They were about four thousand people (Mk 8:9-8:9)

“There were

About four thousand people.

Jesus sent them away.”

 

ἦσαν δὲ ὡς τετρακισχίλιοι. καὶ ἀπέλυσεν αὐτούς.

 

Matthew, chapter 15:38, has a similar statement about how many ate at this multiplication of the bread loaves.  Those who had eaten were 4,000 people (ἦσαν δὲ ὡς τετρακισχίλιοι).  Then Jesus sent them away (καὶ ἀπέλυσεν αὐτούς).  The earlier count in Mark, chapter 6:30-44 was 5,000 people, but here there was only 4,000 people.  Obviously, there was no exact count taken.  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, since this does not seem to be the same event described twice.