Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he said to us, A little while, and you shall not see me: and again, a little while, and you shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Then said some of his disciples among themselves.—Better, Therefore said . . . The question arises out of what He has said. They draw aside and discuss the matter privately. It is beyond their comprehension, and seems to be contradictory.
A little while, and ye shall not see me.—Better, A little while, and ye behold Me not, as in John 16:16.
Because I go to the Father.—So far they have quoted word for word what He had said in the previous verse. They now connect it with what He had said in John 16:7; John 16:10, and this forms the ground of their surprise. There He had spoken of their beholding Him no more because He goeth to the Father. Here He speaks of a little while, after which they shall not behold Him, and again a little while, after which they shall see Him. They cannot reconcile these things. They cannot tell what He saith.John 14:19.
Ye shall not see me - That is, he would be concealed from their view in the tomb.
And again a little while - After three days he would rise again and appear to their view.
Because I go ... - Because it is a part of the plan that I should ascend to God, it is necessary that I should rise from the grave, and then you will see me, and have evidence that I am still your Friend. Compare John 7:33. Here are three important events foretold for the consolation of the disciples; yet they were stated in such a manner that, in their circumstances and with their prejudices, it appeared difficult to understand him.John 7:33,
Yet a little while I am with you; he had spoken the same to his disciples, John 13:33; yet it is plain from this verse, that his disciples did not understand him. What need the best of us have of the illuminations of the blessed Spirit, rightly to conceive of and understand spiritual things! These doctrines of his death resurrection, and ascension, and coming to judgment, our Lord had inculcated to his disciples, not only in the two texts aforementioned, but also John 8:21 12:33,36 14:2,4,12,28; and in this chapter, John 16:5,7.
what is this that he saith unto us, a little while and ye shall not see me? they knew not what he meant by it, though he had so often and so clearly spoken of his death unto them: and as ignorant were they what he should design by saying,
and again a little while and ye shall see me; though he had expressly told them, in so many words, some time ago, that whereas he should die, he should rise again the third day: and as much at a loss were they to guess what he should intend by the reason he gives,Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 16:17-18. Jesus makes a pause; some of His disciples (ἐκ τ. μαθ. αὐτ. sc. τινές, as in John 7:40) express (in a whisper) to one another, how enigmatic this language, John 16:16, is to them. They indicate, accordingly (John 16:18), the μικρόν that was mentioned as the point of unintelligibility: “what shall this be, what does He mean by μικρόν?” Note τοῦτο placed first with emphasis, as well as the article with μικρόν, pointing backwards.
καὶ ὅτι ὑπάγω πρ. τ. πατ.] ὅτι is recitative. Since the words in John 16:16 are not genuine, we must assume that the disciples place what Jesus said in John 16:10, in connection with these enigmatic words, John 16:16, and here take up along with the point there expressed in their seeing Him no more:
ὑπάγω πρ. τ. πατ.—in order to receive an explanation regarding it, probably feeling that this explanation must necessarily serve for the clearing up of the obscure words before them.John 16:17. Εἶπον οὖν ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ. A pause is implied; during which some of the disciples (τινές understood, as in John 7:40; see Simcox, Gram. of N.T., p. 84) expressed to one another their bewilderment. They were alarmed, but could not attach their alarm to any definite object of dread.17. Then … disciples] Better, Some of His disciples therefore said.
among themselves] Better, as in John 4:33, one to another; so also in John 19:24. The Greek for ‘among themselves’ (John 12:19) is different.
ye shall not see] Ye behold Me not. As in the previous verse we have two different verbs for ‘see.’
and, Because I go] They refer to what was said in John 16:10. The Apostles are perplexed both about the apparent contradiction of not beholding and yet seeing and also the departure to the Father. ‘Because’ (ὅτι) should probably be ‘that,’ to introduce the saying ‘I go to the Father.’ As already indicated, the reason, ‘because I go, &c.’ in John 16:16 is not genuine.John 16:17. Ἐκ) Understand τινἑς.—καὶ ὅτι, and because) The disciples disjoin two sentences that were conjoined, and which they did not understand.Verse 17. - Then said (some) of his disciples one to another, not daring to utter it to him, What is this that he saith to us, A little while, and ye behold me not: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? This clause now aggravates their difficulty, whether they associate it with the idea already uttered, or whether they repeat the Lord's word (g-r, may be simply the "that" of quotation). The program of the future - e.g.
(1) death and momentary absence,
(2) resurrection and transitory presence,
(3) departure to the Father and abiding presence
form a group of ideas very difficult even for us now to realize or "to know" fully what he saith. Who need wonder that these disciples should have been in doubt, since one of their number intimately acquainted with them and their state of feeling records it of them?
Rev., correctly, therefore. It is a particle of logical connection, not of time.
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