Mark 4

Mark 4


1 Again he beganI to teachII beside the sea.III Such a very largeIV crowd gatheredV around him

Notes on verse 1a

I “began” = archomai. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power). This is to begin or rule.
II “teach” = didasko. From dao (learn). This is to teach, direct, instruct, or impart knowledge. In the New Testament, this is almost always used for teaching scripture.
III “sea” = thalassa. Perhaps from hals (sea, salt, a boy of saltwater) or halas (salt; can be figurative for prudence). This is the sea, a lake, or seashore.
IV “very large” = pleistos. 4x in NT. From polus (much, many, abundant). This is greatest, large quantity.
V “gathered” = sunago. From sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, go, drive). This is to lead together and so to assemble, bring together, welcome with hospitality, or entertain. In the sense of assembly, this is the root of the word “synagogue.”

that he gotVI into a boatVII on the sea and satVIII there, while the wholeIX crowd wasX beside the sea on the land.XI 

Notes on verse 1b

VI “got” = embaino. 17x in NT. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + baino (to walk, to go). This is to step onto – embark on a boat.
VII “boat” = ploion. From pleo (to sail, voyage); probably from pluno (to plunge – so to wash); from pluo (to flow). This is a boat, ship, or vessel.
VIII “sat” = kathemai. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + hemai (to sit). This is to sit, be enthroned, or reside.
IX “whole” = pas. This is all or every.
X “was” = eimi. This is to be or exist.
XI “land” = ge. This is earth, land, soil, region, country, the inhabitants of an area.

2 He began to teach them many thingsXII in parables,XIII and in his teachingXIV he said to them: “Listen!XV, XVI A sowerXVII went outXVIII to sow.XIX 

Notes on verses 2-3

XII “many things” = polus. Related to “very large” in v1. See note IV above.
XIII “parables” = parabole. From paraballo (literally to throw beside, compare, arrive, liken); {from para (by, beside, in the presence of) + ballo (to throw, cast, place, put, drop)}. This is a parable, comparison, adage. Quite often a tale told or a metaphor to establish a point, but it could be a true story.
XIV “teaching” = didache. Related to “teach” in v1. From didasko (see note II above). This is teaching or doctrine.
XV “listen” = akouo. This is hear or listen, but it also means to understand by hearing. This is where the word “acoustics” comes from.
XVI {untranslated} = idou. From eido (to be aware, see, know, remember, appreciate). This is see! Lo! Behold! Look! Used to express surprise and or draw attention to the statement.
XVII “sower” = speiro. Probably from spao (to pull or draw like one draws a sword). This is sowing a seed or scattering. It is sowing in a literal or figurative sense.
XVIII “went out” = exerchomai. From ek (from, from out of) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go out, depart, escape, proceed from, spread news abroad.
XIX “sow” = speiro. Same as “sower” in v3. See note XVII above.

4 AndXX as he sowed, someXXI seed fellXXII on the path,XXIII and the birdsXXIV cameXXV and ate it up.XXVI 

Notes on verse 4

XX {untranslated}= ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
XXI {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
XXII “fell” = pipto. This is to fall in a literal or figurative sense.
XXIII “path” = hodos. This is way, road, path, or journey. It can imply progress along a route.
XXIV “birds” = peteinon. 14x in NT. From petomai (to fly). This is something with wings i.e. a bird.
XXV “came” = erchomai. Related to “went out” in v3. See note XVIII above.
XXVI “ate…up” = katesthio. 15x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + esthio (to eat or figuratively to devour or consume like rust). This is to eat up, to consume totally so that there is nothing left. It can also be to annoy, injure, or squander.

OtherXXVII seed fell on rocky ground,XXVIII where it did not have muchXXIX soil,XXX

Notes on verse 5a

XXVII “other” = allos. This is other, another. Specifically, it is another of a similar kind or type. There is a different word in Greek that speaks of another as a different kind (heteros).
XXVIII “rocky ground” = petrodes. Related to {untranslated} in v3. 4x in NT. From petra (large rock that is connected and or projecting like a rock, ledge, or cliff; a cave or stony ground) + –odes (similar to) OR from petra (see above) + eidos (form, shape, sight, appearance); {from eido (see note XVI above)}. This is rocky or stony.
XXIX “much” = polus. Same as “many things” in v2. See note XII above.
XXX “soil” = ge. Same as “land” in v1. See note XI above.

and it sprang upXXXI quickly,XXXII since it had no depthXXXIII of soil. 

