And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying.—Better, . . . seeth the linen clothes lying. The tense still describes the scene as it actually occurred. The words “looking in” rightly complete the meaning. (Comp. Note on John 11:38, and for the word, Note on Luke 24:12.) It is used again in the New Testament only in John 20:11, James 1:25, and 1Peter 1:12. It meant, originally, to stoop sideways, and was used, e.g., of a harp-player; then, to stoop over, peer into, inquire into. For the “linen clothes,” comp. John 19:40.
Yet went he not in.—He is restrained by wonder, not unaccompanied, perhaps, by fear, at what he sees, and waits for his friend and companion.Matthew 28.Mark 16:5. Hence he was obliged to stoop down, ere he could see anything within: when he
saw the linen clothes lying; in which the body had been wrapped, but that itself not there:
yet went he not in; to the sepulchre itself, but waited in the court or porch, till Peter came; and perhaps might be timorous and fearful of going into such a place alone; the Arabic version reads it, "he dared not go in".And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 20:5-8. John is withheld by natural terror (not dread of pollution, as Wetstein, Ammon, and several others think) from going in at once; the bolder and older Peter, however, goes in, and then, encouraged by his example and presence, John also enters.
Note how earnestly the fourth Gospel also states the fact of the empty grave, which is by no means veiled in the darkness of an experience made in twilight, and of the reports of the women (Weizsäcker).
βλέπει, he sees; on the other hand, John 20:6, θεωρεῖ, he contemplates. See Tittmann, Synon. p. 111 f., 120 f.
τὰ ὀθόνια] The handkerchief (John 20:7) must consequently have so lain, that it did not meet the eye of John, when he, standing before the grave, bent down (παρακύψας), i.e. bowed his head forwards through the low entrance in order to see within (Luke 24:12; Sir 21:23; Sir 14:23; Lucian, Paras. 42, et al., Aristoph., Theocr., Plutarch, etc.). Observe, further, that τὰ ὀθόν. here in John 20:6 is placed first (otherwise in John 20:5) in opposition to τὸ σουδάριον.
τὸ σουδάρ.] John 11:44; Luke 19:20.
χερίς] used adverbially (separatim) only here in the N. T., very frequently in the Greek writers.
εἰς ἕνα τόπον] belongs to ἐντετυλιγμ.: wrapped up (Aristoph. Plut. 692; Nub. 983) in one place apart, so that it was not, therefore, lying along with the bandages, but apart in a particular place, and was not spread out, but folded together. In so orderly a manner, not in precipitate confusion, did that take place which had been here done. In ἕνα is implied that the ὀθόνια and the handkerchief occupied two places. How thoroughly does this whole pictorial representation, comp. with Luke 24:12, reveal the eyewitness!
εἶδε] Namely, the state of matters in the grave just related.
ἐπίστευσεν] that Jesus was risen. Comp. John 20:25. This, the grand object of the history, taken as a matter of course, and, from these unmistakeable indicia, now bringing conviction to the disciples, and see John 20:9. Hence neither generally: he believed on Jesus as the Christ, as in John 19:35 (Hengstenberg, Godet), nor merely: he believed that which Mary, John 20:2, had said (Erasmus, Luther, Aretius, Jansen, Clarius, Grotius, Bengel, Ebrard, Baeumlein, and several others, following Augustine and Theophylact). The articles left behind in the grave and laid aside, as related, in so orderly a manner, testified, in truth, precisely against a removal of the corpse. See already Chrysostom, Euth. Zigabenus, Nonnus. The singular only satisfies the never-to-be-forgotten personal experience of that moment, but does not exclude the contemporaneous faith of Peter also (in answer to Hilgenfeld and others), as is, moreover, unmistakeable from the following plur. ᾔδεισαν, although even Hengstenberg makes Peter, in conformity with Luke 24:12, remain standing only in amazement (in which Godet also substantially follows him), but of which John says never a word.John 20:5. καὶ παρακύψας … The R.V renders παρακύψας by “stooping and looking in,” A.V has merely “stooping down”; the Vulgate “cum se inclinasset,” Weizsäcker “beugte sich vor”. Field (Otium Norvic. on Luke 24:12) prefers “looking in,” although, he says, “peep in” would more accurately define the word παρακύπτειν. He quotes Casaubon’s opinion that the word implies “protensionem colli cum modica corporis incurvatione”. See also Kypke on Luke 24:12, and Lid. and Scott Lex. ὀθόνια are the strips of linen used for swathing the dead; the cerecloths. ὀθόνη is frequent in Homer (Il., 3, 141; 18, 595) to denote the fine material of women’s dress; in Lucian and Herodian of sails; in Acts 10:11 of a sheet. σινδών is the word used by Luke (Luke 23:53); so Herodotus, ii. 86. οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν, “he did not however enter,” withheld by dread of pollution, according to Wetstein; by terror, according to Meyer. It is enough to suppose that it did not occur to John to enter the tomb, or that he was withheld by a feeling of reverence or delicacy.
 Revised Version.
 Authorised Version.5. stooping down, and looking in] In the Greek this is expressed in a single word, which occurs again John 20:11 and Luke 24:12, in a literal sense, of ‘bending down to look carefully at;’ and in a figurative sense in 1 Peter 1:12 and James 1:25 (see notes in both places). In Sir 14:23 it is used of the earnest searcher after wisdom, in John 21:23 of the rude prying of a fool.
saw] Better, seeth, at a glance (blepei).John 20:5. Οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν, he did not however go in) and on this account did not see the napkin (sudarium), etc. He seems to have been kept back through fear.Verse 5. - And having stooped down. Παρακύπτω is the verb used in Luke 24:12 to describe Peter's conduct and gesture. It was a necessary preliminary of the subsequent act of Peter, though Luke does not refer to it. Peter himself uses the same word (1 Peter 1:12). It means literally "bending on one side," with a desire to gaze intently on an object (Ecclus. 14:23 Ecclus. 21:23; James 1:25). He seeth the linen clothes lying (see John 19:40), untenanted and unused, those very cerecloths which he had helped to wind round the sacred, wounded body, with their affluence of sweet spices. Yet entered he not within. Awe, reverence, mystery, fear, nascent hope, the thought most possibly, "Not here, but risen," began to dawn faintly on his mind. There was ringing in his ears," Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." The touch of the eye-witness, and the personal part of one who is describing his own activity. Weft-stein, on οὐ μέντοι εἰσῆλθεν, adds, "no pollueretur," and quotes numerous Talmudieal authorities to show how the corpse and the grave and gravestone would pollute the living (cf. Numbers 19:16). If so, then Peter, before he came to the conclusion that there was no death in the sepulcher, broke a ritual law which John respected. There seems also rabbinical authority for the fact that disciples might carry "the just" to their grave without such tear of pollution. But at this moment they were both lifted above the region of ritual altogether.
Simple sight. Compare the intent gaze of Peter (θεωρεῖ), John 20:6, which discovered the napkin, not seen by John.
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