And when he was alone
After the multitude was dismissed, and he either remained in the ship, or left it, and retired to some private place, it may be to Simon's house in Capernaum. The Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read, "when they were alone"; meaning as follows,
they that were about him with the twelve;
that is, such disciples of his, who, besides the twelve, constantly attended him; perhaps those who now were, or hereafter were the seventy disciples. The Vulgate Latin reads, "the twelve that were with him". In Beza's most ancient copy it is read, "his disciples"; and to this agrees the Persic version; and so the other evangelists, Matthew and Luke, relate, that his disciples came and
asked of him the parable;
the meaning of it, and why he chose this way of speaking to the people, ( Matthew 13:10 ) ( Luke 8:9 ) , though that word may include others besides the twelve.