The Meaning of Matthew 15:37 Explained

Matthew 15:37

KJV: And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.

YLT: And they did all eat, and were filled, and they took up what was over of the broken pieces seven baskets full,

Darby: And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was over and above of the fragments seven baskets full;

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

What does Matthew 15:37 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 15:37

Baskets [σπυρίδας]
See on Matthew 14:20. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Matthew 15:37

Matthew 14:20 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]
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]
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 Lowering him [αυτον χαλασαντες]
First aorist active participle of χαλαω — chalaō old and common verb in a nautical sense (Acts 27:17, Acts 27:30) as well as otherwise as here. Same verb used by Paul of this experience (2 Corinthians 11:33). In a basket (εν σπυριδι — en sphuridi). The word used when the four thousand were fed (Mark 8:8; Matthew 15:37). A large basket plaited of reeds and distinguished in Mark 8:19. (Matthew 16:9.) from the smaller κοπινος — kophinos Paul uses σαργανη — sarganē a basket made of ropes. This escape by night by the help of the men whom he had come to destroy was a shameful memory to Paul (2 Corinthians 11:33). Wendt thinks that the coincidences in language here prove that Luke had read II Corinthians. That, of course, is quite possible. [source]
Acts 9:25 In a basket [εν σπυριδι]
The word used when the four thousand were fed (Mark 8:8; Matthew 15:37). A large basket plaited of reeds and distinguished in Mark 8:19. (Matthew 16:9.) from the smaller κοπινος — kophinos Paul uses σαργανη — sarganē a basket made of ropes. This escape by night by the help of the men whom he had come to destroy was a shameful memory to Paul (2 Corinthians 11:33). Wendt thinks that the coincidences in language here prove that Luke had read II Corinthians. That, of course, is quite possible. [source]

What do the individual words in Matthew 15:37 mean?

And ate all were satisfied that being over and above of the fragments they took up seven baskets full
Καὶ ἔφαγον πάντες ἐχορτάσθησαν τὸ περισσεῦον τῶν κλασμάτων ἦραν ἑπτὰ σπυρίδας 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.
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.
ἦραν  they  took  up 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Plural
Root: αἴρω  
Sense: to raise up, elevate, lift up.
ἑπτὰ  seven 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: ἑπτά  
Sense: seven.
σπυρίδας  baskets 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: σπυρίς  
Sense: a reed basket, (a plaited basket, a lunch basket, hamper).
πλήρεις  full 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Feminine Plural
Root: πλήρης  
Sense: full, i.e. filled up (as opposed to empty).