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32它是种子中最小的,但长大了,却比其他的蔬菜都大,成为一棵树,甚至天空的飞鸟也来在它的枝头搭窝。”
32Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
32 Verse 32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds] That is, of

all those seeds which produce plants, whose stems and branches,

according to the saying of the botanists, are apt δενδριζειν,

arborescere, to grow into a ligneous or woody substance.



Becometh a tree] That is, it is not only the largest of plants

which are produced from such small seeds, but partakes, in its

substance, the close woody texture, especially in warm climates,

where we are informed it grows to an almost incredible size. The

Jerusalem Talmud, tract Peah. fol. 20, says, "There was a stalk of

mustard in Sichin, from which sprang out three boughs; one of

which, being broken off, served to cover the tent of a potter, and

produced three cabes of mustard seed. Rabbi Simeon ben Chalapha

said, A stalk of mustard seed was in my field, into which I was

want to climb, as men are wont to climb into a fig tree." See

Lightfoot and Schoettgen. This may appear to be extravagant; and

it is probable that, in the case of the three cabes of seed, there

is considerable exaggeration; but, if it had not been usual for

this plant to grow to a very large size, such relations as these

would not have appeared even in the Talmud; and the parable of our

Lord sufficiently attests the fact. Some soils being more

luxuriant than others, and the climate much warmer, raise the same

plant to a size and perfection far beyond what a poorer soil, or a

colder climate, can possibly do. Herodotus says, he has seen wheat

and barley in the country about Babylon which carried a blade full

four fingers-breadth: and that the millet and sesamum grew to an

incredible size. I have myself seen a field of common cabbages,

in one of the Norman isles, each of which was from seven to nine

feet in height; and one in the garden of a friend, which grew

beside an apple-tree, though the latitude of the place is only

about 48 deg. 13 min. north, was fifteen feet high, the stem of

which is yet remaining, (September, 1798.) These facts, and

several others which might be added, confirm fully the possibility

of what our Lord says of the mustard-tree, however incredible such

things may appear to those who are acquainted only with the

productions of northern regions and cold climates.