That is, the brethren of Jesus, as the Syriac and Persic versions express it; who were not James and Joses, and Simon and Judas, the sons of Alphaeus, the brother of Joseph, the husband of Mary, so called, ( Matthew 13:55 ) , for some of these were of the number of the twelve; and all of them believers in Christ; whereas these his brethren were not. The Jew
F12 therefore is mistaken, who supposed the above persons are here intended; and objects this their unbelief to Jesus, as if they knew him too well to give him any credit; whereas they did believe in him, and abode by him to the last; and some of them, if not all, suffered death for his sake. They therefore are to be understood of some distant relations of Mary or Joseph, that dwelt at Nazareth, or Capernaum, or in some of those parts; and the feast of tabernacles being at hand, they put him upon going up to it, being willing to be rid of him: saying,
which is the language of carnal men, who desire not the company of Christ, nor the knowledge of his ways; and like the Gergesenes, who preferred their swine to Christ, and desired him to depart out of their coasts:
and go into Judea;
among his most inveterate enemies, who sought to take away his life; and which doubtless they knew; which showed a quite different regard to him, from that of his true disciples, ( John 11:7 John 11:8 ) , for which they give some plausible reasons:
that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest:
meaning not his twelve disciples, who were now with him, but the disciples he had made, and baptized in Judea, ( John 4:1 John 4:2 ) . Or his disciples in the several parts of the land, who would all be at Jerusalem, at the feast of tabernacles; and so, should he go, would have an opportunity of seeing his miracles, and thereby be the more confirmed in the faith of him,
F12 R. Isaac Chizzuk Emuna, par. 2. c. 45. p. 434, 435.