Notes on verse 5b

XXXI “sprang up” = exanatello. 2x in NT– both in Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13 and Mark 4. From ek (from, from out of) + anatello (rise, shine, or dawn; most often used of the sun; figuratively, achieving a goal or reaching consummation after completing the needed steps); {from ana (up, again, back, anew) + tello (to cause to arise); {from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax)}. This is to rise up from as a plant springing up from the ground – to germinate.
XXXII “quickly” = eutheos. From euthus (immediately, upright, straight and not crooked); {perhaps from eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + tithemi (to place, lay, set, establish)}. This is directly, soon, at once.
XXXIII “depth” = bathos. 8x in NT. From bathus (deep in a literal or figurative sense); from the same root as basis (step, foot). This is depth, fullness, profundity, or immensity. This is where the term “bathysphere” comes from, but not the English word “bath.”

And when the sunXXXIV rose,XXXV it was scorched;XXXVI and since it had no root,XXXVII it withered away.XXXVIII 

Notes on verse 6

XXXIV “sun” = helios. This is sun, which would imply light in general or the east.
XXXV “rose” = anatello. Related to “sprang up” in v5. 9x in NT. See note XXXI above.
XXXVI “scorched” = kaumatizo. 4x in NT. From kauma (heat, burn, a glow); from kaio (to burn, light, kindle). This is to burn up or scorch.
XXXVII “root” = rhiza. 17x in NT. This is a root literally or figuratively so it would be the root of what comes from it – shoot, source, descendant. This is where the word “rhizome” comes from.
XXXVIII “withered away” = xeraino. 15x in NT. From xeros (dry, arid, withered; can also refer to dry land or imply something that is shrunken). This is to dry up, wither, ripen, pine.

Other seed fell among thorns,XXXIX and the thorns grew upXL and chokedXLI it, and it yieldedXLII no grain.XLIII 

Notes on verse 7

XXXIX “thorns” = akantha. 14x in NT. From akmen (even now, still yet); from the same as akmazo (ripe, to be vigorous); from akme (point, edge); related to ake (a point). This is thorn or thorn bush.
XL “grew up” = anabaino. Related to “got” in v1. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + the same as basis (step, hence foot; a pace); {from baino (see note VI above)}. This is to come up in a literal or figurative sense – ascent, rise, climb, enter.
XLI “choked” = sumpnigo. 5x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + pnigo (to choke, wheeze, strangle, or drown); {perhaps from pneo (to blow, breath, breathe hard)}. This is to choke, crowd, press against, cut off, strangle, drown.
XLII “yielded” = didomi. To give, offer, place, bestow, deliver. This is give in a literal or figurative sense.
XLIII “grain” = karpos. Perhaps from harpazo (to seize by force, snatch away); from haireo (to choose, take). This is a fruit or vegetable, through sometimes it refers to an animal. Figuratively, it is deeds, results, profits, or gain.

8 Other seed fell into goodXLIV soil and brought forthXLV grain, growing up and increasingXLVI and yieldingXLVII, XLVIII

Notes on verse 8a

XLIV “good” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.
XLV “brought forth” = didomi. Same as “yielded” in v7. See note XLII above.
XLVI “increasing” = auxano. From auksano (to grow or enlarge, whether literal or figurative). This is growing whether in size or mature or greatness or some other metric.
XLVII “yielding” = phero. This is to bear, bring, lead, or make known publicly. It is to carry in a literal or figurative sense.
XLVIII {untranslated} = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.

thirtyXLIX andL sixtyLI and aLII hundredfold.”LIII  And he said, “Let anyone withLIV earsLV to hearLVI listen!”

Notes on verses 8b-9

XLIX “thirty” = triakonta. 11x in NT. From treis (three). This is thirty.
L {untranslated} = heis. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note XLVIII above.
LI “sixty” = hexekonta. 9x in NT. From hex (six) + deka (ten). This is sixty.
LII “a” = heis. This is one, a person, only, some.
LIII “hundredfold” = hekaton. 17x in NT. This is hundred literal or figurative.
LIV “with” = echo. Literally, “having.”
LV “ears” = ous. This is the physical ear, or the perception of hearing, whether physical or cognitive.
LVI “hear” = akouo. Same as “listen” in v3. See note XV above.

10 When he wasLVII alone,LVIII those who were around him along with the twelveLIX askedLX him about the parables. 

Notes on verse 10

LVII “was” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
LVIII “alone” = monos. Perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate.
LIX “twelve” = dodeka. Related to “sixty” in v8. From duo (two, both) + deka (see note LI above). This is twelve – also shorthand for the apostles.
LX “asked” = erotao. From eromai (to ask) OR from ereo (to say, tell, call, speak of). This is asking a question or making an earnest request. It is used between someone with whom the asker is close in some sense. So, they anticipate special consideration for their request.

