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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
John 11



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Verse 1

was sick. Pointing to great weakness and exhaustion, the result of active disease, rather than the disease itself. The verb is used thirty-six times, gene- rally translated in the Gospels "sick", in Paul"s Epistles "weak", but in John 5:3, John 5:7 "impotent".

Lazarus. Same as Eleazar = God helpeth. First occurance. Exodus 6:23.

of = from. Greek. apo. App-104.

the town = of (Greek. ek, App-104.) the town, or unwalled village. See Luke 10:38, which refers to Bethany.

Mary. See App-100.3. Martha Aramaic. See App-94.

Verse 2

It was, &c. This is an explanatory statement, anticipating what is related in John 12:3.

the Lord. Greek. Kurios. App-98.

Verse 3

sent. Greek apostello. App-174., If the place of John 10:40 was Bethabara beyond Jordan, and is to be identified with Beth-nimrah (Numbers 32:36) in Peraea, it would be about 25 miles from Jerusalem.

unto. Greek. pros. App-104.

Lord. App-98.

behold. Greek. ide. App-133.

lovest. App-135.

is sick: literally is weakening = is sinking.

Verse 4

Jesus. App-98.

sickness. Greek. asthenia = weakness, not nosos, active disease. See note on Matthew 4:23.

not. Greek. ou, App-105.

for = for the purpose of. Greek huper. App-104.

the glory, &c. The glory of God and of His Son are one and the same.

glory. See the book comments for John.

God. App-98.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

the Son of God. App-98.

thereby = through (Greek. dia. App-104. John 11:1) it.

Verse 5

loved. App-135. Not the same word as in verses: John 11:3, John 11:36.

Verse 6

He abode . . . still. Greek. tote men emeinen. Then indeed He remained. Both Authorized Version and Revised Version omit these important adverbs.

in. Greek. en. App-104.

Verse 7

Then Afterward. Greek. epeita.

after, Greek. meta. App-104.

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

Verse 8

Master = Rabbi. App-98.

of late sought = just now were seeking. Compare John 8:5, John 8:9.

Verse 9

twelve hours; reckoning from sunrise to sunset, 6am to 6pm.

If. App-118.

any man. App-123.

seeth. App-133. the light, &c., i.e. the sun naturally, the Sun of righteousness metaphorically,

light. Greek. phos. App-130.

world, Greek. kosmos. App-129.

Verse 10

there is no light in him = the light is not (Greek. ou. App-105)

in him. The clauses in verses: John 11:9, John 11:10 are strictly antithetical.

Illustration Walking by day in the light of the sun, a man stumbles not.

(exoteric). Walking by night without that light, he stumbles.

Application He that hath the Son is. walking in the light.

(esoteric) He that hath not the Son walks in darkness. Compare John 8:12; John 12:36, John 12:36, John 12:46.

Verse 11

friend. Greek. philos, noun of phileo, John 11:3.

sleepeth = has fallen asleep. Greek. koimaomai. App-171.

go. Greek. poreuomai, to go with a set purpose. Compare John 14:2, John 14:3, and Matthew 2:8, Matthew 2:9. Not the same word as John 11:8.

awake him out of sleep. Greek. exupnizo. Occurs only here.

Verse 12

Then = Therefore. if. App-118.

shall do well = shall be saved. Greek. sozo", as in John 10:9.

Verse 13

of = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

Verse 14

Then said Jesus; literal. Then therefore Jesus said. plainly. See John 10:24.

is dead = died. Aorist tense. This shows that death had taken place some time before, probably soon after the message was sent by the sisters. Compare verses: John 11:17, John 11:39.

Verse 15

for your sakes = on account of (Gr dia. App-104. John 11:2) you.

believe. App-150. i.

Verse 16

Thomas. App-94and App-141.

Didymus = twin, a Greek word with the same meaning as Thomas. Occurs here, John 20:24, and John 21:2.

fellow disciples. Greek. summathetes. Occurs only here.

with (Greek. meta. App-104. 1) Him, i.e. the Lord, not with Lazarus. Thomas realized that to return to the neighbourhood of Jerusalem meant certain death.

Verse 17

grave = tomb. Greek mnemeion. First, a memorial or monument, then a sepulchre. Compare John 5:28.

Verse 18

about, &c. = as it were from (Greek. apo. App-104.)

fifteen furlongs, i.e. 11 miles.

Verse 19

of = out of, from among. Greek ek. App-104.

came = had come.

to. Greek. pros, as in John 11:3

comfort. Greek. paramutheomai; to speak tenderly, consolingly. Occurs only here; John 11:31; 1 Thessalonians 2:11 and John 5:14.

concerning. Greek. peri, as in John 11:13.

