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VI

1. Matt. xiii, 54; Luke iv, 16.

3. Is not this the carpenter? - There can be no doubt, but in his youth he wrought with his supposed father Joseph.

5. He could do no miracle there - Not consistently with his wisdom and goodness. It being inconsistent with his wisdom to work them there, where it could not promote his great end; and with his goodness, seeing he well knew his countrymen would reject whatever evidence could be given them. And therefore to have given them more evidence, would only have increased their damnation.

6. He marvelled - As man. As he was God, nothing was strange to him.

7. Matt. x, 1; Luke ix, 1.

8. He commanded them to take nothing for their journey - That they might be always unincumbered, free, ready for motion. Save a staff only - He that had one might take it; but he that had not was not to provide one, Matt. x, 9. Luke ix, 3.

9. Be shod with sandals - As you usually are. Sandals were pieces of strong leather or wood, tied under the sole of the foot by thongs, something resembling modern clogs. The shoes which they are in St. Matthew forbidden to take, were a kind of short boots, reaching a little above the mid-leg, which were then commonly used in journeys. Our Lord intended by this mission to initiate them into their apostolic work. And it was doubtless an encouragement to them all their life after, to recollect the care which God took of them, when they had left all they had, and went out quite unfurnished for such an expedition. In this view our Lord himself leads them to consider it, Luke xxii, xxxv, When I sent you forth without purse or scrip, lacked ye any thing?

10. Matt. x, 11; Luke ix, 4.

12. Luke ix, 6.

13. They anointed with oil many that were sick - Which St. James gives as a general direction, James v, 14, 15, adding those peremptory words, And the Lord shall heal him - He shall be restored to health: not by the natural efficacy of the oil, but by the supernatural blessing of God. And it seems this was the great standing means of healing, desperate diseases in the Christian Church, long before extreme unction was used or heard of, which bears scarce any resemblance to it; the former being used only as a means of health; the latter only when life is despaired of.

14. Matt. xiv, 1; Luke ix, 7.

15. A prophet, as one of the prophets - Not inferior to one of the ancient prophets.

16. But Herod hearing thereof - Of their various judgments concerning him, still said, It is John.

20. And preserved him - Against all the malice and contrivances of Herodias. And when he heard him - Probably sending for him, at times, during his imprisonment, which continued a year and a half. He heard him gladly - Delusive joy! While Herodias lay in his bosom.

21. A convenient day - Convenient for her purpose. His lords, captains, and principal men of Galilee - The great men of the court, the army, and the province.

23. To the half of my kingdom - A proverbial expression.

26. Yet for his oath's sake, and for the sake of his guests - Herod's honour was like the conscience of the chief priests, Matt. xxvii, 6. To shed innocent blood wounded neither one nor the other.

30. Luke ix, 10.

31. Matt. xiv, 13; John vi, 1.

32. They departed - Across a creek or corner of the lake.

34. Coming out - of the vessel.

40. They sat down in ranks - The word properly signifies a parterre or bed in a garden; by a metaphor, a company of men ranged in order, by hundreds and by fifties - That is, fifty in rank, and a hundred in file. So a hundred multiplied by fifty, make just five thousand.

43. Full of the fragments - of the bread.

45. He constrained his disciples - Who did not care to go without him. Matt. xiv, 22.

46. Matt. xiv, 23; John vi, 15.

48. And he saw them - For the darkness could veil nothing from him. And would have passed by them - That is, walked, as if he was passing by.

52. Their heart was hardened - And yet they were not reprobates. It means only, they were slow and dull of apprehension.

53. Matt. xiv, 34; John vi, 21.

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