Herod - Matthew 14:1

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Matthew 14:1-33

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Herod - Matthew 14:1

Herod the tetrarch. Herod Antipas was one of the sons of Herod the Great who had tried to kill the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:13-18). He had the title "tetrarch" because he was the governor of one of the four regions into which the Romans had divided Israel.

Herodias – Matthew 14:3

Because of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife. John the Baptist spoke out boldly against the sin of Herod Antipas who married Herodias, the former wife of his brother Philip (or half-brother; it is difficult to be certain about which Philip this is). Lev. 18:16 prohibited getting married to a living brother's former wife. As a result of this public shaming by the prophet, Herodias devised a plan to have John killed.

A New Exodus - Matthew 14:13-33

The most defining moment in Israel's history was the exodus when God rescued his people from slavery in Egypt through Moses. Central to the exodus were the miracles of God's power of water with the parting of the Red Sea and his provision of food in the wilderness. These two crucial events were redone by Jesus with his own authority, showing his divinity, his greater-than-Moses role, and his re-creation of the people of God through a new exodus. Additionally, according to Ezek. 34:23-24 the coming Son of David will shepherd and feed God's people. (See note on Matt. 14:20.)

He had compassion on them – Matthew 14:14

He had compassion on them. Jesus' miracles and healings were not merely showing his power but come from his great love and compassion for people in their suffering (Matt. 9:36; 15:32; 20:34). Jesus' compassion contrasts with the Pharisees and scribes who were more concerned about upholding rules than showing mercy to those in need (Matt. 9:10-13; 12:1-14; 23:23).

Give them something to eat – Matthew 14:16

You give them something to eat. Jesus was attempting to develop the faith of his disciples so that they would trust God for his provision in all situations. Jesus has already taught them that their Father God will always provide (Matt. 6:25-34; 7:7-11) and they had experienced his authority when he sent them out (Matt. 10:1). He then wanted them to trust God to provide for the multitudes' need, but their faith was not strong enough.

Blessed, broke and gave – Matthew 14:19

Blessedbrokegave. This exact sequence of words will occur again at Jesus' last supper with his disciples (Matt. 26:26), when Jesus showed that his own suffering and death was God's ultimate provision for his people's needs. The Gospel of John makes the connection between the wilderness feeding and Jesus' body explicit (John 6:25-35, 48-58).

They ate and were filled – Matthew 14:20

They all ate and were filled. This statement is saying much more than simply that there was plenty of food (with twelve basketfuls left over). The idea that God's people would be fed and would be satisfied occurs several times in the Psalms (Ps. 22:26; 81:16; 107:9), is one of the promises of the Beatitude of hungering and thirsting for righteousness (Matt. 5:6), and hints at the future Messianic banquet (Isa. 25:6; Matt. 8:11).

The fourth watch – Matthew 14:25

Fourth watch of the night. In this way of reckoning time, the fourth watch is from 3-6 A.M.

Walking on the sea - Matthew 14:25

Walking on the sea. Jesus has already performed many miracles that show his power and authority (Matt. 8:1–9:34), including the ability to control nature (Matt. 8:26). Walking on water strongly indicates Jesus divine nature (Job 9:8).

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