Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Verily, Verily (Αμην αμην Amēn class="normal greek">παραβολη amēn). Solemn prelude by repetition as in John 1:51. The words do not ever introduce a fresh topic (cf. John 8:34, John 8:51, John 8:58). So in John 10:7. The Pharisees had previously assumed (Vincent) they alone were the authoritative guides of the people (John 9:24, John 9:29). So Jesus has a direct word for them. So Jesus begins this allegory in a characteristic way. John does not use the word παροιμια parabolē but εις την αυλην των προβατων paroimia (John 10:6), and it really is an allegory of the Good Shepherd and self-explanatory like that of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. He first tells it in John 10:1-5 and then explains and expands it in John 10:7-18.Into the fold of the sheep (αυλη eis tēn aulēn tōn probatōn). Originally αω aulē (from αναβαινων aō to blow) in Homer‘s time was just an uncovered space around the house enclosed by a wall, then a roofless enclosure in the country where flocks were herded as here and John 10:16. It later came to mean the house itself or palace (Matthew 26:3, Matthew 26:58, etc.). In the papyri it means the court attached to the house. Climbeth up (αναβαινω anabainōn). Present active participle of αλλαχοτεν anabainō to go up. One who goes up, not by the door, has to climb up over the wall. Some other way (αλλοτεν allachothen). Rare word for old εκεινος allothen but in 4Macc 1:7 and in a papyrus. Only here in N.T. The same (κλεπτης εστιν και ληιστης ekeinos). “That one” just described. Is a thief and a robber (κλεπτω kleptēs estin kai lēistēs). Both old and common words (from ληιζομαι kleptō to steal, κλεπτης lēizomai to plunder). The distinction is preserved in the N.T. as here. Judas was a kleptēs (John 12:6), Barabbas a robber (John 18:40) like the two robbers (Matthew 27:38, Matthew 27:44) crucified with Jesus erroneously termed thieves like “the thief on the cross” by most people. See Mark 11:17. Here the man jumping over the wall comes to steal and to do it by violence like a bandit. He is both thief and robber.
The shepherd of the sheep (ποιμην εστιν των προβατων poimēn estin tōn probatōn). No article with ποιμην poimēn “a shepherd to the sheep.” He comes in by the door with the sheep whom he leads. Old word is ποιμην poimēn root meaning to protect. Jesus applies it to himself in John 10:16 and implies it here. It is used of Christ in 1 Peter 2:25; Hebrews 13:20. Paul applies it to ministers in Ephesians 4:11. Jesus uses the verb ποιμαινω poimainō to shepherd, to Peter (John 21:16) and Peter uses it to other preachers (1 Peter 5:2) and Paul uses it for bishops (elders) in Acts 20:28. Our word pastor is simply Latin for shepherd. Christ is drawing a sharp contrast after the conduct of the Pharisees towards the blind man between himself and them.
To him (τουτωι toutōi). “To this one,” the shepherd, in dative case.The porter (ο τυρωρος ho thurōros). Old word for doorkeeper (τυρα thura door, ωρα ōra care, carer for the door). Used for man (Mark 13:34; John 10:3) or woman (John 18:16.), only N.T. examples. The porter has charge of the sheep in the fold at night and opens the door in the morning for the shepherd. It is not certain that Jesus meant this detail to have a special application. The Holy Spirit, of course, does open the door of our hearts for Jesus through various agencies. Hear his voice (της πωνης αυτου ακουει tēs phōnēs autou akouei). Hear and heed (John 10:27). Note genitive case πωνης phōnēs (accusative in John 3:8). By name (κατ ονομα kat' onoma). Several flocks might be herded in the same fold overnight. But the shepherd knows his own (τα ιδια ta idia) sheep (John 10:27) and calls their names. “It is still common for Eastern shepherds to give particular names to their sheep” (Bernard). And leadeth them out (και εχαγει αυτα kai exagei auta). Old and common verb, present active indicative. The sheep follow readily (John 10:27) because they know their own shepherd‘s voice and his name for each of them and because he has led them out before. They love and trust their shepherd.
When he hath put forth all his own (οταν τα ιδια παντα εκβαληι hotan ta idia panta ekbalēi). Indefinite temporal clause with οταν hotan and the second aorist (effective) active subjunctive of εκβαλλω ekballō No need of the futurum exactum idea, simply, “when he leads out all his own sheep.” They are all out of the fold. He overlooks none. Εκβαλλω Ekballō does mean “thrust out” if a reluctant sheep wishes to linger too long.He goeth before them (εμπροστεν αυτων πορευεται emprosthen autōn poreuetai). Staff in hand he leads the way in front of the flock and they follow (ακολουτει akolouthei) him. What a lesson for pastors who seek to drive the church like cattle and fail. The true pastor leads in love, in words, in deeds.
