And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Among thorns.—Literally, the thorns, so familiar to the husbandman. These were not visible at the time of sowing. The ground had been so far cleared, but the roots were left below the surface, and their growth and that of the grain went on simultaneously, and ended in the survival, not of the fittest, but of the strongest. The ears shot up, and did not die suddenly, as in the preceding case, but were slowly strangled till they died away.
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 Mr 4:1-9, 14-20.
Reason for Teaching in Parables (Mt 13:10-17).See Poole on "Matthew 13:9".
and the thorns sprung up: naturally, being neither sown nor planted; either before the seed, or, at least, as soon; and however grew faster, and higher,
and choked them; so that they came to nothing; hence the advice, "sow not among thorns", Jeremiah 4:3 and a lost kindness, or what is bestowed in vain, is expressed in this proverbial manner (f), , "thy beneficence is taken away, and cast among thorns": these point out such hearers who seemed to be contrite, to have the low ground of their hearts broken up, their consciences tender, and to have a true sense of sin, as well as to be outwardly reformed; and yet inwardly were full of the thorns of sinful lusts, particularly of the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, the lusts of other things, and the pleasures of this life, which rendered the word useless and unfruitful; see Matthew 13:22 all which are comparable to thorns; it is hardly possible to be in the midst of, and meddle with these, without being scratched by them; they pierce, afflict, and wound, even where they have not their greatest power and influence; and where they do prevail, and get the ascendant, as they are fruitless themselves, they make others so too; they choke the word, and make that, and all ordinances, and opportunities, useless, and unserviceable. Thorns are a part of the earth's curse for the sin of man; and such persons in whom thorny cares and lusts prevail, as they are like unto the earth which beareth thorns, so, as that, they are rejected, and nigh to cursing, whose end is to be burned in everlasting flames of divine wrath and fury, Hebrews 6:8.
(e) Misn. Sheviith, c. 4. sect. 2. T. Hieros. Sheviith, fol. 34. 3. & 35. 1. T. Bab. Bechorot, fol. 34. 2.((f) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 63. 2. Bava Kama, fol. 83. 1. Cetubot, fol. 53. 2. & Betza, fol. 29. 2.And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 13:7. ἐπὶ τὰς ἀκάνθας. Fritzsche prefers the reading ἐις because the seed fell not on thorns already sprung up, but on ground full of thorn seeds or roots. But the latter idea, which is the true one, can be expressed also by ἐπὶ.—ἀνέβησαν: the thorns sprang up as well as the corn, and growing more vigorously gained the upper hand.—ἔπνιξαν. Euthy. Zig. finds this idea in ἀνέβησαν, for which he gives as synonym ὑπερίσχυσαν.7. thorns sprung up] The scholar will remember that Vergil mentions among the “plagues” of the wheat,
“Ut mala culmos
Esset robigo segnisque horreret in
Georg. i:150–153.Matthew 13:7. Ἀνέβησαν αἱ ἄκανθαι, the thorns sprang up) beyond the crop itself. They had not before then grown so high. Those who have heard the Word, yet do not grow in good, turn their strength to increase in evil.Verse 7. - And some fell among thorns; upon the thorns (Revised Version); which were sure to be close by (cf. Jeremiah 4:3). And the thorns sprang up (grew up, Revised Version, ἀνέβησαν), and choked them. Whether brambles or merely spinous weeds (on their abundance, see Tristram, 'Nat. Hist. of Bible,' p. 423, edit. 1889) are here referred to is not certain. Even the former might be comparatively low in sowing time, and only as they "grew up" cause serious injury to the wheat.
The seed, therefore, fell, not among standing thorns, but among those beneath the surface, ready to spring up.
Trench ("Parables") cites a striking parallel from Ovid, describing the obstacles to the growth of the grain:
"Now the too ardent sun, vow furious showers,
With baleful stars and bitter winds combine
The crop to ravage; while the greedy fowl
Snatch the strewn seeds; and grass with stubborn roots,
And thorn and darnel plague the ripening grain."
Metamorphoses, v., 486.
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