Mark 4:1-20 World English Bible

The Parable of the Sower

4 1  Again he began to teach by the seaside. A great multitude was gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat in the sea, and sat down. All the multitude were on the land by the sea. 2  He taught them many things in parables, and told them in his teaching, 3  “Listen! Behold, the farmer went out to sow, 4  and it happened, as he sowed, some seed fell by the road, and the birds [1] came and devoured it. 5  Others fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil. 6  When the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. 7  Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8  Others fell into the good ground, and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing. Some brought forth thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times as much.” 9  He said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” 10  When he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11  He said to them, “To you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables, 12  that ‘seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.’” [2] 13  He said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables? 14  The farmer sows the word. 15  The ones by the road are the ones where the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan comes, and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16  These in like manner are those who are sown on the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy. 17  They have no root in themselves, but are short-lived. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble. 18  Others are those who are sown among the thorns. These are those who have heard the word, 19  and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20  Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times.”


[1] 4:4 TR adds “of the air”

[2] 4:12 Isaiah 6:9-10

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