Matthew 13:6
And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
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(6) Because they had no root.—Or, as in Luke 8:6, “because they lacked moisture.” The growth had been over-rapid, and the presence of the underlying rock at once made the heat more intense, and deprived the plant of the conditions of resistance.

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.Stony places - Where there was little earth, but where it was hard and rocky, so that the roots could not strike down into the earth for sufficient moisture to support the plant.

When the sun became hot they of course withered away. They sprang up the sooner because there was little earth to cover them.

Forthwith - Immediately. Not that they sprouted and grew any quicker or faster than the others, but they were not so long in reaching the surface. Having little root, they soon withered away.

3. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, &c.—These parables are SEVEN in number; and it is not a little remarkable that while this is the sacred number, the first FOUR of them were spoken to the mixed multitude, while the remaining THREE were spoken to the Twelve in private—these divisions, four and three, being themselves notable in the symbolical arithmetic of Scripture. Another thing remarkable in the structure of these parables is, that while the first of the Seven—that of the Sower—is of the nature of an Introduction to the whole, the remaining Six consist of three pairs—the Second and Seventh, the Third and Fourth, and the Fifth and Sixth, corresponding to each other; each pair setting forth the same general truths, but with a certain diversity of aspect. All this can hardly be accidental.

First Parable: The Sower (Mt 13:3-9, 18-23).

This parable may be entitled, The Effect of the Word Dependent on the State of the Heart. For the exposition of this parable, see on [1286]Mr 4:1-9, 14-20.

Reason for Teaching in Parables (Mt 13:10-17).

See Poole on "Matthew 13:9".

And when the sun was up,.... Some time, and its heat was increasing, and it began to shine out hot, and beat with some vehemency and strength; which may denote some sore temptation, or severe affliction, or fiery trial of persecution and tribulation; see Matthew 13:21 for this is not to be understood of the glorious light of the Gospel, which, though very comfortable and refreshing, as well as illuminating to good men, is very distressing and tormenting to carnal minds; they cannot bear its truths and doctrines; this is the fire which comes out of the mouth of God's faithful witnesses, and torments them that dwell on the earth, and devours their enemies, Revelation 11:5. And it, moreover, like the sun, has different effects on different objects; as the sun hardens clay, and melts wax, so the Gospel is to the hardening of some, and softening of others; to the one it is the savour of life unto life, and to the other the savour of death unto death; but this cannot be intended, because the word by these hearers is first received with joy. Nor is Christ the sun of righteousness meant, who arises with healing in his wings, and gives grace and glory to his people; but the sun of persecution and affliction, in which sense the metaphor is used, in Sol 1:6 the heat of which the church patiently bore, though she was made black with it: but these hearers think it strange that such a fiery trial should befall them; wherefore, as they take up their profession in haste, they as quickly drop it; see Revelation 7:16.

They were scorched, and because they had not root, they withered away: they were offended with what they met with, for the sake of Christ, and the profession of his word; and therefore, not being rooted in him, nor in the love of God, nor having the root of the matter, true grace, in themselves, or, as Luke says, "lacked moisture", of divine grace, of the dews and waterings of it, fell away finally and totally. This is no instance of the apostasy of real saints, or any proof of true believers falling away finally and totally; since these were not rooted, and grounded in the everlasting and unchangeable love of God, were not interested in it, or were partakers of the effects of it; had they been so, they could never have been separated from it; tribulation, distress, and persecution could never have done it; none of these would ever have moved them; had they had the love of God shed abroad in their hearts, they would have gloried in tribulation: nor were they united to Christ, rooted and built up in him; had they, they would have continued to have derived life and nourishment from him; in him the life of believers is hid, and because he lives they live also; as long as there is life in the root, the branches will not die; he is the root that bears the branches, the root of the righteous that yields fruit, and is never moved: nor had these the truth of grace, which is an incorruptible seed, a well of living water springing up to everlasting life; had they, they could never have withered away; to such God gives more grace, he himself is as the dew unto them, and he waters them every moment.

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.

Matthew 13:6. ἐκαυματίσθη, it was scorched (by the sun) (cf. Revelation 16:8), which had made it spring earliest: promptly quickened, soon killed.

Matthew 13:6. Ἐκαυματίσθη, they were scorched) sc. in a less degree from without.—ἐξηράνθη, they were dried up) sc. utterly from within.[599]

[599] A man, to whom any degree of good begins to adhere, is liable to the loss of it, even though he may not lose it all at once.—V. g.

Verse 6. - And when the sun was up (ἀνατείλαντος). It can hardly be accidental that the Greek suggests the contrast between the springing up of the seeds and of the sun's rays. They were scorched; and because they had not root, they withered away (cf. John 15:6). Matthew 13:6
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