|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:30-44 Let not ministers do any thing or teach any thing, but what they are willing should be told to their Lord. Christ notices the frights of some, and the toils of others of his disciples, and provides rest for those that are tired, and refuge for those that are terrified. The people sought the spiritual food of Christ's word, and then he took care that they should not want bodily food. If Christ and his disciples put up with mean things, surely we may. And this miracle shows that Christ came into the world, not only to restore, but to preserve and nourish spiritual life; in him there is enough for all that come. None are sent empty away from Christ but those who come to him full of themselves. Though Christ had bread enough at command, he teaches us not to waste any of God's bounties, remembering how many are in want. We may, some time, need the fragments that we now throw away.
Verse 32. - And they went away in the boat (τῷ πλοίῳ) to a desert place apart - the boat, no doubt, which our Lord had ordered to be always in attendance upon him. We learn from St. Luke (Luke 9:10) that this desert place was near to "a city called Bethsaida." It seems that there were two places called Bethsaida - one in Galilee proper, and the other to the north-east of the Sea of Galilee. It was to the neighborhood of this latter place that our Lord here directs the boat to take him. The other Bethsaida is mentioned lower down at Ver. 45. The word Bethsaida means the "fish village."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they departed into a desert place,.... Which belonged to the city of Bethsaida, Luke 9:10,
by ship, privately; over some part of the sea of Tiberias, this place lying on a more remote side of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. And they departed into a desert place by ship privately—"over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias," says John (Joh 6:1), the only one of the Evangelists who so fully describes it; the others having written when their readers were supposed to know something of it, while the last wrote for those at a greater distance of time and place. This "desert place" is more definitely described by Luke (Lu 9:10) as "belonging to the city called Bethsaida." This must not be confounded with the town so called on the western side of the lake (see on Mt 11:21). This town lay on its northeastern side, near where the Jordan empties itself into it: in Gaulonitis, out of the dominions of Herod Antipas, and within the dominions of Philip the Tetrarch (Lu 3:1), who raised it from a village to a city, and called it Julias, in honor of Julia, the daughter of Augustus [Josephus, Antiquities, 18.2,1].
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