Matthew 14:34
And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Gennesaret.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(34) They came into the land of Gennesaret.—The name, possibly a corruption of the older Chinneroth (Numbers 34:11; Joshua 11:2; Joshua 12:3), belonged to the western shore of the lake to which it gave one of its titles, and included Capernaum, to which, as we learn from John 6:17; John 6:24, the disciples were steering. The region was one of singular fertility (the name has been explained as meaning the “Garden of Sharon”), and was then one of the most populous districts of Palestine.

Matthew 14:34. They came into the land of Gennesaret — A large tract of ground on the western shore of the lake, in a part of which Capernaum appears from hence to have been situated. For though Matthew and Mark speak only of their coming to the land of Gennesaret and putting to shore there, (see Mark 6:53,) it is plain from John’s account that Jesus, at his landing, came to Capernaum, for it was there the people found him that followed him in the morning from the other side of the sea. See Doddridge, and compare John 6:22; John 6:25, with John 6:59. And when the men of that place had knowledge of him — Or rather, the men, &c., επιγνοντες αυτον, knowing, or having known him, namely, formerly; Jesus having ordinarily resided in that neighbourhood, and the inhabitants thereof having seen many of his miracles: sent out into all that country — Christ having been absent some time, the people were glad that he was now returned, and sent messengers to all their friends and acquaintance in the neighbouring places who were sick, desiring them to come and be cured. And they, rejoicing at the opportunity, came as soon as possible, in great crowds, carrying their sick on beds and couches, and bringing them to Jesus. Thus those who have obtained the knowledge of Christ themselves, should do all they can to bring others to be acquainted with him also. And when we have opportunities of receiving instruction and other spiritual blessings, we should invite as many as possible to share with us. More than we think of would embrace the opportunities, if they were but called upon and invited to them. On this occasion, the number of those that came to Jesus was so great, that he could not bestow particular attention upon each of them. They and their friends, therefore, besought him to grant them the favour of touching, if it were but the extremity of his clothes, being certain of obtaining thereby a complete cure. Nor were their expectations disappointed; for as many as touched him were made perfectly whole — Whatever the distempers were under which they laboured, not because there was any virtue in his garments, otherwise the soldiers to whom they were given at his crucifixion might have wrought miracles by them, but because Jesus willed it to be so: and because those who touched him confided in his power and goodness, and believed that he would thus heal them. It was in this neighbourhood that the woman mentioned Matthew 9:20, had been cured of a bloody issue by touching the hem of his garment, and probably the information which these afflicted people, who now applied to Christ, had received of this fact, gave occasion to this peculiar exercise of faith in him. Observe, reader, the healing virtue that is in Christ is put forth for the benefit of those that by a true and lively faith touch him. Christ is in heaven, but his word is nigh us, and he himself in that word. When we mix faith with the word, apply it to ourselves, depend upon it, and submit to the influences and commands of it, then we touch the hem of Christ’s garment. It is but this touching, and we are made whole. On such easy terms are spiritual cures offered by him, that if our souls are not healed, we have only ourselves to blame. He could have healed us, he would have healed us, but we would not be healed: so that our blood will be upon our own heads. 14:34-36 Whithersoever Christ went, he was doing good. They brought unto him all that were diseased. They came humbly beseeching him to help them. The experiences of others may direct and encourage us in seeking for Christ. As many as touched, were made perfectly whole. Those whom Christ heals, he heals perfectly. Were men more acquainted with Christ, and with the diseased state of their souls, they would flock to receive his healing influences. The healing virtue was not in the finger, but in their faith; or rather, it was in Christ, whom their faith took hold upon.Land of Gennesaret - This region was in Galilee, on the west side of the Sea of Tiberias; and in this land was situated Capernaum, to which he had directed his disciples to go.

The hem of his garment - That is, the fringe or border on the outer garment. See the notes at Matthew 9:20.

