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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
John 7

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

After these things (μετα ταυταmeta tauta). John‘s favourite general note of the order of events. Bernard conceives that the events in John 7:1-14 follow John 7:15-24 and both follow chapter 5, not chapter 6, a wholly needless readjustment of the narrative to suit a preconceived theory. John simply supplements the narrative in the Synoptics at points deemed important. He now skips the period of withdrawal from Galilee of about six months (from passover to tabernacles).

Walked (περιεπατειperiepatei). Imperfect active, a literal picture of the itinerant ministry of Jesus. He has returned to Galilee from the region of Caesarea Philippi. He had been avoiding Galilee as well as Judea for six months.

For he would not walk in Judea
(ου γαρ ητελεν εν τηι Ιουδαιαιou gar ēthelen en tēi Ioudaiāi). Imperfect active of τελωthelō picturing the attitude of refusal to work in Judea after the events in chapter 5 (perhaps a year and a half before).

Sought to kill
(εζητουν αποκτειναιezētoun apokteinai). Imperfect active again, progressive attitude, had been seeking to kill him as shown in John 5:18 where the same words occur.


Verse 2

The feast of tabernacles (η σκηνοπηγιαhē skēnopēgia). Only New Testament example of this word (σκηνηskēnē tent, πηγνυμιpēgnumi to fasten as in Hebrews 8:2). Technical name of this feast (Deuteronomy 16:13; Leviticus 23:34, Leviticus 23:43). It began on the 15th of the month Tisri (end of September) and lasted seven days and finally eight days in post-exilic times (Nehemiah 8:18). It was one of the chief feasts of the Jews.


Verse 3

His brethren (οι αδελποι αυτουhoi adelphoi autou). “His brothers” (half-brothers actually), who “were not believing on him” (ουδε επιστευον εις αυτονoude episteuon eis auton) as stated in John 7:5. They were hostile to the Messianic assumptions of Jesus, a natural attitude as one can well see, though at first they were friendly (John 2:12).

Depart hence (μεταβητι εντευτενmetabēthi enteuthen). Second aorist active imperative of μεταβαινωmetabainō to pass to another place (John 5:24; John 13:1). It was impertinence on their part.

That thy disciples also may behold
(ινα και οι ματηται σου τεωρησουσινhina kai hoi mathētai sou theōrēsousin). Final clause with ιναhina and the future active indicative of τεωρεωtheōreō Jesus had many disciples in Judea at the start (John 2:23; John 4:1) and had left it because of the jealousy of the Pharisees over his success (John 4:3). The brothers may have heard of the great defection in the synagogue in Capernaum (John 6:66), but the advice is clearly ironical.

Which thou doest
(α ποιειςha poieis). To what works they refer by this language we do not know. But Jesus had been away from Galilee for some months and from Judea for a year and a half. Perhaps the brothers of Jesus may actually have been eager to rush Jesus into the hostile atmosphere of Jerusalem again.


Verse 4

In secret (εν κρυπτωιen kruptōi). See Matthew 6:4, Matthew 6:6 for this phrase.

Openly (εν παρρησιαιen parrēsiāi). “In public” (παν ρησιςpān class="translit"> rēsis telling it all). See Matthew 8:32. Common in John (John 7:13, John 7:26; John 10:24; John 16:25, John 16:29; John 18:20; here again contrasted with en kruptōi). It is wise advice in the abstract that a public teacher must allow inspection of his deeds, but the motive is evil. They might get Jesus into trouble. εν κρυπτωιIf thou doest these things (Ιφ του δοεστ τεσε τινγςei tauta poieis). This condition of the first class assumes the reality of the deeds of Jesus, but the use of the condition at all throws doubt on it all as in Matthew 4:3, Matthew 4:6.

Manifest thyself
(ει ταυτα ποιειςphanerōson seauton). First aorist active imperative of πανερωσον σεαυτονphaneroō

To the world
(πανεροωtōi kosmōi). Not just to “thy disciples,” but to the public at large as at the feast of tabernacles. See John 8:26; John 14:22 for this use of τωι κοσμωιkosmos f0).


Verse 5

For even his brethren did not believe on him (ουδε γαρ οι αδελποι αυτου επιστευον εις αυτονoude gar hoi adelphoi autou episteuon eis auton). Literally, “For not even were his brothers believing on him.” Imperfect tense of πιστευωpisteuō with sad picture of the persistent refusal of the brothers of Jesus to believe in his Messianic assumptions, after the two rejections in Capernaum (Luke 4:16-31; Mark 6:1-6; Matthew 13:54-58), and also after the blasphemous accusation of being in league with Beelzebub when the mother and brothers came to take Jesus home (Mark 3:31-35; Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21). The brothers here are sarcastic.


Verse 6

My time is not yet come (ο καιρος ο εμος ουπω παρεστινho kairos ho emos oupō parestin). Only use with John 7:8 of καιροςkairos in this Gospel, elsewhere χρονοςchronos (John 5:6) or more often ωραhōra (John 2:4) “the predestined hour” (Bernard). Here καιροςkairos is the fitting or proper occasion for Christ‘s manifesting himself publicly to the authorities as Messiah as in John 7:8. At the feast of tabernacles Jesus did make such public claims (John 7:29, John 7:33; John 8:12, John 8:28, John 8:38, John 8:42, John 8:58). ΠαρεστινParestin is present active indicative of παρειμιpareimi old compound, to be by, to be present. The brothers of Jesus had the regular Jewish obligation to go up to the feast, but the precise day was a matter of indifference to them.


