The Meaning of Matthew 14:21 Explained

Matthew 14:21

KJV: And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

YLT: and those eating were about five thousand men, apart from women and children.

Darby: But those that had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

ASV: And they that did eat were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

What does Matthew 14:21 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 14:21

Beside women and children [χωρις γυναικων και παιδιων]
Perhaps on this occasion there were not so many as usual because of the rush of the crowd around the head of the lake. Matthew adds this item and does not mean that the women and children were not fed, but simply that “the eaters” (οι εστιοντες — hoi esthiontes) included five thousand men (ανδρες — andres) besides the women and children. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 14:21

Mark 6:44 Men [ἄνδρες]
Not generic, including men and women; but literally men. Compare Matthew 14:21,beside women and children; a detail which we should have expected from Mark. [source]
Mark 6:44 Men [ανδρες]
Men as different from women as in Matthew 14:21. This remarkable miracle is recorded by all Four Gospels, a nature miracle that only God can work. No talk about accelerating natural processes will explain this miracle. And three eyewitnesses report it: the Logia of Matthew, the eyes of Peter in Mark, the witness of John the Beloved Disciple (Gould). The evidence is overwhelming. [source]
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]
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 4:16-18 where the word implies no disparagement, but is simply indefinite. In John ἀνήρ has mostly the sense of husband (John 1:6,). See John 6:10. -DIVIDER-

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]
Acts 4:4 Men [ανδρων]
Strictly, men and not women, for αντρωπος — anthrōpos is the term for both men and women. But in Luke 11:31 ανδρες — andres seems to include both men and women and that is possible here, though by no means certain, for see note on Matthew 14:21 where the women and children are expressly excepted. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 14:21 mean?

Those then eating were men about five thousand besides women and children
οἱ δὲ ἐσθίοντες ἦσαν ἄνδρες ὡσεὶ πεντακισχίλιοι χωρὶς γυναικῶν καὶ παιδίων

οἱ  Those 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Plural
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἐσθίοντες  eating 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἐσθίω 
Sense: to eat.
ἄνδρες  men 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: ἀνήρ  
Sense: with reference to sex.
ὡσεὶ  about 
Parse: Adverb
Root: ὡσεί  
Sense: as it were, (had been), as though, as, like as, like.
πεντακισχίλιοι  five  thousand 
Parse: Adjective, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: πεντακισχίλιοι  
Sense: five thousand.
χωρὶς  besides 
Parse: Preposition
Root: χωρίς  
Sense: separate, apart.
γυναικῶν  women 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Plural
Root: γυνή  
Sense: a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow.
παιδίων  children 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Plural
Root: παιδίον  
Sense: a young child, a little boy, a little girl.

What are the major concepts related to Matthew 14:21?

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