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56 And his sisters, are they not all with us ? Whence then hath this man all these things ?

57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

n Mark vi. 4; Luke iv. 24; John iv. 44.

ants of the place, so that they well enough the faithful exercise of his ministry, are knew that he had never had the advan- most apt to be offended, and are most tages of education under any of their cele- ready to object to him any circumstances brated doctors, and intimated by their of meanness which may be .connected reference to the humble circumstances of with his family and rank in life. the family, that they could not afford that Verse 58. And he did not many mighty expense, they were offended in him ; that works.—The mighty works, therefore, at is , they fell over the stumbling-block of which these Nazarites are said, in verse his humble condition and connexions, 54, to have been astonished, were works and refused to acknowledge him to be the of which they had heard, and not those Messiah. The rational conclusion would they had witnessed. St. Mark says, “ He have been, that, since he had not received could there do no mighty work, save that from men the wisdom which astonished he laid his hands on a few sick folk, and them, be must have received it from healed them.” The reason assigned is, above ; but how strong are the preju- because of their unbelief ; which is not to dices by which“ an evil heart of unbe- be understood as though their unbelief lief” coals up the judgment! With re- limited his power, or that he did no spect to the brethren and sisters of our mighty works except among those who Lord here spoken of, opinions are divided, fully acknowledged him to be the Messiah, whether they were the sons of Joseph by which is contrary to the fact; but that a former wife, or by Mary, or whether the general and entire unbelief of the they were the children of a brother or inhabitants of Nazareth, their utter consister of Joseph or of Mary. The ques- tempt of his claims, influenced both the tion is, however, unimportant, and can- sick themselves, who, with few exceptions, not be fully settled. They appear to have had no desire to make application to him, formed one family, and to have dwelt and also their friends, who had no inclinatogether. See the note on chap. xii. 46. tion even to make trial of his power, and

Verse 57. A prophet is not without honour, therefore did not bring them out to him &c.—That is, he is usually more honoured that he might relieve them. The few sick by strangers than by his immediate con- folk who were actually brought to him nexions, who are apt to be moved by he healed "by laying his hands upon envy at the distinction put upon him. them.” Beside, the latter, if reproved by him in

CHAPTER XIV.

1 Herod's opinion of Christ. 3 Wherefore John Baptist was beheaded. 13 Jesus

departeth into a desert place : 15 where he feedeth five thousand men with fire loares and two fishes : 22 he walketh on the sea to his disciples : 34 and landing at Gennesaret, healeth the sick by the touch of the hem of his garment.

1 At that time · Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,

2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works 'do show forth themselves in him.

6 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.

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

5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, d because they counted him as a prophet. a Mark vi. 14; Luke ix. 7. • Or, are wrought by him. b Luke iii. 19. c Lev. xviii. 16; xx. 21.

d Matt. xxi. 26.

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CHAPTER XIV. Verse 1. Herod the the Messiah should be manifested, or Je. tetrarch.—This was Herod Antipas, one remiah, or some other of the ancient of the sons of Herod the Great, who suc. prophets. The heart of Herod, ceeded to a part of his father's dominions, think, often smote him, on account of Galilee and Perea. See the note on chap. the base murder of this holy man, for ii. 1. A tetrarch was properly the ruler whom he had felt at one time great veneover a quarter part of any region; but the ration, and that now it was a guilty contitle was often given to those who ruled science which caused him to credit the over any portion of a country. Tetrarchs report that Jesus was the resuscitated are by courtesy sometimes called kings. Baptist ; and he said to his servants, This This vicious prince now heard of the fame is John the Baptist. But it rather appears, of Jesus; a fame which had long been from comparing the narratives of the spread throughout Galilee ; and accounts evangelists, that Herod was only “perof his character and miracles must have plexed,” or anxiously doubted whether been previously heard at court, but pro- the Baptist had risen again in the person bably passed for idle or superstitious of our Lord. Bishop Pearce, therefore, tales : now they could no longer escape renders the words interrogatively, “Is this attention.

