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Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
John 10

Bengel's Gnomon of the New TestamentBengel's Gnomon

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Verse 1

John 10:1 . Ἀμήν verily ) These words are in close connection with those that precede; for the ἐκεῖνοι , John 10:6 , “ they understood not what things they were which He spake,” has reference to ch. John 9:40 , “The Pharisees heard these words, and said, Are we blind also?” [ And indeed we may suppose that this parabolic discourse , John 10:1-5 , was delivered at a point of time mid-way between the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Dedication ( Joh 10:22 ); for John 10:21 , “Can a devil open the eyes of the blind? refers back to the miracle that was wrought next after the Feast of Tabernacles; and the words which He put forth at the Feast of Dedication , John 10:26-30 (containing the same image, sheep), refer to that parabolic discourse ( Joh 10:1-5 ). Harm., p. 363.] διὰ τῆς θύρας , through the door ) through Christ: John 10:9 , “I am the door.” Only one legitimate way of access lies open; all others are closed. εἰς τὴν αὐλήν , into the sheep-fold ) concerning which, John 10:16 , “There shall be one fold and one Shepherd.” τῶν προβάτων , of the sheep ) This allegory is continued as far as to ver, 30. And sheep seem to have been before His eyes at the time. ἀναβαίνων , climbing up ) over the fence. κλέπτης καὶ λῃστής , a thief and robber ) John 10:8 , “All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers.”

Verse 2

John 10:2 . Ὁ δὲ εἰσερχόμενος , but he who enters ) through Christ: John 10:9 , “The door.”

Verse 3

John 10:3 . Τούτῳ , to Him ) as to one well known. ὁ θυρωρός , the porter ) Christ is regarded as the Shepherd , at verse 11, etc.; as the Door , at verse 1 10. Just as it is not unworthy of Christ to be called the Door , by which the shepherd enters: so it is not unworthy of God to be called the Porter . The Hebrew שער sounds a more honourable designation. As to the thing signified, see Acts 14:27 , “How God had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles:” Colossians 4:3 , “Praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance.” Comp. Revelation 3:7 , “He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth:” Acts 16:14 , “Lydia whose heart the Lord opened.” C. Weisius, a theologian of Leipsic, has maintained, in a copious dissertation, published in A. 1739, that the Porter is the Holy Spirit. τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἴδια πρόβατα , the sheep His own sheep) So John 10:4 , by an inverse Chiasmus, His own sheep the sheep. ἀκούει , καλεῖ , they hear, He calls) Correlatives. τὰ ἴδια τρόβατα , His own sheep) All are His own sheep: comp. John 10:12 , “He that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not.” But this epithet is more consonant with the call given by name than with the hearing. [The genuine Shepherd is indeed recognised as such by all souls that are duly affected; but He is manifested in a peculiar manner to those, whom His assistance especially helps. V. g.] καλεῖ κατʼ ὄνομα , He calls by name) Even sheep were by the ancients distinguished by names. καί ) and so, whilst He calls.

Verse 4

John 10:4 . Ἐκβάλη , He putteth forth ) Synonymous with the verb, ἐξάγει , He leadeth out , but more general.

Verse 5

John 10:5 . Ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ , from him ) as from a pestilence. [ Nor can you justly say, that their doing so is the result of pride, or obstinacy, or an act of injury to good order . V. g.] οὐκ οἴδασι ) they know not [the voice of a stranger], so as to follow it: they know it, so as to flee from it. [ It is to be added, that it is not right to accept without investigation things which are not known, even though they may possibly happen to be good . V. g.]

Verse 6

John 10:6 . Οὐκ ἔγνωσαν , they understood not ) Thus they might have perceived, that they were blind; ch. John 9:41 , “Now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.”

Verse 7

John 10:7 . Ἡ θύρα , the door ) Christ is both the Door, and the Shepherd, and our All: there is none else. τῶν προβάτων , of the sheep ) to the sheep.

