Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 19:9

and he entered into the Praetorium again and *said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Demagogism;   Jesus, the Christ;   King;   Opinion, Public;   Politics;   Pretorium;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Courts of Justice;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Gabbatha;   Pilate or Pontius Pilate;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Ruler;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Christianity;   Humiliation of Christ;   Jesus Christ;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Judgment Hall;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Procurator;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Praetorium;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Hall;   Judgment-Hall;   Palace;   Palace ;   Pavement;   Pilate;   Praetorium;   Questions and Answers;   Scorn;   Silence;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Judgement-Hall;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Judgment hall;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Judgment Hall;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Jesus Christ, the Arrest and Trial of;   Judgment Hall;   Palace;   Pilate, Pontius;   Praetorium;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for October 22;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Whence art thou? - This certainly does not mean, From what country art thou? for Pilate knew this well enough; but it appears he made this inquiry to know who were the parents of Christ; what were his pretensions, and whether he really were a demigod, such as the heathens believed in. To this question we find our Lord gave no answer. He had already told him that his kingdom was not of this world; and that he came to erect a spiritual kingdom, not a temporal one: John 18:36, John 18:37. This answer he deemed sufficient; and he did not choose to satisfy a criminal curiosity, nor to enter then into any debate concerning the absurdity of the heathen worship.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 19:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-19.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Whence art thou? - See the notes at John 7:27. Pilate knew that he was a Galilean, but this question was asked to ascertain whether he claimed to be the Son of God - whether a mere man, or whether divine.

Jesus gave him no answer - Probably for the following reasons:

1.Jesus had already told Pilate Jesus‘ design, and the nature of his kingdom, John 18:36-37.

2.Jesus had said enough to satisfy Pilate of Jesus‘ innocence. Of that Pilate was convinced. Pilate‘s duty was clear, and if he had had firmness to do it, he would not have asked this. Jesus, by his silence, therefore rebuked Pilate for his lack of firmness, and his unwillingness to do what his conscience told him was right.

3.It is not probable that Pilate would have understood Jesus if Jesus had declared to Pilate the truth about Jesus‘ origin, and about his being the Son of God.

4.After what had been done - after he had satisfied Pilate of his innocence, and then had been beaten and mocked by his permission he had no reason to expect justice at his hands, and therefore properly declined to make any further defense. By this the prophecy Isaiah 53:7 was remarkably fulfilled.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-19.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 19:9

Whence art Thou?
But Jesus gave him no answer

The silences of Christ

I. CHRIST PRESERVES SILENCE IS THE PRESENCE OF FALSE AND MALIGNANT ACCUSATIONS (Matthew 27:12-14). But why? Not simply because He was sublimely conscious of innocence, for there may come times when it is the duty of the innocent to defend their reputation by every lawful means. But there was no necessity for answer. Neither the men who made the statements nor the people who heard them put any faith in them--nay, they knew them to be manufactured lies. The echo of their own voices, not His voice, should condemn them--the most powerful condemnation of all. The memory of that Prisoner’s calmness and quiet dignity would haunt the false accusers night and day like a perpetual shadow until death stilled the throbbing of their tortured brains and hearts. Does not something of the same kind mark the history of the past and Christ’s dealings with men? Since the days of His earthly life false charges have been made against Him and His gospel without number. His character has been maligned, His words perverted, His claims despised. Men who hate the grandeur and purity of His teachings, who fear lest their own pretensions should be despised, have sought, by every false and selfish means, to slander Christ and Christianity. Eager, impatient Christians have even prayed for some mighty display of power to put an end to the wicked accusations, though it might involve swift judgment on the enemies of the faith. But the heavens have been dumb, Christ has been silent, and His disciples have wondered why it should be so. But such silence has been best for the Church and for the foes of the faith, while it is most in harmony with the dignity and majesty of the Divine nature. Christ cannot answer every false accuser. There is the truth; let that be His vindication. And this silence has justified itself; for where to-day are the many charges that have been urged against our Lord? Have they not disappeared, or confuted one another? We have only to set one class of opponents of Christianity over against another, and their statements become mutually destructive.

