Mark 6:39
And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.
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(39) By companies.—The Greek expresses the distributive force of the English by simple repetition, companies and companies.” The “green grass” may be noted as an example of St. Mark’s vividness, and serves as an indirect note of time pointing to the same season as that specified by St. John, sc., a little before the Passover. (Comp. John 6:10.)

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.39. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass—or "green hay"; the rank grass of those bushy wastes. For, as John (Joh 6:10) notes, "there was much grass in the place." See Poole on "Mark 6:35"

And he commanded them to make all sit down,.... Christ ordered his disciples, without any more ado, to cause the whole multitude, men, women, and children, to sit, or lie down, as they used to do at table when about to take a meal: and as they had no table before them, nor beds, or couches to sit, or lie down upon, he directed them to place them

by companies upon the green grass; that there might be some order among them, as at a meal; and that their number might be the more easily known; and that all of them might more plainly see the miracle that was to be wrought: and the provision be more orderly distributed to them.

And he commanded them to make all sit down by {t} companies upon the green grass.

(t) Literally, by banquets, after the manner of the Hebrews who have no distributive words; see Mr 6:7. Now he calls the rows of the sitters, banquets.

Mark 6:39. συμπόσια συμ. Hebraistic for ἀνὰ συμ. (cf. δύο δύο, Mark 6:7) = in dining companies.—ἐπὶ τῷ χλωρῷ χόρτῳ, on the green grass; a reedy, marshy place near the mouth of the Jordan at the north end of the lake. Vide Stanley’s description (Sinai and Palestine).

39. by companies] Literally, drinking parties. The word alludes to an orderly social grouping, catervatim. The words are repeated by a Hebraism in the original, like the “two and two” of Mark 6:7.

upon the green grass] St Mark alone mentions the green grass, “still fresh in the spring of the year, before it had faded away in the summer sun.” It was the season of the Passover, corresponding to our March or April, hence there was “much grass in the place;” comp. John 6:10.

Verse 39. - All were to sit down by companies (συμπόσια συμπόσια) - St. Luke (Luke 9:14) says that the companies were about fifty each (ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα) - upon the green grass. St. John says (John 6:10) that "there was much grass in the place." This indicates the time of the year. The grass was growing, and it was green. It would not be green in that district after April. Thus St. Mark's account of the state of the grass at that time (an account evidently repeated from an eye-witness) coincides with the account of St. John, who says that "the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was at hand" (John 6:4). Mark 6:39By companies (συμπόσια συμπόσια)

Peculiar to Mark. The Jewish dining-room was arranged like the Roman: three tables forming three sides of a square, and with divans or couches following the outside line of the tables. The open end of the square admitted the servants who waited at table. This explains the arrangement of the multitude here described by Mark. The people sat down, literally, in table-companies, arranged like guests at table; some companies of a hundred and some of fifty, in squares or oblongs open at one end, so that the disciples could pass along the inside and distribute the loaves


Mark only.

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