John 7

After these things ( μετα ταυτα ). John's favourite general note of the order of events. Bernard conceives that the events in 7:1-14 follow 7:15-24 and both follow chapter 5, not chapter 6, a wholly needless readjustment of the narrative to suit a preconceived theory. John simply supplements the narrative in the Synoptics at points deemed important. He now skips the period of withdrawal from Galilee of about six months (from passover to tabernacles).

Walked ( περιεπατε ). Imperfect active, a literal picture of the itinerant ministry of Jesus. He has returned to Galilee from the region of Caesarea Philippi. He had been avoiding Galilee as well as Judea for six months.

For he would not walk in Judea ( ου γαρ ηθελεν εν τη Ιουδαια ). Imperfect active of  θελω picturing the attitude of refusal to work in Judea after the events in chapter 5 (perhaps a year and a half before).

Sought to kill ( εζητουν αποκτεινα ). Imperfect active again, progressive attitude, had been seeking to kill him as shown in 5:18 where the same words occur.

The feast of tabernacles ( η σκηνοπηγια ). Only New Testament example of this word ( σκηνη, tent,  πηγνυμ, to fasten as in Heb 8:2). Technical name of this feast (De 16:13; Le 23:34,43). It began on the 15th of the month Tisri (end of September) and lasted seven days and finally eight days in post-exilic times (Ne 8:18). It was one of the chief feasts of the Jews.

His brethren ( ο αδελφο αυτου ). "His brothers" (half-brothers actually), who "were not believing on him" ( ουδε επιστευον εις αυτον ) as stated in verse 5. They were hostile to the Messianic assumptions of Jesus, a natural attitude as one can well see, though at first they were friendly (2:12).

Depart hence ( μεταβηθ εντευθεν ). Second aorist active imperative of  μεταβαινω, to pass to another place (5:24; 13:1). It was impertinence on their part.

That thy disciples also may behold ( ινα κα ο μαθητα σου θεωρησουσιν ). Final clause with  ινα and the future active indicative of  θεωρεω. Jesus had many disciples in Judea at the start (2:23; 4:1) and had left it because of the jealousy of the Pharisees over his success (4:3). The brothers may have heard of the great defection in the synagogue in Capernaum (6:66), but the advice is clearly ironical.

Which thou doest ( α ποιεις ). To what works they refer by this language we do not know. But Jesus had been away from Galilee for some months and from Judea for a year and a half. Perhaps the brothers of Jesus may actually have been eager to rush Jesus into the hostile atmosphere of Jerusalem again.

In secret ( εν κρυπτω ). See Mt 6:4,6 for this phrase.

Openly ( εν παρρησια ). "In public" ( παν, ρησις, telling it all). See on Mt 8:32. Common in John (7:13,26; 10:24; 16:25,29; 18:20; here again contrasted with  εν κρυπτω ). It is wise advice in the abstract that a public teacher must allow inspection of his deeds, but the motive is evil. They might get Jesus into trouble.  Ιφ θου δοεστ θεσε θινγς ( ε ταυτα ποιεις ). This condition of the first class assumes the reality of the deeds of Jesus, but the use of the condition at all throws doubt on it all as in Mt 4:3,6.

Manifest thyself ( φανερωσον σεαυτον ). First aorist active imperative of  φανεροω.

To the world ( τω κοσμω ). Not just to "thy disciples," but to the public at large as at the feast of tabernacles. See 8:26; 14:22 for this use of  κοσμος.

For even his brethren did not believe on him ( ουδε γαρ ο αδελφο αυτου επιστευον εις αυτον ). Literally, "For not even were his brothers believing on him." Imperfect tense of  πιστευω with sad picture of the persistent refusal of the brothers of Jesus to believe in his Messianic assumptions, after the two rejections in Capernaum (Lu 4:16-31; Mr 6:1-6; Mt 13:54-58), and also after the blasphemous accusation of being in league with Beelzebub when the mother and brothers came to take Jesus home (Mr 3:31-35; Mt 12:46-50; Lu 8:19-21). The brothers here are sarcastic.

My time is not yet come ( ο καιρος ο εμος ουπω παρεστιν ). Only use with verse 8 of  καιρος in this Gospel, elsewhere  χρονος (Joh 5:6) or more often  ωρα (2:4) "the predestined hour" (Bernard). Here  καιρος is the fitting or proper occasion for Christ's manifesting himself publicly to the authorities as Messiah as in verse 8. At the feast of tabernacles Jesus did make such public claims (7:29,33; 8:12,28,38,42,58).  Παρεστιν is present active indicative of  παρειμ, old compound, to be by, to be present. The brothers of Jesus had the regular Jewish obligation to go up to the feast, but the precise day was a matter of indifference to them.

