For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Make them sit down.—Literally, recline, or lie down.
(See on Mr 6:31-44).See Poole on "Luke 9:12" Matthew 14:21,
and he said to his disciples, make them to sit down by fifties in a company; and by hundreds also; some companies had a hundred apiece in them, and others fifty; and which was done partly, for the more easy numbering of them, and partly and chiefly for the more convenient distribution of food to them; See Gill on Mark 6:39. See Gill on Mark 6:40.For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 9:14. Hence also he does not think it worth while to mention the amount of money at their disposal (200 denarii, Mark 6:37).—κλισίας, dining parties, answering to Mk.’s συμπόσια. Mk.’s πρασιαὶ, describing the appearance to the eye. like flower beds, with their gay garments, red, blue, yellow, Lk. omits.14. Jive thousand men) “Besides women and children,” Matthew 14:21. These would probably not be numerous, and would not (in accordance with Eastern usage) sit down with the men, but would stand apart.
by fifties in a company] The vivid details of Mark shew the eyewitness of St Peter. He compares them to parterres of flowers (prasiai prasiai, ‘by garden beds’) as they sat on the green grass in their bright Oriental robes of red and blue and yellow. St Luke’s word, klisiai, means literally in dining-parties, from klisia, ‘a couch.’ This systematic arrangement made it easy to tell the number of the multitude.Luke 9:14. Ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα, by fifties) A convenient number, on account of there being five loaves: and also the men thus formed one hundred fifties; Mark 6:40.Verse 14. - They were about five thousand men. St. Matthew adds, "besides women and children." The multitude generally had come from a considerable distance, we know; there would not be, comparatively speaking, many women and children among them. These were grouped together apart, and, of course, fed, but were not counted among the five thousand. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. "Jesus has no sooner ascertained that there are five loaves and two fishes, than he is satisfied. He commands them to make the multitude sit down. Just as though he had said, 'I have what I want; the meal is ready; let them be seated!' But he takes care that his banquet shall be conducted with an order worthy of the God who gives it. Everything must be calm and solemn; it is a kind of Passover meal. By the help of the apostles, he seats his guests in rows of fifty each (St.. Matthew), or in double rows of fifty, by hundreds (Mark). This orderly arrangement allowed of the guests being easily counted. St. Mark describes in a dramatic manner the striking spectacle presented by these regularly formed companies, each consisting of two equal ranks, and all arranged upon the slope of the hill. The pastures at that time were in all their spring glory. SS. John and Mark both bring forward the beauty of this natural carpet. 'Much grass' (St. John); 'on the green grass' (St. Mark)" (Godet). St. Mark's vivid picturesque details show the observant eve-witness. The words rendered "in ranks" ("they sat down in ranks") literally mean they were like flower-beds set in the green grass. The bright-coloured Eastern robes of these men, as they sat in long rows, suggested the happy comparison.
The plural, in companies. Lit., table-companies. The word is also used in classical Greek of a couch for reclining at table. Only here in New Testament. See on Mark 6:39.
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