For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For as yet they knew not the scripture.—This explains in what sense it was that St. John now believed. Up to this time they knew not the meaning of the Scripture which foretold the Resurrection; but from that moment at least they recognised in the fact of the absent body of Christ the truth that He must rise again. (Comp. Notes on John 2:21-22.)Luke 24:26, Luke 24:46. The sense or meaning of the various predictions that foretold his death, as, for example, Psalm 2:7, compare Acts 13:33; Psalm 16:9-10, compare Acts 2:25-32; Psalm 110:1, compare Acts 2:34-35.
For an account of the resurrection of Christ, see the notes at Matthew 28.
not the scripture that he must rise again from the dead—In other words, they believed in His resurrection at first, not because they were prepared by Scripture to expect it; but facts carried resistless conviction of it in the first instance to their minds, and furnished a key to the Scripture predictions of it.Psalm 2:2 16:10 110:1-7, and the types of the Old Testament, by which Christ’s resurrection was foretold and prefigured. Genesis 22:3 and though our Lord had often referred to some of them, at least as in Matthew 12:40 yet such was the dulness of the disciples, or such their prejudices in favour of the Messiah being to continue, and set up a temporal kingdom, that even John, who leaned on his breast, and Peter, who was so inquisitive and desirous of knowing our Lord's meaning in everything, did not understand the sense of his words, nor of those places of Scripture he had reference to:
that he must rise again from the dead: so it was determined, thus it was predicted, and the justification and salvation of God's elect required it; and yet they knew not the thing, nor the necessity and importance of it.For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 20:9-10. Γάρ] Had they already possessed this understanding of Scripture at that time, the inspection made in the empty grave would not have been first needed, that there might be faith in the accomplishment of the resurrection.
ὅτι] εἰς ἐκεῖνο, ὅτι. See on John 2:18, John 9:17, John 11:51, John 16:9.
δεῖ] Divine necessity. Comp. Luke 24:26; Luke 24:44; Luke 9:22. This knowledge of Scripture (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:4) first arose in their minds by means of the Risen One Himself (Luke 24:27; Luke 24:46 ff.; Acts 1:3), and subsequently in completeness through the outpouring of the Spirit (Acts 2:24 ff.). Moreover, the personal previous declarations of Christ concerning His resurrection first became clear to them ex eventu (John 2:21-22), hence they are not indeed to be called in question, but they (comp. John 10:17-18) cannot have been so definite in their purport as in the Synoptics (see on Matthew 16:21).
οὖν] Since they had now convinced themselves of the fact of the resurrection, they must now await further events.
πρὸς ἑαυτούς] home, πρὸς τὴν ἑαυτῶν καταγωγήν, Euth. Zigabenus. Comp. Luke 24:12 and Kypke thereon, also Wetstein on the present passage.John 20:9. The emptied and orderly grave convinced him, οὐδέπω γὰρ ᾔδεισαν … ἀναστῆναι; it was not an expectation founded on scripture which prompted belief in the resurrection; but only those matter-of-fact observations, the empty grave and the folded napkin.9. they knew not the scripture] S. John’s belief in the Resurrection was as yet based only on what he had seen in the sepulchre. He had nothing derived from prophecy to help him. The candour of the Evangelists is again shewn very strongly in the simple avowal that the love of Apostles failed to grasp and remember what the enmity of the priests understood and treasured up. Even with Christ to expound Scripture to them, the prophecies about His Passion and Resurrection had remained a sealed book to them (comp. Luke 24:25-27).
he must] Comp. John 3:14, John 12:34; Matthew 16:21; Matthew 26:54; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; Luke 17:25; Luke 22:37; Luke 24:7; Luke 24:26; Luke 24:44. The Divine determination meets us throughout Christ’s life on earth, and is pointed out with increasing frequency towards the close of it. Comp. Ephesians 3:11.Verse 9. - For not as yet did they know (η΅ιδεισαν has an imperfect, not pluperfect tense) the Scripture, which, if rightly interpreted, ought to have made them triumphant in the hour of the Lord's deepest humiliation, and ought to have convinced them that the ideal Sufferer of Psalm 22. would prove to be Lord of all; and that the Lamb of God of Isaiah 53. must see his seed, and prolong his days; that God's "Holy One" of Psalm 16. could not see corruption; that the Messiah of a hundred prophetic hopes must conquer all his foes. The words of Jesus himself, in the memory of John and that of the synoptists, had been dark and confused, and they had not put all together into one glorious conviction that he must (δεῖ, by a Divine necessity) rise from among the dead; nor had they grasped the fact that it was not possible that he should be holden in the travail-pangs of death. The signs which John saw now brought all his hopes together.
On this necessity attaching in the divine counsel to the sufferings, death, and resurrection of Jesus, see Matthew 26:54; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22; Luke 17:25; Luke 22:37; Luke 24:7, Luke 24:26, Luke 24:44; John 3:14; John 12:34; Acts 1:16.
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