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Mark 4:3

Context
4:3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 1 

Mark 4:23-24

Context
4:23 If anyone has ears to hear, he had better listen!” 2  4:24 And he said to them, “Take care about what you hear. The measure you use will be the measure you receive, 3  and more will be added to you.

1 sn A sower went out to sow. The background for this well-known parable, drawn from a typical scene in the Palestinian countryside, is a field through which a well worn path runs. Sowing would occur in late fall or early winter (October to December) in the rainy season, looking for sprouting in April or May and a June harvest. The use of seed as a figure for God’s giving life has OT roots (Isa 55:10-11). The point of the parable of the sower is to illustrate the various responses to the message of the kingdom of God (cf. 4:11).

2 tn The translation “had better listen!” captures the force of the third person imperative more effectively than the traditional “let him hear,” which sounds more like a permissive than an imperative to the modern English reader. This was Jesus’ common expression to listen and heed carefully (cf. Matt 11:15; 13:9, 43; Mark 4:9; Luke 8:8, 14:35).

3 tn Grk “by [the measure] with which you measure it will be measured to you.”



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