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Parable of the Wheat and Tares, Matthew 13

Posted by adventbiblestudy on April 3, 2009


That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. KJV 1 John 1:1, , John 6:63, John 5:24.

How does the word of God bring life? In addition to supplying hope, the Bible was written to guide, direct and correct. Without the word of God, mankind is left to their own judgment and imagination. The Bible contains laws, lessons and prophecies. Sometimes these lessons were written in the form of a parable. Why did God use parables?

KJV Matthew 13:34-43
34. All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: 35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world. 36. Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field. 37. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; 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; 39. The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42. And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Jesus is asked to explain this parable. Is there a reason why Jesus explains some parables but not others? Where did Jesus obtain the spiritual interpretations to these physical words? Did He simply make them up as He went along? Did He receive these interpretations through prayer? This study will examine the parable of the tares in Matthew 13 for answers to these questions.

After praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the second step to understand a parable is to write your thoughts on the text, paying particular attention to the physical characteristics. These may include the characters, historical or social aspects of the setting. In this instance, Jesus was talking to a large group of people referred to as a multitude. It is important to note, Jesus addressed a mixed group of people. They may have been rich and poor, merchants, farmers, shepherds, tax collectors and slaves. The fact a wide variety of people were present may indicate this parable applies to a large diversified audience. Jesus spoke to these people in parables and only in parables. This was a fulfillment of a prophecy. This reveals a very important rule of interpretation. When an Old Testament prophet is quoted, located the text. To begin to understand Matthew 13 we must first find the Old testament prophecy being quoted. We can do this in one of two ways. Many Bibles contain a chain reference. Using the chain reference may locate the text. The second method uses the key words of the prophecy. In this case we need to locate a text containing the words, “open my mouth in parables.” We find this in Psalms 78.

KJV Psalms 78:1-6
1. Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. 2. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: 3. Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. 4. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. 5. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: 6. That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:

Two very important points are explained in Psalms 78. The words, “Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us” and the phrase “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers”, indicate parables originated in the Old Testament. The text goes on the explain, these parables are to be shown, “to the generation to come”, so “That the generation to come might know them.”

The main object of this prophecy is to provide an explanation of a parable. This prophecy can be divided into two main categories. The first deals with the past, things that have already happened. We see this in verse 3. “Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.” What have they been told is explained in verse 5. “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers.” The law and the testimony in Jacob represent the Old Testament.

Since the first category deals with the past, the second must deal with either the present or the future as seen in verse 4. “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.” Children and of course, generations to come represent the future. Additional details are added in verse 6. “That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children:” What are these wonderful works of God that will be known in the generations to come after David’s time? They are the parables.

Psalms 78 is a prophecy showing that parables will be made clear or explained by the Old Testament. This prophecy, written thousands of years before Christ spoke His first parable, explained how they were to be interpreted.

Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables and indicated they would not understand. Later Jesus reveals the spiritual meaning of the physical words to His disciples. Why did Jesus explain this parable to His disciples and not the multitude? What do the disciples represent? “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32. All of Jesus’ disciples are to understand His parables. One very important point to consider. There are two groups that heard the same parable. One group was given understanding, while scripture indicates the other group did not understand. The one fact separating these two groups is, one group asked Jesus to explain the parable and He personally described the details. The other group may have repeated the parable to hundreds of others and attempted to explain it in their own words, but the fact remained, they did not have the understanding of Jesus.

This is another important lesson concerning parables. Others may attempt to explain the meaning to you, however understanding can only come from personally asking Jesus the meaning. This can only be obtained one of two ways, wait for Jesus to return and ask Him, or personally study His word.

KJV John 14:23-26
23. Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

KJV 1 Timothy 6:3
3. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

Now that we have established the fact Jesus spoke in parables because He is waiting for you to ask Him to provide the explanation, we will study the example given, using the Bible and only the word of God to provide the explanations.

KJV Matthew 13:24-30
24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29. But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Seed

KJV Matthew 13:37
37. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

Jesus is the one that sows the good seed. Since there is a definition for good spiritual seed there may also be bad spiritual seed. To identify this spiritual seed we can look for a text showing the difference between the good and bad seed.

KJV 1 Peter 1:23
23. Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The good seed comes from the word of God.

KJV Revelation 12:17
17. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Seed is used to describe a family line which will often dictate physical, mental and spiritual traits. The seed from the woman in Revelation 12 will keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus. This text shows this seed will be different from the rest of the world because they will know the word of God.

KJV Isaiah 59:21
21. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the Lord; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever.

God will put His word in the mouth of His followers. The people that have His word will be His seed and possess the spiritual traits of God.

