Matthew 14:16 They need not depart; give them to eat.

Spoken to: 

Apostles

Context: 

Big Gathering in Desert

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

No reason have they to depart. Give to them, you yourselves, to eat. 

KJV : 

Matthew 14:16 They need not depart; give ye them to eat .

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

It is not clear from the story that the crowd knew what was happening. Several things are hidden here. The word translated as "need" also means "having a reason." The word translated as "depart" also means "to depart life." The use of "you" here emphasizes that his followers need to act.

The miracle of the loaves and fishes follows this statement, but afterwards, Jesus dismisses the crowd anyway. The only logical purpose for keeping them together was to feed them, which, of course, is symbolic of teaching them.

NIV : 

Matthew 14:16 They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

Wordplay: 

The word translated as "depart" also means "to depart from life. 

Since "eating," while symbolic of the flesh, is also a metaphor for understanding God to win eternal life  ("eating my flesh: John 6:54)  .

So this verse also means "people have no reason to die. You give them to eat (of my word). 

Related Verses: 

Greek Vocabulary: 

Οὐ (partic) "Not" is from ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. -

χρείαν [12 verses](noun sg fem acc) "Need of" is from chreia , which means "need", "want", "poverty", "a request of a necessity", "business", "military service", "a business affair", "employment", "familiarity", "intimacy," and "maxim."

ἔχουσιν (verb 3rd pl pres ind act) Untranslated is echo, which means "to have", "to hold", "to possess", "to keep", "to have charge of", "to maintain", "to hold fast", "to bear", "to keep close", "to keep safe," and "to have means to do."

ἀπελθεῖν: [22 verses](verb aor inf act) "Depart" is aperchomai, which means "to go away, ""to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life."

δότε [147 verses](verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Give" is didomi, which means "to give", "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

αὐτοῖς (adj pl masc dat) "Them" is from autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord." -- The word translated as "him" is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The word technically means "the same," and when used as a pronoun can mean "the true self" as opposed to appearances.

ὑμεῖς (pron 2nd pl nom)"You" is from hymeis (humeis), which are the singular nominative form of the second person, "you."

φαγεῖν. [19 verses](verb aor inf act) "To Eat" is phago, which is a form of the word, phagein, which means to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour."

KJV Analysis: 

Untranslated is the verb that means "have", "to possess" or "to keep."

They -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

need  - (WF) "Need" is actually a noun, that means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "reason" and "purpose" in the sense of "what is the need or purpose to do something?"

untranslated "have"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English. 

not - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. This negative only negates the word "need" not the whole clause. It starts the verse.

depart;  - (WF) The word translated as "depart" means "to go away, ""to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." It is an infinitive not an active verb.

give  - "Give" also means "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

ye -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the second sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you." The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners.

missing "yourselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourself."

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

eat . -- The verb which means to eat," also means "to eat up," and "to devour."

KJV Translation Issues: 

4
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "need" is not a verb but a noun.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The have "have" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "depart" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to depart."
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourselves."

NIV Analysis: 

They -- This is from the third-person, plural form of the verb.

do -- This helping verb is used to create questions, commands, negative statements, and smooth word flow in English, but the Greek could be either a question or a statement.

not - The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. This negative only negates the word "need" not the whole clause. It starts the verse.

need  - (WF) "Need" is actually a noun, that means "need" and "poverty," but it also means "reason" and "purpose" in the sense of "what is the need or purpose to do something?"

untranslated "have"  -- (MW) The untranslated word  "have" means to "have", "possess", "bear", "keep close", "have means to do",  "to have due to one", or "keep" and many specific uses. This verb isn't used to form past tenses as it is in English.

go away;  - (WF) The word translated as "go awau" means "to go away, ""to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." It is an infinitive not an active verb.

give  - "Give" also means "to grant", "to hand over", "appoint", "establish," and "to describe."

give them to eat.”

You -- The pronoun "you" is used explicitly as the subject of the second sentence. Since it is already part of the verb, its use creates emphasis on the "you." The "you" here is plural, indicating many of Christ's listeners.

missing "yourselves" -- (MW)  The subjective pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourself."

them -- The word translated as "them" is the Greek word commonly translated as third-person pronouns in English.

something -- (IW) There is nothing that can be translated as "something" in the Greek source.

to -- This "to" is added because the infinitive form of the verb requires a "to" in English.

eat . -- The verb which means to eat," also means "to eat up," and "to devour."

NIV Translation Issues: 

5
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "need" is not a verb but a noun.
  • MW - Missing Word -- The have "have" is not shown in the English translation.
  • WF - Wrong Form -  The "go away" is not an active verb but an infinitive, "to go away."
  • MW -- Missing Word  -- The pronoun repeats the information in the verb so it should be repeated in English like "you yourselves."
  • IW - Inserted Word -- The word "something" doesn't exist in the source.

Possible Symbolic Meaning: 

As we know, eating, bread, and fishes are all Christ's symbols for physical reality. The only purpose for this miracle is to demonstrate his control of physical reality with a crowd.

Front Page Date: 

Jan 9 2021