John 6:45
It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes to me.
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(45) It is written in the prophets . .—i.e., in the Book of the Prophets. (Comp. Matthew 2:23; Mark 1:2; Acts 7:42; Acts 13:40.) The immediate reference is to the LXX. translation of Isaiah 54:13, but the same thought runs through other passages of the prophets, as Jeremiah 31:34, and Joel 3:1 et seq.

The words bring out the meaning of the Father’s drawing referred to in John 6:44, and point out the extent of the divine teaching by which “all” are taught, and the personal receptivity and effort by which “every man” hears and learns. The teaching is universal, but it may not be heard, and when heard may not be learnt.

Every man therefore that hath heard.—Better, Every man that hath heard, omitting “therefore,” with the best MSS.

Cometh unto me.—This is co-extensive with the previous hearing and learning. They who had listened for God’s voice would recognise His. They who had been God’s disciples would be His too. (Comp. John 5:46.)

6:36-46 The discovery of their guilt, danger, and remedy, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, makes men willing and glad to come, and to give up every thing which hinders applying to him for salvation. The Father's will is, that not one of those who were given to the Son, should be rejected or lost by him. No one will come, till Divine grace has subdued, and in part changed his heart; therefore no one who comes will ever be cast out. The gospel finds none willing to be saved in the humbling, holy manner, made known therein; but God draws with his word and the Holy Ghost; and man's duty is to hear and learn; that is to say, to receive the grace offered, and consent to the promise. None had seen the Father but his beloved Son; and the Jews must expect to be taught by his inward power upon their minds, and by his word, and the ministers whom he sent among them.In the prophets - Isaiah 54:13. A similar sentiment is found in Micah 4:1-4, and Jeremiah 31:34; but by the prophets, here, is meant the book of the prophets, and it is probable that Jesus had reference only to the place in Isaiah, as this was the usual way of quoting the prophets.

Shall be all taught of God - This explains the preceding verse. It is by the teaching of his Word and Spirit that men are drawn to God. This shows that it is not compulsory, and that there is no obstacle in the way but a strong voluntary ignorance and unwillingness.

45. written in the prophets—in Isa 54:13; Jer 31:33, 34; other similar passages may also have been in view. Our Lord thus falls back upon Scripture authority for this seemingly hard saying.

all taught of God—not by external revelation merely, but by internal illumination, corresponding to the "drawing" of Joh 6:44.

Every man therefore, &c.—that is, who hath been thus efficaciously taught of Him.

cometh unto me—with absolute certainty, yet in the sense above given of "drawing"; that is, "As none can come to Me but as divinely drawn, so none thus drawn shall fail to come."

It is written in the prophets; either in Isaiah 54:13, or in the book of the prophets; for though the words be to be found only in Isaiah, yet words of the same import are also to be found in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, and Micah. All they whom the Lord hath chosen shall be taught of God.

Therefore (saith he) said I to you,

Every man that hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Our Saviour proveth the doctrine which he had delivered to them, from the prophets, not because their authority was greater than his, or in any degree equal with his; but because the prophets and their writings were in greater authority and reputation with them. It is written in the prophets,.... In the book of the prophets, as the Ethiopic version renders it: the Jews divided the books of the Old Testament into three parts, the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa; now in that division which was called the Prophets, are the following words: or in one of the prophets, namely, in Isaiah 54:13; so the Syriac version reads, "in the prophet"; though some think reference is had to more prophets, and more passages than one, as besides the above mentioned, Jeremiah 31:34 Micah 4:2;

and they shall be all taught of God; by his Spirit to know themselves, and Jesus Christ; that is, all that are ordained to eternal life; all that are given to Christ, and are chosen in him; all the children of Zion, and who are the children of God; these are all, sooner or later, in a special manner, taught of God: and which does not intend mere external instructions, and objective teachings by the ministry of the word, for many are so taught, who never come to Christ; but special teachings, such as are attended with the energy of divine grace, and the power of the Spirit of God, who guides into all truth, savingly and spiritually: for this is to be understood of their being taught in the Gospel of Christ, and not in the law, as the Targum paraphrases it,

"all thy children shall learn in the law of the Lord.''

