What Are Tares In The Bible

Tares, also known as darnel, is described in the Bible as “a darnel” or “a noxious weed,” and are easily confused with wheat. In the Parable of the Weeds, Jesus tells His disciples of two plants growing side by side, one wheat, and one a “weed” that is actually a tare. This parable is found in Matthew 13:24-30, and tells of a man who sowed “good seed” in his field, only to have “enemies” come while he slept to sow weed seeds among the wheat.

Tares are the same species as darnel, both belonging to the genus Lolium. The plant is an annual grass, which has hollow stems and numerous branches. The leaves are flat and have a very characteristically shiny appearance. The flowers are small and clustered, with a spike-like head.

These false grains are small, dark brown, round balls. One of the most fascinating aspects of these tares is their hardness. The spikelets of the tare are much harder than wheat and are used as a test to distinguish the two plants. It was thought that these tares had been used as a form of adulteration in ancient times, and were often present in traded wheat.

Tares are among the most common weeds found growing along with cereals. The plant has a shallow root system, which means it that requires little effort to pull out. This can usually be done either by hand or using a hoe. The weed can grow up to three feet in height and generally appears in early spring.

In addition to its physical properties, tares were also used symbolically in the Bible.In the Parable of Tares the man’s servants suggest that they pull up the weeds, but the man won’t let them, because if they do, they’ll also uproot the wheat. This parable illustrates the patience and wisdom needed to maintain healthy wheat as opposed to removing it all together.

In the end, the Parable of the Weeds warns us of the danger of hastily judging good and evil. It is important to remember that before taking action, we must reflect and wait for God’s ultimate judgment.

Impact On Land

The life of a farmer was hard during biblical times and tares almost always had a negative impact on the land. Firstly, tares requires a lot of water, which is a valuable resource on arid land. Furthermore, tares had a tendency to spread, making it difficult to contain. They were also very hard to eradicate and could remain in the soil for a long period of time.

The presence of tares could also lead to a decrease in wheat yields, as the weed competed with the wheat for soil nutrients and water. This could lead to a drop in profits, making it essential that farmers had to identify and remove tares as quickly as possible.

Finally, tares also gave rise to a host of other problems, such as crop loss due to contamination. This is because the weed can be difficult to distinguish from wheat and, if mixed in with wheat, could ruin the entire crop.

Chemical Properties

Tares contain several chemicals, which are toxic to humans. One of the primary chemicals found in tares is Lolines, which is known to cause several illnesses, such as fever and vomiting. Other chemicals, such as ergot alkaloids, can also be present in varying amounts and can be toxic if ingested.

The presence of these chemicals also has an effect on animals, as some varieties are poisonous to sheep and cattle, leading to convulsions and fatalities. For this reason, it is essential to identify and remove them, as they can quickly spread and spoil animal feed.

In addition, some chemicals found in tares are also believed to affect the fertility of humans, leading to miscarriages and other health issues. As such, it is important to be aware of the presence of such chemicals and asses the risk they present. Indeed, it is essential to be able to distinguish between different plants to ensure the safety of humans and animals.

Extraction Process

During biblical times, the extraction process for distinguishing tares and wheat was slow and laborious. This was because the two plants looked very similar and could only be distinguished by crushing the grains and looking for tiny differences, for example, in terms of size, color, or shape. This process was so time-consuming that it was almost impossible to separate the two in the traditional way.

In modern times, the process has been simplified and automated to a great degree. Powerful sieves are used to separate the tares from the wheat and other grains, efficiently and quickly. This helps to reduce the time and effort needed to separate the two plants, as well as reduce the risk of contamination. Furthermore, modern technology has enabled farmers to detect and remove tares much more efficiently and quickly.

Uses of Tares

Tares have a range of uses, although these mostly take place on a smaller scale. The weed can be used as animal feed, and can also be used in medicinal purposes. Furthermore, some species of tare can be edible, although they do not have a particularly desirable flavor.

Tares can also be used to make paper and cloth, as their stems are a natural source of cellulose. In fact, tares have been traditionally used to make paper in India and China since ancient times. They can also be used to make bread and porridge, although these dishes are not particularly popular in most parts of the world.

Finally, tares can also be used to make a natural dye, as their stems contain a range of colors, such as orange, yellow, and purple. This dye is used in India to create traditional clothes and fabrics, and is also used in the food and cosmetics industries.

Control Measures

In order to control the spread of tares and reduce their negative impacts, several measures can be taken. Firstly, tares can be manually removed by hand. This is especially effective for smaller patches of the weed and will help to minimise the spread.

Furthermore, tares can also be treated with herbicides to minimise their presence. There are a variety of herbicides available on the market, with the most effective being glyphosate-based. However, it is important to use herbicides carefully and responsibly, as they can be damaging to the surrounding environment and wildlife.

Finally, rotating crops can also be used to reduce the growth and spread of the weed, as new crops will take up the nutrients in the soil and prevent tares from growing. Additionally, planting a variety of crops, including legumes, can help to increase soil fertility and reduce the prevalence of tares.


In conclusion, tares are a problematic weed that can have a range of effects, both on the environment and human health. As such, it is important to be able to identify the species and take measures to control the growth and spread. This can be done through both manual and chemical means, and with the help of modern technology, the process has become much more efficient in recent years.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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