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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Remember the multiplication of the loaves (Mk 8:19-8:19)

“‘When I broke

The five loaves

For the five thousand,

How many baskets

Full of broken pieces

Did you collect’”

They said to him.

‘Twelve.’”

 

ὅτε τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους ἔκλασα εἰς τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους, πόσους κοφίνους κλασμάτων πλήρεις ἤρατε; λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Δώδεκα.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 16:9, as Jesus clearly reminded them of the two times that he had multiplied the loaves of bread.  Was that not good enough for them?  Did they not remember that first he broke the 5 loaves of bread for the 5,000 people (ὅτε τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους ἔκλασα εἰς τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους)?  Then he asked them how many fragments of the broken pieces had they gathered in the hand baskets (πόσους κοφίνους κλασμάτων πλήρεις ἤρατε).  They responded to him that there were 12 baskets left over (λέγουσιν αὐτῷ Δώδεκα), after everyone had eaten.  All this had taken place recently as recorded in chapter 6:30-44.

They were filled (Mk 8:8-8:8)

“They ate.

They were filled.

They took up

The broken pieces

Left over,

Seven baskets full.”

 

καὶ ἔφαγον καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, καὶ ἦραν περισσεύματα κλασμάτων ἑπτὰ σπυρίδας.

 

Matthew, chapter 15:37, has a similar statement about how many ate at this multiplication of the bread loaves.  Mark said that they all ate (καὶ ἔφαγον) the bread and the fishes, so that they were filled or satisfied (καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν).  They then collected 7 overflowing full baskets of these broken piece fragments of the loaves of bread (καὶ ἦραν περισσεύματα κλασμάτων ἑπτὰ σπυρίδας).  In comparison with the feeding of the 5,000 earlier in chapter 6:30-44, there were 12 baskets of food left over, while here it is only 7 baskets.  Mark, like Matthew, used a different word for the baskets here as opposed to the preceding chapter.  The “σπυρίδας” here was a very large basket, while the other story had a “κοφίνους”, a smaller wicker basket.

 

They collected the leftovers (Mk 6:43-6:44)

“They took up

Twelve baskets

Full of broken pieces

Of bread

And of the fish.

Those who had eaten

The loaves

Numbered five thousand men.”

 

καὶ ἦραν κλάσματα δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων.

καὶ ἦσαν οἱ φαγόντες τοὺς ἄρτους πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες.

 

This is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:20-21, Luke, chapter 9:17, and John, chapter 6:13, plus here, but there are slight differences.  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 (καὶ ἦραν κλάσματα δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα), and the pieces of fish (καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων).  Those who ate the loaves (καὶ ἦσαν οἱ φαγόντες τοὺς ἄρτους) were about 5,000 men (πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες).  Without a doubt, this was a very large crowd to feed.

Jesus blessed and broke the bread (Mk 6:41-6:41)

“Taking

The five loaves

And the two fish,

Jesus looked up to heaven.

He blessed

And broke

The loaves.

He gave them

To his disciples

To set

Before the people.

He divided

The two fish

Among them all.”

 

καὶ λαβὼν τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν καὶ κατέκλασεν τοὺς ἄρτους καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν.

 

This is the only blessing miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Matthew, chapter 14:19, Luke, chapter 9:16, and John, chapter 6:12, plus here.  The blessing of the bread and the fish is exactly the same in the synoptic gospels, but merely summarized in John.  This feeding of a large group of people harkens back to the Exodus story, chapter 16:1-36, about the manna and the quails in the wilderness.  Yet the blessing itself has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when he blessed and broke the bread.  Mark said that Jesus took (καὶ λαβὼν) the 5 loaves (τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους) and the 2 fish (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας).  He looked up to heaven (ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν).  He blessed them (εὐλόγησεν).  Then he broke up the loaves of bread into pieces (καὶ κατέκλασεν τοὺς ἄρτους).  He gave the loaves of bread to his disciples (καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς).  They, in turn, set the broken pieces of bread or served them to the crowd (ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς).  Jesus also divided or shared the 2 fish among them all (καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν).  This almost sounds like a large later distribution of Holy Communion.

Four thousand men ate the bread (Mt 15:37-15:38)

“All of them ate.

They were filled.

They took up

The broken pieces left over,

Seven baskets full.

Those who had eaten

Were four thousand men,

Besides women

And children.”

 

καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, καὶ τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων ἦραν ἑπτὰ σπυρίδας πλήρεις.

οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν τετρακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων.

 

Mark, chapter 8:8-9, has a similar statement about how many ate at this multiplication of the bread loaves.  Every one of them ate (καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες) the bread and the fishes, so that they were filled or satisfied (καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν).  They then collected 7 overflowing full baskets of the fragments or these broken pieces (καὶ τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων ἦραν ἑπτὰ σπυρίδας πλήρεις).  In comparison with the feeding of the 5,000 earlier in chapter 14:20-21, there were 12 baskets of food left over, while here it is only 7 baskets.  Matthew used a different word for the baskets here as opposed to the preceding chapter.  The “σπυρίδας” here was a very large basket, while the other story had a “κοφίνους”, a smaller wicker basket.  Those who had eaten were 4,000 men (οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν τετρακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες), besides the women and the children (χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων).  The count there was 5,000 men, but here there is only 4,000 men.  Obviously, there was no exact count taken.  Once again, Matthew added the remark about women and children not being part of the semi-official count of the men, because they would have been on the edges of this crowd of men.  Certainly, it was a miraculous feeding of a very large crowd like earlier.  However, there was no mention of anything to drink.  Both Matthew and Mark have this second multiplication of the loaves for the 4,000 people, indicating two separate multiplications of bread.  This does not seem to be the same event described twice.

The leftovers from the large crowd of five thousand (Mt 14:20-14:21)

“They all ate.

They were satisfied.

They took up

What was left over

Of the broken pieces,

Twelve baskets full.

Those who ate

Were about five thousand men,

Besides women

And children.”

 

καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, καὶ ἦραν τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων δώδεκα κοφίνους πλήρεις.

οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν ἄνδρες ὡσεὶ πεντακισχίλιοι χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων.

 

This is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels, Mark, chapter 6:42-44, Luke, chapter 9:17, and John, chapter 6:11-13, plus here, but there are slight differences.  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 the women and the children.  Certainly, it was a miraculous feeding.  Everyone ate some food (καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες).  They were all satisfied or filled (καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν).  There was no mention of anything to drink.  They took up what was left over of the broken pieces or fragments of food, so that it filled 12 full baskets (αὶ ἦραν τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων δώδεκα κοφίνους πλήρεις), a very symbolic number.  Those who ate were about 5,000 men (οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν ἄνδρες ὡσεὶ πεντακισχίλιοι), not counting the women and the children (χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων), who would have been on the edges of this large crowd of men.  Without a doubt, this was a very large crowd to feed.