John 6:17
And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.
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(17) For “a ship,” the received text has, with some of the best MSS., the shipi.e., the ship in which they first crossed. For “went over the sea,” read were going over the sea. The voyage is described as still continuing.

Toward Capernaum.—St. Matthew speaks more generally of the other (i.e., the western) side. St. Mark of Bethsaida, which was distinct from Bethsaida Julias, which was on the east of the lake. (Comp. Note on Luke 9:10.) For an account of Capernaum, see Matthew 4:13, and in this John John 6:59.

6:15-21 Here were Christ's disciples in the way of duty, and Christ was praying for them; yet they were in distress. There may be perils and afflictions of this present time, where there is an interest in Christ. Clouds and darkness often surround the children of the light and of the day. They see Jesus walking on the sea. Even the approaches of comfort and deliverance often are so mistaken, as to become the occasions of fear. Nothing is more powerful to convince sinners than that word, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest; nothing more powerful to comfort saints than this, I am Jesus whom thou lovest. If we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, though the night be dark, and the wind high, yet we may comfort ourselves, we shall be at the shore before long.See this miracle of walking on the sea explained in the notes at Matthew 14:22-33. Compare Mark 6:45-52.16, 17. when even was come—(See on [1791]Mr 6:35).

entered into a ship—"constrained" to do so by their Master (Mt 14:22; Mr 6:45), in order to put an end to the misdirected excitement in His favor (Joh 6:15), into which the disciples themselves may have been somewhat drawn. The word "constrained" implies reluctance on their part, perhaps from unwillingness to part with their Master and embark at night, leaving Him alone on the mountain.

went—rather, "were proceeding."

toward Capernaum—Mark says (Mr 6:45), "unto Bethsaida," meaning "Bethsaida of Galilee" (Joh 12:21), on the west side of the lake. The place they left was of the same name (see on [1792]Mr 6:32).

Jesus was not come to them—They probably lingered in hopes of His still joining them, and so let the darkness come on.

Ver. 17-22. By the sea is here meant the sea of Galilee, or lake of Tiberias, or of Gennesaret. There our Saviour and his disciples had left the multitude; the disciples having taken a boat, and passing over on the other side, and Christ having followed them, the multitude, probably having gone in the night to rest themselves at their several houses, came again in the morning, expecting to have found Christ, and have seen more miracles; being disappointed, understanding that both Christ and his disciples were gone over. And entered into a ship,.... In which they came, and was waiting for them; or into another:

and went over the sea towards Capernaum; steered their course from Bethsaida, where they took shipping over the sea of Galilee; at least over one part of it, a creek or bay of it, as they intended, towards the city of Capernaum, which lay over against Bethsaida:

and it was now dark; quite night, which made their voyage more uncomfortable, especially as it afterwards was tempestuous: but the worst of all was,

and Jesus was not come to them; as they expected, and therefore were obliged to set sail and go without him.

And entered into a ship, and went over the sea {b} toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

(b) In Mr 6:45 they are told to go ahead to Bethsaida, for Bethsaida was along the way to Capernaum.

17. toward Capernaum] S. Mark says ‘unto Bethsaida’ which was close to Capernaum. See notes and map at Matthew 4:13 and Luke 5:1. For ‘went over the sea’ we should read were coming over the sea, i.e. were on their way home.

was not come] More accurately, was not yet come.Verses 17, 18. - And darkness had already come on, and Jesus had not yet come to them. This thrilling touch in John's narrative makes it more than evident that the beloved disciple was on board. He had been expecting the Master to make his appearance in some form. He had looked long and eagerly to that point on the mountainside whither he knew that Jesus had retired. The dreary and disappointed expectation, the long and weary waiting, left an indelible impression. Their natural course towards Capernaum would have been almost parallel with the shore of the lake; but it was dark and tempestuous, they could not steer. And the sea was being roused from its slumber by reason of a high wind which was blowing. If the wind came from the north, it would drift them out into the darkness and the middle of the lake, which is there, at its widest, about five miles broad, i.e. forty stadia, or furlongs. The statement of the next verse comes then into undesigned coincidence with Mark 6:47, which shows that they were "in the midst of the sea," i.e. halfway from shore to shore. This would exactly correspond with the following statement. Ship (πλοῖον)

Rev., boat. See on Luke 5:2. The best texts omit the article.

Went (ἤρχοντο)

The imperfect, were going. So Rev.


Mark has Bethsaida.

It was now dark (σκοτία ἤδη ἐγεγόνει)

Literally, darkness had already come on. On darkness, see on John 1:5.

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