Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 2:22

So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Miracles;   Word of God;   Scofield Reference Index - Resurrection;   Thompson Chain Reference - Believers;   Faith-Unbelief;   Words of Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Resurrection of Christ, the;   Scriptures, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Faith;   Signs;   Temple;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Church, the;   Faith;   Word;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Marriage;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Resurrection of Christ;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - John, the Epistles of;   Jordan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Jesus, Life and Ministry of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Faith;   Marriage;   Mary;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Authority of Christ;   Dates (2);   Feasts;   Gods;   Inspiration and Revelation;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Manliness;   Numbers;   Understanding;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - New Testament;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Cana;   Passover;   Resurrection;   Veil;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - John, Gospel of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Antichrist;  
Devotionals:
Every Day Light - Devotion for June 2;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Remembered that he had said this unto them - Αυτοις, to them, is wanting in AEHLMS, Matt. BV, upwards of one hundred others; both the Syriac; Persic, Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Slavonic, Vulgate, and Itala. Griesbach has left it out of the text.

They believed the scripture - The scripture which the evangelist immediately refers to may have been Psalm 16:10. Compare this with Acts 2:31, Acts 2:32, and with Acts 13:35-37. See also Psalm 2:7, and compare it with Hebrews 1:5, and Hebrews 5:5, and with Acts 13:33. They understood these scriptures in a sense in which they never before understood them.

It is the property of many prophecies never to be understood except by their accomplishment; but these are so marked that, when their fulfillment takes place, they cannot be misunderstood, or applied to any other event.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 2:22". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

When he was risen from the dead … - This saying of our Saviour at that time seemed obscure and difficult. The disciples did not understand it, but they treasured it up in their memory, and the event showed what was its true meaning. Many prophecies are obscure when spoken which are perfectly plain when the event takes place. We learn from this, also, the importance of treasuring up the truths of the Bible now, though we may not perfectly understand them. Hereafter they may be plain to us. It is therefore important that “children,” should learn the truths of the sacred Scriptures. Treasured up in their memory, they may not be understood “now,” but hereafter they may be clear to them. Every one engaged in teaching a Sunday school, therefore, may be imparting instruction which may be understood, and may impart comfort, long after the teacher has gone to eternity.

They believed - That is, “after” he rose from the dead.

The scripture - The Old Testament, which predicted his resurrection. Reference here must be made to Psalm 16:10; compare Acts 2:27-32; Acts 13:35-37; Psalm 2:7; compare Acts 13:33. They understood those Scriptures in a sense different from what they did before.

The word which Jesus had said - The prediction which he had made respecting his resurrection in this place and on other occasions. See Matthew 20:19; Luke 18:32-33.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-2.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he spake this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

As Westcott declared:

John notices on other occasions the real meaning of the words of the Lord not understood at first: John 7:39; 12:33; 21:19; and, in each case, he speaks with complete authority. This trait of progressive knowledge is inexplicable except as a memorial of personal experience.[20]

And they believed the scripture ... The Scripture in view here is John 2:19, above, where Jesus had spoken of raising up the destroyed temple.

ENDNOTE:

[20] B. F. Westcott, op. cit., p. 43.

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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 2:22". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-2.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

When therefore he was risen from the dead,.... Which was three years after this:

his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; either to the Jews, or to them the disciples; though the phrase "to them", is not in the Vulgate Latin, nor in any of the Oriental versions. The disciples themselves were very dull of understanding the doctrine of Christ's resurrection; and so they continued, notwithstanding he gave them afterwards very full hints of it, until that he was actually risen; and then they called to mind these words of his, with others that dropped from him upon the same subject:

and they believed the Scripture; that spoke of his resurrection, Psalm 16:10, and on the third day, Hosea 6:2.

And the word which Jesus had said; concerning his rising again the third day at this time, and at others, as in Matthew 16:21; and they believed his word equally with the Scripture, it agreeing to it, and being founded on 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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on John 2:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-2.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

believed the scripture — on this subject; that is, what was meant, which was hid from them till then. Mark (1) The act by which Christ signalized His first public appearance in the Temple. Taking “His fan in His hand, He purges His floor,” not thoroughly indeed, but enough to foreshadow His last act towards that faithless people - to sweep them out of God‘s house. (2) The sign of His authority to do this is the announcement, at this first outset of His ministry, of that coming death by their hands, and resurrection by His own, which were to pave the way for their judicial ejection.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-2.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

When therefore he was raised from the dead (οτε ουν ηγερτη εκ νεκρωνHote oun ēgerthē ek nekrōn). First aorist passive indicative of εγειρωegeirō to raise up. And not at first then, but only slowly after the disciples themselves were convinced. Then “they believed the Scripture” (επιστευσαν τηι γραπηιepisteusan tēi graphēi). They “believed” again. Dative case γραπηιgraphēi Probably Psalm 16:10 is meant (Acts 2:31; Acts 13:35).