KJV Luke 8:11
11. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

Jesus told his followers the seed is the word of God.

KJV Isaiah 55:9-10
9. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

This text has a spiritual context that may be difficult for some to understand. The Lord’s ways and thoughts are His word from Heaven which comes down to earth like rain. Physical rain feeds the earth and produces physical growth. God’s word is spiritual rain, producing spiritual growth.

KJV Matthew 17:20
20. And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

This parable appears twice in the book of Matthew. In Matthew 13 the seed produces a tree. Here in chapter 17 the same seed can move a mountain. The word mountain contains a spiritual meaning explained later in this lesson.

Seed = the word of God and a family line, the followers of God.

Sower

KJV Isaiah 61:11. For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

KJV Zechariah 10:9. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.

KJV Jeremiah 31:27. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.

The works of God are compared to things sown. These verses show that God is a sower.

Sower = God or Christ.

Field

KJV Matthew 13:38
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;

KJV Ecclesiastes 5:9
9. Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field.

KJV Genesis 2:19
19. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Genesis 2 declares God created every beast of the field out of the ground. It would not be unusual to substitute the word earth for field. God created every beast of the earth (field). Can we prove this Biblically?

KJV Genesis 1:24
24. And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

When we compare Genesis 1 to Genesis 2 we see the Bible has provided written proof of the parallel between a field and the earth. The beast of the field are the animals God created from the earth.

This illustrates a very important rule of interpretation. Texts may have a much deeper hidden meaning. As we have seen from Genesis 1:24 and 2:19 key words have a spiritual interpretation using the algebraic term of: If A = B and B = C therefore A = C.

IF field = beast and beast = earth therefore field = earth. Just as Jesus had stated, “the field is the world.”

Field = the world, earth

Enemy

KJV Psalms 8:2
2. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.

KJV Psalms 13:2
2. How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

KJV Psalms 44:16
16. For the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth; by reason of the enemy and avenger.

KJV Psalms 18:17
17. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

KJV Psalms 55:3-4
3. Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. 4. My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.

KJV Psalms 64:1-3
1. Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy.
2. Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity:
3. Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:

KJV Psalms 74:3
3. Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.

KJV Psalms 74:10
10. O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

KJV Psalms 143:3
3. For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.

KJV Ezra 8:31
31. Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way.

KJV Lamentations 1:5-9
5. Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the Lord hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy. 6. And from the daughter of Zion all her beauty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, and they are gone without strength before the pursuer. 7. Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at her sabbaths. 8. Jerusalem hath grievously sinned; therefore she is removed: all that honoured her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yea, she sigheth, and turneth backward. 9. Her filthiness is in her skirts; she remembereth not her last end; therefore she came down wonderfully: she had no comforter. O Lord, behold my affliction: for the enemy hath magnified himself.

Looking at only a portion of the text containing the word enemy, we are shown some of the attributes the enemy will posses. The enemy will be known as the avenger. The enemy will be too strong for people to face. The enemy will also display acts of iniquity, hate, impose terror, persecute and speak against God. All of these texts provide a spiritual meaning for the word enemy. But in this case we are given a clear and simple explanation from Jesus. The enemy is the devil. Since we can not find a text giving us the same interpretation we need to learn to look deeper. Now that a list of qualities has been collected the next step is to search the Bible and locate a character fitting the description.

KJV 2 Thessalonians 2:4-12
4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6. And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9. Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The Bible shows us Satan possess all the qualities of the enemy. Jesus confirms this, “the enemy that sowed them is the devil.” Matthew 13:39 This is an example of cognitive thinking. This also introduces a rule of interpretation. There is only one verse that specifically identifies the devil as the enemy. An interpretation should never be based upon a single verse. In this case other verses identified qualities of the enemy. Combining this list of qualities with other verses using the same key words identifying Satan leaves no doubt the enemy is Satan, or the devil. This is another example of the rule; if A = B and B = C than A = C. If the enemy = iniquity and iniquity = Satan that the enemy = Satan.

In this example four key words have been used to identify both the enemy and Satan. The enemy and Satan will both exalt himself and work iniquity. Wicked is also used to describe the two. Each has been removed from the way by the Lord. With such a number of common descriptions used for the enemy and Satan, there is no doubt the Bible is describing Satan as the enemy. Once again, more than one text was used to confirm an interpretation.

How do we know Satan is the devil? This is an issue most people will assume, everyone knows the answer. But how do we prove it, using nothing but the Bible. Assume nothing, to be certain let the Bible prove everything. Simply look up verses using the word Satan or devil which will locate the text you need to prove this point with scripture.