Verse 8

John 10:8 . Ὅσοι ἦλθον , as many as have come ) The subsequent verb, εἰσί , are , in the present, indicates that ἦλθον , have come , is to be taken of time just past; [265] and of the peculiar course of others, to which is opposed the by Me [if any man enter in, he shall be saved], John 10:9 . The expression, who have come , is used as at 2 Corinthians 11:4 , whosoever cometh [lit. he who cometh, “If he that cometh preacheth another Jesus”]. Nor does He exclude those thieves and robbers, who also unquestionably had come after Jesus , not merely those who had come before Jesus : as many, namely, as between the beginning of His preaching and the time of this parabolic discourse, which was spoken a little before His passion, had arrogated to themselves the office of teaching among the Jews, after the example of their predecessors. κλέπται , thieves ) stealthily, appropriating others’ goods, to their own gain. λῃσταί , robbers ) openly, taking away life, to the ruin of the sheep. ἀλλʼ οὐκ ) but , although these robbers and thieves offered themselves, the sheep did not hear them: ch. John 7:46 , [The officers and Nicodemus not suffering themselves to be led blindly by the Pharisees] “Never man spake like this Man;” Matthew 7:29 , “He taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes;” John 9:36 , “He was moved with compassion on the multitude because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd .”

[265] It is in conformity with this, that as well the margin of both Editions, declares the note of time , πρὸ ἐμοῦ , to be reading not well established, as also the Germ. Vers. altogether omits it . E. B.

Verse 9

John 10:9 . Δἰ ἐμοῦ , through Me ) the Christ known by the sheep, and calling them, who am the Door . Comp. after thee [“I have not hastened from being a pastor to follow Thee.” Hebr. after Thee ], Jeremiah 17:16 . τίς , any man ) as a sheep [ and a shepherd . V. g.] σωθήσεται , he shall be saved ) Secure from the wolf. Salvation and pasture are joined, as presently after life and abundance , John 10:10 , “That they might have life , and have it abundantly .” εἰσελεύσεται καὶ ἐξελεύσεται , shall go in and go out ) By this Hebraic phrase, there is denoted a continual intimacy with the Shepherd and Master. Comp. Acts 1:21 , “These men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us .” Septuag. Numbers 27:17 ; Numbers 27:21 [ ὄστις ἐξελεύσεται καὶ ὄστις εἰσελεύσεται , καὶ ὅστις ἐξάξει καὶ εἰσάξει αὐτούς : ἐξελεύσονται καὶ εἰσελεύσονται , Engl. Vers. “Which may go out before them, and which may go in, and lead them out and bring them in; At his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in”]. εὑρήσει , shall find ) whether he enters in, or goes out: whereas the pasture is unknown to all others. Comp. Exodus 16:25 , etc., “Eat that to-day: for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord; to-day ye shall not find it in the field.”

Verse 10

John 10:10 . Ἵνα κλέψῃ , that he may steal ) That is peculiarly the act of a thief . There follow worse things. A thief, 1) steals for the sake of his own advantage: 2) he inflicts loss on others, a ) by killing the sheep, b ) by destroying the remainder of their food. There is a climax in the division, not in the subdivision: ἀπώλεια , the destruction caused by a thief, is not spiritual, but civil; but a spiritual injury is metaphorically described by it, just as by theft and murder . καὶ θύσῃ and that he may kill ) In antithesis to life . καὶ ἀπολέσῃ , and that he may destroy ) In antithesis to abundance [ περισσόν ]: concerning which see Psalms 23:1 , “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want ,”

Verse 11

John 10:11 . Ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλός , the Good Shepherd ) He, concerning whom it was foretold by the prophets. The Shepherd, whose peculiar property the sheep are: good , as being the One who lays down His life for the sheep; also as being He to whom they are an object of care, John 10:13 , “The hireling careth not for the sheep.” In our day, they who tend for pay the flocks of one town, or one village, are called pastors; but in this passage the signification of the term, pastor , is more noble. [ The whole and complete office of Christ is contained in this parabolic discourse concerning the pastor and the door. V. g.] τίθησιν , lays down ) This is five times said, thereby there being expressed the greatest force. In this, the highest benefit, all the remaining benefits conferred by the Shepherd are presupposed, included, and are to be inferred [Isaiah 53:10 ; Isaiah 53:6 , When Thou shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed , He shall prolong His clays, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand : All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way: and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all], ὑπὲρ τῶν προβάτων , for the sheep ) Christ here declares what kind of a shepherd He evinces Himself towards the sheep: for which reason, it cannot be inferred from this, that He did not die also for the rest of men.

