corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.09.22
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
John 7

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

After these things - that is, all that is recorded after the discourse of John 5:19-47,

Jesus walked in Galilee - continuing His labours there, for the reason about to be mentioned.

For he would not walk in Jewry (or Judea), because the Jews sought to kill him - as related in John 5:18. This is an exceedingly important piece of information, as we thus learn that our Lord did not attend the Passover mentioned in John 6:4 - which, according to our reckoning, was the third since the opening of His public ministry.


Verse 2

Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.

Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand. This was the last of the three annual festivals, celebrated on the 15th of the 7th month-September (see Leviticus 23:33, etc.; Deuteronomy 16:13, etc.; Nehemiah 8:14-18).


Verse 3

His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

His brethren therefore (see the notes at Matthew 13:54-56) said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see - or 'may behold' [ theooreesoosin (Greek #2334)] "the works that thou doest."


Verse 4

For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.

For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world.


Verse 5

For neither did his brethren believe in him.

For neither did his brethren believe in him. But as we find these "brethren" of the Lord in the "upper room" among the 120 disciples who waited for the descent of the Spirit after the Lord's ascension (Acts 1:14), they seem to have had their prejudices removed-perhaps after His resurrection. Indeed, here their language is more that of strong prejudice and suspicion-such as near relatives, even the best, too frequently show in such cases-than formed unbelief. There was also, probably, a tincture of vanity in it. 'Thou hast many disciples in Judea; here in Galilee they are fast dropping off; it is not like one who advances the claims thou dost to linger so long here, away from the city of our solemnities, where surely "the kingdom of our father David" is to be set up: "seeking," as thou dost, "to be known openly," those miracles of thine ought not to be confined to this distant corner, but submitted at headquarters to the inspection of the world.' On hearing such a speech, one might suppose Him going to His Father, and saying, "I am become a stranger unto my brethren, an alien unto my mother's children" (Psalms 69:8)! Does not this speech, by the way, tend to confirm the view we have taken of the number of Passovers which occurred during our Lord's public ministry, and which imply His absence from Jerusalem for a time which had appeared unaccountably long? For about a year and a half, according to our reckoning. He had not been there. This seems to many incredibly long. But it would seem as if it had been long enough at least to appear to His "brethren" inconsistent with His claims.


Verse 6

Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

Then Jesus said unto them, My time - for showing Myself to the world - "is not yet come: but your time is alway ready."


Verse 7

The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.


Verse 8

Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

Go ye up unto this feast - or, 'the feast,' as, perhaps, is the preferable reading here. I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come: - q. d., 'It matters little when ye go up, for ye have no great plans in life, and nothing hangs upon your movements: With Me it is otherwise; on every movement of Mine there hangs what ye know not: The world has no quarrel with you, for ye bear no testimony against it, and so draw down upon yourselves none of its wrath; but I am here to lift up My voice against its hypocrisy, and denounce its abominations; therefore it cannot endure Me, and one false step might precipitate its fury on its Victim's head before the time: Away, therefore, to the feast as soon as it suits you; I follow at the fitting moment, but "My time is not yet full come."


Verse 9

When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

When ('And when') he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.


Verse 10

But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret , [ hoos (Greek #5613) en (Greek #1722) kruptoo (Greek #2927] - 'but in a manner secretly,' not in the caravan-company, as Meyer explains it-see the note at Luke 2:44 : perhaps by some other route, and at any rate in such a way as not to attract notice.


Verse 11

Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? "The Jews" here mean the rulers; see the note at John 1:19. They sought Him on this occasion certainly for no good end.


Verse 12

And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

And there was much murmuring [or 'muttering' gongusmos (G1112)] among the people , [ en (Greek #1722) tois (Greek #3588) ochlois (Greek #3793)] - 'among the multitudes;' the natural expression of a Jewish writer, indicating without design, as Webster and Wilkinson remark, the crowded state of Jerusalem at this festival.

Concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people - or 'the multitude' [ ton (Greek #3588) ochlon (Greek #3793)]. These are just the two opposite views of Him and His claims, the one, that He was honest; the other, that He was an impostor.


Verse 13

Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

Howbeit no man spake openly of him (that is, in His favour) for fear of the Jews. Since the people who feared the Jews were themselves Jews, this would suffice to show that by "the Jews" in this Gospel we are almost invariably to understand the rulers or leaders of the people.


Verse 14

Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

Now about the midst of the feast , [ eedee (Greek #2235) de (Greek #1161) tees (Greek #3588) heortees (Greek #1859) mesousees (Greek #3322)] - rather, 'Now when it was already the midst of the feast.' It might be the 4th or 5th of the eight days during which it lasted.

Jesus went up into the temple, and taught , [ edidasken (Greek #1321)]. The imperfect tense used implies continued, and therefore formal teaching, as distinguished from mere casual sayings. In fact, this appears to have been the first time that He taught thus openly in Jerusalem. He had kept back until the feast was half through, to let the stir about Him subside; and entering the city unexpectedly, He had begun His "teaching" at the temple, and created a certain awe, before the wrath of the rulers had time to break in upon it.


Verse 15

And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

And the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters (or learning), having never learned? - that is, at any rabbinical school, like Paul under Gamaliel (see Acts 22:3; Acts 26:24.) These rulers knew well enough that He had never studied under any human teacher-an important admission, as Meyer remarks, against ancient and modern attempts to trace our Lord's wisdom to human sources. Probably His teaching on this occasion was expository, manifesting that unrivaled faculty and depth which in the Sermon on the Mount had excited the astonishment of all-though now, no doubt, it would be in a different strain.


Verse 16

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

Jesus ('Jesus therefore', according to the true text) answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine - that is, in the sense repeatedly explained at John 5:1-47; John 6:1-71, 'not from Myself,' 'not unauthorized;' 'I am here by divine commission.'

But his that sent me.


Verse 17

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

If any man will do, [ thelee (G2309), or better, 'is minded to do'] his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself - whether it be from above or from beneath, whether it be divine or an imposture of mine own. A principle of immense importance; showing, on the one hand, that singleness of desire to please God is the grand inlet to light on all questions vitally affecting one's eternal interest, and, on the other, that the want of this, whether perceived or not, is the chief cause of infidelity amidst the light of revealed religion.


Verse 18

He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. He that speaketh of himself [not concerning, 'but from himself' af' (G575) heautou (G1438)] seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. See the notes at John 5:41-44.


Verse 19

Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

Did not Moses give you, [ dedooken (G1325), 'Hath not Moses given you'] the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about [or 'seek ye' zeeteite (G2212)] to kill me? 'In opposing Me ye pretend zeal for Moses, but to the spirit and end of that law which he gave ye are total strangers, and in going about to kill Me, ye are its greatest enemies.'


Verse 20

The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

The people, [ ho (G3588) ochlos (G3793), 'The multitude'] answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? The multitude who said this had as yet no bad feeling to Jesus, and evidently were not in the secret of the plot now hatching, as our Lord knew, against Him.


Verse 21

Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done [rather, 'I did' epoieesa (G4160)] one work, and ye all marvel. Taking no notice of the popular appeal, as there were those there who knew well enough what He meant, He recalls His cure of the sick man, and the murderous rage it had kindled (John 5:9; John 5:16; John 5:18). It may seem strange that He should refer to an event a year and a half old, as if but newly done; and this is urged as a fatal objection to our Lord's having been so long absent from Jerusalem. But their present attempt "to kill Him" brought the past scene all fresh up, not only to Him, but without doubt to them too, if indeed they had ever forgotten it; and by this fearless reference to it, exposing their hypocrisy and dark designs, He gave His position great moral strength.


Verse 22

Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

Moses therefore gave unto you - or, 'For this cause hath Moses given you' [ dedooken (Greek #1325)]

Circumcision; (not because it is [`not that it is'] of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.


Verse 23

If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made [or 'I made' epoieesa (G4160)] a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? Though servile work was forbidden on the sabbath, the circumcision of males on that day (which certainly was a servile work) was counted no infringement of the law: How much less ought fault to be found with One who had made a man "every whit whole" - or rather, 'a man's entire body whole' [ holon (Greek #3650) anthroopon (Greek #444) hugiee (Greek #5199)] - on the sabbath day? What a testimony to the reality of the miracle, none daring to meet the bold appeal?


Verse 24

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment - `Rise above the letter into the spirit of the law.'


Verse 25

Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? Then said some of them of Jerusalem - `the Jerusalemites;' that is, the citizens-as distinguished from the multitudes from the provinces-and who, knowing the long formed purpose of the rulers to put Jesus to death, wondered they were now letting him teach openly, "Is not this he whom they seek to kill?"


Verse 26

But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

But, lo 'And, lo' [ kai (G2532) ide (G2396)], he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed , [ egnoosan (Greek #1097)] - 'Have the rulers come to know indeed'

That this is the [very] Christ? [The second aleethoos (Greek #230) in this verse is of very doubtful authority.] 'Have they gotten some new light in favour of His claims?'


Verse 27

Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when [`the'] Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. This seems to refer to some current opinion that Messiah's origin would be mysterious-not altogether wrong-from which they concluded that Jesus could not be he, since they knew all about his family at Nazareth.


Verse 28

Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

Then (or 'therefore') cried Jesus - in a louder tone, and more solemnly witnessing style than usual,

In the temple, as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself: - q.d., 'True, ye both know myself and my earthly parentage; and yet I am not come of myself, etc.

But he that sent me is true [ aleethinos (Greek #228)] - 'real;' meaning probably 'He that sent Me is the only But he that sent me is true , [ aleethinos (Greek #228)] - 'real;' meaning probably, 'He that sent Me is the only real Sender of anyone.'

Whom ye know not.


Verse 29

But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me - `and He sent me' [ apesteilen (Greek #649)].


Verse 30

Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

Then they sought to take him: but [rather, 'and yet' kai (G2532)] no man laid hands on him (their impotence happily being equal to their malignity), because his hour was not yet come.


Verse 31

And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

And many of the people, [ de (G1161) ... ochlou (G3793), 'But many of the multitude'] believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh - or, 'When the Christ is come [ ho (Greek #3588) Christos (Greek #5547) ... elthee (Greek #2064)],

Will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? - q.d., 'If this be not the Christ, what can the Christ do, when he does come-which has not been anticipated and eclipsed by this man?' This was evidently the language of friendly persons, overborne by their spiteful superiors, but unable to keep quite silent.


Verse 32

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured [or 'heard the multitude muttering tou (G3588) ochlou (G3793) gonguzontos (G1111)] such things concerning him. They heard whispers to this effect going about, and thought it high time to stop Him if He was not to be allowed to carry away the people.

And the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him - subordinate officials of their own to seize Him.


Verse 33

Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.

Then said Jesus [unto them]. The words in brackets [ autois (Greek #846)] have scarcely any authority.

Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.


Verse 34

Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there ye cannot come: - q.d., 'Your desire to be rid of Me will be for you all too soon fulfilled: Yet a little while and we part company-forever; because I go where ye cannot come, nor, even though ye should at length seek to Him whom now ye despise, shall ye be able to find Him'-referring not to any penitential, but to purely selfish cries in their time of desperation.


Verse 35

Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

Then said the Jews (the rulers again), among themselves, Whither will he [or 'this man' houtos Then said the Jews (the rulers again), among themselves, Whither will he [or 'this man' houtos (G3778)], go, that we shall not find him? They cannot comprehend Him, but seem awed by the solemn grandeur of His warning.

