Monday, March 14, 2011

Mark 6:30-44, The Feeding of the Five Thousand (The Study of Mark)

     30 And the apostles gathered together1 to Jesus and reported to him all things that they did and taught2. 31 And he was saying to them, “Come by yourselves3 into a deserted place and rest yourselves a little while.” (For there were many who were coming and going, and they didn’t even have time to eat.) 32 And they departed in a boat into a deserted place privately4 . 33 And the crowd saw5 them departing and many recognized6 them and they all ran together on foot there from all the cities and arrived before them.7 34 And after coming out of the boat, he saw a great crowd and he had pity on them, because they were like sheep not having shepherds8 and he began to teach them many things. 35 And when it was already late9, after coming to him, his disciples were saying, “This place is deserted and it is already late10. 36 Send them away, so that after departing into the neighboring fields and villages, they may buy themselves something to eat.” 37 And answering, he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they were saying to him, “After going, should we buy two hundred denarius11 of bread and give it to them to eat?” 38 And he was saying to them, “How many loaves of bread do you have? Go and see.” And after finding out12 they say, “Five loaves and two fish.” 39 And he gave orders to them for all to sit down in groups13 on the green grass. 40 And they sat down in groups14 of one hundred and groups of fifty15 . 41 And after taking the five loaves and two fish, looking up into heaven, he blessed and broke the bread and kept on giving16 it to [his] disciples so that they might place it before them and he divided the two fish among them all17 . 42 And everyone ate and was satisfied, 43 and they picked up twelve full baskets18 of pieces of bread and fish19 . 44 And the ones who ate the bread were five thousand men.


Some scholars believe that this story show where a group of Jewish Anarchist were attempting to make Jesus their military leader.  Even though that is possible, Mark focuses on the miracle that was produced by Jesus' own hand.

1 συνάγονται (gathered together) 

Greek: “are gathering”.

2 ὅσα ἐποίησαν καὶ ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν (that they did and taught) 

Greek: “that they did and that they taught”.

3 αὐτοὶ κατ ̓ ἰδίαν (by yourselves) 

Greek: “privately yourselves” or “yourselves according to one’s own”.

4 κατ ̓ ἰδίαν (privately) 

Greek: “according to own’s own”.

5 εἶδον (the crowd saw) 
Greek: “they saw”. εἶδον doesn’t have an expressed subject in this text, but implies “they”. “they” are obviously “the crowd”.

6 ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοὶ (many recognized) 

Greek: “many knew”.

7 According to Luke’s account, the shore where the boat departed from and where the boat landed is separated by the inflow of the upper Jordan river. No only did the crowd out run the boat on foot, but did so by having to cross the river!

8 An echo from Numbers 27:17.

9 Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης (And when it was already late)

Greek: “And already becoming many hours”.

10καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή (and it is already late) 

Greek: “and already many hours”.

11 δηναρίων (denarius)

A denarius was a Roman silver coin that was a day’s worth of wages for a common man. 200 of them would be over one half a year’s worth of wages. An amount of money that the twelve probably didn’t have.

12 γνόντες (after finding out) 

Greek: “after knowing”.

13 συμπόσια συμπόσια (in groups)

A συμπόσια is a grouping of people that are grouped together for the purpose of eating or drinking.

14 πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ (in groups)

Different from συμπόσια. A πρασιαὶ is a group of people placed in an orderly fashion. It also refers to how garden plants are placed in a garden. The imagery of the event may show the on looker that the groups of people were like garden plants place in an orderly fashion on the green grass. It’s possible that Mark uses this language to refer to the “like sheep not having shepherds”.

15 κατὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ κατὰ πεντήκοντα (of one hundred and groups of fifty)

Greek: “according to hundreds and according to fifties”.

16 ἐδίδου (kept on giving)

Greek: “was giving”. The verb is in the imperfect and carries a continual aspect. So, Jesus was continually giving out the bread. Within the context of the miracle, he kept on giving the broken bread out, thus showing that the miracle itself came from Jesus own hands.

