Matthew 13:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 13:28, NIV: 'An enemy did this,' he replied. 'The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'

Matthew 13:28, ESV: He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’

Matthew 13:28, KJV: He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?

Matthew 13:28, NASB: And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’

Matthew 13:28, NLT: ''An enemy has done this!' the farmer exclaimed. ''Should we pull out the weeds?' they asked.

Matthew 13:28, CSB: " 'An enemy did this,' he told them." 'So, do you want us to go and pull them up? ' the servants asked him.

What does Matthew 13:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This parable is sometimes called "the wheat and the tares." "Tare" is another name for a weed sometimes called "darnel," an inedible ryegrass that is sometimes called "false wheat." As a young plant, it looks almost exactly like wheat until both begin to bear; then the difference becomes obvious. By that point, though, the roots of the wheat and the weeds are likely entangled.

In the story, a farmer's servants have come to him to ask how it is possible that weeds have come up throughout the field along with the wheat. Did he use good seed? The farmer now assures them the seed was good. An enemy has attacked them, sowing the seeds of the weeds in among the good seeds of the wheat. This would not have been an unheard-of act in Jesus' era. Sabotaging another's field with hostile plants is an act seen in many places around the world.

The servants now ask the farmer if he wants them to go and pull up all the weeds. That's not an unreasonable question: darnel is mildly poisonous, so it can't be ignored, or the entire harvest will be ruined. In the following verse, the farmer will explain why that's a bad idea. The two plants will be separated, but not yet.

Jesus will soon explain to the disciples exactly what each element of this story is meant to represent (Matthew 13:36–43).