II. CHRIST PRESERVES SILENCE IN THE PRESENCE OF UNWORTHY CURIOSITY. The scene which illustrates this point is recorded for us by Luke alone (Luke 23:9). Let any man treat religion as a thing to be speculated about, as a matter for purely intellectual pleasure, as a question for exciting controversy, as only one of many strange phenomena abounding in the world, and therefore to be accounted for, and there will be no response from the heavens. Christ will be silent to that man; he will never discover the truth. Religion belongs to our moral and spiritual nature; it has to do with our hearts sad their profoundest needs. Cur desire to ascertain its truth and its meaning must be accompanied by a resolve that if we discover it to be true we will apply it to our individual necessities, a resolve to reverence it with our whole natures, to obey its every command, to cling to it with an enthusiasm and love strong as life itself. Then Christ will speak, and testify to mind and heart concerning Himself. To other motives Christ will not deign a reply. His deathlike silence will be our greatest reproach.

III. CHRIST PRESERVES SILENCE IN THE PRESENCE OF RESISTED CONVICTION. Perhaps history does not present a more saddening picture than that of Pilate, the governor, in his judicial dealings with Jesus Christ. “Whence art Thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.” The man’s nature evidently quivers with anxiety--yet his question is met with absolute silence. Why is this? Here is a truly anxious inquirer. At first sight the conduct of Christ seems strange. But we must remember two things.

1. The man’s previous conduct. He had been convinced of Christ’s innocence, and yet had given way to the clamours of a mob. When men have despised the voices that have appealed to them, what right have they to expect further revelations?

2. Jesus Christ knew the man, knew his weakness, knew he would ask but with no desire to do, and the King of Truth was not to be trifled with. There are men who have trifled with truth and conscience, with all the interests of their souls, with every influence given to draw them heavenward, and yet they wonder they are not saved, that Christ does not answer their first prayer. Why, so far as right is concerned, they have forfeited it all by their contemptuous treatment of Divine influences. More than that, they have thus rendered themselves, in a measure, incapable of receiving further revelations from heaven. (W. Braden.)

The silences of Jesus

I. BEFORE CAIAPHAS AND FALSE WITNESSES (Matthew 26:63; Mark 14:61). The Faithful and True Witness before liars and hypocrites.

II. BEFORE HEROD (Luke 23:9). The Holy One of God before the idle curiosity of a flagitious prince.

III. BEFORE THE ACCUSATIONS OF THE CHIEF PRIESTS AT PILATE’S BAR Matthew 27:14). The Sinless One before charges the speakers knew were lies.

IV. BEFORE PILATE (John 19:9). The King of Truth before an insincereinquirer.

V. BEFORE THE SYRO-PHOENICIAN WOMAN (Matthew 15:23). Incarnate love before a humble and earnest petitioner. (T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

Christ’s silence

He was acting according to His own precept Matthew 7:6).

Christ’s silence

This is very strange. Hitherto He had spoken freely and replied to questions; now He refused to speak any more.

I. THE REASON MUST BE SOUGHT IN THE STATE OF PILATE’S SOUL. He deserved no answer, and therefore got none. He had forfeited his title to any further revelation about his prisoner. He had been told plainly the nature of our Lord’s kingdom, and the purpose of His coming, and been obliged to confess publicly His innocence. And yet he had treated Him with flagrant injustice. He had, in short, sinned away his opportunities, forsaken his own mercies, and turned a deaf ear to the cries of his own conscience. Hence our Lord would have nothing more to do with him.

II. Here, as in many other cases, WE LEARN THAT GOD WILL NOT FORCE CONVICTION ON MEN, and will not compel obstinate unbelievers to believe, and will not always strive with men’s consciences. Most men, like Pilate, have a day of grace, and an open door put before them. If they refuse to enter in, and choose their own sinful way, the door is often shut, and never opened again. There is such a thing as a “day of visitation,” when Christ speaks to men. If they will not hear His voice they are often left to reap the fruit of their own sins. It was so with Pharaoh, Saul, and Ahab, and Pilate’s case was like theirs.

III. We must not forget that PILATE’S WICKED REFUSAL TO LISTEN to his own conscience, AND OUR LORD’S consequent REFUSAL TO SPEAK TO HIM ANY MORE, WERE ALL OVERRULED BY THE ETERNAL COUNSELS OF GOD to the carrying out of His purpose of redemption. If our Lord had revealed who He was, and forced Pilate to see it, the crucifixion might perhaps never have taken place, and the great sacrifice for a world’s sins might never have been offered. Our Lord’s silence was just and well merited. But it was also part of God’s counsels about man’s salvation.

IV. Note that THERE IS “A TIME TO BE SILENT,” as well as “a time to speak.” This is a matter in the social intercourse of daily life, about which we all need to pray for wisdom. To be always saying to everybody everything we know, is not the line of a wise follower of Christ.

V. Note that IF WE DO NOT MAKE A GOOD USE OF LIGHT AND OPPORTUNITIES,--and if we resist Christ speaking to our conscience,--A TIME MAY COME WHEN, LIKE PILATE, WE MAY SPEAK TO CHRIST, and ask things of Him, AND HE MAY GIVE US NO ANSWER (Proverbs 1:24-32). (Bp. Ryle.)

The tribute of Christ’s silence to His Deity

This silence was the most emphatic answer to all who had ears to hear it, was a reference to what He had said before (chap. 18:37), and so a witness to His Divine origin. Would any mere man, of true and upright character, have refused an answer to a question so put? Let the modern rationalist consider this. (Dean Alford.)

The situation

I. SILENT DIGNITY.

II. UNCOMPLAINING SUBMISSION.

III. HELPLESS TYRANNY. (S. S. Times.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 19:9". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-19.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And he entered into the Praetorium again, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

Jesus did not reply because: (1) he knew that Pilate would not stand against the hierarchy, and (2) his silence allowed the Pharisees' testimony concerning his claim to be the Son of God to stand unchallenged. As Lipscomb noted, "His silence was answer enough - that if he did not make that claim, he certainly would have denied it."[8]

ENDNOTE:

[8] David Lipscomb, A Commentary on the Gospel of John (Nashville: The Gospel Advocate Company, 1960), p. 293.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-19.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And went again into the judgment hall,.... From whence he came out, taking Jesus along with him, in order to interrogate him alone upon this head:

and saith unto Jesus, whence art thou? meaning not of what country he was, for he knew he was of the nation of the Jews; nor in what place he was born, whether at Bethlehem or at Nazareth, for this was no concern of his; but from whence he sprung, who were his ancestors, and whether his descent was from the gods, or from men; and if from the former, from which of them; for as Pilate was an Heathen, he must be supposed to speak as such:

but Jesus gave him no answer; for his question was frivolous, and deserved none; and besides, he was not worthy of one, who had used him so ill, when he knew, in his own conscience, that he was innocent; nor was he capable of taking in an answer, or able to judge whether it was right or wrong; and since Christ was come to die for the salvation of his people, it was not proper he should say anything that might be a means of hindering it.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 19:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-19.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

and went again into the judgment hall, and saith to Jesus, Whence art thou? — beyond all doubt a question relating not to His mission but to His personal origin.

Jesus gave him no answer — He had said enough; the time for answering such a question was past; the weak and wavering governor is already on the point of giving way.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-19.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Whence art thou? (ποτεν ει συpothen ei su). Pilate knew that Jesus was from Galilee (Luke 23:6.). He is really alarmed. See a like question by the Jews in John 8:25.

