Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover
Whither he went, in order to keep it, that being at hand, and now come; see ( John 2:13 ) ;
in the feast day;
either on the day the Chagigah was eaten, which was sometimes emphatically called "the feast", as in ( Numbers 28:16 Numbers 28:17 ) , "and in the fourteenth day of the first month, is the passover of the Lord; and in the fifteenth day of this month, [is] the feast"; the passover lamb was eaten on the fourteenth day of the month "Nisan", and the "Chagigah" was on the fifteenth; in the former only a lamb was eaten, in the other, cattle out of the herds; hence mention is made, both of flocks and herds, for the keeping the passover, ( Deuteronomy 16:2 ) . Jarchi's note upon the place is, that the herds were for the Chagigah, with which the Talmud F12 agrees; and Jonathan ben Uzziel paraphrases the words thus,
``and ye shall slay the passover before the Lord your God, between the evenings, and the sheep and oxen on the morrow, in that very day, for the joy of the feast;''for it was observed with great joy and mirth: and the rather this is here meant, since the "Chagigah" is not only called "the feast", but this here is distinguished from the passover, as that is in the passage above cited, ( Numbers 28:16 Numbers 28:17 ) . For the passover here, seems to be the general name for the whole seven days of the festival; and the feast to be the particular feast of the first day of it, which was the fifteenth; to which may be added, that on this day all the males made their appearance in court F13; and so was a very proper time for Christ to work his miracles in, when there were so many spectators: though it may design the whole time of the feast, all the seven days of unleavened bread; during which time Christ was at Jerusalem, and wrought miracles, which had the following effect:
many believed in his name;
that he was some great prophet, or the prophet, or the Messiah; they gave an historical assent unto him as such, at least for that time:
when they saw the miracles which he did;
for as miracles, according to the prophecies of the Old Testament, were to be performed by the Messiah, such as giving sight to the blind, causing the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk, ( Isaiah 35:5 Isaiah 35:6 ) ; so they were expected by the ancient Jews, that they would be wrought by him, when he came; wherefore these Jews, seeing such like wonderful things wrought by Jesus, they concluded he must be the Messiah: though the modern ones, in order to shift off the evidence of Jesus being the Messiah, from his miracles, deny that miracles are the characteristic of the Messiah, or will be performed by him; at least, that there is no necessity of them to prove him to be the person. What miracles these were, which were now wrought by Christ, are not recorded by this, or any other evangelist; see ( John 20:30 ) . However, being surprised at the marvellous things he did, and upon the evidence of these extraordinary works, there were many that concluded he must be come from God; among these it seems as if Nicodemus was one; see ( John 3:2 ) ; great part of these, at least some of them, were only nominal and temporary believers, who were not to be confided in as true disciples, and hearty followers of Christ; and who continued not long in the same mind and profession, as appears by what follows.
F12 Pesachim, fol. 70. 2.
F13 Maimon. Hilch. Chagigah, c. 1. sect. 1.