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Bible Commentaries

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament
John 7

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

John 7:1. περιεπάτει, was walking) for several months after His second passover [mentioned at ch. John 6:4].— οἱ ἰουδαῖοι, the Jews) who believed not.— ἀποκτεῖναι, to kill) [through the hatred which they had conceived against Him, from as far back as the Pentecost of the previous year (ch. John 5:18, “because He had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God”), and which revived at this feast of Tabernacles, and subsequently blazed out more furiously.—Harm., p. 352]; John 7:19, “Why go ye about to kill Me?” 30, 44; John 8:40; John 8:59, “Then took they up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself.”


Verse 3

John 7:3. οἱ ἀδελφοί, His brethren) cousin-germans.— μετάβηθι, [depart] pass over) to sojourn there.— ἐντεῦθεν, hence) from this obscure place in Galilee.— εἰς τὴν ιουδαίαν, into Judea) They send away the Messiah from Galilee to Judea; and then, from Judea to Galilee, John 7:52.(162)καὶ οἱ ΄αθηταί σου, Thy disciples also) By this very expression they show, that they are not His disciples, John 7:5. There were many disciples of Jesus in Judea, especially at the feasts.— ζεωρήσωσι, may see) at the feast, in Jerusalem.


Verse 4

John 7:4. καὶ ζητεῖ, and seeketh) An affirmative assertion, as is clear from the verb manifest [Thyself], which is inferred from this clause. No man includes in it every man and not: every man belongs to both parts of the sentence: not to the former part; in this sense, Every man, who doeth anything, doeth it not in secret, but so as that he seeks himself to be known openly. καί, and, for but [and yet], as frequently. The figure Diasyrmus [teasing, as if He managed His affairs carelessly].— αὐτός,) himself; in antithesis to that, which he himself doeth: so, corresponding to this, σεαυτόν, Thyself, follows in the next clause.— εἰ, if) This particle often has more, not less weight, than when.(163)ταῦτα) these miracles, which Thou doest.— τῷ κόσμῳ, to the world) to all. Seek a larger theatre of action, say they, especially at the feast time.


Verse 5

John 7:5. οὐδέ) not even: so few they were that believed! Not except by Divine succours was faith in Jesus of Nazareth established: the very members of His family were opposed to Him.


Verse 6

John 7:6.(164) πάντοτε, always) There is no need that your time should come at last.


Verse 7

John 7:7. κόσμος, the world) concerning which [they had said], at John 7:4, “Show Thyself to the world.”— ὑμᾶς, you) as being of the world.— ἐμέ, Me) Comp. John 5:1, “The Jews sought to kill Him.”— μισεῖ, it hateth) So also men regard the followers of Christ either with the greatest love, or else with the greatest hatred. Those who please all men at all times, ought deservedly to look on themselves with suspicion.— μαρτυρῶ, I testify) The especial work of the Christ. It was thus He had testified, ch. John 5:33-47πονηρά, evil) springing from the Evil One; 1 John 5:19, “The whole world lieth in wickedness.” [That the works of the world are evil, the men of the world themselves all confess; but there is no one that does not try to except himself. There is to be added the detestable evil, hypocrisy; namely, they wish to appear very far removed from hatred towards Jesus Christ.—V. g.]


Verse 8

John 7:8. οὐκ, not) I do not now go up with you (John 7:10, When His brethren were gone up, then went He also up), as you advise, that I may be seen in the highway and in the city. For which reason He abode [still in Galilee], John 7:9. ἀναβαίνω, I go up, is to be taken strictly in the present. Comp. οὐκ, not [= not yet], at Matthew 11:11 [ οὐκ ἐγήγερταιμείζων ἰωάννου], where also the past tense ought to be understood in its strict sense. So σὐ, not, for οὔπω, not yet, Mark 7:18, “Are ye so without understanding? Do ye not (yet) perceive that,” etc.; οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι: comp. Matthew 15:17 [where Beng. with Rec. Text reads οὔπω. But (165)(166)(167) read οὐ νοεῖτε ὅτι]. He who was not present on the first day of the feast, was likely to be thought not present at all. The Lord afterwards went up to the feast, but as it were incognito, and not so much to the feast, as to the temple; John 7:10, “not openly, but as it were in secret;” 14, “Jesus went up into the temple and taught.” There was now but one going up, in the proper sense, set before the Lord, namely, that at the passover of His passion: it is concerning this that He speaks in an enigmatical way.— καιρός, time [season]) Wisdom observes carefully the [right] time. His speech at John 7:6, “My time is not yet come,” refers to His time for going up to the feast; but in this verse, as it seems, it refers to His time of suffering: comp. John 5:30, “No man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come.” This journey to the Feast of Tabernacles was His last journev but one to Jerusalem.


Verse 9

John 7:9. ἔμεινεν, He abode) He did not wish to go up with those who were not believers: He did not, however, avoid attending the feast itself on account of them.


Verse 10

John 7:10. ὡς, as) This particle has here the force, not of comparing, but of declaring.


Verse 11

John 7:11. ἐκεῖνος, He [emphatic]) Truly no feast is a feast without Christ.


Verse 12

John 7:12. γογγυσμός, murmuring) Their speech not venturing to break out into open expression on either side [for or against Him]. Comp. John 7:13, “No man spake openly of Him for fear of the Jews.” The same word is used, John 7:32, “The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning Him.”— ἐν τοῖς ὄχλοιςτὸν ὄχλον) in turbâ—turbas. So the Latin, interchanging the plural and singular number. [ ἐν τοῖς ὄχλοις is the reading of BT and Rec. Text; τῷ ὄχλῳ of (168)(169)(170)(171) Vulg. τὸν ὄχλον in (172)(173)(174) Rec. Text; ‘populum,’ (175)(176)(177); ‘turbas’ in Vulg.] The plural agrees with the fact, that there was much murmuring: on this and on that side there was a number of persons speaking concerning Jesus. The singular agrees with the opinion as to His deceiving the rabble [mob],— οἱ, some) from Galilee most especially, as is evident from the subsequent antithesis, of the Jews [John 7:13].


Verse 14

John 7:14. ΄εσούσης, in the middle) This Feast of Tabernacles is described at large: The beginning of it at John 7:10, etc., the middle of it in this verse, and the end of it, John 7:37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast.” The feasts were good opportunities for edification.— ἀνέβη, He went up) The first day of the feast had been the 11th day of October, as I have observed in the Harmon. Evang. p. 85 (Ed. ii. p. 140), and so the third day of the week [Tuesday]; for on that twenty-ninth year of Dion, the Sunday letter was (178). Therefore the Sabbath fell in the middle of the feast; and on a Sabbath day the audience was a crowded one, beyond that on all the other days of the middle of the feast, and His speech concerning the Sabbath was seasonable, John 7:22, “Ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the Sabbath, etc., are ye angry with Me because,” etc.— εἰς τὸ ἱερόν, into the temple) straightway, so as that He did not turn aside anywhere else first.(179)


Verse 15

John 7:15. γράμματα, letters) i.e. [literary] studies. For He was teaching, John 7:14.— μὴ μεμαθηκώς, without having learned) He had had no occasion for a school. It was the very characteristic of the Messiah.(180)


Verse 16

John 7:16. οὐκ ἔστιν ἐμή, is not Mine) not acquired by any labour on My part in learning.— τοῦ πέμψαντός με, who sent Me) For this reason, saith He, that I should learn after the manner of men: The Father hath taught Me: ch. John 8:28, “As My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things.”


Verse 17

John 7:17. ἐάν τις, if any man) A most reasonable and most joyful condition. Understand therefore. The doctrine of the Father and the doctrine of the Son are one and the same. He, then, who is conformed to the will of the Father, shall know of the doctrine of the Son.— θέλῃθέλημα, wills—the will) A sweet harmony. The heavenly will first stirs up [awakens] the human will: then next, the latter meets the former.— θέλημα the will) known from the prophetic Scriptures.— ποιεῖν, do) A most solid method of gaining the knowledge of the truth.(181)γνώσεται, he shall know) he will exert himself to know; or rather, he will attain to this, that he shall know; comp. ch. John 8:12, “He that followeth Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life;” 28, 31, 32, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth;” John 12:35, “Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth;” 45, John 10:14, “I know My sheep, and am known of Mine;” Matthew 7:24, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of Mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock;” 1 Corinthians 8:3, “If any man love God, the same is known of Him.” To know the ways of the Lord is the privilege of those alone, who do righteousness. Isaiah 58:2, “They delight to know My ways as a nation that did righteousness.” Comp. the future middle γνώσομαι, ch. John 8:28; John 8:32, John 13:7; John 13:35, John 14:20; Revelation 2:23.— περὶ τῆς διδαχῆς, concerning the doctrine) The article has a relative force at John 7:16 [ ἐμὴ διδαχή, the doctrine, which is Mine) ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ) from God and of God, John 7:16.


