Ver. 8. After the multitude had eaten and were filled, they did not take the remains; but these the disciples collected, as in the former miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. By this circumstance we are taught to be content with what is sufficient, and to seek no unnecessary supplies. We may likewise learn from this stupendous miracle the providence of God and his goodness, who sends us not away fasting, but wishes all to be nourished and enriched with his grace. Theoph.
--- Thus does our Lord verify in his works what he has promised in his instructions; that if we will seek in the first instance the kingdom of God and his justice, that all necessary things shall be added unto us. By the gathering up of the fragments that remained, he not only made the miracle more striking to the multitude and to the apostles, but has also left us a practical lesson, how, in the midst of plenty, which proceeds from the munificence of heaven, we must suffer no waste. A.
Ver. 9. S. Mat. (xv. 38.) adds, without counting either the women or the children.
Ver. 10. Dalmanutha. S. Mat. (xv. 39.) has, to the borders of Magedan; in Greek, Magdala, or Magedan. These were two towns beyond the sea of Galilee, situated near to each other; it is of little consequence which of these names the Evangelists mention; perhaps our Saviour visited both. Tir.
--- The major part of commentators, if we can believe the Bible of Vence, take Magedan, or Magdala, to be the the town of that name situated to the east of the lake of Tiberias, in the vicinity of Gerasa, and Dalmanutha to be the name of that part of the country in which these two towns were situated. V.
--- Polus in his Synopsis Criticorum, (vol. iv. p. 410.) gives three explanations for the discrepance of the names in SS. Matthew and Mark: 1. Idem locus erat binominis, the same place might have two names. 2. Propiqua erant loca, the places were near. 3. Alterum erat regio, alterum vicus, the one was the name of the territory, the other of the town or village; and concludes with asserting from Jewish authorities, that it was the same territory in which the two villages Magedan and Dalmanutha were situated; so that it might be known by either name, as we find the territory of Gadara and of Gergesæ is one and the same. Polus.
Ver. 11. Jesus Christ did not consent to the petition they made him, because there will be another time for signs and wonders, viz. his second coming, when the powers of heaven shall be moved, and the moon refuse her light. This his first coming is not to terrify man, but to instruct and store his mind with lessons of humility, and every other virtue. Theophy.
Ver. 12. Jesus Christ fetches a deep sigh on account of their obduracy, and says; why do these ask for a miracle to confirm their belief, when they resist the authority of so many miracles, which are daily performed under their eyes? V.
--- A sign shall not be given. But by a Hebrew form of speech, if divers times is put for a negative. Wi.
Ver. 15. Of the leaven of Herod. In S. Matt. c. xvi. v. 6, we read of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees: we may conclude that Christ named all of them. Wi.
Ver. 23. It may be asked, why our Lord led the man from the multitude before he cured him?
--- It may be answered, that he did it not to seem to perform his prodigies through vain glory; and thence to teach us to shun the empty praises of men: 2dly, to facilitate recollection, and to give himself to prayer, before he cured the blind man; and lastly, he went out of the city because the inhabitants of Bethsaida had already rendered themselves unworthy of the miracles of Christ. For among them our Saviour had wrought many miracles, yet they would not believe. S. Matt. xi. 21. Tir. Theophy.
--- Dionysius says, that Jesus led him from the multitude to shew that if a sinner, figured by the blind man, wishes to be converted from his evil ways, he must first leave all immediate occasions and inducements to sin. D. Diony.
Ver. 24. Men† as trees walking. In the Latin text, walking may agree either with men, or with trees, but the Greek shews that walking must be referred to men. Perhaps Christ restored sight in this manner to the man by degrees, to make him more sensible of the benefit; or to teach us how difficult is a sinner's
[†] V. 24. Video homines velut arbores ambulantes, blepw touV anqrwpouV wV dendra peripatountaV.
Ver. 25. Our Saviour made use of exterior signs in the performance of his miracles to command attention, and to signify the inward effects of the favours grants: these the Catholic Church, after the example of her Founder and Model, also uses in the celebration of her sacraments, and for the same purposes. Nor ought any supercilious and superficial reasoner to undervalue and contemn the corporal and external application of holy things, under the hollow plea, that we are exclusively to attend to the spirit and faith.
Ver. 28. As one of the prophets. In the Greek it is, one of the prophets.
Ver. 31. After our Redeemer had heard the confession of his first apostle, who spoke in the name of all, as the head, he opens out to them the grand mystery of his passion.