KJV Luke 11:18.
18. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

KJV Revelation 12:9
9. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

KJV Revelation 20:2
2. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Enemy = Satan, the devil

Tares

The word tares is not used in the Old Testament. Jesus describes the tares as, “the children of the wicked one.” Where did Jesus get this interpretation from if the word does not exist in the Old Testament scriptures? Whenever a situation like this occurs, the logical place to look for additional information is the Concordance dictionary. The Concordance contains two dictionaries. One in Hebrew and the other in Greek. The Hebrew dictionary is used for words in the Old Testament. The Greek dictionary is used for words in the New Testament. We are studying the word tares found in the book of Matthew. The first step is to look up the word tares in the Concordance. The Concordance shows a list of every text containing the word tares. Locate Matthew 13:25. Locate the number of the word. Tares is word number 2215. Since the book of Matthew is in the New Testament, look up word 2215 in the Greek dictionary.

Strong’s Ref. # 2215
Romanized zizanion
Pronounced dziz-an’-ee-on
of uncertain origin; darnel or false grain:

Tares are false grain. We have already been shown seed can represent the word of God or a family line. Since tares are false grain, tares must represent false words or a false family line. If a true seed represents the followers of Christ, a false seed represents false followers of Christ.

Tares = false seed = false words and false followers of Christ.

This interpretation illustrates another important and simple lesson. If a search of the scriptures will not reveal a single text revealing a spiritual interpretation for the word in question, the next step is to check the definition of the word in the Concordance. The definition of a word is easily found using a Bible program on a computer. On many programs you will have to switch the Bible to the “Literal Translation.” Click on the word in question and the definition will appear.

Harvest

KJV Joel 1:11-15
11. Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. 12. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men. 13. Gird yourselves, and lament, ye priests: howl, ye ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth, ye ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withholden from the house of your God. 14. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, 15. Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

KJV Joel 3:13-14
13. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Harvest = the day of the Lord, the last day.

Reapers

KJV Amos 9:11-15
11. In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: 12. That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the Lord that doeth this. 13. Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

The Bible contains no single text showing a connection between angels and a reaper. Where did Jesus obtain this interpretation? It must be from the Old Testament, because those were the only scriptures in available to Him. While doing an analysis of this text we have to keep in mind, Jesus had a much deeper understanding of the scriptures. “And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.” KJV Luke 2:47. Sometimes He wants us to dig a little further, to search a little harder, to spend a little more time, with Him. God created us with minds requiring exercise like other parts of the body. It is not hard to understand why God has given us lessons designed to expand the use of our brains.

Amos gives us a clue to follow. The plowman will overtake the reaper and the treader. This comparison is telling us the reaper and treader are equals. To investigate the matter further we need to examine text with the word treader.

KJV Psalms 91:11-16
11. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. 12. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. 13. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. 14. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. 15. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 16. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Psalms 91:11-16 is a well known prophecy about Jesus, telling us angels will be looking over Jesus. This protection provided by God’s will allow Jesus and His angels to tread upon the lion and the adder, symbolic words representing the devil and his agents.

KJV Psalms 108:11-13
11. Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts? 12. Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. 13. Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

The host of God is another word for His angels, who will tread down our enemies.

KJV Micah 1:2-3
2. Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. 3. For, behold, the Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth.

KJV Malachi 4:1-3
1. For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2. But unto you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.

At this point you may be asking, is the term, “the Lord of hosts”, actually referring to angels? Although the point may be widely accepted, never take a single point for granted. Jesus made the statement, “the reapers are the angels.” Jesus also said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” KJV Matthew 4:4. We are told to make use of every word of God. At times this may include questioning statements we find in the Bible. Do you think Jesus would appreciate the time spent studying His word to prove His word? Every time we prove God’s word we add to our own faith and security.

KJV Genesis 32:1-2
1. And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2. And when Jacob saw them, he said, This is God’s host: and he called the name of that place Mahanaim.

Jacob describes the angels of God as His host. This single text should be more than enough proof, but never accept a single text as proof. Search the Bible to ensure a correct interpretation.

KJV Joshua 5:14-15
14. And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? 15. And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

KJV Luke 2:13-14
13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Reaper = the host of God, treader = angels

This parable, explained by Jesus, provides another example to follow when interpreting other parables. Looking at the text in question we see, “the reapers are the angels.” To interpret the word reapers, it is compared with Old Testament texts containing the word. Since the word reaper does not reveal a spiritual meaning, we must reexamine the proof texts. Amos 9:11-15 equates the word reaper to a treader. This leads us to Psalms 91:11-16 which is the only text containing a connection between angels and treading. Since it is not wise to use a single text for any interpretation, additional text must be considered. The book of Malachi contains additional texts, using the term “Lord of hosts”, in connection to treading in the last day. This may appear to be ample evidence to support a claim, treader = reaper = angel. But we have not as yet, collected scriptural evidence proving an angel is a host of the Lord. Once these texts have been collected, the Bible clearly shows, angel = host = treader = reaper.

