Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. Matthew 13:24-25
"The Aramaic word for tares is zivaney derived from zana which means to commit adultery. Zivaney or tares grow uncultivated. Even though they are carefully separated from the wheat seed, before it is sown, some tares spring up with the wheat to the farmer’s dismay. This is due to the tares which survived in the ground from the previous harvest. In the spring, wheat and tares grow together but the tares grow faster and shoot their branches over the wheat, preventing the wheat from growing and ripening. At this stage it is very hard to pull out the tares because their tendrils are wound around the wheat. If the tares are pulled, the wheat will suffer. The work of separation must therefore wait until the harvest season.
In the East it is not unusual for one to throw seeds of tares in the field of another. During the sowing season farmers are very suspicious and afraid of each other, especially those with whom they have had quarrels and troubles. It takes years of hard labor for a farmer completely to eradicate the tares from his wheat. When this is done, the farmer rejoices. On the other hand, when an Eastern farmer wants to avenge a wrong done to him by a neighbor, he takes some tare seeds in a little bag or in his pocket and at night he scatters them on his enemy’s field. When the tares spring up the owner immediately realizes this is a dastardly act of an enemy but he does not know which of his enemies. He does not hesitate to retaliate by scattering tares in several fields in the hope his enemy will suffer.
In this parable the wheat represents the good. Tares are the evil. Evil and good have always existed together. It is difficult to separate them because by punishing the bad, the good will also suffer. Evil and good therefore exist to the end but they will be separated at the last day just as the wheat and tares are separated at harvest time. The tares are burned with fire so they will not grow again and the wheat is stored in the barn. The good likewise will go to eternal rest and the wicked to the everlasting fire."
(Lamsa, George M. 1936. Gospel Light.