And they took up
twelve baskets full
of the fragments,
and of the fishes.
And they took up twelve [small hand] baskets full of broken pieces [from the loaves] and of the fish. [AMP] And they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. [ESV] And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes. [KJV] and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. [NIV] and they picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. [NLT] And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments and of the fish. [NKJV]
Some further information:
Observe that care was taken of the fragments that remained, with which they filled twelve baskets.
Though Christ had bread enough at command, he would hereby teach us, not to make waste of any of God’s good creatures; remembering how many there are that do want.
It was a miracle that all these people could eat until they were satisfied (Mark 6:42, cf. Mark 8: 8). In addition, there was a lot of food left over, a lot, even more than was initially available (Mark 6:38).
After the meal, the disciples went around to pick up the remaining pieces of bread and fish. They thus collected twelve full baskets; each of them had one.
And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes
“Therefore (says John 6:13 ), they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.”
Greek: kophinos, a hand wicker basket in which Jews carried provisions for a journey so they would not have to eat gentile food (Matthew 14:20; Mark 6:43; Luke 9:17; John 6:13). It could hold about 2 gallons. This would mean that 24 gallon of bread and fish were left over.
The article here rendered “baskets” in all the four narratives was part of the luggage taken by Jews on a journey. It is said that they used them to carry both their provisions and hay to sleep on, so they might not have to depend on Gentiles, and so run the risk of ceremonial pollution.
In this we have a striking corroboration of the truth of the four narratives.
Internal evidence renders it clear, we think, that the first three Evangelists wrote independently of each other, though the fourth must have seen all the others.
But here, each of the first three Evangelists uses the same word to express the apparently insignificant circumstance that the baskets employed to gather up the fragments were of the kind which even the Roman satirist, Juvenal, knew by the name of cophinus, while in both the narratives of the feeding of the Four Thousand the baskets used are expressly said to have been of the kind called spuris. (See Mark 8:19,20 .)
Mark uses a word in this context that we only find here in the New Testament: kophinos, which means ‘carrying basket, or basket’. It refers to the baskets that the Jews often had with them in those days to carry food. It probably could hold less than the woven baskets the evangelist talks about in Mark 8:8.
In a number of manuscripts it says ‘basket fillings’ instead of ‘full baskets’. Both amount to the same thing.
Now let us reflect on this
Five thousand people get to eat from no more than five loaves and two fishes, and not that everyone just gets a small snack, no, so much that they are all satisfied. That is indeed a very great miracle in itself. But what comes next surpasses everything.
When they fetch what is left over, it turns out to be twelve full baskets, so much more, infinitely more, than what was originally available.
And the five thousand were satisfied, so not just fed a little, no, satisfied. And then so much leeft over that it is more than was distributed.
The Lord does that.
He multiplied by His blessing hands that broke the bread.
He’s the same even now.
He is able to increase what little we have, and so much so that we end up with more than what we started with.
We saw our Lord doing this these days with the temporary.
But He also wants to do that for us for eternal things.
When we put our little faith in His hands, He wants to multiply it, He wants to make it grow.
Just see upon Him, praying and trusting, He will make it come true.
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