And the word which Jesus had said (και τωι λογωι ον ειπενkai tōi logōi hon eipen). Dative case λογωιlogōi also, but ονhon (relative) is not attracted to the dative. Clearly then John interprets Jesus to have a parabolic reference to his death and resurrection by his language in John 2:19. There are those who bluntly say that John was mistaken. I prefer to say that these scholars are mistaken. Even Bernard considers it “hardly possible” that John interprets Jesus rightly in John 1:21. “Had he meant that, He would have spoken with less ambiguity.” But how do we know that Jesus wished to be understood clearly at this time? Certainly no one understood Christ when he spoke the words. The language of Jesus is recalled and perverted at his trial as “I will destroy” (Mark 14:58), “I can destroy” (Matthew 26:61), neither of which he said.

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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 2:22". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-2.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Was risen ( ἠγέρθη )

Rev., more correctly, was raised. The same verb as in John 2:19, John 2:20.

Had said ( ἔλεγεν )

Rev., more correctly, He spake. The best texts omit unto them.

Believed the Scripture ( ἐπίστευσαν τῇ γραφῇ )

Notice that ἐπίοτευσαν , believed, is used here with the simple dative, and not with the preposition εἰς , into (see on John 1:12). The meaning is, therefore, they believed that the Scripture was true. On γραφή , a passage or section of Scripture, see on Mark 12:10.

In John, as elsewhere, the word almost always refers to a particular passage cited in the context. The only two exceptions are John 17:12; John 20:9. For the Old Testament, as a whole, John always uses the plural αἱ γραφαί . The passage referred to here is probably Psalm 16:10. Compare Acts 2:27, Acts 2:31; Acts 13:35.

The word

The saying just uttered concerning the destruction of the temple.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-2.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

They believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said — Concerning his resurrection.

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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 2:22". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-2.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he spake this1; and they believed the scripture2, and the word which Jesus had said3.

  1. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he spake this. It was three years before they understood this saying. Thus truth lies dormant for years before it springs up in the heart and bears fruit (1 Corinthians 15:58; Ecclesiastes 11:1).

  2. And they believed the scripture. Several passages foretell the resurrection (Psalms 16:9,10; Psalms 68:18).

  3. And the word which Jesus had said. They believed that Jesus had meant to predict that the Jews would kill him, and that he would rise again on the third day.

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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.
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J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 2:22". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-2.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Когда же воскрес Он из мертвых. Это воспоминание напоминает предыдущее, о котором уже шла речь. Когда Христос говорил, ученики не поняли Его. Но затем учение, казавшееся преподанным напрасно, принесло свой плод. Хотя в делах и словах Господних многое до времени остается неясным, не следует из-за этого отчаиваться и пренебрегать тем, что мы не можем сразу же понять. Надобно отметить контекст, в котором сказано, что ученики поверили Писанию и Христовым словам. Евангелист имеет в виду следующее: ученики сравнили Писание с тем, что ранее им говорил Христос, и это помогло их возрастанию в вере.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-2.html. 1840-57.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Ver. 22. "When, therefore, he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

Into docile hearts the light came, although slowly. The event explained the word, as in its turn the word contributed to disclose the deep meaning of the event. It is surprising to meet here the limiting words τῇ γραφῇ, the Scripture; for the Scripture had not been quoted by Jesus, unless we think, with Weiss, of John 2:17, which is unnatural in view of the formal opposition established by John 2:22 between the time of the one and that of the other reminiscence. The evangelist undoubtedly wishes to intimate that the first point on which the light fell, in the hearts of the apostles, after the resurrection, was the prophecies of the Old Testament which announced that event (Psalms 16; Isaiah 53; Hosea 6; the prophet Jonah), and that it was by the intermediate agency of the interpreted prophecies that the present word of Jesus came back to their remembrance and was also made clear to them.

