John 12:19

19 So the Pharisees said to one another, 1"You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, 2the world has gone after him."

John 12:19 Meaning and Commentary

John 12:19

The Pharisees therefore said among themselves
Either when assembled in their own private houses, or in the sanhedrim; or as they stood together in the streets, seeing Jesus pass by in such pomp, and such a multitude with him:

perceive ye how ye prevail nothing?
the Vulgate Latin and Arabic versions read, "we prevail nothing", so Nonnus; the sense is the same; suggesting, that all their wise schemes and crafty councils signified nothing; the commands they enjoined the people not to follow him, or to apprehend him, or to show them where he was, were disregarded; their threatenings to put out of the synagogue such as should confess him, were taken no notice of; their promises of reward were slighted; their examples were not followed; and all their artifice and cunning, backed with power and authority, did not succeed:

behold, the world is gone after him;
the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions read, "the whole world", and so Nonnus; the Persic version, "all the people"; that is, a very great number of people; for they could not mean, that all the inhabitants of the world, or every individual of mankind were followers of him, and became his disciples, nor even all in their own land; they themselves, with multitudes more of the same complexion, were an exception to this: but they speak in the common dialect of that nation, of which take two or three instances;

``it happened to a certain high priest, that he went out of the sanctuary, (hyrtb amle ylwk ylza wwhw) , "and the whole world went after him"; and when they saw Shemaiah and Abtalion, they left him, and went after them F15.''

And again F16,

``R. Aba proclaimed, whoever seeks riches, and whoever seeks the way of life in the world to come, let him come and study in the law, and (amle ylwk) , "the whole world" will gather together to him.''

Once more F17,

``Jonathan said to David, ( 1 Samuel 23:17 ) : "Thou shall be king over Israel, and I will be next to thee"; what is the meaning of this? perhaps Jonathan the son of Saul saw (amle) , "the world" draw after David.''

This shows the sense of those phrases, "the world", and "the whole world", when used in the article of redemption by Jesus Christ; (See Gill on 1 John 2:2).


F15 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 71. 2.
F16 Zohar in Gen. fol. 60. 4.
F17 T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 85. 1.

John 12:19 In-Context

17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.
18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
19 So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.
21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

Cross References 2

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.