Luke 8:5
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
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(5-15) A sower went out to sow.—See Notes on Matthew 13:3-23. Better, the sower. The vivid touch that the seed was “trodden down” is peculiar to St. Luke.

8:4-21 There are many very needful and excellent rules and cautions for hearing the word, in the parable of the sower, and the application of it. Happy are we, and for ever indebted to free grace, if the same thing that is a parable to others, with which they are only amused, is a plain truth to us, by which we are taught and governed. We ought to take heed of the things that will hinder our profiting by the word we hear; to take heed lest we hear carelessly and slightly, lest we entertain prejudices against the word we hear; and to take heed to our spirits after we have heard the word, lest we lose what we have gained. The gifts we have, will be continued to us or not, as we use them for the glory of God, and the good of our brethren. Nor is it enough not to hold the truth in unrighteousness; we should desire to hold forth the word of life, and to shine, giving light to all around. Great encouragement is given to those who prove themselves faithful hearers of the word, by being doers of the work. Christ owns them as his relations.See the parable of the sower explained in the notes at Matthew 13:1-23. Lu 8:4-18. Parable of the Sower.

(See on [1596]Mr 4:3-9, [1597]Mr 4:14-20.)

See Poole on "Luke 8:4"

A sower went out to sow his seed,.... By whom Jesus Christ is chiefly designed; though it is true of every preacher of the Gospel: who goes forth, being sent by Christ, with the precious seed of the word: for the phrase, "his seed", which only Luke has, best agrees with Christ, he being the proprietor and subject of it. The Alexandrian copy reads, "the seed of himself", The Persic version reads the whole clause thus, "a sower chose ground, and there he sowed seed": he fixed on the spot of ground to sow his seed in, as Christ did on the people of the Jews, and afterwards the Gentiles.

And, as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; on the road, which was by the side of the field, in which people commonly walked, and so was beaten hard, and the seed lay upon it, and was not received; which designs such hearers of the word, as are not susceptive of it, do not take it in, and have no manner of understanding of it.

And it was trodden down; by every one that passed by, as the Gospel preached to such hardened and ignorant hearers, is despised and trampled under foot by them.

And the fowls of the air devoured it; who generally flock about places where seed is sowing; and here intend the devil and his angels, that have their dwelling in the air; and frequent places of public worship to hinder the usefulness of the ministry of the word, as much as in them lies.

A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Luke 8:5. τὸν σπόρον α.: an editorial addition, that could be dispensed with.—ὃ μὲν, one part, neuter, replied to by καὶ ἕτερον = ἕτερον δὲ in Luke 8:6.

5. A sower went out] Rather, The sower; as also the rock, the thorns. St Mark (Mark 4:3) preserves for us the graphic detail that Jesus prefaced this new method of teaching by the one emphatic word “Hearken!” as though to prepare them for something unusual and memorable.

some fell by the way side] The nature of the land in the plain of Gennesareth would, as Dean Stanley noticed (Sin. and Palest, p. 496), and as many have subsequently remarked, furnish an immediate illustration of the words. In the fields close to the shore may be seen the hard beaten paths into which no seed can penetrate; the flights of innumerable birds ready to peck it up; the rocks thinly covered with soil, and the stony ground; the dense tangled growth of weeds and thistles in neglected corners; and the rich deep loam on which the harvests grew with unwonted luxuriance.

it was trodden down] This touch is found in St Luke only.

Luke 8:5. Ὁ σπείρων τοῦ σπεῖραι τὸν σπόρον, a sower to sow his seed) Conjugate words excite attention.

Verse 5. - A sower went out to sow his seed. The Master's words, in after-days, must often have come home to the disciples. They would feel that in each of them, if they were faithful to their work, the "sower" of the parable was reproduced; they would remember what they had heard from his lips; how he had warned them of the reception which their words would surely meet with; how by far the greater proportion of the seed they would sow, would perish. But though the disciples and all true Christian men in a greater or less degree reproduce the sower of the parable, still the great Sower, it must be remembered, is the Holy Spirit. Every true teacher or sower of the Word does but repeat what they have learned from him. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside. Dean Stanley, on the scenery of the parable, thus writes: "Is there anything on the spot to suggest the images thus conveyed? So I asked as I rode along the tract under the hillside, by which the Plain of Gennesaret is approached. So I asked at the moment, seeing nothing but the steep sides of the hill, alternately of rock and grass. And when I thought of the parable of the sower, I answered that here at least was nothing on which the Divine teaching could fasten; it must have been the distant corn-fields of Samaria or Esdraelon on which his mind was dwelling. The thought had hardly occurred to me when 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 corn-field 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 foot" ('Sinai and Palestine,' ch. 13.). Luke 8:5To sow

See on Matthew 13:3.

His seed

Peculiar to Luke.

By the way-side

See on Matthew 13:4.

Was trodden down

A rendering which would apply better to standing grain. Render, as Rev., trodden under foot. Peculiar to Luke.

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