John 1:48
New International Version
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."

New Living Translation
“How do you know about me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.”

English Standard Version
Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Berean Study Bible
“How do You know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.”

Berean Literal Bible
Nathanael says to Him, "From where do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip calling you, you being under the fig tree, I saw you."

New American Standard Bible
Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

King James Bible
Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

Christian Standard Bible
“How do you know me? ” Nathanael asked. “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you,” Jesus answered.

Contemporary English Version
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree."

Good News Translation
Nathanael asked him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered, "I saw you when you were under the fig tree before Philip called you."

Holman Christian Standard Bible
How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you," Jesus answered."

International Standard Version
Nathaniel asked him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, while you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

NET Bible
Nathanael asked him, "How do you know me?" Jesus replied, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

New Heart English Bible
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Nathaniel said to him: “From where do you know me?” Yeshua said to him: “Before Phillipus called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Nathanael asked Jesus, "How do you know anything about me?" Jesus answered him, "I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you."

New American Standard 1977
Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
Nathanael said unto him, From where dost thou know me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

King James 2000 Bible
Nathanael said unto him, Where do you know me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

American King James Version
Nathanael said to him, From where know you me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

American Standard Version
Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Nathanael saith to him: Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered, and said to him: Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

Darby Bible Translation
Nathanael says to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.

English Revised Version
Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.

Webster's Bible Translation
Nathanael saith to him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.

Weymouth New Testament
"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. "Before Philip called you," said Jesus, "when you were under the fig-tree I saw you."

World English Bible
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

Young's Literal Translation
Nathanael saith to him, 'Whence me dost thou know?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'Before Philip's calling thee -- thou being under the fig-tree -- I saw thee.'
Study Bible
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
47When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, He said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no deceit.” 48“How do You know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” 49“Rabbi,” Nathanael answered, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”…
Cross References
Matthew 10:3
Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus;

John 1:44
Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the same town as Andrew and Peter.

John 6:5
When Jesus looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, "Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?"

John 6:7
Philip answered, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to have a small piece."

John 12:21
They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and requested of him, "Sir, we want to see Jesus."

John 14:8
Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us."

Treasury of Scripture

Nathanael said to him, From where know you me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before that Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

when.

John 2:25
And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

Genesis 32:24-30
And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day…

Psalm 139:1,2
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me







Lexicon
“How
Πόθεν (Pothen)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 4159: From the base of posis with enclitic adverb of origin; from which or what place, state, source or cause.

do You know
γινώσκεις (ginōskeis)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1097: A prolonged form of a primary verb; to 'know' in a great variety of applications and with many implications.

me?”
με (me)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

Nathanael
Ναθαναήλ (Nathanaēl)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3482: Of Hebrew origin; Nathanael, an Israelite and Christian.

asked.
Λέγει (Legei)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3004: (a) I say, speak; I mean, mention, tell, (b) I call, name, especially in the pass., (c) I tell, command.

Jesus
Ἰησοῦς (Iēsous)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2424: Of Hebrew origin; Jesus, the name of our Lord and two other Israelites.

replied,
Ἀπεκρίθη (Apekrithē)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 611: From apo and krino; to conclude for oneself, i.e. to respond; by Hebraism to begin to speak.

“Before
Πρὸ (Pro)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 4253: A primary preposition; 'fore', i.e. In front of, prior to.

Philip
Φίλιππον (Philippon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5376: From philos and hippos; fond of horses; Philippus, the name of four Israelites.

called
φωνῆσαι (phōnēsai)
Verb - Aorist Infinitive Active
Strong's Greek 5455: From phone; to emit a sound; by implication, to address in words or by name, also in imitation.

you,
σε (se)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

I saw
εἶδόν (eidon)
Verb - Aorist Indicative Active - 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 3708: Properly, to stare at, i.e. to discern clearly; by extension, to attend to; by Hebraism, to experience; passively, to appear.

you
σε (se)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Accusative 2nd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

under
ὑπὸ (hypo)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 5259: A primary preposition; under, i.e. of place, or with verbs; of place (underneath) or where (below) or time (when).

