John 16
Vincent's Word Studies
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
Be offended (σκανδαλισθῆτε)

Rev., made to stumble. In this Gospel only here and John 6:61. See on Matthew 5:29. Wyc, be not slandered.

They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
They shall put you out of the synagogues

See on John 9:22.

Yea (ἀλλ')

Literally, but. They shall excommunicate you, but worse than this, the hour cometh, etc.

The hour cometh that (ἵνα)

Literally, "there cometh an hour in order that." The hour is ordained with that end in view: it comes fraught with the fulfillment of a divine purpose.

Whosoever (πᾶς ὁ)

Literally, everyone who.

Doeth service (λατρείαν προσφέρειν)

Literally, bringeth or offereth service. Λατρεία means, strictly, service for hire, but is used of any service, and frequently of the service of God.

And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Unto you


But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
But (ἀλλὰ)

Marks a breaking off of the enumeration of fearful details; but (to say no more of these things),I have spoken these, etc.

At the beginning (ἐξ ἀρχῆς)

Properly, from the beginning. So Rev. The phrase only here and John 6:64.

But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
It is expedient (συμφέρει)

From σόν together, and φέρω to bear or bring. The underlying idea of the word is concurrence of circumstances.

Go away (ἀπέλθω)

The different words for go should be noted in this verse, and John 16:10. Here, expressing simple departure from a point.

Depart (πορευθῶ)

Rev., go. With the notion of going for a purpose, which is expressed in I will send him.

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Will reprove (ἐλέγξει)

See on John 3:20. Rev., convict.

Of sin - righteousness - judgment (περί)

Literally, concerning. Rev., in respect of. Of gives a wrong impression, viz., that He will convict the world of being sinful, unrighteous, and exposed to judgment. This is true, but the preposition implies more. He will convict the world as respects these three; that is, will convict it of ignorance of their real nature.

Righteousness (δικαιοσύνης)

Only here and John 16:10 in the Gospel. It occurs in the First Epistle and in Revelation.

Of sin, because they believe not on me;
Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
I go (ὑπάγω)

Withdraw from their sight and earthly fellowship. See on John 8:21, and footnote.

Ye see (θεωρεῖτε)

Rev., behold. See on John 1:18.

Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Is judged (κέκριται)

Perfect tense. Rev., therefore, rightly, hath been judged.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Bear (βαστάζειν)

See on John 10:31; see on John 12:6.

Now (ἄρτι)

See on John 13:33. With reference to a future time, when they will be able to bear them.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Spirit of truth

Literally, of the truth. See on John 14:7.

Will guide (ὁδηγήσει)

From ὁδός, way, and ἡγέομαι, to lead. The kindred noun, ὁδηγός, guide, leader, occurs Matthew 15:14; Acts 1:16, etc.

Into all truth (εἰς πᾶσαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν)

Rev., more correctly, into all the truth. Some editors read, ἐν τῇ ἀληθείᾳ πάσῃ, in all the truth. Others, εἰς τὴν ἀλήθειαν πᾶσαν, joining πᾶσαν in an adverbial sense with will guide you: i.e., will guide you wholly into the truth. The Spirit does not reveal all truth to men, but He leads them to the truth as it is in Christ.

Of himself

Rev., rightly, from himself. See on John 7:17.

He shall hear (ἂν ἀκούσῃ)

Some read, ἀκούει, heareth, and omit ἂν, the conditional particle. Ὅσα ἂν ἀκούσῃ, the reading of the Rec. Text, is, strictly, whatsoever things he may have heard.

Will shew (ἀναγγελεῖ)

Better, as Rev., declare. Compare Mark 5:14, Mark 5:19; Acts 20:27; 2 Corinthians 7:7. Also to rehearse; Acts 14:27. Used of the formal proclamation of the Christian religion (Acts 20:20; 1 Peter 1:12; 1 John 1:5). See on Acts 19:18.

