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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 6)



6:1 {After these things} (meta tauta). A common, but indefinite, note of time in John (3:22; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1). The phrase does not mean immediate sequence of events. As a matter of fact, a whole year may intervene between the events of chapter 5 in Jerusalem and those in chapter 6 in Galilee. There is no sufficient reason for believing that chapter 6 originally preceded chapter 5. The feeding of the five thousand is the only event before the last visit to Jerusalem recorded in all Four Gospels (Mr 6:30-44; Mt 14:13-21; Lu 9:10-17; Joh 6:1-13). The disciples have returned from the tour of Galilee and report to Jesus. It was the passover time (Joh 6:4) just a year before the end.
{To the other side of the Sea of Galilee} (peran tˆs thalassˆs tˆs Galilaias). The name given in Mark and Matthew. It is called Gennesaret in Lu 5:1 and "Sea of Tiberias" in Joh 21:1. Here "of Tiberias" (tˆs Tiberiados) is added as further description. Herod Antipas A.D. 22 built Tiberias to the west of the Sea of Galilee and made it his capital. See verse 23 for this city. Luke (Lu 9:10) explains that it was the eastern Bethsaida (Julias) to which Jesus took the disciples, not the western Bethsaida of Mr 6:45 in Galilee.

6:2 {Followed} (ˆkolouthei). Descriptive imperfect active, picturing the crowd, but without the details of the boat for Christ and the rapid race of the crowd on foot (Mr 6:32f.; Mt 14:13f.).
{They beheld} (ethe“roun). Imperfect active of the“re“. They had been beholding the signs which Jesus had been doing (epoiei, imperfect again) for a long time (2:23), most of which John has not given (Mr 1:29f.; 2:1; 3:1; 6:5). The people were eager to hear Jesus again (Lu 9:11) and to get the benefit of his healing power "on them that were sick" (epi t“n asthenount“n, the weak or feeble, without strength, a privative and sthenos, strength).

6:3 {Into the mountain} (eis to oros). From the level of the Jordan valley up into the high hill on the eastern side. Mark (Mr 6:46) and Matthew (Mt 14:23) mention that after the miracle Jesus went further up into the mountain to pray.
{Sat} (ekathˆto). Imperfect middle of kathˆmai, was sitting, a picture of repose.

6:4 {The feast of the Jews} (hˆ heortˆ t“n Ioudai“n). Here used of the passover (to pascha) as in 7:2 of the tabernacles. This is probably the third passover in Christ's ministry (2:13 and one unmentioned unless 5:1 be it). In 2:13, here, and 11:55 (the last one) the adverb eggus (near) is used. John is fond of notes of time. Jesus failed to go to this passover because of the hostility in Jerusalem (7:1).

6:5 {Lifting up his eyes} (eparas tous ophthalmous). First aorist active participle of epair“. See the same phrase in 4:35 where it is also followed by theaomai; 11:41; 17:1; Lu 6:20. Here it is particularly expressive as Jesus looked down from the mountain on the approaching multitude.
{Cometh unto him} (erchetai pros auton). Present middle indicative, "is coming to him." The same ochlos polus (here polus ochlos) of verse 2 that had followed Jesus around the head of the lake.
{Whence are we to buy?} (Pothen agoras“men;). Deliberative subjunctive (aorist active). John passes by the earlier teaching and healing of the Synoptics (Mr 6:34f.; Mt 14:14f.; Lu 9:11f.) till mid-afternoon. In John also Jesus takes up the matter of feeding the multitude with Philip (from the other Bethsaida, 1:44) whereas in the Synoptics the disciples raise the problem with Jesus. So the disciples raise the problem in the feeding of the four thousand (Mr 8:4; Mt 15:33). See Nu 11:13-22 (about Moses) and 2Ki 4:42f. (about Elisha).
{Bread} (artous). "Loaves" (plural) as in Mt 4:3.
{That these may eat} (hina phag“sin houtoi). Purpose clause with hina and the second aorist active subjunctive of esthi“ (defective verb).

6:6 {To prove him} (peiraz“n auton). Present active participle of peiraz“, testing him, not here in bad sense of tempting as so often (Mt 4:1).
{What he would do} (ti ˆmellen poiein). Indirect question with change of tense to imperfect. As in 2:25 so here John explains why Jesus put the question to Philip.

6:7 {Two hundred pennyworth of bread} (diakosi“n dˆnari“n artoi). "Loaves of two hundred denarii." The Roman coin originally for ten asses (afterwards sixteen), about 16 2/3 cents. The denarius was the usual pay for a day's labour (Mt 20:2,9,13). This item in Mr 6:37, but not in Matthew or Luke. {That every one may take a little} (hina hekastos brachu labˆi). Final clause with hina and second aorist active subjunctive of lamban“. This detail in John alone.

6:8 {One of} (heis ek). So in 12:4; 13:23; Mr 13:1 without ek.
{Simon Peter's brother} (ho adelphos Sim“nos Petrou). So described in 1:40. The great distinction of Andrew was precisely this that he brought Simon to Christ. Philip and Andrew appear together again in 12:20-22, but in the Synoptics he is distinguished only in Mr 13:3. In the Muratorian Fragment Andrew received the revelation for John to write the Fourth Gospel.

