John 3:29
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.

New Living Translation
It is the bridegroom who marries the bride, and the best man is simply glad to stand with him and hear his vows. Therefore, I am filled with joy at his success.

English Standard Version
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.

New American Standard Bible
"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full.

King James Bible
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
He who has the bride is the groom. But the groom's friend, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the groom's voice. So this joy of mine is complete.

International Standard Version
It is the bridegroom who gets the bride, yet the bridegroom's friend, who merely stands by and listens for him, is overjoyed to hear the bridegroom's voice. That's why this joy of mine is now complete.

NET Bible
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands by and listens for him, rejoices greatly when he hears the bridegroom's voice. This then is my joy, and it is complete.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
He who has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom who stands and listens for him rejoices with great joy because of the voice of the bridegroom. Therefore this, my joy, behold, it is full.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"The groom is the person to whom the bride belongs. The best man, who stands and listens to him, is overjoyed when the groom speaks. This is the joy that I feel.

Jubilee Bible 2000
He that has the bride is the bridegroom, but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

King James 2000 Bible
He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

American King James Version
He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

American Standard Version
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, that standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is made full.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth with joy because of the bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Darby Bible Translation
He that has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices in heart because of the voice of the bridegroom: this my joy then is fulfilled.

English Revised Version
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that hath the bride, is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly, because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

Weymouth New Testament
He who has the bride is the bridegroom; and the bridegroom's friend who stands by his side and listens to him, rejoices heartily on account of the bridegroom's happiness. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.

World English Bible
He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. This, my joy, therefore is made full.

Young's Literal Translation
he who is having the bride is bridegroom, and the friend of the bridegroom, who is standing and hearing him, with joy doth rejoice because of the voice of the bridegroom; this, then, my joy hath been fulfilled.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

3:22-36 John was fully satisfied with the place and work assigned him; but Jesus came on a more important work. He also knew that Jesus would increase in honour and influence, for of his government and peace there would be no end, while he himself would be less followed. John knew that Jesus came from heaven as the Son of God, while he was a sinful, mortal man, who could only speak about the more plain subjects of religion. The words of Jesus were the words of God; he had the Spirit, not by measure, as the prophets, but in all fulness. Everlasting life could only be had by faith in Him, and might be thus obtained; whereas all those, who believe not in the Son of God, cannot partake of salvation, but the wrath of God for ever rests upon them.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 29. - And now the Baptist bethinks him of another remarkable image, with which, as a student of the Old Testament, and being himself "more than a prophet," He was familiar. The tenderness of the imagery had not hitherto, however, comported with the ministry of the vox clamantis. Whereas the New Testament represents the loving kindness and righteousness of the Lord God under the metaphor of a Father's love to his prodigal but repenting children, the prophets were often disposed to set forth the same idea in the light of a Husband yearning over his bride, even betrothing her a second time unto himself after her faithlessness and folly. Jehovah and Jehovah's King and Representative are set forth as the Bridegroom of the true Israel (Psalm 45; Isaiah 54:5; Hosea 2:19, 20; the Song of Solomon 1; Ezekiel 16; Malachi 2:11, etc.); and the New Testament writers, especially John himself, who delights in the image (Revelation 19:7; Revelation 21:2, 9; Revelation 22:17), and Paul, who compares the relation of the Saviour to his Church under this endearing imagery (Ephesians 5:32; 2 Corinthians 11:2), vindicate the legitimacy of the metaphor. The Baptist might easily think of this language, but it is more than possible that he had been profoundly touched by the news that had reached him concerning the presence of Jesus at a marriage feast. John had been a Nazarite from his birth. Jesus was revealing himself amid the pleasures and innocent joys of life and love. John's conception of the kingdom had been that of severance from the world - seclusion, ascetic restraint. Jesus had manifested his glory amid the festival and in the common life and daily ways of men. John may have seen that there was much in this to captivate the heart of the true Israel; and he glances at the bridal of heaven and earth in this new conception of the mission of the Messiah. It may have staggered him, as he had taught Israel to hope for One whose hand would be more heavy upon them and on their sins than his had been. Where was the axe laid at the root of the trees? where the fire that scorches to cleanse and purify? But he accepted to some extent the new revelation, and found his own place in the novel reconstruction of the kingdom. So he says, He that hath the bride is the bridegroom. However, John throws in a novel thought, explanatory of his own position, and not found in the Old Testament imagery: "I am not the Bridegroom," says he; "but it is also true that I am not the Bride. Such is my position that I am standing outside the company of those who are the prophetic 'Bride.'" The friend of the bridegroom (φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου παρανύμφιος, answering to the אוהֵב and שׁושְׁבֶן of the Aramaic writers) is he who acts the part of intermediary - the confidant of both. He presides at the ceremonies of the betrothal and at the wedding tent, and especially in the interests of the bridegroom. The image was probably suggested to him by the great discovery made by the friend of the Cana bridegroom touching the "glory" of the mysterious Guest on that typical occasion. "The friend of the bridegroom" differs profoundly from the Bridegroom. The Christ will prove ready to occupy this position, and John has declared that he is not the Christ. Moreover, John differs from the Bride; he does not receive the lavish love, nor the deep intimacies of that affection, nor the dowry of sacrificial devotion with which that love will at length be won. This paranymphios standeth and heareth him. It is not said, "seeth him." Some have argued that John here calls attention to the fact that all that the Bridegroom has been saying has reached him by means of the information brought to him on the part of those who were both his own disciples and the disciples of Jesus; but the next clause is inconsistent with this. The friend of the bridegroom stands ready to do the will and promote the honour and pleasure of his friend. (The materialistic and sensualistic manner in which some have pressed the force of the imagery is out of place.) "The voice of the bridegroom," the hilarious joy of the bridegroom, is a proverbial expression (Jeremiah 7:34; Jeremiah 16:9; Jeremiah 25:10). There is a contrast felt between the formal business-like fellowship that prevailed between the bride and the friend of the bridegroom, and the free outspoken love of the bridegroom himself. The lispings of prophecy are contrasted with the outspoken utterances of the gospel of love. And he rejoiceth with joy (χαρᾷ χαίρει; cf. for this form of expression, which corresponds with the frequent Hebrew juxtaposition of the finite verb with the infinitive absolute, the LXX. of Isaiah 30:19; Isaiah 66:10; Deuteronomy 7:26, etc.; Luke 22:15; Acts 4:17; Acts 5:28; Acts 23:14; James 5:17). It is not an indubitable Hebraism, because similar expressions are found in the classics, as Plato, 'Sympos.,' 195, B., φεύγων φυγῇ; 'Phaedr.,' 265, D.; Soph., 'OEd. Rex,' 65; see Winer, 'Gramm. E.T.,' p. 585. This is the only place where such a construction occurs in the writings of John) because of the bridegroom's voice. Intense joy is thus ascribed to one who was the minister of the bliss of another. This my joy - or, this joy, therefore, which is mine - hath been made full. "I have thus completed my task, and reached the climax of my bliss. I have wooed and won," The bridal of heaven and earth is begun. In subsequent words of Jesus and his disciples other great epochs of complete consummation are referred to. The joy of the Lord will only be entirely realized when, after the resurrection and the second advent, the rapture of fellowship with his Bride will be completed. But the Baptist recognized that his own work was finished when the Messiah had been introduced to those who understood something of his claims, when the kingdom was at hand, when there were many who sought and found their Lord.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

He that hath the bride,.... By whom particular persons seem here to be meant, who were called, converted, and brought to Christ, and were made his disciples, and baptized, and so were openly espoused unto him; though sometimes it designs a particular church of Christ, and even the whole general assembly, and church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven; all the elect of. God, whether among Jews, or Gentiles; see 2 Corinthians 11:2. These Christ has in a conjugal relation; and he came, and comes to have them after this manner: he saw them in his Father's purposes, and decrees, in all the glory he meant to bring them to; and loved them, and desired them of his Father, as his spouse, who gave them to him, as such; and he betrothed them to himself for ever; and in time he sends his ministering servants with his Gospel, to engage and betroth them to him; and by the power of his grace, he makes them willing to give up themselves to him; which is the open espousal of them; and at the last day, when the number of the elect are completed, the marriage of the Lamb will be publicly solemnized, and a marriage supper will be made; and all that are called, and ready, will enter into the marriage chamber, and share in the joys, and pleasures of that day: thus by virtue of the Father's gift, Christ has them now as his own property, as his portion, his jewels, his bride, and wife; and by, and through his great love to them, he has them not only in his arms, from whence they can never be plucked; but in his heart, where they are set as a seal; and by virtue of this love, they are united to him, become one with him, are members of his body, flesh, and bones; and are one spirit with him, and nothing can be able to separate them; and he will have them all with, him to all eternity, to be where he is, and behold his glory: and now, he that has the bride in this sense,

is the bridegroom; and such is Christ; see Matthew 9:15; and he acts, and behaves, as such; he loves the saints, as a bridegroom loves his bride, with a love prior to theirs; with a love of complacency and delight, which is single, chaste, and inviolable; free, and sovereign, wonderful, unchangeable, and from everlasting to everlasting: he sympathises with them in all their adversities, and afflictions; he nourishes, and cherishes them, and provides everything for them, for food, and clothing, for refreshment and protection; and interests them in all he has: and an amazing instance of grace this is, that such who are no better than others, children of wrath by nature; exceeding great sinners, guilty, and filthy; bankrupts, and beggars on the dunghill; and yet are taken into so near a relation to him; who is in the form of God, and equal to him, the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, the Son of God, in whom all the fulness of the Godhead dwells; the King of kings, and Lord of lords. And this being the case, John suggests, that by these persons following Christ, and giving up themselves to him, it appeared that he was the bridegroom; and to whom should they betake themselves but to him? Nor did it become him, or any other, to seek to draw them from him; nor should any envy his enjoyment of them, since they were his in so peculiar a sense, and in so near a relation:

but the friend of the bridegroom; meaning himself: and such is every true minister of the Gospel; he is a lover of Christ, a friend to his interest, and seeks by all means to promote it, and to bring souls unto him. The allusion is to a custom among the Jews, who, at their marriages, used to have persons both on the side of the bride, and of the bridegroom, as companions that attended each, and were called their friends; see Judges 14:20. Such an one is called by the Rabbins, and this word is interpreted by "a lover", or "friend", the same as here; and by "his" (the bridegroom's) "friend" in the time of his marriage (s). There were two of these, one for the bride, and another for the bridegroom; for so it is said (t), formerly they appointed two

""friends", one for him (the bridegroom), and one for her (the bride), that they might minister to the bridegroom, and do all things at their entrance into the marriage chamber. --And formerly, these friends slept where the bridegroom and bride slept.''

And so as John is here represented as the friend of Christ, the bridegroom of the church; the Jews speak of Moses as the friend of God, the bridegroom of the people of Israel. So one of their writers (u), having delivered a parable concerning a certain king going into a far country, and leaving his espoused wife with his maid-servants, who raising an evil report on her, his friend tore in pieces the matrimonial contract, thus applies it:

"the king, this is the holy, blessed God; the maidens, these are the mixed multitude; and "the friend", this is Moses; and the spouse of the holy, blessed God is Israel.''

The Jews say (w), that Michael and Gabriel were the "bridal friends" to the first Adam.

Which standeth; the phrase may be seen in the above parable of the Jewish writer (x) referred to, , "his friend standeth": this was the posture of servants, and is fitly applied to John, who was the harbinger of Christ, and judged himself unworthy to bear his shoes; and well agrees with the ministers of the Gospel, who stand before Christ, wait upon him, and minister in his name, and are the servants of the churches for his sake:

and heareth him; hearkens to his words; observes, and obeys them; hears his voice, so as to understand it, and distinguish it from another's; and hears it with delight and pleasure, as every true friend of Christ does his Gospel, which is his voice, and is a joyful sound; and so

rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: such an one rejoices at the sight of his person, and in communion with him; he rejoices at the sound of his voice; and is delighted to hear him in the ministry of the word, calling to one, and to another, to come unto him, and causing them to believe in him, and give up themselves to him.

This my joy therefore is fulfilled; in Christ, he being come in person, and his voice heard in the land of Judea, and multitudes of souls flocking to him, who believing in him, were baptized; than which nothing could be a greater pleasure to John, or to any Gospel minister. This was the accomplishment and perfection of his joy, which carried it to its utmost height: this was what he wished for; and now he had the desire of his heart. It was usual for the friend of the bridegroom to carry provisions with him, and eat and drink with the bridegroom, and rejoice with him; and this rejoicing was mutual. Hence those words,

"give me "my friend", that I may rejoice with him:''

the gloss upon it is,

"and eat at his marriage, even as he also rejoiced, and ate at my marriage (y).''

continued...



John 3:29 Additional Commentaries
Context
John's Testimony Concerning Jesus
28"You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent ahead of Him.' 29"He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 30"He must increase, but I must decrease.…
Cross References
Song of Solomon 5:1
I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk. Friends Eat, friends, and drink; drink your fill of love.

Matthew 9:15
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.

Matthew 25:1
"At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.

John 3:30
He must become greater; I must become less."

John 15:11
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 16:24
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

John 17:13
"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

Philippians 2:2
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

1 John 1:4
We write this to make our joy complete.

2 John 1:12
I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete.

Revelation 19:7
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.
Treasury of Scripture

He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

hath.

Psalm 45:9-17 Kings' daughters were among your honorable women: on your right hand …

Songs 3:11 Go forth, O you daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the …

Songs 4:8-12 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look …

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and …

Isaiah 62:4,5 You shall no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall your land any …

Jeremiah 2:2 Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus said the LORD; …

Ezekiel 16:8 Now when I passed by you, and looked on you, behold, your time was …

Hosea 2:19 And I will betroth you to me for ever; yes, I will betroth you to …

Matthew 22:2 The kingdom of heaven is like to a certain king, which made a marriage …

2 Corinthians 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused …

Ephesians 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, …

Revelation 19:7-9 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage …

Revelation 21:9 And there came to me one of the seven angels which had the seven …

the friend.

Judges 14:10,11 So his father went down to the woman: and Samson made there a feast; …

Psalm 45:14 She shall be brought to the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins …

Songs 5:1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my …

Matthew 9:15 And Jesus said to them, Can the children of the bridal chamber mourn, …

this.

Isaiah 66:11 That you may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; …

Luke 2:10-14 And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good …

Luke 15:6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, …

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Alphabetical: and attends because been belongs bride bridegroom bridegroom's but complete for friend full greatly has he hears him is it joy listens made mine now of rejoices So stands That The this to voice waits when who

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