Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 3:8

The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Jesus, the Christ;   Life;   Man;   Meteorology and Celestial Phenomena;   Mysteries;   Nicodemus;   Regeneration;   Salvation;   Symbols and Similitudes;   Wind;   Scofield Reference Index - Flesh;   Inspiration;   Thompson Chain Reference - Great;   Ignorance;   Knowledge-Ignorance;   Man;   Man's;   Mysteries of Nature;   Mysteries, Great;   Mysteries-Revelations;   Nature's;   The Topic Concordance - Holy Spirit;   Kingdom of God;   Rebirth/being Born Again;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Emblems of the Holy Spirit, the;   Life, Spiritual;   New Birth, the;   Wind, the;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Nicodemus;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John, gospel of;   Nicodemus;   Sin;   Spirit;   Teacher;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Disciple, Discipleship;   Holy Spirit;   King, Christ as;   Life;   Salvation;   Spirit;   Spirituality;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Episcopacy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Birth;   Nicodemus;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Birth;   Ecclesiastes, the Book of;   Jesus Christ;   John, the Gospel According to;   Nicodemus;   Winds;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bible, Theology of;   Holy Spirit;   Wind;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Children (Sons) of God;   Gospels;   John, Gospel of;   John, Theology of;   List;   Mss;   Nicodemus;   Regeneration;   Scribes;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Breathing;   Discourse;   Heat ;   Holy Spirit;   Husbandman ;   Immanence ;   Individuality;   John, Gospel of (Critical);   Liberty (2);   Mental Characteristics;   Nature and Natural Phenomena;   Obscurity;   Organization (2);   Pentecost ;   Personality;   Poet;   Property (2);   Regeneration;   Regeneration (2);   Righteous, Righteousness;   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Spirit ;   Teaching of Jesus;   Trinity (2);   Voice (2);   Wind ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nicodemus ;   Wind;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Regeneration;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Obsolete or obscure words in the english av bible;   Spirit;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Blow;   Wind;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Heart;   Will;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Tabernacle, the;   Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Baptismal Regeneration;   Bear;   Blow;   Johannine Theology, the;   List;   Nicodemus;   Regeneration;   Sin (1);   Thessalonians, the Second Epistle of Paul to the;   Wind;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Birth, New;   Christianity in Its Relation to Judaism;   Holy Spirit;   Nicodemus;   Winds;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 31;   Every Day Light - Devotion for December 4;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The wind bloweth - Though the manner in which this new birth is effected by the Divine Spirit, be incomprehensible to us, yet we must not, on this ground, suppose it to be impossible. The wind blows in a variety of directions - we hear its sound, perceive its operation in the motion of the trees, etc., and feel it on ourselves - but we cannot discern the air itself; we only know that it exists by the effects which it produces: so is every one who is born of the Spirit: the effects are as discernible and as sensible as those of the wind; but itself we cannot see. But he who is born of God knows that he is thus born: the Spirit itself, the grand agent in this new birth, beareth witness with his spirit, that he is born of God, Romans 8:16; for, he that believeth hath the witness in himself, 1 John 4:13; 1 John 5:10; Galatians 4:6. And so does this Spirit work in and by him that others, though they see not the principle, can easily discern the change produced; for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world, 1 John 5:4.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 3:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-3.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The wind bloweth … - Nicodemus had objected to the doctrine because he did not understand how it could be. Jesus shows him that he ought not to reject it on that account, for he constantly believed things quite as difficult. It might appear incomprehensible, but it was to be judged of by its effects. As in this case of the wind, the effects were seen, the sound was heard, important changes were produced by it, trees and clouds were moved, yet the wind is not seen, nor do we know whence it comes, nor by what laws it is governed; so it is with the operations of the Spirit. We see the changes produced. Men just now sinful become holy; the thoughtless become serious; the licentious become pure; the vicious, moral; the moral, religious; the prayerless, prayerful; the rebellious and obstinate, meek, and mild, and gentle. When we see such changes, we ought no more to doubt that they are produced by some cause - by some mighty agent, than when we see the trees moved, or the waters of the ocean piled on heaps, or feet the cooling effects of a summer‘s breeze. In those cases we attribute it to the “wind,” though we see it not, and though we do not understand its operations. We may learn, hence:

1.that the proper evidence of conversion is the effect on the life.

2.that we are not too curiously to search for the cause or manner of the change.

3.that God has power over the most hardened sinner to change him, as he has power over the loftiest oak, to bring it down by a sweeping blast.

4.that there may be great variety in the modes of the operation of the Spirit. As the “wind” sometimes sweeps with a tempest, and prostrates all before it, and sometimes breathes upon us in a mild evening zephyr, so it is with the operations of the Spirit. The sinner sometimes trembles and is prostrate before the truth, and sometimes is sweetly and gently drawn to the cross of Jesus.

Where it listeth - Where it “wills” or “pleases.”

