|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:40-53 The malice of Christ's enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies.
Verses 45, 46. - In ver. 32 we learn that Pharisees and chief priests had sent "officers" to lay hands on him, to seize their opportunity for an arrest; but, sharing somewhat the outburst of enthusiasm which wavered between his claims to be the Prophet or the Christ, and only subsided for a moment on a miserable and unveracious plea, they did not dare to execute the command of their masters. The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees (the absence of the article τούς before Φαρισαίους shows that they were regarded as one body, who had charged these officers to undertake the duty in which they signally failed); and they (ἐκεῖνοι, the latter) said to them, Why did ye not bring him? Foiled in their intention to carry out the order of the committee of the council, they return empty handed, and to some extent baffled and chagrined. They had fallen into the dominant enthusiasm of the crowd for a moment. They had heard the shouts which hailed him as the great Prophet, nay, as Messiah himself, and their reply, according to the curtailed text, was, Never man so spake. It matters little whether the additional clause, "as this Man speaks," was in the original text or not, the idea is the same; and it confirms the supposition to which we have often referred - that John only gives us the great sentences which the Divine Lord made the text of a discourse. An overwhelming impression was produced that the Speaker had a deep secret to disclose, vast treasure to bestow, unlimited power to meet the thirst of man, and even to make those who utterly yield to his influence the fountains of benedictions to others. An awe as of unseen things fell on the officers and the people. They could not resist the sense of benediction which, like some sacred perfume, some supernatural glamour, fell upon them in his reval words. "Never man thus spake." The whole experience is new and wonderful. "These sayings of the Prophet of Nazareth are more than words; they have living powers; they have confounded and disarmed us."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees,.... Who were assembled together in council, as the great sanhedrim of the nation; who were sitting and expecting Jesus to be brought before them. The same officers they sent to take him, John 7:32, returned to them without him; for though they were sent on that errand which they intended to have performed, yet they were not on the side of those who were for seizing him by force, nor of those who objected to his being the Messiah; but rather took part with those who affirmed he was the Messiah; or at least looked upon him to be some extraordinary prophet:
and they said unto them; that is, the chief priests and Pharisees said to the officers; the Syriac version reads, "the priests said unto them":
why have ye not brought him? They mention not the name of Jesus by way of contempt, and knowing that the officers would easily understand them; though the Persic version expresses it, reading the words thus, "why have ye not brought Jesus?" seeing them returned without him, they were transported with rage and fury, and fell upon them in a fierce and furious manner, for disobeying their orders, who had sat there waiting some time: and hoping, and not doubting, but they should have him in their hands, whose blood they were thirsting after: wherefore it was a great disappointment to them, and much enraged them to see them come without him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
45. Then came the officers—"sent to take him" (Joh 7:32).
Why … not brought him?—already thirsting for their Victim, and thinking it an easy matter to seize and bring Him.
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