Verse 7

Cannot hate (ου δυναται μισεινou dunatai misein). Because of “the law of moral correspondence” (Westcott), often in John for “inherent impossibility” (Vincent). The brothers of Jesus here belong to the unbelieving world (κοσμοςkosmos) which is unable to love Jesus (John 15:18, John 15:23, John 15:24) and which Jesus had already exposed (“testify,” μαρτυρωmarturō John 5:42, John 5:45). This unbelieving “world” resented the exposure (John 3:19, cf. John 18:37).


Verse 8

Go ye up to the feast (υμεις αναβητε εις την εορτηνhumeis anabēte eis tēn heortēn). The emphatic word by position is υμειςhumeis (ye) in contrast with εγωegō (I). Second aorist active imperative of αναβαινωanabainō old and common verb for going up to the feast (John 2:13) or anywhere. Take your own advice (John 7:3).

I go not up yet (εγω ουπω αναβαινωegō oupō anabainō). So Westcott and Hort after B W L (Neutral) while ουou (not) is read by Aleph D, African Latin, Vulgate, Coptic (Western). Some of the early Greek Fathers were puzzled over the reading ουκouk (I go not up) as contradictory to John 7:10 wherein it is stated that Jesus did go up. Almost certainly ουκouk (not) is correct and is not really contradictory when one notes in John 7:10 that the manner of Christ‘s going up is precisely the opposite of the advice of the brothers in John 7:3, John 7:4. “Not yet” (ουπωoupō) is genuine before “fulfilled” (πεπληρωταιpeplērōtai perfect passive indicative of πληροωplēroō). One may think, if he will, that Jesus changed his plans after these words, but that is unnecessary. He simply refused to fall in with his brothers‘ sneering proposal for a grand Messianic procession with the caravan on the way to the feast. He will do that on the journey to the last passover.


Verse 9

He abode still in Galilee (εμεινεν εν τηι Γαλιλαιαιemeinen en tēi Galilaiāi). No “still” (ετιeti) in the Greek text. The constative aorist active indicative εμεινενemeinen covers a period of some days.


Verse 10

Were gone up (ανεβησανanebēsan). Second aorist active indicative of αναβαινωanabainō not past perfect though the action is antecedent in fact to the following τοτε ανεβηtote anebē The Greek does not always draw the precise distinction between the merely punctiliar (aorist) antecedent action and the past perfect (John 2:9; John 4:45).

He also (τοτε αυτοςtote autos). As well as the brothers.

Not publicly
(ου πανερωςou phanerōs). Against their advice in John 7:4, using πανερωσονphanerōson (the very same word stem).

But as it were in secret
(αλλα ως εν κρυπτωιalla hōs en kruptōi). “Not with the usual caravan of pilgrims” (Bernard). Just the opposite of their advice in John 7:4 with the same phrase εν πανερωιen phanerōi Plainly Jesus purposely went contrary to the insincere counsel of his brothers as to the manner of his Messianic manifestation. This secrecy concerned solely the journey to Jerusalem, not his public teaching there after his arrival (John 7:26, John 7:28; John 18:20).


Verse 11

The Jews (οι Ιουδαιοιhoi Ioudaioi). The hostile leaders in Jerusalem, not the Galilean crowds (John 7:12) nor the populace in Jerusalem (John 7:25).

Sought (εζητουνezētoun). Imperfect active of ζητεωzēteō “were seeking,” picture of the attitude of the Jewish leaders toward Jesus who had not yet appeared in public at the feast. In fact he had avoided Jerusalem since the collision in chapter 5. The leaders clearly wished to attack him.

Where is he?
(που εστιν εκεινοσpou estin ekeinos). “Where is that one? (emphatic use of εκεινοςekeinos as in John 1:8; John 9:12). Jesus had been at two feasts during his ministry (passover in John 2:12.; possibly another passover in John 5:1), but he had avoided the preceding passover (John 6:4; John 7:1). The leaders in Jerusalem had kept in touch with Christ‘s work in Galilee. They anticipate a crisis in Jerusalem.


Verse 12

Much murmuring (γογγυσμος πολυςgoggusmos polus). This Ionic onomatopoetic word is from γογγυζωgogguzō for which verb see John 6:41, John 6:61; John 7:32, for secret displeasure (Acts 6:1) or querulous discontent (Philemon 2:14).

Among the multitudes (εν τοις οχλοιςen tois ochlois). “The multitudes” literally, plural here only in John. These different groups were visitors from Galilee and elsewhere and were divided in their opinion of Jesus as the Galileans had already become (John 6:66).

A good man
(αγατοςagathos). Pure in motive. See Mark 10:17.; Romans 5:7 (absolute sense of God). Superior to δικαιοςdikaios Jesus had champions in these scattered groups in the temple courts.

Not so, but he leadeth the multitude astray
(ου αλλα πλαναι τον οχλονou class="normal greek">πλαναω — alla planāi ton ochlon). Sharp clash in the crowd. Present active indicative of εκεινος ο πλανοςplanaō to go astray (Matthew 18:12.), like our “planets,” to lead others astray (Matthew 24:4, Matthew 24:5, Matthew 24:11, etc.). In the end the rulers will call Jesus “that deceiver” (ekeinos ho planos Matthew 27:63). The Jewish leaders have a following among the crowds as is seen (John 7:31.).


Verse 13

Howbeit (μεντοιmentoi). See John 4:27 for this compound particle (μεν τοιmen class="normal greek">ελαλει — toi), by way of exception, but yet.