Things to come (τὰ ἐρχόμενα)

The article, omitted by A.V., is important. The meaning is not, He will show you some things to come, but the things that are to come, or the things that are coming. These things are whatsoever He shall hear. The phrase occurs only here in the New Testament.

He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Shall receive (λήψεται)

Rev., take. See on John 3:32.

All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that (πάντα ὅσα)

Literally, all things as many as. Rev., all things whatsoever.

Shall take (λήψεται)

The best texts read λαμβάνει, taketh. The relation between the Son and the Spirit is put by Jesus as present and constant.

A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
Ye shall not see (οὐ θεωρεῖτε)

The present tense: "ye behold me no more." So Rev.

Ye shall see (ὄψεσθε)

A different verb for seeing is used here. For the distinction, see on John 1:18. Θεωρέω emphasizes the act of vision, ὁράω, the result. Θεωρέω denotes deliberate contemplation conjoined with mental or spiritual interest. "The vision of wondering contemplation, in which they observed little by little the outward manifestation of the Lord, was changed and transfigured into sight, in which they seized at once, intuitively, all that Christ was. As long as His earthly presence was the object on which their eyes were fixed, their view was necessarily imperfect. His glorified presence showed Him in His true nature" (Westcott).

Because I go unto the Father

The best texts omit.

Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
Then (οὗν)

Rev., correctly, therefore. It is a particle of logical connection, not of time.

They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
He saith (λαλεῖ)

Emphasizing the purport of the saying.

A little while (τὸ μικρόν)

In John 16:16, John 16:17, without the article. Here the article the or this little while defines the special point of their difficulty; this "little while" of which He speaks.

We cannot tell (οὐκ οἴδαμεν)

Rev., more simply and literally, we know not.

He saith (λαλεῖ)

Emphasizing the form of the saying.

Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
Knew (ἔγνω)

Better, Rev., perceived. See on John 2:24.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
Weep - lament - be sorrowful (κλαύσετε - θρηνήσετε - λυπηθήσεσθε)

Of these three words, the last is the most general in meaning, expressing every species of pain, of body or of soul, and not necessarily the outward manifestation of sorrow. Both the other words denote audible expressions of grief. Θρηνέω marks the more formal expression. It means to utter a dirge over the dead. Thus Homer, of the mourning over Hector in Troy:

"On a fair couch they laid the corse, and placed

Singers beside it leaders of the dirge (θρηνων),

Who sang (ἐθρήνεον) a sorrowful, lamenting strain,

And all the women answered it with sobs."

"Iliad," xxiv. 720-722.

The verb occurs Matthew 11:17; Luke 7:32; Luke 23:27. Κλαίω means audible weeping, the crying of children, as distinguished from δακρύω, to shed tears, to weep silently, which occurs but once in the New Testament, of Jesus' weeping (John 11:35). See on Luke 7:32.

A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
A woman (ἡ γυνὴ)

Literally, the woman. The generic article marking the woman as representing her sex: woman as such.

She is in travail

A common Old Testament image of sorrow issuing in joy. See Isaiah 21:3; Isaiah 26:17; Isaiah 66:7; Hosea 13:13; Micah 4:9, Micah 4:10.

The anguish (τῆς θλίψεως)

Commonly rendered affliction or tribulation in A.V. See on Matthew 13:21.

Joy (τὴν χαρὰν)

Properly, the joy which answers to the anguish.

A man (ἄνθρωπος)

See on John 1:30.

And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Have sorrow (λύπην ἔχετε)

This form of expression occurs frequently in the New Testament, to denote the possession or experience of virtues, sensations, desires, emotions, intellectual or spiritual faculties, faults, or defects. It is stronger than the verb which expresses any one of these. For instance, to have faith is stronger than to believe: to have life, than the act of living. It expresses a distinct, personal realization of the virtue or fault or sentiment in question. Hence, to have sorrow is more than to be sorrowful. In Matthew 17:20, Christ does not say if ye believe, but if ye have faith; if faith, in ever so small a degree, is possessed by you as a conscious, living principle and motive. Compare have love (John 13:35; 1 John 4:16); have peace (John 16:33); have trust (2 Corinthians 3:4); have boldness (Hebrews 10:19; 1 John 2:28).

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
Ye shall ask (ἐρωτήσετε)

Or, as Rev., in margin, ask - question. To question is the primary meaning of the verb, from which it runs into the more general sense of request, beseech. So Mark 7:26; Luke 4:38; John 17:15, etc. Here the meaning is, ye shall ask me no question (compare John 16:19, where the same verb is used). Compare Matthew 16:13; Matthew 21:24; John 1:19. Ask, absolutely, Luke 22:68. Note, moreover, the selection of the word here as marking the asking on familiar terms. See on John 11:22. Another verb for ask occurs in the following sentence: "If ye shall ask (αἰτήστητε) anything," etc. Here the sense is, if ye shall make any request. Compare Matthew 5:42; Matthew 7:7, Matthew 7:9, Matthew 7:10, etc. Note, also, that this word for asking the Father marks the asking of an inferior from a superior, and is the word which Christ never uses of His own requests to the Father. Compare 1 John 3:22.

Verily, verily

See on John 1:51; see on John 10:1.

Whatsoever ye shall ask - in my name - give

The best texts change ὅσα ἂν, whatsoever, to ἄντ, if (ye shall ask) anything; and place in my name after give it you. So Rev. If ye shall ask anything of the Father, He will give it you in my name. Not only is the prayer offered, but the answer is given in Christ's name.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Ask (αἰτεῖτε)

The present imperative, implying continuous asking. Be asking. Compare Mark 6:22, αἴτησον, the aorist imperative, marking a single, definite petition.

May be full (ᾖ πεπληρωμένη)

Very literally, may be having been fulfilled. Rev., more correctly, fulfilled. Compare John 15:11.

These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
Proverbs (παροιμίαις)

See on parables, Matthew 13:3. He had spoken under figures, as the vine, and the woman in travail.

Shall shew (ἀναγγελῶ)

Rev., tell. See on John 16:13. The best texts read ἀπαγγελῶ, the original force of which is to bring tidings from (ἀπό) something or someone.

Plainly (παῤῥησίᾳ)

See on John 7:13.

At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
Ye shall ask - I will pray

Note again the use of the two verbs for asking. Ye shall ask (αἰτήσεσθε); I will pray (ἐρωτήσω). See on John 16:23.

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
Loveth (φιλεῖ)

As sons, with the love of natural affection. See on John 5:20. The same verb in the following clause, of the love of the disciples for Christ.

From God

Some editors read, from the Father. Παρά, from beside.

I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.
From the Father (παρά)

The best texts read, ἐκ, out of.

Go (πορεύομαι)

See on John 16:7.

His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.
Speakest - speakest (λαλεῖς - λέγεις)

The first, of the form; the second, of the purport. See on John 16:18.

Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.
We are sure (οἴδαμεν)

Better, as Rev., we know.

By this (ἐν τούτῳ)

Literally, in this. Compare 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:5; 1 John 3:16, 1 John 3:19, 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:9, 1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:13, 1 John 4:17; 1 John 5:2.

Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?
Now (ἄρτι)

See on John 13:33. With reference to the coming time of greater trial.

Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
That (ἵνα)

See on John 16:2, and see on John 15:12. In the divine counsel the hour cometh that ye may be scattered, and may leave, etc.

To his own (εἰς τὰ ἴδια)

To his own home. See on John 1:11.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Ye shall have (ἕξετε)

The best texts read, ἔξετε, ye have.

Be of good cheer (θαρσεῖτε)

Only here in John.

I have overcome (νενίκηκα)

The verb occurs only three times outside of John's writings. Only here in the Gospel, and frequently in First Epistle and Revelation. Uniformly of spiritual victory.

Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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