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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 10)

10:1 {Verily, Verily} (Amˆn, amˆn). Solemn prelude by repetition as in 1:51. The words do not ever introduce a fresh topic (cf. 8:34,51,58). So in 10:7. The Pharisees had previously assumed (Vincent) they alone were the authoritative guides of the people (9:24,29). So Jesus has a direct word for them. So Jesus begins this allegory in a characteristic way. John does not use the word parabolˆ, but paroimia (verse 6), and it really is an allegory of the Good Shepherd and self-explanatory like that of the Prodigal Son in Lu 15. He first tells it in verses 1-5 and then explains and expands it in verses 7-18.
{Into the fold of the sheep} (eis tˆn aulˆn t“n probat“n). Originally aulˆ (from a“, to blow) in Homer's time was just an uncovered space around the house enclosed by a wall, then a roofless enclosure in the country where flocks were herded as here and verse 16. It later came to mean the house itself or palace (Mt 26:3,58, etc.). In the papyri it means the court attached to the house.
{Climbeth up} (anabain“n). Present active participle of anabain“, to go up. One who goes up, not by the door, has to climb up over the wall.
{Some other way} (allachothen). Rare word for old allothen, but in 4Macc. 1:7 and in a papyrus. Only here in N.T.
{The same} (ekeinos). "That one" just described.
{Is a thief and a robber} (kleptˆs estin kai lˆistˆs). Both old and common words (from klept“, to steal, lˆizomai, to plunder). The distinction is preserved in the N.T. as here. Judas was a kleptˆs (Joh 12:6), Barabbas a robber (18:40) like the two robbers (Mt 27:38,44) crucified with Jesus erroneously termed thieves like "the thief on the cross" by most people. See Mr 11:17. Here the man jumping over the wall comes to steal and to do it by violence like a bandit. He is both thief and robber.

10:2 {The shepherd of the sheep} (poimˆn estin t“n probat“n). No article with poimˆn, "a shepherd to the sheep." He comes in by the door with the sheep whom he leads. Old word is poimˆn, root meaning to protect. Jesus applies it to himself in verse 16 and implies it here. It is used of Christ in 1Pe 2:25; Heb 13:20. Paul applies it to ministers in Eph 4:11. Jesus uses the verb poimain“, to shepherd, to Peter (Joh 21:16) and Peter uses it to other preachers (1Pe 5:2) and Paul uses it for bishops (elders) in Ac 20:28. Our word pastor is simply Latin for shepherd. Christ is drawing a sharp contrast after the conduct of the Pharisees towards the blind man between himself and them.

10:3 {To him} (tout“i). "To this one," the shepherd, in dative case.
{The porter} (ho thur“ros). Old word for doorkeeper (thura, door, “ra, care, carer for the door). Used for man (Mr 13:34; Joh 10:3) or woman (Joh 18:16ff.), only N.T. examples. The porter has charge of the sheep in the fold at night and opens the door in the morning for the shepherd. It is not certain that Jesus meant this detail to have a special application. The Holy Spirit, of course, does open the door of our hearts for Jesus through various agencies.
{Hear his voice} (tˆs ph“nˆs autou akouei). Hear and heed (verse 27). Note genitive case ph“nˆs (accusative in 3:8).
{By name} (kat' onoma). Several flocks might be herded in the same fold overnight. But the shepherd knows his own (ta idia) sheep (verse 27) and calls their names. "It is still common for Eastern shepherds to give particular names to their sheep" (Bernard).
{And leadeth them out} (kai exagei auta). Old and common verb, present active indicative. The sheep follow readily (verse 27) because they know their own shepherd's voice and his name for each of them and because he has led them out before. They love and trust their shepherd.

10:4 {When he hath put forth all his own} (hotan ta idia panta ekbalˆi). Indefinite temporal clause with hotan and the second aorist (effective) active subjunctive of ekball“. No need of the "futurum exactum" idea, simply, "when he leads out all his own sheep." They are all out of the fold. He overlooks none. Ekball“ does mean "thrust out" if a reluctant sheep wishes to linger too long.
{He goeth before them} (emprosthen aut“n poreuetai). Staff in hand he leads the way in front of the flock and they follow (akolouthei) him. What a lesson for pastors who seek to drive the church like cattle and fail. The true pastor leads in love, in words, in deeds.

