Blaine Robison, M.A.
Published 28 October 2016; Revised 21 July 2021
Scripture Text: The Scripture text of John used in this commentary is prepared by Blaine Robison and based on the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament. The essentially literal translation seeks to reflect the Jewish character of the author and writing. See my web article The Jewish New Testament.
Terminology: In order to emphasize the Jewish nature of the apostolic canon and its central figure I use the terms Tanakh (Old Testament), Besekh (New Testament), Torah (Law), Yeshua (Jesus), and Messiah (Christ). I use the title "The Testimony of John" because that is how John describes his book (John 21:24). See the article Witnesses of the Good News for background information on this book.
Methodology: For an explanation of abbreviations, acronyms, terminology, spelling conventions, and other information on organization of the commentary see my Commentary Writing Philosophy.
Primary Sources: Bibliographic data for works cited may be found at the end of the chapter commentary. Unless otherwise indicated the following primary sources are used:
• Different Bible versions may be cited for Scripture quotations. Click here for Abbreviations of Bible Versions. Messianic Jewish versions are CJB, DHE, GNC, HNV, MW, OJB, & TLV.
• The Septuagint (LXX) is the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek, which was in use among Jews by the mid–2nd century BC. The LXX with English translation may be found here.
• Citations for Josephus, the first century Jewish historian (Yosef ben Matityahu), are from The Works of Flavius Josephus (c. 75–99 A.D.) trans. William Whiston (1737). Online.
• The meaning of Greek words is from F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009). See the Greek Guide for the meaning of grammar abbreviations. Definitions of Hebrew words are from The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1981), given as "BDB." The numbering system of the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible is identified with "SH" (Strong's Hebrew number) and "SG" (Strong's Greek number). Strong's Online.
• Dates are from Risto Santala, The Messiah in the New Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings (1992). Online.
Prophecy of Persecution, 16:1-4
Prophecy of the Advocate, 16:5-15
Prophecy of Death and Return, 16:16-22
Prophecy of Ascension and Mediation, 16:23-28
Affirmation of the Disciples, 16:29-30
Prophecy of Abandonment and Tribulation, 16:31-33
Thursday, Erev Nisan 15 (Friday), A.D. 30; 6 April (Julian)
John continues his narrative of the last supper with a discourse of Yeshua occurring after the new covenant ritual.
Prophecy of Persecution, 16:1-4
1 "These things I have spoken to you, so that you might not be shocked.
According to 14:31 Yeshua and his disciples are no longer reclining at table but are standing in preparation for departure. Yeshua returns to the theme of opposition from the world covered in 15:18-25. These things: pl. of Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. signifying a person or thing set forth in narrative that precedes its use or follows it; this, these. I have spoken: Grk. laleō, perf., is used in the Besekh primarily to mean making an oral statement and to exercise the faculty of speech; assert, proclaim, report, say, speak, talk about, utter. Yeshua refers to the matters he has shared with his disciples since the end of the New Covenant liturgy. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron.; i.e., the Eleven. so that: Grk. hina, conj. used to add an idea that completes an intention expressed, in order that, so that, that.
you might not: Grk. mē, adv., a particle of qualified negation, subjective in nature, involving will and thought; not. be shocked: Grk. skandalizō, aor. pass. subj., a verb drawn from the imagery of trap-setting or the laying of obstacles in another’s way. The verb can mean (1) cause someone to be guilty of transgression, cause to sin; or (2) cause reaction over what appears to be publicly offensive, shock. Almost all versions assigned the first meaning to the verb, but I believe the second meaning fits better. To comprehend the fallacy of "fall away" (CEB, ESV, ISV, LEB, MEV, MRINT, NET, NIV, NJB, REV, RSV), we only need to ask, "what sin did the disciples commit?"
Yeshua prophesied the abandonment of the disciples in the Garden, but he actually made sure that they would not be arrested. If he had told them to stay with him no matter what, then their running away would have been sin. Of course, two of the disciples did follow him to the places where the trials were held and the others remained in the city. Some versions resort to the ambiguous "stumble" or "stumbling" (ASV, HCSB, NKJV, NRSV, TLV). But, a few versions support Danker's second meaning. The CJB has "not be caught by surprise." The AMPC has the clarifying interpretation "I told you to keep you from being scandalized and repelled." A few versions have "offended" (AMPC, BRG, DARBY, JUB, KJV).
2 "They will keep you from the assemblies, but an hour is coming so that anyone having killed you will think it is a service to offer to deity.
They will keep: Grk. poieō, fut., a verb of physical action that may refer to (1) producing something material; make, construct, produce, create; or (2) to be active in bringing about a state of condition; do, act, perform, work. In the LXX poieō translates chiefly Heb. asah (SH-6213), accomplish, do, make, work (first in Gen 1:7), and used of a wide range of human and divine activity. Most versions translate the verb here with "put" but some translate with a stronger sense of force: "ban" (CJB, HCSB), "chased out" (CEV), "thrown out" (GW, NIRV), "expelled" (NLT, TEV). Mounce notes that the verb can mean "keep" in reference to observing sacred festivals (Matt 26:18; Heb 11:28).
you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. from the assemblies: Grk. aposunagōgos (derived from apo, 'from' and sunagōgē, 'place of assembly' or 'assembly'), which Danker defines as "expelled from the synagogue." Mounce has "expelled or excluded from the synagogue, excommunicated, cut off from the rights and privileges of a Jew, excluded from society." BAG has "expelled from the synagogue, excommunicated, put under the curse or ban." The word is unknown in Greek literature and the LXX or other Jewish writings. The word occurs only three times in the Besekh, all in John (also in 9:22 and 12:42), and seems invented for the special policy established by the Sanhedrin in 9:22.
In his comment on 9:22 Stern interprets the word as meaning "banned from the synagogue," literally, "de-synagogued." He points out that Judaism had three degrees of discipline, though none is common today. The lightest, n'zifah ("rebuke"), could be declared by one person and normally lasted seven days. The next, niddui ("casting out, rejection"), usually required three people to declare and lasted thirty days, and people were required to stay four cubits (six feet) from him. The most severe, cherem, was a ban of indefinite duration; and a person under cherem was treated like one dead. (In the Talmud see Mo‛ed Katan 16a–17a, Nedarim 7b, Pesachim 52a.) In his comment on this verse Stern says,
"In many synagogues, if a Jewish believer in Yeshua makes his faith public, speaks about it, and attempts in conversation to persuade others to acknowledge the Messiah, he may be asked to leave the synagogue and not come back. In fact, I once attended a synagogue for the first time and in a private conversation told its rabbi about my faith; his response was to make it clear I would not be welcome to return. The price a Messianic Jew is asked to pay for worshipping God with his own people is often silence about God’s most important historical work!"
Preventing someone in the first century from attending synagogue services would not be a simple matter. Even Gentiles were allowed to be present in synagogues. There were hundreds of synagogues in the land of Israel alone. The Sanhedrin did not directly supervise the synagogues, so enforcement would be problematic. While most versions translate the word with "put out of the synagogue" (or words to that effect), the term likely has a broader meaning. Thayer captures the correct sense of the Greek word with his definition of "excluded from the sacred assemblies of the Israelites." Gruber (MW) follows this meaning with his translation "put out of the assembly." That is, the ban would include the temple. Preventing an Israelite from attending any public assembly at the temple, especially the pilgrim festivals, would exclude the individual from the favor of God.
but: Grk. alla, conj., adversative particle used adverbially to convey a different viewpoint for consideration; but, on the other hand. an hour: Grk. hōra may mean (1) a short space of time, the twelfth part of a day; hour; (2) fig. for a period of time in the day; "the hour was already late;" or (3) fig. for a point of time as occasion for action or for an event; time. The third usage applies here. is coming: Grk. erchomai, pres. mid., come or arrive, mostly with implication of a position from which action or movement takes place, but it also may focus on the goal for movement. It is appropriate to use the present tense to anticipate a future event, which emphasizes its certainty. The expression "an hour is coming" occurs seven times in the book of John in relation to significant prophesied events (4:21, 23; 5:25, 28; 16:25, 32).
so that: Grk. hina, conj. anyone: Grk. pas, adj., comprehensive in scope, but without statistical emphasis; all, every, anyone, everyone. having killed: Grk. apokteinō, aor. part., put an end by force to existence of someone; kill. In the LXX apokteinō translates Heb. harag, to kill or slay (BDB 246). The Heb. verb is used of willful murder (first in Gen 4:8), as well as ruthless violence, the planned massacre of Jews by Haman (Esth 3:13; 7:14), wholesale slaughter after battle (Num 31:7), God's slaying in judgment (Gen 20:4) and rarely of judicial execution (Ex 32:27). you: Grk. humeis. Yeshua essentially prophesied the martyrdom of his remaining disciples of which he will later exclude John. Yet, given the nature of the prophecy the plural pronoun likely envisions a much broader scope than just the remaining eleven disciples, since of that number only one was killed by Jewish authorities, Jacob son of Zebedee (Acts 12:1-2).
According to church tradition the rest of the original Twelve were martyred in various lands of the Diaspora in which they engaged in missionary activity. Church tradition offers some information. Simon Peter was executed by Caesar Nero, c. 67 A.D. Andrew reportedly was crucified in Achaia. Philip was killed in Hierapolis. As for Matthew there is a legend that he died a martyr in Ethiopia. Traditions for Thomas are varied with his death reported in Parthia, Persia and India. The apostle Matthias, chosen to replace Judas (Acts 1:23-26), was reportedly martyred in Colchis (modern Georgia). No information exists for the deaths of Bartholomew, Jacob son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot. John, the son of Zebedee, of course, did not die a martyr (John 21:20), but of old age, sometime after Trajan became emperor in A.D. 98.
The plural pronoun would include apostles who would later join their number, such as the seventy apostles that included Luke (Luke 10:1; see the list of Hippolytus), Jacob ("James") and Judah ("Jude") the Lord's brothers (Acts 1:14), Matthias (Acts 1:23), and Paul. The plural pronoun probably includes the disciples that would join the Body of Messiah on Pentecost and shortly thereafter. About three years after Pentecost a great persecution broke out against the disciples in the aftermath of the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 8:1). Saul of Tarsus (later Paul the apostle) was the ringleader of the persecution and according to the record of Luke imprisoned many (Acts 8:3; 26:10) and had some put to death (Acts 9:1; 22:4; 26:10). Many years afterward Jacob, the Lord's brother, was executed in Jerusalem (Josephus, Ant. XX, 9:1).
will think: Grk. dokeō, fut., the basic idea of receptivity and hence attractiveness to the intellect appears throughout the verb's usage, which may mean to entertain an idea or form an opinion about something on the basis of what appears to support a specific conclusion; think, opine, regard. it a service: Grk. latreia, religious service or worship (BAG). Latreia comes from the verb latreuō, which frequently means carrying out religious duties, especially of a ritual nature, by human beings (BAG). In the LXX latreia occurs only eight times (Ex 12:25, 26; 13:5; Josh 22:27; 1Chr 28:13; 1Macc 1:43; 2:19, 22) and translates Heb. avodah (SH-5656), labor, service, which most frequently is used of religious observance and presentation of offerings at the tabernacle or temple. Josephus also uses the term for the divine service at the temple (Wars, II, 17:2). The term occurs only five times in the Besekh, four of which are in the writings of Paul (Rom 9:4; 12:1; Heb 9:1, 6).
to offer: Grk. prospherō, pres. inf., to cause movement of something or someone to a person or place, to bring or to present, used particularly in contexts of religious offerings or presentations. to God: Grk. theos, God or god, which must be determined from the context. In secular Greek writings a number of deities, always represented in anthropomorphic form, were called theos. In ancient polytheistic culture theos was not one omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, Creator and ruler of the universe and certainly not spirit as described in Scripture (John 4:24). In the LXX theos primarily translates the general names of God: El, Eloah and Elohim, but also YHVH (DNTT 2:67-70). As with many other Greek words the LXX infused new meaning into theos. The noun occurs over 1300 times in the Besekh and is used overwhelmingly for the God of Israel.
Religious zeal was certainly responsible for the martyrdoms of disciples of Yeshua that occurred in Judea. Saul of Tarsus had letters of authority from the high priest to carry out his persecution (Acts 26:10). He even went into synagogues to find disciples and punished them in front of others (Acts 26:11). He later testified to Timothy that he had been a "violent aggressor" (1Tim 1:13). Judean authorities were not the only ones to react with violence against disciples of Yeshua. In the Diaspora the apostolic message was viewed as a threat to the Caesar cult and the polytheistic religion that dominated the various countries, so the execution of apostles by Roman authorities or their surrogates would be considered a service to their religion.
