3 For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
ESV - 3 For thus says the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: "Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
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In my opinion, in this passage, metaphorical language is being used to compare the receptivity of the human heart to God's guidance and teaching to a process of sowing seed. It is similar to the the parable of the sower that Jesus later told (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; and Luke 8:4-15). The fallow ground is a person who has not experienced the sowing of that seed, or who has not been receptive to it, causing him to be unproductive in finding or following God, and in producing the kind of actions ("fruits") that would be a witness to the role that God is playing in his life. In order to correct this, the "unplowed ground" of the person's heart must be "broken up" by allowing God's teaching to be incoporated into the person's thoughts and actions, as a plow breaks up a field of earth as part of planting seed. After that (and in reference to another element in Jesus' later parable), the person must also not allow the "seed" of God's teaching to fall among thorns (representing the day-to-day cares and concerns of life in this fallen world), which will cause the beneficial effects of that teaching to be "choked off" by other priorities, rather than allowing them to fully mature and be of the maximum possible value.
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