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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 9)

9:1 {As he passed by} (parag“n). Present active participle of parag“, old verb to go along, by, or past (Mt 20:30). Only example in this Gospel, but in 1Jo 2:8,17. The day was after the stirring scenes in chapter 8, but not at the feast of dedication as Westcott argues. That comes three months later (10:22).
{From his birth} (ek genetˆs). Ablative case with ek of old word from gen“, ginomai. Here alone in N.T., but the phrase tuphlos ek genetˆs is common in Greek writers. Probably a well-known character with his stand as a beggar (verse 5).

9:2 {Who did sin?} (tis hˆmarten;). Second aorist active indicative of hamartan“. See Ac 3:2; 14:8 for two examples of lameness from birth. Blindness is common in the Orient and Jesus healed many cases (cf. Mr 8:23; 10:46) and mentions this fact as one of the marks of the Messiah in the message to the Baptist (Mt 11:5). This is the only example of congenital blindness healed. It is not clear that the disciples expected Jesus to heal this case. They are puzzled by the Jewish notion that sickness was a penalty for sin. The Book of Job had shown that this was not always the case and Jesus shows it also (Lu 13:1-5). If this man was guilty, it was due to prenatal sin on his part, a curious notion surely. The other alternative charged it upon his parents. That is sometimes true (Ex 20:5, etc.), but by no means always. The rabbinical casuists loved to split hairs on this problem. Ezekiel (Eze 18:20) says: "The soul that sinneth it shall die" (individual responsibility for sin committed). There is something in heredity, but not everything.
{That he should be born blind} (hina tuphlos gennˆthˆi). Probably consecutive (or sub-final) use of hina with first aorist passive subjunctive of genna“.

9:3 {But that the works of God should be made manifest in him} (all' hina phaner“thˆi ta erga tou theou en aut“i). Jesus denies both alternatives, and puts God's purpose (all' hina with first aorist subjunctive of phanero“) as the true solution. It is sometimes true that disease is the result of personal sin as in the man in 5:14 and parents can hand on the effects of sin to the third and fourth generations, but there are cases free from blame like this. There is comfort for many sufferers in the words of Jesus here.

9:4 {We must work the works of him that sent me} (hˆmas dei ergazesthai ta erga tou pempsantos me). This is undoubtedly the correct text (supported by the Neutral and Western classes) and not eme (I) and me (me) of the Syrian class nor hˆmas (we) and hˆmas (us) of the Alexandrian class. Jesus associates us with him in the task committed to him by the Father. Bernard argues vigorously, but vainly, for eme me. We are not able to fathom the depth of the necessity (dei) here involved in each life as in this poor blind man and in each of us.
{While it is day} (he“s hˆmera estin). This clause gives the note of urgency upon us all.
{The night cometh} (erchetai nux). "Night is coming on," and rapidly. Night was coming for Jesus (7:33) and for each of us. Cf. 11:9; 12:35. Even electric lights do not turn night into day. He“s with the present indicative (21:22f.) means "while," not until as in 13:38.

9:5 {When I am in the world} (hotan en t“i kosm“i “). Indefinite relative clause with hotan and present active subjunctive , "whenever I am in the world." The Latin Vulgate renders here hotan by "quamdiu" so long as or while as if it were he“s. But clearly Jesus here refers to the historic Incarnation (17:11) and to any previous visitations in the time of the patriarchs, prophets, etc. Jesus as God's Son is always the Light of the World (1:4,10; 8:12), but here the reference is limited to his manifestation "in the world."
{I am the light of the world} (ph“s eimi tou kosmou). The absence of the definite article (to ph“s in 8:12) is to be noted (Westcott). Literally, "I am light to the world, whenever I am in the world." "The display of the character varies with the occasion" (Westcott).

