Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 9:31

We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blindness;   Confession;   Converts;   Faith;   Prayer;   Righteous;   Sabbath;   Self-Righteousness;   Testimony;   Wicked (People);   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Prayer, Answers to;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Godly, Godliness;   Pharisees;   Will of God;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Holy Ghost;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Prayer;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Religion;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Prayer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Beggar;   Error;   Hearing;   Quotations (2);   Reverence;   Transfiguration (2);   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Silence;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sabbath;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Hear;   Miracles;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Sinner;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

God heareth not sinners - I believe the word ἁμαρτωλων signifies heathens, or persons not proselyted to the Jewish religion; and therefore it is put in opposition to θεοσεβης, a worshipper of the true God. See the note on Luke 7:37. But in what sense may it be said, following our common version, that God heareth not sinners? When they regard iniquity in their heart - when they wish to be saved, and yet abide in their sins - when they will not separate themselves from the workers and works of iniquity. In all these cases, God heareth not sinners.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 9:31". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Now we know - That is, it is an admitted or conceded point. No one calls it into question.

God heareth not - When a miracle was performed it was customary to invoke the aid of God. Jesus often did this himself, and it was by his power only that prophets and apostles could perform miracles. The word “heareth” in this place is to be understood as referring to such cases. God will not hear - that is, answer.

Sinners - Impostors. False prophets and pretenders to divine revelation. See John 9:24. The meaning of this verse is, therefore, “It is well understood that God will not give miraculous aid to impostors and false prophets.” We may remark here:

1.That the passage has no reference to the prayers which sinners make for salvation.

2.If it had it would not be of course true. It was the mere opinion of this man, in accordance with the common sentiment of the Jews, and there is no evidence that he was inspired.

3.The only prayers which God will not hear are those which are offered in mockery, or when the man loves his sins and is unwilling to give them up. Such prayers God will not hear, Psalm 66:18; “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me;” Isaiah 1:14-15; Job 27:9; Jeremiah 11:11; Ezekiel 8:18; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:13,

A worshipper - A sincere worshipper; one who fears, loves, and adores him.

Doeth his will - Obeys his commandments. This is infallibly true. The Scripture abounds with promises to such that God will hear their prayer. See Psalm 34:15; Matthew 7:7-8.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 9:31". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-9.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

John 9:31

Now we know that God heareth not sinners

True and not true

1.
It is ill to wrench passages of the Bible out of their context, and treat them as infallible scripture when they are only sayings of men. By acting thus foolishly we could prove that there is no God (Psalms 14:1), that God hath forgotten His people (Isaiah 49:14), that Christ was a winebibber (Matthew 9:19), and that we ought to worship the devil Matthew 4:19). This will never do. We must inquire who uttered the sentence before we venture to preach from it.

2. Our text is the saying of a shrewd blind man who was far from being well instructed. It is to be taken for what it is worth; but by no means to be regarded as Christ’s teaching. The Pharisees evidently admitted its force, and were puzzled by it. It was good argument as against them. It is true or false as we may happen to view it.

I. IT IS NOT TRUE IN SOME SENSES. We could not say absolutely that God heareth not sinners, for

1. God does hear men who sin, or else He would hear no one: for there is no man that sinneth not (1 Kings 8:46); not a saint would be heard, for even saints are sinners.

2. God does sometimes hear and answer unregenerate men.

3. God does graciously hear sinners when they cry for mercy. Not to believe this were

II. IT IS TRUE IN OTHER SENSES. The Lord does not hear sinners as He hears His own people.

1. He hears no sinner’s prayer apart from the mediation of our Lord Jesus 1 Timothy 2:5; Ephesians 2:18).

2. He will not hear a wicked, formal, heartless prayer (Proverbs 15:29).

3. He will not hear the man who wilfully continues in sin, and abides in unbelief (Jeremiah 14:12; Isaiah 1:15).

4. He will not hear the hypocrite’s mockery of prayer (Job 27:9).

5. He will not hear the unforgiving (Mark 11:25-26).

6. He will not hear even His people when sin is wilfully indulged, and entertained in their hearts (Psalms 66:18).

7. He will not hear those who refuse to hear His Word, or to regard His ordinances (Proverbs 28:9).

8. He will not hear those who harden their hearts against the monitions of His Spirit, the warnings of His providence, the appeals of His ministers, the strivings of conscience, and so forth.

9. He will not hear those who refuse to be saved by grace, or who trust in their own prayers as the cause of salvation.

10. He will not hear sinners who die impenitent. At the last He will close His ear to them, as to the foolish virgins, who cried, “Lord, Lord, open to Matthew 25:11).

Conclusion: One or two things are very clear and sure.

1. He cannot hear those who never speak to Him.

2. He has never yet given any one of us a fiat refusal.

3. He permits us at this moment to pray, and it will be well for us to do so, and see if He does not hear us. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The return of prayers

It is difficult to determine which is the greater wonder, that prayer should produce such vast and blessed effects, or that we should be unwilling to use such an instrument for procuring them. The first declares God’s goodness, the second our folly and weakness. That “God heareth not sinners” was a proverbial saying and supported by Scripture (Job 27:9; Psalms 66:18; Proverbs 1:28; IsaJe 14:10, 12). The proposition may be considered

1. According to the purpose of the blind man: God heareth not sinners in that they are sinners, though a sinner may be heard in his prayer to confirm his faith. God hears him not at all in that wherein he sins; for God is truth and cannot confirm a lie.

2. In a manner that concerns us more nearly; i.e., if we be not good men, our prayers will do us no good. God turns away from the unwholesome breathings of corruption.

I. WHOSOEVER PRAYS WHILE HE IS IN A STATE OF SIN, HIS PRAYER IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD. This truth was believed by the ancient world; hence the appointment of baptisms and ceremonial expiations.

1. It is an act of profanation for an unholy person to handle holy things and offices.

2. A wicked person, while he remains in that condition, is not a natural object of pity.

3. Purity is recommended by the necessary appendages of prayer

4. After these evidences of Scripture and reason there is less necessity to take notice of those objections derived from the prosperity of evil persons. If such ask things hurtful and sinful if God hears them not it is in mercy; but there are many instances of success in improper prayers which have turned out to the disadvantage of the petitioners.

II. MANY TIMES GOOD MEN PRAY, AND NOT SINFULLY, BUT IT RETURNS EMPTY. Because although the man may be, yet the prayer is not in proper disposition. Prayers are hindered

1. By anger, or a storm in the spirit of him who prays. Prayer is an action or state of intercourse exactly contrary to the character of anger, its spirit being gentle and meek, and its influences calm and soothing.

2. By indifference and easiness of desire. He that is cold and tame in his prayers has not tasted the delight of religion and the goodness of God; he is a stranger to the secrets of His kingdom. What examples we have of fervency in Scripture, more particularly in the case of Christ and St. Paul! Under this head may be placed cautions against

3. By the want of their being put up in good company. For sometimes an obnoxious person has so secured a mischief that those who stay with him share his punishment as the sailors did Jonah’s. But when good men pray with one heart, and in a holy assembly, when they are holy in their desires and lawful in their authority, then their prayers ascend like the hymns of angels.

III. WHAT DEGREES AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF PIETY ARE REQUIRED TO MAKE US FIT TO BE INTERCESSORS FOR OTHERS AND TO PRAY FOR THEM WITH PROBABLE EFFECT. No prayers, of course, can prevail with regard to an indisposed person; as the sun cannot enlighten a blind eye.

1. Those who pray for others should be persons of extraordinary piety. This is exemplified in the case of Job (Job 42:7-8) and Phinehas. It was also a vast blessing entailed on the posterity of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; because they had great religion they had great power with God. A man of little piety cannot water another man’s garden and bless it with a gracious shower; he must look to himself. But what an encouragement this is to a holy life; what an advantage it may be to our relatives, country, etc. How useless and vile the man whose prayers avail not for the meanest person! And yet everyone in a state of grace may intercede for others, a duty prescribed throughout Scripture.

2. We must take care that as our piety, so also our offices be extraordinary. He that prays to reverse a sentence of God, etc., must not expect great effects from a morning or evening collect, or from an honest wish. But in our importunity we must not make our account by a multitude of words, but by measures of the spirit, holiness of soul, justness of the desire, and the usefulness of the request to God’s glory. We must not be ashamed or backward in asking, but our modesty to God in prayer has no measures but these--self-distrust, confidence in God, humility, reverence and submission to God’s will. These being observed our importunity should be as great as possible, and it will be likely to prevail.

3. It is another great advantage that he who prays be a person of superior dignity or employment. For God has appointed some person by their callings to pray for others, as fathers for their children, ministers for their flocks, kings for their subjects. And it is well this is so, since so few understand their duties to themselves and others. But if God heareth not princes, of what necessity is it that such should be holy.

IV. THE SIGNS OF OUR PRAYERS BEING HEARD. This requires little observation; for if our prayers be according to the warrant of God’s Word, and if we ask according to God’s will what is right and profitable, we may rely on the promises, and be sure that our prayers are heard. (Jeremy Taylor.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "John 9:31". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/john-9.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Now we know that God heareth not sinners,.... All mankind are sinners, even God's elect; yea, such who are truly gracious and righteous persons; for there is no man without sin; and God hears such who cry unto him day and night; such Christ came to save; for such he died; and these he calls to repentance; and every penitent sinner God hears: but by "sinners" are meant notorious sinners, such in whom sin reigns, who live in sin, and particularly impostors. The man takes up the word the Jews had made use of, and applied to Christ, John 9:24, and suggests, that had Jesus been a sinner, that is, an impostor, God would not have heard him, or have assisted him in doing a miracle, to support an imposture, or cover and encourage a fraud; but that he was heard and assisted, was a plain case: whereas not only they, the learned doctors of the nation, but such an illiterate man as himself knew, that notoriously wicked men, cheats, and deceivers, were not heard of God; and this was known from the Scripture, and all experience; see Psalm 66:18. The Persic and Ethiopic versions read, "I know, that God", &c.

but if any man be a worshipper of God; fears the Lord, and worships him in spirit and in truth, both with internal and external worship:

and doth his will; for it is not everyone that Lord, or draws nigh to God with his mouth, and honours him with his lips, that is a true and sincere worshipper of him; but he that does his will in faith, from a principle of love, and with a view to his glory: and

him he heareth; for he is nigh to all that call upon him in truth; and such an one the man intimates Jesus must be, since it was out of all dispute that God had heard him, and had bore a testimony to him.

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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 9:31". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-9.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

and the reproaches of them that reproached Thee are fallen upon me” (Psalm 69:6, Psalm 69:7, Psalm 69:9).

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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 9:31". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/john-9.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

God does not hear sinners (ο τεος αμαρτωλων ουκ ακουειho theos hamartōlōn ouk akouei). Note genitive case with ακουειakouei This was the argument of the Pharisees in John 9:16. It is frequent in the O.T. (Job 27:9; Psalm 66:18; Isaiah 1:15; Isaiah 59:2, etc.). The conclusion is inevitable from this premise. Jesus is not αμαρτωλοςhamartōlos

If any man be a worshipper of God (εαν τις τεοσεβης ηιean tis theosebēs ēi). Condition of third class with εανean and present active subjunctive ηιēi ΤεοσεβηςTheosebēs (τεοςtheos God, σεβομαιsebomai to worship) is an old compound adjective, here alone in the N.T.

And do his will
(και το τελημα αυτου ποιειkai to thelēma autou poiei). Same condition with present active subjunctive of ποιεωpoieō “keep on doing his will.”

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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 9:31". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/john-9.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

We know

Here the pronoun is not expressed, and the we is not emphatic, like the pronouns in John 9:24, John 9:29, but expresses the common information of all concerning a familiar fact.

A worshipper of God ( θεοσεβὴς )

Only here in the New Testament. The kindred word, θεοσέβεια , godliness, occurs only at 1 Timothy 2:10. Compounded with Θεός , God, and σέβομαι , to worship, the same verb which appears in εὐσεβής , devout (Acts 10:2, Acts 10:7; Acts 22:12), and εὐσέβεια , godliness (Acts 3:12; 1 Timothy 2:2, etc.). See on 2 Peter 1:3. These two latter words, while they may mean reverence toward God, may also mean the due fulfillment of human relations; while θεοσεβὴς , worshipper of God, is limited to piety towards God.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 9:31". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/john-9.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

We — Even we of the populace, know that God heareth not sinners - Not impenitent sinners, so as to answer their prayers in this manner. The honest courage of this man in adhering to the truth, though he knew the consequence, John 9:22, gives him claim to the title of a confessor.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on John 9:31". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/john-9.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

We know that God heareth not sinners1: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth2.

  1. We know that God heareth not sinners. He takes up their style of speech.

  2. But if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. Such was the teaching of the Old Testament. See Proverbs 15:29 Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:4; James 5:16,17.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on John 9:31". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/john-9.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Мы знаем, что грешников. Ошибаются те, кто думает, будто слепой говорит так по общему людскому суждению. Ибо грешник, как и немного выше, означает здесь нечестивого и преступного человека. Повсеместное же учение Писания состоит в том, что Бог слушает лишь тех, кто призывает Его с искренним сердцем. Ведь только вера открывает нам дверь к Богу, посему все нечестивые несомненно лишены доступа к Нему. Более того, Бог свидетельствует, что Ему омерзительны их молитвы и отвратительны их жертвоприношения. Он призывает к Себе сынов Своих по особой привилегии. Лишь Дух усыновления вопиет в наших сердцах: Авва, Отче. В итоге, никто не готов к правильной молитве Богу, не очистив прежде сердце искренней верой. Нечестивые же, профанируя в своих молитвах священное имя Божие, скорее заслуживают наказания за свое богохульство, чем получения каких-либо спасительных даров. Посему слепой вполне уместно выводит из этого, что Христос исшел от Бога, столь сильно Ему внимающего.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 9:31". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-9.html. 1840-57.

Scofield's Reference Notes

sinner

Sin. (See Scofield "Romans 3:23").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on John 9:31". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/john-9.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

Ver. 31. We know that God heareth not sinners] Their incense smells of the hand that offers it: the leper’s lips should be covered, according to the law: the wicked "compass God with lies," Hosea 11:12, when they cry, "My Father, my Father," &c. This is one of those natural notions that the devil could never blot out of man’s mind, that God heareth not sinners; he will never accept a good motion from a bad mouth, as that state in story would not. Hinc Achilles Homericus, ος κε θεοις επιπειθηται μαλα τ εκλυον αυτου. He silenced the devil acknowledging him: and of witches’ good prayers one saith, Si magicae, Deus non vult tales: si piae, non per tales.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 9:31". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-9.html. 1865-1868.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

31.] He expresses a general popular conviction, that one who could do these things, must be a pious man: and (John 9:32) very eminently so, since this miracle was unprecedented. John 9:32, says Meyer, is the minor proposition: John 9:33, the conclusion; both in a popular form.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 9:31". 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 9:31. ἁμαρτωλῶν, sinners) The faith of the man increases: comp. John 9:17; John 9:24-25, “He is a prophet; whether He be a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see.”— τὸ θέλημα, the will) Whoever doeth the will of God, God doeth His will for him, when he prays.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on John 9:31". 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

This poor man proveth that Christ was from heaven, because he had opened his eyes; not as yet apprehending that Christ did it by putting out an immediate Divine power for his healing; but as a great prophet, obtaining such a power from God for the confirmation of the things which he delivered.

Now (saith he) we know that God heareth not sinners. But the question is, what truth there is in this axiom, or proposition. Doth not God hear sinners? Then he can hear none; for who liveth, and sinneth not against God? How did he hear Ahab, and others who were notorious sinners?

Answer.

1. By sinners here must be understood notorious and presumptuous sinners, that live and go on in courses of sin with hardened hearts: the word here used signifieth bold, presumptuous sinners; not such as sin merely through ignorance, weakness, or human infirmity.

2. God is under no covenant obligation to hear sinners; they can challenge no such favour upon the account of any promise: but God, out of the aboundings of his goodness, may hear them, as he heard Ahab and others; he may hear them as his creatures crying in their misery, though he hears them not as children, or upon the account of any covenant.

3. As to the sense of this maxim in this place, it seemeth to be particular and special; and the words seem to be restrained to that particular degree of favour here spoken of; God useth not to honour notorious and flagitious sinners, by giving them a power to work miracles, by which they should confirm any thing which they say.

This poor man bringeth this as an argument, why Christ should not be such a notorious sinner as they spake him, because it was not God’s way to honour such persons with his presence and assistance to the doing of those things which none could do but by a Divine power committed to him. Two things this man assumes, or taketh for granted:

1. That no man can work miracles, without a power obtained of by prayer, as we saw it was in the case of Elisha, 2 Kings 4:33.

2. That what Christ did, he did as a man.

The first is true, the second was false. He was not yet convinced of Christ’s Divine nature, nor looked upon him higher than as a prophet, one sent of God to reveal the will of God, and to work great works in the world by prayer; as to which he affirms, that if he were such a sinner as they clamoured, God would not hear him. So as the question, How far God may hear sinners, in giving them any thing they ask of him, seemeth not at all proper to this place; though it be enough clear from other scriptures, such as Psalms 66:18 Isaiah 1:5, that none that live in a course of sin can expect that God should hear or give answer to their prayers; and though God may give to such sinners such things as they ask him for, which are of a mere external concern, yet it is not with respect to any promise which he hath made to them, but out of the aboundings of his own goodness. But if a man feareth God, and worketh righteousness, him the Lord heareth, accepteth, and answereth. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, Psalms 25:14 Proverbs 3:32.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 9:31". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/john-9.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

31.God heareth not sinners—That is, to grant them miraculous powers. The blind-born ably argues, on ground of common sense, that a man who receives a commission from God to work miracles, his character, authority, and teaching are thereby endorsed by God; and if God be holy, the man cannot be, in the very miracle, a sinner.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 9:31". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/john-9.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

John 9:31. This is elaborated in John 9:31: . They themselves had owned it a work of God, John 9:24; but God is not persuaded or induced to give such power to sinners, but only to those who do His will. This man therefore, were He a sinner, would have been unable to do anything, not to speak of such a work as has never before been done. Watkins expresses it as a syllogism. (1) God heareth not sinners but only those who worship Him and do His will; (2) That God heareth this man is certain, for such a miracle could be performed only by divine power; (3) This man, therefore, is not a sinner but is from God.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 9:31". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-9.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

God doth not hear sinners. That is, in so particular a manner, as to work miracles in favour of them and their doctrine. (Witham)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on John 9:31". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/john-9.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

a worshipper of God = a pious man, or God-fearing [man]. Greek theosebes. Occurs only here in N.T. Compare the kindred noun in 1 Timothy 2:10. In an inscription at Miletus the Jews are called theosebeioi. Deissmann, Light, &c., App-4.

will. Greek. thelema. App-102.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 9:31". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/john-9.html. 1909-1922.

The Bible Study New Testament

31. We know that God does not listen to sinners. The Old Testament Scriptures say this (Proverbs 15:29; Isaiah 1:15; Micah 3:4; compare James 5:16-17).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on John 9:31". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/john-9.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(31) Now we know that God heareth not sinners.—What they should have known, but asserted that they did not, he proceeds to declare. The argument of this and the two following verses may be stated in syllogistic form, thus:—(1) God heareth not sinners, but only those who worship Him and do His will. (2) That God heareth this Man is certain, for such a miracle could be performed only by divine power. (3) This Man, therefore, is not a sinner, but is from God.

He assumes as a general truth, which all accepted, that God heareth not sinners. This is based upon numerous passages in the Old Testament Scriptures—e.g., Isaiah 1:11-15; Psalms 66:18; Psalms 109:7; Proverbs 15:8; Proverbs 15:29; Job 27:9; Job 35:13. We are, of course, to understand the word “sinner” in the sense in which they had used it in John 9:16; John 9:24. They had said that they knew this Man to be a sinner, and they meant one who was a sinner in a darker sense than that in which the word may be applied to all men. He asserts, as a truth which agrees with the whole teaching of the Old Testament, and with all the religious instincts of men, that there would be no communion between such a man and heaven. Such a one could not be commissioned as a prophet, or so heard in heaven as to have power to work miracles on earth. (Comp. Notes on John 11:41-42, and Acts 3:12.) Men have sometimes taken the words altogether apart from their context, and read into them a dark meaning which they cannot be rightly made to bear. Neither these words, nor any words of God, assign any limit to the divine grace, which extendeth to every penitent sinner; nor is there any voice of any child of man lifted to heaven, which is not heard by the Father who is in heaven.

It has often been noted here that the words are spoken by one whose authority does not make them binding upon us; but it is clear that they were accepted. as a general truth. We need no other explanation if we bear in mind the special sense which is here attached to the word “sinner.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 9:31". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.
we know
Job 27:8,9; 35:12; 42:8; Psalms 18:41; 34:15; 66:18-20; Proverbs 1:28,29; 15:29; Proverbs 21:13; 28:9; Isaiah 1:15; 58:9; Jeremiah 11:11; 14:12; Ezekiel 8:18; Micah 3:4; Zechariah 7:13
if any
Psalms 34:15; Proverbs 15:29
and doeth
4:34; 7:17; 15:16; Psalms 40:8; 143:10; Hebrews 10:7; 1 John 3:21,22
him
11:41,42; Genesis 18:23-33; 19:29; 20:7; 1 Kings 17:20-22; 18:36-38; 2 Chronicles 32:20,21; Psalms 99:6; 106:23; Jeremiah 15:1; James 5:15-18
Reciprocal: Genesis 13:13 - But the;  1 Samuel 28:6 - inquired;  Malachi 1:9 - beseech;  Matthew 9:10 - many;  Matthew 25:12 - I know;  Luke 7:37 - which;  John 11:22 - that;  James 5:16 - The effectual;  1 Peter 3:12 - his ears;  1 John 5:14 - he

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 9:31". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

31.Now we know that God heareth not sinners. Those who think that the man spoke this, in accordance with the opinion of the people, are mistaken; for the word sinner, in this passage, as in another which lately occurred, means an ungodly and immoral person. It is the uniform doctrine of Scripture, that God does not listen to any but those who call upon him with truth and sincerity. For while faith alone opens the door to us to go to God, it is certain that all wicked men are excluded from approaching to him; and he even declares that he detests their prayers, (Proverbs 28:9,) as he abhors their sacrifices, (Proverbs 15:8.) It is by a special privilege that he invites his children to himself; and it is the Spirit of adoption alone that crieth out in our hearts, Abba, Father, (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6.) In short, no man is properly disposed to pray to God, unless his heart be purified by faith. But wicked men profane the sacred name of God by their prayers, and therefore they deserve rather to be punished for this sacrilege, than to obtain any thing for salvation. Accordingly, the blind man does not reason inconclusively, that Christ has come from God, because God lends a favorable ear to his prayers.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 9:31". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-9.html. 1840-57.