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latter clauseind to see and maimed to be whildered,

« saying, It was never so seen in Israel." See also Matth. xii. 22, 23. Mark vij. 38. On this occasion likewise they were not silent nor unaffected. 31. Insomuch that the multitude wondered, quhen they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lome to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel. This latter clause makes it probable, that many heathens were now present with our Lord, beheld his miracles, and formed a just notion of them. It seems his fame spreading itself into the neighbouring countries, had made such an impression even upon the idolatrous nations, that numbers of them came front far, to hear and see the wonderful man of whom such things were reported, and if possible to experience his healing goodness. Wherefore, when they beheld those effects of his power, they were ex. ' ceedingly struck with them, and brake forth in praises of the God by whose assistance and authority he acted. And it may be also, from that time forth devoted themselves to his worship. They glorified the God of Israel.

The multitude above mentioned continued at this time with Jesus three days. So Mark accidentally informs us; but he speaks nothing of the transactions which happened on them. Of these Matthew has given a general account on the passage just now explained. And now the multitude having, as on a former occasion, consumed all the provision they brought with them, Jesus would not send them away without feeding them, lest they might have fainted on the road home, many of them having come from far. Mark viii. 1. In those days the multitude being very great, and having nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples unto kim, and saith unto them, 2. I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days, and have nothing to eat. 3. And if I send them away fasting to their own houses, they will faint by the ways for divers of them came from far. The disciples, who it seems were not thinking now of the former miraculous dinner, imagined that Jesus proposed to feed this great multitude in the natural way, and were greatly surprised at it. 4. And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy those men (Matth. fill so great a multitude) with bread, here in the wilderness? They did not reflect, it seems, upon the former miraculous dinner which Jesus had given to the multitude, or if they did, they had such imperfect conceptions of his power, that they fancied he could not feed the multitude a second time. For these wrong notions Jesus did not reprove them, but meekly asked what meat they had; and upon their telling him that they had seven loaves and a few little fishes, he ordered them to be brought, and out of these made a second dinner for the multitude by miracle ; few or none of them having been present at the former dinner. They seem to have been mostly such as followed Jesus from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, and the neighbouring

heathen

heathen country. Hence they are said, on seeing his miracles, to have glorified the God of Israel. This dinner was in all re. spects like to the first, except in the number of loaves and fishes of which it was made, the number of persons who were present at it, and the number of baskets that were filled with the fragments that remained. The loaves made use of at this feast were seven, the fishes are said to have been little and few, the baskets of fragments that remained were seven, and the people who were fed were four thousand men, besides women and children, who no doubt were equal in number to, if not more than the men. At this dinner the multitude was ordered to sit down, not on the grass as at the former, but on the ground, the grass being gone. Hence it may be conjectured, that the miracle was performed about ihe middle of summer, the grass in Judea decaying very early through the excessive heat of the climate. (See Antiq. Disc. vi:) The weather therefore being good, and the air warm, the people could remain two or three nights successively in the fields * Mark viii. 5. And he asked, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven. (Matt. and a few little fishes.) 6. And he commanded the people (Matt. the multitude) to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, (Matt. and the fishes) and gave thanks, and broke, and gave to his disciples to set before them; and they did set them before the people. 7. And they had a few small fishes ; and he blessed, and commanded to set them also before them. He gave thanks for the fishes separately, and distributed them separately. The evangelists having, in the history of the former dinner, described the manner in which the multitude was set down, thought it needless on this occasion to say any thing of that particular, probably because they were ranged as before, in companies, by hundreds and by fifties. 8. So they d'id eat, (Matt. they did all eat) and were filled : and they took top of the breken meat that was left, seven baskets, (Matt. full). 9. And they that had eaten were about four thousand (Matt. men,

