At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
This was Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, by Malthace, and tetrarch of Galilee and PerÊa, which produced a revenue of 200 talents a year. He married the daughter of Aretas, king of Arabia, whom he divorced in order to marry Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, who was still living. Aretas, to revenge the affront which Herod had offered his daughter, declared war against him, and vanquished him after an obstinate engagement. This defeat, Josephus assures us, the Jews considered as a punishment for the death of John the Baptist. Having gone to Rome to solicit the title of king, he was accused by Agrippa of carrying on a correspondence with Artabanus king of Parthia, against the Romans, and was banished by the emperor Caius to Lyons, and thence to Spain, where he and Herodias died in exile.
And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
do shew forth themselves in him
or, are wrought by him.
For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.
This infamous woman was the daughter of Aristobulus and Bernice, and granddaughter of Herod the Great.
Herod Philip, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne.
For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
Gr. in the midst.
Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.
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.
And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
Josephus informs us that John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded by Herod in the strong castle of Machaerus, which he describes as situated about 60 stadia east of Jordan, not far from where the river discharges itself into the Dead Sea.
And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
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.
And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
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.
But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.
And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
and they took
And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
the fourth watch
The Jews at this time divided the night into four watches; the first was from six o'clock in the evening till nine, the second from nine to twelve, the third from twelve till three, and the fourth from three till six; so that it probably began to be daylight before our Lord came to his disciples.
This suspension of the laws of gravitation was a proper manifestation of omnipotence.
And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
or, strong. Lord.
And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret.
the land of Gennesaret
Gennesaret was a fertile district, in which were situated the cities of Tiberias and Capernaum, extending along the western shore of the lake to which it gave name, about 30 stadia, or nearly four miles, in length, and twenty stadia, or two miles and a half, in breadth, according to Josephus.
And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased;
And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.