John 11:39
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Take away the stone," he said. "But, Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days."

New Living Translation
"Roll the stone aside," Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man's sister, protested, "Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible."

English Standard Version
Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”

New American Standard Bible
Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days."

King James Bible
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
"Remove the stone," Jesus said. Martha, the dead man's sister, told Him, "Lord, he's already decaying. It's been four days."

International Standard Version
Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the dead man's sister, told him, "Lord, there must be a stench by now, because he's been dead for four days."

NET Bible
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, "Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And Yeshua said, “Take away this stone.” Martha, the sister of him who had died, said to him, “My Lord, by now it is putrid, for it has been four days.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jesus said, "Take the stone away." Martha, the dead man's sister, told Jesus, "Lord, there must already be a stench. He's been dead for four days."

Jubilee Bible 2000
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that had died, said unto him, Lord, by this time he stinks, for he has been dead four days.

King James 2000 Bible
Jesus said, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days.

American King James Version
Jesus said, Take you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said to him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days.

American Standard Version
Jesus saith, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time the body decayeth; for he hath been dead four days.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jesus saith: Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to him: Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he is now of four days.

Darby Bible Translation
Jesus says, Take away the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead, says to him, Lord, he stinks already, for he is four days [there].

English Revised Version
Jesus saith, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

Webster's Bible Translation
Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith to him, Lord, by this time his body is offensive: for he hath been dead four days.

Weymouth New Testament
"Take away the stone," said Jesus. Martha, the sister of the dead man, exclaimed, "Master, by this time there is a foul smell; for it is three days since he died."

World English Bible
Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."

Young's Literal Translation
Jesus saith, 'Take ye away the stone;' the sister of him who hath died -- Martha -- saith to him, 'Sir, already he stinketh, for he is four days dead;'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

11:33-46 Christ's tender sympathy with these afflicted friends, appeared by the troubles of his spirit. In all the afflictions of believers he is afflicted. His concern for them was shown by his kind inquiry after the remains of his deceased friend. Being found in fashion as a man, he acts in the way and manner of the sons of men. It was shown by his tears. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Tears of compassion resemble those of Christ. But Christ never approved that sensibility of which many are proud, while they weep at mere tales of distress, but are hardened to real woe. He sets us an example to withdraw from scenes of giddy mirth, that we may comfort the afflicted. And we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. It is a good step toward raising a soul to spiritual life, when the stone is taken away, when prejudices are removed, and got over, and way is made for the word to enter the heart. If we take Christ's word, and rely on his power and faithfulness, we shall see the glory of God, and be happy in the sight. Our Lord Jesus has taught us, by his own example, to call God Father, in prayer, and to draw nigh to him as children to a father, with humble reverence, yet with holy boldness. He openly made this address to God, with uplifted eyes and loud voice, that they might be convinced the Father had sent him as his beloved Son into the world. He could have raised Lazarus by the silent exertion of his power and will, and the unseen working of the Spirit of life; but he did it by a loud call. This was a figure of the gospel call, by which dead souls are brought out of the grave of sin: and of the sound of the archangel's trumpet at the last day, with which all that sleep in the dust shall be awakened, and summoned before the great tribunal. The grave of sin and this world, is no place for those whom Christ has quickened; they must come forth. Lazarus was thoroughly revived, and returned not only to life, but to health. The sinner cannot quicken his own soul, but he is to use the means of grace; the believer cannot sanctify himself, but he is to lay aside every weight and hinderance. We cannot convert our relatives and friends, but we should instruct, warn, and invite them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 39. - Jesus saith, Take ye away the stone. Ἄρατε has rather the idea of "lift" than "roll away;" it is used for "take," "take away," "carry as a burden." Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been four days here. Martha's language is another singular illustration of the desire on her part to give a certain kind of advice and direction to our Lord, as though he might be the wiser and bettor for her monitions. The characterization of her as "the sister of the dead" man is not needed for identification, but rather to explain or justify her intrusion upon the solemn, stately direction of the Lord. She shrank from such an exposure of the body of her beloved brother, as an unnecessary act, since he was only to rise at the last day, or to be regarded by his faith in Christ before his death as having already passed from death and through death into a new life. She must have relinquished at that moment all hope of resurrection of the body of Lazarus there and then: ἤδη ὄζει, "he already stinketh." This is explained by many of the Fathers as proof that our Lord not only raised from death-swoon Jairus's daughter, and the young man on his way to burial, but also a putrefying corpse; thus giving three symbols of the effects of sin:

(1) a young life blighted;

(2) a man's energies dissipated and his condition apparently hopeless; and

(3) a type also of one dead in trespasses and sins (Trench on the Miracles) - one whose habits of trespass and bondage to evil seem to forbid all renewal. Godet thinks that Martha had special reasons for such a speech. Others, that all that we have here is the speculation or lanai of Martha, and that it must be so. She puts one more arrest, as it would seem, upon the free act and love of Jesus. This seems quite sufficient to account for the use of the word. It would seem that, for some reason, the body had not been fully embalmed, or she would not have used the expression. Still, all had been done with spices and perfumes that was intended. The Tübingen criticism eagerly lays hold on this point, as proof that the fourth evangelist intended by such a touch to exalt and exaggerate the wonder-working power of Christ. There is no need whatever to see in it more than Martha's sisterly love getting the better of her submission to her Master's order. Τετερταῖος γάρ ἐστι, "For he is of the fourth day (dead) (buried)." On the fourth day the countenance changes, and, as the Jewish proverb urged, the spirit takes its flight from the sepulcher, and no longer hovers over the departed form.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Jesus said, take ye away the stone,.... This was said either to the Jews, or rather to the servants that came along with Martha and Mary; and this he ordered, not to facilitate the resurrection, or merely in order to make way for Lazarus: he that could command him to come forth, could have commanded away the stone, but he chose to have it removed this way, that the corpse might be seen, and even smelt; and that it might be manifest, there was no fallacy, nor any intrigue between him, and the sisters of the deceased in this matter: this order was contrary to a rule of the Jews, which forbid the opening of a grave after it was stopped up (h); but a greater than the fathers of the traditions was here, even he who has the keys of hell, or the grave, and can open, or order it to be opened, when he pleases:

