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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
John 5



Other Authors
Verse 1

A feast; perhaps the passover.

Verse 2

Porches. These seem to have been small erections for the accommodation of the sick that resorted to the water.

Verse 4

An angel went down and troubled the water, &c.; that is, so they supposed. The meaning is, that such was the popular opinion; for that God would really thus miraculously interpose, to throw down, from time to time, a single boon among a company of cripples, to be seized by the most forward, selfish, and eager, leaving those most discouraged, helpless, and miserable, to be overwhelmed again and again with bitter disappointment, is a supposition not admissible. The periodical agitations observed in the water were produced, perhaps, by a bubbling up, at intervals, from the fountain, as is not unusual with springs to which medical virtues are attributed; and the popular belief respecting them is stated, apparently, in order to explain the reply of the sick man to Jesus in John 5:7.

Verse 13

Had conveyed himself away, to avoid the danger of a tumult.

Verse 16

Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus. It was with this design that they inquired, (John 5:12;) but the man, in giving them the information, did not intend this result. He spoke (John 5:15) to honor Jesus, not to betray him, as is indicated by the form of his expression. If the latter had been his design, he would have told the Jews that it was Jesus who directed him to take up his bed and walk, not that it was Jesus who had made him whole.

Verse 19

Can do nothing of himself; that is, nothing counter to the will of the Father, as is shown to be the meaning by the next clause.

Verse 21

To quicken is to restore the dead to life.

Verse 24

From death; from spiritual death.

Verse 25

The dead; the spiritually dead. The sense in which the term is used is fixed by the last clause of the John 5:24.

Verse 26

To have life; to have the power of giving life.

Verse 27

Because he is the Son of man; that is, the Messiah; the phrase "the Son of man" being one of the forms of expression known among the Jews as a designation of the Messiah.

Verse 28

Marvel not at this; at what was said in John 5:25, in respect to the power of the Son to bestow spiritual life; for, as he proceeds to say, the time is coming when those who are literally dead shall be raised by his voice; the expression, "all that are in the graves," referring to those whose bodies are dead.

Verse 30

Of mine own self; separate from and independent of the Father. The idea is, that all the aims and designs of the Father and of the Son, are one and inseparable, as the remaining clauses show.--As I hear, that is, perceive and understand the will of the Father.

Verse 31

If I, &c.; meaning that such an objection might be advanced by his enemies.

Verse 32

Another; not John, mentioned in the John 5:33,--for he says (John 5:34) that he will not appeal to the testimony of John,--but the Father, as stated below. (John 5:36.)

Verse 36

To finish; to accomplish.

Verse 37

Ye have neither heard his voice, &c.; that is, You have not been willing to listen to him, or to see, nor (John 5:38) to obey his word.

Verse 43

Another shall come; some false Christ.

Verse 45

Moses; referring to the predictions of Moses in respect to the Messiah, which they would not receive.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 5:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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