Spake (λαλεωelalei). Imperfect active of ουδεις παρρησιαιlaleō “was speaking,” picturing the whispering or secret talk (no man openly, ενoudeis parrēsiāi). Best MSS. do not have παρρησιαιen here with ενparrēsiāi (locative or instrumental case of manner) as in John 7:26; John 10:24; John 11:54, but παρρησιαιen genuine in John 7:4; Colossians 2:15. This adverbial use of δια τον ποβον των Ιουδαιωνparrēsiāi is common enough (Mark 8:37).

For fear of the Jews
(dia ton phobon tōn Ioudaiōn). Objective genitive. The crowds really feared the Jewish leaders and evidently did not wish to involve Jesus or themselves. See the same phrase and attitude on the part of the disciples in John 19:38; John 20:19.


Verse 14

But when it was now in the midst of the feast (ηδη δε της εορτης μεσουσηςēdē de tēs heortēs mesousēs). Literally, “But feast being already midway.” Genitive absolute, present active participle, of μεσοωmesoō old verb from μεσοςmesos in lxx, here only in N.T. The feast of tabernacles was originally seven days, but a last day (John 7:37; Leviticus 23:36) was added, making eight in all.

And taught (και εδιδασκενkai edidasken). Imperfect active of διδασκωdidaskō probably inchoative, “began to teach.” He went up (ανεβηanebē effective aorist, arrived). The leaders had asked (John 7:11) where Jesus was. There he was now before their very eyes.


Verse 15

Marvelled (εταυμαζονethaumazon). Picturesque imperfect active of ταυμαζωthaumazō “were wondering.” After all the bluster of the rulers (John 7:13) here was Jesus teaching without interruption.

Knoweth letters (γραμματα οιδενgrammata oiden). Second perfect active indicative used as present. ΓραμματαGrammata old word from γραπωgraphō to write, is originally the letters formed (Galatians 6:11), then a letter or epistle (Acts 28:21), then the sacred Scriptures (John 5:47; 2 Timothy 3:15), then learning like Latin litterae and English letters (Acts 26:24; John 7:15). “The marvel was that Jesus showed Himself familiar with the literary methods of the time, which were supposed to be confined to the scholars of the popular teachers” (Westcott).

Having never learned
(μη μεματηκωςmē memathēkōs). Perfect active participle of μαντανωmanthanō with μηmē the usual negative (subjective) with the participle. It is not the wisdom of Jesus that disconcerted the Jewish leaders, but his learning (Marcus Dods). And yet Jesus had not attended either of the rabbinical theological schools in Jerusalem (Hillel, Shammai). He was not a rabbi in the technical sense, only a carpenter, and yet he surpassed the professional rabbis in the use of their own methods of debate. It is sometimes true today that unschooled men in various walks of life forge ahead of men of lesser gifts with school training. See the like puzzle of the Sanhedrin concerning Peter and John (Acts 4:13). This is not an argument against education, but it takes more than education to make a real man. Probably this sneer at Jesus came from some of the teachers in the Jerusalem seminaries. “Christ was in the eyes of the Jews a merely self-taught enthusiast” (Westcott).


Verse 16

Mine (εμηemē). Possessive pronoun, “not mine in origin.” Jesus denies that he is self-taught, though not a schoolman.

But his that sent me (αλλα του πεμπσαντος μεalla tou pempsantos me). Genitive case of the articular participle (first aorist active of πεμπωpempō). His teaching is not self-originated nor is it the product of the schools (see the Talmud in contrast with the New Testament). Jesus often in John uses this idiom of “the one who sent me” of the Father (John 4:34; John 5:23, John 5:24, John 5:30, John 5:37; John 6:38-40, John 6:44; John 7:16, John 7:18, John 7:28, etc.). The bold claim is here made by Jesus that his teaching is superior in character and source to that of the rabbis.


Verse 17

If any man willeth to do (εαν τις τεληι ποιεινean tis thelēi poiein). Condition of third class with εανean and present active subjunctive τεληιthelēi not used as a mere auxiliary verb for the future “will do,” but with full force of τελωthelō to will, to wish. See the same use of τελωthelō in John 5:40 “and yet ye are not willing to come” (και ου τελετε ελτεινkai ou thelete elthein).

He shall know (γνωσεταιgnōsetai). Future middle indicative of γινωσκωginōskō Experimental knowledge from willingness to do God‘s will. See this same point by Jesus in John 5:46; John 18:37. There must be moral harmony between man‘s purpose and God‘s will. “If there be no sympathy there can be no understanding” (Westcott). Atheists of all types have no point of contact for approach to the knowledge of Christ. This fact does not prove the non-existence of God, but simply their own isolation. They are out of tune with the Infinite. For those who love God it is also true that obedience to God‘s will brings richer knowledge of God. Agnostic and atheistic critics are disqualified by Jesus as witnesses to his claims.

Of God
(εκ του τεουek tou theou). Out of God as source.

From myself
(απ εμαυτουap' emautou). Instead of from God.


Verse 18

From himself (απ εαυτουaph' heautou). This kind of teacher is self-taught, pushes his own ideas, presses his own claims for position and glory, “blows his own horn” as we say. Jesus is the other type of teacher, seeks the glory of the one who sent him, whose herald and ambassador he is.

The same (ουτοςhoutos). “This one.”

Unrighteousness
(αδικιαadikia). Old word from αδικοςadikos (αa privative and δικηdikē). Here in contrast with “true” (αλητηςalēthēs). See 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 13:6 for the deceit of unrighteousness in contrast with truth as here.


