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John 11:34-38

Context
11:34 He asked, 1  “Where have you laid him?” 2  They replied, 3  “Lord, come and see.” 11:35 Jesus wept. 4  11:36 Thus the people who had come to mourn 5  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! 6  Couldn’t he have done something to keep Lazarus 7  from dying?”

Lazarus Raised from the Dead

11:38 Jesus, intensely moved 8  again, came to the tomb. (Now it was a cave, and a stone was placed across it.) 9 

1 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.

2 tn Or “Where have you placed him?”

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

4 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.

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, as well as the notes on the word “people” in vv. 31, 33.

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

7 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.

8 tn Or (perhaps) “Jesus was deeply indignant.”

9 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.



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