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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - John 12:37-41

We have here the honour done to our Lord Jesus by the Old-Testament prophets, who foretold and lamented the infidelity of the many that believed not on him. It was indeed a dishonour and grief to Christ that his doctrine met with so little acceptance and so much opposition; but this takes off the wonder and reproach, makes the offence of it to cease, and made it no disappointment to Christ, that herein the scriptures were fulfilled. Two things are here said concerning this untractable people,... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - John 12:37-41

12:37-41 When Jesus had said these things, he went away and hid himself from them. Although he had done such great signs in their presence they did not believe in him. It happened thus that the word which Isaiah the prophet spoke should be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" It was for this reason that they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: "He has blinded their eyes, he has hardened their heart, so that... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - John 12:40

He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart ,.... It is of no great moment, whether the he, who is said to blind and harden, be God or Christ, or whether the words be rendered, "it hath blinded", &c.; that is, malice or wickedness; or whether they be read impersonally, "their eyes are blinded", &c.; since God or Christ blind and harden not by any positive act, but by leaving and giving men up to the blindness and hardness of their hearts, and denying them the grace which... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - John 12:40

And I should heal them - This verse is taken from Isaiah 6:9 , and, perhaps, refers more to the judgments that should fall upon them as a nation, which God was determined should not be averted, than it does to their eternal state. To suppose that the text meant that God was unwilling that they should turn unto him, lest he should be obliged to save them, is an insupportable blasphemy. read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - John 12:40

Verse 40 40.He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart. The passage is taken from Isaiah 6:9, where the Lord forewarns the prophet, that the labor which he spends in instructing will lead to no other result than to make the people worse. First then he says, Go, and tell this people, Hearing, hear and do not hear; as if he had said, “I send thee to speak to the deaf.” He afterwards adds, Harden the heart of this people, &c;. By these words he means, that he intends to make his word... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - John 12:37-41

The causes of Jewish unbelief. The evangelist now turns to the remarkable failure of the Messiah's work in Israel, and proceeds to account for it. I. THE UNBELIEF OF THE JEWS WAS INEXCUSABLE . "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him." 1. It is implied that Jesus did many more miracles than the seven recorded in this Gospel . 2. The miracles were done "before them, " so as to leave them without this excuse of... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - John 12:39-40

In these verses, however, a deeper difficulty still is involved. The διὰ τοῦτο ... ὅτι leave us no option (see John 7:21 , John 7:22 ) but to translate: For from this reason they were unable to believe (see other illustrations of the usage, John 5:18 ; John 8:47 ; John 10:17 ). There was a moral impossibility inherited by them through ages of rebellion and insensibility to Divine grace, and through their misuse of Divine revelation. The issue of it was, "'they could not... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - John 12:40

There are several illustrations in this verse that the diction of the evangelist differs from that which he uses when recording the words of Christ. Thus ὅμως μέντοι is peculiar to John himself, and thus is an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον ; but μέντοι occurs five times in the style of John himself (see John 4:27 ; John 7:13 ; John 12:42 ; John 20:5 ; John 21:4 ), not once by our Lord. ὁμολογεῖν again is used four times by the evangelist, and seven times in the Epistles and... read more

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