John 8:59
Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the middle of them, and so passed by.
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(59) Then took they up stones to cast at him.—At last the meaning of His words flashes upon them. They had heard this I AM before (John 8:24) without perceiving that in it He applied to Himself the name Jehovah. Now there is no room for doubt. His own Divinity is the only explanation of what He has said; and it is in these words so plainly asserted, that those who had constantly misunderstood can misunderstand no more. The subtleties of later days, by which men have tried to show that there is no claim to Divinity here, was not suggested to their minds. They will not acknowledge the claim, but they feel that He has made it. They have heard the fearful words which seemed to them as blasphemy, and they take up the stones which are at hand for the rebuilding of the Temple, in which they are, to cast at the Lord of the Temple. (Comp. John 10:33.)

Going through the midst of them, and so passed by.—These words are omitted in a majority of the better MSS. They were probably inserted in others to explain what was taken to be the miraculous disappearance. (Comp. Luke 4:30.) Here we are simply told that He “hid Himself and went out of the Temple, and this does not imply more than that He passed among the crowd which was around Him, out of the Temple, and thus avoided the stones which they had taken up to cast at Him.

8:54-59 Christ and all that are his, depend upon God for honour. Men may be able to dispute about God, yet may not know him. Such as know not God, and obey not the gospel of Christ, are put together, 2Th 1:8. All who rightly know anything of Christ, earnestly desire to know more of him. Those who discern the dawn of the light of the Sun of Righteousness, wish to see his rising. Before Abraham was, I AM. This speaks Abraham a creature, and our Lord the Creator; well, therefore, might he make himself greater than Abraham. I AM, is the name of God, Ex 3:14; it speaks his self-existence; he is the First and the Last, ever the same, Re 1:8. Thus he was not only before Abraham, but before all worlds, Pr 8:23; Joh 1:1. As Mediator, he was the appointed Messiah, long before Abraham; the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Re 13:8. The Lord Jesus was made of God Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption, to Adam, and Abel, and all that lived and died by faith in him, before Abraham. The Jews were about to stone Jesus for blasphemy, but he withdrew; by his miraculous power he passed through them unhurt. Let us stedfastly profess what we know and believe concerning God; and if heirs of Abraham's faith, we shall rejoice in looking forward to that day when the Saviour shall appear in glory, to the confusion of his enemies, and to complete the salvation of all who believe in him.Then took they up stones - It seems they understood him as blaspheming, and proceeded, even without a form of trial, to stone him as such, because this was the punishment prescribed in the law for blasphemy, Leviticus 24:16. See John 10:31. The fact that the Jews understood him in this sense is strong proof that his words naturally conveyed the idea that he was divine. This was in the temple. Herod the Great had not yet completed its repairs, and Dr. Lightfoot has remarked that stones would be lying around the temple in repairing it, which the people could easily use in their indignation.

Jesus hid himself - See Luke 4:30. That is, he either by a miracle rendered himself invisible, or he so mixed with the multitude that he was concealed from them and escaped. Which is the meaning cannot be determined.

58. Before Abraham was, I am—The words rendered "was" and "am" are quite different. The one clause means, "Abraham was brought into being"; the other, "I exist." The statement therefore is not that Christ came into existence before Abraham did (as Arians affirm is the meaning), but that He never came into being at all, but existed before Abraham had a being; in other words, existed before creation, or eternally (as Joh 1:1). In that sense the Jews plainly understood Him, since "then took they up stones to cast at Him," just as they had before done when they saw that He made Himself equal with God (Joh 5:18).

hid himself—(See on [1814]Lu 4:30).

Then took they up stones to cast at him; as they also did, John 5:31. It is vain to inquire where they had stones in the temple; they might be repairing some part of it, or some parts of it paved with stones might be loose, &c.; it is enough that we are assured that some they found. He did not go

through the midst of them that were in this uproar, but first thrust himself into the more innocent crowd, then passed through the midst of them. Some make a question here, how he could pass through the midst of them? Whether he made his body invisible? (so the Lutherans think); or whether he struck his enemies with blindness, or thickened the air before their eyes? But what needs that dispute? Admit some few of the rabble to be in a rage, the greatest part innocent, it is no hard thing for us to conceive how a person, discerning the disorder, may thrust himself into the more innocent crowd, and pass by, escaping the rage of his enemies. Then they took up stones to cast at him,.... Supposing that he had spoken blasphemy; for they well understood that he, by so saying, made himself to be the eternal God, the unchangeable Jehovah. Should it be asked how they came by their stones in the temple? it may be replied, the temple was still building, John 2:20, and stones, or pieces of stones, might lie about, with which they furnished themselves, in order to have destroyed Christ: and this they attempted, though it was on the sabbath day, as appears from John 9:1; and with them, , "stoning on the sabbath day" (d) was allowed in some cases.

But Jesus hid himself, not in any corner of the temple, or behind a pillar; but he withdrew himself from them directly, and made himself invisible to them, by holding their eyes, or casting a mist before them, that they could not see him:

and went out of the temple; by one of the gates of it:

going through the midst of them; not of the persons that took up stones to stone him; but the rest of the people, who were there in great multitudes to hear his doctrine, and see his miracles: and so passed by, and escaped out of their hands; the last words, going through the midst of them,

and so passed by, are not in Beza's most ancient copy, and in the Vulgate Latin version.

(d) T. Hieros. Yom Tob, fol. 63. 2.

{21} Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

(21) Zeal without knowledge eventually breaks out into a most open madness: and yet the wicked cannot do what they desire.

John 8:59. The last assertion of Jesus strikes the Jews as blasphemous; they therefore set themselves, in the spirit of zealotry, to inflict punishment (comp. John 10:31). A stoning in the temple is mentioned also by Joseph. Antt. xvii. 9. 3. The stones were probably building stones lying in the fore-court. See Lightfoot, p. 1048.