Verse 18

John 7:18. ) Most sure characteristics. A syllogism; He who speaks of himself, seeketh his own glory, being untrue and unrighteous; but Jesus doth not seek His own glory, but truly the glory of the Father, by whom He was sent. Therefore Jesus doth not speak of Himself, but is true and worthy of belief.— τὴν δόξαν τοῦ πέμψαντος, the glory of Him, who sent) Two things are here included; that He was sent; and that He seeks the glory of Him, who sent Him. The latter is the test of the former.— οὗτος) he, and he only.— ἀληθής) true, and to be esteemed as true.— ἀδικία, unrighteousness) falsehood; comp. John 7:24 [Judge righteous judgment], true, righteous.


Verse 19

John 7:19. ΄ωσῆς, Moses) whom ye believe.— ὑμῖν, to you) not to me.— τὸν νόμον, the law) There is much mention of the Law made here; John 7:23; John 7:49; John 7:51; appropriately so: for שמחת תורה, the joy of the law, completed in the public reading of it, is on the day following the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.(182) The eighth day, according to the different points of view, in which it was regarded, was either part of the Feast of Tabernacles, or a distinct feast. The former is the view of it, which holds good in John: and in the same feast, every seventh year, the Law used to be read: Deuteronomy 31:10, “At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in he Feast of Tabernacles, thou shalt read this law before all Israel, in their hearing.”— οὐδείς, none) Ye assail Me as guilty of violating the law, John 7:21, etc. But yet ye all violate it.— τί με, why me) as though I had violated the Sabbath.— ζητεῖτε, ye seek) Ye seek to kill Me. Therefore ye fulfil not the law. Therefore ye do not the will of God. Therefore ye cannot reach the knowledge of My doctrine, because ye are altogether unlike Me, and hate Me.


Verse 20

John 7:20. καὶ εἶπε, and said) At Jerusalem there seem to have been some lying in wait to kill Him, and others to have known the fact; John 7:25, “Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this He, whom they seek to kill?” and those who speak here seem to have been farther removed from these, and yet not at heart better. Jesus shows that He has a deeper knowledge of them, and He penetrates them with this ray [of His omniscience].— δαιμόνιον ἔχεις, thou hast a demon) The foulest formula of reviling. Possessed, mad. They think, that the hidden design to murder Him could not have become known to Jesus Himself except through an evil spirit.


Verse 21

John 7:21. ἕν, one) out of countless works, which ye know not [viz. the miracle in the case of the man at the pool of Bethesda.—V. g.]— ἐποίησα, I have done) on the Sabbath, John 7:23.— καὶ, and) Involves a relative force; I have done one work, which ye all wonder at. Since in the case of none other work of Mine ye perceive anything to censure; ye ought to have formed a favourable opinion of this one work also.— θαυμάζετε, ye marvel) accompanied with doubt. Such a marvelling, as in Acts 2:7; Acts 2:12, “They were all amazed and marvelled, saying—Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And—they were in doubt.”


Verse 22

John 7:22. διὰ τοῦτο, on this account) This is presently after explained by the οὐχ ὀτι, to wit, not because: Comp. ch. John 8:47 [Ye therefore hear not—God’s words—because ye are not of God; διὰ τοῦτοὅτι]; John 10:17, “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because.” A similar expression occurs, Mark 12:24, “Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures,” when the force of the particle ὅτι is hidden in the participle [ μὴ εἰδότες].— δέδωκεν, gave) Genesis 17:10; circumcision given as seal of the covenant between God and Abraham]. Exodus 12:44, “Every man’s servant—when thou hast circumcised him, shall eat of the passover. Leviticus 12:3, “In the eighth day the flesh of the foreskin—of every man-child, shall be circumcised].— οὐχ ὅτί, not because) By this clause the dignity of circumcision is exalted, in respect to the Sabbath, than which it is older and therefore entitled to take the precedence.(183)


