Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

John 9

Verse 1

As he passed by (παραγωνparagōn). Present active participle of παραγωparagō old verb to go along, by, or past (Matthew 20:30). Only example in this Gospel, but in 1 John 2:8, 1 John 2:17. The day was after the stirring scenes in chapter 8, but not at the feast of dedication as Westcott argues. That comes three months later (John 10:22).

From his birth (εκ γενετηςek genetēs). Ablative case with εκek of old word from γενω γινομαιgenō class="normal greek">τυπλος εκ γενετης — ginomai Here alone in N.T., but the phrase tuphlos ek genetēs is common in Greek writers. Probably a well-known character with his stand as a beggar (John 9:5).

Verse 2

Who did sin? (τις ημαρτενtis hēmarten). Second aorist active indicative of αμαρτανωhamartanō See Acts 3:2; Acts 14:8 for two examples of lameness from birth. Blindness is common in the Orient and Jesus healed many cases (cf. Mark 8:23; Mark 10:46) and mentions this fact as one of the marks of the Messiah in the message to the Baptist (Matthew 11:5). This is the only example of congenital blindness healed. It is not clear that the disciples expected Jesus to heal this case. They are puzzled by the Jewish notion that sickness was a penalty for sin. The Book of Job had shown that this was not always the case and Jesus shows it also (Luke 13:1-5). If this man was guilty, it was due to prenatal sin on his part, a curious notion surely. The other alternative charged it upon his parents. That is sometimes true (Exodus 20:5, etc.), but by no means always. The rabbinical casuists loved to split hairs on this problem. Ezekiel (Ezekiel 18:20) says: “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (individual responsibility for sin committed). There is something in heredity, but not everything.

That he should be born blind (ινα τυπλος γεννητηιhina tuphlos gennēthēi). Probably consecutive (or sub-final) use of ιναhina with first aorist passive subjunctive of γενναωgennaō f0).

Verse 3

But that the works of God should be made manifest in him (αλλ ινα πανερωτηι τα εργα του τεου εν αυτωιall' hina phanerōthēi ta erga tou theou en autōi). Jesus denies both alternatives, and puts God‘s purpose (αλλ ιναall' hina with first aorist subjunctive of πανεροωphaneroō) as the true solution. It is sometimes true that disease is the result of personal sin as in the man in John 5:14 and parents can hand on the effects of sin to the third and fourth generations, but there are cases free from blame like this. There is comfort for many sufferers in the words of Jesus here.

Verse 4

We must work the works of him that sent me (ημας δει εργαζεσται τα εργα του πεμπσαντος μεhēmas dei ergazesthai ta erga tou pempsantos me). This is undoubtedly the correct text (supported by the Neutral and Western classes) and not εμεeme (I) and μεme (me) of the Syrian class nor ημαςhēmas (we) and ημαςhēmas (us) of the Alexandrian class. Jesus associates us with him in the task committed to him by the Father. Bernard argues vigorously, but vainly, for εμεeme me. We are not able to fathom the depth of the necessity (δειdei) here involved in each life as in this poor blind man and in each of us.

While it is day (εως ημερα εστινheōs hēmera estin). This clause gives the note of urgency upon us all.

The night cometh
(ερχεται νυχerchetai nux). “Night is coming on,” and rapidly. Night was coming for Jesus (John 7:33) and for each of us. Cf. John 11:9; John 12:35. Even electric lights do not turn night into day. εωςHeōs with the present indicative (John 21:22.) means “while,” not until as in John 13:38.

Verse 5

When I am in the world (οταν εν τωι κοσμωι ωhotan en tōi kosmōi ō). Indefinite relative clause with οτανhotan and present active subjunctive ω “whenever I am in the world.” The Latin Vulgate renders here οτανhotan by quamdiu so long as or while as if it were εωςheōs But clearly Jesus here refers to the historic Incarnation (John 17:11) and to any previous visitations in the time of the patriarchs, prophets, etc. Jesus as God‘s Son is always the Light of the World (John 1:4, John 1:10; John 8:12), but here the reference is limited to his manifestation “in the world.”

