Matthew 14:20

20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.

Read Matthew 14:20 Using Other Translations

And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers.

What does Matthew 14:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Matthew 14:20

And they did all eat
Christ and his twelve disciples, and the five thousand men, with the women and children, of the five loaves and two fishes; everyone had their portion,

and were filled;
they were satisfied, they had a full meal, they had enough, and to spare; see ( 2 Chronicles 31:10 ) which the Targumist paraphrases thus.

``And Azariah said unto him, who was appointed chief over the house of Zadok, and said, from the time that they began to separate the offering, to bring it into the sanctuary of the Lord, (Nyebvw Nylka) , "we have eat and are filled", and have "left much"; for "the word of the Lord" hath blessed his people, and what is left, lo! it is this plenty of good.''

The Jews used not to reckon it a meal, unless a man was filled, and account it an ill sign, if nothing was left: but here was fulness, and more left than was first had; which was gathered up, either for the use of the poor, or reserved for after service; teaching us liberality to the needy, and frugality, not to waste that which is left.

And they took up of the fragments that remained, twelve baskets
according to the number of the disciples, every man had his basket full. It may be inquired, where they could have so many baskets in the wilderness? It is not likely, that everyone of the apostles had a basket with him; it is indeed not improbable, but that they might be furnished with them from some in the company, who might bring provisions with them, either for their own use, or to sell; see ( John 6:9 ) but perhaps the reason why they were so easily supplied with such a number of baskets in a desert place, might be a custom which the Jews F8 had of carrying baskets with hay and straw, in commemoration of what they did in Egypt; when they were obliged to carry bricks in baskets, and to go about and pick up straw in baskets to make bricks; hence the F9 Epigrammatist calls a "Jew", "cistifer", a "basket bearer", or "carrier"; and Juvenal F11 laughs at these people, as if all their household goods lay in a basket, and a little hay, or straw: it is said of R. Siraeon, that when he went to the school, (anu lyqv) , "he carried a basket" on his shoulders F12; the gloss suggests, it was to sit upon; but a basket is not very proper for a seat; very likely it was for the above reason: such a custom will account for it, how such a number of baskets could be come at in the wilderness.


F8 Nicholas de Lyra, in Psal. lxxxi. 6.
F9 Nubere: nupsisti Gellia Cistifero. Martial. Epigram. 1. 5. ep. 17.
F11 Judaeis: quorum Cophinus foenumque supellex. Juvenal. Satyr. 3. cum dedit ille locum, Cophino, foenoque relicto. ib. Satyr. 6.
F12 T. Bab. Nedarim, fol. 49. 2.
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