The growth to harvest time (Mk 4:28-4:29)

“The earth produces of itself.

First, there is the stalk.

Then comes the head.

Then there is

The full grain

In the head.

But when the grain

Is ripe,

At once,

He goes in

With his sickle,

Because the harvest

Has come.”

 

αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ, πρῶτον χόρτον, εἶτεν στάχυν, εἶτεν πλήρης σῖτος ἐν τῷ στάχυϊ.

ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός, εὐθὺς ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον, ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός.

 

Jesus, via this unique parable of Mark, explored the life of a farmer and the wonder of growth until the harvest time came.  The earth bore fruit by itself (αὐτομάτη ἡ γῆ καρποφορεῖ) without the help of any humans.  First, there was the stalk plant (πρῶτον χόρτον), then the head (εἶτεν στάχυν) and then finally the full grain in the head or ear (εἶτεν πλήρης σῖτος ἐν τῷ στάχυϊ).  However, when the grain was ripe or the fruit appeared (ὅταν δὲ παραδοῖ ὁ καρπός), at once (εὐθὺς), he went with his sickle (ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον), because harvest time had arrived (ὅτι παρέστηκεν ὁ θερισμός).  The kingdom of God was like a farmer who watched his crop grow and waited for the harvest time, before he gathered in his crop.

 

The good seed grows (Mk 4:26-4:27)

“Jesus said.

‘The kingdom of God

Is as if

Someone would

Scatter seed

On the ground.

He would sleep.

He would rise

Night and day.

Meanwhile,

The seed

Would sprout

And grow.

He does not know

How this happens.’”

 

Καὶ ἔλεγεν Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ, ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς,

καὶ καθεύδῃ  καὶ ἐγείρηται νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν, καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ καὶ μηκύνηται ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός

 

This unique parable of Mark is not found in any of the other synoptic gospels.  Jesus said (Καὶ ἔλεγεν) that the kingdom of God (Οὕτως ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ) was like as if someone or a man would scatter, place, or drop some seeds on the ground (ὡς ἄνθρωπος βάλῃ τὸν σπόρον ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς).  He would then go to sleep (καὶ καθεύδῃ) and wake up (καὶ ἐγείρηται) every night and day (νύκτα καὶ ἡμέραν).  Meanwhile, the seeds would sprout (καὶ ὁ σπόρος βλαστᾷ) and grow (καὶ μηκύνηται).  However, he did not know how this happened (ὡς οὐκ οἶδεν αὐτός).  This is a little like the sower and the seeds in the various difficult places.  However, this is a simpler story.  He was just wondering how things grew in the kingdom of God.