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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
John 6



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Verse 1

After these things. This expression occurs seven times in John"s Gospel; and "after this" three times.

After. Greek. meta. App-104. Compare John 5:1.

Jesus. See App-98.

went = went away.

of. The Genitive of Relation. See App-17.

which is the sea of. This is the rendering of the Genitive "of "Tiberias.

Tiberias. The city is still in existence. It was not visited by the Lord, and therefore not guilty of rejecting Him. All the cities which did reject Him have perished.

Verse 2

multitude = crowd.

followed = was following. saw = beheld. Greek horao. App-133. Not the same word as in verses: John 6:5; John 6:14; John 6:19; John 6:22; John 6:24; John 6:26; John 6:30; John 6:40; John 6:62, but same as in verses: John 6:36, John 6:46, John 6:46. L Tr. A WI R. read theoreo, App-133., as in John 6:19.

His. All the texts omit "His".

miracles = signs. See note on John 2:11. App-176.

did = was doing, or working.

on. Greek. epi. App-104.

Verse 3

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

a mountain = the mountain, i.e. the one overlooking the lake.

sat = was sitting [when He saw the crowds approach ing].

with = amid. Greek. meta. App-104.

Verse 4

And = Now.

passover. Greek. pascha. Aramaic. App-94.

a = the.

feast of the Jews. See note on John 2:13.

Jews. See note on John 1:19.

Verse 5

When . . . lifted up = having lifted up.

then = therefore. Compare John 6:15, and see App-176.

saw = having seen. Greek. theaomai, App-133.

a great . . . come = that a great . . . is coming.

company = crowd, as in John 6:2.

unto = toward. Greek pros. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: 16, 27.

Philip. Because Bethsaida (App-169) was a neighbouring town. Compare John 1:44; John 12:21. See App-141.

bread = loaves.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

Verse 6

to prove = proving, i.e. putting him to the test. knew. Greek. oida. App-132. See note on John 1:26.

would do = was about to do.

Verse 7

pennyworth. See App-51.

not. Greek ou. App-105.

every . . . little. Recorded only in John.

Verse 8

of. Greek. ek. App-104.

Andrew. App-141. He appears with Philip in John 1:44; John 12:22.

Simon Peter. App-141.

Verse 9

a lad = a little boy. Greek. paidarion. App-108. The "baker boy", with his basket of barley-loaves, is still to be seen where people congregate.

five. See App-10.

barley. Greek. krithinos. Occurs only here and John 6:13. Compare Judges 7:13. 2 Kings 4:42. Ezekiel 13:19.

small fishes. Greek. opsarion. Occurs only here, John 6:11, and John 21:9, John 21:10, John 21:13.

among = for. Greek. eis. App-104.

Verse 10

men. App-123.

sit down = recline.

Now, &c. See note on "and we", John 1:14. in. Greek en. App-104.

Verse 11

to the disciples, and the disciples. Om. by all the texts and Syriac.

and likewise = likewise also, as much as they would. Recorded only in John.

would = wished. App-102.

Verse 12

When = But when.

filled. Not the same word as in John 6:26.

remain = remain over, as in John 6:13.

Verse 13

twelve, one for each of the apostles.

baskets. Greek. kophinos = a wicker hand-basket, not the same as in Matthew 15:37. Mark 8:8.

unto them that had eaten. Recorded only by John.

eaten = fed. Greek. bibrosko. Occurs only here. Root of our "browse", to feed in the open.

Verse 14

Then = Therefore. A supplementary note by John.

those = the.

seen. Greek. eidon. App-133.

of a truth = truly.

that prophet that should come = the prophet who is coming. See John 1:21.

world. See note on John 1:9.

Verse 15

perceived. See note on John 1:10. App-132.

would come = were about to come.

to = in order that (Greek. hina) they might.

departed = withdrew. Greek. anachoreo. Only here in John.

Verse 16

even . . . come = it became late.

unto. Greek. epi. App-104. Not the same word as in verses: John 5:27, John 5:34, John 5:45, John 5:65.

