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Mark 4:26–34

The Parable of the Seed Growing

26 And he said, cThe kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; dhe knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once ehe puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

The Parable of the Mustard Seed

30 fAnd he said, With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like ga grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 hWith many such parables he spoke ithe word to them, jas they were able to hear it. 34 He did not speak to them kwithout a parable, but lprivately to his own disciples he mexplained everything.

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Mark 4:26–34 — The New International Version (NIV)

26 He also said, This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grainfirst the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”

30 Again he said, What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

Mark 4:26–34 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; 27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. 28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

30 And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: 32 But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

Mark 4:26–34 — New Living Translation (NLT)

26 Jesus also said, The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. 28 The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. 29 And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

30 Jesus said, How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it? 31 It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, 32 but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

33 Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. 34 In fact, in his public ministry he never taught without using parables; but afterward, when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Mark 4:26–34 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

26 And He said, The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30 Then He said, To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

Mark 4:26–34 — New Century Version (NCV)

26 Then Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who plants seed in the ground. 27 Night and day, whether the person is asleep or awake, the seed still grows, but the person does not know how it grows. 28 By itself the earth produces grain. First the plant grows, then the head, and then all the grain in the head. 29 When the grain is ready, the farmer cuts it, because this is the harvest time.”

30 Then Jesus said, “How can I show you what the kingdom of God is like? What story can I use to explain it? 31 The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed, the smallest seed you plant in the ground. 32 But when planted, this seed grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants. It produces large branches, and the wild birds can make nests in its shade.”

33 Jesus used many stories like these to teach the crowd God’s message—as much as they could understand. 34 He always used stories to teach them. But when he and his followers were alone, Jesus explained everything to them.

Mark 4:26–34 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed upon the earth; 27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how. 28 The earth beareth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is ripe, straightway he putteth forth the sickle, because the harvest is come.

30 And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, though it be less than all the seeds that are upon the earth, 32 yet when it is sown, groweth up, and becometh greater than all the herbs, and putteth out great branches; so that the birds of the heaven can lodge under the shadow thereof.

33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it; 34 and without a parable spake he not unto them: but privately to his own disciples he expounded all things.

Mark 4:26–34 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

26 And he said, Thus is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast the seed upon the earth, 27 and should sleep and rise up night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth bears fruit of itself, first the blade, then an ear, then full corn in the ear. 29 But when the fruit is produced, immediately he sends the sickle, for the harvest is come. 30 And he said, How should we liken the kingdom of God, or with what comparison should we compare it? 31 As to a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown upon the earth, is less than all seeds which are upon the earth, 32 and when it has been sown, mounts up and becomes greater than all herbs, and produces great branches, so that the birds of heaven can roost under its shadow. 33 And with many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear, 34 but without a parable spoke he not to them; and in private he explained all things to his disciples.

Mark 4:26–34 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

26 Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seeds on the ground. 27 He sleeps at night and is awake during the day. The seeds sprout and grow, although the man doesn’t know how. 28 The ground produces grain by itself. First the green blade appears, then the head, then the head full of grain. 29 As soon as the grain is ready, he cuts it with a sickle, because harvest time has come.”

30 Jesus asked, “How can we show what the kingdom of God is like? To what can we compare it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed planted in the ground. The mustard seed is one of the smallest seeds on earth. 32 However, when planted, it comes up and becomes taller than all the garden plants. It grows such large branches that birds can nest in its shade.”

33 Jesus spoke God’s word to them using many illustrations like these. In this way people could understand what he taught. 34 He did not speak to them without using an illustration. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything to them.

Mark 4:26–34 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

26 The kingdom of God is like this,” He said. A man scatters seed on the ground; 27 he sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and growshe doesn’t know how. 28 The soil produces a crop by itselffirst the blade, then the head, and then the ripe grain on the head. 29 But as soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30 And He said: How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? 31 It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground. 32 And when sown, it comes up and grows taller than all the vegetables, and produces large branches, so that the birds of the sky can nest in its shade.”

33 He would speak the word to them with many parables like these, as they were able to understand. 34 And He did not speak to them without a parable. Privately, however, He would explain everything to His own disciples.

Mark 4:26–34 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

26 He also said, The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30 He also said, With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Mark 4:26–34 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

26 And he said, “The kingdom of God is like this: like a man scatters seed on the ground. 27 And he sleeps and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows—he does not know how. 28 By itself the soil produces a crop: first the grass, then the head of grain, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he sends in the sickle right away, because the harvest has come.”

30 And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or by what parable can we present it? 31 It is like a mustard seed that when sown on the ground, although it is the smallest of all the seeds that are on the ground, 32 but when it is sown it grows up and becomes the largest of all the garden herbs, and sends out large branches so that the birds of the sky are able to nest in its shade.” 33 And with many parables such as these he was speaking the word to them, as they were able to hear it. 34 And he did not speak to them without a parable, but in private he explained everything to his own disciples.

Mark 4:26–34 — New International Reader’s Version (NIrV)

26 Jesus also said, “Here is what God’s kingdom is like. A farmer scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day the seed comes up and grows. It happens whether the farmer sleeps or gets up. He doesn’t know how it happens. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain. First the stalk comes up. Then the head appears. Finally, the full grain appears in the head. 29 Before long the grain ripens. So the farmer cuts it down, because the harvest is ready.”

30 Again Jesus said, “What can we say God’s kingdom is like? What story can we use to explain it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed planted in the ground. 32 But when you plant the seed, it grows. It becomes the largest of all garden plants. Its branches are so big that birds can rest in its shade.”

33 Using many stories like those, Jesus spoke the word to them. He told them as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a story. But when he was alone with his disciples, he explained everything.

Mark 4:26–34 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

26 And He was saying, The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil;

27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and growshow, he himself does not know.

28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.

29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

30 And He said, How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it?

31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil,

32 yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that the birds of the air can nest under its shade.”

33 With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it;

34 and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples.