|Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible|
And when he sowed,.... Or, "as he sowed", as the other evangelists; that is, "whilst he was sowing",
Vincent's Word Studies
By the wayside
Dean Stanley, approaching the plain of Gennesareth, says: "A slight recess in the hillside, close upon the plain, disclosed at once, in detail and with a conjunction which I remember nowhere else in Palestine, every feature of the great parable. There was the undulating cornfield descending to the water's edge. There was the trodden pathway running through the midst of it, with no fence or hedge to prevent the seed from falling here and there on either side of it or upon it; itself hard with the constant tramp of horse and mule and human feet. There was the 'good' rich soil which distinguishes the whole of that plain and its neighborhood from the bare hills elsewhere descending into the lake, and which, where there is no interruption, produces one vast mass of corn. There was the rocky ground of the hillside protruding here and there through the cornfields, as elsewhere through the grassy slopes. There were the large bushes of thorn - the nabk, that kind of which tradition says that the crown of thorns was woven - springing up, like the fruit-trees of the more inland parts, in the very midst of the waving wheat" ("Sinai and Palestine").
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
Some seeds fell by the way-side - That is, the hard "path" or headland, which the plow had not touched, and where there was no opportunity for it to sink into the earth.
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
Some seeds fell by the way side - The hard beaten path, where no plough had broken up the ground.
Geneva Study Bible
And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
People's New Testament
13:4 And when he sowed. The seed-time in Palestine is usually in October, about the time when this parable was spoken. Sowing is always done by hand.
Fell by the way side. Where the field and the road join, or, rather, along the narrow, trodden foot-path through the fields, so common in Palestine.
Fowls came and devoured them. The birds, because the grains were not covered.
13:4 And while he sowed, some seeds fell by the highway side, and the birds came and devoured them - It is observable, that our Lord points out the grand hinderances of our bearing fruit, in the same order as they occur. The first danger is, that the birds will devour the seed. If it escape this, there is then another danger, namely, lest it be scorched, and wither away. It is long after this that the thorns spring up and choke the good seed. A vast majority of those who hear the word of God, receive the seed as by the highway side. Of those who do not lose it by the birds, yet many receive it as on stony places. Many of them who receive it in a better soil, yet suffer the thorns to grow up, and choke it: so that few even of these endure to the end, and bear fruit unto perfection: yet in all these cases, it is not the will of God that hinders, but their own voluntary perverseness.
Matthew 13:4 Parallel Commentaries
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