New International Version
Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches."
King James Bible
Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
Darby Bible Translation
which is less indeed than all seeds, but when it is grown is greater than herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and roost in its branches.
World English Bible
which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
Young's Literal Translation
which less, indeed, is than all the seeds, but when it may be grown, is greatest of the herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the heaven do come and rest in its branches.'
Matthew 13:32 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Which indeed is the least of all seeds - That is, of all those seeds which produce plants, whose stems and branches, according to the saying of the botanists, are apt δενδριζειν, arborescere, to grow into a ligneous or woody substance.
Becometh a tree - That is, it is not only the largest of plants which are produced from such small seeds, but partakes, in its substance, the close woody texture, especially in warm climates, where we are informed it grows to an almost incredible size. The Jerusalem Talmud, tract Peah. fol. 20, says, "There was a stalk of mustard in Sichin, from which sprang out three boughs; one of which, being broken off, served to cover the tent of a potter, and produced three cabes of mustard seed. Rabbi Simeon ben Chalapha said, A stalk of mustard seed was in my field, into which I was wont to climb, as men are wont to climb into a fig tree." See Lightfoot and Schoettgen. This may appear to be extravagant; and it is probable that, in the case of the three cabes of seed, there is considerable exaggeration; but, if it had not been usual for this plant to grow to a very large size, such relations as these would not have appeared even in the Talmud; and the parable of our Lord sufficiently attests the fact. Some soils being more luxuriant than others, and the climate much warmer, raise the same plant to a size and perfection far beyond what a poorer soil, or a colder climate, can possibly do. Herodotus says, he has seen wheat and barley in the country about Babylon which carried a blade full four fingers-breadth: and that the millet and sesamum grew to an incredible size. I have myself seen a field of common cabbages, in one of the Norman isles, each of which was from seven to nine feet in height; and one in the garden of a friend, which grew beside an apple-tree, though the latitude of the place is only about 48 deg. 13 min. north, was fifteen feet high, the stem of which is yet remaining, (September, 1798). These facts, and several others which might be added, confirm fully the possibility of what our Lord says of the mustard-tree, however incredible such things may appear to those who are acquainted only with the productions of northern regions and cold climates.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
(Preached at Christ Church, Marylebone, 1867, for the Bishop of London's Fund.) MATTHEW xiii. 24-30. The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the household came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He …
Charles Kingsley—Discipline and Other Sermons
Ears and no Ears
The Parable of the Tares, by Bishop Latimer, Preached on the 7Th of February, 1553.
A Man Reaps More than He Sows.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.
On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.
All the birds of the sky nested in its boughs, all the animals of the wild gave birth under its branches; all the great nations lived in its shade.
Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Under it the wild animals found shelter, and the birds lived in its branches; from it every creature was fed.
Again he said, "What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?
Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade."
Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?
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