The Life and Teachings
of Jesus
A Restatement of the Gospels

54. Feeding the Five Thousand

        31Jesus said to the apostles, “Let us go away by ourselves to a lonely place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32And they went away in the boat to a lonely placea by themselves. 33Now many saw them going, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. 34When Jesus went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. 35And when it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a lonely place, and the hour is now late; 36send them away, to go into the country and villages around about and buy themselves something to eat.”
        37But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.”
And they said to him, “Shall we go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?”
        38And he said to them, “How many loaves have you? Go and see.”
And when they had found out, they said, “Five loaves, and two fish.”
        39Then he commanded them all to sit down by companies upon the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups, by hundreds and by fifties. 41And taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed them, and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. 42And they all ate and were satisfied. 43And they took up twelve baskets full of fragments, and of the fish. 44And those who ate the loaves and the fish were five thousand.
        (Mk. 6:31–44)

a   “And they went away in the boat to a lonely place”—John, in discussing this event states only that they went “to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.” (Jn. 6:1) Since Jesus' early ministry centers around Capernaum and they “went away in the boat,” they probably left from Capernaum. They returned to Capernaum after the feeding of the 5,000. (Ch. 56, Jn. 6:23–26)
        Where did they go? The most likely location is the area of Bethsaida-Julias. There was a public park at Magidan, just south of Bethsaida-Julias, on the other side of the Sea of Galilee and less than five miles away by boat. (See map on page 24.)

Mk. 6:31  Jesus said to the apostles, “Let us go away by ourselves to / And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to (RSV)
Mk. 6:33  going, and / going, and knew them, and (RSV)
Mk. 6:34  When Jesus went / As he went (RSV)
Mk. 6:38  Five loaves, and / Five, and (RSV)
Mk. 6:43  (KJV) • the fish (RSV) / the fishes (KJV)
Mk. 6:44  loaves and the fish were / loaves were (RSV)   (152:2/1700–2)