I am the light of the world (πως ειμι του κοσμουphōs eimi tou kosmou). The absence of the definite article (το πωςto phōs in John 8:12) is to be noted (Westcott). Literally, “I am light to the world, whenever I am in the world.” “The display of the character varies with the occasion” (Westcott).

Verse 6

He spat on the ground (επτυσεν χαμαιeptusen chamai). First aorist active indicative of the old verb πτυωptuō for which see Mark 7:33. ΧαμαιChamai is an old adverb either in the dative or locative (sense suits locative), in N.T. only here and John 18:6. Jesus was not asked to cure this man. The curative effects of saliva are held in many places. The Jews held saliva efficacious for eye-trouble, but it was forbidden on the Sabbath. “That Jesus supposed some virtue lay in the application of the clay is contradicted by the fact that in other cases of blindness He did not use it” (Dods). Cf. Mark 8:23. Why he here accommodated himself to current belief we do not know unless it was to encourage the man to believe.

He made clay (εποιησεν πηλονepoiēsen pēlon). Only use of πηλοςpēlos old word for clay, in N.T. in this chapter and Romans 9:21. The kneading of the clay and spittle added another offense against the Sabbath rules of the rabbis.

Anointed his eyes with the clay
(επεχρισεν αυτου τον πηλον επι τους οπταλμουςepechrisen autou ton pēlon epi tous ophthalmous). First aorist active indicative of επιχριωepichriō old verb, to spread on, anoint, here only and John 9:11 in N.T. “He spread the clay upon his eyes.” B C read επετηκενepethēken (first aorist active indicative of επιτιτημιepitithēmi to put on).

Verse 7

Wash (νιπσαιnipsai). First aorist middle imperative second person singular of νιπτωniptō later form of νιζωnizō to wash, especially parts of the body. Certainly bathing the eyes is good for eye trouble, and yet we are not to infer that the cure was due to the use of the clay or to the washing.

In the pool of Siloam (εις την κολυμβητραν του Σιλωαμeis tēn kolumbēthran tou Silōam). The word κολυμβητραkolumbēthra (from κολυμβαωkolumbaō to swim) is a common word for swimming-pool, in N.T. only here and John 5:2, John 5:7. The name απεσταλμενοςSiloam is Hebrew (Isaiah 8:6) and means “sent” (αποστελλωapestalmenos perfect passive participle of ενιπσατοapostellō). It was situated south of the temple area and was apparently connected by a subterranean tunnel with the Virgin‘s Well (John 5:2) according to Bernard. The water was conducted artificially to the pool of Siloam.

(νιπσαιenipsato). First aorist direct middle (cf. ηλτεν βλεπωνnipsai), apparently bathing and not merely washing his eyes.

Came seeing
(ēlthen blepōn). Jesus had healed him. He was tested by the demand to bathe his eyes.

Verse 8

Neighbours (γειτονεςgeitones). From γηgē (land), of the same land, old word. See Luke 14:2.

Saw him (τεωρουντεςtheōrountes). Present active participle of τεωρεωtheōreō who used to observe him.

(το προτερονto proteron). Adverbial accusative, “the former time,” formerly.

That he was a beggar
(οτι προσαιτης ηνhoti prosaitēs ēn). See John 4:19; John 12:19 for declarative οτιhoti after τεωρεωtheōreō But it is entirely possible that οτιhoti here is “because” (Westcott). ΠροσαιτηςProsaitēs is a late word for beggar, in N.T. only here and Mark 10:46. It is from προσαιτεωprosaiteō to ask in addition (see προσαιτωνprosaitōn below), a thing that beggars know how to do.

Is not this he that sat and begged?
(Ουχ ουτος εστιν ο κατημενος και προσαιτωνOuch houtos estin ho kathēmenos kai prosaitōn). He had his regular place and was a familiar figure. But now his eyes are wide open.

Verse 9

Nay but he is like him (Ουχι αλλα ομοιος αυτωι εστινOuchi class="normal greek">ουχι — alla homoios autōi estin). Vigorous denial (αυτοιouchi) and mere similarity suggested. Associative instrumental case ομοιοςautoi after εκεινος ελεγενhomoios The crowd is divided.

He said (ekeinos elegen). Emphatic demonstrative (as in John 9:11, John 9:12, John 9:25, John 9:36), “That one spake up.” He knew.

