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The Purpose of Parables

34 Jesus spoke all these things in parables to the crowds; he did not speak to them without a parable. 35 This fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet:[a]

I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has been hidden from the foundation of the world.”[b]

Explanation for the Disciples

36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the darnel[c] in the field.”

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  1. Matthew 13:35 tc A few significant mss (א* Θ ƒ1, 13 33) identify the prophet as Isaiah, a reading that is significantly harder than the generic “prophet” because the source of this prophecy is not Isaiah but Asaph in Ps 78. Jerome mentioned some mss that had “Asaph” here, though none are known to exist today. This problem is difficult because of the temptation for scribes to delete the reference to Isaiah in order to clear up a discrepancy. Indeed, the vast majority of witnesses have only “the prophet” here (א1 B C D L W Γ Δ 0233 0242 565 579 700 1241 1424 M lat sy co). However, as B. M. Metzger points out, “if no prophet were originally named, more than one scribe might have been prompted to insert the name of the best known prophet—something which has, in fact, happened elsewhere more than once” (TCGNT 27). In light of the paucity of evidence for the reading ᾿Ησαΐου, as well as the proclivity of scribes to add his name, it is probably best to consider the shorter reading as Grk “was spoken by the prophet, saying.” The participle λέγοντος (legontos) is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.
  2. Matthew 13:35 sn A quotation from Ps 78:2.
  3. Matthew 13:36 tn Or “poisonous weeds.” See the note on the word “darnel” in 13:25.