King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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John 7

Christ goes to the feast of tabernacles. (1-13) His discourse at the feast. (14-39) The people dispute concerning Christ. (40-53)

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Christ goes to the feast of tabernacles

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.

2 Now the Jew’s feast of tabernacles was at hand.

3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world.

5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.

9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

11 Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

His discourse at the feast

14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?

26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.

34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

The people dispute concerning Christ

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.

53 And every man went unto his own house.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. This was the festival of Tabernacles, on which the Jews made tents, in imitation of those which were their habitations during their sojournment in the wilderness, for forty years. See Lev. xxiii. 34. The Jews called it a festival day; though it consisted not of one, but of many days successively. S. Austin, tract. 28. in Joan.

Ver. 3. These brethren of Christ were the relatives of the blessed Virgin, not her children. For, as in the sepuchre, were the body of our Saviour was deposited, no other mortal lay either before or since; so neither did the womb of Mary ever either before or after bear any other body but that of her divine Son. S. Austin, ut supra.

Ver. 5. Neither did his brethren believe in him; by his brethren here, we are to understand his kindred, this townsmen or countrymen, at or about Nazareth. Wi.

Ver. 8. Go you up to this festival day, which lasted eight days. — I go not with you, nor to be there at the first day, nor in that public manner as you desire. But when the feast was half over, about the fourth day, Jesus went thither in a private manner, yet so that when he arrived, he spoke publicly in the temple. Wi.

Ver. 10. But why does he ascend to the festival day, when he said he would not? He did not say, I will not ascend, but only, I do not ascend; that is, in your company. S. Chrys. hom. xlvii. in Joan. — Or, I do not go up to this festival, viz. the first or second day of the feast, which lasted eight days, and to which you wish me to ascend: but he went afterwards, when the first part of the festival was over. S. Austin, tract. 28. in Joan.

Ver. 12. It was the people that held the favourable opinion of Christ, whilst on the contrary, the Scribes and Pharisees speak ill of him, saying, he seduceth not us, but he seduceth the multitude. S. Chrys. hom. xlviii. in Joan.

Ver. 13. No one publicly took the part of Jesus, however favourable were their private sentiments; for the Jews hated and persecuted such as sided with him. V.

Ver. 15. Whilst the Jews proceeded no farther than to admire the wisdom of our Saviour, when they could easily have seen that what he taught he knew by the power of God, Christ himself reveals to them the source of his wisdom, saying: My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. S. Chrys. hom. xlviii. in Joan. — S. Thos. Aquinas, the great doctor of the schools, and styled the angelic doctor, informs us that in all the scriptural difficulties he met with, he uniformly had recourse to prayer, and that he acquired greater light and knowledge at the foot of his crucifix than from any books or masters. A.

Ver. 16. My doctrine is not mine; i.e. not mine only, but also the Father’s; from whom I proceed, and with whom I am always. Wi.

Ver. 18. He is true: seeketh truth, and not his own glory. Wi.

Ver. 10. The law of Moses prescribes that you shall not kill, but this law you transgress; for, why do you seek to kill me? You yourselves are transgressors of the law, and therefore no ways proper persons to judge me for transgressing it. S. Chrys. hom. xlviii. in Joan. — You do not observe the law; otherwise you would learn from that law, that I am the Christ, and not seek to put me to death, when I appear amongst you. S. Aust. tract. 30, in Joan. — If I cure on the sabbath-day, do not you also give circumcision, and also cure the wound on the sabbath? V. — See v. 23, of this chapter.

Ver. 20. Thou hast a devil: art possessed with a devil, mad, &c. Wi.

Ver. 21. One work I have done. He means by healing the man at the pond, who had been ill thirty-eight years. Wi. — Jesus here speaks of the cure that he had performed on the paralytic, eighteen months before, and which had scandalized the Jews. See C. v, v. 9. et dein. of this gospel. V.

Ver. 26. Have the rulers, &c. the chief priests, elders, and all the members of the great sanhedrim. Wi.

Ver. 27. We know this man whence he is. They looked upon him as no more than a man, and they thought they knew his father to be S. Joseph; they knew his Mother and kindred. — But when the Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Thus said some of the people; but, doubtless, the more learned knew Christ was to be born at Bethlehem. Wi. — The Jews had imbibed this opinion of the secrecy of the origin of Christ from the prophet Isaiah, C. liii. Who shall relate his generation? But they likewise were acquainted with many other texts of Scripture relative to the Messias, which plainly point out the place of his birth, viz. Bethlehem, and also the place of his residence, when it is said, He shall be called a Nazarite. His generation is indeed unknown with regard to his divinity, as Christ himself told the Jews in his answer: He is true that sent me, but you know him not. But as to his humanity, his origin is well known: You know me, and whence I am you know. S. Aust. tract. 31. in Joan.

Ver. 28. You both know me; i.e. you know me as man, and where I have been educated. — But him that sent me, from whom I proceeded, and who sent me into this world to be its Redeemer, you know not; because you know not, that he was always, and from all eternity, my eternal Father, and I his eternal Son. Wi.

Ver. 31. The faith of these was not at all sound, as appears from the following words, which they spoke. S. Chrys. hom. xlix. in Joan.

Ver. 32. The Pharisees understood well enough that his words signified he was their Messias, and the true Son of God. And they sent some servants to seize him, and bring him to them. Wi.

Ver. 33. Yet a little while and I am with you: and then I go, and return to him that sent me, with whom I am always; but as man, I shall leave the world. Wi.

Ver. 34. And shall not find me. Some understand it, you shall wish me conversing with you, as at present, healing diseases, &c. but as I shall suffer death shortly, you shall not find me. Others expound it, you shall seek for your Messias, but not owning me, who am truly he, you shall not find your Messias; and you cannot come to me in my kingdom of glory, because you will not believe in me. Wi. — Or where I shall be. The present tense is not unfrequently used for the future, by the hagiographers. See C. xiii. 33.

Ver. 35. Will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, or to the dispersed Gentiles, and Jews among them to preach to them? Wi.

Ver. 38. Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. By this living water, are signified the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which were promised to the faithful. Wi.

Ver. 39. As yet the spirit was not given, in that particular and extraordinary manner, because Jesus was not yet glorified by his ascension and the coming of the Holy Ghost. Wi. — It is said that the Baptist was filled with the Holy Ghost from the womb of his mother; that Zachary, when he prophesied concerning his son, and the blessed Virgin, when she prophesied concerning our Lord, were both filled with the Holy Ghost; that Simeon and Anna were inspired by the Holy Ghost, to declare the greatness of Christ. How can this be otherwise reconciled with this text of S. John, that by saying that this gift of the Holy Ghost, after the ascension of Christ, was much more abundant than it had ever been before? It had something which essentially distinguished it from all preceding gifts. For we never read that men inspired by the Holy Ghost before the coming of Christ, spoke languages which they had never learned. S. Aust. 4 de Trin. c. xx. — The Holy Ghost is still received, but none speak with tongues: because the Church herself, being spread over the whole earth, speaks the languages of all. Idem. tract. 32. in S. Joan. — The primitive Christians of Corinth consulted S. Paul on the subject of these spiritual gifts or graces, frequently communicated in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. In his Epistle, addressed to them, (C. xii.) he explains those gifts, and complains that some among the Corinthians made not a right use of these gifts; especially those who had the gift of tongues, and made use of it rather through vanity, than for the profit of others. In v. ult. ibid. he adds: But be zealous for the better gifts. And I shew to you a yet more excellent way. And in the 13th chapter, he describes the excellence, the characters of charity which he extols far above all other gifts. A.

Ver. 41. A prophet does not come from Galilee, but the Lord of the prophets does. S. Aust. tract. 38. in Joan. — Without faith, without advantage, they again return to their habitations of infidelity and impiety. Alcuin.

Ver. 49. But this multitude . . . are accursed; i.e. falls under the curses of the law, by being seduced and led away by false preachers. Wi.

Ver. 52. They say to Nicodemus: Art thou also a Galilean, who defendest this Galilean, whereas no prophet, nor especially the Messias, comes from Galilee? Wi. — A prophet, properly the prophet: for they could not be ignorant that the prophet Jonas was from Galilee. We have not indeed the article the in this verse, but we find it in ver. 40, with which this appears to correspond. A.