3 "and these things they will do, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
and: Grk. kai, conj. that marks a connection or addition. Kai has three basic uses: (1) continuative – and, also, even; (2) adversative – and yet, but, however; or (3) intensive – certainly, indeed, in fact, really, verily, yea (DM 250f). The first use applies here. Kai is used in the LXX to translate the vav (ו) character added to words for conjunctive effect. There are over 50 conjunctions in biblical Greek, but kai is by far the most common in the Besekh, occurring over 9,000 times (BibleHub). The excessive use of conjunctions is evidence of either an original Hebrew text or Jewish Greek. In contrast to most Bible versions I translate all the instances of kai (and all the other conjunctions) as a reminder of John's Hebraic writing style.
these things: pl. of Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. The pronoun summarizes all the opposition from the world the apostles should expect. they will do: Grk. poieō, fut. See the previous verse on "keep." because: Grk. hoti, conj. that serves as a link between two sets of data, whether (1) defining a demonstrative pronoun; that; (2) introducing a subordinate clause as complementary of a preceding verb; (3) introducing a direct quotation and functioning as quotation marks; or (4) indicating causality with an inferential aspect; for, because, inasmuch as, since. The fourth usage applies here. they have not: Grk. ou, adv., a particle that makes a strong denial or negation of an alleged fact or proposition (DM 264).
known: Grk. ginōskō, aor., to know, but has a variety of meanings, including (1) to be in receipt of information; know, learn, find out; (2) form a judgment or draw a conclusion; think, understand, comprehend, perceive, notice, realize, conclude; or (3) have a personal relationship involving recognition of another's identity or value; make acquaintance, recognize. The third meaning dominates the thought here with a nuance of the second. In the LXX ginōskō translates Heb. yada, which has a similar wide range of meaning, but in most occasions refers to a personal knowledge, whether of knowing persons or knowing by experience, as well as knowing by learning from a teacher (DNTT 2:395). The ignorance of which Yeshua attributes to the persecutors is relational rather than intellectual.
the Father: Grk. patēr, normally of a male biological parent or ancestor, but frequently in reference to God, which emphasizes His activity as creator, ruler and sustainer (BAG). In the LXX patēr translates ab ("av"), which occurs about 1180 times, generally in the human sense, but also of God as father (DNTT 1:616f). In the Hebrew vernacular Yeshua and the apostles would have used the word abba, as occurs in (Mark 14:36; Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6). In the Tanakh God's identity as a parent is first mentioned in reference to His covenantal relationship with Israel (Deut 1:31; 8:5; 32:6; Ps 103:13; Isa 43:6; 63:16; 64:8; Jer 3:19; 31:9; Hos 1:10: Mal 1:6). Israel is specifically identified as God's son (Ex 4:22; Hos 11:1). The God of Israel is also father of the king as the embodiment of Israel (2Sam 7:14; Ps 89:27). Only in late Jewish apocryphal writings is God called the Father of the pious Jew as an individual (Sir 23:1, 4; Tob 13:4; Wsd 2:16; 14:3; 3Macc 5:7).
While Jews recognized the God of Israel as the "father" of mankind in the sense of creator (Acts 17:28; Josephus, Ant. IV, 8:24), the capitalized "Father" in the Besekh continues the meaning found in the Tanakh. Unfortunately the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed removed the association with Israel and presented the Father as only the "Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth." Yeshua acknowledged this covenantal relationship when he taught his Jewish disciples to pray "our Father" (Matt 6:9). Yeshua also spoke to his Jewish disciples of "your Father" (Matt 5:45, 48; 6:14, 26, 32; Mark 7:11; Luke 6:36). Thus, for the Body of Messiah the God of Israel becomes "our Father" (Rom 1:7; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2; Php 1:2; Col 1:2).
nor: Grk. oude, conj. that links a negative statement as complement to a preceding negative; neither, nor. me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. Yeshua repeats his charge that his adversaries have not known the Father (John 8:19) and adds that they did not really know him either in a relational sense.
4 "But these things I have spoken to you, so that when their hour should come, you may remember that I told you. Moreover these things I did not say to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
But: Grk. alla, conj. these things I have spoken to you: This phrase is repeated exactly from verse 1 above. so that: Grk. hina, conj. when: Grk. hotan, conj., a temporal marker indicating 'when' or 'whenever.' their: pl. of Grk. autos, pers. pron. hour: Grk. hōra. See verse 2 above. The term is used fig. of that time when the prophecy would be fulfilled. should come: Grk. erchomai, aor. subj. See verse 2 above. you may remember: Grk. mnēmoneuō, pres. subj., to recall, frequently with focus on thoughtful recollection. The present tense exhorts a continuing attitude. The challenge to "remember" points the apostles back to their previous experiences with Yeshua.
that: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 2 above. I: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. told: Grk. legō, aor., to make a statement or utterance, whether mentally, orally or in writing, often used to introduce quoted material. The focus of the verb may be declarative, interrogative or imperative; answer, ask, declare, enjoin, order, say, speak, tell, told, refer to, talk about. you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. Yeshua fully expected his disciples to remember all that he taught. This is not so impossible as modern people might think who are so dependent on the availability of literary works in print and electronic devices. Ancient Jewish education relied on memorization and oral repetition and transmission of what was taught.
Moreover: Grk. de, conj. used to indicate (1) a contrast to a preceding statement or thought, "but;" (2) a transition in presentation of subject matter, "now, then;" or (3) a connecting particle to continue a thought, "and, also," sometimes with emphasis, "indeed," "moreover" (Thayer). The third meaning applies here. these things: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. I did not: Grk. ou, adv. say: Grk. legō, aor. to you: Grk. humeis. from: Grk. ek, prep. with the root meaning of "out of, from within" (DM 102), denoting origin and direction, here with a focus on time; from; from out of, from among.
the beginning: Grk. archē, is a multi-purpose word with the basic meaning of priority and may mean (1) the point of derivation or originating moment; beginning, start; or (2) one who enjoys preeminence in early or supra-terrestrial realm; ruler, authority; or (3) assigned position or sphere of activity, position, domain, jurisdiction. The first meaning applies here in reference to when he first called and chose the disciples. The "beginning" might refer to the time each began following him or the time when he had the complete group of twelve. because: Grk. hoti, conj. I was: Grk. eimi, impf., to be, a function word used primarily to declare a state of existence, whether in the past ('was, were'), present ('are, is') or future ('will be'), often to unite a subject and predicate (BAG). The imperfect tense denotes continuous action in past time.
with: Grk. meta, prep., may be used as (1) a marker of association or accompaniment; 'amid,' among,' 'with,' or 'in company with'; or (2) a sequential or positional marker; after, behind. The first usage applies here. you: Grk. humeis. The last statement is inverted from 15:27 where he says, "because you were with me from the beginning." Yeshua explains that the subjects he has covered in his last supper discourse were saved for this time because they would not have made sense to them during the early days of their association. In addition, the statement "because I was with you" implies "I will no longer be with you" and thus the revelation had become important to share.
Prophecy of the Advocate, 16:5-15
5 "But now I go to the One having sent me; and none of you asks me, 'Where are You going?'
Yeshua returns to the subject of the Advocate previously covered in 14:16-17, 26, and 15:26-27.
But: Grk. de, conj. now: Grk. nun, adv. of time in the present, 'now' or more emphatically 'right now.' Yeshua refers to the immediate future. I go: Grk. hupagō, pres., to proceed from a position, sometimes (1) with the focus on the departure point; go away, leave; or (2) with the focus on an objective or destination; go, be on one's way. The first usage applies here with a nuance of the second meaning. The present tense indicates to start and continue the action. to: Grk. pros, prep., lit. "near or facing" (DM 110). Since the word following is in the accusative case, then pros would have the meaning of being "in company with" (BAG).
the One: Grk. ho, definite article by used here as a demonstrative pron. Among Israelites "The One" was used in lieu of the sacred name of God (cf. Ps 3:3; 37:24; Isa 40:26; 44:24; 45:7; 49:7; Hos 11:7; Amos 9:5-6; John 1:33; 6:46; 7:18; 11:27; 12:45; Acts 10:42; Rom 5:17; 2Cor 4:6; Jas 5:20) and echoed the Shema, "Hear O Israel YHVH Eloheinu YHVH one" (Deut 6:4). having sent: Grk. pempō, aor. part., to dispatch someone as an agent, usually to convey a message or accomplish a task; send. The verb occurs 31 times in John and of those 25 depict God as the sending agent. "Sending" is a key activity of the Father, and in the past His emissaries included angels (Gen 19:13; 2Chr 32:21), Joseph (Gen 45:5), Moses and Aaron (Ex 3:15; 1Sam 12:8), and all the prophets (1Sam 15:1; 2Sam 12:1; 2Kgs 2:2; Isa 6:8; 48:6; Jer 26:5, 12; 35:15; Ezek 2:3).
me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. In contrast with the Synoptic Narratives the book of John records Yeshua repeatedly emphasizing that he was sent (John 4:34; 5:23-24, 30, 37; 6:38, 39; 7:16, 28; 8:16, 26, 29; 9:4; 12:44, 49; 14:24; 15:21). Yeshua's statement "now I go to the One" may seem strange since he did not ascend to the Father until 40 days after the resurrection. The time period of "now" is accurate when we consider that in just a few hours he would be on the cross in communion with the Father. Then he would die and his spirit would go to the Father (cf. Luke 23:43).
and none: Grk. oudeis, adj., a marker used to indicate negation of a person or thing as actually existing at a given place or moment; no one, nobody. The adjective admits no exceptions other than what is stated in the context. of you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. asks: Grk. erōtaō, pres., can mean (1) to ask with the focus on seeking information, such as asking Yeshua to explain his parables; ask, inquire; or (2) to ask in the sense of making a request for something or someone, sometimes in the form of an earnest plea; ask, request, beg, beseech. The first meaning applies here.
me: Grk. egō. Where: Grk. pou, adv. of place, used here with interrogative effect; where, at which place. are you going: Grk. hupagō, pres. Yeshua's comment seems surprising since this subject had been addressed in chapters 13 and 14. In 13:33 Yeshua stated "where I go, you are not able to come." In 13:36 Simon Peter replied, "Lord, where are you going?" Tenney suggests:
"At that point Peter's question was casual, and neither he nor the other disciples pressed the issue to ascertain what Jesus' plans really were. There was little concern about his future; they were interested mainly in their own future. They were sorrowful because they would lose him. So they made no inquiry about the reasons for his departure nor about the objectives he might wish to attain.
Then in chapter 14 when Yeshua spoke of going someplace Thomas replies that the disciples haven't known where Yeshua was going (14:5). Yet, neither Thomas nor any of the disciples asked the relevant question at that point. It could be they were afraid to press the issue, because it wherever he was going it would be bad news for them.
6 "But because I have said these things to you, distress has filled the heart of you.
But: Grk. alla, conj. because: Grk. hoti, conj. I have said: Grk. laleō, perf. See verse 1 above. these things: pl. of Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. The pronoun probably refers to Yeshua's announcement of departure. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pron. distress: Grk. lupē indicates inner distress, whether mental or spiritual; distress, grief, pain, sorrow. The emotional reaction of which Yeshua speaks is not the sorrow associated with actual death. has filled: Grk. plēroō, perf., may mean (1) cause to abound in content to a maximum, fill; or (2) to bring to fruition or completion, complete, fulfill, fill up, carry out. The first meaning has application here.
the heart: Grk. kardia, the pumplike organ of blood circulation, used fig. of selfhood or the combination of character, emotion, intelligence and the will. In the LXX kardia translates Heb. lebab (SH-3824), inner man, mind, heart, will (DNTT 2:181). The noun is singular. of you: Grk. humeis. The singular noun "heart" with the plural "you" indicates that the eleven disciples had the emotion of distress in common.
7 "But I speak the truth to you, it is advantageous to you so that I should go away; for if I should not go away, the Advocate would not come to you; but if I should go, I will send Him to you.
