1.] On πρὸ ἓξ ἡμ., see reff. It is an expression frequent in later Greek; so μετὰ τριάκοντα ἡμ. τῶν γάμων, Dio lix. 20; μετὰ δέκα ἔτη τοῦ οἰκῆσαι ἀβραὰμ ἐν γῇ χαναάν, Philo de Congressu, 14, vol. i. p. 529. See numerous instances in Greswell, vol. iii. Diss. 1, where he defines the expression to be exclusive of the period named as the limit ad quem or a quo (according as πρό or μετά is used), but inclusive of the day or month or year of the occurrence specified. Thus the arrival, and anointing, at Bethany, will be on the eighth of Nisan, if the passover was on the fourteenth. That day was a Sabbath; but this makes no difficulty, as we know not from what point our Lord came, or whether He arrived at the commencement of the Sabbath, i.e. sunset,—or a little after, on Friday evening, from Jericho.
1–11.] The anointing at Bethany. Matthew 26:6-13. Mark 14:3-9, where see notes.
1–36.] PROPHETIC ANTICIPATIONS OF THE LORD’S GLORIFICATION BY DEATH.
2. ἐποίησαν] It is not said who. It was (Matt., Mark) in the house of Simon the leper. From Lazarus being there, and Martha serving, he may have been a near relative of theirs. See notes on Matt.
Lazarus is mentioned throughout the incident, ns forming an clement in the unfolding of the hatred of the Jews which issued in the Lord’s death: notice the climax, from mere connecting mention in John 12:1, then nearer connexion in John 12:2,—to his being the cause of the Jews flocking to Bethany in John 12:9,—and the joint object with Jesus of the enmity of the chief priests, in John 12:10.
3. λίτραν] What weight is imported, is uncertain: hardly (see ch. John 19:39) so much as a Roman pound. The word, originally Greek, was adopted into the Aramaic, and is found in the Rabbinical writings as equivalent to a mina; see Friedlieb, Archäologie der Leidensgeschichte, p. 33.
On νάρδ. πιστ., see note on Mark.
ἤλ. τ. πόδ.] His head, according to Matt. and Mark. See note on Luke 7:38.
4.] For Judeas, we have οἱ μαθ. αὐτοῦ. Matt.,— τινές, merely, Mark. See note on Matthew 26:8.
ὁ μέλλεν αὐτὸν παραδιδόναι is not inserted, nor are any such notices in St. John without significance. It has a pragmatic connexion with the narrative in hand. Only one with thoughts alien from Jesus could have originated such a murmur. And on the other hand, it may well be, as some have supposed, that by the rebuke of the Lord on this occasion, the traitorous scheme of Judas, long hidden in his inmost soul, may have been stimulated to immediate action.
5. τριακοσ. δην.] Common (with the slight difference of the insertion of ἐπάνω) to our narrative and Mark. The sum is about 9l. 16s. of our money (Friedlieb, p. 31).
6.] γλωσσόκομον, ἀγγεῖον τῶν αὐλητικῶν γλωττῶν, Phryn. (De Wette), to keep the reeds, or tongues, of wind instruments:—thus, generally, any kind of pouch, or money-chest. See LXX, and Josephus, in reff.
ἐβάσταζεν] It seems hardly possible, with St. John’s use of βαστάζειν in ch. John 20:15 before us, altogether to deny that the sense of carrying off, i.e. purloining, may be here intended. And we have examples in Josephus somewhat analogous: e.g. Antt. vii. 15. 3, where Hyrcanus the High Priest, wishing to give Antiochus Eusebes money to raise the siege, καὶ ἀλλαχόθεν οὐκ εὐπορῶν, ἀνοίξας ἕνα οἶκον τῶν ἐν τῷ δαυίδου μνήματι, καὶ βαστάσας τρισχίλια τάλαντα, μέρος ἔδωκεν ἀντιόχῳ.… See also ib. ix. 4. 5; xii. 5. 4: and Polyb. i. 48. 2. And so Origen, Theophyl., alli(161).; contra Lücke, De Wette, Tholuck, alli(162).
7.] See note on Matthew 26:12. To suppose that it was a remnant from that used at the burial of Lazarus, is not only fanciful, but at variance with the character of the deed as apparent in the narrative. The rec(163). reading, εἰς τ. ἡμ. τ. ἐντ. μου τετήρηκεν αὐτό, seems to be an adaptation to Mark 14:8, in order to escape from the difficulty of understanding how she could keep for His burial, what she poured out now. Meyer understands the text of the remnant: but Luthardt rightly observes that the history clearly excludes the idea of a remnant: cf. ἐπράθη and ἐδόθη. He himself, with Baumg.-Crusius, takes τηρήοῃ as past, “Let her have kept it,” i.e. blame her not for having kept it: but this is vapid in sense, and ungrammatical. I understand the words, which, like all our Lord’s proleptical expressions, have something enigmatical in them, of her whole act, not regarded as a thing past, but spoken of in the abstract as to be allowed or disallowed: Let her keep it for the day of my burial: not meaning a future day or act, but the present one, as one to be allowed.
8.] See note on Mark 14:7-8.
γάρ implies the ἔργον καλὸν εἰργάσατο εἰς ἐμέ of Matthew 26:10.
9 ff.] Remember, here as elsewhere in John, the ἰουδαῖοι are not the people, but the rulers, and persons of repute: the representatives of the Jewish opposition to Jesus.
10.] ἐβουλ., not, ‘came to a (formal) resolution,’ but were in the mind,—had an intention: see Acts 5:33; Acts 15:37.
The chief priests, named here and in ch. John 11:57, were of the sect of the Sadducees; and therefore disbelieved the fact of the raising of Lazarus; only viewing him as one whom it would be desirable to put out of the way, as an object of popular attention in connexion with Jesus.
11.] ὑπῆγον, went away (to Bethany); there is something in the ὑπ- which almost always implies away, out from under, the persons or the place in the narrative. And so here, the ἀρχιερεῖς being the main subject of the sentence, the word gets the sense of ‘fell away:’ scil. from under their hand or power.
12.] τῇ ἐπ., i.e. on the Sunday: see on John 12:1.
ἀκούσ., from the multitude who had returned from Bethany, John 12:9. The order of the narrative seems to require that these people should have visited Bethany late on the Sabbath, after sunset, and the anointing.
12–19.] The triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Matthew 21:1-17. Mark 11:1-11. Luke 19:29-44. On the chronology, see note on Matthew 21:1.
13. τὰ β. τ. φοιν.] The articles shew that the palm-trees were on the spot: the branches of the palm-trees: or perhaps (Lücke) that the custom was usual at such festivities.
βαΐα] The classical word is βαΐς, from the Coptic bai.
14–16.] The Evangelist seems to suppose his readers already acquainted with the circumstances of the triumphal entry, and therefore relates it thus compendiously.
εὑρών does not involve any discrepancy with the three Evangelists, but is a compendious term implying their details.
15.] The prophecy is more fully cited by Matt.
16.] Important, as shewing that this, and probably other prophetic citations under similar circumstances, were the effect of the light poured into the minds of the Apostles by the Holy Spirit after the Ascension.
ἐπʼ αὐτῷ] So Æsch. Eum. 343, γιγνομέναισι λάχη τάδʼ ἐφʼ ἁμῖν ἐκράνθη: Soph. Trach. 997, οἵαν ἐπί μοι χάριν ἠνύσω; Plato, Euthyd. 278 A, ὄνομα ἐπʼ ἀνθρώποις ἐναντίως ἔχουσι κείμενον.
ταῦτα ἐποίησαν αὐτῷ—viz. the going out to meet Him, strewing clothes and branches in the way, and shouting ‘Hosanna’ before Him: also perhaps, the setting Him on the ass, implied in the concise narrative. Notice the thrice-repeated ταῦτα, each time signifying ‘this which was written by the Prophet,’ ‘the above citation.’
17.] The testimony which they bore is given in Luke 19:37-38. Meyer regards the ἐφώνησεν ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου κ. ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν as an echo of their song of triumph.
18.] I see no necessity for supposing this multitude distinct from that in the last verse. We have had no account of any multitude coming from Bethany with Him, nor does this narrative imply it: and surely ὁ ὄχλος in the two verses must mean the same persons. The καί here does not imply another ὄχλος, but And on this account the multitude also went out to meet Him: i.e. their coming out to meet Him and their μαρτυρία on the Mount of Olives, had one and the same cause,—the raising of Lazarus.
