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On a progress,

probably in Galilee.

h Matt.xiv. 1.

9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him-he commanded it to be given her.

10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.

11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she-to her mother.

12 And his disciples came and took up the body, and buried it—

LUKE ix. part of ver. 7. 9.

7 h Now Herod the tetrarch heard

9 and Herod said


Desert of

i Matt. ix. 36.

The Twelve return, and Jesus retires with them to the Desert of

MATT. xiv. 13. 15.


MARK vi. 30-35. LUKE ix. 10, 11.
JOHN vi. 1, 2.

When Jesus heard of it,

Matt. xiv. 13.

the apostles gathered themselves together unto Mark vi. 30. Jesus,

when they were returned,

Luke ix. 10.

and told him all things, both what they had done, Mark vi. 30. and what they had taught.

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves Mark vi. 31. 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.


After these things

he took them and went aside privately

And they departed-by ship privately.

Mark vi. 32.

John vi. 1.

Luke ix. 10.

Mark vi. 32.

Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the John vi. 1.

sea of Tiberias,

into a desert place,

belonging to the city called Bethsaida.

Mark vi. 32.

Luke ix. 10.

And the people saw them departing, and many Mark vi. 33. knew him,

and when the people had heard thereof, they

Matt. xiv. 13.

ran afoot thither out of all cities, and came toge- Mark vi. 33. ther unto him.


i And Jesus, when he came out, saw much
ple, and was moved with compassion toward
them, because they were as sheep not having a

Mark vi. 34.

and he received them, and spake unto them of the Luke ix. 11. kingdom of God,

and he began to teach them many things,

Mark vi. 34.

John vi. 2.

Luke ix. 11. and healed them that had need of healing.
And a great multitude followed him, because
they saw his miracles which he did on them that
were diseased.

MATT. xiv. part of ver. 13. and ver. 14.

13 -he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart-followed him on foot out of the cities.

14 And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.

LUKE ix. part of ver. 10, 11.

10 And the apostles-told him all that they had done. And-into a desert place

11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him

Desert of


Five thousand are fed miraculously'.

MATT. xiv. 16-22. MARK vi. 35-44. LUKE ix. 12-18.

John vi. 3.

JOHN vi. 3-15.

And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there J. P. 4741. he sat with his disciples.

7 Many of the circumstances in this miracle demonstrate the peculiar wisdom with which, as I have so often shewn, our Lord uniformly acted, and are worthy of our attention.

Christ here first shewed that his power was superior to that of Elisha, who fed a hundred men with bread of the first fruits, twenty small barley loaves, and some ears of corn in the husk thereof, 2 Kings iv. 42, 43. The Rabbis make these loaves twenty-two; the loaf of the first fruits being one, and the ears of corn being equivalent to another loaf, and they suppose that two thousand two hundred men were fed by them; each hundred having their single loaf set be

Our Lord therefore proved his power כל הר וחך קמי מאה איש. ,fore them

to be superior to that of Elisha; for he fed one thousand men with one loaf: and, that there might be no appearance of deception nor collusion, he made the whole number sit down in companies, (w w in ranks, or in divisions, as trees in a vineyard,) by fifties, and by hundreds, that the whole number might be accurately and universally ascertained. The accounts of this miracle were published by St. Matthew and St. Mark, while the greater portion of the persons who had been partakers of the miracle were living. None contradicted, or denied, or explained away, the account.

It is scarcely possible to imagine a more wonderful proof of the creative power of Christ, than was displayed in this miracle. The loaves were of the small kind, common in the country. The fishes were, in all probability, also of that sort which were called by the Jews, which is interpreted by the gloss

V. Æ. 28.

On the way to

About the

time of the

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And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was John vi. 4.

k Lev. xxiii. nigh.

Deut. xvi. 1.

When Jesus then lifted his


and saw a

John vi. 5.

great company come unto him, he saith unto
Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these
may eat?

And this he said to prove him: for he himself John vi. 6. knew what he would do.

Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

And when the day was now far spent, his


John vi. 7.

Mark vi. 35.

Luke ix. 12.

disciples came unto him, and said, This is a de- Mark vi. 35.

sert place, and now the time is far passed:

Send them away,

the multitude

that they may go into the

Mark vi. 36.

Luke ix. 12.

Mark vi. 36.

small fishes (a). Nonnus (b) calls them two fishes from the adjacent lake broiled, or roasted, (or dried in the sun.)

- καὶ ἀγγιπόρου διδυμάονος ἰχθύας άλμης, Ιχθύας ὀπταλεους διδυμάονας, &c.

This small supply of provision was perceived to multiply and grow, either in the hands of the apostles as they were ministering them to the people, or in the hands of the people themselves, who, in all probability, saw the small fragments of bread or fish with which they had been presented visibly increase while they held them in their hands, till the hunger of each was fully satisfied; and sufficient was still left for others who might come after them. It was this immediate and actual proof of the presence of a Creator, which compelled the exclamation of the multitude, that their expected Messiah was come.

