Posted by: biblestudyseattle | July 25, 2013


“And the day began to decline, and the twelve having come near, said to him, `Let away the multitude, that having gone to the villages and the fields round about, they may lodge and may find provision, because here we are in a desert place.’
And he said unto them, `Give ye them to eat;’ and they said, `We have no more than five loaves, and two fishes: except, having gone, we may buy for all this people victuals;’
for they were about five thousand men. And he said unto his disciples, `Cause them to recline in companies, in each fifty;’
and they did so, and made all to recline;
and having taken the five loaves, and the two fishes, having looked up to the heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and was giving to the disciples to set before the multitude;
and they did eat, and were all filled, and there was taken up what was over to them of broken pieces, twelve baskets.” Luke 9:12-17

Why did they sit in fifties? In the Exodus, Young’s Literal Translation says:
“and God turneth round the people the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea, and by fifties have the sons of Israel gone up from the land of Egypt.” Exodus 13:18

Fifty has great meaning in the bible.

“and Moses chooseth men of ability out of all Israel, and maketh them chiefs over the people, heads of thousands, heads of hundreds, heads of fifties, and heads of tens.” Exodus 18:25

“Remember the word which Moses, servant of Jehovah, commanded you, saying, Jehovah your God is giving rest to you, and He hath given to you this land; your wives, your infants, and your substance, abide in the land which Moses hath given to you beyond the Jordan, and ye — ye pass over by fifties, before your brethren, all the mighty ones of valour, and have helped them,” Joshua 1:13-14

Fifty is intimately tied to God’s rest. The fiftieth year is also the Jubilee year. It’s also the width of Noah’s ark:

“and this [is] that which thou dost with it: three hundred cubits [is] the length of the ark, fifty cubits its breadth, and thirty cubits its height.” Genesis 6:15

“And thou hast made loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain, at the end in the joining; and so thou makest in the edge of the outermost curtain, in the joining of the second. Fifty loops thou dost make in the one curtain, and fifty loops thou dost make in the edge of the curtain which [is] in the joining of the second, causing the loops to take hold one unto another; and thou hast made fifty hooks of gold, and hast joined the curtains one to another by the hooks, and the tabernacle hath been one.” Exodus 26:4-6

Fifty loops and hooks held the Tabernacle together.

“Speak unto the sons of Israel, and thou hast said unto them, When a man maketh a wonderful vow, by thy valuation the persons [are] Jehovah’s.
When thy valuation hath been of the male from a son of twenty years even unto a son of sixty years, then hath been thy valuation fifty shekels of silver by the shekel of the sanctuary.” Leviticus 27:2-3

Here a man is valued at fifty shekels.

“And if of the field of his possession a man sanctify to Jehovah, then hath thy valuation been according to its seed; a homer of barley-seed at fifty shekels of silver;” Leviticus 27:16

Here a homer of barley seed is worth fifty shekels. Barley represents the bride of Christ. See the book of Ruth. The marriage takes place during the barley harvest, which is the first harvest. Then comes the wheat harvest, then the grape harvest.

“Take up the sum of the sons of Kohath from the midst of the sons of Levi, by their families, by the house of their fathers; from a son of thirty years and upward, even till a son of fifty years, every one going in to the host, to do work in the tent of meeting. `This [is] the service of the sons of Kohath in the tent of meeting, the holy of holies:” Numbers 4:2-4

Here the Kohathite Levites are those serving between thirty and fifty years of age. Jesus began his public ministry at thirty. Solomon’s Temple also prominently used the measurement of fifty cubits.

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