19. κόσμος] κόσμον τὰ πλήθη λέγουσιν. Euthym(164)
ἀπῆλθεν can hardly be altogether without allusion to the fact, or likelihood, of apostasy from Judaism. It is used to signify entire devotion to Him whithersoever He might lead them, as in ref.: and thus implies escape and alienation from themselves.
20.] These ἕλληνες were not Grecian Jews,—who would not have been so called: but Gentiles, ‘proselytes of the gate,’ who were in the habit (implied by the pres. part. ἀναβαινόντων) of coming up to the feast: see ch. John 7:35 reff. and note; also Acts 8:27.
20–36.] FUTURE SPREAD OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD AMONG GENTILES FROM THE DEATH OF JESUS. Some Greeks desire to see Jesus. His discourse thereupon.
21.] For what reason Philip was selected, it is impossible to say. The Greek form of his name may imply some connexion with Hellenistic Jews, who may have been friends or relatives of these Greeks. If they were from the neighbourhood of Bethsaida, they would indeed have been familiar with the person of Jesus:—but what they here requested was evidently a private interview.
22.] Andrew (ch. John 1:45) was of the same city as Philip: and this reason of Philip conferring with him is perhaps implied in the τῷ ἀπὸ β. τ. γ. Bengel remarks on this touch of nature: “cum sodali, audet.”
ἔρχεται—so ἔπεμψέ με ἀριαῖος κ. ἀρτάοζος, Xen. Anab. ii. 4. 16.
23.] Did the Greeks see (i.e. speak with) Jesus, or not? Certainly not, if I understand His discourse rightly. But they may have been present at, and have understood it. The substance of His answer ( αὐτοῖς, to Philip and Andrew, not to the Greeks) is, that the time was now come for His glorification, which should draw all nations to Him:—but that glorification must be accomplished by His Death. The very appearance of these Greeks is to Him a token that His glorification is at hand. Stier strikingly says, “These men from the West at the end of the Life of Jesus, set forth the same as the Magi from the East at its beginning;—but they come to the Cross of the King, as those to His cradle.” (R. J. ver. 69, edn. 2.) The rejection of the Jews for their unbelief is the secondary subject, and is commented on by the Evangelist, John 12:37-43.
ἵνα, not ‘eventual,’ nor ‘for’ any thing, but most strictly of the purpose—the hour has come, that (whose object of preparation, and aim, in the eternal counsels, it has been, that) the Son of Man should be glorified.
24.] Meyer thinks, that our Lord begins His declaration with the double asseveration ἀμὴν ἀμήν, on account of the unreceptivity of the mind of the disciples for the announcements of His Death. But St. John always uses ἀμὴν ἀμήν. The grain of wheat perishes, and is not apparent (as the seeds of dicotyledonous plants are) in the new plant: see 1 Corinthians 15:36. The saying is more than a mere parabolic similitude: the divine Will, which has fixed the law of the springing up of the wheat-corn, has also determined the law of the glorification of the Son of Man, and the one in analogy with the other: i.e. both through Death. The symbolism here lies at the root of that in ch. 6, where Christ is ὁ ἄρτος τῆς ζωῆς.
αὐτὸς μόνος, by itself alone, with its life uncommunicated, lived only within its own limits, and not passing on.
25.] And this same divine Law prevails for the disciples, as well as for their Master: see Matthew 10:39 and note. But the saying here proclaims more plainly its true extent,—by its immediate connexion with John 12:24, and by εἰς ζ. αἰών.
ψυχή is not really in a double sense: as the wheat-corn retains its identity, though it die, so the ψυχή: so that the two senses are, in their depth, but one. ψυχή is the life in both cases;—not the soul, in the present acceptation of that term.
26.] Connexion:—The ministering to, or intimate union with, Christ (the position of Philip and Andrew and the rest, and that into which these Greeks seemed desirous to enter) implies following Him,—and that, through tribulation to glory.
εἰμί, the essential present—in My true place, i.e. (ch. John 17:24) in the glory of the Father.
τιμήσει—by glorifying him in My glorification, ch. John 17:24.
27.] “Concurrebat horror mortis et ardor obedientiæ” (Bengel). And to express both these together in human speech was impossible: therefore τί εἴπω;
The following words must not be taken interrogatively (as by Theophyl., Grot., Tholuck, alli(165).) [as if our Lord were doubting whether to say them or not]: for thus the whole sense is destroyed, besides the sentiment being most unworthy of Him who uttered it. The prayer is a veritable prayer; and answers to the prophetic Messianic prayers in the Psalms, which thus run—“My soul is troubled; Lord, help me” (Psalms 69:1; Psalms 40:12-13; Psalms 25:17; Psalms 6:3-4 alli(166).); and to that prayer afterwards in Gethsemane, Matthew 26:39.
διὰ τοῦτο] The misunderstanding of these words has principally led to the erroneous punctuation just noticed. διὰ τοῦτο = ἵνα σωθῶ ἐκ τῆς ὥρας ταύτης. ‘I came to this hour for this very purpose,—that I might be saved from this hour:’ i.e. ‘the going into, and exhausting this hour, this cup, is the very appointed way of my glorification.’ Das Hineinkommen ist selbst das Hindurchkommen, das Leiden selbst die Erldsung! Stier, ver. 77, edn. 2: so also Lampe. This interpretation does not, as Luthardt says, fall with the interrogative punctuation of the previous clause, but holds equally good when that is relinquished. The other interpretation, that of Meyer, alli(167)., is, that Thy Name may be glorified. But surely this is to do violence to the order of thought. This particular does not come in till the next clause, and cannot without an improbable trajection be drawn into this.
28.] The glorifying the Name of the Father can only take place by the glorification of the Son; and this latter only by His death: so that this is the “ardor obedientiæ” triumphant.
φωνή] This ‘voice’ can no otherwise be understood, than as a plain articulate sound, miraculously spoken, heard by all, and variously interpreted. So all the ancients, and the best of the modern expositors, Meyer, Stier, Luthardt, &c. On the saying of the crowd (John 12:29) has been built the erroneous and unworthy notion, that it was only thunder, but understood by the Lord and the disciples to mean as here stated. The Jewish Bath Kol has no applicability here.
ἐδόξασα] In the manifestation hitherto made of the Son of God, imperfect as it was (see Matthew 16:16-17); in all O.T. type and prophecy; in creation; and indeed (Aug(168) in Joan. Tract. lii. 4) “antequam facerem mundum.”
πάλιν is here no mere repetition, but an intensification of the δοξάζειν, a yet once more [: and this time fully and finally].
29.] Some heard words, but did not apprehend their meaning; others a sound, but no words. I should rather believe this difference to have been proportioned to each man’s inner relation to Christ, than fortuitous.
30.] The voice had been heard by those, who did not apprehend its meaning, as thunder. But αὕτη ἡ φωνή could not by any possibility have been said to them, if it had only thundered.
Our Lord does not say that the assurance was not made for His sake;—He had prayed, and His prayer had been answered:—but that it had not been thus outwardly expressed for His, but for their sake. This is likewise true in the case of all testimonies to Him; and especially those two other voices from heaven,—at His Baptism and His Transfiguration.
ὑμᾶς is the whole multitude, not merely the disciples. All heard, and all might have understood the voice: see ch. John 11:42.
31.] All this is a comment on ἐλήλυθεν ἡ ὥρα, John 12:23 : and now a different side of the subject is taken up, and one having immediate reference to the occasion: viz. the drawing of the Gentile world to Him.
νῦν] He speaks of Himself as having actually entered the hour of His passion, and views the result as already come.
κρίσις, not (Chrys., Cyril, Aug(169), Grot.) “the deliverance of this world from the devil;”—nor, “decision concerning this world,” who is to possess it (Bengel):—but (see ch. John 16:11) judgment, properly so called, the work of the Spirit who was to come, on the world, which ὅλος ἐν τῷ πονηρῷ κεῖται, 1 John 5:19.
ὁ ἄρχ. τ. κόσ. τ.] The שַׂר הָעוֹלָם of the Jews, Satan, the ὁ θεὸς τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου of 2 Corinthians 4:4; see also Ephesians 2:2; Ephesians 6:12. Observe it is ἐκβληθήσεται, not ἐκβάλλεται, because the casting out ( ἔξω, ἐκ τῆς ἀρχῆς, Euthym(170), Grot., or better perhaps, out of ὁ κόσμος οὗτος, his former place) shall be gradual, as the drawing in the next verse. But after the death of Christ the casting out began, and its first-fruits were, the coming in of the Gentiles into the Church.