John the Baptist ? Has he been raised Verse 2. This is John the Baptist, 8-c. from the dead ?” Whatever Herod's feel. -In several parts of the country where ings might be, they did not make him Jesus and John had not been personally afraid of meeting the holy martyr ; for known, various opinions were circulated St. Luke adds," he desired to see him ;" respecting our Lord, as that he was John at least he was anxious to have the mystery ihe Baptist raised from the dead; or Elias, solved. whom the Jews expected in person before Verses 3–5. For Herod had laid hold

6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.

7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.

8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.

on John, and bound him, &c.—St. Matthew of Philip, whom she had deserted, and goes back a little in his history to intro- whose child as well as wife had been duce, upon this mention of Herod, the wrested from him by the stronger power account of the death of John, and to ac- of his brother. Dancing was common count for Christ withdrawing himself. among the Jews on festival as well as Herodias was the daughter of Aristobu- common occasions; and here there appears lus, another of the sons of Herod the no ground for considering it as in itself Great, and was married to her uncle an act of lightness or indignity, the prinHerod Philip; from whom Herod Anti- cess being but a child, though sufficiently pas took her during the life-time of her old to be instructed by her mother what husband, and married her, and was living to ask of Herod in consequence of his in this foul and shameless adultery when oath. Her name was Salome ; and her reproved by John the Baptist. As Herod dancing appears to have pleased Herod by was a Jew, he professed subjection to the the peculiar elegance of her movement. His Jewish law, which forbade the marrying lavish admiration of the daughter was of a brother's wife even after his death, also an act of flattery to the mother, who except in the special case where he had possessed so much influence over him. left no issue ; so that John, by pronounc- Nor is there any reason for the conjecture ing this marriage unlawful, declared the that this dance was one of that pantoparties guilty of incest and adultery. It mimic character, satirized as licentious by was this that incensed Herod, and plant- some of the poets, and which, in truth, ed a revenge in the breast of Herodias, was of eastern original. Such dances which could not rest until it had glutted were performed by hired women, who itself with the blood of the faithful and studied and practised them as a profesholy reprover.

Herod indeed would sion. have put him to death immediately, but Verse 7. He promised with an oath.refrained from policy, because he feared Rash promises sealed with oaths were a tumult of the people. John was, how- often made by the kings and great men ever, cast into prison; and an opportunity of antiquity in their revels. Herodotus was given for schemes of feminine ven- mentions a promise of this vague kind geance, more dark and deadly than any made to a female, by Xerxes, which was other when once awakened, to work his followed by many mischievous conseruin.

quences. “He bade her ask whatever Verse 6. But when Herod's birthday was she desired, and he confirmed it by his kept.—That this was done with great oath.” pomp, appears from St. Mark, who says, Verse 8 And she, being before instructed. that "he made a great feast for his lords, Not before she had danced, but before high captains, and the chief persons of she made her request ; for St. Mark states, Galilee.” The dancing of the daughter that she went out to her mother, and said, of Herodias before, or rather ty tu meow, in What shall I ask ? the midst of the company, was a public A charger.-Iivač is properly a pine and shameless glorying of Herod and his board : hence a wooden platter or dish, unlawful wife in their infamy; this and a vessel of this kind made of any other daughter of Herodias being the offspring materials, but still preserving the original

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9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, 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 brought it to her mother.

name. In Homer the word is used for a by the second consideration, because of basket, and for a tablet.

them which sat at meat with him, in whose Verse 9. And the king was sorry, 80.- presence he would not seem to refuse to Such are the contradictions in human na- gratify his wife, for whom he had a blind ture, and especially in tyrants accustomed passion, and whose suit they might ento indulge every passion to excess, and to force by way of making their court to her. surrender themselves to every impression It is not improbable, that among the unchecked by any thing but soine con- guests were some of those enemies of trary feeling in their own minds, swelling John from whose persecutions Herod like waves dashing against each other. had before protected him. Doubtless the This prince “had feared John;" he had greater number present were infidel Sadstood in awe of his sanctity, knowing ducees, and those Pharisees who were that he was a just man, and an holy, and justly characterised by our Lord as obserred or protected him, ouvetnpel, pro