This little point which belongs to the inner biography of the apostles, stamps the narrative with the seal of historical reality. Let the reader picture to himself, with Baur, a pseudo-John, in the second century, inventing this momentary want of intelligence in the disciples with regard to a saying which he had himself ascribed to Jesus! The moral impossibility of such a strange charlatanism as this is obvious. This remark applies to the similar points, John 4:32-33; John 7:39; John 11:12; John 12:16; John 12:33; John 13:28, etc.

The Synoptics relate an act of Jesus similar to this; which they place at the beginning of the week of the Passion, either on Palm-day (Matthew 21; Luke 19), or more exactly on the next day after that (Mark 11). We might naturally enough suppose that these three evangelists, having omitted all the first year of Jesus" ministry, were led thereby to locate this event in the only visit to Jerusalem of which they relate the story. This is the opinion of Lucke, de Wette, Ewald, Weiss, etc. Keim goes much further; he claims that it would have been the grossest want of tact on Jesus" part thus at the start to advertise His Messiahship, and to break with the old Judaism as He does in John. But what gives to the corporeal act its meaning and its character is the words with which Jesus accompanies it. Now these words, which constitute the soul of the narrative, are very different in the Synoptics and in John, to such a degree that it would be impossible to unite them in one consecutive discourse. In the Synoptics, Jesus claims, on the ground of Isaiah 56:7 ("My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples"), the right of the Gentiles to the place which, from the beginning, had been conceded to them in the temple (1 Kings 8:41-43). In John, there is no trace of this intention; Jesus has in view Israel itself and only Israel.

This difference, as well as the characteristic reply, John 2:19, argues two distinct events. If, as we may not doubt, the abuse which is in question really existed at the moment when Jesus presented Himself for the first time as Messiah, and as Son of God, it was impossible that He should tolerate it. It would have been to declare Himself Messiah and abdicate the Messianic office by one act. Thus John"s narrative is self-justified. But it is, also, wholly true that if, after having been reduced during more than two years to the simple activity of a prophet, Jesus wished to reassume on Palm-Sunday His office as Messiah-King, and thus to take up again a connection with His beginnings, He could not do so better than by repeating that act by which He had entered upon His career, and by repressing again that abuse which had not been slow in reproducing itself. By the first expulsion He had invited the people to the reformation which could save them; by the second, He protested against the profane spirit which was about to destroy them. Thus the narrative of John and the Synoptic narrative equally justify themselves.

This contrast between the two situations agrees with the difference between the words uttered. In John, seeing His appeal repelled, Jesus thinks of His death, the fatal limit of that first rejection; in the Synoptics, seeing the fall of Israel consummated, He proclaims the right of the Gentiles, who are soon going to be substituted for the Jews. As forKeim"s objection, this author forgets that, by acting in this way, Jesus made an appeal precisely to that which was deepest in the consciousness of every true member of the theocracy, respect for the temple. Beyschlag has justly called this proceeding on the part of Jesus, "the most profoundly conservative Jewish act." It was precisely the wonderful character of this act, that it inaugurated the revolution which was preparing, by connecting it with that which was most vital in the Israelitish past.

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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-2.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

Ver. 22. His disciples remembered] In the mean time they murmured not, much less opposed. "We can do nothing against the truth," when at worst, "but for the truth," 2 Corinthians 13:8. They laid up what they understood not; and as the water casts up her dead, so did their memories that which seemed dead therein, by the help of the Holy Ghost.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 2:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 2:22. And they believed the scripture, They yet more firmly believed the scripture in all its prophesies concerning the Messiah's kingdom; and their faith in him was confirmed by the word which Jesus had spoken; for such a wonderful event as the resurrection of Christ, considered in its connection with this solemn prediction, justly appeared as the fullest conceivable proof of the whole plan of redemptio

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 2:22". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-2.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

