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The miraculous draught of fishes. Peter is CHAP. XXI.
questioned concerning his love to Christ.
8 And the other disciples came in a | 12 | Jesus saith unto them, ^ Come A. M. 4033. An. Olymp. little ship; (for they were not far from and dine. And none of the disciples An. Olymp.
CCII, 1. land, but as it were two hundred cu- durst ask him, Who art thou ? knowbits,) dragging the net with fishes.
ing that it was the Lord. 9 As soon then as they were come to land, 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid giveth them, and fish likewise. thereon, and bread.
14 This is now the third time that Jesus 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish shewed himself to his disciples, after that he which
was risen from the dead. 11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net 15 | So when they had dined, Jesus saith to to land full of great fishes, an hundred and Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou fifty and three: and for all there were so many, me more than these? He saith unto him, yet was not the net broken.
Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.
the land, (about one hundred and thirty-two English yards) it Durst ask him] Ever since the confession of Thomas, a is possible that Peter only stepped into the water, that he proper awe of the deity of Christ had possessed their minds. might assist them to draw the boat to land, which was now Verse 13. And giveth them) Eating likewise with them, as heavily laden. It is not likely that he went into the water in Luke expressly says : chap. xxiv. 43. order to swim ashore ; had he intended this, it is not to be sup- Verse 14. This is now the third time] That is, this was the posed that he would have put his great coat on, which must third time he appeared unto the apostles, when all or most of have been an essential hindrance to him in getting to shore. them were together. He appeared to ten of them, chap. XX.
Verse 8. Dragging the net] It is probable that this was that 19. again to eleven of them, ver. 26. and at this time to species of fishing in which the net was stretched from the
seven of them, ver. 2. of this chapter. But when the other shore out into the sea ; the persons who were in the boat, Evangelists are collated, we shall find that this was the seventh and who shot the net, fetched a compass, and bringing in a time in which he had manifested himself after he arose from hawser, which was attached to the other end of the net, those the dead. Ist. He appeared to Mary of Magdala, Mark who were on shore helped them to drag it in. As the net i xvi. 9. John xx. 15, 16. 2ndly. To the holy women who was sunk with weights to the bottom, and the top floated on came from the tomb, Matt. xxviii. 9. 3dly. To the two the water by corks, or pieces of light wood, all the fish that disciples who went to Emmaus, Luke xxiv. 13, &c. Athly. happened to coine within the compass of the net were of To St. Peter alone, Luke xxiv. 34. 5thly. To the ten in the course dragged to shore. The sovereign power of Christ had absence of Thomas, chap. xx. 19. 6thly. Eight days after in this case miraculously collected the fish to that part, where to the eleven, Thomas being present, ver. 26. 7thly. To the he ordered the disciples to cast the net.
seven, mentioned in ver. 2. of this chapter; which was beVerse 9. They sud a fire, &c.] This appears to have been tween the eighth and fortieth day after his resurrection. Be. a new miracle. It could not have been a fire which the dis-, sides these seven appearances, he shewed himself, Sthly. to ciples had there, for it is remarked, as something new; besides, the disciples on a certain mountain in Galilee, Matt. xxviii. they had caught no fish : ver. 5. and here was a small fish 16. If the appearance mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 6. upon the coals; and a loaf of bread provided to eat with it. The to upwards of 500 brethren at once, if this be not the same whole appears to have been miraculously prepared by Christ. with his appearance on a mountain in Galilee, it must be
Verse 12. Come and dine.] Acuts egismoats. Though this is considered the ninth. According to the same apostle, he was the literal translation of the word, yet it must be observed seen of James, I Cor. xv. 7. which may have been the tenth that it was not dinner time, being as yet early in the morning: appearance. And after this, to all the apostles, when, at ver. 4. but Kypke has largely shewn that the original word is Bethany, he ascended to heaven in their presence. See Mark used by Homer, Xenophon, and Plutarch, to signify breakfast ; xvi. 19, 20. Luke xxiv. 50–53. Acts i. 3–12. I Cor. xv. 7. or any early meal, as well as what we term dinner. It might This appears to have been the eleventh time iņ which he perhaps appear singular, otherwise it would be as agreeable to distinctly manifested himself after his resurrection. But the use of the Greek word, to have translated it come and break- there might have been many other manifestations, which fast.
the Evangelists have not thought proper to enumerate, as Peter is commissioned to
feed Chrisťs lambs and sheep.