Verse 23

John 7:23. ἴνα μή, that not) but that,(184) so that the law may not be broken; or else, without the law being broken thereby.— νόμος ΄ωσέως, the law of Moses) the law concerning the Sabbath, which is not violated by circumcision being performed on it.— ἐμοὶ, at me) as if I have broken the law concerning the Sabbath.— χολᾶτε, are ye angry) χόλος in Homer, as Eustathius observes, denotes also a lasting anger. This anger of the Jews had lasted now for sixteen months; but it blazed out with a new paroxysm, when they saw Jesus.— ὅλον, the whole [man, body and soul. Eng. Vers. differently “every whit whole,” ὄλον ὑγιῆ]) It is not the whole body of the man, which is opposed to that part, which is circumcised; for a consequence, in the case of an admission, does not proceed from less to greater, in this way, It is lawful to circumcise a part, therefore it is lawful to cure the whole body. But it is the whole man, body and soul, ch. John 5:14,(185) whose healing is a benefit much greater, and, so much more becoming the Sabbath and sanctioned by the law, than the external act of circumcision regarded by itself, or even circumcision, even though it should be regarded as a sacrament. For circumcision is a mean: healing of the soul is an end. [Besides circumcision is accomplished not without a wound; healing therefore is more in accordance with the Sabbath.—V. g.]— ἐποίησα, I have made) αὐτοκρατορικῶς, by supreme power.


Verse 24

John 7:24. ΄ὴ κρίνετε κατʼ ὄψιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν κρίνατε, judge not according to the appearance, but judge true judgment) On that Sabbath, which fell among the days of the Feast of Tabernacles (the Sabbath moreover had fallen this year on the fifth day of the feast), there used to be read the book Ecclesiastes, a great portion of which is this very precept as to avoiding superficial judgment and holding to right judgment. [It is also judging according to appearance, or (what is the same) according to the flesh; ch. John 8:15, “Ye judge after the flesh,” when the letter is taken independently of the (spiritual) sense. Christ Himself judges according to truth. Isaiah 11:3-4, “He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.”—V. g.]— τήν) The judgment that is true, is one.(186) This is the force of the article.


Verse 25

John 7:25. ἱεροσολυμιτῶν, of the people of Jerusalem) who knew what was going on in the city.


Verse 26

John 7:26. παῤῥησίᾳ, freely) Psalms 40:10, “I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation; I have not concealed Thy loving-kindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.”— ἀληθῶς, truly) The people might have doubted, whether the rulers would affirm, that Jesus is the Christ; but withdrawing themselves from this doubt, the people begin to affirm concerning that [supposed] affirmation.— ἔγνωσαν, have they known) in mind, and by word of mouth. [The ἀληθῶς before χριστός in the Rec. Text is omitted in (187)(188)(189)(190)(191)(192)(193) Vulg.]


Verse 27

John 7:27. ἀλλά, [howbeit], but) They believed in human authority, in rejecting Christ: they notwithstanding do not believe in human authority, in acknowledging Christ. Here may be observed the Jewish prejudices. The reasoning of the Jews was to this effect; the Christ has an unknown parentage; Jesus has not an unknown parentage: therefore Jesus is not the Christ. The Lord answers at John 7:28, “Ye both know Me, and ye know whence I am; and I am not come of Myself,” etc.— τοῦτον οἴδαμεν, we know this man) ch. John 6:42, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know.”— οὐδείς, no man) That really happened in the case of this, the true Messiah. Foll, v., “He that sent Me is true, whom ye know not.” Ch. John 9:29, “We know that God spake unto Moses, but as for this fellow, we know not from whence He is.” For not even now did they know His country. John 7:42, “Hath not the Scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem?” when in fact Jesus was born at Bethlehem.(194) [Some one may fancy, that it is an idle question, whether the circumstances of the birth of Christ be known or unknown; but a false opinion on a very slight point was in fact sufficient to prove the greatest obstacle to faith. One may observe the same result in the case of various unsound maxims, by which the world suffers itself to be held in bondage.—V. g.]