Will he go unto the dispersed, [ teen (G3588) diasporan (G1290)] among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? [ Helleenoon (Greek #1672), Helleenas (Greek #1672)] - 'unto the dispersed among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? Will He go to the Jews of the dispersion-scattered abroad everywhere-and from them extend His teaching even to the Gentiles? (So Meyer, Lucke, Tholuck, etc.) By the Greeks here are not meant Hellenistic or Greek-speaking Jews, but Gentiles. It is well observed by Neander, that a presentiment that His teaching was designed to be universal had probably a good deal to do with the irritation which it occasioned.


Verse 36

What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?

What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, there ye cannot come? Thinking this theory of His words too outrageous or contemptible, they are quite baffled as to its meaning, and yet cannot help feeling that something deep lay under it. Jesus, however, takes no notice of their questions; and so for the time the subject dies away. And yet, long after this, Jesus recurs to this warning of His, in discoursing to the Eleven at the Supper table (John 13:33).

And now we come to one of the grandest of all His utterances.


Verse 37

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

In the last day, that great day of the feast - or 'Now [ de (Greek #1161)] in the last, the great day of the feast;' that is, the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:39). It was a Sabbath, the last feastday of the year, and distinguished by very remarkable ceremonies. 'The generally joyous character of this feast,' says Olshausen, 'broke out on this day into loud jubilation, particularly at the solemn moment when the priest, as was done on every day of this festival, brought forth, in golden vessels, water from the stream of Siloah, which flowed under the temple-mountain, and solemnly poured it upon the altar. Then the words of Isaiah 12:3 were sung, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Salvation," and thus the symbolical reference of this act, intimated in John 7:39, was expressed.' 'So ecstatic,' says Lightfoot, 'was the joy with which this ceremony was performed-accompanied with sound of trumpets-that it used to be said, Whoever had not witnessed it had never seen rejoicing at all.' On this high occasion, then, He who had already drawn all eyes upon Him by His supernatural power and unrivaled teaching --

Jesus stood (probably in some elevated position), and cried - as if making proclamation in the audience of all the people,

Saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. What an offer! The deepest cravings of the human spirit are here, as in the Old Testament, expressed by the figure of "thirst," and the external satisfaction of them by "drinking." To the woman of Samaria He had said almost the same thing, and in the same terms (John 4:13-14). But what to her was simply affirmed as a fact is here turned into a worldwide proclamation; and whereas there, the gift by Him of the living water is the most prominent idea-in contrast with her hesitation to give Him the perishable water of Jacob's well-here the prominence is given to Himself as the Well-spring of all satisfaction. He had in Galilee invited all the WEARY AND HEAVY-LADEN of the human family to come under His wing and they should find REST (Matthew 11:28), which is just the same deep want, and the same profound relief of it, under another and equally grateful figure. He had in the synagogue of Capernaum (John 6:1-71), announced Himself, in every variety of form, as "the BREAD of Life," and as both able and authorized to appease the "HUNGER," and quench the "THIRST," of all that apply to Him. There is, and there can be, nothing beyond that here. But what was on all those occasions uttered in private, or addressed to a provincial audience, is here sounded forth in the streets of the great religious metropolis, and in language of surpassing majesty, simplicity, and grace. It is just Yahweh's ancient proclamation now sounding forth through human flesh, "Ho, EVERY ONE THAT THIRSTETH, COME YE TO THE WATERS, AND HE THAT HATH NO MONEY!" (Isaiah 55:1). In this light, we have but two alternatives; either to say with Caiaphas of Him that uttered such words, "He is guilty of death," or, falling down before Him, to exclaim with Thomas, "MY LORD AND MY GOD!"


