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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 12 - Verse 20

Verse 20. Certain Greeks. In the original, "some Hellenists"— the name commonly given to the Greeks. The same name was commonly used by the Jews to denote all the pagan nations, because most of those whom they knew spoke the Greek language, Joh 7:34; Ro 1:16; 2:9,10; 3:9


"Jews and Greeks." The Syriac translates this place, "Some of the Gentiles." There are three opinions in regard to these persons:

1st. That they were Jews who spoke the Greek language, and dwelt in some of the Greek cities. It is known that Jews were scattered in Asia Minor, Greece, Macedonia, Egypt, &c., in all which places they had synagogues. See Barnes "Joh 7:35".


2nd. That they were proselytes from the Greeks.

3rd. That they were still Gentiles and idolaters, who came to bring offerings to Jehovah to be deposited in the temple. Lightfoot has shown that the surrounding pagans were accustomed not only to send presents, sacrifices, and offerings to the temple, but that they also frequently attended the great feasts of the Jews. Hence the outer court of the temple was called the court of the Gentiles. Which of these opinions is the correct one cannot be determined.

{s} "certain Greeks" Ac 17:4; Ro 1:16 {t} "them that came up" 1 Ki 8:41,42

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