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3他用 比喻 对他们 讲 许多 道理,说 :有一个撒种的 出去 撒种 ;
3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
3 Verse 3. He spake many things unto them in parables] Parable,

from παρα, near, and βαλλω, I cast, or put. A comparison

or similitude, in which one thing is compared with another,

especially spiritual things with natural, by which means these

spiritual things are better understood, and make a deeper

impression on an attentive mind. Or, a parable is a

representation of any matter accommodated, in the way of

similitude, to the real subject, in order to delineate it with the

greater force and perspicuity. See more on this subject at the

conclusion of this chapter. No scheme, says Dr. Lightfoot, of

Jewish rhetoric was more familiarly used than that of parables;

which, perhaps, creeping in from thence among the heathens, ended

in fables.



It is said in the tract Sotah, chap. 9. "From the time that

Rabbi Meri died, those that spake in parables ceased." Not that

this figure of rhetoric perished in the nation from that time; but

because he surpassed all others in these flowers, as the gloss

there from the tract Sanhedrin speaks. "A third part of his

discourses was tradition; a third part allegory; and a third part

parable." The Jewish books every where abound with these figures,

the nation inclining by a kind of natural genius to this kind of

rhetoric. Their very religion might be called parabolical, folded

up within the covering of ceremonies; and their oratory in their

sermons was like to it. But is it not indeed a wonder, that they

who were so much given to and delighted in parables, and so

dexterous in unfolding them, should stick in the outward shell of

ceremonies, and should not have brought out the parabolical and

spiritual sense of them? Our Saviour, who always spoke with the

common people, uses the same kind of speech, and very often the

same preface which they used, To what is it likened? See

Lightfoot in loco. Though we find the basis of many of our Lord's

parables in the Jewish writings, yet not one of them comes through

his hands without being astonishingly improved. In this respect

also, Surely never man spoke like this man.



Under the parable of the sower, our Lord intimates, 1. That of

all the multitudes then attending his ministry, few would bring

forth fruit to perfection. And 2. That this would be a general

case in preaching the Gospel among men.

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