beside

* One cannot but remark with what wisdom Jesus chose to be so much in desarts, during this period of his ministry. He was resolved, in the discharge of the daties of it, to make as little noise as possible, to avoid crowds, and to be tollowed only by such as had dispositions proper for profiting by his instructiens. And to say the truth, not a great many others would accompany him into solitudes, where they were to sustain the inconveniences of hunger and the weather, for several days together. As the multitude, on this and the like occasions, remained long with Jesus, doubtless his doctrine distilled uron them all the while like the dew, and as the small rain upon the tender herb. If 50, what satisfaction and edification should we find in the divine discourses which he thin delivered, were we in possession of them! The refreshment we receive from such of them as the inspired writers have preserved, raises an ardent desire of the rest. At the same time it must be acknowledged, that we are blessed with as much of Christ's doctrine as is fully sufficient to all the purposes of our salvation;

beside women and children). Matthew tells us, that having fed the multitude, Jesus took boat, and passed over the coasts of Magdala, in quest of more opportunities to instruct and heal mankind. Matt. xv. 39. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, (Mark, with his disciples) and came into the coasts of Magdala. Mark says, he came into the parts of Dalmanutha. But the evangelists may easily be reconciled, by supposing that Dalmanutha was a city and territory within the district of Magdala. Reland, Palest. pag. 884. mentions a castle called Magdala, not far from Gamaba, which he thinks gave this region its name. LXVIII. In Dalmanutha the Pharisees demand the sign from heaven the second time, see $ 48, 86. The sign of the prophe: Jonah promised the second time, see g. 48. 86. Jesus leaves Dalmanntha. In sailing across the lake; he cautions his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matt. xvi. 1,-12. Mark viii. 11-21. *

While Jesus was in Dalmanutha or Magdala, the Pharisees having heard of the socond miraculous dinner, and fearing that the whole common people would acknowledge him for the Messiah, resolved to confute his pretensions fully and publicly. For this purpose, they came forth with the Sadducees, who though the opposites and rivals of the Pharisees in all other matters, joined them in their design of oppressing Jesus, and along with them demanded of him the sign from heaven. It seems the Jews understanding the prophecy, Dan, vii. 13. literally, expected that Messiah would make his first public appearance in the clouds of heaven, and take unto himself glory and a temporal kingdom, see on Matt. iv. 6.9 17. Agreeably to this, Josephus describing the state of affairs in Judea under Felix, tells us that the deceivers and impostors pretending to inspiration, endeavoured to bring about changes, and so making the peopie mad, led them into the wilderness, as if they had been to shew them signs of liberty, Bell. lib. ii. cap. 12. Wherefore, when the Pharisees desired Jesus to shew them a sign from heaven, they certainly-meant that he should demonstrate himself to be the Messiah, by coming in a visible and miraculous manner from heaven with great pomp, and by wresting the kingdom out of the hands of the Romans. These hypocrites craftily feigned an inclination to believe, if he would but give them sufficient evidence of his mission. However their true design was, that by his failing in the proof which they required, he should expose himself to general blame. Mark viii, 11. And the Pharisee's come forth, (Mauch, with the Sadducees) and began to question, (Gr. to dispute) with him, seeking of him o sign from heaven, tempting him. The proofs which Jesus was daily giving them of his mission being more than suficient to establish it, had the Pharisees been possessed of any candour at all,