Verse 28

John 7:28. ἔκραξεν, cried) with great earnestness, for the salvation of men; also on account of the great number of His auditors. Christ cried by no means often; Matthew 12:19, “He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets:” For which reason the cries, which He did utter, had a weighty cause in each instance. See presently after John 7:37, “In the last day—of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink;” John 11:43, “He cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth;” John 12:44, “Jesus cried and said, “He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me;” Hebrews 5:7, “When He had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto Him that was able to save Him from death;” Matthew 27:50, “Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.”— κἀμέ, both me) There are persons, who suppose irony to be employed here: but you will never find an instance of our Lord having employed irony. The speech of the Jews had had two parts, this man and the Christ: in reply to which at John 7:27, the speech of our Lord has also two parts, the “both Me” “and [I am not come] of Myself.” The former makes a concession, and leaves the question of knowledge concerning Jesus and His birth, regarded from an external point of view, in some measure where he found it; for His wont is never Himself to bring it forward; comp. 2 Corinthians 5:16, “Though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more;” but He denies that they have a just [correct] knowledge of Himself as sent by the Father; comp. John 7:33, etc., “I go unto Him that sent Me;” and John 7:36, “What manner of saving is this that He said, Ye shall seek Me and shall not find Me, and where I am, thither ye cannot come;” chap. John 8:14, “Ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.”— καὶ ἀπʼ ἐμαυτοῦ) and yet I am not come of Myself, as ye suppose.— ἀληθινός, true) This truth is of more consequence than that truly; “Do the rulers know truly that this is the Christ?”— ὅν ὑμεῖς οὐκ οἴδατε, whom ye know not) We must understand after this the clause which follows, that I am from Him, and that He has sent Me. The very demand of the Jews concerning Christ, expressed at John 7:27, was realized in Jesus, “When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.”


Verse 29

John 7:29. παρʼ αὐτοῦ εἰμί, I am from Him) This denotes eternal generation; from which follows as a consequence His mission [His being sent]. There are two points marked: the first is to be referred to [Ye know] both me, the second to the whence [I am]. I am, in this verse and in the preceding, is to be referred to the is, which occurs twice in John 7:27, “We know this man, whence He is, but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is.”


Verse 30

John 7:30. οὔπω, not yet) ch. John 8:20.


Verse 32

John 7:32. οἱ φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. The 45th verse refers to this; where the Latin translator himself has “ad pontifices et Pharisæos.” [So (195)(196)(197)(198)(199)(200) Vulg. here, οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ φαρισαῖοι. But (201) has the reading of the Rec. Text.] The Pharisees are placed first [Beng. reading as the Rec. Text] in John 7:32; for these were more bitter, and it was by means of them that the chief priests were instigated.


Verse 33

John 7:33. ἐτι, as yet) He continues the discourse, which they had interrupted after John 7:29.


Verse 34

John 7:34. (203) ζητήσετέ ΄ε, ye shall seek Me) Me, whom ye now see, and despise. These words are a kind of text, on which the discourses of this and the following chapter are built as a superstructure; ch. John 8:21, “I go My way, and ye shall seek Me, and shall die in your sins; whither I go, ye cannot come,” etc. Such a text occurs also, ch. John 16:16, “A little while, and ye shall not see Me, and again a little while and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.”— καὶ οὐχ εὑρήσετε, and ye shall not find Me) Afterwards He speaks more sternly, “ye shall die in your sin,” ch. John 8:21.— ὅπου, whither) namely, to heaven: ch. John 3:13, “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, which is in heaven.” The Lord sometimes put forth a discourse of such a nature, as that a meaning of it, in some degree, was, for the time being, apparent to His hearers: the deeper meaning became so subsequently. Comp. with this passage ch. John 13:33, “Yet a little while, I am with you. Ye shall seek Me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say to you.” Such a discourse also occurs, ch. John 13:16, “The servant is not greater than his lord.” Comp. ch. John 15:20.


