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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter 14 - Verse 20

Verse 20. And they did all eat, and were filled. This was an undoubted miracle. The quantity must have been greatly increased, to have supplied so many. He that could increase that small quantity so much, had the power of creation; and he that could do that, could create the world out of nothing, and had no less than Divine power.

Twelve baskets full. The size of these baskets is unknown. They were probably such as travellers carried their provisions in. They were used commonly by the Jews in their journeys. In travelling among the Gentiles, or Samaritans, a Jew could expect little hospitality. There were not, as now, public houses for the entertainment of strangers. At great distances there were caravansaries, but they were intended chiefly for lodging-places for the night, and not to provide food for travellers. Hence in journeying among strangers, or in deserts, they carried baskets of provisions; and this is the reason why they were furnished with them here. It is probable that each of the apostles had one, and they were all filled. Joh 6:12 says that Jesus directed them to gather up these fragments, that nothing be lost: an example of economy. God creates all food; it has, therefore, a kind of sacredness; it is all needed by some person or other, and none should be lost.

 See Barnes on "Mt 14:13"

 

{f} "twelve baskets full" 2 Ki 4:1-7

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