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13 F When Jesus heard of it, / ward : them, and he healed their he i departed thence by ship into a sick. desert place apart : and when the 15 And when it was evening, people had heard thereof, they his disciples came to him, saying, followed him on foot out of the This is a desert place, and the time cities.
is now past ; send the multitude 14 And Jesus went forth, away, that they may go into the viland 2 saw a great multitude, and lages, and buy themselves victuals was mored with compassion to- 16 But Jesus said unto them,
ICh. x. 23; xii. 15. 10-17. John vi, 1, 2.
Mark vi. 32. Luke ix.
death. 2. It is not unreasonable to sup- that they had no teachers and guides who pose that in their affliction they came to cared for them, and took pains to instruct hion for consolation; nor is it improper in them. The Scribes and Pharisees were aur affliction to follow their example, and haughty and proud, and cared little for go and tell Jesus. 3. Their master had the common people; and when they did been slain by a cruel king; Jesus was attempt to teach them, they led them engaged in the same cause, and they pro- astray. They therefore came in great laby supposed that he was in danger. multitudes to Him who preached the gosThey, therefore, came to warn him of it, pel to the poor, Matt. xi. 5, and was thus und be sought a place of safety. Ver. 13. the good Shepherd. John X. 14. 13–21. A full narrative of the feeding 15. The time is now past.
That is, the five thousand is given in each of the the day is passing away; it is near night; other evangelists; in Mark vi. 32—44; in and it is proper to make some provision Luke ix. 10-17; in John vi. 1-14. for the temporal wants of so many.
13. And when Jesus heard of it he Perhaps it may mean, it was past the departed. He went to a place of safety. usual time for refreshment. He nerer threw himself unnecessarily into 16. Jesus said, They need not depart; darger, It was proper that he should give ye them to eat. John adds, that szure his life, till the time should come previous to this, Jesus had addressed when it would be proper for him to die. Philip, and asked, "Whence shall we buy ! By a ship into a desert place. That bread that these may eat? This he said is, he crossed the sea of Galilee. He went to prove him;" that is, to try his faith; to 11 the country east of the sea, into a place test the confidence of Philip in himself
. Iue inhabited. Luke says, ch. ix. 10, he Philip, it seems, had not the kind of conwent to a place called Bethsaida. See fidence which he ought to have had. lle Sote, Hatt. xi. 21. A desert place means immediately began to think of their ability a place little cultivated, where there were to purchase food for them. Two hundred tex or no inhabitants. On the east of the pennyworth of bread, said he, would not sa of Galilee there was a large tract of be enough. In the original it is, two hunfilatry of this description, rough, uncul- dred denarii
. These were Roman coins, Grated, and chiefly used to pasture flocks. amounting to about seven pence half
14. Was mored with compassion. That penny each. The whole two hundred, s pitied them. Mark, ch. vi. 34, says therefore, would have been equal to about he was moved with compassion because six pounds five shillings. In the view of iter kere as sheep having no shepherd. Philip, this was a great sum ; a sum A shepherd is one who takes care of a which twelve poor fishermen were by no Euck. It was his duty to feed it, to de- means able to provide. It was this fact, ind it from wolves and other wild beasts; and not any unwillingness to provide for tu take care of the young and feeble; to them, which led the disciples to request bad it by green pastures and still waters. that they should be sent into the villages P's. xxiü. In eastern countries this was around, in order to obtain food. Jesus a principal employment of the inhabit- knew how much they had, and he required
When Christ says the people were of them, as he does of all, implicit faith, a3 st.eep without a shepherd, he means and told them to give them to eat. He
They need not depart; give ye and took the five loaves, and the them to eat.
two fishes, and, looking up to hea. 17 And they say unto him, We ven, he blessed, and brake, and gave have here but five loaves, and two the loaves to his disciples, and the fisles.
disciples to the multitude. 18 He said, Bring them hither 20 And they did all eat, and to me.
were filled : ? and they took пр
of 19 And he commanded the mul- the fragments that remained twelve titude to sit down on the grass, baskets full.3
1 2 Kin. iv. 42-44. Heb. y. 2.
? Exod. xvi. 12-35.
