The Meaning of Luke 9:14 Explained

Luke 9:14

KJV: For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.

YLT: for they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, 'Cause them to recline in companies, in each fifty;'

Darby: for they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down in companies by fifties.

ASV: For they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, Make them sit down in companies, about fifty each.

What does Luke 9:14 Mean?

Context Summary

Luke 9:11-17 - "give Ye Them To Eat"
Christ feeds the world by His Church. The disciples passed the bread from His hands to those of the hungry crowds. What an honor that though we are least of saints we should have this opportunity of co-operation! But how often are we prepared for our work by being compelled to study the inadequacy of our resources. The only thing for us to do is to place them at His disposal.
But the bread of life is sufficient for all mankind. "They"¦ were all filled." There is a universal adaptation between hunger and bread. Other foods are confined to special countries and districts, but bread is for the educated and ignorant, the rich and poor, the old and young. So with Jesus Christ. To every soul on earth His living, dying love makes its appeal, and is enough to satisfy.
The fragments feed the distributers. More was left over than had been possessed at first. To impart to others is to gain for oneself. Fling the seed broadcast. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you! [source]

Chapter Summary: Luke 9

1  Jesus sends his apostles to work miracles, and to preach
7  Herod desires to see Jesus
10  The apostles return
12  Jesus feeds five thousand;
18  inquires what opinion the world had of him; foretells his passion;
23  proposes to all the pattern of his patience
28  The transfiguration
37  He heals the lunatic;
43  again forewarns his disciples of his passion;
46  commends humility;
51  bids them to show mildness toward all, without desire of revenge
57  Many would follow him, but upon conditions

Greek Commentary for Luke 9:14

About [ωσει]
Luke as Matthew 14:21 adds this word to the definite statement of Mark 6:44 that there were 5, 000 men, a hundred companies of fifty each. [source]
Sit down [κατακλινατε]
First aorist active imperative. Recline, lie down. Only in Luke in the N.T. See also Luke 9:15.In companies (κλισιας — klisias). Cognate accusative after ωσει ανα πεντηκοντα — kataklinate Only here in the N.T. A row of persons reclining at meals (table company).About fifty each Distributive use of ωσει — ana and approximate number again (hōsei). [source]
In companies [κλισιας]
Cognate accusative after ωσει ανα πεντηκοντα — kataklinate Only here in the N.T. A row of persons reclining at meals (table company). [source]
About fifty each [ανα]
Distributive use of ωσει — ana and approximate number again (hōsei). [source]
In a company [κλισίας]
The plural, in companies. Lit., table-companies. The word is also used in classical Greek of a couch for reclining at table. Only here in New Testament. See on Mark 6:39. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Luke 9:14

Luke 14:8 Sit not down [μη κατακλιτηις]
First aorist (ingressive) passive subjunctive of κατακλινω — kataklinō to recline. Old verb, but peculiar to Luke in the N.T. (Luke 7:36; Luke 9:14; Luke 14:8; Luke 24:30). [source]

What do the individual words in Luke 9:14 mean?

They were for about men five thousand He said then to the disciples of Him Make sit down them groups of about in fifty
ἦσαν γὰρ ὡσεὶ ἄνδρες πεντακισχίλιοι Εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ Κατακλίνατε αὐτοὺς κλισίας ὡσεὶ ἀνὰ πεντήκοντα

ἦσαν  They  were 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: εἰμί  
Sense: to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.
ὡσεὶ  about 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡσεί  
Sense: as it were, (had been), as though, as, like as, like.
ἄνδρες  men 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀνήρ  
Sense: with reference to sex.
πεντακισχίλιοι  five  thousand 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: πεντακισχίλιοι  
Sense: five thousand.
Εἶπεν  He  said 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λέγω  
Sense: to speak, say.
μαθητὰς  disciples 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: μαθητής  
Sense: a learner, pupil, disciple.
αὐτοῦ  of  Him 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Masculine 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
Κατακλίνατε  Make  sit  down 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Imperative Active, 2nd Person Plural
Root: κατακλίνω  
Sense: in the NT in reference to eating, to make to recline.
κλισίας  groups 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: κλισία  
Sense: a hut erected to pass the night in.
ὡσεὶ  of  about 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡσεί  
Sense: as it were, (had been), as though, as, like as, like.
πεντήκοντα  fifty 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: πεντήκοντα  
Sense: fifty.

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