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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Mark 4

Verse 1

Verse 1

The sea-side; on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.--Sat in the sea; in a boat upon the water.

Verse 8

Verse 8

Some thirty; thirty-fold, in proportion to the seed.

Verse 10

Verse 10

When he was alone; after the public discourse was ended, and he was alone with his friends.

Verse 11

Verse 11

Them that are without; those who had assembled, from various motives, to listen to what the Savior said, but who did not join themselves cordially to him, so as to be admitted to his confidence.

Verse 12

Verse 12

Such has been the dispensation of divine truth in all ages of the world, that the higher spiritualities of religion, though accessible to all who really seek them, are covered by a veil from the open gaze of the profane. It is so down to the present hour. Many listen to the preaching of the gospel all their lives, to whose minds any actual conception of the nature of redemption from sin, by the Son of God, never penetrates. Divine Providence seems designedly so to arrange the dispensation of truth, that, seeing, sinners may, if they choose, not see, and hearing, not hear.

Verse 14

Verse 14

That is, the sower represents the preacher of divine truth.

Verse 15

Verse 15

Taketh away the word. The truth passes away from their minds, by the agency of Satan, and is forgotten.

Verse 21

Verse 21

Bed; the couch upon which it was customary to recline at meals.

Verse 22

Verse 22

The meaning is, that the disciples and their successors were to disseminate throughout the world the instruction which Jesus communicated to them privately, in the solitudes of Galilee.

Verse 25

Verse 25

In other words, the farther you advance in knowledge and piety, the more easy and rapid will be your progress.

Verse 27

Verse 27

Sleep, and rise night and day; that is, as usual,--pursuing his usual avocations, without having upon his mind any care in regard to the vegetation of his seed.

Mark 4:28,Mark 4:29. So with the disciples as preachers of the gospel. Their duty would be to sow the seed, and to gather into the churches those in whose hearts the Spirit of God causes it to vegetate. As they cannot by their own power make the word which they preach effectual, they have no responsibility in regard to its reception.

Verse 30

Verse 30

And he said; that is, afterwards and perhaps on some different occasion. There was often a wide interval, in fact, between conversations which appear in juxtaposition in the narrative.

Verse 31

Verse 31

Is less, &c.; that is, it is very small.

Verse 33

Verse 33

As they were able to hear it; according to the capacity of his hearers to understand and profit by his instructions.

Verse 36

Verse 36

Other boats, which the rest of the company took, in order to follow him.

Verse 37

Verse 37

A great storm. Lakes situated in mountainous regions are very much exposed to sudden storms.

Verse 38

Verse 38

Pillow; probably some sort of cushion belonging to the boat.

Verse 41

Verse 41

They feared exceedingly; that is, they were impressed with wonder and awe.

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Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Mark 4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ain/mark-4.html. 1878.