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Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible, by John Wesley, [1754-65], at

Matthew Chapter 14

Matthew 14:1

mat 14:1

At that time - When our Lord had spent about a year in his public ministry. Tetrarch - King of a fourth part of his father's dominions. Mar 6:14.

Matthew 14:2

mat 14:2

He is risen from the dead - Herod was a Sadducee: and the Sadducees denied the resurrection of the dead. But Sadduceeism staggers when conscience awakes.

Matthew 14:3

mat 14:3

His brother Philip's wife - Who was still alive. Mar 6:17.

Matthew 14:4

mat 14:4

It is not lawful for thee to have her - It was not lawful indeed for either of them to have her. For her father Aristobulus was their own brother. John's words were rough, like his raiment. He would not break the force of truth by using soft words, even to a king.

Matthew 14:5

mat 14:5

He would have put him to death - ln his fit of passion; but he was then restrained by fear of the multitude; and afterward by the reverence he bore him.

Matthew 14:6

mat 14:6

The daughter of Herodias - Afterward infamous for a life suitable to this beginning.

Matthew 14:8

mat 14:8

Being before instructed by her mother - Both as to the matter and manner of her petition: She said, Give me here - Fearing if he had time to consider, he would not do it: John the Baptist's head in a charger - A large dish or bowl.

Matthew 14:9

mat 14:9

And the king was sorry - Knowing that John was a good man. Yet for the oath's sake - So he murdered an innocent man from mere tenderness of conscience.

Matthew 14:10

mat 14:10

And he sent and beheaded John in the prison, and his head was given to the damsel - How mysterious is the providence, which left the life of so holy a man in such infamous hands! which permitted it to be sacrificed to the malice of an abandoned harlot, the petulancy of a vain girl, and the rashness of a foolish, perhaps drunken prince, who made a prophet's head the reward of a dance! But we are sure the Almighty will repay his servants in another world for what ever they suffer in this.

Matthew 14:13

mat 14:13

Jesus withdrew into a desert place - To avoid Herod: Because of the multitude pressing upon him, Mar 6:32 and To talk with his disciples, newly returned from their progress, Luk 9:10 apart - From all but his disciples. Joh 6:1.

Matthew 14:15

mat 14:15

The time is now past - The usual meal time. Mar 6:35; Luk 9:12.

Matthew 14:22

mat 14:22

He constrained his disciples - Who were unwilling to leave him. Mar 6:45; Joh 6:15.

Matthew 14:24

mat 14:24

In the evening - Learned men say the Jews reckoned two evenings; the first beginning at three in the afternoon, the second, at sunset. If so, the latter is meant here.

Matthew 14:25

mat 14:25

The fourth watch - The Jews (as well as the Romans) usually divided the night into four watches, of three hours each. The first watch began at six, the second at nine, the third at twelve, the fourth at three in the morning. If it be thou - It is the same as, Since it is thou. The particle if frequently bears this meaning, both in ours and in all languages. So it means, Joh 13:14, Joh 13:17. St. Peter was in no doubt, or he would not have quitted the ship.

Matthew 14:30

mat 14:30

He was afraid - Though he had been used to the sea, and was a skilful swimmer. But so it frequently is. When grace begins to act, the natural courage and strength are withdrawn.

Matthew 14:33

mat 14:33

Thou art the Son of God - They mean, the Messiah.

Matthew 14:35

mat 14:35

Mar 6:45.

Next: Matthew Chapter 15