John 7:14
Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Now about the midst of the feast.—Better, But now, when it was the middle of the feast. (Comp. John 7:8.) This was the technical Chōl Mō’ēd or Mō’ēd Katōn, “the Middle of the Feast,” or “the Lesser Feast.” He had taken no part in the greater festival itself, and now He appears in the Temple, as far as we know, for the first time as a public teacher, probably (John 7:19) as an expounder of some Scripture which had been read.

John 7:14-18. Now about the midst of the feast — Which lasted eight days; Jesus went up into the temple and taught — Probably on the sabbath day. His business was to preach the gospel of the kingdom, and he readily did it in every time and place of concourse: and doubtless vast multitudes would be assembled in the temple on this occasion. And the Jews who heard him marvelled — Were amazed, both at the excellence and importance of the doctrines which he delivered, and at the clear, convincing, and forcible manner in which he declared them: saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned — How comes he to be so well acquainted with sacred literature, as to be able thus to expound the Scriptures with such propriety and gracefulness; having never learned — Seeing he hath never learned this at any place of education? Jesus answered, My doctrine is not mine — It is not the product of human wisdom: I have neither been taught it by masters, nor have I acquired it by my own study: but his that sent me — It is the doctrine of God, who has inspired me with it because I am his messenger. If any man will do his will Εαν τις θελη, if any man be willing, especially if he be also desirous and determined, in dependance on divine grace, to do God’s will, as far as he is acquainted with it; he shall know of the doctrine, &c. — A universal rule this with regard to all persons and doctrines. They that are thoroughly willing and desirous to comply with the will of God, shall certainly have his will made known to them. Observe here, reader, who these are: they are such as are impartial and sincere in their inquiries concerning it, and are not biased by any carnal inclinations or interests; they are such as are convinced of the infinite importance of knowing and doing his will, in order to their eternal salvation, being persuaded that only those that know and do it shall enter the kingdom of heaven: Matthew 7:21. They are such as carefully and diligently use the means which God has appointed to be used in order thereto; especially the means of prayer, for supernatural light, and of hearing, reading, and meditating on the word of God. Such shall know the doctrine of Christ, and the will of God; 1st, Because Christ has promised to give them that knowledge, namely, by opening the eyes of their understanding, which he is well able to do. Those who improve the light they have, and carefully walk according to it, shall, by divine grace, have that light increased, and be thereby secured against all destructive and hurtful errors. 2d, Because they are prepared to receive that knowledge. Those that are inclined to submit to the rules of the divine law, are disposed to admit the rays of the divine light. Those whose desire and care it is to resemble God, are in the fittest disposition to become acquainted with him. Whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself — Pious and good men can easily judge of any teacher, whether he and his doctrine come from God; not only because the divine wisdom and goodness are interested to secure such from capital errors, but because they themselves have no predominant evil inclinations to prejudice them against the truth when it appears; and because they can discern how far any doctrine is conformable to the principles of piety and virtue which they possess. He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory — If one teaches what makes for the advancement of his own worldly interest, or for the gratification of his pride, or any other evil passion, the doers of the will of God will immediately know that such a teacher is an impostor. But he that seeketh his glory that sent him, &c. — Whereas, if a teacher proposes doctrines which have a tendency to reform men, and to advance the glory of God, without regard to the opinion of the world, or to his own temporal interest; the same is true — He must certainly be sent of God, and should not by any means be suspected of imposture; and no unrighteousness is in him — No falsehood, no design to deceive the world. See Macknight.7:14-24 Every faithful minister may humbly adopt Christ's words. His doctrine is not his own finding out, but is from God's word, through the teaching of his Spirit. And amidst the disputes which disturb the world, if any man, of any nation, seeks to do the will of God, he shall know whether the doctrine is of God, or whether men speak of themselves. Only those who hate the truth shall be given up to errors which will be fatal. Surely it was as agreeable to the design of the sabbath to restore health to the afflicted, as to administer an outward rite. Jesus told them to decide on his conduct according to the spiritual import of the Divine law. We must not judge concerning any by their outward appearance, but by their worth, and by the gifts and graces of God's Spirit in them.About the midst - Or about the middle of the feast. It continued eight days.

The temple - See the notes at Matthew 21:12.

And taught - Great multitudes were assembled in and around the temple, and it was a favorable time and place to make known his doctrine.

14, 15. about the midst of the feast—the fourth or fifth day of the eight, during which it lasted.

went up into the temple and taught—The word denotes formal and continuous teaching, as distinguished from mere casual sayings. This was probably the first time that He did so thus openly in Jerusalem. He had kept back till the feast was half through, to let the stir about Him subside, and entering the city unexpectedly, had begun His "teaching" at the temple, and created a certain awe, before the wrath of the rulers had time to break it.

