Matthew 13:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow;

King James Bible
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

Darby Bible Translation
And he spoke to them many things in parables, saying, Behold, the sower went out to sow:

World English Bible
He spoke to them many things in parables, saying, "Behold, a farmer went out to sow.

Young's Literal Translation
and he spake to them many things in similes, saying: 'Lo, the sower went forth to sow,

Matthew 13:3 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

In parables - The word "parable" is derived from a Greek word signifying "to compare together," and denotes a similitude taken from a natural object to illustrate a spiritual or moral subject. It is a narrative of some fictitious or real event, in order to illustrate more clearly some truth that the speaker wished to communicate. In early ages it was much used. Pagan writers, as Aesop, often employed it. In the time of Christ it was in common use. The prophets had used it, and Christ employed it often in teaching his disciples. It is not necessary to suppose that the narratives were strictly true. The main thing - "the inculcation of spiritual truth" - was gained equally, whether it was true or was only a supposed case. Nor was there any dishonesty in this. It was well understood no person was deceived. The speaker was not "understood" to affirm the thing "literally narrated," but only to fix the attention more firmly on the moral truth that he presented. The "design" of speaking in parables was the following:

1. To convey truth in a more interesting manner to the mind, adding to the truth conveyed the beauty of a lovely image or narrative.

2. To teach spiritual truth so as to arrest the attention of ignorant people, making an appeal to them through the "senses."

3. To convey some offensive truth, some pointed personal rebuke. in such a way as to bring it "home" to the conscience. Of this kind was the parable which Nathan delivered to David 2 Samuel 12:1-7, and many of our Saviour's parables addressed to the Jews.

4. To "conceal" from one part of his audience truths which he intended others should understand. Thus Christ often, by this means, delivered truths to his disciples in the presence of the Jews, which he well knew the Jews would not understand; truths pertaining to them particularly, and which he was under no obligations to explain to the Jews. See Mark 4:33; Matthew 13:13-16.

Our Saviour's parables are distinguished above all others for clearness, purity, chasteness, importance of instruction, and simplicity. They are taken mostly from the affairs of common life, and intelligible, therefore, to all people. They contain much of "himself" - his doctrine, life, design in coming, and claims, and are therefore of importance to all people; and they are told in a style of simplicity intelligible to the child, yet instructive to people of every rank and age. In his parables, as in all his instructions, he excelled all people in the purity, importance, and sublimity of his doctrine.

Matthew 13:3

A sower went forth to sow - The image here is taken from an employment known to all people, and therefore intelligible to all.

Nor can there be a more striking illustration of preaching the gospel than placing the seed in the ground, to spring up hereafter and bear fruit.

Sower - One who sows or scatters seed - a farmer. It is not improbable that one was near the Saviour when he spoke this parable.

Matthew 13:3 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Leaven
'The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and bid to three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.'--MATT. xiii. 33. How lovingly and meditatively Jesus looked upon homely life, knowing nothing of the differences, the vulgar differences, between the small and great! A poor woman, with her morsel of barm, kneading it up among three measures of meal, in some coarse earthenware pan, stands to Him as representing the whole process of His work in the world. Matthew brings
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Four Sowings and one Ripening
'The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. 2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 8. And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 6. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Jesus visits Nazareth and is Rejected.
^A Matt. XIII. 54-58; ^B Mark VI. 1-6; ^C Luke IV. 16-31. ^b 1 And he went out from thence [from Capernaum] ; and he cometh { ^a And coming} ^b into his own country; and his disciples follow him. ^c 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up [As to this city, see pages 14 and 55. As to the early years of Jesus at Nazareth, see page 60]: ^b 2 And when the sabbath was come ^c he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. [This does not mean
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

New Teaching in Parables' - the Parables to the People by the Lake of Galilee, and those to the Disciples in Capernaum
We are once more with Jesus and His disciples by the Lake of Galilee. We love to think that it was in the early morning, when the light laid its golden shadows on the still waters, and the fresh air, untainted by man, was fragrant of earth's morning sacrifice, when no voice of human discord marred the restfulness of holy silence, nor broke the Psalm of Nature's praise. It was a spring morning too, and of such spring-time as only the East, and chiefly the Galilean Lake, knows - nor of mingled sunshine
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Cross References
Matthew 13:4
and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.

Matthew 13:10
And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"

Mark 3:23
And He called them to Himself and began speaking to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?

Mark 4:2
And He was teaching them many things in parables, and was saying to them in His teaching,

Mark 12:1
And He began to speak to them in parables: "A man PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT, AND DUG A VAT UNDER THE WINE PRESS AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey.

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