolute sense in which the words are understood by Baumgarten-Crusius and Hilgenfeld is inconsistent with historical facts; nor could Matthew, or Mark 4:34, have intended the words to be so taken without being guilty of the grossest absurdity. This in answer no less to Weiss, Holtzmann, Volkmar.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Matthew 13:35. The circumstance that, on this occasion, Jesus spoke exclusively in parabolic language, was supposed, according to the divine order in history, to be a fulfilling[450] of, and so on.

προφήτου] Asaph, who in 2 Chronicles 29:30 is called הַחֹזֶה (LXX. has ΤΟῦ ΠΡΟΦΉΤΟΥ). The passage referred to is Psalm 78:2, the first half being according to the LXX., the second a free rendering of the Hebrew text,

ἘΡΕΎΓΕΣΘΑΙ] to give forth from the mouth, הַבִּיַע, employed by Alexandrian Jews in the sense of pronuntiare, Psalm 18:2; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 63 f.

κεκρυμμ. ἀπὸ καταβ. κόσμ.] i.e. ΤᾺ ΜΥΣΤΉΡΙΑ Τῆς ΒΑΣΙΛΕΊΑς, Romans 16:25.

[450] The passage, however, is not a prophecy so far as its historical meaning is concerned, but only according to the typical reference which the evangelist discerns in it. In the original Hebrew it is expressly said במשׁל, not in parables, but in a song of proverbs, the contents of which, however, though historical from beginning to end, “latentes rerum Messiae figuras continebat” (Grotius), and a similar instance of which we meet with afterwards in the discourse of Stephen. Accordingly, the prophet, instructing and warning as he does by means of a typical use of history, is looked upon by the evangelist as the type of Christ speaking in parabolic narratives, and through this medium unfolding the mysteries of the completed theocracy. In Christ he finds realized what the prophet says with reference to himself: ἀνοίξω, etc., and ἑρεύξομαι, etc., the antitypical fulfillment, though it must be granted that in doing so it is undoubtedly the expression ἐν παραβολαῖς on which he makes the whole thing to turn, but that, availing himself of a freedom acknowledged to be legitimate in the use of types, he has employed that expression in a special sense, and one that is foreign to the original Hebrew.

Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
Matthew 13:36. Τὴν οἰκίαν] the house mentioned in Matthew 13:1.

φράσον; comp. Matthew 15:15. Occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It denotes speaking in the way of explaining, unfolding anything. Plat. Gorg. p. 463 E, Theaet. p. 180 B; Soph. Trach. 158, Phil. 555. The reading διασάφησον (Lachmann, after B א and Origen once) is a correct gloss.

He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
Matthew 13:37-38. In explaining this parable Jesus contents Himself, as far as Matthew 13:39, with short positive statements, in order merely to prepare the way for the principal matter with which He has to deal (Matthew 13:40), and thereafter to set it forth with fuller detail. There is consequently no ground for treating this explanation as if it had not belonged to the collection of our Lord’s sayings (Ewald, Weiss, Holtzmann),—for regarding it as an interpolation on the part of the evangelist, in advocating which view Weiss lays stress upon a want of harmony between the negative points in the parable and the positive character of the exposition; while Hilgenfeld questions the correctness of this exposition, because he thinks that, as the progress that takes place between the sowing and the harvest corresponds with and is applicable to the whole history of the world, therefore the sower cannot have been Christ, but God and Him only,—an objection which has been already disposed of by the first parable in the series.

The good seed represents the sons of the kingdom, the (future) subjects, citizens of the Messianic kingdom (comp. note on Matthew 8:12), who are established as such by the Messiah in their spiritual nature, which is adapted thereto (ὁ σπείρων τὸ καλὸν σπέρμα ἐστὶν ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, Matthew 13:37). It is not “fruges ex bono semine enatae” (Fritzsche) that are intended by τὸ δὲ καλὸν σπέρμα, but see Matthew 13:24-25.

οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ πονηροῦ] whose ethical nature is derived from the devil (see Matthew 13:39). Comp. John 8:41; John 8:44; 1 John 3:8; 1 John 3:10. Not specially: the heretics (the Fathers and several of the older expositors).

The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
Matthew 13:39. Συντέλεια τ. αἰῶνος] not found in any of the other Gospels: the close of the (current) age (Matthew 13:22), i.e. of the, pre-Messianic epoch; the great catastrophe that is to accompany the second coming, and which is to introduce the Messianic judgment, 4 Esdr. 7:43; Bertholdt, Christol. p. 39; comp. Matthew 13:40; Matthew 13:49; Matthew 24:3; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 9:26, and see note on Matthew 12:32.

