John 4:43
Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.
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(43) Two days.—Literally, the two days. It is the time mentioned in John 4:40, not a second period of two days.

John 4:43-45. After two days, he went into Galilee — That is, into the country of Galilee: but not to Nazareth, where he had spent his childhood and youth. It was at that town only that he had no honour. And therefore he passed by it, and went to other towns. Luke, speaking of this journey, says, Luke 4:14, Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit unto Galilee. See also Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14-15. The Galileans received him — Treated him courteously, and attended his ministry with a disposition to believe, having conceived a favourable opinion of him by reason of the miracles they had seen him perform in Jerusalem during the passover.

4:43-54 The father was a nobleman, yet the son was sick. Honours and titles are no security from sickness and death. The greatest men must go themselves to God, must become beggars. The nobleman did not stop from his request till he prevailed. But at first he discovered the weakness of his faith in the power of Christ. It is hard to persuade ourselves that distance of time and place, are no hinderance to the knowledge, mercy, and power of our Lord Jesus. Christ gave an answer of peace. Christ's saying that the soul lives, makes it alive. The father went his way, which showed the sincerity of his faith. Being satisfied, he did not hurry home that night, but returned as one easy in his own mind. His servants met him with the news of the child's recovery. Good news will meet those that hope in God's word. Diligent comparing the works of Jesus with his word, will confirm our faith. And the bringing the cure to the family brought salvation to it. Thus an experience of the power of one word of Christ, may settle the authority of Christ in the soul. The whole family believed likewise. The miracle made Jesus dear to them. The knowledge of Christ still spreads through families, and men find health and salvation to their souls.Into Galilee - Into some of the parts of Galilee, though evidently not into Nazareth, but probably direct to Cana, John 4:46. Joh 4:43-54. Second Galilean Miracle—Healing of the Courtier's Son.

43, 44. after two days—literally, the two days of His stay at Sychar.

Christ (as we heard before, John 4:3) was upon his journey into Galilee, only he stopped two days at Sichem to gratify the desires of the Samaritans of that city; which two days being now spent, he keepeth on in his journey. But here ariseth a question, viz. Whether he first went to Nazareth, or to Cana? For the opinion of those who think he first went to Nazareth, is quoted Matthew 4:12. Besides, it is said that Nazareth was in his road to Cana, and, Luke 4:24, he is said to have uttered these words there. Chemnitius thinks he went first to Cana, according to what John relates in the following verses. And, Luke 4:16, he is said to have gone out of Galilee to Nazareth: and besides, the next mentioned miracle is {John 4:54} said to have been Christ’s second miracle, which it could not have been had he first gone to Nazareth, for, Luke 4:23, those of Nazareth mention some miracles which he had wrought at Capernaum.

Now after two days he departed thence,.... When he had stayed two days at Sychar conversing with, and discoursing to the Samaritans, which were the means of the conversion of many of them; he departed out of that country, and passed on his way:

and went into Galilee; as he first intended; see John 4:3.

{8} Now after two days he departed thence, and went into {k} Galilee.

(8) The despisers of Christ deprive themselves of his benefit: yet Christ prepares a place for himself.

(k) Into the towns and villages of Galilee, for he would not live in his country of Nazareth, because they despised him, and where (as the other evangelists write) the efficacy of his benefits was hindered because of their being incredibly stiffnecked.

John 4:43-44.[198] Τὰς δύο ἡμέρας] The article is to be explained by John 4:40.

αὐτός] ipse, not merely others with reference to Him, but “He Himself did not hesitate to testify,” etc. As to the fact itself, see Matthew 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24. When Schenkel concludes from προφήτης that Jesus did not yet regard Himself as the Messiah, this is a misuse of the general term within the category of which the conception of Messiah is embraced.

ἐμαρτύρ.] not in the sense of the Pluperfect (Tholuck, Godet; see on John 18:24), but then, when He returned to Galilee.

γάρ is the ordinary for; and πατρίδι is not the native town, but, as is clear from Γαλιλαίαν, John 4:43; John 4:45, the native country. So also usually in Greek writers, from Homer downwards. The words give the reason why He did not hesitate to return to Galilee. The gist of the reason lies in the antithetical reference of ἐν τῇ ἰδίᾳ πατρίδι. If, as Jesus Himself testified, a prophet had no honour in his own country, he must seek it abroad. And this Jesus had done. Abroad, in Jerusalem, He had by His mighty works inspired the Galilaeans who were there with that respect which they were accustomed to deny to a prophet at home. Thus He brought the prophet’s honour with Him from abroad.[199] Accordingly (John 4:45) He found a reception among the Galilaeans also, because they had seen His miracles in Jerusalem (John 2:23). It is therefore obviously incorrect to understand Γαλιλαίαν specially of Upper Galilee, as distinct from Lower Galilee, where Nazareth was situated. So Lange, in spite of the fact that Γαλιλ. here must be the universal and popular name for the whole province, as distinct from Samaria (ἐκεῖθεν), whether we retain καὶ ἀπῆλθεν as in the Elzevir or not. It is further incorrect, and an utterly arbitrary gloss, to interpret πατρίς as meaning Nazareth, and γάρ as referring to the fact that He had gone, indeed, to Galilee, but not to Nazareth (Chrysostom and even Euthymius Zigabenus: to Capernaum). So Cyril, Nonnus, Erasmus, Beza, Calvin, Aretius, Grotius, Jansen, Bengel, and many; also Kypke, Rosenmüller, Olshausen, Klee, Gemberg in Stud. u. Krit. 1845, I.; Hengstenberg, Bäumlein. It is also incorrect, because not in keeping with the context, nor with the general view, which is also that of John, which regards Galilee as Christ’s home (John 1:46, John 2:1, John 7:3; John 7:41; John 7:52), to take πατρίς as denoting Judea, and γάρ as stating the reason (in the face of the quite different reason already given, John 4:1-3) why Jesus had left Judea (Origen, Maldonatus, B. Bauer, Schwegler, Wieseler, B. Crusius, Schweizer, Köstlin, Baur, Hilgenfeld, and formerly also Ebrard); whence some, e.g. Origen and Baur, take πατρίς in a higher sense, as signifying the native land of the prophets,[200] and therefore of the Messiah also, and most, like Hilgenfeld, as having reference to the birth at Bethlehem. Lücke has rightly, in his 3d ed., abandoned this interpretation; but, on the other hand, he takes γὰρ as equivalent to namely, and explains it as referring not to what precedes, but to what follows (so substantially also Tholuck, Olshausen, Maier, de Wette), so that John 4:44 gives an explanation in passing on the point: “that the Galilaeans on this occasion received Jesus well, but only on account of the miracles which they had seen in Jerusalem” (de Wette). It is against this, however, that though in the classics γὰρ explicative often precedes the sentence to be explained (see Hartung, Partikell. I. p. 467; Bäumlein, Partik. p. 75 ff.), especially in parenthesis (see Bremi, ad Lys. p. 66; Ellendt, Lex. Soph. I. 338), yet this form of expression is quite without precedent in the N. T. (Romans 14:10, Hebrews 2:8, are not instances in point), and especially would be quite foreign to John’s simple progressive style of narration; moreover, the “indeed,—but only,” put into John 4:45, is quite obtruded on the words, inasmuch as John wrote neither μέν after ἐδέξ., nor thereafter a μόνον δέ, nor any such expression.[201] According to Brückner, Jesus came to Galilee because, (but see John 4:1-3) He had supposed that He would find no honour there, and consequently with the intention of undertaking the conflict for the recognition of His person and dignity. According to Luthardt, whom Ebrard now follows (comp. Hofmann, Weissag. u. Erf. II. 88, also Schriftbew II. 1, p. 171), the words imply the hope entertained by Jesus of being able to remain in rest and silence in Galilee more easily than anywhere else. But both explanations are incompatible with the following ὅτε οὖν, κ.τ.λ., which certainly means that the Galileans received Him with honour, as He was called immediately thereafter to perform a miracle. We should certainly expect ΔΈ or ἈΛΛΆ (comp. Nonnus) to introduce the statement, and not ΟὖΝ. In what follows, moreover, regarding the residence in Galilee, we are told neither about conflict nor about the repose of Jesus, but simply of the healing at a distance of the nobleman’s son. Lastly, it is contrary to the words (because ὍΤΕ ΟὖΝ ἮΛΘΕΝ in John 4:45 directly resumes the ΕἸς Τ. ΓΑΛ. of John 4:43, and admits of no interval), when Hauff, in the Stud. u. Krit. 1849, p. 117 ff., makes the train of thought to terminate with John 4:44, and takes John 4:44 itself as a general description of the result of Christ’s Galilean ministry. Thus ἐδέξαντο is said to indicate that He did and taught much there; which is clearly a gloss foisted into the text.

[198] See Ewald, Jahrb. X. 1860, p. 108 ff. He agrees for the most part with my rendering; comp. also his Johann. Schr. I. p. 194; in like manner Godet, who, however, without the slightest hint of it in the text, supposes a purpose on the writer’s part, in connection with John 3:24, to correct the synoptical tradition. John wishes “constater l’intervalle considérable qui sépara du baptême de Jésus son retour définitif et son établissement permanent en Galilée.” In John 3:24 he states the fact, and here he gives the motive. Scholten puts the emphasis which prompts the following γὰρ upon ἐκεῖθεν, a word which is quite unessential, and might just as well have been omitted.

[199] Baeumlein urges, against my explanation: “We cannot believe that, after the words ‘He betook Himself to Galilee,’ there should follow the reason why He had before left Galilee.” This, however, is not the logical connection at all.

[200] So also B. Crusius, who compares John 7:52. Quite erroneously, when the general and proverbial character of the statement is considered. After John 4:3, however, the reader can expect no further explanation of the reason why Jesus did not remain in Judea. Schwegler and B. Bauer suppose that here Judea is meant as the native land of Jesus, and make use of this as an argument against the genuineness and historical truth of the Gospel. Comp. also Köstlin in the Theol. Jahrb. 1851, p. 186. Hilgenfeld, Evang. p. 266: “a remarkable inversion of the synoptical statement, wherein the Gospel appears as a free compilation by a post-apostolic author” (Zeitschr. 1862, p. 17). Schweizer also finds it such a stumbling-block, that he regards it as proving the following narrative to be a Galilean interpolation. Gfrörer, heil. Sage, II. 289, rightly indeed understands the words as referring to Galilee, but considers that we should supply the following: “save very slowly and reluctantly, for,” etc.

[201] Weizsäcker also, in the Jahrb. F. Deutsche Theol. 1859, p. 695, regards γάρ not as introducing a reason, but as demonstrative. John intimates that he will not narrate much of Christ’s ministry in Galilee; he refers to that saying as if shrinking from unpleasant recollections. But this is not in the text, nor is it compatible with the connection in ver. 45, and the history that follows. Weizsäcker, indeed, thinks (comp. his Unters. üb. d. ev. Gesch. p. 276) that in this synoptic saying John refers to the synoptic account of that Galilean ministry, which he would not himself describe. Who ever could imagine that? especially when John at once goes on to narrate the good reception given to Jesus in Galilee, and His miracle of blessing there. Did the Lord betake Himself to “a voluntary obscurity,” concerning which John wishes to be silent?

John 4:43-54. Jesus passes into Galilee and there heals the son of a nobleman.

43–54. The Work among Galileans

43. after two days] Literally, after the two days mentioned in John 4:40.

and went] These words are wanting in the best MSS.

John 4:43. Ἐξῆλθεν, He departed) The departure of Jesus was useful to the Samaritans, considering what were their customs, inasmuch as in many respects they were alien to those of the Jews.

Verses 43-54. -

8. The commencement of the Galilaean ministry. We read the details of the Galilaean ministry in the synoptists, who describe our Lord's public entrance, in the power of the Spirit, into Galilee (Matthew 4:12; Mark 1:14; Luke 4:14). They are silent with reference to these earliest witnesses to his method and varied specimens of his work. Just as in the Revelation of St. John we have a proem, and a series of visions which rehearse the entire development of the kingdom and glory of the Lamb of God until the day of his triumph, his wrath, and his great glory; so in these earlier chapters of the Fourth Gospel we have an anticipation of the entire ministry of Messiah. Specimens and illustrations are given of his creative might, of his purifying energy, of his forecast of the cross, of his demand for inward and radical renewal of his promise and gift of life. We can read in these events his principles of judgment and his revelation of the Father, his mission to mankind as a whole, and his victory and drawing of souls to himself. We see, moreover, his relation to the theocracy and to the outlying world, to the learned rabbi and to the woman that was a sinner.. We see the Lord in his glory and in his humiliation. A very brief hint is given in the following verses of the character of his Galilaean ministry, Wherein mighty works and words alternate, and the first storm of direct opposition to him begins to make its appearance, upon which, while much light is cast by the narrative of ch. 5, we have no indistinct trace in the synoptic narrative. Verses 43-45. - Now after the two days - i.e. the two days of our Lord's sojourn in Sychar (ver. 40) - he went forth thence into Galilee. Here the author takes up the narrative of ver. 3. The delay in Samaria was parenthetical to the chief end of his journey, which was to leave Judaea and commence his ministry in Galilee. He now enters it a second time from Judaea. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country, When therefore he came into Galilee, the Galilaeans willingly received him, having seen all things whatsoever he did in Jerusalem, at the feast: for they themselves also went to the feast. These words bristle with difficulties, and hardly two commentators entirely agree in their interpretation of them. Christ's visit to Galilee is here accounted for by the principle embodied in the proverb, or a part at least of the proverb, which he used (according to the synoptic narrative) with reference to his visit to and reception in Nazareth, about this some period in his career. Apart from that reference, the most simple explanation of the quotation would be that our Lord regarded Jerusalem and Judge, as in one sense, and a very deep one, "his country," not simply his birthplace, and which he felt at twelve years of age was to contain his Father's house and kingdom and work; and of which he afterwards said, "O Jerusalem, that killest the prophets,... how oft would I... but ye would not!" The Fourth Gospel records our Lord's various Judaean ministries with such striking incidents and impressive discourse, that his claim upon the loyalty of the metropolis was repeatedly urged and as repeatedly rejected. True that in vers. 1-3 we are told that our Lord left Judaea because the Pharisees, the influential religious party, were in a hostile sense comparing his ministry with that of the Baptist. This may only be another way in which the comparative unfruitfulness of his early ministry in Judaea is stated. "The prophet hath no honour in his own country." If this was the meaning of Christ's recurrence to the proverb, then we can understand the οϋν of ver. 45, as well as the γάρ of ver. 44, The Galilaeans who had been up to Jerusalem, and been favourably impressed - perhaps more so than any Judaeans, having formed the bulk of those who received baptism at his hands - received him graciously on his entrance into Galilee. The whole passage thus would hang together; a subsequent and similar and more acute experience where he was best known by face, in Nazareth, drew from him an expanded form of the proverb, in sad and melancholy iteration, "A prophet is not without honour save in his own country, and amongst his kindred, and in his own house" (Mark 6:4; Matthew 13:57). [In Luke's enlarged account of the visit to Nazareth (Luke 4:16-30), possibly an event which is perfectly distinct from the visit to his "own country" cited by Matthew and Mark, the proverb appears in its shorter form.] This interpretation is that preferred by Origen, Maldonatus, Wieseler, Baur, etc., formerly by Ebrard and Lucke, and now by Westcott, Moulton, and Plummer. In my opinion it is the most satisfactory and least encumbered interpretation. It does not seem satisfactory to Meyer and others, who urge that πατρίς can only mean what it obviously does in the synoptic narrative, viz. Galilee as represented by Nazareth. Meyer also interprets the γάρ as introducing a reason, not only for our Lord's present return to Galilee, but for his earlier departure from Galilee to Judaea; and Meyer supposes that he must have uttered the words then. On this supposition, the Galilaeans in the first instance must have failed to appreciate his prophetic claims. Christ had gone to Jerusalem and Judaea, and there acquired the fame of a prophet, and subsequently these Galilaeans were ready to recognize it second hand, on the occasion of his return. Godet adds to this the joyful emotion that was felt when the plan of Jesus had been successful as far as the Galilaeans were concerned. Moreover, he gives a pluperfect sense to ἐμαρτύρησε, "he had testified." Against this we observe that our Lord must have soon found that, in a narrower and closer sense, his nearest friends and neighbours had learned nothing by their journey to the feast; and that the author of the Fourth Gospel must have been ignorant of the kind of reception so soon accorded to our Lord at Nazareth. Bruckner and Luthardt suppose by the γάρ that Jesus either sought the struggle with his unbelieving compatriots or the solitude induced by the absence of sympathy. There is not the faintest trace of this in the narrative. Then, again, Cyril, Calvin, Bengel, Olshausen, Hengstenberg, suppose that by πατρίς is meant his own city, Nazareth, which is here contrasted with Galilee in general, including Capernaum, which became the missionary centre of his early ministry. These commentators suppose that, when we are told "he went to Galilee," it means (as we see from ver. 46) he went to Cana, "for he testified," etc.; and therefore that in this forty-fourth verse comes the tragic scene described in Luke 4:16-30. Lange has supplemented this theory by another that removes part of the difficulty, viz. that by  ῞ατρίς was meant Lower Galilee, including Nazareth, and by the Galilee of ver. 44 was meant Upper Galilee and the neighbourhood of the lake, including Capernaum, to which we find that, after his cruel treatment at Nazareth, he retired. So Geikie. Now, there are difficulties in either of these views, which give great awkwardness to the expression, "So he came to Cana again," in ver. 46. Tholuck, De Wette, Lucke, in various ways, urge that the γάρ of ver. 44 may mean namely, that is to say, etc., pointing onwards to the kindly reception which the Galilaeans gave him being due to the signs which they beheld, and not to the words of life which he had spoken. Every view seems to us far-fetched and inconsistent, with the exception of the first interpretation. The only objection that is at all urgent, arises from the fact that, in the synoptic narrative, Nazareth is spoken of as his country. But if this were so, we do but see in the reception accorded to him in Nazareth a further illustration of the very same spirit which was shown to him in the metropolis. In both places "he came to his own, and his own received him not." There is nothing improbable, if so, that in both places Jesus should have appealed to the homely proverb. On the second occasion he added to it, "his kindred and his home," as well as "his country." John 4:43
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