22.] τῇ γραφῇ, by all analogy, must mean the O.T. scriptures. That the resurrection of the Lord is the subject of O.T. prophecy, we find in several passages of the N.T., see ch. John 20:9 : Luke 24:26-27; 1 Corinthians 15:4. At first sight it appears difficult to fix on any passage in which it is directly announced: but with the deeper understanding of the Scriptures which the Holy Spirit gave the Apostles and still gives the Christian Church, such prophecies as that in Psalms 16 are recognized as belonging to Him in Whom alone they are properly fulfilled: see also Hosea 6:2.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 2:22". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-2.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 2:22. Was risen) His Resurrection, not His glorification, is appealed to, because the sign was fulfilled by His resurrection. Comp. ἐγερῶ, I will raise, John 2:19.— ἐμνήσθησαν, they remembered) Faith and memory lend mutual help to one another in this passage; and ch. John 12:16, John 16:4, “These things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them:” they also work together; Matthew 16:8-9, “O ye of little faith—Do ye not yet—remember the five loaves,” etc.; Psalms 106:13, “They soon forgat His works;” John 2:12, having just before stated, “Then believed they His words.”— τῇ γραφῇ καὶ τῷ λόγῳ, the Scripture and the word) concerning the raising of the temple: both being alike divine.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 2:22". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-2.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Even Christ’s own disciples at the first rather admired than perfectly understood their Lord. It is said of Christ, Luke 24:45, a little before his ascension into heaven, Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scripture. The disciples did not distinctly understand many things till after Christ’s resurrection from the dead, when they saw the things accomplished, and when Christ further opened their eyes; which was also further done when the Holy Ghost came upon them in the days of Pentecost. Thus we hear for the time to come; and the seed which lieth a long time under the clods, at last springeth up through the influence of heaven upon it.

And they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said; the disciples then more clearly and more firmly believed the Scriptures, and were able to make a clearer application and interpretation of them. By the Scripture here, are meant the Scriptures of the Old Testament; to which is added, and the word which Jesus had said. Christ’s words gave them a clearer insight into the Scriptures of the Old Testament; and the harmony of the writings of the Old Testament with Christ’s words under the New Testament, confirmed the disciples’ faith in both.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 2:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-2.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

The scripture; those passages which foretold his death and resurrection. Psalms 16:10-11; Acts 2:22-36.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-2.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

22.Said this unto them—The them of this clause must refer to the Jews.

They believed the Scripture—That is, they believed this new matter and meaning now first discovered as concealed in the Scriptures. See note on John 2:11.

The word which Jesus had said—That word unfolded its new force and true divinity to their belief. And that new force gave a conclusive corroboration to the whole body of Messianic Scripture. They had in a true sense never before believed the Scripture; for they did not know herein what Scripture contained.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-2.html. 1874-1909.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

. ‘When therefore he was raised from the dead his disciple remembered that he had spoken like this, and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.’

Although the disciples did not understand the meaning at the time, once Jesus had risen from the dead they remembered what He had said and understood, and it confirmed their faith in both Him and the Scriptures.

‘And they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken’. Note that Jesus’ words are put on a level with ‘The Scripture’. The one especially in mind may well be Psalms 16:10, ‘you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you allow your holy one to see decay’, although John may have had a number of Scriptures in mind including, among others, Isaiah 53:10; Isaiah 53:12, where resurrection is implied.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-2.html. 2013.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 2:22. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he said this. Again (as in John 2:10) we are struck by the suddenness with which the narrative breaks off. It has been related mainly to bring out the rejection of Jesus by the Jews; the Evangelist pauses upon it only for a moment to speak of the effect on the disciples, as after the former miracle he records that the ‘disciples believed in’ Jesus (John 2:11). We do not find the same statement here, but are told (comp. chap. John 12:16) that the words which baffled the Jews were mysterious to the disciples likewise. Whilst, however, the Jews rejected the ‘hard saying,’ the disciples kept all these things and pondered them in their ‘heart,’ not understanding them until the prophecy was fulfilled. This record of words not understood at the time, even by the inner circle of the followers of Jesus, is a striking indication of the simple truthfulness of the narration (comp. John 2:11).

And they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.—The recollection of the words after the resurrection led the disciples (we cannot doubt that John is speaking chiefly of his own experience) to a fuller and richer faith in ‘the scripture’ and ‘the word ‘of Jesus. The ‘word’ must be that of John 2:19; but it is not so easy to explain ‘the scripture.’ It cannot mean the Old Testament as a whole, for in this sense John always uses the plural, ‘the Scriptures.’ It would be easier to suppose that the Evangelist has in mind some passages of the Old Testament predictive of the resurrection from Psalms 16; Isaiah 53; Hosea 6), or the rebuilding of the true temple (Zechariah 6:12-15). however, we include several passages, the difficulty in the use of the singular remains as before; and if we seek for a single prediction, we cannot meet with any one that agrees so closely with our Lord’s saying as to be thus definitely pointed out as ‘the scripture.’ We seem bound to refer the word to the only ‘scripture’ that (John 2:17) has been quoted in the context, Psalms 69:9. This verse, speaking of the consuming and of its cause, formed the groundwork of the first part of our Lord’s saying (‘Destroy this temple’). Hence this passage of the psalm and ‘the word which Jesus had said’ form one whole, and as such are mentioned here. The disciples, guided to deeper faith by that which was at the time wholly mysterious (and which was a ‘stone of stumbling’ to those who believed not), recognised the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy and of the prediction of Jesus Himself in the death and resurrection of their Lord. Thus in the first scene of His public ministry, we have Jesus before us in the light in which the whole Gospel is to present Him, at once the crucified and the risen Lord.