The reapers are angels; see Matthew 24:31; comp. John 15:6.

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
Matthew 13:40. Καἰεται] not κατακαίεται, but are set on fire. No doubt the tares are consumed by fire (Matthew 13:30); still the point of the comparison does not lie in their being consumed, but in the fact of their being set on fire,—a fact which is intended to illustrate the everlasting punishment now beginning to overtake the wicked in Gehenna. John 15:6; Matthew 25:46.

The wicked (the σκάνδαλα, Matthew 13:41; the σαπρά, Matthew 13:47) are connected with the church as a mere outward institution, but do not belong to the number of its living members (to the body of Christ). Comp. Apol. Conf. A. p. 147 f.; Thomasius, Chr. Pers. u. Werk, III. 2, p. 370.

The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
Matthew 13:41. Αὐτοῦαὐτοῦ] they are His to serve Him whenever He chooses to command; “majestas filii hominis,” Bengel; comp. note on Matthew 8:20.

συλλέξουσιν ἐκ] pregnant expression, equivalent to: colligent et secernent ex.

ἐκ τῆς βασιλ. αὐτοῦ] for the judgment will take place as soon as the earth has undergone that process of renovation (Matthew 24:29 f.; 2 Peter 3:13) which is to transform it into the scene of the Messiah’s kingdom. Moreover, the separation about which Jesus here speaks is a separation of persons—of the good on the one hand, from the bad on the other, which, again, is the only means of likewise effecting a separation between good and bad things. Comp. Matthew 24:31. Jesus distinguishes only between σκάνδαλα and δίκαιοι, without recognising any intermediate classes of men (Matthew 25:32 f.), a view which subsequently found its explanation in the doctrine of faith and of justification by faith. The question as to whether or not there are various degrees of felicity for the righteous, as of punishment for the wicked, is one upon which the present passage does not touch.

σκάνδαλα] stumbling-blocks, i.e. men who, through their unbelief and sin, may put temptation in the way of others. Comp. Matthew 16:23. Euth. Zigabenus is correct, so far as the substantial meaning is concerned, when he observes: σκάνδαλα καὶ ποιοῦντες τὴν ἀνομίαν τοὺς αὐτοὺς ὀνομάζει. For this abstract way of designating individuals by means of the characteristic feature in their character, see Kühner, II. 1, p. 10 f. The ἀνομία is immorality, as in Matthew 7:23, Matthew 23:28, Matthew 24:12.

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:42. The furnace (Daniel 3:6) represents Gehenna. Comp. Revelation 20:15.

ὁ κλαυθμός] see note on Matthew 8:12.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Matthew 13:43. Τότε] then, when this purging out of all the σκάνδαλα has been effected.

ἐκλάμψ.] the compound verb, which is used on purpose (to shine forth, to burst into light, Xen. Cyr. vii. 1, 2; Plat. Gorg. p. 484 A, Rep. iv. p. 435 A), and so not to be taken merely as descriptive of eternal felicity in its general aspect, but as conveying the idea of a sublime display of majestic splendor, of the δόξα of the righteous in the future kingdom of the Messiah. Comp. Dan. 13:3; Enoch 38:4, 39:7, 104:4. Contrast to the fate of the wicked in the furnace of fire.

τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν] sweet closing words, full of blessed confidence, Matthew 25:34.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Matthew 13:44 ff. Πάλιν ὁμοία] introduces a second illustration of the kingdom of the Messiah, by way of continuing that instruction of the disciples which began with Matthew 13:36.

ἐν τῷ ἀγρῷ] in the field; the article being generic. For cases of treasure—trove mentioned by Greek and Roman writers, consult Wetstein.

ὃν εὑρὼν ἄνθρωπος ἔκρυψε] which some man found and hid (again in the field), so as not to be compelled to give it up to the owner of the field, but in the hope of buying the latter, and of then being able legitimately to claim the treasure as having been found on his own property. It is mentioned by Bava Mezia f. 28, 2, that, in circumstances precisely similar, R. Emi purchased a hired field in which he had found treasure: “ut pleno jure thesaurum possideret omnemque litium occasionem praecideret.” Paulus, exeg. Handb. II. p. 187, observes correctly: “That it was not necessary, either for the purposes of the parable or for the point to be illustrated, that Jesus should take into consideration the ethical questions involved in such cases.” Fritzsche says: “quem alibi, credo, repertum nonnemo illuc defoderit.” But the most natural way is to regard εὑρών as the correlative to κεκρυμμένῳ; while, again, the behaviour here supposed would have been a proceeding as singular in its character as it would have been clearly dishonest toward the owner of the field.