Verse 19

And yet (καιkai). Clear use of καιkai in the adversative sense of “and yet” or “but.” They marvelled at Christ‘s “ignorance” and boasted of their own knowledge of the law of Moses. And yet they violated that law by not practising it.

Why seek ye to kill me? (Τι με ζητειτε αποκτειναιTi me zēteite apokteinai). A sudden and startling question as an illustration of their failure to do the law of Moses. Jesus had previously known (John 5:39, John 5:45-47) that the Jews really rejected the teaching of Moses while professing to believe it. On that very occasion they had sought to kill him (John 5:18), the very language used here. Apparently he had not been to Jerusalem since then. He undoubtedly alludes to their conduct then and charges them with the same purpose now.


Verse 20

The multitude (ο οχλοςho ochlos). Outside of Jerusalem (the Galilean crowd as in John 7:11.) and so unfamiliar with the effort to kill Jesus recorded in John 5:18. It is important in this chapter to distinguish clearly the several groups like the Jewish leaders (John 7:13, John 7:15, John 7:25, John 7:26, John 7:30, John 7:32, etc.), the multitude from Galilee and elsewhere (John 7:10-13, John 7:20, John 7:31, John 7:40, John 7:49), the common people of Jerusalem (John 7:25), the Roman soldiers (John 7:45.).

Thou hast a devil (δαιμονιον εχειςdaimonion echeis). “Demon,” of course, as always in the Gospels. These pilgrims make the same charge against Jesus made long ago by the Pharisees in Jerusalem in explanation of the difference between John and Jesus (Matthew 11:18; Luke 7:33). It is an easy way to make a fling like that. “He is a monomaniac labouring under a hallucination that people wish to kill him” (Dods).


Verse 21

One work (εν εργονhen ergon). Direct allusion to the healing of the impotent man when in Jerusalem before (John 5:1.). He had wrought others before (John 2:23; John 4:45), but this one on the Sabbath caused the rulers to try to kill Jesus (John 5:18). Some wondered then, others had murder in their hearts. This crowd here is ignorant.


Verse 22

For this cause (δια τουτοdia touto). Some would take this phrase with the preceding verb ταυμαζετεthaumazete (ye marvel for this cause).

Hath given (δεδωκενdedōken). Present active indicative of διδωμιdidōmi (permanent state).

Not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers
(ουχ οτι εκ του Μωυσεως εστιν αλλ εκ των πατερωνouch hoti ek tou Mōuseōs estin all' ek tōn paterōn). A parenthesis to explain that circumcision is older in origin than Moses.

And on the sabbath ye circumcise
(και εν σαββατωι περιτεμνετεkai en sabbatōi peritemnete). Adversative use of καιkai = and yet as in John 7:19. That is to say, the Jews keep one law (circumcision) by violating another (on the Sabbath, the charge against him in chapter 5, healing on the Sabbath).


Verse 23

That the law of Moses may not be broken (ινα μη λυτηι ο νομος Μωυσεωςhina mē luthēi ho nomos Mōuseōs). Purpose clause with negative μηmē and first aorist passive subjunctive of λυωluō They are punctilious about their Sabbath rules and about circumcision on the eighth day. When they clash, they drop the Sabbath rule and circumcise.

Are ye wroth with me? (εμοι χολατεemoi cholāte). Old word from χοληcholē (bile, gall), possibly from χλοηchloē or χλωροςchlōros (yellowish green). Only here in N.T. So to be mad. With dative. Vivid picture of bitter spleen against Jesus for healing a man on the sabbath when they circumcise on the Sabbath.

A man every whit whole
(ολον αντρωπον υγιηholon anthrōpon hugiē). Literally, “a whole (ολονholon) man (all the man) sound (υγιηhugiē well),” not just one member of the body mended.


Verse 24

According to appearance (κατ οπσινkat' opsin). And so, superficially. See John 11:44. Also not “righteous” (δικαιανdikaian) judgment.


Verse 25

Some therefore of them of Jerusalem (ουν τινες εκ των Ιεροσολυμειτωνoun tines ek tōn Ierosolumeitōn). The people of the city in contrast to the multitude of pilgrims at the feast. They form a separate group. The word is made from ΙεροσολυμαIerosoluma and occurs in Josephus and 4Maccabees. In N.T. only here and Mark 1:5. These Jerusalem people knew better than the pilgrims the designs of the rulers (Vincent).

Is not this? (ουχ ουτος εστινouch houtos estin). Expecting affirmative answer. Clearly they were not as familiar with the appearance of Jesus as the Galilean multitude (Dods).

They seek
(ζητουσινzētousin). The plural refers to the group of leaders already present (John 7:15) to whom the Jerusalem crowd probably pointed. They knew of their threats to kill Jesus (John 5:18).


Verse 26

They say nothing unto him (ουδεν αυτοι λεγουσινouden autoi legousin). But only make sneering comments about him (John 7:16) in spite of his speaking “openly” (παρρησιαιparrēsiāi for which word see John 7:13; John 18:20) before all. It was sarcasm about the leaders, though an element of surprise on the part of “these shrewd townsmen” (Bernard) may have existed also.

Can it be that the rulers indeed know (μη ποτε αλητως εγνωσιν οι αρχοντεςmē pote alēthōs egnōsin hoi archontes). Negative answer expected by μη ποτεmē pote and yet there is ridicule of the rulers in the form of the question. See a like use of μη ποτεmē pote in Luke 3:15, though nowhere else in John. ΕγνωσανEgnōsan (second aorist ingressive active indicative of γινωσκωginōskō) may refer to the examination of Jesus by these rulers in John 5:19. and means, “Did they come to know or find out” (and so hold now)?

