The Meaning of Matthew 14:20 Explained

Matthew 14:20

KJV: And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.

YLT: and they did all eat, and were filled, and they took up what was over of the broken pieces twelve hand-baskets full;

Darby: And all ate and were filled, and they took up what was over and above of fragments twelve hand-baskets full.

ASV: And they all ate, and were filled: and they took up that which remained over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

What does Matthew 14:20 Mean?

Context Summary

Matthew 14:13-21 - Abundance For The Hungry
Jesus sighed for a little quiet and sought it amid the lonely hills across the lake. The crowds saw where His boat was making for, and hurried round the shore to greet Him. Without a sigh He put away the hope of rest and stillness, and set to work to heal and teach the unshepherded sheep.
This is not only a miracle but a parable. It is thus that the Creator is ever multiplying the slender stores left over from one harvest to produce another. It is thus that He will feed you and yours, if only you will trust him and not run hither and thither in panic. You need not depart from Christ in search of any good thing. All is in Him. When He bids us feed the crowds, He makes Himself ultimately responsible, but paves the way by forcing home the inadequacy of our resources apart from Him. It is as we break and distribute, that the living bread multiplies in our hands. The Church is the intermediary between the living Savior and the desperate hunger of the world. You may sit at the world's table and remain hungry. But at Christ's table you are filled. There is always more than enough left for the distributor. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 14

1  Herod's opinion of Jesus
3  Wherefore John Baptist was beheaded
13  Jesus departs into a solitary place,
15  where he feeds five thousand men with five loves and two fishes
22  He walks on the sea to his disciples;
34  and landing at Gennesaret,
35  heals the sick who touch of the hem of his garment

Greek Commentary for Matthew 14:20

Were filled [εχορταστησαν]
Effective aorist passive indicative of χορταζω — chortazō See note on Matthew 5:6. From the substantive χορτος — chortos grass. Cattle were filled with grass and people usually with other food. They all were satisfied. [source]
Broken pieces [των κλασματων]
Not the scraps upon the ground, but the pieces broken by Jesus and still in the “twelve baskets” One hopes that the boy (John 6:9) who had the five loaves and two fishes to start with got one of the basketsful, if not all of them. Each of the Gospels uses the same word here for baskets In the feeding of the Four Thousand (Matthew and Mark) the word σπυρις — sphuris is used which was a sort of hamper or large provisions basket. [source]
Were filled [ἐχορτάσθησαν]
See on Matthew 5:6. [source]
Baskets [κοφίνους]
Wyc., coffins, a transcription of the Greek word. Juvenal, the Roman satirist, describes the grove of Numa, near the Capenian gate of Rome, as being “let out to the Jews, whose furniture is a basket (cophinus ) and some hay” (for a bed )“Sat. ” iii., 14. These were small hand-baskets, specially provided for the Jews to carry levitically clean food while travelling in Samaria or other heathen districts. The word for basket used in relating the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15:37) is σπυρίς , a large provision-basket or hamper, of the kind used for letting Paul down over the wall at Damascus (Acts 9:25). In Matthew 16:9, Matthew 16:10, Christ, in alluding to the two miracles, observes the distinctive term in each narrative; using κοφίνους in the case of the five thousand, and σπυρίδας in the other. Burgon (“Letters from Rome”) gives a drawing of a wicker basket used by the masons in the cathedral at Sorrento, and called cóffano. He adds, “Who can doubt that the basket of the gospel narrative was of the shape here represented, and that the denomination of this basket exclusively has lingered in a Greek colony, where the Jews (who once carried the cophinus as a personal equipment) formerly lived in great numbers?” [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 14:20

Matthew 5:6 Shall be filled [χορτασθήσονται]
A very strong and graphic word, originally applied to the feeding and fattening of animals in a stall. In Revelation 19:21, it is used of the filling of the birds with the flesh of God's enemies. Also of the multitudes fed with the loaves and fishes (Matthew 14:20; Mark 8:8; Luke 9:17). It is manifestly appropriate here as expressing the complete satisfaction of spiritual hunger and thirst. Hence Wycliffe's rendering, fulfilled, is strictly true to the original. [source]
Matthew 15:37 Baskets [σπυρίδας]
See on Matthew 14:20. [source]
Matthew 16:8  []
Jesus asks four pungent questions about the intellectual dulness, refers to the feeding of the five thousand and uses the word κοπινους — kophinous ( Matthew 14:20 ) for it and σπυριδας — sphuridas for the four thousand ( Matthew 15:37 ), and repeats his warning ( Matthew 16:11 ). Every teacher understands this strain upon the patience of this Teacher of teachers. [source]
Mark 8:9 Baskets []
See on Matthew 14:20. [source]
Mark 6:43 Baskets full [κοφίνων πληρώματα]
Lit., fillings of baskets. See on Matthew 14:20. Mark alone adds, and of the fishes. [source]
Mark 6:41 Brake the loaves; and he gave to the disciples [και απο των ιχτυων]
Apparently the fishes were in excess of the twelve baskets full of broken pieces of bread. See note on Matthew 14:20 for discussion of kophinos and sphuris the two kinds of baskets. [source]
Luke 9:17 Baskets []
See on sa40" translation="">Matthew 14:20.sa40 [source]
Luke 15:16 Filled his belly [γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν]
The texts vary. The Rev. follows the reading χορτασθῆναι , “He would fain have been filled, ” using the same word which is employed offilling those who hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6, see note), and of the five thousand (Matthew 14:20). He had wanted the wrong thing all along, and it was no better now. All he wanted was to fill his belly. [source]
Luke 9:17 Twelve baskets [κοπινοι δωδεκα]
For discussion of κοπονοι — kophonoi and σπυριδες — sphurides as well as of κλασματα — klasmata (broken pieces) See Mark 6:43; note on Matthew 14:20. [source]
John 6:13 Baskets [κοφίνους]
See on Matthew 14:20. Wyc., coffins. [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]
Acts 9:25 Basket [σπυρίδι]
See on Matthew 14:20. In Paul's account of this adventure he uses σαργάνη , a plaited or braided basket of wicker-work; or, as some think, of ropes. [source]
2 Corinthians 11:33 Basket [σαργάνῃ]
Lit., braided work; a rope-basket or hamper. Luke, in his narrative of the incident, uses σπυρίς , for which see on Matthew 14:20. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 14:20 mean?

And ate all were satisfied they took up that being over and above of the fragments twelve hand-baskets full
Καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες ἐχορτάσθησαν ἦραν τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων δώδεκα κοφίνους πλήρεις

ἔφαγον  ate 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: ἐσθίω  
Sense: to eat.
ἐχορτάσθησαν  were  satisfied 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Passive, 3rd Person Plural
Root: χορτάζω  
Sense: to feed with herbs, grass, hay, to fill, satisfy with food, to fatten.
ἦραν  they  took  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: αἴρω  
Sense: to raise up, elevate, lift up.
τὸ  that 
Parse: Article, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
περισσεῦον  being  over  and  above 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: περισσεύω  
Sense: to exceed a fixed number of measure, to be left over and above a certain number or measure.
τῶν  of  the 
Parse: Article, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κλασμάτων  fragments 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: κλάσμα  
Sense: a fragment, broken piece.
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.
πλήρεις  full 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: πλήρης  
Sense: full, i.e. filled up (as opposed to empty).