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1. The sea. See on Matt. iv. 18.
2. Multitude (oclov). See on i. 19.
Followed (hkolouqei). Imperfect tense, denoting not merely the following on this occasion, but generally.
Saw (ewrwn). Rev., beheld. See on i. 18.
His miracles. Omit his. Render, as Rev., the signs.
He sat (ekqhto). Imperfect: was sitting, when he saw the multitude approaching (ver. 5).
4. A feast (h eorth). With the definite article, the feast; pointing to something well known.
6. To prove (peirazwn). Literally, proving. See on Matt. vi. 13. Wyc., tempting.
7. Pennyworth (dhnarwn). See on Matt. xx. 2. Two hundred pennyworth would represent between thirty and thirty-five dollars. That every one may take a little. Peculiar to John.
9. A lad (paidarion). Diminutive. Only here in the New Testament. 28 Only John mentions the lad.
Barley (kriqinouv). A detail peculiar to John. The word occurs in the New Testament only here and ver. 13. An inferior sort of bread is indicated by the term. Pliny and some of the Jewish writers describe barley as food fit for beasts. Suetonius speaks of a turgid rhetorician as a barley orator, inflated like barley in moisture: and Livy relates how cohorts which had lost their standards were ordered barley for food. Fishes (oyaria). The word occurs only here and at xxi. 9. The Synoptists use ijcquev. The A.V., small fishes, is intended to render the diminutive. 29 The word means anything that is eaten with bread, and may apply to meat generally, or to what is eaten with bread as a relish. Homer speaks of an onion as a relish (oyon) for drink ("Iliad," 11, 630). The term was applied to fish par excellence. Fish became among the Greeks a chief dainty to gourmands, so that Demosthenes describes a glutton and spendthrift as one who is extravagant in fish.
But what are they among so many? Peculiar to John, though the idea is implied in Luke ix. 13.
10. Sit down (anapesein). Literally, recline.
Grass (cortov). Originally an enclosure. Thus Homer speaks of Peleus offering a sacrifice, aujlhv ejn cortw, in the enclosure of the court ("Iliad," 11, 774). Hence a feeding-place, and so grass, provender. The sense is merely that of our abstract pasture. Matthew and Mark mention the grass, Mark with the epithet green. Wyc., hay.
11. Given thanks. All the Synoptists relate his looking up to heaven and blessing. Perhaps he used the familiar formula, "Blessed art thou Jehovah our God, King of the world, who causes to come forth bread from the earth."
Likewise of the fishes. So also Mark.
As much as they would. Peculiar to John.
12. Fragments (klasmata). From klaw, to break. Rev., broken pieces. That remain (perisseusanta). Rev., remain over. Literally, exceed the necessary supply. Only John gives the Lord's command to collect the fragments, and the reason for it, that nothing be lost.
With the fragments, etc. John goes into fuller detail than the Synoptists. Mark alone notes the gathering of the remains of the fishes. John also uses ejgemisan, filled, for they took up, or were taken up, of the Synoptists. Five barley loaves. A detail peculiar to John, emphasizing the identity of the fragments with the original loaves.
Unto them that had eaten (bebrwkosin). Only here in the New Testament.
15. Would come (mellousin ercesqai). Literally, are about to come. Take by force (arpazein). See on Matt. xi. 12.
A king. Better, as Rev., king; over themselves.
Himself alone (autov monov). Matthew has kat' ijdian, privately, and both Matthew and Mark add, to pray.
16. Even (oyia). An adjective; oyiov, late with wra, hour, understood.
Went (hrconto). The imperfect, were going. So Rev. Capernaum. Mark has Bethsaida.
18. Arose (dihgeireto). It is lamentable how the A.V. misses the graphic force of these imperfects. Rev., rightly, was rising. Literally, was being awakened. The imperfects convey the sense of gathering danger, and throw into stronger relief the fact of Jesus' appearance. They were going; the darkness had already fallen, the sea was rising, and Jesus had not yet come.
19. Had rowed (elhlakotev). Literally, had driven or propelled (the boat).
Five and twenty, etc. The lake being about forty furlongs, six miles, at its broadest, they had gone only a little more than half-way.
They see (qewrousi). Rev., behold; with an intent gaze. See on i. 18. Both Luke and John use this word frequently.
21. They willingly received (hqelon labein). Wrong. Rev., correctly, they were willing to receive; after being reassured by His voice. The imperfect denotes a continuous state of feeling, not a mere impulsive and temporary wish.
Immediately (euqewv). Whether Jesus actually entered the boat or not, John does not say. The more natural inference is that he did. Both Matthew and Mark say so. Their immediate and miraculous arrival at the shore was simultaneous either with their entertaining the wish to receive Him, or with His actually coming on board. Only John mentions this incident. Matthew and Mark say that the wind ceased.
They went (uphgon). Imperfect: were going. Literally, were going away. The verb has the sense of retiring from something. Compare ver. 67; vii. 33, on which see note; xii. 11; xviii. 8.
22. Which stood (o esthkwv). Having remained daring the night near the scene of the miracle, and being there still.
That - whereinto His disciples were entered. Omit, and read as Rev., save one.