6:9 {A lad here} (paidarion h“de). Old word, diminutive of pais, here only in N.T., not genuine in Mt 11:16. How he came to have this small supply we do not know.
{Barley} (krithinous). Adjective, here and verse 13 only in N.T., in the papyri, from krithˆ, barley (Re 6:6). Considered an inferior sort of bread.
{Fishes} (opsaria). Late diminutive of opson, common in papyri and inscriptions for delicacies with bread like fish. In N.T. only here, verse 11; 21:9-13. Synoptics have ichthuas.

6:10 {Sit down} (anapesein). Literally, "fall back," lie down, recline. Second aorist active infinitive of anapipt“.
{Much grass} (chortos polus). Old word for pasture, green grass (Mr 6:39) or hay (1Co 3:12). It was spring (Joh 6:4) and plenty of green grass on the hillside.
{The men} (hoi andres). Word for men as distinct from women, expressly stated in Mt 14:21. {In number} (ton arithmon). Adverbial accusative (of general reference).
{About} (hos). General estimate, though they were arranged in orderly groups by hundreds and fifties, "in ranks" like "garden beds" (prasiai, Mr 6:40).

6:11 {The loaves} (tous artous). Those of verse 9.
{Having given thanks} (eucharistˆsas). The usual grace before meals (De 8:10). The Synoptics use "blessed" eulogˆsen (Mr 6:41; Mt 14:19; Lu 9:16).
{He distributed} (died“ken). First aorist active indicative of diadid“mi, old verb to give to several (dia, between).
{To them that were set down} (tois anakeimenois). Present middle participle (dative case) of anakeimai, old verb to recline like anapesein in verse 10. {As much as they would} (hoson ˆthelon). Imperfect active of thel“, "as much as they wished."

6:12 {And when they were filled} (h“s de eneplˆsthˆsan). First aorist (effective) passive indicative of empimplˆmi, old verb to fill in, to fill up, to fill completely. They were all satisfied. The Synoptics have echortasthˆsan like Joh 6:26 (echortasthˆte).
{Gather up} (sunagagete). Second aorist active imperative of sunag“, to gather together.
{Broken pieces} (klasmata). From kla“, to break. Not crumbs or scraps on the ground, but pieces broken by Jesus (Mr 6:41) and not consumed.
{Be lost} (apolˆtai). Second aorist middle subjunctive of apollumi with hina in purpose clause. Only in John. There was to be no wastefulness in Christ's munificence. The Jews had a custom of leaving something for those that served.

6:13 {Twelve baskets} (d“deka kophinous). One for each of the apostles. What about the lad? Stout wicker baskets (coffins, Wycliff) in distinction from the soft and frail sphurides used at the feeding of the four thousand (Mr 8:8; Mt 15:37). Here all the Gospels (Mr 6:43; Mt 14:20; Lu 9:17; Joh 6:13) use kophinoi. The same distinction between kophinoi and sphurides is preserved in the allusion to the incidents by Jesus in Mr 8:19,20; Mt 16:9,10.
{Unto them that had eaten} (tois bebr“kosin). Articular perfect active participle (dative case) of bibr“sk“, old verb to eat, only here in N.T., though often in LXX.

6:14 {Saw the sign which he did} (idontes ha epoiˆsen sˆmeia). "Signs" oldest MSS. have. This sign added to those already wrought (verse 2). Cf. 2:23; 3:2.
{They said} (elegon). Inchoative imperfect, began to say.
{Of a truth} (alˆth“s). Common adverb (from alˆthˆs) in John (7:40).
{The prophet that cometh} (ho prophˆtˆs ho erchomenos). There was a popular expectation about the prophet of De 18:15 as being the Messiah (Joh 1:21; 11:27). The phrase is peculiar to John, but the idea is in Acts (3:22; 7:37). The people are on the tiptoe of expectation and believe that Jesus is the political Messiah of Pharisaic hope.

6:15 {Perceiving} (gnous). Second aorist active participle of gin“sk“. It was not hard for Christ to read the mind of this excited mob.
{They were about} (mellousin). Present active indicative of mell“. Probably the leaders were already starting.
{Take him by force} (harpazein). Present active infinitive of harpaz“, old verb for violent seizing (Mt 11:12; 13:19). There was a movement to start a revolution against Roman rule in Palestine by proclaiming Jesus King and driving away Pilate.
{To make him king} (hina poiˆs“sin basilea). Purpose clause with hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of poie“ with basilea as predicate accusative. It was a crisis that called for quick action.
{Himself alone} (autos monos). At first he had the disciples with him (verse 3). But he sent them hurriedly by boat to the western side (Mr 6:45f.; Mt 14:22f.) because clearly the apostles were sympathetic with the revolutionary impulse of the crowd. Then Jesus sent the multitudes away also and went up into the mountain alone. He was alone in every sense, for no one but the Father understood him at this stage, not even his own disciples. He went up to pray (Mr 6:46; Mt 14:23).