“whited walls and painted sepulchres.” bably from the persecutions of some Had they been any thing better, they of the more powerful of the Pharisees would have interposed in behalf of John, and Sadducees; “and when he heard and discovered their true skill in interhim, he did many things,” according preting the law, of which they made to his exhortations, "and heard him their boast, by showing Herod that no gladly.” And yet in his unjust anger, oath could bind him to commit murder, excited because John refused either to much less a vague and general one. This sanction or to be silent respecting an in- is sufficiently indicative of the true chacestuous marriage, he first cast him into racter of the guests. prison, and then surrendered his life to Verse 10. And he sent, and beheaded John the fury of the partner of his guilt. Of in prison. In this manner the emperor so little consequence is it for us to do Commodus dispatched the prefect Peren“Many things” at the command of God, nius. Nuklwp Teutas anoleuvet tny kepalmo, unless we walk “in all his statutes and says Herodian, “sending by night, he cut ordinances blameless ;" for the example off his head.” John was beheaded, accord. of Herod teaches this important lesson, ing to Josephus, in the castle of Machurus, that a partial surrender of ourselves to two days' journey from Tiberias, Herod's the influence of truth, is no security at usual residence. all against the most overwhelming out- Verse 11. She brought it to her mother. breakings of those corruptions of the —To such a mother one might well apply heart which remain unmortified.

the words of Ezekiel : “What is thy moNevertheless for the oath's sake.—This ther? A lioness: she lay down among was miserable casuistry; for an indefinite lions, she nourished her whelps among oath must necessarily be interpreted by young lions. And she brought up ove of circumstances; and had Herodias in- her whelps : and it became a young lion, structed her daughter to demand Herod’s and it learned to catch the prey; it devourown head, no doubt this pretended re- ed men.” This wretched pair of murderers specter of oaths would have excused him- were some time afterwards stripped of their self from the obligation : he was there- kingdom, and banished to Lyons, where fore probably more strongly influenced they died. The future vicious life of Sa

12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.

13 When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they 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.

15 I 'And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.

e Mark vi. 32; Luke ix, 10.

f John vi. 5; Mark vi. 35.

lome accorded with her education. See mission, the object of the miracle was to notes on Mark vi. 20, 21.

supply food to a multitude who attended Verse 13. When Jesus heard of it, he de- upon the ministry of Christ with great parted, &-c.—He went into the wilderness, affection, so that they might not be connear Bethsaida, on the other side of the strained by hunger to depart from him to lake, where he was out of Herod's juris- obtain it, and lose a portion of that opdiction. Still he was followed by the portunity of attending on his doctrine people of the neighbouring cities, on foot, which they had travelled so far to that is, by land, till a great multitude was enjoy : they need not depart; give ye them collected, on whom our Lord had com- to eat. 3. The miracle would remind passion, healed their sick, and wrought every reflecting person among them of one of his most noted miracles to supply their fathers being fed with manna in the them with bread.

wilderness : here, however, the supply was Verse 15. And when it was evening.- not rained down from heaven upon them; The first evening with the Jews began at but the five loaves and two fishes were multhree o'clock P.M., the second at six. The tiplied in the very act of distribution : a first is here meant; and the expression, the striking comment upon the words, “Man time, wpa, is now past, may either signify shall not live by bread alone,” by one that the usual hour of dining, which was element, or one means of sustenance, about the sixth hour, or noon, was long “but by every word that proceedeth out past; or simply that the day is far spent. of the mouth of God,” who makes the On the miracle which follows it may

be power of his word known by that variety remarked, 1. That the place was

of means which he has at command to sert,” so that no suspicion of supplies accomplish the same end. 4. As the being laid up in it could be entertained; loaves and fishes which were distributed besides that the meeting between Christ by the disciples formed the common stock and the multitude was so far from having of provisions for our Lord and them, been preconcerted, that he had retired we see the usual fare of our Lord whilst from observation by sea, and they, with the fishermen of Galilee,--the fish noticing the direction of the vessel, fol- they caught in the lake, and coarse bread, lowed by land, increasing their numbers for they were loaves of barley. 5. The as they advanced, announcing that they order of the proceeding added at once to were in search of Jesus. 2. That, beside its solemnity and the evidence of the miadding another miraculous proof of his racle. The multitude were made to sit

a de.

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