The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire BibleMatthew 14:20
And they did all eat…
Christ and his twelve
disciples, and the five thousand men, with the women and children,
of the five loaves and two fishes; everyone had their portion,
and were filled;
they were satisfied, they had a full meal, they had
enough, and to spare; see (2 Chronicles 31:10) which the Targumist
``And Azariah said unto him, who was appointed chief over
the house of Zadok, and said, from the time that they
began to separate the offering, to bring it into the
sanctuary of the Lord, (Nyebvw Nylka) , "we have eat and are
filled", and have "left much"; for "the word of the Lord"
hath blessed his people, and what is left, lo! it is this
plenty of good.''
The Jews used not to reckon it a meal, unless a man was filled, and
account it an ill sign, if nothing was left: but here was fulness,
and more left than was first had; which was gathered up, either for
the use of the poor, or reserved for after service; teaching us
liberality to the needy, and frugality, not to waste that which is
And they took up of the fragments that remained, twelve baskets
according to the number of the disciples, every man had his
basket full. It may be inquired, where they could have so many
baskets in the wilderness? It is not likely, that everyone of the
apostles had a basket with him; it is indeed not improbable, but
that they might be furnished with them from some in the company, who
might bring provisions with them, either for their own use, or to
sell; see (John 6:9) but perhaps the reason why they were so easily
supplied with such a number of baskets in a desert place, might be a
custom which the Jews F8 had of carrying baskets with hay and
straw, in commemoration of what they did in Egypt; when they were
obliged to carry bricks in baskets, and to go about and pick up
straw in baskets to make bricks; hence the F9 Epigrammatist calls a
"Jew", "cistifer", a "basket bearer", or "carrier"; and Juvenal F11
laughs at these people, as if all their household goods lay in a
basket, and a little hay, or straw: it is said of R. Siraeon, that
when he went to the school, (anu lyqv) , "he carried a basket" on his
shoulders F12; the gloss suggests, it was to sit upon; but a basket
is not very proper for a seat; very likely it was for the above
reason: such a custom will account for it, how such a number of
baskets could be come at in the wilderness.
F8 Nicholas de Lyra, in Psal. lxxxi. 6.
F9 Nubere: nupsisti Gellia Cistifero. Martial. Epigram. 1. 5. ep. 17.
F11 Judaeis: quorum Cophinus foenumque supellex. Juvenal. Satyr. 3. cum
dedit ille locum, Cophino, foenoque relicto. ib. Satyr. 6.
F12 T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 49. 2.
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 14:20". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/geb/view.cgi?book=mt&chapter=014&verse=020>. 1999.