The Gospel according to Matthew
The gospel text below is from The Anchor Bible Matthew, intro, translation and notes by W.F. Albright and C. S. Mann.
50 – Parables of the Kingdom (13:1-52)
13:10 The disciples came to him with the inquiry, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He replied, “It has been granted to you to know the mysteries] of the Kingdom of heaven, while to them it has not been so granted. 12 For to the man who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, while from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 Therefore I address them in parables, since for all their looking they do not see, and for all their hearing they neither listen nor understand.
12- Albright writes: the passage is obscure. On the surface the saying deals with spiritual capacity….It is far better to interpret the saying as dealing with a spiritual inheritance, and not the capacity for faith.
14 For them is fulfilled the saying of Isaiah the prophet:
‘You will certainly hear, but never understand,
and you will certainly see, but never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
their ears sated with hearing,
and they have closed their eyes;
lest they should perceive with their eyes,
listen with their ears,
and understand with their minds
and turn for me to heal them.’
16 But your eyes are fortunate because they see, and your ears too for they listen. 17 I solemnly tell you that many prophets and righteous ones have ardently wished to see the things you see, and have not seen them; to hear the things you hear and have not heard them.
18 “Listen then to the parable of the Sower.
The titles “the parable of the sower” and “of the weeds” here and is vs. 36 are the only examples of such titles in the NT. Even the title here is incorrect: the parable has more to do with the ground than with the Sower.
19 When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on stony ground, this is the man who hears the word and immediately embraces it with enthusiasm. 21 But he has no root in himself, and lasts only for a time, and when trial or persecution arises because of the word, he immediately falls.[g]22 As for what fell among thorns, this is the man who hears the word, but worldly worries and care for wealth choke the word and it becomes unproductive. 23 But in the case of what was sown on good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it, he certainly produces fruit, making in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”–
24 He put to them another parable, in this way: “The Kingdom of heaven may be compared with a man who sowed good seed on his land. 25 While men were sleeping, however, an enemy came and sowed weeds in the wheat, and went away. 26 Thus when the plants came up and bore grain, the weeds also appeared. 27 The householder’s servants came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed on your land? How then does it happen that it has weeds?’ 28 He answered them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ Thereupon the servants said, ‘Is it your wish, then, that we go and gather them up?’ 29 But he replied, ‘No; lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat at the same time. 30 Let both grow together until harvest; and at harvesttime I will give orders to the reapers to gather the weeds first, and bind them in bundles for burning, but to gather the wheat into my granary.’”
30 – burning – fire is constantly used in Matthew to describe judgment.
31 He put before them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man (took and) sowed on his land. 32 it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it is grown it is the largest of the shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” 33 He put before them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast which a woman took and put into] three measures of flour until it was all leavened.”
32 – largest of the shrubs – This shrub commonly grows to a height of ten feet by the sea of Galilee.
34 Jesus said all this to the crowds in parables, and he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 In this way was fulfilled the saying of the prophet:
“I will speak in parables;
I will declare what has been hidden since the foundation of the
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples followed him, and asked him, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds on the land.” 37 His reply was, “He who sowed the good seed is The Man. 38 The Land is the world, and the good seed are the children of the Kingdom. The weeds are the children of the Evil One, 39 while the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 As, then, the weeds are gathered and burned in the fire, so will it be at the consummation of the natural order. 41 The Man will send his messengers to gather out of Kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and 42 they will throw them into the fire; there will be shrieking and grinding of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Let him who has understanding listen.
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