10:5 {A stranger} (allotri“i). Literally, "One belonging to another" (from allos, opposed to idios). A shepherd of another flock, it may be, not necessarily the thief and robber of verse 1. Note associative instrumental case after akolouthˆsousin (future active indicative of akolouthe“, verse 4). Note the strong double negative ou mˆ here with the future indicative, though usually with the aorist subjunctive (Aleph L W have it here). They simply will not follow such a man or woman, these well-trained sheep will not.
{But will flee from him} (alla pheuxontai ap' autou). Future middle of pheug“ and ablative case with apo. They will flee as if from a wolf or from the plague. Alas and alas, if only our modern pastors had the sheep (old and young) so trained that they would run away from and not run after the strange voices that call them to false philosophy, false psychology, false ethics, false religion, false life.

10:6 {This parable} (tautˆn tˆn paroimian). Old word for proverb from para (beside) and oimos, way, a wayside saying or saying by the way. As a proverb in N.T. in 2Pe 2:22 (quotation from Pr 26:11), as a symbolic or figurative saying in Joh 16:25,29, as an allegory in Joh 10:6. Nowhere else in the N.T. Curiously enough in the N.T. parabolˆ occurs only in the Synoptics outside of Heb 9:9; 11:19. Both are in the LXX. Parabolˆ is used as a proverb (Lu 4:23) just as paroimia is in 2Pe 2:22. Here clearly paroimia means an allegory which is one form of the parable. So there you are. Jesus spoke this paroimia to the Pharisees, "but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them" (ekeinoi de ouk egn“san tina ˆn ha elalei autois). Second aorist active indicative of gin“sk“ and note ˆn in indirect question as in 2:25 and both the interrogative tina and the relative ha. "Spake" (imperfect elalei) should be "Was speaking or had been speaking."

10:7 {Therefore again} (oun palin). Jesus repeats the allegory with more detail and with more directness of application. Repeating a story is not usually an exhilarating experience.
{I am the door of the sheep} (eg“ eimi hˆ thura t“n probat“n). The door for the sheep by which they enter. "He is the legitimate door of access to the spiritual aulˆ, the Fold of the House of Israel, the door by which a true shepherd must enter" (Bernard). He repeats it in verse 9. This is a new idea, not in the previous story (1-5). Moffatt follows the Sahidic in accepting ho poimˆn here instead of hˆ thura, clearly whimsical. Jesus simply changes the metaphor to make it plainer. They were doubtless puzzled by the meaning of the door in verse 1. Once more, this metaphor should help those who insist on the literal meaning of bread as the actual body of Christ in Mr 14:22. Jesus is not a physical "door," but he is the only way of entrance into the Kingdom of God (14:6).

10:8 {Before me} (pro emou). Aleph with the Latin, Syriac, and Sahidic versions omit these words (supported by A B D L W). But with or without pro emou Jesus refers to the false Messiahs and self-appointed leaders who made havoc of the flock. These are the thieves and robbers, not the prophets and sincere teachers of old. The reference is to verse 1. There had been numerous such impostors already (Josephus, "Ant". XVIII. i. 6; "War" II. viii. I) and Jesus will predict many more (Mt 24:23f.). They keep on coming, these wolves in sheep's clothing (Mt 7:15) who grow rich by fooling the credulous sheep. In this case "the sheep did not hear them" (ouk ˆkousan aut“n ta probata). First aorist active indicative with genitive. Fortunate sheep who knew the Shepherd's voice.

10:9 {The door} (hˆ thura). Repeated from verse 7.
{By me if any man enter in} (di' emou ean tis eiselthˆi). Condition of third class with ean and second aorist active subjunctive of eiserchomai. Note proleptic and emphatic position of di' emou. One can call this narrow intolerance, if he will, but it is the narrowness of truth. If Jesus is the Son of God sent to earth for our salvation, he is the only way. He had already said it in 5:23. He will say it again more sharply in 14:6. It is unpalatable to the religious dogmatists before him as it is to the liberal dogmatists today. Jesus offers the open door to "any one" (tis) who is willing (thelei) to do God's will (7:17). {He shall be saved} (s“thˆsetai). Future passive of s“z“, the great word for salvation, from s“s, safe and sound. The sheep that comes into the fold through Jesus as the door will be safe from thieves and robbers for one thing. He will have entrance (eisleusetai) and outgo (exeleusetai), he will be at home in the daily routine (cf. Ac 1:21) of the sheltered flock.
{And shall find pasture} (kai nomˆn heurˆsei). Future (linear future) indicative of heurisk“, old word from nem“, to pasture. In N.T. only here and 2Ti 2:17 (in sense of growth). This same phrase occurs in 1Ch 4:40. The shepherd leads the sheep to pasture, but this phrase pictures the joy of the sheep in the pasture provided by the shepherd.

10:10 {But that he may steal, and kill, and destroy} (ei mˆ hina klepsˆi kai thusˆi kai apolesˆi). Literally, "except that" (ei mˆ) common without (Mt 12:4) and with verb (Ga 1:7), "if not" (literally), followed here by final hina and three aorist active subjunctives as sometimes by hotan (Mr 9:9) or hoti (2Co 12:13). Note the order of the verbs. Stealing is the purpose of the thief, but he will kill and destroy if necessary just like the modern bandit or gangster.
{I came that they may have life} (eg“ ˆlthon hina z“ˆn ech“sin). In sharp contrast (eg“) as the good shepherd with the thieves and robbers of verse 1 came Jesus. Note present active subjunctive (ech“sin), "that they (people) may keep on having life (eternal, he means)" as he shows in 10:28. He is "the life" (14:6).
{And may have it abundantly} (kai perisson ech“sin). Repetition of ech“sin (may keep on having) abundance (perisson, neuter singular of perissos). Xenophon ("Anab". VII. vi. 31) uses perisson echein, "to have a surplus," true to the meaning of overflow from peri (around) seen in Paul's picture of the overplus (hupereperisseusen in Ro 5:20) of grace. Abundance of life and all that sustains life, Jesus gives.

10:11 {I am the good shepherd} (eg“ eimi ho poimˆn ho kalos). Note repetition of the article, "the shepherd the good one." Takes up the metaphor of verses 2ff. Vulgate "pastor bonus". Philo calls his good shepherd agathos, but kalos calls attention to the beauty in character and service like "good stewards" (1Pe 4:10), "a good minister of Christ Jesus" (1Ti 4:6). Often both adjectives appear together in the ancient Greek as once in the New Testament (Lu 8:15). "Beauty is as beauty does." That is kalos.
{Layeth down his life for his sheep} (tˆn psuchˆn autou tithˆsin huper t“n probat“n). For illustration see 1Sa 17:35 (David's experience) and Isa 31:4. Dods quotes Xenophon ("Mem". ii. 7, 14) who pictures even the sheep dog as saying to the sheep: "For I am the one that saves you also so that you are neither stolen by men nor seized by wolves." Hippocrates has psuchˆn katetheto (he laid down his life, i.e. died). In Jud 12:3 ethˆka tˆn psuchˆn means "I risked my life." The true physician does this for his patient as the shepherd for his sheep. The use of huper here (over, in behalf of, instead of), but in the papyri huper is the usual preposition for substitution rather than anti. This shepherd gives his life for the sin of the world (1:29; 1Jo 2:2).

10:12 {He that is a hireling} (ho misth“tos). Old word from mistho“, to hire (Mt 20:1) from misthos (hire, wages, Lu 10:7), in N.T. only in this passage. Literally, "the hireling and not being a shepherd" (ho misth“tos kai ouk “n poimˆn). Note ouk with the participle “n to emphasize the certainty that he is not a shepherd in contrast with mˆ eiserchomenos in verse 1 (conceived case). See same contrast in 1Pe 1:8 between ouk idontes and mˆ hor“ntes. The hireling here is not necessarily the thief and robber of verses 1,8. He may conceivably be a nominal shepherd (pastor) of the flock who serves only for the money, a sin against which Peter warned the shepherds of the flock "not for shameful gain" (1Pe 5:2). {Whose own} (hou idia). Every true shepherd considers the sheep in his care "his own" (idia) even if he does not actually "own" them. The mere "hireling" does not feel so.
{Beholdeth} (the“rei). Vivid dramatic present, active indicative of the“re“, a graphic picture.
{The wolf coming} (ton lukon erchomenon). Present middle predicate participle of erchomai. {Leaveth the sheep, and fleeth} (aphiˆsin ta probata kai pheugei). Graphic present actives again of aphiˆmi and pheug“. The cowardly hireling cares naught for the sheep, but only for his own skin. The wolf was the chief peril to sheep in Palestine. See Mt 10:6 where Jesus says: "Behold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves."
{And the wolf snatcheth them and scattereth them} (kai ho lukos harpazei kai skorpizei). Vivid parenthesis in the midst of the picture of the conduct of the hireling. Bold verbs these. For the old verb harpaz“ see Joh 6:15; Mt 11:12, and for skorpiz“, late word (Plutarch) for the Attic skedannumi, see Mt 12:30. It occurs in the vision of Ezekiel (Eze 34:5) where because of the careless shepherds "the sheep became meat to all the beasts of the field, and were scattered." Jesus uses harpaz“ in 10:29 where no one is able "to snatch" one out of the Father's hand.