17 πᾶσιν (among them all) 

Greek: “to all”.

18 δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα (twelve full baskets)

The baskets were large were normally for carrying food or produce. The text doesn’t say if the baskets were actually available or not. The text may be referring to the “amount” of food that was left over. It may be possible that the disciples had the baskets in the boat, but not very probable. It is also likely that the baskets came from the crowd, but why would they have run with twelve empty baskets?

19 ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων (fish) 

Greek: “from the fish”.

The Greek

Μάρκον 6·30 Καὶ συνάγονται οἱ ἀπόστολοι πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν καὶ ἀπήγγειλαν αὐτῷ πάντα ὅσα ἐποίησαν καὶ ὅσα ἐδίδαξαν. 31 καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς· δεῦτε ὑμεῖς αὐτοὶ κατ ̓ ἰδίαν εἰς ἔρημον τόπον καὶ ἀναπαύσασθε ὀλίγον. ἦσαν γὰρ οἱ ἐρχόμενοι καὶ οἱ ὑπάγοντες πολλοί, καὶ οὐδὲ φαγεῖν εὐκαίρουν.
Μάρκον 6·32 Καὶ ἀπῆλθον ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ εἰς ἔρημον τόπον κατ ̓ ἰδίαν. 33 καὶ εἶδον αὐτοὺς ὑπάγοντας καὶ ἐπέγνωσαν πολλοὶ καὶ πεζῇ ἀπὸ πασῶν τῶν πόλεων συνέδραμον ἐκεῖ καὶ προῆλθον αὐτούς. Μάρκον 6·34 Καὶ ἐξελθὼν εἶδεν πολὺν ὄχλον καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη ἐπ ̓ αὐτούς, ὅτι ἦσαν ὡς πρόβατα μὴ ἔχοντα ποιμένα, καὶ ἤρξατο διδάσκειν αὐτοὺς πολλά.
Μάρκον 6·35 Καὶ ἤδη ὥρας πολλῆς γενομένης προσελθόντες αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ ἔλεγον ὅτι ἔρημός ἐστιν ὁ τόπος καὶ ἤδη ὥρα πολλή· 36 ἀπόλυσον αὐτούς, ἵνα ἀπελθόντες εἰς τοὺς κύκλῳ ἀγροὺς καὶ κώμας ἀγοράσωσιν ἑαυτοῖς τί φάγωσιν. 37 ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· δότε αὐτοῖς ὑμεῖς φαγεῖν. καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· ἀπελθόντες ἀγοράσωμεν δηναρίων διακοσίων ἄρτους καὶ δώσομεν αὐτοῖς φαγεῖν; 38 ὁ δὲ λέγει αὐτοῖς· πόσους ἄρτους ἔχετε; ὑπάγετε ἴδετε. καὶ γνόντες λέγουσιν· πέντε, καὶ δύο ἰχθύας. 39 καὶ ἐπέταξεν αὐτοῖς ἀνακλῖναι πάντας συμπόσια συμπόσια ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ. 40 καὶ ἀνέπεσαν πρασιαὶ πρασιαὶ κατὰ ἑκατὸν καὶ κατὰ πεντήκοντα. 41 καὶ λαβὼν τοὺς πέντε ἄρτους καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὐλόγησεν καὶ κατέκλασεν τοὺς ἄρτους καὶ ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς [αὐτοῦ] ἵνα παρατιθῶσιν αὐτοῖς, καὶ τοὺς δύο ἰχθύας ἐμέρισεν πᾶσιν. 42 καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες καὶ ἐχορτάσθησαν, 43 καὶ ἦραν κλάσματα δώδεκα κοφίνων πληρώματα καὶ ἀπὸ τῶν ἰχθύων. 44 καὶ ἦσαν οἱ φαγόντες [τοὺς ἄρτους] πεντακισχίλιοι ἄνδρες.

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