John 5:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie--the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.

New Living Translation
Crowds of sick people--blind, lame, or paralyzed--lay on the porches.

English Standard Version
In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed.

Berean Study Bible
On these walkways lay a great number of the sick, the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed.

Berean Literal Bible
In these were lying a multitude of those ailing, blind, lame, paralyzed.

New American Standard Bible
In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, waiting for the moving of the waters;

King James Bible
In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Within these lay a large number of the sick--blind, lame, and paralyzed --waiting for the moving of the water,

International Standard Version
and under these a large number of sick people were lying—blind, lame, or paralyzed—waiting for the movement of the water.

NET Bible
A great number of sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed people were lying in these walkways.

New Heart English Bible
In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And in these many people were lying who were ill, blind, crippled, cancerous, and they were awaiting the moving of the water;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Under these porches a large number of sick people-people who were blind, lame, or paralyzed-used to lie.

New American Standard 1977
In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered, [waiting for the moving of the waters;

Jubilee Bible 2000
In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

King James 2000 Bible
In these lay a great multitude of invalid folk, of blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.

American King James Version
In these lay a great multitude of weak folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

American Standard Version
In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; waiting for the moving of the water.

Darby Bible Translation
In these lay a multitude of sick, blind, lame, withered, [awaiting the moving of the water.

English Revised Version
In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered.

Webster's Bible Translation
In these lay a great multitude of impotent persons, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

Weymouth New Testament
In these there used to lie a great number of sick persons, and of people who were blind or lame or paralyzed.

World English Bible
In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water;

Young's Literal Translation
in these were lying a great multitude of the ailing, blind, lame, withered, waiting for the moving of the water,
Study Bible
The Pool of Bethesda
2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool with five covered colonnades, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda. 3On these walkways lay a great number of the sick, the blind, the lame, and the paralyzed.
Cross References
Matthew 4:24
News about Him spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering acute pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed--and He healed them.

John 5:2
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool with five covered colonnades, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda.

John 5:4
For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Treasury of Scripture

In these lay a great multitude of weak folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

of blind.

Matthew 15:30 And great multitudes came to him, having with them those that were …

Luke 7:22 Then Jesus answering said to them, Go your way, and tell John what …

withered.

1 Kings 13:4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man …

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaves the flock! the sword shall be …

Mark 3:1-4 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there …

waiting.

Proverbs 8:34 Blessed is the man that hears me, watching daily at my gates, waiting …

Lamentations 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation …

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

James 5:7 Be patient therefore, brothers, to the coming of the Lord. Behold, …

(3) In these lay a great multitude.--The word "great" before multitude, and the latter clause of the verse "waiting for the moving of the water," and the whole of John 5:4, is omitted by most of the oldest MSS., including the Sinaitic and the Vatican, and is judged to be no part of the original text by a consensus of modern editors, including Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, and Westcott and Hort. It is interesting to note how a gloss like this has found its way into the narrative, and, for ninety-nine out of every hundred readers, is now regarded as an integral part of St. John's Gospel. We meet with it very early. It is found in the Alexandrian MS., and in the Latin and early Syrian versions. Tertullian refers to it. This points to a wide acceptance from the second century downwards, and points doubtless to the popular interpretation of that day. It explains the man's own view in John 5:7, and the fact of the multitude assembled round the pool (John 5:3). The bubbling water moving as it were with life, and in its healing power seeming to convey new energy to blind and halt and lame, was to them as the presence of a living messenger of God. They knew not its constituent elements, and could not trace the law of its action, but they knew the Source of all good, who gave intellect to man and healing influence to matter, effect to the remedy and skill to the physician, and they accepted the gift as direct from Him. Scientists of the present century will smile at these Christians of the second century. The Biblical critic is glad that he can remove these words from the record, and cannot be called upon to explain them. But it may be fairly asked, which is most truly scientific--to grasp the Ultimate Cause of all, even without the knowledge of intermediate links; or to trace these links, and express them in so-called laws, and make these abstract laws lifeless representatives of the living God? There is a via media which, here as elsewhere, wisdom will seek rather than either extreme. All true theology must be, in the best sense, scientific; and all true science must be, in the best sense, religious.

Verses 3, 4. - In these (porches) lay a multitude of sick folk, blind, lame, withered, [waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel went down season by season into the pool, and troubled the waters: he then that first stepped in after the troubling of the water became whole of whatsoever disease he had]. The interesting gloss discussed below conveys the idea of magical cure, without moral significance, and attributes such cure to angelic ministry. This is the natural and popular explanation of the Bethesda healings, and would easily occur to a copyist who has not taken pains to use New Testament diction. Wunsche quotes from 'Chullin,' fol. 105, b, a testimony that "deadly qualities of water were attributed to demons, and healing ones to the angels." The crowds which gather in all countries round medicinal and intermittent springs are still unable to explain their curative quality by scientific analogies; and there is nothing more likely to have suggested itself to the mind of a copyist than the intervention of an angel. The absence from Scripture elsewhere of non-moral miracles is powerful internal reason for the lack of authenticity for the poetic gloss. The text. when deprived of this dubious gloss, loses all character that is inconsistent with the authenticity of the narrative. The close of ver. 3, "waiting for the moving of the waters," is far better attested than ver. 4, and, moreover, is consistent with John's manner, and with well ascertained matters of fact; and the clause would give authentic ground for the gloss that fellows. Hoffmann and Hengstenberg defend the passage, and believe that the angel at "the waters" in the Apocalypse betrays the same hand. But there can be no fair comparison between an historical fact and a symbolical figure. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk,.... Sick and weak persons; who were an emblem of men under the law of works, and in a state of unregeneracy; who are enfeebled by sin, and are impotent and unable to do anything of themselves; as to keep the law of God, to which they have neither will nor power, and to atone for the transgressions of it; nor to redeem themselves from the curse of the law or to begin and carry on a work of grace upon their souls; or to do anything that is spiritually good; no, not to think a good thought, or to do a good action, as is required:

of blind; these also may represent men a state of nature, who are ignorant of, and blind to everything that is spiritual; as to the true knowledge of God in Christ, the way of salvation by him, the plague of their own hearts, and the exceeding sinfulness of sin; to the Spirit of God, and his work upon the soul; and to the truths of the Gospel, in the power of them:

halt, or "lame"; this word sometimes is used of persons in suspense about religious things, hesitating concerning them, halting between two opinions; and sometimes designs the infirmities of the saints, and their faulterings in religious exercises; and here maybe expressive in a figurative way, of the incapacity natural men, to go or walk of themselves; as to come to Christ for grace and life, which no man can do, except the Father draw him; or to walk by faith in him: it is added,

withered; one limb or another of them dried up: their arms or legs were withered, and their sinews shrunk, and were without radical moisture, or the free use of the animal spirits; and may point out carnal persons, such as are sensual, not having the Spirit, destitute of the grace of God, without faith, hope, love, knowledge, and the fear of God; without God, Christ, and the Spirit; and in a lifeless, helpless, hopeless, and perishing condition:

waiting for the moving of the water; hereafter mentioned: and so it is in providence, and a wonderful thing it is, that the hearts of so many unregenerate persons should be inclined to attend upon the outward means of grace, and should be waiting at Wisdom's gates, and watching at the posts of her door. 3. impotent—infirm.5:1-9 We are all by nature impotent folk in spiritual things, blind, halt, and withered; but full provision is made for our cure, if we attend to it. An angel went down, and troubled the water; and what disease soever it was, this water cured it, but only he that first stepped in had benefit. This teaches us to be careful, that we let not a season slip which may never return. The man had lost the use of his limbs thirty-eight years. Shall we, who perhaps for many years have scarcely known what it has been to be a day sick, complain of one wearisome night, when many others, better than we, have scarcely known what it has been to be a day well? Christ singled this one out from the rest. Those long in affliction, may comfort themselves that God keeps account how long. Observe, this man speaks of the unkindness of those about him, without any peevish reflections. As we should be thankful, so we should be patient. Our Lord Jesus cures him, though he neither asked nor thought of it. Arise, and walk. God's command, Turn and live; Make ye a new heart; no more supposes power in us without the grace of God, his distinguishing grace, than this command supposed such power in the impotent man: it was by the power of Christ, and he must have all the glory. What a joyful surprise to the poor cripple, to find himself of a sudden so easy, so strong, so able to help himself! The proof of spiritual cure, is our rising and walking. Has Christ healed our spiritual diseases, let us go wherever he sends us, and take up whatever he lays upon us; and walk before him.
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