That this is the Christ
(οτι ουτος εστιν ο Χριστοςhoti houtos estin ho Christos). The Messiah of Jewish hope.


Verse 27

Howbeit (αλλαalla). Clearly adversative here.

This man (τουτονtouton). Possibly contemptuous use of ουτοςhoutos as may be true in John 7:25, John 7:26.

Whence he is
(ποτεν εστινpothen estin). The Galilean Jews knew the family of Jesus (John 6:42), but they knew Jesus only as from Nazareth, not as born in Bethlehem (John 7:42).

When the Christ cometh
(ο Χριστος οταν ερχηταιho Christos hotan erchētai). Prolepsis of ο Χριστοςho Christos and indefinite temporal clause with οτανhotan and the present middle subjunctive ερχηταιerchētai rather than the more usual second aorist active ελτηιelthēi as in John 7:31, a trifle more picturesque. This is a piece of popular theology. “Three things come wholly unexpected - Messiah, a godsend, and a scorpion” (Sanhedrin 97a). The rulers knew the birthplace to be Bethlehem (John 7:42; Matthew 2:5.), but some even expected the Messiah to drop suddenly from the skies as Satan proposed to Jesus to fall down from the pinnacle of the temple. The Jews generally expected a sudden emergence of the Messiah from concealment with an anointing by Elijah (Apoc. of Bar. XXIX. 3; 2Esdr. 7:28; 13:32; Justin Martyr, Tryph. 110).


Verse 28

And I am not come of myself (και απ εμαυτου ουκ εληλυταkai ap' emautou ouk elēlutha). ΚαιKai here = “and yet.” Jesus repeats the claim of John 7:17 and also in John 5:30; John 8:28; John 12:49; John 14:10.

Whom ye know not (ον υμεις ουκ οιδατεhon humeis ouk oidate). Jesus passes by a controversy over the piece of popular theology to point out their ignorance of God the Father who sent him. He tersely agrees that they know something of him. Jesus says of these Jews that they know not God as in John 8:19, John 8:55.


Verse 29

I know him (εγω οιδα αυτονegō oida auton). In contrast to the ignorance of these people. See the same words in John 8:55 and the same claim in John 17:25; Matthew 11:27; Luke 10:22 (the Johannine aerolite). “These three words contain the unique claim of Jesus, which is pressed all through the chapters of controversy with the Jews” (Bernard). Jesus is the Interpreter of God to men (John 1:18).

And he sent me (κακεινος με απεστειλενkakeinos me apesteilen). First aorist active indicative of αποστελλωapostellō the very verb used of Jesus when he sent forth the twelve (Matthew 10:5) and used by Jesus again of himself in John 17:3. He is the Father‘s Apostle to men.


Verse 30

They sought therefore (εζητουν ουνezētoun oun). Imperfect active of ζητεωzēteō inchoative or conative, they began to seek. Either makes sense. The subject is naturally some of the Jerusalemites (Westcott) rather than some of the leaders (Bernard).

To take him (αυτον πιασαιauton piasai). First aorist active infinitive, Doric form from πιαζωpiazō from the usual πιεζωpiezō occasionally so in the papyri, but πιαζωpiazō always in N.T. except Luke 6:38.

And
(καιkai). Here = “but.”

Laid his hand
(επεβαλεν την χειραepebalen tēn cheira). Second aorist active indicative of επιβαλλωepiballō to cast upon. Old and common idiom for arresting one to make him a prisoner (Matthew 26:50). See repetition in John 7:44.

His hour
(η ωρα αυτουhē hōra autou). In John 13:1 we read that “the hour” had come, but that was “not yet” (ουπωoupō). “John is at pains to point out at every point that the persecution and death of Jesus followed a predestined course” (Bernard), as in John 2:4; John 7:6, John 7:8; John 8:10; John 10:39; John 13:1, etc.

Was not yet come
(ουπω εληλυτειoupō elēluthei). Past perfect active of ερχομαιerchomai as John looks back on the story.


Verse 31

When the Christ shall come (ο Χριστος οταν ελτηιho Christos hotan elthēi). Proleptic position of ο Χριστοςho Christos again as in John 7:27, but ελτηιelthēi with οτανhotan rather than ερχηταιerchētai calling more attention to the consummation (whenever he does come).

Will he do? (μη ποιησειmē poiēsei). Future active indicative of ποιεωpoieō with μηmē (negative answer expected). Jesus had won a large portion of the pilgrims (εκ του οχλου πολλοιek tou ochlou polloi) either before this day or during this controversy. The use of επιστευσανepisteusan (ingressive aorist active) looks as if many came to believe at this point. These pilgrims had watched closely the proceedings.

Than those which
(ωνhōn). One must supply the unexpressed antecedent τουτωνtoutōn in the ablative case after πλειοναpleiona (more). Then the neuter plural accusative relative αha (referring to σημειαsēmeia signs) is attracted to the ablative case of the pronominal antecedent τουτωνtoutōn (now dropped out).

Hath done
(εποιησενepoiēsen). First aorist active indicative of ποιεωpoieō a timeless constative aorist summing up all the miracles of Jesus so far.


Verse 32

The Pharisees (οι Παρισαιοιhoi Pharisaioi). This group of the Jewish rulers (John 7:11, John 7:15, John 7:25.) was particularly hostile to Christ, though already the Sadducees had become critical (Matthew 16:6) and they join here (οι αρχιερειςhoi archiereis the chief priests being Sadducees) in determining to silence Jesus by bringing him before the Sanhedrin. They had heard the whispered talk about Jesus before he arrived (John 7:12.) and still more now.

