The seeds on rocky ground (Mk 4:5-4:6)

“Other seeds fell

On rocky ground.

They did not have much soil.

They sprang up quickly,

Since they had no depth

Of soil.

When the sun rose

They were scorched.

Since they had no roots,

They withered away.”


καὶ ἄλλο ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸ πετρῶδες ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν, καὶ εὐθὺς ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς·

καὶ ὅτε ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος ἐκαυματίσθη, καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη.


This sower parable about the seeds on rocky ground can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Matthew, chapter 13:5-6, and Luke, chapter 8:6, with Matthew closer to Mark, almost word for word.  The second group of seeds fell on rocky ground (καὶ ἄλλο ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸ πετρῶδες).  They did not have much soil or good ground (ὅπου οὐκ εἶχεν γῆν πολλήν).  They sprang up quickly, even though they did not have much soil depth (καὶ εὐθέως ἐξανέτειλεν διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν βάθος γῆς).  However, they were scorched (ἐκαυματίσθη) when the sun rose (καὶ ὅτε ἀνέτειλεν ὁ ἥλιος).  These seeds withered away because they did not have good roots (καὶ διὰ τὸ μὴ ἔχειν ῥίζαν ἐξηράνθη).

Explanation of the seeds on rocky ground (Mt 13:20-13:21)

“As for what was sown

On rocky ground,

This is the one

Who hears the word

And immediately receives it

With joy.

Yet he has no roots.

But only endures for a while.

When tribulation arises

Or persecution arises,

On account of the word,

That person

Immediately falls away.”


ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς, οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν·

οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν, γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ διὰ τὸν λόγον εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται.


This explanation of the sower parable centered around the seeds sown on the rocky ground that can be found in all 3 synoptic gospels, Mark, chapter 4:16-17, and Luke, chapter 8:13, with Matthew closer to Mark.  Jesus explained that the seeds sown on the rocky ground (ὁ δὲ ἐπὶ τὰ πετρώδη σπαρείς) were like the people who heard the word of the kingdom (οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ τὸν λόγον ἀκούων), and immediately received it with joy (καὶ εὐθὺς μετὰ χαρᾶς λαμβάνων αὐτόν).  Yet these seedlings had no roots (οὐκ ἔχει δὲ ῥίζαν ἐν ἑαυτῷ), since they only endured for a little while (ἀλλὰ πρόσκαιρός ἐστιν).  When trouble, tribulation, or persecution arose (γενομένης δὲ θλίψεως ἢ διωγμοῦ), because of the word (διὰ τὸν λόγον), they immediately stumbled and fell away (εὐθὺς σκανδαλίζεται).  Once again, the seeds are the words of the kingdom.  Listening to the word was not enough if it did not resonate or take root.  Due to this rocky ground, the early excitement of receiving the word was not good enough to sustain a continual adherence to the word of the kingdom.  There had to be good circumstances or pre-depositions to hearing and understanding for the word or the seed to be effective.