The Meaning of John 6:10 Explained

John 6:10

KJV: And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

YLT: And Jesus said, 'Make the men to sit down;' and there was much grass in the place, the men then sat down, in number, as it were, five thousand,

Darby: And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place: the men therefore sat down, in number about five thousand.

ASV: Jesus said, Make the people sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

What does John 6:10 Mean?

Verse Meaning

When the disciples had confessed their own inadequacy Jesus proceeded to demonstrate His adequacy. He instructed the disciples to seat the multitude on the comfortable grass. Perhaps we should view Jesus as the Good Shepherd making His sheep lie down in green pastures (cf. Psalm 23:2). Perhaps Jesus did this also to discourage the people from rushing madly for the food once they realized what was happening. All four evangelists recorded the size of the crowd in terms of the males present. This was customary since these people lived in a predominantly paternalistic culture. The scene also recalls Moses feeding the Israelites in the wilderness with bread from heaven.

Context Summary

John 6:1-14 - The Multitude Satisfied With Food
In this chapter we have a further illustration of John's method in selecting for his purpose the miracles which became the texts of our Lord's discourses. These multitudes had evidently gathered on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover; and the imminence of that great festival, when the worshipers not only sacrificed but partook of the slain lamb, gave point to much that our Lord said after this memorable feeding of the multitude.
Christ often tests us to see what we shall say and do in the presence of overwhelming difficulty, but He always knows the way out. We at once begin to calculate our paltry resources, and to confess their inadequacy. We come back to explain that when we have done our utmost, we can provide very little. Then He steps in, determined that everyone shall be filled, with an ample supply left over. He makes His guests sit down in comfort on the grass, because there is plenty of time, as well as an abundance of food, for a happy and comfortable meal. We must bring Him what we have, however slender; must enter into His great plan and arrange the people for the banquet; must distribute the food and gather up the broken pieces. The world is to be fed by the cooperation of Christ and His Church. [source]

Chapter Summary: John 6

1  Jesus feeds five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes
15  Thereupon the people would have made him king;
16  but withdrawing himself, he walks on the sea to his disciples;
26  reproves the people flocking after him, and all the fleshly hearers of his word;
32  declares himself to be the bread of life to believers
66  Many disciples depart from him
68  Peter confesses him
70  Judas is a devil

Greek Commentary for John 6:10

Sit down [αναπεσειν]
Literally, “fall back,” lie down, recline. Second aorist active infinitive of αναπιπτω — anapiptō Much grass Old word for pasture, green grass (Mark 6:39) or hay (1 Corinthians 3:12). It was spring (John 6:4) and plenty of green grass on the hillside. The men Word for men as distinct from women, expressly stated in Matthew 14:21. In number Adverbial accusative (of general reference). About General estimate, though they were arranged in orderly groups by hundreds and fifties, “in ranks” like “garden beds” (πρασιαι — prasiai Mark 6:40). [source]
Sit down [ἀναπεσεῖν]
Literally, recline. [source]
Grass [χόρτος]
Originally an enclosure. Thus Homer speaks of Peleus offering a sacrifice, αὐλῆς ἐν χόρτῳ , in the enclosure of the court (“Iliad,” xi., 774). Hence a feeding-place, and so grass, provender. The sense is merely that of our abstract pasture. Matthew and Mark mention the grass, Mark with the epithet green. Wyc., hay. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 6:10

