And seeing the multitudes
The great concourse of people that followed him from the places before mentioned,
he went up into a mountain;
either to pray alone, which was sometimes his custom to do, or to shun the multitude; or rather, because it was a commodious place for teaching the people:
and when he was set:
not for rest, but in order to teach; for sitting was the posture of masters, or teachers, see ( Matthew 13:2 ) ( Luke 4:20 ) ( 5:3 ) ( John 8:2 ) . The form in which the master and his disciples sat is thus described by Maimonides F26.
``The master sits at the head, or in the chief place, and the disciples before him in a circuit, like a crown; so that they all see the master, and hear his words; and the master may not sit upon a seat, and the scholars upon the ground; but either all upon the earth, or upon seats: indeed from the beginning, or formerly, (bvwy brh hyh) "the master used to sit", and the disciples stand; but before the destruction of the second temple, all used to teach their disciples as they were sitting.''With respect to this latter custom, the Talmudists say F1, that
``from the days of Moses, to Rabban Gamaliel (the master of the Apostle Paul), they did not learn the law, unless standing; after Rabban Gamaliel died, sickness came into the world, and they learnt the law sitting: hence it is a tradition, that after Rabban Gamaliel died, the glory of the law ceased.''His disciples came unto him;