Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church, Manhattan, KS, 22 July 2012
13:24 He laid out another parable for them, saying,
“The kingdom of the heavens is like a man sowing good seed in his field.
13:25 But during the slumber of the men,
their enemy came and re-sowed weeds up the middle of the wheat, and then he went away.
13:26 Now, when the seedling sprouted and produced fruit, then the weeds also were revealed.
13:27 So the servants came up to the head of the household saying to him,
“Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?”
13:28 And he was saying to them, “A spiteful man did this!”
So the servants said to him, “Then, if you please, let’s go gather them up!”
13:36 Then after leaving the crowds, Jesus went into the house,
and His disciples came up to Him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
13:37 So He, by way of answer, said to them,
“The Son of Man is the one who sows the good seed,
13:38 and the world is the field,
and, as for the good seed, this is the children of the kingdom,
and the children of the Evil One are the weeds,
13:39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil,
and the harvest is the end of the age,
and the harvesters are angels.
13:40 Therefore, just as the weeds get gathered up and burned up in a fire,
thus it will be at the end of this age.
13:41 The Son of Man will commission His angels, and they will gather up
out of His kingdom all the scandalous ones and the ones who practice lawlessness,
13:42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace;
weeping and gnashing of teeth will be there.
13:43 Then the righteous ones will shine out like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears to hear had better be listening!
In the Little House on the Prairie series of books, I recall a story from Almanzo’s childhood, when a new teacher came to town to teach the children of the town in the little one-room schoolhouse. There were big teenage boys who were strong from logging in the woods of upstate New York, and the new teacher had a very sleight build. The big teenage boys would make distracting noises in the classroom while little Almanzo tried to study, and the big boys threatened to beat the teacher up, which terrified Almanzo. Well, the next day the showdown finally came as the teacher tried to enforce quiet in the schoolroom and the rowdy boys wouldn’t behave. The biggest of the bullies came down to beat up the teacher, but, quick as a wink, the teacher pulled a bullwhip out of his desk drawer and expertly worked that bully up and down until he was crying like a baby. The teacher then called for the next unruly boy, but all the troublemakers crawled out the window and never came back to bother the other schoolchildren again!
It’s always gratifying to hear stories of bad guys who get what’s coming to them, and Jesus tells us a story like that in the parable of the wheat and the tares.
13:24 He laid out another parable for them, saying, “The kingdom of the heavens is like a man sowing good seed in his field.
In Genesis and the historical books of Samuel and the Kings, and
in the Gospel of Mark, and other places, this word “put forthKJV/put
toldNIV” is used
exclusively of serving food (Gen. 18:8; 24:33; 30:38; 43:31; 43:32, 1Sam. 9:24;
21:6; 28:22; 2Sam. 12:20; 2Ki. 5:24; 6:22-23, Prov. 23:1, Mark 6:41; 8:6-7,
Luke 9:16; 10:8; 11:6, Acts 16:34, 1Cor. 10:27)
· In Exodus and Deuteronomy it refers to the word of God being “set before” His people for them to use and enjoy (Ex. 19:7; 21:1; Deu. 4:44), and it is in this sense that Matthew uses it here and later in v.31, and it is in this sense that Paul uses it to speak of passing on God’s word to Timothy his disciple (1Ti. 1:18), and for Timothy to pass on that spiritual nourishment to others (2Ti. 2:2) – which is how it got to us and should get through us to still more people!
· So, take the words of this parable from Jesus with relish, like you would eat a meal!
13:25 But during the slumber of the men, their enemy came and re-sowed weeds [taresKJV,NAS] up the middle of the wheat, and then he went away.
· Although, in some contexts where we are supposed to stay awake and alert, sleep is portrayed as bad (Mark 13:36, 14:37, 1 Thess. 5:6-7), here, I think Jesus is portraying a healthy and normal sleep after a good day’s work of planting a field of wheat,
o just as He does in another similar parable in Mark 4:26-27 “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows--how, he himself does not know.” (NASB)
o Here, it is multiple men, perhaps farmhands bedding down for the night. On big farms I’ve often seen a bunch of small houses on the property for the migrant workers to crash overnight.
· But this night, an enemy goes back over the field sowing weeds/tares right in among the wheat seeds.
o The word Jesus uses for these weeds is zizania, and, outside this parable, it is used nowhere else in the Bible, so we don’t know a lot about this species of plant.
o Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon says it wasn’t just any old grass weed, but a species of darnel that looks just like wheat, but bears black kernels.
o Ralph Earle’s Word Meanings in the N.T. adds that eating the darnel can produce dizziness and nausea.
o What a spiteful thing to do!
13:26 Now, when the seedling sprouted and produced fruit, then the weeds also were revealed.
This species of weed looked so much like wheat that the
difference could not be seen until time to bear fruitKJV,Lit, and
that’s when it became apparent to the field-hands that the grainNAS,ESV/
headsNIV/cropNKJ that was emerging from the
zizania weeds was not wheat, but a pest instead.
13:27 So the servants came up to the head of the household saying to him, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?
προσελθοντες δε οι δουλοι του οικοδεσποτου ειπον αυτω κυριε ουχι καλον σπερμα εσπειρας εν τω σω αγρω ποθεν ουν εχει  ζιζανια
· The grammar structure of this question indicates that the field-hands or household servants all knew that it was good wheat seed which had been sown in the field.
· It didn’t have other seeds mixed in with it; it was pure.
· Thus their puzzlement; where did the weeds come from?
· So they put the question to the householderKJV/[land-NAS]ownerNIV,NKJ/master of the houseESV
13:28 And he was saying to them, “A spiteful man did
So the servants said to him, “Then, if you please, let’s go gather them up!”
ο δε εφη
οι δε δουλοι ειπον αυτω θελεις ουν απελθοντες συλλεξωμεν αυτα
· The Imperfect verb tense paints the picture of the householder already aware of the situation and muttering this to himself even as the farmhands came up.
· The adjective he uses to describe the “man” who did this is the Greek word for “hate” – a “hated” or “spiteful” “man” – an enemy. This is the antagonist.
· The farmhands appear eager to take on the onerous task of sorting out the whole field full of darnel for their master.
o The main verb “gather up” (or “pull up” in the NIV) is the basic word for picking up things like sticks for a fire (1 Ki. 17:10, Jer. 7:18), manna off the ground (Ex. 16), or gathering a harvest or gleanings in a field (Ruth 2).
o This main verb is Subjunctive, possibly to express the uncertainty of a question, the answer to which hinges upon the master’s will “Do you want us then to go and gather them up?” but I take it as a hortatory, “Hey, what do you say? Let’s form a posse and go pick ‘em off now!”
o But this master is careful. He tells them to hold their horses:
13:29 But he was saying, “No, lest perhaps while y’all are gathering up the weeds you might uproot the wheat with them.
ο δε εφη ου μηποτε συλλεγοντες τα ζιζανια εκριζωσητε αμα αυτοις τον σιτον
· When we planted our garden this year, we planted three corn seeds in each hole because we’ve had such abysmal luck in years past with growing corn. But this year, the corn germinated pretty well, creating a lot of places where there were two or three plants all poking out of the ground right next to each other. So I went back over the rows and tried to pull two of the three corn seedlings out of the ground to thin them out, but often all three would pull up together because their roots were all intertwined! That’s what this farmer wanted to avoid.
· For him, the ultimate goal was not to get rid of all nuisance plants. The householder’s first concern is for his wheat. He wants his wheat to grow to maturity, and he is not willing to risk hurting his wheat in an effort to get rid of the weeds, so he says:
13:30 Leave both to grow together until the harvest, and then at the harvest time I will say to the harvesters, ‘Start gathering up the weeds first and bind them into bundles to burn them up, then gather together the wheat into my storage.’”
αφετε συναυξανεσθαι αμφοτερα μεχρι του θερισμου και εν  καιρω του θερισμου ερω τοις θερισταις συλλεξατε πρωτον τα ζιζανια και δησατε αυτα εις δεσμας προς το κατακαυσαι αυτα τον δε σιτον συναγαγετε εις την αποθηκην μου
· And so the wheat and the tares grow up together until the time for harvesting, and at that time, the pests are finally destroyed – literally “burned down,” and the wheat is brought into safekeeping.
How do we go about interpreting all this?