11 And he said to them, “To you has been givenLXI the secretLXII of the kingdomLXIII of God,LXIV but for those outside, everythingLXV comesLXVI in parables; 

Notes on verse 11

LXI “given” = didomi. Same as “yielded” in v7. See note XLII above.
LXII “secret” = musterion. From mustes (an initiate); from mueo (to initiate someone into the secrets or mysteries of an order; to instruct learn, be disciples; properly, shutting your mouth and eyes to experience mystery); from muo (shutting eyes or mouth). This is a mystery or a secret doctrine that requires initiation to learn. In the New Testament, the plans of God were hidden until they were revealed in Christ through the Gospel. It is also used of Christian revelation in a broad sense rather than referring to something that cannot be known. This is the root of the word “mystery.”
LXIII “kingdom” = basileia. Related to “got” in v1 & “grew up” in v7. From basileus (king, emperor, sovereign); probably from basis (step, hence foot; a pace); from baino (see note VI above). This is kingdom, rule, authority, sovereignty, royalty, a realm.
LXIV “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
LXV “everything” = pas. Same as “whole” in v1. See note IX above.
LXVI “comes” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.

12 in order that

‘they may indeed look,LXVII but not perceive,LXVIII
    and may indeed listen,LXIX but not understand;LXX
so that they may not turnLXXI again and be forgiven.’”LXXII

Notes on verse 12

LXVII “look” = blepo + blepo. Literally, “seeing, they might see.” This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
LXVIII “perceive” = horao. To see, perceive, attend to, look upon, experience. Properly, to stare at and so implying clear discernment. This, by extension, would indicate attending to what was seen and learned. This is to see, often with a metaphorical sense. Can include inward spiritual seeing.
LXIX “listen” = akouo + akouo. Literally, “hearing, they might hear.” Same as “listen” in v3. See note XV above.
LXX “understand” = suniemi. From sun (with, together with) + hiemi (to send, put). This is to put together – used figuratively to mean understand, consider, gain insight. It is bringing together facts or notions and synthesizing them into a whole. It is making a summary to arrive at a final conclusion that includes how to apply the insight to life. It can also imply acting piously or being wise.
LXXI “turn” = epistrepho. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + strepho (to turn, change, turn back, be converted; to turn around completely to take the opposite path or a completely different one); {from trope (turning, shifting, a revolution; figuratively, a variation); from trepo (to turn)}. This is to turn, return, or come again. It can also mean to revert. It is turning in a literal or figurative sense – also a moral turning.
LXXII “be forgiven” = aphiemi. Related to “understand” in v12. From apo (from, away from) + hiemi (see note LXX above). This is send away, release, permit, forgive, allow to depart, discharge, or send forth.

13 And he saidLXXIII to them, “Do you not understandLXXIV this parable? Then how will you understandLXXV allLXXVI the parables? 14 The sower sows the word.LXXVII 

Notes on verses 13-14

LXXIII “said” = lego. This is to say or tell.
LXXIV “understand” = eido. Related to {untranslated} in v3 & “rocky ground” in v5. See note XVI above.
LXXV “understand” = ginosko. This is to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn. It is knowledge gained through personal experience.
LXXVI “all” = pas. Same as “whole” in v1. See note IX above.
LXXVII “word” = logos. Related to “said” in v13. From lego (see note LXXIII above). This is word, statement, speech, analogy. It is a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying. It could refer to a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words. By implication, this could be a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive. It can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ.

15 These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, SatanLXXVIII immediatelyLXXIX comes and takes awayLXXX the word that is sown in them. 

Notes on verse 15

LXXVIII “Satan” = Satanas. From Hebrew satan (adversary, Satan); from satan (to be an adversary, attack, accuse, resist). This is Satan, the adversary, or an adversary.
LXXIX “immediately” = eutheos. Sam as “quickly” in v5. See note XXXII above.
LXXX “takes away” = airo. This is to lift up in a literal or figurative sense. So, it could mean to lift, carry, or raise. It could also imply lifting something in order to take it away or remove it. Figuratively, this can be used for raising the voice or level of suspense. It can mean sailing off as raising the anchor. It can also correspond to a Hebrew expression for atonement of sin (lift/remove sin).

