John 12:29

29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered*: others said, An angel spake to him.

John 12:29 Meaning and Commentary

John 12:29

The people therefore that stood by and heard [it]
Some more confusedly, who were farthest off; others more distinctly, who were nearer: the first of these,

said that it thundered;
as it used to do when "Bath Kol" was heard, which, as the Jews say F1,

``is a voice that comes out of heaven proceeding from the midst of another voice,''

as thunder; wherefore some took this for thunder, and others for the voice of an angel out of the thunder:

others said, an angel spoke to him;
these being nearer, perceived it was an articulate voice, which expressed certain distinct words, which they thought were delivered by an angel; for the Jews had a mighty notion of the discourse and conversation of angels with men, which their doctors pretended to understand; particularly R. Jochanan ben Zaccai, a Rabbi, who was living at this time, had learned their speech, and was well versed in it F2.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 Piske Tosephot in T. Bab. Sanhedrin, art. 30.
F2 T. Bab. Succa, fol. 28. 1. & Bava Bathra, fol. 134. 1.

John 12:29 In-Context

27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30 Jesus answered and said,This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.
31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.