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VI. 1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw y his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up into za mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 a And the passover, ? a feast of the Jews, was a Lev. still. nigh. 5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw is: con. 9 read, the.
z render, the.
name. 47.] The meaning is: 'men is the sea of Tiberias] The last appellation give greater weight to what is written and is probably inserted for the sake of Gentile published, the letter of a book, than to readers, to whom it was best known by mere word of mouth; and ye in particular that name. It was more usually called, as give greater honour to Moses, than to Me: by Josephus, Gennesar, or Gennesaritis : if then ye believe not what he has written, see also, 1 Macc. xi. 67. 2.7 It is eviwhich comes down to you hallowed by the dent from this that a circuit in Galilee and reverence of ages,- how can you believe works of healing are presupposed (see Mat. the words which are uttered by Me, to thew, ver. 13; Mark, ver. 33; Luke, ver. whom you are hostile ?' This however is 11). 3.) the mountain, perhaps the not all :- Moses leads to Christ :-is one hill country' on the shore of the lake: of the witnesses by which the Father hath expressed in Matthew by “a desert place testified of Him: “if then ye have rejected apart.” The expression is used by John the means, how shall ye reach the end ?' only here and in ver. 15, but no inference If your unbelief has stopped the path, how can be drawn from that, for this is the only shall ye arrive at Him to whom it leads ?” portion of the Galilæan Ministry related by
CHAP. VI, JESUS THE LIFE IN THE him. 4.] This will account, not for so FLESH. 1-15.] Miraculous feed great a multitude coming to Him, but pering of five thousand men. Matt. xiv. 13– haps (?) for the circumstance that the 21. Mark vi. 30–44. Luke ix. 10–17, in people at that time were gathered in mul. each of which compare the notes through- titudes, ready to set out on their journey to
out. Here we have another example of Jerusalem. We must remember also that · John relating a miracle with the view of the reference of the following discourse
introducing a discourse, and that discourse to the Passover being so pointed, the recarries on the testimony of Jesus to Him. mark would naturally be here inserted by self. In the last, He was the Son of God, the Evangelist : but I would not insist on testified to by the Father, received by this as the only reason for his making it. faith, rejected by unbelief: here He is Son
6.] Here there is considerable diffiof Man, the incarnate Life of the world, culty, on account of the variation from and we have the unbelief of the Jews and Matthew, Mark, and Luke, who relate that His own disciples set in strong contrast the disciples came to the Lord after He with the feeding on and participating in had been teaching and healing the multiHim as the Bread of Life. 1.] After tudes, and when it was now evening,--and these things gives us no fixed date ;-see asked Him to dismiss the multitudes, that on ch. v. 1. As Lücke remarks, the words they might buy food ;-whereupon He comwent over the sea of Galilee ..., if con- manded, 'Give ye them to eat;' - whereas nected with the preceding discourse, would here apparently, on their first coming, the be unintelligible,-and can only be under. Lord Himself suggests the question, how stood by the fragmentary character of this they were to be fed, to Philip. This difGospel as relates to mere narration, and ference is not to be passed over, as it has the well-known fact being presupposed, that usually been by English Commentators, His Ministry principally took place in Ga. without notice. Still less are we to invent lilee. Matthew gives this passage over improbable and hardly honest harmonistic the lake in connexion with the execution of shifts to piece the two narratives together. John the Baptist : Mark and Luke, with There can be no doubt, fairly and honestly the return of the Twelve from their mis- speaking, that the narratives, in their mere sion. (The Twelve were probably gathered, letter, disagree. But those who are not or their gathering finished, in the interval slaves to the mere letter will see here that since ch. v. 47, during which time their inner and deeper accordance of which Aumission also had taken place.) which gustine speaks in commenting on this pascomit.
a great company a come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6 And
this he said to prove him : for he himself knew what he b See Num. xi. b would do. 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred penny91, 92.
worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him, 9 There is a lad
here, which hath five barley loaves, and two [c small] c? Kings iv. fishes: but what are they among so many ? 10 And
Jesus said, Make the d men sit down. Now there was a render, coming.
b render, was about to do.
