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

Greek : 

Literal Verse: 

They have no real reason to go away. Give to them, you yourselves, to eat. 

KJV : 

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

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

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, but, strangely enough, afterwards, Christ dismisses the crowd anyway. The only logical purpose for keeping them together was to feed them, which, of course, is symbolic of teaching them.

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

"They 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?"

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact.

The word translated as "depart" means "to go away, ""to depart from", "to spread abroad," and "to depart from life." It is an infinitive.

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

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.

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. It is not clear from the story that the crowd knew what was happening.

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


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

δότε (verb 2nd pl aor imperat act) "Give" is from 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. (verb aor inf act) "To Eat" is from phago (phago), which is a form of the word, phagein, which means to eat", "to eat up," and "to devour."