Monday, December 11, 2006
Feeding the 5,000
For those of you who think that the 'picture counter' on the right has been stuck on 641, It's not!
It's just that I've been illustrating the 'feeding of the 5,000' in John ch 6, and it's taken longer than usual.
If you need pictures of the 'Feeding of the 5,000 story', click here.
To start with, I wanted to get the scenery reasonably accurate, so I started by looking at maps and photos of the area as well as studying old paintings and wood engravings that were actually done in the Holy land.
The supposed area where this event took place is known today as the 'Golan Heights'
In picture one, you are looking from the high ground, westward across the sea of Galilee. On the opposite shore, some 5 miles away, you can see Capernaum, where the Lord Jesus travelled to the following day.
In pictures three, and four, you are looking northwest, and the River Jordan can be seen in the distance, close to where it flows into the Sea of Galilee near Bethsaida.
If you look at a contoured map of the area, you will see that the slopes rise gently from the Sea of Galilee at this point. This was a large area of grassland, (v10) making it ideal for grazing.
I have drawn both sheep and lambs amongst the crowds, as this was at the time of 'Passover', so there would have been lambs in abundance. In picture four, I show a small child sat with a lamb at her side, like a pet. This is a reminder of how jewish families at 'Passover' were to take the lamb into their home, on the 10th of Nisan, 4 days before it was sacrificed. I'm sure that any children in the family would have grown attached to the lamb during this time, making the eventual slaughter of the animal that much more painful! A stark reminder to them of both the consequences of sin, and how their ancestors were saved only by the shedding of the blood of an innocent lamb!
When I was drawing the crowds of people, I started to think about the logistics of how the food would have been distributed. There could well have been over 10,000 people present as the 5,000 mentioned didn't include the women and children.
Whenever there are plates of biscuits to be given out at our church following a family service, you can guarantee that all the volunteers for the job are the children! I would imagine that children were the same then. So in picture four, I show, alongside the disciples, eager children distributing the baskets of bread and fish.
For more about the Sea of Galilee, click here.