Matthew 13:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.

King James Bible
But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Darby Bible Translation
but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel amongst the wheat, and went away.

World English Bible
but while people slept, his enemy came and sowed darnel weeds also among the wheat, and went away.

Young's Literal Translation
and, while men are sleeping, his enemy came and sowed darnel in the midst of the wheat, and went away,

Matthew 13:25 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

But while men slept - When the professors were lukewarm, and the pastors indolent, his enemy came and sowed tares, ζιζανια degenerate, or bastard wheat. The righteous and the wicked are often mingled in the visible Church. Every Christian society, how pure soever its principles may be, has its bastard wheat - those who bear a resemblance to the good, but whose hearts are not right with God. He who sows this bastard wheat among God's people is here styled God's enemy; and he may be considered also as a sower of them who permits them to be sown and to spring up through his negligence. Wo to the indolent pastors, who permit the souls under their care to be corrupted by error and sin! This word does not, I believe, occur in any of the Greek classics, nor in Dioscorides; but it may be seen in the Geoponica, or Greek writers De Re Rustica: see the edition by Niclas, vol. i. lib. ii. c. 43, where το ζιζανιον is said to be the same which the Greeks call αιρα; and Florentinus, the author, says, Το ζιζανιον, το λεγομενον Αιρα, φθειρει νον σιτον, αρτοις δε μιγνυμενη, σκοτοι τους εσθιοντας. "Zizanion, which is called αιρα, darnel, injures the wheat; and, mixed in the bread, causes dimness of the eyes to those who eat of it." And the author might have added vertigo also. But this does not seem to be the grain to which our Lord alludes.

The word ζιζανια, zizania, which is here translated tares, and which should rather be translated bastard or degenerate wheat, is a Chaldee word; and its meaning must be sought in the rabbinical writers. In a treatise in the Mishna called Kelayim, which treats expressly on different kinds of seeds, the word זונים zunim, or זונין zunin, is used for bastard or degenerated wheat; that which was wholly a right seed in the beginning, but afterwards became degenerate - the ear not being so large, nor the grains in such quantity, as formerly, nor the corn so good in quality. In Psalm 144:13, the words מזן אל זן mizzan al zen, are translated all manner of store; but they properly signify, from species to species: might not the Chaldee word זונין zunin, and the Greek word ζιζανια, zizania, come from the psalmist's זנזן zanzan, which might have signified a mixture of grain of any kind, and be here used to point out the mixing bastard or degenerate wheat among good seed wheat? The Persic translator renders it telkh daneh, bitter grain; but it seems to signify merely degenerate wheat. This interpretation throws much light on the scope and design of the whole passage. Christ seems to refer, first, to the origin of evil. God sowed good seed in his field; made man in his own image and likeness: but the enemy, the devil, (Matthew 13:39), corrupted this good seed, and caused it to degenerate. Secondly, he seems to refer to the state of the Jewish people: God had sowed them, at first, wholly a right seed, but now they were become utterly degenerate, and about to be plucked up and destroyed by the Roman armies, which were the angels or messengers of God's justice, whom he had commissioned to sweep these rebellious people from the face of the land. Thirdly, he seems to refer also to the state in which the world shall be found, when he comes to judge it. The righteous and the wicked shall be permitted to grow together, till God comes to make a full and final separation.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Matthew 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.

Isaiah 56:9,10 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, yes, all you beasts in the forest...

Acts 20:30,31 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them...

Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brothers unawares brought in, who came in privately to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus...

2 Timothy 4:3-5 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers...

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you...

2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you...

Revelation 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess...


Matthew 13:39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ...

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world...

Revelation 13:14 And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast...


Matthew 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

(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
'Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.--MATT. xiii. 8. This saying was frequently on our Lord's lips, and that in very various connections. He sometimes, as in the instance before us, appended it to teaching which, from its parabolic form, required attention to disentangle the spiritual truth implied. He sometimes used it to commend some strange, new revolutionary teaching to men's investigation--as, for instance, after that great declaration of the nullity of ceremonial worship, how that nothing
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Parable of the Tares, by Bishop Latimer, Preached on the 7Th of February, 1553.
MATTHEW XIII.--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, &c. This is a parable or similitude wherein our Saviour compared the kingdom of God, that is, the preaching of his word, wherein consisteth the salvation of mankind, unto a husbandman who sowed good seed in his field. But before we come unto the matter, you shall first learn to understand what this word parable, which
John Knox—The Pulpit Of The Reformation, Nos. 1, 2 and 3.

A Man Reaps More than He Sows.
A MAN REAPS MORE THAN HE SOWS. "But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold."--Matt. xiii: 8. If I sow a bushel, I expect to reap ten or twenty bushels. I can sow in one day what will take ten men to reap. The Spaniards have this proverb: "Sow a thought and reap an act. Sow an act, and reap a habit. Sow a habit, and reap a character. Sow a character and reap a destiny." And it takes a longer time to reap than to sow. I have heard
Dwight L. Moody—Sowing and Reaping

Cross References
Matthew 13:24
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.

Matthew 13:26
When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

Matthew 13:27
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?'

Matthew 13:29
"'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them.

Matthew 13:30
Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"

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