16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receiveLXXXI it with joy.LXXXII 17 But they have no root, and endureLXXXIII only for a while;LXXXIV

Notes on verses 16-17a

LXXXI “receive” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
LXXXII “joy” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
LXXXIII “endure” = eimi. Same as “was” in v1. See note X above.
LXXXIV “only for awhile” = proskairos. 4x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with, among) + kairos (season, opportunity, occasion; spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time). This is for a season, fleeting, temporary, or something that only lasts for a short time.

then, when troubleLXXXV or persecutionLXXXVI arisesLXXXVII on account of the word, immediately they fall away.LXXXVIII 

Notes on verse 17b

LXXXV “trouble” = thlipsis. From thlibo (to press in on and make narrow, rub together, constrict; figuratively to oppress or afflict). This is pressure that hems us in – used often of internal pressure that makes us feel like we have no other options and are confined or restricted. So, this is persecution, affliction, trouble, distress, and anguish. There is a different word, stenoxoria, that refers to external pressure that we feel from what’s going on.
LXXXVI “persecution” = diogmos. 10x in NT. From dioko to chase after, put to flight; by implication, to persecute or to purse like a hunter after its prey; this can be earnestly pursue or zealously persecute) {related to dio (put to flight). This is chase, pursuit, or persecution. It is hunting someone like an animal.
LXXXVII “arises” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
LXXXVIII “fall away” = skandalizo. From skandalon (the bait or portion of the trap that closes down on the victim – the trap’s trigger; a stumbling block, offense, or cause for error; something that sets into motion a negative cause and effect; something that causes one to stumble); perhaps from kampto (to bend or bow). This is to put a stumbling block in someone’s way. Figuratively, causing someone to sin or preventing them from good action. It can also mean to shock or offend. Literally, this is falling into a trap or tripping someone up. So, here, enticing someone to sin or apostasy.

18 And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19 but the caresLXXXIX of the world,XC and the lureXCI of wealth,XCII

Notes on verses 18-19a

LXXXIX “cares” = merimna. 6x in NT. Perhaps from merizo (to divide, part, share, distribute, assign; figuratively, to differ); from meros (part, share, portion figurative or literal); from meiromai (to get your share, receive one’s allotment). This is a portion removed from the whole. Figuratively, it is care, worry, or anxiety that tears a person apart.
XC “world” = aion. From the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is an age, cycle of time, course, continued duration. It is also used to describe the eternal or forever. This is the word used to discuss the present age or the messianic age.
XCI “lure” = apate. 7x in NT. Perhaps from apatao (to deceive, seduce, cheat, delude; focuses on the method used to lure astray). This is deception, cheating, treachery, fraud.
XCII “wealth” = ploutos. Related to “very large” in v1 & “many things” in v2 & “boat” in v1. From polus (see note IV above) OR pleo (see note VII above) OR pletho (to fill, accomplish, supply; to fill to maximum capacity). This is abundance, wealth, or riches. It could refer to money/possessions or spiritual abundance. It can also be used for a valuable bestowment.

and the desireXCIII for other thingsXCIV come inXCV and choke the word, and it yieldsXCVI nothing.XCVII 

Notes on verse 19b

XCIII “desire” = epithumia. From epithmueo (long for, set one’s heart on, yearn, desire); {from epi (on, upon, at, what is fitting) + thumos (passion, wrath; actions emerging from passion or impulse) {from thuo (to rush along, breathe violently, offer sacrifice)}}. This is desire, a longing built on passionate emotion or urges. This can be a positive or a negative passion (lust or eagerness).
XCIV “other things” = loipos. From leipo (to leave behind, be lacking). This is the rest, remained, remnant, other, residue.
XCV “come in” = eisporeuomai. 18x in NT. From eis (to, into, for, among) + poreuomai (to go, travel, journey, die; refers to transporting things from one place to another; focuses on the personal significance of the destination); {from poros (passageway)}. This is to enter or journey in in a literal or figurative sense.
XCVI “yields” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
XCVII “nothing” = akarpos. Related to “grain” in v7. 7x in NT. From a (not, without) + karpos (see note XLIII above). This is unfruitful in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean without profit.

20 And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and acceptXCVIII it and bear fruit,XCIX, C thirty andCI sixty and aCII hundredfold.”

Notes on verse 20

XCVIII “accept” = paradechomai. 6x in NT. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense). This is to receive, welcome, accept, adopt, admit. It can also mean to find joy in.
XCIX “bear fruit” = karpophoreo. Related to “grain” in v7 & “nothing” in v19 & “yielding” in v8. 8x in NT. From karpophoros (fruitful, productive); {from karpos (see note XLIII above) + phero (see note XLVII above)}. This is to produce fruit or crops. It is fertile in a literal or figurative sense.
C {untranslated} = heis. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note XLVIII above.
CI {untranslated} = heis. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note XLVIII above.
CII “a” = heis. Same as {untranslated} in v8. See note XLVIII above.