Verse 38

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The words, "as the Scripture hath said," refer, of course, to the promise in the latter part of the verse-yet not so much to any particular passage as to the general strain of Messianic prophecy, as Isaiah 58:11; Joel 3:18; Zechariah 14:8; Ezekiel 47:1-12; in most of which passages the idea is that of waters issuing from beneath the Temple, to which our Lord compares Himself and those who believe in Him. The expression "out of his belly" means, out of his inner man, his soul, as in Proverbs 20:27. On the "rivers of living water," see the notes at John 4:13-14. There, however, the figure is "a fountain;" here it is "rivers." It refers primarily to the copiousness, but indirectly also to the diffusiveness, of this living water to the good of others.


Verse 39

(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

(But this spake he of the Spirit - Who, by His direct Personal Agency, opens up these fountains, these rivers of living water, in the human spirit (John 3:6), and by his indwelling in the renewed soul ensures their of living water, in the human spirit (John 3:6), and by his indwelling in the renewed soul ensures their unfailing flow.

Which they that believe on him should receive [or 'were about to receive' emellon (G3195) lambanein (G2983)]: for the Holy Spirit was not yet [given]. Beyond all doubt the word "given," or some similar word, is the right supplement here, if we are to insert any supplement at all. In John 16:7 the Holy Spirit is represented not only as the gift of Christ, but a Gift the communication of which was dependent upon His own departure to the Father. Now, as Christ was not yet gone, so the Holy Spirit was not yet given, "because that Jesus was not yet glorified."

Because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) This is one of those explanatory remarks of our Evangelist himself which constitute a marked feature of this Fourth Gospel. The word "glorified" is here used advisedly, to teach the reader not only that the departure of Christ to the Father was indispensable to the giving of the Spirit, but that this illustrious Gift, direct from the hands of the ascended Saviour, was God's intimation to the world that He whom it had cast out, crucified, and slain, was "His Elect, in whom His soul delighted," and that it was through the smiting of that Rock that the waters of the Spirit-for which the Church was waiting, and with pomp at the feast of Tabernacles proclaiming its expectation-had gushed forth upon a thirsty world.


Verse 40

Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

Many of the people [`the multitude' ek (G1537) tou (G3588) ochlou (G3793)], when they heard this saying. The true reading appears to be 'the' or 'His sayings' [ toon (Greek #3588) logoon (Greek #3056)]; referring not to the last one only, but the whole strain of His discourse, terminating with such a glorious proclamation.

Said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. The only wonder is they did not all say it. "But their minds were blinded."


Verse 41

Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

Others said, This is the Christ. See the note at John 1:21.

But some [rather, 'others' alloi (G243)] said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? [ mee (Greek #3361) gar (Greek #1063) ... ho (Greek #3588) Christos (Greek #5547) erchetai (Greek #2064)?] - 'Doth the Christ then,' or 'What then! Is the Christ to come out of Galilee?'


Verse 42

Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

Hath not the Scripture said, That [`the'] Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? We accept this spontaneous testimony to our David-descended, Bethlehem-born Saviour. Had those who gave it made the inquiry which the case demanded, they would have found that Jesus "came out of Galilee" and "out of Bethlehem," both alike in fulfillment of prophecy as in point of fact. (Matthew 2:23; Matthew 4:13-16.)


Verse 43

So there was a division among the people because of him.

So there was a division among the people [`the multitude' en (G1722) too (G3588) ochloo (G3793)], because of him.


Verse 44

And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

And some of them (the more envenomed of those who had taken the adverse side of the question), would have taken him [or 'were minded to take Him' ethelon (G2309) piasai (G4084), but-or 'yet' alla (G243)], no man laid hands on him. See the note at John 7:30.


Verse 45

Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees - who had sent them to seize Him (John 7:32), and who would appear from the sequel to have been sitting in Council when the officers returned.

And they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? - already thirsting for their Victim, and thinking it an easy matter to seize and bring Him.

