How can they feed them? (Mk 8:4-8:4)

“His disciples


‘How can we feed

These men

With bread

Here in the desert?’”


καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ὅτι Πόθεν τούτους δυνήσεταί τις ὧδε χορτάσαι ἄρτων ἐπ’ ἐρημίας;


Matthew, chapter 15:33, has a similar statement about the disciples questioning Jesus, just like in the other story of the first multiplication of loaves for the 5,000 people.  Mark said that the disciples of Jesus responded to him by asking (καὶ ἀπεκρίθησαν αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταί αὐτοῦ) where would they get enough loaves of bread to feed or satisfy these people (ὅτι Πόθεν τούτους δυνήσεταί τις ὧδε χορτάσαι ἄρτων) in this desert (ἐπ’ ἐρημίας).  In the earlier feeding of the 5,000, the place was deserted, while here it is a desert or uninhabited place also.

A great crowd was hungry (Mk 8:1-8:1)

“In those days,

There was again

A great crowd

Without anything

To eat.

Jesus called

His disciples.

He said to them.”


Ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις πάλιν πολλοῦ ὄχλου ὄντος καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων τί φάγωσιν, προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς λέγει αὐτοῖς


This second multiplication of loaves is somewhat similar to the earlier first multiplication of loaves that feed over 5,000 people in Mark, chapter 6:33, Matthew, chapter 14:13, Luke, chapter 9:10, and John, chapter 6:1-2.  Here, however, this second multiplication of loaves is only found in 2 of the 4 gospels, Matthew, chapter 15:32, and MarkMatthew had a similar statement about the hungry crowd.  Mark said that in those days (Ἐν ἐκείναις ταῖς ἡμέραις), there was again a great crowd (πάλιν πολλοῦ ὄχλου ὄντος) without anything to eat (καὶ μὴ ἐχόντων τί φάγωσιν).  Thus, there was a discussion between Jesus and his disciples.  He called his disciples and spoke to them (προσκαλεσάμενος τοὺς μαθητὰς λέγει αὐτοῖς).