21 He said to them, “IsCIII a lampCIV brought inCV to be putCVI under the bushel basket,CVII or under the bed,CVIII and notCIX on the lampstand?CX 

Notes on verse 21

CIII {untranslated} = meti. 17x in NT. From me (not, neither, never; rules out conditional statements and their implications) + tis (someone, anyone, anything). This is asking a question when you expect the answer to be no. It is if not, surely no. But it also keeps a small possibility floating – but could it be?
CIV “lamp” = luchnos. 14x in NT. Perhaps from the base of leukos (bright, white, brilliant); from luke (light). This is a lamp that is portable and fueled by oil. It can mean light in a literal or figurative sense.
CV “brought in” = erchomai. Same as “came” in v4. See note XXV above.
CVI “be put” = tithemi. Related to “quickly” in v5. See note XXXII above.
CVII “bushel basket” = modios. 3x in NT– in this and its parallel passages in Matthew and Luke. From Latin modius (modius, a unit of measurement that is about the same as a peck); from modus (measure, limit, way, method, mode); from Proto-Indo-European mod-os (measure) {from med (to measure) + ius (suffix that makes adjectives)}. This is modius, a unit of measurement for dry goods that is about the same as a peck or two English gallons. It is also a container for dry goods holding this amount. See
CVIII “bed” = kline. 9x in NT. From klino (to slant, rest, recline, approach an end, wear; to bend in a literal or figurative sense – to lay down, a day ending, causing an opposing army to flee). This is couch, bed, mat. Either a couch laid on to eat or for sleeping.
CIX {untranslated} = tithemi. Same as “be put” in v21. See note CVI above.
CX “lampstand” = luchnia. Related to “lamp” in v21. 12x in NT. From luchnos (see note CIV above). This is a lampstand or candlestick.

22 For there is nothing hidden,CXI except to be disclosed;CXII nor isCXIII anything secret,CXIV except to come to light.CXV 23 Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” 

Notes on verses 22-23

CXI “hidden” = kruptos. 19x in NT. From krupto (to hide by covering, secret, hidden things). This is something concealed, hidden, secret, or private. It can also refer to the inner nature. This is the root of the word “cryptography.”
CXII “be disclosed” = phaneroo. From phaneros (visible, apparent, clear, shining); from phos (light, a source of light, fire, or radiance; light with specific reference to what it reveals; luminousness whether natural or artificial, abstract or concrete, literal or figurative); from phao (to shine or make visible, especially with rays of light); from the same as phaino (to bring light, cause to appear, shine, become visible or clear). This is to make visible or clear, to make known. Properly, it is to illumine and so to make apparent or bring into open view.
CXIII “is” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
CXIV “secret” = apokruphos. Related to “hidden” in v22. 3x in NT. From apokrupto (to hide, keep secret, conceal); {from apo (from, away from) + krupto (see note CXI above)}. This is hidden, secret, or treasured.
CXV “light” = phaneros. Related to “disclosed” in v22. 18x in NT. Se note CXII above.

24 And he said to them, “Pay attentionCXVI to what you hear; the measureCXVII you giveCXVIII will be the measure you get,CXIX and still more will be givenCXX you. 25 For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

Notes on verses 24-25

CXVI “pay attention” = blepo. Same as “look” in v12. See note LXVII above.
CXVII “measure” = metron. 14x in NT. This is a measure, whether of distance or volume. It can be a tool for measuring or the measure itself. Figuratively, it is that which determines what is sufficient. This is where the words “meter” and “metric” come from.
CXVIII “give” = metreo. Related to “measure” in v24. 11x in NT. From metron (see note CXVII above). This is to measure or estimate, to allot according to a set standard.
CXIX “be the measure…get” = metreo. Same as “give” in v24. See note CXVIII above.
CXX “still more will be given” = prostithemi. Related to “quickly” in v5 & “be put” in v21. 18x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + tithemi (see note XXXII above). This is to add, place to, bring together for a reason, or add up.

26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someoneCXXI would scatterCXXII seedCXXIII on the ground,CXXIV 27 and would sleepCXXV and riseCXXVI night and day,CXXVII

Notes on verses 26-27a

CXXI “someone” = anthropos. Related to “perceive” in v23. Probably from aner (man, male, husband) + ops (eye, face); {from optanomai (to appear, be seen); perhaps from horao (see note LXVIII above)}. This is human, humankind. Used for all genders.
CXXII “scatter” = ballo. Related to “parables” in v2. See note XIII above.
CXXIII “seed” = sporos. Related to “sower” in v3. 6x in NT. From speiro (see note XVII above). This is seed or a seed that is already scattered. It is where the word “spore” comes from.
CXXIV “ground” = ge. Same as “land” in v1. See note XI above.
CXXV “sleep” = katheudo. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + heudo (to sleep). This is to settle down to rest, to sleep, fall asleep in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXVI “rise” = egeiro. This is to awake, raise up or lift up. It can be to get up from sitting or lying down, to get up from sleeping, to rise from a disease or from death. Figuratively, it can be rising from inactivity or from ruins.
CXXVII “day” = hemera. Related to “sat” in v1. Perhaps from hemai (see note VIII above). This is day, time, or daybreak.

