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John 12:33-34

Context
12:33 (Now he said this to indicate clearly what kind of death he was going to die.) 1 

12:34 Then the crowd responded, 2  “We have heard from the law that the Christ 3  will remain forever. 4  How 5  can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

1 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

2 tn Grk “Then the crowd answered him.”

3 tn Or “the Messiah” (Both Greek “Christ” and Hebrew and Aramaic “Messiah” mean “one who has been anointed”).

sn See the note on Christ in 1:20.

4 tn Probably an allusion to Ps 89:35-37. It is difficult to pinpoint the passage in the Mosaic law to which the crowd refers. The ones most often suggested are Ps 89:36-37, Ps 110:4, Isa 9:7, Ezek 37:25, and Dan 7:14. None of these passages are in the Pentateuch per se, but “law” could in common usage refer to the entire OT (compare Jesus’ use in John 10:34). Of the passages mentioned, Ps 89:36-37 is the most likely candidate. This verse speaks of David’s “seed” remaining forever. Later in the same psalm, v. 51 speaks of the “anointed” (Messiah), and the psalm was interpreted messianically in both the NT (Acts 13:22, Rev 1:5, 3:14) and in the rabbinic literature (Genesis Rabbah 97).

5 tn Grk “And how”; the conjunction καί (kai, “and”) has been left untranslated here for improved English style.



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