Matthew 13:8
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred times, some sixty times, some thirty times.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Into good ground.—Here also the Greek has the definite article, “the good ground.” The different results imply that even here there were different degrees of fertility. The hundredfold return was, perhaps, a somewhat uncommon increase, but the narrative of Isaac’s tillage in Genesis 26:12 shows that it was not unheard of, and had probably helped to make it the standard of a more than usually prosperous harvest.

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.Into good ground - The fertile and rich soil.

In sowing, by far the largest proportion of seed will fall into the good soil; but Christ did not intend to teach that these proportions would be exactly the same among those who heard the gospel. Parables are designed to teach some "general" truth, and the circumstances should not be pressed too much in explaining them.

An hundred-fold ... - That is, a hundred, sixty, or thirty "grains" for each one that was sowed an increase by no means uncommon. Some grains of wheat will produce twelve or fifteen hundred grains. The usual proportion on a field sown, however, is not more than twenty, fifty, or sixty bushels for one.

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". But others fell into good ground,.... Not beaten and trodden by the feet of men, nor stony, nor thorny, but well broke up, manured, and tilled; which designs good, honest hearted hearers who become so by the Spirit and grace of God; who with a spiritual understanding, experience, savour, and relish, what they hear; see Matthew 13:23

and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold: some seeds produced an hundred, others sixty, and others thirty. The first of these especially was a large increase, but what was sometimes had, and which Isaac received in Gerar, in the land of the Philistines, Genesis 26:12 and is what Pliny says (g) of Byzacium, a country of the Lybiphoenicians, that it yielded an hundred fold to its husbandmen; and of such fruitfulness was the land of Israel, of which the Jewish doctors say some things incredible: they tell us a story (h) of

"one that sowed a measure of vetches, or pease, , "and it produced three hundred measures"; they say unto him, the Lord hath begun to bless thee, &c.''

Here, in the parable, these various increases intend the different degrees of fruitfulness in gracious souls; for though the fruits of grace, in believers, are of the same quality, yet not of the same quantity. Some believers are grown to a greater maturity than others; some are but little children, some are young men, some are fathers.

(g) Nat. Hist. 1. 5. c. 4. (h) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 20. 2.

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 13:8. Ἑκατὸν κ.τ.λ.] That grains are meant is self-evident, without our having to supply καρπούς. For the great fertility of the East, and especially of Galilee, consult Wetstein on this passage. Dougtius, Anal. II. p. 15 f.; Köster, Erläut. p. 171; Keim, II. p. 448. However, such points of detail (comp. as to ἑκατόν, Genesis 26:12) should not be pressed, serving as they do merely to enliven and fill out the picture.Matthew 13:8. καλὴν, genuinely good land free from all the faults of the other three: soft, deep, clean.—ἐδίδου, yielded. In other texts (Matthew 3:8; Matthew 3:10; Matthew 7:17) ποιεῖν is used.—ἑκατόν, ἑξήκοντα, τριάκοντα: all satisfactory; 30 good, 60 better, 100 best (Genesis 26:12).8. some an hundredfold, &c.] The different kinds of fertility may be ascribed to different kinds of grain; barley yields more than wheat, and “white maize sown in the neighbourhood often yields several hundredfold.” See Thomson’s Land and Book, p. 83.Matthew 13:8. Καλὴν, good) sc. soft, deep, clean (purgatam, i.e. cleared of stones, thorns, and weeds).[600]—ὃ μὲνὃ δὲὃ δὲ, some—some—some) referring to ἄλλα, other, at the commencement of the same verse.

[600] Soft or friable, deep, and cleared of weeds and thorns, are respectively opposed to the hard stiff soil of the wayside, the shallow soil spread over the underlying rock, and the thorny ground.—ED.Verse 8. - But other fell into (upon the, Revised Version) good ground, and brought forth (yielded, Revised Version, ἐδίδου); for effort is not implied. Contrast ἐποίησεν in Luke and Matthew 7:18, note. Fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold. In Mark the numbers increase. Is this due to a desire to avoid even the semblance of a contradiction to αὐξανόμενα, that there precedes? In Luke "hundredfold" alone comes, the difference that exists even in the good ground not being mentioned. (For hundredfold, comp. Genesis 26:12. Compare also the note on Luke 8:8 in this Commentary for instances of still greater production, and for the beautiful parabolic saying recorded by Papias' Elders (Iren., 5:33. 3).) A hundred-fold

Mentioned as something extraordinary. Compare Genesis 26:12. Herodotus (i., 93) says of Babylonia, "In grain it is so fruitful as to yield commonly two-hundred-fold; and when the production is the greatest, even three-hundred-fold."

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