John 10:40
And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he stayed.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(40) And went away again beyond Jordan.—Comp. Note on John 1:28. In Matthew 19:1 we have the fuller expression, “the coasts of Judæa beyond Jordan,” referring to the same locality. The whole of Judæa proper was Cis-Jordanic, and the “Judah upon Jordan” (Joshua 19:34) was the boundary “toward the sun-rising” of the tribe of Naphthali—i.e., it answered to what was afterwards known as Gaulonitis, and is now known as the Jolan. Josephus [Wars, iii. 3) expressly enumerates Gaulonitis as belonging to Judæa in the time of our Lord. For the explanation of this spread of the name, which has always been a geographical crux, see von Raumer’s argument in Dr. Caspari’s summary (Chron. and Geogr., Introd., Eng. Trans., p. 90). We have to think, then, probably of Bethania or Tellanihje, to the north of the Sea of Galilee, on the eastern side of the Jordan, as the place of our Lord’s retirement. He had taught the Jews by divine words, and they had sought to stone Him (John 10:31, and John 8:59). He had appealed to divine works, and they had attempted to take Him by force (John 10:39, and John 7:30; John 7:32; John 7:44). He sees in all this the darkness which foreshadows the night, and He retires from the city to visit it no more until the final Passover, when the night will be at hand. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!”

And there he abode.—How long we have no means of judging. The time from Dedication to Passover (December to April) is divided, by the visit to Bethany near Jerusalem, and the raising of Lazarus, into two parts of uncertain duration, one of which is spent in Gaulonitis and the other in Ephraim (John 11:54).

John 10:40-42. And, presently departing from Jerusalem, he went again beyond Jordan — Into Perea, a country for the most part desert and rocky; the place where John at first baptized — Called Bethabara, John 1:28; and there he abode — Probably till he came into Judea, to raise Lazarus from the dead, that being the next particular mentioned by this evangelist. If so, the time of his abode in these parts must have been considerable: and, as appears from what follows, was not spent there in vain. For many of the inhabitants of that place, who had been formerly acquainted with John the Baptist, and remembered the strong and repeated testimonies which he had borne to Jesus, resorted unto him — To attend his ministry; and said, John did no miracle — For it seems John was not endued with the power of working miracles, that the authority of Jesus might be more conspicuous and unquestionable; but all things that John spake of this man were true — The character which John gave of one that was to come after him, is completely verified by the doctrine and miracles of this person. And many believed on him there — Believed him to be the Messiah, the Son of God. And thus they happily improved this season of Christ’s recess among them, as the means of their instruction, and establishment in piety. Thus we see the testimony of John the Baptist was recollected to excellent purposes, while he himself was mouldering in his tomb. And what can a faithful minister account a greater happiness, or more earnestly desire, than that, even while he is dead, he may yet speak for the honour of Christ, and the salvation of souls? 10:39-42 No weapon formed against our Lord Jesus shall prosper. He escaped, not because he was afraid to suffer, but because his hour was not come. And He who knew how to deliver himself, knows how to deliver the godly our of their temptations, and to make a way for them to escape. Persecutors may drive Christ and his gospel our of their own city or country, but they cannot drive him or it out of the world. When we know Christ by faith in our hearts, we find all that the Scripture saith of him is true.Where John at first baptized - At Bethabara, or Bethany, John 1:28. 40-42. went away again beyond Jordan … the place where John at first baptized—(See on [1827]Joh 1:28). Christ’s time was not yet come when he should be betrayed and crucified; it was yet three months and more to it; he saw the Jews at Jerusalem were in such a rage and fury, that there was no staying in that place: he goes beyond Jordan to Bethabara, where he found John at first baptizing, John 1:28, before he baptized in Aenon near Salim, John 3:23. See Poole on "John 1:28". Possibly he chose that place as being a place where John had been preparing a way for him, by turning men’s hearts in some measure for receiving the gospel, and pointing out Christ to his disciples, as the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world.

And there he abode: how long he abode there we cannot tell; probably till he took his last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem; of which the other evangelists speak, Matthew 20:17 Mark 10:32 Luke 18:31. What he did in Galilee during these three months John reports not, only saith... {see John 10:41} And went away again beyond Jordan,.... Where he had been before; and whither he went; not merely for the security of his person, much less to indulge himself in ease, but to preach the Gospel, work miracles, and bring many souls to believe on him, as did: and he went

into the place where John at first baptized; that is, Bethabara, where he baptized before he was at Aenon, near Salim, John 1:28, and was the place where Christ himself was baptized, and where John bore such a testimony of him:

and there he abode; how long is not certain, perhaps till he went to Bethany, on account of raising Lazarus from the dead.

And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 10:40-42. Πάλιν.] John 1:28.

πέραν τ. Ἰορδ.] He went away from Jerusalem, beyond the Jordan (as in John 6:1, John 18:1) to Peraea, and, indeed, to the place, etc. Instead of allowing themselves to be won over to faith and redemption, the Ἰουδαῖοι had grown ever more hardened and decided in their hostility, till it had reached the extreme; the Lord then finally gives them up, and knowing that His hour was near, though not yet fully come, He withdraws for a calm and undisturbed, although brief, season of activity to Peraea, where He was safer from the hierarchs (comp. John 11:54); and in the place where John was when he baptized for the first time (namely, John 1:28; later, in Salim, John 3:23), there could be as little lack of susceptible hearts as of quiet, elevating, and sacred memories for Himself.

ἔμεινεν ἐκεῖ] How long, we cannot precisely ascertain, as He spent also some time in Ephraim before the feast of the Passover (John 11:54 f.). In any case, however, the ἔμεινεν ἐκεῖ lasted but for a very short period, as is evident also from the word νῦν in John 11:8.

καὶ πολλοὶ, etc.] “Fructus posthumus officii Johannis,” Bengel.

ἔλεγον] not αὐτῷ, but a bearing of testimony in general.

Ἰωάννης μὲν, etc.] Logically we should expect μέν after σημεῖον; but even classical writers frequently disregard logical precision in their mode of placing μέν and δέ. See Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 6. 11; Baeumlein, Partik. p. 168.

σημεῖον ἐποίησεν οὐδέν] A characteristic feature of the history of John, which in this respect also has remained free from fanciful additions; the people, however, referred to the circumstance in view of the σημεῖα which Jesus had wrought, as they had been informed, elsewhere, and probably here also, before their own eyes. In this way we may also account for μέν not occupying its strictly logical position.

The repetition of Ἰωάννης in John 10:42 is part of the simplicity of the style, which is here faithfully reflected, and is further in harmony with the feeling of reverence entertained by the people for the holy man whose memory still lived among them.

ἀληθῆ ἦν] As was actually shown by the works of Jesus. In this way, their experience of the truth of the testimony of John became the ground of faith in Christ. What a contrast to the experiences which Jesus had just had to pass through among the Ἰουδαῖοι! The ray of light thus vouchsafed to Him in the place where He first commenced His labours, is here set forth in all historical simplicity. Baur, however (p. 182 f., and Theol. Jahrb. 1854, p. 280 f.), maintains that the people are merely represented as speaking these words in order that the entire preceding description of the life and works of Jesus may be surveyed from the point of view of the σημεῖα. John himself gives a comprehensive retrospect, but in the right place, namely, at the close of the activity of Jesus in John 12:37 ff., and in how different a manner!

ἐκεῖ (see the critical note), placed emphatically at the end of the verse.40. again beyond Jordan] Referring back to John 1:28. The hostility of the hierarchy being invincible and becoming more and more dangerous Jesus retires into Peraea for quiet and safety before His Passion. This interval was between three and four months, from the latter part of December to the middle of April. But some portion of this time was spent at Ephraim (John 11:54) after going to Bethany in Judaea to raise Lazarus. Nothing is told us as to how much time was given to Bethany or Bethabara in Peraea, how much to Ephraim.

at first] John afterwards baptized at Aenon near Salim (John 3:23).

baptized] was baptizing.

40–42. “The chapter ends with a note of place which is evidently and certainly historical. No forger would ever have thought of the periphrasis ‘where John at first baptized’ … ‘John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.’ It would be impossible to find a stronger incidental proof that the author of the Gospel had been originally a disciple of the Baptist, or at least his contemporary, and also that he is writing of things that he had heard and seen. A Gnostic, writing in Asia Minor, even though he had come into relation with disciples of John, would not have introduced the Baptist in this way. In circles that had been affected by the Baptist’s teaching, and were hesitating whether they should attach themselves to Jesus, this is precisely the sort of comment that would be heard.” S. p. 179.John 10:40.[292] Ἰωάννης, John) The posthumous fruits of the services of John.

[292] καὶ ἀπῆλθε, and went away) Immediately after the Feast of Dedication; as is evident from the omission of the phrase μετὰ ταῦτα, and of the name of Jesus. Nor did the Saviour go to the region beyond Jordan only, but afterwards into Galilee also, and again from Galilee into the borders of Judea (comp. Matthew 19:1, Mark 10:1), which John did not feel it necessary to mention, inasmuch as the other Evangelists, and especially Luke, record with sufficient fulness, what He did at that time in Galilee.—Harm., p. 365, comp. p. 420.Verses 40-42. -

(4) Beyond Jordan. The susceptibility of those who had been prepared for his Word by the early ministry of John. Verse 40. - And he went away again (see John 1:28, note) beyond Jordan, to the place where John at first baptized; a place enriched for him by many solemn associations. There he submitted to baptism, to fasting, and temptation. There he had heard the first testimonies of John. There he had gathered round him his most susceptible and appreciative hearers. There Andrew and Simon, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, came under his mighty spell. There the first intuition of his Messiahship dawned on the noblest of his followers. The entire suggestion, is unquestionably historic. That special scene of our Lord's ministry was indelibly impressed on the memory of the beloved disciple. The place where John at first baptized; i.e. the place occupied by John before he came to OEnon, and therefore in the district where he delivered his most solemn testimonies to the people, to the Sanhedrin, to the first disciples. And there he abode. How long, we know not. The repose was soon broken. Beyond Jordan (πέραν τοῦ Ιορδάνου)

Into the region called Peroea, from πέραν, beyond. It was on the east side of the river, and was the ancient possession of Gad and Reuben. It corresponds, in an enlarged sense, to the region round about Jordan (Matthew 3:5; Luke 3:3). Compare Matthew 19:1; Mark 10:1.

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