The officers answered, Never man spake like this man - Noble testimony of unsophisticated men! Doubtless they were strangers to the profound intent of Christ's teaching, but there was that in it which, by its mysterious grandeur and transparent purity and grace, held them spell-bound. No doubt it was of God that they should so feel, that their arm might be paralyzed, as Christ's "hour was not come;" but even in human teaching there has sometimes been felt such a divine power, that men who came to kill the speaker have confessed to all that they were unmanned.


Verse 46

The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

No JFB commentary on this verse.


Verse 47

Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? In their own servants this seemed intolerable.


Verse 48

Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? We are expressly told that "many of them" did, including Nicodemus and Joseph, but not one of these had openly "confessed Him" (John 12:42); and this appeal must have stung such of them as heard it to the quick.


Verse 49

But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

But this people , [ ho (Greek #3588) ochlos (Greek #3793) houtos (Greek #3778)] - rather, 'this multitude,' this ignorant rabble. Pity these important distinctions between the different classes, so marked in the original of this Gospel, should not be also in our version.

Who knoweth not the law - meaning, by school-learning, which only perverted the law by human additions,

Are cursed - a kind of swearing at them, out of mingled rage and scorn.


Verse 50

Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

Nicodemus - reappearing to us after nearly three years' absence from the history, as a member of the council, then sitting, as would appear, "saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)"


Verse 51

Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

Doth our law judge any man before it hear him - rather, 'except it first hear from him' [ ean (Greek #1437) mee (Greek #3361) akousee (Greek #191) par' (Greek #3844) autou (Greek #846) proteron (Greek #4386)],

And know what he doeth? - a very proper but all too tame rejoinder, and evidently more from pressure of conscience than any design to pronounce positively in the case. The feebleness of his defense of Jesus, as Webster and Wilkinson well remark, presents a strong contrast to the fierceness of the rejoinders of the Pharisees.


Verse 52

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? - in this taunt expressing their scorn of the party. Even a word of caution, or the gentlest proposal to inquire before condemning, was with them equivalent to an espousal of the hated One.

Search, and look: for, [ kai (G2532) ide (G2396) hoti (G3754), or better, 'Search and see that'] out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. Strange! For had not Jonah, of Gathhepher, and even Elijah, so far as appears, arisen out of Galilee? and it may be more, of whom we have no record. But rage is blind, and deep prejudice distorts all facts. Yet it looks as if they were afraid of losing Nicodemus, when they take the trouble to reason the point at all. It was just because he had "searched," as they advised him, that he went the length even that he did.


Verse 53

And every man went unto his own house.

And every man went unto his own house - finding their plot could not at that time be carried into effect. Is your rage thus impotent, O ye chief priests? N.B.-On the genuineness of this verse, and of the first eleven verses of the following chapter, we reserve our observations until we come to that chapter.

Remarks:

(1) The springs of judgment and of action revealed in the first part of this chapter are so minutely and delicately natural as to defy invention, and to verify the narrative not only as a whole but in all its features. Here are Jesus and "His brethren" according to the flesh: on the principles somewhat largely explained on Luke 4:24, with Remark 2 at the close of that section, they have great difficulty in recognizing His claims at all; but His present procedure-so different from all that they presume it ought to be and naturally would be in the great predicted Messiah-stumbles them most of all. 'Surely One making such claims should at once and in the most open manner lay them before the public authorities at the capital: but instead of this, Thou hast been absent from Jerusalem for a very unusual time; and now that the last of the yearly festivals is at hand, no symptoms appear of a purpose to attend it: how is this?' The answer to these insinuations is in singular keeping with our Lord's habitual estimate of His own position, and the mingled caution and courage with which He laid and carried out all His plans; while the indifference which He stamps upon their movements, and the ground on which He regards them as of no consequence at all-this bears the stamp of entire historical reality.

