John 9:21 MEANING

John 9:21
(21) But by what means he now seeth.--Better, but how he now seeth. The answer is in the exact words of the question, which is not seen in our version. They will not pass beyond the plain matters of fact of which they were certain.

Or who hath opened his eyes.--They pass here to a fourth question, which was not asked, but which they see to be the real point which the Pharisees are aiming at, and in which they have determined not to be entangled.

He is of age, ask him.--The better reading here is probably that which places "ask him" first; ask him, he is of age. The Received text has been influenced by John 9:23. The Greek expresses with the fullest emphasis, which it is not easy to preserve in English, that they intend to have nothing to do with this third question, but to leave it to their son to answer. Literally, it is, Ask him; he is of full age; he himself will speak concerning himself.

Verse 21. - The third question is prudently remitted back to the consciousness and testimony of the man himself. The parents had some justification for their cowardice. They had no information beyond that which their son had given them. He had stumbled forth as usual on the morning of that sabbath, and bad returned home in transports of joy. Their son had doubtless told them the story (the use of οἴδαμεν instead of γινώσκομεν is significant). They knew by incontestable intuitive knowledge the personality and lifelong affliction of their son; but, say they, We do not know (absolutely) how he now sees; or who opened his eyes, we know not. Ask him (if you want to know); he is of full age, and therefore his testimony is valid in your court. He will speak (concerning) for himself. "We can only come to know from his testimony what he tells us, and he can himself speak for himself, and tell you all he has told us."

9:18-23 The Pharisees vainly hoped to disprove this notable miracle. They expected a Messiah, but could not bear to think that this Jesus should be he, because his precepts were all contrary to their traditions, and because they expected a Messiah in outward pomp and splendour. The fear of man brings a snare, Pr 29:25, and often makes people deny and disown Christ and his truths and ways, and act against their consciences. The unlearned and poor, who are simple-hearted, readily draw proper inferences from the evidences of the light of the gospel; but those whose desires are another way, though ever learning, never come to the knowledge of the truth.But by what means he now seeth we know not,.... As to the third question they could say nothing to it, they were not present when the cure was wrought, and knew nothing of the matter, but what they had heard from their son, or from others, or both:

or who hath opened his eyes we know not; they had heard it was Jesus, and their son had doubtless told them it was he; but since they could say nothing of their own personal knowledge, they choose not to say anything of him:

he is of age; at man's estate, as, with the Jews, one was, who was at the age of thirteen years, if he could produce the signs of puberty: and such an one was allowed a witness in any case, but not under this age; nor if he was arrived to it, if the above signs could not be produced (q). This man very likely was much older, as may be thought from the whole of his conduct, his pertinent answers, and just reasoning: wherefore his parents direct the sanhedrim to him for an answer to their third question,

ask him, he shall speak for himself; or "of himself", as the Vulgate Latin and Ethiopic versions render it: their sense is, he is capable of giving an account of himself in this matter, and he will do it, and let him do it; put the question to him, and a proper answer will be returned; and so they left the affair to be issued in this way.

(q) Maimon. Hilchot Eduth, c. 9. sect. 7.

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