And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
And great multitudes were gathered unto him,.... Some on one account, and some on another; some to see his person, others his miracles; some healing for their bodies, and others for their souls; some for the loaves, and others to hear him preach; and of these there were several sorts, as the following parable shows.
so that he went into a ship: both for his own advantage, that he might not be crowded, and pressed by the people, and have more room, and a freer air to speak in, and for theirs, that they might both see and hear him better.
And sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore; as was the then custom of the Jewish doctors and hearers, the one to sit, and the other to stand. See Gill on "Matthew 5:1". Christ sat upon the deck of the ship; or perhaps this ship was no other than an open boat, which was put to sea, some little distance from the shore; upon which the people stood in great numbers, with much convenience and attention.