6:16 {When evening came} (h“s opsia egeneto). "The late hour" (h“ra understood), and so in late Greek the adjective is used as a substantive. It is late evening (real evening), not the early evening in mid-afternoon (Mt 14:15). The disciples were in no hurry to start back to Bethsaida in Galilee (Mr 6:45), Capernaum in John (Joh 6:17).

6:17 {Were going} (ˆrchonto). Picturesque imperfect.
{It was now dark} (skotia ˆdˆ egegonei). Past perfect active of ginomai. While they were going, "darkness had already come." {And Jesus had not yet come to them} (kai ouk elˆluthei pros autous ho Iˆsous). Another past perfect active of erchomai with negative oup“. Darkness had come, but Jesus had not come, while they were going over the sea. The tenses in these verses are very graphic.

6:18 {And the sea was rising} (hˆ te thalassa diegeireto). Imperfect (without augment) passive of diegeir“, late compound to wake up thoroughly, to arouse.
{By reason of a great wind that blew} (anemou megalou pneontos). Genitive absolute with present active participle of pne“, to blow, "a great wind blowing."

6:19 {When therefore they had rowed} (elˆlakotes oun). Perfect active participle of elaun“, old verb to march (Xenophon), to drive (Jas 3:4), to row (Mr 6:48).
{Furlongs} (stadious). Stadia, accusative of extent of space, a little over halfway across, "in the midst of the sea" (Mr 6:47). It was about forty stadia (six miles) across.
{They behold} (the“rousin). Graphic dramatic present active indicative of the“re“, vividly preserving the emotions of the disciples.
{Walking} (peripatounta). Present active participle in the accusative case agreeing with Iˆsoun.
{Drawing nigh unto the boat} (eggus tou ploiou ginomenon). Present middle participle of ginomai describing the process. "Coming near the boat." They behold Jesus slipping closer and closer to them on the water.
{They were afraid} (ephobˆthˆsan). Ingressive aorist passive indicative of phobeomai, "they became afraid." Sudden change to the regular historical sequence.

6:20 {Be not afraid} (mˆ phobeisthe). Prohibition with and present middle imperative of phobeomai. So in Mr 6:50 (Mt 14:27). John does not tell that the disciples thought Jesus was an apparition (Mr 6:49; Mt 14:26), nor does he give the account of Peter walking on the water (Mt 14:28-31).

6:21 {They were willing therefore} (ˆthelon oun). Inchoative imperfect, "they began to be willing." This does not contradict Mr 6:51 as Bernard thinks. Both Jesus and Peter climbed into the boat.
{Whither they were going} (eis hˆn hupˆgon). Progressive imperfect active, "to which land they had been going" (intransitive use of hupag“, to lead under, to go under or away as in verse 67; 7:33; 12:11; 18:8.)

6:22 {Which stood} (ho hestˆk“s). Perfect active (intransitive) participle of histˆmi, to put, to stand. Jesus had sent the multitudes away the evening before (Mr 6:45; Mt 14:22), but evidently some did not go very far, still lingering in excitement on the eastern side of the lake next morning.
{Boat} (ploiarion). Diminutive of ploion, little boat (Mr 3:9). {Entered not with} (ou suneisˆlthen). Second aorist active of the double compound verb suneiserchomai, followed by associative instrumental case mathˆtais.
{Went away alone} (monoi apˆlthon). Second aorist active indicative of aperchomai, to go away or off. Monoi is predicate nominative. These people noted these three items.

6:23 {Howbeit} (alla). Verse 23 is really an explanatory parenthesis in this long sentence. Tiberias, capital of Herod Antipas, diagonally across the lake, is only mentioned in John in the N.T. (6:1,23; 21:1).
{Boats} (ploia). Called "little boats" (ploiaria) in verse 24.

6:24 {When the multitude therefore saw} (hote oun eiden ho ochlos). Resumption and clarification of the complicated statements of verse 22.
{That Jesus was not there} (hoti Iˆsous ouk estin ekei). Present indicative retained in indirect discourse. They still did not understand how Jesus had crossed over, but they acted on the basis of the plain fact.
{They themselves got into} (enebˆsan autoi eis). Second aorist active indicative of embain“ followed by eis (both en and eis together as often in N.T.).
{Seeking Jesus} (zˆtountes ton Iˆsoun). Present active participle of zˆte“. They had a double motive apart from the curiosity explained in verse 22. They had clearly not given up the impulse of the evening before to make Jesus king (6:15) and they had hopes of still another bountiful repast at the hands of Jesus as he said (6:26).

6:25 {When they found him} (heurontes auton). Second aorist active participle of heurisk“. Found him after search and in the synagogue as John explains (verse 59) in Capernaum, perhaps that very synagogue built by a centurion (Lu 7:5).
{Rabbi} (Rabbei). See on »1:38 for this courteous title.
{When camest thou hither?} (pote h“de gegonas;). Second perfect active indicative of ginomai. "When hast thou come?" We sought you anxiously on the other side of the lake and could not see how you came across (verses 22-24).

