Jesus give thanks and distributes the bread (Mt 15:35-15:36)

“Jesus ordered

The crowd

To sit down

On the ground.

He took the seven loaves

And the fish.

He gave thanks.

He broke them.

He gave them

To the disciples.

Then the disciples

Gave them

To the crowds.”

 

καὶ παραγγείλας τῷ ὄχλῳ ἀναπεσεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν

ἔλαβεν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς ἰχθύας καὶ εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς, οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις.

 

Mark, chapter 8:6-7, has a similar statement about the thanksgiving blessing and the distribution of the 7 loaves of bread and fish.  Jesus ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground, instead of earlier on the grass (καὶ παραγγείλας τῷ ὄχλῳ ἀναπεσεῖν ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν).  This was going to be like a large picnic.  He took the seven loaves and the fish (ἔλαβεν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς ἰχθύας).  He gave thanks or eucharized them (καὶ εὐχαριστήσας) and broke them apart (ἔκλασεν).  He gave them to the disciples (καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς).  Then the disciples gave them to the crowds (οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις).  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, but on a smaller scale.  Yet the word “thanksgiving” was used here instead of a “blessing” as at the feeding of the 5,000 people in chapter 14:19.  This has almost a foretaste of the Eucharistic Last Supper of Jesus, when he gave thanks, blessed and broke the bread.  Otherwise, this is very similar to the first multiplication of the loaves of bread.  However, Jesus did not look up to heaven here.  The process is pretty much the same.  Jesus gave the food to his disciples, who in turn gave the food to the people in the crowd.

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The fishing net and the kingdom of heaven (Mt 13:47-13:48)

“Again,

The kingdom of heaven is

Like a net

That was thrown

Into the sea.

It caught fish

Of every kind.

When it was full,

They pulled it ashore.

They sat down.

They put the good fish

Into baskets.

But they threw out

The bad fish.”

 

Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν σαγήνῃ βληθείσῃ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν καὶ ἐκ παντὸς γένους συναγαγούσῃ·

ἣν ὅτε ἐπληρώθη ἀναβιβάσαντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν καὶ καθίσαντες συνέλεξαν τὰ καλὰ εἰς ἄγγη, τὰ δὲ σαπρὰ ἔξω ἔβαλον.

 

Only Matthew has this parable about the fishing net.  Jesus, via Matthew, makes another comparison about the kingdom of heaven (Πάλιν ὁμοία ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν).  This time, it was like a fishing net that was thrown into the sea (σαγήνῃ βληθείσῃ εἰς τὴν θάλασσαν).  They caught all kinds of different fish (καὶ ἐκ παντὸς γένους συναγαγούσῃ).  When this fishing net was full, they pulled it ashore (ἣν ὅτε ἐπληρώθη ἀναβιβάσαντες ἐπὶ τὸν αἰγιαλὸν).  Then they sat down (καὶ καθίσαντες) to sort out the fish.  They collected the good fish into basket containers (συνέλεξαν τὰ καλὰ εἰς ἄγγη), but they threw out the bad fish (τὰ δὲ σαπρὰ ἔξω ἔβαλον).  The details of this fishing expedition, like the sowing in the field speak to an agricultural and fishing community.

You give to your sons (Mt 7:9-7:10)

“Is there anyone

Among you,

Who,

If your son

Asks for bread,

Will give him

A stone?

Or if he asks

For a fish,

Will give him

A snake?”

