John 1:44
Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
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(44) Of (or rather, from) Bethsaida, is added as one of the minute touches of local knowledge which give to this Gospel the colour and vividness that an eye-witness only could impart. It explains the meeting. Philip was going home, and Bethsaida was on the way which Jesus would naturally take from Bethania to Cana (John 2:1-2). It explains, too, the process by which Philip passed from Messianic hope to a full belief in the Christ. He was a fellow townsman of Andrew and Peter. These two had talked together of ancient prophecy and future expectation. One had announced to the other in striking language, “We have found the Messias,” and it is with the same word that Philip tells the good news to Nathanael. This “Bethsaida of Galilee,” as it is called in describing Philip in John 12:21, is thus distinguished from the Bethsaida Julias, which was on the eastern side of the lake. (See Jos. Ant. xviii. 2, § 1, and comp. Note on Luke 9:10.)

1:43-51 See the nature of true Christianity, it is following Jesus; devoting ourselves to him, and treading in his steps. Observe the objection Nathanael made. All who desire to profit by the word of God, must beware of prejudices against places, or denominations of men. They should examine for themselves, and they will sometimes find good where they looked for none. Many people are kept from the ways of religion by the unreasonable prejudices they conceive. The best way to remove false notions of religion, is to make trial of it. In Nathanael there was no guile. His profession was not hypocritical. He was not a dissembler, nor dishonest; he was a sound character, a really upright, godly man. Christ knows what men are indeed. Does He know us? Let us desire to know him. Let us seek and pray to be Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; truly Christians, approved of Christ himself. Some things weak, imperfect, and sinful, are found in all, but hypocrisy belongs not to a believer's character. Jesus witnessed what passed when Nathanael was under the fig-tree. Probably he was then in fervent prayer, seeking direction as to the Hope and Consolation of Israel, where no human eye observed him. This showed him that our Lord knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together.Of Bethsaida - See the notes at Matthew 11:21.

The city of - The place where Andrew and Peter dwelt.

44. the city of Andrew and Peter—of their birth probably, for they seem to have lived at Capernaum (Mr 1:29). This Philip was a citizen of Bethsaida (the word signifies in the Hebrew, The house of fruits, or of huntsmen). Andrew and Peter (mentioned before) both of them lived there. It was one of those cities where Christ did most of his mighty works, Matthew 11:20.

Now Philip was of Bethsaida,.... A town on the lake of Gennesaret, afterwards made a city by Philip the tetrarch, and called Julias, after the name of Caesar's daughter (m): it was a fishing town, and had its name from thence; and the disciples that were of it, were of this business:

the city of Andrew and Peter; or "Simon", as read the Syriac and Persic versions: three apostles were called out of this place, as mean, and wicked, as it was; see Matthew 11:21; which was no small honour to it: it is a saying of the Jews (n), that

"a man's place (his native place) does not honour him, but a man honours his place.''

This was the case here.

(m) Joseph. Antiqu. l. 18. c. 3.((n) T. Bab. Taanith, fol. 21. 2.

Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
John 1:44-45. Τῇ ἐπαύρ.] i.e. after the last-mentioned day, John 1:39, which is the same with the τῇ ἐπαύρ. of John 1:35, consequently the fourth day from John 1:19.

ἠθέλησεν, κ.τ.λ.] He was just desiring to go forth, and findeth, etc.; therefore still at the lodging-place, John 1:40, for ἐξελθεῖν refers to the stay there (μένει, John 1:40).

εὑρίσκει] as if accidentally, but see John 17:5 ff.

The statement, instead of being hypotactic in form (“when he would go out, he findeth”), is paratactic, as often in Greek from Homer downwards (Nägelsbach, z. Ilias, p. 65, ed. 3; Kuhner, II. p. 416), and in the N. T.; Buttmann, N.T. Gr. p. 249 [E. T. p. 196]. We must place the scene at the commencement of the journey homeward, not on the road during the journey (Lücke).

ἀκολ. μοι] of following as disciples. Comp. Matthew 4:19-20; Matthew 9:9; see also John 1:46; John 2:2. The invitation to do this (not merely to go with Him) is explained by John 1:45, as brought about by the communications of Andrew and Peter, though certainly the heart-piercing look of Jesus Himself, and the impression produced by His whole bearing, must be regarded as the causes which mainly led Philip to come to a decision. John does not record the further conversations which of course ensued upon the ἀκολ. μοι, and the obedience which followed, because his aim was to narrate the call.

ἐκ τ. πόλεως, κ.τ.λ.] see on Matthew 8:14.

John 1:44-51. Further manifestations of Jesus as Messiah.

44. Philip was of Bethsaida] In the Synoptists Philip is a mere name in the lists of the Apostles: our knowledge of him comes from S. John. See above on John 1:42 and on John 14:8. The local knowledge displayed in this verse is very real. S. John would possess it; a writer in the second century would not, and would not care to invent. This is Bethsaida of Galilee on the western shore, not Bethsaida Julias. See note on Matthew 4:13.

John 1:44. Βηθσαϊδά, Bethsaida) This seems to be mentioned for this reason, because Nathanael’s native country was neighbouring, John 1:45,[41] ch. John 21:2, “Nathanael of Cana in Galilee.”[42]

[41] So Philip of Bethsaida the mere readily findeth Nathanael of Cana, which was near Bethsaida.—E. and T.

[42] Ἀνδρέον καὶ Πέτρου, Andrew and Peter) Andrew may have been the elder brother. He did not take ill the great honour dune to Peter; however he was the next after him.—V. G.

John 1:44Of Bethsaida

Rev., more literally, from (ἀπό). Bethsaida of Galilee. See John 12:21, and on John 1:28. Philip, being of the same city as Andrew and Peter, was the more ready to welcome Christ, because of the testimony and example of his fellow-citizens. Notice the change of preposition: from Bethsaida (ἀπό) and out of (ἐκ) the city. See on from the dead, Luke 16:31.

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