And Jesus said to them, How many loaves have you? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Seven, and a few little fishes.—The resemblance of the answer to that which had been given before is, at least, interesting as showing what was the provision habitually made by the travelling company of preachers for the supply of their daily wants. The few barley loaves and dried fishes, this was all their store, as they went from village to village, or passed days and nights on the hills of Galilee.Mark 8:1-10. The circumstances of the miracle are so similar to the one recorded in Matthew 14:14-21, as to need little additional explanation.
Three days, and have nothing to eat - This is not, perhaps, to be taken literally, but only that during that time they had been deprived of their ordinary or regular food.
For the exposition, see on Mr 7:31; Mr 8:10.See Poole on "Matthew 15:39".
how many loaves have ye? meaning in the common stock, and which they brought along with them, for their own supply:
and they said seven, and a few little fishes; which they mention as so small a provision, that it was as nothing for such multitudes; their loaves of bread were but seven, and their fishes, which were ready dressed, dried, or boiled, &c. were few in number, and small, as to quantity and size.And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Matthew 15:34. πόσους ἄρτους: the disciples have larger supplies this time than the first, after three days, and when the supplies of the multitude are exhausted: seven loaves and several small fishes.Matthew 15:34. Ὀλίγα ἰχθύδια, a few little fishes) They speak disparagingly of their provision, for in Matthew 15:36 the diminutive form is no longer employed.Verse 34. - How many loaves have ye? Jesus gives no formal answer to the apostles' hesitating question, but by a new interrogation leads them to expect his interposition. This was the prelude to the miracle. Seven, and a few little fishes. They de not add, as on the former occasion, "But what are they among so many?" They have learned something from what had previously occurred. Whether this little store was what remained of their own supplies, or whether it was all they could find among the multitude, does not appear. From the indeterminate mention of the fish, we should suppose the latter to have been the case, as they would probably have mentioned the number of the fishes had they been their own. There may have been some contempt implied in the diminutive ἰχθύδια, "little fishes," as though these were scarcely worthy of notice. Dried fish was a staple commodity in the region.
Diminutive. The disciples make their provision seem as small as possible. In Matthew 15:36 the diminutive is not used.
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