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John 11:28-37

Context

11:28 And when she had said this, Martha 1  went and called her sister Mary, saying privately, 2  “The Teacher is here and is asking for you.” 3  11:29 So when Mary 4  heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 11:30 (Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still in the place where Martha had come out to meet him.) 11:31 Then the people 5  who were with Mary 6  in the house consoling her saw her 7  get up quickly and go out. They followed her, because they thought she was going to the tomb to weep 8  there.

11:32 Now when Mary came to the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 11:33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the people 9  who had come with her weeping, he was intensely moved 10  in spirit and greatly distressed. 11  11:34 He asked, 12  “Where have you laid him?” 13  They replied, 14  “Lord, come and see.” 11:35 Jesus wept. 15  11:36 Thus the people who had come to mourn 16  said, “Look how much he loved him!” 11:37 But some of them said, “This is the man who caused the blind man to see! 17  Couldn’t he have done something to keep Lazarus 18  from dying?”

1 tn Grk “she”; the referent (Martha) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Or “in secret” (as opposed to publicly, so that the other mourners did not hear).

3 tn Grk “is calling you.”

4 tn Grk “she”; the referent (Mary) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8 and “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19.

6 tn Grk “her”; the referent (Mary) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Grk “Mary”; the proper name (Mary) has been replaced with the pronoun (her) in keeping with conventional English style, to avoid repetition.

8 tn Or “to mourn” (referring to the loud wailing or crying typical of public mourning in that culture).

9 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8, “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19, and the word “people” in v. 31.

10 tn Or (perhaps) “he was deeply indignant.” The verb ἐνεβριμήσατο (enebrimhsato), which is repeated in John 11:38, indicates a strong display of emotion, somewhat difficult to translate – “shuddered, moved with the deepest emotions.” In the LXX, the verb and its cognates are used to describe a display of indignation (Dan 11:30, for example – see also Mark 14:5). Jesus displayed this reaction to the afflicted in Mark 1:43, Matt 9:30. Was he angry at the afflicted? No, but he was angry because he found himself face-to-face with the manifestations of Satan’s kingdom of evil. Here, the realm of Satan was represented by death.

11 tn Or “greatly troubled.” The verb ταράσσω (tarassw) also occurs in similar contexts to those of ἐνεβριμήσατο (enebrimhsato). John uses it in 14:1 and 27 to describe the reaction of the disciples to the imminent death of Jesus, and in 13:21 the verb describes how Jesus reacted to the thought of being betrayed by Judas, into whose heart Satan had entered.

12 tn Grk “And he said.” Because of the difference between Greek style, which often begins sentences or clauses with “and,” and English style, which generally does not, καί (kai) has not been translated here.

13 tn Or “Where have you placed him?”

14 tn Grk “They said to him.” The indirect object αὐτῷ (autw) has not been translated here for stylistic reasons.

15 sn Jesus wept. The Greek word used here for Jesus’ weeping (ἐδάκρυσεν, edakrusen) is different from the one used to describe the weeping of Mary and the Jews in v. 33 which indicated loud wailing and cries of lament. This word simply means “to shed tears” and has more the idea of quiet grief. But why did Jesus do this? Not out of grief for Lazarus, since he was about to be raised to life again. L. Morris (John [NICNT], 558) thinks it was grief over the misconception of those round about. But it seems that in the context the weeping is triggered by the thought of Lazarus in the tomb: This was not personal grief over the loss of a friend (since Lazarus was about to be restored to life) but grief over the effects of sin, death, and the realm of Satan. It was a natural complement to the previous emotional expression of anger (11:33). It is also possible that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus because he knew there was also a tomb for himself ahead.

16 tn Or “the Judeans”; Grk “the Jews.” Here the phrase refers to the friends, acquaintances, and relatives of Lazarus or his sisters who had come to mourn, since the Jewish religious authorities are specifically mentioned as a separate group in John 11:46-47. See also the notes on the phrase “the Jewish leaders” in v. 8 and “the Jewish people of the region” in v. 19, as well as the notes on the word “people” in vv. 31, 33.

17 tn Grk “who opened the eyes of the blind man” (“opening the eyes” is an idiom referring to restoration of sight).

18 tn Grk “this one”; the second half of 11:37 reads Grk “Could not this one who opened the eyes of the blind have done something to keep this one from dying?” In the Greek text the repetition of “this one” in 11:37b referring to two different persons (first Jesus, second Lazarus) could confuse a modern reader. Thus the first reference, to Jesus, has been translated as “he” to refer back to the beginning of v. 37, where the reference to “the man who caused the blind man to see” is clearly a reference to Jesus. The second reference, to Lazarus, has been specified (“Lazarus”) in the translation for clarity.



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