A stranger (αλλοτριωι allotriōi). Literally, “One belonging to another” (from αλλος allos opposed to ιδιος idios). A shepherd of another flock, it may be, not necessarily the thief and robber of John 10:1. Note associative instrumental case after ακολουτησουσιν akolouthēsousin (future active indicative of ακολουτεω akoloutheō John 10:4). Note the strong double negative ου μη ou mē here with the future indicative, though usually with the aorist subjunctive (Aleph L W have it here). They simply will not follow such a man or woman, these well-trained sheep will not.But will flee from him (αλλα πευχονται απ αυτου alla pheuxontai ap' autou). Future middle of πευγω pheugō and ablative case with απο apo They will flee as if from a wolf or from the plague. Alas and alas, if only our modern pastors had the sheep (old and young) so trained that they would run away from and not run after the strange voices that call them to false philosophy, false psychology, false ethics, false religion, false life.
This parable (ταυτην την παροιμιαν tautēn tēn paroimian). Old word for proverb from παρα para (beside) and οιμος oimos way, a wayside saying or saying by the way. As a proverb in N.T. in 2 Peter 2:22 (quotation from Proverbs 26:11), as a symbolic or figurative saying in John 16:25, John 16:29, as an allegory in John 10:6. Nowhere else in the N.T. Curiously enough in the N.T. παραβολη parabolē occurs only in the Synoptics outside of Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 11:19. Both are in the lxx. Παραβολη Parabolē is used as a proverb (Luke 4:23) just as παροιμια paroimia is in 2 Peter 2:22. Here clearly παροιμια paroimia means an allegory which is one form of the parable. So there you are. Jesus spoke this παροιμια paroimia to the Pharisees, “but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them” (εκεινοι δε ουκ εγνωσαν τινα ην α ελαλει αυτοις ekeinoi de ouk egnōsan tina ēn ha elalei autois). Second aorist active indicative of γινωσκω ginōskō and note ην ēn in indirect question as in John 2:25 and both the interrogative τινα tina and the relative α ha “Spake” (imperfect ελαλει elalei) should be “Was speaking or had been speaking.”
Therefore again (ουν παλιν oun palin). Jesus repeats the allegory with more detail and with more directness of application. Repeating a story is not usually an exhilarating experience.I am the door of the sheep (εγω ειμι η τυρα των προβατων egō eimi hē thura tōn probatōn). The door for the sheep by which they enter. “He is the legitimate door of access to the spiritual αυλη aulē the Fold of the House of Israel, the door by which a true shepherd must enter” (Bernard). He repeats it in John 10:9. This is a new idea, not in the previous story (John 10:1-5). Moffatt follows the Sahidic in accepting ο ποιμην ho poimēn here instead of η τυρα hē thura clearly whimsical. Jesus simply changes the metaphor to make it plainer. They were doubtless puzzled by the meaning of the door in John 10:1. Once more, this metaphor should help those who insist on the literal meaning of bread as the actual body of Christ in Mark 14:22. Jesus is not a physical “door,” but he is the only way of entrance into the Kingdom of God (John 14:6).
Before me (προ εμου pro emou). Aleph with the Latin, Syriac, and Sahidic versions omit these words (supported by A B D L W). But with or without προ εμου pro emou Jesus refers to the false Messiahs and self-appointed leaders who made havoc of the flock. These are the thieves and robbers, not the prophets and sincere teachers of old. The reference is to John 10:1. There had been numerous such impostors already (Josephus, Ant. XVIII. i. 6; War II. viii. I) and Jesus will predict many more (Matthew 24:23.). They keep on coming, these wolves in sheep‘s clothing (Matthew 7:15) who grow rich by fooling the credulous sheep. In this case “the sheep did not hear them” (ουκ ηκουσαν αυτων τα προβατα ouk ēkousan autōn ta probata). First aorist active indicative with genitive. Fortunate sheep who knew the Shepherd‘s voice.
The door (η τυρα hē thura). Repeated from John 10:7.By me if any man enter in (δι εμου εαν τις εισελτηι di' emou ean tis eiselthēi). Condition of third class with εαν ean and second aorist active subjunctive of εισερχομαι eiserchomai Note proleptic and emphatic position of δι εμου di' emou One can call this narrow intolerance, if he will, but it is the narrowness of truth. If Jesus is the Son of God sent to earth for our salvation, he is the only way. He had already said it in John 5:23. He will say it again more sharply in John 14:6. It is unpalatable to the religious dogmatists before him as it is to the liberal dogmatists today. Jesus offers the open door to “any one” (τις tis) who is willing (τελει thelei) to do God‘s will (John 7:17). He shall be saved (σωτησεται sōthēsetai). Future passive of σωζω sōzō the great word for salvation, from σως sōs safe and sound. The sheep that comes into the fold through Jesus as the door will be safe from thieves and robbers for one thing. He will have entrance (εισλευσεται eisleusetai) and outgo (εχελευσεται exeleusetai), he will be at home in the daily routine (cf. Acts 1:21) of the sheltered flock. And shall find pasture (και νομην ευρησει kai nomēn heurēsei). Future (linear future) indicative of ευρισκω heuriskō old word from νεμω nemō to pasture. In N.T. only here and 2 Timothy 2:17 (in sense of growth). This same phrase occurs in 1 Chronicles 4:40. The shepherd leads the sheep to pasture, but this phrase pictures the joy of the sheep in the pasture provided by the shepherd.
