New Defender's Study Bible Notes
14:1 Herod the tetrarch. This Herod was Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, who had been king when Jesus was born. He was made tetrarch of Galilee, while his brother Archelaus was ruling as ethnarch over Judea (Matthew 2:22), the province in which both Jerusalem and Bethlehem were located. Another son, Philip, had been made tetrarch of Iturea (Luke 3:1).
14:2 risen from the dead. John must have indeed made an overwhelming impression on Herod, for Herod to think that Jesus was John risen from the dead (note John 1:6-8).
14:3 Herodias. Another son of Herod the Great was Aristobulus, the father of Herodias. Herodias had married still another of Herod’s sons named Philip (not the tetrarch of Galilee, but a private citizen). She later left Philip to marry Herod Antipas. Both Philip and Herod Antipas were thus her uncles. Salome was the daughter of Philip and Herodias.
14:6 daughter of Herodias. The name of this “damsel” is not given in the gospels, but it was Salome, according to the Jewish historian Josephus. She later married Philip the tetrarch, her uncle. The incestuous marriages among the descendants of Herod the Great (who seems to have had about ten wives) were many and complicated.
14:8 charger. A “charger” was a large, flat dish.
14:20 were filled. To feed five thousand men plus women and children from five loaves and two fishes is obviously humanly impossible. Naturalistic skeptics have tried to explain away this miracle as resulting from the example of sharing his lunch by one lad (John 6:9), which supposedly stimulated others to share also. Such an artificial explanation could hardly account for the twelve baskets full of fragments after everyone was “filled!” This was nothing less than a mighty miracle of creation. Setting aside His own created law of mass conservation (i.e., no matter can be either created or annihilated, as implied by Genesis 1:31–2:3), Jesus supernaturally created a great amount of bread and meat, to feed the multitude. This was well within His ability, as Creator of all things in the beginning! Note John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16; etc.
14:25 walking on the sea. In a further evidence of His power as Creator, Jesus must have created a special anti-gravity form of energy in order to walk on the sea, thus suspending or superseding His created law of energy conservation (First Law of Thermodynamics: no energy can be created or destroyed—only conserved).
14:36 as many as touched. Unlike the alleged results achieved by modern “faith-healers,” both Christian and non-Christian, there were no gradual or partial healings in Jesus’ ministry. His miracles of healing were instantaneous and complete.