6:26 {Not because ye saw signs} (ouch hoti eidete sˆmeia). Second aorist active indicative of the defective verb hora“. They had seen the "signs" wrought by Jesus (verse 2), but this one had led to wild fanaticism (verse 14) and complete failure to grasp the spiritual lessons.
{But because ye ate of the loaves} (all' hoti ephagete ek t“n art“n). Second aorist active indicative of esthi“, defective verb.
{Ye were filled} (echortasthˆte). First aorist passive indicative of chortaz“, from chortos (grass) as in verse 10, to eat grass, then to eat anything, to satisfy hunger. They were more concerned with hungry stomachs than with hungry souls. It was a sharp and deserved rebuke.

6:27 {Work not for} (mˆ ergazesthe). Prohibition with and present middle imperative of ergazomai, old verb from ergon, work.
{The meat} (tˆn br“sin). The act of eating (Ro 14:17), corrosion (Mt 6:19), the thing eaten as here (2Co 9:10). See on »Joh 4:32.
{Which perisheth} (tˆn apollumenˆn). Present middle participle of apollumi. They were already hungry again. {Unto eternal life} (eis z“ˆn ai“nion). Mystical metaphor quite beyond this crowd hungry only for more loaves and fishes. Bernard thinks that John has here put together various sayings of Christ to make one discourse, a gratuitous interpretation.
{Will give} (d“sei). Future active indicative of did“mi. The outcome is still future and will be decided by their attitude towards the Son of man (verse 51).
{For him the Father, even God, hath sealed} (touton gar ho patˆr esphragisen ho theos). Literally, "For this one the Father sealed, God." First aorist active indicative of sphragiz“, to seal. See elsewhere in Joh 3:33 (attestation by man). Sealing by God is rare in N.T. (2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30). It is not clear to what item, if any single one, John refers when the Father set his seal of approval on the Son. It was done at his baptism when the Holy Spirit came upon him and the Father spoke to him. Cf. 5:37.

6:28 {What must we do?} (Ti poi“men;). Present active deliberative subjunctive of poie“, "What are we to do as a habit?" For the aorist subjunctive (poiˆs“men) in a like question for a single act see Lu 3:10. For the present indicative (poioumen) of inquiry concerning actual conduct see Joh 11:47 (what are we doing?).
{That we may work the works of God} (hina ergaz“metha ta erga tou theou). Final clause with hina and the present middle subjunctive, "that we may go on working the works of God." There may have been an element of vague sincerity in this question in spite of their supercilious attitude.

6:29 {The work of God that ye believe} (to ergon tou theou hina pisteuˆte). In 1Th 1:3 Paul speaks of "your work of faith" (hum“n tou ergou tˆs piste“s). So here Jesus terms belief in him as the work of God. These Jews were thinking of various deeds of the Pharisaic type and rules. Jesus turns their minds to the central fact. "This simple formula contains the complete solution of the relation of faith and works" (Westcott). Note the present active subjunctive pisteuˆte, "that ye may keep on believing." {On him whom he hath sent} (eis hon apesteilen ekeinos). The pronominal antecedent (eis touton hon) is omitted and the preposition eis is retained with the relative hon really the direct object of apesteilen (sent). Note ekeinos for God (emphatic he).

6:30 {For a sign} (sˆmeion). Predicate accusative, as a sign, with ti (what). As if the sign of the day before was without value. Jesus had said that they did not understand his signs (verse 26).
{That we may see, and believe thee} (hina id“men kai pisteus“men). Purpose clause with hina and the second aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of hora“ and the first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive of pisteu“, "that we may come to see and come to have faith in thee." It is hard to have patience with this superficial and almost sneering mob.
{What workest thou?} (Ti ergazˆi;). They not simply depreciate the miracle of the day before, but set up a standard for Jesus.

6:31 {Ate the manna} (to manna ephagon). The rabbis quoted Ps 72:16 to prove that the Messiah, when he comes, will outdo Moses with manna from heaven. Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah and able to give bread for eternal life (verse 27). Lightfoot ("Biblical Essays", p. 152) says: "The key to the understanding of the whole situation is an acquaintance with the national expectation of the greater Moses." They quote to Jesus Ex 16:15 (of. Nu 11:7; 21:5; De 8:3). Their plea is that Moses gave us bread "from heaven" (ek tou ouranou). Can Jesus equal that deed of Moses?

6:32 {It was not Moses that gave you} (ou M“usˆs ed“ken humin). "Not Moses gave you." Blunt and pointed denial (aorist active indicative of did“mi) that Moses was the giver of the bread from heaven (the manna). Moses was not superior to Christ on this score.
{But my Father} (all ho patˆr mou). Not "our Father," but same claim as in 5:17f. Which caused so much anger in Jerusalem.
{Gives} (did“sin). Present active indicative, not aorist (ed“ken). Continual process.
{The true bread out of heaven} (ton arton ek tou ouranou ton alˆthinon). "The bread out of heaven" as the manna and more "the genuine bread" of which that was merely a type. On alˆthinos see 1:9; 4:23.