Heard the multitude murmuring (ηκουσαν του οχλου γογγυζοντοςēkousan tou ochlou gogguzontos). First aorist active indicative of ακουωakouō with the genitive case and the descriptive participle of the vivid onomatopoetic verb γογγυζωgogguzō (John 7:12) now grown louder like the hum of bees. It was the defense of Jesus by a portion of the crowd (John 7:31) that irritated the Pharisees. Here the Pharisees take the initiative and enlist the Sadducees in the Sanhedrin (for this combination see John 7:45; John 11:47, John 11:57; Matthew 21:45; Matthew 27:62, the organized court) to send “officers” (υπηρεταςhupēretas) “to take him” (ινα πιασωσιν αυτονhina piasōsin auton final clause with ιναhina and first aorist active subjunctive of πιαζωpiazō for which verb see John 7:30). For υπηρεταςhupēretas (temple police here) see John 7:45; John 18:3, John 18:12, John 18:22; John 19:6; Acts 5:22, Acts 5:26. For the word see Matthew 5:25; Luke 1:2, “an under rower” (υπο ερετηςhupo class="translit"> eretēs), any assistant.


Verse 33

Yet a little while (ετι χρονον μικρονeti chronon mikron). Accusative of extent of time. It was only six months to the last passover of Christ‘s ministry and he knew that the end was near.

I go unto him that sent me (υπαγω προς τον πεμπσαντα μεhupagō pros ton pempsanta me). See the same words in John 16:5. υπαγωHupagō old compound (υπο αγωhupo class="normal greek">πορευομαι — agō), has the notion of withdrawing (literally, go under). See John 16:7-10 for three words for going common in John (απερχομαιporeuomai go for a purpose, υπαγωaperchomai to go away, υπαγωhupagō to withdraw personally). Hupagō often in John of going to the Father or God (John 8:14, John 8:21; John 13:3, John 13:33, John 13:36; John 14:4, John 14:5, John 14:28; John 15:16; John 16:4, John 16:7, John 16:10, John 16:17). See John 6:21. It was enigmatic language to the hearers.


Verse 34

And shall not find me (και ουχ ευρησετε μεkai ouch heurēsete me). Future active indicative of ευρισκωheuriskō Jesus had said: “Seek and ye shall find” (Matthew 7:7), but this will be too late. Now they were seeking (John 7:30) to kill Jesus, then they will seek deliverance, but too late.

Where I am (οπου ειμι εγωhopou eimi egō). No conflict with John 7:33, but the essential eternal spiritual home of Christ “in absolute, eternal being and fellowship with the Father” (Vincent).

Ye cannot come
(υμεις ου δυναστε ελτεινhumeis ou dunasthe elthein). This fellowship was beyond the comprehension of these hostile Jews. See the same idea in John 7:36 by the Jews; John 8:21 to the Jews and then to the disciples with the addition of “now” (αρτιarti John 13:33, νυνnun in John 13:36).


Verse 35

Among themselves (προς εαυτουςpros heautous). These Jewish leaders of John 7:32 talk among themselves about what Jesus said in a spirit of contempt (this man or fellow, ουτοςhoutos).

That (οτιhoti). Almost result like οτιhoti in Matthew 8:27.

Will he go?
(μη μελλει πορευεσταιmē mellei poreuesthai). Negative answer expected in an ironical question, “Is he about to go?”

Unto the Dispersion among the Greeks
(εις την διασποραν των ελληνωνeis tēn diasporan tōn Hellēnōn). Objective genitive των ελληνωνtōn Hellēnōn (of the Greeks) translated here “among,” because it is the Dispersion of Jews among the Greeks. ΔιασποραDiaspora is from διασπειρωdiaspeirō to scatter apart (Acts 8:1, Acts 8:4). It occurs in Plutarch and is common in the lxx, in the N.T. only here, James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1. There were millions of these scattered Jews.

And teach the Greeks
(και διδασκειν τους ελληναςkai didaskein tous Hellēnas). Confessing his failure to teach the Jews in Palestine, “thus ignorantly anticipating the course Christianity took; what seemed unlikely and impossible to them became actual” (Dods).


Verse 36

What is this word? (Τις εστιν ο λογος ουτοσTis estin ho logos houtos). Puzzled and uneasy over this unintelligible saying. Even Peter is distressed over it later (John 13:3).


Verse 37

Now on the last day (εν δε τηι εσχατηι ημεραιen de tēi eschatēi hēmerāi). The eighth day which was “an holy convocation,” kept as a Sabbath (Leviticus 23:36), apparently observed as a memorial of the entrance into Canaan, hence “the great day of the feast” (τηι μεγαληι της εορτηςtēi megalēi tēs heortēs).

Stood and cried (ιστηκει και εκρασενhistēkei kai ekrasen). Past perfect active of ιστημιhistēmi used as imperfect and intransitive and first aorist active of κραζωkrazō Picture Jesus standing (linear) and suddenly crying out (punctiliar).

If any man thirst
(εαν τις διπσαιean tis dipsāi). Third class condition with εανean and present active subjunctive of διπσαωdipsaō “if any one is thirsty.” On each of the seven preceding days water was drawn in a golden pitcher from the pool of Siloam and carried in procession to the temple and offered by the priests as the singers chanted Isaiah 12:3: “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” “It is uncertain whether the libations were made upon the eighth day. If they were not made, the significant cessation of the striking rite on this one day of the feast would give a still more fitting occasion for the words” (Westcott).