Gave him no answer (αποκρισιν ουκ εδωκεν αυτωιapokrisin ouk edōken autōi). See same idiom in John 1:22. ΑποκρισιςApokrisis (old word from αποκρινομαιapokrinomai) occurs also in Luke 2:47; Luke 20:26. The silence of Jesus, like that before Caiaphas (Mark 14:61; Matthew 26:63) and Herod (Luke 23:9), irritates the dignity of Pilate in spite of his fears.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-19.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

Whence art thou? — That is, whose son art thou?

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 19:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-19.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

and he entered into the Praetorium again1, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

  1. And he entered into the Praetorium again. Taking Jesus with him for private examination.

  2. And saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate sought to know whether Jesus were of heaven or of earth; but Jesus did not answer, for the motive of the question was not right. Pilate did not wish an answer that he might give or withhold worship; but that he might know how strenuously he should defend Jesus. But innocent life is to be defended at all hazards, and it matters not whether it be human or divine, Pilate, therefore, already knew enough to enable him to discharge his duties.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 19:9". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-19.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Иисус не дал ему ответа. То, что Христос не ответил, не должно казаться абсурдным, если вспомнить сказанное мною ранее: Он стоял перед Пилатом не для защиты Собственного дела, как обычно поступают виновные, но, скорее, с целью подвергнуться суду. Ведь Он выступал от нашего имени, и потому подлежал осуждению. Вот причина, почему Христос воздерживается от защиты. И молчание Христово не противоречит словам Павла (1Тим.6:13), где он говорит: помни о Христе, произнесшем перед Пилатом доброе исповедание. Насколько было необходимо, Он утвердил евангельскую веру. Ведь Его смерть была не чем иным, как печатью проповеданного Им учения. Итак, Христос не отказался от законного исповедания, но лишь не стал просить об оправдании. Добавь к этому опасность, что Пилат мог оправдать Христа как одного из вымышленных богов. Подобно тому, как Тиберий восхотел поместить Его среди римских небожителей. Посему Христос молчаливо отвергает это глупое суеверие.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

PILATE’S QUESTION

‘Whence art Thou?’

John 19:9

I do not know of anything of more vital importance than that we should discover truly the source from which Jesus came, and why it is that from that source He should come to bear grief and agony, and for what purpose it is that He should have left His former position to come among men.

I. We stand before Christ ourselves; looking aside, we say: ‘Whence art Thou?’ Instantly we have our own answer; and there is not one believer present here but does not say, ‘I believe Jesus came from God.’ We are quoting His own words in John 8:42, ‘I proceeded forth and came from God.’ In John 8:23 we have it again: ‘I am from above.’ We, of course, choose to believe that He is that Man ‘come from God.’ Though the eye seeks a revelation, the conscience compels us to believe that Jesus is absolutely one with the Almighty God; and that leads us to look back through eternity to the time before the foundation of the world, when our Blessed Saviour was in the glory of the Father in the deepest possible sense of the word when He was with God and was God, as the opening in John’s Gospel expresses it, signifying equality with God.

II. If that be the true source of Jesus, I ask you to think of the infinite majesty of this Peasant, though He stands before Pilate; He stands, in reality, one in power, majesty, and dignity with the Father. We turn to think of the words He used Himself: ‘I and My Father are one’; and ‘Glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.’ We begin to think this Being was indeed a marvellous man when we have realised something of what His position means; and the moment the inquiry comes, we have the answer that He comes from that glory, from that position in which he shared the dignity of the Godhead, was indeed one with the Father in the glory of the unapproachable throne.

III. Never, till we stand face to face with our Creator God shall we be able to measure the full beauty of holiness, or to realise all it means in Christ and to ourselves in all its aspects. I would humbly say one thing, however, and that is that it has no limits. As we look on Christ with all His attributes of holiness and beauty, and say: ‘Whence art Thou?’ we get the reply, ‘From God, to take you to God!’ That is the answer of this question; ‘Whence art Thou?’ from the point of view of Christ’s first Advent. Look at it again from the point of view of the second. Our Lord said to His disciples, ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you’; and again, ‘I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.’