But that he may steal, and kill, and destroy (ει μη ινα κλεπσηι και τυσηι και απολεσηι ei mē hina klepsēi kai thusēi kai apolesēi). Literally, “except that” (ει μη ei mē) common without (Matthew 12:4) and with verb (Galatians 1:7), “if not” (literally), followed here by final ινα hina and three aorist active subjunctives as sometimes by οταν hotan (Mark 9:9) or οτι hoti (2 Corinthians 12:13). Note the order of the verbs. Stealing is the purpose of the thief, but he will kill and destroy if necessary just like the modern bandit or gangster.I came that they may have life (εγω ηλτον ινα ζωην εχωσιν egō ēlthon hina zōēn echōsin). In sharp contrast (εγω egō) as the good shepherd with the thieves and robbers of John 10:1 came Jesus. Note present active subjunctive (εχωσιν echōsin), “that they (people) may keep on having life (eternal, he means)” as he shows in John 10:28. He is “the life” (John 14:6). And may have it abundantly (και περισσον εχωσιν kai perisson echōsin). Repetition of εχωσιν echōsin (may keep on having) abundance (περισσον perisson neuter singular of περισσος perissos). Xenophon (Anab. VII. vi. 31) uses περισσον εχειν perisson echein “to have a surplus,” true to the meaning of overflow from περι peri (around) seen in Paul‘s picture of the overplus (υπερεπερισσευσεν hupereperisseusen in Romans 5:20) of grace. Abundance of life and all that sustains life, Jesus gives.
I am the good shepherd (εγω ειμι ο ποιμην ο καλος egō eimi ho poimēn ho kalos). Note repetition of the article, “the shepherd the good one.” Takes up the metaphor of John 10:2. Vulgate pastor bonus. Philo calls his good shepherd αγατος agathos but καλος kalos calls attention to the beauty in character and service like “good stewards” (1 Peter 4:10), “a good minister of Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 4:6). Often both adjectives appear together in the ancient Greek as once in the New Testament (Luke 8:15). “Beauty is as beauty does.” That is καλος kalosLayeth down his life for his sheep (την πσυχην αυτου τιτησιν υπερ των προβατων tēn psuchēn autou tithēsin huper tōn probatōn). For illustration see 1 Samuel 17:35 (David‘s experience) and Isaiah 31:4. Dods quotes Xenophon (Mem. ii. 7, 14) who pictures even the sheep dog as saying to the sheep: “For I am the one that saves you also so that you are neither stolen by men nor seized by wolves.” Hippocrates has πσυχην κατετετο psuchēn katetheto (he laid down his life, i.e. died). In Judges 12:3 ετηκα την πσυχην ethēka tēn psuchēn means “I risked my life.” The true physician does this for his patient as the shepherd for his sheep. The use of υπερ huper here (over, in behalf of, instead of), but in the papyri υπερ huper is the usual preposition for substitution rather than αντι anti This shepherd gives his life for the sin of the world (John 1:29; 1 John 2:2).
He that is a hireling (ο μιστωτος ho misthōtos). Old word from μιστοω misthoō to hire (Matthew 20:1) from μιστος misthos (hire, wages, Luke 10:7), in N.T. only in this passage. Literally, “the hireling and not being a shepherd” (ο μιστωτος και ουκ ων ποιμην ho misthōtos kai ouk ōn poimēn). Note ουκ ouk with the participle ων ōn to emphasize the certainty that he is not a shepherd in contrast with μη εισερχομενος mē eiserchomenos in John 10:1 (conceived case). See same contrast in 1 Peter 1:8 between ουκ ιδοντες ouk idontes and μη ορωντες mē horōntes The hireling here is not necessarily the thief and robber of John 10:1, John 10:8. He may conceivably be a nominal shepherd (pastor) of the flock who serves only for the money, a sin against which Peter warned the shepherds of the flock “not for shameful gain” (1 Peter 5:2).Whose own (ου ιδια hou idia). Every true shepherd considers the sheep in his care “his own” (ιδια idia) even if he does not actually “own” them. The mere “hireling” does not feel so. Beholdeth (τεωρει theōrei). Vivid dramatic present, active indicative of τεωρεω theōreō a graphic picture. The wolf coming (τον λυκον ερχομενον ton lukon erchomenon). Present middle predicate participle of ερχομαι erchomai Leaveth the sheep, and fleeth (απιησιν τα προβατα και πευγει aphiēsin ta probata kai pheugei). Graphic present actives again of απιημι aphiēmi and πευγω pheugō The cowardly hireling cares naught for the sheep, but only for his own skin. The wolf was the chief peril to sheep in Palestine. See Matthew 10:6 where Jesus says: “Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.” And the wolf snatcheth them and scattereth them (και ο λυκος αρπαζει και σκορπιζει kai ho lukos harpazei kai skorpizei). Vivid parenthesis in the midst of the picture of the conduct of the hireling. Bold verbs these. For the old verb αρπαζω harpazō see John 6:15; Matthew 11:12, and for σκορπιζω skorpizō late word (Plutarch) for the Attic σκεδαννυμι skedannumi see Matthew 12:30. It occurs in the vision of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 34:5) where because of the careless shepherds “the sheep became meat to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered.” Jesus uses αρπαζω harpazō in John 10:29 where no one is able “to snatch” one out of the Father‘s hand.
