Matthew 9:37
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.

New Living Translation
He said to his disciples, "The harvest is great, but the workers are few.

English Standard Version
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

New American Standard Bible
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

King James Bible
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few.

International Standard Version
Then he told his disciples, "The harvest is vast, but the workers are few.

NET Bible
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And he said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, and the labourers are few.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is large, but the workers are few.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then he said unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;

King James 2000 Bible
Then said he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;

American King James Version
Then said he to his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;

American Standard Version
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Then he saith to his disciples, The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few.

Darby Bible Translation
Then saith he to his disciples, The harvest [is] great and the workmen [are] few;

English Revised Version
Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.

Webster's Bible Translation
Then saith he to his disciples, The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Weymouth New Testament
Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the reapers are few;

World English Bible
Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Young's Literal Translation
then saith he to his disciples, 'The harvest indeed is abundant, but the workmen few;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:35-38 Jesus visited not only the great and wealthy cities, but the poor, obscure villages; and there he preached, there he healed. The souls of the meanest in the world are as precious to Christ, and should be so to us, as the souls of those who make the greatest figure. There were priests, Levites, and scribes, all over the land; but they were idol shepherds, Zec 11:17; therefore Christ had compassion on the people as sheep scattered, as men perishing for lack of knowledge. To this day vast multitudes are as sheep not having a shepherd, and we should have compassion and do all we can to help them. The multitudes desirous of spiritual instruction formed a plenteous harvest, needing many active labourers; but few deserved that character. Christ is the Lord of the harvest. Let us pray that many may be raised up and sent forth, who will labour in bringing souls to Christ. It is a sign that God is about to bestow some special mercy upon a people, when he stirs them up to pray for it. And commissions given to labourers in answer to prayer, are most likely to be successful.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 37, 38. - The utterance is given word for word (except one transposition) at the beginning of the address to the seventy in Luke 10:2. But while serving there as an introduction to the rest of the speech, the reason for it is so much more self-evident here that St. Matthew seems to have recorded it in its original connexion. Our Lord himself, feeling the shepherdless condition of the people, desires to call out the interest of his disciples in it. He wants them to realize both the need of the people and the possibility that lay before the workmen. Changing the metaphor, he bids them pray him, who alone has the right and power, to send more workmen to reap these fields. Verse 37. - Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest - of human souls (John 4:35-38). Truly. So also the Revised Version; too strong a rendering of μέν. Is plenteous (cf. Matthew 10:23; Bengel), but the labourers are few. Who besides himself? John the Baptist, some who had been healed, e.g. the Gadarene demoniac (Mark 5:20, possibly also the blind men of ver. 31), and perhaps a few unknown true believers. Not the twelve, for these are evidently distinguished, and only to be included under the labourers spoken of in the end of the next verse. If, however, the utterance was originally spoken to the seventy (vide supra), the reference would be to the twelve.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Then saith he unto his disciples,.... His heart being drawn out, and filled with pity to these poor people, upon observing the miserable and sad condition they were in; he turns himself to his disciples, whom he was about to call, and send forth in a more public manner to preach the Gospel, of which we read in the following chapter; and in order to quicken them to this service, and engage their hearts in it, says unto them,

the harvest truly is plenteous; meaning the large number of God's elect, which were in these cities, towns, and villages, and in other places: not that these were maturely prepared by anything in themselves, or done by them, for the grace of God; and much less ripe for the kingdom of glory, and therefore called an harvest: but as there are the appointed weeks of the harvest, or a set time for the harvest to be gathered in, so there is a certain fixed time, settled in the counsel, and by the purpose of God, for the effectual calling and conversion of his elect; and this time being come, with respect to these in Galilee, and other parts, Christ calls them an "harvest"; and because of their number, a large, or "plenteous" one.

But the labourers are few: Gospel ministers; whose calling is a laborious one; whose business is to labour in the word and doctrine; to be constant in prayer; to give up themselves to meditation and reading; to study to show themselves workmen; to preach the word in season, and out of season; and diligently discharge the several duties of their office, to the glory of Christ, and the good of souls: but such painful and laborious ministers, who are willing to spend, and be spent for Christ and immortal souls, have been but few in all ages; generally speaking, there are more loiterers than labourers.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

37. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous—His eye doubtless rested immediately on the Jewish field, but this he saw widening into the vast field of "the world" (Mt 13:38), teeming with souls having to be gathered to Him.

but the labourers—men divinely qualified and called to gather them in—"are few."

Matthew 9:37 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Sheep and the Harvest
36Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38"Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."
Cross References
Matthew 9:38
Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

Matthew 20:1
"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard.

Luke 10:2
He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

John 4:35
Don't you have a saying, 'It's still four months until harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

James 5:4
Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.
Treasury of Scripture

Then said he to his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few;

The harvest.

Matthew 28:19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name …

Mark 16:15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel …

Luke 10:2 Therefore said he to them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers …

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his …

John 4:35,36 Say not you, There are yet four months, and then comes harvest? behold, …

Acts 16:9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of …

Acts 18:10 For I am with you, and no man shall set on you to hurt you: for I …

but.

Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are laborers together with God: you are God's husbandry, you …

2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that you …

Philippians 2:19-21 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly to you, that …

Colossians 4:11 And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. …

1 Thessalonians 5:12,13 And we beseech you, brothers, to know them which labor among you, …

1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, …

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