Rev. Prebendary Webb-Peploe.

Illustration

‘“Whence art Thou?” Of course from the lips of the judge this simply meant: “What is this man?” “Where has He come from?” “Who can He be?” The greatest commentators have written in various ways upon this question. Some have said that Pilate was seeking to know the province from which Jesus came; but we know from other narratives of Christ’s trial that this had already been settled, because Pilate sent Him to Herod, as He understood Him to be of Galilee, and therefore in Herod’s jurisdiction. Others think the question concerns Christ’s birth; while yet others say that Pilate, as a heathen, was inquiring as to the heroes which the people honoured in Christ’s country. None of these explanations suffice. We have to look deeper, and when we acknowledge that Pilate simply recognised in Christ a peasant of Galilee, and when we further remember that he liberated a man who was undergoing imprisonment for insurrection, we shall be able to see something of the contempt which Pilate had for Christ and for righteousness. Moreover, the way in which he turned from one subject to another in his questions shows either contempt or cowardice.’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on John 19:9". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/john-19.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

Ver. 9. Whence art thou?] He questioneth not Christ of his country, but of his condition, q.d. Art thou a man or a God? Such a dunghill deity, he meant, as the heathens worshipped. And therefore our Saviour would not once answer him. Especially since if he should have asserted his Deity, Pilate likely would have acquitted and dismissed him; whereas Christ knew that he was now and here to be condemned. There are those who think that Pilate’s wife’s dream was from the devil, who sought thereby to have hindered the work of our redemption, which could not be wrought but by the death of Christ.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 19:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-19.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 19:9

I. If we try to place ourselves in the position of one of our fellow-creatures placed on trial for his life, and before judges from whom he had little to look for in the way of consideration or mercy, we can understand that the silence of a perfectly innocent man might be natural for more reasons than one. There might be (1) the silence of sheer bewilderment, (2) the silence of terror, (3) the silence of mistaken prudence, (4) the silence of disdain.

II. None of these motives for silence will account for that of our Lord before Pilate. His silence meant (1) rebuke, (2) instruction, (3) charity.

H. P. Liddon, Penny Pulpit, No. 1134.

References: John 19:12.—Clergyman's Magazine, vol. iii., p. 216. John 19:13-37.—R. S. Candlish, Scripture Characters and Miscellanies, p. 96. John 19:14.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxiii., No. 1353; Ibid., My Sermon Notes: Gospels and Acts, p. 160; Preacher's Monthly, vol. v., p. 340. John 19:15.—Contemporary Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 145; Homiletic Magazine, vol. xv., p. 83. John 19:16.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., No. 497; Ibid., Morning by Morning, p. 94. John 19:16-18.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 361. John 19:16-27.—T. R. Stevenson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxviii., p. 280. John 19:17.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxviii., No. 1683. John 19:18.—J. Murray, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xiv., p. 394. John 19:19.—G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 407. John 19:19, John 19:20.—A. P. Peabody, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii. p. 168.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-19.html.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

9.] He entered, taking Jesus with him.

πόθεν—i.e. not ‘from what province?’—for he knew this, Luke 23:6-7; nor, ‘of what parents?’—but whence? in reference to υἱὸς θεοῦ: cf. πόθεν γένος εὔχεται εἶναι, Hom. Od. ρ. 373. Observe that the fear of Pilate is not mere superstition, nor does it enter into the Jewish meaning of υἱὸς θ.: but arises from an indefinite impression made on him by the Person and bearing of our Lord. We must not therefore imagine any fear of Him as being a ‘son of the gods,’ in Pilate’s mind (so even Luthardt): this gives a wrong direction to his conduct, and misses the fine psychological truth of the narrative.

