John 10:29
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
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(29) My Father, which gave them me (better, hath given them Me), is greater than all.—For the thought that they are given by the Father, comp. Note on John 6:37. Here our version has rightly made no limiting addition to “all” (comp. last verse). In the width of the word, which extends to every creature and to every power, and even to the Son in His subordination to the Father, the Father is thought of as greater than all. Again the thought mounts with each succeeding sentence: (1) “None shall pluck them out of My hand;” (2) “They are My Father’s gifts, and He is greater than all;” (3) “None shall pluck them out of My Father’s hand.”

10:22-30 All who have any thing to say to Christ, may find him in the temple. Christ would make us to believe; we make ourselves doubt. The Jews understood his meaning, but could not form his words into a full charge against him. He described the gracious disposition and happy state of his sheep; they heard and believed his word, followed him as his faithful disciples, and none of them should perish; for the Son and the Father were one. Thus he was able to defend his sheep against all their enemies, which proves that he claimed Divine power and perfection equally with the Father.Which gave them me - See John 6:37.

Is greater - Is more powerful.

Than all - Than all others - men, angels, devils. The word includes everything - everything that could attempt to pluck them away from God; in other words, it means that God is supreme. It implies, further, that God will keep them, and will so control all other beings and things that they shall be safe.

None is able - None has power to do it. In these two verses we are taught the following important truths:

1. that Christians are given by God the Father to Christ.

2. that Jesus gives to them eternal life, or procures by his death and intercession, and imparts to them by his Spirit, that religion which shall result in eternal life.

3. that both the Father and the Son are pledged to keep them so that they shall never fall away and perish. It would be impossible for any language to teach more explicitly that the saints will persevere.

4. that there is no power in man or devils to defeat the purpose of the Redeemer to save his people. We also see our safety, if we truly, humbly, cordially, and daily commit ourselves to God the Saviour. In no other way can we have evidence that we are his people than by such a persevering resignation of ourselves to him, to obey his law, and to follow him through evil report or good report. If we do that we are safe. If we do not that we have no evidence of piety, and are not, cannot be safe.

29. My Father, which gave them me—(See on [1824]Joh 6:37-39).

is greater than all—with whom no adverse power can contend. It is a general expression of an admitted truth, and what follows shows for what purpose it was uttered, "and none is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." The impossibility of true believers being lost, in the midst of all the temptations which they may encounter, does not consist in their fidelity and decision, but is founded upon the power of God. Here the doctrine of predestination is presented in its sublime and sacred aspect; there is a predestination of the holy, which is taught from one end of the Scriptures to the other; not, indeed, of such a nature that an "irresistible grace" compels the opposing will of man (of course not), but so that that will of man which receives and loves the commands of God is produced only by God's grace (Olshausen—a testimony all the more valuable, being given in spite of Lutheran prejudice).

All that are my sheep became so by my Father’s donation and gift, so as my Father is equally with myself concerned in the preservation of them to that happy end, to which he hath ordained and designed them. Those that would pluck them out of my hand, and deprive them of that eternal life which I will give them, must be too strong, not for me alone, but for my Father also; which none is, for who can be too strong for omnipotence?

My Father which gave them me,.... So the sheep came to be Christ's, and to be in his hand; the Father gave them to him, put them into his hands, and made them his care and charge:

is greater than all; than all gods, than all beings, than all creatures, angels and men, and than all the enemies of his people; this must be allowed: the Vulgate Latin version, and so some of the ancients read, "what my Father gave to me, is greater than all"; meaning, that the church given to him, and built on him, is stronger than all its enemies:

and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand; so that these sheep have a double security; they are in the hands of Christ, and they are in the hands of the Father of Christ; wherefore could it be thought, which ought not to be, that they could be plucked out of Christ's hands, yet it can never be imagined, that any can pluck them out of the hands of God the Father; and there is no more reason to think that they can be plucked out of the hands of the one, than there is that they can be plucked out of the hands of the other, as is clear from what follows in John 10:30; see the Apocrypha:

"But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.'' (Wisdom 3:1).

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
John 10:29-30. Explanation of the assertion just made, οὐχ ἁρπάσει, etc. If in my hand, they are also in the hand of my Father, who is greater than all, so that an ἁρπάζειν, etc. is impossible; I am one with Him.

ὃς δέδωκέ μοι] sc. αὐτά. On the import of the words, compare on John 6:37. In characterizing God as the giver of the sheep, Jesus enables us to see how fully He is justified in appealing, as He here does, to the Father.

μεῖζον (see the critical note): something greater, a greater potence. On the neuter here employed, compare Matthew 12:6 (Lachmann). See Bernhardy, p. 335; Kühner II. p. 45; Dissen ad Dem. de Cor. p. 396 (πονηρὸν ὁ συκοφάντης).

πάντων] Masculine. Compare τίς, John 10:28, and οὐδείς, John 10:29. Without any limitation: all besides God.

καὶ οὐδεὶς δύναται, etc.] Necessary consequence of the μεῖζον πάντων, but not setting aside the possibility of losing the grace by one’s own fault, John 6:66.

ἐκ τ. χειρ. τοῦ πατρ. μου]. This expression, τοῦ πατρ. μ., is due to the presupposition, flowing out of ὃς δέδωκέ μοι, that God did not let the sheep out of His hand, i.e. out of His protection and guidance, when He gave them to Christ. But this continued divine protection is really nothing else than the protection of Christ, so far, that is, as the Father is in the Son and works in Him (see John 10:37-38); hence the latter, as the organ and vehicle of the divine activity in carrying out the Messianic work, is not separated from God, is not a second some one outside and alongside of God; but, by the very nature of the fellowship referred to, one with God (compare Weiss, Lehrbegr. p. 205 f.). Compare on ἕν ἐσμεν, 1 Corinthians 3:8. God’s hand is therefore His hand in the accomplishment of the work, during the performance of which He administers and carries into execution the power, love, and so forth of God. The unity, therefore, is one of dynamic fellowship, i.e. a unity of action for the realization of the divine decree of redemption; according to which, the Father is in the Son, and moves in Him, so that the Father acts in the things which are done by the Son, and yet is greater than the Son (John 14:28), because He has commissioned, consecrated, and sent Him. The Arian idea of ethical agreement is insufficient; the reasoning would miss its mark unless unity of power be understood (on which Chrysostom, Euth. Zigabenus, and many others, also Lücke, justly lay emphasis). The orthodox interpretation, which makes it denote unity of essence (Nonnus: ἓν γένος ἐσμεν; Augustine: unum, delivers us from Charybdis, that is, from Arius, and sumus from Scylla, that is, from Sabellius), specially defended by Hengstenberg, though rejected even by Calvin as a misuse of the passage, goes beyond the argumentation; at the same time, in view of the metaphysical character of the relation of the Son to the Father, clearly taught elsewhere, and especially in John, the Homoousia, as the essential foundation, must be regarded as presupposed in the fellowship here denoted by ἕν ἐσμεν.

John 10:29. These strong assertions He bases, as always, on the Father’s will and power. ὁ πατήρ μουἐσμεν. “My Father who has given me these sheep is greater than all: and therefore no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. But this is equivalent to my saying no one can snatch them out of my hand, for I and the Father are one.”—ἐγὼ καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ ἕν ἐσμεν. Cf. John 17:21-23, ἵνα πάντες ἓν ὦσι. Bengel says: “Unum, non solum voluntatis consensu, sed unitate potentiae, adeoque naturae. Nam omnipotentia est attributum naturale; et serino est de unitate Patris et Filii. In his verbis Jesu plus viderunt caeci Judaei, quam hodie vident Antitrinitarii.” But Calvin is right when he denies that the words carry this sense: “Abusi sunt hoc loco veteres ut probarent Christum esse Patri ὁμοούσιον. Neque enim Christus de unitate substantiae disputat, sed de consensu quem cum Patre habet: quicquid scilicet geritur a Christo Patris virtute confirmatum iri.” An ambassador whose demands were contested might quite naturally say: “I and my sovereign are one”; not meaning thereby to claim royal dignity, but only to assert that what he did his sovereign did, that his signature carried his sovereign’s guarantee, and that his pledges would be fulfilled by all the resources of his sovereign. So here, as God’s representative, Jesus introduces the Father’s power as the final guarantee, and claims that in this respect He and the Father are one. Whether this does not involve metaphysical unity is another question. Cf. Tertullian, adv. Praxeam, 22; Hippolytus, c. Noetum, 7, δύο πρόσωπα ἔδειξεν, δύναμιν δὲ μίαν.

29. which gave them] Better, which hath given them. Comp. John 17:6; John 17:24. This enforces the previous assertion. ‘To snatch them out of My hand, he must snatch them out of My Father’s hand; and My Father is greater than all:’ even than the Son (John 14:28). But the reading is not certain. The most probable text gives, that which the Father hath given Me is greater than all. The unity of the Church is strength invincible.

out of my Father’s hand] The better reading is, out of the Father’s hand. ‘Out of His hand’ would have sufficed; but ‘Father’ is repeated for emphasis.

John 10:29. Δέδωκε, gave) Understand, these sheep.—μείζων πάντων, greater than all) Greater than all their enemies; greater than the sheep: and (in another sense) greater than even Me; ch. John 14:28, “My Father is greater than I.”—ἁρπάζειν, to snatch) them, the sheep.

Verse 29. - The last statement is sustained by a still loftier assumption. Before translating, it is necessary to notice the three readings of the text.

(1) That of the T.R. and the Revisers' Text: My Father who gave (them) to me is greater than all the powers that can possibly be arrayed against them.

(2) The reading of א, D, With reference to that which my Father, One greater than all, gave me, and no one is able to pluck from the hand of the Father. Meyer, however, translates this differently; he supposes the μεῖζον to refer to the Father "a something greater, a greater potence." Westcott and Hort prefer the reading with and μείζον; and Westcott translates, That which my Father has given me is greater than all, and regards it as a reference to the sheep as a collective unity. The internal reasons compel Luthardt, Godet, and Lange to fall back on T.R., and surely the extraordinary strain of the meaning justifies them. Our Lord would sustain with even stronger assurance the safety of his sheep. The Father's gift to himself, the Father's own eternal love and power, the Divine omnipotence of the Lord God himself, is pledged to their security. "My hand" becomes "my Father's hand." He seems to say, "If you question my capacity, you need not question his power. Sacrilegious violence may apparently nail my hands to the cross; the sword may awake against Jehovah's Shepherd. But none can outwit, surprise, crucify, conquer, my Father, none can invalidate his care." John 10:29My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all (ὁ πατήρ μου ὃς δέδωκέ μοι, μείζων πάντων ἐστιν)

There is considerable confusion here about the reading. Westcott and Hort and Tischendorf read ὁ πατήρ μου (Tischendorf rejects μου) ὃ δέδωκέν μοι πάντων μεῖζόν ἐστιν. That which the Father (or my Father) hath given me is greater than all. Rev. gives this in the margin. For gave, render hath given.

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