· Dr. Kenneth Bailey, in his book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels, wrote, “For many centuries, allegory reigned supreme as a method of interpretation, and the fatted calf in the parable of the prodigal son became a symbol for Christ because the calf was killed. Through allegory, interpreters were able to locate their favorite ideas almost anywhere, and confusion and finally meaninglessness conquered. This is probably why parables ceased to be sources for Christian faith and were limited to ethics… In reaction to the fanciful exaggerations that the allegorical method produced in past centuries, across the twentieth century there was a stream of scholarship that argued for ‘one point per parable.’ Others allowed for several themes in a parable. The purpose was to protect interpretation from adding meanings to the text that could not have occurred to Jesus or his audience.”
· In the case of this parable, Jesus gave His own explanation, if we skip down to v.36, and He labels more comparisons in this parable than with any other:
13:36 Then after leaving the crowds, Jesus went into the house, and His disciples came up to Him saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
· After telling another parable, Jesus goes home – maybe back to his family’s house in Capernaum. The KJV reading that He “dismissed the multitudes” is just as good (as far as I’m concerned) as the modern version’s reading that He “left the crowds.” The Greek word isn’t explicit here; it just means that He was no longer engaged with the crowds as their teacher.
· And in this more private setting, He is able to teach things more in depth with His disciples. Imagine Jesus’ joy to hear His disciples ask Him for the meaning of this parable!
· Brothers and sisters, God loves to reveal the meaning of His word to us if we would only ask Him to make it clear to us. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read obscure Bible passages and thought, “What on earth was that about?” and then prayed, and suddenly it came together for me.
13:37 So He, by way of answer, said to them, “The Son of Man is the one who sows the good seed,
ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν αυτοις ο σπειρων το καλον σπερμα εστιν ο υιος του ανθρωπου
· Jesus, is the Son of Man, God incarnate and born as a man,
· and He is especially the member of the Trinity who handles communications – He is the Word of God, so He is the one spreading God’s message of salvation through faith in Himself, and overseeing the continuing spread of that Gospel message through us His messengers.
13:38 and the world is the field, and, as for the good seed, this is the children of the kingdom, and the children of the evil one are the weeds,
ο δε αγρος εστιν ο κοσμος το δε καλον σπερμα ουτοι εισιν οι υιοι της βασιλειας τα δε ζιζανια εισιν οι υιοι του πονηρου
· Notice that even in the grammar of this sentence, Jesus, like the Master in the parable, has a special focus on the good seed. Unfortunately, only the NAS (and the NIV to some extent) bring out this emphasis.
· Notice also that the field is not a picture of the church but rather of the world. Although there are other passages which speak of unbelievers, anti-Christs, and false prophets being in the midst of the church, the focus here is the world in general: there is a mix of good and bad people in the world and there’s no way to change that.
· The two different kinds of people are described in relational terms – children (or sons) of the Evil One and children (or sons) of the kingdom.
o It may be that Matthew is speaking in a Hebrew way that avoids naming God by using the word “kingdom” or “heaven.”
o At any rate, this relationship is initiated by God who makes us be born again by the Spirit (John 3:3-6),
o and then the status of sonship is embraced by us (John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.)
· In this parable, there are only two types, for, as Jesus said in Matt. 12:30, “He who is not with me is against me.” There is no neutral ground in relating to God.
13:39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
ο δε εχθρος ο σπειρας αυτα εστιν ο διαβολος ο δε θερισμος συντελεια [του] αιωνος εστιν οι δε θερισται αγγελοι εισιν
· So it is the devil who rebelled against God and works to spite God, and sows his seeds of enticement in the minds of mankind to join him in rebellion against God.
· As for the end-time harvest, Matthew is the only gospel-writer who uses this term, the only other NT citation being in the book of Hebrews. It is apparently a Jewish phrase speaking of God’s day of judgment and is often used throughout the O.T. as a synonym for the destruction of the wicked.
o In Hebrews 9:26, it speaks of Jesus’ crucifixion being the beginning of the end of the age.
o We’ve seen the word “age/world” in Matt. 13:22 speaking of the temporal world we live in which will be destroyed by fire at some point in the future, at which point a new heaven and new earth will be made for the next age (2 Peter 3);
o later on the disciples ask in Matthew 28 when the end of the age will be, and Jesus gives a list of things which I believe will be fulfilled at Jesus’ second coming in the future.
o When Jesus returns, that is when He will judge all the people in the world, and I believe that is the point at which the sheep and goats scenario of Matthew 25 will play out.
o I believe that this parable of the wheat and the tares is just another way of stating the same idea of a coming judgment in which Jesus will make a final call on who is saved to go to heaven and who is condemned to hell, but until that time, those sheep (whom He loves and who believe in and obey Him) and the goats (who don’t believe or obey) live together on this earth.
