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Bible Commentaries
John 16

Vincent's Word StudiesVincent's Studies

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Verse 1

Be offended [σκανδαλισθητε] Rev., made to stumble. In this Gospel only here and John 6:61. See on Matthew 5:29. Wyc, be not slandered.

Verse 2

They shall put you out of the synagogues. See on 9 22.

Yea [αλλ] . Literally, but. They shall excommunicate you, but worse than this, the hour cometh, etc.

The hour cometh that [ινα] . Literally, "there cometh an hour in order that." The hour is ordained with that end in view : it comes fraught with the fulfillment of a divine purpose.

Whosoever [πας ο] . Literally, everyone who.

Doeth service [λατρειαν προσφερειν] . Literally, bringeth or offereth service. Latreia means, strictly, service for hire, but is used of any service, and frequently of the service of God.

Verse 3

Unto you. Omit.

Verse 4

But [αλλα] . Marks a breaking off of the enumeration of fearful details; but (to say no more of these things), I have spoken these, etc.

At the beginning [εξ αρχης] . Properly, from the beginning. So Rev. The phrase only here and John 6:64.

Verse 7

It is expedient [συμφερει] . From son together, and ferw to bear or bring. The underlying idea of the word is concurrence of circumstances. Go away [απελθω] . The different words for go should be noted in this verse, and ver. 10. Here, expressing simple departure from a point.

Depart [πορευθω] . Rev., go. With the notion of going for a purpose, which is expressed in I will send him.

Verse 8

Will reprove [ελεγξει] . See on 3 20. Rev., convict.

Of sin - righteousness - judgment [περι] Literally, concerning. Rev., in respect of. Of gives a wrong impression, viz., that He will convict the world of being sinful, unrighteous, and exposed to judgment. This is true, but the preposition implies more. He will convict the world as respects these three; that is, will convict it of ignorance of their real nature.

Righteousness [δικαιοσυνης] . Only here and ver. 10 in the Gospel. It occurs in the First Epistle and in Revelation.

Verse 10

I go [υπαγω] . Withdraw from their sight and earthly fellowship. See on 8 21, and footnote.

Ye see [θεωρειτε] . Rev., behold. See on 1 18.

Verse 11

Is judged [κεκριται] . Perfect tense. Rev., therefore, rightly, hath been judged.

Verse 12

Bear [βασταζειν] . See on John 10:31; John 12:6.

Now [αρτι] . See on 13 33. With reference to a future time, when they will be able to bear them.

Verse 13

Spirit of truth. Literally, of the truth. See on 14 7.

Will guide [οδηγησει] . From oJdov, way, and hJgeomai, to lead. The kindred noun, oJdhgov, guide, leader, occurs Matthew 14:14; Acts 1:16, etc.

Into all truth [εις πασαν την αληθειαν] . Rev., more correctly, into all the truth. Some editors read, ejn th ajlhqeia pash, in all the truth. Others, eijv thn ajlhqeian pasan, joining pasan in an adverbial sense with will guide you : i e., will guide you wholly into the truth. The Spirit does not reveal all truth to men, but He leads them to the truth as it is in Christ. Of himself. Rev., rightly, from himself. See on 7 17.

He shall hear [αν ακουση] . Some read, ajkouei, heareth, and omit an, the conditional particle. %Osa an ajkoush, the reading of the Rec. Text, is, strictly, whatsoever things he may have heard.

Will shew [αναγγελει] . Better, as Rev., declare. Compare Mark 5:14, Mark 5:19; Acts 20:27; 2 Corinthians 7:7. Also to rehearse; Acts 14:27. Used of the formal proclamation of the Christian religion (Acts 20:20; 1 Peter 1:12; 1 John 1:5). See on Acts 19:18.

Things to come [τα ερχομενα] . The article, omitted by A. V., is important. The meaning is not, He will show you some things to come, but the things that are to come, or the things that are coming. These things are whatsoever He shall hear. The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament.

Verse 14

Shall receive [ληψεται] . Rev., take. See on 3 32.

Verse 15

All things that [παντα οσα] . Literally, all things as many as. Rev., all things whatsoever.

Shall take [ληψεται] . The best texts read lambanei, taketh. The relation between the Son and the Spirit is put by Jesus as present and constant.

Verse 16

Ye shall not see [ου θεωρειτε] . The present tense : "ye behold me no more." So Rev.