Verse 12

John 10:12 . Ὁ μισθωτός , the hireling ) who acts as a shepherd for the sake of his own advantage. οὐκ ὤν ) More frequently μή , is put with the participle, but οὐκ here has the effect of giving greater emphasis. ἀρπάζει , seizes them ) he tears those which he can catch; he scatters the rest: two ways of doing injury. But the Good Shepherd collects together , John 10:16 , “Other sheep I have not of this fold; them also I must bring , and there shall be one fold.” τὰ πρόβατα , the sheep ) all of them.

Verse 13

John 10:13 . Δέ , but ) This has the force of explaining the word fleeth , repeated from the preceding verse. ὅτι μισθωτός , because he is an hireling ) Ploce [A word placed twice, so that once the word itself, once an attribute of it, should be understood]. His concern is for the pay, not for the flock. καὶ οὐ μέλει , and careth not for ) Connect with fleeth [ i.e. οὐ μέλει does not follow ὅτι ]. The antithesis to this is to be observed, John 10:14-15 . The words in antithesis respectively are:

The hireling is a hireling careth not for fleeth I the Good Shepherd know lay down My life. [266][267][268] Memph [269] and Theb [270] Versions, Lucifer, omit ΠΡΌΒΑΤΑ of last verse, and in this verse ΔῈ ΜΙΣΘΩΤῸς ΦΕΎΓΕΙ . But [271][272][273][274] Vulg. have the words.] [266] the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.

[267] Bezæ, or Cantabrig.: Univ. libr., Cambridge: fifth cent.: publ. by Kipling, 1793: Gospels, Acts, and some Epp. def.

[268] Laurentianus or Amiatinus. These three I do not specially quote, except very occasionally, where they mutually differ, but simply quote ‘Vulg.’ in general, as correctly given by Lachmann from these MSS. in his Greek Test.

[269] emph. the Memphitic, or Coptic Version from Egypt: third cent.: publ. by Wilkins at Oxford, 1716.

[270] heb. the Thebaic, or Sahidic do.: publ. by Woide and Ford, from MS. Alex, at Oxford, 1799.

[271] the Alexandrine MS.: in Brit. Museum: fifth century: publ. by Woide, 1786 1819: O. and N. Test. defective.

[272] Vercellensis of the old ‘Itala,’ or Latin Version before Jerome’s, probably made in Africa, in the second century: the Gospels.

[273] Veronensis, do.

[274] Colbertinus, do.

14. Τὰ ἐμά ) My [what is Mine], sheep . καὶ , καί , and, and ) Always the beginning of every good thing originates with God and Christ. As the Good Shepherd, He both knows and is known.

Verse 15

John 10:15 . Καθώς , as ) This is connected with the preceding verse. Often the relation of believers towards Christ is derived from the peculiar relation of Christ towards the Father: ch. John 14:20 , “I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you;” John 15:10 , “If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love; John 17:8 ; John 17:21 , “I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me; That they all may be one, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us;” Matthew 11:27 , “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him;” Luke 22:29 , “I appoint unto you a kingdom, as My Father hath appointed unto Me;” 1 Corinthians 11:3 , “The Head of every man is Christ, and the Head of Christ is God;” 1 Corinthians 15:28 , “The Son also Himself shall be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all;” Revelation 3:21 , “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me on My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father on His throne.” καί ) and for that reason [viz. because I am the Good Shepherd ]. Hence [from this act of love] it is that the sheep know the ‘goodness’ of the Shepherd. τίθημι , I lay down ) Present. The whole life of Christ was a going to death.

