Should they buy food? (Mk 6:37-6:37)

“But Jesus

Answered them.

‘You give them

Something to eat!’

They said to him.

‘Are we to go

And buy

Two hundred denarii

Worth of bread?

Then give it

To them

To eat.’”

 

ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Δότε αὐτοῖς ὑμεῖς φαγεῖν. καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους, καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν;

 

The fact that Jesus wanted to feed everyone is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:16, Luke, chapter 9:13, and John, chapter 6:5-7, plus here in a more elaborate fashion.  Despite the fact that the disciples wanted to send the crowds home, Jesus wanted to feed them there.  Mark indicated that Jesus answered his disciples (ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) telling them to give the people something to eat (Δότε αὐτοῖς ὑμεῖς φαγεῖν).  Only Mark has this response of the disciples asking about buying food.  The disciples said to Jesus (καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ) if they were to go to buy food (Ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν), that it would cost about 200 denarii to buy bread enough (δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους) for all these people to eat (καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν).  A denarius was worth one day’s pay, so that that 200 denarii would be nearly a year’s pay, a large amount of money.  The disciples thought that Jesus wanted them to buy some bread for the crowd.  In John, there was a conversation between Jesus and Philip about this.

The money problems of King Antiochus IV (1 Macc 3:27-3:31)

“When King Antiochus heard these reports, he was greatly angered.  He sent for and gathered all the forces of his kingdom, a very strong army.  He opened his coffers and gave a year’s pay to his forces.  He ordered them to be ready for any need.  Then he saw that the money in the treasury was exhausted.  The revenues from the country were small because of the dissension and disaster that he had caused in the land by abolishing the laws that had existed from the earliest days.  He feared that he might not have such funds as he had before for his expenses and for the gifts which he used to give more lavishly than preceding kings.  He was greatly perplexed in mind.  He determined to go to Persia.  There he could collect the revenues from those regions and thus raise a large fund.”

The Seleucid Syrian King Antiochus IV got angry when he heard these reports about Judas Maccabeus.  He wanted a strong army.  Thus he paid all the people in the army for a full year so that they would be ready at any moment.  However, he soon realized that he did not have as much money as he expected.  The revenues were diminishing after he set in motion the new laws of unification that did away with all the local laws.  There was a lot of dissension that led to this disaster.  He decided that he would go to Persia and get some money from that region there.