John 5:5

5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.

John 5:5 in Other Translations

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
5 One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
5 One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years.
5 One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years.
5 One man was there who had been sick for 38 years.

John 5:5 Meaning and Commentary

John 5:5

And a certain man was there
At Bethesda's pool, in one of the five porches, or cloisters, that belonged to it:

which had an infirmity thirty and eight years;
what his infirmity was, is not said; he was one of the weak, or impotent folk, for so he is called, ( John 5:7 ) . Some think his distemper was the palsy, and though he had had this infirmity so many years, it is not certain that he had waited so long in this place for a cure; though it may be, for that he had attended some time, is clear from ( John 5:7 ) . Nor indeed can it be known how long there had been such a preternatural motion in this pool, and such a miraculous virtue in the water; some have thought, that it began at the repairing of the sheep gate by Eliashib, in Nehemiah's time; so Tremellius and Junius, on ( Nehemiah 3:1 ) ; and others have thought, that it had been some few years before the birth of Christ, and about the time that this man was first taken with his disorder. Tertullian says F21, that there was in Judea a medicinal lake, before Christ's time; and that the pool of Bethsaida (it should be Bethesda) was useful in curing the diseases of the Israelites; but ceased from yielding any benefit, when the name of the Lord was blasphemed by them, through their rage and fury, and continuance in it F23; but in what year it began, and the precise time it ceased, he says not. The Persic version here adds, "and was reduced to such a state that he could not move".


F21 De Anima, c. 50.
F23 Adv. Judaeos, c. 13.

John 5:5 In-Context

3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.