But most of all, perhaps, His going up noiselessly by Himself, after the departure of "His brethren;" and not, as usual, before the commencement of the feast, nor until toward the midst of it; and then-after much speculation what had become of Him, and whether He would venture to appear at all-His proceeding to teach in the temple-court, and that so marvelously as to secure for Himself a footing not to be disturbed, insomuch that even the officers sent to seize Him found themselves unable, through the riveting effect of His teaching, to lay a hand upon Him; and then the rage of the ecclesiastics at this, and-while ascribing it all to a want of learned insight which, if they had been "rulers or Pharisees," they would not have shown-finding, to their mortification, a ruler and a Pharisee of their own number, one sitting beside them, taking the officers' part and rebuking their indecent desire to condemn without a trial: these are details which carry their own truth to the hearts of all readers not blinded by prejudice.

(2) When Jesus proclaimed, in such ravishing terms, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink," we may well ask, Is there any man who does not thirst? Satisfaction-if that be the word which covers all the cravings of our nature-is indeed as different as possible in the estimation of different men. With some the gratification of the lusts of the flesh is all the satisfaction desired; others crave domestic and intellectual enjoyment; a third class find the approval of conscience indispensable to their comfort, but, unable to come up to their own standard of character and excellence, are inwardly restless; while a fourth and smaller class groan under felt sinfulness, and-conscious that peace with God and delight in His law after the inward man are the great necessity of their nature and condition, but that these are just what they want and cannot reach-are wretched accordingly.

But to one and all of these-embracing every soul of man-Jesus here speaks; though to each His proclamation would be differently understood. The first class He would raise from a sensual to spiritual satisfaction-as from the hollow to the real, from wormwood to honey; the second class He would advance from what is good to what is better, from meat that perisheth-even in its most refined forms-to that which endureth to everlasting life; the third class He would draw upwards from toilsome and fruitless efforts to pacify an uneasy conscience by mere attempted obedience to the law, and when they have come to the fourth stage, of conscious inability to keep the law, and wretchedness for want of peace with God, He would then attract and invite them to Himself, as the Wellspring of complete and eternal Satisfaction. How He was so He does but partially explain here; but the proclamation of such an astonishing truth was itself enough in the meantime; and those whom its transcendant grace might win over to attach themselves cordially to Him would immediately find in their own experience how true it was, and very soon-on the Pentecostal descent of the Spirit-discover the secret of their satisfaction more in detail. But,

(3) When the Evangelist says that by the "rivers of living water which were to flow out of the belly of them that believed in Him," Jesus meant "the Spirit, which believers were about to receive: for the Holy Spirit had not then been given; because Jesus was not yet glorified" - he expresses the great evangelical truth, that it is the Holy Spirit who opens up in the souls of them that believe in Jesus the fountain of a new life, and by His indwelling presence and ever-quickening virtue within them, causes rivers of living water to flow forth from this internal fountain-in other words, makes exuberant and heavenly satisfaction to spring up and flow forth from within their own nature. But whereas He says that this glorious gift of the Spirit was so dependent upon the "glorification of Jesus," that until the one occurred the other could not be looked for-this expresses these further and most precious truths, that the formal and judicial acceptance of Christ's work done on earth by His Father in heaven behoved to take place before the Spirit could be permitted to carry it into effect; that the actual descent of the Spirit at Pentecost was the proclamation to the world that His Father had taken His work off His hands, so to speak, as a "finished" work; and that now the Spirit, in opening up the springs of this new and enduring life in the souls of them that believed in Jesus, was but carrying into effect in men what Christ did on earth for men, was but putting them in personal possession and actual experience of the virtue of Christ's work-even as Jesus Himself afterward said in express terms to the Eleven at the Supper-table, "He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it" - or 'make it known' [ anangelei (Greek #312)] "unto you" (see the notes at John 16:14-16). Thus, as Jesus glorified the Father, so the Spirit glorifies the Son; and by one high, harmonious work of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are sinners saved.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 7:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-7.html. 1871-8.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, September 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
ADVERTISEMENT
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology