John 9:9
Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
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(9)He is like him.—The more probable reading is, No; but he is like him. It is not that these speakers agree with some hesitation with those who assert the identity. They oppose to it their own opinion, that it is a case of resemblance only. He himself sets the question at rest by declaring that he is the same person.

The verse, and indeed the whole narrative, is one of the many striking instances of the natural form which is taken by the narrative of one personally acquainted with all the facts. We may suppose that St. John recorded this from the lips of the man himself. We can still see the whole picture;—the man returning, observed by one or two neighbours, who spread the story; the excitement of their curiosity; the question whether he is really the same; some struck by the points of identity in the features, and declaring that he is; others struck by the features of the opened eyes lighting up the whole face, and declaring that he is not; the simple declaration of the man himself, which is at once accepted as decisive—all this passes before us just as it occurred.

9:8-12 Those whose eyes are opened, and whose hearts are cleansed by grace, being known to be the same person, but widely different in character, live as monuments to the Redeemer's glory, and recommend his grace to all who desire the same precious salvation. It is good to observe the way and method of God's works, and they will appear the more wonderful. Apply this spiritually. In the work of grace wrought upon the soul we see the change, but we see not the hand that makes it: the way of the Spirit is like that of the wind, which thou hearest the sound of, but canst not tell whence it comes, nor whither it goes.The neighbours ... - This man seems to have been one who attracted considerable attention. The number of persons totally blind in any community is very small, and it is possible that this was the only blind beggar in Jerusalem. The case was one, therefore, likely to attract attention, and one where there could be no imposture, as he was generally known. 8-15. The neighbours therefore … said, Is not this he that sat and begged—Here are a number of details to identify the newly seeing with the long-known blind beggar. Some conclude it was he, others doubted, but did think he was like him: he puts it out of doubt, and saith that he was the man.

Some said, this is he,.... It is the same man that was blind, and begged:

others said; in one of Beza's copies it is added "no", and so read the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions; though they owned and said,

he is like him. This discourse of the neighbours concerning the blind man restored to sight, resembles the talk that generally is among relations, acquaintance, and neighbours, when anyone belonging to them is called by grace, and converted, saying, what is come to such an one? is he mad or melancholy? he is not the man he was: he is scarcely the same; is it he, or another? what is the matter with him?

but he said, I am he; and so put an end to the dispute between them, by his frank acknowledgment that he was the blind man, and the beggar they before knew as such: so persons enlightened by the Spirit of God, and effectually called by his grace, are very free and ready to acknowledge what they were before conversion, what poor, blind, and miserable, and contemptible creatures they were: Matthew owns himself to have been a publican; and Paul confesses he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an injurious person, and the chief of sinners.

Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.
John 9:9. “Others” but evidently of the same description “said, This is he”. Besides those who were doubtful and those who were certain of his identity there was a third opinion uttered: “He is like him”. Naturally the opened eyes would alter his appearance. The doubts as to his identity were scattered by the man’s decisive ἐγώ εἰμι.

9. Some said] Or, Others said, making three groups of speakers in all.

He is like him] The better reading is, No, but he is like him. The opening of his eyes would greatly change his look and manner: this added to the extreme improbability of a cure made them doubt his identity.


John 9:9. [253] Ὅμοιος, like) Human reason invents and supposes anything, sooner than it will believe a miracle has been wrought: John 9:18, “But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight;” Acts 2:13, “Others mocking, said, These men are full of new wine.” But on that account the more is the truth confirmed.

[253] Ver. 8, οἱ γείτονες, neighbours) the miracle was manifest to all.—V. g.

Verse 9. - Some said, It is he: others, No but he is like him. So great a change might well have provoked inquiry as to his identity, and the two classes of speakers add amazing vivacity to the picture. He (ἐκείνος) - the man who now stood forth as the central object of the excited group (see Westcott for the use of ἐκεῖνος elsewhere in St. John: John 2:21; John 5:11; John 10:6; John 13:30; John 19:21) - rather than "he himself" - he said, I am (he) that sat and begged. The man settles the doubt offhand, I am he. The evidence of identity, if the question be raised, is at once settled. The vivacity and verisimilitude of the scene reduce the labored parallel with St. Paul to literary trifling. John 9:9He said (ἐκεῖνος)

The strong demonstrative throws the man into strong relief as the central figure.

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