9:6 {He spat on the ground} (eptusen chamai). First aorist active indicative of the old verb ptu“ for which see Mr 7:33. Chamai is an old adverb either in the dative or locative (sense suits locative), in N.T. only here and Joh 18:6. Jesus was not asked to cure this man. The curative effects of saliva are held in many places. The Jews held saliva efficacious for eye-trouble, but it was forbidden on the Sabbath. "That Jesus supposed some virtue lay in the application of the clay is contradicted by the fact that in other cases of blindness He did not use it" (Dods). Cf. Mr 8:23. Why he here accommodated himself to current belief we do not know unless it was to encourage the man to believe.
{He made clay} (epoiˆsen pˆlon). Only use of pˆlos, old word for clay, in N.T. in this chapter and Ro 9:21. The kneading of the clay and spittle added another offence against the Sabbath rules of the rabbis.
{Anointed his eyes with the clay} (epechrisen autou ton pˆlon epi tous ophthalmous). First aorist active indicative of epichri“, old verb, to spread on, anoint, here only and verse 11 in N.T. "He spread the clay upon his eyes." B C read epethˆken (first aorist active indicative of epitithˆmi, to put on).

9:7 {Wash} (nipsai). First aorist middle imperative second person singular of nipt“, later form of niz“, to wash, especially parts of the body. Certainly bathing the eyes is good for eye trouble, and yet we are not to infer that the cure was due to the use of the clay or to the washing.
{In the pool of Siloam} (eis tˆn kolumbˆthran tou Sil“am). The word kolumbˆthra (from kolumba“, to swim) is a common word for swimming-pool, in N.T. only here and 5:2,7. The name "Siloam" is Hebrew (Isa 8:6) and means "sent" (apestalmenos, perfect passive participle of apostell“). It was situated south of the temple area and was apparently connected by a subterranean tunnel with the Virgin's Well (5:2) according to Bernard. The water was conducted artificially to the pool of Siloam.
{Washed} (enipsato). First aorist direct middle (cf. nipsai), apparently bathing and not merely washing his eyes.
{Came seeing} (ˆlthen blep“n). Jesus had healed him. He was tested by the demand to bathe his eyes.

9:8 {Neighbours} (geitones). From (land), of the same land, old word. See Lu 14:2.
{Saw him} (the“rountes). Present active participle of the“re“, who used to observe him. {Aforetime} (to proteron). Adverbial accusative, "the former time," formerly.
{That he was a beggar} (hoti prosaitˆs ˆn). See 4:19; 12:19 for declarative hoti after the“re“. But it is entirely possible that hoti here is "because" (Westcott). Prosaitˆs is a late word for beggar, in N.T. only here and Mr 10:46. It is from prosaite“, to ask in addition (see prosait“n below), a thing that beggars know how to do.
{Is not this he that sat and begged?} (Ouch houtos estin ho kathˆmenos kai prosait“n;). He had his regular place and was a familiar figure. But now his eyes are wide open.

9:9 {Nay but he is like him} (Ouchi, alla homoios aut“i estin). Vigorous denial (ouchi) and mere similarity suggested. Associative instrumental case autoi after homoios. The crowd is divided.
{He said} (ekeinos elegen). Emphatic demonstrative (as in 11,12,25,36), "That one spake up." He knew.

9:10 {How then were thine eyes opened?} (P“s oun ˆne“ichthˆsan sou hoi ophthalmoi;). Natural and logical (oun) question. First aorist passive indicative (triple augment) of anoig“. These neighbours admit the fact and want the manner ("how") of the cure made clear.

9:11 {The man that is called Jesus} (ho anthr“pos ho legomenos Iˆsous). He does not yet know Jesus as the Messiah the Son of God (9:36).
{I received sight} (aneblepsa). First aorist active indicative of anablep“, old verb to see again, to recover sight, not strictly true of this man who had never seen. He got back sight that he had never had. Originally the verb means to look up (Mt 14:19).

9:12 {Where is he?} (Pou estin ekeinos;). The very question of 7:11.

9:13 {They bring him} (agousin auton). Vivid dramatic present active of ag“. These neighbours bring him.
{To the Pharisees} (pros tous Pharisaious). The accepted professional teachers who posed as knowing everything. The scribes were usually Pharisees. {Him that aforetime was blind} (ton pote tuphlon). Simply, "the once blind man."