10:13 {Because he is a hireling} (hoti misth“tos estin). And only that, without the shepherd heart that loves the sheep. Reason given for the conduct of the hireling after the parenthesis about the wolf.
{And careth not for the sheep} (kai ou melei aut“i peri t“n probat“n). Literally, "and it is no care to him about the sheep." This use of the impersonal melei (present active indicative) is quite common, as in Mt 22:16. But God does care (1Pe 5:7).

10:14 {I am the good-shepherd} (eg“ eimi ho poimˆn ho kalos). Effective repetition.
{And mine own know me} (kai gin“skousin me ta ema). Jesus as the Good Shepherd knows his sheep by name as he had already said (verse 3) and now repeats. Yes, and they know his voice (verse 4), they have experimental knowledge (gin“sk“) of Jesus as their own Shepherd. Here (in this mutually reciprocal knowledge) lies the secret of their love and loyalty.

10:15 {And I know the Father} (kag“ gin“sk“ ton patera). Hence he is qualified to reveal the Father (1:18). The comparison of the mutually reciprocal knowledge between the Father and the Son illustrates what he has just said, though it stands above all else (Mt 11:27; Lu 10:22; Joh 17:21-26). We cannot claim such perfect knowledge of the Good Shepherd as exists between the Father and the Son and yet the real sheep do know the Shepherd's voice and do love to follow his leadership here and now in spite of thieves, robbers, wolves, hirelings.
{And I lay down my life for the sheep} (kai tˆn psuchˆn mou tithˆmi huper t“n probat“n). This he had said in verse 11, but he repeats it now for clearness. This he does not just as an example for the sheep and for under-shepherds, but primarily to save the sheep from the wolves, the thieves and robbers.

10:16 {Other sheep} (alla probata). Sheep, not goats, but "not of this fold" (ek tˆs aulˆs tautˆs). See verse 1 for aulˆ. Clearly "his flock is not confined to those enclosed in the Jewish fold, whether in Palestine or elsewhere" (Westcott). Christ's horizon takes in all men of all races and times (Joh 11:52; 12:32). The world mission of Christ for all nations is no new idea with him (Mt 8:11; Lu 13:28). God loved the world and gave his Son for the race (John 3:16), {Them also I must bring} (kakeina dei me agagein). Second aorist active infinitive of ag“ with dei expressing the moral urgency of Christ's passion for God's people in all lands and ages. Missions in Christ's mind takes in the whole world. This is according to prophecy (Isa 42:6; 49:6; 56:8) for the Messiah is to be a Light also to the Gentiles. It was typified by the brazen serpent (Joh 3:14). Christ died for every man. The Pharisees doubtless listened in amazement and even the disciples with slow comprehension.
{And they shall hear my voice} (kai tˆs ph“nˆs mou akousontai). Future middle indicative of akou“ with the genitive ph“nˆs. These words read like a transcript from the Acts and the Epistles of Paul (Ro 9-11 in particular). See especially Paul's words in Ac 28:28. Present-day Christianity is here foretold. Only do we really listen to the voice of the Shepherd as we should? Jesus means that the Gentiles will hearken if the Jews turn away from him.
{And they shall become one flock, one shepherd} (kai genˆsontai mia poimnˆ, heis poimˆn). Future middle indicative of ginomai, plural, not singular genˆsetai as some MSS. have it. All (Jews and Gentiles) will form one flock under one Shepherd. Note the distinction here by Jesus between poimnˆ (old word, contraction of poimenˆ from poimˆn, shepherd), as in Mt 26:31, and aulˆ (fold) just before. There may be many folds of the one flock. Jerome in his Vulgate confused this distinction, but he is wrong. His use of "ovile" for both aulˆ and pomnion has helped Roman Catholic assumptions. Christ's use of "flock" (poimnˆ) here is just another metaphor for kingdom (basileia) in Mt 8:11 where the children of the kingdom come from all climes and nations. See also the various metaphors in Eph 2 for this same idea. There is only the one Great Shepherd of the sheep (Heb 13:20), Jesus Christ our Lord.

