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Bible Commentaries

The Fourfold Gospel

Matthew 14

 

 

Verse 1
At that season Herod1 the tetrarch heard the report concerning Jesus,
    HEROD ANTIPAS SUPPOSES JESUS TO BE JOHN. Matthew 14:1-12; Mark 6:14-29; Luke 9:7-9

  1. Herod. See Luke 9:7-9.


Verse 2
and said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore do these powers work in him1.

  1. He is risen from the dead; and therefore do these powers work in him. John had wrought no miracle while living (Matthew 10:41), but there was a prevalent idea among the ancients that departed spirits were endowed with superhuman powers, and Herod therefore supposed that the risen John had brought these powers with him from the spirit world.


Verse 3
For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison1 for the sake of Herodias2, his brother Philip's wife.

  1. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison. Matthew, by introducing what follows with the word "for", gives us the reason why Herod clung to this singular opinion of Jesus, Matthew 14:1,2. He did so because this opinion was begotten in the morbid musings of a conscience stained with the blood of John.

  2. Herodias. See Matthew 14:1,2.


Verse 4
For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her1.

  1. It is not lawful for thee to have her. See .


Verse 5
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude1, because they counted him as a prophet.

  1. He feared the multitude. See .


Verse 6
But when Herod's birthday came1, the daughter of Herodias danced in the midst2, and pleased Herod.

  1. But when Herod's birthday came. See .

  2. The daughter of Herodias danced in the midst. See .


Verse 7
Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she should ask1.

  1. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she should ask. See .


Verse 8
And she, being put forward by her mother1, saith, Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist2.

  1. And she, being put forward by her mother. See .

  2. Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist. See .


Verse 10
And the king was grieved1; but for the sake of his oaths, and of them that sat at meat with him, he commanded it to be given;

  1. The king was grieved. See .


Verse 11
And his head was brought on a platter, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother1.

  1. And she brought it to her mother. See .


Verse 12
And his disciples came, and took up the corpse, and buried him1; and they went and told Jesus.

  1. And his disciples came, and took up the corpse, and buried him. See .


Verse 14
Now when Jesus heard [it]1, he withdrew from thence in a boat, to a desert place apart: and when the multitudes heard [thereof,] they followed him on foot from the cities2.
    FIRST WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY AND RETURN. (Spring, A.D. 29.) A. RETURN OF THE TWELVE AND RETIREMENT TO THE EAST SHORE OF GALILEE. Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:30-32; Luke 9:10; John 6:1

  1. Now when Jesus heard [it]. Heard about John's death. The excitement caused by this event, and the efforts to use Jesus as a leader in revolt, see John 6:1, constituted another reason why Jesus should withdraw from the multitude.

    B. FEEDING THE FIVE THOUSAND. Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:33-44; Luke 9:11-17; John 6:2-14

  2. And when the multitudes heard [thereof,] they followed him on foot from the cities. See John 6:2-14.


Verse 16
And when even was come1, the disciples came to him, saying, The place is desert, and the time is already past; send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food.

  1. And when even was come. See .

  2. Send the multitudes away, that they may . . . buy themselves food. See .


Verse 18
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes1.

  1. We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. See .


Verse 19
And he commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass1; and he took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed2, and brake and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.

  1. And he commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. See .

  2. And looking up to heaven, he blessed. See .


Verse 20
And they all ate, and were filled: and they took up that which remained1 over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

  1. And they took up that which remained. See .


Verse 21
And they that did eat were about five thousand men1, besides women and children.

  1. And they that did eat were about five thousand men. See .


Verse 22
And straightway he constrained the disciples to enter into the boat, and to go before him unto the other side, till he should send the multitudes away1.
    FIRST WITHDRAWAL FROM HEROD'S TERRITORY AND RETURN. (Spring, A.D. 29.) C. THE TWELVE TRY TO ROW BACK. JESUS WALKS UPON THE WATER. Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-56; John 6:15-21

  1. Till he should send the multitudes away. See John 6:15-21.


Verse 23
And after he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain apart to pray1: and when even was come, he was there alone.

  1. He went up into the mountain apart to pray. See .


Verse 24
But the boat was now in the midst of the sea1, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary2.

  1. The boat was now in the midst of the sea. See .

  2. For the wind was contrary. See .


Verse 25
And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea1.

  1. And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea. See .


Verse 26
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear.

  1. They were troubled, . . . and they cried out for fear. See .


Verse 27
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I1; be not afraid2.

  1. Be of good cheer; it is I. See .

  2. Be not afraid. See .


Verse 29
And Peter answered him and said1, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters.
    Matthew 14:28,29

  1. And Peter answered him and said, etc. This scene comports with the character of Peter, who had always a rash willingness to go into danger, and a lack of steadfastness to hold out through it.


Verse 30
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid1; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me.

  1. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid. So long as the attention of Peter was fixed upon the Lord's command he succeeded in his venture; but so soon as he let the power of the tempest distract his thoughts, his faith failed, and he began to sink.


Verse 33
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt1?

  1. O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? Fear is a source of doubt and an enemy of faith. Those who would achieve the victories of faith must overcome their fears.


Verse 34
And when they had crossed over, they came to the land, unto Gennesaret1.

  1. Gennesaret. See .

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Matthew 14:4". "The Fourfold Gospel". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/matthew-14.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

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