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Greek zizanion transliterates Hebrew zonin, a poisonous rye-grass (weed) which looks like wheat until the heads appear.

"but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed weeds [zizanion] among the wheat, and went his way" (Matthew 13:25).

Judaism understands zonin to be not a different plant from wheat but a degenerate form of it. This is seen from the fact that in Mishna Kilayim 1:1, "Wheat and zonin do not constitute mingled seeds with each other", in the sense of the biblical requirement that diverse kinds of seeds must not be sown together in the same field (Leviticus 19:19). The surprising legendary explanation of this comes from Genesis Rabbah 28:8 (on Genesis 6:7):

"Rabbi Azaryah said in Rabbi Y'hudah's name, All acted corruptly in the generation of the Flood: the dog had intercourse with the wolf, and the fowl with the peacock; hence it is written, "For all (flesh) on the earth had corrupted their way" (Genesis 6:12). 'Rabbi Julian ben-Tiberius said in Rabbi Yitzchak's name, Even the earth debauched itself: wheat was sown and it produced zonin, for the zonin we find now came from the age of the Flood'."

In the light of the fact that when Israel turns away from God, the Tanakh repeatedly describes her with a related word, "zonah" or"prostitute" ("Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, ans played the whore [zonah] there?" Jeremiah 3:6). This understanding of "zonin" has implications for understanding the parable in Matthew 13:24-30.