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No pool named Bethesda is noticed by the Jewish writers; but it is thought by some that it may have been the great pool of which they say, that, between Hebron and Jerusalem was the fountain Etham, from which the waters were conducted by pipes to the great pool in Jerusalem. Benjamin of Tudela speaks of a pool, as existing in his time, at which the ancients were supposed to have slain their sacrifices ; and he very probably had in view the pool which is at present considered to represent the "pool of Bethesda" of our text. Many, from the mention of sheep in connection with the pool, surmise that here the sheep destined for sacrifice were washed. If so, the washing was either before or after the victim was slaughtered: but it was not required that they should be washed before being slaughtered; and for the washing of the victims after they had been slain, there was in the temple a chamber with a proper supply of water. It is perhaps best, therefore, to take the word xoàype Byger, rendered - pool," in its more definite acceptation of bath," and understand that the pool was a bath for unclean persons, for whose accommodation the “five porches” or cloistered walks were erected.
Bethesda means " house of mercy, grace, or goodness;" doubtless because many miserable objects there received mercy and healing. Athanasius speaks of the pool itself as still existing in his time, although the surrounding buildings were, as we might expect, in ruin. The place to which the name of the pool of Bethesda is now given, is very possibly the same thus mentioned. Chateaubriand thinks it offers the only example now left of the primitive architecture of the Jews at Jerusalem. In conformity with other travellers, he states that it is still to be seen near St. Stephen's gate. It was situated near the Temple, on the north; and is a reservoir one hundred and fifty feet long, and forty wide. The sides are walled, and these walls are composed of a bed of large stones, joined together by iron cramps; a wall of mixed materials runs upon these large stones; a layer of flints is stuck upon the surface of this wall; and a coating laid over these flints. The four beds are perpendicular to the bottom, and not horizontal; the coating was on the side next to the water, and the large stones rested, as they still do, against the ground. The pool is now dry and filled up. Here grow some pomegranate trees and a species of wild tamarind of a bluish colour; the western angle is quite full of nopals. On the west side may be also seen two arches, which probably led to an aqueduct that carried the water into the interior of the Temple. Chateaubriand considers that this pool is at the same time the Bethesda of Scripture and the Stagnum Salomonis of Josephus; and presumes that it offers all which now remains of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon.
3. “ Withered.”'_The disease here referred to, and also in 1 Kings xiii. 4-6, Zech. ii. 17, Matt. xii. 10-13, was doubtless the catalepsy. This complaint is caused by the contraction of the muscles in the whole or part of the body (e.g. the hands), and is very dangerous. The effects upon the part seized are very violent and deadly. For instance, when a person is struck with it, if his hand happens to be extended, he is unable to draw it back. If the hand is not extended when he is struck with the disease, he is unable to extend it. It appears diminished in size and dried up. Hence the Hebrews were in the habit of calling it " a withered hand.” (Jahn's · Archæol. Biblica,' xii. 119.)
35. “ He was a burning and a shining light.”—This is an application of a form of expression exceedingly familiar among the Jews, who were wont to call a person eminent for his knowledge, character, or conduct, the lamp” or "light" of his nation, or of the body or family to which he belonged, or of the city in which he lived.
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon 1 Christ feedeth five thousand men with five loaves Peter's brother, saith unto him, and two fishes. 15 Thereupon the people would 9 There is a lad here, which hath five have made him king. 16 But withdrawing him- barley loaves, and two small fishes: but self, he walked on the sea to his disciples : 26 re
: what are they among so many ? proveth the people flocking after him, and all the fleshly hearers of his word : 32 declareth himself
10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit to be the bread of life to believers. 66 Many dis- down, Now there was much grass in the ciples depart from him. 68 Peter confesseth him. I place. So the men sat down, in number 70 Judas is a devil.
about five thousand. After these things Jesus went over the sea 11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. he had given thanks, he distributed to the
2 And a great multitude followed him, disciples, and the disciples to them that because they saw his miracles which he did were set down; and likewise of the fishes as on them that were diseased.
much as they would. 3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, 12 When they were filled, he said unto and there he sat with his disciples.
his disciples, Gather up the fragments that 4 'And the Passover, a feast of the Jews, remain, that nothing be lost. was nigh.