6:33 {The bread of God} (ho artos tou theou). All bread is of God (Mt 6:11). The manna came down from heaven (Nu 11:9) as does this bread (ho katabain“n). Refers to the bread (ho artos, masculine). Bernard notes that this phrase (coming down) is used seven times in this discourse (33,38,41,42,50,51,58). {Giveth life} (z“ˆn didous). Chrysostom observes that the manna gave nourishment (trophˆ), but not life (z“ˆ). This is a most astounding statement to the crowd.

6:34 {Lord} (Kurie). Used now instead of "Rabbi" (25) though how much the people meant by it is not clear.
{Evermore give us this bread} (pantote dos hˆmin ton arton touton). Second aorist active imperative second singular like dos in Mt 6:11 (urgent petition). What kind of bread do they mean? The Jewish commentaries and Philo speak of the manna as typifying heavenly bread for the soul. Paul in 1Co 10:3 seems to refer to the manna as "spiritual food." Like the woman at the well (4:15) they long "always" to have "this bread," a perpetual supply. It is probably to this crowd as the water in 4:15 was to the woman.

6:35 {I am the bread of life} (Eg“ eimi ho artos tˆs z“ˆs). This sublime sentence was startling in the extreme to the crowd. Philo does compare the manna to the theios logos in an allegorical sense, but this language is far removed from Philo's vagueness. In the Synoptics (Mr 14:22; Mt 26:26; Lu 22:19) Jesus uses bread (artos) as the symbol of his body in the Lord's Supper, but here Jesus offers himself in place of the loaves and fishes which they had come to seek (24,26). He is the bread of life in two senses: it has life in itself, the living bread (51), and it gives life to others like the water of life, the tree of life. John often has Jesus saying "I am" (eg“ eimi). As also in 6:41,48,51; 8:12; 10:7,9,11,14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1,5.
{He that cometh to me} (ho erchomenos pros eme). The first act of the soul in approaching Jesus. See also verse 37.
{Shall not hunger} (ou mˆ peinasˆi). Strong double negative ou me with first aorist (ingressive) active subjunctive, "shall not become hungry."
{He that believeth on me} (ho pisteu“n eis eme). The continuous relation of trust after coming like pisteuˆte (present tense) in verse 29. See both verbs used together also in 7:37f.
{Shall never thirst} (ou mˆ dipsˆsei p“pote). So the old MSS. the future active indicative instead of the aorist subjunctive as above, an even stronger form of negation with p“pote (1:18) added.

6:36 {That ye have seen me} (hoti kai he“rakate me). It is not certain that me is genuine. If not, Jesus may refer to verse 26. If genuine, some other saying is referred to that we do not have. Note kai (also or even).
{And yet believe not} (kai ou pisteuete). Use of kai = and yet.

6:37 {All that} (pƒn ho). Collective use of the neuter singular, classic idiom, seen also in 6:39; 17:2,24; 1Jo 5:4. Perhaps the notion of unity like hen in 17:21 underlies this use of pƒn ho.
{Giveth me} (did“sin moi). For the idea that the disciples are given to the Son see also 6:39,65; 10:29; 17:2,6,9,12,24; 18:9.
{I will in no wise cast out} (ou mˆ ekbal“ ex“). Strong double negation as in verse 35 with second aorist active subjunctive of ball“. Definite promise of Jesus to welcome the one who comes.

6:38 {I am come down} (katabebˆka). Perfect active indicative of katabain“. See on »33 for frequent use of this phrase by Jesus. Here apo is correct rather than ek with tou ouranou. {Not to do} (ouch hina poi“). "Not that I keep on doing" (final clause with hina and present active subjunctive of poie“). {But the will} (alla to thelˆma). Supply hina poi“ after alla, "but that I keep on doing." This is the fulness of joy for Jesus, to do his Father's will (4:34; 5:30).

6:39 {That of all that which} (hina pƒn ho). Literally, "That all which" (see verse 37 for pan ho), but there is a sharp anacoluthon with pƒn left as "nominativus pendens".
{I should lose nothing} (mˆ apoles“ ex autou). Construed with hina, "that I shall not lose anything of it." Apoles“, from apollumi, can be either future active indicative or first aorist active subjunctive as is true also of anastˆs“ (from anistˆmi), "I shall raise up."
{At the last day} (tˆi eschatˆi hemerƒi). Locative case without en. Only in John, but four times here (39,40,44,54) "with the majesty of a solemn refrain." In 7:37 it is the last day of the feast of tabernacles, but in 11:24; 12:48 of the day of judgment as here. Christ is the Agent of the general resurrection in 5:28 as in 1Co 15:22 while here only the resurrection of the righteous is mentioned.

6:40 {Should have eternal life} (echˆi z“ˆn ai“nion). Present active subjunctive with hina, "that he may keep on having eternal life" as in 3:15,36.
{Beholdeth} (the“r“n). With the eye of faith as in 12:45.
{And I will raise him up} (kai anastˆs“). Future active indicative (volitive future, promise) as in 54.