9:14 {Now it was the sabbath} (ˆn de sabbaton). Literally, "Now it was a sabbath" (no article). To the Pharisees this fact was a far more important matter than whether or how the thing was done. See Volumes I and II for discussions of the minute Sabbath regulations of the rabbis.

9:15 {Again} (palin). Besides the questioning of the neighbours (verses 8,9).
{Therefore} (oun). Since he has been brought to the Pharisees who must make a show of wisdom.
{Also asked him} (ˆr“t“n auton kai). Inchoative imperfect active of er“ta“, "began also to question him."
{How he received his sight} (p“s aneblepsen). No denial as yet of the fact, only interest in the "how."
{He put} (epethˆken). Genuine here, but see verse 6. {And lo see} (kai blep“). That is the overwhelming fact.

9:16 {Because he keepeth not the sabbath} (hoti to sabbaton ou tˆrei). This is reason (causal hoti) enough. He violates our rules about the Sabbath and therefore is a Sabbath-breaker as charged when here before (5:10,16,18). Hence he is not "from God" (para theou). So some.
{How can a man that is a sinner do such signs?} (P“s dunatai anthr“pos hamart“los toiauta sˆmeia poiein;). This was the argument of Nicodemus, himself a Pharisee and one of the Sanhedrin, long ago (3:2). It was a conundrum for the Pharisees. No wonder there was "a division" (schisma, schism, split, from schiz“) as in 7:43; 10:19.

9:17 {Unto the blind man again} (t“i tuphl“i palin). The doctors disagree and they ask the patient whose story they had already heard (verse 15).
{In that he opened thine eyes} (hoti ˆne“ixen sou tous ophthalmous). Causal use of hoti and triple augment in the first aorist active indicative of anoig“. They offer the excuse that the man's experience particularly qualified him to explain the "how," overlooking the fact he had already told his story and also trying to conceal their own hopeless division of opinion.
{He is a prophet} (prophˆtˆs estin). The man will go that far anyhow.

9:18 {The Jews} (hoi Ioudaioi). Probably the incredulous and hostile section of the Pharisees in verse 16 (cf. 5:10).
{Did not believe} (ouk episteusan). The facts told by the man, "that he had been blind and had received his sight" (hoti ˆn tuphlos kai aneblepsen), conflicted with their theological views of God and the Sabbath. So they refused belief "until they called the parents" (he“s hotou eph“nˆsan tous goneis). Usual construction of he“s hotou ( = until which time, like he“s alone) with aorist active indicative of ph“ne“, old verb from ph“nˆ (voice, sound). They called out loud for his parents to throw light on this grave problem to cover up their own stupidity.

9:19 {Is this your son who ye say was born blind? how doth he now see?} (Houtos estin ho huios hum“n, hon humeis lˆgete hoti tuphlos egennˆthˆ; p“s oun blepei arti;). It was shrewdly put with three questions in one in order to confuse the parents if possible and give the hostile Pharisees a handle.

9:20 {We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind} (Oidamen hoti houtos estin ho huios hˆm“n kai hoti tuphlos egennˆthˆ). These two questions the parents answer clearly and thus cut the ground from under the disbelief of these Pharisees as to the fact of the cure (verse 18). So these Pharisees made a failure here.

9:21 {But how he now seeth we know not} (p“s de nun blepei ouk oidamen). Concerning the third question they profess ignorance both as to the "how" (p“s) and the "who" (tis).
{Opened} (ˆnoixen). First aorist active indicative with single augment of anoig“, same form as ˆne“ixen (triple augment) in verse 17. They were not witnesses of the cure and had the story only from the son as the Pharisees had.
{He is of age} (hˆlikian echei). "He has maturity of age." He is an adult. A regular classical phrase in Plato, etc. The parents were wholly right and within their rights.

9:22 {Because they feared the Jews} (hoti ephobounto tous Ioudaious). Imperfect middle, a continuing fear and not without reason. See already the whispers about Jesus because of fear of the Jews (7:13).
{Had agreed already} (ˆdˆ sunetetheinto). Past perfect middle of suntithˆmi, to put together, to form a compact (7:32,47-49).
{If any man should confess him to be Christ} (ean tis auton homologˆsˆi Christon). Condition of third class with ean and first aorist active subjunctive of homologe“ and predicate accusative Christon. Jesus had made confession of himself before men the test of discipleship and denial the disproof (Mt 10:32; Lu 12:8). We know that many of the rulers nominally believed on Jesus (12:42) and yet "did not confess him because of the Pharisees" (alla dia tous Pharisaious ouch h“mologoun), for the very reason given here, "that they might not be put out of the synagogue" (hina mˆ aposunag“goi gen“ntai). Small wonder then that here the parents cowered a bit.
{That he should be put out of the synagogue} (hina aposunag“gos genˆtai). Sub-final use of hina with second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai. Aposunag“gos (apo and sunag“gˆ) is found in N.T. only here and 12:42; 16:2. A purely Jewish word naturally. There were three kinds of excommunication (for thirty days, for thirty more, indefinitely).

9:23 {Therefore} (dia touto). "For this reason." Reason enough for due caution.

9:24 {A second time} (ek deuterou). He had given the Pharisees the facts the first time (9:15). It was really the third time (see palin in 9:17). Now it was like a joke unless the Pharisees meant to imply that his previous story was untrue. {Give glory to God} (dos doxan t“i the“i). Second aorist active imperative of did“mi (cf. sches, hes). This phrase does not mean gratitude to God as in Lu 17:18. It is rather an adjuration to speak the truth (Jos 7:19; 1Sa 6:5) as if he had not done it before. Augustine says: ""Quid est Da gloriam Deo? Nega quod accepisti."" Is a sinner (hamart“los estin). They can no longer deny the fact of the cure since the testimony of the parents (9:19) and now wish the man to admit that he was lying in saying that Jesus healed him. He must accept their ecclesiastical authority as proving that Jesus had nothing to do with the cure since Jesus is a sinner. They wish to decide the fact by logic and authority like all persecutors through the ages. Recall the Pharisaic distinction between dikaios (righteous) and hamart“los (sinner).

9:25 {One thing I know} (hen oida). This man is keen and quick and refuses to fall into the trap set for him. He passes by their quibbling about Jesus being a "sinner" (hamart“los) and clings to the one fact of his own experience.
{Whereas I was blind, now I see} (tuphlos “n arti blep“). Literally, "Being blind I now see." The present active participle “n of eimi by implication in contrast with arti (just now, at this moment) points to previous and so past time. It must be borne in mind that the man did not at this stage know who Jesus was and so had not yet taken him as Saviour (9:36-38).

9:26 {What did he do to thee?} (Ti epoiˆsen soi;). Another cross-examination, now admitting that Jesus opened his eyes and wishing again (9:15,17) to know "how."

9:27 {I told you even now} (eipon humin ˆdˆ). In verses 15,17,25.
{Would ye also become his disciples?} (Mˆ kai humeis thelete autou mathˆtai genesthai;). Negative answer formally expected, but the keenest irony in this gibe. Clearly the healed man knew from the use of "also" (kai) that Jesus had some "disciples" (mathˆtai, predicate nominative with the infinitive genesthai) and that the Pharisees knew that fact. "Do ye also (like the Galilean mob) wish, etc." See 7:45-52. It cut to the bone.

9:28 {They reviled him} (eloidorˆsan auton). First aorist active indicative of loidore“, old verb from loidoros (reviler, 1Co 5:11), in N.T. only here, Ac 23:4; 1Co 4:12; 1Pe 2:23.
{Thou art his disciple} (su mathˆtˆs ei ekeinou). Probably a fling in ekeinou (of that fellow). He had called him a prophet (9:17) and became a joyful follower later (9:36-38).
{But we are disciples of Moses} (hˆmeis de tou M“use“s esmen mathˆtai). This they said with proud scorn of the healed beggar. All orthodox rabbis so claimed.

9:29 {We know that God hath spoken unto Moses} (hˆmeis oidamen hoti M“usei lelalˆken ho theos). Perfect active indicative of lale“, so still on record. See Ex 33:11. For lale“ used of God speaking see Heb 1:1. They are proud to be disciples of Moses.
{But as for this man, we do not know whence he is} (touton de ouk oidamen pothen estin). "This fellow" they mean by "touton" in emphatic position, we do not even know whence he is. Some of the people did (7:27), but in the higher sense none of the Jews knew (8:14). These Pharisees neither knew nor cared.

9:30 {Why, herein is the marvel} (en tout“i gar to thaumaston estin). This use of gar (ge + ara, accordingly indeed) to bring out an affirmation from the previous words is common enough. "Why in this very point is the wonder" (thaumaston, old verbal adjective from thaumaz“ as in Mt 21:42). The man is angry now and quick in his insight and reply. You confess your ignorance of whence he is, ye who know everything, "and yet (adversative use of kai again) he opened my eyes" (kai ˆnoixen mou tous ophthalmous). That stubborn fact stands.

9:31 {God does not hear sinners} (ho theos hamart“l“n ouk akouei). Note genitive case with akouei. This was the argument of the Pharisees in 9:16. It is frequent in the O.T. (Job 27:9; Ps 66:18; Isa 1:15; 59:2, etc.). The conclusion is inevitable from this premise. Jesus is not hamart“los.
{If any man be a worshipper of God} (ean tis theosebˆs ˆi). Condition of third class with ean and present active subjunctive ˆi. Theosebˆs (theos, God, sebomai, to worship) is an old compound adjective, here alone in the N.T.
{And do his will} (kai to thelˆma autou poiei). Same condition with present active subjunctive of poie“, "keep on doing his will."

9:32 {Since the world began} (ek tou ai“nos). Literally, "from the age," "from of old." Elsewhere in the N.T. we have apo tou ai“nos or ap 'ai“nos (Lu 1:70; Ac 3:31; 15:18) as is common in the LXX.
{Of a man born blind} (tuphlou gegennˆmenou). Perfect passive participle of genna“. This is the chief point and the man will not let it be overlooked, almost rubs it in, in fact. It was congenital blindness.

9:33 {If this man were not from God} (ei mˆ ˆn houtos para theou). Negative condition of second class with imperfect indicative. Assuming that Jesus is not "from God" (para theou) as some argued in 9:16, "he could do nothing" (ouk ˆdunato poiein ouden). Conclusion of the second-class condition with imperfect indicative (double augment in ˆdunato) without an as is usual in conditions of possibility, propriety, obligation (Robertson, "Grammar", pp. 920,1014). The man has scored with terrific power in his use of Scripture and logic.

9:34 {Thou wast altogether born in sin} (en hamartiais su egennˆthˆs holos). First aorist passive indicative of genna“. "In sins thou wast begotten (or born) all of thee." Holos is predicate nominative and teaches total depravity in this case beyond controversy, the Pharisees being judges.
{And dost thou teach us?} (kai su didaskeis hˆmas;). The audacity of it all. Note emphasis on su (thou). It was insufferable. He had not only taught the rabbis, but had utterly routed them in argument. {And they cast him out} (kai exebalon auton ex“). Effective second aorist active indicative of ekball“ intensified by the addition of ex“. Probably not yet expulsion from the synagogue (9:22) which required a formal meeting of the Sanhedrin, but certainly forcible driving of the gifted upstart from their presence. See 6:37 for another use of ekball“ ex“ besides 9:35.

9:35 {Finding him} (heur“n auton). Second aorist active participle of heurisk“, after search because of what he had heard (ˆkousen).
{Dost thou believe on the Son of God?} (Su pisteueis eis ton huion tou theou;). So A L Theta and most versions, but Aleph B D W Syr-sin read tou anthr“pou (the Son of Man), almost certainly correct. In either case it is a distinct Messianic claim quite beyond the range of this man's limited knowledge, keen as he is.

9:36 {And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him?} (Kai tis estin, kurie;). The initial kai (and) is common (Mr 10:26; Lu 10:29; 18:26). Probably by kurie he means only "Sir." It usually comes at the beginning of the sentence, not at the end as here and verse 38.
{That I may believe on him} (hina pisteus“ eis auton). Ellipsis to be supplied before this final clause. He catches up the words of Jesus in the preceding verse, though he does not yet know who the Son of Man (or Son of God) is, but he trusts Jesus.

9:37 {Thou hast both seen him} (kai he“rakas auton). Perfect active indicative (double reduplication) of hora“. Since his eyes were opened.
{And he it is that speaketh with thee} (kai ho lal“n meta sou ekeinos estin). "And the one speaking with thee is that man." See 19:35 for ekeinos used of the speaker. In 4:26 Jesus reveals himself in like manner to the Samaritan woman as Messiah while here as the Son of Man (or the Son of God).

9:38 {Lord, I believe} (Pisteu“, kurie). Kurie here = Lord (reverence, no longer respect as in 36). A short creed, but to the point.
{And he worshipped him} (kai prosekunˆsen aut“i). Ingressive first aorist active indicative of proskune“, old verb to fall down in reverence, to worship. Sometimes of men (Mt 18:26). In John (see 4:20) this verb "is always used to express divine worship" (Bernard). It is tragic to hear men today deny that Jesus should be worshipped. He accepted worship from this new convert as he later did from Thomas who called him "God" (Joh 20:28). Peter (Ac 10:25f.) refused worship from Cornelius as Paul and Barnabas did at Lystra (Ac 14:18), but Jesus made no protest here.

9:39 {For judgement} (eis krima). The Father had sent the Son for this purpose (3:17). This world (kosmos) is not the home of Jesus. The krima (judgement), a word nowhere else in John, is the result of the krisis (sifting) from krin“, to separate. The Father has turned over this process of sifting (krisis) to the Son (5:22). He is engaged in that very work by this miracle.
{They which see not} (hoi mˆ blepontes). The spiritually blind as well as the physically blind (Lu 4:18; Isa 42:18). Purpose clause with hina and present active subjunctive blep“sin (may keep on seeing). This man now sees physically and spiritually.
{And that they which see may become blind} (kai hoi blepontes tuphloi gen“ntai). Another part of God's purpose, seen in Mt 11:25; Lu 10:21, is the curse on those who blaspheme and reject the Son. Note ingressive aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai and predicate nominative. Hoi blepontes are those who profess to see like these Pharisees, but are really blind. Blind guides they were (Mt 23:16). Complacent satisfaction with their dim light.

9:40 {Are we also blind?} (Mˆ kai hˆmeis tuphloi esmen;). Negative answer expected (mˆ) and yet these Pharisees who overheard the words of Jesus to the new convert vaguely suspected that Jesus was referring to them by the last clause. Up in Galilee Jesus had called the Pharisees blind guides who stumble into the pit (Mt 15:14).

9:41 {If ye were blind} (ei tuphloi ˆte). Condition of second class with imperfect indicative in the protasis. The old word tuphlos is from tuph“, to raise a smoke, to blind by smoke (literally and metaphorically). Here, of course, it is moral blindness. If the Pharisees were born morally blind, they would, like idiots, be without responsibility.
{Ye would not have sin} (ouk an eichete hamartian). Regular form for conclusion of second-class condition, an with imperfect.
{But now ye say} (nun de legete). In contrast to the previous condition. See like contrast in 15:22,24. They arrogantly asserted superior knowledge.
{We see} (blepomen). The ignorant mob do not (7:49). It is sin against light and is hopeless (Mr 3:29; Mt 12:31f.). "Ye are witnesses against yourselves" (martureite heautois, Mt 23:31).

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 9)

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