10:17 {For this reason} (dia touto). Points to the following hoti clause. The Father's love for the Son is drawn out (Joh 3:16) by the voluntary offering of the Son for the sin of the world (Ro 5:8). Hence the greater exaltation (Php 2:9). Jesus does for us what any good shepherd does (10:11) as he has already said (10:15). The value of the atoning death of Christ lies in the fact that he is the Son of God, the Son of Man, free of sin, and that he makes the offering voluntarily (Heb 9:14). {That I may take it again} (hina palin lab“ autˆn). Purpose clause with hina and second aorist active subjunctive of lamban“. He looked beyond his death on the Cross to the resurrection. "The purpose of the Passion was not merely to exhibit his unselfish love; it was in order that He might resume His life, now enriched with quickening power as never before" (Bernard). The Father raised Jesus from the dead (Ac 2:32). There is spontaneity in the surrender to death and in the taking life back again (Dods).

10:18 {No one taketh it away from me} (oudeis airei autˆn ap' emou). But Aleph B read ˆren (first aorist active indicative of air“, to take away), probably correct (Westcott and Hort). "John is representing Jesus as speaking "sub specie aeternitatis"" (Bernard). He speaks of his death as already past and the resurrection as already accomplished. Cf. Joh 3:16.
{Of myself} (ap' emautou). The voluntariness of the death of Jesus repeated and sharpened. D omits it, probably because of superficial and apparent conflict with 5:19. But there is no inconsistency as is shown by Joh 3:16; Ro 5:8. The Father "gave" the Son who was glad to be given and to give himself.
{I have power to lay it down} (exousian ech“ theinai autˆn). Exousia is not an easy word to translate (right, authority, power, privilege). See 1:12. Restatement of the voluntariness of his death for the sheep.

{And I have power to take it again} (kai exousian ech“ palin labein autˆn). Note second aorist active infinitive in both cases (theinai from tithˆmi and labein from lamban“), single acts. Recall 2:19 where Jesus said: "And in three days I will raise it up." He did not mean that he will raise himself from the dead independently of the Father as the active agent (Ro 8:11).
{I received from my Father} (elabon para tou patros mou). Second aorist active indicative of lamban“. He always follows the Father's command (entolˆ) in all things (12:49f.; 14:31). So now he is doing the Father's will about his death and resurrection.

10:19 {There arose a division again} (schisma palin egeneto). As in 7:43 in the crowd (also in 7:12,31), so now among the hostile Jews (Pharisees) some of whom had previously professed belief in him (8:31). The direct reference of palin (again) may be to 9:16 when the Pharisees were divided over the problem of the blind man. Division of opinion about Jesus is a common thing in John's Gospel (6:52,60,66; 7:12,25ff.; 8:22; 9:16f.; 10:19,24,41; 11:41ff.; 12:19,29,42; 16:18f.).

10:20 {He has a demon and is mad} (daimonion echei kai mainetai). As some had already said (7:20; 8:48 with the addition of "Samaritan"). So long before in Mr 3:21. An easy way of discounting Jesus.

10:21 {Of one possessed with a demon} (daimonizomenou). Genitive of present passive participle of daimoniz“. They had heard demoniacs talk, but not like this.
{Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?} (mˆ daimonion dunatai tuphlon ophthalmous anoixai;). Negative answer expected. Demons would more likely put out eyes, not open them. It was an unanswerable question.

10:22 {And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem} (egeneto de ta enkainia en tois Ierosolumois). But Westcott and Hort read tote (then) instead of de (and) on the authority of B L W 33 and some versions. This is probably correct: "At that time came the feast of dedication in Jerusalem." Tote does not mean that the preceding events followed immediately after the incidents in 10:1-21. Bernard brings chapter 9 up to this date (possibly also chapter 8) and rearranges chapter 10 in a purely arbitrary way. There is no real reason for this arrangement. Clearly there is a considerable lapse between the events in 10:22-39 and 10:1-21, possibly nearly three months (from just after tabernacles 7:37 to dedication 10:22). The Pharisees greet his return with the same desire to catch him. This feast of dedication, celebrated for eight days about the middle of our December, was instituted by Judas Maccabeus B.C. 164 in commemoration of the cleansing of the temple from the defilements of pagan worship by Antiochus Epiphanes (1Macc. 4:59). The word enkainia (en, kainos, new) occurs here only in the N.T. It was not one of the great feasts and could be observed elsewhere without coming to Jerusalem. Jesus had apparently spent the time between tabernacles and dedication in Judea (Lu 10:1-13:21). {Winter} (cheim“n). Old word from cheima (che“, to pour, rain, or from chi“n, snow). See Mt 24:20.

10:23 {Was walking} (periepatei). Imperfect active of peripate“, to walk around, picturesque imperfect.
{In Solomon's porch} (en tˆi stoƒi tou Solom“nos). A covered colonnade or portico in which people could walk in all weather. See Ac 3:11; 5:12 for this porch. This particular part of Solomon's temple was left uninjured by the Babylonians and survived apparently till the destruction of the temple by Titus A.D. 70 (Josephus, "Ant". XX. 9,7). When John wrote, it was, of course, gone.

