John 7:32
The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.
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(32) The Pharisees heard that the people murmured.—Or, more exactly, the Pharisees heard the multitude murmuring. In the second clause of the verse, the Authorised version follows the order of the Received text, but almost all the better MSS. read, “the chief priests and the Pharisees.” We have to think of the Pharisees as taking the first steps. They see that faith in Him is spreading among the multitude, and that there is no time to be lost. They hastily call together the Sanhedrin, and the chief priests, who were for the most part Sadducees, join with them in an official resolve to take Him by force.

7:31-36 The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil, it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event will explain them.The people murmured such things - That is, that the question was agitated whether he was the Messiah; that it excited debate and contention; and that the consequence was, he made many friends. They chose, therefore, if possible, to remove him from them. 32. heard that the people murmured—that mutterings to this effect were going about, and thought it high time to stop Him if He was not to be allowed to carry away the people. Murmured here is taken in a different sense from what it was before, and signifieth as much as whispered, or talked privately among themselves. The chief priests, who were afraid that their honour would abate amongst the people; and the Pharisees, who were afraid the credit of their traditions would be lost, if they suffered him to go on; and being more especially troubled for the miracles which he daily wrought, as John 11:47; they send messengers from their great court (kept at Jerusalem) to apprehend him.

The Pharisees heard that the people murmured,.... Or whispered, privately talked among themselves:

such things concerning him; as that surely he must be the Messiah, since such wonderful things were done by him, and might also express some uneasiness and surprise, that the rulers did not receive him as such:

and the Pharisees, and the chief priests, sent officers to take him: and bring him before the sanhedrim, by them to be condemned, and so a stop be put to the people's receiving him, and believing in him as the Messiah; fearing, that should things go on at this rate, their principles and practices would be rejected, and their persons and authority be brought into contempt.

{14} The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

(14) As the kingdom of God increases, so increases the rage of his enemies, till at last they seek in vain for those missing blessings which they despised when they were present.

John 7:32-34. The Pharisees present hear how favourable are the murmured remarks of the people concerning Jesus, and they straightway obtain an edict of the Sanhedrim (οἱ Φαρισ. κ. οἱ ἀρχιερ.,

οἱ Φαρισ. first, for they had been the first to moot the matter; otherwise in John 7:45), appointing officers to lay hands on Him. The Sanhedrim must have been immediately assembled. Thus rapidly did the ἐζήτουν of John 7:30 ripen into an actual decree of the council. The thing does not escape the notice of Jesus; He naturally recognises in the officers seeking Him, who were only waiting for a suitable opportunity to arrest Him, their designs against Him; and He therefore (οὖν) says what we have in John 7:33-34 in clear and calm, foresight of the nearness of His death,—a death which He describes as a going away to God (comp. on John 6:62).

μεθʼ ὑμῶν] Jesus speaks to the whole assembly, but has here the hierarchy chiefly in his eye; comp. John 7:35.

πρὸς τὸν πέμψαντά με] These words are, with Paulus, to be regarded not as original, but as a Johannean addition; because, according to John 7:35-36, Jesus cannot have definitely indicated the goal of His going away, but must have left it enigmatical, as perhaps in John 8:22; comp. John 13:33. Had He said πρ. τ. πέμψ., His enemies could not have failed, after John 7:16-17; John 7:28-29, to recognise the words as referring to God, and could not have thought of an unknown ποῦ (against Lücke, De Wette, Godet). There is no room even for the pretence “that they acted as if they could not understand the words of Jesus,” after so clear a statement as πρὸς τ. πέμψ. με (against Luthardt).

ζητήσετέ με, κ.τ.λ.] not of a hostile seeking, against which is John 13:33; nor the seeking of the penitent (Augustine, Beza, Jansen, and most), which would not harmonize (against Olshausen) with the absolute denial of any finding, unless we brought in the doctrine of a peremptory limitation of grace, which has no foundation in Holy Scripture (not even in Hebrews 12:17; see Lünemann, in loc.), and which could only refer to individuals; but a seeking for help and deliverance (Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthymius Zigabenus, Erasmus, Calvin, Aretius, Hengstenberg; comp. Luthardt, Ewald, Brückner). This refers to the time of the divine judgments in the destruction of Jerusalem (Luke 20:16 ff; Luke 19:43, al.), which were to ensue as the result of their rejection of Jesus. Then, Jesus means, the tables will be turned; after they had persecuted and killed Him who now was present, they then would anxiously long, but in vain, for Him, the absent One,[267] as the wonder-working helper, who alone could save them from the dire calamity. Comp. Proverbs 1:28. The prophecy of misfortune involved in ζητήσετέ με, κ.τ.λ. is not expressly declared; but it lies in the thought of retribution which the words contain,—like an enigma which the history was to solve; comp. John 8:21. Theodoret, Heracleon (?), Maldonatus, Grotius, Lücke, De Wette, take the whole simply as descriptive of entire separation, so that nothing more is said than: “Christum de terris sublatum iri, ita ut inter viros reperiri non posit,” Maldonatus. The poetical passages, Psalm 10:15; Psalm 37:10, Isaiah 41:12, are appealed to. But even in these the seeking and finding is not a mere figure of speech; and here such a weakening of the signification is all the more inadmissible, because it is not annihilation, as in those passages, which is here depicted, and because the following words, καὶ ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ, κ.τ.λ., describe a longing which was not to be satisfied. Luke 17:22 is analogous.

καὶ ὅπου εἰμὶ, κ.τ.λ.] still more clearly describes the tragic οὐχ εὑρήσ.: “and where I (then) am, thither ye cannot come,” i.e. in order to find me as a deliverer, or to flee to me. Rightly says Euthymius Zigabenus: δηλοῖ δὲ τὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ πατρὸς καθέδραν. The εἶμι (I go), not found in the N. T., is not the reading here (against Nonnus, H. Stephens, Casaubon, Pearson, Bengel, Wakefield, Michaelis, and most). Comp. John 14:3, John 17:24.

[267] They would long for Him in His own person, for Jesus the rejected one, and not for the Messiah generally (Flacius, Lampe, Kuinoel, Neander, Ebrard), whom they had rejected in the person of Jesus (comp. also Tholuck and Godet),—an explanation which would empty the words of all their tragic nerve and force.

John 7:32-36. The Sanhedrim takes action regarding Jesus.

32. heard that the people murmured such things] Better, heard the multitude muttering these things (see on John 7:12): it was not reported to them, they heard it themselves, and they went and reported it in the Sanhedrin, which gives an order for His apprehension. Note that in this the reckless hierarchy, who were mainly Sadducees, combine with the Pharisees (comp. John 7:45, John 11:47; John 11:57, John 18:3).

John 7:32. Οἱ Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς) See App. Crit. Ed. ii. on this passage. The 45th verse refers to this; where the Latin translator himself has “ad pontifices et Pharisæos.” [So [195][196][197][198][199][200] Vulg. here, οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς καὶ οἱ Φαρισαῖοι. But [201] has the reading of the Rec. Text.] The Pharisees are placed first [Beng. reading as the Rec. Text] in John 7:32; for these were more bitter, and it was by means of them that the chief priests were instigated.

[195] the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.

[196] Bezæ, or Cantabrig.: Univ. libr., Cambridge: fifth cent.: publ. by Kipling, 1793: Gospels, Acts, and some Epp. def.

[197] Cod. Reg., Paris, of the Gospels: the text akin to that of B: edited by Tisch.

[198] Borgiana: Veletri: part of John: fourth or fifth cent.: publ. by Georgi, 1789.

[199] Cod. Monacensis, fragments of the Gospels.

[200] Colbertinus, do.

[201] Vercellensis of the old ‘Itala,’ or Latin Version before Jerome’s, probably made in Africa, in the second century: the Gospels.

Verse 32. - The Pharisees heard the multitude (generally) murmuring these things concerning him; repeating the language of those who believed, comparing their expectations with the reality. They seem to have occasioned a hasty and informal session of the Sanhedrin, and we read that the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers - servants "clothed with legal authority," and therefore intimating a decision already come to in the supreme council (cf. John 11:53; John 18:3, 12; John 19:6; Acts 5:22, 26) - to seize him (cf. this description of the Sanhedrin in Matthew 21:45; Matthew 27:62). The "chief priests" - a phrase often occurring in the writings of Luke, and here for the first time in this Gospel - cannot be confined to the official "high priest," but may include the ex-high priests, perhaps the heads of the twenty-four courses of priests and the chiefs of the priestly party, though there is no proof of it. The Pharisees and priests were often at enmity, but there were several occasions during our Lord's ministry when they combined against a common foe. The Pharisees had been his most steady opponents in Galilee. The eighth and ninth chapters of Matthew, with parallel passages, reveal the growing animosity of their demeanour, and their disposition to misunderstand, to oppose, and to crush every great self-revelation made by him. Their chiefs were in Jerusalem, and doubtless formed a powerful element in the great council. The formality of this session of the council may be reasonably questioned. There had been orders then for the arrest, which they had only to put at any time, if they dared, into immediate operation. John 7:32Officers (ὑπηρέτας)

See on Matthew 5:25; see on Luke 1:2.

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