Beyond Jordan - Or, by the side of Jordan. Matthew begins here to give an account of Christ's journey (the only one he mentions) to Jerusalem, a little before the passover, at which he was crucified. See Mark 10:1; Luke 9:51.
Jesus came from Galilee (which lay to the north of Judea) into the coasts of Judea; and from thence, in his way to Jerusalem, he went through Jericho, ( Matthew 20:17, Matthew 20:29;), which lay at the distance of sixty furlongs, or seven miles and a half from Jordan, to the western side of it. See Joseph. War, book iv. chap. 8. sect. 3. It seems, therefore, most probable, that the course of Christ's journey led him by the side of the river Jordan, not beyond it. That the Greek word περαν, especially with a genitive case as here, has sometimes this signification, see on John 6:22; (note); see also Bp. Pearce.
Coasts of Judea beyond Jordan - The narrative here refers to the last journey of the Saviour from Galilee to Jerusalem, to attend the last Passover which he celebrated.
A considerable lapse of time occurred between his last discourse in the preceding chapter and what is recorded here, and several important events have been recorded by Luke and John which occurred in the interval, as the sending out of the seventy disciples Luke 9:51-56; John 7:2-10; the healing of the ten lepers Luke 17:11-19; the public teaching of Jesus at the feast of Tabernacles John 8:1; the reproof of the unbelieving Jews, and the escape of the Saviour from their hands Luke 10:28-37; the incidents in the house of Martha and Mary Luke 10:38-42; the return of the seventy Luke 10:17-24; the healing of the blind man on the Sabbath John 11:47-54. See Robinson‘s Harmony. Matthew and Mark now resume the narrative by relating that after Jesus had left Galilee he approached Jerusalem by passing through the country beyond Jordan. The country was, in general, called Perea, and appertained to Judea, being the region formerly occupied by the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh. The word “coasts” means regions or parts. See the notes at Matthew 2:16.