Our Lord, in His silence, was acting according to His own precept, Matthew 7:6. Notwithstanding Pilate’s fear of Him, he was not in earnest;—not determined to be led by his conscience, but had already given way to the unjust demands of the people; and He who saw his heart, knew how unworthy he was of an answer to so momentous a question. Besides, this silence was the most emphatic answer to all who had ears to hear it;—was a reference to what He had said before, ch. John 18:37, and so a witness to His divine origin. Would any mere man, of true and upright character, have refused an answer to such a question, so put? Let the modern rationalist consider this.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 19:9". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-19.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 19:9. πόθεν whence) Dost thou ask, Pilate? He was of God and from above, as He Himself implies in John 19:11, whilst seeming to give no answer to this question. Comp. ch. John 18:36-37, [where He states only from whence His kingdom is not, viz. “not of this world;” but not from whence it is, viz. from heaven; but He implies this in saying, “I came into the world.”]

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 19:9". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-19.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Our Lord, who knew the secrets of all men’s hearts, very well knew, that though Pilate had for some time withstood his temptations, yet he would at last yield: he also was ready to lay down his life, as he knew was determined for him; having therefore made a reasonable defence, he thinks fit to add no more of that nature.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 19:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-19.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

откуда Ты? Его не интересовало происхождение Иисуса. Его суеверный разум хотел лишь узнать, с Кем он имел дело.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 19:9". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-19.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Whence art thou? what is thine origin, human or divine? No answer; Jesus had given all needful information about himself, and he did not think proper to add to it.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-19.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Whence art thou?—A most significant question. The sceptical and inquiring world has been asking it ever since. O most supernatural man, reveal thy origin! “Who shall declare his generation?” Isaiah 53:8.

No answer—Alas! to none but the true inquirer comes there any response but absolute silence. No explanation proper for Jesus to give could the mind of Pilate have properly received. Wounded pride now mingles with his fear. He will test this superhuman personage with a threat.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-19.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And he entered into the Praetorium again and says to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.’

Pilate’s words indicate his uneasiness. Superstitious ideas were taking hold of him. Could this man really be from another world? ‘Where are you from?’ he asked, and there was apprehension in his voice. But the silent figure before him simply looked at him and gave no answer.

For Jesus knew that this was not the question of a seeker seeking truth and He knew that no reply would make any difference. So He said nothing. If Pilate did genuinely want to know there were ways for him to find out. But He knew that in the end Pilate was going to give way to the Judaisers. It was only Pilate’s anger at being outmanoeuvred by those whom he despised that had kept him going thus long. Any answer Jesus gave would therefore only prolong His suffering.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-19.html. 2013.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This explains why Pilate asked Jesus where He had come from. Jesus did not answer him. Jesus" silence undoubtedly increased Pilate"s uneasiness. Jesus had earlier refused to answer questions from Caiaphas, Pilate, and Herod ( Matthew 26:63; Matthew 27:14; Mark 14:61; Mark 15:5; Luke 23:9; cf. Isaiah 53:7). He probably did not respond here because Pilate had already showed that he had no real interest in the truth. He only wanted to do what was personally expedient.

Moreover the answer to this question in Jesus" case was quite complex. Pilate had shown little patience with Jesus" explanation about His otherworldly kingdom. He would hardly have been more receptive to what Jesus might say about His otherworldly origin. The decision Pilate faced was clear-cut. Should he release this innocent man or not? The question of Jesus" origin was irrelevant.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-19.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

judgment hall. See John 18:28.

Whence art thou? This was Pilate"s fifth question of

the Lord. See John 18:33, John 18:35, John 18:37, John 18:38. It expressed the fear that was growing within him. Pilate may have been a freethinker (as some infer from John 18:38), but like free-thinkers of all ages, he was not free from superstition. Was this Man, so different from all others he had ever seen, really a supernatural Being?