But: Grk. alla, conj. I: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. speak: Grk. legō, pres. See verse 4 above. the truth: Grk. alētheia may mean (1) truthfulness, dependability, uprightness in thought and deed, (2) truth as opposed to what is false, or (3) reality as opposed to mere appearance (BAG). Danker has "that which is really so." In the LXX alētheia regularly translates the Heb. emet ("firmness, faithfulness, truth," BDB 54), although Christian Bibles sometimes translate it as "truth" and sometimes as "faithfulness" (DNTT 3:877). Emet is often used for truthfulness in God and piety in man. The Rabbis explain rather pedantically that emet contains the first, middle and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and that truth ought to be trustworthy through and through (Santala 72).
to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. Yeshua, the Son of God, is truth personified (John 1:14; 14:6). Even his enemies acknowledged that he was always truthful and taught the way of God truthfully (Matt 22:16). Even so, since Yeshua is the truth it may seem superfluous for him to say "I speak the truth to you" (also in John 8:40, 45) or the often spoken "truly, truly" (verse 20 below) used to introduce important instruction. The repetitive self-description of truth-telling reflects Yeshua's divine integrity in contrast to the lying nature of Satan (John 8:44).
it is advantageous: Grk. sumpherō, pres., bring together to result in a benefit. Mounce defines the verb as "be for the benefit of any one, be profitable, advantageous, expedient." to you: Grk. humeis. so that: Grk. hina, conj. I: Grk. egō. should go away: Grk. aperchomai, aor. subj., to be in movement from a position with or without mention of destination; go away, depart or leave. The subjunctive mood denotes mild contingency or probability; it looks toward what is conceivable or potential. This verbal form appears three times in Yeshua's statement as a sort of hypothetical argument to explain an important rationale for his departure.
for: Grk. gar, conj., is generally accepted as a contraction of ge ("yet") and ara ("then"), and in a broad sense means "certainly it follows that." Gar often functions to connect statements in narratives with preceding statements and is normally translated "for." if: Grk. ean, conj. that serves as a conditional particle and produces an aspect of tentativeness by introducing a possible circumstance that determines the realization of some other circumstance. I should not: Grk. mē, adv. go away: Grk. aperchomai, aor. subj. the Advocate: Grk. paraklētos, one who is summoned or called to one's side to provide aid (Thayer). Rienecker has "advocate, comforter." Mounce has "one who pleads the cause of another, advocate," but Danker translates the word as "counselor, encourager."
In Greek culture a paraklētos functioned as either a legal assistant or advocate (LSJ). Paraklētos also appears as a loanword in the Targums and the Talmud (Avot 4:11) for any intercessor, defender or advocate. Paraklētos is not found in the LXX but a derivative form, paraklēteros, is used in Job 16:2 to translate the participle of Heb. nacham (comfort, console) in reference to Job's "comforters." The term appears several times in the works of Philo with the meaning of "intercessor." The first Latin translators (Tertullian, Eusebius, Augustine), as well as many Latin Bible MSS commonly translated the word as advocatus (BAG).
Jerome chose paracletus for his Vulgate (405) version, which Wycliffe then translated as "Comforter," and this term became very influential for the following early English versions (1525–1755), except for Mace (1729), which has "Advocate." In the apostolic writings paraklētos occurs only five times, all in John (14:16, 26; 15:26; and 1Jn 2:1). Each occurrence adds to the scope the Advocate's work. Bible versions are divided in translating the term here as Advocate, Comforter, Counselor, or Helper. In reality all these functions are combined in the work of the Spirit. But, considering the historical usage in biblical and extra-biblical sources, "advocate" seems the best choice and is used in several modern versions (LEB, NAB, NEB, NET, NIV, NLT, NRSV).
would not: Grk. ou mē, lit. "not never," the strongest manner of expressing negation. come: Grk. erchomai, aor. subj. See verse 2 above. to: Grk. pros, prep. It is noteworthy that Yeshua does not use eis ("into") or en ("in, within") here. Rather pros was chosen to convey the fact of the Advocate would be coming to be in a very close association with the disciples. you: Grk. humeis. but: Grk. de, conj. if: Grk. ean. I should go: Grk. poreuomai, aor. pass. subj., may mean (1) to move from one area to another, to go or to make one's way or (2) in an ethical sense, to conduct oneself, live, walk. The verb is also used fig. of going to one's death (Luke 22:33). In the LXX poreuomai translates mainly Heb. halak (SH-1980), to go, come, walk, first occurring in Genesis 3:14 (DNTT 3:946).
The verb often has the literal sense of going, journeying or traveling (e.g., Gen 12:4). In contrast to LXX usage poreuomai in the Besekh seldom mentions the physical act of walking. The verb poreuomai is used previously of Yeshua going to his death (Luke 13:33; 22:22; John 13:33, 36-38). He also used the verb of going or returning to the Father (John 13:3, 12, 28), which seems to be the point of the verb in this verse. I will send: Grk. pempō, fut. See verse 5 above. Him: Grk. autos, pers. pron. to you: Grk. humeis. In 14:26 Yeshua said that the Father would send the Advocate in his name, which is tantamount to what he says here. It wasn't as if Yeshua thought to himself, "since I'm leaving I don't want the disciples to be alone, so I'll provide a replacement."
The sending of the Advocate (the Holy Spirit, verse 13 below) was always part of the sovereign plan to empower God's people and had been prophesied by Israel's prophets (Isa 44:3; Ezek 36:26-27; Joel 2:28-29; Zech 12:10; Matt 3:11). Lightfoot's assertion that the Holy Spirit had been absent from Israel for four hundred years (3:407) misinterprets Yeshua's promise. The "four hundred years" is the span of time from Malachi to the first century and there is no historical evidence to support Lightfoot's claim. Since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God it is impossible that any part of God's creation should be void of His Spirit. Moreover, the apostolic narratives depict the activity of the Holy Spirit before Yeshua's ministry even began (Matt 1:18; 3:16; 4:1; Luke 1:15, 41, 67; 2:25-26).
8 "And having come He will convict the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment;
Yeshua proceeds to explain (through verse 15) the ministry of the Holy Spirit as operating in two major areas, first in relation to the world, and then in relation to the disciples. In each of these areas the Spirit has three activities. In relation to the world the Spirit will convict of sin, righteousness and judgment. In relation to the disciples the Spirit will guide them into all truth, disclose what is to come and glorify Yeshua.
And: Grk. kai, conj. having come: Grk. erchomai, aor. part. See verse 2 above. He: Grk. ekeinos, masc. demonstrative pron., lit. "that one." will convict: Grk. elenchō, fut., used in evaluating or responding to improper behavior and may mean (1) expose wrongdoing; bring to light, expose; (2) disapprove of wrongdoing; reprove, show fault; or (3) offer convincing evidence of wrongdoing; refute, convict; charge, accuse. The last meaning fits here. In the LXX elenchō is used in the great majority of cases to translate Heb. yakach, to bring to account, to decide, adjudge, approve, correct (first in Gen 21:25) (DNTT 2:140).
In the Tanakh the verb often has a legal character and used alongside the terms mentioned in this verse (cf. Isa 29:21; Ezek 3:26; Hos 4:4; Amos 5:10; Mal 2:7). Tenney notes that KJV translates elenchō as "reprove," but objects that this translation is not strong enough. "The Spirit does not merely accuse men of sin, he brings to them an inescapable sense of guilt so that they realize their shame and helplessness before God."
In other words, the Spirit is the prosecuting attorney who presents God's case against those who have violated God's commandments. The accomplishment of conviction by the Holy Spirit is a mystery just as the new birth. People can be persuaded by other people about ideas, proposals and philosophies. Conviction of the important issues listed here can only come from God. Tenney suggests that the Spirit creates a personal awareness of sinfulness so that it cannot be dismissed with an excuse or evaded by claiming that "everybody is doing it."
the world: Grk. ho kosmos, order, world, has a variety of uses in the Besekh and other Jewish literature, including (1) the orderly universe, especially as created by God (Wsd 9:9; 2Macc 7:23; 4Macc 5:25); (2) the earth as the place of habitation; (3) the world as mankind, sometimes in reference to a segment of population; and (4) representative of people and values opposed to God. In the LXX kosmos occurs five times for Heb. tsaba, the "hosts of heaven and earth," i.e., the stars (Gen 2:1; Deut 4:19), but the meaning of kosmos as "the world of mankind" is only found in Apocryphal writings.
A number of passages in the Besekh use "world" to refer to the nations outside the land of Israel (Matt 24:14; Luke 12:30; John 14:22), but the term is also used in some passages of the Jewish world (John 3:17; 6:14, 33; 12:47; 14:19; 16:28; 17:6). concerning: Grk. peri, prep. with an orientational aspect relating to being near or having to do with something; about, concerning. sin: Grk. hamartia may refer to (1) a behavioral action, a misdeed that creates liability, every departure from the way of righteousness; (2) the result of sinning or the condition of being sinful; or (3) an invasive evil power.
Hamartia is the dominant word for sin in the Besekh. In Greek culture hamartia meant to fail and could mean anything from stupidity to law-breaking, anything that did not conform to the community ethic (DNTT 3:577). In the LXX hamartia translates a range of Hebrew words for guilt and sin, particularly Heb. chata (miss, go wrong, lapse, sin; Gen 20:6; 39:9) and avon (iniquity, guilt, punishment for iniquity; Gen 15:16). Throughout Scripture a sin is a violation of God's written commandments.
and: Grk. kai. concerning: Grk. peri, prep. righteousness: Grk. dikaiosunē, a state that is in accord with standards for acceptable or anticipated behavior, uprightness, righteousness, justice. In the LXX dikaiosunē normally translates Heb. tsedaqah (SH-6666), first used in Genesis 15:6 of Abraham's faithfulness being considered as righteousness. The noun is often used to describe the character of God (Ps 5:8; 35:24; Isa 5:16; 42:21; Jer 9:24), as well as the Davidic king, the Messiah (Ps 72:1; Jer 23:5) (DNTT 3:354).
In the Tanakh the concept of tsedaqah refers to right or ethical character and behavior that is in keeping with the covenantal relationship with God. So, righteousness is more relational than legal. In the Tanakh tzedakah also carries the sense of salvation (deliverance) and judgment (justice). Righteousness primarily has human relationships as its focus and therefore righteousness strengthens the community.
and: Grk. kai. concerning: Grk. peri, prep. The triple repetition of the preposition reflects a Hebraic manner of expression. judgment: Grk. krisis is used primarily to mean scrutiny of conduct, either evaluation or procedure, mostly in a legal sense; judgment. The noun is also used of a local court responsible for administration of justice; of saving help; and of responsible or right decision. In the LXX krisis translates primarily Heb. mishpat (SH-4941), judgment (e.g., Gen 18:19; Ex 15:25; Lev 19:15; Num 35:12; Deut 1:17), which most often refers to the act of deciding a case, the decision itself, or the execution of the judgment.
Krisis is also used to translate Heb. shephet (SH-8201), judgment, usually in reference to God's great acts of judgment (Ex 6:6); Heb. darash (SH-1875), to seek or inquire, for a decision of God (Ex 18:15); and Heb. rib (SH-7379), quarrel, to litigate, to carry on a lawsuit (Ex 23:2-3).
In Scripture the Spirit brings conviction by two principal methods. Sometimes there is a direct divine encounter. Job repented after being chastised personally by God (Job 38:1-2; 42:6). Paul repented after being confronted by Yeshua on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:3-4, 17-18; 22:6-10; 26:12-19). The most common means for the Spirit to bring conviction is through the word proclaimed by God's messenger. Scripture contains a number of such examples.
King David repented with heartfelt penitence (Psalm 51) after being confronted by Nathan the prophet (2Sam 12:7). The city of Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes after the message of Jonah (Jon 3:1-10). Israelites returning from exile repented at the message of Zechariah (Zech 1:1-6). Many hundreds repented at hearing the message of Yochanan the Immerser (Matt 3:5-6). Three thousand were convicted and repented after hearing Peter's Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:37-41). On a subsequent occasion five thousand more responded positively to Peter's message (Acts 3:19; 4:4). The book of Acts is a record of such divine success in city after city.
Unfortunately, the divine work of conviction offers no guarantee of change. Cain did not heed the voice of ADONAI (Gen 4:6-7). During the time of Noah millions heard his message but they continued in wickedness to their judgment (Gen 6:3-5; Heb 11:7; 1Pet 3:18-20; 2Pet 2:5). The Hebrew prophets repeatedly called Israelites to repentance (Isa 30:15; 31:6; 44:22; Jer 3:12-14; Ezek 14:6), but their message was met with stubbornness and the nation was taken into captivity. In the apostolic era Jewish leaders rejected the message of the apostles (such as Peter, Stephen and Paul) and reacted against them with censure (Acts 4:21; 5:40), imprisonment (Acts 5:18) and violence (Acts 5:40; 7:54), just as Yeshua prophesied.
9 concerning sin indeed, because they are not trusting in me;
concerning: Grk. peri, prep. sin: Grk. hamartia. See the previous verse. indeed: Grk. mén, conj., a particle of affirmation; indeed, verily, truly. Most versions do not translate this particle, but it gives added emphasis to the proposition presented. because: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 3 above. they are not: Grk. ou, adv. trusting: Grk. pisteuō, pres., in general Greek usage means to have confidence or faith in the reliability or trustworthiness of some thing or someone. In the LXX pisteuō translates Heb. aman, to confirm or support, first used in Gen 15:6 where it describes Abraham's response to God. The Hebrew verb also means to be true, reliable or faithful, and to stand firm or trust (BDB 52).
