Mark 4:1
And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.
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(1-20) He began.—See Notes on Matthew 13:1-23.

Mark 4:1-9. And he began to teach by the seaside — See notes on Matthew 13:1-17. He taught them many things by parables — After the usual manner of the eastern nations, to make his instructions more agreeable to them, and to impress them the more upon attentive hearers. A parable signifies not only a simile, or comparison, and sometimes a proverb, but any kind of instructive speech, wherein spiritual things are explained and illustrated by natural. Proverbs 1:6, To understand a proverb and the interpretation. The proverb is the literal sense, the interpretation is the spiritual; resting in the literal sense killeth, but the spiritual giveth life. Hearken — This word he probably spoke with a loud voice, to stop the noise and hurry of the people.

4:1-20 This parable contained instruction so important, that all capable of hearing were bound to attend to it. There are many things we are concerned to know; and if we understand not the plain truths of the gospel, how shall we learn those more difficult! It will help us to value the privileges we enjoy as disciples of Christ, if we seriously consider the deplorable state of all who have not such privileges. In the great field of the church, the word of God is dispensed to all. Of the many that hear the word of the gospel, but few receive it, so as to bring forth fruit. Many are much affected with the word for the present, who yet receive no abiding benefit. The word does not leave abiding impressions upon the minds of men, because their hearts are not duly disposed to receive it. The devil is very busy about careless hearers, as the fowls of the air go about the seed that lies above ground. Many continue in a barren, false profession, and go down to hell. Impressions that are not deep, will not last. Many do not mind heart-work, without which religion is nothing. Others are hindered from profiting by the word of God, by abundance of the world. And those who have but little of the world, may yet be ruined by indulging the body. God expects and requires fruit from those who enjoy the gospel, a temper of mind and Christian graces daily exercised, Christian duties duly performed. Let us look to the Lord, that by his new-creating grace our hearts may become good ground, and that the good seed of the word may produce in our lives those good words and works which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God the Father.See the parable of the sower explained in the notes at Matthew 13:1-9.

See the parable of the sower explained in the notes at Matthew 13:1-9.


Mr 4:1-34. Parable of the Sower—Reason for Teaching in Parables—Parables of the Seed Growing We Know Not How, and of the Mustard Seed. ( = Mt 13:1-23, 31, 32; Lu 8:4-18).

1. And he began again to teach by the seaside: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude—or, according to another well-supported reading, "a mighty" or "immense multitude."

so that he entered into a ship—rather, "the ship," meaning the one mentioned in Mr 3:9. (See on [1416]Mt 12:15).

and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land—crowded on the seashore to listen to Him. (See on [1417]Mt 13:1, 2.)Mark 4:1-9 The parable of the sower.

Mark 4:10-13 Why Christ taught in parables.

Mark 4:14-20 The exposition of the parable.

Mark 4:21-25 The light of knowledge is given to be communicated to others.

Mark 4:26-29 The kingdom of God likened to the seed which groweth


Mark 4:30-34 and to a grain of mustard seed.

Mark 4:35-41 Christ stilleth a tempest by his word.

Ver. 1,2. We may observe that our Saviour often preached by the seaside, the reason of which was, doubtless, he had there the convenience by a boat or ship to quit himself of the inconvenience of the people’s pressing upon him: he was now in Galilee, which bordered upon the sea.

And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine. Some of those things which our Lord taught his people by earthly similitudes are afterwards expressed, but probably he taught them many more things than the evangelists have left us upon record.

And said unto them in his doctrine: that may be understood in a double sense; either understanding by doctrine his way of teaching which he affected, and made much use of, viz. by similitudes; or else thus, that he intermixed with the doctrine which he taught them several parables, some of which here follow.

And he began again to teach by the sea side,.... He went out of the house where he was at Capernaum, the same day he had the above discourse with the Scribes and Pharisees, and on which his mother and: brethren came to speak with him; and from thence he went where he had been before, and taught the people; namely, to the sea side, the shore of the sea of Galilee, or Tiberias:

and there was gathered unto him a great multitude; which followed him from the house, and from other parts of the city, and perhaps from the adjacent places:

so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; in the ship at sea, at some little distance from the shore; the sea of Tiberias being rather a lake, and within land, had no tide, and so was still and quiet:

and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land; stood on the land, all along the sea shore; See Gill on Matthew 13:1, Matthew 13:2.

And he began again to teach by the {a} sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat {b} in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land.

(a) Seaside of Tiberias.

(b) In a ship which was launched into the sea.

Mark 4:1-9. See on Matthew 13:1-9. Comp. Luke 8:4-8. Matthew has here a group of parables from the collection of Logia to the number of seven,—a later and richer selection than Mark gives with his three similitudes, the second of which, however (Mark 4:26-29), Matthew has not, because it probably was not embraced in the collection of Logia. See on Mark 4:26 ff. Matthew has worked by way of amplification, and not Mark by way of reducing and weakening (Hilgenfeld).

