Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

John 9:8

Therefore the neighbors, and those who previously saw him as a beggar, were saying, "Is not this the one who used to sit and beg?"
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Alms;   Beggars;   Converts;   Sabbath;   Siloam;   Thompson Chain Reference - Beggars;   Living Witnesses;   Testimony, Religious;   Witnessing to the Truth;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Siloam;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - John, gospel of;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Holy Ghost;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Siloam, Pool of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Poor;   Holman Bible Dictionary - John, the Gospel of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Beggar;   Error;   Sabbath ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Beggars;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Silence;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sabbath;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Beg;   Jesus Christ (Part 2 of 2);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Begging and Beggars;   Jesus of Nazareth;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That he was blind - Ὁτι τυφλος ην : but, instead of this, προσαιτης, when he begged, or was a beggar, is the reading of ABC*DKL, seven others, both the Syriac, both the Arabic, later Persic, Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, Sahidic, Gothic, Slavonic, Vulgate, eight copies of the Itala, and some of the primitive fathers. This is in all probability the true reading, and is received by Griesbach into the text.

Beggars in all countries have a language peculiar to themselves. The language of the Jewish beggars was the following: כי זבי Deserve something by me - Give me something that God may reward you. מך גר זכי ני רכי O ye tender-hearted, do yourselves good by me. Another form, which seems to have been used by such as had formerly been in better circumstances, was this: אנא מה בי אסתכל הוינא מה כי סכי Look back and see what I have been; look upon me now, and see what I am. See Lightfoot.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on John 9:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/john-9.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The neighbours … - This man seems to have been one who attracted considerable attention. The number of persons totally blind in any community is very small, and it is possible that this was the only blind beggar in Jerusalem. The case was one, therefore, likely to attract attention, and one where there could be no imposture, as he was generally known.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on John 9:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/john-9.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

The neighbors therefore, and they that saw him aforetime, that he was a beggar, said, Is not this he that begged?

For thirty years, or more, the blind person of that community had been observed by all; and suddenly he was whole, able to see as well as anyone! Such a wonder set the whole community in a ferment. Everybody knew the blind beggar with his cup in a conspicuous place every day; and the amazed neighbors' question of his identity, probably resulted from the change in the man's personality caused by the marvelous gift of sight. Despite the change his identity was absolutely certain.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on John 9:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/john-9.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him,.... For it seems the blind man was not a stranger, one that came out of the country to the city to beg; but a native of Jerusalem, that had long lived in a certain neighbourhood in it, and was well known to be what he was;

that he was blind; the Alexandrian copy, and one of Beza's exemplars, and the Vulgate Latin version read, "that he was a beggar"; to which agree the Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions: wherefore they

said, is this not he that sat and begged? they particularly remark his begging posture; he was not laid all along, as the lame man in Acts 3:2; nor did he go from door to door, as others were used to do, but he sat in some certain place, as blind men generally did; see Matthew 20:30.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
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Gill, John. "Commentary on John 9:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/john-9.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

4 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

(4) A true image of all men, who as they are naturally blind do not themselves receive the light that is offered unto them, nor endure it in another, and yet make a great fuss among themselves.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on John 9:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/john-9.html. 1599-1645.

John Lightfoot's Commentary on the Gospels

8. The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

[That sat and begged.] This may be opposed to another sort of beggars, viz. those that beg from door to door.

The words used by the beggars were generally these:

Vouchsafe something to me: or rather, according to the letter, Deserve something by me; i.e. Acquire something of merit to yourself by the alms you give me.

O you whoever have a tender heart, do yourself good by me.

Look back and see what I have been; look upon me now, and see what I am.

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Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on John 9:8". "John Lightfoot Commentary on the Gospels". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jlc/john-9.html. 1675.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Neighbours (γειτονεςgeitones). From γηgē (land), of the same land, old word. See Luke 14:2.

Saw him (τεωρουντεςtheōrountes). Present active participle of τεωρεωtheōreō who used to observe him.

Aforetime
(το προτερονto proteron). Adverbial accusative, “the former time,” formerly.

That he was a beggar
(οτι προσαιτης ηνhoti prosaitēs ēn). See John 4:19; John 12:19 for declarative οτιhoti after τεωρεωtheōreō But it is entirely possible that οτιhoti here is “because” (Westcott). ΠροσαιτηςProsaitēs is a late word for beggar, in N.T. only here and Mark 10:46. It is from προσαιτεωprosaiteō to ask in addition (see προσαιτωνprosaitōn below), a thing that beggars know how to do.

Is not this he that sat and begged?
(Ουχ ουτος εστιν ο κατημενος και προσαιτωνOuch houtos estin ho kathēmenos kai prosaitōn). He had his regular place and was a familiar figure. But now his eyes are wide open.

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on John 9:8". "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

Blind

The best texts substitute προσαίτης , a beggar.

That sat and begged ( ὁ καθήμενος καὶ προσαιτῶν )

Literally, the one sitting and begging. Denoting something customary.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on John 9:8". "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.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

Тут соседи и видевшие. Слепой этот был известен не только соседям, но и всем обитателям этого города. Они знали, что он просил милостыню, сидя у ворот храма. Это еще больше привлекло к нему внимание. И известность человека еще больше распространила молву о чуде. Кроме того, поскольку нечестие весьма изобретательно в сокрытии дел Божиих, многие подумали, что это не тот же самый человек. Ведь в нем явила Себя новая божественная сила. Таким образом, чем ярче величие дел Божиих, тем меньше люди склоны им верить. Однако их сомнение только доказывало произошедшее чудо. Ведь из-за него слепой свидетельством своим еще больше возвеличил Христову благодать. Посему Евангелист вполне осознанно приводит здесь все обстоятельства, из которых подлинность чуда явствует еще очевиднее.

 

 

 

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 9:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-9.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

Ver. 8. Is not this he that sat and begged?] As once blind Belisarius did with Da obolum Belisarlo. Give a coin to Belisarius.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on John 9:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/john-9.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

John 9:8. Which before had seen him, &c.— Who had seen him before, when he was blind.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on John 9:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/john-9.html. 1801-1803.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

The blind man, thus miraculously cured, returns with much joy to his neighbours and acquaintance, who confer with him about this matter; they inquire, Whether he was the person cured or not? Who was the person that cured him, and where that person was? he assures them, he was the very person that was blind, but now cured, and he that cured him was Jesus: that the means used was clay and spittle; but where the person was, or what was become of him, he knew not.

Learn thence, 1. That the miraculous cures of God work a sensible alteration in men, not only in their own apprehension, but in the judgments of others. This miracle shined forth among the neighbours, who having seen and observed the blind man, admire his healing.

Learn, 2. How frankly the blind man acknowledges, and how freely he confesses, that he was the person whom Jesus had healed; I am he. It is an unthankful silence to smother the works of God in an affected secrecy; to make God a loser by his bounty towards us, is a shameful injustice. O God! we are not worthy of thy common favours, much less of spiritual blessings, if we do not publish thy mercies on the housetop, and praise thee for them in the great congregation.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on John 9:8". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/john-9.html. 1700-1703.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

8.] θεωροῦντες belongs to τὸ πρότερον, and thus expresses the present relatively to that time,— οἳ ἦσαν τὸ πρότ. θεωροῦντες. The choice of the word θεωροῦντες implies attention and habit.

The reading τυφλός was most likely a correction of some one who thought προσαίτης did not express plainly enough the change in him. The question of identity would be much more likely to turn on whether he was really the person who had sat and begged (the blindness being involved in it), than on the fact of his having been blind.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 9:8". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/john-9.html. 1863-1878.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The evangelist now reports the consequence of this miracle. He, being cured, returneth to his friends: those who lived about that place, had taken notice of his ordinary sitting there, and begging; now, seeing him perfectly recovered, they ask one another, if this were not the blind beggar that used to sit there.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on John 9:8". 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

8.He that sat and begged—The notoriety of his case explains how it was that the apostles knew him to be born blind. John 9:2.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on John 9:8". "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 9:8. The neighbours therefore, and they which beheld him aforetime, that he was a beggar, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? The fact that he was a beggar has not been mentioned before. Stress is laid on it here rather than on his blindness, because it was from his frequenting the spot for the purpose of begging that he had become well known.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on John 9:8". "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 9:8. ; “The neighbours, then,” who might or might not be at that time near the man’s home, “and those who formerly used to see him, that he was blind” [but is read instead of by recent editors], “said, Is not this he that sits and begs?”

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on John 9:8". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/john-9.html. 1897-1910.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

neighbours. Note the different parties in the Structure on p. 1641.

seen. Greek. theoreo. App-133. Not the same word as elsewhere in this chapter. not. App-106.

sat and begged = was sitting and begging.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 9:8". "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

The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, [ tuflos (Greek #5185)]. The true reading here appears plainly to be, 'that he was a beggar' [ hoti (Greek #3754) prosaitees (G4319a) een (Greek #2258)] - this being what would most immediately identify him, as the following words indeed show. So all recent critical editors, and nearly all critical expositors. Said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on John 9:8". "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

(8) They which before had seen him that he was blind.—The better reading is, that he was a beggar. The persons are the neighbours, who from living near him knew all about him, and those who used to see him at the spot where he sat begging. Both classes, of course, knew that he was blind.

Is not this he that sat and begged?—Better, Is not this he that sitteth and beggeth? The tenses are present, marking his usual custom.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on John 9:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/john-9.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?
Is not
Ruth 1:19; 1 Samuel 21:11
sat
1 Samuel 2:8; Mark 10:46; Luke 16:20-22; 18:35; Acts 3:2-11
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 10:11 - when all;  Luke 16:3 - to beg;  John 9:19 - Is this;  Acts 9:21 - Is not

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on John 9:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/john-9.html.

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

In vers. 8-12, there is a record of the impression which the event produced in the immediate circle of the healed man's friends. The result of the whole was, that they could find no way of escaping the acknowledgment of the fact: they had been most intimately acquainted with the personal history and case of the blind man, and to their declaration concerning the matter every reasonable doubter must look for confirmation and decision.

Ver. 8. "The neighbours, therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was a beggar, said. Is not this he that sat and begged?"

In relation to the Pres. Part. θεωροῦντες, we may apply with propriety Ewald's remark (§ 168) concerning, the Hebrew participle: "It is, like the Infinitive, altogether a noun in this, that it does not recognise that slight beginning of distinction in time which exists in the verb." The כל ידעיו לפנים in Job 42:11 perfectly corresponds, as also Job 20:7. So also with the participles καθήμενος and προσαιτῶν. "That he was a beggar," equivalent to "in his capacity as a beggar." The fact of his being a beggar intimates at the same time his bodily calamity; for the blind only were, as a rule, beggars by profession: comp. Mark 10:46. The less authenticated reading τυφλός ("that he was blind") sprang from a forgetfulness of the fact that begging presupposed the physical calamity.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on John 9:8". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/john-9.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

8.Then the neighbors, and those who had formerly seen him. The blind man was known not only to the neighbors, but to all the inhabitants of the town, having been wont to sit and beg at the gate of the temple; and the common people look more readily at such persons than at others. This circumstance — of the man being known — contributed to make many people acquainted with the fame of the miracle. But, as impiety is ingenious in obscuring the works of God, many thought that it was not the same man, because a new power of God openly appeared in him. Thus we find that the more brightly the majesty of God is displayed in his works, the less credit do they obtain among men. But the doubts of those men aided in proving the miracle, for, in consequence of those doubts, the blind man celebrated more highly the grace of Christ by his testimony. It is not without good reason, therefore, that the Evangelist brings together all those circumstances which seemed to exhibit more clearly the truth of the miracle.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on John 9:8". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/john-9.html. 1840-57.