ἀπὸ τῆς χαρᾶς αὐτοῦ] ἀπό marks the causal relation (Matthew 14:26; Luke 24:41; Acts 12:14; Kühner, II. 1, p. 366 f.), and αὐτοῦ is not the genitive of the object (over the treasure: Vulgate, Erasmus, Luther, Beza, Calvin, Maldonatus, Jansen, Bengel, Kuinoel, Fritzsche), but, as the ordinary usage demands, the genitive of the subject: on account of his joy, without its being necessary in consequence to read αὑτοῦ, but αὐτοῦ, as looking at the matter from the standpoint of the speaker. The object is to indicate the peculiar joy with which his lucky find inspires him.

ὑπάγει κ.τ.λ.] Present: the picture becoming more and more animated. The idea embodied in the parable is to this effect: the Messianic kingdom, as being the most valuable of all possessions, can become ours only on condition that we are prepared joyfully to surrender for its sake every other earthly treasure. It is still the same idea that is presented in Matthew 13:45-46, with, however, this characteristic difference, that in this case the finding of the Messiah’s kingdom is preceded by a seeking after blessedness generally; whereas, in the former case, it was discovered without being sought for, therefore without any previous effort having been put forth.

ζητοῦντι] with the view of purchasing such goodly pearls from the owners of them (comp. Matthew 7:6; Proverbs 3:15; Proverbs 8:19, and see Schoettgen).

ἕνα] one, the only one of real worth; according to the idea contained in the parable, there exists only one such.

πέπρακε] the perfect alternating with the aorist (ἠγόρασεν); the former looking back from the standpoint of the speaker to the finished act (everything has been sold by the merchant), the latter simply continuing the narrative (and he bought). Kühner, II. 1, p. 144 f.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:
Matthew 13:47 ff. For αἰγιαλός, see note on Acts 27:39.

τὰ καλά and σαπρά] the good, i.e. the good fish, such as were fit for use, and the putrid ones (comp. note on Matthew 7:17), which, already dead and putrefying, are yet enclosed in the σαγήνη (large drag-net, Luc. Pisc. 51, Tim. 22; Plut. de solert. an. p. 977 F) along with the others. The men took them out of the net (ἔξω) and cast them away.

The aorists in Matthew 13:47-48 are to be understood in a historical sense, not as expressing what was the practice, but merely as narrating what took place on the occasion, just as in Matthew 13:44-46.

Observe further, that the net encloses fish of every γένος, i.e. of every species (that is, according to the literal meaning, out of every nation); yet no γένος, as such, is cast away, but only the putrid fish belonging to each γένος, and that not before the end of the world (in answer to the whole Donatist view).

Matthew 13:50. Closing refrain, as in Matthew 13:42.

Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.
So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just,
And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord.
Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
Matthew 13:52. Ταῦτα πάντα] that which has been addressed to the disciples since Matthew 13:36. This ναὶ κύριε, this frank acknowledgment, calls forth from Jesus a gladsome διὰ τοῦτο, as much as to say, “it is because of such understanding that every one, and so on (such as you are), resembles a householder, and so on.” But for the understanding in question, this similitude would not have been made use of.

γραμματεύς] The ordinary conception of a Jewish scribe is here idealised and applied to the Christian teacher, comp. Matthew 23:34. But in order specifically to distinguish the Christian γραμματεύς from the Jewish scribes, who were Moses’ disciples (Matthew 23:2; John 9:28), he is significantly described as μαθητευθεὶς τῇ βασιλ. τ. οὑρ., i.e. made a disciple of the kingdom of heaven. μαθητεύειν τινι, to be a disciple of any one (Matthew 27:57; Plut. Mor. p. 837 D), is here used transitively (discipulum, facere alicui), comp. Matthew 28:19; Acts 14:21. The kingdom of heaven is personified; the disciples of Christ are disciples of the kingdom of heaven, of which Christ is the representative (comp. Matthew 12:28).

καινὰ καὶ παλαιά] is on no account to be restricted to any one thing in particular, but to be rendered: new and old, i.e. things hitherto unknown, and things already known, already taught in former ages, and that in regard both to the matter and the manner. Thus the predictions of the prophets, for example, belong to the things that are old, the evidences of their fulfilment to those that are new; the precepts of the law are to be ranked among the old, the developing and perfecting of them, in the way exemplified by Christ in Matthew 5, among the new; the form of parables and similitudes, already in use, is to be referred to the old, the Messianic teaching embodied in them is to be included under the new. The view that has been much in vogue since Irenaeus, Origen, Chrysostom, and Jerome, and which represents the words as referring to the Old and New Testament, or to the law and the gospel (Olshausen), is a dogmatic limitation. In the illustration the θησαυρός means the chest (Matthew 2:11, Matthew 12:35) in which the householder keeps his money and jewels (not the same thing as ἀποθήκη); in the interpretation it means the stores of knowledge which the teacher has at his disposal for the purposes of instruction.

