And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear
Or "cause him to smell the fear of the Lord" F23; that is, to discern in whom it was: this is one effect of the Spirit's resting upon him, and particularly as the spirit of understanding, and of the fear of the Lord, whereby he has a quick and sharp discerning of it; not merely of the grace of fear, so as to know what that is, and what the exercise of it; or so as to make it the rule of his actions, though all this is true; but so as to discern where and in whom it was, and was not; he could distinguish between him that feared God and him that feared him not; he knew Nathanael to be an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, ( John 1:47 ) and the Scribes and Pharisees to be hypocrites, ( Matthew 22:18 ) . As the Jews F24 understand this passage of the Messiah, and of his quick smell, as the word used signifies, or of his discerning of good and bad men, they make this to be a rule of judging the Messiah by; and accordingly made use of it with one that set up himself for the Messiah, and took the name of Barcochab, the son of a star, referring to ( Numbers 24:17 ) and tried him whether he could discern a good man from a bad man; and because he could not, they rejected him as a false Messiah, and called him Barcoziba, the son of a lie F25: compare with this ( Luke 7:39 ) where it may be seen the same notion obtained among the Jews in Christ's time:
and, he shall not judge after the sight of his
or according to the outward appearance, the external guise of sanctity and religion men might put on; as the Scribes and Pharisees were outwardly righteous before men, but not to Christ, who knew their hearts; they seemed to be somewhat to others, but nothing to him, because he judged not by appearances to the eyes:
neither reprove after the hearing of his ears;
he needed no testimony of men, for he knew what was in men; nor did he regard the words of men, the boastings of a Pharisee, any more than his outward actions; nor would he reprove or condemn, nor will he, upon a human testimony.