Verse 16

John 10:16 . Ἄλλα πρόβατα , other sheep ) Which are already called sheep , inasmuch as being foreseen . Comp. ch. John 11:52 , “That He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad,” where He calls them children of God on a similar principle. He says other sheep , not another sheep-fold . For they were scattered in the world. ἔχω , I have ) This verb has great power. ταύτης , of this ) the Jewish fold. δεῖ , I must ) on account of the commandment of the Father. ἀγαγεῖν , bring ) by My death. He does not say, lead out , as at John 10:3 ; nor, introduce into this fold ; but simply, bring [lead]. They have no need to change their locality. ἀκούσωσι ) To the verb I must , this subjunctive answers in the correlative [275][276][277][278] Vulg. read ἀκούσουσιν . [279][280][281][282] read ἀκούσωσιν ]. μία ποίμνη , εἷς ποιμήν ) One flock [not, as Engl. Vers., “one fold”], so that there may remain over and above no flocks false and divided; one Shepherd , so that there may remain no hireling, false, bad shepherds, or Pseudo-Peter, etc. Comp. Ezekiel 34:23 , “I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even My servant David; He shall feed them, and He shall be their Shepherd;” Zechariah 14:9 , “The Lord shall be King over all the earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one.” This oneness of the flock, as also oneness of the Shepherd, began after that the good Shepherd laid down His life: ch. John 11:52 , “That Jesus should die not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God scattered abroad;” and in His own time, when He hath taken out of the way every hindrance, it shall be consummated. In point of right, Jesus always is the one and only Shepherd: therefore, in point of right and also of fact, He will then become the one. Most sweetly there is put first the one flock , then the one Shepherd . The words bring , and one flock , mutually refer to one another; as also, they shall hear , and one Shepherd . The Shepherd shall bring all into one flock : the whole flock shall hear the one Shepherd .

[275] the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.

[276] Bezæ, or Cantabrig.: Univ. libr., Cambridge: fifth cent.: publ. by Kipling, 1793: Gospels, Acts, and some Epp. def.

[277] Veronensis, do.

[278] Colbertinus, do.

[279] the Alexandrine MS.: in Brit. Museum: fifth century: publ. by Woide, 1786 1819: O. and N. Test. defective.

[280] Vercellensis of the old ‘Itala,’ or Latin Version before Jerome’s, probably made in Africa, in the second century: the Gospels.

[281] Cod. Monacensis, fragments of the Gospels.

[282] Claromontanus of Paul’s Epp.: Roy. libr., Paris: eighth cent.: marked D by Tischend.: Δ by Lachm.

Verse 17

John 10:17 . Ἀγαπᾷ ) loveth Me, and lovingly enjoins this on Me, lovingly as it were persuades Me, and I, although I must lay down My life, remain sure of His love; for I lay it down, that I may take it up again: moreover the Father, in love to Me, gives Me the sheep as my peculiar portion; because I keep His commandment concerning the laying down of My life; John 10:18 , “No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father .” Love is intimated as coming over and above [supervenient. Coming as an extraneous addition]. The love of the Father is to be kept in sight, in the passion of Christ, not only towards us, but also towards Christ: we are not to look merely to His avenging severity [stern justice].

Verse 18

John 10:18 . Οὐδείς , no man ) Comp. John 10:29 , “ No man is able to pluck out of My Father’s hand.” αἴρει , taketh away ) by His own power and will. ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ , from Myself ) Jesus of His own accord gave Himself up to His enemies to be taken; and on the cross itself, not from any feebleness, but with a loud cry, He gave up the ghost. καί , and ) A most close connection subsists between the two things [laying down His life, and taking it up again] (Comp. the that , John 10:17 , I lay [it] down, that I might take it again), over which He possesses a twofold power. ἐξουσίαν ἔχω , I have power ) So ἔχωσι , that they might have [life], is repeated, John 10:10 . Add ch. John 19:10 [Pilate], “ I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee.” παρὰ τοῦ Πατρός μου , from My Father ) He ascribes His highest power to the Father.

Verse 19

John 10:19 . Σχίσμα , a division ) Whence do such various reasonings concerning Christ originate? I reply, Inasmuch as His person is not known.

Verse 20

John 10:20 . Πολλοί , many ) They were wont to take in the worst light His most lofty and sweetest discourses. [283][283] τὶ αὐτοῦ ἀκούετε , why hear ye Him? ) It is a case full of danger, when even hearing is refused. V. g.

Verse 21

John 10:21 . Ῥήματα ) Hebr. דברים words. Comp. what goes before [John 10:19 , There was a division for these sayings]: also comp. the works alluded to in what follows [ Joh 10:25 ].