Verse 17

a ship = a fishing-smack. Greek. ploion. Not ploiarion, as in John 6:22.

went = were going.

toward. Greek. eis. App-104.

Capernaum. See App-169.

was = had become.

now = already.

not. Greek. ou, but all the texts read oupo, "not yet".

to. Greek. pros. App-104.

Verse 18

arose = was rising.

wind. Greek. anemos. Only here in John.

that blew = [that was] blowing.

Verse 19

five and twenty . . . furlongs (App-51). About half way. see. Greek. theoreo. App-133.

Verse 20

It is I = I am [He]. Compare John 4:26; John 8:24, John 8:28, John 8:58; John 13:19; John 18:5, John 18:6, John 18:8. Mark 13:6. Luke 21:8.

not. Greek. me. App-105. Same word as in verses: John 6:27, John 6:43. Not the same as in verses: John 6:7, John 6:17, John 6:22, John 7:24, John 7:26, John 7:32, John 7:36, John 7:38, John 7:42, John 7:46, John 7:56, John 7:64, John 7:70.

Verse 21

willingly received = were willing to receive.

and . . . went. Recorded only by John.

was = became. at. Greek. epi. App-104.

land, or shore. Greek. ge. App-129.

whither = to (Greek. eis)) which.

went = were bound.

Verse 22

people = crowd.

the other side. The eastern. In John 6:26, the western; Compare John 6:39.

none. Greek. ouk. App-105.

other. App-124.

boat = dinghy. Greek. ploiarion. The one belonging to the ploion of John 6:17 (which had gone away). Ploiarion occurs only here, verses: John 6:23, John 6:24, John 21:8. John 6:8. Mark 3:9; Mark 4:36. Ploion, here = smack, is the usual word for "ship"; ploiarion = the dinghy belonging to it.

whereinto = into (Greek. eis. As in John 6:3) which.

were gone = went away.

Verse 23

Howbeit. See note on "and we beheld", John 1:14.

from = out from. Greek. ek. App-104.

the Lord. See App-98. B.C.

Verse 24

they = themselves. Emphatic.

took shipping = entered into (Greek. eis, v. 3) the boats (ploia), but all the texts read ploiaria.

to = unto. Greek. eis, as in John 6:3.

Verse 25

the other side. The western. In John 6:22, the eastern.

Rabbi. See App-98.

camest Thou hither = hast Thou got here.

Verse 26

Verily, verily. The eighth occurance. See note on John 1:51.

the miracles = signs. No Art.

were filled = satisfied. Not the same word as in John 6:12.

Verse 27

Labour not . . . but = Labour for the latter rather than for the former. Figure of speech Heterosis (of Degree). App-6.

meat. Greek brosis, the act of eating (Matthew 6:19, Matthew 6:20 = "rust "). Not broma = food (John 4:34). Compare also 1 Corinthians 8:4.

endureth. Greek. meno. Same as "dwelleth", John 6:56. See note on "abode", John 1:32.

unto. Greek. eis. App-104. Not the same as in verses: John 6:5,

everlasting. Greek. aionios. See App-151.

life. Greek. zoe. See note on John 1:4, and App-170. the Son of man. See App-98.

him hath God the Father sealed = for Him (= this One) the Father, even God, sealed.

God. See App-98.

the Father. See note on John 1:14.

sealed. The Jews discussed "the seal of God", e.g. "What is the seal of the Holy, Blessed God? Rabbi Bibai answered, " Truth". But what is "truth"? Rabbi Bon saith, " the living God and King eternal". Rabbi Chaninah saith . ., "truth is the seal of God". "Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedr., quoted by Lightfoot, vol. xii, p. 291 (Pitman"s ed.)

Verse 28

What shall we do . . . ? = What are we to do . . . ?

work the works. Figure of speech Polyptoton. App-8.

works. See note on John 4:34.

Verse 29

answered and said. See App-122., and note on Deuteronomy 1:41.

believe on. See App-150., and note on John 1:7

sent. Greek. apostello. App-174.

Verse 30

therefore. In consequence of the Lord"s claim.