Verse 10

How then were thine eyes opened? (Πως ουν ηνεωιχτησαν σου οι οπταλμοιPōs oun ēneōichthēsan sou hoi ophthalmoi). Natural and logical (ουνoun) question. First aorist passive indicative (triple augment) of ανοιγωanoigō These neighbours admit the fact and want the manner (“how”) of the cure made clear.

Verse 11

The man that is called Jesus (ο αντρωπος ο λεγομενος Ιησουςho anthrōpos ho legomenos Iēsous). He does not yet know Jesus as the Messiah the Son of God (John 9:36).

I received sight (ανεβλεπσαaneblepsa). First aorist active indicative of αναβλεπωanablepō old verb to see again, to recover sight, not strictly true of this man who had never seen. He got back sight that he had never had. Originally the verb means to look up (Matthew 14:19).

Verse 12

Where is he? (Που εστιν εκεινοσPou estin ekeinos). The very question of John 7:11.

Verse 13

They bring him (αγουσιν αυτονagousin auton). Vivid dramatic present active of αγωagō These neighbours bring him.

To the Pharisees (προς τους Παρισαιουςpros tous Pharisaious). The accepted professional teachers who posed as knowing everything. The scribes were usually Pharisees.

Him that aforetime was blind
(τον ποτε τυπλονton pote tuphlon). Simply, “the once blind man.”

Verse 14

Now it was the sabbath (ην δε σαββατονēn de sabbaton). Literally, “Now it was a sabbath” (no article). To the Pharisees this fact was a far more important matter than whether or how the thing was done. See notes in Volume 1 and notes in Volume 2 for discussions of the minute Sabbath regulations of the rabbis.

Verse 15

Again (παλινpalin). Besides the questioning of the neighbours (John 9:8, John 9:9).

Therefore (ουνoun). Since he has been brought to the Pharisees who must make a show of wisdom.

Also asked him
(ηρωτων αυτον καιērōtōn auton kai). Inchoative imperfect active of ερωταωerōtaō “began also to question him.”

How he received his sight
(πως ανεβλεπσενpōs aneblepsen). No denial as yet of the fact, only interest in the “how.”

He put
(επετηκενepethēken). Genuine here, but see John 9:6.

And lo see
(και βλεπωkai blepō). That is the overwhelming fact.

Verse 16

Because he keepeth not the sabbath (οτι το σαββατον ου τηρειhoti to sabbaton ou tērei). This is reason (causal οτιhoti) enough. He violates our rules about the Sabbath and therefore is a Sabbath-breaker as charged when here before (John 5:10, John 5:16, John 5:18). Hence he is not “from God” (παρα τεουpara theou). So some.

How can a man that is a sinner do such signs? (Πως δυναται αντρωπος αμαρτωλος τοιαυτα σημεια ποιεινPōs dunatai anthrōpos hamartōlos toiauta sēmeia poiein). This was the argument of Nicodemus, himself a Pharisee and one of the Sanhedrin, long ago (John 3:2). It was a conundrum for the Pharisees. No wonder there was “a division” (σχισμαschisma schism, split, from σχιζωschizō) as in John 7:43; John 10:19.

Verse 17

Unto the blind man again (τωι τυπλωι παλινtōi tuphlōi palin). The doctors disagree and they ask the patient whose story they had already heard (John 9:15).

In that he opened thine eyes (οτι ηνεωιχεν σου τους οπταλμουςhoti ēneōixen sou tous ophthalmous). Causal use of οτιhoti and triple augment in the first aorist active indicative of ανοιγωanoigō They offer the excuse that the man‘s experience particularly qualified him to explain the “how,” overlooking the fact he had already told his story and also trying to conceal their own hopeless division of opinion.

He is a prophet
(προπητης εστινprophētēs estin). The man will go that far anyhow.

Verse 18

The Jews (οι Ιουδαιοιhoi Ioudaioi). Probably the incredulous and hostile section of the Pharisees in John 9:16 (cf. John 5:10).

