Explanation of the seeds on the good soil (Mt 13:23-13:23)

“As for what was sown

On good soil,

This is the one

Who hears the word

And understands it.

He indeed bears fruit.

He yields,

In one case a hundredfold,

In another sixtyfold,

And in another thirtyfold.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν καλὴν γῆν σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ συνιείς, ὃς δὴ καρποφορεῖ καὶ ποιεῖ ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα.

 

This explanation of the sower parable about the good seeds can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:20, and Luke, chapter 8:15, with Matthew closer to Mark.  As for what was sown on good soil (ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὴν καλὴν γῆν σπαρείς), these are the people who hear the word of the kingdom and understand it (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ συνιείς).  They then bear good fruit (ὃς δὴ καρποφορεῖ).  They yield either a hundredfold (καὶ ποιεῖ ὃ μὲν ἑκατὸν), sixtyfold (ὃ δὲ ἑξήκοντα), or thirtyfold (ὃ δὲ τριάκοντα).  Only about 25% of the seeds sown were effective.  Thus, only about 25% of the people hearing the word of the kingdom will follow it.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.  The seeds or the word that fell on the path, on the rocky ground, or the thorns were ineffective.  However, even among the effective seeds that were on good soil, the word would have different results.  Some would yield 100 times, some 60, and some 30.  There was no magic formula.  The circumstances among the good hearers would also bring about a variety of responses and effectiveness.

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Explanation of the seeds on rocky ground (Mt 13:20-13:21)

“As for what was sown

On rocky ground,

This is the one

Who hears the word

And immediately receives it

With joy.

Yet he has no roots.

But only endures for a while.

When tribulation arises

Or persecution arises,

On account of the word,

That person

Immediately falls away.”

 

ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν·

οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν, γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται.

 

This explanation of the sower parable centered around the seeds sown on the rocky ground that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:16-17, and Luke, chapter 8:13, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground (ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς) were like the people who heard the word of the kingdom (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων), and immediately received it with joy (καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν).  Yet these seedlings had no roots (οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ), since they only endured for a little while (ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν).  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose (γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ), because of the word (διὰ τὸν λόγον), they immediately stumbled and fell away (εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται).  Once again, the seeds are the words of the kingdom.  Listening to the word was not enough if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word of the kingdom.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.

Joseph wakes up from his dream (Mt 1:24-1:24)

“When Joseph awoke

From his sleep,

He did

As the angel of the Lord

Commanded him.

He accepted Mary

As his wife.”

 

ἐγερθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου ἐποίησεν ὡς προσέταξεν αὐτῷ ὁ ἄγγελος Κυρίου, καὶ παρέλαβεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ·

 

Joseph woke up from his sleep (ἐγερθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰωσὴφ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὕπνου), when he had this dream about the angel of the Lord. Then he did (ἐποίησεν) what the angel of the Lord (ὁ ἄγγελος Κυρίου) had told him or commanded him (ὡς προσέταξεν αὐτῷ) to do. Joseph took the word of the Lord’s messenger angel very seriously. He saw it as a command, something that he must do. Thus, he changed his mind about his future engaged wife. He was going to receive or accept Mary as his wife (παρέλαβεν τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ), despite his previous misgivings. Clearly, Joseph was a man of faith who trusted in the words of the unnamed angel of the Lord that he had heard in his dream.

The land of Abraham (Ezek 33:23-33:24)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

The inhabitants

Of these waste places

In the land of Israel

Keep saying.

‘Abraham was

Only one man.

Yet he got possession

Of the land.

But we are many.

The land is

Surely given to us

To possess.’”

As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh told Ezekiel that the inhabitants of the now wasteland of Israel kept talking about Abraham. He was only one person, but he was promised this land. He actually lived in it. What was Yahweh going to do about the many people today that were exiled? Would they get their possessions back?

The need for a sentinel (Ezek 33:1-33:2)

“The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Speak!

To your people!

Say to them!

‘If I bring

The sword

Upon a land,

The people of the land

Shall take

One of their number

As their sentinel.’”

As usual, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh wanted him to speak to his people. He wanted to tell them that they needed to have a sentinel or watch person taken from their ranks. This would be especially important if Yahweh was going to bring his sword against them.

The two daughters (Ezek 23:1-23:3)

“The word of Yahweh
Came to me.
‘Son of man!
There were two women.
They were
The daughters
Of one mother.
They played the whore
In Egypt.
They played the whore
In their youth.
Their breasts
Were caressed there.
Their virgin bosoms
Were fondled.’”
Once again, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. This oracle was about two women, the daughters of the same mother. Both of them played the whore in Egypt when they were young. In particular, their young virgin breasts or bosoms were fondled and caressed. Ezekiel and Yahweh loved the theme of the whoring woman to get a point across. Here there was a particular emphasis on the breasts of these two young women.

Ezekiel’s actions were a sign of captivity (Ezek 12:8-12:11)

“In the morning

The word of Yahweh

Came to me.

‘Son of man!

Has not the house of Israel,

The rebellious house,

Said to you?

‘What are you doing?’

Say to them.

‘Thus says Yahweh God!

This oracle concerns

The prince in Jerusalem

With all the house of Israel

In it.’

Say!

‘I am a sign for you.

As I have done,

So shall it be done

To them.

They shall go

Into exile.

They shall go

Into captivity.’”

The next morning, the word of Yahweh came to Ezekiel, the son of man. Yahweh wanted to know if the rebellious house of Israel had asked him what he was doing. When they did ask, he was to tell them that this oracle concerned the prince in Jerusalem with all the house of Israel. Ezekiel was to tell them that his actions were a sign of things to come. What he had done, all of them would do the same. They were going to go into exile and captivity.