According to Mark’s gospel, Jesus began teaching in parables shortly after appointing the twelve. A parable is a wise saying or short fictitious story used by Jesus to set forth His teaching. Parables may contain allegorical elements. Today we hear the parables of the growing seed and of the mustard seed.
In the history of Judah there were three deportations to Babylon: in 605, eight years later in 597, and again eleven years later in 586. All three deportations were carried out by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. The first deportation took place while Jerusalem was under siege and included the young prophet Daniel. During another siege of Jerusalem, King Jehoiachin and about ten thousand men, especially soldiers and metal workers were deported in what became known as the second deportation; Ezekiel was among the captives. When Jerusalem fell in 586, all the people of Judah, except the poorest of the land and those who had escaped to neighboring countries, were carried away.