|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.
Verse 22. - Moses on this account (for this cause) hath given (assigned) you the circumcision (not that it is of Moses, but of the fathers). If we accept the text as above, the question arises - Does it refer to the parenthetical clause or to the principal verb? Meyer renders as follows: "Therefore Moses gave you circumcision, not because it originated with Moses, but (because it originated) with the fathers, and so ye circumcise," etc., making the precedence of the law of circumcision to the sabbatic law part of the very purport of his appointment. But many others, "For this cause" - to teach this lesson - Moses, who gave the ten commandments, one of which involved the sabbatic rest, took up into the Law which he gave you the still older law of the Abrahamic covenant, and laid down the stringent rule that the rite must be performed on the eighth day (Leviticus 12:3) - a principle which was seen to involve the infringement of the sabbath law. This is, in substance, the view of Moulton, Lange, Westcott, and others. To expound the διὰ τούτο by the οὐχ ὅτι is (Westcott) contrary to the usage of 2 Corinthians 1:24; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Philippians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; but it is still more against the argument. Moses did not give circumcision because it was of the fathers, - at least that is not the point; but Jesus argues that he gave circumcision as a mode of legislation which will involve a modification of his own sabbatic regimen. Stringent as was the law of the sabbath, it would have, on occasion, to yield to the more searching and stringent rule of admission into the covenant of grace. "If the sabbath could give way to a mere ceremonial law, how much more to a work of mercy, which is older and higher than any ritual!" 'Mish. Sabb.,' 19:1, fol. 128, b, "Everything required for circumcision may be completed on the sabbath;" and so 19:2. The reason is given: 'Midrash Tanchuma,' fol. 9, b, "The healing of a sick man dangerously ill, and circumcision, break through the sabbath sanctity."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision,.... The command of circumcision, which he renewed and established, Leviticus 12:3;
(not because, or that it is of Moses; originally, or that he was the first giver of it, for it was enjoined before his time; this is a correction of what is before said, giving a more accurate account of the rise of circumcision:
but of the fathers); Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to whom it was enjoined by God, and who practised it before the times of Moses; so that this command was in force before him, and obligatory upon the descendants of Abraham, before he delivered it; and would have been, if he had never mentioned it; though the Jews say (r),
"we do not circumcise because Abraham our father, on whom be peace, circumcised himself and his household, but because the holy blessed God commanded us by Moses, that we should be circumcised, as Abraham our father was circumcised.''
But no doubt it would have been binding on them, if Moses had said nothing about it; the command to Abraham is so express, for the circumcision of his male offspring, Genesis 17:10; however, it being both of Moses and of the fathers, laid a very great obligation on the Jews to observe it:
and ye on the sabbath day, circumcise a man; a male child, as they did, when the eighth day fell on a sabbath day; for the law of circumcision was before the law of the sabbath, and therefore was not to be made void by it, nor was it made void by it; and so much is intimated by our Lord's observing, that it was not of Moses, but of the fathers; and this is the reason which the Karaite Jews give for circumcision on the sabbath day: for (s).
"say they, because it is a former command, from the time of Abraham our father, on whom be peace, before the giving of the law of the sabbath, , "they circumcise on the sabbath day", and when the command of the sabbath afterwards took place, it was not possible it should disannul circumcision on the sabbath day; and for the same reason, they also allow the sacrifice of the passover to be done on the sabbath day, because it is a command which went before the command of the sabbath.''
And this was also the sense and practice of the other Jews: thus citing the law of Moses in Leviticus 12:3. "And in the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised", by way of gloss upon it add, , "and even on the sabbath day" (t); and on the same text another writer observes (u), that by Gematry, every day is fit for circumcision. R. Jose says (w),
"they do all things necessary to circumcision, on the sabbath day.''
R. Abika says (x),
"all work that can be done on the evening of the sabbath, does not drive away the sabbath; but circumcision, which cannot be done on the evening of the sabbath, drives away the sabbath: they do all things necessary to circumcision; they circumcise, and make bare, and suck, and put (on the wound) a plaster and cummin; and which, if not bruised on the evening of the sabbath, they may chew with their teeth.''
Also it is allowed of (y), to
"wash the infant on the third day of circumcision, which happens to be on the sabbath.''
Moreover, a case is put after this manner (z);
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. Moses … gave unto you circumcision, &c.—Though servile work was forbidden on the sabbath, the circumcision of males on that day (which certainly was a servile work) was counted no infringement of the Law. How much less ought fault to be found with One who had made a man "every whit whole"—or rather, "a man's entire body whole"—on the sabbath-day? What a testimony to the reality of the miracle, none daring to meet the bold appeal.
John 7:22 Parallel Commentaries
John 7:22 NIV
John 7:22 NLT
John 7:22 ESV
John 7:22 NASB
John 7:22 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible