Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 3:24

for John had not yet been thrown into prison.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - John;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Grace;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John the baptist;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Episcopacy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Faith;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gospels;   Jesus Christ;   John the Baptist;   John, the Gospel According to;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John;   John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Gospels;   John, Gospel of;   John, Theology of;   Mss;   Scribes;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Herod ;   John the Baptist;   Prisoner;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - James;   John, Gospel of;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For John was not yet cast into prison - See Luke 3:20. The mention of this shows that John was not imprisoned until some time after our Lord entered on his ministry. The design of John was to call men to repentance, and to prepare them for the Messiah, and this he continued to do after our Saviour commenced his work. It shows that a minister of religion should be industrious to the day of his death. John still toiled in his work not the “less” because the Messiah had come. So ministers should not labor less when Christ appears by his Spirit, and takes the work into his own hands, and turns many to himself.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-3.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For John was not yet cast into prison.

There could have been no reason for this statement unless the apostle John was familiar with the other three Gospels and knew that his readers were also fully acquainted with them. The Nestle Greek text gives "the prison" as a legitimate rendition;[23] and, when so read, it carries the weight of "the imprisonment of John," thus an event already established in the common knowledge, as when the Declaration of Independence, is mentioned. Hendriksen wrote:

Taking it for granted that believers had read the earlier Gospels, the author corrects a possible misunderstanding and shows that between Christ's temptation and the arrest of John the Baptist there was a considerable period during which Jesus and John were in a parallel ministry.[24]

[23] Alfred Marshall, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1958), p. 367.

[24] William Hendriksen, op. cit., p. 147.

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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 3:24". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-3.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For John was not yet cast into prison. As he afterwards was by Herod, for the sake of Herodias, because he reproved Herod for taking her to be his wife, when she was wife to his brother Philip; see Matthew 14:3; and this circumstance shows, that these things were done before that journey of Christ into Galilee, mentioned in Matthew 4:12.

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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
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Gill, John. "Commentary on John 3:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-3.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

John not yet cast into prison — Hence it is plain that our Lord‘s ministry did not commence with the imprisonment of John, though, but for this, we should have drawn that inference from Matthew 4:12 and Mark‘s (Mark 1:14) express statement.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-3.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

For John had not yet been cast into prison (ουπω γαρ ην βεβλημενος εις την πυλακην Ιωανηςoupō gar ēn beblēmenos eis tēn phulakēn Iōanēs). Periphrastic past perfect indicative of βαλλωballō explaining (γαρgar) why John was still baptizing, the reason for the imprisonment having been given by Luke (Luke 3:19.).

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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 3:24". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-3.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

Prison ( τὴν φυλακὴν )

See on Acts 5:18, Acts 5:21.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-3.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

The Fourfold Gospel

For John was not yet cast into prison1.

  1. For John was not yet cast into prison. John's Gospel shows that the ministry of Christ was well under way before that of the Baptist ceased: a fact which the synoptists do not reveal. See Matthew 4:12 Mark 6:17; Luke 3:20.

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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 3:24". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-3.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

For John was not yell cast into prison. From the first three Evangelists one would naturally conclude that our Lord's public ministry only began after the Baptist's imprisonment. But here, about six months, probably, after our Lord had entered upon His public ministry, we find the Baptist still at his work of preaching and baptizing. How much longer this continued cannot be determined with certainty; but probably not very long. For the great importance of this little verse for the right harmonizing of the Gospels, and determining the probable duration of our Lord's ministry, see on Matt. 4:12.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-3.html. 1878.

Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books

Ver. 24. "For John had not yet been cast into prison."