πάλιν, see Mark 3:7.

ἤρξατο] For from καὶ συνάγεται onward is related what happened after the commencement of His teaching.

Mark 4:2. ἐν τῇ διδαχῇ αὐτοῦ] in His doctrinal discourse. Of the many (πολλά) Mark adduces some.

Mark 4:7. συνέπνιξαν] choked the germinating seed, compressing it. Comp. Theophylact, c. pl. vi. 11. 6 : δένδρα συμπνιγόμενα.

Mark 4:8. ἀναβαίνοντα καὶ αὐξανόμενον (see the critical remarks) is predicate of καρπόν, hence ἐδίδου καρπόν (and consequently also καρπὸν οὐκ ἔδωκε, Mark 4:7) is to be understood not of the grains of corn, but of the corn-stalks ascending and growing (shooting upward and continuing to grow). The produce of the grains is only mentioned in the sequel: καὶ ἔφερεν κ.τ.λ. In the classics also καρπός means generally that which grows in the field (Hom. Il. i. 156; Xen. de venat. v. 5; Plat. Theaet. p. 149 E, Crat. p. 410 C), as in the German Frucht, Früchte. Comp. καρποφορεῖ, Mark 4:28.

With the Recepta ἓν τριάκοντα is to be taken as: one bore thirty (neuter: nothing to be supplied), i.e. according to the connection: one grain, which had been sown, bore thirty grains, another sixty, and so on. On the usus loquendi, comp. Xen. Hell. vii. 4. 27: ἓν μέρος ἒλαβον Ἀργεῖοι, ἓν δὲ Θηβαῖοι, ἓν δὲ Ἀρκάδες, ἓν δὲ Μεσσήνιοι, Arist. Eth. Nic. vi. 1. 5; Sir 31:23 f. With the reading εἰς τριάκοντα (see the critical remarks) we must render: it bore up to thirty, and up to sixty, etc. If ἐν τριάκοντα be read, the meaning is: it bore in (at the rate of) thirty, etc., so that the fruit-bearing was consummated in thirty, and so on. Observe, further, how Mark 4:8 has changed the primitive form of the Logia-collection still preserved in Matthew, especially as to the climax of the fruitfulness, which in Matthew is descending, in Mark ascending.

Mark 4:9. καὶ ἔλεγεν] “pausa frequens, sermonibus gravissimis interposita,” Bengel. Comp. Mark 2:27.

Mark 4:1-9. The Sower (Matthew 13:1-9, Luke 8:4-8).

Ch. Mark 4:1-9. The Parable of the Sower

1. by the sea side] The scenery round the Lake doubtless suggested many of the details of the Parables now delivered. (1) On the shore was the vast multitude gathered “out of every city” (Luke 8:4); (2) from the fishing-boat the eye of the Divine Speaker would rest on (a) patches of undulating corn-fields with the trodden pathway running through them, the rocky ground of the hill-side protruding here and there, the large bushes of thorn growing in the very midst of the waving wheat, the deep loam of the good rich soil which distinguishes the whole of the Plain of Gennesaret descending close to the water’s edge; (b) the mustard-tree, which grows especially on the shores of the Lake; (c) the fishermen connected with the great fisheries, which once made the fame of Gennesaret, plying amidst its marvellous shoals of fish, the drag-net or hauling-net (Matthew 13:47-48), the casting-net (Matthew 4:18; Mark 1:16), the bag-net and basket-net (Luke 5:4-9); (d) the women and children employed in picking out from the wheat the tall green stalks, called by the Arabs, Zuwân = the Greek Zizania = the Lollia of the Vulgate, the tares of our Version; (e) the countless flocks of birds, aquatic fowls by the lake-side, partridges and pigeons hovering over the rich plain. See Stanley’s Sinai and Palestine, pp. 425–427; Thomson’s Land and the Book, p. 402; Tristram’s Land of Israel, p. 431.

Mark 4:1. Ἤρξατο, He began) After the interruption.—παρὰ, near [by the sea side]) The words in antithesis are, near the sea, and in the sea.

Verse 1. - And again he began to teach by the seaside. This return to the seaside is mentioned by St. Mark only. From this time our Lord's teaching began to be more public. The room and the little courtyard no longer sufficed for the multitudes that came to him. The Authorized Version says that "a great multitude was gathered unto him." The Greek adjective, according to the most approved reading, is πλεῖστος the superlative of πολὺς, and should be rendered "a very great" multitude. They bad probably been waiting for him in the neighborhood of Capernaum. He entered into a boat - probably the boat mentioned at Mark 3:9 - and sat in the sea, i.e. in the boat afloat on the water, so as to be relieved of the pressure of the vast multitude (πλεῖστος ὄχλος) gathered on the shore. Mark 4:1Again

He had taught there before. See Mark 3:7-9.

In the sea

Mark only.

There was gathered (συνάγεται)

The A. V. misses Mark's graphic use of the present, "There is gathered." So Rev.

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