23. Howbeit there came other boats (alla de hlqen ploiaria).
Some editors omit de, howbeit, change alla, other, into ajlla, but, and read, but there came boats.
26. The miracles (shmeia). Both the insertion of the definite article and the translation miracles in the A.V. tend to obscure the true sense of the passage. Jesus says: You do not seek me because you saw signs. What you saw in my works was only marvels. You did not see in them tokens of my divine power and mission.
Him hath God the Father sealed. The Rev. makes the sentence culminate properly in God: "for Him the Father, even God, hath sealed." According to the strict Greek order it is: for Him the Father sealed, even God. On sealed (esfragisen) see on iii. 33. Wyc., betokened Him.
28. What shall we do? (ti poioumen). Literally, what do we do? The best texts read poiwmen, what are we to do?
29. Believe. Faith is put as a moral act or work. The work of God is to believe. Faith includes all the works which God requires. The Jews' question contemplates numerous works. Jesus' answer directs them to one work. Canon Westcott justly observes that "this simple formula contains the complete solution of the relation of faith and works."
30. Therefore. Since He had claimed to be the One sent of God.
31. Manna. Properly, the manna, referring to the familiar historic fact. A passage is cited from a Hebrew commentary on Ecclesiastes, as follows: "As the first Redeemer made the manna to descend, as it is written, 'Behold I will rain bread from heaven for you'; so the later Redeemer also shall make the manna to descend, as it is written, 'May there be abundance of corn in the earth.'"
32. Moses gave you not (ou Mwshv dedwken umin). The antithesis is between Moses and my Father. So Rev., rightly, "it was not Moses that gave you," etc. - "but my Father giveth," etc. Some editors change the perfect tense, dedwken, hath given, to the aorist, edwken, gave.
33. He which cometh down (o katabainwn). So it may be rendered; but also that which, referring to artov, bread: and so, better, as Rev., since Jesus does not identify Himself with the bread until ver. 35.
Cometh - believeth. Faith in its active aspect and in its resting aspect. Never (ou mh). Rather, in nowise, or by no means. Rev., shall not.
36. But. Though you have seen as you asked, I repeat what I said to you that you have seen and do not believe.
37. All that (pan o). The neuter singular of the adjective and pronoun. All believers are regarded as one complete whole. Compare xvii. 24, according to the correct reading, "that which Thou hast given me."
Shall come (hxei). Emphasizing the idea of reaching or arriving.
Cometh (ercomenon). A different verb, emphasizing the process of coming.
38. From heaven (ek tou ouranou). But the best texts read ejk, from, instead of ejk, out of, the idea being rather that of departure (I came down) than of origin. I came down should be as Rev. (I am come down). The tense is the perfect.
39. The Father's will. Omit the Father's. Render, the will of Him, etc. That of all which He hath given me (ina pan o dedwke moi). The construction is a peculiar and broken one. All which He hath given, stands alone as an absolute nominative; a very emphatic and impressive mode of statement. Literally it reads, that all which He hath given me I should lose nothing out of it.
At the last day (en th escath hmera). The phrase occurs only in John.
40. And this (de). The best texts read gar, for. There is a logical connection between the last sentence and the following. The Father's will in preserving and raising up that which he has given to the Son, includes in its fulfillment the believing contemplation of the Son and its issue in eternal life.
Of Him that sent me. The best texts substitute patrov, you, of my Father.
Seeth (qewrwn). The word is designedly used. The saving vision of Christ is not here seeing, but earnest contemplation. Rev., beholdeth. See on i. 18. Compare ye have seen me, and believe not (ver. 36).
41. Then (oun). Rev., rightly, therefore: because of His words.
Murmured (eggoguzon). See on Jude 16, and compare 1 Corinthians x. 10; Philip. ii. 14. The word is constantly used in the Septuagint of the murmuring of Israel in the wilderness. Wyc., grudged of Him. So Chaucer, "Judas grucched agens the Maudeleyn whan sche anoynted the hed of oure Lord" ("Parson's Tale"); and Shakespeare,
"Served Without or grudge or grumbling." "Tempest" i., 2, 249.
At Him (peri autou). Implying that they addressed their remonstrances to Him. But peri means about or concerning. So Rev., properly, concerning.
42. We know. Not implying necessarily that Joseph was still alive, but merely the fact that Joseph was recognized as the father of Jesus.
44. Draw (elkush). Two words for drawing are found in the New Testament, surw and eJlkuw. The distinction is not habitually observed, and the meanings often overlap. Surw is originally to drag or trail along, as a garment or torn slippers. Both words are used of haling to justice. (See Acts viii. 3; xvii. 6; xvi. 19.) In Acts xiv. 19, su.rw, of dragging Paul's senseless body out of the city at Lystra. In John xxi. 6, 8, 11, both words of drawing the net. In John xviii. 10, eJlkuw, of drawing Peter's sword. One distinction, however, is observed: surw is never used of Christ's attraction of men. See vi. 44; xii. 32. Elkuw occurs only once outside of John's writings (Acts xvi. 19). Luther says on this passage: "The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but it is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willingly goes."
