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.


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.