· Notice also who it is that does the separating. It’s not the wheat, it’s the angels. While the Bible does tell us to make judgment calls, it is not our job to expose and blow all the people with aberrant faith out of the water, Jesus will be the judge in the final tally, and it will be His angels that blow the bad guys out of the water. The focus of our calling in the meantime is to be ambassadors who call men to be reconciled to God.
13:40 Therefore, just as the weeds get gathered up and burned up in a fire, thus it will be at the end of this age:
13:41 The Son of Man will commission His angels, and they will gather up out of His kingdom all the scandalous ones and the ones who practice lawlessness,
αποστελει ο υιος του ανθρωπου τους αγγελους αυτου και συλλεξουσιν εκ της βασιλειας αυτου παντα τα σκανδαλα και τους ποιουντας την ανομιαν
13:42 and they will throw them into the fiery furnace; weeping and gnashing of teeth will be there.
και βαλουσιν αυτους εις την καμινον του πυρος εκει εσται ο κλαυθμος και ο βρυγμος των οδοντων
· This is heavy news. It sounds very much like John the Baptizer’s description of Jesus in Matt. 3:12 “…the winnowing shovel is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His threshing-floor, and He will gather together His grain into the storehouse, but the chaff He will burn in an unquenchable fire.” (NAW)
· The phrase “weeping and gnashing of teeth” is an echo from Jesus’ response to the Centurion in chapter 8: “I tell you, such great faith have I found with no one in Israel. And I tell you that many from East and West will come and will be pulled up to the table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into the outer darkness. Weeping and the gnashing of teeth will be there.” (8:10-12, NAW)
· Here in v. 41, it says that these scandalous and lawless people will be gathered up and out of Jesus’ kingdom. What kingdom is that? Although the word “kingdom” is sometimes used in the narrow sense of the church, we saw earlier that “the field is the world,” so I think this is speaking of the future time when, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).
· There will come a day in which Jesus will judge the world, and certain people will be thrown into the fiery furnace (Rev. 9:2), which is the same as the “lake of fire” or hell (Matt. 3:12, 5:22, 18:9, 25:41; Rev. 19:20, 20:10-15), so we’d better take heed and make sure that we are not the kind of people who will end up with that punishment.
· v. 41 says in Greek that this terrible consequence will happen to those who are skandala and those who are anomian, so we’d better know what those words mean; our eternal well-being could hang on that!
· The word skandala stems from a Greek word for an animal trap, and is translated “things that offend” in the KJV, “causes [of] sin” in the NIV and ESV, and “stumbling blocks” in the NASB.
· Skandala is a gender-neutral noun, which is probably why these English versions made their translations impersonal, but, by the same token, it means that the word can’t be made masculine or feminine when it is intended to represent a person, and it does indeed get used to indicate persons, such as when Jesus called Peter a skandala in Mt. 16:23 for suggesting that Jesus could accomplish His mission without dying on the cross.
· In the context of this parable, I believe this word represents a certain kind of person. As we survey the characteristics of the people to whom this word is applied throughout scripture, we see that they:
o are idolatrous (Ps. 106:36. Hosea 4:17, Rev. 2:14);
o are proud (Ps. 140:5);
o set their minds on human interests rather than God’s interests (Mat. 16:23);
o start arguments and contradict the Bible (Rom. 16:17);
o are disobedient to God’s word (1Pet. 2:8);
o and get involved in immorality (Rev. 2:14);
o If this sounds like a description of you, it is time to panic and beg God to have mercy on you and change you, because if you don’t change, the lake of fire is your destination.
o On the other hand, the Bible says that those who love God’s law (Ps. 119:165) and who love other people (1Jn. 2:10) are not skandala. If that characterizes you, then praise God!
