About five thousand men.
To his disciples.
‘Make them sit down
In groups of
About fifty each.’”
ἦσαν γὰρ ὡσεὶ ἄνδρες πεντακισχίλιοι. εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ Κατακλίνατε αὐτοὺς κλισίας ὡσεὶ ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα.
Luke said that there were about 5,000 men (ἦσαν γὰρ ὡσεὶ ἄνδρες πεντακισχίλιοι). Jesus told his disciples (εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς) to make them sit down (Κατακλίνατε αὐτοὺς) in groups of about fifty each (κλισίας ὡσεὶ ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα). All four gospels have the people sitting on the grass in groups that totaled about 5,000 people. The exact details are slightly different in Matthew, chapter 14:19, Mark, chapter 6:39-41, and John, chapter 6:10, plus here. Mark did not mention the total number of people until the end of this story. Mark said that Jesus ordered or commanded them to get all the people to sit down or recline in groups on the green grass. Thus, they sat down or reclined in groups of 100s and of 50s. That is why there was an easy way to get a count of the crowd. Have you ever tried to count a large crowd?
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