Jesus Teaches in the Temple

The Lord spends the night following at the Mount John viii. 1-10. of Olives, and returning early next morning to the temple, teaches the people. An adulteress is brought before Him, whom He directs to go and sin no more. He answers the Pharisees from the treasury, and continues to speak to the people. Many believe on Him, but John viii. 12-59. others are angry, and take up stones to cast at Him. As" He goes He meets and heals a blind man, who had John ix. 1-12. been blind from birth, and it was the Sabbath. So soon as this miracle was reported to the Pharisees, they call John ix. 13-34. him and his parents, and examine him and cast him out. He afterward meets Jesus, and believes and worships John ix. 35-38. Him. Some Pharisees who are present ask Him a ques- John ix. 39, x. 18. tion, to which He replies in the parable of the Good Shepherd. There is great division of sentiment among John X. 19-21. the Jews in regard to Him.

The exact order of the events given above is not certain. Many critics reject as not genuine the account of the

adulterous woman.1 If this be rejected, commencing vii. 53, and extending to viii. 12, there seems ground to suppose that the words from viii. 12-20, were spoken in the treasury upon the last day of the feast, an„d perhaps also the subsequent words to v. 59. If it be not rejected, a day or more must have elapsed. We give the probable order in either case. The feast began on the 15th Tisri, and ended on the 21st. The eighth day was the 22cl, which was observed as a Sabbath. We cannot tell whether Jesus appeared in the temple and taught (vii. 14) on the 17th, 18th, or 19th day. According to Wieseler (309) it was the 18th, which he makes to have been a Sabbath; according to Greswell (ii. 491) it was the 19th. It may, with equal probability, have been the 17th. Assuming that the last great day of the feast was the 22d, an interval of three or more days must have elapsed. Upon the first of these days occurred what is narrated in vii. 14-31, or, as some ]3refer, in 14-28. The next event mentioned, (v. 32,) the sending of officers, was probably on the last day, as on this day they made their report, (v. 45,) though it is possible that vs. 45-52 described what had occurred earlier. There are then two or three days of the feast during which Jesus was present, of which nothing is related. Upon the last day He speaks of Himself as giving living water (vii. 37-38.) Whether His words in viii. 12-20 and 21-59, omitting here the account of the adulterous woman as not genuine, were all spoken afterward upon the sa'me day, or upon successive days, it is difficult to decide. Some infer from the mention of the "treasury," v. 20, and the use of "again," v. 21, that these words were spoken after the eighth day, and upon different days.2 Some, on the other hand, making the healing of the blind man (ix. 1-7) to have taken place on the last day of the feast, which was a Sabbath, refer all His words (ch. viii.) to this day.

i So Teschendorf, Meyer, Alford, Tholuck, Trench. 3 So Meyer.

The former is most probable, and fromviii. 21-59 we find but the events of a single day. Was the blind man healed on this day? So say many, bringing the attempt to stone Him and the miracle into immediate connection.1 But it is more probable that some interval elapsed.2 It is not likely that Jesus, when "He hid Himself and went out of the temple," was accompanied by His disciples; yet they were with Him when He saw the blind man, (ix. 2.) Nor would they in such a moment be likely to ask speculative questions respecting the cause of the man's blindness. We conclude then that the Sabbath upon which the blind man was healed (ix. 14) was not the eighth clay of the feast, but the first week Sabbath following.

If we include the account of the adulterous woman, this interview with her was the day after the eighth of the feast, or upon the 23d Tisri. The healing of the blind man was then upon the Sabbath following. Against this it is objected that the Lord had no motive to remain in Jerusalem after the feast was ended, and that the narrative implies that the feast pilgrims were still present.3 But on the other side, the mention that it was the Sabbath, (ix. 14,) implies that it was another day, and therefore so distinguished ; and the Lord may, for special reasons, have remained after most of the pilgrims had gone.

The effect of Christ's words (viii. 21-29) was such, that " many believed on Him." It is questioned whether these believers are meant, (v. 33,) and whether to them, in common with others, are addressed the subsequent words, (3438.) " The Lord mingles them indiscriminately in the general mass of the people, in spite of the transient and indistinct impulse of faith." 4 But it seems more probable that He speaks to the Jews generally, and does not include them; for how could those in any sense be said to believe on Him to whom He immediately addresses the reproach, "Ye seek to kill me because my word hath no place in you."

1 Meyer, Luthardt, Trench. 2 See Alford in loco.

8 So Lichtenstein, 299. 4 Stier; so Alfo.

The attempt to stone Him was the fruit of sudden rage. It is denied by many, as Meyer and Alford, that the Lord's escape from their violence involved anything supernatural. The language may be construed either way; but, as said by Winer,1 the supernatural interpretation is to be preferred as more correspondent with the character of this Evangelist. Tholuck does not find the intimation of a miracle in the strict sense of the word, but of a special providence.

The position of the pool of Siloam, where the blind man was sent to wash, has been much disputed, but most modern writers agree that it lies at the mouth of the valley of the Tyropoeon, near the base of Ophel.8 The waters of this pool come from the fountain of the Virgin, which lies on the west side of the valley of Jehosaphat, through a subterranean passage cut in the rock. It is a current belief that the water of the fountain comes from a living spring beneath the temple. Barclay, (523,) however, asserts that the subterraneous canal derived its former supply of water, not from Moriah, but from Zion.3 It is still in dispute whether any of the water of Siloam comes from the temple.

The effect of this miracle was to make a division among the Pharisees. Some said that it was a violation of the law, being done on the Sabbath ; others, that no sinner could do such miracles. At first there was a general disposition to doubt the reality of the miracle. As this, however, is established by the testimony of his parents, they revile the man, and cast him out.

Gram., 264; see Bengel in loco. 2 Robinson, i. 333 j Raumer, 296.

* See Robinson, i. 343; Porter, i. 138.

This may refer to his being thrust from the room where they were assembled,1 or to the sentence of excommunication.2 Some suppose that he was now before the great Sanhedrim ; others, that he was before the lesser; others still, that he was not before any judicial tribunal, but before some of the chief Pharisees informally assembled. From the manner of the examination, and their action at its close, it is most probable that they were clothed with some ecclesiastical authority.

How soon after the blind man was cast out the Lord met him, is not stated. Not improbably, He may have met him the same day toward evening. The words (v. 39) seem to be addressed to the disciples, and probably after His meeting with the blind man, and the words to the Pharisees immediately followed. The effect of these words was again to work a division of opinion respecting Him, some saying that He had a devil, others, that neither His words nor works were those of a man who had a devil.

From Jerusalem the Lord returns to Galilee. Of His return the Evangelist gives us no information. Many suppose that He did not return to Galilee at all, but sj3ent the interval between the feasts of Tabernacles and of Dedication at Jerusalem or in its vicinity.3 Some suppose a return to Galilee after the latter feast. It has been assumed that the journey to the feast of Tabernacles (John vii. 10) is not identical with that in Luke ix. 51, but that the latter was subsequent. A full discussion of the point is reserved to the Part following.

i Meyer, Lichtenstein. 2 Alford. Trench embraces both.

3 So Meyer, Alford, Tholuck, Robinson, Tischendorf.