Mark 6:38
He said to them, How many loaves have you? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
6:30-44 Let not ministers do any thing or teach any thing, but what they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christ notices the frights of some, and the toils of others of his disciples, and provides rest for those that are tired, and refuge for those that are terrified. The people sought the spiritual food of Christ's word, and then he took care that they should not want bodily food. If Christ and his disciples put up with mean things, surely we may. And this miracle shows that Christ came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserve and nourish spiritual life; in him there is enough for all that come. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to him full of themselves. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties, remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need the fragments that we now throw away.Two hundred pennyworth of bread - About twenty-eight dollars, or 6 British pounds. See the notes at Matthew 14:16. As the disciples had a common purse in which they carried their little property, consisting of the donations of their friends and money to be given to the poor (compare John 12:6; Matthew 26:8-9; Luke 8:3), it is not improbable that they had at this time about this sum in their possession. Philip - for it was he who asked the question John 6:7 - asked, with a mixture of wonder and agitation, whether they should take all their little property and spend it on a single meal? And even if we should, said he, it would not be sufficient to satisfy such a multitude. It was implied in this that, in his view, they could not provide for them if they wished to, and that it would be better to send them away than to attempt it.38. He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes—John is more precise and full: "One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto Him, There is a lad here which hath five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?" (Joh 6:8, 9). Probably this was the whole stock of provisions then at the command of the disciples—no more than enough for one meal to them—and entrusted for the time to this lad. "He said, Bring them hither to me" (Mt 14:18). See Poole on "Mark 6:38" And he saith unto them, how many loaves have ye?.... This he said, not as ignorant, but as willing to try their faith yet more, and that the after miracle might be more manifest and illustrious:

go and see; meaning, either that they should examine their own store, if they had any; or rather go and see what was to be had upon the spot, among the company, for money;

and when they knew, they say five loaves and two fishes: when they had made inquiry what provisions there were, and the most that could be got at any rate, they tell him, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, particularly, that there was a boy among the multitude that had five barley loaves, and two small fishes; and, at the same time, suggests, that they were nothing for so great a company.

He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
38. go and see] In the interval between their going and return they learnt that a lad in their company had five barley loaves, and two small fishes, which they could secure for purchase. They were only barley loaves (John 6:9), the food even then, for the most part, of beasts, or of the poor and the unfortunate. Comp. 2 Kings 7:1. The fact has an important bearing on Jdg 7:13.Verse 38. - Five (loaves), and two fishes. St. John tells us (John 6:9) that the loaves were of barley, and that the fishes were small (ὀψάρια); St. Mark says δύο ἰχθύας. Barley bread was considered an inferior and homely kind of food, very inferior to bread made of wheat flour. The comparative value of the two kinds of bread is given in Revelation 6:6. "A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny." The psalmist alludes to the greater excellence of wheat flour: "He would have fed them also with the finest wheat flour" (Psalm 81:16).
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