This remark of the evangelist is surprising, because there is nothing in what precedes which is adapted to occasion it. The fact of the incarceration of John the Baptist, as already accomplished, was not, in any way, implied in the preceding narrative. It is therefore elsewhere than in our Gospel that we must seek for the reason why the evangelist thinks that he must correct a misapprehension existing on this subject, as he evidently does by the remark of John 3:24. This reason is easily discovered in the narrative of our first two Synoptics: Matthew 4:12 : "Jesus, having heard that John was delivered up, withdrew into Galilee." Mark 1:14 :

"After that John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee." These words immediately follow the account of the baptism and temptation; they would necessarily produce on the reader the impression that the imprisonment of John the Baptist had followed very closely upon the baptism of Jesus, and preceded—even occasioned—His first return to Galilee; thus precisely the opinion which the remark of John sets aside. The account in Luke 3:19-20 is different; the imprisonment of the Baptist is there evidently mentioned only by way of anticipation. Hengstenberg thought that the narrative of Matthew and Mark might be explained by the fact that the first return of Jesus to Galilee— the one which John relates in John 1:44—was simply omitted by them. But we have seen (John 2:11) that the first visit of Jesus to Capernaum coincided with certain scenes of the very first period of the Galilean ministry related by the Synoptics.

It only remains, therefore, to acknowledge that frequently in the primitive oral tradition the first two returns from Judea to Galilee (John 1:44 and John 4:1-3) were blended together. From this identification would, naturally, result the suppression of the entire interval which had separated them—that is to say, of almost a whole year of Jesus" ministry. To recover this ground which had disappeared, John was thus obliged expressly to restore the distinction between the two returns. He was especially obliged to do this on reaching the fact which he is about to relate, a fact which falls precisely in this interval.Hilgenfeld himself, speaking of this passage, says: "Involuntarily the fourth evangelist bears witness here of his acquaintance with the Synoptical narrative."

There is nothing to criticise in this remark except the word involuntarily. For the intentional character of this parenthesis, John 3:24, is obvious. We have already proved in John the evident intention of distinguishing these two returns to Galilee by the manner in which he spoke of the miracle of Cana, John 2:11; we shall have occasion to make a similar remark of the same character, with reference to John 4:54. As for the way in which this confusion arose in the tradition written out by the Synoptics, we may remember that it was only after the second return to Galilee that Jesus began that uninterrupted prophetic ministry which the first three Gospels portray for us very particularly and which was the beginning of the foundation of the Church. However important were the attempts made in Judea, up to this time, in the description of the development of Jewish unbelief which John traced, they could just as easily be omitted in the narrative of the actual establishment of the kingdom of God, and of the foundation of the Church which was the result of the Galilean ministry, related especially by the Synoptics.

We can draw from this twenty-fourth verse an important conclusion with respect to the position of the author of the fourth Gospel in the midst of the primitive Church. Who else but an apostle, but an apostle of the first rank, but an apostle recognized as such, could have taken in his writing a position so sovereign with regard to the tradition received in the Church, emanating from the Twelve, and recorded in the Gospels which were anterior to his own? By a stroke of the pen to introduce so considerable a modification in a narrative clothed with such authority, he must have been, and have felt himself to be, possessed of an authority which was altogether incontestable.

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Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/john-3.html.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

Ver. 24. Cast into prison] The primitive bishops were found more frequently in prisons than palaces. Bocardo became a college of Quondams, {a} as the Marian martyrs merrily called it. If Petronius could tell Caesar that he had rather be with Cato in the prison house than with him in the senate house; why should it grieve any to suffer bonds with and for Christ? Chrysostom had rather be Paul a prisoner of Jesus Christ than Paul rapped up into tbe third heaven. (Homil. in Ephesians 3:1) ΄ετα κατωνος εν οικηματι, μαλλον η μετα σου ενταυθα ειναι βουλομαι. (Dio Cass.)

