They had leftovers (Lk 9:17-9:17)

“They all ate.

They were filled.

What was leftover

Was gathered up.

There were

Twelve baskets

Of broken pieces.”

 

καὶ ἔφαγον καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν πάντες, καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα.

 

Luke said that they all ate (καὶ ἔφαγον) until they were filled or satisfied (καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν πάντες).  What was leftover was gathered up (καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν), so that there were 12 baskets of broken pieces (αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα).  This is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:20, Mark, chapter 6:42-44, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here, but there were slight differences.  All the synoptic gospels have the same wording, so that Mark may be the source.  All agree that there were 12 baskets of food left over, symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.  They also agree that it was about 5,000 men.  Obviously, there was no exact count taken.  Only Matthew added the remark about women and the children.  Mark said that they took up 12 full hand baskets of the broken pieces of bread, and the pieces of fish.  Those who ate the loaves and fish were about 5,000 men.  Certainly, it was a miraculous feeding.  Matthew said that everyone ate some food.  They were all satisfied or filled, but there was no mention of anything to drink.  They took up the leftover broken pieces or fragments of food, so that it filled 12 full baskets, a very symbolic number.  Those who ate were about 5,000 men, not counting the women and the children, who would have been on the edges of this large crowd of men.  Without a doubt, this was a very big crowd to feed.  What is the largest crowd that you ever ate with?

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