* 2 Kin. iv. 1-7.
requires us to do what he commands; and opens his hand, and satisfieth our wants; we need not doubt that he will give us and it is proper that we should render strength to accomplish it.
suitable acknowledgments for his goodness. 17. We have here but five loaves, &c. The custom among the Jews was uniThese loaves were in the possession of a versal. The form of prayer which they lad, or young man, who was with them, used in the time of Christ has been preand were made of barley. John vi. 9. It served by jewish writers, the Talmudists. is possible that this lad was one in attend. It is this : “ Blessed be thou, O Lord our ance on the apostles to carry their food; God, the King of the world, who hast but it is most probable he was one who produced this food and this drink, from had provision to sell among the multitude. the earth and the vine." I And brake. Barley was a cheap kind of food, scarcely The loaves of bread among the Jews were one-third the value of wheat, and was made thin and brittle, and were therefore much used by poor people. A consider- broken and not cut. able part of the food of the people in that 20. And they did all eat and trere region was probably fish, as they lived on filled. This was an undoubted miracle. the borders of a lake that abounded in The quantity must have been greatly in. fish.
creased, to have supplied so many. He 19. And he commanded the multitude that could increase that small quantity so to sit down. In the original it is, to re- much had the power of creation; and he cline on the grass, or to lie as they did at that could do that could create the world their meals. The Jews never sat, as we out of nothing, and had no less than do at meals, but reclined, or lay at length. divine power. Twelve baskets full. See Note, Matt. xxiii. 6. Mark and The size of these baskets is unknown, Luke add, that they reclined in companies They were probably such as travellers by hundreds and by fifties. [ And look- carried their provisions in. They were ing up to heaven, he blessed. Luke adds, used commonly by the Jews in their he blessed them ; that is, the loaves. The journeys. In travelling among the Genexpression to bless, means often to give tiles or Samaritans, a Jew could expect thanks ; sometimes to pray for a blessing; little hospitality. There were not, as now that is, to pray for the divine favour and public houses for the entertainment of friendship ; to pray that what we do strangers. At great distances there were may meet God's approbation. Seeking a caravansaries, but they were intended blessing on our food means, to pray that chiefly for lodging places for the night, it may be made nourishing to our bodies; and not to piovide food for travellers. that we may have proper gratitude to God Hence in journeying among strangers, or in the giver, for providing for our wants; and deserts, they carried baskets of provisions; that we may remember the Creator, while and this is the reason why they were furwe partake of the bounties of his pro- nished with them here. It is probable vidence. Our Saviour always sought a that each of the apostles had one, and blessing on his food. In this he was an they were all filled. John, ch. vi. 12, example for us. What he did we should says that Jesus directed them to gather do. “It is right thus to seek the blessing up these fragments, that nothing be lost : of God. He provides for us; he daily an example of economy. God creates all
21 And they that had eaten were a mountain apart to pray: and about five thousand men, beside when the evening was come, he women and children.
was there alone. 22 And straightway Jesus 24 But the ship was constrained his disciples to get in the midst of the sea, tossed into a ship, and to go before him with waves: for the wind was con. unto the other side, while he sent trary. the multitudes away.
25 And in the fourth watch of 23 And when he had sent the the night Jesus went unto them, multitudes away, he 1 went up into walking on the sea.? Ch. vi. 6. Mark vi. 46. Luke vi. 12. Acts
9 Job ix. 8. Psa. xciii. 3, 4.
food; it has, therefore, a kind of sacred when human honours were offered to him, nes; it is all needed by some person or and almost forced upon him, he retired other, and none should be lost.
for private prayer ; an example for all 21. Fire thousand men, besides, &c. who are pressed with human honours and Probably the number might have been applause. Nothing is better to keep the ten thousand. To feed so many was an mind humble and unambitious, than to act of great benevolence, and a stupendous seek some lonely place; to shut out the miracle. The effect was such as might world, with all its honours; to realize that be expected. John says, ch. vi. 14, that the great God, before whom all creatures they were convinced by it that he was and all honours sink to nothing, is round that prophet that should come into the about us; and to ask him to keep us from world; that is, the Messiah.
