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.

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.

The division of Ezekiel’s hair into thirds (Ezek 5:2-5:4)

“One third of the hair,

You shall burn

In the fire

Inside the city,

When the days

Of the siege

Are completed.

One third of the hair,

You shall take

To strike

With the sword

All around the city.

One third of the hair,

You shall scatter

To the wind.

I will unsheathe

The sword after them.

Then you shall take

From these

A small number.

You shall bind them

In the skirts

Of your robe.

From these,

Again,

You shall take some.

You shall throw them

Into the fire.

You shall burn them up.

From there a fire

Will come out

Against all the house of Israel.”

Ezekiel was to divide his shaved hair into thirds. He would burn one third of his shaved hair in a fire inside the city, when the siege days of Jerusalem were over. He was to strike with a sword all around the city another third of his shaved hair. This was kind of vague. The final third would be scattered to the wind, which is pretty simple. Yahweh was going to take a sword after them. The left over hair fragments were to be bound into the skirts of their robes. Finally, anything still not used up would be thrown into a burning fire. This fire indicated how fire would come against all the house of Israel. There was a symbolic purpose to the dividing of Ezekiel’s hair.