|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-13 The brethren or kinsmen of Jesus were disgusted, when they found there was no prospect of worldly advantages from him. Ungodly men sometimes undertake to counsel those employed in the work of God; but they only advise what appears likely to promote present advantages. The people differed about his doctrine and miracles, while those who favoured him, dared not openly to avow their sentiments. Those who count the preachers of the gospel to be deceivers, speak out, while many who favour them, fear to get reproach by avowing regard for them.
Verse 10. - But when his brethren were gone up to the feast, then went he also up, not manifestly, but as it were in secret. The emendation of the text is important, for it draws attention to the fact that, while the brethren went up to the feast, he simply went up, towards Jerusalem - not, however, in the pilgrim caravan, but as a quiet wayfarer, blessing lepers, comforting souls, pouring forth on a favoured few his truth, till he reached the certain village at the very gates of Jerusalem. What a contrast there was between the first visit (ch. 2.), when he appeared suddenly in the temple, and cast out the money changers, or that when (ch. 5.) he went to the "unnamed" feast as a pilgrim! The hostility has deepened; the "world" hates its Saviour, because he would save it from its sins, interpret it to itself, and offer spiritual rather than temporal benediction. The phrase, "in secret," has led some of the Tubingen school to suggest a docetic view of the Person of Christ; but the suggestion is reckless and absurd. Moulten, who conceives that the mission of the seventy disciples preceded this advent, says even this does not clash with the idea of a virtually secret and retired advance.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But when his brethren were gone up,.... To the feast, as all the Oriental versions read, from the next clause:
then went he also up unto the feast; the Ethiopic version reads, "he went up that day"; which is very likely, and no ways contrary to what is said, in John 7:14; for though he did not go up to the temple to teach, till the middle of the feast, he might be up at the feast sooner: and according to the law, it was necessary that he should be there on the first and second days, and keep the Chagigah, and make his appearance in the court; though there was a provision made for such that failed, the canon runs thus (m);
"he that does not make his festival sacrifice, on the first good day of the feast, may make it throughout the whole feast, and on the last good day of the feast; and if the feast passes, and he has not made the festival sacrifice, he is not obliged to a compensation; and of this it is said, Ecclesiastes 1:15, "That which is crooked cannot be made straight"; &c.''
But however, whatever day he went on, he went up
not openly, but as it were in secret: as he was made under the law, and came to fulfil all righteousness, it was necessary that he should observe every precept, and fulfil the whole law: and therefore he went up to this feast; yet in the most private manner, that he might escape those who would lie in wait for him, and sought to kill him: and this he did, not through fear of death, but because his hour was not yet come; this was not the feast he was to suffer at, but the passover following; which when near at hand, he went up to it, and entered Jerusalem in the most public manner.
(m) Misn. Chagiga, c. 1. sect. 6. Maimon. Hilch. Chagiga, c. 2. sect. 4, 5, 6, 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. then went he … not openly—not "in the (caravan) company" [Meyer]. See on Lu 2:44.
as it were in secret—rather, "in a manner secretly"; perhaps by some other route, and in a way not to attract notice.
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