John vii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. This was the festival of Tabernacles, on which the Jews made tents, in imitation of those which were their habitations during their sojournment in the wilderness, for forty years. See Leviticus xxiii. 34. The Jews called it a festival day; though it consisted not of one, but of many days successively. (St. Augustine, tract. 28. in Joan.)

Ver. 3. These brethren of Christ were the relatives of the blessed Virgin, not her children. For, as in the sepuchre, were the body of our Saviour was deposited, no other mortal lay either before or since; so neither did the womb of Mary ever either before or after bear any other body but that of her divine Son. (St. Augustine, tract. 28. in Joan.)

Ver. 5. Neither did his brethren believe in him; by his brethren here, we are to understand his kindred, his townsmen or countrymen, at or about Nazareth. (Witham)

Ver. 8. Go you up to this festival day, which lasted eight days. — I go not with you, nor to be there at the first day, nor in that public manner as you desire. But when the feast was half over, about the fourth day, Jesus went thither in a private manner, yet so that when he arrived, he spoke publicly in the temple. (Witham)

Ver. 10. But why does he ascend to the festival day, when he said he would not? He did not say, I will not ascend, but only, I do not ascend; that is, in your company. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlvii. in Joan.) — Or, I do not go up to this festival, viz. the first or second day of the feast, which lasted eight days, and to which you wish me to ascend: but he went afterwards, when the first part of the festival was over. (St. Augustine, tract. 28. in Joan.)

Ver. 12. It was the people that held the favourable opinion of Christ, whilst on the contrary, the Scribes and Pharisees speak ill of him, saying, he seduceth not us, but he seduceth the multitude. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlviii. in Joan.)

Ver. 13. No one publicly took the part of Jesus, however favourable were their private sentiments; for the Jews hated and persecuted such as sided with him. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 15. Whilst the Jews proceeded no farther than to admire the wisdom of our Saviour, when they could easily have seen that what he taught he knew by the power of God, Christ himself reveals to them the source of his wisdom, saying: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlviii. in Joan.) — St. Thomas Aquinas, the great doctor of the schools, and styled the angelic doctor, informs us that in all the scriptural difficulties he met with, he uniformly had recourse to prayer, and that he acquired greater light and knowledge at the foot of his crucifix than from any books or masters. (Haydock)

Ver. 16. My doctrine is not mine; i.e. not mine only, but also the Father’s; from whom I proceed, and with whom I am always. (Witham)

Ver. 18. He is true: seeketh truth, and not his own glory. (Witham)

Ver. 19. The law of Moses prescribes that you shall not kill, but this law you transgress; for, why do you seek to kill me? You do not observe the law; otherwise you would learn from that law, that I am the Christ, and not seek to put me to death, when I appear amongst you. (St. Augustine, tract. 30, in Joan.) — If I cure on the sabbath-day, do not you also give circumcision, and also cure the wound on the sabbath? (Bible de Vence) — See ver. 23, of this chapter.

Ver. 20. Thou hast a devil: art possessed with a devil, mad, &c. (Witham)

Ver. 21. One work I have done. He means by healing the man at the pond, who had been ill thirty-eight years. (Witham) — Jesus here speaks of the cure that he had performed on the paralytic, eighteen months before, and which had scandalized the Jews. See Chap. v, ver. 9. et dein. of this gospel. (Bible de Vence)

Ver. 26. Have the rulers, &c. the chief priests, elders, and all the members of the great sanhedrim. (Witham)

Ver. 27. We know this man whence he is. They looked upon him as no more than a man, and they thought they knew his father to be St. Joseph; they knew his Mother and kindred. — But when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Thus said some of the people; but, doubtless, the more learned knew Christ was to be born at Bethlehem. (Witham) — The Jews had imbibed this opinion of the secrecy of the origin of Christ from the prophet Isaias, Chap. liii. Who shall relate his generation? But they likewise were acquainted with many other texts of Scripture relative to the Messias, which plainly point out the place of his birth, viz. Bethlehem, and also the place of his residence, when it is said, He shall be called a Nazarite. His generation is indeed unknown with regard to his divinity, as Christ himself told the Jews in his answer: He is true that sent me, but you know him not. But as to his humanity, his originis well known: You know me, and whence I am you know. (St. Augustine, tract. 31. in Joan.)

