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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Matthew 14

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

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Verses 1-12

Matthew 14:1-12 . Herod and Jesus. The End of John the Baptist ( Mark 6:14-29 *, Luke 9:7-9, cf. Luke 3:18-20).— Mt.’ s narrative is much briefer than Mk.’ s, and he goes astray. Thus in Matthew 14:5 he makes Herod himself (rather than Herodias) wish to kill John, though in Matthew 14:9 he is grieved at it. But he adds the information that the disciples of John told Jesus of their master’ s fate. He makes this the reason of Jesus’ retirement, which in Mk. is due to the disciples’ need of rest after their tour. Mt. is wrong, for the death of John had happened some time earlier, yet there is underlying truth, for Jesus Himself feared Herod. Matthew 14:5 (see above) may indeed originally have referred to Jesus ( cf. Luke 13:31); it does not go well with Matthew 14:6-10.

Verses 13-21

Matthew 14:13-21 . The Feeding of the Multitude ( Mark 6:35-44 *, Luke 9:10-17).— The account is somewhat shorter than in Mk. Having already ( Matthew 9:36) spoken of Jesus’ compassion for people who were “ as sheep not having a shepherd” ( Mark 6:34), Mt. here ( Matthew 14:14) makes Him heal the sick, which is somewhat out of place. He adds to the 5000 men, women and children.

Verses 22-33

Matthew 14:22-33 . Jesus Walks on the Sea ( Mark 6:45-52 *).— Mt. omits “ to Bethsaida,” seeing that the boat arrived at Gennesaret ( Matthew 14:34), and the remark that Jesus “ would have passed by them.” But he amplifies the story by the attempt of Peter to walk on the water. This incident, which has a close parallel in Buddhist legend, emphasizes the power of faith. It may reflect the later proud impulsiveness, fall, repentance, and restoration of the apostle. Loisy regards it as a piece of resurrection-legend, like the miraculous catch of fish in Luke 5:1

Matthew 14:11. Similarly he sees in the whole story a picture of the dismay of the disciples between the crucifixion and the Resurrection, or rather of the primitive Church after the Ascension, wearied and perplexed by difficulties while waiting for the Parousia. The Master’ s indifference is only apparent; He will surely come and bring succour and peace.

Matthew 14:33 . Contrast Mark 6:52. The Messianic confession given by Mt. detracts from the significance of the confession at Cæ sarea Philippi ( Matthew 16:16).

Verses 34-36

Matthew 14:34-36 . The Ministry of Healing Resumed ( Mark 6:53-56 *, abbreviated in Mt.).— Jesus had not apparently visited Gennesaret before, but some of its people would have seen Him in Capernaum.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Matthew 14". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/matthew-14.html. 1919.
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