He answered them, I have told you already, and you did not hear: why would you hear it again? will you also be his disciples?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)I have told you already, and ye did not hear.—The man becomes weary of this cross-questioning, the purpose of which is sufficiently clear to him. His first answer was in the fewest possible words (John 9:15, compared with John 9:7), and even these he will not repeat. There is some difficulty about the meaning of the word “hear” in the two clauses of this verse. When the man says “Ye did not hear,” we naturally understand “did not heed;” but when he goes on to say, “Wherefore would ye hear it again? the word clearly has its ordinary sense of hearing. The same word occurs in the two clauses in the Greek, just as it does in the English, and we are scarcely justified in giving it two distinct meanings. If we were to read both clauses as questions, we should avoid this difficulty, and get a sense which would suit the evident feeling of the man. He is impatient, and expresses this in a series of rapid questions. “I have told you already, and did ye not hear? wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be His disciples?”
Will ye also be his disciples?—The words refer, probably, to some who are His disciples, not to the man himself as being, or being ready to become, a disciple. This is a further stage of his spiritual education which is to follow, but has not yet arrived (John 9:35-38). The man must have known of the existence of a band of disciples, who indeed in his presence had questioned their Master concerning him (John 9:2), and it is not unlikely that while the parents were being questioned, the son may have learnt more concerning the work of Christ. The question puts the irony in the severest form, “Surely ye also do not wish to become His disciples?” It may have been designed, or may only have been as an arrow drawn at a venture; but there must have been among those of whom it was asked, men who tried in vain to encase themselves in the armour of authority, which would repel his shaft and silence him. It must have gone through the joints of the harness and pierced to the hearts of men like Nicodemus, who were half-disciples without the “courage of their convictions.” Here was the blind beggar making an open avowal of that which the Pharisees and rulers dared only to confess by night (John 3:2).John 9:15,
and ye did not hear; the Vulgate Latin version reads, and ye have heard; and so some copies of Stephens's; that is, an account had been given of the manner how his eyes were opened, and they had heard the account with their bodily ears, though not with the ears of their minds; and therefore, according to most copies and versions, it is read, "ye did not hear"; did not regard it, or give credit to it; and so the Persic version renders it, "and ye have not believed"; they would not believe the man had been blind, until they sent for his parents; much less would they believe the account of his cure:
wherefore would ye hear it again? once is sufficient, especially since the former account has been disregarded and discredited: their view could not be their own information but to baffle and confound the man, if they could. The Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions leave out the word "again", and only read, "wherefore would ye hear?" what end can you have in it? of what avail would it be? or what purpose can be answered by it?
will ye also be his disciples? as many whom you call ignorant and accursed people are, and as I myself desire to be. This he might say either in an ironical and sarcastic way; or else seriously, suggesting, that if they were willing to examine into this fact, with upright views and sincere intentions, that should it appear to be a true miracle, they would become the disciples and followers of Jesus, then he would, with all his heart, relate the account to them over and over again, or as often as they pleased.He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. I have told you] Rather, I told you.
and ye did not hear] Or possibly, and did ye not hear? This avoids taking ‘hear’ in two different senses; (1) ‘pay attention,’ (2) ‘hear.’ The man loses all patience, and will not go through it again.
wherefore would ye hear] Or, wherefore do ye wish to hear.
will ye also, &c.] Or, Surely ye also do not wish to become His disciples. The form of the question is similar to that in John 6:67 and John 7:52 (comp. John 4:29, John 7:35). Moreover, it is not the future tense, but the verb ‘to will’ or ‘wish’ (comp. John 5:40, John 6:67, John 7:17, John 8:44). Lastly, the difference between ‘be’ and ‘become’ is easily preserved here, and is worth preserving (comp. John 8:58). The meaning of ‘also’ has been misunderstood. It can scarcely mean ‘as well as I:’ the man has not advanced so far in faith as to count himself a disciple of Jesus; and if he had, he would not avow the fact to the Jews. ‘Also’ means ‘as well as His well-known disciples.’ That Christ had a band of followers was notorious.John 9:27. Τί, why) wherefore?—και ὑμεῖς ye also) He confesses that he wishes to become a disciple of Jesus.—θέλετε, do ye wish) A sweet and becoming irony. [And indeed it is right, that he, who wishes to become a disciple of Christ, should resort to anxious investigation. The truth does not shrink from it.—V. g.]Verse 27. - He answered them, I told you already, and ye did not hear (the Italic Versions and the Vulgate here omit the negation, which De Wette says would be caster of comprehension; but as it stands, the sentence is equivalent to "you had no ears, you took no heed, if you had already listened to the simple facts"): wherefore would ye hear it again? You will pay no more heed now than then; or do ye want to transform it into a charge? There is another alternative, stated in either humble pleading or ironical retort, according as we interpret the καί. The next question is either,
(1) (Lutbardt) Would you also be his disciples, like the many multitudes who are shouting his praise? is that your bent? surely not! or
(2) it may mean, Is it possible that it is in your mind, not only to find out all about the how of this great miracle, but also to become his disciples? Neither of these interpretations is perfectly consistent with his taunt, "ye did not hear." Therefore
(3) (Bengel) the most natural meaning is, Would ye also, as well as myself, the poor beggar, become his disciples? (so Westcott, Moulton, and Lange). The poor man was roused, ironical, and ready, notwithstanding the threat of the great excommunication hanging over him, to announce his own discipleship to any extent and at any risk.
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