And that this prophecy refers to Gospel times, is clear from the citation and application of the first verse of it, to the church in the times of the apostles, Galatians 4:27. The Jews themselves acknowledge the prophecy belongs to the times of the Messiah, to which they expressly apply (u) the words in Isaiah 54:5, "thy Maker is thy husband", &c. And one of their modern commentators allows (w), that this very passage, "all thy children shall be taught of God", refers, "to the time to come"; that is, to the times of the Messiah: in this citation, those words, "thy children", are left out, to show that the words are not to be restrained to the people of the Jews, as they might seem by that clause, and to whom the Jews would limit them: for so they say (x),

"they are truly taught of God from whom prophecy comes, which does not to all the world, but to Israel only, of whom it is written, "and all thy children are taught of God".''

But our Lord, by these words, instructs us, and would have us observe, that all that the Father hath given him, whether Jews or Gentiles, of whom he had been speaking in the preceding verses, should be taught of God; and so taught, as to be drawn and brought to him, and believe in him, and have everlasting life: wherefore he infers from hence, that every man, whether a Jew or a Gentile, that is taught of God, will come to him in a spiritual way, and trust in him for eternal life and happiness, as follows:

every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me; everyone that has heard the voice of the Father's love, grace, and mercy in the Gospel, and has learned of him the way of peace, life, and salvation by Christ, under the influence of his grace, comes unto Christ; being encouraged by the declarations and promises of grace he has heard and learned, and ventures his soul on Christ, and commits it to him; trusting and relying on his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for justification, pardon, atonement, acceptance with God, and eternal life.

(u) Shemot Rabba, sect. 15. fol. 102. 4. (w) Kimichi in loc. (x) Zohar in Exod. fol. 70. 1.

It is written in the {m} prophets, And they shall be all {n} taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

(m) In the book of the prophets, for the Old Testament was divided by them into three general parts: into the law, the prophets, and the holy writings.

(n) That is, they will be children of the Church, for so the prophet Isaiah expounds it in Is 54:13; that is to say, ordained to life, see Geneva Ac 13:48, and therefore the knowledge of the heavenly truth is the gift and work of God, and does not rest in any power of man.

John 6:45-46 serve more fully to explain ἑλκύειν.

ἐν τοῖς προφ.] in volumine prophetarum, Acts 7:42; Acts 13:40; Romans 9:24. The passage is Isaiah 54:13 (a free quotation from the LXX.), which treats of the divine and universal enlightenment of Israel in the time of the Messiah (comp. Joel 3:1 ff.; Jeremiah 31:33-34): “and they shall be wholly taught of God.” The main idea does not lie in πάντες, which, moreover, in the connection of the passage refers to all believers, but in διδακτοὶ θεοῦ (a Deo edocti; as to the genitive, see on 1 Corinthians 2:13, and Kühner, II. § 516, b), which denotes the divine drawing viewed as enlightening and influencing. The διδακτὸν θεοῦ εἶναι is the state of him who hears and has learned of the Father; see what follows.

πᾶς ὁ ἀκούων, κ.τ.λ.] The spurious οὖν rightly indicates the connection (against Olshausen); for it follows from that promise, that every one who hears and is taught of the Father comes to the Son, and no others; because, were it not so, the community of believers would not be unmixedly the διδακτοὶ θεοῦ. Ἀκούειν παρὰ τοῦ πατρός is the spiritual perception of divine instruction; the subject-matter of which, as the whole context clearly shows, is the Son and His work. The communication of this revelation is, however, continuous (hence ἀκούων), and the “having learned” is its actual result, by the attainment of which through personal exertion the ἔρχεται πρός με is conditioned. One hears and has learned of the Father; in no other way is one in the condition which internally necessitates a believing union with the Son. Comp. Matthew 11:25 ff.

John 6:46. By this hearing and having learned of the Father, I do not mean an immediate and intuitive fellowship with Him, which, indeed, would render the coming to the Son unnecessary; no; no one save the Son only has had the vision of God (comp. John 1:18, John 3:13, John 8:38), therefore all they who are διδακτοὶ θεοῦ have to find in the Son alone all further initiation into God’s grace and truth.

οὐκ ὅτι] οὐκ ἐρῶ, ὅτι. See Hartung, II. 154; Buttmann, N. T. Gr. p. 318 ff. [E. T. p. 372].

It serves to obviate a misunderstanding.

εἰ μὴ, κ.τ.λ.] except He who is from God, He hath seen the Father (that is, in His pre-existent state).[236] Comp. Galatians 1:7.

ὁ ὢν παρὰ τ. θ.] for He is come from the Father, with whom He was (John 1:1). See on John 1:14, John 8:42, John 7:29, John 16:27.

[236] This clear and direct reference to His pre-human state in God (comp. vv. 41, 42), and consequently the agreement of Christ’s witness to Himself with the view taken by the evangelist, should not have been regarded as doubtful by Weizsäcker. The divine life which was manifested in Christ upon earth was the personal life of His pre-existent state, as the prologue teaches, otherwise John had not given the original sense of the declaration of the Lord regarding Himself (to which conclusion Weizsäcker comes in the Jahrb. f. D. Th. 1862, p. 674), which, however, is inconceivable in so great and ever-recurring a leading point. It is the transcendent recollection in His temporal self-consciousness of that earlier divine condition, which makes itself known in such declarations (comp. John 3:11). See on John 8:38, John 17:5. His certitude concerning the perfect revelation does not first begin with the baptism, but stretches back with its roots into His pre-human existence. See, against Weizsäcker, Beyschlag also, p. 79 ff., who, however (comp. p. 97 f.), in referring it to the sinless birth, and further to the pre-existent state of Jesus, as the very image of God, is not just to the Johannean view in the prologue, and in the first epistle, as well as here, and in the analogous testimonies of Jesus regarding Himself. See on ver. 62. Beyschlag renders: “because He is of God, He has seen God in His historical existence.” The far-fetched thought is here brought in, that only the pure in heart can see God. Comp. rather John 1:18, John 3:13; John 3:31-32, John 8:26; John 8:38. See, against this view of the continuous historical intimacy with God, Pfleiderer in Hilgenfeld’s Zeitschr. 1866, p. 247 ff.; Scholten, p. 116 ff.John 6:45. In confirmation of His assertion in John 6:44, Jesus, as is His wont, cites Scripture: ἔστι γεγραμμένον ἐν τοῖς προφήταις, that is, it is written in that part of Scripture known as “the Prophets”. The passage cited is Isaiah 54:13, where, in describing Messianic times, the prophet says, “Thy children shall all be taught of God,” ἔσονται πάντες διδακτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, and what this being taught of God means He more fully explains in the words πᾶς οὖνμαθὼν, “every one who has heard from the Father and has learned comes to me”. Both the hearing and the learning refer to an inward spiritual process. The outward teaching of Scripture and of Christ Himself was enjoyed by all the people He was addressing; but they did not come to Him. It is therefore an inward and individual illumination by the special operation of God that enables men to come to Christ. Whether these verses teach “irresistible grace” may be doubted. That they teach the doctrine which Augustine asserted against Pelagius, viz., that power to use grace must itself be given by God, is undeniable. That is affirmed in the statement that no one can come to Christ unless the Father draw him. But whether it is also true that every one whom God teaches comes is not here stated; the καὶ μαθὼν introduces a doubtful element. [Wetstein quotes from Polybius διαφέρει τὸ μαθεῖν τοῦ μόνον ἀκοῦσαι.]45. in the prophets] The direct reference is to Isaiah 54:13, but there are similar passages Jeremiah 31:33-34; Joel 3:16-17. The quotation explains what is meant by the Father’s drawing men, viz., enlightening them. The ‘therefore’ in the second half of the verse is not genuine: ‘therefore’ is very common in the narrative portion of this Gospel, very rare in the discourses. On ‘it is written’ see on John 2:17. Here, as in John 13:18 and John 19:37, the quotation agrees with the Hebrew against the LXX. This is evidence that the writer knew Hebrew and therefore was probably a Jew of Palestine.

Every man therefore that hath heard, &c.] And no others: only those who have been enlightened by the Father can come to the Son.John 6:45. Γεγραμμένον, written) He refutes the Jews who abused Scripture, John 6:31, “Our fathers did eat manna, as it is written.” etc.—καὶ ἔσονται πάντες διδακτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ) Isaiah 54:13, Septuag. καὶ πάντας τοὺς υἱούς σου διδακτοὺς Θεοῦ: “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord,” [Engl. Vers.]—πάντες, all) Hence is inferred presently after the every oneπᾶς, that hath heard, etc.]—διδακτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, taught by [of] God) Comp. presently after, παρά, ‘from’ [of]. The correlatives are, every one who hath heard and learned; and [all] taught. The former implies the act [of learning]: the latter, the habitual state resulting from the former.—πᾶς, every one) and he alone.—παρά) from [of] the Father, concerning the Son. Matthew 11:27, “No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.”Verse 45. - It is written in the prophets; either in the division of Scripture called "the prophets," or because the substance of the statement is found to pervade the prophets, and to receive express, if not literal, utterance in Isaiah 54:13. The prophet, on describing the glorious triumphs of the Servant of the Lord in his new kingdom, added (LXX.), Καὶ πάντας τοὺς υἰοὺς σου διδακτοὺς Θεοῦ καὶ ἐν πολλῇ εἰρήνη τὰ τέκνα σου, "And all thy sons [I will make] to be taught of God, and in much [great] peace thy children" (cf. also Jeremiah 31. [LXX., 38.] 34, for the same thought in other words). Godet suggests that the former passage was in the haphtora, from the prophets - the lesson for the day. If the discourse was uttered in the synagogue of Capernaum, this is not impossible. At all events, the "and" (καὶ) which here follows suggests that the quotation is taken from Isaiah. And they shall all be taught of God; i.e. direct teaching by God is the prime requisite of any spiritual apprehension, even of the mysteries of Christ the Revealer. This solemn truth is affirmed by the entire history of Christ. The vision of his majesty, even contact with his ineffable love, the sight of his humiliation and of the shedding of his precious blood, did not, by any necessarily acting law of mind, induce faith. Divine teaching by the Spirit of the Father and Son is the preliminary (see notes on John 16:5-8, on the mission of the Comforter) to believing on Christ. "Taught of God" (διδακτοὶ Θεοῦ), translated in Vulgate, docibiles Dei (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:9), means more than the reception of one lesson in the school of God, and suggests a prolonged experience and a rich communion between the Teacher and the taught. Every one (therefore) [πᾶς, referring to the πάντες of ver. 45a, and to the quotation, is not so much every human being, as the "all" of the Messianic kingdom - the "all" of God's "sons" and "children "] that hath heard from the Father, and hath learned (of him), cometh unto me. Hearing may end in heedlessness, even when the Lord God Almighty speaks with us. His revelations at great epochs, his inner voice at special moments in our religious history, may be disregarded. The voice of God may be heard, yet not obeyed; the voice of conscience and revelation and inspiration, the sacred monitions and warnings of the heart, may all be slighted. But every one that hath heard the Father, and has also accepted the lesson - has felt the Divine drawing; being willing to do the will of the Father, he knows of the doctrine, whether it be of God, and he comes to Christ. Later on, Christ said, "Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." It is one thing to "hear," another to "learn," another to "come." These three stages still further illumine the "drawing" of the Father, and the method which the Father has adopted of so giving men to Christ that he may ultimately fold them in his arms and press them to his heart. Lest, however, the hearers of Jesus, then or now, should conclude that the kind of direct teaching of which the prophets spake, and which he endorsed, was of that immediate kind which himself enjoyed, and which alone justifies this language, he continued - Taught of God (διδακτοὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ)

The idea is thrown into a compound adjective, θεοδίδακτοι, in 1 Thessalonians 4:9.

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