John 8:5
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.Now what do you say?"

New Living Translation
The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?"

English Standard Version
Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

Berean Study Bible
In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. So what do You say?"

Berean Literal Bible
Now in the Law Moses commanded us such to be stoned. You therefore, what do You say?"

New American Standard Bible
"Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"

King James Bible
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do You say?"

International Standard Version
Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women to death. What do you say?"

NET Bible
In the law Moses commanded us to stone to death such women. What then do you say?"

New Heart English Bible
Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such. So what do you say?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“But in The Written Law of Moses, he commanded that we shall stone such as these.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In his teachings, Moses ordered us to stone women like this to death. What do you say?"

New American Standard 1977
“Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned, but what sayest thou?

King James 2000 Bible
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what say you?

American King James Version
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what say you?

American Standard Version
Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such a one. But what sayest thou?

Darby Bible Translation
Now in the law Moses has commanded us to stone such; thou therefore, what sayest thou?

English Revised Version
Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such: what then sayest thou of her?

Webster's Bible Translation
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou?

Weymouth New Testament
Now, in the Law, Moses has ordered us to stone such women to death. But what do you say?"

World English Bible
Now in our law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What then do you say about her?"

Young's Literal Translation
and in the law, Moses did command us that such be stoned; thou, therefore, what dost thou say?'
Study Bible
The Woman Caught in Adultery
4and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. So what do You say?” 6They said this to test Him, in order to have a basis for accusing Him. But Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with His finger.…
Cross References
Leviticus 20:10
If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Deuteronomy 22:22
"If a man is found lying with a married woman, then both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; thus you shall purge the evil from Israel.

Matthew 1:19
Because Joseph her husband, a righteous man, was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her quietly.

John 8:4
and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.
Treasury of Scripture

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what say you?

Moses.

Leviticus 20:10 And the man that commits adultery with another man's wife, even he …

Deuteronomy 22:21-24 Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's …

Ezekiel 16:38-40 And I will judge you, as women that break wedlock and shed blood …

Ezekiel 23:47 And the company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with …

but.

Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am …

Matthew 19:6-8 Why they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined …

Matthew 22:16-18 And they sent out to him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, …

(5) Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned.--If we interpret the words strictly, the case they contemplate is not that referred to in Leviticus 20:10, and quoted here in the margin, but that of Deuteronomy 22:23-24, which was the only case for which stoning was specified as a punishment. It would be a case of rare occurrence, and perhaps for this very reason, one on which the opinions of later Rabbis were divided. Strangulation was regarded as the punishment intended when no other was specified; and in the Talmudic distinction in cases of this kind, stoning and strangulation are named as the respective punishments:--"Filia Israelit, si adultera cum nupta, strangulanda; cum desponsata tantum, lapidanda. Filia Sacerdotis. si adultera cum nupta, lapidanda; cum desponsata tantum, comburenda (Sanhedrin, fol. 51, 2).

But what sayest thou?--The question is, like that about the tribute money (Matthew 22:17), a snare in which they hope to take Him whatever answer He gives. If He answers that she should be stoned, this would excite the opposition of the multitude, for a lax state of morality had practically made the laws against unchastity a dead letter. The immorality of Rome had spread through the provinces of the empire, and although the Jews were less infected by it than others, the court of the Herods had introduced its worst forms, and Christ Himself speaks of them as "an evil and adulterous generation" (Matthew 12:39. Comp. James 4:4). To have pronounced for a severe law against common forms of sin would have been to undermine popular support, and it is this only that the rulers had to fear. To have pronounced for capital punishment would moreover have brought Him into collision with the Roman government, which reserved to itself the power of life and death. (Comp. John 18:31; John 19:7.) Had He uttered a word in derogation of the majesty of the Roman empire, the charge of treason--in which case to be accused was practically to be condemned--would at once have been brought against Him. (Comp. Notes on John 19:12; John 19:15.) It is clearly the more severe view that the form of the question is intended to draw forth. "Moses said, in express words, . . .; what dost Thou say? You surely will not differ from Moses?" But if He had taken the laxer view, then this, like the Sabbath question, would have been a charge of breaking the Law. He would have been brought before the Sanhedrin as a false Messiah, for the true Messiah was to establish the Law.

Verse 5. - Now Moses in the Law commanded us, that such should be stoned (or, to stone such); but what sayest thou? The Law (Deuteronomy 22:23, etc.) prescribed stoning for both parties when the woman is the betrothed bride of another man, and if she make no sufficient attempt to foil the purpose of her seducer. For ordinary adultery the death penalty is left indefinite (Leviticus 20:10). It is no proof that strangulation was the method of punishment in the days of our Lord because the Talmud and Maimonides thus express it. Meyer concludes that the woman was a betrothed bride. This offence is, broadly speaking. "adultery" of an aggravated kind. The reference to the method of the punishment is not demonstrable proof of this, because it would be easily feasible to transfer the method of the death from the extreme case to the ordinary ease of nuptial infidelity (cf. Exodus 31:14 for the punishment of unspecified death for sabbath violation (repeated Exodus 35:2), interpreted of "stoning" in the special illustrative case, Numbers 15:32-36). This is Moses' Law - "what sayest thou?" This query involves an ascription to Jesus of the right of authoritatively interpreting the Law. thus attributing to him the functions of a new legislator. Some have objected to the bare possibility of such an appeal being made to Jesus by any species of Jewish authority. The whole context shows that the process was malicious, ironical, crafty. The entire audience knew that this law had never been accepted or applied literally; that the Sanhedrin had not enforced it; and that, if they had endeavoured to do so, the Roman power had taken from the nation the jus gladii. The question, therefore, became one of casuistry inflamed by a concrete case, and having as its ally a secret sympathy with the offenders. It was not uncommon for the rabbis to discuss the incidence of obsolete laws. Many of the glosses upon the ancient law, and laborious trifling with specific regulations of the so called oral law, turn upon customs that were absolutely impracticable under the new conditions of the Jewish life. This, however, was no mere quibble of words about possible duties. The query was put with dramatic force and in concrete form. The shame and life of a fellow creature were the materials which this eager and bloodthirsty group were utilizing for their vile purpose. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should, be stoned,.... Not in Leviticus 20:10; for though according to the law there, an adulteress, one that was a married woman, and so an adulterer, that was a married man, were to be put to death; yet the death was not stoning, but strangling; for it is a rule with the Jews (g), that where death is simply mentioned (without restraining it to any particular kind) strangling is intended, and which rule they apply to this law: and accordingly in their Misna, or oral law, one that lies with another man's wife, is reckoned among those that are to be strangled (h): Kimchi indeed says (i), that adulteresses, according to the law, are to be stoned with stones; but then this must be understood of such as are betrothed, but not married; and such a person, Moses has commanded in the law, to be stoned, Deuteronomy 22:23. And with this agree the traditions of the Jews (k);

"a daughter of Israel must be stoned, who is , "betrothed, but not married".''

And such an one we must believe this woman was; she was betrothed to a man, but not married to him, and therefore to be stoned: the Jews (l) have also a saying, that

"if all adulterers were punished with stoning, according to the law, the stones would be consumed; but they would not be consumed;''

adultery was so common with that people:

but what sayest thou? dost thou agree with Moses, or not?

(g) Maimon. Hilchot Issure Bia, c. 1. sect. 6. (h) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 10. sect. 1.((i) In Ezekiel 16.40. (k) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 51. 2.((l) Apud Castell. Lex. Polyglott, col. 2180. 8:1-11 Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner's guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing. All who are any way called to blame the faults of others, are especially concerned to look to themselves, and keep themselves pure. In this matter Christ attended to the great work about which he came into the world, that was, to bring sinners to repentance; not to destroy, but to save. He aimed to bring, not only the accused to repentance, by showing her his mercy, but the prosecutors also, by showing them their sins; they thought to insnare him, he sought to convince and convert them. He declined to meddle with the magistrate's office. Many crimes merit far more severe punishment than they meet with; but we should not leave our own work, to take that upon ourselves to which we are not called. When Christ sent her away, it was with this caution, Go, and sin no more. Those who help to save the life of a criminal, should help to save the soul with the same caution. Those are truly happy, whom Christ does not condemn. Christ's favour to us in the forgiveness of past sins should prevail with us, Go then, and sin no more.
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