Because he is a hireling (οτι μιστωτος εστιν hoti misthōtos estin). And only that, without the shepherd heart that loves the sheep. Reason given for the conduct of the hireling after the parenthesis about the wolf.And careth not for the sheep (και ου μελει αυτωι περι των προβατων kai ou melei autōi peri tōn probatōn). Literally, “and it is no care to him about the sheep.” This use of the impersonal μελει melei (present active indicative) is quite common, as in Matthew 22:16. But God does care (1 Peter 5:7).
I am the good-shepherd (εγω ειμι ο ποιμην ο καλος egō eimi ho poimēn ho kalos). Effective repetition.And mine own know me (και γινωσκουσιν με τα εμα kai ginōskousin me ta ema). Jesus as the Good Shepherd knows his sheep by name as he had already said (John 10:3) and now repeats. Yes, and they know his voice (John 10:4), they have experimental knowledge (γινωσκω ginōskō) of Jesus as their own Shepherd. Here (in this mutually reciprocal knowledge) lies the secret of their love and loyalty.
And I know the Father (καγω γινωσκω τον πατερα kagō ginōskō ton patera). Hence he is qualified to reveal the Father (John 1:18). The comparison of the mutually reciprocal knowledge between the Father and the Son illustrates what he has just said, though it stands above all else (Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22; John 17:21-26). We cannot claim such perfect knowledge of the Good Shepherd as exists between the Father and the Son and yet the real sheep do know the Shepherd‘s voice and do love to follow his leadership here and now in spite of thieves, robbers, wolves, hirelings.And I lay down my life for the sheep (και την πσυχην μου τιτημι υπερ των προβατων kai tēn psuchēn mou tithēmi huper tōn probatōn). This he had said in John 10:11, but he repeats it now for clearness. This he does not just as an example for the sheep and for under-shepherds, but primarily to save the sheep from the wolves, the thieves and robbers.
Other sheep (αλλα προβατα alla probata). Sheep, not goats, but “not of this fold” (εκ της αυλης ταυτης ek tēs aulēs tautēs). See John 10:1 for αυλη aulē Clearly “his flock is not confined to those enclosed in the Jewish fold, whether in Palestine or elsewhere” (Westcott). Christ‘s horizon takes in all men of all races and times (John 11:52; John 12:32). The world mission of Christ for all nations is no new idea with him (Matthew 8:11; Luke 13:28). God loved the world and gave his Son for the race (John 3:16).Them also I must bring (ον kakeina dei me agagein). Second aorist active infinitive of κακεινα δει με αγαγειν agō with αγω dei expressing the moral urgency of Christ‘s passion for God‘s people in all lands and ages. Missions in Christ‘s mind takes in the whole world. This is according to prophecy (Isaiah 42:6; Isaiah 49:6; Isaiah 56:8) for the Messiah is to be a Light also to the Gentiles. It was typified by the brazen serpent (John 3:14). Christ died for every man. The Pharisees doubtless listened in amazement and even the disciples with slow comprehension. And they shall hear my voice (δει kai tēs phōnēs mou akousontai). Future middle indicative of και της πωνης μου ακουσονται akouō with the genitive ακουω phōnēs These words read like a transcript from the Acts and the Epistles of Paul (Rom 9-11 in particular). See especially Paul‘s words in Acts 28:28. Present-day Christianity is here foretold. Only do we really listen to the voice of the Shepherd as we should? Jesus means that the Gentiles will hearken if the Jews turn away from him. And they shall become one flock, one shepherd (πωνης kai genēsontai mia poimnē και γενησονται μια ποιμνη εις ποιμην heis poimēn). Future middle indicative of γινομαι ginomai plural, not singular γενησεται genēsetai as some MSS. have it. All (Jews and Gentiles) will form one flock under one Shepherd. Note the distinction here by Jesus between ποιμνη poimnē (old word, contraction of ποιμενη poimenē from ποιμην poimēn shepherd), as in Matthew 26:31, and αυλη aulē (fold) just before. There may be many folds of the one flock. Jerome in his Vulgate confused this distinction, but he is wrong. His use of ovile for both αυλη aulē and πομνιον pomnion has helped Roman Catholic assumptions. Christ‘s use of “flock” (ποιμνη poimnē) here is just another metaphor for kingdom (βασιλεια basileia) in Matthew 8:11 where the children of the kingdom come from all climes and nations. See also the various metaphors in Ephesians 2 for this same idea. There is only the one Great Shepherd of the sheep (Hebrews 13:20), Jesus Christ our Lord.
For this reason (δια τουτο dia touto). Points to the following οτι hoti clause. The Father‘s love for the Son is drawn out (John 3:16) by the voluntary offering of the Son for the sin of the world (Romans 5:8). Hence the greater exaltation (Philemon 2:9). Jesus does for us what any good shepherd does (John 10:11) as he has already said (John 10:15). The value of the atoning death of Christ lies in the fact that he is the Son of God, the Son of Man, free of sin, and that he makes the offering voluntarily (Hebrews 9:14).That I may take it again (ινα παλιν λαβω αυτην hina palin labō autēn). Purpose clause with ινα hina and second aorist active subjunctive of λαμβανω lambanō He looked beyond his death on the Cross to the resurrection. “The purpose of the Passion was not merely to exhibit his unselfish love; it was in order that He might resume His life, now enriched with quickening power as never before” (Bernard). The Father raised Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:32). There is spontaneity in the surrender to death and in the taking life back again (Dods).