Ye shall see [οψεσθε] . A different verb for seeing is used here. For the distinction, see on 1 18. Qewrew emphasizes the act of vision, oJraw, the result. Qewrew denotes deliberate contemplation conjoined with mental or spiritual interest. "The vision of wondering contemplation, in which they observed little by little the outward manifestation of the Lord, was changed and transfigured into sight, in which they seized at once, intuitively, all that Christ was. As long as His earthly presence was the object on which their eyes were fixed, their view was necessarily imperfect. His glorified presence showed Him in His true nature" (Westcott).

Because I go unto the Father. The best texts omit.

Verse 17

Then [ουν] . Rev., correctly, therefore. It is a particle of logical connection, not of time.

Verse 18

He saith [λαλει] . Emphasizing the purport of the saying.

A little while [το μικρον] . In vv. 16, 17, without the article. Here the article the or this little while defines the special point of their difficulty; this "little while" of which He speaks.

We cannot tell [ουκ οιδαμεν] . Rev., more simply and literally, we know not.

He saith [λαλει] . Emphasizing the form of the saying.

Verse 19

Knew [εγνω] . Better, Rev., perceived. See on 2 24.

Verse 20

Weep - lament - be sorrowful [κλαυσετε - θρηνησετε - λυπηθησεσθε] . Of these three words, the last is the most general in meaning, expressing every species of pain, of body or of soul, and not necessarily the outward manifestation of sorrow. Both the other words denote audible expressions of grief. Qrhnew marks the more formal expression. It means to utter a dirge over the dead. Thus Homer, of the mourning over Hector in Troy :

"On a fair couch they laid the corse, and placed Singers beside it leaders of the dirge [θρηνων] , Who sang [εθρηνεον] a sorrowful, lamenting strain, And all the women answered it with sobs."

"Iliad," 24 720 - 722.

The verb occurs Matthew 11:17; Luke 7:32; Luke 23:27. Klaiw means audible weeping, the crying of children, as distinguished from dakruw, to shed tears, to weep silently, which occurs but once in the New Testament, of Jesus ' weeping (John 11:35). See on Luke 7:32.

Verse 21

A woman [η γυνη] . Literally, the woman. The generic article marking the woman as representing her sex : woman as such.

She is in travail. A common Old Testament image of sorrow issuing in joy. See Isaiah 21:3; Isaiah 26:17; Isaiah 66:7; Hosea 13:13; Micah 4:9, Micah 4:10. The anguish [της θλιψεως] . Commonly rendered affliction or tribulation in A. V. See on Matthew 13:21.

Joy [την χαραν] . Properly, the joy which answers to the anguish.

A man [ανθρωπος] . See on 1 30.

Verse 22

Have sorrow [λυπην εχετε] . This form of expression occurs frequently in the New Testament, to denote the possession or experience of virtues, sensations, desires, emotions, intellectual or spiritual faculties, faults, or defects. It is stronger than the verb which expresses any one of these. For instance, to have faith is stronger than to believe : to have life, than the act of living. It expresses a distinct, personal realization of the virtue or fault or sentiment in question. Hence, to have sorrow is more than to be sorrowful. In Matthew 17:20, Christ does not say if ye believe, but if ye have faith; if faith, in ever so small a degree, is possessed by you as a conscious, living principle and motive. Compare have love (xiii. 35; 1 John 4:16); have peace (xvi. 33); have trust (2 Corinthians 3:4); have boldness (Hebrews 10:19; 1 John 2:28).

Verse 23

Ye shall ask [ερωτησετε] . Or, as Rev., in margin, ask - question. To question is the primary meaning of the verb, from which it runs into the more general sense of request, beseech. So Mark 7:26; Luke 4:38; John 17:15, etc. Here the meaning is, ye shall ask me no question (compare ver. 19, where the same verb is used). Compare Matthew 16:13; Matthew 21:24; John 1:19. Ask, absolutely, Luke 22:68. Note, moreover, the selection of the word here as marking the asking on familiar terms. See on 11 22. Another verb for ask occurs in the following sentence : "If ye shall ask [αιτηστητε] anything," etc. Here the sense is, if ye shall make any request. Compare Matthew 5:42; Matthew 7:7, Matthew 7:9, Matthew 7:10, etc. Note, also, that this word for asking the Father marks the asking of an inferior from a superior, and is the word which Christ never uses of His own requests to the Father. Compare 1 John 3:22.

Verily, verily. See on 1 51; John 10:1.

Whatsoever ye shall ask - in my name - give. The best texts change osa an, whatsoever, to ant, if (ye shall ask) anything; and place in my name after give it you. So Rev. If ye shall ask anything of the Father, He will give it you in my name. Not only is the prayer offered, but the answer is given in Christ 's name.

Verse 24

Ask [αιτειτε] . The present imperative, implying continuous asking. Be asking. Compare Mark 6:22, aithson, the aorist imperative, marking a single, definite petition.

May be full [η πεπληρωμενη] . Very literally, may be having been fulfilled. Rev., more correctly, fulfilled. Compare John 14:11.

Verse 25

Proverbs [παροιμιαις] . See on parables, Matthew 13:3. He had spoken under figures, as the vine, and the woman in travail.

Shall shew [αναγγελω] . Rev., tell. See on ver. 13. The best texts read ajpaggelw, the original force of which is to bring tidings from [απο] something or someone.

Plainly [παρρησια] . See on 7 13.

Verse 26

Ye shall ask - I will pray. Note again the use of the two verbs for asking. Ye shall ask [αιτησεσθε] ; I will pray [ερωτησω] . See on ver. 23.

Verse 27

Loveth [φιλει] . As sons, with the love of natural affection. See on 5 20. The same verb in the following clause, of the love of the disciples for Christ.

From God. Some editors read, from the Father. Para, from beside.

Verse 28

From the Father [παρα] . The best texts read, ejk, out of.

Go [πορευομαι] . See on ver. 7.

Verse 29

Speakest - speakest [λαλεις - λεγεις] The first, of the form; the second, of the purport. See on ver. 18.

Verse 30

We are sure [οιδαμεν] . Better, as Rev., we know.

By this [εν τουτω] . Literally, in this. Compare 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:5; 1 John 3:16, 1 John 3:19, 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:9, 1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:1 1 John 4:3, 1 John 4:17; 1 John 5:2.

Verse 31

Now [αρτι] . See on 13 33. With reference to the coming time of greater trial.

Verse 32

That [ινα] . See on ver. 2, and John 14:12. In the divine counsel the hour cometh that ye may be scattered, and may leave, etc.

To his own [εις τα ιδια] . To his own home. See on 1 11.

Verse 33

Ye shall have [εξετε] . The best texts read, exete, ye have.

Be of good cheer [θαρσειτε] . Only here in John.

I have overcome [νενικηκα] . The verb occurs only three times outside of John's writings. Only here in the Gospel, and frequently in First Epistle and Revelation. Uniformly of spiritual victory. ===John 17:0



"Out of Christ 's divinely rich prayer - life there emerge, as from an ocean, the pearls of those single prayers of His that are preserved to us; the prayer given in the sermon on the Mount for the use of His people - Our Father; the ascription of praise to God at the departure from Galilee (Matthew 11:25); the prayers at the grave of Lazarus, and within the precincts of the temple; our high - priestly prayer; the supplication in Gethsemane, and the prayer - words of the Crucified One - Father, forgive them - Eli, Eli, - and the closing prayer, Father, into thy hands, etc., to which the exultant cry, It is finished, attaches itself, inasmuch as from one point of view, it may be regarded as a word of prayer. Add to these the mentions of the prayings, the thanksgivings, the heavenward sighings of Christ, as also His summonses and encouragements to prayer, and He appears as the Prince of humanity even in the realm of prayer; in the manner, likewise, in which He has concealed His prayer - life, exhibiting it only as there was necessity for its presentment. If we regard His work as a tree that towers into heaven and overshadows the world, His prayer - life is the root of this tree; His overcoming of the world rests upon the infinite depth of His self - presentation before God, His self - devotion to God, His self - immersion in God, His self - certitude and power from God. In His prayer - life the perfect truth of His human nature has also approved itself. The same who, as the Son of God, is complete revelation, is, as the Son of Man, complete religion" (Lange).

In the "Lord 's Prayer" (Matthew 6:0.) Christ sets forth what His disciples should desire for themselves. In this prayer He indicates what He desires for them. It is interesting to study the forms in which the ideas of the Lord 's Prayer are reproduced and developed in this.

Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 16". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/vnt/john-16.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.
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