Martha the sister of him that was dead: that is, of Lazarus, as the Persic version expresses it, calling him, "Gazarus",

saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh; or smells; not that she perceived this upon their moving the stone, but she concluded it from the time he had been dead, and had lain in the grave, in which dead bodies usually putrefy and smell: whether she said this out of respect to her brother, being unwilling he should be exposed to the view of persons, in such a state of corruption, she knew he must now be; or whether out of respect to Christ, lest he should be disordered with the offensive smell, is not certain: however, it seems as if she had no notion that Christ was about to raise her brother from the dead; and that the stone was commanded to be removed for that purpose, not merely for a sight of the dead, but that the dead might be seen to come forth alive: she imagined that Christ only wanted to have the stone removed, that he might have a sight of his deceased friend, which she thought would be very disagreeable and nauseous; so soon had she forgot what Christ had said to her, and lost that little exercise she had of faith and hope, with respect to the resurrection of her brother. Frames of soul, and acts of grace, are very changeable, and uncertain things; and especially when carnal reasoning is indulged.

For he hath been dead four days; he had been so long in the grave, John 11:17. The word "dead" is not in the text; he might have been dead longer; though the Jews usually buried on the same day a person died: however, the sense is here, he had been so long in the grave; and so the Persic version renders it, "for it is the fourth day that he has been in the grave"; in the original text it is, "he is one of four days"; so many days he had been in the house appointed for all living; so long he had been removed from the sight of men, and had been in another world, and had begun another era, and four days had passed in it; he was so many days old according to that: so that his countenance was changed, he was not fit to be seen, nor approached unto; nor was there any hope of his returning to life. The Jews (i) say, that

"for three days the soul goes to the grave, thinking the body may return; but when it sees the figure of the face changed, it goes away, and leaves it, as it is said, Job 14:22.''

So of Jonah's being three days and three nights in the whale's belly, they say (k),

"these are the three days a man is in the grave, and his bowels burst; and after three days that defilement is turned upon his face.''

Hence, they do not allow anyone to bear witness of one that is dead or killed, that he is such an one, after three days, because then his countenance is changed (l), and he cannot be well known.

(h) Apud Buxtorf Lex. Rab. col. 437. (i) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 100. fol. 88. 2. & T. Hieros. Moed Katon, fol. 82. 2.((k) Zohar in Exod. fol. 78. 2.((l) Misn. Yebamot, c. 16. sect. 3. & Maimon. Jarchi, & Bartenora in ib. & Maimon. Hilchot Gerushim, c. 13. sect. 21. T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 120. 1. & Gloss. in ib.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

39-44. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone—spoken to the attendants of Martha and Mary; for it was a work of no little labor [Grotius]. According to the Talmudists, it was forbidden to open a grave after the stone was placed upon it. Besides other dangers, they were apprehensive of legal impurity by contact with the dead. Hence they avoided coming nearer a grave than four cubits [Maimonides in Lampe]. But He who touched the leper, and the bier of the widow of Nain's son, rises here also above these Judaic memorials of evils, every one of which He had come to roll away. Observe here what our Lord did Himself, and what He made others do. As Elijah himself repaired the altar on Carmel, arranged the wood, cut the victim, and placed the pieces on the fuel, but made the by-standers fill the surrounding trench with water, that no suspicion might arise of fire having been secretly applied to the pile (1Ki 18:30-35); so our Lord would let the most skeptical see that, without laying a hand on the stone that covered His friend, He could recall him to life. But what could be done by human hand He orders to be done, reserving only to Himself what transcended the ability of all creatures.

Martha, the sister of … the dead—and as such the proper guardian of the precious remains; the relationship being here mentioned to account for her venturing gently to remonstrate against their exposure, in a state of decomposition, to eyes that had loved him so tenderly in life.

Lord, by this time he stinketh, for he hath been dead four days—(See on [1835]Joh 11:17). It is wrong to suppose from this (as Lampe and others do) that, like the by-standers, she had not thought of his restoration to life. But the glimmerings of hope which she cherished from the first (Joh 11:22), and which had been brightened by what Jesus said to her (Joh 11:23-27), had suffered a momentary eclipse on the proposal to expose the now sightless corpse. To such fluctuations all real faith is subject in dark hours. (See, for example, the case of Job).

John 11:39 Additional Commentaries
Context
Jesus Raises Lazarus
38So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. 39Jesus said, "Remove the stone." Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?"…
Cross References
John 11:17
On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

2 Corinthians 2:16
To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task?
Treasury of Scripture

Jesus said, Take you away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, said to him, Lord, by this time he stinks: for he has been dead four days.

Take.

Mark 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone …

Lord.

John 11:17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, till you return to …

Genesis 23:4 I am a stranger and a sojourner with you: give me a possession of …

Psalm 49:7,9,14 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God …

Acts 2:27 Because you will not leave my soul in hell, neither will you suffer …

Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of …

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to …

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