No one taketh it away from me (ουδεις αιρει αυτην απ εμου oudeis airei autēn ap' emou). But Aleph B read ηρεν ēren (first aorist active indicative of αιρω airō to take away), probably correct (Westcott and Hort). “John is representing Jesus as speaking sub specie aeternitatis ” (Bernard). He speaks of his death as already past and the resurrection as already accomplished. Cf. John 3:16.Of myself (απ εμαυτου ap' emautou). The voluntariness of the death of Jesus repeated and sharpened. D omits it, probably because of superficial and apparent conflict with John 5:19. But there is no inconsistency as is shown by John 3:16; Romans 5:8. The Father “gave” the Son who was glad to be given and to give himself. I have power to lay it down (εχουσιαν εχω τειναι αυτην exousian echō theinai autēn). Εχουσια Exousia is not an easy word to translate (right, authority, power, privilege). See John 1:12. Restatement of the voluntariness of his death for the sheep. And I have power to take it again (και εχουσιαν εχω παλιν λαβειν αυτην kai exousian echō palin labein autēn). Note second aorist active infinitive in both cases (τειναι theinai from τιτημι tithēmi and λαβειν labein from λαμβανω lambanō), single acts. Recall John 2:19 where Jesus said: “And in three days I will raise it up.” He did not mean that he will raise himself from the dead independently of the Father as the active agent (Romans 8:11). I received from my Father (ελαβον παρα του πατρος μου elabon para tou patros mou). Second aorist active indicative of λαμβανω lambanō He always follows the Father‘s command (εντολη entolē) in all things (John 12:49.; John 14:31). So now he is doing the Father‘s will about his death and resurrection.
There arose a division again (σχισμα παλιν εγενετο schisma palin egeneto). As in John 7:43 in the crowd (also in John 7:12, John 7:31), so now among the hostile Jews (Pharisees) some of whom had previously professed belief in him (John 8:31). The direct reference of παλιν palin (again) may be to John 9:16 when the Pharisees were divided over the problem of the blind man. Division of opinion about Jesus is a common thing in John‘s Gospel (John 6:52, John 6:60, John 6:66; John 7:12, John 7:25.; John 8:22; John 9:16.; John 10:19, John 10:24, John 10:41; John 11:41.; John 12:19, John 12:29, John 12:42; John 16:18.).
He has a demon and is mad (δαιμονιον εχει και μαινεται daimonion echei kai mainetai). As some had already said (John 7:20; John 8:48 with the addition of “Samaritan”). So long before in Mark 3:21. An easy way of discounting Jesus.
Of one possessed with a demon (δαιμονιζομενου daimonizomenou). Genitive of present passive participle of δαιμονιζω daimonizō They had heard demoniacs talk, but not like this.Can a demon open the eyes of the blind? (μη δαιμονιον δυναται τυπλον οπταλμους ανοιχαι mē daimonion dunatai tuphlon ophthalmous anoixai). Negative answer expected. Demons would more likely put out eyes, not open them. It was an unanswerable question.
And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem (εγενετο δε τα ενκαινια εν τοις Ιεροσολυμοις egeneto de ta enkainia en tois Ierosolumois). But Westcott and Hort read τοτε tote (then) instead of δε de (and) on the authority of B L W 33 and some versions. This is probably correct: “At that time came the feast of dedication in Jerusalem.” Τοτε Tote does not mean that the preceding events followed immediately after the incidents in 10:1-21. Bernard brings chapter 9 up to this date (possibly also chapter 8) and rearranges chapter 10 in a purely arbitrary way. There is no real reason for this arrangement. Clearly there is a considerable lapse between the events in 10:22-39 and 10:1-21, possibly nearly three months (from just after tabernacles John 7:37 to dedication John 10:22). The Pharisees greet his return with the same desire to catch him. This feast of dedication, celebrated for eight days about the middle of our December, was instituted by Judas Maccabeus b.c. 164 in commemoration of the cleansing of the temple from the defilements of pagan worship by Antiochus Epiphanes (1Macc 4:59). The word ενκαινια enkainia (εν en καινος kainos new) occurs here only in the N.T. It was not one of the great feasts and could be observed elsewhere without coming to Jerusalem. Jesus had apparently spent the time between tabernacles and dedication in Judea (Luke 10:1-13:21).Winter (χειμων cheimōn). Old word from χειμα cheima (χεω cheō to pour, rain, or from χιων chiōn snow). See Matthew 24:20.
Was walking (περιεπατει periepatei). Imperfect active of περιπατεω peripateō to walk around, picturesque imperfect.In Solomon‘s porch (εν τηι στοαι του Σολομωνος en tēi stoāi tou Solomōnos). A covered colonnade or portico in which people could walk in all weather. See Acts 3:11; Acts 5:12 for this porch. This particular part of Solomon‘s temple was left uninjured by the Babylonians and survived apparently till the destruction of the temple by Titus a.d. 70 (Josephus, Ant. XX. 9, 7). When John wrote, it was, of course, gone.
