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Why the pointed reference to the original "five barley loaves" in John 6:13 when leftovers were collected?

John 6:9-John 6:13

In 6:13, the leftovers are from the miracle food. Why is the reference to the "fragments of the five barley loaves" significant?

John 6:13

ESV - 13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten.

Clarify Share Report Asked June 16 2019 Mini venkatesan Iyer

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Mini chris ertell

I've added a +1 to the question. I read someplace, years ago, that there was great significance to those numbers, and that anybody with half a brain who was there at the time should have seen it. I have this vague notion that the 12 refers to the 12 original tribes of Israel. Bible scholar? Help? Jewish interpreters, help?

June 17 2019 Report

Mini venkatesan Iyer

Then number "five" may also have specific meaning.

June 18 2019 Report

Mini Tim Maas

One interpretation that I have seen contends that the twelve baskets represented the future evangelizing of the twelve tribes of Israel (since the feeding of the five thousand occurred at a location within Israel (west of the Jordan River), whereas the seven baskets gathered after the separate feeding of four thousand (Matthew 15:32-39; Mark 8:1-9), which occurred in the region of the Decapolis (the "Ten Towns"), where Gentiles also lived, represented the future evangelizing of the Gentiles, since there had been seven Gentile nations that the Israelites had displaced when they occupied the Promised Land (Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites)(Deuteronomy 7:1-2). The difficulties that I have with these interpretations are, first, that there is no indication of Jesus having said anything about such significance. Also, if the meaning of these numbers would have been so clear at the time, why did the apostles themselves exhibit such subsequent confusion in the book of Acts over whether Gentles could be accepted as Christians, to the point where Peter had to be given a separate vision from God in that regard? I'm not saying that such "deep readings" are not possible, but, to me, they divert those who become involved with them from the simplicity of the gospel message and the greater priority of conveying it to others, and also lead down a dangerous road toward numerological practices that God condemned (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

June 18 2019 Report

Pete van zyl Pete Van Zyl

The no 5 signifies grace in the Bible! Jesus came to save us and deliver us from our destruction. He was/is the Face of God on earth--in person! God's grace in supply is ALWAYS greater than mankind's need. He always provides more than enough!

June 22 2019 Report

Mini James Marstaller

The 12 baskets would have referred to the 12 tribes of Israel. The 7 baskets (from the feeding of the 4000) referred to the Gentiles (Deut. 7:1 and a couple of other places in Joshua). I wonder if the 5 barley loaves is pointing to 5 of the apostles being sent specifically to the Jews (Peter being one of the 5). We believe through other writings that some of the apostles were sent to Gentiles, ie: Thomas went to India.

June 22 2019 Report

Mini venkatesan Iyer

Who are the five apostles?

June 22 2019 Report

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