Vincent Word Studies - John 10:16 - 10:16

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Vincent Word Studies - John 10:16 - 10:16

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Fold (αὐλῆς)

From ἄω, to blow, hence, strictly, a place open to the air; an uncovered space enclosed by a wall. So Homer, of the cave of the Cyclops:

“But when we came upon that neighboring coast,

We saw upon its verge beside the sea

A cave high-vaulted, overbrowed with shrubs

Of laurel. There much cattle lay at rest,

Both sheep and goats. Around it was a court (αὐλή),

A high enclosure of hewn stone.”

“Odyssey,” ix., 181-186.

Dr. Thomson says: “The low building on the hill-side which we have just passed, with arches in front, and its enclosure protected by a rubble wall and thorny hedge, is a sheepfold or marah.... The marahs are generally built in a valley, or on the sunny side of a hill, where they are sheltered from the winter winds. In ordinary weather the sheep and goats are gathered at night into the enclosed yard; but when the nights are cold and stormy the flocks are shut up in the marah. The sharp thorn-bushes on the top of the wall that surrounds the yard are a defense which the prowling wolf will rarely attempt to scale. The leopard and panther of this country, however, when pressed with hunger, will sometimes overleap this thorny hedge, and with one bound land amongst the frightened fold” (“Central Palestine and Phoenicia,” p. 591). Compare Homer:

“As a lion who has leaped

Into a fold - and he who guards the flock

Has wounded but not slain him - feels his rage

Waked by the blow; - the affrighted shepherd then

Ventures not near, but hides within the stalls.

And the forsaken sheep are put to flight,

And huddling, slain in heaps, till o'er the fence

The savage bounds into the fields again.”

“Iliad,” v., 136-142.

Bring (ἀγαγεῖν)

Better, lead, as Rev., in margin. Compare Joh 10:3, leadeth them out. The idea is not bringing them together (as συναγάγῃ, Joh 11:52), or conducting them to one place, but assuming the guidance.

There shall be (γενήσεται)

More correctly, shall come to be. Some editors read γενήσονται, they shall become.

One fold (μία ποίμνη)

The A.V. entirely ignores the distinction between αὐλή, fold, and ποίμνη, flock. The latter word is found Mat 26:31; Luk 2:8; 1Co 9:7, and always distinctly meaning a flock, as does also the diminutive ποίμνιον, little flock (Luk 12:32; 1Pe 5:2, etc.). Render, as Rev., one flock, one shepherd. So Tyndale's Version of the New Testament. Compare Eze 34:23. We are not, however, to say with Trench (“A.V. of the New Testament”), that the Jew and the Gentile are the two folds which Christ will gather into a single flock. The heathen are not conceived as a fold, but as a dispersion. See Joh 7:35; Joh 11:52; and, as Meyer observes, “the thought of a divine leading of the heathen does not correspond at all to the figure of fold, of which the conception of theocratic fellowship constitutes an essential feature.” So Bengel. “He says, other sheep, not another fold, for they were scattered abroad in the world.” When Jesus speaks of the other sheep who are not from this fold, the emphasis is on fold, not on this. Compare Rom 11:17 sqq. Nor, moreover, does Jesus mean that the Gentiles are to be incorporated into the Jewish fold, but that the unity of the two is to consist in their common relation to Himself. “The unity of the Church does not spring out of the extension of the old kingdom, but is the spiritual antitype of that earthly figure. Nothing is said of one fold under the new dispensation” (Westcott). It will readily be seen that the incorrect rendering fostered by the carelessness or the mistake of some of the Western fathers, and by the Vulgate, which renders both words by ovile, fold, has been in the interest of Romish claims.