Came round about him (εκυκλωσαν αυτον ekuklōsan auton). Aorist active indicative of κυκλοω kukloō old verb from κυκλος kuklos (cycle, circle). See Acts 14:20 for the circle of disciples around Paul when stoned. Evidently the hostile Jews cherished the memory of the stinging rebuke given them by Jesus when here last, particularly the allegory of the Good Shepherd (10:1-19), in which he drew so sharply their own picture.How long dost thou hold us in suspense? (εως ποτε την πσυχην ημων αιρεισ heōs pote tēn psuchēn hēmōn aireis). Literally, “Until when dost thou lift up our soul?” But what do they mean by this metaphor? Αιρω Airō is common enough to lift up the eyes (John 11:41), the voice (Luke 17:13), and in Psalm 25:1; Psalm 86:4 (Josephus, Ant. III. ii. 3) we have “to lift up the soul.” We are left to the context to judge the precise meaning. Clearly the Jews mean to imply doubt and suspense. The next remark makes it clear. If thou art the Christ (ει συ ει ο Χριστος ei su ei ho Christos). Condition of first class assumed to be true for the sake of argument. Tell us plainly (ειπον ημιν παρρησιαι eipon hēmin parrēsiāi). Conclusion with ειπον eipon rather than the usual ειπε eipe as if first aorist active imperative like λυσον luson The point is in “plainly” (παρρησιαι parrēsiāi), adverb as in John 7:13, John 7:26 which see. That is to say “I am the Christ” in so many words. See John 11:14; John 16:29 for the same use of παρρησιαι parrēsiāi The demand seemed fair enough on the surface. They had made it before when here at the feast of tabernacles (John 8:25). Jesus declined to use the word Χριστος Christos (Messiah) then as now because of the political bearing of the word in their minds. The populace in Galilee had once tried to make him king in opposition to Pilate (John 6:14.). When Jesus does confess on oath before Caiaphas that he is the Christ the Son of God (Mark 14:61.; Matthew 26:63.), the Sanhedrin instantly vote him guilty of blasphemy and then bring him to Pilate with the charge of claiming to be king as a rival to Caesar. Jesus knew their minds too well to be caught now.
I told you, and you believe not (ειπον υμιν και ου πιστευετε eipon humin kai ou pisteuete). It was useless to say more. In 7:14-10:18 Jesus had shown that he was the Son of the Father as he had previously claimed (5:17-47), but it was all to no purpose save to increase their rage towards him.These bear witness of me (ταυτα μαρτυρει περι εμου tauta marturei peri emou). His works confirm his words as he had shown before (John 5:36). They believe neither his words nor his works.
Because ye are not of my sheep (οτι εκ των προβατων μου hoti ek tōn probatōn mou). This had been the point in the allegory of the Good Shepherd. In fact, they were the children of the devil in spirit and conduct (John 8:43), pious ecclesiastics though they seemed, veritable wolves in sheep‘s clothing (Matthew 7:15).
My sheep (τα προβατα τα εμα ta probata ta ema). In contrast with you they are not in doubt and suspense. They know my voice and follow me. Repetition of the idea in John 10:4, John 10:14.
And I give unto them eternal life (καγω διδωμι αυτοις ζωην αιωνιον kagō didōmi autois zōēn aiōnion). This is the gift of Jesus now to his sheep as stated in John 6:27, John 6:40 (cf. 1 John 2:25; 1 John 5:11).And they shall never perish (και ου μη απολωνται kai ou mē apolōntai). Emphatic double negative with second aorist middle (intransitive) subjunctive of απολλυμι apollumi to destroy. The sheep may feel secure (John 3:16; John 6:39; John 17:12; John 18:9). And no one shall snatch them out of my hand (και ουχ αρπασει τις αυτα εκ της χειρος μου kai ouch harpasei tis auta ek tēs cheiros mou). Jesus had promised this security in Galilee (John 6:37, John 6:39). No wolf, no thief, no bandit, no hireling, no demon, not even the devil can pluck the sheep out of my hand. Cf. Colossians 3:3 (Your life is hid together with Christ in God).
Which (ος hos). Who. If ο ho (which) is correct, we have to take ο πατηρ ho patēr as nominative absolute or independent, “As for my Father.”Is greater than all (παντων μειζων εστιν pantōn meizōn estin). If we read ος hos But Aleph B L W read ο ho and A B Theta have μειζον meizon The neuter seems to be correct (Westcott and Hort). But is it? If so, the meaning is: “As for my Father, that which he hath given me is greater than all.” But the context calls for ος μειζων hos ο πατηρ meizōn with εστιν ho patēr as the subject of estin The greatness of the Father, not of the flock, is the ground of the safety of the flock. Hence the conclusion that “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father‘s hand.”
One (εν hen). Neuter, not masculine (εις heis). Not one person (cf. εις heis in Galatians 3:28), but one essence or nature. By the plural συμυς sumus (separate persons) Sabellius is refuted, by υνυμ unum Arius. So Bengel rightly argues, though Jesus is not referring, of course, to either Sabellius or Arius. The Pharisees had accused Jesus of making himself equal with God as his own special Father (John 5:18). Jesus then admitted and proved this claim (John 5:19-30). Now he states it tersely in this great saying repeated later (John 17:11, John 17:21). Note εν hen used in 1 Corinthians 3:3 of the oneness in work of the planter and the waterer and in John 17:11, John 17:23 of the hoped for unity of Christ‘s disciples. This crisp statement is the climax of Christ‘s claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger.
