Mark 4:5 And some fell on stony ground,

KJV Verse: 

Mark 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

And another failed on the stoniness where it didn't have dirt. much And it sprang up straight through not wanting to have depth of the earth.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

There  are three key words here, "fell," "on," and "depth," that have double meanings here. There are two negatives here, an objective one and a subjective one. There is a subtle connection between this verse and Matthew 4:4 because this verse to is about the problems in turning stone to bread.

KJV Analysis: 

And The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

some "Some" is a Greek adjective that means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", and similar meanings. It also have the sense of "wrong" and "not right." This word is either singular and feminine or plural and neutral. It has the form of a subject.  If "seeds" were the reference, it would be neutral, plural. It is not clear what this adjective refers to.

fell "Fell" is translated from a Greek word that means "to fall" and "to fall down." Like our word "to fall" it has a number of special meanings including "to fall into a given class", "to prostrate", "to fall from power", "to perish," and so on. The verb is singular, so the subject must be feminine.

on The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

stony ground, "Stony ground" is from an adjective that means "rocklike" and "stony." It is used as a noun, being introduced by an article ("the"), so "the stoniness" or "the rockiness." The metaphor here is a hardness of mind.

where  "Where" is an adverb that means "somewhere", "anywhere", "wherever," and "where."

it had  The word translated as "it had" means "to possess", "to hold," or "to keep". It is singular and in the past tense and the negative, "it didn't hold." The verb is singular, not plural.

not The Greek negative "not" here is the negative of fact. The negative later in the verse is the negative of opinion.

much The word translated as "much" means many in number, great in power or worth, and large in size.

earth; word translated as "earth" means the physical planet and, generally, "the ground." Like our English word "earth," it means both the dirt and the planet.

and  The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also"). In a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." After words implying sameness "as".

immediately "Immediately" is from an adverb that means "straight", "direct," and "straight away."

it sprang up "It sprag up" is from a verb which means "to cause to spring from." It also it is singular, not plural. It is a form of the verb starting the next verse translated as "was up." This verb is singular, not plural.

because The word translated as "because" means "through," in the midst of," or "by (a cause)."

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

it had The word translated as "they had" means "to possess", "to hold," or "to keep". However, it is an infinitive, introduced by an article, so it takes on the role of a noun in the negative, so "the lack." However, the verb is  not an active verb. It is an infinitive, "to have." With the negative, it works like "not wanting to have" because of the form of negative used or, more simply, "not having."

no The negative "no" used here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is about appearances not necessarily reality. The use of this form makes sense if Jesus is addressing something that we cannot know for sure, that is, the depth of someone's mind, not the depth of soil. The sense of this word is "not wanting."

depth "Depth" is a Greek noun that means "height" or "depth" measuring up or down. In Greek, it was also used as a metaphor (as it is in English) for depth of mind, e.g. "He is deep." The exact phrase here is "no seeming depthwhich we would describe in English as "shallowness."

of earth: The word translated as "because" means "through," in the midst of", "because of" or "by (a cause)."

 

 

 

The word for "earth" appears again, but if we interpret it in the context of a persons mind, it becomes someone's "ground" or "grounding" in reality.

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."

ἄλλο ( adj sg masc nom or adj pl neut nom) "Some" is from allos, which means "another", "one besides", "of another sort", "different", "other than what is true", "as well", "besides," {with numerals: "yet", "still", "further"), "of other sort", "other than what is", "untrue", "unreal", "other than right", "wrong", "bad", "unworthy," [with an article] "the rest", "all besides," and [in series] "one...another."

ἔπεσεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "Fell" is from the verb pipto, which means "to fall", "to fall down", "to be cast down," "fall upon", "intersect (geometry)", "meet", "pass through", "fall violently upon", "attack", "fall in battle", "sink{in water)", "fall short i.e. fail", " fall out of", "lose a thing", "escape from", "fall asleep", "to be accessible to perception", "to fall (between her feet, i.e. to be born)", "to let fall[dice)", "turn out," and "fall under (belong to a class)."

ἐπὶ (prep) "On" is from epi. which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against." -

τὰ πετρώδη (adj pl neut acc) "Stony ground" is from petrôdês, which is an adjective meaning "like rock" ""rocky," and "stony."

ὅπου (adv) "Where" is from hopou, which means "somewhere", "anywhere", "wherever," and "where."

οὐκ (partic) "Not" is from 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.

εἶχεν (verb 3rd sg imperf) "It had" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

γῆν (noun sg fem acc) "Earth" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

πολλήν, "Much" is from polus, which means "many (in number)", "great (in size or power or worth)," and "large (of space)." As an adverb, it means "far", "very much", "a great way," and "long."

καὶ (conj) "And" is from 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."

εὐθέως (adv) "Immediately" is from eutheos, which is the adverb of euthus, which means "straight", "direct", "straightforward," and "frank." As an adverb, it means "straight", "simple", "straightway," forthwith", "immediately", "directly," and "at once."

ἐξανέτειλεν (verb 3rd sg aor ind act) "It sprag up" is exanatellô, which means "to cause to spring from" and "to spring up from." It is compound verb of the preposition ek ("out") and the verb anatello meaning "to rise."

διὰ (prep) "Because" is from the preposition dia which means (with gen.) "through", "in the midst of", "in a line (movement)", "throughout (time)", "by (causal)", "among," and "between." With the acc. it means "through," and causally, "because of", "by reason of," and "by aid of."

τὸ (article sg neut acc) Untranslated 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."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from me , which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

ἔχειν (verb pres inf act) "It had" is from echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

βάθος (noun sg neut acc) "Depth" is bathos, which means "height" or "depth" measuring up or down. In Greek, it was also used as a metaphor (as it is in English) for depth of mind, e.g. "He is deep."

γῆς, (noun sg fem gen) "Of earth" is from ge, which means "the element of earth", "land (country)", "arable land", "the ground," and "the world" as the opposite of the sky. Like our English word "earth," it means both dirt and the planet.

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "fell" also means "failed." 

The word translated as "upon" also means "against." 

The word translated as "depth" is a metaphor for depth of mind. 

Related Verses: 

Jun 13 2019