Matthew 4:14
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
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(14) The light in which the fact of the migration presented itself to St. Matthew was, as with other facts, that it agreed with what had been spoken by a prophet. The abode of Nazareth had thus fulfilled one prediction, that at Capernaum fulfilled another.

Matthew 4:14-15. That it might be fulfilled. — Or, whereby was fulfilled, that which was spoken by Esaias — Namely, Isaiah 9:1-2, where see the notes. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, &c. — Isaiah, in this passage, comforts the Jewish Church of his time against the desolation about to be made through the Assyrian invasion, by foretelling that they who should have the greatest share in that calamity should afterward enjoy, in the greatest plenty, the means of salvation through Christ’s abode and preaching among them: By the way of the sea — That is, on the coasts of the lake of Gennesareth, commonly called a sea: Galilee of the Gentiles — Or nations; that is, Galilee in the confines of, or encompassed by, the heathen nations. Or, perhaps the reason of the name may rather be, that many Gentiles were early settled there, and had filled the country with a variety of superstitions, in consequence of Solomon’s giving a tract of land here to Hiram. See 1 Kings 9:11-13. Hence it was soon filled with foreigners, and peopled with a mixture of Phœnicians, Egyptians, and Arabians, as we learn from Strabo, an ancient writer.

4:12-17 It is just with God to take the gospel and the means of grace, from those that slight them and thrust them away. Christ will not stay long where he is not welcome. Those who are without Christ, are in the dark. They were sitting in this condition, a contented posture; they chose it rather than light; they were willingly ignorant. When the gospel comes, light comes; when it comes to any place, when it comes to any soul, it makes day there. Light discovers and directs; so does the gospel. The doctrine of repentance is right gospel doctrine. Not only the austere John Baptist, but the gracious Jesus, preached repentance. There is still the same reason to do so. The kingdom of heaven was not reckoned to be fully come, till the pouring out of the Holy Spirit after Christ's ascension.That it might be fulfilled ... - This place is recorded in Isaiah 9:1-2. Matthew has given the sense, but not the very words of the prophet. For the meaning of the passage as employed by Isaiah, see the notes at Isaiah 9:1-2.

By the way of the sea - Which is near to the sea, or in the vicinity of the sea.

Beyond Jordan - This does not mean to the east of Jordan, as the phrase sometimes denotes, but rather in the vicinity of the Jordan, or perhaps in the vicinity of the sources of the Jordan. See Deuteronomy 1:1; Deuteronomy 4:49.

Galilee of the Gentiles - Galilee was divided into upper and lower Galilee. Upper Galilee was called Galilee of the Gentiles, because it was occupied chiefly by Gentiles. It was in the neighborhood of Tyre, Sidon, etc. The word "Gentiles" includes in the Scriptures all who are not Jews. It means the same as nations, or, as we should say, the pagan nations.

14. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet—(Isa 9:1, 2 or, as in Hebrew, Isaiah 8:23, and 9:1).

saying—as follows:

See Poole on "Matthew 4:16".

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken,.... Christ's dwelling in Capernaum accomplished a prophecy of the prophet Isaiah 9:1 and he went and dwelt there, that it might be fulfilled which he had spoken: the meaning of which prophecy is (x), that as those parts of the land of Israel, there mentioned, had suffered much by Tiglathpileser, who had carried them captive, 2 Kings 15:29 and is "the vexation" referred to; so they should be honoured, and made very glorious, by the presence and conversation of the Messiah among them, and which now had its literal fulfilment: for Christ now came and dwelt in Capernaum, which lay between the lands and upon the borders both of Zabulon and Nephthalim; was situated by the sea of Tiberias, beyond Jordan, and in, "Galilee of the nations"; the upper Galilee, which had in it people of other nations besides Jews. The ancient Jews expected the Messiah to make his first appearance in Galilee; which expectation must be grounded on this prophecy; for so they say (y) expressly,

"the king Messiah shall be revealed , "in the land of Galilee."''

And in another place (z) explaining Isaiah 2:19 they paraphrase it thus,

""for fear of the Lord"; this is the indignation of the whole world: and for the "glory of his majesty"; this is the Messiah; when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth, when he shall arise and be revealed , "in the land of Galilee": because that this is the first place to be destroyed in the holy land; therefore he shall be revealed there the first of all places.''

Here Jesus, the true Messiah, made his first appearance publicly; here he called his disciples, and began his ministry.

(x) See my treatise upon the "Prophecies of the Messiah", &c. p. 147, &c. (y) Zohar in Gen. fol. 74. 3.((z) Ib. in Exod. fol. 3. 3. & 88. 3.

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
Matthew 4:14-16. Jesus chose Capernaum as best suited for His work. There He was in the heart of the world, in a busy town, and near others, on the shore of a sea that was full of fish, and on a great international highway. But the evangelist finds in the choice a fulfilment of prophecy—ἵνα πληρωθῇ. The oracle is reproduced from Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 9:1, freely following the original with glances at the Sept[16] The style is very laconic: land of Zebulun and land of Naphthali, way of the sea (ὁδὸν absolute accusative for דֶּרֶךְ = versus, vide Winer, § 23), Galilee of the Gentiles, a place where races mix, a border population. The clause preceding, “beyond Jordan,” is not omitted, because it is viewed as a reference to Peraea, also a scene of Christ’s ministry.

[16] Septuagint.

14. Esaias] Read the whole of the prophecy (ch. Matthew 8:11 to Matthew 9:6) which is unfortunately broken in the E. V. by the division into chapters.

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