And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)John 5:24.
Shall never perish - To perish here means to be destroyed, or to be punished in hell. Matthew 10:28; "which is able to destroy (the same word) both soul and body in hell." Matthew 18:14; "it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." John 3:15; "that whosoever believeth in him should not perish" Romans 2:12; They who have sinned without law shall also perish without law" John 17:12; 1 Corinthians 1:18. In all these places the word refers to future punishment, and the declaration of the Saviour is that his followers, his true disciples, shall never be cast away. The original is expressed with remarkable strength: "They shall not be destroyed forever." Syriac: "They shall not perish to eternity." This is spoken of all Christians - that is, of all who ever possess the character of true followers of Christ, and who can be called his flock.
Shall any - The word "any" refers to any power that might attempt it. It will apply either to men or to devils. It is an affirmation that no man, however eloquent in error, or persuasive in infidelity, or cunning: in argument, or mighty in rank; and that no devil with all his malice, power, cunning, or allurements, shall be able to pluck them from his hand,
Pluck them - In the original to rob; to seize and bear away as a robber does his prey. Jesus holds them so secure and so certainly that no foe can surprise him as a robber does, or overcome him by force.
My hand - The hand is that by which we hold or secure an object. It means that Jesus has them safely in his own care and keeping. Compare Romans 8:38-39.they shall never perish, but though they may fall, they shall rise again by repentance. They are in my hand, and my hand shall preserve them, none shall ever pluck them out of it; they shall be preserved through faith, by the power of God, to eternal life and salvation.
and they shall never perish; though they were lost in Adam, and in a perishing condition in themselves, during their state of unregeneracy; in which condition they see themselves to be, when convinced by the Spirit of God; and come as persons ready to perish to Christ, as a Saviour, resolving, that if they perish, they will perish at his feet: and though after conversion, they are subject to many falls and spiritual declensions, and lose their peace, joy, and comfort, and imagine their strength and hope are perished, or at least fear they shall one day perish through one sin, or snare, or temptation or another, yet they shall never perish in such sense as the wicked will; they will not be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power:
neither shall any pluck them out of my hand; Christ's sheep are in his hands, being put there by God the Father, both as an instance of his love to Christ, and them; and this was done from all eternity, even when they were chosen in him; so that they were in the hands of Christ, before they were in the loins of Adam; and were preserved in him, notwithstanding Adam's fall, and through the ruins of it. To be in the hands of Christ, is to be high in his esteem and favour; the saints are a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of their God; they are a signet on his right hand that shall never be plucked off; they are engraven on the palms of his hands: to be in the hands of Christ, is to be in his possession, and at his dispose, as all the elect of God are; and to be under his guidance, care, and protection, as they be; they are fed according to the integrity of his heart, and guided by the skilfulness of his hands; they are always under his care and watchful eye, who protects them from all their enemies, and hides them in the hollow of his hand: hence, because they are so, they are called "the sheep of his hand", Psalm 95:7. And none shall ever pluck them from thence; no man can do it, not any false teacher can remove them from Christ, by all the art and cunning he is master of; nor any violent persecutor, by all the force and power he can use; nor can any sin, or snare, or temptation, draw them out of Christ's hands; nor any adversity whatever separate them from him: they must be safe, and always abide there, who are in the hands of Christ; for his hands have laid the foundations of the heavens and the earth, they grasp the whole universe, and hold all things together; and who then can pluck any out of these hands? Moreover, Christ, as Mediator, has all power in heaven and earth; and even as man, he is the man of God's right hand, made strong for himself.And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)28. I give unto them] Not ‘will give.’ Here as in John 3:15, John 5:24 and often, the gift of eternal life is regarded as already possessed by the faithful. It is not a promise, the fulfilment of which depends upon man’s conduct, but a gift, the retention of which depends upon ourselves.
they shall never perish] This is parallel to John 8:51 (see note there); shall certainly not perish for ever, being the literal meaning, But the negative belongs to the verb, not to ‘for ever;’ and the meaning is, not ‘they may die, but shall not die for ever,’ but ‘they shall never die for all eternity.’ Comp. John 11:26.
neither shall any man pluck them] Better, and no one shall snatch them. ‘No one’ rather than ‘no man’ (as in John 10:18), for the powers of darkness are excluded as well as human seducers. ‘Snatch’ rather than ‘pluck,’ for in the Greek it is the same word as is used of the wolf in John 10:12, and this should be preserved in translation.
This passage in no way asserts the indefectibility of the elect, and gives no countenance to ultra-predestinarian views. Christ’s sheep cannot be taken from Him against their will; but their will is free, and they may choose to leave the flock.
out of my hand] “His hand protects, bears, cherishes, leads them.” Meyer.John 10:28. Κἀγώ, and I) The following and the life are closely connected, ch. John 8:12, “He that followeth Me, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”—οὐ μὴ ἀπόλωνται, shall not perish) Middle (so ἀπολέσθαι, ch. John 17:12; Luke 15:24; Jude John 10:11, ‘lost,’ ‘perished’): i.e. they shall not destroy themselves, internally. Comp. 1 John 5:18, “Whosoever is born of God sinneth not: but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not;” and John 17:12, notes, “Those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition.”—καὶ οὐκ, and not) Nor will I suffer them to be snatched out of My hand by any external enemy.—ἁρπάσει, shall snatch [pluck]) The auxiliary verb δύναται, can, is included in the future: comp. ver. following.
 By their own corruptions from within.—E. and T.
Not, I will give. The gift is present and continuous. Compare John 3:36.
Shall pluck (ἁρπάσει)
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