But, see, he speaks boldly, and they say nothing to him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Do the rulers know indeed . . .?—Read, Have the rulers come to know indeed that this Man is the Christ? The word “very” is omitted by the best MSS. The word “indeed” shows that the questioners think it impossible that the rulers can have recognised Him.
1. They knew that they had attempted to kill him.
2. They now saw him speaking boldly to the people without interruption from the rulers.
They concluded, therefore, that some change had taken place in the sentiments of the rulers in regard to him, though they had not yet made it public.
The rulers - The members of the Sanhedrin, or great council of the nation, who had charge of religious affairs.
Indeed - Truly; certainly. Have they certain evidence, as would appear from their suffering him to speak without interruption?
and they say nothing to him; do not contradict him, or forbid him speaking; he goes on without control; though he takes great liberty in charging the Jews with an intention to kill him, in arguing from their practices in vindication of himself, and in suggesting that they judged in favour of men, and not according to the truth of things.
Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? have they changed their minds concerning him, and so their conduct towards him? are they convinced, and do they know by plain demonstrations, and full proof, that he is really the Messiah that has been promised of old, and long expected?But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. boldly] Or, with frankness, or openness; the same word as in John 7:4, where (as in John 16:29) it has a preposition; here and John 7:13 it is the simple dative.
Do the rulers know] The word here translated ‘know’ is not the one translated ‘know’ in John 7:28-29. The latter is the most general word for ‘know:’ this means rather to ‘acquire knowledge.’ Have the rulers come to know (or recognised)? See on John 1:10. In the next verse we have both words. Comp. John 8:55.
that this is the very Christ] ‘Very’ is wanting in authority: that this man is the Christ is the right reading. This suggestion, however, is only a momentary thought. They at once raise a difficulty which for them demolishes the suggestion.John 7:26. Παῤῥησίᾳ, freely) Psalm 40:10, “I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation; I have not concealed Thy loving-kindness and Thy truth from the great congregation.”—ἀληθῶς, truly) The people might have doubted, whether the rulers would affirm, that Jesus is the Christ; but withdrawing themselves from this doubt, the people begin to affirm concerning that [supposed] affirmation.—ἔγνωσαν, have they known) in mind, and by word of mouth. [The ἀληθῶς before ὁ Χριστός in the Rec. Text is omitted in  Vulg.]
 the Vatican MS., 1209: in Vat. Iibr., Rome: fourth cent.: O. and N. Test. def.
 Bezæ, or Cantabrig.: Univ. libr., Cambridge: fifth cent.: publ. by Kipling, 1793: Gospels, Acts, and some Epp. def.
 Cod. Reg., Paris, of the Gospels: the text akin to that of B: edited by Tisch.
 Borgiana: Veletri: part of John: fourth or fifth cent.: publ. by Georgi, 1789.
 Vercellensis of the old ‘Itala,’ or Latin Version before Jerome’s, probably made in Africa, in the second century: the Gospels.
 Veronensis, do.
 Colbertinus, do.Verse 26. - And behold he speaketh openly (see vers. 4 and 13), and they say nothing to him. They neither tackle him in argument nor refute his self-vindication, neither do they arrest him or carry out their known project. Have they altered their minds? Are they convinced of his claims? Has he successfully rebutted the charge of sabbath breaking? Does it all vanish on close approach? Then they go a step further, which, if it were the true explanation, would entirely account for their obvious indecision. They even say to one another, with sufficient frequency for the reporter to have heard it, Can it be that the rulers indeed know (μήποτε ἔγνωσαν, did they at any time come to perceive? The particle expects a dubious though negative response, "we don't think so; but is it probable? surely not!") that this (person) is the Christ? The rulers must decide this weighty matter, for us at least who dwell in Jerusalem. The question shows how widespread, how detailed, was the idea of the coming Christ. This supposition with reference to their rulers was momentary, and conflicted with another standing objection to the claims of Jesus.
The interrogative particle μήποτε may be rendered by the familiar expression they do not, do they? Rev., can it be that the rulers, etc. Indeed (ἀληθῶς); literally, truly.
The very (ἀληθῶς)
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