Vincent Word Studies - John 1:39 - 1:39

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Vincent Word Studies - John 1:39 - 1:39

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

See (ἴδετε)

But the correct reading is ὄψεσθε, ye shall see.

They came

The best texts add οὖν, therefore. So Rev. This connecting particle is found in John's Gospel as often as in the other three combined, and most commonly in narrative, marking the transition from one thing to another, and serving to connect the several parts of the narrative. See Joh 1:22; Joh 2:18; Joh 3:25; Joh 4:28, Joh 4:30, etc. Much more frequently thus than in the discourses, where it would be used to mark a sequence of thought. Still such instances occur, as Joh 4:21, Joh 4:25; Joh 3:29; Joh 8:5; Joh 4:11.

He dwelt (μένει)

The present tense. Literally, they saw where he dwelleth. For a similar construction see Joh 2:9; Joh 4:1; Act 10:18, etc.

Tenth hour

The question is whether this is to be reckoned according to the Jewish or the Roman method of computation. The Jewish method, employed by the other Evangelists, begins the day at sunrise; so that, according to this, the tenth hour would be four o'clock in the afternoon. The Roman method, like our own, reckons from midnight; according to which the tenth hour would be ten o'clock in the morning. The weight of the argument seems, on the whole, to be in favor of the Jewish method, which is undoubtedly assumed by John in Joh 11:9. The Greeks of Asia Minor, for whom John wrote, had the Jewish method, received from the Babylonians. Godet cites an incident from the “Sacred Discourses” of Aelius Aristides, a Greek sophist of the second century, and a contemporary of Polycarp. God having commanded him to take a bath, he chose the sixth hour as the most favorable to health. It being winter, and the bath a cold one, the hour was midday; for he said to his friend who kept him waiting, “Seest thou the shadow is already turning?” Even Canon Westcott, who advocates the Roman method, admits that “this mode of reckoning was unusual in ancient times,” and that “the Romans and Greeks, no less than the Jews, reckoned their hours from sunrise,” though the Romans reckoned their civil days from midnight, and the tenth hour is named as a late hour, when soldiers took their repast or were allowed to rest. Thus Livy, in his account of the Roman attack on Sutrium says, “About the tenth hour the consul ordered his men a repast, and gave directions that they should be ready in arms at whatever time of the day or night he should give the signal.... After refreshing themselves, they consigned themselves to rest” (9, 37).

Aristophanes says, “When the shadow on the dial is ten feet long, then go to dinner” (“Ecclesiazusae,” 648), and Horace, “You will dine with me today. Come after the ninth hour” (“Epistle,” Bk. 1., vii., 69). It is objected that the time from four o'clock to the close of the day would not have been described as that day; but beyond the marking of the specific hour of accompanying Jesus as the first hour of his Christian life, John would not have been unlikely to use a looser and more popular form of speech in indicating the length of the stay with Jesus, meaning simply that they remained with him during the remainder of the day, and, no doubt, prolonged their conversation into the night.