Matthew 13:14

14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: 1"'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.

Matthew 13:14 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 13:14

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias
In ( Isaiah 6:9 Isaiah 6:10 )

which saith,
which runs, or may be read thus,

by hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand, and seeing ye
shall see, and not perceive.
The words are a prophecy concerning the people of the Jews, which began to be accomplished in the times of Isaiah; and were again fulfilled in the times of some after prophets; and had been in part fulfilled under the more plain and easy ministry of Christ; and was to have a further accomplishment under this parabolical way of preaching; as it also was to have, and had, a yet further completion under the ministry of the apostles; see ( Acts 28:26 Acts 28:27 ) ( Romans 11:8 ) and the judicial blindness here predicted was to go on among them, until the land of Judea was utterly destroyed by the Romans, and the cities and houses thereof left without any inhabitants; all which accordingly came to pass: for that this prophecy refers to the times of the Messiah, and to the people of the Jews, is clear from this one observation made by Christ himself, that Esaias foretold those things when he saw the glory of the Messiah, and spake of him, ( John 12:40 John 12:41 ) and because it was to have, and had, its accomplishment over and over again in that people, therefore the word (anaplhroutai) , which may be rendered "is fulfilled again", is made use of. The sense of the prophecy is, with respect to the times of the Messiah, that the Jews, whilst hearing the sermons preached by him, whether with, or without parables, should hear his voice, and the sound of it, but not understand his words internally, spiritually, and experimentally; and whilst they saw, with the eyes of their bodies, the miracles he wrought, they should see the facts done, which could not be denied and gainsayed by them, but should not take in the clear evidence, full proof, and certain demonstration given thereby, of his Messiahship. In the prophecy of Isaiah, the words run in the imperative, "hear ye, see ye" but are here rendered in the future, "shall hear, shall see" which rendering of the words is supported and established by the version of the Septuagint, by the Chaldee paraphrase, and by many Jewish commentators F12; who allow, that the words in Isaiah may be so understood, which is sufficient to vindicate the citation of them, by the evangelist, in this form of them.


F12 In R. David Kimchi in Isa. vi. 9.

Matthew 13:14 In-Context

12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: "'You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.
15 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.'
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.

Cross References 1

  • 1. John 12:40; Acts 28:26, 27; Cited from Isaiah 6:9, 10