The Meaning of John 6:13 Explained

John 6:13

KJV: Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

YLT: they gathered together, therefore, and filled twelve hand-baskets with broken pieces, from the five barley loaves that were over to those having eaten.

Darby: They gathered them therefore together, and filled twelve hand-baskets full of fragments of the five barley loaves, which were over and above to those that had eaten.

ASV: So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten.

What does John 6:13 Mean?

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 6:13

Twelve baskets [δωδεκα κοπινους]
One for each of the apostles. What about the lad? Stout wicker baskets (coffins, Wycliff) in distinction from the soft and frail σπυριδες — sphurides used at the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:8; Matthew 15:37). Here all the Gospels (Mark 6:43; Matthew 14:20; Luke 9:17; John 6:13) use κοπινοι — kophinoi The same distinction between κοπινοι — kophinoi and σπυριδες — sphurides is preserved in the allusion to the incidents by Jesus in Mark 8:19, Mark 8:20; Matthew 16:9, Matthew 16:10. Unto them that had eaten Articular perfect active participle (dative case) of βιβρωσκω — bibrōskō old verb to eat, only here in N.T., though often in lxx. [source]
Baskets [κοφίνους]
See on Matthew 14:20. Wyc., coffins. [source]
With the fragments, etc. []
John goes into fuller detail than the Synoptists. Mark alone notes the gathering of the remains of the fishes. John also uses ἐγέμισαν , filled, for they took up, or were taken up, of the Synoptists. [source]
Five barley loaves []
A detail peculiar to John, emphasizing the identity of the fragments with the original loaves. [source]
Unto them that had eaten [βεβρωκόσιν]
Only here in the New Testament. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for John 6:13

