And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Twelve baskets.—See Note on Matthew 14:20.
(See on Mr 6:31-44).See Poole on "Luke 9:12"
and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them, twelve baskets; See Gill on Matthew 14:20.And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. of fragments] Compare 2 Kings 4:43-44. These were collected by the order of Jesus, who thus strikingly taught that wastefulness even of miraculous plenty is entirely alien to the divine administration.
twelve baskets] Cophini, probably wicker-baskets (salsilloth, Jeremiah 6:9). Every Jew carried such a basket about with him to avoid the chance of his food contracting any Levitical pollution in heathen places (Juv. Sat. iii. 14, vi. 542). The baskets used at the miracle of the four thousand were large rope-baskets, ‘frails’ (spurides). The accuracy with which each word is reserved by all the narrators for each miracle is remarkable.
At this point there is a considerable gap in the continuity of St Luke’s narrative. He omits the amazement of the multitude which made it likely that they would seize Jesus to make Him king; His compelling His reluctant disciples to sail back towards the other—the western—Bethsaida; the gradual dismissal of the multitude; His flight, φεύγει, John 6:15, א) to the hill top to escape those who still lingered, and to pray alone; the gathering of the storm; the walking on the sea; the failure of Peter’s faith; the very memorable discourse at Capernaum, intended to teach what was the true bread from heaven, and to dissipate the material expectations of the popular Messianism; the crisis of offence caused by these hard sayings; the dispute with the Pharisees on the question of the Oral Law or Tradition of the Elders; the deepening opposition and the one great day of conflict and rupture with the Pharisees (which St Luke appears to relate out of chronological order in Luke 11); the flight among the heathen as far as Tyre and Sidon; the incident of the Syrophoenician woman; the feeding of the four thousand; the return to Galilee and demand for a sign; the sailing away, and the warning against the leaven of the Pharisees; and the healing of a blind man at Bethsaida Julias during His second journey northwards. These must be sought for in Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 26:12; Mark 6:45—viii. 30; John 4. For my view of them, and their sequence, I may perhaps be allowed to refer the reader to my Life of Christ, I. 403-11. 9.Verse 17. - And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them, twelve baskets. A very impressive lesson from the Creator himself against waste or extravagance. St. John expressly tells us that this order to gather up the fragments of their meal emanated from Jesus himself. Carefulness, thrift, and economy in small things as in great, form part of the teaching of the loving Master. From such passages as Mark 6:37 and John 13:29, it seems probable that the disciples, acting under their Master's direction, were in the habit of distributing, out of their comparative abundance, food to those persons in the villages who were poorer than themselves. It was, no doubt, for some such hallowed object as this that the careful collection of the fragments which filled twelve baskets was made. The "baskets" (cophinus) were usually carried by travelling Jews to keep their food from contracting Levitical pollution in Gentile places. Juvenal, in a well-known passage ('Sat.,' 3:14), writes of the Jews travelling about Italy with no baggage save a little bundle of hay to serve as a pillow, and this cophinus, or basket, for their food. So abundant had been the provision created by Jesus, that the fragments collected far exceeded the original stock of food which the disciples gave to Jesus to bless, to break, and to distribute among the five thousand and upward who were fed that memorable afternoon. This miracle is the only one in the entire Galilaean ministry which is told by all the four evangelists. It evidently had a very prominent place in the teaching of the first days. Rationalizing interpretation in the case of this miracle is singularly at fault. After eighteen centuries of unremitting hostility to the teaching of Jesus Christ, not even a plausible explanation of this miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fishes has been found by adverse critics. In our own days, Renan, following the ancient interpretation of Paulus, simply suggests that the multitudes were fed by materials provided by themselves. "Every one took his little store of provision from his wallet; they lived on very little" - an explanation, as it has been happily termed, "ludicrously inadequate." After the relation of the great miracle of feeding the five thousand, St. Luke omits in his Gospel a variety of incidents and several discourses told at greater or lesser length by the other evangelists. For instance, the reverential amazement of the people when the nature of the stupendous miracle in connection with the creation of the loaves and fishes flashed upon them, - they wished to recognize him as King Messiah; the walking on the sea; the long and important discourse on the true Bread at Capernaum, the text of which was the late great miracle of the loaves; the journey among the heathen as far as Tyre and Sidon; the meeting with the Syro-phoenician woman; the feeding of the four thousand, etc. These incidents are related in Matthew 14-16:12; Mark 6:45 - 8:80; John 6. No commentator has satisfactorily explained the reason of this omission of important portions of our Lord's public ministry. The reason for St. Luke's action here probably will never be guessed. We must, however, in all theories which we may form of the composition of these Gospels, never lose sight of this fact, that while SS. Matthew and Peter (Mark) were eyewitnesses of the events of the life, St. Luke, and his master, Paul, simply reproduced what they had heard or read. We may, therefore, suppose that St. Luke exercised larger discretionary powers in dealing with materials derived from others than the other two, who desired, no doubt, to reproduce a fairly general summary of their Divine Master's acts. On such a theory of composition, a gap in the story like the one we are now alluding to, in the more eclectic Gospel of St. Luke, would seem scarcely possible in the first two Gospels. We, of course, make no allusion here to the Fourth Gospel; the whole plan and design of St. John was different to that upon which the first three were modelled.
See on Matthew 5:6.
There were taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets (καὶ ἤρθη τὸ περισσεῦσαν αὐτοῖς κλασμάτων κόφινοι δώδεκα)
The Rev. is more accurate, putting the comma after αὐτοῖς to them, instead of after κλασμάτων, fragments; and making the latter word depend on κόφινοι, baskets. Render, therefore, And there was taken up that which remained over to them, of broken pieces, twelve baskets.
See on Matthew 14:20.
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