Remarks On Matthew 14

1. We learn from this chapter the power of conscience, Matthew 14:1-4. Herod's guilt was the only reason why he thought John the Baptist had risen. At another time he would altogether have disbelieved it. Consciousness of guilt will at some period infallibly torment a man.

2. The duty of faithfulness, Matthew 14:4. John reproved Herod at the hazard of his life, and he died for it; but he had the approbation of conscience and of God. So will all who do their duty. Here was an example of fidelity to all ministers of religion. They are not to fear the face of man, however rich, or mighty, or wicked.

3. The righteous will command the respect of the wicked. Herod was a wicked man, but he respected John and feared him, Mark 6:20. The wicked profess to despise religion, and many really do; but their consciences tell them that religion is a good thing. In times of trial they will sooner trust Christians than others. In sickness and death they are often glad to see them and hear them pray, and desire the comfort which they have; and, like Balsam, say, "Let me die the death of the righteous," Numbers 23:10. No person, young or old, is ever the less really esteemed for being a Christian.

4. People are often restrained from great sins by mere selfish motives, as Herod was by the love of popularity, Matthew 14:5. Herod would have put John to death long before had it not been that he feared the people. His constantly desiring to do it was a kind of prolonged murder. God will hold men guilty for desiring to do evil; and will not justify them if they are restrained, not by the fear of him, but by the fear of people.

5. We see the effect of what is called the principle of honor, Matthew 14:9. It was in obedience to this that Herod committed murder. This is the principle of duelling and war. No principle is so foolish and wicked. The great mass of people disapprove of it. The wise and good have always disapproved of it. This principle of honor is usually the mere love of revenge. It is often the fear of being laughed at. It produces evil. God cannot and will not love it. The way to prevent duels and murders is to restrain the passions and cultivate a spirit of meekness and forgiveness when young; that is, to come early under the full influence of the gospel.

6. People should be cautious about promises, and especially about oaths. Herod made a foolish promise, and confirmed it by a wicked oath, Matthew 14:9. Promises should not be made without knowing what is promised, and without knowing that it will be right to perform them. Oaths are always wicked except when made before a magistrate, and on occasions of real magnitude. The practice of profane and common swearing, like that of Herod, is always foolish and wicked, and sooner or later will bring people into difficulty.

7. Amusements are often attended with evil consequences, Matthew 14:6-11. The dancing of a frivolous and profligate girl was the means of the death of one of the holiest of men. Dancing, balls, splendid parties, and theaters are thought by many to be innocent; but they are a profitless waste of time. They lead to forgetfulness of God. They nourish passion and sensual desires. They often lead to the seduction and ruin of the innocent. They are unfit for dying creatures. From the very midst of such scenes the "happy" may go to the judgment bar of God. How poor a preparation to die! How dreadful the judgment seat to such!

8. Jesus will take care of the poor, Matthew 14:14-21. He regarded the temporal as well as the spiritual needs of the people. Rather than see them suffer, he worked a miracle to feed them. So, rather than see us suffer, God is daily doing what man cannot do. He causes the grain to grow; he fills the land, and seas, and air with living creatures; nay, he provides in desert places for the support of man. How soon would all people and beasts die if he did not put forth continued power and goodness for the supply of our wants!

9. It is the duty of Christians to be solicitous about the temporal wants of the poor, Matthew 14:15. They are with us. By regarding them, and providing for them, we have an opportunity of showing our attachment to Christ, and our resemblance to God, who continually does good.

10. A blessing should be sought on our enjoyments, Matthew 14:19. It is always right to imitate Christ. It is right to acknowledge our dependence on God, and in the midst of mercies to pray that we may not forget the Giver.

11. We see the duty of economy. The Saviour, who had power to create worlds by a word, yet commanded to take up the fragments, that nothing might be lost, John 6:12. Nothing that God has created and given to us should be wasted.

continued...

