What Do We Make of CWRIS and ANDRES?

Iver Larsen iver_larsen at sil.org
Thu Oct 18 17:58:34 EDT 2001

> Fellow b-greekers:
> In our Biblical Greek Bible Study class we are now surging ahead through
> Matthew's Gospel, and at our last meeting we came to the tale of the
> Feeding of the Four Thousand - and the question of What Do We
> Make of CWRIS  and ANDRES (Matthew 15:38).
> You see, Matthew tells us that "those who ate were four thousand
> men, CWRIS
> GUNAIKWN KAI PAIDIWN". Which initially we took to mean, "apart from women
> and children", i.e., not counting women and children" - so that, if you
> were to count in the women and children also, the total of "those
> who ate"
> would be correspondingly greater. This is in accord with a
> standard use of
> CWRIS meaning "besides, in addition to", as the lexica tell us.

BADG does give the suggestion "besides, in addition to" as an option besides
the more basic one of "apart from". They cite Matt 14:21, 15:38 and 2 Cor
11:28 among others outside the NT. However, a gloss of "not counting,
without reference to" would work as well.

On the side of logistics, there are a couple of clues.

Make them lie down in groups of 50 each

And they reclined in garden rows?? distributed in 100 by 50 ?
(NRSV translates PRASIA in Sir 24:31 as flower bed. Does that mean flowers
in a row?)

It hardly makes sense that some of these groups or rows had 50 in them and
others had 100. It seems more likely that all the groups or rows had the
same number, either 50 or 100. Since Luke talks about 50 in each row or
group, I assume that Mark's 50 by 100 means 100 rows of 50 each.
There should be space between the rows to allow the disciples to walk
between the rows in order to distribute the food and collect the leftovers.
If any women or children were attached to a man they would sit near him and
share whatever food he was given. It would be fairly easy to count the rows
and then calculate the total amount of men (100 in the case of the 5000 men
and 80 in the case of the 4000 men), but nearly impossible to count the
women and children clustered around the men.

Iver Larsen

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