Matthew 14 is the fourteenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. It continues the narrative about Jesus' ministry in Galilee and recounts the circumstances leading to the death of John the Baptist.

Matthew 14
Uncial 073 (Matthew 14,28-31).JPG
Gospel of Matthew 14:28-31 on Uncial 073, from 5th or 6th century.
BookGospel of Matthew
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part1


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 36 verses.

Textual witnessesEdit

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:


This chapter can be grouped (with cross references to parallel passages in the other gospels):

The reaction of Herod Antipas (14:1–12)Edit

Herod Antipas (Herod the tetrarch) was the son of Herod who was king when Jesus was born (Matthew 2:1) and reigned over Galilee when Jesus performed his ministry in the area (cf. Mark 6:14–29; Luke 9:7–9; 3:19–20).[1] His 'tender conscience over the reluctant execution of John the Baptist made him treating the report of Jesus' miracles with a 'bizarre idea' that Jesus was John who was risen from the dead.[1]

Dale Allison notes the multiple parallels between the Passion of Jesus and the account of John the Baptist in this section.[2]

  • Both are captured (14:3; 21:46), bound (14:3; 27:2) and 'suffer the shameful deaths of criminals'.
  • Both are executed at the command of a government official (Herod the tetrarch; Pontius Pilate) who 'acts reluctantly at the request of others' (14:6-11; 27:11-26).
  • Both are buried by their disciples (14:12; 27:57-61), and in each case opponents fear what the crowds might do because they hold John and Jesus to be prophets (14:5; 21:46).
  • Both ends are foreshadowed, as in 2:123 (against Herod the Great, the father of Herod the tetrarch); 5:38-42; and 10:17-23, so John's martyrdom (as the forerunner) is a Christological martyrdom prophecy of the coming one (cf. 17:12).
  • John has been identified with Elijah (11:14), who in 1 Kings 17–19 accuses King Ahab of misdeeds while the evil Queen Jezebel tries to have him killed (likely applicable to Herod as Ahab and Herodias as Jezebel). In the very next pericope, Jesus suggestively acts like Elisha, Elijah's successor (2 Kings 4:42–44).[2]

Verse 12Edit

Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus.[3]

This is a further mission of John's disciples to Jesus in Galilee, following on from the one reported in Matthew 11. For Ernest Bengel, interpreting the words of Lutheran Pietist Johann Bengel, "the death of their master becomes the means of leading [John's disciples] to Jesus".[4]

Jesus' withdrawal to a 'deserted place' (14:13–15)Edit

Matthew 14:13 and 14:15 refer to a 'deserted' (NKJV) or 'secluded' (Amplified Bible) place, clarified as 'a place where no one lived' in the Easy-to-Read Version. In Luke's gospel, he goes at this point in the narrative to 'a town called Bethsaida', i.e. an inhabited place, but nevertheless one where 'he and his apostles could be alone together.[5]

Miraculous feeding of a large crowd (14:16–21)Edit

Eating together was a symbol of unity and Jesus was acting as the host of a large family gathering, welcoming the crowd into a new community.[6]

Verse 19Edit

Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes.[7]

Looked up to heaven, blessed, broke, and gave indicate a 'communal, liturgical context' which is found in the early church; the same actions are to be seen in the Last Supper in Matthew 26:26.[8]

Walking on water (14:22–33)Edit

After the public miracle of loaves, the disciples witnessed in private one miracle that showed Jesus' authority over material things.[6]

Jesus the Healer (14:34–36)Edit

When they were back in Herod's territory, Jesus' popularity was shown again in his healing ministry, which was more extensive than so far recorded.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b France 1994, p. 922.
  2. ^ a b Allison, Jr., Dale C. (2007). "57. Matthew". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 863. ISBN 978-0199277186. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  3. ^ Matthew 14:12: KJV
  4. ^ Bengel, Johann. Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament: Matthew 14, editorial note, accessed 24 April 2019
  5. ^ Luke 9:10
  6. ^ a b c France 1994, p. 923.
  7. ^ Matthew 14:19 NKJV
  8. ^ Coogan 2007, p. 29 New Testament.


External linksEdit

Preceded by
Matthew 13
Chapters of the New Testament
Gospel of Matthew
Succeeded by
Matthew 15