Of God (para tou Qeou). More correctly, as Rev., from, with an idea of association with: from with God. Para is used of procession from a personal object, indicating it generally as the starting-point.
49. Are dead (apeqanon). The aorist points, not to their present condition but to the historical fact; they died. So Rev. 51. The living bread (o artov o zwn). Literally, the bread the living (bread). Wyc., quick bread.
I will give. The ejgw, I, is emphatic, in contrast with Moses (ver. 32).
Flesh. See on i. 14.
Which I will give. The best texts omit. Read, as Rev., my flesh for the life of the world.
52. Strove (emaconto). The murmuring (ver. 41) now breaks out into open contention among the Jews themselves.
Drink His blood. Appropriate the saving merit of His death. The passover was approaching, and the reference may well have been to the flesh and blood of the paschal lamb.
54. Eateth (trwgwn). Another verb for eating is used. With the exception of Matt. xxiv. 38, it is found only in John, and always in connection with Christ. No special significance can be fairly attached to its use here. It seems to be taken as a current word, and efagon is resumed in ver. 58.
55. Indeed (alhqwv). Literally, truly. The best texts read ajlhqhv, true: true meat, true drink.
56. Dwelleth (menei). Render, as Rev., abideth. The word is a favorite one with John, occurring more frequently than in all the rest of the New Testament.
By the Father (dia ton patera). Wrong. Render, because of, as Rev. Because the Father is the living One. So, because of me, instead of by me.
59. In the synagogue (en sunagwgh). But the definite article is wanting; so that we must either understand in a synagogue, or in an assembly. See on Jas. ii. 2. Among the ruins at Tell Hum, the probable site of Capernaum, have been found among the remains of a synagogue a block of stone, perhaps the lintel, carved with the pot of manna, and with a pattern of vine leaves and clusters of grapes. See a full account of these ruins in Thomson's "Land and Book, Central Palestine and Phoenicia," pp. 417-419.
61. Offend (okandalizei). Rev., cause to stumble. See on Matt. v. 29. Wyc., slandereth you.
62. What and if ye shall see (ean oun qewrhte). The question is marked by an aposiopesis, i.e., a breaking off of the sentence and leaving the hearer to complete it for himself. Literally, if then ye should behold, etc. - the completion would be, would not this still more cause you to stumble?
Ascend (anabainonta). Rev., properly, renders the participle, ascending. I speak (lalw). But the correct reading is lelalhka, the perfect tense, I have spoken, or I have just spoken, referring to the preceding discourse.
66. From that time (ek toutou). Render, as Rev., upon this. As a result proceeding out of (ek) this. Compare xix. 12.
Walked (periepatoun). Literally, walked about, with Jesus in His wanderings here and there.
67. The twelve. John assumes that the number is known. It is implied in the twelve baskets of fragments. As in so many other instances in this Gospel, facts of the synoptic narrative are taken for granted as familiar. Will ye also go away? (mh kai umeiv qelete upagein). The interrogative particle mh shows that a negative answer is expected. Surely ye will not. Will ye go is not the future tense of the verb to go, but is expressed by two words, do ye will (qelete), to go away (upagein). Rev., would ye. On the verb to go away, see on they went (ver. 21).
68. Simon Peter. Assailants of the authenticity of John's Gospel have asserted that it reveals an effort on the part of the writer to claim for the disciple whom Jesus loved a pre-eminence above Peter. The assertion is effectually contradicted by the narrative itself. See i. 42; vi. 68; xiii. 6; xviii. 10, 16; xx. 2, 7; xxi. 3, 7, 11, and notes on those passages. Peter's replying for the twelve, in this passage, is a case in point.
69. Are sure (egnwkamen). Literally, have come to know. The order of the words believe and know is reversed in xvii. 8; 1 John iv. 16. In the case of the first disciples, faith, produced by the overpowering impression of Jesus' works and person, preceded intellectual conviction.
That Christ, the Son of the living God. The best texts substitute oJ agiov tou Qeou, the holy one of God. The other reading has resulted from the attempt to bring Peter's confession here into accord with that in Matt. xvi. 16. The two confessions differ in that "here the confession points to the inward character in which the Apostles found the assurance of life; there the confession was of the public office and theocratic person of the Lord" (Westcott).
70. A devil (diabolov). See on Matt. iv. 1. The word is an adjective, meaning slanderous, but is almost invariably used in the New Testament as a noun, and with the definite article. The article is wanting only in 1 Peter v. 8; Acts xiii. 10; Apoc. xii. 9; and perhaps Apoc. xx. 2. It is of the very essence of the devilish nature to oppose Christ. Compare Matt. xvi. 23.
71. Judas Iscariot the son of Simon (Ioudan Simwnov Iskariwthn). The correct reading is Iskariwtou, Iscariot, agreeing in the genitive case with Simwnov, of Simon. Render, as Rev., Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Iscariot denotes the name of Simon's town: a man of Kerioth. See on Matt. x. 5.