6:41 {Murmured} (egogguzon). Imperfect active of the onomatopoetic verb gogguz“, late verb in LXX (murmuring against Moses), papyri (vernacular), like the cooing of doves or the buzzing of bees. These Galilean Jews are puzzled over what Jesus had said (verses 33,35) about his being the bread of God come down from heaven.

6:42 {How doth he now say?} (P“s nun legei;). They knew Jesus as the son of Joseph and Mary. They cannot comprehend his claim to be from heaven. This lofty claim puzzles sceptics today.

6:43 {Murmur not} (mˆ gogguzete). Prohibition with and the present active imperative, "stop murmuring" (the very word of verse 41). There was a rising tide of protest.

6:44 {Except the Father draw him} (ean mˆ helkusˆi auton). Negative condition of third class with ean mˆ and first aorist active subjunctive of helku“, older form helk“, to drag like a net (Joh 21:6), or sword (18:10), or men (Ac 16:19), to draw by moral power (12:32), as in Jer 31:3. Sur“, the other word to drag (Ac 8:3; 14:19) is not used of Christ's drawing power. The same point is repeated in verse 65. The approach of the soul to God is initiated by God, the other side of verse 37. See Ro 8:7 for the same doctrine and use of oude dunatai like oudeis dunatai here.

6:45 {Taught of God} (didaktoi theou). A free quotation from Isa 54:13 with this phrase in the LXX. There is here the ablative case theou with the passive verbal adjective didaktoi (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 516). In 1Th 4:9 we have the compound verbal theodidaktoi. The same use of didaktos with the ablative occurs in 1Co 2:13.
{And hath learned} (kai math“n). Second aorist active participle of manthan“. It is not enough to hear God's voice. He must heed it and learn it and do it. This is a voluntary response. This one inevitably comes to Christ.

6:46 {This one has seen the Father} (houtos he“raken ton patera). Perfect active indicative of hora“. With the eyes no one has seen God (1:18) save the Son who is "from God" in origin (1:1,14; 7:29; 16:27; 17:8). The only way for others to see God is to see Christ (14:9).

6:47 {He that believeth} (ho pisteu“n). This is the way to see God in Christ.

6:48 {I am the bread of life} (eg“ eimi ho artos tˆs z“ˆs). Jesus repeats the astounding words of verse 35 after fuller explanation. The believer in Christ has eternal life because he gives himself to him.

6:49 {And they died} (kai apethanon). Physical death. The manna did not prevent death. But this new manna will prevent spiritual death.

6:50 {That a man may eat thereof, and not die} (hina tis ex autou phagˆi kai mˆ apothanˆi). Purpose clause with hina and the second aorist active subjunctive of esthi“ and apothnˆsk“. The wonder and the glory of it all, but quite beyond the insight of this motley crowd.

6:51 {The living bread} (ho artos ho z“n). "The bread the living." Repetition of the claim in 35,41,48, but with a slight change from z“ˆs to z“n (present active participle of za“). It is alive and can give life. See 4:10 for living water. In Re 1:17 Jesus calls himself the Living One (ho z“n).
{For ever} (eis ton ai“na). Eternally like ai“nion with z“ˆn in 47.
{I shall give} (eg“ d“s“). Emphasis on eg“ (I). Superior so to Moses.
{Is my flesh} (hˆ sarx mou estin). See on »1:14 for sarx the Incarnation. This new idea creates far more difficulty to the hearers who cannot grasp Christ's idea of self-sacrifice.
{For the life of the world} (huper tˆs tou kosmou z“ˆs). Over, in behalf of, huper means, and in some connexions instead of as in 11:50. See 1:30 for the Baptist's picture of Christ as the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. See also 3:17; 4:42; 1Jo 3:16; Mt 20:28; Ga 3:13; 2Co 5:14f.; Ro 5:8. Jesus has here presented to this Galilean multitude the central fact of his atoning death for the spiritual life of the world.

6:52 {Strove} (emachonto). Imperfect (inchoative) middle of machomai, to fight in armed combat (Ac 7:26), then to wage a war of words as here and 2Ti 2:24. They were already murmuring (41), now they began bitter strife with one another over the last words of Jesus (43-51), some probably seeing a spiritual meaning in them. There was division of opinion about Jesus in Jerusalem also later (7:12,40; 9:16; 10:19).
{How can?} (P“s dunatai;). The very idiom used by Nicodemus in 3:4,9. Here scornful disbelief.
{This man} (houtos). Contemptuous use pictured in verse 42.
{His flesh to eat} (tˆn sarka autou phagein). As if we were cannibals! Some MSS. do not have autou, but the meaning is clear. The mystical appropriation of Christ by the believer (Ga 2:20; Eph 3:17) they could not comprehend, though some apparently were against this literal interpretation of "flesh" (sarx).

6:53 {Except ye eat} (ean mˆ phagˆte). Negative condition of third class with second aorist active subjunctive of esthi“. Jesus repeats the statement in verses 50,51. Note change of mou (my) in verse 51 to tou huiou tou anthr“pou with same idea.
{And drink his blood} (kai piˆte autou to haima). Same condition with second aorist active subjunctive of pin“. This addition makes the demand of Jesus seem to these Jews more impossible than before if taken in a baldly literal sense. The only possible meaning is the spiritual appropriation of Jesus Christ by faith (verse 47), for "ye have not life in yourselves" (ouk echete z“ˆn en heautois). Life is found only in Christ.

6:54 {He that eateth} (ho tr“g“n). Present active participle for continual or habitual eating like pisteuete in verse 29. The verb tr“g“ is an old one for eating fruit or vegetables and the feeding of animals. In the N.T. it occurs only in Joh 6:54,56,58; 13:18; Mt 24:38. Elsewhere in the Gospels always esthi“ or ephagon (defective verb with esthi“). No distinction is made here between ephagon (48,50,52,53,58) and tr“g“ (54,56,57,58). Some men understand Jesus here to be speaking of the Lord's Supper by prophetic forecast or rather they think that John has put into the mouth of Jesus the sacramental conception of Christianity by making participation in the bread and wine the means of securing eternal life. To me that is a violent misinterpretation of the Gospel and an utter misrepresentation of Christ. It is a grossly literal interpretation of the mystical symbolism of the language of Jesus which these Jews also misunderstood. Christ uses bold imagery to picture spiritual appropriation of himself who is to give his life-blood for the life of the world (51). It would have been hopeless confusion for these Jews if Jesus had used the symbolism of the Lord's Supper. It would be real dishonesty for John to use this discourse as a propaganda for sacramentalism. The language of Jesus can only have a spiritual meaning as he unfolds himself as the true manna.

6:55 {Meat indeed} (alˆthˆs br“sis). So the best MSS., "true food." See on »4:32 for br“sis as equal to br“ma (a thing eaten).
{Drink indeed} (alˆthˆs posis). Correct text, "true drink." For posis see Ro 14:17; Col 2:16 (only N.T. examples).

6:56 {Abideth in me and I in him} (en emoi menei kag“ en aut“i). Added to the phrase in 54 in the place of echei z“ˆn ai“nion (has eternal life). The verb men“ (to abide) expresses continual mystical fellowship between Christ and the believer as in 15:4-7; 1Jo 2:6,27,28; 3:6,24; 4:12,16. There is, of course, no reference to the Lord's Supper (Eucharist), but simply to mystical fellowship with Christ.

6:57 {The living Father} (ho z“n patˆr). Nowhere else in the N.T., but see 5:26 and "the living God" (Mt 16:16; 2Co 6:16). The Father is the source of life and so "I live because of the Father" (kag“ z“ dia ton patera).
{He that eateth me} (ho tr“g“n me). Still bolder putting of the mystical appropriation of Christ (51,53,54,56).
{Because of me} (di' eme). The same idea appears in 14:19: "Because I live ye shall live also." See 11:25. Jesus Christ is our ground of hope and guarantee of immortality. Life is in Christ. There is no real difficulty in this use of dia with the accusative as with dia ton patera just before. It occurs also in 15:3. As the Father is the fount of life to Christ, so Christ is the fount of life to us. See 1Jo 4:9 where dia is used with the genitive (di' autou) as the intermediate agent, not the ground or reason as here.

6:58 {This is the bread} (houtos estin ho artos). Summary and final explanation of the true manna (from verse 32 on) as being Jesus Christ himself.

6:59 {In the synagogue} (en sunag“gˆi). Definite like our in church, though article absent. Only use of the word in John except 18:20. "Among the ruins at "Tell Hum", the probable site of Capernaum, have been found among the remains of a synagogue a block of stone perhaps the lintel, carved with a pot of manna, and with a pattern of vine leaves and clusters of grapes" (Vincent).

6:60 {A hard saying} (sklˆros). "This saying is a hard one." Old adjective, rough, harsh, dried hard (from skell“, to dry), probably the last saying of Jesus that he was the bread of life come down from heaven and they were to eat him. It is to be hoped that none of the twelve joined the many disciples in this complaint.
{Hear it} (autou akouein). Or "hear him," hear with acceptation. For akou“ with the genitive see 10:3,16,27.

6:61 {Knowing in himself} (eid“s en heaut“i). Second perfect active participle of oida. See 2:25 for this supernatural insight into men's minds.
{Murmured} (gogguzousin). Present active indicative retained in indirect discourse. See 41 for gogguz“.
{At this} (peri toutou). "Concerning this word." {Cause to stumble} (skandalizei). Common Synoptic verb from skandalon for which see Mt 5:29. In John again only in 16:1.

6:62 {What then if ye should behold} (ean oun the“rˆte). No "what" in the Greek. Condition of third class with ean and present active subjunctive, "if ye then behold."
{Ascending} (anabainonta). Present active participle picturing the process. {Where he was before} (hopou ˆn to proteron). Neuter articular adjective as adverb (accusative of general reference, at the former time as in 9:8; Ga 3:13). Clear statement of Christ's pre-existence in his own words as in 3:13; 17:5 (cf. 1:1-18).