32.] See reff. Here there is more perhaps implied in ὑψ. than in either of those places: viz. the Death, with all its consequences. The Saviour crucified, is in fact the Saviour glorified; so that the exalting to God’s right hand is set forth by that uplifting on the Cross. There is a fine touch of pathos, corresponding to the feeling of John 12:27, in ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ. Hermann’s description of the meaning of ἐὰν τοῦτο γένηται exactly gives it: “sumo hoc fieri, et potest omnino fieri, sed utrum vere futurum sit necne, experientia cognoscam.” Viger, p. 832. The Lord Jesus, though knowing all this, yet in the weakness of his humanity, puts himself into this seeming doubt, ‘if it is so to be:’ cf. Matthew 26:42. All this is missed by the shallow and unscholarlike rendering ‘when,’ which I need hardly remind my readers ἐάν can never bear. See on ch. John 14:3 : 1 John 3:2.
ἑλκύσω—by the diffusion of the Spirit in the Church: manifested in the preaching of the Word mediately, and the pleading of the Spirit immediately. Before the glorification of Christ, the Father drew men to the Son (see ch. John 6:44 and note), but now the Son Himself to Himself. Then it was, ‘no man can come except the Father draw Him:’ now the Son draws all. And, to Himself, as thus uplifted, thus exalted;—the great object of Faith: see ch. John 11:52.
33.] ποίῳ θαν. can hardly mean more than by what manner of death. Lampe (“non nude significat quo genere mortis, sed in sensu latiori qualitatem mortis, etiam internam involvit, adeoque ad fructus etiam hujus mortis respicit”) and Stier find in the word the whole consequences and character of His Death: but see ch. John 18:32.
John does not say that this was all that ὑψωθῶ meant, but that it was its first and obvious reference.
34.] In such passages as Psalms 89:36, and perhaps Psalms 110:4; Daniel 7:13-14.
τοῦ νόμου] The O.T.: see ch. John 10:34.
The actual words ὅτι δεῖ ὑψ. τ. υἱ. τ. ἀνθ. had not been on this occasion used by Jesus; but in His discourse with Nicodemus, ch. John 3:14, and perhaps in other parts of His teaching which have not been recorded.
τίς ἐστιν …] They thought some other Son of Man, not the Messiah, was meant; because this lifting up (which they saw implied taking away) was inapplicable to their idea of the Messiah, usually known as the Son of Man.
35.] He does not answer them, but enjoins them to make use of the time of His presence yet left them. ὡς, as, not exactly ‘while:’ walk, according to your present state of privilege in possessing the Light: which indeed can only be done while it is with you.
τὸ φῶς, ‘Myself’—see ch. John 7:33; John 8:12; John 9:4-5.
ἐν ὑμ., among you: see ref., and ch. John 15:24 (or in the deeper meaning of ch. John 11:10, which see, and note).
The light is an easy transition from their question, if, as above supposed, Psalms 89:36 was alluded to: “His (David’s) seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me.”
περιπατ., i.e. ‘make use of the Light, do your work in it, and by it.’
οὐκ οἶδ. ὑπ. π., ‘has no guide nor security, no principle to lead him.’
36.] It is by believing on the Light, that men become sons of Light: see ch. John 1:12.
Our Lord probably went to Bethany, Luke 21:37.
37.] τοσαῦτα, so many: not, so great: see ch. John 6:9, John 21:11.
οὐκ ἐπίστ., i.e. the generality did not;—they did not, as a people: see John 12:42.
37–43.] The Evangelist’s judgment on their unbelief (37–41), and their half-belief (42, 43). I do not regard these verses as forming the conclusion to the narrative of the public ministry of the Lord, on account of John 12:44-50 (where see note): but doubtless the approaching close of that ministry gives occasion to them, and is the time to which they refer.
37–50.] FINAL JUDGMENT ON THE UNBELIEF OF THE JEWS.
38.] On ἵνα πλ. see note, Matthew 1:22; beware of the ‘ecbatic’ or ‘eventual’ sense, which has no existence.
39.] διὰ τοῦτο refers to the last verse, and ὅτι sets forth the reason more in detail: see ch. John 5:16 : 1 John 3:1; Matthew 24:44. The common interpretation (Theophyl., Vulg., Lampe, Tholuck, Olsh., alli(171).), by which διὰ τοῦτο is referred forward to ὅτι, would require some particle, καί, or δέ, to denote a transition to the fresh subject. De Wette, Meyer, Lücke, edn. 3, Grot. alli(172).