The great majority of versions translate pisteuō here as "believe", but such a translation can be misleading to the reader unfamiliar with biblical language. In the Hebrew culture the verb does not convey an intellectual agreement with a philosophical proposition or a formal creed. A verb describes action of the person, and "trust" stresses both attitude and behavior. The action presumes being convinced of God's existence, generosity and faithfulness to His promises (Heb 11:6). If one is truly convinced, then one trusts; if one believes and trusts, then one is faithful and produces works of faithfulness (cf. Matt 7:21; Acts 21:20; Jas 2:18-19; 1Jn 3:23-24). A few versions translate the verb as "trust" (AMPC, CJB, NLV).
So, believing, trusting and being faithful are inseparable (cf. Matt 7:21). in: Grk. eis, prep., lit. "into." me: Grk. egō, first person pronoun. Trusting "into" Yeshua describes a relationship. In context the sin being described is rejection by Judean authorities concerning Yeshua's identity and mission. From their perspective they didn't "need" Yeshua. As a general principle sin is the barrier to a divine-human relationship, so the Spirit must convict the person of the sin in order to receive God's mercy and begin a life with God.
10 moreover concerning righteousness, because I go away to the Father, and you no longer see me;
moreover: Grk. de, conj. concerning: Grk. peri, prep. righteousness: Grk. dikaiosunē. See verse 8 above. The Torah defines the nature of righteousness and Yeshua in the flesh was the perfect example of character and conduct that exemplified Torah righteousness (Acts 3:14; 2Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1Pet 2:22; 1Jn 2:29; 3:5). because: Grk. hoti, conj. I go away: Grk. hupagō, pres. See verse 5 above. to: Grk. pros, prep. the Father: Grk. ho patēr. See verse 3 above. Yeshua going to the Father probably refers to his exaltation to the right hand of God (Acts 2:33; 5:31; 7:55-56; Col 3:1; Heb 10:12; 12:2; 1Pet 3:22) and his assumption of the role as mediator (cf. Rom 8:34; 1Tim 2:5; Heb 7:25; 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). Tenney notes that Yeshua's return to the right hand of God was a complete vindication of all he had done.
and: Grk. kai, conj. you no longer: Grk. ouketi, adv. of cessation of an activity or condition; no longer, no more. The adverb carries no implication of "never again" (Morris 702). see: Grk. theōreō, pres., 2p-pl., may mean (1) physically observe as a spectator, pay attention to; behold, look at, observe, see, watch; (2) conclude on the basis of personal experience; consider, infer, see; or (3) have awareness in depth; perceive. The first meaning has application here. The present tense is used here for an anticipated future event.
me: Grk. egō, first person pronoun. The cessation of seeing Yeshua would occur after forty days. After the ascension the only ones reported to have seen him was Stephen (Acts 7:55), Paul (Acts 9:5; 23:11) and John (Rev 1:13; 5:6). It's also possible that Paul saw Yeshua when he was taken to the third heaven and saw things he was not permitted to share (2Cor 12:2-4). Yeshua points out the reality that he will not be seen publicly again until the Second Coming when every eye will see (Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7).
The reason given for the Spirit's conviction of the world concerning righteousness may seem strange on the surface. What does conviction of righteousness and Yeshua going to the Father have to do with one another? The focus of conviction in this arena is to convince the sinner that he has violated that divine standard, as opposed to some human tradition, is declared guilty by the Heavenly Judge and requires divine mercy mediated through a blood sacrifice. Atonement requires the awareness that mediation with God is necessary.
God has always provided that mediatorial service, originally accomplished through Moses and the Aaronic priests (Ex 29:38-46; Num 21:7; 1Sam 2:25) and now through Yeshua (Heb 5:1-10; 7:26-27). In his first two sermons Peter will confront his audience with the righteousness of Yeshua and the wickedness of the Sanhedrin's actions (Acts 2:22-23; 3:13-15, 26). Those sermons brought about great conviction in the hearts of Jews and proselytes gathered in Jerusalem for Shavuot and produced a harvest of righteousness, over 8,000 Messianic disciples (Acts 2:41; 4:4).
11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
and: Grk. de, conj. concerning: Grk. peri, prep. judgment: Grk. krisis. See verse 8 above. The commission of sin automatically invokes the judgment of God and the behavior evaluated as to its lack of conformity to Torah commandments and the righteousness of the Messiah. The resulting condemnation puts the sinner in danger of the judgment to come when Messiah returns (Matt 25:31; 2Cor 5:10). because: Grk. hoti, conj. the ruler: Grk. archōn, one who has eminence in a ruling capacity or one who has administrative authority, used of appointees in a government capacity. Normally, the term is used of human authority figures, whether in the synagogue or the temple, but here it is applied to a single power.
of this: Grk. houtos, masc. demonstrative pron. world: Grk. kosmos. See verse 8 above. In this verse "world" is that which is opposed to God, although the use of the modifier "this" might point more specifically to the Jewish leaders whom Yeshua had previously accused of being children of the devil (John 8:44). However, the ruler of the world in the present age is none other than Satan, the adversary of God and His people (Luke 4:5-6; John 12:31; 14:30; 2Cor 4:4; Eph 2:2; 6:12; 1Jn 4:4; 5:19; Rev 12:9).
has been judged: Grk. krinō, perf. pass., to subject to scrutiny and evaluation of behavior, to judge, whether in a personal, congregational or legal context. A continuum of judgment may be defined: observe, distinguish, evaluate, analyze, and decide, with the result being positive or negative. In the LXX krinō is used mainly to translate three different Heb. words: din, rib and shaphat, all of which have application in the legal sense (DNTT 2:363). The perfect tense points to an event that occurred in the past with continuing results to the present. The verb likely refers to the judgment of the evil one that occurred in the beginning as described in Isaiah 14:11-15 and Ezekiel 28:11-19.
Thus, the judgment of Satan is a fixed condition and will remain so into eternity (Rev 20:10). The first judgment in the world was of Satan for his rebellion, so judgment of the human sinner is on the same order. Sin is rebellion against God's authority and judgment vindicates God's prerogative over His creation.
12 "I have yet many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now.
I have: Grk. echō, pres., to have, hold or possess with a wide range of application. yet: Grk. eti, adv., a function word used to express (1) continuance of an action or circumstance, or (2) addition. The second usage applies here. Versions are divided between translating the adverb as "yet," "still," or "more." many things: pl. of Grk. polus, adj., extensive in scope, which may relate to (1) number; many, much, numerous; or (2) high degree of quantity or quality; extensive, great, large, many, much, plentiful. The first meaning applies here with a nuance of the second. to say: Grk. legō, pres. inf. See verse 4 above. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. but: Grk. alla, conj.
you are not: Grk. ou, adv. able: Grk. dunamai, pres. mid., to be capable of doing or achieving, to have power; be able, can do. to bear them: Grk. bastazō, pres. inf., may mean (1) take up something from a position; lift; (2) sustain a burden; bear, carry; (3) remove from a position; remove, pilfer, steal. The second meaning applies here. now: Grk. arti, adv. expressing concurrence of event with time viewed as present, (just) now. While Yeshua had explained many things about the Kingdom of God to his disciples (Matt 13:11, 16), he had not revealed all the secrets of the Kingdom. Significant revelations would come later particularly to Peter, Paul and John, as well as to the other apostles who produced literary works of the Besekh.
13 "However, when the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you in all truth; for He will not speak from Himself, but whatever He will hear, He will speak; and He will disclose to you the things coming.
Now Yeshua explains how the Spirit will minister in relation to the disciples. However: Grk. de, conj. when: Grk. hotan, conj. See verse 4 above. the Spirit: Grk. pneuma (for Heb. ruach), wind, breath or spirit as the animating force for bodily movement (Luke 8:55). Pneuma is used frequently for transcendent beings (Matt 8:16; Heb 1:14), particularly the Holy Spirit as God's self-expression (Gen 1:2; Mark 1:10). The noun "Spirit" is not the title of a separate being, because God is Spirit (pneuma ho theos, John 4:24), just as God is the Word (John 1:1). of truth: Grk. alētheia. See verse 7 above. Yeshua had twice previously described the Advocate as the "Spirit of truth" in his last supper discourse (14:17; 15:26).
While late Jewish literature speaks of "a spirit of truth" in contrast to "a spirit of error" (1QS 3:18f; Test. Jud. 20:1, 5; cf. 1Jn 4:6), Yeshua's description of the Holy Spirit as the "Spirit of truth" is unique in all of Jewish literature. Just as Yeshua is "the truth" (14:6) so the Holy Spirit is the truth. The Spirit is the advocate of the truth about the righteousness of Yeshua, the guilt and consequences sin, and the judgment to come (verses 8-11 above). has come: Grk. erchomai, aor. subj. See verse 2 above. He: Grk. ekeinos, demonstrative pron., lit. "that one."
will guide: Grk. hodēgeō, fut., be of help in reaching a destination, whether in a physical sense (Matt 15:14) or in a metaphorical sense relating to moral or spiritual direction, as here. Rienecker says the verb pictures a guide who introduces the traveler into an unknown country. you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. in: Grk. en, prep. generally used to mark position, lit. "in" or "within." Almost all versions translate the preposition as "into," denoting direction. The translation of "in" seems better since the disciples were already "in" Messiah who is the truth. The disciples knew much truth, but there was much more to be revealed. The boundaries of their knowledge of the truth were going to be expanded. all: Grk. pas, adj. See verse 2 above. truth: Grk. alētheia.
"All truth" is not equivalent to the modern mantra that "all truth is God's truth," which conceals a lie. It is quoted by people who wish to blend worldly philosophy (with its roots in Greek philosophies) and evolutionistic theory (with its roots in Darwinism and humanism) and biblical principles, of which Paul warned disciples to avoid (Col 2:8; cf. Job 17:12; Isa 5:20; Heb 3:12). "Truth" is grounded in the revelation of Scripture, which does not contradict the proven facts of science. "Truth" does not dismiss what the Bible says in its historical narratives. "Truth" does not discount the miracles recorded in the Bible as legends. "Truth" does not ignore or challenge the authority of the apostles over matters of ethics, morals and congregational life. Disciples have a duty to examine every teaching to determine whether it conforms to Scripture and the truth (1Cor 14:29).
for: Grk. gar, conj. He will not: Grk. ou, adv. speak: Grk. laleō, fut. See verse 1 above. from: Grk. apo, prep. with the root meaning of "off, away from" (DM 101), generally used to denote separation, and here indicates a point of origin; from. Himself: Grk. heautou, reflexive pronoun of the third person to denote that the agent and the person acted on are the same. but: Grk. alla, conj. whatever: Grk. hosos, relative pronoun denoting maximum inclusion; as much as, whatever. He will hear: Grk. akouō, fut., properly to hear aurally and in Scripture with the focus on willingness to listen or to heed the substance of what is said. In the LXX akouō consistently stands for Heb. shama, which not only means to apprehend with the ears, but also to accept and to act upon what has been heard (DNTT 2:173). Metzger comments that the verb emphasizes the eternal relationship of the Holy Spirit with the Father.
He will speak: Grk. laleō, fut. Tenney comments that the Spirit would not present an independent message, differing from what they had already learned from him. The apostles would be led further into understanding Yeshua's identity and the Kingdom principles he had already instructed. and He will disclose: Grk. anangellō, fut., may mean (1) report or relay, of persons returning from a place; or (2) provide information, disclose, announce, proclaim, teach (BAG). Yeshua assures his disciples that the intimate communication between Father and Spirit will be shared. to you: Grk. humeis. the things: Grk. ho, definite article used as a demonstrative pron. coming: Grk. erchomai, pres. mid. part. The "things coming" pertains to coming events, which would relate to both their own lives and ministries, but particularly to the end of the present age and the age to come.
14 "He will glorify me; for He will take of mine, and disclose to you.
He: Grk. ekeinos, masc. demonstrative pron., lit. "that one." will glorify: Grk. doxazō, fut., (from doxa, "glory"), enhance esteem or reputation through word (of praise) or action to honor. In the LXX doxazō translates Heb. navah (SH–5115), to beautify, adorn with praises (Ex 15:2), but principally kabad (SH–3513), to be weighty, to be honored or praised (Lev 10:3; Ps 15:4). me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. The third function of the Spirit in relation to the disciples is to foster esteem and honor of Yeshua. The Spirit will not seek to make Himself prominent but to magnify the person of Yeshua in all his offices and roles: King, Messiah, Mediator, Redeemer, and Savior. It should be no surprise, then, that the name of Yeshua is mentioned in the Spirit-inspired Besekh at least three times more than the Spirit.
