John 8:53

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

John 8:53 Meaning and Commentary

John 8:53

Art thou greater than our father Abraham?
&c.] So the woman of Samaria said, concerning Jacob, ( John 4:12 ) . The Jews had a mighty opinion of their ancestors, especially of Abraham; and yet they allow the Messiah to be greater than he, as Jesus truly was: so one of their ancient commentators F23 on those words of ( Isaiah 52:13 ) thus paraphrases them,

``"Behold my servant shall deal prudently", this is the King Messiah; "he shall be exalted" above Abraham, as it is written, ( Genesis 14:22 ) , "and extolled" above Moses, as it is written, ( Numbers 11:12 ) , and he shall be higher than the ministering angels, as it is written, ( Ezekiel 1:26 ) ( Zechariah 4:7 ) , for he shall be (twba Nm lwdg) , "greater than the fathers".''

They add here, of Abraham,

which is dead;
he was a great and good man, and yet dead:

and the prophets are dead;
though they truly kept, and faithfully delivered the word of God:

whom makest thou thyself?
who art a poor carpenter's son, a Galilean, a Nazarene, and yet makest thyself greater than Abraham, or any of the prophets; yea, makest thyself to be God, to promise security from death, and an everlasting continuance of life upon keeping thy word.


F23 Tachuma apud Huls. p. 321.

John 8:53 In-Context

51 I tell you the truth, anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!”
52 The people said, “Now we know you are possessed by a demon. Even Abraham and the prophets died, but you say, ‘Anyone who obeys my teaching will never die!’
53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me. You say, ‘He is our God,’
55 but you don’t even know him. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him.
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