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Upon which Jesus, who perceived their thoughts, observed, that they knew indeed his human origin, butunderstood not his divine origin, nor the dispensations of God, whose will he was come to execute. Then many believed on him, convinced both by the miracles which they had before witnessed, and also by the consciousness of his having at this time manifested his more than human knowledge, by replying to that which was passing in their minds. This sort of evidence has before been adverted to in the case of Christ's first address to Peter, and to Nathaniel, in the first chapter of St. John's Gospel; and it must necessarily carry with it a strong conviction to the minds of those who felt it. We have seen its effect on the Samaritan woman, who, in the simplicity of an honest heart, called the people of her city “to come and see the man, who had told her all things that ever she
Ver. 30. The pharisees and chief priests, seeing how the people were affected, would have apprehended Jesus; but their purpose was over-ruled by the control of Providence, and he continued to address the Jews, who had come up from all parts to attend the festival. What he says of his shortly
* Chap. iv. 29.
leaving them, and going whither they could not follow him, is clearly prophetic of his death and resurrection. But this, like other prophecies, was purposely involved in some obscurity, which the Jews at that time were unable to penetrate; the use of prophecy being partly to awaken present attention; but chiefly to remain a standing testimony to after times, that “when it is come to pass, men may believe.
In verse 35 the Jews say, “will he go unto the dispersed among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks ?” (for so it is in the original). For the right understanding of which, it is only necessary to remember that Judea was surrounded by the different portions of the Greek empire, which Alexander the Great had established. When therefore they inquired among themselves, if Jesus would go to the dispersed among the Greeks; it is no more than asking (perhaps with some jealousy) if it were to be supposed that he meant to leave Judea, and to instruct the Jews dispersed among the neighbouring nations.
Ver. 37. The festival of tabernacles was celebrated during seven days *, and it was customary, (particularly on the last, which was considered to be the great day,) that one of the priests should draw water from the fountain of Siloam, and sprinkle it upon the altar at the hour of morning sacrifice * This water was symbolical of the Holy Spirit; and being brought in, it may be, at this time, probably suggested the mention of water, and of thirst, under which figures we are told that Jesus exhorted the people now, as he had done upon a former occasion t, to come to him, and to hear his doctrine, and he would give them that true water of religious wisdom, and those gifts of the Spirit, which should be manifested in them for the edification of the world.
* Deut. xvi. 13.
Ver. 40. In the fortieth verse we read, that “ many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the prophet.” And it may naturally be asked, what particular saying led the people to conclude that Jesus must be the prophet? The truth is, that the passage is not rendered with the usual correctness of our English Testament. The literal translation would be,“ having heard the word I;” and it should be understood to signify, “having heard the discourses by which Jesus instructed them.”
* Beausobre Introd.
† Chap. iv. 14. 1 ακουσαντες τον λογον. .
I have already offered some observations respecting “the prophet,” and respecting his “coming out of Galilee,” both of which are mentioned in the first * chapter of St. John's Gospel. It is unnecessary therefore to repeat them in this place.
The pharisees and chief priests, we find, had sent officers to apprehend Jesus; but they were so struck with his manner, and with his doctrine, that their purpose of taking him was altogether superseded by admiration. I the rather take notice of this, because I shall have occasion to refer to it hereafter t. The rulers therefore, vexed and confounded at this disappointment, abused the people for their credulity; and when Nicodemus, one of their own body, would have checked their intemperance, they said that he talked like a Galilean, and an ignorant man, for no Scripture had ever taught that a prophet was to be expected from Galilee I.
“THREE times in a year were all the males commanded to appear before the Lord in the place
* Chap. i. 21 and 46.
+ Chap. xviii. 6. See above, p. 17.
which he should choose * ;" in consequence of which it is natural to suppose that not only Jerusalem, but the neighbouring villages must have been crowded with people at the recurrence of these seasons.
Of Jesus we are informed by St. Luke, that “ in the day time he was in the temple ; and at night he went out and abode in the mount, that is called the mount of Olivest. On this hill, which was nigh to the city, appears to have been situated the garden of Gethsemane I, probably an olive garden, through which lay the path to Bethany, a village on the further border of the hill, about two miles from Jerusalem, where Jesus slept, on one occasion at least, in the house of Simon the leper ||. When it is said therefore that he “ abode in the mount,” we shall do right to understand by it, that he lodged at Bethany.
To pursue now the narrative of St. John; agreeably to the above account we find Jesus early in the morning coming again into the temple, where “ he sat down, and taught the people.” In the history which follows, the Scribes and Pharisees insidiously consult him upon the propriety of stoning to death an adulteress, as the Law of
Deut. xvi. 16.
Luke xxi. 37. I Matt. xxvi. 36.
|| Mark xiv. 3.
8 Chap. xi, 18.