He that cometh (o ercomeno). This phrase refers to the Messiah ( Mark 11:9 ; Luke 13:35 ; Luke 19:38 ; Hebrews 10:37 ; Psalms 118:26 ; Daniel 7:13 ). Some rabbis applied the phrase to some forerunner of the kingdom (McNeile). Was there to be "another" (eteron) after Jesus? John had been in prison "long enough to develop a prison mood" (Bruce). It was once clear enough to him, but his environment was depressing and Jesus had done nothing to get him out of Machaerus (see chapter IX in my John the Loyal). John longed for reassurance.