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Bible Commentaries

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

John 12



Other Authors
Verse 1

Then = Therefore.

Jesus. App-98.

six days, &c.: i.e. on the ninth day of Nisan; our Thursday sunset to Friday sunset. See App-156.

before. Greek pro. App-104.

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

Lazarus. See note on John 11:1.

which had been dead. [L Tr. A] T WI R and Syriac omit these words.

raised. Greek. egeiro. App-178.

from = out of. Greek ek. App-104.

the dead. There is no article. See App-139.

Verse 2

a supper. The first of the three suppers. It was on Saturday evening, at the close of the Sabbath, on the tenth day of Nisan. See App-157.

Martha. Aramaic. See App-94.

served = was serving. Greek diakoneo. Occurs twenty- two times in the Gospels: thirteen times translated "minister" (Matthew 4:11 to Luke 8:3); nine times "serve" (Luke 10:40 to John 12:26). Compare Luke 10:40. Same word as in Luke 22:27.

Verse 3

Mary. See App-100.

pound. Greek. litra Latin. libra = about 12 oz. App-51. Occurs only here and John 19:39.

ointment. Greek. muron. Aromatic balSamaritan Pentateuch

spikenard. See note on Mark 14:3.

anointed. Three anointings are recorded in the Gospels. The first, probably in Capernaum in the house of Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36-60): a woman anointed His feet. The one here was the second, and again His feet were anointed. At the third, in the house of Simon the leper, a woman (unnamed) anointed His head. For the last two see App-156 and App-168.

with = out of, or from. Greek. ek. App-104.

Verse 4

of = out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

Judas Iscariot. See note on John 6:71.

Simon"s son. These words are omitted by T Tr. WH R here, but found in all the texts in John 6:71, John 13:2, and John 26. In some places the word Iscariot is made to agree with Simon.

should betray Him = was about to deliver Him up.

Verse 5

not. Greek. ou. App-105.

three hundred pence = about See App-51.

poor. See App-127.

Verse 6

for = concerning. Greek peri. App-104.

thief. Greek. kleptes. The same word as in John 10:1, John 10:8, John 10:10. Matthew 6:19; Matthew 24:43, &c. Not the same as in Matthew 21:18; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 27:38. Luke 10:30. That is lestes, and should be translated "robber", as in John 10:1, John 10:8; John 18:40.

the bag. Greek. glossokomon. Only here and John 13:29. Used in the Septuagint of the chest made by command of Joash (2 Chronicles 24:8-11). The word means a bag to keep the tongues or reeds of wind instruments, and if Judas was a shepherd (Kerioth being in the hilly district of southern Judah), the bag might be the pouch or wallet for the reeds of the pipes so much used by the eastern shepherd.

Verse 7

Let her alone, &c. L T Tr. A WI R (not the Syriac) read, "Let her alone, in order that she may keep it, "&c.

against = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

Verse 8

with you = among yourselves: i.e. not the outside poor, but the Lord"s poor.

with. Greek. meta. App-104.

Verse 9

knew = got to know. Greek ginosko. App-132. for.

sake = on account of. Greek. dia. App-104. John 12:2.

that = in order that. Greek. hina.

see. Greek. eidon. App-133.

Verse 10

put . . . to death. Greek. apokteino = kill. Occurs seventy-five times, and mostly implies violent death, not by judicial execution. Compare Matthew 14:5. Luke 9:22; Luke 20:14. Acts 3:19; Acts 7:62; Acts 23:12. Revelation 13:10.

Verse 11

by reason of = on account of. Greek. dia, as in John 12:8.

went away = withdrew: i.e. from the chief priests" faction.

believed on. See App-150.

Verse 12

On the next day: i.e. the fourth day before the Passover, the 11th of Nisan. Our Saturday sunset to Sunday sunset. See App-156. much people a great crowd.