οὐκ ἠδύν.] could not—i.e. it was otherwise ordained in the divine counsels. No attempt to escape this meaning (as “nolebant,” Chr(173), Thl. &c.) will agree with the prophecy cited John 12:40. But the inability, as thus stated, is coincident with the fullest freedom of the human will: compare οὐ θέλετε, ch. John 5:40.
ὅτι, not ‘for,’ but because. A more special ground is alleged why they could not believe: see above.
40.] The prophecy is freely cited, after neither the Heb. nor the LXX, which is followed in Matthew 13:14 f. What God bids the Prophet do, is here described as done, and by Himself: which is obviously implied in the Heb. text. The reading αὑτῶν (Morus) supplying ὁ λαὸς οὗτος as the subject of τετύφ. and πεπώρ., is out of the question,—as ungrammatical, and inconsistent with the context, which will only allow of ὁ κύριος (i.e. Jehovah) as the subject.
41.] ὅτι εἶδ., because he saw. “This apocalyptic vision was the occasion of that prophecy.” Meyer.
αὐτοῦ, of Christ. The Evangelist is giving his judgment,—having (Luke 24:45) had his understanding opened to understand the Scriptures,—that the passage in Isaiah is spoken of Christ. And indeed, strictly considered, the glory which Isaiah saw could only be that of the Son, Who is the ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης of the Father, Whom no eye hath seen.
κ. ἐλάλ. π. αὐτ. does not depend on ὅτι: and he spake concerning Him.
42.] e.g. Nicodemus, Joseph, and others like them.
On ἀποσυν. see note, ch. John 9:22.
John 12:43 is a reference to ch. John 5:44.
περ (in ἤπερ), in this case, augments the disjunctive force of ἤ. See Kühner, ii. § 747, Anm. 4, where many examples are given.
44, 45.] ἔκρ. κ. εἶπ. not pluperf. (nor ever), but indefinite, as ἐπίστευσαν, ὡμολ., and ἠγάπ. above.
ἔκρ. is used of open public teaching, see reff.
On the close connexion with the Father, see ch. John 5:24; John 5:38; John 8:19; John 8:42; John 14:10. The words are in logical sequence to John 12:41, in which the Evangelist has said that the glory of Jehovah and HIS glory were the same.
44–50.] Proof of the guilt of their unbelief, from the words of Jesus Himself. It was by the older Commentators generally thought that these verses formed part of some other discourse delivered at this period. But this is improbable, from no occasion being specified,—from John 12:36,—and from the form and contents of the passage, and its reference to the foregoing remarks of the Evangelist. I take it—with almost all modern Commentators—to be a continuation of those remarks, substantiating them by the testimony of the Lord Himself. The words are taken mostly, but not altogether, from discourses already given in this Gospel.
46.] See John 12:35; ch. John 8:12; John 9:5. The μείνη here expresses that all are originally in darkness,—as μένει, ch. John 3:36.
47.] See ch. John 3:17; John 5:45; John 8:15. The omission of μή (see var. readd.) appears to have been occasioned by a mistaken idea that John 12:48; John 12:47 were in contrast to one another.
48.] See ch. John 3:18, also John 5:45 f., and Hebrews 4:12.
On ἀθετῶν and μὴ λαμβ. see reff.: and on the emphatic ἐκεῖνος, referring to the primary subject, cf. note on ch. John 7:29, also on ch. John 3:28.
49.] See ch. John 5:30; John 7:16-17; John 7:28-29; John 8:26; John 8:28; John 8:38. On ἐντολή, ch. John 10:18.
There does not appear to be any real difference here, though many have been suggested, between εἴπω and λαλήσω: both are summed up in λαλῶ in the next verse: compare Matthew 10:19.
50.] See ch. John 6:63 (and note), 68. On οἶδα, ch. John 3:11; John 5:32; John 8:55.
The ἐντολὴ αὐτοῦ is, results in, not as a means merely, but in its accomplishment and expansion, eternal life: see ch. John 3:15; John 5:24; John 6:40.
Thus all who do not believe are without excuse;—because Jesus is not come, and speaks not, of Himself, but of the Father, Whose will and commandment respecting Him is, that He should be, and give, Life to all. They who reject Him, reject Life, and (ch. John 3:19) prefer darkness to Light.
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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on John 12". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://pro.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany