They shall put you out of the synagogues: yes, the time comes, that whoever kills you will think that he does God service.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)They shall put you out of the synagogues.—Comp. Notes on John 9:22; John 12:42.
Will think that he doeth God service.—Better, will think that he offereth to God a sacrificial service. The word rendered “doeth” in the Authorised version, is the technical word for offering sacrifice. (Comp., e.g., Notes on Matthew 5:23; Matthew 8:4.) The word rendered “service” means the service of worship. This will be seen by a comparison of the other instances where it occurs in the New Testament—they are Romans 9:4; Romans 12:1, and Hebrews 9:1; Hebrews 9:6. A Rabbinic comment on Numbers 25:13, is, “Whosoever sheddeth the blood of the wicked is as he who offereth sacrifice.” The martyrdom of Stephen, or St. Paul’s account of himself as a persecutor (Acts 26:9; Galatians 1:13-14), shows how these words were fulfilled in the first years of the Church’s history, and such accounts are not absent from that history’s latest page.John 9:22. They would excommunicate them from their religious assemblies. This was often done. Compare Acts 6:13-14; Acts 9:23-24; Acts 17:5; Acts 21:27-31.
Whosoever killeth you - This refers principally to the Jews. It is also true of the Gentiles, that in their persecution of Christians they supposed they were rendering acceptable service to their gods.
God's service - The Jews who persecuted the apostles regarded them as blasphemers, and as seeking to overthrow the temple service, and the system of religion which God had established. Thus, they supposed they were rendering service to God in putting. them to death, Acts 6:13-14; Acts 21:28-31. Sinners, especially hypocrites, often cloak enormous crimes under the pretence of great zeal for religion. Men often suppose, or profess to suppose, that they are rendering God service when they persecute others; and, under the pretence of great zeal for truth and purity, evince all possible bigotry, pride, malice, and uncharitableness. The people of God have suffered most from those who have been conscientious persecutors; and some of the most malignant foes which true Christians have ever had have been in the church, and have been professed ministers of the gospel, persecuting them under pretence of great zeal for the cause of purity and religion. It is no evidence of piety that a man is full of zeal against those whom he supposes to be heretics; and it is one of the best proofs that a man knows nothing of the religion of Jesus when he is eminent for self-conceit in his own views of orthodoxy, and firmly fixed in the opinion that all who differ from him and his sect must of course be wrong.
the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service—The words mean religious service—"that he is offering a service to God." (So Saul of Tarsus, Ga 1:13, 14; Php 3:6).synagogue, as it is used often in Scripture to signify those places of public worship which they had in country towns and cities, is proper to the Jews; but as it signifieth an assembly of people met together in any place, it as well agreeth to other people as to them. Our Lord here, in pursuit of the argument which he hath been upon from John 15:18, forewarns his disciples, that when he should be taken from them, the Jews first should excommunicate them as heretics, or schismatics: and I know not why what our Saviour here saith may not also be extended as a prophecy of what hath since been done, and is yet doing, under the tyranny of the pope. As also the latter clause, which, though at first applicable to the Jews, who stoned Stephen upon a charge of blasphemy, in which it is apparent that they thought they did God good service, and doubtless slew many others; yet certainly it also referred to others, even as many as shall do the same thing to the end of the world.
yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth God service. For this is not to be understood of their being delivered up into the hands of civil magistrates, and of their being tried, judged, condemned, and put to death by their orders, but of their being murdered by a set of men called "zealots"; who, in imitation of Phinehas, as they pretended, took upon them, whenever they found any person guilty of a capital crime, as idolatry, blasphemy, &c. or what they judged so, to fall upon him at once, and without any more ado kill him; nor were they accountable to any court of judicature for such an action, and which was reckoned laudable and praiseworthy: in this way, and by the hands of such miscreants, Stephen the protomartyr lost his life; for though they had him before a council, and suborned witnesses against him, yet when in his own defence he said what these "zealots" interpreted blasphemy, they ran upon him at once, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him to death; and without any leave or authority from the sanhedrim, as appears: and these men were accounted good men, zealous, (y) "with a zeal for God", his honour and glory; and valued themselves much upon such butcheries and inhumanity, and thought, as our Lord here says, that they "did God service"; or as the Syriac renders it, , "offered a sacrifice to God", and so the Arabic and Ethiopic: and indeed this is a rule the Jews (z), and which they form upon the instance and example of Phinehas;
"that whoever sheds the blood of wicked men, (and such they reckoned the apostles and followers of Christ to be,) , "it is all one as if he offered a sacrifice";''
they looked upon this to be a sacrifice acceptable and well pleasing to God: so the Apostle Paul, in his unregenerate state, thought he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Christ: and that he was doing God service, when he prosecuted the church, and gave his voice with these ruffians, to put the saints to death.They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 16:2-3. Of the ταῦτα, John 16:1, He now gives certain concrete manifestations, which might tend to their becoming offended.
ἀποσυναγ.] See on John 9:22, John 12:42.
ἀλλʼ] At, i.e. nay, further! it introduces the antithesis of a yet far heavier, of a bloody fate. Comp. on 2 Corinthians 7:11. To take ἀποσυναγ. ποιήσ. ὑμ. interrogatively (Ewald), is unnecessarily artificial.
ἵνα] That which will take place in the ὥρα is conceived as the object of its coming: there is coming an hour, in order that, etc. Comp. on John 12:23.
πᾶς ὁ ἀποκτ., κ.τ.λ.] that every one, who shall have put you to death, may think that he offers a sacrificial service to God (namely, through the shedding of your blood). On λατρεία, cultus (Plat. Apol. p. 23 C, Phaedr. p. 224 E; Romans 9:4), here, by means of the προσφέρειν, the standing word used of sacrifices (see Matthew 5:23; Matthew 8:4; Acts 7:32; Hebrews 5:1; Schleusner, Thes. IV. p. 504), in the special reference of sacrificial divine service, comp. Romans 13:1; Hebrews 9:1; Hebrews 9:6. The maxim of Jewish fanaticism is well known (and how often was the pagan enmity against the apostles no better!): “Omnis effundens sanguinem improborum, aequalis est illi, qui sacrificium facit,” Bammidbar Rabba, f. 329. 1. On this δοκεῖν, comp. Saul’s example, Acts 26:9; Galatians 1:13-14.
On John 16:3, comp. John 15:21. Jesus once more recalls with profound sadness this tragic source of such conduct, the inexcusableness of which, however, He had already decisively brought to light (John 15:22 ff.). The supposed purpose of making the adversaries contemptible in the eyes of the disciples (Calvin, Hengstenberg) must have been indicated had it existed.John 16:2. ἀποσυναγώγους ποιήσουσιν ὑμᾶς. For the word ἀποσυν. see John 9:22, John 12:42; “they will put you out of their synagogues,” they will make you outcasts from their synagogues. ἀλλʼ, “yea,” or “yea more”; used in this sense Romans 7:7, 2 Corinthians 7:11, where it occurs six times. Cf. Acts 19:2.—ἔρχεται … Θεῷ. ἔρχεται ὥρα ἵνα, cf. John 12:23, ἐλήλυθεν ἡ ὥρα ἵνα … ἵνα … and Burton, Moods and Tenses, 216, on the complementary limitation by ἵνα of nouns signifying set time, etc. And for πᾶς ὁ ἀποκτείνας, the aorist indicating those “who once do the act the single doing of which is the mark of the class,” see Burton, 124, cf. 148.—δόξῃ λατρείαν προσφέρειν, “may think that he offers sacrificial service”. λατρεία is used in Exodus 12:25, etc., of the Passover; apparently used in a more general sense in 1Ma 2:19; 1Ma 2:22; and defined by Suicer “quicquid fit in honorem et cultum Dei,” and by Theophylact as θεάρεστον ἔργον, a work well pleasing to God. Cf. Romans 12:1. Meyer and others quote the maxim of Jewish fanaticism, “Omnis effundens sanguinem improborum aequalis est illi qui sacrificium facit”.2. out of the synagogues] Or, out of the synagogue, i.e. excommunicate you. Comp. John 9:22; John 12:42.
yea, the time cometh] Better, nay, there cometh an hour. Comp. John 16:25. ‘You might think excommunication an extreme measure; but (ἀλλά) they will go far greater lengths than this.’
that whosoever] Literally, in order that every one who. The Divine purpose is again clearly indicated (see on John 12:33). Every one, Jew and Gentile alike, will put down the Christians as blasphemers and atheists and the perpetrators of every crime. The history of religious persecution is the fulfilment of this prophecy.
doeth God service] Better, offereth service to God. The verb expresses the offering of sacrifice (comp. Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:7); the substantive expresses a religious service (Romans 9:4; Hebrews 9:1; Hebrews 9:6).John 16:2. Ἀλλʼ) Nay—ἵνα) that) whosoever killeth you, will think that he thus doeth God service. So John 16:32, ἔρχεται ὥρα ἵνα, κ.τ.λ—δόξῃ [will think] will appear) to himself and to those who are like him.—λατρείαν προσφέρειν) that he offers a gift or service. In the present day still the Jews, as Hensius observes, call the killing of a Christian קרבן, a gift, or service, in the case of which there is need of no expiation being made.Verses 2, 3. - They (used impersonally, as the German man, or the French ou) shall make (or, declare) you excommunicate - ἀποσυναγώγους "put you out of the synagogue," expel you from the fellowship of your country's worship (cf. John 9:22 and John 12:42) - nay, further (the ἀλλὰ abruptly introduces a very much stronger assertion) an hour cometh, that - ἵνα is here, by Meyer and many others, said to involve a Divine order, purpose, or destiny, intended by the drawing on of the foreordained crisis; but it seems enough to convey by it the contemplated result (see Canon Evans, Expositor, 1882) - whosoever killeth you will deem that he is offering service - sacrificial homage - to God (προσφέρειν; both these words are persistently used with this meaning. See, for προσφέρειν, Matthew 5:23; Matthew 8:4; Acts 7:42; Hebrews 5:1). The well-known quotation from 'Bammidbar Rabba,' fol. 329. 1, "Every one shedding the blood of the wicked is equal to him who offers sacrifice," may throw light on the expression. The intensity of the fanaticism was well exhibited in the persecution in which Stephen fell, and which St. Paul deemed worthy service, and one which he ought to have rendered (Acts 26:9; Galatians 1:13, 14). The curse was long and deep and tragic, and Christ explains it by the awful reiteration, These things will they do because they have not known the Father, nor me (see John 15:22, etc.). He reiterates the explanation already given of the manner and form as well as the fact of the world's hatred.
See on John 9:22.
Literally, but. They shall excommunicate you, but worse than this, the hour cometh, etc.
The hour cometh that (ἵνα)
Literally, "there cometh an hour in order that." The hour is ordained with that end in view: it comes fraught with the fulfillment of a divine purpose.
Whosoever (πᾶς ὁ)
Literally, everyone who.
Doeth service (λατρείαν προσφέρειν)
Literally, bringeth or offereth service. Λατρεία means, strictly, service for hire, but is used of any service, and frequently of the service of God.
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