Questions From Readers
● How much food was left over after Jesus miraculously fed thousands?
On two occasions Jesus Christ miraculously fed thousands of persons. Once, with but five loaves and two fishes, he provided enough food for five thousand men, besides women and children. After everyone was satisfied, twelve baskets were filled with fragments. (Matt. 14:19-21) The original Greek term for “basket” appearing in this account is also applied to the Boeotian measure of about two gallons. So the twelve baskets of fragments may have amounted to approximately two and a half bushels. In connection with the later feeding of a crowd of more than four thousand with seven loaves and a few fishes, there was a surplus of seven “provision baskets” full. (Matt. 15:34-37) This type of basket was larger, at times big enough to hold a man.—Acts 9:25.
● What did Amos mean when he referred to himself as “a nipper of figs of sycamore trees”?
Told by idolatrous priest Amaziah not to prophesy at Bethel, Amos answered: “I was not a prophet, neither was I the son of a prophet; but I was a herdsman and a nipper of figs of sycamore trees.” (Amos 7:12-14) This kind of sycamore is evidently the fig-mulberry tree. In parts of the Middle East, even to the present day people pierce the premature fruit of this tree with a nail or some other sharp object. If this is not done, the fruit secretes a watery juice and does not ripen. Amos evidently pierced the fruit of the fig-mulberry and, therefore, spoke of himself as “a nipper of figs of sycamore trees.”