John 9:6
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man's eyes.

New Living Translation
Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and spread the mud over the blind man's eyes.

English Standard Version
Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud

Berean Study Bible
When Jesus had said this, He spat on the ground, made some mud, and applied it to the man's eyes.

Berean Literal Bible
Having said these things, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes.

New American Standard Bible
When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes,

King James Bible
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
After He said these things He spit on the ground, made some mud from the saliva, and spread the mud on his eyes.

International Standard Version
After saying this, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he spread the mud on the man's eyes

NET Bible
Having said this, he spat on the ground and made some mud with the saliva. He smeared the mud on the blind man's eyes

New Heart English Bible
When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud,

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when he had said these things, he spat on the ground and formed clay from his spittle and he smeared it on the eyes of him who was blind.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
After Jesus said this, he spit on the ground and mixed the spit with dirt. Then he smeared it on the man's eyes

New American Standard 1977
When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes,

Jubilee Bible 2000
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay

King James 2000 Bible
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

American King James Version
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

American Standard Version
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed his eyes with the clay,

Douay-Rheims Bible
When he had said these things, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and spread the clay on his eyes,

Darby Bible Translation
Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud of the spittle, and put the mud, as ointment, on his eyes.

English Revised Version
When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed his eyes with the clay,

Webster's Bible Translation
When he had thus spoken, he spit on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

Weymouth New Testament
After thus speaking, He spat on the ground, and then, kneading the dust and spittle into clay, He smeared the clay over the man's eyes and said to him,

World English Bible
When he had said this, he spat on the ground, made mud with the saliva, anointed the blind man's eyes with the mud,

Young's Literal Translation
These things saying, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and rubbed the clay on the eyes of the blind man, and said to him,
Study Bible
Jesus Heals the Man Born Blind
5While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6When Jesus had said this, He spat on the ground, made some mud, and applied it to the man’s eyes. 7Then He told him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing.…
Cross References
Isaiah 35:5
Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.

Mark 7:33
So Jesus took him aside privately, away from the crowd, and put His fingers into the man's ears. Then He spit and touched the man's tongue.

Mark 8:23
So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then He spit on the man's eyes and placed His hands on him. "Can you see anything?" He asked.

John 9:11
He answered, "The man they call Jesus made some mud and anointed my eyes, and He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed and received my sight."
Treasury of Scripture

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,

he spat.

Mark 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into …

Mark 8:23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; …

Revelation 3:18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be …

anointed the eyes of the blind with the clay. or, spread the clay upon the eyes of the blind man.

(6) And he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.--The words "blind man" are omitted in some of the older MSS. The marginal rendering, and He spread the clay upon the eyes of the blind man (or, upon his eyes), is to be preferred.

The details given in this and the next verse are evidently to be regarded as part of the sign. They impressed themselves as such upon the eye-witnesses, and they have been recorded as such for us. We have then to seek their interpretation. At the outset we are met by the undoubted fact that our Lord here made use of means which, in part at least, were natural, and found their place in the ordinary prescriptions of the day. We know from the pages of Pliny, and Tacitus, and Suetonius, that the saliva jejuna was held to be a remedy in cases of blindness, and that the same remedy was used by the Jews is established by the writings of the Rabbis. That clay was so used is not equally certain, but this may be regarded as the vehicle by means of which the saliva was applied. Here, then, as elsewhere, we may recognise the Divine manifested by means of the human, and see the ordinary remedy of every-day life blessed to meet a case that was beyond human power. Physicians had applied such means commonly to cases of post-natal blindness, but congenital blindness had always been regarded as incurable, and no instance to the contrary had ever been heard of (John 9:32). The Great Physician, then, by using the ordinary means, will teach men that the healing powers of nature are His gracious gift, and that they are increased at the Giver's will. Our daily sustenance in health and strength, our restored power after sickness or accident, the whole of ordinary life, which we too commonly connect only with ordinary means, is lifted to the higher region of union with Him in whom we live, and move, and have our being.

Another interpretation sees in the use of clay a symbolism which is to be traced to the first Creation, when man was formed from the dust of the earth. We find this as early as Irenaeus, and it may well, therefore, represent an oral explanation, going back to the days of the Evangelist himself. The thought would be that our Lord will here exercise the same creative power as that which made man, and will complete, by the gift of sight, this man, who had hitherto been maimed and without the chief organ of sense.

The use of means by which the healing power is conveyed is common to this instance with that of the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-26), and that of the deaf and dumb man in Decapolis (Mark 7:32-37); while the two blind men in the house (Matthew 9:27-31), and the two blind men at Jericho (Matthew 20:29-34), are touched and receive their sight. The reader is referred to the Notes on these passages of St. Matthew and St. Mark. Here it will be enough to observe that in each case the loss of a channel of communication between the individual man and the outer world is compensated by some special means which may help to assure him of the presence of the true Healer, and may furnish a foundation for his faith and hope. The deaf man cannot hear the tones of a voice that tells of mercy and love, but the touch applied to the ear may in part convey the same gracious truths. The blind man cannot see the look of compassion which others can see, but the saliva or the clay applied to the eye gives force to the word which is heard by the ear. In every case we should remember that the means is chiefly moral, preparing in the sufferer a mental condition which can receive the gift of healing, and that the physical gift is itself regarded as a stage in the spiritual education. The wisest physicians of the body, and the wisest physicians of the soul, have alike sought to follow in the steps of Him who is their common Master. There are conditions of physical disease for which the truest medicines would be faith, and love, and hope--a mind at peace with itself and with God. There are morbid states of spiritual life that have their cause in physical derangement, and would find their truest remedy in the healthy tone of a restored and vigorous body.

Verse 6. - When he had said these things, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and with the clay thereof anointed his (the) eyes (of the blind man). The precise meaning and motive of the process here described has been a source of great perplexity to the commentators. We see that, on other occasions, our Lord used his own saliva as a means of cure (Mark 7:33; Mark 8:23). Theme finds in the spittle the symbol of the impurity of the man thus dealt with (Isaiah 1:5, 6), but somewhat inconsistently compares the "clay" with the "collyrium" of Revelation 3:17-19, and the "ausfiuss des Logos." On some occasions Jesus touched the diseased or deficient organ, put his hand on the leper, and his fingers in the ears of the deaf mute. On other occasions, again, he healed with his word only, and even from a distance, those who. in the freeness and royalty of his love, he elected to relieve from their sufferings. He was moved, doubtless, in every case by the 'special condition and temperament of the objects of his compassion. The use of these means was probably intended to evoke the nascent faith that predisposed him to receive healing, to stir the mind of the sufferer into some conscious relation will himself through those other powers of tactile sensitiveness which were in all similar cases singularly acute. Moreover, the virtue of saliva in cases of blindness was well understood. Lightfoot gives some curious proof of this, and Tacitus ('Hist.,' 4:81) and Suetonius ('Vesp.,' John 7.) both record the healing of a blind man by the Emperor Vespasian by the use of jejuna saliva. Pliny (' Hist. Nat.,' 28:7) speaks of the same remedy for the diseases of the eye. "Clay" also is spoken of as being sanative by a physician by name Serenus Samonicus]PGBR> (see Tholuck, Wetistein, Lange, in loc.). These ideas may have had some truth in them, and for the blind man to find the process described, applied to himself by One who spoke of the Divine operations being wrought in him, would work some powerful effect on his moral, physical, and spiritual nature. Such result our Lord intended to produce. But this was only part of the healing process. And when he had thus spoken,.... In answer to the disciples' question, and declaring his own work and office in the world, and the necessity he was under of performing it:

he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle; the Misnic doctors speak (c) of , "clay that is spitted", or "spittle clay", which their commentators say (d) was a weak, thin clay, like spittle or water; but this here was properly spittle clay, or clay made of spittle, for want of water; or it may be rather, through choice Christ spat upon the dust of the earth, and worked it together into a consistence, like clay:

and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay; however, spittle, especially fasting spittle, might be thought proper in some disorder of the eyes, to be used, as it was by the Jews; See Gill on John 9:16; yet clay was a most unlikely means of restoring sight to a man that was born blind, which might be thought rather a means of making a man blind that could see. This may be an emblem of the word of God, the eye salve of the Gospel; which is a very unlikely means in the opinion of a natural man, who counts it foolishness, of enlightening and saving sinners; and yet by this foolishness of preaching God does save those that believe.

(c) Misn. Mikvaot, c. 7. sect. 1.((d) Jarchi, Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. 6, 7. he spat on the ground, and made clay … and he anointed the eyes of the blind man—These operations were not so incongruous in their nature as might appear, though it were absurd to imagine that they contributed in the least degree to the effect which followed. (See Mr 6:13 and see on [1815]Joh 7:33.)9:1-7 Christ cured many who were blind by disease or accident; here he cured one born blind. Thus he showed his power to help in the most desperate cases, and the work of his grace upon the souls of sinners, which gives sight to those blind by nature. This poor man could not see Christ, but Christ saw him. And if we know or apprehend anything of Christ, it is because we were first known of him. Christ says of uncommon calamities, that they are not always to be looked on as special punishments of sin; sometimes they are for the glory of God, and to manifest his works. Our life is our day, in which it concerns us to do the work of the day. We must be busy, and not waste day-time; it will be time to rest when our day is done, for it is but a day. The approach of death should quicken us to improve all our opportunities of doing and getting good. What good we have an opportunity to do, we should do quickly. And he that will never do a good work till there is nothing to be objected against, will leave many a good work for ever undone, Ec 11:4. Christ magnified his power, in making a blind man to see, doing that which one would think more likely to make a seeing man blind. Human reason cannot judge of the Lord's methods; he uses means and instruments that men despise. Those that would be healed by Christ must be ruled by him. He came back from the pool wondering and wondered at; he came seeing. This represents the benefits in attending on ordinances of Christ's appointment; souls go weak, and come away strengthened; go doubting, and come away satisfied; go mourning, and come away rejoicing; go blind, and come away seeing.
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