6:63 {That quickeneth} (to z“opoioun). Articular present active participle of z“opoie“ for which see 5:21. For the contrast between pneuma (spirit) and sarx (flesh) see already 3:6. {The words} (ta rˆmata). Those in this discourse (I have just spoken, lelalˆka), for they are the words of God (3:34; 8:47; 17:8). No wonder they "are spirit and are life" (pneuma estin kai z“ˆ estin). The breath of God and the life of God is in these words of Jesus. Never man spoke like Jesus (7:46). There is life in his words today.

6:64 {That believe not} (hoi ou pisteuousin). Failure to believe kills the life in the words of Jesus.
{Knew from the beginning} (ˆidei ex archˆs). In the N.T. we have ex archˆs only here and 16:4, but ap' archˆs in apparently the same sense as here in 15:27; 1Jo 2:7,24; 3:11 and see Lu 1:2; 1Jo 1:1. From the first Jesus distinguished between real trust in him and mere lip service (2:24; 8:31), two senses of pisteu“. {Were} (eisin). Present active indicative retained in indirect discourse.
{And who it was that should betray him} (kai tis estin ho parad“s“n). Same use of estin and note article and future active participle of paradid“mi, to hand over, to betray. John does not say here that Jesus knew that Judas would betray him when he chose him as one of the twelve, least of all that he chose him for that purpose. What he does say is that Jesus was not taken by surprise and soon saw signs of treason in Judas. The same verb is used of John's arrest in Mt 4:12. Once Judas is termed traitor (prodotˆs) in Lu 6:16. Judas had gifts and was given his opportunity. He did not have to betray Jesus.

6:65 {Except it be given him of the Father} (ean mˆ ˆi dedomenon aut“i ek tou patros). Condition of third class with ean mˆ and periphrastic perfect passive subjunctive of did“mi. Precisely the same point as in verse 44 where we have helkusˆi instead of ˆi dedomenon. The impulse to faith comes from God. Jesus does not expect all to believe and seems to imply that Judas did not truly believe.

6:66 {Upon this} (ek toutou). Same idiom in 19:12. "Out of this saying or circumstance." Jesus drew the line of cleavage between the true and the false believers.
{Went back} (apˆlthon eis ta opis“). Aorist (ingressive) active indicative of aperchomai with eis ta opis“, "to the rear" (the behind things) as in 18:6.
{Walked no more with him} (ouketi met' autou periepatoun). Imperfect active of peripate“. The crisis had come. These half-hearted seekers after the loaves and fishes and political power turned abruptly from Jesus, walked out of the synagogue with a deal of bluster and were walking with Jesus no more. Jesus had completely disillusioned these hungry camp-followers who did not care for spiritual manna that consisted in intimate appropriation of the life of Jesus as God's Son.

6:67 {Would ye also go away?} (Mˆ kai humeis thelete hupagein;). Jesus puts it with the negative answer (mˆ) expected. See 21:5 where Jesus also uses in a question. Judas must have shown some sympathy with the disappointed and disappearing crowds. But he kept still. There was possibly restlessness on the part of the other apostles.

6:68 {Lord, to whom shall we go?} (Kurie, pros tina apeleusometha;). Peter is the spokesman as usual and his words mean that, if such a thought as desertion crossed their minds when the crowd left, they dismissed it instantly. They had made their choice. They accepted these very words of Jesus that had caused the defection as "the words of eternal life."

6:69 {We have believed} (hˆmeis pepisteukamen). Perfect active indicative of pisteu“, "We have come to believe and still believe" (verse 29).
{And know} (kai egn“kamen). Same tense of gin“sk“, "We have come to know and still know."
{Thou art the Holy One of God} (su ei ho hagios tou theou). Bernard follows those who believe that this is John's report of the same confession given by the Synoptics (Mr 8:27f.; Mt 16:13-20; Lu 9:18f.), an utterly unjustifiable conclusion. The details are wholly different. Here in the synagogue in Capernaum, there on Mt. Hermon near Caesarea Philippi. What earthly difficulty is there in supposing that Peter could make a noble confession twice? That is to my mind a wooden conception of the apostles in their growing apprehension of Christ.

6:70 {And one of you is a devil} (kai ex hum“n heis diabolos estin). Jesus does not say that Judas was a devil when he chose him, but that he is one now. In 13:2,27 John speaks of the devil entering Judas. How soon the plan to betray Jesus first entered the heart of Judas we do not know (12:4). One wonders if the words of Jesus here did not cut Judas to the quick.

6:71 {Of Simon Iscariot} (Sim“nos Iskari“tou). So his father was named Iscariot also, a man of Kerioth (possibly in Judah, Jos 15:25, possibly in Moab, Jer 48:24), not in Galilee. Judas was the only one of the twelve not a Galilean. The rest of the verse is like 12:4.
{One of the twelve} (heis ek t“n d“deka). The eternal horror of the thing.


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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 6)



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