Ver. 28. You both know me; i.e. you know me as man, and where I have been educated. — But him that sent me, from whom I proceeded, and who sent me into this world to be its Redeemer, you know not; because you know not, that he was always, and from all eternity, my eternal Father, and I his eternal Son. (Witham)

Ver. 31. The faith of these was not at all sound, as appears from the following words, which they spoke. (St. Chrysostom, hom. xlix. in Joan.)

Ver. 32. The Pharisees understood well enough that his words signified he was their Messias, and the true Son of God. And they sent some servants to seize him, and bring him to them. (Witham)

Ver. 33. Yet a little while and I am with you: and then I go, and return to him that sent me, with whom I am always; but as man, I shall leave the world. (Witham)

Ver. 34. And shall not find me. Some understand it, you shall wish me conversing with you, as at present, healing diseases, &c. but as I shall suffer death shortly, you shall not find me. Others expound it, you shall seek for your Messias, but not owning me, who am truly he, you shall not find your Messias; and you cannot come to me in my kingdom of glory, because you will not believe in me. (Witham) — Or where I shall be. The present tense is not unfrequently used for the future, by the hagiographers. See Chap. xiii. 33.

Ver. 35. Will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, or to the dispersed Gentiles, and Jews among them to preach to them? (Witham)

Ver. 38. Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. By this living water, are signified the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were promised to the faithful. (Witham)

Ver. 39. As yet the spirit was not given, in that particular and extraordinary manner, because Jesus was not yet glorified by his ascension and the coming of the Holy Ghost. (Witham) — It is said that John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of his mother; that Zacharias, when he prophesied concerning his son, and the blessed Virgin, when she prophesied concerning our Lord, were both filled with the Holy Ghost; that Simeon and Anna were inspired by the Holy Ghost, to declare the greatness of Christ. How can this be otherwise reconciled with this text of St. John, that by saying that this gift of the Holy Ghost, after the ascension of Christ, was much more abundant than it had ever been before? It had something which essentially distinguished it from all preceding gifts. For we never read that men inspired by the Holy Ghost before the coming of Christ, spoke languages which they had never learned. (St. Augustine, 4 de Trin. chap. xx.) — The Holy Ghost is still received, but none speak with tongues: because the Church herself, being spread over the whole earth, speaks the languages of all. (St. Augustine, tract. 32. in S. Joan.) — The primitive Christians of Corinth consulted St. Paul on the subject of these spiritual gifts or graces, frequently communicated in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. In his Epistle, addressed to them, (1 Corinthians chap. xii.) he explains those gifts, and complains that some among the Corinthians made not a right use of these gifts; especially those who had the gift of tongues, and made use of it rather through vanity, than for the profit of others. In the last verse of 1 Corinthians chap. xii. he adds: But be zealous for the better gifts. And I shew to you a yet more excellent way. And in the 13th chapter, he describes the excellence, the characters of charity which he extols far above all other gifts. (Haydock)

Ver. 41. A prophet does not come from Galilee, but the Lord of the prophets does. (St. Augustine, tract. 38. in Joan.) — Without faith, without advantage, they again return to their habitations of infidelity and impiety. (Alcuin)

Ver. 49. But this multitude … are accursed; i.e. falls under the curses of the law, by being seduced and led away by false preachers. (Witham)

Ver. 52. They say to Nicodemus: Art thou also a Galilean, who defendest this Galilean, whereas no prophet, nor especially the Messias, comes from Galilee? (Witham) — A prophet, properly the prophet: for they could not be ignorant that the prophet Jonas was from Galilee. We have not indeed the article the in this verse, but we find it in ver. 40, with which this appears to correspond. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Christ goes up to the feast of the tabernacles: he teaches in the temple.

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee, for he would not walk in Judea: because the Jews sought to kill him.

2 Now the Jewish feast of *tabernacles was at hand.

3 And his brethren said to him: Pass from hence, and go into Judea, that thy disciples also may see thy works which thou dost.

4 For there is no man that doth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly: If thou do these things, manifest thyself to the world.

