“And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:”
King James Version (KJV)
13:4 And while he sowed, some seeds fell by the highway side, and the birds came and devoured them - It is observable, that our Lord points out the grand hinderances of our bearing fruit, in the same order as they occur. The first danger is, that the birds will devour the seed. If it escape this, there is then another danger, namely, lest it be scorched, and wither away. It is long after this that the thorns spring up and choke the good seed. A vast majority of those who hear the word of God, receive the seed as by the highway side. Of those who do not lose it by the birds, yet many receive it as on stony places. Many of them who receive it in a better soil, yet suffer the thorns to grow up, and choke it: so that few even of these endure to the end, and bear fruit unto perfection: yet in all these cases, it is not the will of God that hinders, but their own voluntary perverseness.
Mt 13:4 And when he sowed. The seed-time in Palestine is usually in October, about the time when this parable was spoken. Sowing is always done by hand. Fell by the way side. Where the field and the road join, or, rather, along the narrow, trodden foot-path through the fields, so common in Palestine. Fowls came and devoured them. The birds, because the grains were not covered.