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Jalian Pe- 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of Jerusalem.
riod, 4740 blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
Vulgar Æra,

sbould be omitted. This therefore is done, and though some
MSS, since the time of Theophylact, have inserted the article,
yet the quotations from Origin have not the article, and Irenæus
refers to the verse in such a manner, that there is no reason for
supposing that it was found in his Ms. It is omitted too in the
Codex Alexandrinus, Cod. Vaticanus, Cod. Beza, and most of
the Greek MSS(a).

The course of St. John's history seems to imply rather that
this feast was not a passover. He relates that our Saviour re-
mained in Judea after the first passover in his ministry, till he
knew,“ how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and bap-
tized more disciples than John." He then left Judea, and de-
parted through Samaria into Galilee. He then went to Caper-
naum, (vide ch. iv.) and after this, says the evangelist, was a
feast of the Jews. It is, therefore, Mr. Benson (b) observes,
natural to imagine that this was a feast of Pentecost, or taber-
nacles; because there has been nothing related by the evan-
gelist which can imply so great a lapse of time, as intervencd
between passover and passover.

On the other hand it has been argued, that the feast, men-
tioned in ver. 1. was a passover, from what Jesus says to his
disciples at Sychar, (John iv. 35.) “ Say not ye, There are yet
four months, and then cometh barvest ” From this expression
it is supposed that it then wanted four months to harvest; that
is, to the passover, at which time the Jews' barley harvest
began, (Lev. xxiii. 11, &c.); consequently the next of the three
great seasts of the Jews would be that of the passover ; and as
Christ had so lately left Jerusalem for fear of the Jews, it is
concluded, by those who maintain this opinion, that no other
inducoment but that of a great feast would have carried him
thither so soon again, In reply to this, it is said, that our
Saviour in these words merely alluded to a proverbial expres-
sion among the Jews, that between the seed-time and harvest
there elapsed a period of four months. And, from the context,
we are still more induced to suppose it was a prevailing idiom,
signifying there was no necessity for delay; that the fields were
already ripe, and ready for the labourers to begin their work,
figuratively alluding to his reception among the Samaritans.
The words, “ lift up your eyes and look upon the fields, for
they are white already to harvest," seems most pointedly to refer
to the actual appearance of the surrounding country; for it
does not appear probable, particularly as our Saviour was ac-
customed to draw his illustrations from surrounding objects,
that he would have adopted this metaphor had he been encom-
passed with the desolation of winter, or that season of the year
which preceded harvest,

The history, therefore, of this portion of our Lord's ministry,
is as follows: at his first passoever he went up to Jerusalem,
and continued in Judea for two or three weeks after it, bap-
tizing," though he himself baptized not, but bis disciples,"
(John iv. 2.) His rapid and extensive success having excited
the observation of the Pharisees, he thought it prudent to quit
Judea, and passing through Samaria in the midst of the harvest,
impressed upon his disciples the readiness of the Samaritans tó
receive his doctrines, by an illustration very beautifully drawn
from the scenes and operations whicb were passing before
them. He then continued his journey into Galilee (it was but a
tbree day's journey from Jerusalem to Galilee,) and after re-


Julian Pe- 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the Jerusalem.
riod, 4710.
Vulgar Æra,

maining there for a few weeks returned again to Jerusalem,
according to Cyril and Chrysostom, to celebrate the feast of
Pentecost, or, according to others, at a somewhat later period,
to celebrate the feast of tabernacles.

The most formidable objection to the supposition that the
miracle at the pool of Bethesda, and the subsequent plucking
of the ears of corn, took place at the feast of Pentecost, is given
by Archbishop Newcome. This author supposes that a whole
year probably elapsed between the conversation with Nicode-
mus at the first passover, and the miracle at Bethesda ; and he
gives a calculation of the probable periods that he supposes
must have transpired between the several events; allowing the
shortest time possible for each. According to this calculation,
be makes it appear that four months and a half must at least bé
allowed; and, as the Pentecost was only fifty days after the
Passoever, this statement alone will be sufficient to prove that
the miracle at the pool of Bethesda could not have been
wrought at Pentecost. I have endeavoured to compress his
reasoning within the shortest compass.

After the passover, in which Christ conversed with Nicodemus, we read, John iii. 22. that Christ remained in Judea, and baptized, that is, his disciples who were with him baptized, (John iv. 2.) Now, as his disciples were not at that time with him, (for Andrew, Peter, James, and Jobn, were not yet called) he must first have collected disciples before he baptized-and as he continued there till he had baptized more disciples than John, it is not improbable that our Lord stayed in Judea for at least one month.

To this it may be answered, that there were many who followed Christ, and many, though they had seen his miracles, who forsook him; whose names are not mentioned. The sacred narratives leave out so many events, and sometimes glance so slightly at many of the most important, that it is not at all improbable our Lord may have been followed from Jerusalem by many; who professed themselves his disciples for a time, and haptized in his name, yet who left him as others had done, because he did not fulfil the expectations they had previously formed of the Messiah. Their notions were so contradictory, that we may very naturally suppose they were satisfied with the miraculons proofs he gave that he was more than a prophet : but they were discontented with the continued subjection of their country to the Romans, and the poverty and lowliness of our Lord himself. It is not necessary therefore to suppose that his twelve apostles, or any of them attended him. Many who had seen, or had been assured of the miracle of the driving the buyers and sellers from the temple, might have followed bim. The first intelligence of the open evident revival of miracles would have attracted the inhabitants of the surrounding districts in such numbers, that those who were baptized by Christ's disciples would soon exceed those who were baptized by John : and as the jealousy of the Jews would be soon excited, more especially as our Lord had now begun to be the object of public attention, there is no reasonable cause why a month should be the period of his residence in Judea: seven or ten days would be amply sufficient.

The tour from Judea, through Samaria to Galilee, Archbishop Newcome supposes must have occupied at least seven days.' The distance from Judea to Samaria is about sixty miles, from thence to Cana fifty more. It appears, from John iv.

Solian De pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first, Jerusalem. riod, 4740. Valgar Æra, 40 and 43. that our Lord remained at Samaria two days; seven 27.

days, therefore, will be sufficient to allow for this journey.

At Cana, Archbishop Newcome supposes, our Lord remained four days at least: to allow time for the nobleman of Caper. naum (which was about thirty-five miles distant,) to hear of our Lord's miracles, and to send the message to bim respecting his son, the answer returned, &c. Four days, we may well suppose, would be occupied in the transactions related in John iv. 46. to the end.

The Archbishop allows eight days for the teaching in the synagogues, mentioned Luke iv. 15. and four for the sojourning at Nazareth, Luke iv. 16. His arguments on these points are satisfactory.

Three weeks are allowed by this divine as the time of our Lord's remaining at Capernaum, Matt. iv. 13. because it is said, “ He dwelt there." But it seems to have escaped his attention, that the expression in the original, katØKNOev els Kahepvaspi, does not uniformly mean, he took up his constant residence. The word katokéW sometimes denotes, to remain in a place for a short time, to rosido as a guest. It appears probable that our Lord might have been invited to Capernaum, to the house of the nobleman whose son he had cured. We learn, in Matt. viii., 20. that Christ had not where to lay his head, that is, he had no habitation which he could call bis own. We are informed that he dwelt at Caper. naum: but the word, in the original, does not imply that he continued there for so long a period as three weeks. It is more probable that the house of the nobleman, who is supposed to have been Herod's steward, served but as a temporary residence; from whence he might conveniently visit other parts of Galilee. When we remember the diligence with which our Lord attended to the immediate design of his mission, it seems more likely that he staid at Capernaum three or four days; after which he proceeded on bis tour through Galilee, from whence when he returned he might again go back to Capernaum. This plan would fully justify the expression of the evangelist, that

he dwelt there." In addition to the three weeks allotted by Archbishop Newcome for our Saviour's residence at CaperDaum, a period of one month is assigned to his tour througla Galilee. This, however, is quite uncertain. Mark i. 38, 39. describes the same tour through Galilee, and relates the retura of our Lord to Capernaum after some days, Mark ii. 1. di quepôv-an indefinite expression, which may possibly signify a month, but may with greater propriety be supposed to denote a a much less time. The circuit of Galilee may be considered sevenly miles in extent; if we allow ten miles a day, the tour round Galilee, till the return to 'Capernaum, when Matthew was called, and our Lord left Galilee for Jerusalem, will be fourteen days The whole time, therefore, between the conversation with Nicodemus, and the event we bave been consi. dering, may be easily comprised within the compass of seven weeks, and the feast at which the miracle at the pool of Bethesda was wrought might bave been, and most probably was, not the Passover, but the Pentecost.

Pilkington places this care at the pool of Bethesda, or BethChesda, immediately after the temptation, (Evang. History, pote to sect. 57.) supposing as the event took place in Judea, it was iu the first visit there. But he has produced no authority for his supposition, which may be considered as merely arbitrary.

Julian Pe. after the troubling of the water, stepped in, was made Jerusalem. riod, 4740.

whole of whatsoever disease he had ". VulgarÆra, 27.

5 And a certain man was there which had an infirmity. thirty and eight years.

(6) Vide Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. notes, p. 60. Benson, p. 253. (6) Chronology of Christ's life, p. 245. 248, 249.

39 The authenticity of this passage has been much disputed among divines; some having considered it as an interpolation, which was inserted from the marginal notes, illustrative of the popular superstition. Doddridge, from Jerome, supposes the pool to be partly mineral, and used for general bathing, and that it was endued with a miraculous power some time before the ministry of Christ; and that after this miracle, or after the rejection, or the passion of Christ, its virtue ceased.-Lightfoot remarks: to these waters flowing from Siloam, as a type of the Messiah, it might please God to give this miraculous virtue some time before “ He that was sent appeared," (John ix. 7.) that this pool was first laid by Solomon, Josephus de Bel. lib. 5. cap. 13. compared with Nehemiah iii. and at first called Solomou's Pool, or now Bethesda, or the place of mercy, from its beneficial virtue. He adds, that the fountain Gihon,

1 Kings i. 33. is also named Siloam, Chald. Paraph. ad loc. Thus Ř. Solomon and D. Kimchi, Gihon is Siloam. The spring divided into two streams, fed at some distance two pools of water, the lower pool, to the west of Jerusalem, called the Pool of Siloam, Jobn ix. 7. Neh. iii. 15. and formed by Hezekiah, 2 Chron. xxxii. 30; and the upper pool, named the Pool of Solomon, or the Old Pool, Isa. xxii. 11, to the south-east, which is this Pool of Bethesda. Solomon was anointed king at Gihon, (1 Kings i. 45.) and the waters of Siloam were held in such estimation among the Jews, that the prophets made them a type of the kingdom of David and of Christ, (Isa. xii. 3. and viii. 6.) which is thus explained by the Targum, or Chaldee Paraphrase, “ The kingdom of David that rules them quietly.” The whole of this transaction was typical of Christ. He is the true Bethesda, or house of mercy, the fountain (foretold by Zech. xiii. 1.) open to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness, unto which all the poor, the blind, the impotent, are invited to come, to receive health, and strength, and life eternal.

Bishop Marsh, however, is of opinion (Introd. to N. T. vol. ii. p. 732, note 118.) that the fourth verse is spurious, " from its being omitte the Codex Beza and the Codex Vaticanus, which are the two most ancient MSS. now extant. It is likewise omitted in the Codex Ephrem (which is inferior in age to the Codex Beza,) but written in the margin as a scholion; it is written in more modern MSS. in the text, but marked with an asterisk, or obelus, as suspicious; and in MSS. still more modern it is written without any mark, which gives us, (he concludes,) the various gradations by which it has acquired its place in our present text, and a certain proof that the verse was originally nothing more than a marginal scholion, and of course spurious.” Verse four is likewise omitted in the Camb. MS. Copt. and is marked with an asterisk, or appears only in the margin of five, or six, of the Paris MSS. But in every other MS. and in all the versions, and Greek Scholiasts Clemens, Alexandrinus, Jerome, and St. Augustin, its authenticity is established.-See Elsley in loc. and Mr. Penn's work on the Mosaical Geology, the last, in which the subject is discussed.


Jalian Pe

6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been Jerusalem. riod, 4740. Vulgar Æra, now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou 27. be made whole ?

7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool : but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk 3.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked : and on the same day was the sabbath.

10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath-day; it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.

11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk ?

13 And he that was healed wist not who it was : for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in

that place.

14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole : sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus which had made him whole.

Christ vindicates the Miracle, and asserts the dignity of his


JOHN v. 16. to the end.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and
sought to slay him, because he had done these things on
the sabbath-day.

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh
hitherto, and I work ".

33 This was contrary to the letter of the law, Jer. xvii. 21, 22. and extremely so to the traditions : for, according to them, he tbat carrieth any thing on the sabbath, in his right hand or left, or in his bosom, or upon his shoulder, he is guilty. Talmud. in Lab. per 10.' In this the man's faith was tried, for in taking up his bed he risked death or scourging. Our Saviour bere assumes the power of a prophet, who, the Jews held, bad a right to infringe the rest of the sabbath ; justifying it from Joshua surrounding Jericho seven successive days with the ark. Grotius, Whitby, in loc.

34 In this verse our Saviour fully declares to the Jews his Messiahship. Schoetgen considers the verse to be a continua. tion of a conversation which the evangelist has omitted. The subject is the sabbath. The words of our Lord, as the Jews

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