Cannot hate ( ου δυνατα μισειν ). Because of "the law of moral correspondence" (Westcott), often in John for "inherent impossibility" (Vincent). The brothers of Jesus here belong to the unbelieving world ( κοσμος ) which is unable to love Jesus (15:18,23,24) and which Jesus had already exposed ("testify,"  μαρτυρω, 5:42,45). This unbelieving "world" resented the exposure (3:19, cf. 18:37).

Go ye up to the feast ( υμεις αναβητε εις την εορτην ). The emphatic word by position is  υμεις (ye) in contrast with  εγω (I). Second aorist active imperative of  αναβαινω, old and common verb for going up to the feast (2:13) or anywhere. Take your own advice (7:3).

I go not up yet ( εγω ουπω αναβαινω ). So Westcott and Hort after B W L (Neutral) while  ου (not) is read by Aleph D, African Latin, Vulgate, Coptic (Western). Some of the early Greek Fathers were puzzled over the reading  ουκ (I go not up) as contradictory to verse 10 wherein it is stated that Jesus did go up. Almost certainly  ουκ (not) is correct and is not really contradictory when one notes in verse 10 that the manner of Christ's going up is precisely the opposite of the advice of the brothers in verses 3,4. "Not yet" ( ουπω ) is genuine before "fulfilled" ( πεπληρωτα, perfect passive indicative of  πληροω ). One may think, if he will, that Jesus changed his plans after these words, but that is unnecessary. He simply refused to fall in with his brothers' sneering proposal for a grand Messianic procession with the caravan on the way to the feast. He will do that on the journey to the last passover.

He abode still in Galilee ( εμεινεν εν τη Γαλιλαια ). No "still" ( ετ ) in the Greek text. The constative aorist active indicative  εμεινεν covers a period of some days.

Were gone up ( ανεβησαν ). Second aorist active indicative of  αναβαινω, not past perfect though the action is antecedent in fact to the following  τοτε ανεβη. The Greek does not always draw the precise distinction between the merely punctiliar (aorist) antecedent action and the past perfect (2:9; 4:45).

He also ( τοτε αυτος ). As well as the brothers.

Not publicly ( ου φανερως ). Against their advice in verse 4, using  φανερωσον (the very same word stem).

But as it were in secret ( αλλα ως εν κρυπτω ). "Not with the usual caravan of pilgrims" (Bernard). Just the opposite of their advice in verse 4 with the same phrase  εν φανερω. Plainly Jesus purposely went contrary to the insincere counsel of his brothers as to the manner of his Messianic manifestation. This secrecy concerned solely the journey to Jerusalem, not his public teaching there after his arrival (7:26,28; 18:20).

The Jews ( ο Ιουδαιο ). The hostile leaders in Jerusalem, not the Galilean crowds (7:12) nor the populace in Jerusalem (7:25).

Sought ( εζητουν ). Imperfect active of  ζητεω, "were seeking," picture of the attitude of the Jewish leaders toward Jesus who had not yet appeared in public at the feast. In fact he had avoided Jerusalem since the collision in chapter 5. The leaders clearly wished to attack him.

Where is he? ( που εστιν εκεινοσ; ). "Where is that one? (emphatic use of  εκεινος as in 1:8; 9:12). Jesus had been at two feasts during his ministry (passover in 2:12ff.; possibly another passover in 5:1), but he had avoided the preceding passover (6:4; 7:1). The leaders in Jerusalem had kept in touch with Christ's work in Galilee. They anticipate a crisis in Jerusalem.

Much murmuring ( γογγυσμος πολυς ). This Ionic onomatopoetic word is from  γογγυζω for which verb see 6:41,61; 7:32, for secret displeasure (Ac 6:1) or querulous discontent (Php 2:14).

Among the multitudes ( εν τοις οχλοις ). "The multitudes" literally, plural here only in John. These different groups were visitors from Galilee and elsewhere and were divided in their opinion of Jesus as the Galileans had already become (6:66).

A good man ( αγαθος ). Pure in motive. See Mr 10:17f.; Ro 5:7 (absolute sense of God). Superior to  δικαιος. Jesus had champions in these scattered groups in the temple courts.

Not so, but he leadeth the multitude astray ( ου, αλλα πλανα τον οχλον ). Sharp clash in the crowd. Present active indicative of  πλαναω, to go astray (Mt 18:12f.), like our "planets," to lead others astray (Mt 24:4,5,11, etc.). In the end the rulers will call Jesus "that deceiver" ( εκεινος ο πλανος, Mt 27:63). The Jewish leaders have a following among the crowds as is seen (7:31f.).

Howbeit ( μεντο ). See 4:27 for this compound particle ( μεν, το ), by way of exception, but yet.

