New American Standard Bible
"The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
King James Bible
For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
Darby Bible Translation
The earth bears fruit of itself, first the blade, then an ear, then full corn in the ear.
World English Bible
For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
Young's Literal Translation
for of itself doth the earth bear fruit, first a blade, afterwards an ear, afterwards full corn in the ear;
Mark 4:28 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself - That is, it is done without the power of man. It is done while man is engaged in other things. The scope of this passage does not require us to suppose that our Saviour meant to say that the earth had any productive power of itself, but only that it produced its fruits not by the "power of man." God gives it its power. It has no power of its own. So religion in the heart is not by the power of man. It grows he cannot tell how, and of course he cannot without divine aid, control it. It is by the power of God. At the same time, as without industry man would have no harvest, so without active effort he would have no religion. Both are connected with his effort; both are to be measured commonly by his effort Philippians 2:12; both grow he cannot tell how; both increase when the proper means are used, and both depend on God for increase.
First the blade - The green, tender shoot, that first starts out of the earth before the stalk is formed.
Then the ear - The original means the stalk or spire of wheat or barley, as well as the ear.
The full corn - The ripe wheat. The grain swollen to its proper size. By this is denoted, undoubtedly, that grace or religion in the heart is of gradual growth. It is at first tender, feeble, perhaps almost imperceptible, like the first shootings of the grain in the earth. Perhaps also, like grain, it often lies long in the earth before there are signs of life. Like the tender grain, also, it needs care, kindness, and culture. A frost, a cold storm, or a burning sun alike injure it. So tender piety in the heart needs care, kindness, culture. It needs shelter from the frosts and storms of a cold, unfeeling world. It needs the genial dews and mild suns of heaven; in other words, it needs instruction, prayer, and friendly counsel from parents, teachers, ministers, and experienced Christians, that it may grow, and bring forth the full fruits of holiness. Like the grain, also, in due time it will grow strong; it will produce its appropriate fruit - a full and rich harvest - to the praise of God.
LibraryLamps and Bushels
'And Jesus said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?'--Mark iv. 21. The furniture of a very humble Eastern home is brought before us in this saying. In the original, each of the nouns has the definite article attached to it, and so suggests that in the house there was but one of each article; one lamp, a flat saucer with a wick swimming in oil; one measure for corn and the like; one bed, raised slightly, but sufficiently to admit …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
The Toiling Christ
Chapter: 4:21-25 Lamp and Stand
and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows-- how, he himself does not know.
"But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
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