And he said to them, Know you not this parable? and how then will you know all parables?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)How then will ye know all parables?—The question is peculiar to St. Mark, and suggests the thought of our Lord as contemplating for His disciples an ever-growing insight, not only into His own spoken parables, but into those of nature and of life. But if they were such slow scholars in this early stage, how was that insight to be imparted? The question is followed up by the answer. The first lesson in interpreting is given in that which is a pattern and exemplar of the method of interpretation.Mark 4:13-20. Know ye not this parable — Which is, as it were, the foundation of all those that I shall speak hereafter; and is so easy to be understood? See notes on Matthew 13:19-23. The desires of other things choke the word — A deep and important truth! The desire of any thing, otherwise than as it leads to happiness in God, directly tends to barrenness of soul. Entering in — Where they were not before. Let him therefore who has received and retained the word, see that no other desire then enter in, such as perhaps till then he never knew. It becometh unfruitful — After the fruit had grown almost to perfection.
How then will ye know all parables? - Those which are more difficult and obscure. As they were themselves to be "teachers," it was important that they should be acquainted with the whole system of religion - of much more importance for them at that time than for the mass of the people.See Poole on "Mark 4:3"
and how then will you know all parables? if not this single one, and which is so plain, how will ye be able to understand the numerous parables hereafter to be related, and which will be much more difficult?And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Mark 4:13-20. Explanation of the Sower (Matthew 13:18-23, Luke 8:11-15), prefaced by a gentle reproach that explanation should be needed.13. Know ye not this parable?] For it afforded the simplest type or pattern of a Parable.
all parables = all My Parables.Mark 4:13. Οὐκ οἴδατε, do ye not know) Jesus marks with reproof the question of the disciples.—καὶ πῶς, and how then) The parable concerning the seed is the primary and foudamental one [the foundation of all the others].—πάσας, all) constituting and comprising the perfect doctrine of Christ.Verse 13. - Know ye not this parable? and how shall ye know all the parables? that is, "How, then, can you expect to understand all parables, as they ought to do who are instructed unto the kingdom of heaven?" It is St. Mark alone who recalls and records these words. They are striking and vivid, as illustrating the condition of mind of the disciples at this time - slow of apprehension, and yet desirous to learn.
Parables (τὰς παραβολὰς)
The parables, which I have spoken or may hereafter speak.
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