John 9:29
We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
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(29) We know that God spake unto Moses.—Better, We know that God hath spoken unto Moses. “He was commissioned,” they would say, “by God, and received a revelation from God which remains to us.” They would press here, as before, the authority of the great Lawgiver, which to every Israelite was final. They will not, therefore, accept this Man as a prophet. Their words have tacit reference also to the fact that His works were in their eyes a transgression of the Mosaic law. There is an opposition between them. Both cannot be right, and they will themselves continue to be disciples of Moses. He, it is implied, by confessing Jesus to be a prophet, was practically denying the authority of Moses.

As for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.—In our English version the words in italics are added, but they do not express more than the single Greek word, which is used with contempt. Before they had said, “Howbeit we know this Man whence He is; but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence He is” (John 7:27; see Notes on this and the next verse). They here oppose the divine authority of the mission of Moses, which was acknowledged by all, to the absence, as they would say, of any such authority for the work of Jesus. Their words are meant to convey more than they express, coming as they do in sharp contrast with “God spake unto Moses.” They would say again, “This Man is not of God” (John 9:16), “we know that this Man is a sinner” (John 9:24). For the expression, “whence He is,” i.e., “what authority He has,” comp. John 19:9, and Matthew 21:25.

9:24-34 As Christ's mercies are most valued by those who have felt the want of them, that have been blind, and now see; so the most powerful and lasting affections to Christ, arise from actual knowledge of him. In the work of grace in the soul, though we cannot tell when, and how, and by what steps the blessed change was wrought, yet we may take the comfort, if we can say, through grace, Whereas I was blind, now I see. I did live a worldly, sensual life, but, thanks be to God, it is now otherwise with me, Eph 5:8. The unbelief of those who enjoy the means of knowledge and conviction, is indeed marvellous. All who have felt the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, wonder at the wilfulness of others who reject him. He argues strongly against them, not only that Jesus was not a sinner, but that he was of God. We may each of us know by this, whether we are of God or not. What do we? What do we for God? What do we for our souls? What do we more than others?We know ... - We know that God commanded Moses to deliver the law. In that they were correct; but they assumed their interpretation of the law to be infallible, and, hence, condemned Jesus.

As for this fellow - The word "fellow" is not in the original. It is simply "this." The word "fellow" implies contempt, which it cannot be proved they intended to express.

Whence he is - We know not his origin, his family, or his home. The contrast with the preceding member of the sentence shows that they intended to express their belief that he was not from God. They knew not whether he was mad, whether he was instigated by the devil, or whether he spoke of himself. See John 7:27; John 8:48-52.

27. I have told you already … will ye also be his disciples?—In a vein of keen irony he treats their questions as those of anxious inquirers, almost ready for discipleship! Stung by this, they retort upon him as the disciple (and here they plainly were not wrong); for themselves, they fall back upon Moses; about him there could be no doubt; but who knew about this upstart? Concerning Moses indeed they speak honourably, and say, they knew God spake to him; yet did they know it no otherwise than by tradition, and the revelation of the will of God in the law and the prophets. For Christ, they call him touton,

this fellow; and say, they know not whence he was; that is, they know of no Divine authority that he had. They were blinded through malice and prejudice. Indeed they did know whence he was as to his human nature, for they often made that the cause of their stumbling at him; that he was of Galilee, that his father was a carpenter, and his mother called Mary: but they knew of no Divine mission or authority that he had: this they might have known also, for he did those things which no man ever did, nor could be effected by any thing less than a Divine power; but their eyes were blinded, and their hearts were judicially hardened; they studied to shut out the light by which they should have seen, and would not know whence he was.

We know that God spoke to Moses,.... Out of the bush, and told him who he was, and sent him to deliver the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, and spoke the ten words, or law unto him, and by him delivered them to the children of Israel, and to whom he spake face to face, as a man does to his friend, and mouth to mouth, and not in dark sayings; they mean, they knew that Moses had his mission, commission, and credentials from God:

but as for this fellow; so they contemptuously called the Lord Jesus Christ,

we know not from whence he is; contradicting what others of them had said, John 7:27. They imagined they knew the country from whence he came, which they supposed to be Galilee, and the place where he was born, which they concluded was Nazareth; though in both they were in the wrong; and they knew his parents, Joseph and Mary, and his brethren and sisters; but as to his divine filiation, they knew nothing of it; nor would they own his mission, commission, and credentials to be from heaven; and pretended they had no reason to conclude they were.

We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.
John 9:29. We know that Moses was a prophet, commissioned by God to speak for Him (for λελάληκεν see Hebrews 1:1); and if this man is commissioned He must show proof of His being sent from God, and not leave us in ignorance of His origin.

29. that God spake] Literally, that God hath spoken, i.e. that Moses received a revelation which still remains. This is a frequent meaning of the perfect tense—to express the permanent result of a past action. Thus the frequent formula ‘it is written’ is strictly ‘it has been written,’ or ‘it stands written:’ i.e. it once was written, and the writing still remains. But this is perhaps one of those cases where the Greek perfect is best represented by the English aorist (see on John 8:29; John 8:10 for the converse).

we know not from whence he is] We know not what commission He has received, nor who has sent Him. Comp. John 8:14 and contrast John 7:27. Once more He is compared with Moses, as in the synagogue at Capernaum (John 6:31-32).

John 9:29. Ἡμεῖς οἴδαμεν, we know) They knew it by such testimonies, as at the present clay also are irrefragable.—πόθεν ἐστίν, whence He is) as well as His doctrine.

Verse 29. - They pursue the antithesis between Jesus and Moses, and thus make an involuntary admission of his abnormal and astounding claims. We know - it is the fundamental fact of our religions history, and of the Divine revelation entrusted to us. We know, by supreme conviction, as something almost equivalent to a fundamental law of thought, that God hath spoken to Moses. (Observe the perfect λελάληκεν, "hath spoken" in such fashion that his words abide fur ever and are still sounding in their ears.) Moses was made a little lower than the angels. God spake to him on Sinai, and from the mercy-scat, and face to face as a man speaketh with his friend (Exodus 33:11; Deuteronomy 34:10; Numbers 12:8). The most august ideas and associations clustered round his venerable name. Jesus was supposed to have challenged the supreme authority of Moses, and no sort of comparison could be drawn, in their opinion, between the two. But as for this Man, we know not whence he is. It is remarkable that, in John 7:27, they had been equally explicit in declaring, "We know whence he is." Then they thought to discredit iris Messianic claim by drawing a distinction between the well-known parentage and home of Jesus, and the coming of Messiah from some undiscoverable source, some hidden place, where God retained him before his revelation to Israel (see notes, John 7:27, 28). While, however, Christ (John 8:14) allowed the validity of their superficial knowledge on that occasion, he declared that he alone knew whence he came and whither he was going (see notes, John 8:14). It is, perhaps, in reference to this last expression that they echo his own words. The supernatural source of his being and teaching seemed to their minds, throughout that discourse and controversy, to vacillate between the Divine and the demonic. The contrast between Moses and Jesus in this bitter speech runs along the same low level. "We know not whence" he derives his prophetic character, or his right to legislate for the people of God. John 9:29Spake (λελάληκεν)

Perfect tense, hath spoken, and the authority of Moses' words therefore continues to the present. So Rev., Λαλέω is to talk, familiarly. See Exodus 33:11.

Whence he is

Compare John 7:27; John 8:14.

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