Matthew 14:21

21 About five thousand were fed.

Matthew 14:21 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 14:21

And they that had eaten were about five thousand men,
&c.] The word "about", is omitted in the Vulgate Latin, in Munster's Hebrew Gospel, and in the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic versions, which expressly say there were so many. A large number indeed, to be fed with five loaves and two fishes!

besides women and children;
who were not taken into the account, though they all ate, and were filled, it not being usual with the Jews to number their women; and who might be near as large a number as the men: for generally there is a very great concourse of the female sex, and of children, where anything extraordinary, or out of the way, is to be seen or heard; and of this sort was a large number of Christ's audience, who only came out of curiosity, or for one sinister end or another.

Matthew 14:21 In-Context

19 Then he had the people sit on the grass. He took the five loaves and two fish, lifted his face to heaven in prayer, blessed, broke, and gave the bread to the disciples. The disciples then gave the food to the congregation.
20 They all ate their fill. They gathered twelve baskets of leftovers.
21 About five thousand were fed.
22 As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people.
23 With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.