Mark 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day,

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

And he might sleep and he might waken, night and day, and this seed sprouted and will multiply itself. How? No, it has not seen, the same.

KJV : 

Mark 4:27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

This is a very entertaining verse, clearly one meant to be spoken, not read. Its many "ands" appears to be rhetorical devices to stretch out the story before the punchline.  In some senses, it is very jumbled with its verbs almost all in different tenses. While Jesus's parables are usually in much simpler language than his general teaching, this verse has a unique word for Jesus and an uncommon one. And the last phrase is somewhat mysterious because it could refer to the sower, but more clearly refers to the seed. Even the last word is odd, seemingly unnecessary and confusing. It is clearly the punchline but to understand it, we must have more context than the words alone provides.

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "grow up" means "to lengthen," which Jesus does in the verb by using a long of "ands." It also means "to multiply by some factor," which is the likely meaning here given the contect.

Greek Vocabulary: 

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." --

καθεύδῃ ( verb 3rd sg pres subj act/mp ) "Should sleep" is from katheudo, which means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

ἐγείρηται ( verb 3rd sg pres subj mp ) "Rise" is egeiro, which means "to awaken", "to stir up," and "to rouse." --

νύκτα ( noun sg fem acc ) "Night" is from nyx, which means "night", "midnight", and is a metaphor for darkness.

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

ἡμέραν, ( noun sg fem acc ) "Day" is hemera, which, as a noun, means "day" "a state or time of life", "a time (poetic)", "day break" and "day time." It is also and also has a second meaning, of "quiet", "tame (animals)", "cultivated (crops)," and "civilized (people)."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just." -- The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, it is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

(art sg masc  nom) "The" is the Greek definite article, hos, ("the"), which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." -

σπόρος σπόρον (noun sg masc nom) "Seed" is sporos, which means "sowing", "seed-time", "seed", "harvest", "crop", and "offspring". 

βλαστᾷ [uncommon]( verb 3rd sg imperf ind act ) "Spring" is  blastano which means "to sprout", "to bud," and "to grow." It is a metaphor for "to come to light", "to shoot forth," and "to be born."

καὶ (conj/adv) "And" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

μηκύνηται [unique]( verb 3rd sg fut ind mid or verb 3rd sg pres subj mp or verb 3rd sg aor subj mid ) "Grow up" is from mekuno, which means "to lengthen," "to make long," "to prolong," "to grow tedious," "stretch out a syllable," and "to multiply by some factor."

ὡς (adv/conj) "How" is hos, an adverb which means to "thus", "as", "how", "when", "where", "like", "just as", "so far as", "as much as can be", "that", "in order that", "nearly (with numbers)," and "know that." --

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. --

οἶδεν ( verb 3rd sg perf ind act ) "Know" is oida which is a form of eido, (eido) which means "to see", "to examine", "to perceive", "to behold", "to know how to do", "to see with the mind's eye," and "to know." --

αὐτός. (adj sg masc nom) "He" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." In the adverbial form, it  means "just here" or "exactly there." --

KJV Analysis: 

And The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

should This comes from the mood of the following verb which indicates a possibility of something happening.

sleep, "Sleep" is a verb that means "to lie down to sleep", "to sleep," and "to lie asleep." The tense here is present. This is a little unusual for stories, which are usually in a tense indicating something that happens at a point in time, past, present, or future.

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

rise The word for "rise" means "awaken" and is the same word Christ uses to describe God raising the dead and false prophets arising.  It is usually translated as "rise" in the NT, but this verse demonstrates why "waken" words better. The tense is again the present.

night "Night" is the Greek noun that means "night", "midnight", and is a metaphor for darkness.

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

day, The Greek word translated as "day" also means "time," in general, and refers specifically to the "daytime."

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

the The word translated as "the" is the Greek definite article, which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one." The Greek article is much closer to our demonstrative pronouns ("this", "that", "these", "those"). See this article for more. Here, the sense is "this," refering to the specific seed that was tossed. 

seed "Seed" a noun that means "sowing", "seed-time", "seed", "harvest", "crop", and "offspring". 

should This comes from the mood of the following verb which indicates a possibility of something happening.

spring "Spring" is  from an uncommon word for Jesus to us. It means "to sprout", "to bud," and "to grow." It is a metaphor for "to come to light", "to shoot forth," and "to be born." The tense of this verb is something that started in the past.

and The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also").

grow up,"Grow up" is from a unique verb for Jesus to us. It means "to lengthen," "to make long," "to prolong," "to grow tedious," "stretch out a syllable," and "to multiply by some factor." The meaning of "to lengthen," if a bit of word play, where Jesus describes what he is doing in the story by using a long of "ands." It also means "to multiply by some factor," which is the likely meaning here given the context. The tense of this verb, which seems odd because the man is described in the present. However, in the alternative, you can see how it words that way, giving a sense that time passed in the "day" and "night" section.

he The word translated as "he" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.  However, this word appears after the verb as the punchline of the verse. Since the verb itself contains the information that the  subject is singular this word seems unnecessary except for emphasis. It is also not clear that this word or the verb refer to, the man or the seed. Both are singular masculine in Greek. "Seed" was the closest in proximity which is the usual rule for interpreting pronouns. 

knoweth The word translated as "he knoweth" means primarily "to see" and is used to mean "know' as we use the word "see" to mean "know" in English. The tense is most likely the future, but it could be the present or the tense indicating something happening at a specific time but for those tenses it would be in the form of possibility, "might see" or "might know." 

not The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence captures the same idea.

how. The word translated as "how" has a very broad meaning, translating as "how", "when", "where", "just as", "like," and related words.

Front Page Date: 

Jul 3 2019