the
τὴν (tēn)
Article - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

fig tree.”
συκῆν (sykēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4808: A fig-tree. From sukon; a fig-tree.
(48) The natural explanation of the verse seems to be that Nathanael was at his own house when Philip called him to hear the glad news of the Messiah. The words rendered "under the fig-tree" include the going there and being there. It was the fig-tree of his own garden (1Kings 4:25; Micah 4; Zechariah 3:10) where, and not at the corners of the streets, or to be seen of men, he was in the honesty of his heart praying to God. Unseen as he thought by any eye, he was seen by Him to whose coming every true Israelite looked, and the answer to the true thought and prayer was then as ever close at hand; but at hand, in the human form in which men find it so hard to read the Divine, and in the ordinary events in which men find it hard to realise God. A travelling Rabbi! He is the Messiah. From Nazareth the All Good cometh! This meeting, then, was not the first. There was an actual Messianic Presence in Nathanael's inmost thought. He is now startled, and asks, "Whence knowest Thou me?" We have never seen each other before. But in the deepest sense, the Messiah was there; "when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee."

Verse 48. - Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Without any title of respect, or admission as yet of any claims or right in him of whom Philip had spoken. There is, in this query, an abruptness of blunt sincerity which to some extent justifies the eulogium upon his innermost life. Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee - irrespective altogether of the excitement he has stirred within thee - when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. "The fig tree" was the type of the Israelite home (1 Kings 4:25; Zechariah 3:10). There, not in the corners of the street, was he accustomed to meditate and pray. The ὄντα clause is in apposition with σε, and (though another translation is grammatical) suggests that Christ saw him under conditions which had nothing whatever to do with those under which Philip called him. Αἰδόν is used for the most part of simple sight, and need not necessarily connote miraculous penetration and recognition of all that was passing in his mind. And yet the obvious intention of the evangelist is to convey more than casual observation. As Weiss says, "What is mentioned is not one isolated glance into the depths of the soul, but past events, along with their outward circumstances, are known to Jesus." "I saw thee" - I have not been ignorant of thee; I watched and thought of thee. The astonishing effect produced by this saying of the Lord has been variously conceived. Some have surmised preternatural optical powers exercised from a distance; others a simple observation without comment at the time when our Lord watched him in one of the places of retirement sacred to solemn meditations and instructions. It seems to me that the occasion to which our Lord referred must have been one of extreme spiritual interest and memorableness to Nathanael; some hour had passed of commanding influence upon his mind - one of those periods of visitation from the living God, when lives are recommenced, when an old world passes away and a new one has been made, of which the lips have never spoken, and which are among the deepest secrets of the soul. It was the conviction that his secret meditation had been surprised, that the unknown Stranger had fathomed the depth of his consciousness, which wrought and wrung the great confession of which we have here a crisp outline. I saw thee; and by this implication I can sympathize in all thy longings, [It is interesting to remember that Rabbi Akiba is described as studying the Law under a fig tree; and Augustine heard the voice which ruled his subsequent life "under a fig tree" ('Conf.,' 8:12, 28); and Buddha's most wonderful convictions and resolves occurred under the bo tree.] 1:43-51 See the nature of true Christianity, it is following Jesus; devoting ourselves to him, and treading in his steps. Observe the objection Nathanael made. All who desire to profit by the word of God, must beware of prejudices against places, or denominations of men. They should examine for themselves, and they will sometimes find good where they looked for none. Many people are kept from the ways of religion by the unreasonable prejudices they conceive. The best way to remove false notions of religion, is to make trial of it. In Nathanael there was no guile. His profession was not hypocritical. He was not a dissembler, nor dishonest; he was a sound character, a really upright, godly man. Christ knows what men are indeed. Does He know us? Let us desire to know him. Let us seek and pray to be Israelites indeed, in whom is no guile; truly Christians, approved of Christ himself. Some things weak, imperfect, and sinful, are found in all, but hypocrisy belongs not to a believer's character. Jesus witnessed what passed when Nathanael was under the fig-tree. Probably he was then in fervent prayer, seeking direction as to the Hope and Consolation of Israel, where no human eye observed him. This showed him that our Lord knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together.
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