d render, people. See note. sage: “From which general variety in the quoted, shewing equal unreadiness to be verbal narrative amidst agreement in the lieve and understand. I would take the facts and sense, it is evident enough that circumstance as simple matter of fact, imwe are wholesomely instructed that nothing plying perhaps that Philip was nearest to is to be looked for in the words of Scrip- our Lord at the moment. We must not ture but the general purport of those who fall into the mistake of supposing that spoke: to display which purpose should be Philip being of Bethsaida the city of An. the watchful care of all truthful narrators, drew and Peter (ch. i. 45) throws any light whether relating concerning man, or angel, on the question : for the Bethsaida near or God Himself." I repeat the remark so which our Lord now was, Luke ix. 10, was often made in this Commentary,—that if another place : see notes there. we were in possession of the facts as they Whence— from what store ?' Hence Phihappened, there is no doubt that the va- lip's answer. 6.] he knew:-by this rious forms of the literal narrations would St. John must be understood not only to fall into their places, and the truthfulness rescue our Lord from the imputation of of each historian would be apparent:- but asking counsel of Philip, but to refer the as we cannot at present reconcile them in miraculous act, on His part, to His purpose this way, the humble and believing Chris- of exhibiting Himself as the Son of Man tian will not be tempted to handle the word the Life of the World in the flesh. of God deceitfully, but to admire the gra- 7.] See notes on Mark. 8.] Meyer cious condescension which has given us the remarks, that the words one of His disevidence of so many independent witnesses, ciples may seem strange, seeing that whose very difference in detail makes their Philip also was this : but that it has its accordance in the great central truths so value in the narrative, seeing that, Philip, much the more weighty. On every point of having been asked in vain, one from among importance here, the four sacred historians the circle of the disciples answers, and is are entirely and absolutely agreed. That afterwards specified as having been Anevery minor detail related by them had its drew. In the three other Gospels, ground in historical fact, we fully believe; the loaves and fishes appear as the disit is the tracking it to this ground in each ciples' own ;-and we have thas a very case, which is now beyond our power; and simple but very instructive instance of here comes in the simplicity and reliance the way in which differences in detail of faith : and the justification of those who arose. They were their own, — but not believe and receive each Gospel as they till they had bought them. 9.] barley find it written. unto Philip] Why to loaves—this was the usual barley bread Philip, does not appear; perhaps some which formed the food of the lower orders. reason lay in the words “this He said to
10.] much grass, in accordance with prove him,” which is now lost to us. From the time of year, the latter end of spring, his words in ch. xiv. 8, we cannot infer, as after the rainy season, the men) has been done by Cyril of Alexandria and Before, when our Lord commanded, as in others, that he was weaker in faith, or A. V., “ make the men sit doron," it was tardier in spiritual apprehension, than the the general word, signifying both men and rest. Of all the Apostles who appear in women indiscriminately. And I have therethe sacred narrative, something might be fore substituted in the margin, people.
in the thousand: ren th:
umber and when he ha disciples] to the
much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed se to the disciples, and the disciples] to them that were set down; and I likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost. 13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. 14 8 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth dh that prophet that a Gen. xlix. 10 should come into the world. 15 i When Jesus therefore 15, 18. Matt. perceived that they would come and take him by force, to bi . make him a king, he departed again into ka mountain himself alone.
xi. 3. c . i. 21 : iv, 19, 25:
e omit, with almost all our ancient authorities.
h render, the.
But now it is the word signifying men, as Luke, “ He blessed them," i. e. the loaves : distinguished from women and children. see ver. 23. 12.] Peculiar to John. And this is a particular touch of accuracy The command, one intent of which was in the account of an eye-witness, which has certainly to convince the disciples of the not I think been noticed. Why in the power which had wrought the miracle, is other accounts should mention be made given by our Lord a moral bearing also. only of the men in numbering them ? St. They collected the fragments for their own Matthew has, it is true, “beside women use, each in his basket (cóphinus), the ordiand children,” leaving it to be inferred that nary furniture of the travelling Jew, to there was some means of distinguishing;- carry his food, lest he should be polluted the others merely give “ [about] five thou- by that of the people through whose terrisand men” without any explanation. But tory he passed; see note on Matt. xv. 32. bere we see how it came to be so-the men Observe, that here the 12 baskets are filled alone were arranged in companies, or alone with the fragments of the bread alone : arranged so that any account was taken of but in Mark, with those of the fishes also. them: the women and children being served We must not altogether miss the repromiscuously; who indeed, if the multi ference to the 12 tribes of Israel, typifying tude were a paschal caravan (?), or parts of the church which was to be fed with the many such, would not be likely to be very bread of life to the end of time. 14.] numerous ;—and here again we have a point On the prophet see note on ch. i. 21,of minute truthfulness brought out.
“ Art thou the prophet ?" 15.] After 11.] On the process of the miracle, see notes such a recognition, nothing was wanting on Matthew. St. John describes the distri. but that the multitudes who were jourbution as being the act of the Lord Himself, neying to the Passover should take Jesus and leaves the intervention of the disciples with them, and proclaim Him king of the to be understood. The giving thanks Jews in the holy City itself. The here answers to blessing in the other Gog. other three Evangelists, while they do not pels. It was the 'grace' of the father of give any intimation of this reason of our the family; perhaps the ordinary one in Lord's withdrawal, relate the fact, and St. use among the Jews. St. John seems to Luke preserves in the very next verse a connect with it the idea brought out by St. trace of its motive, -by the question
16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, 17 and entered into a ship, and I went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was m not come to them. 18 And the sea 1 arose by reason of a great wind that blew. 19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. 20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. 21 0 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they P went.
22 The day following, when the 9 people which stood on I render, were going.
m read, not yet.
9 render, multitude.