Verse 13

to meet for (Greek. eis. App-104.) meeting. cried. Greek. Imperative mood of krazo. Same word as in John 12:44, but LT Tr. A WH R read imperative mood of krazo = were shouting out; used once of the Lord, John 11:43 Other occurances: John 18:40; John 19:6, John 19:15. Matthew 12:19; Matthew 15:22. Acts 22:23. In the Septuagint, only in Ezra 3:13.

Hosanna, &c. See note on Matthew 21:9.

in. Greek en. App-104.

Lord. App-98

Verse 14

thereon = upon (Greek. epi. App-104.) it.

written. See App-153. Quoted from Zechariah 9:9.

Verse 15

not. Greek me. App-105.

on = upon. Greek. epi. App-104.

Verse 16

understood = perceived. Greek. ginosko. App-132.

glorified. Greek. doxazo. One of the characteristic words in John (see p. 1511).

were written = had been written. Compare John 2:17; John 5:39.

of = about. Greek. epi. App-104.

had done = did.

Verse 17

The people = The crowd.

out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

grave. See note on John 11:17.

bare record. = were testifying. See note on John 1:7.

Verse 18

For this cause = on account of (Greek. dia. App-104.) this.

for that = because. Greek. hoti, as in verses: 6, 11.

miracle = sign. Greek semeion. See App-176., and p. 1511.

Verse 19

The Pharisees. See App-120.

among. Greek. pros. App-104.

Perceive. Greek. theoreo. App-133. I. 11.

prevail = profit. Greek. opheleo. Occurs fifteen times, always translated profit, except here; Matthew 27:24; Mark 5:26 and Luke 9:25.

nothing = nothing at all. Greek. ouk ouden, a double negative,

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

world. Greek. kosmos. App-129.

Verse 20

And, &c. This was the third day before the Passover, 12th of Nisan, our Sunday sunset to Monday sunset.

Greeks. Greek. Hellenes: i.e. Gentiles, not Greek-speaking Jews, or Grecians (Acts 6:1; John 9:29).

among = out of. Greek. ek. App-104.

came up = were coming up, according to custom.

worship. Greek. proskuneo. App-137. This would be in the outer court of the Temple, called the Court of the Gentiles. Compare Revelation 11:2.

at = in. Greek. en. App-104.

the feast. They would not be allowed to eat the Passover, unless they were proselytes (Exodus 12:48).

Verse 21

Philip . . . of Bethsaida. See App-141. Probably these Greeks were from Galilee (App-169), and, as Philip bore a Greek name, had some acquaintance with him.

of. Greek. apo. App-104.

desired = prayed. Greek. erotao. App-134.

Sir. Greek. kurios. App-98.

we would see = we wish (Greek. theta. App-102.) to see (Greek. eidon. App-133.)

Verse 22

Andrew. See App-141. Andrew belonged to the first group of the Apostles, Philip to the second.

Verse 23

the Son of man. App-98and App-99.

Verse 24

Verily, verily. The seventeenth occurance of this double amen. See note on John 1:51.

Except = If not. Greek. ean (App-118).

a corn of wheat = the seed-corn of the wheat. The Greek word kokkos occurs seven times: in Matthew 13:31; Matthew 17:20. Mark 4:31. Luke 13:19; Luke 17:6 (of mustard seed); here; and 1 Corinthians 15:37.

into. Greek. eis. App-104.

ground. Greek. ge. App-129.

abideth. Greek. meno, one of the characteristic words in this Gospel. See p. 1511.

if. Greek. ean. App-118.

bringeth forth = beareth.

Verse 25

loveth. Greek. phileo. App-135.

life. Greek psuche. App-110and App-170. Compare Matthew 10:39; Matthew 16:25, Matthew 16:26. Mark 8:35-37. Luke 9:24; Luke 17:33.

keep = guard, or preserve. Greek. phulasso. See note on John 17:12.

unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

life. Greek. zoe. App-170.

eternal. Greek. aionios. App-151.