Verse 22

John 10:22 . Ἐγκαίνια , Feast of Dedication ) instituted by Judas Maccabæus: 1Ma 4:59 . [ He did not go up to Jerusalem purposely, for the sake of this ecclesiastical feast ( as He had done on account of the other feasts, established by the Law ), but He was present at it owing to circumstances. He did not remain long in Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover, mentioned John 2:3 : He remained a little longer after Pentecost, ch. 5; but, after He had accomplished His journey to the Feast of Tabernacles (ch. John 7:8 , “I go not up yet unto this feast: for My time is not yet fully come”), in order that the end might crown the work with completion [in order to give the finishing stroke to His work], He in fine made a delay there longer than usual, from the Feast of Tabernacles beyond [so as to stay over] the Feast of Dedication. Harm ., p. 364.]

Verse 24

John 10:24 . Ἐκύκλωσαν , came round about ) How gratifying that would have been to the Saviour, if they had done so in faith! καὶ ἔλεγον , and they were saying ) owing to the unreasonable impulse of a murmuring nature. αἴρεις , dost thou raise up ) keep in suspense; i.e. Thou dost worry to death, Thou dost wear our life out. Let the phrase, John 10:18 [ οὐδεὶς αἴρει αὐτήν , “no man taketh it away ” My life]; but it was they that were wretchedly worrying themselves to death. He had been long staying amongst them, especially after the Feast of Tabernacles. εἰπέ , tell us) As if indeed He had never told them and showed who He was: see John 10:25 , “I told you, and ye believed not.” Presently after He speaks openly at John 10:30 ; John 10:36 ; John 10:38 , “I and My Father are one: Say ye, Thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the Son of God? that ye may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.” We often think, If I could hear or read this or that, expressed in this or that way, I would be able to believe. But God alone knows how it is most fitting to speak with us, in order to cherish and exercise our faith. παῤῥησίᾳ , plainly ) freely, in express terms.

Verse 25

John 10:25 . Εἶπον ὑμῖν , I have told you ) i.e. I am the Christ. A similar formula occurs, Matthew 26:64 , “Tell us whether Thou be the Christ, the Son of God? Jesus saith, Thou hast said .” Moreover Jesus often said, even in this chapter, Jesus is the Christ. I told you (and ye believed not; I tell you) and ye believe not [ πιστεύετε , not believed , as Engl. Vers.] Καὶ , and , for but . Comp. John 10:26 , ἀλλά , but [ye believe not], τὰ ἔργα , the works ) which even might have convinced those who do not believe words. περὶ ἐμοῦ , concerning Me ) that I am the Christ.

Verse 26

John 10:26 . Ὑμεῖς , ye ) It is your own fault. οὐ γάρ , for ye are not ) For the sheep believe, John 10:3 , “The sheep hear His voice,” 14, “I know My sheep, and am known of Mine ,” 16, 27. This discourse, delivered during the Feast of Dedication, has reference to His discourses delivered before the Feast of Dedication.

Verses 27-28

John 10:27-28 . Τὰ πρόβατα ἐκ τῆς χειρός μου , the sheep out of My hand ) Three pairs of sentences, of which the several parts express both the faith of the sheep and the goodness of the Shepherd, by means of correlatives.

Verse 28

John 10:28 . Κἀγώ , and I ) The following and the life are closely connected, ch. John 8:12 , “He that followeth Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life .” οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται , shall not perish ) Middle (so ἀπολέσθαι , ch. John 17:12 ; Luke 15:24 ; Jude John 10:11 , ‘lost,’ ‘perished’): i.e. they shall not destroy themselves, internally . [284] Comp. 1 John 5:18 , “Whosoever is born of God sinneth not: but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not;” and John 17:12 , notes, “Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.” καὶ οὐκ , and not ) Nor will I suffer them to be snatched out of My hand by any external enemy. ἁρπάσει , shall snatch [pluck]) The auxiliary verb δύναται , can , is included in the future: comp. ver. following.

[284] By their own corruptions from within. E. and T.

Verse 29

John 10:29 . Δέδωκε , gave ) Understand, these sheep. μείζων πάντων , greater than all ) Greater than all their enemies; greater than the sheep: and (in another sense) greater than even Me ; ch. John 14:28 , “My Father is greater than I.” ἁρπάζειν , to snatch ) them, the sheep.