ἐκβάλλει] throws out, thus describing the zeal with which he seeks to communicate instruction. Comp. Luke 10:35.

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
Matthew 13:53-58. The majority of more recent critics (Lichtenstein, L. J. p. 271 ff., de Wette, Baur, Bleek, Köstlin, Holtzmann, Keim) adhere to the view, received with special favour since Schleiermacher, that this narrative (which, moreover, in Mark 6:1 ff., comes after the raising of Jairus’ daughter) is identical with Luke 4:16-30. But, in that case, it becomes necessary to set aside the very precise statements in Luke’s narrative on the one hand; and, on the other, to tamper with the rigid sequence so distinctly indicated by Matthew in Matthew 13:53-54; Matthew 14:1, as has been done in the most awkward way possible by Olshausen (“he came once more to the town in which he had been brought up”). It is not without ample reason that Storr, Paulus, Wieseler, chronol. Synopse, p. 284 f., Ewald, have insisted that our passage is not identical with Luke 4:16 ff. What Luke records is an incident that took place during the first visit of Jesus to Nazareth after the temptation in the wilderness. The only passage to which this can correspond is Matthew 4:12-13, so that in Luke we get an explanation of what Matthew means by his καταλιπὼν τὴν Ναζαρέτ. How conceivable, likewise, that on two occasions Jesus may have been driven from Nazareth in a similar way, so that he would be twice called upon to utter the words about the prophet being despised in his native place, “Nazarethanis priore reprehensione nihilo factis melioribus,” Beza.

And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Matthew 13:54. Πατρίδα αὐτοῦ] Nazareth, where His parents lived, and where He had been brought up, Matthew 2:23.

πόθεν τούτῳ] τούτῳ is contemptuous (Xen. Anab. iii. 1. 30; John 6:42, and frequently), and πόθεν is due to the circumstance that the people knew all about the origin and outward training of Jesus. John 7:15; John 6:41 f.

καὶ αἱ δυνάμεις] so that in Nazareth also He must not only have taught, but must have performed miracles, although not to the same extent, Matthew 13:58.

Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Matthew 13:55 ff. Τοῦ τέκτονος] of the carpenter, which, however, also embraces other workers in wood (the cabinetmaker, the cartwright, and such like). See Philo, Cod. apocr. I. p. 368 f.; Justin, c. Tryph. 88; Suicer, Thes. II. p. 1254 f. In Mark 6:3, Jesus Himself is spoken of by the people as ὁ τέκτων, and certainly not without reason; see note on that passage.

οἱ ἀδελφοὶ αὐτοῦ] See note on Matthew 12:46.

According to the reading ʼΙωσήφ, there was only one of the sons of that Mary, who was the wife of Alphaeus, who was certainly of the same name, viz. James (Matthew 27:56; on the Judas, brother of James, see note on Luke 6:16). But if this Mary, as is usually supposed, had been the sister of the mother of Jesus, we would have been confronted with the unexampled difficulty of two sisters bearing the same name. However, the passage quoted in support of this view, viz. John 19:25, should, with Wieseler, be so interpreted as to make it evident that the sister of Jesus’ mother was not Mary, but Salome. Comp. note on John 1:1.

πᾶσαι] therefore hardly to be understood, as some of the Fathers did (in Philo, Cod. apocr. p. 363), as meaning only two.

Observe, further, that in the course of what is said about the relatives, there is not the slightest indication of their being supposed to be different from the ordinary inhabitants of the place.

οὐκ ἔστι προφήτηςἐν τῇ πατρίδι αὐτοῦ (not αὑτοῦ) κ. ἐν τ. οἰκ. αὐτ. is (John 4:44) a principle founded on experience, which is found to apply to the present case only as relatively true, seeing that, under different conditions, the contrary might prove to be the case.

The ἐν τ. οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ, in his own family (Matthew 12:25), corresponds with John 7:3, comp. Mark 3:20. See also the note on Matthew 12:46-50.

And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Matthew 13:58. Ἐποίησεν] In Mark 6:5, put more definitely thus: ἠδύνατο ποιῆσαι. This does not include the idea of unsuccessful attempts, but what is meant is, that the unwillingness of the people to acknowledge the greatness of His person (Matthew 13:55) compelled Jesus, partly on moral (because of their unworthiness) and partly also on psychical grounds (because the condition of faith was wanting), to make but a limited use of His miraculous power.

Heinrich August Wilhelm Meyer's NT Commentary

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