John 7:45
Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said to them, Why have you not brought him?
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(45) Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees.—(Comp. Note on John 18:3.) They had been sent (John 7:32), not with a definite warrant to bring Him by force, but to watch their opportunity, and seize any pretext for doing so which may arise. “The chief priests and Pharisees” are the Sanhedrin who met (John 7:32), and, though it was a festival, seemed to have continued in session, expecting the return of their servants.

Why have ye not brought him?—Their question shows the object of the mission. It is asked in the bitterness of disappointed craft. In the presence of the multitude they dared not proceed by open force, and the influence they feared was every hour gaining ground. If their officers could have brought Him on some technical charge away from the people and into their own chamber, all would then have been in their own hands.

John 7:45-49. Then came the officers to the chief priests, &c. — Namely, without accomplishing the purpose for which they were sent; and they — The chief priests and other members of the sanhedrim, perceiving the officers had not executed their commission; said, Why have ye not brought him — According to the orders you received from us? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man — Surely no man living ever addressed his hearers in so engaging and irresistible a manner. They seem to have intended to intimate, that, had the chief priests and Pharisees heard him themselves, his discourse must have disarmed their resentment against him. Then answered the Pharisees — Far from being softened by the account the officers gave; Are ye also deceived — Ye, who have the advantage of knowing our sentiments concerning this man? Have any of the rulers — Men of rank or eminence; or of the Pharisees — Men of learning or religion; believed on him? But this people Οχλος ουτος, this populace; who knoweth not the law — This ignorant rabble; so they affected to call Christ’s friends; are cursed — Are, by that ignorance, exposed to the curse of being thus seduced.7:40-53 The malice of Christ's enemies is always against reason, and sometimes the staying of it cannot be accounted for. Never any man spake with that wisdom, and power, and grace, that convincing clearness, and that sweetness, wherewith Christ spake. Alas, that many, who are for a time restrained, and who speak highly of the word of Jesus, speedily lose their convictions, and go on in their sins! People are foolishly swayed by outward motives in matters of eternal moment, are willing even to be damned for fashion's sake. As the wisdom of God often chooses things which men despise, so the folly of men commonly despises those whom God has chosen. The Lord brings forward his weak and timid disciples, and sometimes uses them to defeat the designs of his enemies.The officers - Those who had been appointed John 7:32 to take him. It seems that Jesus was in the midst of the people addressing them, and that they happened to come at the very time when he was speaking. They were so impressed and awed with what he said that they dared not take him. There have been few instances of eloquence like this. His speaking had so much evidence of truth, so much proof that he was from God, and was so impressive and persuasive, that they were convinced of his innocence, and they dared not touch him to execute their commission. We have here:

1. A remarkable testimony to the commanding eloquence of Jesus.

2. Wicked men may be awed and restrained by the presence of a good man, and by the evidence that he speaks that which is true.

3. God can preserve his friends. Here were men sent for a particular purpose. They were armed with power. They were commissioned by the highest authority of the nation. On the other hand, Jesus was without arms or armies, and without external protection. Yet, in a manner which the officers and the high priests would have little expected, he was preserved. So, in ways which we little expect, God will defend and deliver us when in the midst of danger.

4. No prophet, apostle, or minister has ever spoken the truth with as much power, grace, and beauty as Jesus. It should be ours, therefore, to listen to his words, and to sit at his feet and learn heavenly wisdom.

45. Then came the officers—"sent to take him" (Joh 7:32).

Why … not brought him?—already thirsting for their Victim, and thinking it an easy matter to seize and bring Him.

Probably the officers, Christ being amongst a multitude of the people that had a high opinion of him, durst not adventure to apprehend him. Some of them, as appeareth from what follows, were astonished at his doctrine; all of them agreed to return to their masters without him; at which they are angry, and ask them how it came to pass that they did not execute their commands, in bringing Christ before them as a malefactor, to answer what they should lay to his charge. Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees,.... Who were assembled together in council, as the great sanhedrim of the nation; who were sitting and expecting Jesus to be brought before them. The same officers they sent to take him, John 7:32, returned to them without him; for though they were sent on that errand which they intended to have performed, yet they were not on the side of those who were for seizing him by force, nor of those who objected to his being the Messiah; but rather took part with those who affirmed he was the Messiah; or at least looked upon him to be some extraordinary prophet:

and they said unto them; that is, the chief priests and Pharisees said to the officers; the Syriac version reads, "the priests said unto them":

why have ye not brought him? They mention not the name of Jesus by way of contempt, and knowing that the officers would easily understand them; though the Persic version expresses it, reading the words thus, "why have ye not brought Jesus?" seeing them returned without him, they were transported with rage and fury, and fell upon them in a fierce and furious manner, for disobeying their orders, who had sat there waiting some time: and hoping, and not doubting, but they should have him in their hands, whose blood they were thirsting after: wherefore it was a great disappointment to them, and much enraged them to see them come without him.

{17} Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

(17) God scorns from heaven those who are his Son's enemies.

John 7:45-46. Οὖν] therefore, seeing that no one, not even they themselves, had ventured to lay hands on Jesus.

οἱ ὑπηρέται] In accordance with the orders they had received (John 7:32), they had kept close to Jesus, in order to apprehend Him. But the divine power and majesty of His words, which doubtless hindered the τινὲς in John 7:44 from laying hands on Him, made it morally impossible for the officers of justice to carry out their orders, or even to find any pretext or justification for so doing; they were overpowered. Schleiermacher, therefore, was wrong in inferring that they had received no official orders to take Him.

τοὺς ἀρχιερ. κ. Φαρ.] by the non-repetition of the article, construed as one category, i.e. as the Sanhedrim, who must be supposed to have been assembled in session. When first mentioned, John 7:32, both divisions are distinguished with logical emphasis. See Dissen, ad Dem. de cor. p. 373 f.

ἐκεῖνοι] the ἀρχιερ. κ. Φαρισ.; of the nearest subject, though remote to the writer. Winer, p. 148 [E. T. p. 196], and Ast, ad Plat. Polit. p. 417; Lex Plat. pp. 658, 659.

John 7:46. There is a solemnity in the words ὡς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρ., in themselves unnecessary. “It is a weighty statement, a strong word, that they thus meekly use,” Luther. “Character veritatis etiam idiotas convincentis prae dominis eorum,” Bengel. It is self-evident that Jesus must have said more after John 7:32 than John has recorded.John 7:45-52. Anger of the Sanhedrim on receiving the report of their officers.45. Then came the officers] Better, Therefore came the officers, i.e. because neither they nor any of the multitude had ventured to arrest Him. Under the control of God’s providence (John 7:30), they had been unable to find any good opportunity for taking Him, and had been over-awed by the majesty of His words (John 7:46).

to the chief priests and Pharisees] See on John 7:32. It would seem as if the Sanhedrin had continued sitting, waiting for the return of its officers; an extraordinary proceeding on so great a day (see on John 7:37), shewing the intensity of their hostility. Their question is quite in harmony with this.

they said] The pronoun used (ekeinoi) indicates that they are regarded as alien or hostile to the narrator.

Why have ye not brought] Why did ye not bring?John 7:45. Ἐκεῖνοι, they the [former]) the chief priests, whom at John 7:47 the Pharisees interrupt.Verses 45, 46. - In ver. 32 we learn that Pharisees and chief priests had sent "officers" to lay hands on him, to seize their opportunity for an arrest; but, sharing somewhat the outburst of enthusiasm which wavered between his claims to be the Prophet or the Christ, and only subsided for a moment on a miserable and unveracious plea, they did not dare to execute the command of their masters. The officers therefore came to the chief priests and Pharisees (the absence of the article τούς before Φαρισαίους shows that they were regarded as one body, who had charged these officers to undertake the duty in which they signally failed); and they (ἐκεῖνοι, the latter) said to them, Why did ye not bring him? Foiled in their intention to carry out the order of the committee of the council, they return empty handed, and to some extent baffled and chagrined. They had fallen into the dominant enthusiasm of the crowd for a moment. They had heard the shouts which hailed him as the great Prophet, nay, as Messiah himself, and their reply, according to the curtailed text, was, Never man so spake. It matters little whether the additional clause, "as this Man speaks," was in the original text or not, the idea is the same; and it confirms the supposition to which we have often referred - that John only gives us the great sentences which the Divine Lord made the text of a discourse. An overwhelming impression was produced that the Speaker had a deep secret to disclose, vast treasure to bestow, unlimited power to meet the thirst of man, and even to make those who utterly yield to his influence the fountains of benedictions to others. An awe as of unseen things fell on the officers and the people. They could not resist the sense of benediction which, like some sacred perfume, some supernatural glamour, fell upon them in his reval words. "Never man thus spake." The whole experience is new and wonderful. "These sayings of the Prophet of Nazareth are more than words; they have living powers; they have confounded and disarmed us."
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