10:24 {Came round about him} (ekukl“san auton). Aorist active indicative of kuklo“, old verb from kuklos (cycle, circle). See Ac 14:20 for the circle of disciples around Paul when stoned. Evidently the hostile Jews cherished the memory of the stinging rebuke given them by Jesus when here last, particularly the allegory of the Good Shepherd (10:1-19), in which he drew so sharply their own picture.
{How long dost thou hold us in suspense?} (he“s pote tˆn psuchˆn hˆm“n aireis;). Literally, "Until when dost thou lift up our soul?" But what do they mean by this metaphor? Air“ is common enough to lift up the eyes (Joh 11:41), the voice (Lu 17:13), and in Ps 25:1; 86:4 (Josephus, "Ant". III. ii. 3) we have "to lift up the soul." We are left to the context to judge the precise meaning. Clearly the Jews mean to imply doubt and suspense. The next remark makes it clear.
{If thou art the Christ} (ei su ei ho Christos). Condition of first class assumed to be true for the sake of argument.
{Tell us plainly} (eipon hˆmin parrˆsiƒi). Conclusion with eipon rather than the usual eipe as if first aorist active imperative like luson. The point is in "plainly" (parrˆsiƒi), adverb as in 7:13,26 which see. That is to say "I am the Christ" in so many words. See 11:14; 16:29 for the same use of parrˆsiƒi. The demand seemed fair enough on the surface. They had made it before when here at the feast of tabernacles (8:25). Jesus declined to use the word Christos (Messiah) then as now because of the political bearing of the word in their minds. The populace in Galilee had once tried to make him king in opposition to Pilate (Joh 6:14f.). When Jesus does confess on oath before Caiaphas that he is the Christ the Son of God (Mr 14:61f.; Mt 26:63f.), the Sanhedrin instantly vote him guilty of blasphemy and then bring him to Pilate with the charge of claiming to be king as a rival to Caesar. Jesus knew their minds too well to be caught now.

10:25 {I told you, and you believe not} (eipon humin kai ou pisteuete). It was useless to say more. In 7:14-10:18 Jesus had shown that he was the Son of the Father as he had previously claimed (5:17-47), but it was all to no purpose save to increase their rage towards him.
{These bear witness of me} (tauta marturei peri emou). His works confirm his words as he had shown before (5:36). They believe neither his words nor his works.

10:26 {Because ye are not of my sheep} (hoti ek t“n probat“n mou). This had been the point in the allegory of the Good Shepherd. In fact, they were the children of the devil in spirit and conduct (8:43), pious ecclesiastics though they seemed, veritable wolves in sheep's clothing (Mt 7:15).

10:27 {My sheep} (ta probata ta ema). In contrast with you they are not in doubt and suspense. They know my voice and follow me. Repetition of the idea in 10:4,14.

10:28 {And I give unto them eternal life} (kag“ did“mi autois z“ˆn ai“nion). This is the gift of Jesus now to his sheep as stated in 6:27,40 (cf. 1Jo 2:25; 5:11).
{And they shall never perish} (kai ou mˆ apol“ntai). Emphatic double negative with second aorist middle (intransitive) subjunctive of apollumi, to destroy. The sheep may feel secure (3:16; 6:39; 17:12; 18:9). {And no one shall snatch them out of my hand} (kai ouch harpasei tis auta ek tˆs cheiros mou). Jesus had promised this security in Galilee (6:37,39). No wolf, no thief, no bandit, no hireling, no demon, not even the devil can pluck the sheep out of my hand. Cf. Col 3:3 (Your life is hid together with Christ in God).

10:29 {Which} (hos). Who. If ho (which) is correct, we have to take ho patˆr as nominative absolute or independent, "As for my Father."
{Is greater than all} (pant“n meiz“n estin). If we read hos. But Aleph B L W read ho and A B Theta have meizon. The neuter seems to be correct (Westcott and Hort). But is it? If so, the meaning is: "As for my Father, that which he hath given me is greater than all." But the context calls for hos ... meiz“n with ho patˆr as the subject of estin. The greatness of the Father, not of the flock, is the ground of the safety of the flock. Hence the conclusion that "no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand."