Verse 26

My Father. Greek. the Father. App-98.

honour. Greek timao, only used by John, here, John 5:23, and John 8:49.

Verse 27

Now = At this moment. Not the "Now" of John 11:1, John 11:5.

soul. Greek. psuche; here used in the personal sense = I myself: App-110.

troubled. Compare John 11:33; John 13:21; John 14:1, John 14:27.

and what shall I say?, &c. Supply the Ellipses (App-6) that follow, thus: (Shall I say) "Father, save Me from this hour? "(No!) It is for this cause I am come to this hour. (I will say) "Father, glorify Thy name".

Father. App-98. See John 1:14.

Verse 28

heaven (singular) See note on Matthew 6:9, Matthew 6:10.

I have, &c. The Father"s name was glorified in the wilderness by the Son"s victory over the "tempter". It was about to be glorified again by the final victory over Satan, in the contest beginning in Gethsemane and ending at the empty tomb.

Verse 29

thundered, &c. They heard a sound, but could not distinguish what it was. Compare Acts 9:4; Acts 22:9.

Verse 30

answered, &c. See App-122.

because of = on account of. Greek. dia. App-104. John 12:2.

for your sakes = on account of (Greek. dia. App-104.) you.

Verse 31

judgment. Greek. crisis (App-177.); i.e. the crisis reached when the world pronounced judgment against Christ and His claims.

prince = ruler. Greek. archon; applied to Satan as prince of this world (kosmos. App-129.) three times, here, John 14:30, and John 16:11; as prince of the demons in Matthew 12:24. Mark 3:22; and as prince of the power of the air in Ephesians 2:2. The same word used in Revelation 10:5 of the Lord. The prince of this world was a well-known Rabbinical term (Sar ha `olam, prince of the age) for Satan, "the angel", as they say, "into whose hands the whole world is delivered". See Dr. John Lightfoot"s Works, xii, p. 369.

cast out. Same word as in John 9:34, John 9:35. Matthew 21:39. Mark 12:8. Luke 20:15. Acts 7:68; Acts 13:50. In Luke 4:29, rendered "thrust".

out (Greek. exo) = without, outside.

Verse 32

lifted up. Greek hupsoe. Occurs twenty times. Always in John refers to the cross; see John 12:34; John 3:14, John 3:14, and John 8:28. In fourteen other passages (Matthew 11:23; Matthew 23:12, Matthew 23:12. Luke 1:52; Luke 10:15; Luke 10:14.; John 18:14, John 18:14. Acts 2:33; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:17. 2 Corinthians 11:7. 1 Peter 5:6) rendered "exalt", and in James 4:10, "lift up".

earth. Greek ge. App-129.

draw. Greek. helkuo. Same word as in John 6:44. Used else- where in John 18:10; John 21:6, John 21:11 and Acts 16:19. The classical form helko occurs in Acts 21:30. James 2:6. It was thought the form helkuo was peculiar to the N.T. and Septuagint, but it is found in one of the Oxyrhyncus Papyri. See Deissmann, Light, &c., pp. 437-9.

all. Compare John 6:37, John 6:39.

unto. Greek. pros. App-104.

Me = Myself. Greek. emautou.

Verse 33

what death = what kind of death.

should die = was about to die.

Verse 34

We have heard = we heard. The Greek tense (aorist, refers to a definite time, and may refer to a portion of the law (compare note on John 10:34) read on the Great Sabbath, two days previously. The quotation is usually referred to Psalms 89:29, but it may rather be Psalm 92 (Psalms 92:1), which is said to have been read on the Sabbath from the days of Ezra.

Verse 35

unto = to. them: i.e. the people around Him.

light. App-130.

with. Greek. meta, as in verses: John 12:8, John 12:17, but all the texts read en, among.

while. All the texts read "as".

lest darkness = in order that (Greek. hina) dark ness may not (Greek. me. App-105).

come upon = seize. Greek. katalambano. Same word as in John 1:5. Mark 9:18. Philippians 1:3, Philippians 1:12, Philippians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:4.

knoweth. Greek. oida. App-132.