Verses 34-36

John 7:34; John 7:36. εἶμι, I go) Very many read εἰμί, I am.(204) By all means I grant, the Saviour says, ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγώ, in ch. John 12:26, John 14:3, John 17:24, in which passages there follows ἔσται, ἦτε, ὦσι. But here ὄπου εἶμι ἐγώ ought to be read, because here there follow ἐλθεῖν, and πορεύεσθαι, and the Lord, in repeating [to His disciples] this statement, addressed to the Jews, saith ὑπάγω, ch. John 8:21, John 13:33. Also εἶμι is employed in prose, by the Septuag., Exodus 32:26, ἴτω πρός με, Proverbs 6:6, ἴθι πρὸς τόν μύρμηκα. Plato has ἴωμεν in the Phædrus, in the last part, and Chrysost. περὶ ιἑρως., l. vi. c. 12, p. 348, ed. Stutg. Camerarius notes down instances from Thucydides and Xenophon, in his Comm. utr. Linguæ,” p. 452. Add Herodian. It was necessary to make this remark, inasmuch as εἶμι is rejected, as a poetical form, by some. Nor indeed is this observation an unprofitable one. Whither I go, was the language of our Lord, when He was somewhat farther off from the time of His departure: where I am, was His language, on the very week of His passion, among His very last words. All the passages lately pointed out prove this distinction in the selection of His phraseology; nor is the passage, John 13:33; John 13:36 [where, though it was His last passion week, whither I go, and not where I am, is used], opposed to this view; for at John 7:33 His former speech to the Jews is quoted; and at John 7:36 the reference is to the question of Peter, Lord, whither goest thou?


Verse 35

John 7:35. ποῦ, whither) More unseasonably they afterwards say, Whether will He kill Himself? ch. John 8:22διασποράν) So the Septuag., Deuteronomy 28:25 [ ἔσῃ διασπορὰ ἐν πάσαις βασιλείαις τῆς γης, thou shalt be a dispersion—a dispersed remnant—among all the kingdoms of the earth] Deuteronomy 30:4.— τῶν ἑλλήνων, of the Greeks) in other words, the Jews outside of Palestine. They think that they will drag Him forth to the light by means of letters, wherever throughout the world He may take His dwelling among Jews.


Verse 36

John 7:36. οὗτος λόγος, this saying) They the more readily retain in memory His saying, as moulded in rhythm. Comp. ch. John 16:17, The disciples, “What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and we shall not see Me, and again a little while, and ye shall see me; and because I go to the Father.”


Verse 37

John 7:37. ἐσχάτῃ, in the last) This was the seventh day: not the eighth, inasmuch as it was one which had its own proper feast. See F. B. Dachs, ad cod. Succa, p. 373; comp. p. 357, 405. This seventh day was an especially solemn one in the Feast of Tabernacles; Leviticus 23:34; Leviticus 23:36, “On the eighth day shall be an holy convocation unto you; and ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord; it is a solemn assembly; and ye shall do no servile work therein;” Numbers 29:12, “On the fifteenth day of the seventh month,” the Feast of Tabernacles began, etc.; Nehemiah 8:18, “Day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God; and they kept the feast seven days, and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly.” 2 Chronicles 7:8, “Solomon kept the feast seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great congregation, from the entering in of Hamath unto the river of Egypt; and in the eighth day they made a solemn assembly,” etc. Jesus also Himself made this day a great day; nor was there remaining before the passion of the Lord another such day of so great solemnity, and celebrated by so large a crowd. He therefore availed Himself of the opportunity(205)).— εἄν τις διψᾷ, if any man thirst(206)) An apposite expression, even [independently of other reasons] on account of that rite, when on that last day of the feast they were wont to draw water from the fountain of Siloah, and to pour it in libation upon the altar of the whole burnt-offering. See Surenhus. de Alleg., V. T., p. 354. [To thirst is the first distinguishing mark of a soul panting for salvation, and a most sure characteristic of such a one.—V. g.]— ἐρχέσθω, let him come) Revelation 22:17, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come.—And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”