10:30 {One} (hen). Neuter, not masculine (heis). Not one person (cf. heis in Ga 3:28), but one essence or nature. By the plural sumus (separate persons) Sabellius is refuted, by unum Arius. So Bengel rightly argues, though Jesus is not referring, of course, to either Sabellius or Arius. The Pharisees had accused Jesus of making himself equal with God as his own special Father (Joh 5:18). Jesus then admitted and proved this claim (5:19-30). Now he states it tersely in this great saying repeated later (17:11, 21). Note hen used in 1Co 3:3 of the oneness in work of the planter and the waterer and in 17:11,23 of the hoped for unity of Christ's disciples. This crisp statement is the climax of Christ's claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger.

10:31 {Took up stones again} (ebastasan palin lithous). First aorist active indicative of bastaz“, old verb to pick up, to carry (Joh 12:6), to bear (Ga 6:5). The palin refers to Joh 8:59 where ˆran was used. They wanted to kill him also when he made himself equal to God in 5:18. Perhaps here ebastasan means "they fetched stones from a distance."
{To stone him} (hina lithas“sin auton). Final clause with hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of lithaz“, late verb (Aristotle, Polybius) from lithos (stone, small, Mt 4:6, or large, Mt 28:2), in Joh 10:31-33; 11:8; Ac 5:26; 14:19; 2Co 11:25; Heb 11:37, but not in the Synoptics. It means to pelt with stones, to overwhelm with stones.

10:32 {From the Father} (ek tou patros). Proceeding out of the Father as in 6:65; 16:28 (cf. 7:17; 8:42,47) rather than para as in 1:14; 6:46; 7:29; 17:7.
{For which of those works} (dia poion aut“n ergon). Literally, "For what kind of work of them" (referring to the "many good works" polla erga kala). Noble and beautiful deeds Jesus had done in Jerusalem like healing the impotent man (chapter 5) and the blind man (chapter 9). Poion is a qualitative interrogative pronoun pointing to kala (good).
{Do ye stone me} (lithazete). Conative present active indicative, "are ye trying to stone me." They had the stones in their hands stretched back to fling at him, a threatening attitude.

10:33 {For a good work we stone thee not} (peri kalou ergou ou lithazomen). "Concerning a good deed we are not stoning thee." Flat denial that the healing of the blind man on the Sabbath had led them to this attempt (8:59) in spite of the facts.
{But for blasphemy} (alla peri blasphˆmias). See Ac 26:7 where peri with the genitive is also used with egkaloumai for the charge against Paul. This is the only example in John of the word blasphˆmia (cf. Mt 12:31).
{And because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God} (kai hoti su anthr“pos “n poieis seauton theon). In 5:18 they stated the charge more accurately: "He called God his own Father, making himself equal with God." That is, he made himself the Son of God. This he did beyond a doubt. But was it blasphemy? Only if he was not the Son of God. The penalty for blasphemy was death by stoning (Le 24:16; 1Ki 21:10,13).

10:34 {Is it not written?} (ouk estin gegrammenon;). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of graph“ (as in 2:17) in place of the usual gegraptai. "Does it not stand written?" {In your law} (en t“i nom“i hum“n). From Ps 82:6. The term nomos (law) applying here to the entire O.T. as in 12:34; 15:25; Ro 3:19; 1Co 14:21. Aleph D Syr-sin. omit hum“n, but needlessly. We have it already so from Jesus in 8:17. They posed as the special custodians of the O.T.
{I said} (hoti eg“ eipa). Recitative hoti before a direct quotation like our quotation marks. Eipa is a late second aorist form of indicative with -a instead of -on.
{Ye are gods} (theoi este). Another direct quotation after eipa but without hoti. The judges of Israel abused their office and God is represented in Ps 82:6 as calling them "gods" (theoi, "elohim") because they were God's representatives. See the same use of "elohim" in Ex 21:6; 22:9,28. Jesus meets the rabbis on their own ground in a thoroughly Jewish way.

10:35 {If he called them gods} (ei ekeinous eipen theous). Condition of first class, assumed as true. The conclusion (verse 36) is humeis legete; ({Do ye say?}). As Jews (and rabbis) they are shut out from charging Jesus with blasphemy because of this usage in the O.T. It is a complete "ad hominem" argument. To be sure, it is in Ps 82:6 a lower use of the term theos, but Jesus did not call himself "Son of Jahweh," but "\huios theou" which can mean only "Son of "Elohim"." It must not be argued, as some modern men do, that Jesus thus disclaims his own deity. He does nothing of the kind. He is simply stopping the mouths of the rabbis from the charge of blasphemy and he does it effectually. The sentence is quite involved, but can be cleared up.
{To whom the word of God came} (pros hous ho logos tou theou egeneto). The relative points to ekeinous, before. These judges had no other claim to the term theoi ("elohim").
{And the scripture cannot be broken} (kai ou dunatai luthˆnai hˆ graphˆ). A parenthesis that drives home the pertinency of the appeal, one that the Pharisees had to accept. Luthˆnai is first aorist passive infinitive of lu“, to loosen, to break.

