The Parable of the Weeds

Matthew 13, 24-30; 36-43

 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

28 ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29 ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ “

Wheat Field

36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.

40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear”.

The Word of God

Thanks be to God!


In Jesus’ time, when a farmer, due to rivalry, wanted to sabotage another one, it was common practice to sow darnel into their opponent’s wheat, Romans had to pass a law to forbid this. (The Gospel of Mathew, Keener, p. 387)

Darnel is a kind of weed, a ryegrass that perfectly resembles wheat. It usually grows in wheat and rye fields. Both wheat and darnel are so alike, that often you can’t tell which is which.

Darnel can be safely identified and separated from the wheat during harvest time, and due to scarcity of fuel, it would be burned.

It’s been associated to malignity, due to its poisonous properties, and therefore it has been gradually eliminated, especially in developed countries. Nevertheless, some ethnobiology scholars have studied its influence on humanity; and some communities in Europe have long used darnel and don’t want it extinct.