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apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.
'A desert place. A retired place, across the sea from Capernaum, where they would be free from interruption. “Coming and going.' Coming to be healed, and retiring, or coming to hear him preach. It means that there was a vast multitude attending his preaching. See the miracle of the loaves and fishes explained in Matt. xiv. 13—21. By ship.' By a boat, a small vessel. Privately. Without making their plan known. They intended to go privately.
33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.
• Afoot thither.' On foot to the place where they saw them going. 'Out of all cities. All cities or large towns in the neighbourhood.
34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd : and he began to teach them many things.
Much people.' Many people. 'As sheep,'. &c. They had no one to teach them, and guide them. The priests and scribes were proud, corrupt, and despised the common people, and neglected ther.
35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed :
“The time is far passed.' The day is almost gone. It is drawing near to night.
36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat. 37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?
Give ye them to eat. Give them food to eat. . 'Two hundred pennyworth of bread. About six pounds nine shillings. As the disciples had a common purse in which they carried their little property, consisting of donations of their friends, and money to be given to the poor, (compare John xii. 6. Matt. xxvi. 8, 9,
Luke viii. 3,) it is not improbable that they had, at this time, about this sum in their possession. Philip, for it was he who asked the question, John vi. 7, asked whether they should take all their little property, and spend it on a single meal ? And even if we should, said he, it would not be sufficient to satisfy such a multitude. It was implied in this, that in his view they could not provide for them if they wished, and that it would be better rather to send them away than to attempt it.
38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. 39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. 40. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.
' In ranks. By square, regularly formed companies. By hundreds and by fifties. Some companies had a hundred in them, and some fifty. We need not suppose that these were exactly formed, or arranged; but that this was about the number, The expression indicates a multitude. There were so many that they sat down, by hundreds and by fifties, in separate companies, on the green grass.
41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. 42 And they did all eat, and were filled. 43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.
"Twelve baskets.' Baskets in which they carried their provisions, belonging to the disciples, or, perhaps, to some of the multitude. 'Fragments.' Broken pieces of the bread that remained.
44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men. 45 And straightway he con strained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other de before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. 46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. 48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would
lave passed by them. 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased : and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves : for their heart was hardened.
See this passage explained in Matt. xiv. 22–36. “They considered not the miracle of the loaves.' They did not remember or call to mind the power which Jesus had shown in feeding the five thousand by a miracle, and that, having done that, he had power also to save them from the storm. Their heart was hardened.' Their mind was dull to perceive it. They did not quickly learn, as they ought to have done, that he had all power, and could therefore allay the storm. The word "heart is frequently used in this sense. See Rom. i. 21; ii. 15. 2 Cor. iv. 6.
53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore. 54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him, 55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was. 56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought aim that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.
• They knew him. They recollected him, for he had been there before, and worked miracles. The border of his garment.' Compare note on Matt. ix. 20.
CHAPTER VII. 1 THEN came together unto him the pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.
See this passage explained in the notes on Matt. xv. 1--20.
•Came from Jerusalem. Probably to observe his conduct, and to find matter of accusation against him.
2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.
‘Defiled hands.' The hands were considered defiled, or pol. luted, unless they were washed previous to every meal.
3 For the pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.
* Except they wash their hands oft.' The word 'oft,' means frequently, often; and here, diligently, accurately, carefully. Unless they wash their hands carefully, or according to rule, &c. "The tradition. Not what was delivered by writing in the law of Moses, but what had been communicated from father to sun, as being proper and binding. “The eiders. The ancients, not the old men ihen living, but those who had lived formerly.
4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, and brazen vessels, and of tables.
‘Cups.' Drinking vessels. Those used at their meals. 'Pots.' Measures of liquids. Vessels made of wood, used to hold wine, vinegar, &c.
Brazen vessels. Vessels made of brass, used in cooking or otherwise. These, if much polluted, were commonly passed through the fire; if slightly polluted, they were washed. Earthen vessels, if defiled, were usually broken. 'Tables. This word means, in the original, beds or couches. It refers not to the tables on which they ate, but to the couches on which they reclined at their meals. See notes on Matt. xxii, 6. These were supposed to be defiled when any unclean or polluted person had reclined on them; and they deemed it necessary to purify them with water.
5 Then the pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands ? 6 He answered and said unto em, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 7 Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
• For doctrines. For commands of God, binding on the con science. Imposing your traditions as equal in authority to the commands of God.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
• Laying aside.' Rejecting, or making it give place to traditions ; considering the traditions as superior in authority to the divine law. This was the uniform doctrine of the pharisees. See Matt. xv. 1-9.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. 10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death : 11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free. 12 And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother; 13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered : and many such like things do ye.
* Full well. These words are capable of different interpretations. Some read them as a question ; '. Do ye do well in rejecting ?' &c. Others suppose them to be ironical.
"From conscientious attachment to your traditions, you have made void the law of God ! meaning to intimate by it that they had acted wickedly and basely.
14 And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: 15 There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. 16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 17 And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples asked him concerning the parable.
• The parable. The word 'parable,' here, means obscure and difficult saying. They could not understand it. They had probably imbibed many of the popular notions of the pharisees, and they could not understand why a man was not defiled by external things. It was moreover, a doctrine of the law, that men were ceremonially polluted by contact with dead bodies, &c.
18 And he saith unto them, Are ye so without un