New International Version
His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better."
King James Bible
Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
Darby Bible Translation
The disciples therefore said to him, Lord, if he be fallen asleep, he will get well.
World English Bible
The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
Young's Literal Translation
therefore said his disciples, 'Sir, if he hath fallen asleep, he will be saved;'
John 11:12 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
If he sleep, he shall do well - That is, if he sleep only, etc. Though the word sleep frequently meant death, (see Acts 7:60; 1 Corinthians 11:30; 1 Corinthians 15:18, 1 Corinthians 15:20), yet, as it was an ambiguous term, the disciples appear here to have mistaken its meaning. Because, in certain acute disorders, the composing the patient to rest was a favorable sign; therefore the words, If he sleep, he shall do well, or recover, became a proverbial forth of speech among the Jews. In most diseases, sleep is a very favorable prognostic: hence that saying of Menander: -
Ὑπνος δε πασης εϚιν ὑγιεια νοσου.
Sleep is a remedy for every disease.
See Grotius here. The meaning of the disciples seems to have been this: There can be no need for thee to go into Judea to awake our friend Lazarus; he will awake time enough, and his very sleep is a presage of his recovery: therefore do not hazard thy life by going.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryMarch 28 Evening
Our friend sleepeth.--JOHN 11:11. I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. But now is Christ risen from the …
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path
June 22 Evening
A Mystery! Saints Sorrowing and Jesus Glad!
Beloved, and yet Afflicted
he said, "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." But they laughed at him.
After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up."
Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
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