New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Herod’s Opinion of Jesus. 1 [a](A)At that time Herod the tetrarch[b](B) heard of the reputation of Jesus(C) 2 and said to his servants, “This man is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why mighty powers are at work in him.”
The Death of John the Baptist. 3 (D)Now Herod had arrested John, bound [him], and put him in prison on account of Herodias,[c] the wife of his brother Philip, 4 (E)for John had said to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” 5 (F)Although he wanted to kill him, he feared the people, for they regarded him as a prophet. 6 But at a birthday celebration for Herod, the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the guests and delighted Herod 7 so much that he swore to give her whatever she might ask for. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and the guests who were present, he ordered that it be given, 10 and he had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. 12 His disciples came and took away the corpse and buried him; and they went and told Jesus.
The Return of the Twelve and the Feeding of the Five Thousand.[d] 13 (G)When Jesus heard of it, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of this and followed him on foot from their towns. 14 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, and he cured their sick. 15 When it was evening, the disciples approached him and said, “This is a deserted place and it is already late; dismiss the crowds so that they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.” 16 [Jesus] said to them, “There is no need for them to go away; give them some food yourselves.” 17 But they said to him, “Five loaves and two fish are all we have here.” 18 Then he said, “Bring them here to me,” 19 and he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking[e] the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he said the blessing, broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up the fragments left over[f]—twelve wicker baskets full. 21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, not counting women and children.
The Walking on the Water.[g] 22 (H)Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 (I)After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. 25 During the fourth watch of the night,[h] he came toward them, walking on the sea. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. 27 At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I;[i] do not be afraid.” 28 Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29 He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. 30 (J)But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,[j] why did you doubt?” 32 After they got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 [k](K)Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
The Healings at Gennesaret. 34 (L)After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret. 35 When the men of that place recognized him, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought to him all those who were sick 36 (M)and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak, and as many as touched it were healed.
- 14:1–12 The murder of the Baptist by Herod Antipas prefigures the death of Jesus (see Mt 17:12). The Marcan source (Mk 6:14–29) is much reduced and in some points changed. In Mark Herod reveres John as a holy man and the desire to kill him is attributed to Herodias (Mk 6:19, 20), whereas here that desire is Herod’s from the beginning (Mt 14:5).
- 14:1 Herod the tetrarch: Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great. When the latter died, his territory was divided among three of his surviving sons, Archelaus who received half of it (Mt 2:23), Herod Antipas who became ruler of Galilee and Perea, and Philip who became ruler of northern Transjordan. Since he received a quarter of his father’s domain, Antipas is accurately designated tetrarch (“ruler of a fourth [part]”), although in Mt 14:9 Matthew repeats the “king” of his Marcan source (Mk 6:26).
- 14:3 Herodias was not the wife of Herod’s half-brother Philip but of another half-brother, Herod Boethus. The union was prohibited by Lv 18:16; 20:21. According to Josephus (Antiquities 18:116–19), Herod imprisoned and then executed John because he feared that the Baptist’s influence over the people might enable him to lead a rebellion.
- 14:13–21 The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle of Jesus that is recounted in all four gospels. The principal reason for that may be that it was seen as anticipating the Eucharist and the final banquet in the kingdom (Mt 8:11; 26:29), but it looks not only forward but backward, to the feeding of Israel with manna in the desert at the time of the Exodus (Ex 16), a miracle that in some contemporary Jewish expectation would be repeated in the messianic age (2 Bar 29:8). It may also be meant to recall Elisha’s feeding a hundred men with small provisions (2 Kgs 4:42–44).
- 14:19 The taking, saying the blessing, breaking, and giving to the disciples correspond to the actions of Jesus over the bread at the Last Supper (Mt 26:26). Since they were usual at any Jewish meal, that correspondence does not necessarily indicate a eucharistic reference here. Matthew’s silence about Jesus’ dividing the fish among the people (Mk 6:41) is perhaps more significant in that regard.
- 14:20 The fragments left over: as in Elisha’s miracle, food was left over after all had been fed. The word fragments (Greek klasmata) is used, in the singular, of the broken bread of the Eucharist in Didache 9:3–4.
- 14:22–33 The disciples, laboring against the turbulent sea, are saved by Jesus. For his power over the waters, see note on Mt 8:26. Here that power is expressed also by his walking on the sea (Mt 14:25; cf. Ps 77:20; Jb 9:8). Matthew has inserted into the Marcan story (Mk 6:45–52) material that belongs to his special traditions on Peter (Mt 14:28–31).
- 14:25 The fourth watch of the night: between 3 A.M. and 6 A.M. The Romans divided the twelve hours between 6 P.M. and 6 A.M. into four equal parts called “watches.”
- 14:27 It is I: see note on Mk 6:50.
- 14:31 You of little faith: see note on Mt 6:30. Why did you doubt?: the verb is peculiar to Matthew and occurs elsewhere only in Mt 28:17.
- 14:33 This confession is in striking contrast to the Marcan parallel (Mk 6:51) where the disciples are “completely astounded.”
New International Version
John the Baptist Beheaded(A)
14 At that time Herod(B) the tetrarch heard the reports about Jesus,(C) 2 and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist;(D) he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 Now Herod had arrested John and bound him and put him in prison(E) because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife,(F) 4 for John had been saying to him: “It is not lawful for you to have her.”(G) 5 Herod wanted to kill John, but he was afraid of the people, because they considered John a prophet.(H)
6 On Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias danced for the guests and pleased Herod so much 7 that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” 9 The king was distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he ordered that her request be granted 10 and had John beheaded(I) in the prison. 11 His head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 John’s disciples came and took his body and buried it.(J) Then they went and told Jesus.
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them(M) and healed their sick.(N)
15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
17 “We have here only five loaves(O) of bread and two fish,” they answered.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.(P) Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 20 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. 21 The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.(S) Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”(T) they said, and cried out in fear.
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”(W) he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”(X)
34 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35 And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36 and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak,(Y) and all who touched it were healed.