Verse 37-38

John 7:37-38. (208) ἐάν τις διψᾷ, ἐρχέσθω πρός ΄ε, καὶ πίνετω· πιστέυων εἲς ἐ΄ὲ, καθὼς εἷπεν γραφὴ, ποτα΄ὸι ἐκ τῆς κοιλίας αὐτοῦ ῥεύσουσιν ὓδατος ζῶντος) A new and plausible]) punctuation is proposed, ἐάν τις διψᾷ, ἐρχέσθω πρός ΄ε· καὶ πινέτω πιστεύων εἰς ἐ΄έ· καθὼς εἶπεν, κ. τ. λ. But the χιασ΄ός would be rather harsh, let him that thirsteth come: let him that believeth drink. In the present punctuation the sense remains unbroken, and flows spontaneously, thus: If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and He shall drink; he that believeth on Me shall be fully satisfied out of My abundance. Comp. ch. John 6:35, “I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and He that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” An imperative after an imperative has the force of a future, as presently at John 7:52, ἐρεύνησον καὶ ἴδε, search and you shall see. Nor is the construction of the succeeding words thereby injured. The Subject is, He who believes on Me: the Predicate is, As the Scripture hath said, Rivers of living water shall flow out of his belly. Only the copula, is, or rather shall be,(209) needs to be supplied, almost in the same way as at ch. John 6:30, John 17:2, “As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him, so it is;” Luke 21:6, ταῦτα θεωρεῖτε, ἐλεύσονται ἡ΄έραι ἐν αἷς, κ. τ. λ. [i.e. “These things” are of such a kind “that the days shall come,” etc.] But in this passage the sentence is continued by means of the Quotation, and the Believer is compared to the Lord Himself of believers, concerning whom the promise treats.


Verse 38

John 7:38. πιστεύων εἰς ἐμέ, He that believeth on Me) To believe is not parallel to the verb, to thirst, but to the verb, to come; ch. John 6:35. To this refer the they that believe of the following verse.— καθὼς εἶπεν γραφή, as the Scripture hath said) Scripture hath many things as to the promise of the Holy Spirit, under the figure of water: Isaiah 12:3, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation;” Isaiah 55:13, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters—Incline your ear and come unto Me; hear, and your soul shall live;” Ezekiel 47:1, etc., “Behold waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward;” John 7:9, “Every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live;” Joel 2:23, “Rejoice in the Lord your God; for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain;” which Jesus in this passage expresses in words adapted to the present occasion. But most especially pertinent to this passage is that one of Zechariah 14:8, ἐξελεύσεται ὕδωρ ζῶν ἐξ ἱερουσαλήμ, κ. τ. λ., “Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem:” for that very chapter of Zechariah had been read in public, as the Haphtara [portion selected for the Lesson], on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, which Jesus, when He had come in the middle of the time of the feast, on the last day of it repeats at Jerusalem. He had not been present at the reading on the first day: He had not been taught letters, John 7:15, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” therefore His quotation of the Lesson read ought to have had the more effect on His hearers.— κοιλίας, belly) בטן, the inmost recess, most capacious and most fruitful. The allusion is to the large jars in which, on the last day of that feast, water used to be borne from the fountain Siloah through the city to the sanctuary; for they had a large belly-like interior.— αὐτοῦ, His) Messiah’s. This is the fountain out of whose abundant flow believers receive, John 7:39.— ὕδατος ζῶντος) ὕδωρ ζῶν, Zech. as quoted above.


Verse 39

John 7:39. εἷπε, He spake) Jesus.— οὒπω γὰρ ἦν, for not yet was) To be, for to be present: Matthew 2:18, “Rachel weeping for her children,—because they are not” [i.e. are no more present with her]; Genesis 42:36, “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not.” Comp. by all means 2 Chronicles 15:3.(210) The γάρ is to be referred to ἔ΄ελλον, and this to the future ῥεύσουσιν.


Verse 42

John 7:42. οὐχί, Hath not) And yet indeed this very prophecy was realised in the person of Jesus. Why had they not turned their attention to it? especially as they were admonished of the fact, Matthew 2:1. etc. Thirty-two years were not a time beyond memory, especially as there intervened in His twelfth year a new admonition, Luke 2:42 [His sitting among the doctors in the temple, and astonishing them with His understanding and answers].— ἀπὸ βηθλεέμ, from Bethlehem) This John takes for granted as known from the other evangelists respecting Jesus.


Verse 43

John 7:43. σχίσμα, a division) So ch. John 9:16, “Some of the Pharisees said, This man is not of God, because He keepeth not the Sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them;” John 10:19. A division is generally of a manifold character; on one dogma, or on many dogmas; and of good men from bad men, or else of the bad from the good, or of the good from the good, or of the bad from the bad.