and the seed would sproutCXXVIII and grow,CXXIX he does not knowCXXX how. 28 The earthCXXXI producesCXXXII of itself,CXXXIII

Notes on verses 27b-28a

CXXVIII “sprout” = blastano. 4x in NT. Perhaps from blastos (a sprout). This is to sprout, germinate, bud, or bring forth. It can also imply yielding fruit. This also shares a root with the word “blastocyte.”
CXXIX “grow” = mekuno. 1x in NT. From mekos (length); probably related to megas (great or large). This is to enlarge or lengthen.
CXXX “know” = eido. Same as “understand” in v13. See note LXXIV above.
CXXXI “earth” = ge. Same as “land” in v1. See note XI above.
CXXXII “produces” = karpophoreo. Same as “bear fruit” in v20. See note XCIX above.
CXXXIII “of itself” = automatos. 2x in NT. Perhaps from autos (he, she, self, they, same) + perhaps maten (in vain, aimlessly, pointless, fruitless); {from mate (a folly) or from massaomai (to chew, gnaw); {from masso (to kneed, squeeze)}}. This is of itself, of its own will. So, it is inherently ready without outside pressure or convincing for action – spontaneous. It is where the word “automatic” comes from.

first the stalk,CXXXIV then the head,CXXXV then the fullCXXXVI grainCXXXVII in the head. 

Notes on verse 28b

CXXXIV “stalk” = chortos. 15x n NT. This is food, grass, hay, wheat. It can also be a place of feeding, garden, court, or pasture.
CXXXV “head” = stachus. 5x in NT. Perhaps from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast). This is a head of grain.
CXXXVI “full” = pleres. Related to “wealth” in v19. 16x in NT. From pletho (see note XCII above). This is to be full, complete, abounding in, or occupied with.
CXXXVII “grain” = sitos. 15x in NT. This is used for any kind of grain that you can eat. It is usually wheat, but it can also be barley and other grains.

29 But when the grainCXXXVIII is ripe,CXXXIX at onceCXL he goes inCXLI with his sickle,CXLII because the harvestCXLIII has come.”CXLIV

Notes on verse 29

CXXXVIII “grain” = karpos. Same as “grain” in v7. See note XLIII above.
CXXXIX “is ripe” = paradidomi. Related to “yielded” in v7. From para (from beside, by) + didomi (see note XLII above). This is literally to hand over – hence to deliver, abandon, or betray. It implies a personal involvement.
CXL “at once” = eutheos. Same as “quickly” in v5. See note XXXII above.
CXLI “goes in” = apostello. Related to “head” in v28. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (see note CXXXV above)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
CXLII “sickle” = drepanon. 8x in NT– 1x in Mark 4:29 and 7x in Revelation 14. From drepo (to pluck). This is a sick or a hook for harvesting.
CXLIII “harvest” = therismos. 13x in NT. From therizo (to reap, gather, harvest); from theros (summer; the heat, which implies summer); from thero (to heat). This is harvesting or reaping. By implication, it is the crop that was harvested.
CXLIV “come” = paristemi. Related to “head” in v28 & “goes in” in v29. From para (from beside, by) + histemi (see note CXXXV above). This is literally to place by stand. It can mean to present, exhibit, appear, bring, stand by, or prove. It can also mean to be ready, to assist, to yield, or to commend.

30 He also said, “With what can we compareCXLV the kingdom of God, or what parable will we useCXLVI for it? 31 It is like a mustardCXLVII seed,CXLVIII which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallestCXLIX of all the seedsCL on earth; 

Notes on verses 30-31

CXLV “compare” = homoioo. 15x in NT. From homoios (similar to, resembling, like); from the same as homou (together); from homos (the same). This is to compare, liken, resemble, become similar.
CXLVI “use” = tithemi. Same as “be put” in v21. See note CVI above.
CXLVII “mustard” = sinapi. 5x in NT. Perhaps from sinomai (to hurt or sting). This is a mustard plant.
CXLVIII “seed” = kokkkos. 7x in NT. This is a kernel or seed.
CXLIX “smallest” = mikros. This is small in reference to a size or the number of something, least or less. Figuratively, it can refer to little dignity.
CL “seeds” = sperma. Related to “sower” in v3 & “seed” in v26. From speiro (see note XVII above). This is something sown so it could be seed or offspring and descendants. This is where the word “sperm” comes from.

