Matthew 13:3 Behold, a sower went forth

KJV Verse: 

Mat 13:3 Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

See there! He came out, the seed-scatterer of the seeding.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

Given all the symbols used in the last chapter, it seems appropriate that this chapter begins with a parable in which the use of symbols is more obvious. However, here again, there is subtle wordplay going on.

"Behold" is from an adverb meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!"

The word translated as "sower" is a verb in the form of a noun. The verb means "to seed" or "to sow a seed." It is a verbal form of the Greek word for "seed."

The word translated as "went forth" means literally "to go or come out," but it has a secondary meaning of "making something come true."

The verb translated as "to sow" is an infinitive, but it is introduced by an artice, makes it a noun describing the action of the verb. The verb means "scattering seeds."


Greek Vocabulary: 

Ἰδοὺ "Behold is from idou, which means "to behold", "to see," and "to perceive." It acts as an adverbial phrase in this form meaning "Lo! Behold!" and "See there!' It is a form of the verb eido, which means "to see." --

ἐξῆλθεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Went forth" is from exerchomai, which means "to come or go out of " "to march forth", "go out on", "to stand forth", "to exceed all bounds", "to come to an end", "to go out of office," and [of dreams or prophecies] "to come true."

σπείρων (part sg pres act masc nom) "A sower" is from speiro, which means "to sow a seed", "to beget offspring", "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field."

τοῦ (article sg masc gen) Untranslated is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun but here proceeds an infinitive verb.

σπείρειν. (verb pres inf act) "To sow" is from speiro, which means "to seed [a field]", "to sow a seed", "to beget offspring", "to scatter like a seed," and "to sow a field." It is a form of the word "seed."


The verse repeats the same word, first as a noun, then as a verb. It is based on the word "seed" which is Christ symbol for the beginning or kernel of knowledge.

The Spoken Version: 

"Listen! A seeder speader marched out," he said to the crowd, mimicking a man marching. "To..."

He paused briefly as if trying think of the word. With a look of inspiration, he announced triumpahntly, "Scatter seeds!"

The crowd laughed.

Related Verses: