John 1:47

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”

Read John 1:47 Using Other Translations

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him,Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!"
As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.”

What does John 1:47 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
John 1:47

Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him
For notwithstanding his prejudices, he was a man of so much uprightness and honesty, that he thought Philip's request was very reasonable; and that it was but right, and fair, that he should see, and hear, and judge, for himself, whether the person Philip spoke of was the Messiah, or not; and therefore he came along with him; and as he was coming, Jesus saw him, who knew all that had passed between him and Philip:

and saith of him;
to those that were standing by him, and in the hearing of Nathanael,

behold an Israelite indeed!
a son of Israel, as the Syriac and Persic versions read; a true son of Jacob's; an honest, plain hearted man, like him; one that was an Israelite at heart; inwardly so; not one after the flesh only, but after the Spirit; see ( Romans 2:28 Romans 2:29 ) ( 1 Corinthians 10:18 ) ; and which was a rare thing at that time; and therefore a note of admiration is prefixed to it; for all were not Israel, that were of Israel; and indeed but a very few then: and so, (larvy Nb) , "a son of Israel", and (rwmg larvy) , "a perfect Israelite", are F19 said of such who have regard to the articles of the Jewish faith, though not even of the seed of Israel: it is added,

in whom there is no guile;
not that he was without sin; nor is this said of him; nor was he in such sense without guile, as Christ himself was; but guile was not a governing sin in him: the course of his life, and conversation, was with great integrity, and uprightness, and without any prevailing hypocrisy and deceit, either to God, or men. This Christ said to show how much such a character is approved by him; and that he knew the secrets of men's hearts, and the inward frames of their minds.


FOOTNOTES:

F19 Addareth Eliahu apud Trigland de Sect. Karaeorum, c. 10. p. 175, 176.
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