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Bible Commentaries
John 8

Edwards' Family Bible New TestamentFamily Bible NT

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Verse 1

Mount of Olives ; Matthew 22:1 .

Verse 5

Moses in the law ; Leviticus 20:10 .

Verse 6

Tempting him ; should he decide that she ought to be put to death, they would accuse him of assuming judicial authority; and should he decided the other way, they would accuse him of being opposed to Moses.

On the ground ; the words which follow in italics, not being in the original, might have been omitted.

Verse 7

Let him first ; Deuteronomy 17:7 . Men are sometimes very forward to accuse others, and seek to have them punished, when they are themselves guilty of equal, and perhaps greater crimes. Should conscience be awakened to do its office, and none but the innocent be suffered to accuse or condemn, the guilty would often go unpunished.

Verse 10

Saw none ; none of her accusers.

Condemned thee ; passed upon thee a judicial sentence of condemnation.

Verse 11

Neither do I ; I do not exercise this prerogative of the civil magistrate.

Verse 12

Light of life ; that knowledge of God which is life to the soul. Chap John 1:4-9 .

Verse 13

Of thyself ; concerning thyself. You testify in your own case.

Verse 14

Though I bear record of myself-my record is true ; he had before said, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true," chap John 5:31 ; but there he was speaking of the validity of testimony according to the human rule of trying it. Here, on the contrary, he speaks of the quality of his own testimony from the high consciousness of his divine nature and mission.

I know whence I came-whither I go ; I know that I come from the Father and return again to him; therefore I know that my testimony of him is true.

Ye cannot tell ; more literally, Ye know not, as in the first part of the verse. As the Jews did not understand his divine nature and mission, they were not qualified to judge of his testimony.

Verse 15

After the flesh ; according to outward appearances, under the power of prejudice, with selfish motives and worldly ends.

No man ; chap John 3:17 ; John 12:47 .

Verse 16

I am not alone ; in my judgment. The Father is always united with me in it. Compare chap John 5:30 .

Verse 17

The testimony of two men is true ; Deuteronomy 17:6 ; Deuteronomy 19:15 . Compare Matthew 18:16 . He now returns to the human rule of trying testimony.

Verse 18

I am one that beareth witness - the Father that sent me beareth witness ; his case is like that of an ambassador fully accredited by him who sends him. The testimony of such an ambassador is valid according to the human rule of judgment.

Verse 19

If ye had known me-known my Father also ; the union between him and his Father was such, that to know the one was also to know the other. Compare chap John 14:9-10 . We may have the Bible and all the means of grace, and yet be ignorant of the character of God, of Jesus Christ, and of the way of life through him. This is not because they are not plainly revealed, but because opposition to them blinds the mind, hardens the heart, and prevents the right apprehension of divine truth.

Verse 20

The treasury ; the apartment in which was kept the money for the support of the temple service.

His hour ; chap John 7:30 .

Verse 21

My way ; chap John 7:33 .

Verse 23

From beneath ; earthly and sensual.

From above ; heavenly and divine.

Verse 24

I am he ; the Messiah.

Verse 26

Many things ; he might say much more, but he confined himself to those things which would be useful, and which he was commissioned of the Father to declare.

Verse 28

Lifted up the Son of man ; upon the cross. Another of the obscure hints which the Saviour was in the habit of giving concerning the manner of his approaching death and its mighty results. The Jews raised him upon the cross to destroy him; but God made this the way of raising him to universal dominion. Compare chap John 12:32 .

Nothing of myself ; nothing in opposition to, but all things in accordance with the appointment and will of the Father.

Verse 31

Continue in my word ; continue to believe my declarations and obey my commands.

Disciples indeed ; true disciples. The only sure test of love to Christ is continued belief of his word and obedience to his commands.

Verse 32

Shall make you free ; under the idea of freedom, our Lord includes two things: first, deliverance from the dominion of sin; secondly, the condition of sonship as contrasted with that of servants. Both of these he explains in the following verses.

Verse 33

Abraham’s seed ; and therefore not servants, but freemen.

Were never in bondage ; they probably refer, not to their national servitudes, which were notorious to all; but to the civil freedom secured to Abraham’s seed by the law of Moses. According to this, a Hebrew could not be reduced to the condition of a bond-servant. Leviticus 25:39-46 .

Verse 35

Abideth ever ; not permanently; he is liable at any time to be dismissed.

Abideth ever ; he has a permanent residence, and is heir to the estate. The son is here, first, the Son of God, who dwells with the Father, and is "heir of all things," Hebrews 1:2 ; secondly, every one whom the Son of God makes him a child of God, and a joint-heir with himself to the heavenly inheritance. Romans 8:17 .

Verse 36

If the Son ; the Son of God, who abides in his Father’s house for ever, and to whom he has committed all power over it.

Free indeed ; for ye shall not only be delivered from the bondage of sin and its punishment, but made sons of God with and through Christ, and have an everlasting home with him in his Father’s house.

Verse 37

Abraham’s seed ; literally they were, but not spiritually, not in the sense in which the promises to him were made. Genesis 12:3 ; Genesis 18:18 ; Genesis 22:18 ; Galatians 3:14 ; Galatians 3:16-18 ; Galatians 3:29 .

My word hath no place ; they would not receive his truth.

Verse 38

Seen with my Father ; what is in accordance with the will of God the Father.

Your father ; verse John 8:44 .

Verse 39

If ye were Abraham’s children ; if ye were like him in faith and practice.

Verse 41

We be not born of fornication ; perceiving that Jesus uses the word father in a spiritual sense, they reply that they are no spurious race sprung from idolaters, but are the true children of God, since they and their fathers have worshipped him only. With the Hebrews, idolatry was spiritual fornication.

Verse 43

My speech ; my manner of discourse and its true meaning.

Cannot hear my word ; that is, my doctrine. The reason why they could not was the perverse state of their hearts, as is taught in the next verse.

Verse 44

The lusts of your father ; they would comply with his wishes in seeking to murder Christ.

A murderer from the beginning ; the first work of the devil on earth was to seduce our first parents into sin, whereby they and all their posterity were made subject to death. In this he was born a murderer and a liar.

The father of it ; he uttered the first lie in Eden. In opposing Christ and rejecting his truth, wicked men imitate the devil, and exert an influence which tends to destroy themselves and their fellow-men.

Verse 46

Convinceth me of sin ; convicteth me of falsehood, or any thing wrong.

Verse 47

He that is of God ; that loves him, and is like him in spirit.

Verse 48

A Samaritan ; to a Jew one of the most disgraceful epithets that could be used. The Samaritans were greatly hated and despised as heretics and schismatics.

Verse 50

One that seeketh and judgeth ; the Father would honor him, and condemn them.

Verse 51

Never see death ; spiritual and eternal death; not perish in his sins.

Verse 54

If I honor myself ; if what I say of my office is not sustained by God’s accompanying testimony.

My Father that honoreth me ; he confirms what I say of myself.

Verse 56

Rejoiced to see my day ; to hear of and obtain clear views of the coming of Christ.

Verse 58

I am ; this denotes eternal self-existence. Exodus 3:14 ; John 1:1 ; John 1:3 ; Colossians 1:17 ; Hebrews 1:6 ; Hebrews 1:8 ; Revelation 1:8 . As Jesus Christ is truly and eternally divine, his kindness, compassion, and grace, in coming into the world, taking upon him human nature, and dying upon the cross, surpass all finite comprehension, and lay upon all to whom he is revealed unspeakable obligations to love and obey him.

Verse 59

Stones to cast at him ; because he, being man, claimed to be also God. Romans 9:5 .

Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 8". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/fam/john-8.html. American Tract Society. 1851.
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