What sign, &c. The emphasis is on "Thou". sign See note on John 2:18.

believe Thee. See App-150. , and note on John 1:7.

what . . . ? = what [sign], &c. ?

Verse 31

Our fathers, &c. See Exodus 16:15. Over half a million able for war; probably three millions in all. Numbers 2:32.

manna = the manna.

as = according as.

He gave, &c. Quoted from Psalms 78:24. This was their hope and belief; and this was the "sign "looked for in "the days of Messiah". So the Midrash (a Commentary on Ecc.): "The former Redeemer [Moses] caused manna to descend for them; in like manner shall our latter Redeemer [Messiah] cause manna to come down, as it is written: " There shall be a handful of corn in the earth" (Psalms 72:16). "See Lightfoot, vol. ail, p. 293.

heaven. Singular. See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

Verse 32

Moses. The fifth of seven references to Moses. See note on John 1:17. The Gemarists affirm that "manna was given for " the merits of Moses"".

that bread = the [true] bread.

My Father. See note on John 2:16.

true. Greek. alethinos. See note on John 1:9, and App-175.

Verse 33

He, or "That". the world. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject), App-6, for its inhabitants. Used in John to show that Gentiles will be included in Israel"s blessing.

Verse 34

Lord. App-98.

evermore.Greek. pantote, see notes on John 6:35.

Verse 35

am the bread of life. A form of expression peculiar to this Gospel. The Figure of speech Metaphor (App-6), which carries over, and asserts that one thing is, i.e. represents the other; thus differing from Simile, and Hypocatastasis (App-6). See App-159. Note the seven (App-10) examples in this Gospel: I am the Bread of Life (John 6:35, John 6:41, John 6:48, John 6:51); the Light of the world (John 8:12; John 9:5); the Door of the sheep (John 10:7, John 10:9); the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, John 10:14); the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25); the true and living Way (John 14:6); the true Vine (John 15:1, John 15:5).

never = in no wise. Greek. ou me. App-105.

never thirst = in no wise at any time (Greek. ou me . . . popote) thirst. the Ellipsis by repeating "popote" after "hunger". Both Authorized Version and Revised Version renderings are inadequate. The Authorized Version includes the Greek popote in the second "never". The Revised Version weakens the first "never" by rendering it "not". Neither Authorized Version nor Revised Version give the force of the strong negative ou me.

Verse 36

ye also have seen Me = ye have seen Me also; with emphasis on "seen".

and = yet.

believe. App-150.

Verse 37

All = Whatever (Neut. singular)

come . . . cometh. "come" = reach, denoting arrival; "cometh" denotes the act and process.

in no wise. Greek. ou me. App-105. As "never" in John 6:35.

cast out. Referring to the Divine Supplement "send away" in Matthew 14:15. Put by Figure of speech Tapeinosis (App-6) for giving blessing to such.

out = without.

Verse 38

I came down = I am come down.

will. Greek. thelema. App-102.

sent. See note on John 1:22.

Verse 39

of all = whatever, as in John 6:37. Compare John 6:44, and John 12:32.

lose nothing = not (App-105) lose any of (Greek. ek. App-104) it.

raise. App-178.

at the last day. An expression found only in John (five times): here; verses: John 6:44, John 6:54, John 11:24; John 12:48. Compare 1 John 2:18. It refers to the coming of Messiah, and was used idiomatically for "the age to come", at the end of that dispensation (see Lightfoot, vol. xii, p. 294. Pitman"s ed.) It would then have taken place had Israel repented. See Acts 3:19-21.

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

Verse 40

the Son. Compare John 8:36.

may = should.

and will = and (that) I should.

Verse 41

murmured = were murmuring. Greek gonguzo, the Septuagint word for Israel"s murmuring in the wilderness. See 1 Corinthians 10:10. Compare Jude 1:16.

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

Verse 42

they said = were saying.

Verse 43

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

Verse 44

No man = No (App-105) one.

can come = is able to come (two verbs).

except. Greek. ean me. App-118 and App-105.

draw him. Those thus drawn are defined in John 6:37 as "all "those who are given (without exception). In John 12:32 the "all" are not thus defined, and denote "all" (without distinction).