Verse 45

John 7:45. ἐκεῖνοι, they the [former]) the chief priests, whom at John 7:47 the Pharisees interrupt.


Verse 46

John 7:46. ὡς, as) A characteristic of truth, convincing even ordinary unlearned men, rather than their masters. [Not seldom the more untutored come to feel the effectual power of Christ’s word more readily than the most sagacious.—V. g.]


Verse 48

John 7:48. ΄ή τις, whether has any) This is their inference: Men ought not to believe in Him, in whom the rulers do not believe. Zealots of the present day, especially the Romanists, use a similar mode of reasoning and blustering.— ἐκ τῶν φαρισαῖων, of the Pharisees) knowing the law, they mean.(211)


Verse 49

John 7:49. οὗτος, this) This word is employed to express contempt.— τὸν νόμον, the law) Often the law denotes among the Hebrews what we express by the Bible; 1 Corinthians 9:8, “Say I these things as a man? Saith not the law the same also?”— ἐπικατάρατοι, accursed) The blustering on the part of these wretched men was great: whence arises the Metonymy of antecedent and consequent [substituting the former, when they mean the latter: and vice versâ]: i.e. they are accursed; [therefore it results that] they believe in Him, [and so] they remain accursed.


Verse 50

John 7:50. λέγει, saith) Often those who had been timid where there was no danger, in the very crisis of danger prove to be defenders of the truth. [Comp. ch. John 19:39 (after the crucifixion, when others stood aloof), “Then came Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.”]— εἷς ὤν, who was one) This clause is connected with saith.


Verse 51

John 7:51. νόμος) the law, which ye suppose that ye alone know: John 7:49, “This people, that knoweth not the law, is accursed.”— κρίνει, judge) that is, teach us to judge.— τὸν ἄνθρωπον, a man) any one whatever, and this man.— ἀκούσῃ, it shall have heard) Understand, he who judges. [This rule, that a man should be heard before he is judged, has so strong evidence in its favour, that it is obvious even to a little child; notwithstanding men of the highest authority frequently offend against it. A considerable part of the injustice with which the world abounds, if these considerations were rightly weighed, would be banished out of it. And truly nowhere are such considerations less attended to, than in cases where the cause of Christ is at stake—V. g.]


Verse 52

John 7:52. ΄ή, whether) They feel sensible of the equity of his address to them; for which reason they make no reply to it: they only out of the conclusion itself create odium against Nicodemus, and they assail him, as though all the disciples of Jesus were Galileans, and as if He had none from any other quarter.— μὴ καὶ σὺ γαλιλαῖος εἶ;) So the Lat. [Vulg.]: and that according to the mind of the Pharisees. The more modern Greek copies seem to have fastened on ἐκ τῆς γαλιλαίας, instead of γαλιλαῖος, from the words following immediately after. [Vulg. and (212)(213) have ‘Galilæus.’ But (214)(215)(216) confirm the Rec. Text, ἐκ τῆς γαλιλαίας.]— καὶ ἴδε) and see, i.e. you will see most easily. They appeal to experience, which however was not universal. [The hackneyed formula recurs to them afresh (comp. John 7:27, “When Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is”); which, however unimportant it might seen to be, when employed for sinister ends, was the occasion of causing them signal injury. Out of the amazing multitude of those who perish, you would hardly find any one who does not put a drag on the effectual working of saving truth in himself, owing to his being carried away by one or other πρώτῳ ψεύδει (falsehood at the outset).—V. g.]


Verse 53

John 7:53. καὶ ἀπῆλθον ἕκαστος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ) Ant. Blackwall de Classicis Sacris, p. 497, ed. Woll., is of opinion, that these words ought to form the beginning of the chapter next following. If any change is to be made, you might end the 7th chapter with τῶν ἐλαιῶν [ch. John 8:1], of Olives, in order that the conclusions of the days in the action, and of the divisions in the text, may coincide. A matter of trifling moment; but yet the ancient division is most conveniently retained, in order that the departure of Jesus to the mount of Olives may he connected closely with His entry into the temple on the following day.

 


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Bibliography Information
Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 7:4". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-7.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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