· This introduces the second word “anomia” which literally means “no law.”
o The KJV translates it “iniquity,” and the NIV “evil,” and the ESV unnecessarily adds the concept of “breaking” the law, but I like the NAS – and the NKJV even more, which translates it here: “those who practice lawlessness.”
o This is a description of the children of the evil one, the devil, who have joined with him in rebellion against God and who reject God’s law – God’s standards of right and wrong in the Bible. They practice lawlessness, as they live as a law unto themselves.
o Do you chafe at what God tells you to do in the Bible? Do you wish you didn’t have parents making you live by all those rules? Do you hate policemen? Do you feel like your ideas are better than everybody else’s? Those are signs that you are headed for the burn pit. Again, if that characterizes you, it is healthy to fear God and beg Him to change your heart, and He will save you.
· The other side of the coin is that there is good news for those who love God and practice obedience to the Bible; the practicers of lawlessness who snub and persecute and hate you - and that you can’t get away from - will one day be removed from bothering you anymore, like the bullies from Almonzo Wilder’s classroom. God will judge them. Sin and evil will one day be purged from this earth, and we will start over again in a land where only righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 3:13) – no pain or suffering any more.
13:43 Then the righteous ones will shine out like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
He who has ears to hear had better be listening!
τοτε οι δικαιοι εκλαμψουσιν ως ο ηλιος εν τη βασιλεια του πατρος αυτων. ο εχων ωτα [ακουειν] ακουετω.
· Those not taken away to be consumed in the fire of God’s judgment:
o will be glorified,
o and will experience being included in God’s kingdom,
o and will enjoy a satisfyingly good relationship with God as children relate to a perfect father.
o This is glorious news!
· This appears to be an allusion to the prophecy of Dan. 12:3 “And the wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and some of the many righteous as the stars for ever and ever.
· This glory and brightness is not intrinsic to us, however; it will come from God Himself, as all the other uses of this word “shine forth” in the Bible bear out:
o 2Sam. 22:29 For you, Lord, are my lamp, and the Lord shall shine forth to me in my darkness.
o Ezek. 43:2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came by the eastern way… and the earth shone like light from the glory round about.
· And just as this glorious light will come from God and shine through us, so also the righteousness of those who are righteous is not something self-generated, but rather a righteousness which God gives to us – the righteousness of the perfect obedience of Jesus which is freely given to the children He loves.
o “and [Abraham] being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to do. Therefore ‘it was also credited to him as righteousness.’ Now it was not only for him that it was written that it was credited to him, but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised for our righteousness.” (Rom. 4:21-25)
So what does all this have to do with us? I have mentioned that this should cause non-Christians to flee from the wrath to come, but this parable was expounded by Jesus to His disciples in the privacy of a home, so it must have an application to Christians too.
I think the main point of this parable for Christians is that Christians can and should trust God, and wait on God’s timing to fix everything, even when it is troublesome to live in a messed-up world with both Christians and non-Christians.
There are four things in this particular parable that help us trust God. This parable teaches that:
Waiting patiently is a form of faith. Often the Bible speaks of “waiting on the Lord” synonymously with trusting and obeying God. One of the most famous of those verses is in Isaiah 40: “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and mount up on wings like eagles…” Now, this waiting is not couch-potato, sitting-on-your-hands waiting; it is living a life of obedience to God, doing the things He called you to do, doing what you can, but leaving everything you can’t control in God’s hands and waiting on Him to fix the things that are beyond your power to fix, waiting on Him to make everything right and bring salvation in the end.
Let me close with the words of the apostle James, who speaks very will to this point of patience:
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door. As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord's dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” (James 5:7-11, NASB)
 Used in the parable of the wise and foolish builders (Mt. 7:24-26) and the children in the marketplace (11:26), the unforgiving servant (18:23), the wedding feast (22:2), and the 10 virgins (25:1). The use of simile is imminently Christian!
 This spelling is Aorist and is in the Patristic, Received and Critical Texts, but the majority of medieval texts apparently have a present tense spelling. It really makes no difference except in whether the reader pictures the sower while he’s sowing or pictures the sowing as a faîte accomplie.
 For “good… seed” see Gen. 1:12 and Gen. 32:12.
 There is a third use of this word related to offering a person sacrificially to God: Lev. 6:4-10; 2Chron. 16:10; Ps. 31:5; Luke 23:46; Acts 14:23; 17:3; 20:32, 1Per. 4:19.
