John 6:59
These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(59) As he taught in Capernaum.—If we accept the identification of Capernaum with Tell-Hûm, which is in every way probable (comp. Note on Matthew 4:13), we have good reason for believing that modern discovery has traced out the foundations of the synagogue in which this discourse was spoken. It was a gift to the Jews by a devout Gentile (Luke 7:5), and as such, of greater architectural beauty than was common among Galilean synagogues. Corinthian capitals and a heavy cornice and frieze are among the ruins, and the traveller’s eye may rest to-day on the very ornaments which our Lord’s eyes saw there eighteen centuries ago. On one of the lintels of the door he may trace a sculptured pot of manna, and connect with it the thoughts of the manna which the fathers did eat, and died: just as in a Christian church he may trace the emblems of the bread of life, which a man may eat of and not die. A plan and details of the synagogue, with an account by Captain Wilson, R.E., will be found in the Second Quarterly Statement of the Palestine Exploration Fund (June, 1869). The same society has published a photograph of the ruins.

John 6:59. These things — The things recorded in the preceding verses; said he in the synagogue — He spoke them openly in the hearing of all the people who attended at public worship in the synagogue; and that probably after prayer, and the reading of the law, in consequence of the question said to be asked him, John 6:25. Nor are we to wonder at the dialogue which passed here; for conversations between different persons, and even debates, were not unusual in the Jewish synagogues: there are many other instances of disputes, which either Christ or his apostles had with the Jews in these places of worship. See Matthew 12:9-13; Luke 13:10-17; Acts 13:44-47; and Acts 17:17. It was evidently for wise reasons that our Lord involved a part of his discourse in figurative and mysterious language; as, in particular, that which related to eating his flesh and drinking his blood; or to his sufferings and death, and the life and salvation to be obtained thereby.6:52-59 The flesh and blood of the Son of man, denote the Redeemer in the nature of man; Christ and him crucified, and the redemption wrought out by him, with all the precious benefits of redemption; pardon of sin, acceptance with God, the way to the throne of grace, the promises of the covenant, and eternal life. These are called the flesh and blood of Christ, because they are purchased by the breaking his body, and the shedding of his blood. Also, because they are meat and drink to our souls. Eating this flesh and drinking this blood mean believing in Christ. We partake of Christ and his benefits by faith. The soul that rightly knows its state and wants, finds whatever can calm the conscience, and promote true holiness, in the redeemer, God manifest in the flesh. Meditating upon the cross of Christ gives life to our repentance, love, and gratitude. We live by him, as our bodies live by our food. We live by him, as the members by the head, the branches by the root: because he lives we shall live also.This is that bread ... - This is the true bread that came down. The word "that" should not be in the translation.

Shall live for ever - Not on the earth, but in the enjoyments of a better world.

59. These things said he in the synagogue—which seems to imply that what follows took place after the congregation had broken up. Though the state of the Jewish church at this time was corrupt enough, both as to matters of doctrine, worship, and discipline; yet it being constituted by his Father, he did not decline their assemblies either in the temple at Jerusalem, or in the places of the public worship, which were called synagogues, and were both in their cities and villages; for he had a liberty to teach in them, as appeareth both from this and many other texts; which he accordingly used, and usually spent the sabbath, or a great part of it, in those places and assemblies: yet by his presence he no way owned or declared his approbation of their corruptions, but frequently and freely reproved them; only because of those superstitious impertinencies (there being at this time no idolatry practised amongst them) he would not disown what was of God his Father among them. The same practice we shall observe amongst the apostles, till the Jews declared themselves hardened, drove them out from their synagogues, and spake evil of the way of the gospel before the multitude, Acts 19:9. Then indeed, and not before, Paul separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. This also is further to be observed in the practice of our Saviour, that although he went to the temple and the synagogues, and there joined with the Jewish worship instituted by his Father, and reproved (as he had occasion) the corruptions they had introduced and superadded; yet he did not forbear himself teaching the gospel in other places besides the temple and the synagogues. The evangelist also notes, that the synagogue where he taught these things was in Capernaum, a city of Galilee, which in this was exalted to heaven, that it had not only the gospel preached in it, but by Christ himself; but for the contempt of the gospel is since brought down to hell, as much debased as it was before exalted, being long since reduced to a poor inconsiderable place, and at this day under the tyranny of the Mahometan prince. These things said he in the synagogue,.... Openly and publicly, in the place of divine worship, where the Jews resorted for that purpose:

as he taught in Capernaum; his own city, and where there was a synagogue, into which he often went and taught his doctrines, and wrought miracles; see Matthew 3:13.

These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 6:59. With his usual exact specification of time and place John adds ταῦταἐν Καφαρναούμ. Lampe says: “Colligi etiam inde potest, quod haec acciderint in Sabbato”; but the synagogue was available for teaching on other days, and it is not likely that on a Sabbath so many persons would have followed Him across the lake.59. in the synagogue] Or, in synagogue, as we say ‘in church:’ there is no article in the Greek. Comp. John 18:20. The verse is a mere historical note, stating definitely what was stated vaguely in John 6:22 as ‘the other side of the sea.’ ‘These things’ naturally refers to the whole discourse from John 6:26; we have no sufficient evidence of a break between John 6:40 and John 6:41. On the other hand there is strong evidence that from John 6:26 to John 6:58 forms one connected discourse spoken at one time in the synagogue at Capernaum. The site of Capernaum is not undisputed (see on Matthew 4:13); but assuming Tell Hûm to be correct, the ruins of the synagogue there are probably those of the very building in which these words were uttered. On one of the stones a pot of manna is sculptured.John 6:59. Εἶπενδιδάσκων, He spake—teaching) Comp. ch. John 8:20, “These words spake Jesus, as He taught in the temple” [as here in the synagogue]; John 7:28.Verse 59. - These things - probably referring to the discourse which followed upon the contest and discussion of the Jews among themselves (vers. 52-58), or it may include the entire discussion from ver. 40 onwards - he said in synagogue (or, in a synagogue), as he was teaching in Capernaum. Capernaum is thus distinctly verified as the place whither the multitudes had followed him. It was, as we learn from the synoptists, his second and habitual home in Galilee. In Warren's 'Recovery of Jerusalem,' p. 344, a description of Tell-Hum and of its ruins occurs, and amongst them the remains of an ancient synagogue. "On turning over a large block of stone," says Wilson, "we found the pot of manna engraved on its face." "This very symbol may have been before the eyes of those who heard the Lord's words" (Westcott). This note of time and place is important, as showing that thus early in his ministry our Lord proclaimed in Galilee, as well as in Jerusalem, the deepest things of his own consciousness and intentions; that the teaching in Galilee was not, as Renan would have us apprehend, nothing more than an idyllic progress of personal popularity and rapturous hosanna. The Lord knew that he must offend those who would by force constrain him to be their Messianic King, and made it by this discourse clear that spiritual communion with his inner life, as a Divine, Heaven-sent Representative, as One suffering and dying for the world, was the only and supreme condition of deriving and sharing in his own supernatural and eternal life. The effect of this discourse and the crisis that followed in his public ministry is now described. The words of Jesus led to deeper faith and to a more determined antagonism. "The light shone into the darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." "He came to his own, and his own received him not; but to as many as received, he gave power to become sons of God." In the synagogue (ἐν συναγωγῇ)

But the definite article is wanting; so that we must either understand in a synagogue, or in an assembly. See on James 2:2. Among the ruins at Tell Hum, the probable site of Capernaum, have been found among the remains of a synagogue a block of stone, perhaps the lintel, carved with the pot of manna, and with a pattern of vine leaves and clusters of grapes. See a full account of these ruins in Thomson's "Land and Book, Central Palestine and Phoenicia," pp. 417-419.

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