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Origen, COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW Complete

Translated by John Patrick.

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Page 47

2. Exposition of the Details of the Miracle.

Jesus, then, because of the power which He gave to the disciples, even the power of nourishing others, said, Give ye them to eat. [5344] But (not denying that they can give loaves, but thinking that there were much too few and not sufficient to feed those who followed Jesus, and not considering that when Jesus takes each loaf--the Word--He extends it as far as He wills, and makes it suffice for all whomsoever He desires to nourish), the disciples say, We have here but five loaves and two fishes. [5345] Perhaps by the five loaves they meant to make a veiled reference to the sensible words of the Scriptures, corresponding in number on this account to the five senses, but by the two fishes either to the word expressed [5346] and the word conceived, [5347] which are a relish, so to speak, to the sensible things contained in the Scriptures; or, perhaps, to the word which had come to them about the Father and the Son. Wherefore also after His resurrection He ate of a broiled fish, [5348] having taken a part from the disciples, and having received that theology about the Father which they were in part able to declare to Him. Such is the contribution we have been able to give to the exposition of the word about the five loaves and the two fishes; and probably those, who are better able than we to gather together the five loaves and the two fishes among themselves, would be able to give a fuller and better interpretation of their meaning. It must be observed, however, that while in Matthew, Mark, and Luke, [5349] the disciples say that they have the five loaves and the two fishes, without indicating whether they were wheaten or of barley, John alone says, that the loaves were barley loaves. [5350] Wherefore, perhaps, in the Gospel of John the disciples do not acknowledge that the loaves are with them, but say in John, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fishes." [5351]

[5344] Matt. xiv. 16.

[5345] Matt. xiv. 17.

[5346] logos prophorikos.

[5347] logos endiathetos.

[5348] Luke xxiv. 42, 43.

[5349] Matt. xiv. 17; Mark vi. 38; Luke ix. 13.

[5350] John vi. 9.

[5351] John vi. 9.

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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/origen/matthew-commentary.asp?pg=47