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 19:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-19.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

And went again into the judgment hall ('the Praetorium,') and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? - a question relating, beyond all doubt, not to His mission, but to His personal origin.

But Jesus gave him no answer. He had said enough; the time for answering such a question was past; the weak and wavering governor is already on the point of giving way.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-19.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus.—He had brought Jesus out to the people. He now led Him back to the palace in order to inquire further of Him in private.

Whence art thou?—The question is based upon the claim to be Son of God, of which he had heard. He knew that Jesus was a Galilean before sending Him to Herod (Luke 23:6). It is not of His earthly habitation, therefore, that he inquires, but of His origin and nature. (Comp. the same word, and in the same sense, in John 8:14, and Matthew 21:25.)

But Jesus gave him no answer.—This silence of our Lord has seemed hard to understand, and very many and very different have been the explanations suggested. An explanation can only be suggested; it cannot be given with any degree of certainty; but that which seems most in harmony with the position is that Pilate’s question was one which to him could not be answered in reality, and therefore was not answered in appearance. The answer had, indeed, already been given (John 18:37), but he had treated it with the impatience which showed he could not receive it now. Not of the truth, he could not hear the voice of the Son of God, and therefore that voice did not speak.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-19.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Whence
8:14; 9:29,30; Judges 13:6
But
Psalms 38:13-15; Isaiah 53:7; Matthew 27:12-14; Mark 15:3-5; Acts 8:32,33; Philippians 1:28
Reciprocal: Matthew 26:62 - Answerest;  Matthew 27:27 - common hall;  Mark 14:60 - GeneralMark 15:5 - Jesus;  Mark 15:16 - Praetorium;  John 8:25 - Who;  John 18:28 - unto;  James 5:6 - and he;  1 Peter 2:23 - when he was

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 19:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-19.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Ver. 9. "And went again into the judgment-hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer."

Pilate went into the praetorium, and led Jesus with him. The auditory outside seemed to him too profane for the introduction of this question. That "Whence art thou"? could have but one meaning, "Belongest thou to heaven or to earth? art thou God, or mere man?" is now generally acknowledged: comp. ch. John 7:28, John 18:36-37. What our Lord in the latter passage said concerning His kingdom, that it was not of this World, not from below, applied also to His person. He was not, like ordinary men, ἐκ τῶν κάτω, but ἐκ τῶν ἄνω, ch. John 8:23. To the πόθεν here corresponds the ἄνωθεν in ver. 11. Pilate designedly put the question in this general form. A holy fear restrained him from putting it more directly. He felt that in the region he now entered he was at a loss, and must reveal his inaptitude. Wherefore did not Jesus answer Pilate? The reason must be the same which occasioned the silence before Annas, before the council, and before Herod; as also the silence on the accusations of the rulers before Pilate, of which Matthew (vers. 12, 13) and Mark (vers. 4, 5) make mention. The supposition, that "Jesus kept silence because a heathenish notion of Sonship to God was in question," is, apart from the fact that it rests on a groundless supposition, wrong, simply because it severs our Lord's silence here from its connection with His other silences. Like the rest before whom Jesus kept silence, Pilate no longer deserved an answer. He had earlier declined to be led by Jesus into the knowledge of the truth, because he would not sacrifice the passions with which his soul was filled: comp. ch. John 18:38. His whole bearing had shown that his personal interest was first in everything, and that he listened to the cause of right only so far as this consisted with his own interest. Jesus looked through his soul, and knew that he was incapable of practically following even the truth that he knew. There was no obligation incumbent upon Him to avow His divinity before the world. He had already solemnly avowed Himself to be the Son of God before the council. The "good confession" which Christ was to witness, and had already witnessed before the Roman power, touched not His divinity, but His world-embracing kingdom as based upon that divinity. Thus Jesus could and must make good on this occasion the prophetic word concerning the lamb which opened not its mouth, Isaiah 53:7. And all the more as, to the deeper glance, there was even in His silence an answer to Pilate's question whether man or God. "He showed," says Heumann, "by this silence the dignity of His person, and that it rested with Himself whether He would answer or not, while He by no means admitted Pilate to be His judge." Further, if He laid no claim to divinity, it would have been His duty to have absolutely repelled the allegation of the Jews, that He made Himself the Son of God. That would have been to give God His honour. His silence said, "I am from above, but thou art not worthy that I should admit thee into the mystery of My nature. For thine heart is not right before God." The silence was more significant than words. The "from above" was uttered in it; and at the same time an emphatic intimation of Pilate's insincerity, who belonged to that large class of whom these words have been used: "A man of the world is often touched by Divine deeds and Divine teaching, as we see in King Agrippa and the governor Felix, Acts 24:24; Acts 26:28; but, as the Lord says in Matthew 13:22, worldly thoughts choke the word, that it brings forth no fruit." How entirely our Lord's silence was justified, is manifest from the deep effect it produced on Pilate, here as well as in Matthew, vers. 12, 13,—an effect which it must have produced, inasmuch as assumed dignity is ever rich in words, while only true greatness can bear to be held in suspicion or denied.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 19:9". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-19.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

