To know the mysteries (gnwnai ta musthria). Second aorist active infinitive of ginwskw. The word musthrion is from musth, one initiated, and that from muew (muw), to close or shut (Latin, mutus). The mystery-religions of the east had all sorts of secrets and signs as secret societies do today. But those initiated knew them. So the disciples have been initiated into the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Paul will use it freely of the mystery once hidden, but now revealed, now made known in Christ ( Romans 16:25 ; 1 Corinthians 2:7 , etc.). In Philippians 4:12 Paul says: "I have learned the secret or been initiated" (memuhmai). So Jesus here explains that his parables are open to the disciples, but shut to the Pharisees with their hostile minds. In the Gospels musthrion is used only here and in the parallel passages ( Mark 4:11 ; Luke 8:10 ).