Did not believe (ουκ επιστευσανouk episteusan). The facts told by the man, “that he had been blind and had received his sight” (οτι ην τυπλος και ανεβλεπσενhoti ēn tuphlos kai aneblepsen), conflicted with their theological views of God and the Sabbath. So they refused belief “until they called the parents” (εως οτου επωνησαν τους γονειςheōs hotou ephōnēsan tous goneis). Usual construction of εως οτουheōs hotou (= until which time, like εωςheōs alone) with aorist active indicative of πωνεωphōneō old verb from πωνηphōnē (voice, sound). They called out loud for his parents to throw light on this grave problem to cover up their own stupidity.

Verse 19

Is this your son who ye say was born blind? how doth he now see? (ουτος εστιν ο υιος υμων ον υμεις ληγετε οτι τυπλος εγεννητη πως ουν βλεπει αρτιHoutos estin ho huios humōn class="translit"> hon humeis lēgete hoti tuphlos egennēthē pōs oun blepei arti). It was shrewdly put with three questions in one in order to confuse the parents if possible and give the hostile Pharisees a handle.

Verse 20

We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind (Οιδαμεν οτι ουτος εστιν ο υιος ημων και οτι τυπλος εγεννητηOidamen hoti houtos estin ho huios hēmōn kai hoti tuphlos egennēthē). These two questions the parents answer clearly and thus cut the ground from under the disbelief of these Pharisees as to the fact of the cure (John 9:18). So these Pharisees made a failure here.

Verse 21

But how he now seeth we know not (πως δε νυν βλεπει ουκ οιδαμενpōs de nun blepei ouk oidamen). Concerning the third question they profess ignorance both as to the “how” (πωςpōs) and the “who” (τιςtis).

Opened (ηνοιχενēnoixen). First aorist active indicative with single augment of ανοιγωanoigō same form as ηνεωιχενēneōixen (triple augment) in John 9:17. They were not witnesses of the cure and had the story only from the son as the Pharisees had.

He is of age
(ηλικιαν εχειhēlikian echei). “He has maturity of age.” He is an adult. A regular classical phrase in Plato, etc. The parents were wholly right and within their rights.

Verse 22

Because they feared the Jews (οτι εποβουντο τους Ιουδαιουςhoti ephobounto tous Ioudaious). Imperfect middle, a continuing fear and not without reason. See note on the whispers about Jesus because of fear of the Jews (John 7:13).

Had agreed already (ηδη συνετετειντοēdē sunetetheinto). Past perfect middle of συντιτημιsuntithēmi to put together, to form a compact (John 7:32, John 7:47-49).

If any man should confess him to be Christ
(εαν τις αυτον ομολογησηι Χριστονean tis auton homologēsēi Christon). Condition of third class with εανean and first aorist active subjunctive of ομολογεωhomologeō and predicate accusative ΧριστονChriston Jesus had made confession of himself before men the test of discipleship and denial the disproof (Matthew 10:32; Luke 12:8). We know that many of the rulers nominally believed on Jesus (John 12:42) and yet “did not confess him because of the Pharisees” (αλλα δια τους Παρισαιους ουχ ωμολογουνalla dia tous Pharisaious ouch hōmologoun), for the very reason given here, “that they might not be put out of the synagogue” (ινα μη αποσυναγωγοι γενωνταιhina mē aposunagōgoi genōntai). Small wonder then that here the parents cowered a bit.

That he should be put out of the synagogue
(ινα αποσυναγωγος γενηταιhina aposunagōgos genētai). Sub-final use of ιναhina with second aorist middle subjunctive of γινομαιginomai ΑποσυναγωγοςAposunagōgos (αποapo and συναγωγηsunagōgē) is found in N.T. only here and John 12:42; John 16:2. A purely Jewish word naturally. There were three kinds of excommunication (for thirty days, for thirty more, indefinitely).

Verse 23

Therefore (δια τουτοdia touto). “For this reason.” Reason enough for due caution.

Verse 24

A second time (εκ δευτερουek deuterou). He had given the Pharisees the facts the first time (John 9:15). It was really the third time (see παλινpalin in John 9:17). Now it was like a joke unless the Pharisees meant to imply that his previous story was untrue.