10:36 {Of him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world} (hon ho patˆr hˆgiasen kai apesteilen eis ton kosmon). Another relative clause with the antecedent (touton, it would be, object of legete) unexpressed. Every word counts heavily here in contrast with the mere judges of Ps 82:6.
{Thou blasphemest} (hoti blasphˆmeis). Recitative hoti again before direct quotation.
{Because I said} (hoti eipon). Causal use of hoti and regular form eipon (cf. eipa in verse 34).
{I am the Son of God} (huios tou theou eimi). Direct quotation again after eipon. This Jesus had implied long before as in 2:16 (my Father) and had said in 5:18-30 (the Father, the Son), in 9:35 in some MSS., and virtually in 10:30. They will make this charge against Jesus before Pilate (19:7). Jesus does not use the article here with huios, perhaps (Westcott) fixing attention on the character of Son rather than on the person as in Heb 1:2. There is no answer to this question with its arguments.

10:37 {If I do not} (ei ou poi“). Condition of first class, assumed as true, with negative ou, not ei mˆ=unless.
{Believe me not} (mˆ pisteuete moi). Prohibition with and the present active imperative. Either "cease believing me" or "do not have the habit of believing me." Jesus rests his case on his doing the works of "my Father" (tou patros mou), repeating his claims to sonship and deity.

10:38 {But if I do} (ei de poi“). Condition again of the first class, assumed as true, but with the opposite results.
{Though ye believe not me} (kan emoi mˆ pisteuˆte). Condition now of third class, undetermined (but with prospect), "Even if you keep on (present active subjunctive of pisteuo) not believing me." {Believe the works} (tois ergois pisteuete). These stand irrefutable. The claims, character, words, and works of Jesus challenge the world today as then.
{That ye may know and understand} (hina gn“te kai gin“skˆte). Purpose clause with hina and the same verb gin“sk“ repeated in different tenses (first gn“te, the second ingressive aorist active subjunctive, that ye may come to know; then the present active subjunctive, "that ye may keep on knowing"). This is Christ's deepest wish about his enemies who stand with stones in their uplifted hands to fling at him.
{That the Father is in me, and I in the Father} (hoti en emoi ho patˆr kag“ en t“i patri). Thus he repeats (verse 30) sharply his real claim to oneness with the Father as his Son, to actual deity. It was a hopeless wish.

10:39 {They sought again to seize him} (ezˆtoun auton palin piazai). Imperfect active, "They kept on seeking to seize (ingressive aorist active infinitive of piaz“ for which see 7:30) as they had tried repeatedly (7:1,30,44; 8:20), but in vain. They gave up the effort to stone him.
{Out of their hand} (ek tˆs cheiros aut“n). Overawed, but still angry, the stones fell to the ground, and Jesus walked out.

10:40 {Again} (palin). Referring to 1:28 (Bethany beyond Jordan). Palin does not mean that the other visit was a recent one.
{At the first} (to pr“ton). Adverbial accusative (extent of time). Same idiom in 12:16; 19:39. Here the identical language of 1:28 is used with the mere addition of to pr“ton (hopou ˆn I“anˆs baptiz“n, "where John was baptizing").
{And there he abode} (kai emenen ekei). Imperfect (continued) active of men“, though some MSS. have the constative aorist active emeinen. Probably from here Jesus carried on the first part of the later Perean Ministry (Lu 13:22-16:10) before the visit to Bethany at the raising of Lazarus (Joh 11:1-44).

10:41 {Many came to him} (polloi ˆlthon pros auton). Jesus was busy here and in a more congenial atmosphere than Jerusalem. John wrought no signs the crowds recall, though Jesus did many here (Mt 19:2). The crowds still bear the impress of John's witness to Christ as "true" (alˆthˆ). Here was prepared soil for Christ.

10:42 {Many believed on him there} (polloi episteusan eis auton ekei). See 1:12; 2:11 for same idiom. Striking witness to the picture of the Messiah drawn by John. When Jesus came they recognized the original. See Joh 1:29-34. What about our sermons about Jesus if he were to walk down the aisle in visible form according to A.J. Gordon's dream?

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 10)

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