And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who you say was born blind? how then does he now see?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Is this your son, who ye say was born blind?—The “ye” is emphatic; ye say he was born blind, as opposed to us, for we do not believe it. There are three questions. Is this your son? Do ye still say that he was born blind? which is incredible, as he now possesses the faculty of sight (John 9:32). If you do, how do you account for the fact that he now sees?
How then doth he now see?—Their question means—“How does it come to pass, since he was born blind, that he all at once seeth?” The word rendered “now,” here and in John 9:21; John 9:25, conveys the idea of the suddenness of the change which had taken place.
1. Whether he was their son?
2. Whether they would affirm that he was born blind? and,
3. Whether they knew by what means he now saw?
They evidently intended to intimidate the parents, so that they might give an answer to one of these questions that would convict the man of deception. We see here the art to which men will resort rather than admit the truth. Had they been half as much disposed to believe on Jesus as they were to disbelieve, there would have been no difficulty in the case. And so with all men: were they as much inclined to embrace the truth as they are to reject it, there would soon be an end of cavils.
1. Whether this was their son?
2. Whether (as they said) he was indeed born blind?
3. How he came now to see?
The manner of the propounding their question,
who ye say, lets us know what answer they would have had, and that they did not send for the parents of this blind man out of a desire to know the naked truth of the thing, but hoping to fright them into a speaking doubtfully (at least) whether it was their son, yea or no; or whether he was stark blind when he was born, yea or no. But, alas! The providence of God ordering his condition to be so poor, that he was glad to beg for his livelihood, made this design vain, would his parents have gratified the Pharisees by any shuffling and indirect answer.
who ye say was born blind; this contains a second question, whether, if this was their son, he was born blind or not; and if he was not born blind, though he had been blind, it would have greatly lessened the miracle: and besides, they would have put other questions upon this, whether his blindness was real, and by what means it came. Next follows a third question,
how then doth he now see? By what means has he received his sight? They might hope, that if he was their son, and was really born blind, that he had his sight some other way than by Jesus; or they might object this to his being born, blind, as being a thing impossible, or at least not credible that he should ever see, was that the case.And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)John 9:19-21. To the two questions put in John 9:19 exactly corresponding answers are returned in John 9:20-21; the second, however, twice nesciendo.
ὃν ὑμεῖς λέγετε] opposed to the personal unbelief of the questioners; ὅν as in John 6:71.
πῶς] how does it happen that?
οὖν] as it is alleged that he was born blind.
John 9:20. πῶς δὲ ἄρτι βλέπει, ἀγνοεῖν λέγουσι, φοβούμενοι τοὺς Ἰουδαίους. Ἔξω κινδύνου καθιστῶντες ἑαυτοὺς, ἐπὶ τὸν τεθεραπευμένον παραπέμπουσι τὴν ἐρώτησιν, ὡς ἀξιοπιστότερον αὐτῶν ἐν τῷ τοιούτῳ ζητήματι, Euth. Zigabenus.
ἡμεῖς] opposed to the αὐτός … αὐτόν … αὐτός, afterwards thrice repeated, and asyndetically, with passionate emphasis. ἡλικίαν ἔχει] he himself is of full age; comp. Herod. 3. 36, 7. 18; Thuc. 8. 75; Polyb. 9. 23. 9, al. See Kypke, I. p. 387; Loesner, p. 150.
αὐτὸς περὶ αὐτοῦ] he will himself speak concerning himself. αὐτοῦ with the Spir. lenis. Buttm. Neut. Gr. p. 97 f. [E. T. p. 112]).19. Three questions in legal form. Is this your son? Was he born blind? How does he now see?
who ye say] Emphasis on ‘ye,’ implying ‘we do not believe it;’ literally, of whom ye say that he was born blind.John 9:19. Πῶς βλέπει) How it has happened, that he sees.
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