Give glory to God (δος δοχαν τωι τεωιdos doxan tōi theōi). Second aorist active imperative of διδωμιdidōmi (cf. σχεσ εςsches class="normal greek">αμαρτωλος εστιν — hes). This phrase does not mean gratitude to God as in Luke 17:18. It is rather an adjuration to speak the truth (Joshua 7:19; 1 Samuel 6:5) as if he had not done it before. Augustine says: “Quid est Da gloriam Deo? Nega quod accepisti. ” Is a sinner (δικαιοςhamartōlos estin). They can no longer deny the fact of the cure since the testimony of the parents (John 9:19) and now wish the man to admit that he was lying in saying that Jesus healed him. He must accept their ecclesiastical authority as proving that Jesus had nothing to do with the cure since Jesus is a sinner. They wish to decide the fact by logic and authority like all persecutors through the ages. Recall the Pharisaic distinction between αμαρτωλοςdikaios (righteous) and hamartōlos (sinner).

Verse 25

One thing I know (εν οιδαhen oida). This man is keen and quick and refuses to fall into the trap set for him. He passes by their quibbling about Jesus being a “sinner” (αμαρτωλοςhamartōlos) and clings to the one fact of his own experience.

Whereas I was blind, now I see (τυπλος ων αρτι βλεπωtuphlos ōn arti blepō). Literally, “Being blind I now see.” The present active participle ωνōn of ειμιeimi by implication in contrast with αρτιarti (just now, at this moment) points to previous and so past time. It must be borne in mind that the man did not at this stage know who Jesus was and so had not yet taken him as Saviour (John 9:36-38).

Verse 26

What did he do to thee? (Τι εποιησεν σοιTi epoiēsen soi). Another cross-examination, now admitting that Jesus opened his eyes and wishing again (John 9:15, John 9:17) to know “how.”

Verse 27

I told you even now (ειπον υμιν ηδηeipon humin ēdē). In John 9:15, John 9:17, John 9:25.

Would ye also become his disciples? (Μη και υμεις τελετε αυτου ματηται γενεσταιMē kai humeis thelete autou mathētai genesthai). Negative answer formally expected, but the keenest irony in this gibe. Clearly the healed man knew from the use of “also” (καιkai) that Jesus had some “disciples” (ματηταιmathētai predicate nominative with the infinitive γενεσταιgenesthai) and that the Pharisees knew that fact. “Do ye also (like the Galilean mob) wish, etc.” See John 7:45-52. It cut to the bone.

Verse 28

They reviled him (ελοιδορησαν αυτονeloidorēsan auton). First aorist active indicative of λοιδορεωloidoreō old verb from λοιδοροςloidoros (reviler, 1 Corinthians 5:11), in N.T. only here, Acts 23:4; 1 Corinthians 4:12; 1 Peter 2:23.

Thou art his disciple (συ ματητης ει εκεινουsu mathētēs ei ekeinou). Probably a fling in εκεινουekeinou (of that fellow). He had called him a prophet (John 9:17) and became a joyful follower later (John 9:36-38).

But we are disciples of Moses
(ημεις δε του Μωυσεως εσμεν ματηταιhēmeis de tou Mōuseōs esmen mathētai). This they said with proud scorn of the healed beggar. All orthodox rabbis so claimed.

Verse 29

We know that God hath spoken unto Moses (ημεις οιδαμεν οτι Μωυσει λελαληκεν ο τεοςhēmeis oidamen hoti Mōusei lelalēken ho theos). Perfect active indicative of λαλεωlaleō so still on record. See Exodus 33:11. For λαλεωlaleō used of God speaking see Hebrews 1:1. They are proud to be disciples of Moses.

But as for this man, we do not know whence he is (τουτον δε ουκ οιδαμεν ποτεν εστινtouton de ouk oidamen pothen estin). “This fellow” they mean by “τουτονtouton ” in emphatic position, we do not even know whence he is. Some of the people did (John 7:27), but in the higher sense none of the Jews knew (John 8:14). These Pharisees neither knew nor cared.

Verse 30

Why, herein is the marvel (εν τουτωι γαρ το ταυμαστον εστινen toutōi gar to thaumaston estin). This use of γαρgar (γε αραge +ταυμαστον ara accordingly indeed) to bring out an affirmation from the previous words is common enough. “Why in this very point is the wonder” (ταυμαζωthaumaston old verbal adjective from καιthaumazō as in Matthew 21:42). The man is angry now and quick in his insight and reply. You confess your ignorance of whence he is, ye who know everything, “and yet (adversative use of και ηνοιχεν μου τους οπταλμουςkai again) he opened my eyes” (kai ēnoixen mou tous ophthalmous). That stubborn fact stands.

