World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
Mt 16:13-28. Peter's Noble Confession of Christ and the Benediction Pronounced upon Him—Christ's First Explicit Announcement of His Approaching Sufferings, Death, and Resurrection—His Rebuke of Peter and Warning to All the Twelve. ( = Mr 8:27; 9:1; Lu 9:18-27).
The time of this section—which is beyond doubt, and will presently be mentioned—is of immense importance, and throws a touching interest around the incidents which it records.
Peter's Confession, and the Benediction Pronounced upon Him. (Mt 16:13-20).
13. When Jesus came into the coasts—"the parts," that is, the territory or region. In Mark (Mr 8:27) it is "the towns" or "villages."
of Cæsarea Philippi—It lay at the foot of Mount Lebanon, near the sources of the Jordan, in the territory of Dan, and at the northeast extremity of Palestine. It was originally called Panium (from a cavern in its neighborhood dedicated to the god Pan) and Paneas. Philip, the tetrarch, the only good son of Herod the Great, in whose dominions Paneas lay, having beautified and enlarged it, changed its name to Cæsarea, in honor of the Roman emperor, and added Philippi after his own name, to distinguish it from the other Cæsarea (Ac 10:1) on the northeast coast of the Mediterranean Sea. [Josephus, Antiquities, 15.10,3; 18.2,1]. This quiet and distant retreat Jesus appears to have sought with the view of talking over with the Twelve the fruit of His past labors, and breaking to them for the first time the sad intelligence of His approaching death.
saying, Whom—or more grammatically, "Who"
do men say that I the Son of man am?—(or, "that the Son of man is"—the recent editors omitting here the me of Mark and Luke [Mr 8:27; Lu 9:18]; though the evidence seems pretty nearly balanced)—that is, "What are the views generally entertained of Me, the Son of man, after going up and down among them so long?" He had now closed the first great stage of His ministry, and was just entering on the last dark one. His spirit, burdened, sought relief in retirement, not only from the multitude, but even for a season from the Twelve. He retreated into "the secret place of the Most High," pouring out His soul "in supplications and prayers, with strong crying and tears" (Heb 5:7). On rejoining His disciples, and as they were pursuing their quiet journey, He asked them this question.