· Whom do the people say that I am ?' The word so, with which ver. 19 begins, and the answer, expressing the very con- seems to me to render this supposition fession of the people here.
necessary,—to bind their having rowed 16-21.] Jesus walks on the sea. Matt. twenty-five or thirty stadia, with the fact xiv. 22–33. Mark vi. 45–52. Omitted that the Lord had not come, and it was by St. Luke. An important and interest. dark, and the sea swelling into a storm. ing question arises, Why is this miracle The lake is forty furlongs wide : so that, as here inserted by St. John ? That he ever we can hardly assume the passage to have inserts for the mere purpose of narration, I been to a point directly opposite, they were cannot believe. The reason seems to me somewhere about“ in the midst of the sea," to be this : to give to the Twelve, in the Matthew, ver. 24. 18. was rising] prospect of so apparently strange a dis- was becoming thoroughly agitated. course respecting His Body, a view of the 19. walking on the sea] There surely can truth respecting that Body, that it, and be no question in the mind of an unprethe things said of it were not to be under- judiced reader, that it is John's intention stood in a gross corporeal, but in a super- to relate a miracle ;- nor again,-that natural and spiritual sense. And their there could be in the minds of the disciples very terror, and reassurance, tended to im. no doubt about that miracle,-no chance press that confidence in Him which kept of a mistake as to what they saw. I have them firm, when many left Him, ver. 66. treated of on the sea on Matthew, ver. 25. 16.] even, here, will be during the
They were afraid :-but upon being time between the “evening” of Matt. xiv. reassured by His voice, they were willing 15, and that of the same, ver. 23. The to take Him into the ship; and upon their Jews commonly reckoned two evenings: doing so, the ship in a comparatively short see the note on Matt. xxvi. 17, p. 182, time (or perhaps immediately by miracle, bottom of col. 1. went down] By but I prefer the other) was at the land to the command of Jesus (Matthew, Mark), which they had been going, viz. by the
17.] were going-denoting the uń- storm ceasing, and the ship making smooth finished action—they were making for the way (“the wind ceased,” Matthew, Mark). other side of the sea, in the direction of It seeins to me that the above interCapernaum ; "unto Bethsaida," Mark, pretation of “they were willing therewhich would be the same thing. It would fore to receive Him” is absolutely necessary appear as if the disciples were lingering to account for the therefore. along shore with the expectation of 22 - 59.7 The multitudes follow Jesus taking in Jesus: but night had fallen, and to Capernaum, where, in the synagogue, He had not come to them, and the sea He discourses to them on Himself as the began to be stormy (ver. 18). Having Bread of Life. 22-24.] These verses therefore set out (ver. 19), and rowed, &c. are involved and parenthetical in construc
iv. 14. f Matt. iii. 17 : xvii.5. Mark i 11: ix. 7. Luke iii. 22: ix. 35. ch. i. 33: v. 37: viii. 18. Acts ii. 22. 2 Pet. i. 17.
the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save [r that] one [r whereinto his disciples were entered], and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the s boat, but that his disciples t were gone away alone ; 23 (howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat a bread after that the Lord had given thanks :) 24 when the 8 people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, y they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. 25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither ? 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw e ver. 51. ch. [z the] miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and' were filled. 27 a Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but Q7. Luke e for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which ch. the Son of man shall give unto you : ' for him bhath God cret. romit. 8 read, ship.
trender, went. a render, the bread.
X render, multitude. y read and render, they entered into the ships. z omit.
a better, Work not: see note. b render, the Father sealed, even God. tion, but very characteristic of the minute And from this low desire of mere satisfaccare with which the Evangelist will account tion of their carnal appetite, He takes ocfor every circumstance which is essential casion in the following discourse to raise to his purpose in the narrative. the them to spiritual desire after HIMSELP, multitude) We are not to understand the THE BREAD OF LIFE. The discourse forms whole multitude who were fed, -but that a parallel with that in ch. iv.
27. portion of thein which had remained on Work not for The A. V., Labour not the coast over the nicht. Many had pro. for,' does not give the sense. They had bably dispersed to the villages about, or not laboured in this case for the meat that perhaps taken up their night quarters more perisheth, but it had been furnished mira. inland. on the other side of the sea culously. A better rendering would be, i. e. on the east coast. We are supposed Busy not yourselves about,- Do not weary to be at Capernaum. The other boats yourselves for, which they were doing, had perhaps brought some of them thither: by thus coming after our Lord: but best or the spot nigh unto the place where they of all, Work not for, because in the original ate the bread, &c., might have been some the root of the word is the same in verses landing-place of merchandise. 25.] on 27, 29, 30. “ T'he meat whose nourishthe other side of the sea is now the west ing power passes away,” De Wette. Better bank ;-we have been crossing the sea with literally, which perisheth, as in text :the multitude. when ? as Stier re- the useless part of it, in being cast out;marks, includes “how ?” in its meaning. the useful, in becoming part of the body Our Lord leaves the question unanswered, which perishes (see 1 Cor. vi. 13). because it was not for a sign to these people but for that meat] It is important to bear that He had miraculously crossed the lake. in mind that the “working for ” spoken
26.] The seeking Him, on the part of above, which also applies to this, was of these people,-to Him, who saw the not a 'labouring for,' or 'bringing about hearts,—was merely a low desire to profit of, but a following Christ in order to obby His wonderful works,-not a reasonable tain. So the meaning will be, but seek consequence of deduction from His miracles to obtain, by following after Me .... that He was the Saviour of the world. which endureth unto everlasting life) See VOL. I.