Verse 31

God does not hear sinners (ο τεος αμαρτωλων ουκ ακουειho theos hamartōlōn ouk akouei). Note genitive case with ακουειakouei This was the argument of the Pharisees in John 9:16. It is frequent in the O.T. (Job 27:9; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:2, etc.). The conclusion is inevitable from this premise. Jesus is not αμαρτωλοςhamartōlos

If any man be a worshipper of God (εαν τις τεοσεβης ηιean tis theosebēs ēi). Condition of third class with εανean and present active subjunctive ηιēi ΤεοσεβηςTheosebēs (τεοςtheos God, σεβομαιsebomai to worship) is an old compound adjective, here alone in the N.T.

And do his will
(και το τελημα αυτου ποιειkai to thelēma autou poiei). Same condition with present active subjunctive of ποιεωpoieō “keep on doing his will.”

Verse 32

Since the world began (εκ του αιωνοςek tou aiōnos). Literally, “from the age,” “from of old.” Elsewhere in the N.T. we have απο του αιωνοςapo tou aiōnos or απ αιωνοςap 'aiōnos (Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; Acts 15:18) as is common in the lxx.

Of a man born blind (τυπλου γεγεννημενουtuphlou gegennēmenou). Perfect passive participle of γενναωgennaō This is the chief point and the man will not let it be overlooked, almost rubs it in, in fact. It was congenital blindness.

Verse 33

If this man were not from God (ει μη ην ουτος παρα τεουei mē ēn houtos para theou). Negative condition of second class with imperfect indicative. Assuming that Jesus is not “from God” (παρα τεουpara theou) as some argued in John 9:16, “he could do nothing” (ουκ ηδυνατο ποιειν ουδενouk ēdunato poiein ouden). Conclusion of the second-class condition with imperfect indicative (double augment in ηδυνατοēdunato) without ανan as is usual in conditions of possibility, propriety, obligation (Robertson, Grammar, pp. 920, 1014). The man has scored with terrific power in his use of Scripture and logic.

Verse 34

Thou wast altogether born in sin (εν αμαρτιαις συ εγεννητης ολοςen hamartiais su egennēthēs holos). First aorist passive indicative of γενναωgennaō “In sins thou wast begotten (or born) all of thee.” ολοςHolos is predicate nominative and teaches total depravity in this case beyond controversy, the Pharisees being judges.

And dost thou teach us? (και συ διδασκεις ημασkai su didaskeis hēmas). The audacity of it all. Note emphasis on συsu (thou). It was insufferable. He had not only taught the rabbis, but had utterly routed them in argument.

And they cast him out
(και εχεβαλον αυτον εχωkai exebalon auton exō). Effective second aorist active indicative of εκβαλλωekballō intensified by the addition of εχωexō Probably not yet expulsion from the synagogue (John 9:22) which required a formal meeting of the Sanhedrin, but certainly forcible driving of the gifted upstart from their presence. See note on John 6:37 for another use of εκβαλλω εχωekballō exō besides John 9:35.

Verse 35

Finding him (ευρων αυτονheurōn auton). Second aorist active participle of ευρισκωheuriskō after search because of what he had heard (ηκουσενēkousen).

Dost thou believe on the Son of God? (Συ πιστευεις εις τον υιον του τεουSu pisteueis eis ton huion tou theou). So A L Theta and most versions, but Aleph B D W Syr-sin read του αντρωπουtou anthrōpou (the Son of Man), almost certainly correct. In either case it is a distinct Messianic claim quite beyond the range of this man‘s limited knowledge, keen as he is.

Verse 36

And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him? (Και τις εστιν κυριεKai tis estin class="normal greek">και — kurie). The initial κυριεkai (and) is common (Mark 10:26; Luke 10:29; Luke 18:26). Probably by ινα πιστευσω εις αυτονkurie he means only “Sir.” It usually comes at the beginning of the sentence, not at the end as here and John 9:38.