To the extent that disciples make their lives all about the Spirit rather than Yeshua they fail to understand the role of the Spirit and deprive themselves of what the Spirit was sent to do. The distinction between these two orientations is profound. For many modern Christians being primarily Spirit-focused means living by the Spirit's inspiration in decision-making, enjoying the fellowship of believers, and worshipping in the Spirit, often expected to be an extraordinary emotional and spiritual experience. To be primarily Messiah-focused means being committed to the high demands Yeshua makes of a disciple (Luke 14:27). The Spirit was sent to cleanse our hearts of what stands in the way of full obedience to Yeshua's commands (John 17:17; Acts 15:9; Heb 9:14) and then empower a righteous life that fulfills the expectations of Torah (cf. Rom 8:2-4).
for: Grk. hoti, conj. He will take: Grk. lambanō, fut. mid. The verb marks the transit of something from a position to another person who is the agent with the latter being also the receptor; to take (active) or receive (passive). of: Grk. ek, prep. mine: Grk. emos, an emphatic possessive pronoun for the first person (Thayer); my, mine. The pronoun occurs 46 times in the apostolic narratives (37 in the book of John), all either on the lips of Yeshua referring to what is connected directly to him (e.g., my words, my name, my love, my disciples, my body, etc.) or in parables of what belongs to the key figure which symbolizes him. and disclose: Grk. anangellō, fut. See the previous verse. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. The Spirit interprets and applies the character and teaching of Yeshua to the disciples in order to make him central in their lives.
Many disciples are prone to think "What would the Spirit have me do," when the Spirit actually says, "What would Yeshua do?" Disciples are called to manifest the life of Yeshua (Rom 8:2; 1Cor 2:2; 2Cor 13:5; Eph 5:1; Php 2:5; Heb 12:2; 1Pet 2:21). The fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-24) are in reality reflections of the character of Yeshua, because the Spirit is the Spirit of Yeshua (Acts 16:7; Rom 1:4; 8:9; Php 1:19; 1Pet 1:11).
15 "All things whatever the Father has are mine; because of this I said that He takes of mine, and discloses it to you.
All things: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. See verse 2 above. whatever: Grk. hosos, relative pron. See verse 13 above. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above. has: Grk. echō, pres. See verse 12 above. are: Grk. eimi, pres. See verse 4 above. mine: Grk. emos, poss. pron. See the previous verse. As Morris notes the work of the Spirit to focus attention on Yeshua does not exclude the Father. The sharing of what belongs to the Father with the Son is a repetitive theme in the book of John. In particular what belongs to the Father is His sovereign plan to fulfill promises made to the patriarchs concerning the Messiah and His kingdom in the present age and the age to come. The secret things belong to God, but He has chosen to reveal them to His servants (cf. Deut 29:29; Amos 3:7; Mark 4:11; Rom 11:25; 16:25; Eph 1:9; 3:3-9; Col 1:26).
because of: Grk. dia, prep., lit. "through," but here signifying a causal function. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. Yeshua thus explains the reason for his statement in the previous verse. I said: Grk. legō, aor. See verse 4 above. that: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 3 above. The word is used here to introduce a direct quotation and functions as quotation marks. He takes: Grk. lambanō, pres. See the previous verse. The present tense is used to emphasize an intentioned purpose. of mine: Grk. emos. and discloses: Grk. anangellō, pres. See verse 13 above. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. Taken together verses 14-15 emphasize the triunity of God.
Prophecy of Death and Return, 16:16-22
From this point to the end of the chapter Yeshua addresses certain assumptions and thought-processes he discerns in his disciples. He speaks truth that they would only fully understand after his resurrection.
16 "A little while, and you no longer see me; and again a little time, and you will see me."
Verses 16-19 contains repetitive material, which is typical of Hebraic narrative writing. A little while: Grk. mikros, adj., relatively limited in extent, used (1) of persons as a measure of physical height, age and social position relative to importance, influence or power; (2) of things whether in size, number, significance or time; and (3) as a substantive to mean a short time, a little while (BAG). The third usage is intended here. Yeshua uses this same expression in 13:33 and 14:19 of how much longer he would be with his disciples, as well as in 12:35 but there adds chronos, time. In the LXX mikros (in its neuter form mikron) appears about 190 times to translate a variety of concepts of which Heb. qatan (SH-6996), small, young, unimportant (first in Gen 19:11) and Heb. me'at (SH-4592), a little, fewness (first in Gen 24:17), are the most frequent (DNTT 2:428).
Generally, these Hebrew words denote quantity, physical size or age. However, mikros is used once for Heb. qatan to denote shortness of time (Isa 54:7) and for Heb. me'at six times to mean a brief time (Ex 17:4; Prov 6:10; SS 3:4; Isa 10:25; 29:17; Hos 1:4). Of course, in prophetic writings the brevity of time is from God's perspective. The use of mikros indicates that Yeshua is not talking about the remote future, but less than 24 hours. and: Grk. kai, conj. you no longer: Grk. ouketi, adv. See verse 10 above. see: Grk. theōreō, pres., 2p-pl. See verse 10 above. Yeshua meant the verb in the ordinary sense of observing as they did in the last supper.
me: Grk. egō, 1p-sing. pers. pron. and: Grk. kai, conj. again: Grk. palin, adv., may mean (1) "back," when used with verbs involving motion; or (2) "again, once more, anew" when someone repeats something he has already done (BAG). The second meaning applies here. a little time: Grk. mikros. and: Grk. kai, conj. you will see: Grk. horaō, fut. mid., 2p-pl., to perceive physically with the eye, or in a fig. sense to experience extraordinary mental or inward perception. me: Grk. egō. Yeshua meant the second "see me" in the physical sense of his resurrected state, but also in the sense of experiencing revelation.
17 Therefore his disciples said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little time, and you will not see me; and again a little time, and you will see me;' and that, 'I go to the Father?'"
Therefore: Grk. oun, conj., an inferential conj., which may (1) indicate a conclusion connected with data immediately preceding, 'so, therefore, consequently, then;' (2) indicate that one takes account of something in the narrative immediately preceding, 'then;' or (3) simply indicate a stage in the narrative, 'so, then.' The first application fits here. his: Grk. autos, pers. pron. disciples: pl. of Grk. mathētēs (from manthanō, to learn), one who learns through instruction from a teacher. In the Besekh the noun occurs only in the apostolic narratives and corresponds to the Heb. talmid (SH-8527, scholar or pupil). See the note on John 1:35.
Being a disciple of Yeshua required four particular qualities. First, to be a disciple required sacrifice. Traveling the country meant leaving behind family, security and living under austere conditions. This was not a life of luxury. Simon Peter alluded to his sacrifice when he spoke of leaving everything to follow Yeshua (Matt 19:27). The rich young ruler was not willing to pay this price to be a disciple (Matt 19:21-22). Second, to be a disciple required commitment. Devotion to the rabbi came before all other obligations (Luke 9:57-61; 14:26). Once the commitment was made turning back would have been equivalent to rebellion against God (Luke 9:62). The disciple left behind his ordinary life and embraced an extraordinary life with his rabbi.
Third, to be a disciple required humility. A disciple came to the rabbi with an inquiring mind, a desire to know. He did not have answers, but he sought answers about God and spiritual things. He knew the rabbi had the answers (John 6:68). This humility is illustrated by the rabbinic saying "Let your home be a meeting-house for the sages, and cover yourself in the dust of their feet, and drink in their words thirstily" (Avot 1:4; translation by Bivin 12). Miriam, sister of Martha, demonstrated this humility when she sat at the feet of Yeshua (Luke 10:39). Fourth, to be a disciple required obedience (Matt 28:19). The rabbi's will became the disciple's will. The rabbi directed, the disciple obeyed. The only authority greater in the disciple's life would be God.
said: Grk. legō, aor. See verse 4 above. to: Grk. pros, prep. The preposition emphasizes face to face communication. one another: pl. of Grk. allēlōn, reciprocal pron., each other, one another. What: Grk. tís, interrogative pron.; who, which, what. is: Grk. eimi, pres. See verse 4 above. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. that: Grk. hos, relative pron. he says: Grk. legō, pres. to us: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. A little time: Grk. mikros, adj. See the previous verse. and you will not: Grk. ou, adv. see: Grk. theōreō, pres. See verse 10 above. me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. and again: Grk. palin, adv. See the previous verse. a little time: Grk. mikros. and you will see: Grk. horaō, fut. mid. See the previous verse. me: Grk. egō.
and: Grk. kai, conj. that: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 3 above. The conjunction is used here to introduce a direct quotation and functions as quotation marks. I go: Grk. hupagō, pres. See verse 5 above. to: Grk. pros. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above. Taken at face value "going to the Father" might be interpreted as pertaining to the ascension. Yet, Yeshua was going to meet the Father on the cross (Luke 23:34, 46) as he carried out the Father's will (Matt 26:42). The commonly accepted fiction that the Father abandoned Yeshua on the cross is based on a misinterpretation of Mark 15:34. The disciples were clearly confused by Yeshua's statements, both by the concept of his going to the Father and by the time element involved. Confusion was to be expected given that the disciples did not really expect Yeshua to die.
18 Then they kept asking, "What is this that he says, 'A little time?' We do not understand what he is talking about."
Then: Grk. oun, conj. they kept asking: Grk. legō, impf. See verse 4 above. Tenney suggests that the imperfect tense of the verb shows that they must have held a consultation among themselves about the matter and that the discourse did not proceed as an uninterrupted lecture. For Yeshua's part he kept silent while they talked. What: Grk. tís, interrogative pron. is: Grk. eimi, pres. See verse 4 above. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. that: Grk. hos, relative pron. he says: Grk. legō, pres. A little time: Grk. mikros, adj. See verse 16 above. Yeshua has spoken four times of departing in "a little while," yet from their perspective there was a failure to communicate.
We do not: Grk. ou, adv. understand: Grk. oida, perf., to have seen or perceived, hence to know. The perfect tense functions as a present. The verb oida is used for experiential knowledge whether (1) in an objective sense to have information about or have a close relationship or interest in another; know; or (2) have discernment about some matter; perceive, understand. In the LXX oida occurs frequently to translate Heb. yada (e.g., Num 11:16; Deut 1:39; Josh 2:4; 2Sam 19:6), which in most occasions refers to a personal knowledge, whether of knowing persons or knowing by experience, as well as knowing by learning (DNTT 2:395). what: Grk. tís. he is declaring: Grk. laleō, pres. See verse 1 above. The disciples simply could not grasp what Yeshua meant by his words.
19 Yeshua knew that they wanted to ask him, and he said to them, "Are you discussing with one another about this, that I said, 'A little time, and you will not see me, and again a little time, and you will see me?'
Yeshua: Grk. Iēsous, a transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua ("Jesus" in Christian Bibles). Yeshua is a contraction of the Hebrew name Y’hoshua ("Joshua"), which means "YHVH [the LORD] is salvation" (BDB 221). The meaning of his name is explained to Joseph by an angel of the Lord, "You shall call his name Yeshua, for he will save his people from their sins" (Matt 1:21). The English use of "Jesus" originated with the Mace New Testament in 1729. By virtue of His incarnation and Jewish mother, Yeshua must still be a Jew. For more information on the meaning our Lord's name, his identity, and the history of translation of the name see my web article Who is Yeshua?
knew: Grk. ginōskō, aor. See verse 3 above. that: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 2 above. they wanted: Grk. thelō, impf., to have a desire for something or have a purpose for something; will, wish, desire. to ask: Grk. erōtaō, pres. inf., seek an explanation. See verse 5 above. him: Grk. autos, pers. pron. and he said: Grk. legō, aor. See verse 4 above. to them: pl. of Grk. autos. It is not uncommon for Yeshua to ask a question of which he already knows the answer. Are you discussing: Grk. zēteō, pres., may mean (1) be on the search for in order to find someone or something one has difficulty in locating; seek, look for; (2) search for ways to satisfy an interest; deliberate, discuss; (3) have an interest in; desire, seek; or (4) press for; expect, demand. The second meaning has application here.
with: Grk. meta, prep. See verse 4 above. one another: Grk. allēlōn, reciprocal pron. See verse 17 above. about: Grk. peri, prep. See verse 8 above. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. that: Grk. hoti, used here to introduce a quotation. I said: Grk. legō, aor. A little time: Grk. mikros. See verse 16 above. and you will not: Grk. ou, adv. see: Grk. theōreō, pres. See verse 16 above. me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. and again: Grk. palin, adv. See verse 16 above. a little time: Grk. mikros. and you will see: Grk. horaō, fut. mid. See verse 16 above. me: Grk. egō. Yeshua's question does not really expect an answer. He simply lets them know that he is aware of their confusion.
20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be grieved, but your distress will change into joy.
Truly: Grk. amēn ("ah–mayn") reflects a strong affirmation, meaning "so let it be" or "truly." In the LXX amēn transliterates the Heb. ’amen (ah–mayn, SH–543), which means "it is true, so be it, or may it become true." The Heb. root aman means "to confirm or support." The word amēn reflects an Hebraic conviction that God’s words were to be reverently received. In typical Jewish usage the singular amēn points to something previously said (Stern 26). For example, in the Torah people responded with "amen" for each of the curses as they were pronounced (Deut 27:15 +11t) and on other occasions "amen" was a congregational response to a public blessing of God (1Chr 16:36; Neh 5:13; Ps 106:48).
In the Synoptic narratives amēn occurs 57 times in declarative statements of Yeshua, of which 34 are unique. According to standard versions amēn is used to introduce axiomatic statements in Kingdom instruction, parables and prophecies. Stern contends, though, that many of those occurrences follow Jewish practice and rather than introducing statements the "amen" actually affirms the sentence spoken immediately before. (Examine the context of Matt 5:18, 26; 6:2, 5, 16; 10:15, 42; 13:17; 18:18; 23:36; 24:34, 47; and 26:13).
Christian interpreters may have assumed "amen" begins statements because of the arbitrary verse divisions imposed on the Greek text in the mid-16th century by Robert Stephanus (aka Robert Estienne). However, Yeshua sometimes uses "amen" to introduce a declaration (e.g., Matt 8:10; 11:11; 16:28; 17:20; 19:23; 21:21; 24:2; 25:12, 45; 26:21). Similar usage does occur in the Tanakh (1Kgs 1:36; Jer 28:6). However, Yeshua employs amēn in a different manner here.
truly: Grk. amēn is repeated. In the Besekh the double use of amēn occurs only in the Book of John (25 times). The double "amen" does occur in the Tanakh as a response to a priestly declaration (Num 5:22; Neh 8:6), as well as in the construction "amen and amen" as the appropriate affirmation of a blessing (Ps 41:13; 72:19; 89:52). However, Yeshua uses "amēn amēn" as a prefix to the statement that follows, which is without parallel in Jewish literature (Morris 169).
There is no good reason not to accept the grammar as authentic and Yeshua was quite capable of being innovative. The double use of amēn reinforces the complete reliability and truthfulness of Yeshua's prophetic teaching. Moreover, the double "amen," spoken in the presence of God, asserts the character of the Messiah who is the Truth (John 14:6) and implies God's endorsement.
I say: Grk. legō, pres. See verse 4 above. to you: Grk. humeis, plural pronoun of the second person, "you apostles," but by extension the pronoun may refer to all his devoted followers. that: Grk. hoti, conj. Yeshua introduces a sharp contrast between the reaction of his opponents and the disciples to his death. you: Grk. humeis. will weep: Grk. klaiō, fut., 2p-pl., express grief or sorrow aloud, to cry, sob or weep. This verb does not express a silent dropping of tears, but a vocal cry, a loud demonstrative form of mourning, a wailing. In the LXX klaiō is used mostly to translate Heb. bakah, weep, cry aloud (DNTT 2:416).
The verb bakah expresses profound grief (1Sam 1:7; Lam 1:16), and also deep sorrow in mourning for the dead (Gen 50:1). The Synoptic Narratives report that Peter wept after the prophecy of the cock crowing was fulfilled (Matt 26:75; Mark 14:72; Luke 22:62), but Yeshua speaks here of weeping in relation to his death. The only weeping in John's narrative after this chapter is that of Miriam of Magdala (John 20:11, 13, 15). Luke reports the weeping of women while Yeshua was en route to the cross (Luke 23:28), but Mark is the only one who reports the weeping of the eleven disciples after the crucifixion (Mark 16:10).
and: Grk. kai, conj. lament: Grk. thrēneō, fut., 2p-pl., to express deep sorrow, which may be expressed by singing a dirge as part of a ritual or mourning or lamenting without focus on ritual as here. This verb occurs only four times in the Besekh, twice in quoting a popular proverb as characteristic of the present evil generation (Matt 11:17; Luke 7:32). The verb is used in Luke 23:27 to describe the mourning of women who followed Yeshua to his crucifixion. but: Grk. de, conj. the world: Grk. ho kosmos. See verse 8 above. The term is used here primarily of the Judean authorities and other adversaries that wanted Yeshua dead.
will rejoice: Grk. chairō, fut. pass., to be in a state marked by good feeling about an event or circumstance; be happy, glad, delighted, rejoice. The Judean authorities will think they are safe in maintaining the status quo of their corrupt power. Their celebration violates the principle laid down by Solomon, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, or let your heart be glad when he stumbles, or ADONAI may see it as evil in His eyes" (Prov 24:17-18 TLV). They will rejoice in their smug self-righteousness and self-justification, and in so doing bring down the wrath of God on their heads.
You: Grk. humeis. will be grieved: Grk. lupeō, fut. pass., 2p-pl., to experience distress, sorrow or grief. but: Grk. alla, conj. See verse 2 above. your: Grk. humeis. sorrow: Grk. lupē. See verse 6 above. will change: Grk. ginomai, fut. mid., to transfer from one state to another, and here means to undergo a state of existence, change or development; lit. "become." into: Grk. eis, prep. joy: Grk. chara, joy as an emotional response that may be experienced in a variety of circumstances or of sharing in a celebration.
Yeshua's words may allude to the promise given to Israel of how their mourning over exile would be turned into joy by their return to the land, nothing less than national resurrection (Jer 31:7-8, 13). Only the resurrection of Yeshua could produce the dramatic change in emotional state of his disciples from grief to joy.
21 "When the woman delivers she has distress, because her time has come; but when she has birthed the infant, she no longer remembers the anguish, because of the joy that a man has been born into the world.
It may seem unusual for Yeshua to compare the before and after emotional reaction of his disciples to his death and resurrection by analogy of a woman giving birth. After all, what does a man know of a woman's experience in giving birth (unless he had witnessed it)? Yet, knowledge of this experience is common enough to make the point.
When: Grk. hotan, conj. See verse 4 above. the woman: Grk. gunē, an adult female person, without respect to age, marital or social status except as defined in the context. In the LXX gunē translates the Heb. ishshah ("woman"). The first usage of ishshah is of the woman given to Adam as a wife (Gen 2:22). delivers: Grk. tiktō, pres. subj., to cause to come into being, usually of delivering a child from the womb. In ancient times delivery was normally accomplished at home (except in this story) with the aid of a midwife (e.g. Ex 1:15-21). Women delivered their babies while kneeling or squatting, usually on a birthing stool or birthing bricks (Ex 1:16), if available.
she has: Grk. echō, pres. See verse 12 above. distress: Grk. lupē. See the previous verse. The term refers here to labor. because: Grk. hoti, conj. her: Grk. autē, fem. pers. pron. hour: Grk. hōra. See verse 2 above. has come: Grk. erchomai, aor. See verse 2 above. but: Grk. de, conj. when: Grk. hotan. she has birthed: Grk. gennaō, aor. subj., cause to come into being; to father, beget children or bear children (BAG). Here the verb emphasizes the role of a woman in giving birth to a child.
the infant: Grk. paidion, child with an age range from new-born to pre-adolescent youth; infant, child. she no longer: Grk. ouketi, adv. See verse 10 above. remembers: Grk. mnēmoneuō, pres. See verse 4 above. The verb does not connote amnesia. In Scripture remembering is a purposeful act. So after giving birth and the tress of labor and delivery past, the mother refocuses her mind on the outcome.
the anguish: Grk. thlipsis (from thlibō, to press or crush), distress that is the result of outward circumstances; distress, affliction, suffering, trouble. In the LXX thlipsis translates several Hebrew words that denote need, distress, affliction, or trouble, from personal hostility to war and exile (e.g., Gen 35:3; Ex 4:31; Ps 4:1; 9:9; Isa 10:3) (DNTT 2:807). because of: Grk. dia, prep. the joy: Grk. chara. See the previous verse.
that: Grk. hoti. a man: Grk. anthrōpos, human being, man or mankind. In the LXX anthrōpos translates three Hebrew words: (1) adam, SH-444, used for a human male or generically for humans as a contrast to animals (e.g., Gen 1:26, 27; 2:5); (2) ish, SH-376, an adult male or husband (Gen 2:23, 24) and (3) enosh, SH-582, a man or mankind, often signifying the aspect of weakness and mortality (Job 5:17; Ps 8:4-5) (DNTT 2:564).
has been born: Grk. gennaō, aor. pass. into: Grk. eis, prep. the world: Grk. ho kosmos. See verse 8 above. The "world" may simply refer to the actual environment in which people live, but it likely hints at the world as a place hostile to the will of God. The phrase "the joy that a man has been born into the world" could be an allusion to Yeshua's own birth and the joy his mother Miriam experienced at the birth of the Savior and Messiah of Israel.
22 "And you therefore now indeed have distress; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Yeshua summarizes and repeats what he said in the two previous verses. And: Grk. kai, conj. you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. therefore: Grk. oun, conj. now: Grk. nun, adv. See verse 5 above. indeed: Grk. mén, conj. See verse 9 above. have: Grk. echō, pres. See verse 12 above. distress: Grk. lupē. See verse 6 above. but: Grk. de, conj. I will see: Grk. horaō, fut. mid. See verse 16 above. you: Grk. humeis. again: Grk. palin, adv. See verse 16 above.
and your: Grk. humeis. heart: Grk. kardia. See verse 6 above. will rejoice: Grk. chairō, fut. pass. See verse 20 above. Tenney observes the narrative in verses 19-22 "develops the post-resurrection period as a time in which the disciples' fears were quelled, their doubts dispelled, and their commission confirmed." and no one: Grk. oudeis, adj. See verse 5 above. will take: Grk. airō, pres., may mean (1) to cause to move upward; raise up, lift; or (2) move by lifting or taking from one position to another; take away, remove, carry off. The second meaning applies here.
your: Grk. humeis. joy: Grk. chara. See verse 20 above. from: Grk. apo, prep. See verse 13 above. you: Grk. humeis. Joy as a human emotion can be subject to circumstances, but Yeshua speaks of a joy that lasts. This joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52; Gal 5:22), and it is this joy that will enable the disciples to endure difficult times with poise (cf. 1Th 1:6).
Prophecy of Ascension and Mediation, 1:23-28
23 "And in that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, anything you would request the Father in my name, He will give to you.
And: Grk. kai, conj. in: Grk. en, prep. that: Grk. ekeinos, demonstrative pron., "the one there." day: Grk. hēmera may refer to (1) the daylight hours from sunrise to sunset, (2) the civil or legal day that included the night, (3) an appointed day for a special purpose or (4) a longer or imprecise period, such as a timeframe for accomplishing something or a time of life or activity (BAG). The third usage applies here. Yeshua does not define which "day" he means, but he may mean the day he goes to his Father (the ascension) as mentioned in verse 28 below.
you will ask: Grk. erōtaō, fut., seek an explanation. See verse 5 above. A few versions translate the verb as the noun "question" (ASV, MW, NJB, NLV, NOG, PNT, WEB). Most versions translate this verb and the one that follows meaning "to ask" as "ask," which may obscure the difference between the two verbs. This verb is not associated with prayer. Some versions translate the verb with the verb "question" (DLNT, Marshall, MRINT, NAB, NASB). nothing: Grk. oudeis, adj. See verse 5 above. of me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. The pronoun is in the genitive case, which qualifies the relation or characteristic of one noun to another and is generally translated with "of." Most versions treat the pronoun as dative case to make it an indirect object of "ask." A few versions do have "of me" (CJB, ESV, NEB, NRSV, OJB, RSV).
Most versions give the false impression that Yeshua is saying on a certain day in the future (post-resurrection) and before his actual ascension his disciples will ask him no questions. However, we know from the narrative of John 21 and Acts 1 that the apostles did in fact have questions for him. Since Scripture cannot contradict itself, then Yeshua meant something else. The answer lies in the correct translation of his self-reference, "of me." There will be no question in their minds of Yeshua's true identity (cf. John 21:10). After his resurrection the truth of his claim to being the Messiah, Son of God and Son of Man would be self-evident.
Truly, truly: See verse 20 above. I say: Grk. legō, pres. See verse 4 above. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. anything: Grk. tis, indefinite pron., a certain one, someone, anyone, anything. you would: Grk. an, disjunctive particle that nuances a verb with contingency or generalization; would, ever, might. request: Grk. aiteō, aor. subj., to ask in expectation of a response; ask, ask for, request. The verb is often associated with prayer. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above. in: Grk. en, prep. my: Grk. egō. name: Grk. onoma is used in its central sense of identifying someone with a proper name. In Hebrew literature "name" also carries the extended sense of qualities, powers, attributes or reputation. In this context "in my name" conveys authority to act as an agent.
