John 12:9

The common people (o oclo polu). This is the right reading with the article o, literally, "the people much or in large numbers." One is reminded of the French idiom. Gildersleeve (Syntax, p. 284) gives a few rare examples of the idiom o anhr agaqo. Westcott suggests that oclo polu came to be regarded as a compound noun. This is the usual order in the N.T. rather than polu oclo (Robertson, Grammar, p. 774). Mark ( Mark 12:37 ) has o polu oclo. Moulton (Proleg., p. 84) terms o oclo polu here and in verse Jo 12:12 "a curious misplacement of the article." John's use of oclo is usually the common crowd as "riff-raff." That he was (oti estin). Present active indicative retained in indirect discourse after the secondary tense (egnw, second aorist active indicative of ginwskw). These "Jews" are not all hostile to Jesus as in Jo 5:10; Jo 6:41, etc., but included some who were friendly (verse Jo 12:11). But that they might see Lazarus also (all ina kaiton Lazaron idwsin). Purpose clause with ina and second aorist active subjunctive of oraw. Motive enough to gather a great crowd, to see one raised from the dead (cf. verse Jo 1 for the same phrase, "whom he had raised from the dead"). Some of the very witnesses of the raising of Lazarus will bear witness later (verse Jo 17). It was a tense situation.