John 7:35
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

New Living Translation
The Jewish leaders were puzzled by this statement. "Where is he planning to go?" they asked. "Is he thinking of leaving the country and going to the Jews in other lands? Maybe he will even teach the Greeks!

English Standard Version
The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

Berean Study Bible
At this, the Jews said to one another, "Where does He intend to go that we will not find Him? Will He go where the Jews are dispersed among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Berean Literal Bible
Therefore the Jews said among themselves, "Where is He about to go that we will not find Him? Is He about to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and to teach the Greeks?

New American Standard Bible
The Jews then said to one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?

King James Bible
Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then the Jews said to one another, "Where does He intend to go so we won't find Him? He doesn't intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, does He?

International Standard Version
Then the Jewish leaders asked one another, "Where does this man intend to go that we won't be able to find him? Surely he's not going to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, is he?

NET Bible
Then the Jewish leaders said to one another, "Where is he going to go that we cannot find him? He is not going to go to the Jewish people dispersed among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, is he?

New Heart English Bible
The Jewish leaders therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Diaspora among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
The Judeans were saying among themselves, “Where is This Man prepared to go that we cannot be? Is He prepared to go teach the pagans?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Jews said among themselves, "Where does this man intend to go so that we won't find him? Does he mean that he'll live with the Jews who are scattered among the Greeks and that he'll teach the Greeks?

New American Standard 1977
The Jews therefore said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we shall not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then the Jews said among themselves, Where will he go that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

King James 2000 Bible
Then said the Jews among themselves, Where will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

American King James Version
Then said the Jews among themselves, Where will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

American Standard Version
The Jews therefore said among themselves, Whither will this man go that we shall not find him? will he go unto the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Douay-Rheims Bible
The Jews therefore said among themselves: Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

Darby Bible Translation
The Jews therefore said to one another, Where is he about to go that we shall not find him? Is he about to go to the dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

English Revised Version
The Jews therefore said among themselves, Whither will this man go that we shall not find him? will he go unto the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Webster's Bible Translation
Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

Weymouth New Testament
The Jews therefore said to one another, "Where is he about to betake himself, so that we shall not find him? Will he betake himself to the Dispersion among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

World English Bible
The Jews therefore said among themselves, "Where will this man go that we won't find him? Will he go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks?

Young's Literal Translation
The Jews, therefore, said among themselves, 'Whither is this one about to go that we shall not find him? -- to the dispersion of the Greeks is he about to go? and to teach the Greeks;
Study Bible
Is Jesus the Christ?
34You will look for Me, but you will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35At this, the Jews said to one another, “Where does He intend to go that we will not find Him? Will He go where the Jews are dispersed among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36What does He mean by saying, ‘You will look for Me, but you will not find Me,’ and, ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”…
Cross References
Psalm 147:2
The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel.

Isaiah 11:12
And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah 56:8
The Lord GOD, who gathers the dispersed of Israel, declares, "Yet others I will gather to them, to those already gathered."

Zephaniah 3:10
"From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia My worshipers, My dispersed ones, Will bring My offerings.

John 7:1
After this, Jesus traveled throughout Galilee. He did not want to travel in Judea, because the Jews there were trying to kill Him.

John 8:22
So the Jews began to ask, "Will He kill Himself, since He says, 'Where I am going, you cannot come'?"

John 12:20
Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the feast.

Acts 11:20
But some of them, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks as well, proclaiming the good news about the Lord Jesus.

Acts 14:1
At Iconium, Paul and Barnabas entered the Jewish synagogue as usual, and they spoke so well that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.

Acts 17:4
Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few leading women.
Treasury of Scripture

Then said the Jews among themselves, Where will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go to the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

the dispersed.

Isaiah 11:12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble …

Isaiah 27:12,13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall beat off …

Zephaniah 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter …

Acts 21:21 And they are informed of you, that you teach all the Jews which are …

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve …

1 Peter 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout …

Gentiles. or, Greeks. teach.

Psalm 67:1,2 God be merciful to us, and bless us; and cause his face to shine on us; Selah…

Psalm 98:2,3 The LORD has made known his salvation: his righteousness has he openly …

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand …

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that you should be my servant to …

Matthew 12:21 And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.

Acts 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified …

Acts 13:46-48 Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that …

Acts 22:21 And he said to me, Depart: for I will send you far hence to the Gentiles.

Ephesians 3:8 To me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given…

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of …

1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the …

2 Timothy 1:11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher …

(35) Whither will he go that we shall not find him?--He had said in John 7:33, "I go unto Him that sent Me," and in Joh 7:28. He had declared that they knew not Him that sent Him. There is, then, no contradiction between these verses, and their question, strange as it seems, is but another instance of their total want of power to read any meaning which does not lie upon the surface. He is going away, and they will not be able to find Him, and they can only think of distant lands where other Jews had gone, as of Babylon, or of Egypt, or of Greece. Will He join some distant colony of Jews where they cannot follow Him? They have no thought of His death and return to His Father's home.

Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?--Better, Will He go unto the dispersion among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? The word for "dispersion" (????????, diaspora) occurs again, in the New Testament, only in the opening verses of the Epistle of St. James and of the First Epistle of St. Peter, and is in both these passages represented by the English word "scattered." The only other instance of its occurrence in the Bible, is in the Greek version (LXX.) of Psalm 146:2. (In Authorised version, Psalm 147:2, "He gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.") It is also found in 2 Maccabees 1:27, "Gather those together that are scattered from us." (Comp. Jos. Wars, vii. 3, 3; Ant. xii. 1-3; 15:3, 1.) The abstract word is used like "the circumcision," e.g., as a comprehensive title for the individuals included in it. These were the Jews who did not dwell within the limits of the Holy Land, but spreading from the three chief centres, Babylonia, Egypt, and Syria, were found in every part of the civilised world. The Babylonian Diaspora owed its origin to the vast number of exiles who preferred to remain in the positions they had acquired for themselves in their new homes, and did not return to Palestine after the Captivity. They were by far the greater part of the nation, and were scattered through the whole extent of the Persian empire. Of the origin of the Egyptian Diaspora, we find traces in the Old Testament, as in Jeremiah 41:17; Jeremiah 42:18. Their numbers were greatly increased under Alexander the Great and his successors, so that they extended over the whole country (Jos. Ant. xvi. 7, 2). Much less numerous than their brethren of Babylonia, and regarded as less pure in descent, they have, through their contact with Western thought and the Greek language, left a deeper and wider influence on after ages. To them we owe the LXX. translation of the Old Testament Scriptures, and the Alexandrian school of Jewish philosophers, two of the most important influences which first prepared the way for, and afterwards moulded the forms of, Christianity. The Syrian Diaspora is traced by Josephus (Ant. vii. 3, 1) to the conquests of Seleucus Nicator (B.C. 300). Under the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, they spread over a wider area, including the whole of Asia Minor, and thence to the islands and mainland of Greece. It was less numerous than either that of Babylonia or that of Egypt, but the synagogues of this Diaspora formed the connecting links between the older and the newer revelation, and were the first buildings in which Jesus was preached as the Messiah.

But though thus scattered abroad, the Jews of the Diaspora regarded Jerusalem as the common religious centre, and maintained a close communion with the spiritual authorities who dwelt there. They sent liberal offerings to the Temple, and were represented by numerous synagogues in the city, and flocked in large numbers to the chief festivals. (Comp. Notes on Acts 2:9-11.) The Diaspora, then, was a network of Judaism, spreading to every place of intellectual or commercial importance, and linking it to Jerusalem, and a means by which the teaching of the Old Testament was made familiarly known, even in the cities of the Gentiles. "Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day" (Acts 15:21).

Such was the dispersion among the Gentiles of which these rulers of the Jews speak. They ask the question in evident scorn. "Will this Rabbi, leaving Jerusalem, the centre of light and learning, go to those who dwell among the heathen, and become a teacher of the very heathen themselves?" We feel that there is some fact which gives point to their question, and is not apparent in the narrative. We shall find this, it may be, if we remember that He Himself had before this crossed the limits of the Holy Land, and had given words to teach and power to save, in the case of the Greek woman who was a Syro-Phnician by nation. (Comp. Notes on Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30.) More fully still do the words find their interpretation in the after history. They are, like the words of Caiaphas (John 11:49-51), an unconscious prophecy, and may be taken as summing up in one sentence the method of procedure in the earliest mission-work of the church. The great high-roads of the Diaspora were those which the Apostles followed. Every apostolic church of the Gentiles may be said to have grown out of a synagogue of the Jews. There is a striking instance of the irony of history, in the fact that the very words of these Jews of Palestine are recorded in the Greek language, by a Jew of Palestine, presiding over a Christian church, in a Gentile city.

For "Gentiles," the margin reads "Greeks," and this is the more exact translation, but the almost constant New Testament use of the word is in distinction from Jews, and our translators felt rightly that this is better conveyed to the reader by the word "Gentiles." (Comp. Notes on Mark 7:26 and Acts 11:20.) We must be careful to avoid the not unfrequent mistake of rendering the word as though it were "Hellenist," which means a Grcised Jew. This is to miss the point of their scorn, which is in the idea of His teaching those outside the pale of Judaism.

Verse 35. - The Jews therefore said among themselves, Whither will this Man go, that we shall not find him? With their murderous designs they are blinded even to the meaning of his words. They pretend that he was not making any reference to their sworn purpose of rejecting his claims. They would not lift their thoughts to that eternal glory in which he would soon, by their own execrable acts, be enshrouded. They could not grasp the eternal life involved in the acceptance of the Father's revelation in him. They are resolved to put ironical and confusing meaning into his words, to pour an air of contempt over his reply; and to insert veritable though unconscious prophecy of their own into his words. Will he go to the Dispersion (of) - or, among - the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? The word "Greek" is, throughout the New Testament, the Gentile, the Pagan world, at that time so largely Greek in speech, if not in race. Another word, "Grecian" or "Hellenist," is used for the Jews who had adopted Greek ideas, habits, and speech. Whatever may be the strict meaning of that word (see Roberts's 'Discussions on the Gospels,' and other works, where that writer seeks to establish the Greek-speaking peculiarity of all Palestinian Jews, and limits the word to Greek ideas rather than to Greek speech), the word "Greek" is the antithesis to "Jew" in every respect. The Dispcrsion (τῶν Ἑλλήνων) may mean

(1) the Jewish dispersion among the Greeks beyond the limits of Palestine (2 Macc. 1:27). It is also found in Josephus for the outcast of Israel (see LXX. Psalm 146:2; cf. James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). There was a wide "dispersion" in Babylon and Syria, throughout Persia, Egypt, Asia Minor, and Cyprus, even in Achaia, Macedonia, and Italy. The Dispersion was the Greater Israel. Most intimate relations subsisted between these scattered Israelites and their political and ecclesiastical centre in the metropolis. Often those at the greatest distance front the temple were the most passionately loyal and patriotic. But for the Messiah to commence a prophetic career among them, after having been repudiated by the great council of the nation, was a bitter sarcasm. But

(2) the "Dispersion" may refer to the wide scattering of the Greeks themselves, the natural antithesis to God's covenanted people. Now

(1) is certainly a very awkward and unique rendering of the genitive, and

(2) applies the "dispersion" in a peculiar sense not elsewhere used. Alford says the word means the land where the Jews are scattered. Still,

(2) appears to me a fair rendering of the words, especially as it is followed by "and teach the Greeks." Nothing could more adequately express the utter scorn of the Jewish mind for a pseudo-Messiah who, failing with his own people, and here in the courts of the Lord's house, would turn to the Gentiles. Such a bare supposition would bring utter discomfiture, as they thought, upon his claims. What a forecast they made in their malicious suggestions! Long before John reported this speech he himself had taken up his seat in Ephesus. In all the great cities of the empire it was avowed on both sides that "in Christ Jesus there was neither Jew nor Greek." Had not Jesus already given indication of this laxity as to the privileges of Israel: "Many shall come," etc. (Matthew 8:11)? Had he not referred to the ministry of Elijah and Elisha severally to the Syro-Phoenician and the Syrian (Luke 4:25-27)? Had he not shown culpable leniency to the hated Samaritan? Surely they meant to suggest the uttermost treason to the traditions of Israel, when they thus chose to put a meaning into his words. Like Caiaphas in John 11:49-51, they said and prophesied more than they knew. Archdeacon Watkins says, "The irony of history is seen in the fact that the very words of these Jews of Palestine are recorded in Greek, by a Jew of Palestine, presiding over a Christian Church in a Gentile city." Then said the Jews among themselves,.... That is, the unbelieving, scoffing Jews; it may be the officers, at least some of them, that were sent to take him:

whither will he go that we shall not find him? what distant, or obscure part of the world will he betake himself to, and there hide himself, that so he cannot be found?

will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles? or Greeks; and so may design the Jews, who were scattered abroad in the times of the Grecian monarchy, under the successors of Alexander, and particularly Antiochus, in distinction from the Babylonish dispersion; or the strangers scattered through Pontus Galatia, &c. to whom Peter writes, 1 Peter 1:1. The Arabic version renders it, "the sect of the Greeks" by which the Hellenistic Jews seem to be meant: or the Jews in general, wherever, and by whomsoever scattered, who might be thought to be more ignorant than the Jews in Judea, and therefore more easily to be imposed upon: hence, in a flouting manner, they inquire, whether he will go to those when he is rejected by them. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "will he go into the countries, or country of the Gentiles"; into Heathen countries, not to the Jews there, but to the Gentiles themselves:

and teach the Gentiles? suggesting, that he was more fit to be a teacher of them, than of the Jews, and might meet with more encouragement and success among them, who would not be able to detect him. 35, 36. Whither will he go, etc.—They cannot comprehend Him, but seem awed by the solemn grandeur of His warning. He takes no notice, however, of their questions.7:31-36 The discourses of Jesus convinced many that he was the Messiah; but they had not courage to own it. It is comfort to those who are in the world, but not of it, and therefore are hated by it and weary of it, that they shall not be in it always, that they shall not be in it long. Our days being evil, it is well they are few. The days of life and of grace do not last long; and sinners, when in misery, will be glad of the help they now despise. Men dispute about such sayings, but the event will explain them.
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