He will give: Grk. didōmi, fut., to give, often with the focus on generosity. In the LXX didōmi generally translates Heb. natan, to give, used in one of three settings (1) by men one to another; (2) by men to God; and (3) by God to men (DNTT 2:41). to you: Grk. humeis. Yeshua promises that the Father will respond favorably to the proper use of the authority. This promise is not a carte blanche ("blank check") to satisfy selfish or sinful desires, because the only requests that will be granted are those that are truly good and in accordance with the lifestyle will of God (Matt 7:11; 1Jn 5:14). In addition, other principles of effective prayer must be satisfied:
• Confidence in God, trust (Mark 11:24; John 11:22; Heb 11:6)
• Character of the one praying (Prov 15:29; Mark 3:35; Col 1:10; 1Jn 3:22)
• Persistence in seeking (Isa 62:7; Matt 7:7-8; Luke 18:1; 1Th 5:17)
• Simplicity (Matt 6:7-8)
• Submission to God’s sovereign will (Rom 1:10; Jas 4:15)
• Specificity (1Sam 1:17, 27; 1Kgs 3:5; 2Chr 1:7; Matt 7:7-8; Luke 1:13; 18:41; Rom 1:10; Jas 5:16)
• Patience, waiting on the Lord (Ps 37:7; Isa 30:18; 1Pet 5:10)
We should note that this promise applies first and foremost to the apostles to whom Yeshua had given the authority to "bind and loose" (Matt 16:19; 18:18). Yeshua has repeated this promise for his apostles several times in the upper room discourse (also the next verse and verse 26 below). Paul expressed that he had this same authority from Yeshua (1Cor 11:23; 14:37; 15:3; Gal 1:12; Col 3:24). Other disciples do have the privilege to ask of the Father in the name of Yeshua as stated in the Sermon on the Mount, "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you" (Matt 7:7 NASB). Jacob affirms this principle in his instruction about prayer (Jas 5:14). However, we should not presume to have the scope of authority possessed by the apostles.
24 "Until now you have requested nothing in my name; ask, and you will receive, in order that your joy may be made full.
Until: Grk. heōs, prep., a particle marking a limit, here of time; till, until, as far as. now: Grk. arti, adv. See verse 12 above. you have requested: Grk. aiteō, aor. See the previous verse. Yeshua uses the verb to mean requesting a favor or something that will satisfy a personal desire. nothing: Grk. oudeis, adj. See verse 5 above. in: Grk. en, prep. my: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. name: Grk. onoma. Considering the previous verse Yeshua means "you have requested nothing of the Father in my name." He does not mean the disciples had never made requests of him in the past. For example, John and Jacob, the sons of Zebedee, had requested to sit on Yeshua's right and left in the kingdom (Mark 10:37).
ask: Grk. aiteō, pres. imp. The command here repeats his instruction from the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 7:7). The present tense here (as in Matt 7:7) emphasizes to begin and keep on asking, thus illustrating the virtue of persistence (Luke 18:1). and you will receive: Grk. lambanō, fut. mid. See verse 14 above. Yeshua does not promise how soon the request will be fulfilled. He only says the answer lies in the future. in order that: Grk. hina, conj. God has a purpose in answering prayer. your: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. joy: Grk. chara. See verse 20 above. may be: Grk. eimi, pres. subj. See verse 4 above. made full: Grk. plēroō, perf. pass. part. See verse 6 above. While Yeshua may be describing a person experiencing joy due to answered prayer, the plural pronoun is just as likely describing the shared joy of fellow disciples who rejoice over the answered prayer.
25 "I have spoken these things to you in metaphors; an hour is coming when I will speak no longer to you in metaphors, but I will declare to you plainly concerning the Father.
I have spoken: Grk. laleō, perf. See verse 1 above. these things: pl. of Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. in: Grk. en, prep. metaphors: pl. of Grk. paroimia, a communication designed to instruct by analogy, whether by (1) a pithy adage: proverb, maxim (2Pet 2:22); or (2) a relatively extended metaphor; illustration, comparison (here, John 10:6; 16:29). Mounce defines the term as 'parable, similitude, figurative discourse.' In other Jewish literature paroimia occurs only in Sirach and Philo where it has the meaning of a proverbial saying (BAG). The term does not occur in the Synoptic Narratives where Grk. parabolē ("parable") prevails, while parabolē does not occur in John.
Morris finds no significant difference between the two Greek words, saying that they both probably reflect something of the Hebrew mashal (SH-4912, "proverb, parable") (504). The Hebrew noun mashal derives from the verb mashal (SH-4911), meaning "to be like," and has a broad usage in the Tanakh: proverb, parable, by-word, prophetic figurative discourse, similitude, poem, and a sentence of ethical wisdom. The usage of paroimia in John has the meaning of an extended metaphor. The KJV has "proverbs," but Yeshua had not uttered pithy maxims as found in the book of Proverbs. The ASV has "dark sayings," a expression favored by Morris here (but not in his commentary on 10:6). A "dark saying" is a riddle or figure of speech that shadows some a lofty idea or important truth (Thayer).
A few versions make the noun an adverb with "figuratively" (MW, NIV, NLT, OJB). A popular translation is "figures of speech." The CJB has "illustrations" and the TLV has "metaphors." Yeshua has spoken during his last supper discourses in veiled language, but not all of it was obscure. He spoke as plainly as he could in the circumstances (see verse 28 below). Tenney attributes to lack of understanding among the disciples to their spiritual immaturity. This evaluation assumes they should have understood, but the revelation of what Yeshua meant could have only come after the resurrection and more directly after Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would be instructing them. an hour: Grk. hōra. See verse 2 above. is coming: Grk. erchomai, pres. mid. See verse 2 above for the expression "an hour is coming."
when: Grk. hote, temporal adv., when, at which time. I will speak: Grk. laleō, fut. no longer: Grk. ouketi, adv. See verse 10 above. to you: Grk. humeis. in: Grk. en. metaphors: pl. of Grk. paroimia. but: Grk. alla, conj. I will declare: Grk. apangellō, fut., may mean (1) to report back in response to a directive ; or (2) to relate as the result of personal experience, observation or other source of information; relate, report, declare. The second meaning applies here. to you: Grk. humeis. plainly: Grk. parrēsia means plain and direct speech; used here adverbially, 'plainly, openly.' concerning: Grk. peri, prep. See verse 8 above. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above.
In John's narrative Yeshua has spoken much of the Father, so the disciples might wonder what new thing will he reveal about the Father. Little is said in the apostolic narratives concerning Yeshua's post-resurrection instruction. Luke simply says that he spoke much of the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3), which is probably what Yeshua meant by his statement here.
26 "In that day you will ask in my name, yet I do not say to you that 'I will ask the Father for you;'
In: Grk. en, prep. that: Grk. ekeinos, demonstrative pron. day: Grk. hēmera. See verse 23 above. The temporal reference alludes to the expression "an hour is coming." you will ask: Grk. aiteō, fut. See verse 23 above. in: Grk. en, prep. my: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. name: Grk. onoma. See verse 23 above. The phrase "in my name" is equivalent to "with my authority." yet: Grk. kai, conj. See verse 3 above. The conjunction has an adversative function here. I do not: Grk. ou, adv. offering strong negation. say: Grk. legō, pres. See verse 4 above. to you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. that: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 3 above. The conjunction is used here to introduce a direct quotation and functions as quotation marks.
I: Grk. egō. will ask: Grk. erōtaō, fut. See verse 5 above. The verb is used here in the sense of making a request on behalf of someone. A few versions translate the verb as "pray" (ASV, CJB, KJV, NKJV, RSV), but this seems inappropriate since the verb is not normally associated with prayer and the context is Yeshua sitting next to the Father. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above. for: Grk. peri, prep. See verse 8 above. Here the preposition had the meaning of seeking an advantage or benefit and so could be translated "in behalf of" (DM 109). you: Grk. humeis. Yeshua is not denying his mediatory role (Rom 8:34; 1Tim 2:5; Heb 8:6; 12:24), but he simply means "I'm not going to ask the Father for what you can ask Him yourself."
This is a tremendous promise. Disciples can pray directly to the Father as Yeshua taught in his prayer (Matt 6:9). Moreover, praying "in Yeshua's name" has the assurance of success. This promise makes the whole system of intermediaries ("Mary" and the canonized saints) in Catholicism not only unnecessary but contrary to God's will.
27 for the Father Himself loves you, inasmuch as you have loved me, and have trusted that I came from the Father.
for: Grk. gar, conj. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above. Himself: Grk. autos, pers. pron. loves: Grk. phileō, pres., to manifest some act of kindness or affection toward someone, to love or regard with affection, to kiss, to like or be fond of, or to cherish inordinately. The verb, which occurs only 25 times in the Besekh, conveys an emotional content. In the LXX phileō translates Heb. aheb some 30 times, but aheb is a far more comprehensive word than phileō (DNTT 2:547). This is an uncommon verb used to describe God's love toward humans. Normally the word agapaō is used for God's love (John 3:16). Previously in John phileō is used to describe the Father's love for Yeshua (5:20). you: Grk. humeis, 2p-pl. pers. pron. This statement is tantamount to saying "God likes you."
inasmuch as: Grk. hoti, conj. See verse 3 above. The conjunction at this point in the declaration implies a certain quid pro quo. More likely Yeshua describes a shared experience since the very definition of "God" requires that He be able to act independently of human actions. you have loved: Grk. phileō, perf. This verb is used of Yeshua's love toward certain individuals (John 11:3, 36; 20:2). The only other usage of phileō for the love of a disciple toward Yeshua is of Peter in John 21:15-17. me: Grk. egō, pron. of the first pers. and have trusted: Grk. pisteuō, perf. See verse 9 above. that: Grk. hoti. I came: Grk. exerchomai, aor., to move away from a place or position, to go or come out.
from: Grk. para, prep. with the root meaning of beside (DM 108), conveys association, here with the sense of origin; from the side of. Yeshua used this preposition in John 6:46 to assert in an indirect manner that he came from God. Certain Pharisees used the same preposition in John 9:16 to deny that Yeshua came from God, but the man cured of blindness used the same preposition to declare that Yeshua came from God (John 9:33). the Father: The Son had complete union with the Father, but he humbled himself to take on the weakness of humanity (Php 2:6-7).
28 "I came from the Father, and have come into the world; again, I am leaving the world, and going to the Father."
I came: Grk. exerchomai, aor. See the previous verse. from: Grk. ek, prep. See verse 4 above. Yeshua used this preposition in John 8:42 when he asserted that he came from God. the Father: Grk. patēr. See verse 3 above. Of interest is that the phrase "from the Father" is never spoken by disciples. and have come: Grk. erchomai, perf. See verse 2 above. into: Grk. eis, prep. the world: Grk. ho kosmos. See verse 8 above. Since "world" contrasts with the point of origin in heaven, then "world" could have all four meanings listed above. Yet, there is also the aspect of his coming into the Jewish world.
again: Grk. palin, adv. See verse 16 above. Some versions give it a temporal translation with "now" (ESV, ISV, MSG, NAB, NCV, NEB, NIRV, NIV, NJB, NLT, TEV), but the adverb is simply used to mean "I'm telling you again what I said before." Other versions have "again" in the sentence structure as presented in my translation (CJB, HCSB, HNV, KJV, NKJV, NRSV, OJB, TLV). The MW and NASB inexplicably place "again" after "world," even though in the Greek text palin precedes the verb. Yeshua had not left the world on a previous occasion.
I am leaving: Grk. aphiēmi, pres., to release or let go; here with the sense of leaving behind. the world: Grk. ho kosmos. and going: Grk. poreuomai, pres. mid. See verse 7 above. to the Father: There is likely a double meaning to Yeshua's words. He is going to his death to fulfill the Father's will and later he will physically return to the Father in heaven. The saying contains a certain poignancy. Before creation of the universe and during the history of the world until the first century Yeshua had lived in the glorious environs of heaven.
The incarnation brought to Yeshua's full awareness the shortness of human life (cf. Ps 103:14-15). During this time he had the personal experience of family and friends. But, he was not leaving those dearest to him, because he will later promise "I am with you always" (Matt 28:20; cf. Heb 13:5). He was leaving the world with all its pain, sorrows and troubles, and those of his friends and family would have to endure until death would reunite them.