or

or any inclination to know the truth, they could not have been at a loss to judge in this matter, especially as in the ordinary affairs of life, they shewed abundance of acuteness. The truth is, their not acknowledging our Lord as Messiah, was owing neither to want of evidence, nor to want of capacity to judge of that evidence. This Jesus signified in the reproof which he gave them, for discerning so accurately by the face of the earth and sky, what sort of weather would be, whilst they were so stupid as not to understand by the accomplishment of the ancient prophecies, (Gen. xlix. 10. Isa. xi. l. xxxv. 5. Dan. ix. 24.) and by the mic racles which he performed, that the time foretold by the prophets and expected by all ages, even the time of the Messiah, was come. Matt. xvi. 2. He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red. 3. And in the morning, it will be foul weather to-day, for the sky is red and lowering. (See on Luke xii. 56.9 89.) O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discefn the signs of the times? The Pharisees being more expert in forming a jugment of the weather, than in discerning the signs of the times, it plainly appeared that their thoughts were much more employed about matters relative to the present life, than to the future; wlicrefore, our Lord's reproof was well founded, and no more severe than the nature of their folly deserved. Withal, having a disposition absolutely incorrigible, the Saviour of the world fel: the bitterest grief on their account, sighed deeply in his spirit, and solemnly declared that the sign they were seeking should not be given them. They were to have no sign but that of the prophet Jonas, or the miracle of his own resurrection, a sign greater than any of those shewed by the ancient prophets and messengers of God, and consequently a sign which proved Jesus to be superior unto them all. Mark viii. 12. And he sighed deeply in his spirit (see on Luke i. 47. 4. Luke x. 21. $ 81.) and snith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign, viz. from heaven ? (Mat. a wicked and an adulterous generation seeketh after a sign. (See on Mark viii. 38. § 7.1.) * Verily I say unta yu, There shall no sign be given to this generation (Mat. xvi. 4.) but the sign of the prophet Jonas. The sign of the prophet Jonas

our our Lord had explained on a former occasion. See on Matt. xii. 40. And he left them and departed.

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071? :norr 210, If u sign shall be griren. But in the mouth of God, such an oath must! suoplisit thus: Lit me not be true, if they sbull enter into my ris!; if a siin shall be given, &c. Or as in Ezek. xiv. 16. (W &7, & VIGE 1 9U/TEEL SNTO76. Ilite ro: isons or daughters be deckered.

When Jesus left the Pharisees, he went with his disciples into the boat. Mark viii. 13. And he left them, and entering into the ship again, departed to the other side. 14. Now the disciples had forgotten to take bread, neither had thiy in the ship with them more than one lonf. (Matt. And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. It seems they tarried so long in Dalmanutha, that they had cousumed the seven baskets of fragments which they had taken up at the late miraculous dinner. Mark viii. 15. And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, end of the leaven of Herod, (Matt. of the Sadducees. See Jewish Ant. Disc. i. c. 4. § 1.) * While they sailed to the other side, Jesus bade his disciples beware of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which he called leaven, because of its pernicious infuence to sour mens tempers with pride and other evil passions. For as those hypocrites chiefly enjoined the observation of frivolous traditions, their doctrine was a great enemy to the principles of true piety, and puffed men up with an high conceit of their pwn sanctity. But the disciples having accidentally forgotten to take bread into the boat with them, and having often heard the doctors prolibir the use of the leaven of heathens and Samaritans, they thought he forbade them to buy bread from bakers of either sect, lest it might be made with leaven somehow impure; and so looked on the advice as an indirect reproof of their carelessness. 16. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have (Matt. have taken) no bread: They talked privately among themselves about the meaning of their Master's exhortation, and agreed that it was a reproof for their neglecting to take bread along with them. 17. And when Jesus knew it, he saith unts them (Matt. O ye of little faith) Why reason ye because ye huve no bread? Why should your neglecting to bring bread with you, make you put such an interpretation upon my words? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand ? After having been so long with me, are ye still ignorant of my power and goodness ? Have yje your heart yet hardened ? Is there no abiding impression mude

yee * While they sailed.] Matthew's account indeed scems to contradict this supposition, xvi. 5. rind when his disciples were come to the other siche, itey bud forgotten to take brend. But if that was the tvangelist's meaning, ihe interpretation which the disciples put upon their Master's reproof 11:1:56 have been improver ; because they might easily have supplied themseives with bread in the country to which they were come. In the original the words are, xx. CONTES 01 peccant OL AVTX !!5 TO 7reecy, hcierto upras axe10. The proper translation of which is, Now the disciples guing to the other side, bad forgutten to take brind That €2.97 Ecv signifies to go as well as to come, see proved in the rote on Matt. xvi. 28. $ 75. Besides, it is more arrecable to the nature of the thing to suppose that this conversation liaj pened as they slicd.

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