|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:13-17 Christ not only worked miracles on the sabbath, but in such a manner as would give offence to the Jews, for he would not seem to yield to the scribes and Pharisees. Their zeal for mere rites consumed the substantial matters of religion; therefore Christ would not give place to them. Also, works of necessity and mercy are allowed, and the sabbath rest is to be kept, in order to the sabbath work. How many blind eyes have been opened by the preaching of the gospel on the Lord's day! how many impotent souls cured on that day! Much unrighteous and uncharitable judging comes from men's adding their own fancies to God's appointments. How perfect in wisdom and holiness was our Redeemer, when his enemies could find nothing against him, but the oft-refuted charge of breaking the sabbath! May we be enabled, by well-doing, to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
Verse 13. - They bring to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. The "Pharisees" is not a conclusive definition of the Sanhedrin itself, which is generally denoted by the addition of the phrase, "the chief priests" (John 7:32 or 45). The Pharisees were a highly organized society, and some well-known gathering of them may have been easily accessible. They were the generally accredited religious guides of the people. One thing militates against such a casual gathering. In ver. 18 the term, "the Jews," the synonym of the ruling ecclesiastical powers in the city, is once more introduced. Moreover, the authorities before whom the discussion and examination were taken appear to possess the power of excommunication from the synagogue. It appears that, in Jerusalem, there existed two minor councils or synagogue-courts, of twenty-three assessors each, corresponding with the similar courts in the Jewish cities, standing in relation to the Sanhedrim and possessing the faculty of delivering the minor degrees of excommunication from the congregation of Israel. It cannot be said that this presentation of the case to an ecclesiastical court of more or less authority necessarily took place on the day of the healing. It is an open question whether the courts sat on the sabbath. There is nothing to prove immediate trial of the matter.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They brought to the Pharisees,.... That is, to the sanhedrim, which chiefly consisted of Pharisees; and so Nonnus calls them the priests and chief priests:
him that was aforetime blind; to be examined by them. And something like this is the method used by carnal relations and friends, who when they have any belonging to them under a work of grace, have them to their learned doctors of a different religion, to talk to them, and dissuade them from the ways of truth and godliness.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. They brought to the Pharisees—sitting probably in council, and chiefly of that sect (Joh 7:47, 48).
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