And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And it was the sabbath day—i.e., most probably, the last day, that great day of the feast of John 7:37. Nothing has taken place which makes it necessary to suppose any interval, and though the discourses seem long, they would have occupied but a short time in delivery. The whole narrative follows in unbroken order, which makes it difficult to suppose that a week intervened.
When Jesus made the clay.—This is mentioned as a servile work which contravened the Sabbath law. The anointing the eyes with spittle on the Sabbath was specially forbidden by the decrees of the Rabbis. They held that no work of healing might be performed on the Sabbath except in cases of immediate danger.John 5:10; and upon the sabbath day that he cured him who had the withered hand, Matthew 12:10; and now again upon the sabbath day that he cured him who was born blind. Possibly he chose that day, because that was a day wherein he ordinarily preached that heavenly doctrine, which he confirmed by these miraculous works; or, perhaps, that he might take occasion from thence to instruct the Jews, if they would have received instruction, in the true doctrine of the sabbath, that they might not superstitiously think that it was not lawful to do acts of mercy on the sabbath day: certain it is, that himself maketh that improvement of it, Matthew 12:1-8. Or to show them, that he was the Lord of the sabbath; and that, as his Father by his works of providence worketh on the sabbath day, so did he, being equal with his Father: by which argument he before defended himself for the cure of the impotent man on the sabbath day, John 5:17. John 9:16, and was one reason why they had the man to the Pharisees to be examined, and why they were desirous of knowing where Jesus was:
and opened his eyes; by putting on the clay, and sending him to wash in the Pool of Siloam: nor did the miracle, nor the good done to the man, excuse with them, what they thought a breach of the sabbath.And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 9:14. The reason of this action was that the cure had been wrought on a Sabbath. [“Prohibitum erat sputum oculo illinere Sabbato, sub notione aliquâ medicinali,” Lightfoot.]14. it was the sabbath] We cannot be sure whether this is the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:37) or the next Sabbath. There were seven miracles of mercy wrought on the Sabbath: 1. Withered hand (Matthew 12:9); 2. Demoniac at Capernaum (Mark 1:21); 3. Simon’s wife’s mother (Mark 1:29); 4. Woman bowed down eighteen years (Luke 13:14); 5. Dropsical man (Luke 14:1); 6. Paralytic at Bethesda (John 5:10); 7. Man born blind.Verse 14. - Now it was sabbath on the day that Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. The phrase is peculiar, and implies that the day may have been a festival sabbath. The introduction here shows that the difficulty of the neighbors and other friends had already been raised, and something more than a desire on their part for religious guidance actuated their appeal to the Pharisees. Why should the healed man be taken to the Pharisees, or the synagogue-court at all, unless some question of casuistry had been raised? The movement was one unquestionably adverse to Jesus. It could have had no other motive. Nor can any doubt arise that Jesus had violated the rabbinical rules of the sabbath, though his act had been in perfect harmony with the spirit and even letter of the Mosaic Law. The making of clay with the spittle and the sand was an infringement of the rule ('Shabbath,' 24:3). It was curiously laid down in one of the vexatious interpretations (preserved in Jerusalem Gemara on 'Shabbath,' 14) that while "wine could by way of remedy be applied to the eyelid, on the ground that this might be treated as washing, it was sinful to apply it to the inside of the eye" (Edersheim). And it was positively forbidden (in the same Gemara) to apply saliva to the eyelid, because this would be the application of a remedy. All medicinal appliances, unless in cases of danger to life or limb, were likewise forbidden. Consequently, the Lord had broken with the traditional glosses on the Law in more ways than one (see Winer, 'Bibl. Realw.,' 2:346; Lightfoot, ' Ad Joan. 9; 'Wetstein on Matthew 12:9; Wunsche, in loc.).
The best texts read, instead of ὅτε when, ἐν ᾗ ἡμέρᾳ on which day. Literally, it was a Sabbath on the day on which.
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