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(0.22) (Exo 12:4)

sn The reference is normally taken to mean whatever each person could eat. B. Jacob (Exodus, 299) suggests, however, that the reference may not be to each individual person’s appetite, but to each family. Each man who is the head of a household was to determine how much his family could eat, and this in turn would determine how many families shared the lamb.

(0.19) (1Jo 5:15)

tn This use of ἐάν (ean) with the indicative mood rather than the subjunctive constitutes an anomalous usage. Here ἐάν is used instead of ἐι (ei) to introduce a first-class condition: “if we know (οἴδαμεν, oidamen) that he hears us in regard to whatever we ask, then we know that we have the requests which we have asked from him.” The reality of the condition (protasis) is assumed for the sake of argument; given the protasis, the apodosis follows. The use of ἐάν for ἐι is rare but not without precedent; see M. Zerwick (Biblical Greek §§330-31).

(0.19) (1Jo 2:28)

sn Have confidence…shrink away from him in shame when he comes back. Once again in the antithetical framework of Johannine thought (that is, the author’s tendency to think in terms of polar opposites), there are only two alternatives, just as there are only two alternatives in John 3:18-21, a key section for the understanding of the present passage in 1 John. Anyone who does not ‘remain’ demonstrates (just as the opponents demonstrated by their departure from the community in 2:19) that whatever profession he has made is false and he is not truly a believer.

(0.19) (Joh 15:7)

sn Once again Jesus promises the disciples ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. This recalls 14:13-14, where the disciples were promised that if they asked anything in Jesus’ name it would be done for them. The two thoughts are really quite similar, since here it is conditioned on the disciples’ remaining in Jesus and his words remaining in them. The first phrase relates to the genuineness of their relationship with Jesus. The second phrase relates to their obedience. When both of these qualifications are met, the disciples would in fact be asking in Jesus’ name and therefore according to his will.

(0.19) (Joh 3:9)

snHow can these things be?” is Nicodemus’ answer. It is clear that at this time he has still not grasped what Jesus is saying. Note also that this is the last appearance of Nicodemus in the dialogue. Having served the purpose of the author, at this point he disappears from the scene. As a character in the narrative, he has served to illustrate the prevailing Jewish misunderstanding of Jesus’ teaching about the necessity of a new, spiritual birth from above. Whatever parting words Nicodemus might have had with Jesus, the author does not record them.

(0.19) (Mat 15:26)

sn The term dogs does not refer to wild dogs (scavenging animals roaming around the countryside) in this context, but to small dogs taken in as house pets. It is thus not a derogatory term per se, but is instead intended by Jesus to indicate the privileged position of the Jews (especially his disciples) as the initial recipients of Jesus’ ministry. The woman’s response of faith and her willingness to accept whatever Jesus would offer pleased him to such an extent that he granted her request.

(0.19) (Pro 31:30)

tn The noun שֶׁקֶר (sheqer) means a “lie; breach of faith” (HALOT, 1648). While it is not true that everything that incites favor is a lie (e.g. Boaz responded to Ruth’s character and Naomi’s need when Ruth found “favor” in his eyes), this is a strong declaration against relying on the emotional impulse of attraction. Many messages in Western culture and media to “follow your heart” actually amount to little or no more than “follow whatever gives you a charmed feeling while ignoring moral constraints and potential consequences.”

(0.19) (Pro 11:23)

tc The MT reads עֶבְרָה (ʿevrah, “wrath”) implying that whatever the wicked hope it turns out that they receive wrath. The LXX reads ἀπολεῖται (apoleitai, “will perish”) which might reflect an underlying Hebrew of אָבְדָה (ʾavedah) “it has perished,” which is also attested in at least one Medieval manuscript. The difference involves two letters similar in sound, א and ע (ʾaleph and ʿayin), and two similar in appearance, ד and ר (dalet and resh). This would be similar to Prov 10:28, which uses the imperfect of the same root, “the expectation of the wicked perishes.”

(0.19) (Psa 51:2)

sn In vv. 1b-2 the psalmist uses three different words to emphasize the multifaceted character and degree of his sin. Whatever one wants to call it (“rebellious acts,” “wrongdoing,” “sin”), he has done it and stands morally polluted in God’s sight. The same three words appear in Exod 34:7, which emphasizes that God is willing to forgive sin in all of its many dimensions. In v. 2 the psalmist compares forgiveness and restoration to physical cleansing. Perhaps he likens spiritual cleansing to the purification rites of priestly law.

(0.19) (Job 29:10)

tn The verb here is “hidden” as well as in v. 8. But this is a strange expression for voices. Several argue that the word was erroneously inserted from 8a and needs to be emended. But the word “hide” can have extended meanings of “withdraw; be quiet; silent” (see Gen 31:27). A. Guillaume relates the Arabic habiʾa, “the fire dies out,” applying the idea of “silent” only to v. 10 (it is a form of repetition of words with different senses, called jinas). The point here is that whatever conversation was going on would become silent or hushed to hear what Job had to say.

(0.19) (Job 5:5)

tn The MT reads “whose harvest the hungry eat up.” Some commentators want to follow the LXX and repoint קְצִירוֹ (qetsiro, “his harvest”) to קָצְרוּ (qatseru, “[what] they have reaped”; cf. NAB). The reference as it stands in the MT seems to be to the image of taking root in v. 3; whatever took root—the prosperity of his life—will not belong to him or his sons to enjoy. If the emendation is accepted, then the reference would be immediately to the “sons” in the preceding verse.

