The Meaning of Matthew 15:36 Explained

Matthew 15:36

KJV: And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

YLT: and having taken the seven loaves and the fishes, having given thanks, he did break, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

Darby: and having taken the seven loaves and the fishes, having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples, and the disciples to the crowd.

ASV: and he took the seven loaves and the fishes; and he gave thanks and brake, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.

What does Matthew 15:36 Mean?

Context Summary

Matthew 15:29-39 - Ministering To The Multitudes
Our Lord's mission of grace and truth was at its height. His help was sought with the utmost eagerness. Large numbers of sick were cast at His feet in hot haste. The crumb was given to the woman of Canaan, but whole loaves were distributed to the crowds of Jews, because it was befitting that they should have a full chance to appreciate and accept Christ. For a brief moment they glorified the God of Israel, but the spasm of gratitude was transient. "His own" rejected Jesus. They would have His miracles, but would not own His claims. Take care that you do not become content with getting His help; love Him for Himself.
Do not suppose that these miracles were confined to His earthly life. He is still the great storehouse of divine and healing energy. He is still moved with compassion, and longs to help each weary and sin-sick soul. His thought still is lest they faint by the way. The wilderness can place no bar on "the saving strength of His right hand." Disciples especially are meant to be intermediaries and mediators. They take and give. [source]

Chapter Summary: Matthew 15

1  Jesus reproves the Scribes and Pharisees
7  for transgressing God's commandments through their own traditions;
10  teaches how that which goes into the mouth does not defile a man
21  He heals the daughter of the woman of Canaan,
29  and other great multitudes;
32  and with seven loaves and a few small fish feeds four thousand men

Greek Commentary for Matthew 15:36

Gave thanks [ευχαριστησας]
In Matthew 14:19 the word used for “grace” or “blessing” is ευλογησεν — eulogēsen Vincent notes that the Jewish custom was for the head of the house to say the blessing only if he shared the meal unless the guests were his own household. But we need not think of Jesus as bound by the peccadilloes of Jewish customs. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 15:36

Matthew 15:34 Little fishes [ἰχθύδια]
Diminutive. The disciples make their provision seem as small as possible. In Matthew 15:36 the diminutive is not used. [source]
1 Timothy 4:5 By the word of God [διὰ λογοῦ θεοῦ]
That is, by the word of God as used in the prayer. Scripture is not called “the Word of God.” The Word of God includes much more than Scripture: but Scripture contains the Word of God, and the thanksgiving at table was in the words of Scripture. See Psalm 145:15, Psalm 145:16. The custom of grace at meat appears 1 Samuel 9:13. Christ blessed the loaves and fishes (Matthew 14:19; Matthew 15:36): Paul on the ship gave thanks for the meal which the seamen ate (Acts 27:35). Ἑντεύξεως prayersee on 1 Timothy 2:1. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 15:36 mean?

having taken the seven loaves and fish having given thanks He broke [them] was giving to disciples - and the disciples to the crowd
ἔλαβεν τοὺς ἑπτὰ ἄρτους καὶ ἰχθύας εὐχαριστήσας ἔκλασεν ἐδίδου τοῖς μαθηταῖς οἱ δὲ μαθηταὶ τοῖς ὄχλοις

ἔλαβεν  having  taken 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: λαμβάνω  
Sense: to take.
ἑπτὰ  seven 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἑπτά  
Sense: seven.
ἄρτους  loaves 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἄρτος  
Sense: food composed of flour mixed with water and baked.
ἰχθύας  fish 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Plural
Root: ἰχθύς  
Sense: a fish.
εὐχαριστήσας  having  given  thanks 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Participle Active, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: εὐχαριστέω  
Sense: to be grateful, feel thankful.
ἔκλασεν  He  broke  [them] 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κλάω  
Sense: to break.
ἐδίδου  was  giving 
Parse: Verb, Imperfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: διδῶ 
Sense: to give.
μαθηταῖς  disciples 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: μαθητής  
Sense: a learner, pupil, disciple.
οἱ  - 
Parse: Article, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
δὲ  and  the 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: δέ  
Sense: but, moreover, and, etc.
μαθηταὶ  disciples 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Masculine Plural
Root: μαθητής  
Sense: a learner, pupil, disciple.
τοῖς  to  the 
Parse: Article, Dative Masculine Plural
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ὄχλοις  crowd 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: ὄχλος  
Sense: a crowd.