About the third or fourth day of the feast (which continued seven days) our Lord, being (as was said before) come up privately and by stealth, as it were, to Jerusalem, first appears in the temple preaching. What our Saviour at this time discoursed about the evangelist doth not tell us; but doubtless it was the things of the kingdom of God, which were the usual themes or arguments of his discourse, as we may also understand by the latter part of it. Our Lord probably deferred his preaching to the middle of the feast, partly, because the Pharisees’ heat in hunting after him was now a little over; and that there might be a fuller concourse of people to hear him. Now about the midst of the feast,.... About the fourth day of it, for it lasted eight days; this might be on the sabbath day, which sometimes was , "in the middle of the feast" (n); and the rather, since it follows,

Jesus went up into the temple; as the Lord and proprietor of it, and as was his usual method; he had for some reasons kept himself retired till now, and now he appeared publicly:

and taught the people his doctrine; he expounded the Scriptures, gave the true sense of them, and instructed the people out of them.

(n) Misa. Succa, c. 5. sect. 5.

{4} Now about the {d} midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

(4) Christ uses goodness to strive against the wickedness of the world: in the meanwhile most men are offended even by that fame by which they ought to have been stirred up to embrace Christ.

(d) About the fourth day of the feast.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 7:14. Τῆς ἑορτ. μεσ.] when the feast was half way advanced, ἤγουν τῇ τετάρτῃ ἡμέρᾳ (or thereby): ἑπτὰ γὰρ ἡμέρας (yet see on John 7:37), ἑώρταζον αὐτήν, Euthymius Zigabenus. Jesus was already, before this, in the city (John 7:10), but in concealment; now He goes up into the temple. The text does not say that He had only now come into Jerusalem. μεσοῦν (comp. Exodus 12:29; Jdt 12:5; 3Ma 5:14) only here in the N. T., but very common in the classics. That the day was just the Sabbath of the feast (Harduin, Bengel, Kuinoel, Wieseler, Synopse, pp. 309, 329) is uncertain, as μεσούσης is only an approximate expression. For the rest, the discourses which follow, and the discussions onwards to chap. 10, are not (with Weizsäcker) to be ranked as parallel with the synoptical accounts of proceedings in Jerusalem, but are wholly independent of them, and must be attributed to the vivid recollections of the evangelist himself regarding a time unnoticed by the Synoptics. Over and above this, we must, as an historical necessity, expect to find many points of resemblance in the several encounters of Jesus with His Jewish opponents.John 7:14-36. He teaches, and discussions regarding Him are evoked.—John 7:37 -end. His manifestation on the last day of the Feast, and the consequent action of the Sanhedrim.14. about the midst of the feast] Literally, But now, when the feast was at the middle, or was half way past; i.e. about the fourth day. But the expression is a vague one, so that we cannot be certain which day.

went up into the temple] Whether He had been in Jerusalem or not since the beginning of the Feast, is uncertain: see on John 7:10. This is perhaps the first occasion of His publicly teaching in the Temple; when He cleansed it (John 2:13-17) He delivered no discourse.John 7:14. Μεσούσης, in the middle) This Feast of Tabernacles is described at large: The beginning of it at John 7:10, etc., the middle of it in this verse, and the end of it, John 7:37, “In the last day, that great day of the feast.” The feasts were good opportunities for edification.—ἀνέβη, He went up) The first day of the feast had been the 11th day of October, as I have observed in the Harmon. Evang. p. 85 (Ed. ii. p. 140), and so the third day of the week [Tuesday]; for on that twenty-ninth year of Dion, the Sunday letter was [178]. Therefore the Sabbath fell in the middle of the feast; and on a Sabbath day the audience was a crowded one, beyond that on all the other days of the middle of the feast, and His speech concerning the Sabbath was seasonable, John 7:22, “Ye on the Sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the Sabbath, etc., are ye angry with Me because,” etc.—εἰς τὸ ἱερόν, into the temple) straightway, so as that He did not turn aside anywhere else first.[179]

[178] the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.

[179] He made straight for the temple first of all.—E. and T.Verse 14. - When it was already the midst of the feast; or, when already the festival had reached the middle stage. Since the feast lasted seven or eight days, this is reasonably supposed to be on the fourth day. We may presume that he had been spending a few days at Bethany (Luke 10:38), front retirement of which he issued rather as a Prophet and Teacher than as the Messiah of the popular expectation. He went up - he came suddenly - into the temple, into the midst of the crowds where his followers would be found, who would shield him, humanly speaking, from the covert designs of his angry assailants. "He was adorned with the wreath of popular veneration, till this wreath was torn and withered by the poisonous breath of their enmity" (Lange). He went up into the temple, and taught (ἐδίδασκε, continuously taught). We can only conjecture the theme of these instructions. They must have been sufficiently varied and peculiar to have excited much attention. Either parable, or apothegm, or stirring appeal, or quotation and interpretation from the Old Testament, or voice from the fathomless depths of his own consciousness, may have formed its staple. In his burning summons to conscience, and his gracious offers of mercy, the people who had listened to him on the mountainside or lakeside were accustomed to say, "He speaks with authority, not as the scribes." About the midst of the feast (τῆς ἑορτῆς μεσούσης)

A peculiar form of expression found only here. The midst is expressed by a participle from the verb μεσόω, to be in the middle. Literally, the feast being midway.

Taught (ἐδίδασκεν)

Or began to teach. Imperfect tense.

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