Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 9:21

but how he now sees, we do not know; or who opened his eyes, we do not know. Ask him; he is of age, he will speak for himself."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Converts;   Faith;   Opinion, Public;   Sabbath;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Pharisees;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Holy Ghost;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Age;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Gabriel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Age (2);   Beggar;   Boyhood ;   Error;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Silence;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sabbath;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Age;   How;   Mean;   Stature;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He is of age - Ἡλικιαν εχει, literally, he has stature, i.e. he is a full-grown man; and in this sense the phrase is used by the best Greek writers. See Kypke and Raphelius. Mature age was fixed among the Jews at thirty years.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 9:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-9.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But by what means he now seeth we know not,.... As to the third question they could say nothing to it, they were not present when the cure was wrought, and knew nothing of the matter, but what they had heard from their son, or from others, or both:

or who hath opened his eyes we know not; they had heard it was Jesus, and their son had doubtless told them it was he; but since they could say nothing of their own personal knowledge, they choose not to say anything of him:

he is of age; at man's estate, as, with the Jews, one was, who was at the age of thirteen years, if he could produce the signs of puberty: and such an one was allowed a witness in any case, but not under this age; nor if he was arrived to it, if the above signs could not be producedF17Maimon. Hilchot Eduth, c. 9. sect. 7. . This man very likely was much older, as may be thought from the whole of his conduct, his pertinent answers, and just reasoning: wherefore his parents direct the sanhedrim to him for an answer to their third question,

ask him, he shall speak for himself; or "of himself", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions render it: their sense is, he is capable of giving an account of himself in this matter, and he will do it, and let him do it; put the question to him, and a proper answer will be returned; and so they left the affair to be issued in this way.

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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 9:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-9.html. 1999.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

But how he now seeth we know not (πως δε νυν βλεπει ουκ οιδαμενpōs de nun blepei ouk oidamen). Concerning the third question they profess ignorance both as to the “how” (πωςpōs) and the “who” (τιςtis).

Opened (ηνοιχενēnoixen). First aorist active indicative with single augment of ανοιγωanoigō same form as ηνεωιχενēneōixen (triple augment) in John 9:17. They were not witnesses of the cure and had the story only from the son as the Pharisees had.

He is of age
(ηλικιαν εχειhēlikian echei). “He has maturity of age.” He is an adult. A regular classical phrase in Plato, etc. The parents were wholly right and within their rights.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 9:21". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-9.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

The Fourfold Gospel

but how he now seeth, we know not; or who opened his eyes, we know not1: ask him; he is of age; he shall speak for himself2.

  1. But how he now seeth, we know not; or who opened his eyes, we know not. The emphasis in this verse lies in the pronouns.

  2. Ask him; he is of age; he shall speak for himself. Thus the parents timidly declined to answer the third point, alleging that their son is old enough to answer for himself.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 9:21". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-9.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.

Ver. 21. He is of age] ηλικιαν εχει. Faelix ab ηλιξ ηλικια, say the etymologists, ut faelix sit homo floridae et vegetae aetatis, corpore et animo valens. (Becman.)

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 9:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-9.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

21.] Notice the emphatic αὐτοῦ ἡμεις αὐτόν αὐ τός.

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Bibliographical Information
Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 9:21". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-9.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

John 9:21. οὐκ οἴδαμεν, we know not) As yet they had not seen their son seeing: but they had immediately conjectured that the gift of sight had come from Jesus. On this account the former part of this verse is not attributed to fear [but only the latter, “He is of age; ask him,” as stated] in John 9:23.— ἡμεῖς, we) Emphatic; in antithesis to αὐτὸς, himself which follows and is repeated more than once.— αὐτὸς ἡλικίαν ἔχει, αὐτὸν ἐρωτήσατε) So John 9:23. But the Latin, and after it, Augustine and others, at John 9:21, “ipsum interrogate; œtatem habet.” And what follows agrees with this; he shall speak for himself. [So (254)(255)(256)(257) (258)(259) Vulg. But (260) and Rec. Text put αὐτὸν ἐρωτ· after ἡλικίαν ἔχει].— ἡλικίαν, age) sufficient for giving testimony.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 9:21". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/john-9.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

See Poole on "John 9:20"

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 9:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-9.html. 1685.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

He is of age; old enough to answer for himself.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on John 9:21". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/john-9.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.What means—The safe testimony they clearly give; the unsafe part they slip, and thrust their son into the post of danger. That danger he is man enough to brave.

He is of age—He has maturity to be responsible for his own case.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 9:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-9.html. 1874-1909.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

John 9:21. But how he now seeth, we know not; or who opened his eyes, we know not: ask himself; he is of age: he shall speak for himself. The anxious care of the parents to keep clear of all testimony to Jesus is strikingly shown by the emphasis thrown on ‘himself’ as they refer the questioners to their son.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 9:21". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/john-9.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 9:21. The third question they have not the means of answering, or as John 9:22 indicates, they shammed ignorance to save themselves; and refer the examiners to the man himself.— , his parents are no longer responsible for him. Examples of the Greek phrase are given by Kypke and Wetstein from Plato, Aristophanes, and Demosthenes, [better ] .

 

 

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Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 9:21". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-9.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

by what means = how.

for = concerning, as in John 9:18.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 9:21". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-9.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.

But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. Here, however, they prevaricate, in saying they "knew not who had opened his eyes;" for "they feared the Jews," who had come to an understanding-probably after what is recorded, John 7:50, etc., and by this time pretty well known-that whoever owned Him as the Christ should be put out of the synagogue - i:e., not simply excluded, but excommunicated.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 9:21". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/john-9.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) But by what means he now seeth.—Better, but how he now seeth. The answer is in the exact words of the question, which is not seen in our version. They will not pass beyond the plain matters of fact of which they were certain.

Or who hath opened his eyes.—They pass here to a fourth question, which was not asked, but which they see to be the real point which the Pharisees are aiming at, and in which they have determined not to be entangled.

He is of age, ask him.—The better reading here is probably that which places “ask him” first; ask him, he is of age. The Received text has been influenced by John 9:23. The Greek expresses with the fullest emphasis, which it is not easy to preserve in English, that they intend to have nothing to do with this third question, but to leave it to their son to answer. Literally, it is, Ask him; he is of full age; he himself will speak concerning himself.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 9:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-9.html. 1905.