Matthew 13:4

4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.

Matthew 13:4 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 13:4

And when he sowed
Or, "as he sowed", as the other evangelists; that is, "whilst he was sowing",

some seeds fell;
either out of his hand, or out of the cart drawn by oxen; hence the F3 Talmudists distinguish between (dy tlwpm) , "the falling of the hand", or what falls out of the hand; and (Myrwwv) (tlwpm) , "the falling of the oxen", or what falls from them; where the gloss is,

``in some places they sow the grain with the hand; and in other places they put the seed on a cart full of holes, and oxen draw the cart on the ploughed land, and it falls upon it.''

By the wayside;
by the common road, or private paths, which led through corn fields, in which Christ and his disciples walked, ( Matthew 12:1 ) and which being beaten and trodden hard, the seed must lie open on it, and so be liable to be trampled upon by men, or devoured by the fowls of the air; and designs such hearers as are careless, negligent, and inattentive, who hear without understanding, judgment, and affection; see ( Matthew 13:19 )

and the fowls came and devoured them;
the other evangelists say, "the fowls of the air"; and so the Vulgate Latin, and Munster's Hebrew Gospel, and some copies; and mean the devils; so called, because their habitation is in the air; hence they are said to be "the power of the air": and because of their ravenous and devouring nature, their swiftness to do mischief, and their flocking in multitudes, where the word is preached, to hinder its usefulness, as fowls do, where seed is sowing. Satan, and his principalities, and powers, rove about in the air, come down on earth, and seek whom they may devour, and often mix themselves in religious assemblies, to do what mischief they can; see ( Job 1:6 Job 1:7 ) .


F3 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 105. 2.

Matthew 13:4 In-Context

2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach.
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil.
6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.