2 Kings 4:42 A man came from Baal Shalishah, bringing the man of God twenty loaves of barley bread baked from the first ripe grain, along with some heads of new grain. “Give it to the people to eat,” Elisha said.
43“How can I set this before a hundred men?” his servant asked.
But Elisha answered, “Give it to the people to eat. For this is what the Lord says: ‘They will eat and have some left over.’ ” 44Then he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

Did God multiply the food miraculously?

1 Answer 1


We are not told the answer to question - it could have been either:

  • The food was multiplied as per the miracles of loaves and fish in the NT
  • The small servings were miraculously enough for the large group of people.

Either way, they left satisfied. Benson makes this observation:

2 Kings 4:43. What! should I set this before a hundred men? — Just as the apostles said to the Lord Jesus, when he intended to feed a far greater number with less food. He said again, Give unto the people, &c. — Do as I order you, and make no objections. For thus saith the Lord, They shall eat, and shall leave thereof — As the multitude left of the loaves and fishes which Christ caused to be set before them. The similitude between several of the miracles of Elijah and Elisha, and those of the Lord Jesus, is very striking, and may be considered as a proof that they all acted by the power of one and the same Spirit. The miracles of the Son of God, however, were both far more in number, and far greater, than those which were performed by these his servants.

Barnes has further insights:

This miracle was a faint foreshadowing of our Lord's far more marvelous feeding of thousands with even scantier materials. The resemblance is not only in the broad fact, but in various minute particulars, such as the distribution through the hands of others; the material, bread; the surprised question of the servant; and the evidence of superfluity in the fragments that were left (see the marginal references). As Elijah was a type of the Baptist, so Elisha was in many respects a type of our Blessed Lord. In his peaceful, non-ascetic life, in his mild and gentle character, in his constant circuits, in his many miracles of mercy, in the healing virtue which abode in his bodily frame 2 Kings 13:21, he resembled, more than any other prophet, the Messiah, of whom all prophets were more or less shadows and figures.

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