13 Therefore they gathered them toge5 9 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, ther, and filled twelve baskets with the fragand saw a great company come unto him,ments of the five barley loaves, which rehe saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy mained over and above unto them that had bread, that these may eat?
eaten. 6 And this he said to prove him: for he 14 Then those men, when they had seen himself knew what he would do.
the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of 7 Philip answered him, Two hundred a truth that prophet that should come into pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a 15 9 When Jesus therefore perceived little.
| that they would come and take him by force,
1 Levit. 33. 5. Deut. 16, 1. Matt. 14. 15.
them mayent for
to make him a king, he departed again into 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the de. a mountain himself alone.
sert; as it is written, *He gave them bread 16 And when even was now come, his from heaven to cat. disciples went down unto the sea,
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, 17 And entered into a ship, and went verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not orer the sca toward Capernaum. And it that bread from heaven; but my Father was now dark, and Jesus was not come to giveth you the true bread from hearen. them.
33 For the bread of God is he which 18 And the sea arose by reason of a great cometh down from heaven, and giveth life wind that blew.
unto the world. 19 So when they had rowed about five 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, everand twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Je more give us this bread. sus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the unto the ship: and they were afraid. bread of life: he that cometh to me shall
20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be never hunger; and he that believeth on me not afraid.
shall never thirst. : 21 Then they willingly received him into ! 36 But I said unto you, That ye also the ship: and immediately the ship was at have seen me, and believe not. the land whither they went.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall 22 | The day following, when the people come to me; and him that cometh to me I which stood on the other side of the sea saw will in no wise cast out. that there was none other boat there, save 38 For I came down from heaven, not to that one whereinto his disciples were en- do mine own will, but the will of him that tered, and that Jesus went not with his dis- sent me. ciples into the boat, but that his disciples 39 And this is the Father's will which were gone away alone:
hath sent me, that of all which he hath giren 23 (Howbeit there came other boats from me I should lose nothing, but should raise Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did it up again at the last day. eat bread, after that the Lord had given 40 And this is the will of him that sent thanks :)
me, that every one which seeth the Son, 24 When the people therefore saw that and believeth on him, may have everlasting Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, life: and I will raise him up at the last they also took shipping, and came to Caper- day. naum, seeking for Jesus.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, be25 And when they had found him on the cause he said, I am the bread which came other side of the sea, they said unto him, down from heaven. Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
42 And they said, 'Is not this Jesus, the 26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, son of Joseph, whose father and mother we verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not be know? how is it then that he saith, I came cause ye saw the miracles, but because ye down from heaven? did eat of the loaves, and were filled. | 43 Jesus therefore answered and said
27 *Labour not for the meat which perishunto them, Murmur: not among yourselves. eth, but for that meat which endureth unto 44 No man can come to me, except the : everlasting life, which the Son of man shall Father which hath sent me draw him ; and give unto you: ‘for him hath God the Fa- | I will raise him up at the last day. ther sealed.
45 It is written in the prophets, And 28 Then said they unto him, What shall they shall be all taught of God. Every man we do, that we might work the works of therefore that hath heard, and hath learned God?
of the Father, cometh unto me. 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, 46 Not that any man hath seen the Fa“This is the work of God, that ye believe on ther, "save he which is of God, he hath seen him whom he hath sent.
the Father. 30 They said therefore unto him, What 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that sign shewest thou then, that we may see, believeth on me hath everlasting life. and believe thee? what dost thou work ?, 48 I am that bread of life. * Matt. 14. 23. Or, work not. Matt. 3. 17. ] John 3. 23. 7 Exod. 16. 15. Num. 11. 7. ' Psal.'78. 25. Matt. 13. *
iv Isa. 54. 13, Jer. 31, 34, Il Matt, 11. 27.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the they had heard this, said, This is an hard wilderness, and are dead.
saying; who can hear it? 50 This is the bread which cometh down 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his from heaven, that a man may eat thercof, disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, and not die.
Doth this offend you? 51 I am the living bread which came 62 "What and'if ye shall sce the Son of down from heaven: if any man eat of this | man ascend up where he was before ? bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread 1 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the that I will give is my flesh, which I will give flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I for the life of the world.
speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are 52 The Jews therefore strove among life. themselves, saying, How can this man give 64 But there are some of you that believe us his flesh to eat ?
not. For Jesus knew from the beginning 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, who they were that believed not, and who verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the should betray him. flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto ye have no life in you.
you, that no man can come unto me, except 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh it were given unto him of my Father. my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise | 66 | From that time many of his discihim up at the last day.
ples went back, and walked ‘no more with 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my him. blood is drink indeed.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drink ye also go away? eth my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord,
to whom shall we go? thou hast the words 57 As the living Father hath sent me, of eternal life. and I live by the Father : so he that eateth 69 *3And we believe and are sure that me, cven he shall live by me.
thou art that Christ, the Son of the living 59 This is that bread which came down God. from heaven : not as your fathers did eat 70 Jesus answered them, Have not I manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this chosen you twelve, and one of you is a bread shall live for ever.
devil ? 59 These things said he in the syna- / 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of gogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Simon: for he it was that should betray 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when | him, being one of the twelve.
18 Chap. 3. 13. 13 Matt. 16. 16. Verse 12. “ The fragments.”—The reason for their being collected and preserved, " that nothing be lost,” is distinctly assigned in the text. These fragments had probably been left by the multitude, under the custom, which then operated among the Jews, of leaving a little of that which they had eaten, for those by whom they had been served, and who in the present instance were the apostles.
27. “ Sealed."-Some interpreters suggest that this allusion is derived from the custom, which existed in the countries contiguous to Judea, to set a seal upon the victims intended for sacrifice. This explanation certainly produces a fine sense; and is better than some, which others offer from customs which might have existed. It is, however, as Doddridge remarks, probably sufficient to understand that “ to seal” is a general phrase for authorising, by proper credentials, whatever the purpose be for which they were given ; or to mark a person out as wholly devoted to the service of him whose seal he bears.
1 2 'Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was
at hand. 1 Jesus reproveth the ambition and boldness of his kinsmen : 10 goeth up from Galilee to the feast of
1 3 His brethren therefore said unto him, tabernacles : 14 teacheth in the temple. 40 Divers
Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that thy opinions of him among the people. 45 The Pha- disciples also may see the works that thou risees are angry that their officers took him not,
doest. and chide with Nicodemus for taking his part.
1 4 For there is no man that doeth any After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to for he would not walk in Jewry, because the be known openly. If thou do these things, Jews sought to kill him.
| shew thyself to the world. 1 Levit. 23. 34.
. My times. say ned that
5 For neither did his brethren believe in 25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, him.
Is not this he, whom they seek to kill ? 6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is 26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they not yet come: but your time is alway ready. say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know
7. The world cannot hate you; but me it indeed that this is the very Christ? hateth, because I testify of it, that the works 27 Howbeit we know this man whence he thereof are evil.
is: but when Christ cometh, no man know8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up eth whence he is. yet unto this feast; "for my time is not yet | 29 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he full come.
taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye 9 When he had said these words unto know whence I am: and I am not come of them, he abode still in Galilee.
myself, but he that sent me is true, whom 10 | But when his brethren were gone ye know not. up, then went he also up unto the feast, not 29 But I know him: for I am from him, openly, but as it were in secret.
and he hath sent me. 11 Then the Jews sought him at the 30 Then they sought to take him: but feast, and said, Where is he?
no man laid hands on him, because his hour 12 And there was much murmuring among was not yet come... the people concerning him : for some said, 31 And many of the people beliered on He is a good man: others said, Nay; but him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he he deceiveth the people.
do more miracles than these which this man 13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him hath done? for fear of the Jews.
