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Lesson 137: The Parable of the Tares

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

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INSTRUCTIONS. Like the parable of the sower, the parable of the tares is one of the few parables Jesus explained. It is found only in Matthew.

Tares are weeds called bearded darnel grass (Lolium temulentum). These weeds look so much like wheat in the early stages that it is almost impossible to distinguish one from the other. Not until the plants head out can the farmer tell the difference, but by then the roots are so intertwined, pulling up the weeds would root out the wheat also.

There are three ways to separate the tares and wheat. The tares did not grow as high as the wheat, and sometimes the wheat was reaped over the top of the darnel. The the field was set on fire, burning the darnel that remained. Sometimes the reaper separated the wheat and darnel as he reaped, dropping each in bundles. The darnel could then be gathered later and burned. If there was just a small amount of darnel in the field, the seed was picked from the good grain before it was milled. This task was performed by women and was necessary, for the darnel seeds when ground to flour were semi-poisonous.

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