Spake ( ελαλε ). Imperfect active of  λαλεω, "was speaking," picturing the whispering or secret talk ( no man openly ,  ουδεις παρρησια ). Best MSS. do not have  εν here with  παρρησια (locative or instrumental case of manner) as in 7:26; 10:24; 11:54, but  εν genuine in 7:4; Col 2:15. This adverbial use of  παρρησια is common enough (Mr 8:37).

For fear of the Jews ( δια τον φοβον των Ιουδαιων ). Objective genitive. The crowds really feared the Jewish leaders and evidently did not wish to involve Jesus or themselves. See the same phrase and attitude on the part of the disciples in 19:38; 20:19.

But when it was now in the midst of the feast ( ηδη δε της εορτης μεσουσης ). Literally, "But feast being already midway." Genitive absolute, present active participle, of  μεσοω, old verb from  μεσος, in LXX, here only in N.T. The feast of tabernacles was originally seven days, but a last day (verse 37; Le 23:36) was added, making eight in all.

And taught ( κα εδιδασκεν ). Imperfect active of  διδασκω, probably inchoative, "began to teach." He went up ( ανεβη, effective aorist, arrived). The leaders had asked (verse 11) where Jesus was. There he was now before their very eyes.

Marvelled ( εθαυμαζον ). Picturesque imperfect active of  θαυμαζω, "were wondering." After all the bluster of the rulers (verse 13) here was Jesus teaching without interruption.

Knoweth letters ( γραμματα οιδεν ). Second perfect active indicative used as present.  Γραμματα, old word from  γραφω, to write, is originally the letters formed (Ga 6:11), then a letter or epistle (Ac 28:21), then the sacred Scriptures (Joh 5:47; 2Ti 3:15), then learning like Latin litterae and English letters (Ac 26:24; Joh 7:15). "The marvel was that Jesus showed Himself familiar with the literary methods of the time, which were supposed to be confined to the scholars of the popular teachers" (Westcott).

Having never learned ( μη μεμαθηκως ). Perfect active participle of  μανθανω with  μη, the usual negative (subjective) with the participle. It is not the wisdom of Jesus that disconcerted the Jewish leaders, but his learning (Marcus Dods). And yet Jesus had not attended either of the rabbinical theological schools in Jerusalem (Hillel, Shammai). He was not a rabbi in the technical sense, only a carpenter, and yet he surpassed the professional rabbis in the use of their own methods of debate. It is sometimes true today that unschooled men in various walks of life forge ahead of men of lesser gifts with school training. See the like puzzle of the Sanhedrin concerning Peter and John (Ac 4:13). This is not an argument against education, but it takes more than education to make a real man. Probably this sneer at Jesus came from some of the teachers in the Jerusalem seminaries. "Christ was in the eyes of the Jews a merely self-taught enthusiast" (Westcott).

Mine ( εμη ). Possessive pronoun, "not mine in origin." Jesus denies that he is self-taught, though not a schoolman.

But his that sent me ( αλλα του πεμψαντος με ). Genitive case of the articular participle (first aorist active of  πεμπω ). His teaching is not self-originated nor is it the product of the schools (see the Talmud in contrast with the New Testament). Jesus often in John uses this idiom of "the one who sent me" of the Father (4:34; 5:23,24,30,37; 6:38-40,44; 7:16,18,28, etc.). The bold claim is here made by Jesus that his teaching is superior in character and source to that of the rabbis.

If any man willeth to do ( εαν τις θελη ποιειν ). Condition of third class with  εαν and present active subjunctive  θελη not used as a mere auxiliary verb for the future "will do," but with full force of  θελω, to will, to wish. See the same use of  θελω in 5:40 "and yet ye are not willing to come" ( κα ου θελετε ελθειν ).

He shall know ( γνωσετα ). Future middle indicative of  γινωσκω. Experimental knowledge from willingness to do God's will. See this same point by Jesus in 5:46; 18:37. There must be moral harmony between man's purpose and God's will. "If there be no sympathy there can be no understanding" (Westcott). Atheists of all types have no point of contact for approach to the knowledge of Christ. This fact does not prove the non-existence of God, but simply their own isolation. They are out of tune with the Infinite. For those who love God it is also true that obedience to God's will brings richer knowledge of God. Agnostic and atheistic critics are disqualified by Jesus as witnesses to his claims.

Of God ( εκ του θεου ). Out of God as source.

From myself ( απ' εμαυτου ). Instead of from God.

From himself ( αφ' εαυτου ). This kind of teacher is self-taught, pushes his own ideas, presses his own claims for position and glory, "blows his own horn" as we say. Jesus is the other type of teacher, seeks the glory of the one who sent him, whose herald and ambassador he is.

The same ( ουτος ). "This one."

Unrighteousness ( αδικια ). Old word from  αδικος ( α privative and  δικη ). Here in contrast with "true" ( αληθης ). See 2Th 2:10; 1Co 13:6 for the deceit of unrighteousness in contrast with truth as here.

And yet ( κα ). Clear use of  κα in the adversative sense of "and yet" or "but." They marvelled at Christ's "ignorance" and boasted of their own knowledge of the law of Moses. And yet they violated that law by not practising it.

Why seek ye to kill me? ( Τ με ζητειτε αποκτειναι; ). A sudden and startling question as an illustration of their failure to do the law of Moses. Jesus had previously known (5:39,45-47) that the Jews really rejected the teaching of Moses while professing to believe it. On that very occasion they had sought to kill him (5:18), the very language used here. Apparently he had not been to Jerusalem since then. He undoubtedly alludes to their conduct then and charges them with the same purpose now.

The multitude ( ο οχλος ). Outside of Jerusalem (the Galilean crowd as in verses 11f.) and so unfamiliar with the effort to kill Jesus recorded in 5:18. It is important in this chapter to distinguish clearly the several groups like the Jewish leaders (7:13,15,25,26,30,32, etc.), the multitude from Galilee and elsewhere (10-13,20,31,40,49), the common people of Jerusalem (25), the Roman soldiers (45f.).

Thou hast a devil ( δαιμονιον εχεις ). "Demon," of course, as always in the Gospels. These pilgrims make the same charge against Jesus made long ago by the Pharisees in Jerusalem in explanation of the difference between John and Jesus (Mt 11:18; Lu 7:33). It is an easy way to make a fling like that. "He is a monomaniac labouring under a hallucination that people wish to kill him" (Dods).

One work ( εν εργον ). Direct allusion to the healing of the impotent man when in Jerusalem before (5:1ff.). He had wrought others before (2:23; 4:45), but this one on the Sabbath caused the rulers to try to kill Jesus (5:18). Some wondered then, others had murder in their hearts. This crowd here is ignorant.

For this cause ( δια τουτο ). Some would take this phrase with the preceding verb  θαυμαζετε (ye marvel for this cause).

Hath given ( δεδωκεν ). Present active indicative of  διδωμ (permanent state).

Not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers ( ουχ οτ εκ του Μωυσεως εστιν αλλ' εκ των πατερων ). A parenthesis to explain that circumcision is older in origin than Moses.

And on the sabbath ye circumcise ( κα εν σαββατω περιτεμνετε ). Adversative use of  κα =and yet as in 19. That is to say, the Jews keep one law (circumcision) by violating another (on the Sabbath, the charge against him in chapter 5, healing on the Sabbath).

That the law of Moses may not be broken ( ινα μη λυθη ο νομος Μωυσεως ). Purpose clause with negative  μη and first aorist passive subjunctive of  λυω. They are punctilious about their Sabbath rules and about circumcision on the eighth day. When they clash, they drop the Sabbath rule and circumcise.

Are ye wroth with me? ( εμο χολατε; ). Old word from  χολη (bile, gall), possibly from  χλοη or  χλωρος (yellowish green). Only here in N.T. So to be mad. With dative. Vivid picture of bitter spleen against Jesus for healing a man on the sabbath when they circumcise on the Sabbath.

A man every whit whole ( ολον ανθρωπον υγιη ). Literally, "a whole ( ολον ) man (all the man) sound ( υγιη, well)," not just one member of the body mended.

According to appearance ( κατ' οψιν ). And so, superficially. See 11:44. Also not "righteous" ( δικαιαν ) judgment.

Some therefore of them of Jerusalem ( ουν τινες εκ των Ιεροσολυμειτων ). The people of the city in contrast to the multitude of pilgrims at the feast. They form a separate group. The word is made from  Ιεροσολυμα and occurs in Josephus and IV Maccabees. In N.T. only here and Mr 1:5. These Jerusalem people knew better than the pilgrims the designs of the rulers (Vincent).

Is not this? ( ουχ ουτος εστιν; ). Expecting affirmative answer. Clearly they were not as familiar with the appearance of Jesus as the Galilean multitude (Dods).

They seek ( ζητουσιν ). The plural refers to the group of leaders already present (7:15) to whom the Jerusalem crowd probably pointed. They knew of their threats to kill Jesus (5:18).

They say nothing unto him ( ουδεν αυτο λεγουσιν ). But only make sneering comments about him (7:16) in spite of his speaking "openly" ( παρρησια, for which word see 7:13; 18:20) before all. lt was sarcasm about the leaders, though an element of surprise on the part of "these shrewd townsmen" (Bernard) may have existed also.

Can it be that the rulers indeed know ( μη ποτε αληθως εγνωσιν ο αρχοντες ). Negative answer expected by  μη ποτε and yet there is ridicule of the rulers in the form of the question. See a like use of  μη ποτε in Lu 3:15, though nowhere else in John.  Εγνωσαν (second aorist ingressive active indicative of  γινωσκω ) may refer to the examination of Jesus by these rulers in 5:19ff. and means, "Did they come to know or find out" (and so hold now)?

That this is the Christ ( οτ ουτος εστιν ο Χριστος ). The Messiah of Jewish hope.

Howbeit ( αλλα ). Clearly adversative here.

This man ( τουτον ). Possibly contemptuous use of  ουτος as may be true in 25,26.

Whence he is ( ποθεν εστιν ). The Galilean Jews knew the family of Jesus (6:42), but they knew Jesus only as from Nazareth, not as born in Bethlehem (verse 42).

When the Christ cometh ( ο Χριστος οταν ερχητα ). Prolepsis of  ο Χριστος and indefinite temporal clause with  οταν and the present middle subjunctive  ερχητα rather than the more usual second aorist active  ελθη as in verse 31, a trifle more picturesque. This is a piece of popular theology. "Three things come wholly unexpected--Messiah, a godsend, and a scorpion" (Sanhedrin 97a). The rulers knew the birthplace to be Bethlehem (7:42; Mt 2:5f.), but some even expected the Messiah to drop suddenly from the skies as Satan proposed to Jesus to fall down from the pinnacle of the temple. The Jews generally expected a sudden emergence of the Messiah from concealment with an anointing by Elijah (Apoc. of Bar. XXIX. 3; 2Esdr. 7:28; 13:32; Justin Martyr, Tryph. 110).

And I am not come of myself ( κα απ' εμαυτου ουκ εληλυθα ).  Κα here="and yet." Jesus repeats the claim of verse 17 and also in 5:30; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10.

Whom ye know not ( ον υμεις ουκ οιδατε ). Jesus passes by a controversy over the piece of popular theology to point out their ignorance of God the Father who sent him. He tersely agrees that they know something of him. Jesus says of these Jews that they know not God as in 8:19,55.

I know him ( εγω οιδα αυτον ). In contrast to the ignorance of these people. See the same words in 8:55 and the same claim in 17:25; Mt 11:27; Lu 10:22 (the Johannine aerolite). "These three words contain the unique claim of Jesus, which is pressed all through the chapters of controversy with the Jews" (Bernard). Jesus is the Interpreter of God to men (Joh 1:18).

And he sent me ( κακεινος με απεστειλεν ). First aorist active indicative of  αποστελλω, the very verb used of Jesus when he sent forth the twelve (Mt 10:5) and used by Jesus again of himself in Joh 17:3. He is the Father's Apostle to men.

They sought therefore ( εζητουν ουν ). Imperfect active of  ζητεω, inchoative or conative, they began to seek. Either makes sense. The subject is naturally some of the Jerusalemites (Westcott) rather than some of the leaders (Bernard).

To take him ( αυτον πιασα ). First aorist active infinitive, Doric form from  πιαζω, from the usual  πιεζω, occasionally so in the papyri, but  πιαζω always in N.T. except Lu 6:38.

And ( κα ). Here = "but."

Laid his hand ( επεβαλεν την χειρα ). Second aorist active indicative of  επιβαλλω, to cast upon. Old and common idiom for arresting one to make him a prisoner (Mt 26:50). See repetition in verse 44.

His hour ( η ωρα αυτου ). In 13:1 we read that "the hour" had come, but that was "not yet" ( ουπω ). "John is at pains to point out at every point that the persecution and death of Jesus followed a predestined course" (Bernard), as in 2:4; 7:6,8; 8:10; 10:39; 13:1, etc.

Was not yet come ( ουπω εληλυθε ). Past perfect active of  ερχομα, as John looks back on the story.

When the Christ shall come ( ο Χριστος οταν ελθη ). Proleptic position of  ο Χριστος again as in 27, but  ελθη with  οταν rather than  ερχητα, calling more attention to the consummation (whenever he does come).

Will he do? ( μη ποιησει; ). Future active indicative of  ποιεω with  μη (negative answer expected). Jesus had won a large portion of the pilgrims ( εκ του οχλου πολλο ) either before this day or during this controversy. The use of  επιστευσαν (ingressive aorist active) looks as if many came to believe at this point. These pilgrims had watched closely the proceedings.

Than those which ( ων ). One must supply the unexpressed antecedent  τουτων in the ablative case after  πλειονα (more). Then the neuter plural accusative relative  α (referring to  σημεια signs) is attracted to the ablative case of the pronominal antecedent  τουτων (now dropped out).

Hath done ( εποιησεν ). First aorist active indicative of  ποιεω, a timeless constative aorist summing up all the miracles of Jesus so far.

The Pharisees ( ο Φαρισαιο ). This group of the Jewish rulers (7:11,15,25f.) was particularly hostile to Christ, though already the Sadducees had become critical (Mt 16:6) and they join here ( ο αρχιερεις, the chief priests being Sadducees) in determining to silence Jesus by bringing him before the Sanhedrin. They had heard the whispered talk about Jesus before he arrived (7:12f.) and still more now.

Heard the multitude murmuring ( ηκουσαν του οχλου γογγυζοντος ). First aorist active indicative of  ακουω with the genitive case and the descriptive participle of the vivid onomatopoetic verb  γογγυζω (verse 12) now grown louder like the hum of bees. It was the defence of Jesus by a portion of the crowd (7:31) that irritated the Pharisees. Here the Pharisees take the initiative and enlist the Sadducees in the Sanhedrin (for this combination see 7:45; 11:47,57; Mt 21:45; 27:62, the organized court) to send "officers" ( υπηρετας ) "to take him" ( ινα πιασωσιν αυτον, final clause with  ινα and first aorist active subjunctive of  πιαζω for which verb see verse 30). For  υπηρετας (temple police here) see verse 45; 18:3,12,22; 19:6; Ac 5:22,26. For the word see Mt 5:25; Lu 1:2, "an under rower" ( υπο, ερετης ), any assistant.

Yet a little while ( ετ χρονον μικρον ). Accusative of extent of time. It was only six months to the last passover of Christ's ministry and he knew that the end was near.

I go unto him that sent me ( υπαγω προς τον πεμψαντα με ). See the same words in 16:5.  Hυπαγω, old compound ( υπο, αγω ), has the notion of withdrawing (literally, go under). See 16:7-10 for three words for going common in John ( πορευομα, go for a purpose,  απερχομα, to go away,  υπαγω, to withdraw personally).  Hυπαγω often in John of going to the Father or God (8:14,21; 13:3,33,36; 14:4,5,28; 15:16; 16:4,7,10,17). See 6:21. It was enigmatic language to the hearers.

And shall not find me ( κα ουχ ευρησετε με ). Future active indicative of  ευρισκω. Jesus had said: "Seek and ye shall find" (Mt 7:7), but this will be too late. Now they were seeking (verse 30) to kill Jesus, then they will seek deliverance, but too late.

Where I am ( οπου ειμ εγω ). No conflict with verse 33, but the essential eternal spiritual home of Christ "in absolute, eternal being and fellowship with the Father" (Vincent).

Ye cannot come ( υμεις ου δυνασθε ελθειν ). This fellowship was beyond the comprehension of these hostile Jews. See the same idea in 7:36 by the Jews; 8:21 to the Jews and then to the disciples with the addition of "now" ( αρτ, 13:33,  νυν in 13:36).

Among themselves ( προς εαυτους ). These Jewish leaders of verse 32 talk among themselves about what Jesus said in a spirit of contempt (this man or fellow,  ουτος ).

That ( οτ ). Almost result like  οτ in Mt 8:27.

Will he go? ( μη μελλε πορευεσθαι; ). Negative answer expected in an ironical question, "Is he about to go?"

Unto the Dispersion among the Greeks ( εις την διασποραν των Hελληνων ). Objective genitive  των Hελληνων (of the Greeks) translated here "among," because it is the Dispersion of Jews among the Greeks.  Διασπορα is from  διασπειρω, to scatter apart (Ac 8:1,4). It occurs in Plutarch and is common in the LXX, in the N.T. only here, Jas 1:1; 1Pe 1:1. There were millions of these scattered Jews.

And teach the Greeks ( κα διδασκειν τους Hελληνας ). Confessing his failure to teach the Jews in Palestine, "thus ignorantly anticipating the course Christianity took; what seemed unlikely and impossible to them became actual" (Dods).

What is this word? ( Τις εστιν ο λογος ουτοσ; ). Puzzled and uneasy over this unintelligible saying. Even Peter is distressed over it later ( 13:37 ).

Now on the last day ( εν δε τη εσχατη ημερα ). The eighth day which was "an holy convocation," kept as a Sabbath (Le 33:36), apparently observed as a memorial of the entrance into Canaan, hence "the great day of the feast" ( τη μεγαλη της εορτης ).

Stood and cried ( ιστηκε κα εκρασεν ). Past perfect active of  ιστημ used as imperfect and intransitive and first aorist active of  κραζω. Picture Jesus standing (linear) and suddenly crying out (punctiliar).

If any man thirst ( εαν τις διψα ). Third class condition with  εαν and present active subjunctive of  διψαω, "if any one is thirsty." On each of the seven preceding days water was drawn in a golden pitcher from the pool of Siloam and carried in procession to the temple and offered by the priests as the singers chanted Isa 12:3: "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." "It is uncertain whether the libations were made upon the eighth day. If they were not made, the significant cessation of the striking rite on this one day of the feast would give a still more fitting occasion for the words" (Westcott).

He that believeth on me ( ο πιστευων εις εμε ). Nominative absolute as is not uncommon.

The scripture ( η γραφη ). No precise passage can be quoted, though similar idea in several (Isa 55:1; 58:11; Zec 13:1; 14:8; Eze 47:1; Joe 3:18). Chrysostom confines it to Isa 28:16 by punctuation (only the nominative absolute as the Scripture).

Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water ( ποταμο εκ της κοιλιας αυτου ρευσουσιν υδατος ζωντος ). Some ancient Western writers connect  πινετω of verse 37 with  ο πιστευων in verse 38. By this arrangement  αυτου (his) with  κοιλιας is made to refer to Christ, not to the believer. Burney argues that  κοιλια is a mistranslation of the Aramaic (fountain, not belly) and that the reference is to Eze 47:1. C.C. Torrey refers to Zec 14:8. But the Eastern writers refer  αυτου (his) to the believer who not only quenches in Christ his own thirst, but becomes a source of new streams for others (Joh 4:14). It is a difficult question and Westcott finally changed his view and held  αυτου to refer to Christ.  Ρευσουσιν is future active indicative of  ρεω, old verb, to flow, here only in the N.T.

Which ( ου ). Genitive by attraction of the relative  ο (accusative singular object of  λαμβανειν ) to the case of  του πνευματος (the Spirit) the antecedent. But it is purely grammatical gender (neuter  ο because of  πνευμα ) which we do not have in English. Even here one should say "whom," not which, of the Spirit of God.

Were to receive ( εμελλον λαμβανειν ). Imperfect active of  μελλω with the present active infinitive  λαμβανειν, to receive, one of the three constructions with  μελλω (present, aorist, or future infinitive). Literally, "whom they were about to receive," a clear reference to the great pentecost.

For the Spirit was not yet given ( ουπω γαρ ην πνευμα ). No verb for "given" in the Greek. The reference is not to the existence of the Spirit, but to the dispensation of the Spirit. This same use of  ειμ like  παρειμ (to be present) appears in Ac 19:2 of the Spirit's activity. John, writing at the close of the century, inserts this comment and interpretation of the language of Jesus as an allusion to the coming of the Holy Spirit at pentecost (the Promise of the Father).

Because Jesus was not yet glorified ( οτ Ιησους ουπω εδοξασθη ). Reason for the previous statement, the pentecostal outpouring following the death of Jesus here called "glorified" ( εδοξασθη, first aorist passive indicative of  δοξαζω ), used later of the death of Jesus (12:16), even by Jesus himself (12:23; 13:31).

Some of the multitude ( εκ του οχλου ).  Τινες (some) to be supplied, a common Greek idiom.

Of a truth ( αληθως ). "Truly." See 1:47.

The prophet ( ο προφητης ). The one promised to Moses (De 18:15) and long expected. See on John 1:21. Proof of the deep impression made by Jesus.

This is the Christ ( ουτος εστιν ο Χριστος ). These went further and dared to call Jesus the Messiah and not merely the prophet who might not be the Messiah. They said it openly.

What ( γαρ ). These denied that Jesus was the Messiah and gave as their reason ( γαρ, for) the fact that he came from Galilee. The use of  μη expects a negative answer.

The scripture ( η γραφη ). The reference is to Mic 5:2, the very passage quoted by the chief priests and scribes in response to Herod's inquiry (Mt 2:6). This ignorance of the fact that Jesus was actually born in Bethlehem belongs to the Jews, not to John the author of the Gospel.

A division ( σχισμα ). A clear split. See Mt 9:16 for the word from  σχιζω, to rend. Used again in Joh 9:16; 10:19.

Would have taken him ( ηθελον πιασα αυτον ). Imperfect active of  θελω and first aorist active infinitive of  πιαζω, "were wishing to seize him." See verse 30 for a like impulse and restraint, there  επεβαλεν επ' αυτον, here  εβαλεν επ' αυτον (simple verb, not compound).

Why did ye not bring him? ( Δια τ ουκ ηγαγετε αυτον; ). Second aorist active indicative of  αγω. Indignant outburst of the Sanhedrin (both Sadducees and Pharisees) at the failure of the ( τους, note article here referring to verse 32) temple police to arrest Jesus. "Apparently they were sitting in expectation of immediately questioning him" (Dods). They were stunned at this outcome.

Never man so spake ( ουδεποτε ελαλησεν ουτως ανθρωπος ). Police officers are not usually carried away by public speech. They had fallen under the power of Jesus "as the Galilean peasants had been impressed" (Bernard) in verses 28f. It was the words of Jesus that had so gripped these officers, not his works (15:24). It was most disconcerting to the Sanhedrin.

Are ye also led astray? ( Μη κα υμεις πεπλανησθε; ). The Pharisees took the lead in this scornful sneer at the officers. The use of  μη formally expects a negative answer as in 4:29, but the Pharisees really believed it. See also 6:67. The verb form is perfect passive indicative of  πλαναω, for which see verse 12 with perhaps an allusion to that phase of opinion.

Hath any of the rulers believed on him? ( Μη τις εκ των αρχοντων επιστευσεν εις αυτον; ). Negative answer sharply expected. First aorist active indicative of  πιστευω. "Did any one of the rulers believe on him?" "What right have subordinates to have a mind of their own?" (Dods). These police were employed by the temple authorities (rulers). "Power was slipping through their fingers" (Dods) and that was the secret of their hostility to Jesus.

Or of the Pharisees ( η εκ των Φαρισαιων ). A wider circle and the most orthodox of all.

This multitude ( ο οχλος ουτος ). The Pharisees had a scorn for the amhaaretz or "people of the earth" (cf. our "clod-hoppers") as is seen in rabbinic literature. It was some of the  οχλος (multitude at the feast especially from Galilee) who had shown sympathy with Jesus (7:12,28f.).

Which knoweth not the law ( ο μη γινοσκων ). Present active articular participle of  γινωσκω with  μη usual negative of the participle in the Koine. "No brutish man is sin-fearing, nor is one of the people of the earth pious" (Aboth, II. 6). See the amazement of the Sanhedrin at Peter and John in Ac 4:13 as "unlettered and private men" ( αγραμματο κα ιδιωτα ). No wonder the common people ( οχλος ) heard Jesus gladly (Mr 12:37). The rabbis scouted and scorned them.

Are accursed ( επαρατο εισιν ). Construction according to sense (plural verb and adjective with collective singular  οχλος ).  Επαρατο is old verbal adjective from  επαραομα, to call down curses upon, here only in the N.T.

Nicodemus ( Νικοδημος ). Not heard from since chapter 3 when he timidly came to Jesus by night. Now he boldly protests against the injustice of condemning Jesus unheard. He appears once more (and only in John) in 19:39 with Joseph of Arimathea as a secret disciple of Jesus. He is a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin and his present act is courageous.

Saith ( λεγε ). Dramatic present active indicative as in 2:3.

Before ( προτερον ). This is genuine, a reference to the visit in chapter 3, but  νυκτος (by night) is not genuine here.

Being one of them ( εις ων εξ αυτων ). As a member of the Sanhedrin he takes up the challenge in verse 48. He is both ruler and Pharisee.

Doth our law judge a man? ( μη ο νομος ημων κρινε τον ανθρωπον; ). Negative answer expected and "the man," not "a man." These exponents of the law (verse 49) were really violating the law of criminal procedure (Ex 23:1; De 1:16). Probably Nicodemus knew that his protest was useless, but he could at least show his colours and score the point of justice in Christ's behalf.

Except it first hear from himself ( εαν μη ακουση πρωτον παρ' αυτου ). Third-class negative condition with  εαν μη and first aorist active subjunctive of  ακουω. That is common justice in all law, to hear a man's side of the case ("from him,"  παρ' αυτου ).

And know what he doeth ( κα γνω τ ποιε ). Continuation of the same condition with second aorist active subjunctive of  γινωσκω with indirect question and present active indicative ( τ ποιε ). There was no legal answer to the point of Nicodemus.

Art thou also of Galilee? ( Μη κα συ εκ της Γαλιλαιας ει; ). Formally negative answer expected by  μη, but really they mean to imply that Nicodemus from local feeling or prejudice has lined himself up with this Galilean mob ( οχλος ) of sympathizers with Jesus and is like Jesus himself a Galilean. "These aristocrats of Jerusalem had a scornful contempt for the rural Galileans" (Bernard).

That out of Galilee ariseth no prophet ( οτ εκ της Γαλιλαιας προφητης ουκ εγειρετα ). As a matter of fact Jonah, Hosea, Nahum, possibly also Elijah, Elisha, and Amos were from Galilee. It was simply the rage of the Sanhedrin against Jesus regardless of the facts. Westcott suggests that they may have reference to the future, but that is a mere excuse for them.

This verse and through 8:12 (the passage concerning the woman taken in adultery) is certainly not a genuine part of John's Gospel. The oldest and best MSS. (Aleph A B C L W) do not have it. It first appears in Codex Bezae. Some MSS. put it at the close of John's Gospel and some place it in Luke. It is probably a true story for it is like Jesus, but it does not belong to John's Gospel. The Canterbury Version on which we are commenting puts the passage in brackets. Westcott and Hort place it at the end of the Gospel. With this explanation we shall proceed.

They went ( επορευθησαν ). First aorist passive indicative of  πορευομα used as a deponent verb without passive idea. In this context the verb has to refer to the Sanhedrin with a rather pointless contrast to Jesus.

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