The whole narrative has been subjected to keen scrutiny both by friends and foes, but its importance has hardly yet been properly acknowledged. A few words must still be said as to its relation to the other Gospels, and as to its place in this.

Each of the earlier Gospels records a cleansing of the temple, accomplished, however, not at the outset but at the close of our Lord’s public ministry, on the Monday (probably) preceding the crucifixion. To some it has seemed altogether improbable that there should have been two acts of precisely similar character at the extreme points of the official life of our Lord. But is the character of the two the same? We would not lay too much stress on some of the differences of detail, for apparent divergences sometimes present themselves in connection with narratives which no one would be inclined to explain as relating to different events. There are, however, not a few touches in the account before us which show the hand of an eyewitness;—such as the making of the scourge of cords, the scattering of the money of exchange, the words addressed to the sellers of doves alone, the form of the rebuke, the conversation with the Jews, the incidental notice of the forty-six years (a statement which only elaborate calculation shows to be in harmony with independent statements of another Evangelist). Finally, there is the remarkable perversion before Caiaphas of the words regarding the rebuilding of the temple, on which nothing contained in the earlier Gospels throws any light, and which (especially as given in Mark 14:58) bears all the marks of having been exaggerated in the popular mind through lapse of time. Such considerations as these seem to show that, if the cleansing can have occurred once only, its place in the history is that assigned by John. But is it really at all improbable that two cleansings should have taken place, separated by such an interval of time as the Gospel narrative presupposes? No one will think that the action of our Lord, as here related, would put an end to the traffic, when this very narrative brings before us an official challenge of His authority so to act. At the last Passover Jesus would find the temple-court as much the scene of worldly trading as it was at the first. Did He then, it will be asked, condone the evil when in intervening years He went up to the same feast? This question must be met by another: Have we reason to believe that Jesus attended any other Passover than these two? The feast of chap. John 5:1 was in all probability not a Passover, and at the Passover mentioned in John 6:4. He certainly was not present. If then he attended two Passovers only, is it at all improbable that on the second occasion, as on the first, He would vindicate the purity and sanctity of the temple?

The purpose, too, of the two cleansings is different. At the close of His ministry He is hailed as King of Israel, and He indignantly expels from God’s house those who practically denied to Gentiles any share in that place of prayer. Now He acts as the Son of God, offering Himself in this character to rulers and to people, that they may acknowledge His Sonship and obey His word. ‘He came unto His own home,’ His home as Son, ‘and they that were His own received Him not.’ This is the turning-point of His ministry: henceforth He is the rejected of the Jews. This is the significance of the narrative before us. The cleansing and the mysterious words spoken by Jesus (John 2:19) are alike ‘signs.’ The first was a sign of His Sonship, a sign which they refused to accept. That refused, He gives the second; just as, when the Pharisees asked of Him a sign from heaven, He refused to give any save the sign of the prophet Jonah. If they will not listen to the former, the latter alone remains. He would have renewed the life of the temple, but they would not have it so. Let them, then, go on in their ways, and destroy the temple; let them go on in their rejection of Him, and destroy His life. The result will be the raising of a spiritual temple which shall be none of theirs—a temple in which God Himself shall dwell, manifested to all men in the Son.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-2.html. 1879-90.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

from = out from. Greek. ek. App-104.

the dead. No Article = dead people. See note on Matthew 17:9, and App-139.

remembered. Compare John 2:17. They remembered it after His resurrection, and believed it. Contrast His enemies. See note on John 2:19.

said = spake. Greek. lego, as in John 2:21.

believed. App-150. See note on John 1:7.

the scripture: i.e. that the scripture was true. Here, probably, Psalms 16:10. The word graphe Occurs twelve times in John: here; John 5:39; John 7:38, John 7:42; John 10:35; John 13:18; John 17:12; John 19:24, John 19:28, John 19:36, John 19:37; John 20:9.

word. Greek. logos. See on Mark 9:32.

said. Greek. epo.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 2:22". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture - that is, with an intelligent apprehension of what its testimony on this subject meant, which until then was hid from them.