Took up stones again (εβαστασαν παλιν λιτους ebastasan palin lithous). First aorist active indicative of βασταζω bastazō old verb to pick up, to carry (John 12:6), to bear (Galatians 6:5). The παλιν palin refers to John 8:59 where ηραν ēran was used. They wanted to kill him also when he made himself equal to God in John 5:18. Perhaps here εβαστασαν ebastasan means “they fetched stones from a distance.”To stone him (ινα λιτασωσιν αυτον hina lithasōsin auton). Final clause with ινα hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of λιταζω lithazō late verb (Aristotle, Polybius) from λιτος lithos (stone, small, Matthew 4:6, or large, Matthew 28:2), in John 10:31-33; John 11:8; Acts 5:26; Acts 14:19; 2 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 11:37, but not in the Synoptics. It means to pelt with stones, to overwhelm with stones.
From the Father (εκ του πατρος ek tou patros). Proceeding out of the Father as in John 6:65; John 16:28 (cf. John 7:17; John 8:42, John 8:47) rather than παρα para as in John 1:14; John 6:46; John 7:29; John 17:7.For which of those works (δια ποιον αυτων εργον dia poion autōn ergon). Literally, “For what kind of work of them” (referring to the “many good works” πολλα εργα καλα polla erga kala). Noble and beautiful deeds Jesus had done in Jerusalem like healing the impotent man (chapter 5) and the blind man (chapter 9). Ποιον Poion is a qualitative interrogative pronoun pointing to καλα kala (good). Do ye stone me (λιταζετε lithazete). Conative present active indicative, “are ye trying to stone me.” They had the stones in their hands stretched back to fling at him, a threatening attitude.
For a good work we stone thee not (περι καλου εργου ου λιταζομεν peri kalou ergou ou lithazomen). “Concerning a good deed we are not stoning thee.” Flat denial that the healing of the blind man on the Sabbath had led them to this attempt (John 8:59) in spite of the facts.But for blasphemy (αλλα περι βλασπημιας alla peri blasphēmias). See Acts 26:7 where περι peri with the genitive is also used with εγκαλουμαι egkaloumai for the charge against Paul. This is the only example in John of the word βλασπημια blasphēmia (cf. Matthew 12:31). And because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God (και οτι συ αντρωπος ων ποιεις σεαυτον τεον kai hoti su anthrōpos ōn poieis seauton theon). In John 5:18 they stated the charge more accurately: “He called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” That is, he made himself the Son of God. This he did beyond a doubt. But was it blasphemy? Only if he was not the Son of God. The penalty for blasphemy was death by stoning (Leviticus 24:16; 1 Kings 21:10, 1 Kings 21:13).
Is it not written? (ουκ εστιν γεγραμμενον ouk estin gegrammenon). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of γραπω graphō (as in John 2:17) in place of the usual γεγραπται gegraptai “Does it not stand written?”In your law (εν τωι νομωι υμων en tōi nomōi humōn). From Psalm 82:6. The term νομος nomos (law) applying here to the entire O.T. as in John 12:34; John 15:25; Romans 3:19; 1 Corinthians 14:21. Aleph D Syr-sin. omit υμων humōn but needlessly. We have it already so from Jesus in John 8:17. They posed as the special custodians of the O.T. I said (οτι εγω ειπα hoti egō eipa). Recitative οτι hoti before a direct quotation like our quotation marks. Ειπα Eipa is a late second aorist form of indicative with -α a instead of -ον on Ye are gods (τεοι εστε theoi este). Another direct quotation after ειπα eipa but without οτι hoti The judges of Israel abused their office and God is represented in Psalm 82:6 as calling them “gods” (τεοι theoi elohim) because they were God‘s representatives. See the same use of elohim in Exodus 21:6; Exodus 22:9, Exodus 22:28. Jesus meets the rabbis on their own ground in a thoroughly Jewish way.
If he called them gods (ει εκεινους ειπεν τεους ei ekeinous eipen theous). Condition of first class, assumed as true. The conclusion (John 10:36) is υμεις λεγετε humeis legete (Do ye say?). As Jews (and rabbis) they are shut out from charging Jesus with blasphemy because of this usage in the O.T. It is a complete ad hominem argument. To be sure, it is in Psalm 82:6 a lower use of the term τεος theos but Jesus did not call himself “Son of Jahweh,” but “υιος τεου huios theou ” which can mean only “Son of προς ους ο λογος του τεου εγενετο Elohim It must not be argued, as some modern men do, that Jesus thus disclaims his own deity. He does nothing of the kind. He is simply stopping the mouths of the rabbis from the charge of blasphemy and he does it effectually. The sentence is quite involved, but can be cleared up.To whom the word of God came (εκεινους pros hous ho logos tou theou egeneto). The relative points to τεοι ekeinous before. These judges had no other claim to the term και ου δυναται λυτηναι η γραπη theoi (Λυτηναι elohim). And the scripture cannot be broken (λυω kai ou dunatai luthēnai hē graphē). A parenthesis that drives home the pertinency of the appeal, one that the Pharisees had to accept. Luthēnai is first aorist passive infinitive of luō to loosen, to break.