Verse 36

in = on. Greek. eis. App-104.

be = become,

children = sons. App-108.

did hide Himself = was hidden.

from = away from. Greek. apo. App-104.

them: i, e. the Greeks of John 12:20. Compare Matthew 10:5.

Verse 37

before = in the presence of. Compare Thess. John 1:3; John 2:19.

Verse 38

saying. Greek. logos. See note on Mark 9:32. This is quoted from Isaiah 53:1. See note there.

Esaias. Greek form of Isaiah.

fulfilled. Greek pleroo = filled full or accomplished. See John 13:18; John 15:25; John 17:12; John 18:9, John 18:32, John 19:24, John 19:36.

believed. App-150.

the arm of the Lord = Messiah, as the executant of His decrees. Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 52:10. Compare "polished shaft", Isaiah 49:2.

Verse 39

Therefore = On account of (Greek. dia. App-104.) this: i.e. the unbelief of John 12:37.

could not = were not able to.

believe. App-160. Judicial blindness follows persistent unbelief.

Verse 40

He hath blinded, &c. Quoted from Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 6:10. See notes there. This was the second occasion of this prophecy being quoted, the first being in Matthew 18:14 (compare Mark 4:12. Luke 8:10), when the Lord explained why He spoke to the people in parables; the other two being Acts 28:26, Acts 28:27 and Romans 11:8.

Verse 41

when. Greek hote. All the texts read hoti, because.

glory. Greek. doxa. One of the characteristic words in John"s Gospel. See John 1:14.

of = concerning. Greek. peri. App-104.

Verse 42

be put out of the synagogue = become excom municate (aposunagogoi). See note on John 9:22, and Compare John 16:1.

Verse 43

loved. Greek. agapao. App-135.

praise = glory. Same word as in John 12:41.

men. Greek anthropos. App-123.

God. App-98.

Verse 44

He that believeth, &c. Faith in the Lord does not rest in Him, but passes on to recognize that He is the manifestation of the Father. Compare John 1:14, John 1:18; John 3:33.

sent. Greek. pempo. App-174.

Verse 45

seeth. Greek. theoreo. App-133.

Verse 46

I am come, &c. Compare John 8:12.

Verse 47

words = sayings. Greek. rhema. See note on Mark 9:32.

judge. Greek. krino. App-122.

Verse 48

rejecteth. Greek. atheteo. Occurs sixteen times in twelve passages. The others are: Mark 6:26; Mark 7:9. Luke 7:30; Luke 10:16. 1 Corinthians 1:19. Galatians 1:2, Galatians 1:21; Galatians 3:15. 1 Thessalonians 4:8. 1 Timothy 5:12. Hebrews 10:28. Jude 1:8. Often translated despise. It means to count as nothing. See 1 Corinthians 1:19.

word. Greek. logos. Same word as "saying" in John 12:38. See note on Mark 9:32.

the last day. The sixth and last occurance of this expression in John. See John 6:39, John 6:40, John 6:44, John 6:54; John 11:24.

Verse 49

I have not spoken of Myself: i.e. from Myself. The Lord"s constant claim was that His very words were what the Father had given Him to speak. Compare John 3:34; John 7:16-18; John 8:28, John 8:47; John 14:10, John 14:24; John 17:8, John 17:14.

say. Greek. eipon. This has to do with the matter, or subject.

speak. Greek. laleo. This word. which is very common in John"s Gospel, and occurs eight times in this chapter, refers to the words in which the message

was delivered. See note above and next verse.

Verse 50

His commandment, &c. Figure of speech Ellipsis. App-6. The result of obeying His commandment is life everlasting. Compare 1 John 3:23; 1 John 5:11.

everlasting. Greek. aionios. Same as "eternal" in John 12:25. See App-151.


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Bibliography Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on John 12:4". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

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