32 9 The Pharisees heard that the people 14 Now about the midst of the feast murmured such things concerning him; and Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. the Pharisees and the Chief Priests sent
15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How officers to take him. knowcth this man "letters, having never 33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a learned ?
little while am I with you, and then I go 16 Jesus answered them, and said, My unto him that sent me. doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." 34 10Ye shall seek me, and shall not find
17. If any man will do his will, he shall me: and where I am, thither ye cannot know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, come. or whether I speak of myself.
35 Then said the Jews among themselves, 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh Whither will he go, that we shall not find his own glory: but he that secketh his glory him ? will he go unto the dispersed amon that sent him, the same is true, and no un- | the "Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? righteousness is in him.
36 What manner of saying is this that 19 Did not Moses give you the law, and he said, Ye shall seck me, and shall not find yet none of you keepeth the law ? "Why go me: and where I am, thither ye cannot ye about to kill me?
come? 20 The people answered and said, Thou 37"? In the last day, that great day of the hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? | feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, man thirst, let him come unio me, and I have done one work, and ye all marvel. | drink.
22 «Moses therefore gave unto you cir- | 38 3He that believeth on me, as the cumcision ; (not because it is of Moses, but Scripture hath said, Out of his belly shall of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day | flow rivers of living water. circumcise a man.
| 39 (**But this spake he of the Spirit, 23 If a man on the sabbath day receive which they that believe on him should recircumcision, that the law of Moses should ceive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet not be broken ; are ye angry at me, because I given; because that Jesus was not yet glo. I hare made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
40 q Many of the people therefore, when 24 Judge not according to the appear- they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this ance, but judge righteous judgment. is the Prophet. 2 Chap. 8. 20. 3 Or, learning. Exod. 24. 3. Chap. 5. 18. & Levit. 12.3. 7 Gen. 17. 10. 8 Or, uithout breaking the law of Mesa.
! Deut. 1 16
" Chap. 13. 3.
11 Or Greeks.
1° Lev. 23. 3.
1. Drut. 18. 15.
11.a. 44. 3. Joel %. 38.
of the cometh of the seed opture said, That Are ye also deceiver
41 Others said, This is the Christ. But I 47 Then answered them the Pharisees, some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? | Are ye also deceived ?
42 "Hath not the Scripture said, That 48 Have any of the rulers or of the PhaChrist cometh of the seed of David, and out risees believed on him? of the town of Bethlehem, where David L 49 But this people who knoweth not the was?
law are cursed. 13 So there was a division among the 50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (''he that people because of him.
came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 44 And some of them would have taken 51 Doth our law judge any man, before him ; but no man laid hands on him.
it hear him, and know what he doeth? 45 | Then came the officers to the Chief 52 They answered and said unto him, Priests and Pharisees; and they said unto | Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: them, Why have ye not brought him ? for out of Galilec ariseth no prophet.
46 The officers answered, Never man 53 And every man went unto his own spake like this man.
15 Matt. 2. 5. 16 Chap. 3. 2. 17 Deut. 17. 8. &c. aud 19. 15. Verse 15. “ How knoweth this man letters, having nerer leurned ?”– It may be necessary to preclude the impression which some readers might entertain, that the persons who made this remark--and who were, doubtless, themselves persons of education-wondered that Jesus had any education, even the common education of reading and writing. At this merely they could not have wondered ; for the Jews paid considerable attention to the education of the people far more so than was then usual in other nations; and it would seem that the great budy of the people could read and write. What therefore is here meant by" letters" Gecepatu) must therefore be understood erudition or learning; which, among the Jews, consisted in a critical knowledge of the sacred writings ; and, into whatever branches it might, or might seem, to ramify, was wholly centered thereon. The persons who make this remark did therefore doubtless wonder that Christ, without having frequented the schools and teachings of their learned men, was so abundantly endowed with all that learning in the Scriptures, and more than all that power of adducing them for argument, instruction, and reproof, for which many years of anxious study were usually required. There is no objection to our translation, however, since the word "letiers," although liable to be misunderstood, is used in our language as synonymous with literature;" as indeed was literæ among the Latin writers.