Verse 38

He that believeth on me (ο πιστευων εις εμεho pisteuōn eis eme). Nominative absolute as is not uncommon.

The scripture (η γραπηhē graphē). No precise passage can be quoted, though similar idea in several (Isaiah 55:1; Isaiah 58:11; Zechariah 13:1; Zechariah 14:8; Ezekiel 47:1; Joel 3:18). Chrysostom confines it to Isaiah 28:16 by punctuation (only the nominative absolute as the Scripture).

Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water
(ποταμοι εκ της κοιλιας αυτου ρευσουσιν υδατος ζωντοςpotamoi ek tēs koilias autou reusousin hudatos zōntos). Some ancient Western writers connect πινετωpinetō of John 7:37 with ο πιστευωνho pisteuōn in John 7:38. By this arrangement αυτουautou (his) with κοιλιαςkoilias is made to refer to Christ, not to the believer. Burney argues that κοιλιαkoilia is a mistranslation of the Aramaic (fountain, not belly) and that the reference is to Ezekiel 47:1. C.C. Torrey refers to Zechariah 14:8. But the Eastern writers refer αυτουautou (his) to the believer who not only quenches in Christ his own thirst, but becomes a source of new streams for others (John 4:14). It is a difficult question and Westcott finally changed his view and held αυτουautou to refer to Christ. ευσουσινReusousin is future active indicative of ρεωreō old verb, to flow, here only in the N.T.


Verse 39

Which (ουhou). Genitive by attraction of the relative οho (accusative singular object of λαμβανεινlambanein) to the case of του πνευματοςtou pneumatos (the Spirit) the antecedent. But it is purely grammatical gender (neuter οho because of πνευμαpneuma) which we do not have in English. Even here one should say “whom,” not which, of the Spirit of God.

Were to receive (εμελλον λαμβανεινemellon lambanein). Imperfect active of μελλωmellō with the present active infinitive λαμβανεινlambanein to receive, one of the three constructions with μελλωmellō (present, aorist, or future infinitive). Literally, “whom they were about to receive,” a clear reference to the great pentecost.

For the Spirit was not yet given
(ουπω γαρ ην πνευμαoupō gar ēn pneuma). No verb for “given” in the Greek. The reference is not to the existence of the Spirit, but to the dispensation of the Spirit. This same use of ειμιeimi like παρειμιpareimi (to be present) appears in Acts 19:2 of the Spirit‘s activity. John, writing at the close of the century, inserts this comment and interpretation of the language of Jesus as an allusion to the coming of the Holy Spirit at pentecost (the Promise of the Father).

Because Jesus was not yet glorified
(οτι Ιησους ουπω εδοχαστηhoti Iēsous oupō edoxasthē). Reason for the previous statement, the pentecostal outpouring following the death of Jesus here called “glorified” (εδοχαστηedoxasthē first aorist passive indicative of δοχαζωdoxazō), used later of the death of Jesus (John 12:16), even by Jesus himself (John 12:23; John 13:31).


Verse 40

Some of the multitude (εκ του οχλουek tou ochlou). ΤινεςTines (some) to be supplied, a common Greek idiom.

Of a truth (αλητωςalēthōs). “Truly.” See John 1:47.

The prophet
(ο προπητηςho prophētēs). The one promised to Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15) and long expected. See note on John 1:21. Proof of the deep impression made by Jesus.


Verse 41

This is the Christ (ουτος εστιν ο Χριστοςhoutos estin ho Christos). These went further and dared to call Jesus the Messiah and not merely the prophet who might not be the Messiah. They said it openly.

What (γαρgar). These denied that Jesus was the Messiah and gave as their reason (γαρgar for) the fact that he came from Galilee. The use of μηmē expects a negative answer.


Verse 42

The scripture (η γραπηhē graphē). The reference is to Micah 5:2, the very passage quoted by the chief priests and scribes in response to Herod‘s inquiry (Matthew 2:6). This ignorance of the fact that Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem belongs to the Jews, not to John the author of the Gospel.


Verse 43

A division (σχισμαschisma). A clear split. See Matthew 9:16 for the word from σχιζωschizō to rend. Used again in John 9:16; John 10:19.


Verse 44

Would have taken him (ητελον πιασαι αυτονēthelon piāsai auton). Imperfect active of τελωthelō and first aorist active infinitive of πιαζωpiazō “were wishing to seize him.” See John 7:30 for a like impulse and restraint, there επεβαλεν επ αυτονepebalen ep' auton here εβαλεν επ αυτονebalen ep' auton (simple verb, not compound).


Verse 45

Why did ye not bring him? (Δια τι ουκ ηγαγετε αυτονDia ti ouk ēgagete auton). Second aorist active indicative of αγωagō Indignant outburst of the Sanhedrin (both Sadducees and Pharisees) at the failure of the (τουςtous note article here referring to John 7:32) temple police to arrest Jesus. “Apparently they were sitting in expectation of immediately questioning him” (Dods). They were stunned at this outcome.


Verse 46

Never man so spake (ουδεποτε ελαλησεν ουτως αντρωποςoudepote elalēsen houtōs anthrōpos). Police officers are not usually carried away by public speech. They had fallen under the power of Jesus “as the Galilean peasants had been impressed” (Bernard) in John 7:28. It was the words of Jesus that had so gripped these officers, not his works (John 15:24). It was most disconcerting to the Sanhedrin.


