When he had said these words to them, he stayed still in Galilee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He abode still in Galilee.—We find Him in Jerusalem between the 16th and 20th of Tishri (John 7:14), and He could not therefore have remained behind them more than three or four days. We have no record of any companion with Him until John 9:2; but it is probable that some at least of the Apostolic band remained with Him in Galilee and went with Him to Jerusalem. (Comp. Note on Luke 9:51.) If John returned to Jerusalem after the discourse at Capernaum (comp. Introduction), we have an explanation of the brevity with which he treats the period between Passover and Tabernacles.John 7:14. That is, he remained about four days after his brethren had departed, or until the mass of the people had gone up, so that his going might excite no attention, and that it might not be said he chose such a time to excite a tumult. We have here a signal instance of our Lord's prudence and opposition to parade. Though it would have been lawful for him to go up at that time, and though it would have been a favorable period to make himself known, yet he chose to forego these advantages rather than to afford an occasion of envy and jealousy to the rulers, or to appear even to excite a tumult among the people.
your time is always ready—that is "It matters little when we go up, for ye have no great plans in life, and nothing hangs upon your movements. With Me it is otherwise; on every movement of Mine there hangs what ye know not. The world has no quarrel with you, for ye bear no testimony against it, and so draw down upon yourselves none of its wrath; but I am here to lift up My voice against its hypocrisy, and denounce its abominations; therefore it cannot endure Me, and one false step might precipitate its fury on its Victim's head before the time. Away, therefore, to the feast as soon as it suits you; I follow at the fitting moment, but 'My time is not yet full come.'"
he abode still in Galilee; and went not up with his brethren, nor at all at present; showing hereby a firmness and resolution of mind, not using lightness of speech; and his words being not yea, and nay, but all of a piece, and by which he abode.When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 7:9. He therefore remained where He was.9. he abode still in Galilee] This in conjunction with John 7:1 shews that S. John is quite aware that Galilee is the main scene of Christ’s ministry, as the Synoptists represent. The gaps in his narrative leave ample room for the Galilean ministry.
This opening scene (1–9) “is described by M. Renan as a ‘gem of history’ (un petit trésor historique). He argues justly that an apologist, writing merely ad probandum; would not have given so much prominence to the unbelief which Jesus met with in His own family. He insists, too, on the individualising traits which the whole section bears. The brethren of Jesus are not ‘types’ but living men; their ill-natured and jealous irony is only too human.” S. pp. 144, 145.John 7:9. Ἔμεινεν, He abode) He did not wish to go up with those who were not believers: He did not, however, avoid attending the feast itself on account of them.Verse 9. - Having said these things to them, he abode in Galilee. Such a respite cannot mean a few days only. Not until after this period, and possibly after the brethren had started on the pilgrimage, did "he steadfastly set his face to go up to Jerusalem." A great question arises as to the possibility of harmonizing this journey with the great intercalated portion of Luke's Gospel (Luke 9:51-18:31). This is not the place to consider the numerous and complicated problems involved. One thing is certain - that the synoptists all describe the final departure from Galilee, which followed a period of partial retirement from the multitude, and of instructions, miracles, and advice rendered in the inner circle of his immediate followers. They also (Matthew 17:24; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 20:17; and Mark 10:1 especially) indicate that, on our Lord's journey to Jerusalem after closing his Galilaean ministry, he went into Judaea, and thence to the land of Peraea on the other side of the Jordan. This latter statement is perfectly in harmony with John's representation (John 10:40), where, after an extended journey in Judaea and the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, we hear that he spent three months beyond Jordan Numerous critics, whose views are well entitled to consideration, urge that on this occasion our Lord did resume his Galilaean ministry and effect his final departure as described in Matthew 19:1. Now, the circumstantial way in which Luke describes incidents upon the last journey to Jerusalem leads many to look for the full chronological detail of this last transaction. It contains, however, many incidents between John 9:51 and John 18:31, where the final events of the last approach to Jerusalem are brought into chronological relations with the other three Gospels, which could not all have been connected with the journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. Edersheim and Weiss alike infer that, since Luke says nothing of the Feast of Tabernacles, he has reckoned in this period the events appertaining to the Peraean ministry and the return to the Feast of Dedication, as well as the final determination to challenge the authorities at Jerusalem, with his assertion of true Messiahship, and the last approach to Jerusalem. Luke does not describe the route taken, but implies on several occasions Christ's growing determination to confront Jerusalem; and also implies that he had visited it "often" (Luke 13:31-34), with the purpose of gathering it under his gracious sway and protection. There are, moreover, a few incidents mentioned which synchronize with the journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. He went through Samaria instead of by the frequented Peraean route on the other side of Jordan (Luke 9:52). There the Samaritans refuse to receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem, and the Boanerges are rebuked for their Elijah-like desire. The incident of the cure of ten lepers, one of them a Samaritan, probably belongs to the same journey; and, above all, the interesting fragment of the visit to Martha and Mary at a certain village. This village may, as Edersheim suggests, have been the retirement from which our Lord emerged in the midst of the Feast of Tabernacles. Many other of the narratives belong to the closing period of our Lord's life. The most difficult event to harmonize with the suggestions of this passage of John and with the subsequent hints of chronological arrangement, is the choice of the seventy disciples, which Weiss regards as a kind of misapprehension, but which Edersheim (loc cit.,vol. 2:135) believes to have been one of the great events of this journey to the Feast of Tabernacles. It must be admitted that it is strangely inconsistent with the journey which was conducted as it were "in secret." It would be more natural to believe that it was one of the incidents of the ministry in Peraea, of which Mark gives traces, and for which John provides the true place (John 10:40). Lunge and Godet argue that between the departure from the capital (ch. 9.) and the Feast of Dedication, our Lord resumed his work in Galilee, and there pursued the abundant ministry recorded between Luke 10. and 18. (see notes of Godet and Lunge, 10:22; 10:40); and that the final departure from Galilee was with a great convoy. Ewald and Meyer regard this as a violent attempt at harmonistic arrangement of the details before us. To resume the narrative -
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