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Bible Dictionaries

Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Basket

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Genesis 40:16; "I had three white (margin 'full of holes,' i.e. of open work, or rather 'baskets of white bread') baskets on my head." The Bible accurately represents Egyptian custom (Herodotus, 2:35), whereby men carried burdens on the head, women on the shoulders. In the distinct miracles of feeding the 5,000 and the 4,000 the KJV uses the stone term "baskets" for distinct Greek words. In Matthew 14:20; Mark 6:43; Luke 9:17; John 6:13, the disciples took up twelve kophinoi of fragments at the feeding of the 5,000. In feeding the 4,000 with seven loaves recorded by two evangelists, the disciples took up seven spurides (Matthew 15:37; Mark 8:8). Now kofinoi is always used by the evangelists when the miracle of the 5,000 is spoken of, spurides when that of the 4,000 is spoken of.

Thus also in referring back to the miracle (Matthew 16:9-10) Jesus says: "Do ye not ... remember the five loaves of the 5,000, and how many kofinoi) ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the 4,000, and how many spurides) ye took up?" That the spurides) were of large size appears from Paul's having been let down in one from the wall (Acts 9:25). The kofinoi being twelve probably answers to the twelve disciples, a provision basket for each, and so are likely to have been smaller. The accurate distinction in the use of the terms so invariably made in the record of the miracles marks both events as real and distinct, not, as rationalists have guessed, different versions of one miracle.

The coincidence is so undesigned that it escaped our translators altogether; it therefore can only be the result of genuineness and truth in the different evangelists' accounts. In traveling through Samaria or Gentile regions the Jews used kofinoi , not to be defiled by eating Gentile unclean foods. Smith's Bible Dictionary wrongly makes the kofinos larger than the spuris .

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Bibliography Information
Fausset, Andrew R. Entry for 'Basket'. Fausset's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fbd/b/basket.html. 1949.

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