ἐκρύβη κ. ἐξῆλθεν] He hid Himself (probably in the crowd), and went out (whilst thus hidden).[43] The word ἐκρύβη explains how He was able to go out, and therefore (how very different from this is Luke 4:30!) precludes the notion of anything miraculous (ἀόρατος αὐτοῖς κατέστη τῇ ἐξουσίᾳ τῆς θεότητος, Euth. Zigabenus; comp. Grotius, Wolf, Bengel, Luthardt, Hilgenfeld, and even Augustine),—a notion which gave rise to the addition in the Text. Rec. (see the critical observations), which Ewald defends. Baur, who likewise defends the Text. Rec. (p. 384 ff.), finds here also a docetic disappearance (comp. on John 7:10 f.); if, however, such was John’s meaning, he selected the most unsuitable possible terms to express it in writing ἐκρύβη (comp. on the contrary, Luke 24:31 : ἄφαντος ἐγένετο ἀπʼ αὐτῶν) and ἐξῆλθεν ἐκ τοῦ ἱεροῦ. The “providential protection of God” (Tholuck) is a matter of course, but is not expressed.

There is no exegetical ground for supposing that the simple close of the narrative is designed to prefigure the death of Christ, which, being accomplished under the appearance of legality, released the Lord from the judgment of Israel, so that He left the old Israel as the school of Satan, and, on the other hand, gathered around Him the true Israel (Luthardt). Note how the breach between Jesus and the Jews gradually approached the extremity, and “how admirable, even in the details, is the delineation of the ever-increasing intensification of the crisis” (Ewald, Gesch. Chr. p. 477, ed. 3).

[43] Hengstenberg reverses the logical relation: καὶ ἐξῆλθε stands, he says, for ἐξελθών, and describes the manner in which He hid Himself,—a purely arbitrary statement. Even if ἐξελθών had been used, it would be that which preceded the ἐκρύβη (egressus), as in the case of ἀπελθών, John 12:36.John 8:59. What the Jews thought of the assertion appeared in their action: ἦραναὐτόν. Believing that He was speaking sheer blasphemy and claiming equality with the great “I Am,” they sought to stone Him. For this purpose there was material ready to hand even in the Temple court, for, as Lightfoot reminds us, the building was still going on. “A stoning in the temple is mentioned by Josephus, Ant., xvii. 9, 3,” Meyer.—Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἐκρύβη καὶ ἐξῆλθεν. “But Jesus went out unperceived”; on this usage vide Winer, and cf. Thayer. Why it should be supposed that there is anything miraculous or doketic in this (Holtzmann and others) does not appear. Many in the crowd would favour the escape of Jesus. The remaining words of the chapter are omitted by recent editors.59. Then took they up stones] Or, Therefore took they up stones, i.e. in consequence of His last words. They see clearly what He means. He has taken to Himself the Divine Name and they prepare to stone Him for blasphemy. Material lying there for completing and repairing the Temple would supply them with missiles. Comp. John 10:31; John 10:33.

but Jesus hid himself] Probably we are not to understand a miraculous withdrawal as in Luke 4:30, where the ‘passing through the midst of them’ seems to be miraculous. Here we need not suppose more than that He drew back into the crowd away from those who had taken up stones. The Providence which ordered that as yet the fears of the hierarchy should prevail over their hostility (John 7:30, John 8:20), ruled that the less hostile in this multitude should screen Him from the fury of the more fanatical. It is quite arbitrary to invert the clauses and render, ‘Jesus went out of the Temple and hid Himself.’

going through the midst of them, and so passed by] These words are apparently an insertion, and probably an adaptation of Luke 4:30. No English Version previous to the one of 1611 contains the passage.

As a comment on the whole discourse see 1 Peter 2:22-23, remembering that S. Peter was very possibly present on the occasion.

“The whole of the Jews’ reasoning is strictly what we should expect from them. These constant appeals to their descent from Abraham, these repeated imputations of diabolic possession, this narrow intelligence bounded by the letter, this jealousy of anything that seemed in the slightest degree to trench on their own rigid monotheism—all these, down to the touch in John 8:57, in which the age they fix upon in round numbers is that assigned to completed manhood, give local truth and accuracy to the picture; which in any case, we may say confidently, must have been drawn by a Palestinian Jew, and was in all probability drawn by a Jew who had been himself an early disciple of Christ.” S. p. 160.John 8:59. Ἦραν, took up) They were accounting Him as a blasphemer.—λίθους, stones) The weapons of the multitude.—ἐκρύβη, He hid Himself) Not by betaking Himself to a hiding-place, but that He ceased to be visible to their eyes, in a miraculous manner; (comp. Jeremiah 36:26, “The king commanded—to take Baruch and Jeremiah; but the Lord hid them”) whilst He went out from the temple.Verse 59. -

(7) The conflict and the victory. Therefore - because he said this, which if it had no basis in [act was rank blasphemy - they took up stones of the temple court to cast at (upon) him. "They rushed from the porch into the court of the Gentiles, to pick up stones to cast them at him; but once more 'his hour had not yet come,' and their fury proved impotent. Hiding himself in one of the many passages or gateways of the temple, he presently passed out" (Edersheim). But Jesus hid himself, and went forth from the temple [ going through the midst of them, and so passed by]. There is no need to imagine more than the exercise of his majestic energy before which daemoniacs quailed, and Pilate trembled, and the guards of the temple fell abashed. The crisis of his ministry in Jerusalem is approaching. How often would he have gathered them, and given to them eternal life, but they would not!

Going through the midst of them, and so passed by

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