Verse 45

It is written = It standeth written.

the prophets. See Isaiah 54:13. Jeremiah 31:34.

all. Here it denotes "all" without exception. See note on "draw him", John 6:44.

taught of God. In 1 Thessalonians 4:9 the words are compounded (theodidaktos).

of = from. Greek. para. App-104., implying close intimacy. See John 6:46.

Verse 46

any man = any one.

save. Greek. ei me = if not. App-118and App-105.

of = from (beside). Greek. para. App-104. Implying past and present union. Compare John 7:29; John 9:16, John 9:33.

Verse 47

hath = possesseth. Not, of course, in himself (or he would never die), but by faith in Christ.

Verse 48

that = the.

Verse 49

did eat = ate.

are dead = died.

Verse 50

a man = any one: i.e. without distinction.

thereof = of (Greek. ek. App-104.) it.

Verse 51

living. See note on John 4:10.

if. For the condition, see App-118.

this bread = this [One before you]. One of three passages in which "this" indicates the speaker. Compare John 2:19. Matthew 16:18.

he shall live; in and by resurrection. See note on John 4:50, John 4:51, John 4:53.

for ever = unto the age. See App-151. a.

and the bread that I will give = but the bread, moreover, which I will give. The omission of the particle ("de") in Authorized Version hides the line of the discussion: (1) I will give this bread; (2) This bread is My flesh; (3) My flesh is My body which I will give up in death.

My flesh = Myself. Put by the Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, for the whole person, as in Genesis 17:13. Psalms 16:9 (Acts 2:26-31). Proverbs 14:30. Matthew 19:5. Romans 3:20. 1 Corinthians 1:29. 2 Corinthians 7:5; and for Christ"s own person, John 1:14. 1 Timothy 3:16. 1 Peter 3:18. Hebrews 10:20. 1 John 4:2. Just as "My soul" is also put for the whole person (Numbers 23:10. Judges 16:30. Psalms 3:2; Psalms 16:10; Psalms 33:19; Psalms 103:1. Isaiah 58:5. Acts 2:31. Romans 13:1). In view of the Jews" unbelief, the Lord used the Figure of speech Synecdoche here. To take a figure of speech literally, and treat what is literal as a figure, is the most fruitful source of error.

flesh. See note on John 1:13.

I will give. All the texts omit this, but not the Syriac. See App-94.

for. Greek huper. App-104.

Verse 52

strove = were contending. Greek. machomai. Only here, Acts 7:26. 2 Timothy 2:24. James 4:2. An advance on "murmuring" in John 6:41.

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

Verse 53

eat . . . drink, &c. The Hebrews used this ex pression with reference to knowledge by the Figure of speech Me tonomy (of the Subject), App-6, as in Exodus 24:11, where it is put for being alive; so eating and drinking denoted the operation of the mind in receiving and "inwardly digesting" truth or the words of God. See Deuteronomy 8:3, and p. Jeremiah 15:16. Ezekiel 2:8. No idiom was more common in the days of our Lord. With them as with us, eating included the meaning of enjoyment, as in Ecclesiastes 5:19; Ecclesiastes 6:2; for "riches "cannot be eaten; and the Talmud actually speaks of eating (i.e. enjoying) "the years of Messiah", and instead of finding any difficulty in the figure they said that the days of Hezekiah were so good that "Messiah will come no more to Israel; for they have already devoured Him in the days of Hezekiah" (Lightfoot, vol. xii, pp 296, 297). Even where eating is used of the devouring of enemies, it is the enjoyment of victory that is included. The Lord"s words could be understood thus by hearers, for they knew the idiom; but of "the eucharist" they knew nothing, and could not have thus understood them. By comparing verses: John 6:47-48 with verses: John 6:53-54, we see that believing on Christ was exactly the same thing as eating and drinking Him.

flesh . . . blood. By the Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), App-6, this idiom is put for the whole Person. See note on "flesh", John 1:13, and compare Matthew 16:17. 1 Corinthians 15:50. Galatians 1:1, Galatians 1:16. . Ephesians 6:12. Hebrews 2:14.

no = not. App-105.