So is every one … - Everyone that is born of the Spirit is, in some respects, like the effects of the wind. You see it not, you cannot discern its laws, but you see its effects,” and you know therefore that it does exist and operate. Nicodemus‘ objection was, that he could not “see” this change, or perceive “how” it could be. Jesus tells him that he should not reject a doctrine merely because he could not understand it. Neither could the “wind” be seen, but its effects were well known, and no one doubted the existence or the power of the agent. Compare Ecclesiastes 11:5.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-3.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The wind bloweth where it listeth,.... For ought any mortal can say, or do to the contrary: and so the Spirit of God is a free agent in regeneration; he works how, and where, and when he pleases; he acts freely in the first operation of his grace on the heart, and in all after influences of it; as well as in the donation of his gifts to men, for different purposes; see 1 Corinthians 12:11; and this grace of the Spirit in regeneration, like the wind, is powerful and irresistible; it carries all before it; there is no withstanding it; it throws down Satan's strong holds, demolishes the fortifications of sin; the whole posse of hell, and the corruptions of a man's heart, are not a match for it; when the Spirit works, who can let?

and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it goeth; as the wind, though its sound is heard, and its force felt, it cannot be seen; nor is it known certainly, from whence it comes, and where are the treasures of it; from whence it begins, and where it ends; so is the grace of the Spirit of God in regeneration to a natural man; it is imperceptible, indiscernible, and unaccountable by him, 1 Corinthians 2:14.

So is every one that is born of the Spirit: he is regenerated by grace, that is, as free and sovereign, as powerful and irresistible, and as secret and imperceptible, as the wind is: and seeing so ordinary a thing as the blowing of the wind is of such a nature, and so little to be accounted for; regeneration by the Spirit of God, who is comparable to the wind, and whose name so signifies, need not be thought so marvellous and astonishing, though the natural man discerns it not, and cannot account for it. The beauty and propriety of this simile will more appear by observing, that the same Hebrew word, רוח, is used both for the wind, and for the Spirit of God; it is used for the "wind", in Genesis 3:8; and in other places, and for the Spirit of God, in Genesis 1:2, and elsewhere: and so likewise the Greek word πνευμα, is used for them both, for the wind in this place, and often for the Holy Ghost: and it may be observed, that the Holy Spirit, because of his powerful, comfortable, and quickening influences, is compared to the wind, especially to the south wind, in some passages of the Old Testament, which Christ might have in view, Song of Solomon 4:16. What our Lord here says, concerning the wind, is confirmed by all experience, and philosophical observations; the rise of winds, from whence they come, and whither they go, cannot be ascertained; the treasures of them are only with God, and known to him; see Ecclesiastes 11:5.

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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 3:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-3.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The wind bloweth where it h listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

(h) With free and wandering blasts as it wishes.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 3:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-3.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

The wind, etc.Breath and spirit (one word both in Hebrew and Greek) are constantly brought together in Scripture as analogous (Job 27:3; Job 33:4; Ezekiel 37:9-14).

canst not tell, etc. — The laws which govern the motion of the winds are even yet but partially discovered; but the risings, failings, and change in direction many times in a day, of those gentle breezes here referred to, will probably ever be a mystery to us: So of the operation of the Holy Ghost in the new birth.

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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 3:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-3.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. Most commentators have held that this means: "As the wind moves mysteriously, so does the Spirit, and it breathes upon whom it will, effecting the inward change called the birth of the Spirit arbitrarily." This view I believe due to a wrong translation, sanctioned, not by Greek, but by current theology. Let it be noted that: (1) Exactly the same Greek term is rendered "wind" and "Spirit" in this verse. It is a violation of all law that the same word should experience so radical a change of meaning in the same sentence. (2) That the word ({pneuma}) is not translated "wind" elsewhere, although it occurs scores of times in the New Testament, but is always rendered "Spirit." (3) Another word in the Greek, {anemos,} is usually used to represent "wind." (4) The erroneous idea creates a confusion of figures. It makes Christ to say: "The wind bloweth where it listeth; so is (not the Spirit, but) every one born of the Spirit." It affirms of him who is born just what is affirmed of the wind, a thing the Savior never did. These facts are sufficient to show that the rendering "wind" is wrong. All we have to do is to translate {pneuma} here, as is done in the latter part of the verse and elsewhere in the New Testament. The verse then reads: "The Spirit ({pneuma}) breathes where it pleases and thou hearest the voice thereof, but canst not tell whence it comes nor whither it goes. So (by hearing its voice) is every one born of the Spirit" ({pneuma}). The meaning is: The Spirit breathes where it wills and you recognize its manifestation by its voice; by the words spoken by men of God as the Holy Spirit gives them utterance. You cannot tell whence the Spirit comes to whither it goes, but you can hear its voice when it does come. {So,} by hearing the voice of the Spirit, is every one born of the Spirit. He who receives by faith the communications of the Spirit is born of the Spirit. The birth of the Spirit is not the same thing as the gift of the Spirit. To those who are born of the Spirit is given. "{Because} ye are sons, God hath sent the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Galatians 4:6). Hence, in harmony with the above view, Peter says, "Being born again, not by corruptible seed, but incorruptible, through the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever."

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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.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on John 3:8". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/john-3.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

The wind (το πνευμαto pneuma). In Greek πνευμαpneuma means either wind or spirit as spiritus does in Latin (so also in Hebrew and Syriac). Wycliff follows the Latin and keeps spirit here and Marcus Dods argues for it. The word πνευμαpneuma occurs 370 times in the N.T. and never means wind elsewhere except in a quotation from the O.T. (Hebrews 1:7 from Psalm 104:4), though common in the lxx. On the other hand πνεωpneō (bloweth, πνειpnei) occurs five times elsewhere in the N.T. and always of the wind (like John 6:18). So πωνηphōnē can be either sound (as of wind) or voice (as of the Spirit). In simple truth either sense of πνευμαpneuma can be taken here as one wills. Tholuck thinks that the night-wind swept through the narrow street as Jesus spoke. In either case the etymology of πνευμαpneuma is “wind” from πνεωpneō to blow. The Spirit is the use of πνευμαpneuma as metaphor. Certainly the conclusion “of the Spirit” is a direct reference to the Holy Spirit who works his own way beyond our comprehension even as men even yet do not know the law of the wind.

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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)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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

The wind ( τὸ πνεῦμα )

Some hold by the translation spirit, as Wyc., the spirit breatheth where it will. In Hebrew the words spirit and wind are identical. Πνεῦμα is from πνέω tobreathe or blow, the verb used in this verse (bloweth ), and everywhere in the New Testament of the blowing of the wind (Matthew 7:25, Matthew 7:27; Luke 12:55; John 6:18). It frequently occurs in the classics in the sense of wind. Thus Aristophanes, τὸ πνεῦμ ' ἔλαττον γίγνεται , the wind is dying away (“Knights,” 441), also in the New Testament, Hebrews 1:7, where the proper translation is, “who maketh His angels winds,” quoted from 1Kings href="/desk/?q=1ki+18:45&sr=1">1 Kings 18:45; 1 Kings 19:11; 2 Kings 3:17; Job 1:19. In the New Testament, in the sense of breath, 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 11:11. The usual rendering, wind, is confirmed here by the use of the kindred verb πνεῖ , bloweth, and by φωνὴν , sound, voice. Tholuck thinks that the figure may have been suggested to Jesus by the sound of the night-wind sweeping through the narrow street.

Where it listeth ( ὅπου θέλει )

On the verb θέλω , to will or determine, see on Matthew 1:19. Listeth is old English for pleasure or willeth, from the Anglo-Saxon lust, meaning pleasure. Chaucer has the forms leste, lust, and list.

“Strong was the wyn, and wel to drynke us leste (pleased ).”

Canterbury Tales,” 752.

“Love if thee lust.”

Canterbury Tales,” 1185.

“She walketh up and down wher as hire list (wherever she pleases ).”

Canterbury Tales,” 1054.

“A wretch by fear, not force, like Hannibal,

Drives back our troops, and conquers as she lists.”

Shakespeare, “Henry VI.,” Pt. I., i., v., 22.

Hence listless is devoid of desire. The statement of Jesus is not meant to be scientifically precise, but is rather thrown into a poetic mold, akin to the familiar expression “free as the wind.” Compare 1 Corinthians 12:11; and for the more prosaic description of the course of the wind, see Ecclesiastes 1:6.

Sound ( φωνὴν )

Rev., voice. Used both of articulate and inarticulate utterances, as of the words from heaven at Jesus' baptism and transfiguration (Matthew 3:17; 2 Peter 1:17, 2 Peter 1:18); of the trumpet (Matthew 24:31; 1 Corinthians 14:8), and of inanimate things in general (1 Corinthians 14:17). John the Baptist calls himself φωνή , a voice, and the word is used of the wind, as here, in Acts 2:6. Of thunder, often in the Revelation (Revelation 6:1; Revelation 14:2, etc.).

Canst not tell ( οὐκ οἶδας )

Better, as Rev., knowest not. Socrates, (Xenophon's “Memorabilia”), says, “The instruments of the deities you will likewise find imperceptible; for the thunder-bolt, for instance, though it is plain that it is sent from above, and works its will with everything with which it comes in contact, is yet never seen either approaching, or striking, or retreating; the winds, too, are themselves invisible, though their effects are evident to us, and we perceive their course” (iv. 3,14). Compare Ecclesiastes 11:5.

So

So the subject of the Spirit's invisible influence gives visible evidence of its power.

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Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The wind bloweth — According to its own nature, not thy will, and thou hearest the sound thereof - Thou art sure it doth blow, but canst not explain the particular manner of its acting.

So is every one that is born of the Spirit — The fact is plain, the manner of his operations inexplicable.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 3:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-3.html. 1765.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Where it listeth; where it will--Thou hearest, &c.; that is, we see the effect produced, but we cannot understand the operation of the cause.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/john-3.html. 1878.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Дух дышит, где хочет. Здесь имеется в виду не то, что дуновение обладает волей, но что это дуновение свободно в своем движении, каждый раз разное и возникает в разных местах. Сейчас воздух находится здесь, а в следующий миг – там. Это свойство воздуха весьма важно, ведь если бы он подобно воде тек непрерывным потоком, в этом не было бы большого чуда.

Так бывает и со всяким. Христос хочет сказать, что в обновлении человека движение и действие Духа Божия наблюдается не меньше, чем движение воздуха в этой земной жизни. Но способ сего движения от нас сокрыт. Итак, мы будем неблагодарными, если не станем поклоняться непостижимой силе Божией в жизни небесной. Ведь даже в этом мире мы видим яркий образ этой силы. Мы будем неблагодарными, если будем приписывать ей меньше в деле спасения, чем приписываем ей в деле сохранения телесного здоровья. Смысл станет немного понятнее, если закончить предложение так: Такая же сила и действенность Святого Духа наблюдаются и в возрожденном человеке.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-3.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Ver. 8. The wind bloweth, &c.] Libero et vago impetu. Watch, therefore, the gales of grace; we cannot purchase this wind (as sailors in Norway are said to do) for any money. This hawk, when flown, will not easily be brought to hand again.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 3:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-3.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

John 3:8

The Fruits of the Spirit.

I. Such words as those of the text must sound as dreams to those analytical philosophers, who allow nothing in man below the sphere of consciousness actual or possible; who have dissected the human mind till they find in it no personal will, no indestructible spiritual self, but a character which is only the net result of innumerable states of consciousness; who hold that man's outward actions, and also his inmost instincts, are all the result either of calculations about profit and loss, pleasure, pain, or of emotions, whether hereditary or acquired. Ignoring the deep and ancient distinction—which no one ever brought out so clearly as St. Paul—between the flesh and the spirit, they hold that man is flesh and can be nothing more; that each person is not really a person, but is the consequence of his brain and nerves, and having thus, by logical analysis, got rid of the spirit of man, their reason and their conscience quite honestly and consistently see no need for, no possibility of, a Spirit of God, to ennoble and enable the human spirit.

II. But St. Paul says, and we say, that, crushed under this animal nature, there is in man a spirit; we say that, below all his consciousness there is a nobler element, a Divine spark, or at least a Divine fuel, which must be kindled into life by the Divine Spirit, the Spirit of God. And we say that, in proportion as that Spirit of God kindles the spirit of man, he begins to act after a fashion for which he can give no logical reason; that by instinct, and without calculation of profit or loss, pleasure or pain, he begins to act on what he calls duty, honour, love, self-sacrifice. And we say, moreover, that those who deny this, and dream of a morality and a civilisation without the Spirit of God, are unconsciously throwing down the ladder by which they themselves have climbed, and sawing off the very bough to which they cling.

C. Kingsley, Westminster Sermons, p. 67.


Let us briefly endeavour to trace the import of this simile in three forms of the action of the Eternal Spirit: His creation of a sacred literature; His guidance of a Divine society; His work upon the individual soul.

I. As we turn ever the pages of the Bible, must we not say, "The wind bloweth where it listeth"? The Bible is like Nature in its immense, its exhaustless, variety. Like Nature, it reflects all the higher moods of the human soul, because it does more—because it brings us face to face with the infinity of the Divine life. In the Bible the wind of heaven pays scant heed to our anticipations or our prejudices. It "bloweth where it listeth." The Spirit is in the genealogies of the Chronicles not less than in the last conversation of the Supper-room, though with an admitted difference of manner and degree.

II. The words of the text have an application in the life of the Church of Christ. We may trace revivals in it all along the line of history. The Spirit living in the Church has by them attested His presence and His will, and has recalled a lukewarm generation, paralysed by indifference and degraded by indulgence, to the spirit and level of Christian faith and love. In such movements there is often what seems at first sight an element of caprice. It is easy, as we survey them, to say something else was needed, that what was done might have been done better and more completely. But we forget whose work it is, though overlaid and thwarted by human passion, that we may be criticising. The Eternal Spirit is passing, and we can only say, He breatheth when He listeth.

III. Especially our Lord's words apply to the Christian character. We know not the purpose of each saintly life in the designs of Providence; we know not much of the depths and heights whence it draws its inspiration; we cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth. We only know that He whose workmanship it is bloweth where He listeth. Not in caprice, or by accident, but because He knows exactly of what material each of His creatures is made, and apportions His distinctions with the unerring decision of perfect love and perfect justice.

H. P. Liddon, Oxford and Cambridge Journal, June 8th, 1876.

I. Spiritual Life a Divine Inspiration. (1) Spiritual life is impossible without this inspiration. (2) That inspiration enters man in mystery.

II. Look at some of the results of realising this truth. (1) It would strengthen spiritual manhood. (2) It imparts nobility to character. (3) It gives power to our Christian hope.

E. L. Hull, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 63.


References: John 3:8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xi., No. 630; Ibid., vol. xxiii., No. 1356; Homilist, 3rd series, vol. iii., p. 260; D. Fraser, Metaphors of the Gospels, p. 267; G. Moberly, Plain Sermons at Brighstone, p. 231; E. Johnson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxiv., p. 67; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 82; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 350; H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ii., p. 180; J. Foster, Ibid., vol. xviii., p. 356; Preacher's Monthly, vol. i., p. 418; Expositor, 1st series, vol. xii., p. 237; J. Keble, Sermons from Septuagesima to Ash Wednesday, p. 333.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/john-3.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 3:8. The wind bloweth, &c.— Our Saviour observed, that there was no cause for Nicodemus to be surprised if there were some things in this doctrine of regeneration of an obscure and unsearchable nature; because even in the natural world many things are so. As much as to say, "It is true, thou mayest not understand how this second birth can be brought to pass, but that is no reason why it should be disbelieved; since there are many great effects in nature, which you must acknowledge, thoughyou cannot explain their causes. For instance, the wind bloweth where it pleaseth, and you hear the sound of it, but you know not whence it comes,— ποθεν ερχεται, from what repository; or whither it goes, που υπαγει, into what place:" (alluding probably, to Psalms 135:7 where God is said to bring the wind out of his treasuries. See Ecclesiastes 11:5.) so is every one that is begotten and born of the Spirit. The influences by which he is begotten, are altogether imperceptible to sense, yet the effects thereof are far from being so. Moreover, to the actions and ends of the spiritual life, the new birth is as essential, as the natural is to those of the animal life.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 3:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-3.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8.] Our Lord might have chosen any of the mysteries of nature to illustrate the point:—He takes that one, which is above others symbolic of the action of the Spirit, and (which in both languages, that in which He spoke, as well as that in which His speech is reported) is expressed by the same word as it. So that the words as they stand apply themselves at once to the Spirit and His working, without any figure;—spiritus ubi vult spirat. Bengel, after Origen and Augustine, takes τὸ πν. of the Holy Spirit exclusively: but this can hardly be. The form of the sentence, as well as its import, is against it. The πνεῖ, ἀκούεις, οἶδας, are all said of well-known facts. And the comparison would not hold on that supposition—‘As the Spirit is in His working on those born of Him, so is every one that is born of the Spirit.’ But on the other interpretation, we have The wind breatheth, &c.:—so is, i.e. ‘so it is with’ (see a similar construction Matthew 13:45) every one born of the Spirit.

Notice it is not ὁ ἄνεμος here, but τὸ πνεῦμα, the gentle breath of the wind;—and it is heard, not felt;—a case in which the οὐκ οἶδας κ. τ. λ. is more applicable than in that of a violent wind steadily blowing. It is one of those sudden breezes springing up on a calm day, which has no apparent direction, but we hear it rustling in the leaves around.

The ὅπου θέλει, in the application, implies the freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17) and unrestrained working of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:11).

πᾶς ὁ γεγ.] Our Lord can hardly, as Stier explains (iv. 48, edn. 2), mean Himself by these words; or, if He does, only inclusively, as being γεγ. ἐκ τ. πν.,—not principally. He describes the mystery of the spiritual life: we see its effects, in ourselves, and others who have it; but we cannot trace its beginnings, nor can we prescribe to the Holy Spirit His course: He works in us and leads us on, accompanying us with His witness,—His voice, spiritually discerned. “Homo in quo spiritus spirat, e spiritu respirat.” Bengel.

This saying of the Lord—in contradiction to all so-called Methodism, which prescribes the time and manner of the working of the Spirit—assures us of the manifold and undefinable variety of both these. “The physiognomies of those who are born again, are as various as those of natural men” (Dräseke, cited by Stier, iv. 50, edn. 2).

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 3:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-3.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 3:8. τὸ πνεῦμα) The Spirit, in the proper sense; for it is He, not the wind (concerning which, however, comp. Ecclesiastes 11:5), that has a will [ θέλει] and voice [ φωνήν]: and it is of Him we are born, and he who is born of Him is such as He is. It is not the person born again who would be immediately compared with the wind, but the Spirit Himself.— ὅπου) where, whence, and whither: above the flesh, earth, and nature. The things opposed are, flesh and spirit; earth and heaven; nature and grace.— πνεῖ) [bloweth, Engl. Vers.: rather, as of the Spirit] breathes, in the word and sound of the Gospel; 1 John 5:6, “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.”— ἀκούεις, thou hearest) even now also, whilst thou art hearing Me, thou hearest, on earth, the voice of the Spirit. Comp. the “earthly things,” John 3:12.— πόθεν, whence) from heaven, from above [ ἄνωθεν, John 3:3].— ποῦ, whither) [‘quorsum,’ in what direction] to heaven. Comp. the “heavenly things,” John 3:12.— οὓτως) So, as the Spirit Himself, whom thou hearest, and yet knowest not. For what the Spirit doeth according to Himself [“secundum se;” in His own person and character], that He doeth also in him who is born of the Spirit. The Spirit quickens a man. The man in whom the Spirit breathes, in his turn breathes of the Spirit, and gives forth abroad [propagat] the voice of the Spirit, his will being set free through the Spirit.(53)

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 3:8". 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

The word which is translated wind, being the same which both here and ordinarily in Scripture is translated spirit, hath given interpreters a great liberty to abound in their several senses. Some thinking that it should be translated, The spirit, that is, the spirit of a man, breatheth where it listeth; and that our Saviour’s sense was, Nicodemus, thou needest not to wonder that thou canst not with thy senses perceive the spiritual new birth, for thou canst not understand the natural birth. Others think it should be translated, The Spirit, that is, the Spirit of God, bloweth where it listeth; but that seemeth not probable, because of these words,

so is every one that is born of the Spirit; which will hardly be sense if we understand the first part of the verse concerning the same Spirit; and our Saviour saith, John 3:12, If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not: they seem therefore best to understand it, who interpret it of a terrene spirit, particularly the wind, which is of a spiritual nature: and thus, by their translation, it is apparent that our interpreters understood it. So as, though our Saviour speaketh of the motions of the blessed Spirit, yet he speaketh of them by way of comparison, comparing them to the motion of the wind, of which he said, that it bloweth where it listeth; not that it is its own mover, and under no government of the First Cause; for the Psalmist tells us, Psalms 148:8, that the stormy winds fulfil God’s word; nor is any such thing compatible to any creature; but the original of its motion is to us imperceptible.

But canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: we can speak something philosophically to the cause of it, and can tell whither it bloweth, from the east, west, north, or south; but we cannot tell the particular place, where or from whence it riseth.

So is every one that is born of the Spirit: so every one, who is regenerated from the working of the Holy Spirit of God, is changed and renewed, so as we can give ourselves or others no account of it in all points, as to the inward operation, though in the effects it be discernible.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 3:8". 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

Дух дышит, где хочет Иисус хотел сказать, что как люди не могут управлять ветром или понять его, но могут видеть его действие, точно так же невозможно контролировать или постичь Святого Духа, но доказательство Его действия очевидно. Где трудится Дух Святой, там есть бесспорное и несомненное доказательство этого.

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on John 3:8". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/john-3.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Listeth; pleaseth-where its author pleaseth to have it.

So is every one; the Spirit’s operation, like that of the wind, is directed by God, unseen, and known by its effects.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-3.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.The wind—In primitive times the air is the most natural symbol of spirit. It is the breath of God. And so in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew the word for spirit is the same as the word for breath. But, specially, like spirit, we know that the air is, though our senses may not behold it. It tells the simplest barbarian that there may be existence which is beyond the reach of his perceptions. At the present day we might take electricity, or magnetism, or oxygen, to show how the mightiest agencies are beyond the reach of our senses.

Bloweth where it listeth—Where it pleases or wills. By a beautiful touch the volitional power, that is, the will, belonging to spirit, is here attributed to the wind. The Divine Spirit acts by its own supreme, and supremely wise, will. Yet, as modern science has discovered in some degree the laws of winds and storms, it is demonstrated that the wind, however capricious it may seem, is as truly under law as the solar system. And so the Spirit is not capricious—a powerful and arbitrary sovereign— but acts freely in accordance not with fixed laws, but with wise and wisely adapted principles and reasons.

Thou hearest the sound—Its substance is beyond the reach of our senses; it presses upon us by its weight, unfelt. If it were always perfectly still, men would be insensible of its existence. It discovers its insensible existence by its effects. So marvel not that there is an unseen Spirit, whose substance is unseen, whose weight is unfelt, whose existence can be known to mortal sense only by its effects. It has indeed its own rules and reasons of action; but these rules are to us unknown.

Every one’ born of the Spirit—He experiences the effects of a power which sense cannot reach. He cannot tell how, or why, or whence it acts.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-3.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus used the wind to illustrate how the Spirit regenerates. He used wordplay to present an even closer comparison. The Greek word pneuma can mean either "spirit" or "wind," though it usually means "spirit." Jesus said the pneuma (Spirit) operates as the pneuma (wind).

There are three similarities. First, both the Spirit and the wind operate sovereignly. Man does not and cannot control either one. Second, we perceive the presence of both by their effects. Third, we cannot explain their actions since they arise from unseen and partially unknowable factors.

The person born of the Spirit is similar to both the Spirit and the wind in that it is impossible for unregenerate people to understand or control him or her. They do not understand his or her origin or final destiny. Nicodemus should have understood this too since the Old Testament revealed the Spirit"s sovereign and incomprehensible working (e.g, Ezekiel 37).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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 3:8. The words of this verse point out to Nicodemus why he must not thus ‘marvel’ at the new teaching,—must not cast it away with incredulous surprise. Nature itself may teach him. In nature there is an agent whose working is experienced and acknowledged by all, while at the same time it is full of mystery; yet the mystery makes no man doubt the reality of the working.

The wind breatheth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh and whither it goeth. From the beginning the wind seems to have been the divinely-intended witness and emblem in the natural world of the Spirit of God. Ever present, it bore a constant witness. A commentator (Tholuck) has conjectured that, whilst Jesus spoke, there was heard the sound of the wind as it swept through the narrow street of the city, thus furnishing an occasion for the comparison here. It may well have been so; every reader of the Gospels may see how willingly our Lord drew lessons from natural objects around Him. Such a conjecture might help to explain the abruptness with which the meaning of the word is changed, the very same word which in John 3:5-6 was rendered spirit being now used in the sense of wind. Nothing but the abruptness of this transition needs any explanation. The appointed emblem teaches the lesson for which it was appointed. The choice of terms (breatheth, listeth, voice) shows that the wind is personified. It is perhaps of the gentle breeze rather than of the violent blast that the words speak (for the word pneuma is used with much more latitude in the Greek Bible than in classical Greek); in the breath of wind there is even more mystery than in the blast. Thou hearest its voice, it is present though invisible; thou feelest its power, for thou art in its course; but where the course begins, what produces the breath,—whither the course is tending, what is the object of the breath,-thou knowest not. Nicodemus, unable to question this, would remember Old Testament words which spoke of man’s not knowing ‘the way of the wind’ as illustrating man’s ignorance of the Creator’s works (Ecclesiastes 11:5).

So is every one that hath been born of the Spirit. As in the natural, so is it in the spiritual world. The wind breatheth where it listeth; the Spirit breatheth where He will. Thou hearest the sound of the wind, but canst not fix the limits of this course, experiencing only that thou thyself art in that course: every one that hath been born of the Spirit knows that His influence is real, experiencing that influence in himself, but can trace His working no farther,—knows not the beginning or the end of His course. Our Lord does not speak of the birth itself, but of the resulting state. The birth itself belongs to a region beyond the outward and the sensible, just as none can tell whence the breath of wind has come.

It ought perhaps to be noted before leaving this verse, that many take the first part of the verse as having reference to the Spirit, not the wind: ‘The Spirit breatheth where He will, and thou hearest His voice, but knowest not whence He cometh and whither He goeth; so is every one that hath been born of the Spirit.’ The chief arguments in favour of this translation are the following:—(1) It does not involve a sudden transition from one meaning to another of the same Greek word. (2) On the ordinary view there is some confusion in the comparison: the words are not, ‘The wind breatheth where ... so is the Spirit;’ but, ‘The wind breatheth where . . . so is every one that hath been born of the Spirit.’ These two arguments have substantially been dealt with above. As to the first point—the sudden transition from the thought of spirit to that of its emblem in nature-perhaps no more need be said. The second argument has not much real weight. The language is condensed, it is true, and the words corresponding to the first clause ( The wind bloweth where it listeth’) are not directly expressed, but have to be supplied in thought. The chief comparison, however, is between the ‘thou’ of the first member and the ‘every one’ of the second, as we have already seen. On the other hand, the difficulties presented by the new translation are serious, but we cannot here follow them in detail.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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 3:8. . Two renderings of these words are possible: “The wind bloweth where it listeth,” as in A.V[39]; “The Spirit breatheth where He will,” as in margin of R.V[40] By the one rendering a comparison is instituted between the unseen but powerful operation of the Spirit in regeneration and the invisible but mighty power of the wind. You hear the voice of the wind but cannot see where it comes from nor where it goes to. So in the new birth the Spirit moves and works unseen. Similarly Socrates (Xen., Mem., iv., 3) says: The thunder as it comes and goes is not seen: the winds also are invisible though their effects are manifest; the soul of man is itself unseen, therefore despise not the unseen but honour God. In favour of the other rendering it may be urged that there is nothing to warn us that we are now to understand that by the word “wind” is meant. It occurs about 370 times in the N.T., and never means “wind” except once in a quotation from the O.T. The Vulgate renders “Spiritus ubi vult spirat,” and if we could not only say “expire,” “inspire,” but also “spire,” the best translation might be “the Spirit spires”. As this cannot be, we may render: “The Spirit breathes where He will,” that is to say, there is no limitation of His power to certain individuals, classes, races. Cf.John 5:21, . The thought here is similar: there need be no despair regarding the second birth: the Spirit breathes where He will. So Bengel, “Spiritus, proprie, nam huic, non vento voluntas et vox est”.— , the Spirit makes Himself audible in articulate and intelligible sounds. The breathing of the Spirit is like man’s breath, not mere air, but articulated and significant voice. The Spirit works intelligible results. He does not roar like the wind and toss men in unavailing contortions as the wind tosses the trees. It is a voice and the result is full of reason, in harmony with human nature and vivifying it to higher life. But for all this, , you cannot observe and regulate the Spirit’s approach and departure.— , thus it is in the case of every one who is born of the Spirit. You cannot see the process of regeneration; the process is secret and invisible, the results are apparent.

[39] Authorised Version.

[40] Revised Version.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 3:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-3.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The Spirit breatheth where he will. The Protestant translation has the wind: and so it is expounded by St. John Chrysostom and St. Cyril on this verse; as if Christ compared the motions of the Holy Ghost to the wind, of which men can give so little account, whence it comes, or whither it goes. Yet many others, as St. Augustine, St. Ambrose and St. Gregory, understand this expression of the Holy Ghost, of whom it can only be properly said, that he breatheth where he will. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 3:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-3.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

The wind = The Spirit. The word pneuma, Occurs 385 times, and is rendered "wind" only here. It should be translated Spirit, as at end of verse. "Wind" is anemos. Occurs 31 times, and is always so rendered.

bloweth = breatheth.

it listeth = He willeth. App-102. The

Eng. "listeth" is Old Eng. for Anglo-Saxon lusteth; i.e. pleaseth or desireth.

the sound thereof = His voice.

canst not tell = knowest not. Greek. oida. App-132.

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

is born = has been begotten, as in John 3:6.

the Spirit: completing the Figure of speech Epanadiplosis (App-6),

converting this verse into a most solemn and independent statement of facts.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and where it goeth: so is everyone that is born of the Spirit. The word for wind here is not that usually so rendered [ anemos (Greek #417)], which means a gale; but that which signifies the 'breath' of life [ pneuma (Greek #4151) = ruwach (Hebrew #7307), anima], or the gentle zephyr. Hence, it is that in the Old Testament, "breath" and "spirit" are constantly interchanged, as analogous (see Job 27:3; Job 33:4; Ezekiel 37:9-14). The laws which govern the motion of the winds have, indeed, been partially discovered; but the risings, fallings, and change in direction many times in a day, of those gentle breezes here referred to, will probably ever be a mystery to us: So of the operation of the Holy Spirit in the new birth.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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

8. The wind blows wherever it wishes. Pendleton says: “I take the passage to mean that the process by which a man is regenerated [born again] by the Spirit of God is no more mysterious than other operations in the natural world, of which operations the blowing of the wind is taken as example.” Lipscomb says: “These verses have been ever of great difficulty because men try to get out of them what is not in them. Flesh in the mind of Nicodemus is the difficulty Jesus is trying to remove... The effort was to show Nicodemus that it was the spiritual part of man, not the fleshly part that is to be born again.” [Compare 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Galatians 4:6; 1 Peter 1:22-23.]

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 3:8". "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

(8) The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof.—Better (see Note below), the Spirit breatheth where He willeth, and thou hearest His voice. These words are an explanation of the spiritual birth, the necessity of which has been asserted in the previous verses. They must have come to Nicodemus, bringing in their sound echoes of the old familiar words, “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). These words would bring to the mind thoughts of the human body, cold, lifeless, corpse-like; of the breath of life passing into it; of the beating pulse, the opening eye, the action of nerve, muscle, and limb, as, in obedience to God’s will, matter became the framework of spirit, and man became a living soul. There are parallel thoughts of the spirit existing in capacity for life and union with God, but crushed beneath the physical life with its imperative demands for support, and the sensible life with its engrossing pleasures and pains, and sorrows and joys; of the Spirit of God breathing upon it; and of the dormant power awakening into a new life of noblest thoughts and hopes and energies, when man is born of the Spirit.

And yet the new spiritual birth, like the physical, cannot be explained. We can observe the phenomena, we cannot trace the principle of life. He breatheth where He willeth, in the wide world of man, free as the wind of heaven, bound by no limits of country or of race. The voice is heard speaking to the man himself, and through him to others; there is the evidence of the new birth in the new life. We know not whence He comes, or whither He goes. We cannot fix the day or hour of the new birth with certainty. We know not what its final issues will be. It is the beginning of a life which is a constant growth, and the highest development here is but the germ of that which shall be hereafter (1 John 3:2).

So is every one that is born of the Spirit.—The sense is, In this manner is every one (born) who is born of the Spirit. The universality is again emphatically asserted. Individual spiritual life depends upon individual spiritual birth. The baptism of the Spirit is needed for all. Now, indeed, coming as a fire burning in men’s hearts, consuming the chaff of sin, while He purifies and stores up all that is true and good; now coming as in a moment, and arresting a man in a course of evil, revealing the iniquity of sin, and giving the power to reform; now coming as the gradual dawning of day upon the youthful soul who has never been wholly without it; here in a sermon or a prayer, there in the lessons of childhood; now by the example of a noble life or the lessons of history; again in the study of Scripture or the truths written on the page of nature—the Spirit breatheth where it willeth. We may not limit His action, but by His action must every one be born again. Comp. the instances of what men call gradual conversion and sudden conversion, placed side by side in the same chapter, in Acts 16:14; Acts 16:29 et seq.

The rendering of the first clause of this verse by the Spirit breatheth for “wind bloweth” of the Authorised version has met with so little support that it is right to state briefly the grounds on which it rests.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-3.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
wind
Job 37:10-13,16,17,21-23; Psalms 107:25,29; Ecclesiastes 11:4,5; Ezekiel 37:9; Acts 2:2; 4:31; 1 Corinthians 2:11; 12:11
so
1:13; Isaiah 55:9-13; Mark 4:26-29; Luke 6:43,44; 1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 John 2:29; 3:8,9
Reciprocal: Psalm 135:7 - he bringeth;  Ecclesiastes 1:6 - The wind;  Song of Solomon 4:16 - Awake;  Amos 4:13 - wind;  Matthew 7:8 - GeneralMark 4:27 - and grow;  John 3:12 - earthly;  Romans 9:16 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 3:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-3.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.The wind bloweth where it pleaseth. Not that, strictly speaking, there is will in the blowing, but because the agitation is free, and uncertain, and variable; for the air is carried sometimes in one direction and sometimes in another. How this applies to the case in hand; for if it flowed in a uniform motion like water, it would be less miraculous.

So is every one that is born of the Spirit. Christ means that the movement and operation of the Spirit of God is not less perceptible in the renewal of man than the motion of the air in this earthly and outward life, but that the manner of it is concealed; and that, therefore, we are ungrateful and malicious, if we do not adore the inconceivable power of God in the heavenly life, of which we behold so striking an exhibition in this world, and if we ascribe to him less in restoring the salvation of our soul than in upholding the bodily frame. The application will be somewhat more evident, if you turn the sentence in this manner: Such is the power and efficacy of the Holy Spirit in the renewed man

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 3:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-3.html. 1840-57.