{a} The former holder of some office or position; one who has been deposed or ejected; ŒD

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 3:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-3.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

24.] There is much difficulty, which probably never will be cleared up, about the date of the imprisonment of John, and its reference to the course of our Lord’s ministry. Between Matthew 4:11-12, there seems to be a wide hiatus, in which (see note there) the first chapters of this Gospel should be inserted. But the records from which the three synoptic Gospels have arisen were apparently unconscious of any such interval. Our Evangelist seems here to refer to such records, and to insert this remark, that it might not be imagined, as it would be from them, that our Lord’s public ministry (in the wider sense, see below on John 3:26) began with the imprisonment of the Baptist.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 3:24". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-3.html. 1863-1878.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

John 3:24 corrects, in passing, the synoptic tradition,(170) which John knew as being widely spread, and the discrepancy in which is not to be explained either by placing the imprisonment between John 4:2-3, and by taking the journey of Jesus to Galilee there related as the same with that mentioned in Matthew 4:12 (Lücke, Tholuck, Olshausen, B. Crusius, Ebrard, Hengstenberg, and many others), or by making the journey of Matthew 4:12 to coincide with that named in John 6:1 (Wieseler). See on Matthew 4:12. Apart from that purpose of correction, which is specially apparent if we compare Matthew 4:17 (subtleties to the contrary in Ebrard), the remark, which was quite intelligible of itself, would be, to say the least, superfluous,—unnecessary even to gain space for bringing Jesus and the Baptist again alongside each other (Keim), even if we were to venture to propose the suggestion, of which the text says nothing, that Jesus felt himself obliged, as the time of the Baptist was not yet expired, to bring the kingdom of God near, in keeping with the form which the Baptist had adopted (Luthardt, p. 79).

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on John 3:24". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/john-3.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 3:24. οὔτω, not yet) Here the Evangelist takes for granted, what the others [Matthew, Mark, and Luke] bad written concerning the imprisonment of John the Baptist.— γάρ, for) Therefore John ceased to baptize, when he was cast into prison; not before.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 3:24". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-3.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

For John was yet in the exercise of his public ministry, not cast into prison, as he was soon after.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 3:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-3.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

Иоанн еще не был заключен в темницу Это дает еще один признак того, что Иоанн дополнял синоптические Евангелия, предоставляя дополнительную информацию, которая в дальнейшем помогает понять перемещения Иоанна Крестителя и Иисуса (см. Введение). В повествованиях Матфея и Марка за искушением Иисуса следует заточение в тюрьму Иоанна. Этой фразой апостол Иоанн заполняет место между крещением Иисуса и заточением Крестителя в тюрьму.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 3:24". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-3.html.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘For John had not yet been put in prison.’

John had not yet been put into prison. Thus this is before the ministries of Jesus mentioned in the other Gospels. Jesus is quite happy at this stage to be connected with John for whom He had profound admiration and they engage in parallel ministries. It was only when He learned that there was talk about His greater success than John, that He took the step of moving to Galilee so as not to upstage John.

It is clearly around this time that John was put into prison, and it is only then that Jesus was prepared to commence a wider, active ministry. While John was around, Jesus wished to act as support to his ministry and did not draw on his pool of disciples. But once John is in prison Jesus feels free to commence a new ministry in the power of the Spirit. We should note that we learn from the other Gospels that crowds followed Him ‘from Judea’. This tends to confirm that there had been an initial Judean ministry (Mark 3:7).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/john-3.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.John’ not’ prison—This verse is a remarkable indication that our Evangelist writes for a body of readers who had a previous general acquaintance with the facts of Christian history. He assumes that they were aware that John was imprisoned, and knew about the time.

Occasion and delivery of John’s closing testimony, 25-36. Compare notes on John 1:19-37.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-3.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Obviously John continued preaching and baptizing after Jesus began ministering, and he did so until Herod Antipas imprisoned him. The Synoptic writers began their narratives of Jesus" public ministry with His ministry in Galilee. They viewed the beginning of Jesus" ministry as starting with John the Baptist"s imprisonment ( Mark 1:14). The Apostle John began his narrative of Jesus" ministry with His earlier Judean ministry. From him alone we learn that between Jesus" temptation and John the Baptist"s arrest John and Jesus baptized at the same time. His reference to John the Baptist"s imprisonment is important because it helps the reader see that John"s account does not contradict the Synoptics. Yet his primary concern was John the Baptist"s witness to Jesus.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/john-3.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 3:24. For John was not yet east into prison. Words in which the Evangelist vindicates the accuracy of his narrative, and corrects a mistake apparently prevailing in the Church when he wrote. The earlier Gospels, dealing mainly with the Galilean work of Jesus, do not mention His entering upon His public ministry until after the Baptist had been delivered up. This seems to have led to an impression that the Baptist was imprisoned before our Lord entered on His public work. The false inference is here corrected.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-3.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 3:24. , “for not yet had John been cast into prison”: a clause inserted for the sake of those who might have gathered from the synoptic narrative that John was cast into prison immediately after the temptation of Jesus, Mark 1:14, Matthew 4:12. John having been present with Jesus through all this period can give the sequence of the events with chronological precision.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 3:24". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-3.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

was = had been.

not yet. Greek. oupo, compound of ou.

prison = the prison. Compare Matthew 4:12.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 3:24". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-3.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For John was not yet cast into prison. For John was not yet cast into prison. From the first three Evangelists one would naturally conclude that our Lord's public ministry only began after the Baptist's imprisonment. But here, about six months, probably, after our Lord had entered on His public ministry, we find the Baptist still at his work. How much longer this continued cannot be determined with certainty; but probably not very long. For the great importance of this little verse for the right harmonizing of the Gospels, and determining the probable duration of our Lord's ministry, see the note at Matthew 4:12.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-3.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

24. (John had not yet been put In prison.) John’s Gospel shows that the ministry of Jesus was put into effect and was very successful, before the work of John the Baptist terminated. McGarvey thinks this is further proof that Jesus continued the baptism of John up to the Cross [where it terminated]. See John 3:22.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 3:24". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-3.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) Was not yet cast into prison.—This Judæan ministry, then, preceded the Galilean ministry of the earlier Gospels. (See John 4:3, and Note on Matthew 4:12.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 3:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For John was not yet cast into prison.
Matthew 4:12; 14:3; Mark 6:17; Luke 3:19,20; 9:7-9
Reciprocal: Matthew 11:2 - in

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 3:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-3.html.

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

Ver. 24. "For John was not yet cast into prison."

This remark presupposes that there was occasion for thinking otherwise, though there is none such in our Gospel. And regarding this fact merely, the remark is a very striking one. If John, according to ver. 23, was baptizing at non, it was a matter of course that he was not yet cast into prison. The solution of the riddle is given in Matthew 4:12. From this it might appear that the commencement of the ministry of Jesus was conditioned by the delivering up of John. Matthew had omitted the earlier ministry of Jesus. John hints at this, by remarking, after the account of a contemporaneous ministry of Jesus and of John, that John was not yet cast into prison. By this is meant, that the events recorded in vers. 22-36 are to be placed before Matthew 4:12. It is of significance that John does not afterwards record the imprisonment of John, which shows also the connection of his Gospel with that of Matthew. John 4:1-3 are supplemented by Matthew 4:12, and are clear only when this connection is recognised.

A "correction of the synoptic tradition" is not to be mentioned. The words, ἀνεχώρησεν εἰς τὴν γαλιλαίαν, in Matthew 4:12, in complete harmony with John, intimate an earlier ministry; for only in this case could Jesus have been obliged to return to Galilee, John 2:14, when, in consequence of His ministry, enmity and danger had arisen in Judea, which He wished to avoid. John 4:1-2, gives only the commentary and completion to the ἀνεχώρησε. The words, ἀπὸ τότε ἤρξατο, in Matthew 4:17, refer to the commencement of the ministry on the new theatre—the Galilean activity, which, according to John also, did not begin till that time; for the few days which Jesus had previously spent in Galilee after His baptism, do not come into consideration. There is no trace of any public preaching or κηρύσσειν during that transient residence in Galilee. In Judea, Jesus certainly developed such an activity, John 2:13 to the end of ch. 3; but Matthew contents himself with intimating that he is aware of it. He had not yet at that time become an associate of Jesus; and the Galilean activity of Jesus had for him, on account of the prophecy of Isaiah at the head of it, an especial interest.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 3:24". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-3.html.