The seeds are the word of God (Mk 4:14-4:14)

“The sower

Sows

The word.”

 

ὁ σπείρων τὸν λόγον σπείρει.

 

Mark said the seeds were the word (ὁ σπείρων τὸν λόγον), without any further clarification.  Matthew, chapter 13:19 was more explicit with the seeds as the word of the kingdom (τὸν λόγον τῆς βασιλείας).  Luke, chapter 8:11, was ever more specific when he explicitly said that seed was the word of God (τὸν λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ).  Mark said that the sower (ὁ σπείρων), either Jesus or his apostles, was sowing the word (τὸν λόγον σπείρει), the word of the kingdom, or the word of God into good ground, so that it might bear fruit.

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Restoration of the people of Israel (Am 9:13-9:15)

“Says Yahweh.

‘The time is surely coming

When the one who plows

Shall overtake

The one who reaps.

When the one who treads grapes

Shall overtake

The one who sows the seed.

The mountains shall drip

Sweet wine.

All the hills

Shall flow with it.

I will restore

The fortunes

Of my people Israel.

They shall rebuild

The ruined cities.

They shall

Inhabit them.

They shall

Plant vineyards.

They shall

Drink their wine.

They shall

Make gardens.

They shall

Eat their fruit.

I will plant them

Upon their land.

They shall never again

Be plucked up

Out of the land

That I have given them.’

Says Yahweh

Your God.”

This later oracle of Yahweh assumed that the Israelites had been taken from their land in captivity.  However, in this restoration, those plowing would be greater than those reaping.  Those who treaded the grapes would be more than those sowing the seeds.  There would be abundance and hope all around.  The mountains and hills would drip and flow with abundant sweet wine.  The Israelites would have their fortunes restored, so that they would rebuild their cities and inhabit them.  They would plant vineyards and drink wine.  They would plant gardens with lots of fruit.  These Israelites would be planted on their own land, never to be plucked away again.

The peaceful saving Spirit of Yahweh (Isa 32:15-32:20)

“A Spirit from on high is

Poured out on us.

The wilderness becomes a fruitful field.

The fruitful field is deemed a forest.

Then justice will dwell in the wilderness.

Righteousness will abide in the fruitful field.

The effect of righteousness will be peace.

The result of righteousness is quietness.

The result of righteousness is trust forever.

My people will abide

In a peaceful habitation,

In secure dwellings,

In quiet resting places.

The forest will disappear.

The city will be utterly laid low.

Happy will you be

Who sow beside every stream.

You will let the ox range freely.

You will let the donkey range freely.”

Into this desolate situation, Isaiah inserts a ray of hope. The Spirit of Yahweh will descend on his people. The wilderness will become a fruitful field, almost like a forest. Justice shall dwell in the wilderness, while righteousness will be in the fruitful fields. This righteousness will bring peace, quiet, and everlasting trust. You will live peacefully in secure houses with quiet resting places. The city and the forest will disappear. You will lead a happy life sowing along streams and letting your ox and donkeys graze freely. This will be the ideal time of peaceful farmers.

The right time (Eccl 3:1-3:8)

“For everything there is a season.

There is a time

For every matter under heaven.

A time to be born.

A time to die.

A time to plant.

A time to pluck up what is planted.

A time to kill.

A time to heal.

A time to break down.

A time to build up.

A time to weep.

A time to laugh.

A time to mourn.

A time to dance.

A time to throw away stones.

A time to gather stones together.

A time to embrace.

A time to refrain from embracing.

A time to seek.

A time to lose.

A time to keep.

A time to throw away.

A time to tear.

A time to sew.

A time to keep silence.

A time to speak.

A time to love.

A time to hate.

A time for war.

A time for peace.”

This is the famous poem about a correct time for everything. Sometimes it is read at funerals. There also was the 1950s and 1960s Pete Seeger popular song Turn, Turn, Turn that took its lyrics from this poem. God decides the time. We do not. There is a time and place for all the dichotomies of life, birth and death, planting and harvesting, killing and healing, breaking down and building up, weeping and laughing, mourning and dancing, throwing away and gathering stones, embracing and not embracing, seeking and losing, keeping and throwing away, tearing and sowing, keeping silent and speaking, loving and hating, making war and making peace. Everything under heaven has its place and season.