Why is it important to learn the rules of interpretation? This particular interpretation leads to a search of the scriptures to find how Jesus knew the angels were the reapers. This parable reveals a lesson, placed in the Bible by God, so there can be no question, searching the scriptures can become an extremely deep exercise. The proper interpretation may not always be laying on the surface. Many texts may contain an interpretation found only by the most dedicated students of the Bible.

The final steps in this simple word study is to write a list of the key words and their spiritual meaning. The spiritual meaning can then be substituted in the original text to reveal the spiritual interpretation.

Seed = the word of God and a family line, the followers of God.

Sower = God or Christ.

Field = the world, earth

Enemy = Satan, the devil

Tares = false seed = false words or lies and false followers of Christ or followers of the devil.

Harvest = the day of the Lord, the last day.

Reaper = the host of God, treader = angels

It is much easier to copy the original text before rewriting in, substituting the spiritual meaning for the key words.

KJV Matthew 13:24-30
24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28. He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29. But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

He told them another parable, saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is like Jesus spreading His followers in the earth. While the men slept, the devil came and spread his followers and went his way. As the followers of Christ brought forth fruit, the devil’s followers did also. So the workers came and asked, Sir, did you spread your followers in the earth? Where did the devil’s followers come from? He told them, the devil has done this. The workers said unto him, should we gather them up? Jesus said, no, while you gather up the followers of the devil you will also disrupt My true followers. Let both grow together until the last days and at that time I will say to the angels, gather first the followers of the devil, bind them and burn them. Gather my followers unto Me.

Since some of the key words have multiple meanings, we can look at substituting the other spiritual meanings.

He told them another parable, saying, the Kingdom of Heaven is like Jesus spreading the word of God in the earth. While the men slept, the devil came and spread lies and went his way. As the word brought forth fruit, the lies did also. So the workers came and asked, Sir, did you spread the word of God in the earth? Where did the lies come from? He told them, the devil has done this. The workers said unto him, should we gather them up? Jesus said, no, while you gather up the followers of the devil you will also disrupt My true followers. Let both grow together until the last days and at that time I will say to the angels, gather first the followers of the devil, bind them and burn them. Gather my followers unto Me.

It is interesting to note, I have never seen a study on this parable that rewrites it using Jesus’ interpretation of the key words. I have seen many studies commenting on this parable, but not a single study taking the initiative to translate the parable with the spiritual words given by Jesus for the key words.

Following is a list of the key words and Jesus’ interpretation.

Sower = Jesus
Field = world
Good Seed = the children of the kingdom
Tares = the children of the wicked one
Enemy = devil
Harvest = the end of the world
Reapers = angels

24. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto Jesus which sowed the children of the kingdom in his world: 25. But while men slept, the devil came and sowed the children of the wicked one among the children of the kingdom, and went his way. 26. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the children of the wicked one also. 27. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow the children of the kingdom in thy world? from whence then hath it the children of the wicked one? 28. He said unto them, the devil hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29. But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the children of the wicked one, ye root up also the children of the kingdom with them. 30. Let both grow together until the end of the world: and in the end of the world I will say to the angels, Gather ye together first the children of the wicked one, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the children of the kingdom into my barn.

When we substitute the spiritual interpretations for the key words Jesus gave to His disciples we clearly see the true meaning of the parable. Every point becomes clear. Jesus gives us the instructions, His followers are to grow up and exist with the followers of the devil until the end of this world. Jesus also tells us, the angels will separate the children of the wicked one from His followers at the end of the world. This is further illustrated in the book of Revelation. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. KJV Revelation 7:2-3; 9:4

Why do some religious leaders feel it is their duty to do this separating? Where is that shown in the Bible? The Internet is filled with sites from many denominations, throwing poison darts and arrows at denominations they do not agree with. Is this in keeping with the teachings of Jesus?

KJV Luke 9:54-56
54. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55. But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. 56. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

KJV Mark 9:38-44
38. And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me 40. For he that is not against us is on our part. 41. For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 42. And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43. And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 44. Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

Jesus tells us we are to support one another, not condemn one another. Is this why the parable says, the men slept?

If you liked this study, you will appreciate an updated version. https://adventbiblestudy.wordpress.com/2012/01/01/matthew-1324-51-parable-of-the-wheat-and-tares/

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