Witsius has a curious remark on the gradation of Christ's miracles. His first miracle provided for a family the customary provision for a festival, not indeed absolutely necessary, yet much to be desired, when the mode of prolonging and celebrating the marriage ceremonies among the Jews, is taken into consideration. He then satisfied the hunger of thousands, by multiplying their bread and a few small fishes. He proceeded to the curing of the sick. He healed one who had been diseased twelve years, Mark v. 25. another eighteen, Luke xiii. 11. another thirty-eight years, John v. 5. another from childhood, Matt. ix. 21. another from his birth, John ix. 1. The progressive order which our Lord observed when he demonstrated his power of raising the dead, in their various stages of corruption and decay, I have considered in another part of these notes (c).

(a) T. Bab. Cetubot, fol. 60. 2. and Sanhedrim, fol. 49. 1. ap Gill in John vi. 9. (b) Octavo edit. p. 65. (c) Meletem. Leidens. Dissert. de Miraculis Jesu, sect. vii. p. 242.

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Mark vi. 37.

Matt. xiv. 16.
Mark vi. 37.

Mark vi. 38.

John vi. 8.

John vi. 9.

Matt. xiv. 18.

John vi. 10.

Luke ix. 14.

John vi. 10.

and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing

to eat.

He answered and said unto them,

They need not depart :


Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him,
Shall we go, and buy two hundred pennyworth The Roman
of bread, and give them to eat?

He saith unto them, How many loaves have
ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say,
Five, and two fishes.

One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,

There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

And he said, Bring them hither to me.

And Jesus said,

to his disciples,

Make the men sit down,

Luke ix. 14. by fifties in a company.

Mark vi. 39.

John vi. 10.
Luke ix. 15.

And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.

Now there was much grass in the place.

And they did so, and made them all sit down. John vi. 10. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

Mark vi. 40.

Mark vi. 41

John vi. 11.

Mark vi. 41.

Matt. xiv. 19.

John vi. 11.

And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.

And when he had taken the five loaves and the
two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed,
and brake

and when he had given thanks, he distributed
the loaves, and gave them to his disciples, to set
before them,

and the disciples to the multitude,

and the disciples to them that were set down; and

Mark vi. 41. the two fishes,

8 Two hundred pence was the sum fixed upon for a virgin's dowry; for the portion to be paid by a husband to a woman who was divorced; for the fine of the lesser modes of assault, and of various offences. The expression therefore was used proverbially, to denote a large sum of money. See the references in Gill, on Mark vi, in loc.

penny is seven pence halfpenny; as

Matt.xvi. 28.

On the way to of the fishes as much as they would,
Jerusalem. divided he among them all.

And they did all eat, and were filled.

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When they were filled, he said unto his disci- John vi. 12.
ples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that
nothing be lost.

Therefore they gathered them together,


John vi. 13.

And they took up twelve baskets full of the Mark vi. 43. fragments.

• Twelve baskets full-δώδεκα κοφίνους πλήρεις.
The well known expressions in Juvenal, Sat. 3. v. 14.

Judeis quorum cophinus fœnumque supellex:

and in Sat. 6. v. 542.

Cum dedit ille locum, cophino fœnoque relicto,
Arcanum Judæa tremens mendicat in aurem :

have made the word ropivovg in this passage a subject of greater curiosity than
would at first sight appear reasonable. The first and general opinion is, that the
cophinus here alluded to, was a small basket constantly carried about by the
Jews, in remembrance of their slavery in Egypt, Psa. lxxxi. 6. ' ayn
T1 T2, 1 baon, which is translated in our version, "I removed his
shoulder from the burthen; and his hands were delivered from making the
pots;” is rendered by Jerome and Symmachus αἱ χεῖρες αὐτοῦ κοφίνου ἀπηλ-
λáynoav. The Septuagint, instead of ¬¬yn (transibunt, or transierunt, ap.
Arias Montanus) read yn, which is followed by the Vulgate—ai xepes
αὐτῶν ἐν τῶ κοφίνω ἐδούλευσαν LXX. Manus ejus in cophino servierunt. Dr.
Gill quotes Nicholas de Lyra on this verse, to prove that the Jews carried bas-
kets with some hay, in commemoration of their Egyptian servitude, and Schoet-
gen quotes Sidonius Apollinaris, Epist. 7. 6. and Alcimus Avitus, lib. 5. v. 30.
to the same effect.

Another interpretation of the word kopivog is that of Farnabius, who sup-
poses that the Jews made that use of the hay and the cophinus, which Juvenal
and Martial (lib. v. Ep. 17.) have alluded to, as an emblem of their poverty and
sufferings during the last siege of Jerusalem, when they were reduced to the
necessity of eating hay, in the terrible scarcity of provisions. But this explana-
tion is evidently erroneous: the cophinus, as may be shewn in numerous in-
stances, being in general use before the siege of Jerusalem.


Crenius imagines that the Jews made use of the cophinus at Rome, and elsewhere, for the sale of various small articles of pedlery; and Buxtorf, that the basket, from the earliest period, was a part of their household stuff; whence the expression, Deut. xxviii. 5. 2, blessed shall be thy basket and thy The basket was used, he supposes, to bring the first-fruits to the priest, and the hay was provided to prevent the various offerings from touching each other. Schoetgen replies to these suggestions, that it was not possible all the Jews could be employed in selling; neither would they have carried their baskets of first-fruits so uniformly to Rome, as to have excited the satire of Juvenal; neither were those who were now following Christ going up to Jerusalem

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