035 Parallels

From Faith Futures
Jump to: navigation, search

This page forms part of the resources for 035 The Mustard Seed in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 035 Literature | 035 Parallels | 035 Commentary | 035 Poetry | 035 Images


Leviticus 19:19

You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your animals breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials.

Ezekiel 17:22-23

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I myself will take a sprig
from the lofty top of a cedar;
I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
on a high and lofty mountain.
On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
in the shade of its branches will nest
winged creatures of every kind.
(Ezek 17:22-23 NRSV)

Ezekiel 31:2-6

Mortal, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:
Whom are you like in your greatness?
Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon,
with fair branches and forest shade,
and of great height,
its top among the clouds.
The waters nourished it,
the deep made it grow tall,
making its rivers flow
around the place it was planted,
sending forth its streams
to all the trees of the field.
So it towered high
above all the trees of the field;
its boughs grew large
and its branches long,
from abundant water in its shoots.
All the birds of the air
made their nests in its boughs;
under its branches all the animals of the field
gave birth to their young;
and in its shade
all great nations lived.
(Ezek 31:2-6 NRSV)

Daniel 4:10-13,20-22

Upon my bed this is what I saw;
there was a tree at the center of the earth,
and its height was great.
The tree grew great and strong,
its top reached to heaven,
and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth.
Its foliage was beautiful,
its fruit abundant,
and it provided food for all.
The animals of the field found shade under it,
the birds of the air nested in its branches,
and from it all living beings were fed.
Its foliage was beautiful,
its fruit abundant,
and it provided food for all.
The animals of the field found shade under it,
the birds of the air nested in its branches,
and from it all living beings were fed. ...
The tree that you saw, which grew great and strong, so that its top reached to heaven and was visible to the end of the whole earth, whose foliage was beautiful and its fruit abundant, and which provided food for all, under which animals of the field lived, and in whose branches the birds of the air had nests - it is you, O king! You have grown great and strong. Your greatness has increased and reaches to heaven, and your sovereignty to the ends of the earth. (Dan 4:10-13,20-22 NRSV)

Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE)

It [mustard] grows entirely wild, though it is improved by being transplanted: but on the other hand when it has once been sown it is scarcely possible to get the place free of it, as the seed when it falls germinates at once.
[Natural History] 29.54.170 [Loeb]

Rabbinic Judaism

Lachs [Rabbinic Commentary] (224f) cites the following partial parallels from Jewish sources:

  • There is no direct parallel to this passage in rabbinic sources, but there is one which may throw some light on its meaning. On the verse I went down into the garden of nuts [Cant. 6.11], a rabbi commented, "Just as if you have a sack of nuts you can still put in it plenty of sesame grains and mustard seeds, so many proselytes have come and added themselves to Israel, as it is written, Who has counted the dust of Jacob? [Num. 23.10] The mustard seed in the NT parable attracts proselytes who come as birds who make their nest in the branches (the shadow of the Almighty?). To be sure, the imagery is not precise, but the bird/tree metaphor is found frequently in the MT for a great empire, and perhaps the analogue is God's kingdom.
  • Matthew most likely knew of the rabbinic regulation prohibiting the planting of mustard seeds in a garden [M.Kil. 3.2], hence "in his field," but it was not known to Luke, as evidenced by his reading.
  • but when it has grown it is the greatest of the shrubs and becomes a tree. "It was taught: R. Joseph [MS reads R. Jose] related: 'It once happened to a man at Shihin to whom his father had left three twigs of mustard that one of them split and was found to contain nine kab of mustard, and its timber sufficed to cover a potter's hut.'"

Mishnah Kilayim

Not every kind of seed may be sown in a garden, but any kind of vegetable may be sown therein. Mustard and small beans are deemed a kind of seed and large beans a kind of vegetable. M.Kil. 3.2 [Danby, Mishnah]