John 6:9 Barley [κριθίνους]
A detail peculiar to John. The word occurs in the New Testament only here and John 6:13. An inferior sort of bread is indicated by the term. Pliny and some of the Jewish writers describe barley as food fit for beasts. Suetonius speaks of a turgid rhetorician as a barley orator, inflated like barley in moisture: and Livy relates how cohorts which had lost their standards were ordered barley for food. [source]
John 6:9 A lad here [παιδαριον ωδε]
Old word, diminutive of παις — pais here only in N.T., not genuine in Matthew 11:16. How he came to have this small supply we do not know. Barley Adjective, here and John 6:13 only in N.T., in the papyri, from κριτη — krithē barley (Revelation 6:6). Considered an inferior sort of bread. Fishes Late diminutive of οπσον — opson common in papyri and inscriptions for delicacies with bread like fish. In N.T. only here, John 6:11; John 21:9-13. Synoptics have ιχτυας — ichthuas f0). [source]
John 6:13 Twelve baskets [δωδεκα κοπινους]
One for each of the apostles. What about the lad? Stout wicker baskets (coffins, Wycliff) in distinction from the soft and frail σπυριδες — sphurides used at the feeding of the four thousand (Mark 8:8; Matthew 15:37). Here all the Gospels (Mark 6:43; Matthew 14:20; Luke 9:17; John 6:13) use κοπινοι — kophinoi The same distinction between κοπινοι — kophinoi and σπυριδες — sphurides is preserved in the allusion to the incidents by Jesus in Mark 8:19, Mark 8:20; Matthew 16:9, Matthew 16:10. Unto them that had eaten Articular perfect active participle (dative case) of βιβρωσκω — bibrōskō old verb to eat, only here in N.T., though often in lxx. [source]
James 5:2 Are corrupted [σεσηπεν]
Second perfect active indicative of σηπω — sēpō (root σαπ — sap as in σαπρος — sapros rotten), to corrupt, to destroy, here intransitive “has rotted.” Only here in N.T. On the worthlessness of mere wealth see Matthew 6:19, Matthew 6:24.Were moth-eaten (σητοβρωτα γεγονεν — sētobrōta gegonen). “Have become (second perfect indicative of γινομαι — ginomai singular number, though ιματια — himatia neuter plural, treated collectively) moth-eaten” (σητοβρωτα — sētobrōta late and rare compound from σης — sēs moth, Matthew 6:19. and βρωτος — brōtos verbal adjective of βιβρωσκω — bibrōskō to eat John 6:13. This compound found only here, Job 13:28, Sibyll. Orac. Proem. 64). Rich robes as heirlooms, but moth-eaten. Vivid picture. Witness the 250 “lost millionaires” in the United States in 1931 as compared with 1929. Riches have wings. [source]
Revelation 2:7 Of the tree [ἐκ ξύλου]
The preposition ἐκ outof occurs one hundred and twenty-seven times in Revelation, and its proper signification is almost universally out of; but this rendering in many of the passages would be so strange and unidiomatic, that the New Testament Revisers have felt themselves able to adopt it only forty-one times out of all that number, and employ of, from, by, with, on, at, because of, by reason of, from among. See, for instance, Revelation 2:7, Revelation 2:21, Revelation 2:22; Revelation 6:4, Revelation 6:10; Revelation 8:11; Revelation 9:18; Revelation 14:13; Revelation 15:2; Revelation 16:21. Compare John 3:31; John 4:13, John 6:13, John 6:39, John 6:51; John 8:23, John 8:44; John 9:6; John 11:1; John 12:3, John 12:27, John 12:32; John 17:5. Tree, lit., wood. See on Luke 23:31; see on 1 Peter 2:24. Dean Plumptre notes the fact that, prominent as this symbol had been in the primeval history, it had remained unnoticed in the teaching where we should most have looked for its presence - in that of the Psalmist and Prophets of the Old Testament. Only in the Proverbs of Solomon had it been used, in a sense half allegorical and half mystical (Proverbs 3:18; Proverbs 13:12; Proverbs 11:30; Proverbs 15:4). The revival of the symbol in Revelation is in accordance with the theme of the restitution of all things. “The tree which disappeared with the disappearance of the earthly Paradise, reappears with the reappearance of the heavenly.” To eat of the tree of life expresses participation in the life eternal. The figure of the tree of life appears in all mythologies from India to Scandinavia. The Rabbins and Mohammedans called the vine the probation tree. The Zend Avesta has its tree of life called the Death-Destroyer. It grows by the waters of life, and the drinking of its sap confers immortality. The Hindu tree of life is pictured as growing out of a great seed in the midst of an expanse of water. It has three branches, each crowned with a sun, denoting the three powers of creation, preservation, and renovation after destruction. In another representation Budha sits in meditation under a tree with three branches, each branch having three stems. One of the Babylonian cylinders discovered by Layard, represents three priestesses gathering the fruit of what seems to be a palm-tree with three branches on each side. Athor, the Venus of the Egyptians, appears half-concealed in the branches of the sacred peach-tree, giving to the departed soul the fruit, and the drink of heaven from a vial from which the streams of life descend upon the spirit, a figure at the foot of the tree, like a hawk, with a human head and with hands outstretched. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
In the Norse mythology a prominent figure is Igdrasil, the Ash-tree of Existence; its roots in the kingdom of Eels or Death, its trunk reaching to heaven, and its boughs spread over the whole universe. At its foot, in the kingdom of Death, sit three Nornas or Fates, the Past, the Present, and the Future, watering its roots from the sacred well. Compare Revelation 22:2, Revelation 22:14, Revelation 22:19. Virgil, addressing Dante at the completion of the ascent of the Purgatorial Mount, says:“That apple sweet, which through so many branchesThe care of mortals goeth in pursuit of, Today shall put in peace thy hungerings.”“Purgatorio,” xxvii., 115-117. ParadiseSee on Luke 23:43. Omit in the midst of. Παράδεισος Paradise“passes through a series of meanings, each one higher than the last. From any garden of delight, which is its first meaning, it comes to be predominantly applied to the garden of Eden, then to the resting-place of separate souls in joy and felicity, and lastly to the very heaven itself; and we see eminently in it, what we see indeed in so many words, how revealed religion assumes them into her service, and makes them vehicles of far higher truth than any which they knew at first, transforming and transfiguring them, as in this case, from glory to glory” (Trench). [source]

What do the individual words in John 6:13 mean?

They gathered together therefore and filled twelve hand-baskets of fragments from the five loaves - barley which were over and above to those having eaten
συνήγαγον οὖν καὶ ἐγέμισαν δώδεκα κοφίνους κλασμάτων ἐκ τῶν πέντε ἄρτων τῶν κριθίνων ἐπερίσσευσαν τοῖς βεβρωκόσιν

συνήγαγον  They  gathered  together 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: συνάγω  
Sense: to gather together, to gather.
ἐγέμισαν  filled 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: γεμίζω  
Sense: to fill, fill full.
δώδεκα  twelve 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: δώδεκα  
Sense: twelve.
κοφίνους  hand-baskets 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: κόφινος  
Sense: a basket, wicker basket.
κλασμάτων  of  fragments 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: κλάσμα  
Sense: a fragment, broken piece.
πέντε  five 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: πέντε  
Sense: five.
ἄρτων  loaves 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: ἄρτος  
Sense: food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.
τῶν  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κριθίνων  barley 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Masculine Plural
Root: κρίθινος  
Sense: of barley, made of barley.
ἐπερίσσευσαν  were  over  and  above 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: περισσεύω  
Sense: to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure.
τοῖς  to  those 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
βεβρωκόσιν  having  eaten 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Participle Active, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: βιβρώσκω  
Sense: to eat.