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Matthew 13:1-23Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Parable of the Sower

13 On that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. Such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat and sat down, while the whole crowd stood on the shore.

Then He told them many things in parables, saying: “Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he was sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on rocky ground, where there wasn’t much soil, and they sprang up quickly since the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up they were scorched, and since they had no root, they withered. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop: some 100, some 60, and some 30 times what was sown. Anyone who has ears[a] should listen!”

Why Jesus Used Parables

10 Then the disciples came up and asked Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered them, “Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. 12 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and he will have more than enough. But whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 For this reason I speak to them in parables, because looking they do not see, and hearing they do not listen or understand. 14 Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

You will listen and listen,
yet never understand;
and you will look and look,
yet never perceive.
15 For this people’s heart has grown callous;
their ears are hard of hearing,
and they have shut their eyes;
otherwise they might see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn back—
and I would cure them.[b]

16 “But your eyes are blessed because they do see, and your ears because they do hear! 17 For I assure you: Many prophets and righteous people longed to see the things you see yet didn’t see them; to hear the things you hear yet didn’t hear them.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “You, then, listen to the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word[c] about the kingdom and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the one sown along the path. 20 And the one sown on rocky ground—this is one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy. 21 Yet he has no root in himself, but is short-lived. When pressure or persecution comes because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now the one sown among the thorns—this is one who hears the word, but the worries of this age and the seduction[d] of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 But the one sown on the good ground—this is one who hears and understands the word, who does bear fruit and yields: some 100, some 60, some 30 times what was sown.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:9 Other mss add to hear
  2. Matthew 13:15 Is 6:9-10
  3. Matthew 13:19 Gk logos = word, or message, or saying, or thing
  4. Matthew 13:22 Or pleasure, or deceitfulness

Matthew 13:1-23New King James Version (NKJV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should[a] heal them.’[b]

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:15 NU-Text and M-Text read would.
  2. Matthew 13:15 Isaiah 6:9, 10
New King James Version (NKJV)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Matthew 13:1-23New Living Translation (NLT)

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

13 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:

“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

10 His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables,

For they look, but they don’t really see.
    They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

‘When you hear what I say,
    you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
    you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
    and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
    so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
    and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
    and let me heal them.’[b]

16 “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.

18 “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: 19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

Footnotes:

  1. 13:11 Greek the mysteries.
  2. 13:14-15 Isa 6:9-10 (Greek version).
New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.


Matthew 13:1-23Good News Translation (GNT)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus left the house and went to the lakeside, where he sat down to teach. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it, while the crowd stood on the shore. He used parables to tell them many things.

“Once there was a man who went out to sow grain. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn't deep. But when the sun came up, it burned the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants bore grain: some had one hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.”

And Jesus concluded, “Listen, then, if you have ears!”

The Purpose of the Parables

10 Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?”

11 Jesus answered, “The knowledge about the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 For the person who has something will be given more, so that he will have more than enough; but the person who has nothing will have taken away from him even the little he has. 13 The reason I use parables in talking to them is that they look, but do not see, and they listen, but do not hear or understand. 14 So the prophecy of Isaiah applies to them:

‘This people will listen and listen, but not understand;
    they will look and look, but not see,
15 because their minds are dull,
    and they have stopped up their ears
    and have closed their eyes.
Otherwise, their eyes would see,
    their ears would hear,
    their minds would understand,
and they would turn to me, says God,
    and I would heal them.’

16 “As for you, how fortunate you are! Your eyes see and your ears hear. 17 I assure you that many prophets and many of God's people wanted very much to see what you see, but they could not, and to hear what you hear, but they did not.

Jesus Explains the Parable of the Sower

18 “Listen, then, and learn what the parable of the sower means. 19 Those who hear the message about the Kingdom but do not understand it are like the seeds that fell along the path. The Evil One comes and snatches away what was sown in them. 20 The seeds that fell on rocky ground stand for those who receive the message gladly as soon as they hear it. 21 But it does not sink deep into them, and they don't last long. So when trouble or persecution comes because of the message, they give up at once. 22 The seeds that fell among thorn bushes stand for those who hear the message; but the worries about this life and the love for riches choke the message, and they don't bear fruit. 23 And the seeds sown in the good soil stand for those who hear the message and understand it: they bear fruit, some as much as one hundred, others sixty, and others thirty.”

Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Matthew 13:1-23Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting beside the sea.

But such great crowds gathered about Him that He got into a boat and remained sitting there, while all the throng stood on the shore.

And He told them many things in parables (stories by way of illustration and comparison), saying, A sower went out to sow.

And as he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside, and the birds came and ate them up.

Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil; and at once they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.

But when the sun rose, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they dried up and withered away.

Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them out.

Other seeds fell on good soil, and yielded grain—some a hundred times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some thirty.

He who has ears [to hear], let him be listening and let him [a]consider and [b]perceive and comprehend by hearing.

10 Then the disciples came to Him and said, Why do You speak to them in parables?

11 And He replied to them, To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12 For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will [c]be furnished richly so that he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

13 This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because [d]having the power of seeing, they do not see; and [e]having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.

14 In them indeed is [f]the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.

15 For this nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them.

16 But blessed (happy, fortunate, and [g]to be envied) are your eyes because they do see, and your ears because they do hear.

17 Truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous men [men who were upright and in right standing with God] yearned to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

18 Listen then to the [meaning of the] parable of the sower:

19 [h]While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside.

20 As for what was sown on thin (rocky) soil, this is he who hears the Word and at once welcomes and accepts it with joy;

21 Yet it has no real root in him, but is temporary (inconstant, [i]lasts but a little while); and when affliction or trouble or persecution comes on account of the Word, at once he is caused to stumble [he is repelled and [j]begins to distrust and desert Him Whom he ought to trust and obey] and he falls away.

22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the Word, but the cares of the world and the pleasure and delight and glamour and deceitfulness of riches choke and suffocate the Word, and it yields no fruit.

23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the Word and grasps and comprehends it; he indeed bears fruit and yields in one case a hundred times as much as was sown, in another sixty times as much, and in another thirty.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 13:9 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  2. Matthew 13:9 G. Abbott-Smith, Manual Greek Lexicon.
  3. Matthew 13:12 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  4. Matthew 13:13 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  5. Matthew 13:13 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  6. Matthew 13:14 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  7. Matthew 13:16 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  8. Matthew 13:19 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  9. Matthew 13:21 John Wycliffe, The Wycliffe Bible.
  10. Matthew 13:21 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

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