Matthew 15:35 On the ground [ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν]
Compare Mark 8:6. On the occasion of feeding the five thousand, the multitude sat down on the grass ( ἐπὶ τοὺς χότρους ) Matthew 14:19. It was then the month of flowers. Compare Mark 6:39, the green grass, and John 6:10, much grass. On the present occasion, several weeks later, the grass would be burnt up, so that they would sit on the ground. [source]
John 1:30 A man [ἀνὴρ]
Three words are used in the New Testament for man: ἄῤῥην , or ἄρσην , ἀνήρ , and ἄνθρωπος . Ἄρσην marks merely the sexual distinction, male (Romans 1:27; Revelation 12:5, Revelation 12:13). Ἁνήρ denotes the man as distinguished from the woman, as male or as a husband (Acts 8:12; Matthew 1:16), or from a boy (Matthew 14:21). Also man as endowed with courage, intelligence, strength, and other noble attributes (1 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:13; James 3:2). Ἄνθρωπος is generic, without distinction of sex, a human being (John 16:21), though often used in connections which indicate or imply sex, as Matthew 19:10; Matthew 10:35. Used of mankind (Matthew 4:4), or of the people (Matthew 5:13, Matthew 5:16; Matthew 6:5, Matthew 6:18; John 6:10). Of man as distinguished from animals or plants (Matthew 4:19; 2 Peter 2:16), and from God, Christ as divine and angels (Matthew 10:32; John 10:33; Luke 2:15). With the notion of weakness leading to sin, and with a contemptuous sense (1 Corinthians 2:5; 1 Peter 4:2; John 5:12; Romans 9:20). The more honorable and noble sense thus attaches to ἀνήρ rather than to ἄνθρωπος . Thus Herodotus says that when the Medes charged the Greeks, they fell in vast numbers, so that it was manifest to Xerxes that he had many men combatants ( ἄνθρωποι ) but few warriors ( ἄνθρωποι ) vii., 210. So Homer: “O friends, be men ( ἀνέρες ), and take on a stout heart” (“Iliad,” v., 529). Ἁνήρ is therefore used here of Jesus by the Baptist with a sense of dignity. Compare ἄνθρωπος , in John 1:6, where the word implies no disparagement, but is simply indefinite. In John ἀνήρ has mostly the sense of husband (John 4:16-18). See John 6:10. -DIVIDER-

John 6:11 The loaves [τους αρτους]
Those of John 6:9. Having given thanks The usual grace before meals (Deuteronomy 8:10). The Synoptics use “blessed” ευλογησεν — eulogēsen (Mark 6:41; Matthew 14:19; Luke 9:16). He distributed First aorist active indicative of διαδιδωμι — diadidōmi old verb to give to several To them that were set down Present middle participle (dative case) of ανακειμαι — anakeimai old verb to recline like αναπεσειν — anapesein in John 6:10. As much as they would Imperfect active of τελω — thelō “as much as they wished.” [source]
John 6:26 Not because ye saw signs [ουχ οτι ειδετε σημεια]
Second aorist active indicative of the defective verb οραω — horaō They had seen the “signs” wrought by Jesus (John 6:2), but this one had led to wild fanaticism (John 6:14) and complete failure to grasp the spiritual lessons. But because ye ate of the loaves Second aorist active indicative of εστιω — esthiō defective verb. Ye were filled First aorist passive indicative of χορταζω — chortazō from χορτος — chortos (grass) as in John 6:10, to eat grass, then to eat anything, to satisfy hunger. They were more concerned with hungry stomachs than with hungry souls. It was a sharp and deserved rebuke. [source]

What do the individual words in John 6:10 mean?

Said - Jesus Make the men to recline There was now grass much in the place Reclined therefore the men the number about five thousand
Εἶπεν Ἰησοῦς Ποιήσατε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἀναπεσεῖν ἦν δὲ χόρτος πολὺς ἐν τῷ τόπῳ ἀνέπεσαν οὖν οἱ ἄνδρες τὸν ἀριθμὸν ὡς πεντακισχίλιοι

Εἶπεν  Said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
Ἰησοῦς  Jesus 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: Ἰησοῦς  
Sense: Joshua was the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses’ successor.
Ποιήσατε  Make 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: ποιέω  
Sense: to make.
ἀνθρώπους  men 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἄνθρωπος  
Sense: a human being, whether male or female.
ἀναπεσεῖν  to  recline 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: ἀναπίπτω  
Sense: to lie back, lie down.
ἦν  There  was 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
δὲ  now 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
χόρτος  grass 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: χόρτος  
Sense: the place where grass grows and animals graze.
πολὺς  much 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: πολύς  
Sense: many, much, large.
τόπῳ  place 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Singular
Root: τόπος 
Sense: place, any portion or space marked off, as it were from surrounding space.
ἀνέπεσαν  Reclined 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἀναπίπτω  
Sense: to lie back, lie down.
ἄνδρες  men 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀνήρ  
Sense: with reference to sex.
ἀριθμὸν  number 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ἀριθμός  
Sense: a fixed and definite number.
ὡς  about 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡς 
Sense: as, like, even as, etc.
πεντακισχίλιοι  five  thousand 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: πεντακισχίλιοι  
Sense: five thousand.

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