32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomesCLI the greatestCLII of all shrubs,CLIII and puts forthCLIV largeCLV branches,CLVI

Notes on verse 32a

CLI “becomes” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
CLII “greatest” = megas. Related to “grow” in v27. See note CXXIX above.
CLIII “shrubs” = lachanon. 4x in NT. From lachaino (to dig). This is a vegetable, herb, or other plant in a garden.
CLIV “puts forth” = poieo. This is to make, do, act, construct, abide, or cause.
CLV “large” = megas. Same as “greatest” in v32. See note CLII above.
CLVI “branches” = klados. 11x in NT. From klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread). This is a branch, twig, or bough. It can also refer to descendants.

so that the birds of the airCLVII canCLVIII make nestsCLIX in its shade.”CLX

Notes on verse 32b

CLVII “air” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
CLVIII “can” = dunamai. This is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
CLIX “make nests” = kataskenoo. 4x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + skenoo (to encamp, pitch a tent, dwell); {from skenos (tent, booth, tabernacle, or dwelling)}. It could be a cloth hut. This is a tent in a literal or figurative sense ); {perhaps related to skeuos (vessel, tool, container, implement; also vessel in a figurative or literal sense) or perhaps related to skia (shadow, thick darkness, outline; figurative for a spiritual situation that is good or bad)}. This is to encamp or dwell. It is used figuratively for to lodge, stay or rest.
CLX “shade” = skia. 7x in NT. This is shade, shadow, outline. It can also metaphorically refer to a spiritual reality whether positive or negative.

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were ableCLXI to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explainedCLXII everything in privateCLXIII to hisCLXIV disciples.CLXV

Notes on verses 33-34

CLXI “were able” = dunamai. Same as “can” in v32. See note CLVIII above.
CLXII “explained” = epiluo. 2x in NT. From epi (on, upon, what is fitting) + luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld). This is to loose, solve, explain, decide, interpret.
CLXIII “private” = idios. This is something that belongs to you or that is personal, private, apart. It indicates a stronger sense of possession than a simple possessive pronoun. This is where “idiot” comes from (denoting someone who hasn’t had formal training or education and so they rely on their own understanding).
CLXIV “his” = idios. Same as “private” in v34. See note CLXIII above.
CLXV “disciples” = mathetes. From matheteuo (to make a disciple of); from manthano (to learn key facts, gain knowledge from experience; generally implies reflection as part of the learning process); from math– (thinking things through). This is a disciple, learner, or student. It is where we get “mathematics” from.

35 On that day, when eveningCLXVI had come,CLXVII he said to them, “Let us go acrossCLXVIII to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd behind,CLXIX they took him withCLXX them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. 

Notes on verses 35-36

CLXVI “evening” = opsios. 15x in NT. From opse (after, late, in the end, in the evening); from opiso (back, behind, after); from the same as opisthen (after, back, from the rear); probably from opis (back). This is afternoon, evening, nightfall, or late.
CLXVII “come” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
CLXVIII “go across” = dierchomai. Related to “went out” in v3 & “came” in v4.  From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + erchomai (see note XVIII above). This is to go through, come, depart, pierce, travel, traverse.
CLXIX “leaving…behind” = aphiemi. Same as “be forgiven” in v12. See note LXXII above.
CLXX “took…with” = paralambano. Related to “receive” in v16. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + lambano (see note LXXXI above). This is to receive, take, acknowledge, associate with. It can also mean to take on an office or to learn.

37 A greatCLXXI windstormCLXXII arose, and the wavesCLXXIII beatCLXXIV into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.CLXXV 

Notes on verse 37

CLXXI “great” = megas. Same as “greatest” in v32. See note CLII above.
CLXXII “windstorm” = lailapsanemos. 3x in NT. Lailaps is 3x in NT. This is a sudden storm like a squall or a gale. Anemos is from aer (air that we breathe); from aemi (to breathe or blow). This is wind or a gust of air. It can also be used figuratively for empty doctrines.
CLXXIII “waves” = kuma. 5x in NT. From kuo (to swell as one pregnant). This is a wave, billow, curve, or bend.
CLXXIV “beat” = epiballo. Related to “parables” in v2 & “scatter” in v26. 18x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + ballo (see note XIII above). This is to place on, fall, lay, throw over, think about, waves crashing, emotions emerging.
CLXXV “being swamped” = gemizo. 8x in NT. From gemo (to be full, swell, at capacity, actions taken to fulfill a goal). This is to fill up or load, be swamped as a boat with water.