(0.19) (Num 11:1)

tn The temporal clause uses the Hitpoel infinitive construct from אָנַן (ʾanan). It is a rare word, occurring in Lam 3:39. With this blunt introduction the constant emphasis of obedience to the word of the Lord found throughout the first ten chapters suddenly comes to an end. It is probable that the people were tired of moving for several days, the excitement of the new beginning died out quickly in the “great and terrible wilderness.” Resentment, frustration, discomfort—whatever it all involved—led to complaining and not gratitude.

(0.19) (Exo 17:12)

tn The word “steady” is אֱמוּנָה (ʾemunah) from the root אָמַן (ʾaman). The word usually means “faithfulness.” Here is a good illustration of the basic idea of the word—firm, steady, reliable, dependable. There may be a double entendre here; on the one hand it simply says that his hands were stayed so that Israel might win, but on the other hand it is portraying Moses as steady, firm, reliable, faithful. The point is that whatever God commissioned as the means or agency of power—to Moses a staff, to the Christians the Spirit—the people of God had to know that the victory came from God alone.

(0.19) (Exo 13:21)

sn God chose to guide the people with a pillar of cloud in the day and one of fire at night, or, as a pillar of cloud and fire, since they represented his presence. God had already appeared to Moses in the fire of the bush, and so here again is revelation with fire. Whatever the exact nature of these things, they formed direct, visible revelations from God, who was guiding the people in a clear and unambiguous way. Both clouds and fire would again and again represent the presence of God in his power and majesty, guiding and protecting his people, by judging their enemies.

(0.19) (Exo 8:16)

tn The noun is כִּנִּים (kinnim). The insect has been variously identified as lice, gnats, ticks, flies, fleas, or mosquitoes. “Lice” follows the reading in the Peshitta and Targum (and so Josephus, Ant. 2.14.3 [2.300]). Greek and Latin had “gnats.” By “gnats” many commentators mean “mosquitoes,” which in and around the water of Egypt were abundant (and the translators of the Greek text were familiar with Egypt). Whatever they were they came from the dust and were troublesome to people and animals.

(0.16) (1Co 15:29)

sn Many suggestions have been offered for the puzzling expression baptized for the dead. There are up to 200 different explanations for the passage; a summary is given by K. C. Thompson, “I Corinthians 15, 29 and Baptism for the Dead,” Studia Evangelica 2.1 (TU 87), 647-59. The most likely interpretation is that some Corinthians had undergone baptism to bear witness to the faith of fellow believers who had died without experiencing that rite themselves. Paul’s reference to the practice here is neither a recommendation nor a condemnation. He simply uses it as evidence from the lives of the Corinthians themselves to bolster his larger argument, begun in 15:12, that resurrection from the dead is a present reality in Christ and a future reality for them. Whatever they may have proclaimed, the Corinthians’ actions demonstrated that they had hope for a bodily resurrection.

(0.16) (Act 15:29)

tc Codex Bezae (D) as well as 323 614 945 1739 1891 sa and other witnesses have after “sexual immorality” the following statement: “And whatever you do not want to happen to yourselves, do not do to another/others.” By adding this negative form of the Golden Rule, these witnesses effectively change the Apostolic Decree from what might be regarded as ceremonial restrictions into more ethical demands. The issues here are quite complicated, and beyond the scope of this brief note. Suffice it to say that D and its allies here are almost surely an expansion and alteration of the original text of Acts. For an excellent discussion of the exegetical and textual issues, see TCGNT 379-83.

(0.16) (Joh 13:18)

tn Or “has become my enemy”; Grk “has lifted up his heel against me.” The phrase “to lift up one’s heel against someone” reads literally in the Hebrew of Ps 41 “has made his heel great against me.” There have been numerous interpretations of this phrase, but most likely it is an idiom meaning “has given me a great fall,” “has taken cruel advantage of me,” or “has walked out on me.” Whatever the exact meaning of the idiom, it clearly speaks of betrayal by a close associate. See E. F. F. Bishop, “‘He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me’—Jn xiii.18 (Ps xli.9),” ExpTim 70 (1958-59): 331-33.

(0.16) (Joh 11:22)

sn The statement “whatever you ask from God, God will grant you” by Martha presents something of a dilemma because she seems to be suggesting here (implicitly at least) the possibility of a resurrection for her brother. However, Martha’s statement in 11:39 makes it clear that she had no idea that a resurrection was still possible. How then are her words in 11:22 to be understood? It seems best to take them as a confession of Martha’s continuing faith in Jesus even though he was not there in time to help her brother. She means, in effect, “Even though you weren’t here in time to help, I still believe that God grants your requests.”

(0.16) (Mar 7:27)

sn The term dogs does not refer to wild dogs (scavenging animals roaming around the countryside) in this context, but to small dogs taken in as house pets. It is thus not a derogatory term per se, but is instead intended by Jesus to indicate the privileged position of the Jews (especially his disciples) as the initial recipients of Jesus’ ministry. The woman’s response of faith and her willingness to accept whatever Jesus would offer pleased him to such an extent that he granted her request. This is the only miracle mentioned in Mark that Jesus performed at a distance without ever having seen the afflicted person, or issuing some sort of audible command.

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