Verse 20

went and met = met. The word implies desire to avoid notice,

sat still = was sitting (Greek. kathezomai). There is no word for "still", and the Authorized Version and Revised Version insertion of it implies, without warrant, that Mary heard as well as Martha, but nevertheless remained where she was. Compare the other five occurrences of the word, John 4:6; John 20:12. Matthew 26:55. Luke 2:46, Acts 6:15.

Verse 22

know. Greek. oida. App-132.

ask. Greek aiteo. App-134. Used of our prayers (Matthew 7:7, &c.), never of the Lord"s address to the Father. Neither Martha, the disciples or the Jews understood the claim of John 10:30.

Verse 23

rise again. Greek. anistemi. See App-178.

Verse 24

resurrection. App-178.

at = in. Greek. en. App-104.

last day. See John 6:39, John 6:40, John 6:44, John 6:54; John 12:48; and compare Daniel 12:2, Daniel 12:13.

Verse 25

I am (emphatic). See note on Exodus 3:14, and Compare John 8:58.

life. Greek zoe. App-170.

believeth. See App-150. These words refer to 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

in. Greek. eis. App-104.

yet shall he live = shall live. Figure of speech Aposiopesis. App-6. The word "yet "is not in the Greek, and is unwarrantably introduced by both Authorized Version and Revised Version.

Verse 26

liveth = is alive, referring to 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

never = by no means (Greek. ou me. App-105) unto the age (Greek. eis ton aiona. App-151).

Believest. See App-150.

Verse 27

the Christ = the Messiah (App-98). the Son of God (App-98). Compare Peter"s confession in Matthew 16:16.

Verse 28

secretly, saying = saying secretly.

The Master. Greek. ho didaskalos. App-98. John 11:8.

Verse 31

saw. Greek. eidon. App-133.

saying. T Tr. A WH R read, "supposing".

unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

weep (Greek. klaio) = . to wail. Not the same word as in John 11:35.

Verse 32

fell down. Others who fell down before Him or at His feet were the wise men (Matthew 2:11), Jairus (Mark 5:22), the woman (Mark 5:33), the Syrophenician (Mark 7:25), Peter (Luke 5:8), the leper (Luke 5:12), the Gadarene (Luke 8:28), and the Samaritan (Luke 17:16). This makes nine in all. See App-10.

at. Greek. eis. App-104.

Verse 33

groaned. Greek. embrimaomai, to snort as a horse does, from fear or anger; hence, to feel strong emotion, be indignant, &c. Only occurs here, John 11:38. Matthew 9:30, Mark 1:43; Mark 14:5.

spirit. App-101.

was troubled = troubled Himself. Compare Genesis 6:6. Judges 10:16.

Verse 35

wept = shed tears. Greek dakruo. Occurs only here. The noun dakru or dakruon occurs eleven times, and is always translated by plural "tears".

Verse 37

And = But.

this man (Greek. houtos) = this (One). Compare Matthew 8:27.

blind = blind (man). See John 9:1-7.

not. Greek. me. App-105.

Verse 38

to = unto. Greek eis, as John 11:31.

cave. Natural or artificial. Compare Isaiah 22:16.

upon = against. Greek. epi. App-104.

Verse 39

four days. The Rabbis taught that the spirit wandered about for three days, seeking re-admission to the body, but abandoned it on the fourth day, as corruption began then.

Verse 40

see. App-133.

the glory of God, i.e. the manifestation of the same glory by which Christ was raised. Compare Romans 6:4.

Verse 41

Father. See John 1:14 and and App-98. Fifteen times the Lord used this term in prayer (omitting parallel passages in brackets): Matthew 11:25, Matthew 11:26 (Luke 10:21); John 26:39, John 26:42 (Mark 14:36. Luke 22:42). John 23:34, John 23:46. John 11:41; John 12:27, John 12:28; John 17:1, John 17:5, John 17:11, John 17:21, John 17:24, John 17:25 (15 = 3x5. App-6). Next to John 17, this is the longest prayer recorded of our Lord.

hast heard = heardest (Aorist tense). This suggests that the prayer was heard and answered before, perhaps in Peraea. See John 11:4.

Verse 42

because of. Greek. dia, as in John 11:15.

Verse 43

come forth; literally hither, out.

Verse 44

he that was dead. Greek. ho tethnekos, the dead man. Compare Luke 7:12.

graveclothes. Greek. keiriai. Only used here in N.T. In the Septuagint it is used in Proverbs 7:16, as the rendering of the Hebrew marebaddim. Originally it meant a bed-girth, and so any kind of wrapping. Here, = swathings.

napkin. Greek soudarion. A Latin word, sudarium, or sweat-cloth. Used only here, John 20:7. Luke 19:20, and Acts 19:12.