And the word which Jesus had said. They believed it before, as they did the Scripture; but their faith in both was another thing after they came to understand it by seeing it verified.

Remarks:

(1) On the question, whether this purification of the temple is one and the same action with that recorded in the first three Gospels (Matthew 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-19; Luke 19:45-48), see introductory remarks to Luke 19:45-48. But the points of difference between the two scenes may here be stated: First, The one took place at the very outset of our Lord's public ministry, and at His first visit to Jerusalem; the other at the very close of it, and at His last visit to Jerusalem. Second, At the former cleansing He used a whip of small cords in clearing the temple-court; at the latter cleansing we read of nothing of this sort. If, then, they were one and the same action, how is it that three Evangelists have recorded it without any mention of this part of it; while the mention of so special a procedure even by one Evangelist can only be explained by its having actually occurred? Third, At the first cleansing all that the Lord said was, "Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise." At the last cleansing His rebuke was withering - "It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of robbers" [ leestoon (Greek #3027)].

And it may be added, that on this second occasion He "would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple," which would hardly have been said, perhaps, of the first cleansing. Fourth, On the first occasion "the Jews," or members of the Sanhedrim (see the note at John 1:19), asked of our Lord a "sign" of His right to do such things; and it was then that He spake that saying about destroying the temple and rearing it up in three days which was adduced, though impotently, as evidence against Him on His trial before the Council; whereas nothing of this is recorded in any of the three accounts of the second cleansing. Indeed, the time for asking of Him signs of His authority was then over. Lastly, At the second cleansing "the chief priests and the scribes, and the chief of the people" - exasperated at His high-handed exposure of their temple-traffic, "sought how they might destroy Him," but could not find what they might do, "for all the people were astonished at His teaching" - all betokening that the crisis of our Lord's public life had arrived; whereas the first cleansing passed away with the simple demand for a sign, and our Lord's reply. However dissatisfied they may have been, the matter appears to have rested there, in the meantime-just as we might presume it would at so early a period in our Lord's ministry, when even many who were sincere enough might be unable to make up their minds, and the prejudices of others had not acquired depth and strength enough for any open opposition.

(2) Had this remarkable clearing of the temple-court not actually occurred, what inventor of a life that never was lived would have thought of such a thing? Or, if the idea itself should not have been so entirely beyond the range of probable conception, who would ever have thought of introducing the idea of the whip of small cords? Of all things, this at least, one should think, must have been real, else it could never have been written. But if this was real, the whole scene must have been so-the sanctity claimed for the temple-service and the desecration which kindled the jealousy of this Holy One of God, the Son for the honour of His Father's house; the demand for a sign, tacitly owning the actual exercise of resistless authority, with the remarkable reply, too special to have been penned except as having been uttered; and the darkness of the speech even to the disciples themselves until the resurrection of their Lord cleared it all up. No wonder that the bare reading of such a Narrative carries its own evidence in the minds of all the unprejudiced.

(3) In Christ's jealousy for the sanctity and honour of His Father's house-both when He came first to it, in His official character, and when He came to it for the last time-what a glorious commentary have we on those words of the last of the prophets: "The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness" (Malachi 3:1-3). Thus was He revealed as "a Son over His own House," the Lord of the temple, the Refiner and Purifier of the Church, of all its assemblies, and of each of its worshippers.

Compare this: " Yahweh (Hebrew #3068) is in His holy temple; His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men" (Psalms 11:4) - with this: "Unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith THE SON OF GOD, who hath His eyes as a flame of fire, and His feet are like fine brass; I know thy works ... and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works" (Revelation 2:18-19; Revelation 2:23). This whip of small cords was like the fan in His hand with which He purged His floor;" not "throughly" indeed, but sufficiently to foreshadow His last act toward that faithless people-sweeping them out of God's house. The sign which He gives of His authority to do this is a very remarkable one-the announcement, at this the very outset of His ministry, of that coming death by their hands and resurrection by His own, which were to pave the way for their judicial ejection. This, however, was uttered-as was fitting at so early a period-in language only to be fully understood, even by His disciples, after His resurrection.