Of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world (ον ο πατηρ ηγιασεν και απεστειλεν εις τον κοσμον hon ho patēr hēgiasen kai apesteilen eis ton kosmon). Another relative clause with the antecedent (τουτον touton it would be, object of λεγετε legete) unexpressed. Every word counts heavily here in contrast with the mere judges of Psalm 82:6.Thou blasphemest (οτι βλασπημεις hoti blasphēmeis). Recitative οτι hoti again before direct quotation. Because I said (οτι ειπον hoti eipon). Causal use of οτι hoti and regular form ειπον eipon (cf. ειπα eipa in John 10:34). I am the Son of God (υιος του τεου ειμι huios tou theou eimi). Direct quotation again after ειπον eipon This Jesus had implied long before as in John 2:16 (my Father) and had said in John 5:18-30 (the Father, the Son), in John 9:35 in some MSS., and virtually in John 10:30. They will make this charge against Jesus before Pilate (John 19:7). Jesus does not use the article here with υιος huios perhaps (Westcott) fixing attention on the character of Son rather than on the person as in Hebrews 1:2. There is no answer to this question with its arguments.
If I do not (ει ου ποιω ei ou poiō). Condition of first class, assumed as true, with negative ου ou not ει μη ei mē = unless.Believe me not (μη πιστευετε μοι mē pisteuete moi). Prohibition with μη mē and the present active imperative. Either “cease believing me” or “do not have the habit of believing me.” Jesus rests his case on his doing the works of “my Father” (του πατρος μου tou patros mou), repeating his claims to sonship and deity.
But if I do (ει δε ποιω ei de poiō). Condition again of the first class, assumed as true, but with the opposite results.Though ye believe not me (καν εμοι μη πιστευητε kan emoi mē pisteuēte). Condition now of third class, undetermined (but with prospect), “Even if you keep on (present active subjunctive of πιστευο pisteuo) not believing me.” Believe the works (τοις εργοις πιστευετε tois ergois pisteuete). These stand irrefutable. The claims, character, words, and works of Jesus challenge the world today as then. That ye may know and understand (ινα γνωτε και γινωσκητε hina gnōte kai ginōskēte). Purpose clause with ινα hina and the same verb γινωσκω ginōskō repeated in different tenses (first γνωτε gnōte the second ingressive aorist active subjunctive, that ye may come to know; then the present active subjunctive, “that ye may keep on knowing”). This is Christ‘s deepest wish about his enemies who stand with stones in their uplifted hands to fling at him. That the Father is in me, and I in the Father (οτι εν εμοι ο πατηρ καγω εν τωι πατρι hoti en emoi ho patēr kagō en tōi patri). Thus he repeats (John 10:30) sharply his real claim to oneness with the Father as his Son, to actual deity. It was a hopeless wish.
They sought again to seize him (εζητουν αυτον παλιν πιαζαι ezētoun auton palin piazai). Imperfect active, “They kept on seeking to seize” (ingressive aorist active infinitive of πιαζω piazō for which see John 7:30) as they had tried repeatedly (John 7:1, John 7:30, John 7:44; John 8:20), but in vain. They gave up the effort to stone him.Out of their hand (εκ της χειρος αυτων ek tēs cheiros autōn). Overawed, but still angry, the stones fell to the ground, and Jesus walked out.
Again (παλιν palin). Referring to John 1:28 (Bethany beyond Jordan). Παλιν Palin does not mean that the other visit was a recent one.At the first (το πρωτον to prōton). Adverbial accusative (extent of time). Same idiom in John 12:16; John 19:39. Here the identical language of John 1:28 is used with the mere addition of το πρωτον to prōton (οπου ην Ιωανης βαπτιζων hopou ēn Iōanēs baptizōn “where John was baptizing”). And there he abode (και εμενεν εκει kai emenen ekei). Imperfect (continued) active of μενω menō though some MSS. have the constative aorist active εμεινεν emeinen Probably from here Jesus carried on the first part of the later Perean Ministry (Luke 13:22-16:10) before the visit to Bethany at the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-44).
Many came to him (πολλοι ηλτον προς αυτον polloi ēlthon pros auton). Jesus was busy here and in a more congenial atmosphere than Jerusalem. John wrought no signs the crowds recall, though Jesus did many here (Matthew 19:2). The crowds still bear the impress of John‘s witness to Christ as “true” (αλητη alēthē). Here was prepared soil for Christ.
Many believed on him there (πολλοι επιστευσαν εις αυτον εκει polloi episteusan eis auton ekei). See John 1:12; John 2:11 for same idiom. Striking witness to the picture of the Messiah drawn by John. When Jesus came they recognized the original. See John 1:29-34. What about our sermons about Jesus if he were to walk down the aisle in visible form according to A.J. Gordon‘s dream?
Visit Our Sponsors
Search This Commentary
The Boice Commentary Series, The Gospel of John, 5 Volumes
Hear the Just Word and Live It
Word Pictures in the New Testament - 1 Timothy - eBook