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Mark 4Lexham English Bible (LEB)

The Parable of the Sower

And again he began to teach beside the sea,[a] and a very large crowd was gathered to him, so that he got into a boat and[b] sat on the sea, and the whole crowd was at the sea on the land. And he began to teach[c] them many things in parables, and was saying to them in his teaching, “Listen! Behold, the sower went out to sow. And it happened that while he was sowing, some seed[d] fell on the side of the path, and the birds came and devoured it. And other seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up at once, because it did not have any depth of soil. And when the sun rose it was scorched, and because it did not have enough root, it withered. And other seed fell among the thorn plants, and the thorn plants came up and choked it, and it did not produce grain.[e] And other seed fell on the good soil, and produced grain,[f] coming up and increasing, and it bore a crop[g]—one thirty and one sixty and one a hundred times as much.[h] And he said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Reason for the Parables

10 And when he was alone, those around him together with the twelve began asking[i] him about the parables. 11 And he said to them, “To you has been granted the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside everything is in parables, 12 so that

they may look closely[j] and not perceive,
    and they may listen carefully[k] and not understand,
lest they turn and it be forgiven them.’”[l]

The Parable of the Sower Interpreted

13 And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? And how will you understand all the parables? 14 The sower sows the word. 15 And these are the ones beside the path where the word is sown, and whenever they hear it,[m] immediately Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 And these are like[n] the ones sown on the rocky ground, who whenever they hear the word immediately receive it with joy. 17 And they have no root in themselves, but are temporary. Then when[o] affliction or persecution comes because of the word, immediately they fall away. 18 And others are the ones sown among the thorn plants—these are the ones who hear the word, 19 and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and[p] choke the word and it becomes unproductive. 20 And those are the ones sown on the good soil, who hear the word and receive it[q] and bear fruit—one thirty and one sixty and one a hundred times as much.”[r]

The Parable of the Lamp

21 And he said to them, “Surely a lamp is not brought so that it may be put under a bushel basket or under a bed, is it?[s] Is it not[t] so that it may be put on a lampstand? 22 For nothing is secret except so that it may be revealed, nor has become hidden except so that it will come to light. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!” 24 And he said to them, “Take care what you hear! With the measure by which you measure out, it will be measured out to you, and will be added to you. 25 For whoever has, more will be given to him, and whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”

The Parable of the Seed that Grows by Itself

26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is like this: like a man scatters seed on the ground. 27 And he sleeps and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he does not know how.[u] 28 By itself the soil produces a crop: first the grass, then the head of grain, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he sends in the sickle right away, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or by what parable can we present it? 31 It is like a mustard seed that when sown on the ground, although it[v] is the smallest of all the seeds that are on the ground, 32 but when it is sown it grows up and becomes the largest of all the garden herbs, and sends out large branches so that the birds of the sky are able to nest in its shade.” 33 And with many parables such as these he was speaking the word to them, as they were able to hear it.[w] 34 And he did not speak to them without a parable, but in private he explained everything to his own disciples.

Calming of a Storm

35 And on that day, when it[x] was evening, he said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him along, as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great storm of wind developed, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already being filled with water.[y] 38 And he was in the stern sleeping on the cushion, and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, is it not a concern to you that we are perishing?” 39 And he woke up and[z] rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Be quiet! Be silent!” And the wind abated and there was a great calm. 40 And he said to them, “Why are you fearful? Do you not yet have faith?” 41 And they were terribly frightened[aa] and began to say[ab] to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 4:1 That is, the Sea of Galilee
  2. Mark 4:1 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“got”) has been translated as a finite verb
  3. Mark 4:2 The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here (“began to teach”)
  4. Mark 4:4 Literally “some of which”
  5. Mark 4:7 Literally “fruit,” describing here the grain harvested from the healthy plants; in contemporary English this would more naturally be expressed by terms like “grain” or “crop”
  6. Mark 4:8 Literally “fruit,” describing here the grain harvested from the healthy plants; in contemporary English this would more naturally be expressed by terms like “grain” or “crop”
  7. Mark 4:8 Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  8. Mark 4:8 The phrase “times as much” is not in the Greek text but is implied
  9. Mark 4:10 The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here (“began asking”)
  10. Mark 4:12 Literally “seeing they may see”
  11. Mark 4:12 Literally “hearing they may hear”
  12. Mark 4:12 A quotation from Isa 6:9–10
  13. Mark 4:15 *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  14. Mark 4:16 Some manuscripts omit “like”
  15. Mark 4:17 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal genitive absolute participle (“comes”)
  16. Mark 4:19 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“come in”) has been translated as a finite verb
  17. Mark 4:20 Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  18. Mark 4:20 The phrase “times as much” is not in the Greek text but is implied
  19. Mark 4:21 The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here, indicated in the translation by the phrase “is it
  20. Mark 4:21 The negative construction in Greek anticipates a positive answer here
  21. Mark 4:27 Literally “in such a way as he does not know”
  22. Mark 4:31 Here “although” is supplied as a component of the participle (“is”) which is understood as concessive
  23. Mark 4:33 *Here the direct object is supplied from context in the English translation
  24. Mark 4:35 Here “when” is supplied as a component of the temporal genitive absolute participle (“was”)
  25. Mark 4:37 *The words “with water” are not in the Greek text but are implied
  26. Mark 4:39 Here “and” is supplied because the previous participle (“woke up”) has been translated as a finite verb
  27. Mark 4:41 Literally “they feared a great fear”
  28. Mark 4:41 The imperfect tense has been translated as ingressive here (“began to say”)
Lexham English Bible (LEB)

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