38 But he was in the stern,CLXXVI asleep on the cushion;CLXXVII and they woke him upCLXXVIII and said to him, “Teacher,CLXXIX do you not careCLXXX that we are perishing?”CLXXXI 

Notes on verse 38

CLXXVI “stern” = prumna. 3x in NT. From prumnos (backmost). This is the back part, i.e. the stern.
CLXXVII “cushion” = proskephalaion. 1x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + kephale (head or chief; literal head or, figuratively, a ruler or lord, corner stone); from kapto (to seize)}. This is literally towards the head, so it refers to a cushion or pillow.
CLXXVIII “woke…up” = egeiro. Same as “rise” in v27. See note CXXVI above.
CLXXIX “teacher” = didaskalos. Related to “teach” in v1 & “teaching” in v2. From didasko (see note II above). This is teacher or master.
CLXXX “care” = melo. 10x in NT. This is to think about something, take an interest, to pay attention. It is to care or worry about something.
CLXXXI “perishing” = apollumi. From apo (from, away from) + ollumi (to destroy or ruin; the loss that comes from a major ruination). This is to destroy, cut off, to perish – perhaps violently. It can also mean to cancel or remove.

39 He woke upCLXXXII and rebukedCLXXXIII the wind,CLXXXIV

Notes on verse 39a

CLXXXII “woke up” = diegeiro. Related to “rise” in v27. 6x in NT.  From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + egeiro (see note CXXVI above). This is to wake totally, arise, or raise in a literal or figurative sense.
CLXXXIII “rebuked” = epitimao. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + timao (properly, this is setting a value or price on something, to estimate. Figuratively, it speaks to what level of honor we afford someone or something depending on our personal feeling toward it. By implication, this can mean to revere or honor); {from time (worth or perceived value; literally, price, but figuratively, the honor or value one sees in someone or something; can be esteem or dignity; can also mean precious or valuables); from tino (to pay, be punished, pay a penalty or fine because of a crime); from tio (to pay respect, value)}. This is to render what is due – to assign the value that is appropriate for the situation. So, it could mean to honor or to warn, to rebuke or to charge. Generally, it is a warning meant to guide someone away from doing something wrong or taking the wrong path. It can imply to forbid.
CLXXXIV “wind” = anemos. Same as “windstorm” in v37. See note CLXXII above.

and said to the sea, “Peace!CLXXXV Be still!”CLXXXVI Then the wind ceased,CLXXXVII

Notes on verse 39b

CLXXXV “peace” = siopao. 10x in NT. From siope (silence or muteness). This is to be silent whether by choice or not. Figuratively, this is being calm as water, keeping one’s peace.
CLXXXVI “be still” = phimoo. 8x in NT. From phimos (a muzzle). This is to muzzle so speechless, silence, quiet.
CLXXXVII “ceased” = kopazo. 3x in NT. From kopos (labor that leads to exhaustion, depletion, weariness, fatigue; working until worn out); from kopto (to cut, strike, cut off; beating the chest to lament and so to mourn). This is to tire, be stilled, stop, or cease. It can also mean to relax.

and there wasCLXXXVIII a deadCLXXXIX calm.CXC 40 He said to them, “Why are you afraid?CXCI Have you still no faith?”CXCII 

Notes on verses 39c-40

CLXXXVIII “was” = ginomai. Same as {untranslated} in v4. See note XX above.
CLXXXIX “dead” = megas. Same as “greatest” in v32. See note CLII above.
CXC “calm” = galene. 3x in NT. Perhaps akin to gelao (to laugh or smile because of joy or being satisfied). This is calm or tranquility as a sea being still. This is where the ancient Greek physician Galen’s name comes from.
CXCI “afraid” = deilos. 4x in NT. From deos (fear, reverence); from deido (to fear). This is fearful, timid, faithless, fear of losing.
CXCII “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.

41 And they were filledCXCIII with great aweCXCIV and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obeyCXCV him?”

Notes on verse 41

CXCIII “filled” = phobeo. From phobos (panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect); from phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is also to put to flight, terrify, frighten, dread, reverence, to withdraw or avoid. It is sometimes used in a positive sense to mean the fear of the Lord, echoing Old Testament language. More commonly, it is fear of following God’s path. This is where the word phobia comes from.
CXCIV “awe” = phobos. Related to “filled” in v41 See note CXCIII above.
CXCV “obey” = hupakouo. Related to “listen” in v3. From hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + akouo (see note XV above). This is to listen, to attend to, or obey. It is acting subordinate to one who speaks – heeding a command or authority.

Image credit: “Parable of the Sower” by LUMO Project.

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