“Seeing the crowds…” v.1
- Jesus went “into the mountain” in order to get away from the rowds, or to get some relief from the crowds, where He could teach His true followers (see v. 2).
“He went into the mountain…” v.1
- anebe eis to oros – “he went into the mountain” (see previous post)
- Matthew was using a particular, uncommon phrasing in order to make a point.
- This particular phrasing is only used in two other places in the Bible, in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament). Both of these occurances are in reference to Moses receiving the Law from God in Exodus 19.3, and Ex. 24.18. Moses had prophesied of a prophet like him, but greater than him (Dt. 18.15, 18), and Matthew is making the case that Jesus is that one. There are similarities throughout Matthew’s Gospel, which compare Jesus to Moses, as the bringer of the New Covenant Law.
“…and sat Himself down.” v.1
- The posture of the teacher: seated, imparting knowledge to His disciples.
“His disciples came to Him…” v. 2
- Note that His disciples came to Him, not just anyone who happened to be following Jesus around, as spectators. These were the ones that believed in His teachings and sought to follow them.
“He opened His mouth and taught them.” v. 2
A Jewish idiom found elsewhere in the New Testament (Mt. 13:35; Acts 8:35, 10:34, 18:14), and in the Old Testament (Job 3:1, 33:2; Dan. 10:16). According to D.A. Carson, “it is used in solemn or revelatory contexts.”