pride and vain-glory. 22, 23. And straightway Jesus con- 24. But the ship was now in the midst strained, &c. See Mark vi. 45, 56 ; of the sea. John says they had sailed Johin vi. 15–21. The word straightway about twenty-five or thirty furlongs. About means immediately ; that is, as soon as seven and a half jewish furlongs made a the fragments were gathered up. To mnile; so that the distance they had sailed constrain, means to compel. It here was not more than about four miles. At means to command. There was no need no place was the sea of Tiberias more of compulsion. They were at this time on than ten miles in breadth, so that they the east side of Gennesareth. He direct were literally the midst of the sea. ed them to get into a ship, and cross over 25. And in the fourth watch of the to the other side; that is, to Capernaum. night. The Jews anciently divided the Mark adds, that he sent them to Beth- night into three divisions of four hours saida, ch. vi. 45. Bethsaida was situated each. The first of these watches is menat the place where the Jordan empties tioned in Lam. ii. 19; the middle watch into the lake on the east side of the river, in Judg. vii. 19; and the morning watch It is probable that he directed them to in Exod. xiv. 24. In the time of our go in a ship or boat to Bethsaida, and Saviour they divided the night into four remain there till he should dismiss the watches; the fourth having been intropeople, and that he would meet them duced by the Romans. These watches there, and with them cross the lake. The consisted of three hours each. The first effect of the miracle on the multitudes commenced at six, and continued till nine; was so great, John vi. 15, that they be the second from nine till twelve; the third lieved him to be that prophet which from twelve to three; and the fourth from should come into the world; that is, the three to six. The first was called evenMessiah, the king that they had expected, ing; the second midnight; the third cockand they were about to take him by force crowing; the fourth moming. Mark xii. and make him a king. To avoid this, 35. It is probable that the term watch Jesus got away from them as privately as was given to each of these divisions, from possible. He went into a solitary moun- the practice of placing sentinels around iain alone. In view of the temptation, the camp in the time of war, or in cities
26 And 1 when the disciples saw / stretched forth his hand, and him walking on the sea, they were caught him, and said unto him, O troubled, saying, It is a spirit; thou of little faith, wherefore didst and they cried out for fear. thou doubt ? 8
27 But straightway Jesus spake 32 And when they were come unto them, saying, Be 3 of good into the ship, the wind ceased.9 cheer; it is I ; be not afraid. 33 Then they that were in the
28 And Peter answered him and ship came and worshipped him, said, Lord, if it * be thou, bid me saying, Of a truth thou art the Son come unto thee on the water. of God.10
29 And he said, Come. And 34 9 And 11 when they were gone when Peter was come down out of over, they came into the land of the ship, he walked on the water, Gennesaret. to go to Jesus.
35 And when the men of that 30 But when he saw the wind place had knowledge of him, they 6 boisterous, he was afraid ; and be sent out into all that country round ginning to sink, he cried, saying, about, and brought unto hiin all Lord, save me.6
that were diseased ; 31 And immediately 7 Jesus
1 Job ix. 8. John vi. 19. 2 Luke xxiv, 37. 3 Acts xxiii. ll. 4 Phil. iv. 13. 5 Or, strong. 6 Psa. lxix. 1, 2. Lam. iii, 57. 7 Isa. Ixiii. 12.
Jas. i. 6. 9 Psn. cvii. 29. 10 Dan. iii 23. Luke iv. 41. John i. 49; vi 69; xi. 27. Aets viii. 37. Rom. i. 4. 11 Mark yi. 53.
to watch or guard the camp or city; and again for help. Thus he was suffered to that they were at first relieved three times learn his own character, and his dependin the night, but under the Romans four ence on Jesus : a lesson which all times. It was in the last of these watches, Christians are permitted to learn by deuor between three and six in the morning, bought experience. that Jesus appeared to the disciples. So 32. And when they were come into the that he had spent most of the night alone ship, the wind ceased. Here was a new on the mountain in prayer. T Walking | proof of the power of Jesus. He that on the sea. A manifest and wonderful has power over winds and waves has all miracle. It was a boisterous sea. It power. John adds, ch, vi. 21, that the was in a dark night. The little boat was ship was immediately at the land whither four or five miles from the shore, tossed they went;another proof, amidst this by the billows.
