Matthew 13:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

New Living Translation
I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn't see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn't hear it.

English Standard Version
For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

New American Standard Bible
"For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn't see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn't hear them.

International Standard Version
I tell all of you with certainty, many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see but did not see them, and to hear the things you hear but did not hear them."

NET Bible
For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For I say to you that many Prophets and righteous ones have yearned to see the things that you are seeing and they did not see them, and to hear the things that you are hearing, and they did not hear them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I can guarantee this truth: Many prophets and many of God's people longed to see what you see but didn't see it, to hear what you hear but didn't hear it.

Jubilee Bible 2000
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.

King James 2000 Bible
For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.

American King James Version
For truly I say to you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.

American Standard Version
For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which ye see, and saw them not; and to hear the things which ye hear, and heard them not.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For, amen, I say to you, many prophets and just men have desired to see the things that you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the things that you hear and have not heard them.

Darby Bible Translation
for verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous [men] have desired to see the things which ye behold and did not see [them], and to hear the things which ye hear and did not hear [them].

English Revised Version
For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which ye see, and saw them not; and to hear the things which ye hear, and heard them not.

Webster's Bible Translation
For verily I say to you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see the things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear the things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Weymouth New Testament
For I solemnly tell you that many Prophets and holy men have longed to see the sights you see, and have not seen them, and to hear the words you hear, and have not heard them.

World English Bible
For most certainly I tell you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see the things which you see, and didn't see them; and to hear the things which you hear, and didn't hear them.

Young's Literal Translation
for verily I say to you, that many prophets and righteous men did desire to see that which ye look on, and they did not see, and to hear that which ye hear, and they did not hear.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

13:1-23 Jesus entered into a boat that he might be the less pressed, and be the better heard by the people. By this he teaches us in the outward circumstances of worship not to covet that which is stately, but to make the best of the conveniences God in his providence allots to us. Christ taught in parables. Thereby the things of God were made more plain and easy to those willing to be taught, and at the same time more difficult and obscure to those who were willingly ignorant. The parable of the sower is plain. The seed sown is the word of God. The sower is our Lord Jesus Christ, by himself, or by his ministers. Preaching to a multitude is sowing the corn; we know not where it will light. Some sort of ground, though we take ever so much pains with it, brings forth no fruit to purpose, while the good soil brings forth plentifully. So it is with the hearts of men, whose different characters are here described by four sorts of ground. Careless, trifling hearers, are an easy prey to Satan; who, as he is the great murderer of souls, so he is the great thief of sermons, and will be sure to rob us of the word, if we take not care to keep it. Hypocrites, like the stony ground, often get the start of true Christians in the shows of profession. Many are glad to hear a good sermon, who do not profit by it. They are told of free salvation, of the believer's privileges, and the happiness of heaven; and, without any change of heart, without any abiding conviction of their own depravity, their need of a Saviour, or the excellence of holiness, they soon profess an unwarranted assurance. But when some heavy trial threatens them, or some sinful advantage may be had, they give up or disguise their profession, or turn to some easier system. Worldly cares are fitly compared to thorns, for they came in with sin, and are a fruit of the curse; they are good in their place to stop a gap, but a man must be well armed that has much to do with them; they are entangling, vexing, scratching, and their end is to be burned, Heb 6:8. Worldly cares are great hinderances to our profiting by the word of God. The deceitfulness of riches does the mischief; they cannot be said to deceive us unless we put our trust in them, then they choke the good seed. What distinguished the good ground was fruitfulness. By this true Christians are distinguished from hypocrites. Christ does not say that this good ground has no stones in it, or no thorns; but none that could hinder its fruitfulness. All are not alike; we should aim at the highest, to bring forth most fruit. The sense of hearing cannot be better employed than in hearing God's word; and let us look to ourselves that we may know what sort of hearers we are.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - For verily (Matthew 5:18, note). Not in the parallel passage; it is much more common in Matthew than Luke. Our Lord contrasts his disciples' "blessedness" not only with the state of their contemporaries, but with that of their predecessors in faith. I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men. Those who were specially favoured with insight into God's methods, and those who approached most closely to his standard of righteousness. Righteous men; "kings" in Luke. St. Luke's readers would probably not appreciate the force of the term, "righteous men." to the same degree that St. Matthew's would. Have desired (ἐπεθύμησαν). By reading ἐπεθύμησα, this saying has been attributed to Christ (see Bishop Westcott, 'Introd.,' App. C.; Resch, 'Agrapha,' p. 397). 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 (cf. Hebrews 11:13; 1 Peter 1:10-12).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For verily I say unto you,.... This is added for the further confirmation of what is before said, concerning the happiness of the disciples, in seeing and hearing what they did:

that many prophets, and righteous men; Luke says, Luke 10:24 "kings"

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. To see Christ in the flesh, and have a clearer insight into the knowledge of the mysteries of grace, were things very desirable to men of the highest class in church and state, and of the best characters, such as Abraham, John 8:56. Jacob, Genesis 49:18. David, Psalm 14:7. Solomon, and the church in his time, Sol 8:1. Isaiah, and the saints with him, Isaiah 25:9 with many others. These indeed had a sight of Christ, but a very distant one; they saw him afar off in the promises and prophecies of him; and not very clearly, but through dark types and cloudy sacrifices; whereas the disciples saw him in person, heard him preach, took in the evidence of his miracles, and felt the power of his doctrines, and spiritually and savingly understood them. A way of speaking, somewhat like this, stands in the Talmud (p);

"Many have watched to expound in Mercavah (the beginning of Ezekiel's prophecy), , "and have not seen it all their days".''

(p) T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 24. 2.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired—rather, "coveted."

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—Not only were the disciples blessed above the blinded just spoken of, but favored above the most honored and the best that lived under the old economy, who had but glimpses of the things of the new kingdom, just sufficient to kindle in them desires not to be fulfilled to any in their day. In Lu 10:23, 24, where the same saying is repeated on the return of the Seventy—the words, instead of "many prophets and righteous men," are "many prophets and kings"; for several of the Old Testament saints were kings.

Second and Seventh Parables or First Pair:

The Wheat and the Tares, and The Good and Bad Fish (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50).

The subject of both these parables—which teach the same truth, with a slight diversity of aspect—is:

The MIXED CHARACTER OF THE Kingdom in Its Present State, and the FINAL ABSOLUTE SEPARATION OF THE Two Classes.

The Tares and the Wheat (Mt 13:24-30, 36-43).

Matthew 13:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Purpose of Jesus' Parables
16"But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17"For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Cross References
Luke 10:23
Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.

John 8:56
Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad."

Hebrews 11:13
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.

1 Peter 1:10
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
Treasury of Scripture

For truly I say to you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which you see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which you hear, and have not heard them.

That many.

Luke 10:24 For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see …

John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

Ephesians 3:5,6 Which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it …

Hebrews 11:13,39,40 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having …

1 Peter 1:10-12 Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, …

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