 The Patristic and Critical editions read as above, which is Imperfect tense and containing the prefix “upon,” following B,N,θ,f1, 33, and 1010 (read: “was sowing over”). The Sinaiticus has an odd spelling without the prefix which seems to be in the Perfect tense (“had been sown”). The Majority and Received editions read Aorist εσπειρε (“sowed”), following C,L,D,W, and f13. This is a hard call, but the only difference is in the continuity of the action of sowing relative to the time of the farmhands’ sleep, which is an unimportant detail.
 This is the only word for “wheat” in Thayer’s Greek Lexicon. It is different from the word used for “grain” earlier in Matthew 12:1.
 Used of “grass” in the rest of Matthew (6:30, 14:19), and of “hay” in 1 Cor. 3:12. It is also singular – like the English word “grass.”
 Not found in D,W,θ,f13, 1010, 1424, but included in all the Greek editions and English versions I’ve seen. The difference between “the plants sprouted… then the tares appeared” and “the plants sprouted… then also the tares appeared” is not really a difference in meaning.
 Received Text has the definite article here, following א,L,θ,f13, 28,1424, but it’s not in Majority, Patristic, or Critical editions, and it’s not necessary, because the tares are already definite due to the context of the story, so makes no difference in meaning.
 Apparently on the sole basis of א, the Critical editions read Present tense (λεγουσιν), but the Aorist above is in the Patristic, Received, and Majority editions, following L,W,θ,f13. It was common for Greek writers to use Present tense verbs to refer to Past (Aorist) events in a narrative, but since it is not common in English writing, it makes no difference whether the Greek is Past or Present tense because either way it ends up in Past tense in English. The NASB puts asterices in front of such verbs, but that seems a bit cumbersome.
 This Imperfect tense is the reading of the Patristic, Received, and Majority editions, following N,θ,L,W,f1,f13, but the Critical editions read Present tense φησιν, following א,B,C,892,1010. Because it was a common grammatical structure to render storytelling verbs in Present tense to make the action vivid, and because it is not standard in English writing to do the same, it makes no difference in the translation, because it should end up in the English Past tense either way.
 This is the reading of the Patristic, Received, and Majority editions, following C,W,θ,f1,f13, but the Critical editions read the synonym εως, following B and D, which makes no difference in meaning.
 The Received Text is the only edition with a definite article at this point. Nestle and Aland indicate that א,C,and L are the only manuscripts which support a definite article here. The article is not necessary because the definite article in front of the word “harvest” is enough to make the whole phrase definite.
 eis “into” is not found in several manuscripts (D,L,Δ,f1), but would mean the same either way. The next word “bundles” is only found one other place in the Bible, and that is Ex. 12:22 where the man of the house was to use a bundle of hyssop to paint the blood of the Passover lamb upon his doorframe.
 This Aorist is spelled in the Present tense in B, D, Γ, and f1, which makes little difference in an Imperative, except that the Present would emphasize the continuousness of the action, which wouldn’t make as much sense here.
 Jesus’ name is not in א,B,D – three of the oldest known manuscripts, and thus not in the Critical editions, but from the context, Jesus is obviously the subject.
 Critical editions read διασαφησον here, a synonym with the same parsing, following א,B,θ. No difference in meaning.
 On the sole basis of its omission in the Beza manuscript, the Critical editions do not include this indirect object. But even without it, the context implies that Jesus is addressing the disciples, so the meaning is not changed.
 Not in several of the oldest manuscripts (א,B,D,θ,f13 – and thus not in the Critical ed’s), but in the Patristic, Majority, and Received editions. Makes no difference in English translation, because the singularity of the event “the end of the age” has made all the English translations – even the ones which follow the Critical text – to include the definite article.
 Curiously in the Patristic, Majority, Received, and Critical editions, but not in the Majority, but doesn’t make a significant difference in meaning.
 Not in Critical ed’s (following א,B,D,Γ, Vulgate). Since it is implied by context, omission doesn’t change the meaning.
 This verb is Present tense in a few manuscripts (incl. א,D). However, the Future tense verbs immediately before (“will gather”) and after (“will be”) place this verb unmistakably in the same Future time. All Greek editions read Future tense.
 Critical editions omit this word “to hear,” following א,B, and θ, thus it is not in the English versions which follow the UBS Greek N.T. Though terse, the text means the same thing without this word.