Affirmation of the Disciples, 1:29-30
29 His disciples said, "Behold, now you speak in openness, and are not speaking a metaphor.
His disciples: pl. of Grk. mathētēs. See verse 17 above. The plural noun does not mean they all spoke at once. Only one disciple may be intended, perhaps Thomas (cf. 14:5), with the others concurring. said: Grk. legō, pres. See verse 4 above. Behold: Grk. ide, interjection (the imp. of eidon, to see or perceive), used without regard to number of persons addressed to point out something to which the speaker wishes to draw attention; behold (BAG). now: Grk. nun, adv. See verse 5 above. you speak: Grk. laleō, pres. See verse 1 above. in: Grk. en, prep. openness: Grk. parrēsia. See verse 25 above. Many versions translate en parrēsia in the adverbial form as "plainly."
and are not: Grk. ou, adv. speaking: Grk. legō, pres. a metaphor: Grk. paroimia. See verse 25 above. The disciples admitted their puzzlement over Yeshua's figurative language. The comment of the disciple here indicates a flash of insight as if he had suddenly figured out what Yeshua meant. Stern likens it to a "child-like faith" (cf. Matt 18:3). In reality their understanding was still like the poor reflection of a mirror (1Cor 13:12).
30 "Now we know that you know all things, and have no need that anyone should question you; in this we believe that you came from God."
Now: Grk. nun, adv. See verse 5 above. we know: Grk. oida, perf. See verse 18 above. that: Grk. hoti, conj. you know: Grk. oida, perf. all things: pl. of Grk. pas, adj. The disciples do not mean that they believed Yeshua to be omniscient. A rabbi was the authority for his disciples (Heb. talmidim) in all matters related to understanding and applying Torah. The disciples express confidence that Yeshua knows everything there is to know about biblical and spiritual truth. and have: Grk. echō, pres. See verse 12 above. no: Grk. ou, adv. of strong negation. need: Grk. chreia, state or experience of necessity, need.
that: Grk. hina, conj. anyone: Grk. tis, indefinite pron. should question: Grk. erōtaō, pres. subj. See verse 5 above. you: Grk. su, pron. of the second pers. in: Grk. en, prep. this: Grk. houtos, demonstrative pron. See verse 1 above. we believe: Grk. pisteuō, pres. See verse 9 above. that: Grk. hoti. you came: Grk. exerchomai, aor. See verse 27 above. from: Grk. apo, prep. See verse 13 above. Compare the usage of para in verse 27 above and ek in verse 28 above to denote Yeshua's point of origin.
God: Grk. theos, the God of Israel. See verse 2 above. Of interest is that Nicodemus also uses this construction of apo theos in reference to Yeshua as an anointed teacher (John 3:2), thus the disciples' statement is not an affirmation of deity. They believed Yeshua was the Messiah sent by God and spoke for God (Matt 16:16). Conversely, John uses apo theos in John 13:3 where he asserts that Yeshua knew that "he came from God."
NOTE: In Peter's confession (Matt 16:16), he did not use "Son of the Living God" to assert deity, but rather as a synonym of Messiah. In first century Jewish culture the "Son of God" was the anointed deliverer who would sit on David's throne, as Nathanael said (John 1:49). It would take the resurrection for the disciples to recognize that Yeshua was truly God in flesh (John 20:28; cf. 2Cor 4:4; Php 2:6; Col 1:15; Heb 1:1-2).
Prophecy of Abandonment and Tribulation, 1:31-33
31 Yeshua answered them, "You are now believing?
Yeshua: Grk. Iēsous. See verse 19 above. answered: Grk. apokrinomai, aor. pass., to answer or reply to someone, whether to a question, request, exhortation, command, etc. In the LXX apokrinomai translates Heb. anah (SH-6030), to answer or respond to something said in conversation; to respond to an occasion and speak in view of circumstances or to testify or respond as a witness in a legal proceeding (BDB 772). them: pl. of Grk. autos, personal pronoun. You are now: Grk. arti, adv. See verse 12 above.
believing: Grk. pisteuō, pres., 2p-pl. See verse 9 above. Tenney says that Yeshua was skeptical of the firmness of the disciples' avowed belief. He knew all men (John 2:24). Morris says Yeshua's words might be taken as a statement (as implied by the verb "answered") rather than as a question. Yeshua is not calling into question the reality of their faith, but directing attention to its inadequacy. In this hour they do believe, but it has yet to be really tested.
32 "Behold, an hour is coming, and has come, that you should be scattered, each to his own, and I, you leave alone; yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Behold: Grk. idou, demonstrative interjection (the aor. mid. imp. of eidon, "to see"), that arouses the attention of hearers or readers. The Greek particle, like its corresponding Heb. word hinneh (SH-2009) in divine monologues or narratives (e.g., Gen 1:29), serves particularly as a call to closer consideration and contemplation of something, to introduce something new or to emphasize the size or importance of something; (you) see, look, behold (BAG). an hour: Grk. hōra. See verse 2 above. The term is used here of an appointed time. is coming: Grk. erchomai, pres. mid. See verses 2 and 25 above for this expression.
and: Grk. kai, conj. has come: Grk. erchomai, perf. The perfect tense points to a time in the past when the event now coming to pass was prophesied. that: Grk. hina, conj. See verse 1 above. Many versions translate the conjunction with the temporal reference "when," but the conjunction is used to express an intention. The point of the conjunction is "in order that Scripture will be fulfilled." you should be scattered: Grk. skorpizō, aor. pass. subj., cause to go in various directions; scatter, disperse. The verb alludes to the prophecy of Zechariah 13:7 which says "strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered." The Synoptic Narratives quote the actual verse (Matt 26:31; Mark 14:27).
each: Grk. hekastos, adj., in reference to an individual person or thing; each, every, every one. to: Grk. eis, prep. his own: Grk. ho idios, adj., belonging to oneself, one's own. Idios particularly emphasizes the nature of a relationship, so some versions insert "home." However, Yeshua does not say "home" (Grk. oikos) and the Synoptic Narratives indicate that the disciples remained together in Jerusalem after the arrest and crucifixion. The phrase probably indicates "each to his own thoughts and grief." There would be no comfort that they could give each other.
and I: Grk. kagō, conj., formed from combining kai and egō and serves to link in parallel a personal affirmation by way of addition to or confirmation of a preceding statement. you shall leave: Grk. aphiēmi, aor. subj., 2p-pl. See verse 28 above. alone: Grk. monos, adj., signifying the exclusion of any other entity; alone, only. yet: Grk. kai, conj. I am: Grk. eimi, pres. See verse 4 above. not: Grk. ou, adv. alone: Grk. monos. because: Grk. hoti, conj. the Father: See verse 3 above. is: Grk. eimi, pres. The present tense is natural for an abiding reality (Morris). with: Grk. meta, prep. See verse 4 above.
me: Grk. egō, first person pronoun. The Father had always been with Yeshua (cf. John 8:16, 29). Tenney suggests that Yeshua reveals disappointment and emotional tension. The sympathy and support of these men, imperfect as they were, meant much to him. On the contrary there is no hint of criticism in Yeshua's words, but he reveals the limitations of the disciples' faith. He may have wished that he could lessen the impact of the testing to come, but since he knows what will happen he simply states the facts.
33 "I have spoken these things to you, so that in me you might have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world."
I have spoken: Grk. laleō, perf. See verse 1 above. these things: pl. of houtos, demonstrative pronoun. Yeshua has used this phrase "I have spoken these things" previously in the last supper discourse in reference to important truth he had related (14:25; 15:11; 16:1, 4). to you: Grk. humeis, pl. second person pronoun. so that: Grk. hina, conj. in: Grk. en, prep. me: Grk. egō, first person pronoun. The phrase "in me" emphasizes Yeshua as a model to emulate, but idiomatically he means "united with me." Whatever Yeshua's emotional state might have been in the Garden as he communed with the Father in prayer, outwardly he maintained a calm and confident demeanor.
you might have: Grk. echō, pres. subj. See verse 12 above. The present tense is used of an action purposed. Yeshua points to the future. peace: Grk. eirēnē, peace, which may refer to either (1) a state of harmony as a result from cessation of hostilities, whether in political or personal relationships; or (2) a state of well-being, a characteristic of the Messianic age and divine favor. In the LXX eirēnē renders Heb. shalom (SH-7965), completeness, soundness, welfare, or peace (BDB 1022).
In Jewish culture shalom is never peace in the negative sense, the absence of conflict, but the possession of everything that makes for man's highest good. The biblical word "peace" is primarily relational in scope and does not necessarily depict an emotional state. Yeshua's desire that his disciples might have peace alludes to his earlier statement in 14:27, "Shalom I leave with you; my shalom I give to you."
In: Grk. en, prep. the world: Grk. ho kosmos. See verse 8 above. The term has the general sense of the place of habitation. you have: Grk. echō, pres. The present tense is used here to emphasize an anticipated future event. tribulation: Grk. thlipsis. See verse 21 above on "anguish." Just prior to Passover Yeshua had warned his disciples in his Olivet Discourse to expect tribulation (Matt 24:9). Throughout the apostolic writings tribulation is treated as a normal and expected experience for followers of Yeshua (Acts 14:22; Rom 5:3; 8:35; 12:12; Eph 3:13; 1Th 1:6; 3:3-4; 2Th 1:4; 2Tim 3:12; Heb 10:33; Rev 1:9).
but: Grk. alla, conj. take courage: Grk. tharseō, pres. imp., 2p-pl., have or take courage. The present imperative appeals to the disciples to start and keep on performing the action. HELPS says the verb is derived from tharsos, "emboldened from within," properly, bolstered within which supports unflinching courage and literally, to radiate warm confidence (exude "social boldness"). I have overcome: Grk. nikaō, perf., to win victory over; overcome, defeat. In Greek culture the verb meant to prevail, to conquer, to overcome or to vanquish, whether in a military battle, athletic contest, or a legal action (BAG). The verb is used especially of overcoming evil (Rom 12:21) or the evil one (1Jn 2:13-14).
the world: Grk. kosmos. Here the term refers to Yeshua's adversaries, both human and demonic. Paul characterizes Yeshua's overcoming the world as disarming the rulers and authorities (certainly including the Jewish leaders, but especially demonic powers) and triumphed over them (Col 2:15). Yeshua's announcement of victory before the crisis event is typical of divine promises in the Tanakh of victory before a battle (Deut 31:5; Josh 11:6; Jdg 6:16; 7:7; 20:28; 1Sam 9:16). There were two arenas in which Yeshua overcame. First, human powers were organized to orchestrate Yeshua's death, but they were powerless to prevent Yeshua's death from being an atoning sacrifice as prophesied in Scripture.
Second, Satan's power was employed to frustrate the Father's plan, by tempting Yeshua to cowardice and rejection of the divine mission (cf. Matt 4:3-10; 26:36-42), and failing that to keep him in the grave. However, Satan and his entire organization were impotent to prevent Yeshua's resurrection. Yeshua expressed complete confidence that he would overcome all the powers arrayed against him and his victory would be manifested in resurrection (John 14:2-3, 18, 28; 16:16, 22).
Stern comments that the life of a believer in the Messiah is not the proverbial rose garden, except, perhaps, for the thorns. Nevertheless, Yeshua encourages us with his victory. We too can overcome the world by overcoming the evil one (1Jn 2:13-14; 4:4; 5:4). Overcoming the world for the disciple, just as it was for Yeshua (John 14:31), does not mean fighting the world with weapons of the flesh (cf. John 18:36; 2Cor 10:3-5). Rather, overcoming means resisting the incentives to sin proceeding from the world and remaining faithful in obedience to God's will (Matt 28:20; Rev 12:11; 14:12).
BAG: Walter Bauer (1877-1960), A Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. trans. W.F. Arndt & F.W. Gingrich. The University of Chicago Press, 1957.
BDB: The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon. Oxford University Press, 1907. Reprinted by Associated Publishers and Authors, Inc., 1981. Online.
DM: H.E. Dana & Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament. The Macmillan Co., 1955.
Danker: F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament, University of Chicago Press, 2009.
DNTT: Dictionary of New Testament Theology. 3 Vols., ed. Colin Brown. Zondervan Publishing House, 1975.
HELPS: Gleason L. Archer and Gary Hill, eds., The Discovery Bible New Testament: HELPS Word Studies. Moody Press, 1987, 2011. (Online at BibleHub.com)
Lightfoot: John Lightfoot (1602–1675), A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (1859 ed.), 4 Vols. Hendrickson Pub., 1989. Online. [Church of England leader, educator and rabbinical scholar]
Metzger: Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd ed. German Bible Society, 1994.
Morris: Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1971.
Mounce: William D. Mounce, Mounce Concise Greek–English Dictionary of the New Testament. 2011. Online.
Rienecker: Fritz Rienecker (1897-1965), A Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, Vol. 1. Zondervan Pub. House, 1976.
Santala: Risto Santala, The Messiah in the New Testament in the Light of Rabbinical Writings. Trans. William Kinnaird. Keren Ahvah Meshihit, 1992. Online.
Stern: David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary. Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996.
Tenney: Merrill C. Tenney (1904-1985), John, Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 9. Software version 2.6. Zondervan Corp, 1989–1999.
Thayer: Joseph Henry Thayer (1828-1901), Greek–English Lexicon of the New Testament. Harper Brothers, 1889.
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