5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

6 Then Jesus said to them: My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready.

7 The world cannot hate you: but me it hateth: because I give testimony of it, that the works thereof are evil.

8 Go you up to this festival day, but I go not up to this festival day: because my time is not yet fulfilled.

9 When he had said these things, he himself staid in Galilee.

10 But after his brethren were gone up, then he also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

11 The Jews, therefore, sought him on the festival day, and said: Where is he?

12 And there was much murmuring among the multitude concerning him. For some said: He is a good man. And others said: No, but he seduceth the people.

13 Yet no man spoke openly of him, for fear of the Jews.

14 Now about the midst of the feast, Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15 And the Jews wondered, saying: How doth this man know letters, having never learned?

16 Jesus answered them, and said: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17 If any man do the will of him: he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be from God, or whether I speak from myself.

18 He that speaketh from himself, seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh the glory of him that sent him, he is true, and there is no injustice in him:

19 *Did not Moses give you the law: and none of you keepeth the law?

20 *Why seek you to kill me? The multitude answered, and said: Thou hast a devil; who seeketh to kill thee?

21 Jesus answered, and said to them: One work I have done: and you all wonder:

22 Therefore *Moses gave you circumcision: (not because it is of Moses, **but of the fathers,) and on the sabbath-day you circumcise a man.

23 If a man receive circumcision on the sabbath-day, that the law of Moses may not be broken: are you angry at me because I have healed the whole man on the sabbath-day?

24 *Judge not according to the appearance, but judge just judgment.

25 Some therefore of Jerusalem said: Is not this he whom they seek to kill?

26 And behold he speaketh openly, and they say nothing to him. Have the rulers known for a truth that this is the Christ?

27 But we know this man whence he is: but when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

28 Jesus, therefore, cried out in the temple, teaching and saying: You both know me, and you know whence I am: and I am not come of myself: but he that sent me, is true, whom you know not.

29 I know him: because I am from him, and he hath sent me.

30 They sought, therefore, to apprehend him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

31 But of the people many believed in him, and said: When the Christ cometh, shall he do more miracles than these which this man doth?

32 The Pharisees heard the people murmuring these things concerning him: and the rulers and Pharisees sent ministers to apprehend him.

33 Jesus, therefore, said to them: Yet a little while I am with you: and I go to him that sent me.

34 *You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, you cannot come.

35 The Jews, therefore, said among themselves: Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What is this saying that he hath said: You shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, you cannot come?

37 Now on the last *great day of the festivity, Jesus stood and cried out, saying: If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.

38 *He that believeth in me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 Now this he said of the spirit which they should receive who believed in him: for as yet the spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

40 Of that multitude therefore, when they had heard these words of his, some said: This is the prophet indeed.

41 Others said: This is the Christ. But some said: Doth the Christ come out of Galilee?

42 *Doth not the Scripture say: That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of Bethlehem, the town where David was?

43 So there arose a dissension among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have apprehended him: but no man laid hands upon him.

45 The ministers therefore came to the chief priests and the Pharisees. And they said to them: Why have you not brought him?

46 The ministers answered: Never did man speak like this man.

47 Then the Pharisees answered them: Are you also seduced?

48 Hath any one of the rulers believed in him, or of the Pharisees?

49 But this multitude, that knoweth not the law, are accursed.

50 Nicodemus said to them, *he that came to him by night, who was one of them:

51 Doth our law judge any man, unless it first hear him, *and know what he doth?

52 They answered, and said to him: Art thou also a Galilean? Search the Scriptures, and see that out of Galilee a prophet riseth not.

53 And every man returned to his own house.



2: Leviticus xxiii. 34.

19: Exodus xxiv. 3.

20: John v. 18.

22: Leviticus xii. 3. — ** Genesis xvii. 10.

24: Deuteronomy i. 16.

34: John xiii. 33.

37: Leviticus xxiii. 27.

38: Deuteronomy xviii. 15.; Joel ii. 28.; Acts ii. 17.

42: Micheas v. 2.; Matthew ii. 6.

50: John iii. 2.

51: Deuteronomy xvii. 8. and xix. 15.