(4) When Christ says He will Himself rear up the temple of His body, in three days after they had destroyed it, He makes a claim and uses language which would be manifest presumption in any creature-claiming absolute power over His own life. But on this important subject, see more at John 10:1; John 10:8.

The three last verses of the second chapter, and the first 21 verses of the third, form manifestly one subject, in two divisions; the former one brief, because unsatisfactory, the latter of too deep importance in itself and too pregnant with instruction for all, not to be given in full detail.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(22) That he had said this unto them.—The better texts omit “unto them.” For the way in which the saying, hard to be understood, fixed itself in men’s minds, comp. Matthew 26:61; Matthew 27:40; Mark 14:58; Mark 15:29; Acts 6:13. It becomes in the mouth of false witnesses the accusation by means of which its meaning is accomplished. The death on the cross is the destruction of the Temple, but it is not unaccompanied by the rent veil; the two meanings are linked together.

It fixed itself, too, on the disciples’ minds; but weeks, months, years, did not cast any light upon it until the Resurrection. These passages of those familiar Old Testament writings then came to men who had been slow of heart to see them, with the quickening power of a new life. They saw that Christ ought to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory. They saw in Moses and the Prophets the things concerning Him, and they believed in a new and higher sense the written and the spoken word. (Comp. Luke 24:26 et seq.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 2:22". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.
his
17; 12:16; 14:26; 16:4; Luke 24:7,8,44; Acts 11:16
and they
11; 20:8,9
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 2:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-2.html.

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

Ver. 22. "When therefore He was risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them; and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."

It is not said, that the disciples then first understood the declaration; but that then, when the fulfilment lay before them, it received a new meaning for them.

The belief in Scripture is placed before belief in this declaration, according to the usage of John 7:38; John 7:42; John 10:35; John 13:18, and of the New Testament generally—belief in the Scriptures, viz., of the Old Testament: because the declaration of Christ received its full light and its correct meaning only by comparison with the Old Testament; without this solid basis, it would have been in suspense. The resurrection of Christ also appears as testified by the Old Testament in John 20:9 : οὐδέπω γὰρ ᾔδεισαν τὴν γραφὴν ὅτι δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν ἀναστῆναι. According to 1 Corinthians 15:4, Christ rose on the third day "according to the Scripture." That the Apostles based their assumption of the Old Testament witness to the resurrection on the authority of Christ, is shown by Luke 24:25-26; Luke 24:44. Yet the former passage, "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory?" indicates that the resurrection is not witnessed to directly in the Old Testament, but rather comes into consideration as necessarily intermediate between the Passion and the glory of Christ. We are led to the same result by the saying of Peter, in 1 Peter 1:11, that the Spirit of Christ in the prophets testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. When the matter is regarded from this point of view, the Old Testament contains testimonies to the resurrection in great abundance. They are found, according to the declaration of Christ, in Moses—here we must especially consider Genesis 49:10; for without the resurrection, Christ cannot be the Shiloh, in whom Judah attains to the dominion of the world,—in the Psalms—e.g., in Psalms 110, where Christ appears, sitting at the right hand of the Almighty, as the ruler over His enemies,—and in the prophets. All predictions in the latter concerning the Messiah in His glory, as Isaiah 9, 11, and Micah 5, contain a guaranty of the resurrection. But those prophecies are especially to be considered, which place in contrast to the sufferings ending in death, the glory which should follow. In Isaiah 53 the atoning death of the Servant of God is clearly taught. If now, in spite of and by means of this, He attains to great glory, so that the heathen are sprinkled by Him, and kings shut their mouths at Him, then the resurrection is a necessary postulate. In Zechariah 9:9-10, the Messiah is represented first as the lowly, עני, and riding upon an ass; and then as He who speaks peace to the heathen, whose dominion is from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. Since the lowliness, according to John 12:10, John 13:7, and chap. 11, is to end in death, the resurrection forms the necessary bridge between the two conditions. Besides the specific Messianic predictions, there is also a wide region of typical prophecy of the resurrection, as Psalms 16, and of prophetic history.

It is of significance that the New Testament comprises all the books of the Old Testament under the name of Scripture. It thus intimates that these writings, though widely separated as to time, and different in their contents and manner, are yet connected by a powerful bond of union, being "given from one Shepherd," Ecclesiastes 12:11; it also points to inspiration, and the unconditional authority resting upon it, which "cannot be broken." Every eclectic position towards the Old Testament is thus by this designation cut up by the roots.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 2:22". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-2.html.