John 6:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 6:10, NIV: "Jesus said, 'Have the people sit down.' There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there)."

John 6:10, ESV: "Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number."

John 6:10, KJV: "And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand."

John 6:10, NASB: "Jesus said, 'Have the people recline to eat.' Now there was plenty of grass in the place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number."

John 6:10, NLT: "'Tell everyone to sit down,' Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.)"

John 6:10, CSB: "Jesus said, "Have the people sit down."There was plenty of grass in that place; so they sat down. The men numbered about five thousand."

What does John 6:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Seeking to feed thousands of people, the disciples have suggested doing nothing (Mark 6:36), outrageous spending (John 6:7), and simple labor (John 6:9). Jesus' response will not completely contradict these, but it will correct the disciples' backwards approach. As shown in the next verse, Christ will still use human effort to accomplish a miracle (John 6:11–13), but only after appealing to God. Our work is not irrelevant to God's work, but it has to come second to our submission to His power and to His will.

This verse is very specific that "the men" numbered 5,000. Jesus instructs "the people" to sit down, using the Greek word anthrōpous, which literally refers to human beings—male or female. The phrase numbering the crowd, however, uses the Greek andres, which literally means "males." This all but guarantees there were some number of women and children in the crowd, as well. While Jesus' feeding of 5,000 people would have been miraculous enough, it's possible that the number gathered around Him at this point could have been as many as 15,000 to 20,000.