That I may believe on him (hina pisteusō eis auton). Ellipsis to be supplied before this final clause. He catches up the words of Jesus in the preceding verse, though he does not yet know who the Son of Man (or Son of God) is, but he trusts Jesus.

Verse 37

Thou hast both seen him (και εωρακας αυτονkai heōrakas auton). Perfect active indicative (double reduplication) of οραωhoraō Since his eyes were opened.

And he it is that speaketh with thee (και ο λαλων μετα σου εκεινος εστινkai ho lalōn meta sou ekeinos estin). “And the one speaking with thee is that man.” See John 19:35 for εκεινοςekeinos used of the speaker. In John 4:26 Jesus reveals himself in like manner to the Samaritan woman as Messiah while here as the Son of Man (or the Son of God).

Verse 38

Lord, I believe (Πιστευω κυριεPisteuō class="normal greek">Κυριε — kurie). και προσεκυνησεν αυτωιKurie here = Lord (reverence, no longer respect as in John 9:36). A short creed, but to the point.

And he worshipped him (προσκυνεωkai prosekunēsen autōi). Ingressive first aorist active indicative of proskuneō old verb to fall down in reverence, to worship. Sometimes of men (Matthew 18:26). In John (see John 4:20) this verb “is always used to express divine worship” (Bernard). It is tragic to hear men today deny that Jesus should be worshipped. He accepted worship from this new convert as he later did from Thomas who called him “God” (John 20:28). Peter (Acts 10:25.) refused worship from Cornelius as Paul and Barnabas did at Lystra (Acts 14:18), but Jesus made no protest here.

Verse 39

For judgment (εις κριμαeis krima). The Father had sent the Son for this purpose (John 3:17). This world (κοσμοςkosmos) is not the home of Jesus. The κριμαkrima (judgment), a word nowhere else in John, is the result of the κρισιςkrisis (sifting) from κρινωkrinō to separate. The Father has turned over this process of sifting (κρισιςkrisis) to the Son (John 5:22). He is engaged in that very work by this miracle.

They which see not (οι μη βλεποντεςhoi mē blepontes). The spiritually blind as well as the physically blind (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 42:18). Purpose clause with ιναhina and present active subjunctive βλεπωσινblepōsin (may keep on seeing). This man now sees physically and spiritually.

And that they which see may become blind
(και οι βλεποντες τυπλοι γενωνταιkai hoi blepontes tuphloi genōntai). Another part of God‘s purpose, seen in Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21, is the curse on those who blaspheme and reject the Son. Note ingressive aorist middle subjunctive of γινομαιginomai and predicate nominative. οι βλεποντεςHoi blepontes are those who profess to see like these Pharisees, but are really blind. Blind guides they were (Matthew 23:16). Complacent satisfaction with their dim light.

Verse 40

Are we also blind? (Μη και ημεις τυπλοι εσμενMē kai hēmeis tuphloi esmen). Negative answer expected (μηmē) and yet these Pharisees who overheard the words of Jesus to the new convert vaguely suspected that Jesus was referring to them by the last clause. Up in Galilee Jesus had called the Pharisees blind guides who stumble into the pit (Matthew 15:14).

Verse 41

If ye were blind (ει τυπλοι ητεei tuphloi ēte). Condition of second class with imperfect indicative in the protasis. The old word τυπλοςtuphlos is from τυπωtuphō to raise a smoke, to blind by smoke (literally and metaphorically). Here, of course, it is moral blindness. If the Pharisees were born morally blind, they would, like idiots, be without responsibility.

Ye would not have sin (ουκ αν ειχετε αμαρτιανouk an eichete hamartian). Regular form for conclusion of second-class condition, ανan with imperfect.

But now ye say
(νυν δε λεγετεnun de legete). In contrast to the previous condition. See like contrast in John 15:22, John 15:24. They arrogantly asserted superior knowledge.

We see
(βλεπομενblepomen). The ignorant mob do not (John 7:49). It is sin against light and is hopeless (Mark 3:29; Matthew 12:31.). “Ye are witnesses against yourselves” (μαρτυρειτε εαυτοιςmartureite heautois Matthew 23:31).

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.