A. M. 4933. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. || Lord, thou knowest all things; thou A. 11.483.
16 He saith to him again the second knowest that I love thee. . Jesus saith An. Olymp. CCII. 1.
time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou unto him, Feed my sheep. me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou know- 18 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When est that I love thee. ^ He saith unto him, Feed thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and my sheep.
walkedst whither thou wouldest : but when 17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was griev- hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry ed because he said unto him the third time, thee whither thou wouldest not. Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, 19 This spake he, signifying "by what death
* Acts 20. 28.' Heb. 13. 20. 1 Pet. 2. 25. & 5.2, 4.
b Ch. 2. 24, 95. & 16. 50.-ch. 18. 36. Aets 12. 3, 4.- ? Pet. 1. 14
not being connected with any thing of singular weight or There is another remarkable change of terms in this place. importance.
In ver. 15, and 17. our Lord uses the verb Berxew to feed, and Verse 15. Simon-lovest thou me] Peter had thrice denied in ver. 16. he uses the word 70.Law, which signifies to tend his Lord, and now Christ gives him an opportunity in some a flock, not only to feed, but to take care of, guide, godern, measure to repair his fault by a triple confession.
defend, &c. by which he seems to intimate, that it is not More than these?) This was a kind of reproach to Peter : sufficient merely to offer the bread of life to the congregation he had professed a more affectionate attachment to Christ of the Lord, but he must take care that the sheep be prothan the rest; he had been more forward in making properly collected, attended to, regulated, guided, &c. and it apfessions of friendship and love than any of the others; and pears that Peter perfectly comprehended our Lord's meaning, no one (Judas excepted) had treated his Lord so basely. and saw that it was a direction given not only to him, and As he had before intimated that his attachment to his Master to the rest of the disciples, but to all their successors in the was more than that of the rest, our Lord now puts the ques- | Christian ministry; for himself says, 1 Epist. chap. v. 2. Feed lion to bim, Dost thou love me more than these? To which the flock of God, (Toppe XYETE TO TOMOY TOU @:0v,) which is Peter made the most modest reply-Thou knowest I love thee, among you, taking the oversight, (TUTKOTOUTTES, acting as subut no longer dwells on the strength of his love, nor compares perintendants and guardians) not by constraint, but willingly; himself with even the meanest of his brethren. He had be- not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. Every spiritual fore cast a very unkind reflection on his brethren, Though shepherd of Christ, has a flock composed of LAMRS, young all be offended because of thee, yet I will never be offended, converts; and sheep, experienced Christians, to feed, guide, Matt. xxvi. 33. But he had now learnt by dreadful expe- || regulate, and govern. To be properly qualified for this, his rience, that he who trusteth his own heart is a fool; and wisdom and holiness should always exceed those of his flock. that a man's sufficiency for good is of the Lord alone. Who is sufficient for these things? The man who lives a
The words more than these, Bishop Pearce thinks refer to God, and God in him. the provisions they were eating, or to their secular employ- To the answer of Christ in ver. 16. the latter Syriac adds, ments; for, says he, “ It does not seem probable that Jesus If thou lovest me and esteemest me, feed my sheep. should put a question to Peter which he could not possibly Verse 17. Peter was griered] Fearing, says St. Chrysosanswer : because he could only know his own degree of love tom, lest Christ saw something in his heart wiich he saw not for Jesus, not that of the other disciples.” But it appears himself; and which might lead to another fall: and that to me that our Lord refers to the profession made by Peter, Christ was about to tell him of it, as he had before prewhich I have quoted above.