Verse 30

John 10:30 . Ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ἓν ἐσμεν , I and the Father are one ) One , not merely in agreement of will, but in unity of power, and so of nature: for omnipotence is an attribute of the nature [of God]; and His discourse is of the unity of the Father and the Son. In these words of Jesus, the Jews, blind as they were, saw more meaning than Antitrinitarians see in the present day. If the Jews had supposed that Jesus wishes merely to be accounted as a divine man, and not as the Son of God, who is as truly God as sons of men are men, they would not have said, whereas Thou art a man, thou makest Thyself God [ Joh 10:33 ]; nor would they have arraigned Him for blasphemy. By the expression, we are , Sabellius is refuted: [285] by the word, one , Arius is refuted; [286] see John 10:33 ; John 10:36 ; John 10:38 , “The Father is in Me, and I in Him.” Comp. the close of Joh 10:29 with that of 28. [287] Especially also the first person of the plural number has a pre-eminent signification, as applied to the Son and Father; Jesus seldom uses it of Himself and men. See note on Matt. ch. John 5:11 , “Blessed are ye ” etc. [not we ],

[285] Who denied the distinctness of the persons. “ I and the Father are.” E. and T.

[286] Who denied the divinity of the Son. E. and T.

[287] “Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand,” “No man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand:” therefore the Father and Jesus are one. E. and T.

Verse 31

John 10:31 . Ἐβάστασαν , they bare ) They were therefore large pieces of rock.

Verse 32

John 10:32 . Καλὰ ἔργα , good works ) Jesus shows that judgment is to be formed from His works ; John 10:37 , “If I do not the works of My Father, believe Me not.” λιθάζετε , do ye stone ) The Jews had now determined to stone Him; John 10:33 , “For a good work we stone Thee not, but for blasphemy.”

Verse 33

John 10:33 . Περί , for [‘concerning,’ lit.]) As the Latins say, quâ de causâ . So διά [ ποῖον ἔργον ], John 10:32 .

Verse 34

John 10:34 . Ἀπεκρίθη , answered ) The Jews had said, Thou sayest that Thou art God , and indeed God by nature (for their blindness lay in joining this Godhead with the manhood): and Jesus acknowledge [as His claims ] this Godhead of nature, without denying His manhood, and does not lower His claims by His subsequent language, but defends them: comp. John 10:39 , “ Therefore they sought again to take Him,” as to the question in what sense the Jews understood His words. From these considerations a reply can easily be made to Artemonius, P. ii., c. 1. They had surrounded Jesus, John 10:24 ; and so in this menacing attitude were threatening Him with death; yet His wisdom and presence of mind remains unshaken. ἐγώ ) I, God; for from the εἶπα in the first person, the inference is drawn, to whom the word of God came , in the following ver. θεοί , gods ) Psalms 82:6 ; the parallel is added; υἱοὶ ὑψίστου , sons of the Most High . Therefore also at John 10:36 , [288] there ought to be understood Θεός , God , to Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ , the Son of God . [289] The Jews did not admit Jesus to be God in any sense: therefore, in refutation of them, He quotes the psalm. But a comparison drawn from a psalm does not prove that the Godhead of Christ approaches nearer to the godhead of mortals, than to the Godhead of the eternal Father; for He did not ever quote this passage of the psalm to believers.

[288] To complete the correspondence of the parallels. E. and T.

[289] God, the Son of God , answering respectively to gods and children of the Most High . E. and T.

Verse 35

John 10:35 . Ἐκείνους ) them , weak creatures, nay, even deserving of the censure contained in this very psalm. εἶπε , called ) God called them, professing in the psalm that it is He who speaks, [John 10:1 , God standeth in the congregation, etc.] Whence it is that immediately after the expression, the word of God , is used, ὁ λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ : comp. 1 Kings 18:31 , “The sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the Lord came , saying, Israel shall be thy name.” πρὸς οὕς , unto whom ) The reason is herein expressed, why they are called gods , and why in an inferior sense; comp. Mark 12:12 , πρός , in reference to , “They knew that He spake the parable in reference to them.” Others interpret the πρός , against [Engl. Vers. of Mar 12:12 ]. ὁ λόγος , the word ) And indeed the word in that psalm, which partly calls them gods , partly censures the same persons. καὶ οὐ , and not ) The Scripture cannot be broken, even in its smallest particular. A most firmly-established axiom. The appellation, gods , though not strictly used, cannot be broken, once that it has been set down in Scripture.

