Vincent Word Studies - John 10:11 - 10:11

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Vincent Word Studies - John 10:11 - 10:11

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

The good shepherd (ὁ ποιμὴν ὁ καλὸς)

Literally, the shepherd the good (shepherd). Καλὸς, though not of frequent occurrence in John, is more common than ἀγαθός, good, which occurs but four times and three times out of the four in the neuter gender, a good thing, or that which is good. Καλὸς in John is applied to wine (Joh 2:10), three times to the shepherd in this chapter, and twice to works (Joh 10:32, Joh 10:33). In classical usage, originally as descriptive of outward form, beautiful; of usefulness, as a fair haven, a fair wind. Auspicious, as sacrifices. Morally beautiful, noble; hence virtue is called τὸ καλὸν. The New Testament usage is similar. Outwardly fair, as the stones of the temple (Luk 21:5): well adapted to its purpose, as salt (Mar 9:50): competent for an office, as deacons (1Ti 4:6); a steward (1Pe 4:10); a soldier (2Ti 2:3): expedient, wholesome (Mar 9:43, Mar 9:45, Mar 9:47): morally good, noble, as works (Mat 5:16); conscience (Heb 13:18). The phrase it is good, i.e., a good or proper thing (Rom 14:21). In the Septuagint καλὸς is the most usual word for good as opposed to evil (Gen 2:17; Gen 24:50; Isa 5:20). In Luk 8:15, καλὸς and ἀγαθός are found together as epithets of the heart; honest (or virtuous, noble) and good. The epithet καλὸς, applied here to the shepherd, points to the essential goodness as nobly realized, and appealing to admiring respect and affection. As Canon Westcott observes, “in the fulfillment of His work, the Good Shepherd claims the admiration of all that is generous in man.”

Giveth his life (τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ τίθησιν)

The phrase is peculiar to John, occurring in the Gospel and First Epistle. It is explained in two ways: either (1) as laying down as a pledge, paying as a price, according to the classical usage of the word τίθημι. So Demosthenes, to pay interest or the alien tax. Or (2) according to Joh 13:4, as laying aside his life like a garment. The latter seems preferable. Τίθημι, in the sense of to pay down a price, does not occur in the New Testament, unless this phrase, to lay down the life, be so explained. In Joh 13:4, layeth aside His garments (τίδησι τὰ ἱμάτια) is followed, in Joh 13:12, by had taken His garments (ἔλαβε τὰ ἱμάτια). So, in this chapter, giveth (τίδησιν) His life (Joh 10:11), and I lay down (τίδημι) my life (Joh 10:17, Joh 10:18), are followed by λαβεῖν “to take it again.” The phrases τὴν ψυχὴν He laid down His life, and τὰς ψυχὰς θεῖναι to lay down our lives, occur in 1Jo 3:16. The verb is used in the sense of laying aside in the classics, as to lay aside war, shields, etc. Compare Mat 20:28, δοῦναι τὴν ψυχὴν, to give His life.

For the sheep (ὑπὲρ)

On behalf of.