dicted his denial. It is remarkable, that in these three questions our Lord Verse 18. Thou shalt stretch forth thy hands] Wetstein obuses the verb ayataw, which signifies to love affectionately, ar- serves, that it was a custom at Rome to put the necks of dently, supremely, perfectly; see the note on Matt. xxi. 37. and those who were to be crucified, into a yoke, and to stretch that Peter always replies, using the verb Qonew, which signifies out their hands and fasten them to the end of it, and having to love, to like, to regard, to feel friendship for another. As thus led them through the city, they were carried out to if our Lord had said, “ Peter, dost thou love me ardently be crucified. See his note on this place. Thus then Peter and supremely?” To which he answers, “Lord, I feel an was girded, chained, and carried whither he would not-not affection for thee I do esteem thee-but dare, at present, that he was unwilling to die for Christ, but he was a man, he did say no more.”
not love death; but he loved his life less than he loved his God.
The end for which this
gospel has been wrilten.
A.M. 4038 he should glorify God. And when he || brethren, that that disciple should not A. M. 4055. An. Olymp. had spoken this, he saith unto him,die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He Au. Olymp. Follow me.
shall not die; but, if I will that he 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the dis- tarry till I come, what is that to thee? ciple ` whom Jesus loved, following; which also 24 | This is the disciple which testifieth of leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, these things, and wrote these things: and we which is he that betrayeth thee?
know that his testimony is true. 21 Peter seeing him, saith to Jesus, Lord, 25 And there are also many other things and what shall this man do?
which Jesus did, the which, if they should be 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he written every one, I suppose that even the tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow world itself could not contain the books that thou me.
should be written. Amen.23 Then went this saying abroad among the
Ch. 19. 35. 3 John 12. ch. 20. 50,-- Amos 7. 10.
* Ch. 13. 23, 25. & 20. 2.---_b Matt. 16. 27, 28. & 25. 31. 1 Cor. 4. 5. &
11. 26. Rev. 2. 25. & 3. 11. & 22. 7, 20.
Verse 19. Should glorify God.] Ancient writers state that, | answer stated that John should remain in that place, till Christ about thirty-four years after this, Peter was crucified; and and Peter returned to him: and to this meaning of the passe that he deemed it so glorious a thing to die for Christ, that | age many eminent critics incline. For nearly eighteen hunhe begged to be crocified with his head downwards, not con- || dred years, the greatest men in the world have been puzzled sidering himself worthy to die in the same posture in which with this passage. It would appear intolerable in me to his Lord did. So Eusebius, Prudentius, Chrysostom, and Au- | attempt to decide where so many eminent doctors have disgustin. See Calmet.
agreed, and do still disagree. I rather lean to the fourth Follow me.] Whether our Lord meant by these words that opinion. See the conclusion of the Preface to this Gospel. Peter was to walk with him a little way for a private inter- Verse 24. This is the disciple] It is, I think, very likely view; or whether he meant that he was to imitate his example, that these two verses were added by some of the believers or be conformed to bim in the manner of his death, is very | at that time, as a testimony to the truth of the preceding uncertain.
narration;—and I allow with Bishop Pearce and others, that Verse 22. If I will that he tarry till I come] There are it is possible that John may mean himself when he says we several opinions concerning this; the following are the prin- know, &c. yet I think that it is very unlikely. It is certain that cipal. 1. Some have concluded from these words, that John this Gospel loses no part of its authority in admitting the should never die. Many eminent men, ancients, and moderns, | suffrage of the church of God: it rather strengthens the imhave been, and are of this opinion. 2. Orbers thought that portant truths which are delivered in it; and in the mouths of our Lord intimated that John should live till Christ came to so many witnesses the sacred matters which concern the judge and destroy Jerusalem. On this opinion it is observed, peace and salvation of the world, are still more abundantly. that Peter who was the oldest of the apostles died in the year established. See the last note on the preceding chapter. 67, which, says Calmet, was six years before the destruction of We know] Instead of ondajev, we know, some have written. Jerusalem, and that John survived the ruin of that city aboutonda MevI know indeed; but this is mere conjecture, and is thirty years; he being the only one of the twelve, who was worthy of no regard. It is likely that these verses were alive when the above desolation took place. 3. St. Augustin, added by those to whom John gave his work in charge. Bede, and others understood the passage thus : If I will that Verse 25. Many other things] Before his disciples, is added he remain till I come and take him away by a natural death, i by two MSS. The Scholia in several MSS. intimate that this what is that to thee, follow thou me to thy crucifixion. On verse is an addition ; but it is found in every ancient Version, this it may be observed, that all antiquity agrees, that John, and in Origen, Cyril, and Chrysostom. if he did die, was the only disciple who was taken away by Could not contain, &c.] Origen's signification of the word a natural death. 4. Others imagine, that our Lord was only 1 xwgssy is, to admit of, or receive fatourably. As if he had now taking Peter aside, to speak something to him in private, said, the miracles of Christ are so many, and so astonishing, and that Peter seeing John following, wished to know whe- || that if the whole were to be detailed, the world would not ther he should come along with them; and that our Lord's || receive the account with proper faith--but enough is re.