32. And when they had come into the boat, the wind ceased—(Also see on [1308]Mr 6:50.) See Poole on "Matthew 14:36". And when they were gone over,.... That is, "the sea", as Munster's Hebrew Gospel adds, the sea of Tiberias, or Galilee;

they came into the land of Gennesaret; the same with Cinnereth, or Chinnereth, or Cinnerot, Numbers 34:11 in all which places, the Chaldee paraphrase renders it by "Ginusar", the same word that is used in Munster's Hebrew Gospel here: it was a country in Galilee, in the tribe of Naphtali (y), bordering upon a lake, called the lake of Gennesaret; taking its name from the country, or the country from the lake: it was exceeding fruitful, full of gardens and orchards; hence we often read in the Talmud (z), of , "the fruits of Genusar", or Gennesaret, which are said to be exceeding sweet: and it is said to (a) be a country in the land of Israel, in which were many gardens; and by others (b), a place in the land of Galilee (as it was) whose fruits were large and good; and was, as Josephus says (c), thirty furlongs long and twenty broad. And thus the saints, after a long and troublesome passage over the sea of this world, arrive, at last, safe at their desired haven, and enter upon a most delightful country, a paradise, a garden of pleasure; where all delicious fruits and desirable things are enjoyed, even pleasures for evermore; where they shall be led to fountains of living waters, into fulness of joy; where all troubles will cease, and tears will be wiped away; and when they will have leisure and capacity to reflect upon all they have met with in their dangerous, and difficult voyage; and will admire the wonderful grace of God, which has been with them; and his divine power, which has appeared for them, and supported them, and brought them safe to eternal glory; and they ascribe greatness to Christ, as the Son of God, and for ever worship him as the eternal Jehovah, who has done such great things for them, as none but God can do.

(y) Targum Jon. in Deuteronomy 33.23. (z) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 44. 1. Erubim, fol. 30. 1. & Pesachim, fol. 8. 2. Vid. Jarchi in Isaiah 28.1. & Kimchi in Josh. xi. & in 1 Kings 15.20. (a) Maimon. in Misn. Maaserot, c. 3. sect. 7. (b) Bartenora, in ib. (c) De Bello Jude 1. 3. c. 35.

And when they were gone over, they came into the land of {e} Gennesaret.

(e) This Gennesaret was a lake near Capernaum, which is also called the Sea of Galilee or Tiberias; so the country itself grew to be called Gennesaret.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 14:34. Comp. Mark 6:53 ff. Γῆ Γεννης.] that beautiful district of Lower Galilee, stretching along the border of the lake, and measuring thirty stadia in length by twenty in breadth, Josephus, Antt. iii. 10. 8, the el Guweir of the present day; Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 334; Furer in Schenkel’s Bibellex. II. p. 324.Matthew 14:34-36. Safe arrival.—διαπεράσαντες, having covered the distance between the place where Jesus joined them and the shore.—ἐπὶ τὴν γῆν: they got to land; the general fact important after the storm.—εἰς Γεννησαρέτ, more definite indication of locality, yet not very definite; a district, not a town, the rich plain of Gennesaret, four miles long and two broad.34. the land of Gennesaret] By this is meant the plain of Gennesaret, two miles and a half in length and about one mile in breadth. Modern travellers speak of “its charming bays and its fertile soil rich with the scourings of the basaltic hills.” Josephus describes the district in glowing terms (B. J. iii. 10. 8). See Recovery of Jerusalem, p. 351.

34–36. Jesus cures sick folk in the Land of Gennesaret

Mark 6:53-56, where the stir of the neighbourhood and eagerness of the people are vividly portrayed.Verses 34-36. - On landing at Gennesaret numbers come to him and are healed. Parallel passage: Mark 6:53-56, which is fuller. Verse 34. - And when they were gone over - had crossed over (Revised Version); διαπεράσαντες Matthew 9:1 - they came into the land of Gennesaret - to the land, unto Gennesaret (Revised Version, with the true text). The plain El-Ruwer, part of the northwest side of the lake, and some three miles long by one broad, extending, roughly, from Chorazin (perhaps Khan Minyeh; but comp. Matthew 11:21, note) to Magdala. (For its fertility, see Josephus, 'Wars,' 3:10.8.)
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