John 6:13 KJV

Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

It is said the fragments of the five barley loaves filled twelve baskets while no mention is made of the fragments of the fish

What is the spiritual meaning of the above text?

  • 1
    We are not told so we do not know.
    – Dottard
    Apr 6, 2022 at 8:20
  • If there is a spiritual meaning to this fact, then the question would be, 'What is the spiritual meaning of the fish fragments not being gathered ?' I suggest an edit and have up-voted in advance.
    – Nigel J
    Apr 6, 2022 at 9:16
  • I would rather ask another question. Jesus told his disciples to gather the left over pieces so nothing be wasted. So it was not send to garbage, where did it go? Jul 26, 2022 at 14:02
  • Perhaps it was given back to the young boy who donated his food to them in John 6:9 @VincentWong
    – Robert
    Sep 10, 2022 at 0:56
  • Perhaps the bags were donated, or sold, to a business that made breadcrumbs to be used in dishes like Klops (Jewish meatballs). Sep 5 at 3:46

2 Answers 2


John Chrysostom gives this interpretation, which I find very sound: the 12 baskets full of the remaining food was to be taken by each of the 12 apostles. This was intended for them to perceive through the very weight of the food that this was a real miracle and not any sort of an illusion or hallucination; and also in the future to remember tangibly this miracle and not falter in the time of trial, but get strengthened in faith through this remembering.


The "Bread" is the "token" of the flesh of Christ and His body crucified for mankind while the "fish" is the believers of Christ. His Apostles and disciples were to be "fishers" of men The "fragments" of bread were to be gathered and consumed by the righteous who were not in attendance who sought out the Lord but because of circumstance were unable to attend His sermon(s) but could be partakers of the "gift" or "token" and not denied. With the Lord nothing was considered waste that He puts His name to. The fish was consumed as it could not be sustained for a period of time because it would decay or rot and those present ate according to the "sign" that was with them and they were "filled" with Spirit in spite of the multitude with limited supply. Fish as a sign of believers is like unto consuming every word from the mouth of God and not left to spoil, thereby no fish fragments are mentioned. Like the widow at Sarepta whose cruse of oil and flour sustained without being diminished in famine.

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