37. “ The last day, that great day of the feast."-See the note on Levit. xxiii. 31; in which we have noticed the feast of tabernacles. In this note it is shown that the proper feast of tabernacles lasted seven days ; but that the feast of in-gathering followed on the eighth day; from which connection the whole festival, of eight days, came in some sort to be considered as one, and to be called indifferently the feast of tabernacles” or “the feast of in-gathering." This, of course, renders it difficult to decide wheilier the last day," called here the great day of the feast, was the seventh day, being the last of the proper feast of tabernacles, or the eighth, being the last of the whole feat. We expressed an opinion that the latter was to be understood, and to this opinion we are still disposed to adhere. The eighth day might well be, on several accounts, distinguished as “the great day of the feast," for although the nunber of victims, gradually diminishing from the commencement, was less on this day than on any other, because this was the last feast-day of the year; and because it was held that, on the previous seven days, supplications and sacrifices were offered for the whole world; but that the solemuities of the eighth day were wholly on their own behalf: and fruin this cause alone, they would naturally be induced to regard it as peculiarly distinguished and important
"If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.' -Our Lord may here be supposed to allude to a remarkable ceremony, which took place on the last day of the feast, and concerning which not the least direction was given by Moses. The priest, properly attended, repaired to the pool of Siloam, from which he drew water with a golden pitcher, and, returning to the Temple by the Water gate, poured it out, mixed with wine, upon the sacrifice on the altar. Manifestations of great joy, with the sounding of horns and trumpets, attended this ceremony ; so that it became a common proverb, “He who never saw the rejoicing of drawing water, never saw rejoicing in all his life." This custom was alleged to be founded on the passage, Isa. xii. 3, “ With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. But the Jewish writers themselves differ greatly as to the origin and object of the ceremony. This singular libation was performed every day of the feast ; and it is in itself highly probable that our Lord, who often borrowed parabolical or metaphorical ornament from passing circumstances, was actually witnessing this ceremony when he addressed these striking words to the people.
46. " Never man spake like this man."- Many instances might be adduced of officers of justice, heralds, murderers, and others, whose hearts have been melted or awed, and their stern purposes defeated, by the eloquence or majesty of the persons against whom they were to have acted. But we know of no example that equals this; for in all such cases the messengers were either overpowered by the eloquent pleas or stern rebukes of their intended victim, or, sull more commonly, by his dignity in humiliation, and by the sudden recollection of his great qualities or services, aud the touching contrast of what he had been with what he was. But, in the present case, the officers, probably without any previous knowledge of Christ or respect for him, are turned aside from their purpose, merely by hearing one of his discourses to the people.
49. “ This people who knoweth not the law are cursed.” - Here we have another instance of the sovereign contempt in which the common people were held by those who esteemed themselves learned. We have alreally adverted to this subject, and need not expatiate on it here. It would, however, be very interesting to inquire what it was that these learned and self-sufficient men understood by “the law," of which the people are declared by them to be ignorant. We believe that the people, from constantly and repeatedly hearing the books of Moses read in the synagogues, and from reading them for themselves, had a very fair acquaintance with the written law. But it appears, throughout the Gospels, that the learned men of the time laid great stress upon what are called " the traditions of the elders, forming at that time an unwritten law, delivered orally from the one great teacher to another, and to those disciples who cultivated the higher branches of education, but of which the mass of the people were ignorant. Their ignorance of all the