9.And he entered again into the hall, and said to Jesus; Whence Art Thou? It is evident from this that he was in a state of perplexity and anguish, because he was afraid that he would be punished for sacrilege, if he laid his hand on the Son of God It ought to be observed that, when he asks whence Christ is, he does not inquire about his country, but the meaning is, as if he had said, “Art thou a man born on the earth, or art thou some god?” The interpretation which I give to this passage, therefore, is, that Pilate, struck with the fear of God, was in perplexity and doubt as to what he ought to do; (162) for he saw, on the one hand, the excitement of a mutiny, and, on the other hand, conscience held him bound not to offend God for the sake of avoiding danger.

This example is highly worthy of observation. Though the countenance of Christ was so disfigured, yet, as soon as Pilate hears the name of God, he is seized with the fear of violating the majesty of God in a man who was utterly mean and despicable. If reverence for God had so much influence on an irreligious man, must not they be worse than reprobate, who now judge of divine things in sport and jest, carelessly, and without any fear? for, indeed, Pilate is a proof that men have naturally a sentiment of religion, which does not suffer them to rush fearlessly in any direction they choose, when the question relates to divine things. This is the reason why I said that those who, in handling the doctrine of Scripture, are not more impressed with the majesty of God, than if they had been disputing about the shadow of an ass, are given up to a reprobate mind, (Romans 1:28.) Yet they will one day feel to their destruction, what veneration is due to the name of God, which they now treat with such disdainful and outrageous mockery. It is shocking to relate how haughtily the Papists condemn the plain and ascertained truth of God, and with what cruelty they shed innocent blood. Whence, I beseech you, comes that drunken stupidity, but because they do not recollect that they have anything to do with God?

And Jesus gave him no answer. We ought not to think it strange that Jesus makes no reply; at least, if we keep in mind what I have formerly mentioned, that he did not stand before Pilate to plead his own cause, — as is customary with persons accused who are desirous to be acquitted, — but rather to suffer condemnation; for it was proper that he should be condemned, when he appeared in our room. This is the reason why he makes no defense; and yet Christ’s silence is not inconsistent with what Paul says,

Remember that Christ, before Pilate, made a good confession,
(
1 Timothy 6:13;)

for there he maintained the faith of the Gospel, as far as was necessary, and his death was nothing else than the sealing of the doctrine delivered by him. Christ left nothing undone of what was necessary to make a lawful confession, but he kept silence as to asking an acquittal. Besides, there was some danger that Pilate would acquit Christ as one of the pretended gods, as Tiberius wished to rank him among the gods of the Romans. Justly, therefore, does Christ, by his silence, frown on this foolish superstition.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 19:9". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-19.html. 1840-57.