PD Image: ‘Parable of the Wheat and the Tares’ (1624) by Abraham Bloemaert, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651) was a Dutch painter and printmaker and one of the ‘Haarlem Mannerists’, who later picked up Baroque trends. He mostly painted historical themes and landscapes.
The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares (also known as Parable of the Weeds, Parable of the Wheat and Weeds, or the Parable of the Weeds in the Grain), is a parable told by Jesus. It refers to the final judgment when angels will separate the ‘sons of the evil one’ (the tares or weeds) from the ‘sons of the kingdom’ (the wheat).
The parable, as contained in Matthew 13:24-30, New International Version, is as follows:
Jesus told them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
"The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' 'An enemy did this,' he replied. The servants asked him, 'Do you want us to go and pull them up?'
"'No,' he answered, 'because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'"