Mark, Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern

chapter 4
1. Again Yeshua began to teach by the lake, but the crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the crowd remained on shore at the water’s edge.
2. He taught them many things in parables. In the course of his teaching, he said to them:
3. “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.
4. As he sowed, some seed fell alongside the path; and the birds came and ate it up.
5. Other seed fell on rocky patches where there was not much soil. It sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow;
6. but when the sun rose, the young plants were scorched; and since their roots were not deep, they dried up.
7. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked it; so that it yielded no grain.
8. But other seed fell into rich soil and produced grain; it sprouted, and grew, and yielded a crop — thirty, sixty, even a hundred times what was sown.”
Even a hundred times. In Genesis 26:12 the Hebrew for "a hundred times" is meah she'arim; diis makes a nice trans-chronological wordplay, since Meah She'arim (which also means "one hundred gates") is the most Ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in modem Jerusalem.

9. And he concluded, “Whoever has ears to hear with, let him hear!”
10. When Yeshua was alone, the people around him with the Twelve asked him about the parables.
11. He answered them, “To you the secret of the Kingdom of God has been given; but to those outside, everything is in parables,
12. so that "they may be always looking but never seeing; always listening but never understanding. Otherwise, they might turn and be forgiven!" (Isaiah 6:9–10)
13. Then Yeshua said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How will you be able to understand any parable?
14. The sower sows the message.
15. Those alongside the path where the message is sown are people who no sooner hear it than the Adversary comes and takes away the message sown in them.
16. Likewise, those receiving seed on rocky patches are people who hear the message and joyfully accept it at once;
17. but they have no root in themselves. So they hold out for a while, but as soon as some trouble or persecution arises on account of the message, they immediately fall away.
18. Others are those sown among thorns — they hear the message;
19. but the worries of the world, the deceitful glamor of wealth and all the other kinds of desires push in and choke the message; so that it produces nothing.
20. But those sown on rich soil hear the message, accept it and bear fruit — thirty, sixty or a hundredfold.”
21. He said to them, “A lamp isn’t brought in to be put under a bowl or under the bed, is it? Wouldn’t you put it on a lampstand?
22. Indeed, nothing is hidden, except to be disclosed; and nothing is covered up, except to come out into the open.
23. Those who have ears to hear with, let them hear!”
24. He also said to them, “Pay attention to what you are hearing! The measure with which you measure out will be used to measure to you — and more besides!
25. For anyone who has something will be given more; but from anyone who has nothing, even what he does have will be taken away.”
26. And he said, “The Kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed on the ground.
27. Nights he sleeps, days he’s awake; and meanwhile the seeds sprout and grow — how, he doesn’t know.
28. By itself the soil produces a crop — first the stalk, then the head, and finally the full grain in the head.
29. But as soon as the crop is ready, the man comes with his sickle, because it’s harvest-time.”
30. Yeshua also said, “With what can we compare the Kingdom of God? What illustration should we use to describe it?
31. It is like a mustard seed, which, when planted, is the smallest of all the seeds in the field;
32. but after it has been planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all the plants, with such big branches that the birds flying about can build nests in its shade.”
33. With many parables like these he spoke the message to them, to the extent that they were capable of hearing it.
34. He did not say a thing to them without using a parable; when he was alone with his own talmidim he explained everything to them.
35. That day, when evening had come, Yeshua said to them, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake.”
36. So, leaving the crowd behind, they took him just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him.
37. A furious windstorm arose, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was close to being swamped.
38. But he was in the stern on a cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, “Rabbi, doesn’t it matter to you that we’re about to be killed?”
39. He awoke, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind subsided, and there was a dead calm.
40. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you no trust even now?”
41. But they were terrified and asked each other, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the waves obey him?”

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