collection of wonders, that the Son of 26. They were troubled. They were God was with them. They came, thereafraid. The sight was remarkable. It fore, and worshipped him, acknowledging was sufficient to awe them. In the dark him to be the Son of God. That is, they night, amidst the tumultuous billows, gave him homage, or honoured him as appeared the form of a man. They the Son of God. thought it was a spirit; an apparition. 34-36. Land of Gennesaret. This It was a
common belief among the region was in Galilee, on the west side ancients that the spirits of men after of the sea of Tiberias; and in this land death frequently appeared to the living. was situated Capernaum, to which he
28–31. And Peter answered, &c. had directed his disciples to go. The Ilere is an instance of the characteristic hem of his garment. That is, the fringe ardour and rashness of Peter. He had or border on the outer garment. Note, less real faith than he supposed; more Matt. ix. 20. ardour than his faith would justify; he
REMARKS. was rash, headlong, incautious, really attached to Jesus, but still easily daunted, I. We learn from this chapter the and prone to fall. He was afraid, there- power of conscience. Ver. 1-4. Ilerod's fore, when in danger, and, sinking, cried guilt was the only reason why he though:
Num. IV. 38.
Mark iii. 10.
36 And besought him that they | garment : and as many ? as touched might only touch the hem 1 of his were made perfectly whole. 1 C. in. 20.
? John vi, 37. Lake vi. 19. Acts xix. 12. John the Baptist had risen. At another the passions, and cultivate a spirit of time he would altogether have disbelieved meekness and forgiveness when young ; it. Consciousness of guilt will at some that is, to come early under the full period infallibly torment a man.
influence of the gospel. II. The duty of faithfulness. Ver. 4. VI. Men should be cautious about John reproved Herod at the hazard of promises, and especially about oaths. his life. And he died for it. But he Herod made a foolish promise, and conhad the approbation of conscience and offirmed it by a wicked oath. Ver. 9. ProGod. So will all who do their duty. Here mises should not be made without knowvas an example of fidelity to all ministers ing what is promised, and without knowof religion. They are not to fear the ing that it will be right to perform them. face of man, however rich, or mighty, or Oaths are always wicked, except when wicked.
made before a magistrate, and on occaIII. The righteous will command the sions of real magnitude. The practice of respect of the wicked. Herod was a profane and common swearing, like that wicked man, but he respected John, and of Herod, is always foolish and wicked, feared him. Mark vi. 20. The wicked and sooner or later will bring men into profs to despise religion, and many difficulty. really do so. But their consciences teil VII. Amusements are often attended them that religion is a good thing. In with evil consequences. Ver. 6–11. The times of trial they will sooner trust Chris- dancing of a gay and profligate girl was tians than others. In sickness and death the means of the death of one of the they are often glad to see them, and hear holiest of men. Dancing, balls, parties, them pray, and desire the comfort which and theatres, are thought innocent by they have; and, like Balaam, say, “Let many. But they are a profitless waste of me die the death of the righteous,” Num. time. They lead to forgetfulness of God. wii. 10. No person, young or old, is They nourish passion and sensual desires. ever the less really esteemed for being a | They often lead to the seduction and ruin Christian.
of the innocent. They are unfit for dying IV. Men are often restrained from creatures. From the very midst of such great sins, by mere selfish motives, as scenes, the gay may go to the bar of God. Herod was, by the love of popularity. How poor a preparation to die! How Ver. 5. Herod would have put John to dreadful the judgment-seat to such ! death long before, had it not been that VIII. Jesus will take care of the poor. be feared the people. His constantly Ver. 14--21. He regarded the temporal desting to do it was a kind of prolonged as well as the spiritual wants of the murder. God will hold men guilty for people. Rather than see them suffer, he desiring to do evil; and will not justify worked a miracle to feed them. So rather them, if they are restrained, not by the than see us suffer, God is daily doing lear of him, but by the fear of men. what man cannot do. He causes the
V. We see the effect of what is called grain to grow; he fills the land, and seas, the principle of honour. Ver. 9. It was and air, with living creatures ; nay, he in obdience to this, that Herod com- provides, in desert places, for the support mitted murder. This is the principle of of man. How soon would all man and duering and war. No principle is so beasts die, if he did not put forth confooish and wicked. The great mass of tinued power and goodness for the supply Len disapprove it. The wise and good of our wants ! have always disapproved of it. This IX. It is the duty of Christians to be principle of honour is often the mere love solicitous about the temporal wants of the of revenge. It is often the fear of being poor. Ver. 15. They are with us. By laughed at. It produces eril. God can- regarding them, and providing for ther Dot and will not love it. The way to we have an opportunity of showing or prevent duels and murders is to restrain | attachment to Christ and our