Verse 45

seen (Greek. theaomai. App-133.) = regarded with wonder.

the things which. Some read "the thing which", referring to this special miracle, or rather these two miracles; for how could Lazarus, when restored to life, come forth, bound, as he was, hand and foot, and his eyes covered, save by a further exercise of Divine power? Thus there was a great increase of disciples, which alarmed the rulers.

Verse 46

But some. These were probably temple spies,

went, &a. = went off.

Pharisees. See App-120.

told = "informed".

what things = the thing which, as in John 11:45. So LT Tr. WH.

Verse 47

council. Greek sunedrion. The Sanhedrin was the supreme national court. See Matthew 5:22. It consisted of seventy-one members, originating, according to the Rabbis, with the seventy elders, with Moses at their head (Numbers 11:24). Its sittings were held in the "stone chamber" in the temple precincts.

What do we? = What are we about? i.e. something must be done. this man. See John 11:37, but "man" (App-123.) is ex-pressed here.

miracles = signs (Greek. semeion). A characteristic word in John"s Gospel. See p. 1511 and App-176.

Verse 48

our of us. Greek. hemon. Both the word and its position are emphatic. They claimed for themselves what belonged to God. Compare Matthew 23:38,

your house. So the feasts of the Lord (Leviticus 23:2), are called in this gospel, feasts of the Jews (John 11:55; John 5:1; John 6:4; John 7:2).

place Greek. topos). No doubt the temple was meant, the centre and source of all their influence and power. The word is often so used. See John 4:20. Acts 6:13, Acts 6:14; Acts 21:28, Acts 21:29.

nation. Greek. ethnos. "Our" belongs to nation as well as to place. They claimed the nation which they ruled as their own (see Luke 20:14).

Verse 49

that, &c. Caiaphas had been appointed six months before.

Ye know nothing at all = ye know nothing (Greek. ouk ouden, a double negative), i.e. you do not grasp the position; you do not see how critical it is.

Verse 50

Nor. Greek. oude.

it is expedient = it is to our interest.

us. All the texts read "you".

people. Greek. loos. The word that expresses their relationship to God (Deuteronomy 14:2. Matthew 2:6), as "nation" is a more general term (Luke 7:8; Luke 23:2).

Verse 51

prophesied. The Jews regarded any ex cathedra utterance of the High Priest as inspired. Here Caiaphas was used by God, as Salaam was (Numbers 22:38). See Acts 2:23; Acts 4:27, Acts 4:28.

should die = was about to die.

Verse 52

gather together. Compare John 10:16 with Jeremiah 23:3; Jeremiah 31:10.

children. Greek teknon. App-108.

were scattered abroad = had been scattered. See Leviticus 26:33. Deuteronomy 28:64. Jeremiah 9:16. Ezekiel 12:15; Ezekiel 22:15, &c.

Verse 53

from. Greek. apo. App-104.

that day, i.e. the day on which the council came to their awful decision.

for to, &c. -in order that (Greek. hina) they might kill Him, i.e. on some judicial pretence. The raising of Lazarus, followed, as it was. by so many becoming believers, brought the malignity of the Pharisees to a climax. It was the last of the three miracles that so exasperated them, the others being those on the impotent man, and on the man born blind. See the result in each case (John 5:16. John 9:22. John 9:34.)

Verse 54

walked = was walking.

openly. Same as "plainly "in John 11:14.

among. Greek. en. App-104.

Ephraim. If it is to be identified with the modern Ophrah, it is about 16 miles north-east of Jerusalem. Compare 2 Chronicles 13:19.

continued (Greek. diatribo) = abode; so translated in Acts 12:19; Acts 14:3, Acts 14:28; Acts 16:1, Acts 16:2; Acts 20:6. in John 3:22; Acts 25:6, "tarried".

Verse 55

Jews" passover. Commencing on the 14th Nisan. See note on John 2:13.

out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

before. Greek. pro. App-104.

to = in order to. Greek. hina.

purify themselves: i.e. from Levitical uncleanness. See Numbers 9:10 and Acts 21:24.

Verse 56

sought = were seeking.

among themselves = with (Greek. meta. App-104.) one another.

temple. Greek. hieron. See note on Matthew 23:16.

not = in no wise. Greek. ou me. App-105.

Verse 57

any man = any one. Greek. Us. App-123.

knew = got to know. Greek ginosko. App-133.

shew = disclose. Gr menuo. Only used here, Luke 20:37. Acts 23:30, and 1 Corinthians 10:28.

take = arrest. Greek. piazo. Occurs twelve times, nine times in this sense. The three exceptions are John 21:3, John 21:10. Acts 8:7.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 11:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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Friday, October 23rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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