Verse 54

eateth =

feedeth on (so as to enjoy). Greek. trogo, as in verses: John 6:56, John 6:57-58. Not the same word as in verses: John 6:5, John 6:13, John 6:23, John 5:26, John 5:31, John 5:49, John 5:50, John 5:53, John 5:58 -. See the two words in John 6:58.

eternal. Greek. aionios. App-151.

Verse 55

indeed = truly. Greek. alethos. All the texts read alethes (App-175) but not the Syriac.

Verse 56

dwelleth = abideth. Same as "endureth "in John 6:27. See note on "abode" in John 1:32.

Verse 57

As = According as. See John 13:15. 1 John 2:6; 1 John 2:4.

live. See note on John 4:50.

by = through. Greek. dia. App-104. John 6:2.

Verse 58

This, &c. Compare John 6:50, and see on Matthew 16:18.

live for ever. This is the opposite of death (John 6:49), and is to be only by and through resurrection (verses: John 6:39, John 6:40, John 6:44).

Verse 59

synagogue. See App-120.

Verse 60

Many. Other than the twelve (John 6:70).

This is an hard saying. The emphasis is on "hard" by the Figure of speech Hyperbaton (App-6).

saying. Greek. logos. See note on Mark 9:32.

Verse 61

it = this.

offend = cause to stumble.

you? Emph.; i.e. you, as well as those Jews.

Verse 62

What and if, &c.? The Apodosis which is wanting (by Ellipsis) must be supplied thus: "If" (as in John 6:51) therefore ye should behold the Son of man ascending up where He was before [will ye be offended then]? "

ascend = ascending.

Verse 63

the spirit. App-101.

quickeneth = giveth life. Greek. zoopoieo. See note on John 5:21.

the flesh. See note on John 1:13.

nothing. Greek. ouk ouden. A double negative. words. Greek. rhema. See note on Mark 9:32.

speak = have spoken, and do speak.

spirit. See App-101.

Verse 64

from the beginning. First occurance of "ex arches" in John. As in John 1:1, the Ellipsis of dependent noun must be supplied here, and in the only other occurrence (John 16:4): "from the beginning [of the Lord"s ministry]". For the occurance of arche with other prepositions, see notes on John 1:1; John 8:44, and Hebrews 1:10.

believed not = would not believe. Note the subjective emphasis of" me. App-105. See also App-150.

should = would.

Verse 65

Therefore = For this cause. Greek. dia (App-104. John 6:2) touto.

Verse 66

that time = this cause. It is the same cause to this day. back. Greek. eis ta opiso.

walked = walked about.

no more. Compound of ou. App-105.

Verse 67

Will ye also go away? = Surely ye also do not (Greek. me. App-105) wish (App-102) to go away? Implying a negative answer,

Verse 69

believe = have believed. App-150.

are sure = have got to know. Greek. ginosko See App-132. See note on John 1:10.

that Christ = the Messiah. App-98.

the Son of . . . God. Thus, the second portion of the Lords ministry ends with a similar declaration on the part of Simon Peter, as in Matthew 16:16, though not the same occasion. So the Syriac reads, showing that the various readings of the Greek need not be heeded. See App-94.

the living God. This expression always implies the contrast with all other gods.

Verse 70

Have I not chosen = Did I not choose. Compare 13. 14, 15, 16, 19. Luke 6:13.

twelve = the twelve. See App-141.

Verse 71

He spake = But, or Now He was speaking.

Judas. App-141.

Iscariot = a man of Kerioth, which was in Judah (Joshua 15:25). Kerioth now probably Khan Kureitin.

the son of Simon. So designated only here, John 12:4; John 12:13, John 12:2, John 12:26. The only apostle not a Galilean. Compare John 12:6.

that should betray Him = [who] was about to betray Him. Note the two verbs. Thus ends the second por tion of the Lord"s ministry (App-119), and thus is ushered in the third.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 6:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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