Verse 47

Are ye also led astray? (Μη και υμεις πεπλανηστεMē kai humeis peplanēsthe). The Pharisees took the lead in this scornful sneer at the officers. The use of μηmē formally expects a negative answer as in John 4:29, but the Pharisees really believed it. See also John 6:67. The verb form is perfect passive indicative of πλαναωplanaō for which see John 7:12 with perhaps an allusion to that phase of opinion.


Verse 48

Hath any of the rulers believed on him? (Μη τις εκ των αρχοντων επιστευσεν εις αυτονMē tis ek tōn archontōn episteusen eis auton). Negative answer sharply expected. First aorist active indicative of πιστευωpisteuō “Did any one of the rulers believe on him?” “What right have subordinates to have a mind of their own?” (Dods). These police were employed by the temple authorities (rulers). “Power was slipping through their fingers” (Dods) and that was the secret of their hostility to Jesus.

Or of the Pharisees (η εκ των Παρισαιωνē ek tōn Pharisaiōn). A wider circle and the most orthodox of all.


Verse 49

This multitude (ο οχλος ουτοςho ochlos houtos). The Pharisees had a scorn for the οχλοςamhaaretz or “people of the earth” (cf. our “clod-hoppers”) as is seen in rabbinic literature. It was some of the ο μη γινοσκωνochlos (multitude at the feast especially from Galilee) who had shown sympathy with Jesus (John 7:12, John 7:28.).

Which knoweth not the law (γινωσκωho mē ginoskōn). Present active articular participle of μηginōskō with αγραμματοι και ιδιωταιmē usual negative of the participle in the Koiné. “No brutish man is sin-fearing, nor is one of the people of the earth pious” (Aboth, II. 6). See the amazement of the Sanhedrin at Peter and John in Acts 4:13 as “unlettered and private men” (οχλοςagrammatoi kai idiōtai). No wonder the common people (επαρατοι εισινochlos) heard Jesus gladly (Mark 12:37). The rabbis scouted and scorned them.

Are accursed
(οχλοςeparatoi eisin). Construction according to sense (plural verb and adjective with collective singular Επαρατοιochlos). επαραομαιEparatoi is old verbal adjective from eparaomai to call down curses upon, here only in the N.T.


Verse 50

Nicodemus (ΝικοδημοςNikodēmos). Not heard from since chapter 3 when he timidly came to Jesus by night. Now he boldly protests against the injustice of condemning Jesus unheard. He appears once more (and only in John) in John 19:39 with Joseph of Arimathea as a secret disciple of Jesus. He is a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin and his present act is courageous.

Saith (λεγειlegei). Dramatic present active indicative as in John 2:3.

Before
(προτερονproteron). This is genuine, a reference to the visit in chapter 3, but νυκτοςnuktos (by night) is not genuine here.

Being one of them
(εις ων εχ αυτωνheis ōn ex autōn). As a member of the Sanhedrin he takes up the challenge in John 7:48. He is both ruler and Pharisee.


Verse 51

Doth our law judge a man? (μη ο νομος ημων κρινει τον αντρωπονmē ho nomos hēmōn krinei ton anthrōpon). Negative answer expected and “the man,” not “a man.” These exponents of the law (John 7:49) were really violating the law of criminal procedure (Exodus 23:1; Deuteronomy 1:16). Probably Nicodemus knew that his protest was useless, but he could at least show his colours and score the point of justice in Christ‘s behalf.

Except it first hear from himself (εαν μη ακουσηι πρωτον παρ αυτουean mē akousēi prōton par' autou). Third-class negative condition with εαν μηean mē and first aorist active subjunctive of ακουωakouō That is common justice in all law, to hear a man‘s side of the case (“from him,” παρ αυτουpar' autou).

And know what he doeth
(και γνωι τι ποιειkai gnōi ti poiei). Continuation of the same condition with second aorist active subjunctive of γινωσκωginōskō with indirect question and present active indicative (τι ποιειti poiei). There was no legal answer to the point of Nicodemus.


Verse 52

Art thou also of Galilee? (Μη και συ εκ της Γαλιλαιας ειMē kai su ek tēs Galilaias ei). Formally negative answer expected by μηmē but really they mean to imply that Nicodemus from local feeling or prejudice has lined himself up with this Galilean mob (οχλοςochlos) of sympathizers with Jesus and is like Jesus himself a Galilean. “These aristocrats of Jerusalem had a scornful contempt for the rural Galileans” (Bernard).

That out of Galilee ariseth no prophet (οτι εκ της Γαλιλαιας προπητης ουκ εγειρεταιhoti ek tēs Galilaias prophētēs ouk egeiretai). As a matter of fact Jonah, Hosea, Nahum, possibly also Elijah, Elisha, and Amos were from Galilee. It was simply the rage of the Sanhedrin against Jesus regardless of the facts. Westcott suggests that they may have reference to the future, but that is a mere excuse for them.


Verse 53

This verse and through John 8:12 (the passage concerning the woman taken in adultery) is certainly not a genuine part of John‘s Gospel. The oldest and best MSS. (Aleph A B C L W) do not have it. It first appears in Codex Bezae. Some MSS. put it at the close of John‘s Gospel and some place it in Luke. It is probably a true story for it is like Jesus, but it does not belong to John‘s Gospel. The Canterbury Version on which we are commenting puts the passage in brackets. Westcott and Hort place it at the end of the Gospel. With this explanation we shall proceed.

They went (επορευτησανeporeuthēsan). First aorist passive indicative of πορευομαιporeuomai used as a deponent verb without passive idea. In this context the verb has to refer to the Sanhedrin with a rather pointless contrast to Jesus.

 


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)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 7:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-7.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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