Verse 36

John 10:36 . Ὃν ὁ Πατὴρ ἡγίασε , whom the Father hath sanctified ) This sanctification is mentioned in such a way as to be prior in time to His being sent into the world (see by all means John 17:18 , “As Thou hast sent Me into the world, so,” etc.: comp. John 10:19 ; John 10:17 , “For their sakes I sanctify Myself , that they also,” etc. [ sanctify = set apart as holy , and for a holy end ]; “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth;” 1 Peter 1:20 , “Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world”): and it implies, in conjunction with it, the inference of Christ’s Godhead, at an infinite interval before those to whom only the word of God came. Although as dignity is that on account of which they are called gods ; so sanctity is that on account of which Christ is called the Son of God. Christ therefore is holy , as He is the Son of God ; [290] He is sanctified , as ὁρισθείς , defined [declared and marked out] to be the Son of God, Romans 1:4 ; and σφραγισθείς , sealed , John 6:27 , “Him hath God the Father sealed .” That is evident in this passage from the appellation, ὁ Πατήρ , which He applies to God, with the greatest force. He shows that there was no need that the word of God should at some particular time come to Him: [291] comp. John 10:30 , “I and the Father are one.” We must understand to the whom , the word I [Him, namely I , whom], with which the verb I said [below], in the first person, is in connection. ἀπέστειλεν , hath sent ) This sending presupposes the Godhead of the Son, and so confirms it. [The Haphtara , or appointed portion of Scripture, for the Feast of Dedication contains ( Joh 10:22 ) these words , Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord God of hosts hath sent me unto you: Zechariah 6:15 . Not. Crit].

[290] Luke 1:35 , “Therefore that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God .” Gabriel to the Virg. Mary. E. and T.

[291] As to those alluded to in Psalms 82:6 . For the Word of God was always with Him, as being the Word. E. and T.

Verse 37

John 10:37 . Τὰ ἔργα τοῦ Πατρός μου , the works of My Father ) Those very works of a divine nature, which My Father doeth, ch. John 14:10-11 , “The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of Myself; but the Father, that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” His words are characterized by the accompanying works.

Verse 38

John 10:38 . Κἂν ἐμοί , even though Me ) You ought to have believed in Me: even separating Me from the works. γνῶτε καὶ πιστεύσητε , that ye may know and believe ) Faith follows subsequently to knowledge with those that are of a rather dull susceptibility. ἐν ἐμοὶ ὁ Πατὴρ , κἄγω ἐν αὐτῷ , the Father in Me, and I in Him ) I am none else than the Father, in such a way, however, that I remain still the Son; and He none else than I, in such a way, however, as that He still remains the Father. And if any one shall have known Me, he knoweth the Father, and hath learned the Son. But if the power of One were less than that of the Other, the knowledge also would mislead; for in that case neither the essence nor the power of One can be learned by means of the Other . Chrys. on this passage. These two sentences, I and the Father are one , and, the Father in Me and I in the Father , mutually explain one another. Comp. ch. John 17:11 ; John 17:21 , “Holy Father, keep those that they may be one, as We are . As Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us.”

Verse 39

John 10:39 . Ἐξῆλθεν , He went forth ) without any difficulty.

Verse 40

John 10:40 . [292] Ἰωάννης , John ) The posthumous fruits of the services of John.

[292] καὶ ἀπῆλθε , and went away ) Immediately after the Feast of Dedication; as is evident from the omission of the phrase μετὰ ταῦτα , and of the name of Jesus. Nor did the Saviour go to the region beyond Jordan only, but afterwards into Galilee also, and again from Galilee into the borders of Judea (comp. Matthew 19:1 , Mar 10:1 ), which John did not feel it necessary to mention, inasmuch as the other Evangelists, and especially Luke, record with sufficient fulness, what He did at that time in Galilee. Harm. , p. 365, comp. p. 420.

Verse 41

John 10:41 . Μέν , indeed ) The antithesis is between John and this Man , Jesus: not between the works and sayings of John. περὶ τούτου , concerning this Man ) concerning this Man, who doeth so many miracles . ἀληθῆ ἦν ) were true . The truth is true, even before it is acknowledged as such. [293]

[293] Bengel, J. A. (1860). Vol. 2 : Gnomon of the New Testament (M. E. Bengel & J. C. F. Steudel, Ed.) (A. R. Fausset, Trans.) (226 388). Edinburgh: T&T Clark.

Bibliographical Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 10". Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jab/john-10.html. 1897.
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