Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then from that day forth they took! counsel . . .—On that day, then, the Sanhedrin officially decreed His death. The remaining question was how they could carry out this decree without exciting a popular tumult, or bringing themselves into collision with the Romans. (Comp. Note on Matthew 26:4.)John 11:53-54. Then, from that day, they took counsel, &c. — The majority of the council having resolved to put Jesus to death at all hazards, they consulted no longer upon that point, but from henceforth deliberated only concerning the best method of effecting it. Jesus therefore walked no more openly, &c. — Hence, though he was within two miles of Jerusalem, he did not go up thither at this time, but returned to Ephraim, a city upon the borders of the wilderness, where he abode with his disciples, being unwilling to go far away, because the passover, at which he was to suffer, approached.Matthew 26:5.
Jesus … walked no more openly among the Jews—How could He, unless He had wished to die before His time?
near to the wilderness—of Judea.
a city called Ephraim—between Jerusalem and Jericho.
they took counsel together; at certain times, and that very often, and agreed in their counsel,
for to put him to death; this they resolved upon, before there was any legal process, before any crime was charged upon him, or any proof given, or he was heard what he had to say for himself; so highly approved of was Caiaphas's motion, to put him to death, right or wrong, whether he was innocent or not; that they had nothing to do, but to consult of ways and means of getting him into their hands, and of taking away his life in a manner, as would he most for their own credit among the people, and to his shame and disgrace, and at the most proper and suitable time.Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 11:53-54. Οὖν] In consequence of this word of Caiaphas, which prevailed.
ἵνα] They held deliberations with one another, in order, etc., Matthew 26:4.
παῤῥησ.] frankly and freely, John 7:4.
ἐν τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις] He withdrew Himself—since those deliberations of the high council, whether through Nicodemus or otherwise, had become known to Him (οὖν)—from intercourse with His Jewish adversaries, and betook Himself to the sequestered village of Ephraim, according to Eusebius 8 miles, according to Jerome 20 miles (so also Ritter, XV. p. 465, XVI. p. 531 ff.) N.E. from Jerusalem, in Judaea; according to Josephus, Bell. iv. 9. 9, in the neighbourhood of Bethel, comp. 2 Chronicles 13:20 (according to the Keri). It can hardly be the present village of Taiyibeh (see Robinson, II. p. 337 f.), considering its more westerly situation. Hengstenberg identifies it on insufficient grounds with BaalHazor, 2 Samuel 13:23; and Vaihinger, in Herzog’s Encycl., with עָפְרה Joshua 18:23. The mention of the desert is not opposed to the north-easterly situation of Ephraim, as Ebrard thinks; for the desert of Judaea (i.e. ἡ ἔρημος κατʼ ἐξοχήν) extended as far as the region of Jericho.
εἰς τ. χώραν. κ.τ.λ.] He departed into the country (as opposed to Jerusalem, the capital city); then a more precise definition of the place to which He withdrew, namely, the neighbourhood of the desert; and, finally, definite mention of the place, a town named Ephraim. On χώρα, comp. Plat. Legg. v. p. 745 C, vii. p. 817 A; Mark 1:5; Acts 26:20; 3Ma 3:1.John 11:53. This utterance of Caiaphas brought sudden light to the members of the Sanhedrim, and so influenced their perplexed mind that ἀπʼ ἐκείνης ἡμέρας συνεβουλεύσαντο ἵνα ἀποκτείνωσιν αὐτόν. This was the crisis: what hitherto they had desired (John 5:16; John 5:18, John 7:32, John 10:39) they now determined in council.53. Then from that day] Therefore for ‘then’ is the more important here to bring out the meaning that it was in consequence of Caiaphas’ suggestion that the Sanhedrin practically if not formally pronounced sentence of death. The question remained how to get the sentence executed.John 11:53. Οὖν, therefore) This refers to John 11:50, taken in connection with what went before.Verse 53. - Therefore from that clay they took counsel to slay him. The οϋν shows that the advice of Caiaphas was followed, and whereas before this, minor courts and synagogues had plotted the ruin of Jesus, and they themselves had excommunicated his followers (John 9.), yet, after this evil counsel, they deliberated on the surest and safest way of destroying him. The sentence had gone forth. They bound themselves to secure his arrest for this purpose. Some of their number, a small minority, including Joseph of Arimathaea, disapproved of this counsel, and withdrew from their society (Luke 23:51), but the majority overruled the dissidents. This is the very climax of their perversity. They have resolved on the death-penalty. The sentence has been recorded against the Holiest. Priesthood and prophecy have pronounced their final verdict. They have extinguished themselves. Nevertheless, that which proved the occasion of their malice became a further proof of his Divine goodness and superhuman claims.
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