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Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven.

-. THE FIRST GREAT GROUP OF PARABLES.
(Beside the Sea of Galilee.)Subdivision E.
PARABLES OF THE MUSTARD SEED AND LEAVEN.


a MATT. 13:31-35; b MARK 4:30-34.

      a 31 Another parable set he before them, saying,

  b 30 And he said, How shall we liken the kingdom of God? or in what parable shall we set it forth? [These questions are intended to emphasize the superior excellence of the kingdom.]

  31 It a The kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: when it is sown upon the earth, though

a indeed b it be {a is} b less than all the seeds that are upon the earth [that is, the smallest of all the seeds that are sown in a garden], a but

  b 32 yet when it is sown, groweth up, and a when it is grown, it is {b becometh} greater than all the herbs, and putteth out great branches; a and becometh a tree [in Palestine it attains the height of ten feet], so that the birds of the heaven come and b can lodge under the shadow thereof. a in the branches thereof. [This parable sets forth the smallness of the beginning of the kingdom, and the magnitude of its growth.]

  33 Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened. [In Oriental housekeeping, yeast is not preserved in a separate form. A piece of leavened dough saved over from the last baking is added to the new dough to ferment it. Three measures contained the quantity usually taken for one baking. Leaven represents the quickness, quietness, thoroughness, and sureness with which gospel truth diffuses itself through human society. A woman is named because baking was part of her household duty.]

  34 All these things spake Jesus in parables unto the multitudes;

  b 33 And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it [that is, as they had leisure or opportunity to listen];

  34 and without a parable spake he not {a nothing} unto them [that is, he used nothing but parables on that occasion, for both before and after this he taught without parables]:

  35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet [at Psalms 78:2 which is usually attributed to Asaph, who is called a seer ( 2 Chronicles 29:30 ). His teaching typified that of Christ], saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world. [Jesus fulfilled this prophecy in a notable manner, being the only teacher in history distinguished in any marked degree by the use of parables.] b but