Concluding observations on
the nature of hyperboles.
δε πολυς νομος
corded that men may believe that Jesus is the Son of God,
gydo ExQx. and that in believing they may have life through his name;
Οπποιον και ειπησθα επος, τοιον και επακουσαις. chap. xx. 31.
Iliad. xx. v.
214-250. We have already seen that this apostle often uses the term
But wherefore should we longer waste the time world to designate the Jewish people only; and if it have this
In idle prate; while battle roars around? sense here, which is possible, it will at once vindicate the above
Reproach is cheap. With ease we might discharge exposition of the word xwgsrv. As if he had said, were I to
Gibes at each other, till a ship that asks detail all the signs and miracles which Jesus did among his
An hundred oars, should sink beneath the load. disciples, and in the private families where he sojourned; the
The tongue of man is voluble, hath words Jewish people themselves would not receive nor credit these
For every theme, nor wants wide field and long; accounts: but enough is written to prove that this Christ was
And as he speaks, so shall he hear again. the promised Messiah.
Cowper. Bp. Pearce has a very judicious note here, of which what follows is an abstract, with a few additions.
Few instances of any thing like these have been found in Even the world itself, &c. This is a very strong eastern ex
the western world, and yet it has been observed that Cicero in pression to represent the number of miracles which Jesus
Philip. II. 44. uses a similar form : Præsertim cum illi eam wrought. But however strong and strange this expression
gloriam consecuti sunt, quæ vix cælu capi posse videaturmay seem to us of the western world, we find sacred and other
especially when they pursued that glory which heaven itself authors using hyperboles of the like kind and signification.
seems scarcely suficient to contain.” And Livy also, in vii. 25. In Numb. xiii. 33. the spies who returned from the search of
Hæ vires populi Romani, quas vix terrarum capit orbisthe land of Canaan, say that they saw giants there of such a
“these energies of the Roman people, which the terraqueous prodigious size that they were in their own sight as grass
globe can scarcely contain." koppers. In Dan. iv. 11. mention is made of a tree, whereof
We may define hyperbole thus: it is a figure of speech where the height reached unto the heaven ; and the sight thereof unto
more seems to be said than is intended ; and it is well known
that the Asiatic nations abound in these. In Deut. i. 28. cities the end of all the earth. And the author of Ecclesiasticus, in chap. xlvii. 15. speaking of Solomon's wisdom, says, Thy soul
with high walls round about them, are said to be walled up covered the whole earth, and thou filledst it with parables : so
to heaven. Now what is the meaning of this hyperbole? here, by one degree more of hyperbole, it is said that the world
Why, that the cities had very high walls—then, is the hywould not contain all the books which should be written con
perbole a truth? Yes, for we should attach no other idea cerning Jesus's miracles, if the particular account of every them. Now, the author of this expression never designed
to these expressions, than the authors intended to convey by one of them were given. In Josephus, Antiq. lib. xix. c. 20.
to intimate that the cities had walls which reached to heaven; God is mentioned as promising to Jacob that he would give the land of Canaan to him and his seed; and then it is added, o
nor did one of his countrymen understand it in this sense
they affixed no other idea to it, (for the words, in common use, πληρoυσι πασαν, όσην ηλιος ορα, και γην και θαλασσαν. They shall fill all, whatsoever the sun illuminates, whether earth or sea. Philo
conveyed no other) than that these cities had very high walls. in his Tract De Ebriet. T. i. p. 362. 10. is observed to speak | When John, therefore, wrote the world itself could not conafter the same manner, ουδε γας των δωρεων ικανος ουδεις χωρησαι
tain the books, &c. what would every Jew understand by it? το αφθονον πληθος, ισος δ' ουδ' ο κοσμος. Neither is any one able
Why, that if every thing which Christ had done and said, to contain the vast abundance of gifts ; nor is the world capable had ever been written concerning any one person or subject :
were to be written, the books would be more in number than of it. And in his tract De Posterit. Caini, T. i. p. 253. I. 38.
i.e. there would be an immense number of books. And so he says, speaking of the fulness of God, Oude
γαρ εις (ει) πλουτον επιδεικνυσθαι βουληθει η του εαυτου, χως ησαι αν ηπειρωθεισης και
there would, for it is not possible that the ten thousandth θαλαττης, η συμπασα γη.
“ And should he will to draw part of the words and actions of such a life as our Lord's out his fulness, the whole compass of sea and land could not
was, could be contained in the compass of one or all of these
gospels. contain it." Homer, who, if not born in Asia Minor, had undoubtedly writers, and inserted !oy Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, liv. il.
There is a hyperbole very like this, taken from the Jewish lived there, has sometimes followed the hyperbolic manner of writers, and inserted lsy Basnage, Hist. des Juifs, lic. iii.
c. i. s. 9. “ Jochanan succeeded Simeon-he attained the speaking, which prevailed so much in the East, as in Iliad. b. xx. he makes Eneas say to Achilles,
age of Moses-he employed forty years in commerce, and
in pleading before the Sanhedrin. He composed such a great Αλλ' αγε μηκέτι ταυτα λεγαμεθα, νηπυτιοι ως,
number of precepts and lessons, that if the heavens were paper, Εταοτ' εν μεσση υσμινη δηιοτητος. .
and all the trees of the forest so many pens, and all the children Ει γας αμφοτεροισιν ονειδεα μυθηασθαι
of men so many scribes, they would not suffice to write all his Πολλα μαλ' ουδ' αν νηυς εκατονζυγος αχθος αροιτο. lessons.” Now what meaning did the author of this hyperΣτρεπτη δε γλωσσ' εςι βροτων, πολεις δ' ενι μυθοι,
bole intend to convey? Why that Jochanan had given more
On the word Amen, and the
subscriptions at the end of this gospel.
essons than all his contemporaries or predecessors. Nor does Our Lord begins many of his discourses with this word, any Jew in the universe understand the words in any other either singly, Amen, I say unto you; or doubled, amen, amen,
It is worthy of remark, that this Jochanan lived in || I say unto you, which we translate verily: as Christ uses it, we the time of St. John; for he was in Jerusalem when it was may ever understand it as expressing an absolute and incontrobesieged by Vespasian. See Basnage, as above.
vertible truth. Instances of the use of the single term frequentThere is another quoted by the same author, ibid. c. v. ly occur, see Matt. v. 18, 26. vi. 2,5, 16. viii. 10. x. 15, 23, s. 7. where, speaking of Eliezar one of the presidents of the 42. &c. &c.; but it is remarkable that it is doubled by St. John, Sanhedrin, it is said; “ Although the firmament were vellum, see chap. i. 51. iii. 3, 5, 11. v. 19, 24, 25. vi. 26, 32, 47, 53. and the waters of the ocean were changed into ink, it would viii. 34, 51, 58. x.1,7. xii. 24. xiii. 16, 20, 21, 38. xiv. 12. not be suficient to describe all the knowledge of Eliezar ; for xvi. 20, 23. xxi. 18. and is never found iterated by any of the he made not less than three hundred constitutions concerning other Evangelists. Some have supposed that the word yox is the manner of cultivating cucumbers.” Now, what did the contructed, and contains the initials of joys the 478 Adonai Rabbin mean by this hyperbole? Why no more than that Malec Neeman, my Lord the faithful King; to whom the perEliezar was the greatest naturalist in his time; and had son who uses it is always understood to make his appeal. written and spoken more on that subject and others, than Christ is himself called the Amen, ó Ap.my, Rev. i. 18. iii. 14. beany of his contemporaries. This Eliezar flourished about cause of the eternity of his nature and the unchangeableness of seventy-three years after Christ. It is farther worthy of re- his truth. In later ages, it was placed at the end of all the mark, that this man also is stated to have lived in the time books in the New Testament except the Acts, the Epistle of of St. Job. John is supposed to have died A. D. 99. James, and the third Epistle of John, merely as the tran
Hyperboles of this kind, common to the East and to the scriber's attestation to their truth; and perhaps, it is someWest, to the North and to the South, may be found every times to be understood as vouching to the fidelity of his own where; and no soul is puzzled with them but the critics. transcript. The above examples, I trust, are sufficient to vindicate and The subscriptions to this Gospel, as well as to the preceding explain the words in the text. It is scarcely necessary to Gospels
, are various in the different Versions and Manuscripts. add, that the commou French expression, tout le monde, || The following are those which appear most worthy of being which literally means the whole world, is used in a million noticed. of instances to signify the people present at one meeting, or “ The most holy Gospel of the preaching of John the the majority of them; and often the members of one par-| Evangelist, which he spake and proclaimed in the Greek ricular family. And yet no man who under:tands the lan-language at Ephesus, is finished.”-Syurac in Bib. Polyglott. guage ever imagines, that any besides the congregation in “ With the assistance of the supreme God, the Gospel of the one case, or the family in the other, is intended.
St. John the son of Zebedee, the beloved of the Lord, and Amen.] This word is omitted by ABCD. several others; the preacher of eternal life, is completed. And it is the Syriac, all the Arabic, and both the Persic; the Coptic, Sa- conclusion of the four most holy and vivifying Gospels, by hidic, Æthiopic, Armenian, Syriac Hierus. Vulgate, and all the blessing of God. Amen.”--Arabic in Bib. Polyglott. the Itala but three.
“ The four glorious Gospels, of Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and Jolin, are completed.”—Persic in Bib. Polyglott. The word yox amen, which has passed unaltered into almost Other subscriptions are as follow. all the languages of the world in which the sacred writings are “The end of the holy Gospel of John-delivered thirty extant, is pure Hebrew; and siguifies to be steady, constant, || years—thirty-two years after the ascension of Christ in the firm, established, or confirmed. It is used as a particle of affirm- | Isle of Patmos—in the Greek tongue at Ephesus—under the ation and adjuration. When a person was sworn to the truth reign of Domitian-written by John when he was an exile of any fact, the oath was recited to him, and he bound himself in Patmos—under the Emperor Trajan—and delivered in by simply saying, 798 728, amen, amen. See an instance of Ephesus by Gaius the host of the apostles. John having rethis, Num. v. 22. In Deut. xxvii. 15—26. it is to be under- || turned from his exile in Patmos, composed his Gospel being stood in the same sense; the persons who use it binding them- 100 years of age, and lived to the age of 120."-Suidas. selves under the curse there pronounced, should they do any It may be just necessary to inform the Reader that the of the things there prohibited. It is often used as a particle most ancient MSS. have scarcely any subscription at all, and of affirmation, approbation, and consent, examples of which that there is no dependence to be placed on any thing of frequently occur in the Old Testament. When any person this kind that is found in the others; most of the transcribers commenced a discourse or testimony with this word, it was making conclusions according to their different fancies. See considered in the light of an oath; as if he had said, I pledge the concluding note of the preceding chapter; and see the my truth, my honour, and my life to the certainty of what | Preface to this Gospel, where other subjects relative to it, are I now state.