 

ἢ τίς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος, ὃν αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ἄρτον, μὴ λίθον ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;

ἢ καὶ ἰχθὺν αἰτήσει, μὴ ὄφιν ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ;

 

This saying of Jesus is nearly the same as in Luke, chapter 11:11-12, indicating a common Q source.  Jesus wanted to know if any man among them (ἢ τίς ἐστιν ἐξ ὑμῶν ἄνθρωπος) would be foolish enough to give a round stone (μὴ λίθον ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ) instead of a loaf of bread (ἄρτον) to his son who was asking for this (ὃν αἰτήσει ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ).  If the son asked for a fish (ἢ καὶ ἰχθὺν αἰτήσει), would be give him a snake or a serpent (μὴ ὄφιν ἐπιδώσει αὐτῷ)?  The answer was obvious.  No father would be that cruel to his son.  Luke did not have the son ask for bread, but for an egg that was returned as a scorpion.

The nets of the enemy (Hab 1:14-1:17)

“You have made people

Like the fish of the sea,

Like crawling things

That have no ruler.

The enemy brings

All of them up

With a hook.

He drags them out,

With his net.

He gathers them

In his seine.

Thus,

He rejoices.

He exults.

Therefore,

He sacrifices

To his net.

He makes sacrifices

To his seine.

His portion is lavish

By them.

His food is rich.

Is he then to keep on

Emptying his net?

Will he keep destroying nations

Without mercy?”

This enemy would keep devouring the people.  Yahweh has made people like fish in the sea, since they have no ruler, much like crawling things.  Thus, this enemy has a hook with a net.  He has dragged the people out of the sea, as if they were fish in a net.  He has gathered them in his seine, which is a great big net.  Thus, this enemy is happy and exulted about his big catch of humans, much like a proud fisherman.  Then, this enemy would sacrifice offerings to his big nets, because they have contributed to his lavish life style with rich food.  He has become wealthy by catching all these humans in his big fish nets.  Thus, he kept emptying his nets and catching more humans in them.  He continued to destroy nations and countries without any mercy for anyone.  His evil ways just went on and on.

Let the earthly waters bless God (Dan 3:55-3:57)

“Bless the Lord!

You springs!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

Seas!

Rivers!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!   

Bless the Lord!

You whales!

All that swim

In the waters!

Sing praise to him!

Highly exalt him forever!” 

The 3 men continued their hymn of praise. This time, they wanted the earthly waters, and all that live in them, to bless the Lord by praising and exalting him. The division of the waters was into springs, seas, and rivers, since there was never any thought of an ocean. However, the one fish that they do mention is a whale.

The good river (Ezek 47:10-47:12)

“People will stand fishing

Beside the sea,

From En-gedi

To En-eglaim.

It will be a place

For the spreading

Of nets.

Its fish will be

Of a great many kinds,

Like the fish

Of the Great Sea.

But its swamps,

With its marshes,

Will not become fresh.

They are to be left

For salt.

On the banks,

On both sides

Of the river,

There will grow

All kinds of trees

For food.

Their leaves

Will not wither.

Their fruit

Will not fail.

But they will bear

Fresh fruit

Every month,

Because the water

For them

Flows from the sanctuary.

Their fruit will be

For food.

Their leaves will be

For healing.”

This mysterious water from the Temple would mean that people could fish out on the northwestern side of the Dead Sea from En-gedi to En-eglaim. All one had to do was spread fishing nets, then all kinds of wonderful fish would be caught, just like in the great Mediterranean Sea. However, the swamps and marshes would not become fresh, but they would remain salty. On both sides of this river, all kinds of trees would grow with monthly fresh fruit and perennial leaves for healing. This river coming from the sanctuary of the Temple had all these wonderful powers because of the power of Yahweh, much like other Canaanite and Mesopotamian mythical rivers.

 

No more livestock (Ezek 32:13-32:14)

“‘I will destroy

All its livestock

From beside abundant waters.

No human foot

Shall trouble them anymore.

The hoofs of the cattle

Shall not trouble them.

Then I will make

Their waters clear.

I will cause

Their streams

To run

Like oil.’

Says Yahweh God.”

Yahweh was going to destroy the Egyptian livestock. No humans or animals would be around anymore. The waters would be clear of fish. Their streams would be like polluted with oil flowing in them. Yahweh had spoken via Ezekiel.